I have this friend, named Lisbeth. I haven’t known her for very long, but I feel as if I know a bit about her. Lisbeth is many things- a writer, mother, a motivator, a leader, but most importantly, she is a truth-teller. Yeah, she is one of those. She will flat-out tell you how the cow ate the cabbage. You know the type. Damn, when they are telling you everything that you want to hear, and you know it’s raw honesty, you just love ’em to death. But, when your truth ain’t so pretty, well, you can just split your own teeth with grit.
I think about what it would be like if Lisbeth lived next door to me. I can see myself having a dilemma, taking her a bottle of her favorite whiskey, sitting on the front porch, and saying:
“Ok. Drink up. Here is my situation. Tell me your honest opinion, don’t hold anything back, and don’t expect for me to speak to you again for at least 3 weeks. Also, expect for me to say mean and terrible things about you in my own head.”
Cause, most of the time, I don’t want the truth. I want compliments. I want for my truth to be sweetly glazed and served with a big glass of warm milk…that is how tough guys like me like their truth to be prepared. I can’t usually handle the reality of most situations that don’t involve me not getting the lead role, or having things fall into my lap.
I had a conversation with her a few weeks ago on the LHRL Podcast. I had an opportunity to ask her about getting over the fear of writing. I am an incredibly insecure writer. Truthfully, I am an extremely insecure person, but my writing is what scares me most. Most days, the most difficult part of my day is the effort it takes for me to hit the “send” and “publish” button on my computer. I asked Lisbeth (as if I was asking for a friend, of course), “what do you tell someone who wants to write, but is struggling to put it out there? What do you say to the person who can’t take that first step?” Her response has had a profound effect on, not only my confidence as a writer, but also my journey towards finding my bliss. It is helping me to identify what it is that I want to do with myself. It is helping me establish a life of purpose combined with a level pleasure, so I can find meaning in what I do. This was her response, as nearly as I can remember:
“If someone wants to be a writer, and is worried about what other people think… maybe they shouldn’t be a writer. If someone thinks that they should hold back and wait until later before they start writing…maybe they shouldn’t be a writer. Because if you are truly a writer, and you are truly passionate about writing, NOTHING can keep those words of off the paper. If writing is what you love, you will write, because that is what you do when you truly love to do something.”
Let me make this clear, I think that this has very little do do with writing. The above response has almost nothing to do with writing and everything to do with life. This is a mindset that I want to wake up with, every single day. I feel like in order to find some purpose in life, I need to find the things that I would do if no one in the world knew who I was, or If I had never given anyone a first impression of me. I want to do things as if there is no commentary, no judgement, no opinion to be had. I need to do the things that I enjoy passionately, and not seek so much the approval of the outside world. What’s crazy is, I am an incredibly supported person! You would think that I am met with resistance and haters at every corner, and it couldn’t be further from the truth. I am not sure if one man has ever had so many people to encourage his individuality. Everyone in my life supports me, encourages me, and wants me to be whoever I want to be…..except me. I make fun of me. I criticize me. I make snide remarks about the goals which I fall short of. I tell myself that everyone thinks I am a joke, and wonders why I even bother. I am the microscope. I am the disapproving audience, myself alone.
I live so much of my life based on what I believe people to see me to be, I forgot that others have themselves to look after. I feel that I have to stay within certain parameters, because I have “always done this”, or “always acted this way”, or “you always said that”. I need to know that I can be whomever I want to be, every single day, and that somebody doesn’t have to be the same. I can try on different hats. I can take different approaches, and different chances. But, I think that in order to find the best version of me as possible, I have to grow and change into different versions.
Find who you are. Be who you are. Be proud of who you are. Feel free to change who you are. Find what you love. Do what you love. Do it loudly, and often.
Peace, Love, and all things Beef related.