Have you ever let something sit out-of-sight for so long that when you do finally remember it exists, you’re too afraid to look at it?
Like, for example, an elementary school lunch?
Or, for another example, your blog?
Sure, I’ve moved some things around. I baked a loaf. I imported a new theme. Tried to re-imagine Anchors & Freedom 2.9 or whatever model we’re on now, but every time I just got discouraged and slammed my laptop down angrily and pulled my felt hat brim down low to avoid condescending looks from other people in the coffee shop. People who — I am most certain — are being uber productive, writing trendy things, making under-the-table millions.
Unfortunately, in this case, out of sight wasn’t actually out of mind. My blog may have gotten moldy, but it was there, staring me in the face every morning when I woke up.
I used to live for this.
But, somewhere along the way I decided to subscribe to the notion that blogs needed a posting schedule. They needed a serious branding initiative. They needed ads. Needed campaigns. Needed super-easy-to-navigate categories. Needed a business-like attitude. Somewhere along the way I decided that money was important.
Maybe, I thought to myself, if I stopped writing for free I would be able to give more time to articles that people might actually buy!
The thing is — I never started writing because I wanted money. I have a day job that I love. For the most part (unless I spend too much time in Aritzia) it pays the bills.
Money wasn’t a motivator for me. I started writing because I go crazy if I don’t.
Of course, I kept writing. I still write my weekly column at InfoNews and it still stokes my fire. But my idea muscle was gone. The writing for the fun of it was gone. The hitting “publish” myself and knowing it was good enough for me, today, was gone.
Anchors and Freedom has always been a permission slip. That was the intent. That was my promise. I would make mistakes — I would live the best I could with what I had and what I knew and I would make mistakes — and then I would forgive myself. I would give myself permission to get up and try again.
It seems funny, then, that I forgot to give myself permission to write.
I started to give all of the f’s.
And the problem — when you start to give all of the f’s — is accidentally letting in the biggest f of all.
Fear is the pill you pop when you want to be miserable. It’s the shot you take when you want to stop doing everything you enjoy, everything that makes you feel alive. Fear is the voice you listen to when you want to be talked out of making the best decision of your life. It’s the letter you open when you want to avoid any sort of luck, any sort of synchronicity, any sort of MAGIC.
& I popped it. Shot it. Listened to it. Opened it.
But step one of sobering up from fear is replacing it with love, and it doesn’t need to be love relating to what you’re afraid of.
Love your city. Love the color pink. Love someone’s Instagram. Love your own Instagram. Love your body. Love your health. Love your life. Love your dog’s life. Love the rain. Love Ben Howard records and earl grey donuts. Love anything and everything you can muster the courage to and — eventually — you’ll return to the thing you’ve been avoiding.
You’ll unpack the terrifying lunch box.
You’ll tie up the garbage with a sour look on your face.
You’ll promise never to leave it that long again.
And then, with a clear conscience and love on your side, you’ll get back to your job.
You’ll get back to your joy.
And you’ll get back to giving no F’s.