This weekend was exhausting. My niece and nephew were here and each morning I was peering at the clock confused about what this time that started with a 5 was.
Despite the immense lack of sleep (how do people who actually keep these tiny humans 24/7 even survive?), it was really nice to spend some quality time with them. We played games, made puzzles, ate chocolate chip pancakes and went to the Bronx Zoo.
Sunday, after giving some big wet kisses, Luke and I escaped and headed for our favorite place of respite, the beach.
We hit up a few of my favorite childhood spots and I was loving being the tour guide for once.
We wandered around Playland Beach. It’s a place full of memories for me: summers spent riding the log flume, getting dizzy on the Starship 2000, blowing the powdered sugar from my fried dough onto my unsuspecting older brothers. We passed by the deserted fairground, and strolled along the boardwalk. I tried to find the fortune teller machine from the movie Big, which was filmed here all those years ago, but it’s long gone. We sat down and looked out over the beach watching people tanning themselves in the oddly warm autumn sun.
We had a picnic lunch on a park bench; people were fishing. We took lots of pictures. We closed our eyes and just let the heat of the sun pour over us.
Then we headed to the town I grew up in, Mamaroneck. We parked around the harbor and walked along the water’s edge. We watched kids playing touch football, laughed at the over enthusiastic parents shouting and whistling. We sat on a bench swing for a while. I told stories about playing kickball on that field over there, playing soccer on that one there; I was on the orange team.
Then we talked about real life. It’s the first time since we’ve been back that we’ve taken stock of where we are with our goals. We’re both working towards what we want, but I feel like I’m standing still.
Luke said something that made me smirk, but is completely true, “I wouldn’t say we’ve hit the ground running, more like at a brisk walk”.
We’re doing the easy parts. We’re coasting – letting the things that require little effort be the things that seem most important.
I’m still letting fear rule everything. It’s much easier to write this blog and publish myself; a few people comment, some people ‘like’ it on some social media. I feel loved. I feel like I’m a good writer and when I finally get around to publishing that book LOADS of people will read it and love it and tweet about it.
Write something for someone else? Submit a piece to a publication? Write a query letter? Holy shit I’m shaking just thinking about it. I can’t handle the rejection. I can’t handle that someone might tell me I’m not good enough, that I’ll never make any money, that I should just stop now and go back to teaching English (gasp).
I’m entirely afraid of failing.
We got back in the car, a little bit sunburned and a little bit more motivated. We know what we need to do, although we already did before this. We need to be our own drivers of these dreams. No one else is going to make us do it, no one is going to give us a step-by-step guide to becoming successful writers and coaches. No one is going to make us do the hard stuff.
So here I sit on Monday morning, cursor blinking at me. I’m blinking back. And I start writing again. I’m trying to be my own motivator, pushing myself, critiquing, but not too much. I’m starting to do the things that aren’t so easy. I’m setting goals for myself – weekly targets to meet just like might happen at a real job. And if I don’t achieve them, welp no one is going to fire me, no one is going to give me a slap on the wrist or tell me that I need to work harder. No one but me.