Valuing Every Bump in This Hard Knock Life

24Jan13

I’m FINALLY back! I was away a lot longer than anticipated as my new computer build didn’t go as smoothly as I imagined. In fact, it’s still not 100% but it is usable and that’s all I care about right now!

Even though I haven’t been online, I’ve been busy with the continuation of Project Shuffle (a.k.a. setting up shop at home. You can read about the first phase here.). I’ve had lots of ideas and inspiration while offline, and done a lot of work on the studio. Things are really shaping up around here. It’s starting to feel like a real studio, somewhere I feel comfortable working and where I enjoy going each day. I can’t wait to share everything with you!

I keep thinking back to where I was at this time last year. So much has changed, most of it for the better. But that doesn’t mean it’s been easy. I’ve had so many setbacks that have left me feeling frustrated and drained. The funny thing is, I still try to learn from that. I still try to let the Universe teach me its lessons. Now don’t get me wrong, I may sulk, throw a tantrum and complain until my best friend’s ears fall off, but then I get up, dust myself off and get on with it!

Like right now. I just spent almost two months building my new computer. Something that should have taken a few days (once the parts came in) took so much more time and energy than it ever should have. I’ve had delivery issues, dead components, and software problems. My old computer should have lasted while I worked on the new one, but the planets aligned against me and virtually shut it down. Throw the holidays in there and it felt like I would never be up and running again!

Yet as frustrating as it’s been, I’ve learned a lot.

As my dad says, “You don’t learn anything on the easy days!”

And it’s true. Easy days and easy times don’t teach us much. It’s through struggle and hardship that we learn and grow the most.

I like to think of it like this…. I’ve made this big declaration that I want to follow my dreams and work from home, so now the Universe is throwing obstacle after obstacle at me, as if to test me. It’s like the Universe is saying, “Really? Is this what you want? Are you sure? Because stuff goes wrong all the time, life is hard, and you’re going to have to get out of bed every day and deal with it. Are you ready for this????”

The way I respond to these setbacks is what will make or break me. Will I work through the obstacles and persevere above all to attain my dreams? Or will I let every little thing hold me back, or stop me?

Anyone who knows me even a little bit already knows the answer to that question! Determination oozes out of me!

I don’t know how many times I’ve had a conversation with someone about starting my own creative business and their response is, “I’m creative too and I always wanted to do my own thing.” They say this with regret in their voice. My response is always, “Well, you’re not dead yet! What are you waiting for?” In almost every situation the other person makes up excuses why he or she can’t follow their dreams (have kids, need the benefits and stability of an ‘outside’ job, their job/pay is too good to give up, etc.).

Sadly the reasons they list have nothing to do with why they aren’t following their dreams. The reasons are only excuses. The only real reason people don’t do what they want is because they are holding themselves back.

What do you really want to do? Why aren’t you doing it right now?

Seriously, take a minute to think about, maybe even jot a few things down. Then think about the reasons why you’re not doing it. If you’re truly honest with yourself I bet you can eliminate most, if not all, of those reasons.

Now what’s really holding you back?

If I hadn’t taken a leap last year I would still be stuck where I was rather than where I am now (happy, healthy and raring to go!).

Nothing was particularly wrong, but it wasn’t right either. And I knew it too. I knew in my heart that I wasn’t being true to myself and following my dreams. So I let the excuses go and took the next step. Things aren’t perfect. Sometimes they are far from it. I may be fighting with this damn computer for another two months. But that’s okay. It’s okay to struggle, to have setbacks, even to make mistakes. The important thing is how you react and making sure you don’t let those things hold you back.

It’s that time of year when most people are making New Year’s resolutions, only to break them a few days, weeks or months from now. This year why not make a resolution that allows you to be who you want to be while following your dreams? Stop holding back and just go for it!

As I look ahead to the coming year there is only one resolution I care to follow. That is to continue on the journey I started last year. To keep living my life according to my own road map, and sometimes, if no road exists, to pave my own road as I go.

So… what do you really want?

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