I’m having one of those days when there’s so much going on that I have to stop and write towards clearing my head or else I’ll dip my hands into this and that and the other thing but not actually get anything done.
I had a lovely weekend at a Jeanne Guy Gathering where time seemed to stand still and I was present in what we were doing and what I was writing. I slept well. I ate well. I enjoyed the company of an amazing group of women. I called Mom and one trusted other but otherwise kept myself huddled in the security of a safe circle of women who listen and don’t judge. It was incredible. And now, just 24 hours later, I’ve had a poor night’s sleep, and I’m a frenzied mess. How did this happen?
I think I know. I think I stepped outside of my own head and started realizing that I’m nearly at a place where other people will be telling me what they think of what I’ve been doing with my life for the past few months.
Last week, I was floating along with my work, my writing, and my bigger hopes and dreams for my life. Then suddenly last night, I realized that the life I’ve been seeing and living quietly is suddenly going to be exposed to critics. Those outside judgments worry me. I don’t want them to affect what I’m doing. I don’t want them to affect how I’m doing it. I don’t want them to affect the people who are choosing to be involved in my life right now.
I want to just keep living my life in my way in my space on my terms.
But that’s not 100% reality. Reality is that others eventually have to get involved. Eventually, a judge has to reach a decision in my case. Eventually, someone with the power to publish my writing has to read the work. Eventually, family and friends have to meet the new person in my life. I can’t just work in my office, write in my house, and spend time alone with the person I care about. That’s not how life works, though sometimes I desperately wish I could make that so.
Sh*t just got real all around, and my heart is racing.
So how do I balance myself? How do I reclaim the peace of the weekend? How do I keep from unraveling and pulling back into isolation to protect myself from the outside world? I don’t want to pull back into isolation. The dreams I have won’t come true in isolation. I have to be bold and expose myself to have a chance of getting everything I want.
So what do I do?
I flip back through my notebook of previous Jeanne Guy Gatherings, and I focus on a line I hadn’t read or processed in a while. It says, “What you think of me is none of my business.”
My life, my work, my writing and my relationship are mine to want, to nurture, and to live. Those who choose to criticize might get me riled up briefly or they might disappoint me briefly, despite my better intentions and maybe even theirs, but at the end of the day, what they will hear from me is just this: what you think of me is none of my business.
Have you ever heard it said that people write what they need to learn? I know that’s true about me, and this particular thought is a big one for me. So let me say it again and again.
What you think of me is none of my business. What you think of me is none of my business. What you think of me is none of my business. What you think of me is none of my business. What you think of me is none of my business. What you think of me is…