Waiting for a, Yes!
I’m sitting outside at one of my favorite coffee shops near my apartment. It’s my “happy place”. I sit and drink my coffee. I read, listen to a podcast, and attempt to journal all in search of a moment of awakening (I watch a lot of Super Soul.)
Can this be called a spiritual journey?
(I’m fighting tears. I hate crying in public. Tears are a sign of, I’m about to get real and vulnerable.)
So, I guess I am stepping on this path.
I feel like I'm constantly reminded that life is a vapor. I’m reminded that my story won’t get written unless I stop trying so hard and just write the thing.
On a recent visit to the museum of my people in DC also formally named the National Museum of African American History and Culture I noticed a thing.
One theme for me as a writer (Yes I get to claim that title without a book deal.) -- was my people who weren’t even “allowed” to read or write, went ahead and published their own narratives, their poems, they knew if anyone is going to record this it will be me. How brave?
Poet, Phillis Wheatley
So, what fear is strong enough to stop me?
My current situation: I feel that I am stuck in a season of hurry up and wait. What am I really waiting for when you get down to it? Validation. Sad. But True.
I’ve submitted articles to some of my favorite online publications, I’ve pitched myself to be “picked up” as a guest writer. All I want to do is write, and get paid for it. For those instantly judging I’m sure it sounds like, “You have to put in the work. You millennials always want something fast, and now.” I hear you. I’m also exhausted from you know adulting.
I realize I should be doing what I’ve said I would do. Validation yourself! I’ve had a few blogs in my lifetime and this one was meant for a community where people who deal with suicide ideation could call home. Where self-love oozed out of the screen and reversed negative self-talk. But, I haven’t been writing. I’m waiting, for the right subject, the right event, the right moment the universe aligns and some stranger gives me permission to be great.
I love writing, I also love journals. I’ve loved making art since I was a child. Why do I have to wait before I bring the art back to life? So soon I will launch my own journals like I’ve always said I would. (Feel free to bookmark this page until I do it.) I love supporting my people, I will buy your product, promote it, attend the event and then go home feeling empty again because I’m not doing the “thing”.
Where’s my magic door of the perfect opportunity? If I sit in this waiting period, I’ll die in it.
I remember working in corporate running this volunteer group, creating ideas, all in hopes a higher up would say look at her taking initiative she should be on my team, apart of this project, and I gained visibility, acknowledgment, and “props” but after that then what?
I’ve had personal essays published, felt real tears to get my story out, and then what? The moment dies, and the cycle starts all over again.
Here I am to declare:
The only validation I should be searching for is my own.
That confidence is necessary for whatever the next chapter is going to be. I hope you're encouraged to take a minute and write out what you already know you are good at. Give yourself acknowledgment, some credit. Turn on your favorite “I’m awesome song” and do whatever it is you’re waiting for permission to do.
Thank you to Angie Thomas, (author of The Hate You Give) who I asked to sign my journal with advice for a writer during the National Book Festival. She wrote, It only takes one yes.