The Plan: Keep Going - Externalize Evie
I got myself in a mental jam about what I was supposed to actually DO now that I’ve acknowledged my dream of being read by more people than my husband, best friends, and sisters. I’ve been doing pretty well at this whole sitting my butt in a chair, getting stuff down, and putting it out there. Which has been a big step for me, the putting it out there rather than sticking it in a drawer or box in the garage or private journal. And people who have read it have expressed appreciation, have even found some of it helpful, which feels great.
And the next thought is that writing is my path to being of service so if I want to help more people I’ve gotta let more people read what I have to say. The challenge is that just writing that line, that I have ambition to be read by more people, is a big red cape taunting the bull of a brain slice that houses Evie, the evil voice of discouragement and despair.
Evie says, “The world already has Tina Fey, and Pema Chodron, and Oprah, and Brene Brown, and Tara Brach, and Madonna, who do you think you are?” I’m told I need to externalize Evie so her voice sounds more like the voice of an unwelcome stranger and less like the voice of G-d or Truth. “Absolutely everything you could possibly say has been said before, and probably better, by someone else,” she declares. “Go get a law job, a real estate job, a contractor’s license, a pet groomer’s license. Do something useful.”
And then Jenna, the stronger but much less developed voice in me says, “Do not let that Evie distract you from your path. The world does not have one love song, one action film, one romantic comedy, one painting. The world needs both Journey and Foreigner. The fact that there are so many books, shows, retreat centers, and yoga studios is evidence that at least some people need support and encouragement to feel better more of the time. The fact that songs like yours are popular is a good sign. And you are enjoying this writing thing, you always have, so just Keep Going.”
And I jot down the words, “Keep Going,” in my I-Phone notepad, as if touched by this wisdom for the very first time, like a virgin brain hungry for any words of encouragement. Yes, keep going. Keep Going. Keep it simple, one day at a time, inch by inch, the journey of a thousand miles starts with the first step (and then there’s the second step and third one too).
I had a thought, that what I was doing now, the butt in chair, put stuff out there plan, was not good enough, that I had to do more, different, better. Be super-brilliant. But no, I can just be me and keep going. That’s the plan.