Today I keep coming up empty handed.
I’m feeling like I want more out of my days, but don’t know how to make it happen.
I’m feeling stuck.
I judge myself against the “successes” of others. Why do I do that? Especially when I know that success for me can only come from choosing to be the best version of myself.
Music is all sounding the same to me. I can’t find the motivation to keep trying, because what is coming out feels like a plateau, or maybe even a failure…
So when I started to feel this frustration and writer’s block, I sat down to journal out my thoughts and just get rid of it all.
I’m reading a book that defines “grit” as a character quality that enables you to work hard at something despite your setbacks, your plateaus, and even your failures. Grit is something that sets people apart. It’s the quality that statistically separates graduating students from dropouts—and on a larger scale, maybe even successful people from, well, I guess unsuccessful people.
"Never let your past failures determine your next step"
A great word of advice to someone like me. Someone who can, unthinkingly, choose despair over joy. It’s easier to give up on inspiration when it feels lost than to SEEK it out. Seek it out with GRIT.
Which got me thinking…
How do I re-establish GRIT in my life? How do I get back to a time when I still FOUGHT for joy and inspiration?
Right now I’m having an ice cold Peach Tea Snapple. Mmmh. It reminds me of when I was young.
I would walk down the driveway, in my bare feet, young and excited by the slightest surprise. And my neighbor, Nancy, would waddle over to my mail box and she would hand me a glass bottle of ice cold Peach Tea Snapple.
It was a tradition that we had started in the months before.
She had kids that were my sisters’ ages, but I didn’t have anyone to play with. So Nancy would sit with me and she would bring me cold Snapple.
I must’ve been 6, but I remember it in this rosy, beautiful memory that looks like an old film playing back in my head. Even now, when I’m twenty-three and on a month long tour away from home, even when I’m waist deep in snow, huddled next to the fire, and trying to make a song bloom from nothing.
There’s still the memory and the taste of Snapple.
Michael and I have had to do a lot of snow shoveling over the past few weeks. It’s a hassle, and it can be frustrating to wake up in the morning only to see that a fresh foot of snow has fallen where you had just scooped out a path.
I asked Michael how people got rid of all this snow, and he told me that people shovel snow all through the winter when it is still below freezing outside, but as soon as spring begins to hit the snow just melts.
So with all my frustration in the moment I had completely overlooked a fact. Snow melts. It gets rid of itself.
I have to see a metaphor in that for myself.
There will be seasons in my life when things are much tougher on me. I will try to shovel snow out of my path, only to have it fall overnight and cover up all of my progress. But—eventually—this problem will work itself out. And in the meantime I will also get to sit by the fire—which has no JOY in it when the sun is heating the asphalt and the kids swim in the pools and eat popsicles. No, there is no joy in a fire once the winter is gone.
But Here. Now. This fire is comfort, and it is peace. It is JOY.
There are joys to discover in all seasons, if I can choose to see them that way. I wish to live my life as UN-entitled as possible—as carefree as I was the day I wandered down the driveway, in my bare feet, excited by the slightest surprise, but not expecting it.
Back then the cold Snapple tasted, on the hot May afternoon, like this fire feels to my skin right now.
So, if I can find the Snapple, the fire, the swimming pool, the coziest blanket, then I can find my peace in this season, I can remember what’s important, and I can get my fight back. My GRIT.
Even when there is snow to shovel, it will melt away soon enough.
The beauty is, we experience the world and THEN we choose how we respond. Even though it’s tough, I have the power to choose how I react each day that the snow makes me cold. I can choose peace and JOY. That is a gift, if you ask me.
The snow will soon melt. So play in it while you can.
Don’t give up. Choose joy. Because for me, joy and hope lead to inspiration.