Worried I’ll Have Nothing To Say

*I’m not sure why I wrote this or what really prompted this stream of consciousness. The delete button seemed really appealing, but then I remembered that I didn’t think anyone would find many of my blog posts very interesting. I have been surprised many times over what touches people. Thus the reason I decided to post today anyway.

I used to write a lot – when things seemed very depressing and dramatic. I had a lot to say then. Inspiration overwhelmed me and pages dissolved day after day full of pathetic self-pity. But isn’t that common? Inspiration from pain? However, on my walk yesterday, while listening to the pounding beats of Fall Out Boy, I was stunned by the surge of contentment echoing through my body. With each footstep hitting the pavement, I was in awe of my life.

I started to think that people really only fit into two categories:

1. Victim

2. Victor

It is no joke when people have truly been victimized, I am not making light of that at all. But, I do think that there is a personal perspective that separates these two categories. I think that we can decide which category that we want to live our lives.

There were a lot of years I acted like a victim. I didn’t take control of my life; I let life take control of me instead. My perception was that I was helpless to make my life different from what it was – I simply had to take the cards dealt to me and suffer through as best I could. Ironically, though, if I were being truly honest, most of these “cards” were ones that I drew myself. I created the messes that kept me oppressed. They were poor choices that I kept making over and over again. Sometimes I wonder at what point I decided living in all the drama was better than living without it – unless you have been in a similar darkness, it is hard to understand why some of us don’t just “snap out of it”. There is a comfort in living with fear and unhappiness because it is a known factor. Change is scary and might end up being worse.

Or at least that is what kept me tied to such a foolish lifestyle.

I heard a speaker once say something like this:

Most people won’t help themselves until the fear of staying the same becomes greater than the fear of change.

It was shortly after hearing those words that I started to take real stock of my life. There are turning points you can’t forget, and sometimes they happen more than once, but they are clear opportunities that lead us in another direction either physically, mentally or both. For me, it was both. I am disappointed to say that with personal recovery my writing slowed down. I could blame it on being busier, for being more present in my life, but the truth is that writing about contentment seems dull and uninteresting. Children and marriage don’t seem funny to me, just normal now.

Today I had a friend over for lunch. We were sharing how we both finally feel like we are at the point in our lives where we are supposed to be. There is very little drama. Not that there aren’t days of frustration or disappointment, but it doesn’t cripple us anymore. We take things in stride and come up with a plan of attack almost immediately rather than disengage and fall victim to our fears. I am so thankful that DW took the time to get to know me before making a judgement about me. If someone had handed him my life’s resume at that time, I would never have gotten an interview. I was a 28 year-old single mom living with my parents who had just graduated from college and was in-between jobs. Sounds promising, right? Can you imagine the conversation with his mom? I certainly can’t. Although my life was in transition, my spirit wasn’t, it was finally behaving like the victor. What I saw was an independent woman who figured out a way to finish school while raising her daughter. I saw a woman who hit the pavement hard to find a job with good health benefits, who was finally able to buy her first car and was about to put the deposit down on her first apartment all on her own. I’ve been seeing myself through those eyes ever since.

It is something that I think a lot of writers face – figuring out what to say. No doubt it is easier to write about pain than about possibility. I understand that writers should be sharing some of our dirtier stories so that others can learn and benefit from our mistakes. I understand that it is sometimes a cleansing process and helps us see things more clearly. It also allows us to say, “Yes – that really happened and I really overcame”. But it can’t be all that defines us. We are the sum of all our parts – the good ones too.

And if you aren’t a writer, this still applies to you. You do not have to live with a victim mentality. Choose to be the victor in your life and embrace happiness. Let your actions be your words. Is there something in your life you should change? What are you afraid to change?

Here’s what I am going to change: I am going to use this summer as my writing workshop. My goal is to start submitting more work, really seek out more writing “jobs” and see where it takes me. It has been wonderful to get positive feedback. I feel encouraged to share more and more everyday. But it is hard to not want to just write about my sob stories and dredge up depressing dities about my past. One of my newest projects was being accepted as a contributing writer for Blissfully Domestic in their humor section once a month. I’m not going to lie, I’m terrified that I will have nothing to say. I’ve never really considered myself very funny! This will certainly require me to be more aware and be a better note taker.

But I am ready – I will not be victim to my fear of not being liked or funny. I will be the victor here, and believe enough in myself to produce.

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14 thoughts on “Worried I’ll Have Nothing To Say

  1. Loved this post. I too have been through many issues in the last 10 years of my life and I found that writing about them was a great help for me to see that I was making mountains out of mole hills most of the time. Writing was part of the therapy I went through and when I saw one day that my writing was changing from simply listing my woes and talking about how horrible things were, to what I was going to do later and my plans for tomorrow… I knew I had gotten through. I also met my significant other in the time of darkness and I thank whatever hight power brought him to me and allowed him to see me and not my problems. We all have to cope, we all have to get through, we all have to come out the other side. It is all in how much you want to and how much effort you put in. I applaud you for doing what you did. And want you to know that your blog posts are an inspitation to me and I am sure a great many out there as well. PS. I share your posts with all my friends. To everyone reading this “Keep on truckin’!”

  2. I too have been through some really horrible things in life over the past 10 years. I wrote as part of my therapy. It was a good way to see the mountain I was making out of the mole hill. It kept me on track. Helped me to get perspective. It was when my writing changed that I realized I was on the other side of my darkness. I applause you for what you have faced and come through. I find your writing inspirational entertaining and fun. Keep doing what you are. A lot of us really like knowing our normal is the same as someone elses!

  3. I know so many people who live life as victims and they always say “why does this keep happening to me?” Well, the only common denominator of all your bad relationships/jobs/life circumstances is YOU. The only way to no longer be a victim is to become a person of action not reaction. Good for you for figuring out what you need to do to make yourself happy and content in your life.
    And congratulations on your new writing gig! You are a talented writer and I really enjoy reading your blog so I’m sure you will do a great job. Best of luck!

    1. Thanks! It seems like it took me much longer to “figure it out” then it should have, but at least I’m here now! Hopefully we will raise confident young women that will make better choices.

  4. “Most people won’t help themselves until the fear of staying the same becomes greater than the fear of change”

    I am amazed at the things that hit home recently. I am changing my life all over again after truely thinking it was settled for good. But I know, that even though it’s stressful and that sometimes it hurts, it is the right thing for me to do FOR ME.

    Thanks for you honesty. I am so ready to come back with a honest blogging frenzy… but I need a little more time!

    You are awesome.

    1. I just sent you an email. I understand needing a little more time – I took YEARS of time and now I can’t seem to shut up!

  5. Dear Emily,

    When I saw the headline of this post in my inbox it puzzled me. Em not having anything to say? What IS she talking about!?!?! But then as I read through your entry I realised that not only did I understand what you mean… I recognise it from myself. I do it too. At times I’d get frustrated with myself for “having nothing to say” when the urge to write is so strong… and it would cause me to clam up even more.

    One of the things I first noticed about your blog was that it DIDN’T require big drama or huge issues for you to find something worth writing about. And it was in listening to the things you had to say on topics I’d previously thought “uninteresting” or “ordinary” that I realised that my perspective was messed up. The trick isn’t to sit back and wait for life to become interesting and eventful enough to write about – it is to find those qualities in whatever IS going on.

    I think you do that excellently, and personally, I can’t wait to see what you come up with for BD.

    Good for you for taking up the challenge!!!

    1. You have so given me an Oprah moment – thank you! Yes – I want to really embrace the everyday and see it for all it’s beauty, love, and fulfillment. And if it doesn’t meet any of that criteria, then ask myself why not? Can I change it? I want to recognize that there are lessons in everything – good and bad. I want my kids to grow up with a life devoid of drama and be content with the little things.

      1. An Oprah moment??? I am almost afraid to ask what exactly that is!! BUT as long as it’s a good thing (it is, right?!) I’m happy 🙂

        And you’re more than welcome. Thank YOU for another brilliant post!

      2. LOL! It’s an ah-hah moment…and yes, it is a good thing. Perhaps I should have referenced it as a “Martha Stewart” moment.

      3. hehe… not sure that would have helped much. I mean, I know who she is, but such references are one those cultural things that us non-english-speaking-natives have so much fun – and frustrations – trying to figure out 😉

        BUT it’s a GOOD THING! So… yay!

  6. I hope a lot of people read this post. Unfortunatly most of the people I know who really need to read, re-read and understand this post won’t, or worse they will read it and won’t see how it applies to themselves. Perhaps and with hope and luck, such people will sooner, rather than later, grow and see how it does apply to them. There is always hope.

    One of my favorite quotes is from Ghandi, “We must be the change we wish to see in the world”

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