Nine weeks ago, I dislocated my kneecap. Before you jump to conclusions, this did not happen on the pole. This happened doing a lunge. Yes, you read that right, a LUNGE on the floor. It was severe enough for the studio to call an ambulance, and for me to be in crutches for supposedly six weeks. Six weeks of no pole, you’ve got to be joking. Not when I had my first performance in fifteen years, only seven days away. Fuck your six weeks… I’ve got a showcase to do.
Désiré’s Word Vomit
This is going to be a rant. You’re duly warned.
Four words I hate to hear in a sentence, especially when it’s work related. “I don’t have time for this”, doesn’t mean that you don’t have time. It means you don’t want to do it, or you don’t have the patience for it.
So much work is being pushed aside because someone “doesn’t have time”. If you don’t have time to do your job, or take the dog for a walk, or cook a proper dinner for your kids, then what do you have time for? You’ve caught up on every episode of Walking Dead, Vampire Diaries and House of Cards. You’ve seen all the latest films too. But you don’t have time. You know what you don’t have? Priorities.
So many times I’ve seen projects being pushed aside because no one has time to do it; and as a result nothing gets done. This isn’t a time issue. It’s a priority issue. Most of us have to think about hundreds of things a minute. We’re exhausted as a species. But we’re also wasting a lot of time doing things that aren’t progressing us. We’re wasting time watching dozens of television series rather than dedicating an hour to exercise and taking the dog for a walk.
So. 220 words in; what is the solution. A list. A long list for each facet of our lives. Everyone at work wants something done with a due date of “yesterday”. Yesterday is not a deadline. Next week is a more viable option.
Clear your head and write down all the things you have to get done. Take that list and decide how long each task is realistically going to take and put that in your calendar or diary. Do three things a day from that list. For the daily or weekly repetitive stuff, make them repeated events in your calendar. Use your calendar like a day to day time manager.
If you have a task that is running over time, you have to decide if you need to complete it and bump something else, or work on it a little more later on. That’s where the priorities come into play. You have to decide if this must be done today. And if so, then complete it and bump the next task.
Auditing is important here. You need to make sure that you’re doing what you’re supposed to be doing. For instance, I used to make note of what I was supposed to do in one calendar, and then wrote what I actually did in another. This allowed me to realistically plan other events and tasks because I had a record of what was done. And because it was in my calendar, I was able to look back with ease.
We all have the same 24 hours in a day. Most of us have eight hours at the office and we’re supposed to get eight hours of sleep, so that leaves eight possible working hours in a day. Factor in your commute to the office, and all the daily routine things you’re supposed to do, even eating, sleeping, and getting dressed for work. Put all of that into a digital calendar. Soon, you’ll have a clear picture of what your day really looks like and where you could or should be spending your time.
So how much time do you really have? And how much of it are you wasting?
For months, I’ve stared at a blank Scrivener page on my iPad, paralysed by the thought of vulnerability and showing my battle scars. I’ve spent years fantasising over the emotional rollercoaster it will be to finally tell my story; to finally show the world what reality can be for me, that I’m not just a pretty face, but made of cast iron, battered and hardened.
But that paralysis keeps me satisfied with the fantasy of ever actually saying anything at all. The thought alone becomes enough gratification to quell the beast inside, the beast who remains caged in Pandora’s Box, along with all my other dark secrets.
When I reflect, it’s amazing that I’ve actually reached 27, but it’s a blaring reminder of how resilient I am, and how unstoppable. The last year has been about finding a quiet spot to lick my wounds and wrap my head around the last twenty years of chaos. I wouldn’t believe this story if someone told it to me; and it’s to the point where I’m now starting to doubt my own memories, only to be corrected when my mother, witness to the darkest of my years, reminds me of something I once thought was a figment of my own construction.
How the hell did I get here? I was born into chaos. Then shuffled into more chaos, and life began this game of raising the stakes once the dust begins to settle. From years of illness, to living as an immigrant in my home country, to growing up as a vulnerable girl in a sexualised society, to a painful long distance relationship, to living with nine years of sexual abuse, having a sociopath for a father and a mother who was so numb she become a spectator, and losing everything I had ever worked towards, sanity included. None of that is in chronological order, but my word. What a fucking mess. It’s like wild dogs have torn up a coup of chickens in my living room. And the ironic thing is, all I have ever wanted was PEACE. Just a week of my life where everything behaves in a manner that is acceptable and logical, just long enough for me to breathe.
Am I frustrated? Yes. Angry? Yes. Hurt? Beyond. But I’m not broken, and I’m not weak. I’m only gaining strength in every single adversity life seems to enjoy throwing at me.
Writing is my love, my desire. Yes, I fucking wrote that; move along now. Writing is the most painful, difficult thing I’ve ever found myself doing. So, it’s about finding consistent strength to keep writing the books in my head, and the blogs that need to be read. Yes, I’ve written a billion times about how hard it is. Any passionate writer will tell you how hard it is to write while managing a full time job and a life outside of work and writing. It seems almost impossible for me, because I work on sudden bursts of energy. But I’m working with it, because my life wasn’t painful for nothing. It meant something, and I’ll be damned if I just leave that story unwritten.
I’ve found my voice. My wounds are healing, slowly. My fuel is my passion, littered with love, anger and frustration until I run out of fuel. Then my writing purpose will change from that of frustration, to love and happiness and ice cream and rainbows and unicorns. Because history has proven that until I make yet another drastic change, life will keep kicking me to the floor.
Cheers to a rollercoaster 2018. I do hope everyone is ready for the ride… myself included. gulp