Yesterday was the birth of A Different Story, How Six Authors became Better Writers. It’s the first book published through the Press that I started during the COVID-19 lockdown. Last night was the online launch party and I didn’t get to bed till 2am this morning.
The blood courses through my veins like an out-of-control train with the brakes off. I wanted to sleep late today, but the adrenaline and the need to drive forward, was not having any of it. I know I need to rest awhile, regroup, refresh, renourish, but it’s not happening.
I harbour doubts. It’s always the same. I have the high of an achievement and then all the old fears and tribulations come in to pull me down off my pedestal and I feel the need to keep moving. Last year, when the pandemic hit, and I lost 96% of my business I thought that was the end of me. I thought I would never work again. I thought I’d finally got my comeuppance. Then later in the year, when I felt the drive to start the new publishing company, my whole body filled up with cretinous questions, direct accusations of ‘who do you think you are!’ And blighted comparisons between myself and those experts in the field with forty years of experience. After last night’s success, all those old habits hit me with the force of a battering ram.
I used to try to push thoughts like this to the furthest corners of my mind. It was an old habit, but now I know that these thoughts are fleeting. Mirages that come and go that I no longer need to pay attention to. These thoughts are like tiny atoms that hang in the air, but in my mind, they can seem like uncommon beasts that threaten my very existence. I felt all of these thoughts, like I was a delicate flower caught in an avalanche. In my innocence I’d screwed myself up into a tiny ball, mistook my own shadow for a safe haven, and crawled into the dark space. I didn’t realise it was myself I was hiding from.
For the first time, I noticed something different. It’s like I’m in a new life of being me.
I’m out in the light and it’s not what I thought it was. I thought I would be different, but it’s still me. The difference is that I see that I am the brilliance. The diamond that emanates a thousand prisms of colour. I’m standing with my palms asunder while sunbeams burst from my heart. I’m gratitude, wholeness and radiance all wrapped up in a Maria shaped package.
No more will I shrivel up in the glare of someone else’s luminosity. No more will I wallow in my own insecurity. No more will I shy away from the abundance that life has to offer. No more will I accept a meagre existence. A limited life. A barren life. A boxed life. A life in the shadows. No more.
I could choose light. I could choose shadow, but I choose both. I choose power. I choose to stand in my own light and cast a shadow, knowing that while-ever the shade exists, I am alive, and I choose life.
I choose a life well lived. I choose a life of fun, and challenge, and being surprised. A life that brings its ups and downs. I choose a life where sometimes I question, sometimes I worry, sometimes I get scared, sometimes I retreat back into the darkness, because that all comes with the territory.
I refuse to be intimidated by life for a second longer. I refuse to fear being burned by my own fire. I refuse to diminish, extinguish or anguish my soul for a minute more.
Somewhere along this journey, something shifted within me. And whatever that was, got cemented into place last night.
Today, who I am has a fresh meaning. There is a new confidence in me. I stand proud. I stand tall. I stand easy. I am who I am. I am me.