Saturday, February 12, 2011

Forget Perfection - I'm Just Not Giving Up

Last weekend I attended a Work-in-Progress Writers Studio for my ongoing project. The studio was led by the inspiring Irene Graham and held in a villa called "Mount Vernon" on the west coast of Ireland that was once owned by Lady Gregory.

The workshop itself was challenging and rewarding. We had significant blocks of time to work on our project in an environment of "luxury, peace, and tranquillity" surrounded by "fine antique furniture, paintings and ceramics" (to quote the first two links above). I left the extended weekend feeling refreshed and inspired, with much more written than I had hoped.

In this environment it would be difficult to leave any other way:

Yet, I, the one who sometimes thinks too much, did manage to leave with my head whirling and twirling, wondering if the goals and the dreams I'm carrying within my heart are improbable in the best sense and impossible in the worst.

The truth is that I am a child of feminism: I want it all. I want a family I'm present for and dedicated to; I want a corporate job I enjoy more often than I don't; and I want an active writing life that challenges and inspires me. On top of that, I want to like myself and remain in close friendships with some amazing women - all of that without empting my energy tank, ruining my hopes, or killing my marriage.

You that have told me my dream is impossible: I have heard you and I've realized that you are right in at least one particular regard. My "all" won't ever be perfect or fully in balance. I will get tired and I will complain and sometimes I will fail.

But I have chosen to listen more closely to other voices, voices of people who are balancing - and many times "only" trying to balance - the many pillars that make up the life they want. Like them, I may fail but I'm not going to give up.

There are a lot of people out there working towards your balance: What are your tips and warnings?



Anonymous said...

Dear Mrs.,

These words, coming from you... the one thing I'm admiring about you is the unwavering resolve to attempt what many consider impossible.

Now completing my coaching education and opening up not just to the challenges of my own life but also to many others, all I can say is: It's *so* good to meet somebody with a clear, big vision! As a society, we have forgotten how to dream, and you are a shining example.

So far, all my coaching clients left happy not when I had worked with their problems (I did, but the next ones were just around the corner), but once I had helped them re-discover their dreams.

Yes, some things worked out as expected and others didn't. Which includes "exceeded expectations beyond wildest dreams", by the way. The maximum I got out of a solved problem so far was a sigh of relief, but the courage to evoke the big dream, that's what inevitably conjures passion, sometimes even tears of passion because it feels so, so, so good.

Tips? Make your dream big, make it a passionate, bright movie with THX sound. Include all the emotions you are capable of, and even more, and especially: plan every single detail you're passionate about.

Warning: Be prepared, it might get even better.

Closing words from a remarkable YouTube clip (

Dream Big.

Pickles and Onions said...

What an amazing pat on the back. This is now printed and hanging on my wall of "happy". Thank you, Anonymous - Thank YOU

ps - I'm gonna be BAD ASS too

Erica Lynn said...

1. You are unique - you have to follow your own heart and passions, no one will be able to tell you for sure if you will be successful or not as your path is your own. Realizing this for myself left me both excited and scared to death :)
2. Life is hard - but if you are following the right path for you, it'll be worth it.
3. Listen to your body - it knows way before your brain does whether what you're doing is working or not.

Big Hugs Ms Thang!

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