Wednesday, March 15, 2006

... but you can!!

"Don't be afraid to want things, to yearn, crave, or lust for anything. And don't be afraid to go after what you want. If you can't satisfy yourself, then how can you expect anyone else to satisfy you?" - Cameron Tuttle

I have this picture pasted into my Illustrated Journal. I love it. Sometimes it is easy to think about all of the things that frighten me or make me nervous or that I think I can't do. This picture makes me remember that I have already done an awful lot of leaping off of the edge. If I can do all of those leaps, then I guess I am capable of a few more.

As a general rule I believe I am a nervous person. I am very afraid of the dark, I check travel details about a hundred times before I go anywhere. I am the BEFORE picture of the woman who wrote the poem about wearing purple when she's old. I lack faith in myself - but then I sit back sometimes and think about the things that I have done and I wonder who that girl was who got on the plane to move to the UK, and who that girl was who quit her job because it was making her so unhappy. I am a confusing combination of frightened and ballsy. It's a difficult tightrope to tiptoe!!

After some serious blog reading, long talks with various people, and some serious thinking, I had an 'a-ha' moment last night. I am scared to really WANT things. I don't know where it started and I don't care. I just want to stop it. When I was little I always used my birthday wish to wish that my Grandpa could have his hearing back in his deaf ear. I heard him tell my Mom that he wanted that more than anything else. He could hear the birds, but he couldn't tell where they were to look for them. I used that as my wish until the day he died. I never wanted to use one of my wishes for myself, because I was really afraid to - I was afraid to want something too much.

To this day when I make a wish I have to add 'please' and 'thank-you' to the end of it. I have been too scared to want anything. I have been afraid to want something so badly because of the pain when it doesn't happen. I have been afraid to want something because I thought I might jinx it. I have been afraid to want something because then I would have to do the work to get it. I was just plain afraid.

Well I have decided that I am going to start the process of coming back to WANTING again. For those of you who don't know - I sent a manuscript off to a publisher in January. I WANT that manuscript to be accepted. I WANT to be published. I WANT to get our website up and running but more than that, I WANT it to be a huge success. I WANT so much more than this - for me, for Mark, for me and Mark, for my family, for my friends. That's the trouble - when you begin to admit what it is that you really -heart- beating- down- and- dirty- bare- your- teeth- WANT, the list begins to grow and grow and grow. The list itself becomes scary. But I am going to be brave enough to begin to make that list. I am going to begin to let that clenched, nervous place in my belly loose a little. I am going to stop being so afraid.

It's okay to want things.

"... and the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful that the risk it took to blossom." - Anais Nin

P.S. I would love to know - in my comments or on your own blogs - what is it that YOU really WANT?


melba said...

Your blog is the first I read this morning. I sat drinking my coffee writing in my journal my wants. Here they are...

• I want my enthusiasm for life to never go away.
• I want for me and Sean to always have a whole connection (and not one just based on the children).
• I want Ethan and Maggie to live full lives, be kind individuals, and make a positive impact on society in whatever way brings them joy.
• I want all the fears I feel daily creating justBe… to propel me forward…
• I want for myself and for the women who gather at justBe… to feel connected with each other and inspired to live our lives in a more creative way…and I want us to want to gather annually (at justBe…) for the remainder of our days and beyond.

Anonymous said...

What a fabulous post! So much to chew on...

In no particular order...

I want to rewrite and edit and submit my novel.

I want to rewrite and submit my screenplay.

I want to find my authentic way of living in this world--creative, playful, artistic, consecrating.

I want Madam to continue to thrive and change and learn.

I want to stop comparing myself to others and ENJOY the process of discovery.

I want to feel I have the right to call myself a writer.

I want to move to Portland, ORE.

I want to have lots of time to read and read and write and write.

I want to find my creative tribe.

I want TEG's company to flourish and do well.

And I admire you SO much for submitting your manuscript! That is incredibly brave. I hope it DOES get published. :)

andrea said...

I'm glad you're not afraid to write or be honest. Those are two things that petrify most people!

Laini Taylor said...

Meg, I want those things for you so much too! I'm really rooting for you -- and so happy for you to be writing WANT in big colored caps. I really firmly believing wanting - passion, urgency, utter commitment to your dreams - is the key ingredient to getting the life you want. Some people think talent is THE most important, and I agree it is important, but I think drive is by far MORE important, knowing what you want MOST OF ALL and devoting all your resources to getting it. I think I need to write a post about this, too -- I have at times had a defeatist attitude, like, it was too difficult to go to conferences and conventions to network, so in a spirit of bitterness at not being rich enough, I'd shrug and not go, with a little feeling of spite directed at... the world, I guess, and a vague feeling that I was proving something about how difficult the world is -- (I can't define it but it was the exact same attitude I had in my 20s, a kind of defiance, aobut not having health insurance. I couldn't afford it and was bitter at the government for not taking care of me, but instead of making it happen myself I would think perversely, if I die it'll be the govenment's fault). Anyway, it finally began to click with me that it was me who WANTED, it was me who had to make these things happen. Desire is a powerful thing, and I'm telling you, with your book(s) -- make it happen. If not through this contest (fingers crossed!) find another way. Just wanting it might not be enough to make it happen, but without it, it's lost.
As for what I want? To enjoy the process of writing my second book and have it be smooth. Then big crazy things like selling the movie rights and being financially secure forever!

Living Part Deux said...

I can't tell you what profound thoughts these are for me. Early, early (and I seem to be stuck recently in analyzing the early sources of who I have become), I learned that it was wrong to desire (want) - somehow selfish. I was taught to pray, but never to have faith for big things (now that is perverse, non?) Your post is haunting me today. I don't even know if I can express a real want, without calling it a fantasy - like something that could never come true. Thank you for bravely claiming WANT for yourself; thank you for helping me give myself permission!

tara dawn said...

What a brave and insightful blog! I know there are many things I have wanted that I have pretended not to want, things I have proclaimed to want even though I didn't, etc. It is time to figure out the truth of what I REALLY want. Thanks for this lovely inspiration...and kudos to you, dear Meg, for finding the strength to begin discovering this within yourself. Keep me updated on what it is YOU want.
Perhaps I will post on this topic later.
Sending love,

M said...

What an amazing post!! I can completely relate to everything you said...its a bit scary really. I've been so scared to admit what I really WANT for so long, that now I feel totally confused about what it is exactly. I've lost it in the fear of jinxing myself or wanting more than I'm "allowed". And I only end up confused. My recent wants have included things outside of myself- like us being able to stay in one place, together, or him enjoying work,etc. Always outside of myself. Maybe I need to write a post about this too...what a brilliant aha moment!!
I hope your book gets published, it is such a brave thing to have finished it, and then have submitted it!! Keep us posted!

la vie en rose said...

oh wow girl! i think you've really hit on something here. the more i read the more i found myself nodding in agreement and then finding my eyes fill with tears.

your story about your grandfather touched my heart. you have such a kind, generous, loving spirit. all those years you wanted for others and never for youself. you have been selfless and now, you are right, it's time to be a little selfish. selfishness often gets a bad rap but being selfish is not always a bad thing.

i'm not going to put my wants in the comments just yet because i want to think on this for a bit and then write a whole post about it on my blog.

and as for your wants...they are good, good things. keep putting it out there!

Bohemian Girl said...

this really spoke to me.

i understand the fear of wanting for fear of being dissapointed by not getting.

i feel like this past year and a half that has been my bubble in regards to having a baby.

it has also been looming throughout my life with other things.



i WANT to have a healthy baby.
i WANT to touch people with my art.
i WANT my art to take up home in soulful persons places.
i WANT to be fit.
i WANT a sweet, spiritual, creative family.
i WANT my sister's Lupus to go away.
i WANT my father to have a better quality of like and not feel ill.
i WANT my husband's website design company to blossom.
i WANT to write and publish a book.
i WANT to stop being afraid of being successful.

i really honor and respect you putting this out there for you, as well as for all your bloggie family.

thank you for being you.

Cate said...

What's going on, Megg? Everytime I read your words, I start crying! The story about your grandfather was simply beautiful--tender, sweet, sensitive. There's a piece of short, creative non-fiction for you in that poignant, priceless memory of your grandfather.

I want all of those things for you, also! As Dr. Phil says :), "You've got to name it to claim it!" Good for you for being insightful enough to recognize that this has been a stumbling block for you, and thanks for inspiring the rest of us to try to figure out what we want. HUGS!

liz elayne said...

oh i am sitting here crying. this is beautiful. so honest and true and from the heart meg. thank you. i needed this reminder so much. what do i want? goodness. i often forget to even think about that question. i love this story about your grandfather. the child meg loving her grandfather so much that she used her wishes to wish for him. your giving soul is reflected in this story.
i can very much relate to the idea of the fears instead of the wants. spending time fearing parts of life instead of living it. you are shedding these fears. you are tapping into what you want and need. i hope these wants become real. REAL. for you.
thank you for this post. i am so happy to have connected with you.

chest of drawers said...

Why is it so hard for us to believe that we are allowed to want? In the book I´m getting into - the author says that most people wait for things to come their way and just take what comes. Like hitting a target without aiming and then being proud for hitting when it´s really the aiming that´s most important. I want to know what I´m aiming for and then get there. I want to be free of negative thoughts and I want to leave colour and a breath of fresh air behind me everywhere I go.

felicia said...

What do I want?
I could fill a book with this. However, I want two things that seem so deceptively simple..but I can't get them yet.

1. to let old anger go
2. to be comfortable, really comfortable, in my own skin. not wanting to always wriggle out.

megg-this is a beautiful, inspiring image. i might just snag it and give you proper credit :)

xo, f.

Colorsonmymind said...

Thank you Megg, I had a few aha moments reading this post.

I am moved by your tenderness and honesty.

I allow myself to want but often don't feel worthy of getting it.

The thing I want most of all is
the last thing on Denise's list:

I WANT to stop being afraid to be successful.

Letha Sandison said...

Wow Megg, I had to read this over a few times. Each time I felt more and more connected to it!! Again, what you wrote touched me deeply and I felt like so much of what you shared echoed my own feelings.

I WANT your want list to come true for you!!

I WANT to go buy your book in a book shop and read it over tea!! I will keep my fingers crossed for you, how exciting!! What is it about???

As for my goes....

I want my son to be happy, healthy and have a wonderful, magic life.

I want to be a success in my career.

I want my art to be noticed, to touch people, to find a gallery to support and advocate it.

I want my clothes line to be sucessful.

I want to move to England after we get back from Africa.

I want to feel healthy, strong and energetic.

I want my husband's African clinics and my grass roots non-profit to make a difference.

I want all these beautiful bloggers to get together soomeday and enjoy each other's company!

Karen said...

I am going to answer this question in my blog...I absolutely love that photograph. There is a commercial on TV right now that is very similar to your photo and it makes me cry each time I see it.

Alexandra S said...

I Loved this post so much I just came back to read it again!

Kerstin said...

Oh Megg, this post really resonates with me. Fear of wanting something because of a myriad of reasons that range from fear of effort to fear of success. I keep thinking of these lines from the song "Your Dreams are china in your hand":

Don't wish too hard
Because they may come true
And you can't help them

In my mind I replace 'can't help' them with 'can't handle them' ... that's my ultimate fear, I think, that I want something and get it and then can't handle it, whatever that means.

My want is therefore a simple one:

I want to WANT again!

iKat said...

Thank you, for reminding me through the magic of your words on here, that it's okay, still is and always will be okay to want things. Somehow, married life & motherhood have turned me into that scared little girl you were describing. What's that all about? What ever happened to the gutsy, ballsy lady who bungeed and scuba-dove and sang her way around the world? Where'd she go? What the effing hell is that all about?!? Sorry. Just mad at myself right now. Great post and again, THANK YOU. Now off to use my anger in more positive ways and write about the things I WANT!