We sat in one of our local favorite spots over varying degrees of coffee difficulty.
Hannah preferred just regular coffee straight up, nothing fancy for her. While Tiffany and I were happy spooning cumulus clouds of foam out of our respective lattes. Decaf for me as I’m trying to cut back… so they took whatever was missing out of mine and added it to hers.
And there in a coffee bean scented consortium, we began to unpack life.
It had been one of those days for all of us. And we just needed to sit face to face, knee deep in the laugh lines of each other’s company, and remind each other to breeeeeeaaaathe.
We started with the successes, for those are the easiest. And we lifted coffee-stained, mis-matched mugs to Hannah’s new book deal, Tiffany’s brand new sponsor for her business, and me getting asked to come speak in Germany. We cheered for each other, fist-bumped over the salt & pepper shakers, and vowed to be the first in line at the book-signings. For these were the things we had been working for, dreaming for. And they needed to be celebrated.
And then we moved on to the not so easy things. To the red-faced, sweaty, slumped over, exhausted, can’t go another step version of the runner that we never see just before she crosses the finish line. To the behind the scenes of what it is to chase a dream. To the days when the creativity just won’t come. To the days when you just aren’t good enough. The days when you see other people taking short cuts and still getting credit for the time. The days when the to do list is so daunting and the inbox is so demanding, where it feels like every person coming at you just wants a little piece of you, that it is a triumph merely to get up off the couch. We moved on to these hard things. And somehow, somewhere in the shared stitched up fabric of how messy it really is to chase a dream, just knowing that I wasn’t the only one who had ever spent a whole week in yoga pants and never once gotten around to actually working out….it just made me feel more normal. It allowed me to exhale deeply. And fully. In a way that probably would have made a yoga teacher proud. If I had actually gone. And more than anything, it allowed me to cut myself a break.
If you want my advice on something that will keep you pushing on toward the dream probably more than anything else out there will, it’s this: Get yourself a group.
Surround yourself with a trusted group of allies who are knee deep in the chase themselves. A bunch of self-employed creatives who will not only not judge you, but will totally get in a way that no one else will that sometimes….
*Cereal can be breakfast, lunch and dinner.
*Hair can be worn in a bun for so long that it starts to stay that way, even when you take the tie out.
*Sometimes you look up and it’s 3pm, and you realize you haven’t eaten at all.
*Email is kind of like some Greek mythological monster. For every one you cut down, three grow back in their place.
*You burst into tears in the parking lot of your favorite lunchtime restaurant for no other reason than that you were thinking about your to do list.
*The clients show up early and there is still dog fur on the floor and an empty chocolate wrapper on the table.
*You don’t actually get around to showering until 4pm and it’s only because you have a meeting at 5.
*The blinking cursor taunts you, convincing you you’ll never write another good sentence again
*You start off having a perfectly beautiful, blue sky, birds chirping happy, I love my life sort of day….and then you check Facebook.
*Even though you know, REALLY know, that your worth is not determined by the number of facebook likes or blog comments you have….sometimes it feels like it anyway.
*You know you’re leaving again in about a week and a half, so what’s the point in grocery shopping?
*The guest bed becomes a holding zone for clothes you totally intend on folding. Totally.
*You wake up at 7am and already feel like there isn’t enough time to get everything thing done in one day.
*You go to bed in the same clothes you woke up in.
*You convince yourself there isn’t time to work out, cook a healthy meal, or sit quietly. And yet there is always time to craft the perfect grid of pictures for Instagram.
*You get so overwhelmed that even the idea of cooking breakfast wears you out, just thinking about it. So instead you just stay hungry.
*You put items on your to do list that you’ve already done, just so you can mark them off.
*You organize your closet, paint your nails, and take a sudden interest in the grout around your bathroom tile….rather than starting that project you should REALLY be working on.
*You step on stage and you just don’t do a good job, the editor slashes up your paragraphs, you get told no when you were brave enough to ask. Yea, sometimes these days will happen. So you get together with your friends over some coffee, and you talk about them until somehow, suddenly you find yourself laughing. Laughing til it hurts, so those other things don’t hurt so bad anymore. And you do the only thing you can do: promise to try harder tomorrow.
Get yourself a group. my friends. Because more than anything, what we all need to know…is that we are not alone in this.
Rock it out (even if it is in yoga pants)!