Serenity, grace and ease.
That’s one of my mantras for how I want to be in my life.
I am ashamed to admit that I haven’t exhibited much of the three these past few weeks.
Try lethargic, sad and stressed. Burned-out, zombie-like, and exhausted. Impatient, dull and over-committed.
Symptom: Blogger’s Block. Cause: Witholding Information.
I’ve written three blog posts that I didn’t have the guts to hit publish on these last few weeks. Partly because I knew that this is the post that really needed to be written. This is the truth, and that is what I make a continued commitment to deliver to you.
I am terrified to admit all of this…so publicly. I am terrified because the last thing I want to do is seem ungrateful for all of the gifts of my life. These professional diamonds I carry of having a great job at Google and a book due out in one rapidly-approaching month (now selling for a mere $9.10!).
I read somewhere that authors should never complain about anything related to their book…because most people would kill to be in their shoes…complaining about those very things.
So I can’t help but feel confused and disappointed in myself that I am not singing in the shower and leaping out of bed with unadulterated joy every morning. What is wrong with me?
Yesterday, in a coaching session during which I ran through half a box of Kleenex, I understood why. It might be blindingly obvious to all of you, but forgive me — I can be a little slow in the compassion-for-self department.
The tectonic plates of my life are shifting and I am feeling the aftershocks…without wanting to admit it.
I want to be GREAT for you. For me. For my family. For my friends and coworkers. I want to be cheerful, gracious, grateful, and over-the-moon excited. That’s what I see in people’s eyes when I tell them what I am up to.
But what about me?
Me and My Crazy Gremlins
In another moment of clarity I realized that for three years now I have felt like Atlas carrying two globes — one for Google and one for the blog/book (aka Jenny Blake Enterprises — JBE).
I have two weeks left at Google before I take leave (after five intense, awesome years), and four weeks until the book comes out. I can see a finish line ahead and yet it feels like I’ve slammed into a wall. I’ve been putting tremendous pressure on myself to tie everything up in a beautiful bow; a pressure-cooker of chaos from juggling these two large responsibilities and my sanity.
I also realized that for the first time in three years I can put the globes down for a minute and give myself a rest and some credit. And in that realization, it has come to my attention that I might need to put the globes down right now. Because I have not been myself these last few weeks (if not more) and that is no way to kick off a time-of-my-life book tour.
My gremlins (the personal development police) tell me that there are starving children in Africa and that I am not curing cancer. That I have no right to feel tired or stressed. That I should just relax and be present. And yet, it’s funny how massively unproductive those sentiments are. They do not change how I actually feel.
Breaking News: I am human! (I had almost forgotten)
I was supposed to have a book marketing brainstorm call with my genius friend (and virtual work-husband) Willie Jackson last week. We’ve never met in person, but by the tone of my voice within five minutes of our opening chit-chat he asked, “Do we need to talk about Jenny Blake the author, or Jenny Blake the human being?” Cue waterworks.
Not even an hour later my book-trailer-producing friend asked how I was *really* doing over a Chipotle dinner. Once AGAIN, I broke down into hysterical sobs. Mid-restaurant. Hot mess for one?
I hated that my breakdown was so blindingly obvious to everyone around me. There was no hiding from it anymore. Book-trailer-friend looked me square in the eyes and said, “You’re fucking magic, JB. But you’re human magic. Give yourself a break.”
These men — brilliant angels, if you ask me — had a point.
Growing pains…a sign of great things to come
I know without a doubt that I am just experiencing growing pains (a sure sign that greatness lurks), and that I am not going to give up at the eleventh hour.
I’m serving myself up a side of compassion this weekend, and I’ll be sending the same to any of you in need. If I’m slow to call back, respond to email, or post something new, you’ll know it’s because I’m practicing the fine art of giving myself a break.
To human magic, and with endless gratitude for your presence,