That is what I am doing right now: choosing to write this article rather than work on a screenplay. The reality is I feel like doing neither, even a nap today feels like too much work. It is one of those days where nothing fits, everything hurts and I can’t find comfort anywhere. Choosing the lesser of two evils seems like a way to maybe climb my way out of this hole I have dug or fallen into—it is hard to tell which and it matters not. What matters is that I do something to right myself. The walk, the laundry and the phone calls of urgent natures have been finished. None of the urgency was mine, all very real and very difficult situations. I am good person to call on these occasions. I know this because friends do and are glad when I am on the other side. I am happy to be there as they have done and do the same for me. But today that is not what is needed; today the need is to write, paint, do something to exercise what no longer fits within me and put it out. So here we are, you waiting and me doing the same. I require inspiration to be productive, but only a small portion, irritation is the larger piece of that puzzle. Like an oyster I work over something that is irregular, sharp, an intrusion, until it becomes part of me or I expel it out. Sometimes it’s just crud other times it can be much finer but the process is just the same. I have to go to the paper, the canvas, the instrument of voice and use it, over and over. I have to defer judgment, good sense and peel back till I feel something that pulls me in or pushes me back, hard. One of those two junctures is my jumping off point. That is where I strike a nerve and find truth, however ugly or beautiful it might be, and run with it.
Today choosing to write this article is training wheels to get me ready for working on my screenplay next. If I can hobble this together I can maybe jumper it into a scene or two afterward. These are the tricks, tips and lies I tell myself to get from point A to point B on a project. I got news for you, that project can be a screenplay, a book, finding a job, hobby, lover or a dream life. It is about finding small steps to string together with duct tape, spit and fiction to keep the movement going when moving is the last thing you feel like. Pick one small task and do it. Bribe yourself with a treat when you are done, like you would a fussy child. Because that is who we are dealing with when we do not feel good in our skin. If the first task falls short, choose another, then another, until you do feel better. Let your inner guidance of fun, lightness or relief from the cranky be your guide. Let me tell you my inner cranky is some mean-ass bossy bitch. She gets a vote like all the crazies that live inside but ultimately I choose. I choose to feel better even if I don’t know how to get there or know what better looks like on that day. I know to keep trying things; sooner or later I am down the road and will have a new perspective. Not doing anything leaves me sitting in a damn hole with that cranky witch; nobody should spend an hour or a day, much less a lifetime like that.
So what can you do to climb out of a hole? What, on a better day, feels good? What would be a carrot to dangle or a bridge to build to get you from shitty point A to sucky point B? If you don’t know you need to find out. Nobody has the keys to you, but you; you own that crazy contraption and yes it came without a manual. There are no universal blue prints for us to move through life, one size only does not fit all. Not only does it not fit all but can actually do us harm if we try to jam ourselves into a fictitious prototype.
As a life coach who specializes in transitions I show people my tricks, tips, lies and tactical maneuvers to get movement started. I can get you thinking about what would work for you, but only you will know what feels right by trying each one in different circumstances. I show folks that this process is a lot like finding an old trunk of clothes in the attic. Looking at items or thinking about them tells you very little. We never know what will fit until we try it on and move around. Only then do you get the feedback you need to know if something works. So there we stand holding a chartreuse and mauve flowered Mumu in one hand and a scratchy set of see-through harem pants and gold lame vest in the other. Neither is what we want, but what can we do but choose the lesser of the two evils and take a walk in the hood? And hope nobody has a camera ready.