Staying Positive in Strange Times

woman sitting while showing heart sign hands

Photo by Hassan OUAJBIR on Pexels.com

Hi everyone!  It’s been a while.

I hope you and your loved ones are well.

I have started a number of posts over the last month and have deleted each one.  I haven’t had anything to say because sharing quotes about following your dreams, or tips about writing, or what I’ve watched all seem rather trite given the circumstances.

I give my fellow bloggers props for being able to continue in light of everything.

But then I thought, at some point, we’ll get past this pandemic and some sort of new normal will begin, and so I should probably come out of the shadows.  Staying positive during these strange times has been a running theme from a lot of what I’ve seen, and the creative, funny, inspiring sides of humanity have prevailed, mostly – there is always, of course, a flip side – but I like to be positive too.

Sometimes that’s difficult.

I have long struggled with my writing.  Blogging too, obviously.  While my writing should be an escape from the real world, and it’s what I want to do in life, there are too many times when my writing has taken a back seat.  I have discovered that I often feel guilty for wanting to write when there are other pressing matters, like planning a move out of state (or abroad) or starting an Etsy shop to alleviate some our burden and aid in the move.

For the last few months I couldn’t turn my mind to writing as it felt like a reward I didn’t deserve.

Strange, right?!

I willingly quit my job late last year.  I was deeply dissatisfied, and because our move was to take place only a couple of months later, I didn’t seek out another one.  My plan was to organize the house, sell or donate what I could, and get us ready for the next move.  I think not having a job, made me feel like I needed to overcompensate in the other areas of my life so that I didn’t seem like I was taking advantage of the situation.  For the first couple of months, I didn’t even take a “day off”.

Then the virus happened.

Not much happened to me, personally, to change my day to day but because I was already in this particular mindset, the extra time so many people were given started a trend that I found sort of infuriating.  You may have seen them, they said things like this:

If you don’t find the time to write now, you’re not really a writer.

Ugh.

People are already struggling enough with a myriad of issues, and then to throw this into the mix, to make one feel defeated…argh.  Thankfully, wiser people countered with responses like the “boat” analogy.

We are sailing in the same storm, but not in the same boat.

*If you’d like to read the whole thing, let me know and I’ll post it in the comments.

Eventually, with the move decided upon, the Etsy shop open, and enough organizational projects completed, I finally felt like I had “permission” to write.

Permission to create…permission to follow my dream…sigh.  And I have.  Not everyday, but more than I have in months.

And it’s not like I wasn’t thinking about writing all this time.  I’ve been reading, watching the MasterClass series, I’ve been keeping my journal, and I’ve had story ideas.  So while the physical act of writing may not be happening consistently, the other aspects of a writer’s life are, and with that understanding, I’ve stopped being so hard on myself.

Do you know how hard it is to ignore that nagging “you should be writing” feeling?!  You can only do it for so long before it drives you mad.

Writers are so hard on themselves.

When I came to this realization, I figured there may be others who feel the same way, and maybe need to hear this too.

Hi!  You’re not alone!

So whether you’re writing everyday, or just thinking about it, cut yourself a little slack.  As writers, we’ve already chosen a lonely, difficult path, and we have to remember to be kind to ourselves. There are plenty of other people, always at the ready, to knock us down.  Ourselves included.  Compound this with a global pandemic, and the need for some positivity, something I enjoy, is needed more than ever!

So here’s one of my Quote Mondays from the past.

Persevere1

If you need support, in any way, please let me know and let’s stick together!

xx, Rach

 

 

Quote of the Week

CelebrateEmojiGood afternoon, my friends!

I am riding on a new kind of high – the one in which you learn that your original TV pilot has advanced to the finals of one of the contests you entered.  What an amazing feeling!

I struggled for some time (I still do), and I think as creatives, we all have a tendency, at times, to doubt our abilities.  Sometimes it takes years to obtain any outside validation, and I think that’s something we need a little bit of in order to keep moving forward.  One can only stay positive, on their own, for so long.

That’s why this week, I’ve decided to share the following quote:

NeverLettheOdds

I’ve known people who gave up on their dreams, and they’ll never know how close they were to getting what they wanted.  We need to remember why we started, and all those other quotes on positivity that keep us motivated!

Wherever your passion lies, fan the flames, and keep the dream alive!

Quote of the Week

Fear can have a powerful sway on our ability to do something.  I sometimes let fear have too much of a voice in my own life, and I don’t want to look back on my life and regret those things I wanted to do and didn’t because I was afraid of the outcome.

I may write about reincarnation, but in this life, we need to make it count!  That’s why I really want to make this week’s quote a part of my daily thought process.

adventurequote

Best wishes, my friends!  And let’s be brave!

In Search of a Silver Lining

silver-liningI’ve been wondering for the past few days if I wanted to talk about the election and the ramifications.  As you all know, I’ve tried to make this blog a positive place where I hope you’ll find inspiration and, when I actually sit down to write, tips you’ll find useful.  This blog also serves as my diary, in part.  I try to limit the scope to the writing sphere, and although it may not appear so, at least not in the beginning, I’ll get to that bit by the end.

So yes, I’ve decided to talk about it.  At least a little.

I’ve been trying to find a way to remain positive and to find the right words to share here, with you.  Even as a writer, this has been extremely difficult.  I’ll be honest, I cried when the votes were tallied and discovered that a candidate whose entire platform was built upon some of the most deplorable things I’ve ever heard had the audacity to walk up to the podium to accept the presidency and say we needed to come together…the word “hypocrite” came crashing to mind.

I was, in a word, horrified.

I’ve never been politically inclined, or evidently overly patriotic.  Since I was 19, I’ve been trying to find a way to move to England, and I had only become a US citizen two years before.  Did I think about reinstating my Canadian citizenship?  Yep.  Will I?  Well, in my desire to travel and live around the world, it is easier to do so as a Canadian, sooo maybe.  (And no, I was not one of the many who crashed the Canadian immigration website.)

The night of and the following morning, my eyes were glued to social media as if I were witnessing the carnage of an accident.  I couldn’t look away.  But then the gloating started.  The “stop whining” started, and from people I considered “friends”, well, at one point in my life, I mean we’re just Facebook friends now, but still.

Were they so oblivious to what this meant to so many?  Were they just ignoring all the threats made?  The insults?  The blatant lies?  Or were they under the impression that his whole persona was just for show?  That underneath all the “isms” is an actual decent person?  Do they really believe that someone who had aided in dividing the country so greatly is actually the one who will bring us together?

And this is an honest question – Is this what they believe?

Talk about delusion.  There are a number of quotes about the actions of people vs their words, and in either case, the president-elect has shown us his true colors.

I have worked a long time in the food service industry.  I have been assaulted by men at least a dozen times, both physically and verbally, because in their minds, their tip for me providing them with food and drink also included a grope, fondle, grab, or enduring a disgusting string of insults under the guise of a compliment.  Only a couple of weeks before the election, these two older white men who have become regulars at one of the restaurants I work for had the nerve to say that all women would happily allow a man in a position of power to grope them, as if it were some sort of special commendation.

I looked at them aghast and said, “No, we wouldn’t!”

It is not a compliment.  It is not welcomed.  It is not acceptable.  We are not asking for it.  For many of us, we’ve had no avenue to defend ourselves against such behavior.  And when we do speak up, we’re bitches and being difficult, and the assailant gets a slap on the wrist.  And if you’re wondering why we’re feeling even less secure, it’s because the chosen leader of our country not only condones such behavior, but has also perpetrated it (and on minors, no less).

This is just one example of one of the “isms” you think we’re being cry babies about.  There are a number of groups who have been trying to make strides in the direction of equality that now feel an even greater upward battle is just beginning.

Then the voices of rational people started to join together and grow louder.

No, we don’t think all his supporters are hateful people.  No, we do not want him to fail.  That was never even a thought.  He will be our leader, and there is a great deal riding on his “broad shoulders” and his leadership.  We’re all counting on him to be successful.  We’re all hoping for that, even amidst the fear many of us are feeling.

The irony of it all, I suppose, is that for a man who wanted to break down the political system, he has shone a bright light upon it and made a lot more people want to get involved.  Well, maybe not so much irony as a blessing.  Perhaps this is that silver lining we’re looking for.  I don’t overtly share my beliefs.  I try to find quiet ways to do things for the causes I believe in, but that quiet side is done with sitting in the shadows.  She is beyond incensed and ready to find an outlet.  There’s just been too much.

And this is where we get to the writing.

As writers, we have our voices.  There is a great deal we can do.  Whether you write a non-fiction essay about the ramifications of this decision, or you write an allegorical fantasy that thinly veils these contemporary times, we have it within our means to say so much for so many.  We don’t have to stay silent and wonder what we can do to make a difference.

pinWe have our voices.  Let’s use them!

And on a side note, I truly appreciate the safety pin movement created during Brexit, and offer my support to any who need it.  I’ve added my email to my About page.  Feel free to use it if you ever need a friendly ear or a word of encouragement.jossquote

Keep your chins up, my friends!  Let’s do what we can to stay positive and to bridge the divide.  Let’s be kind and open-minded.  Let’s stand against all the “isms” and find a way to help one another.  We’re all in this together!

xx, Rach

Quote of the Week

It’s Election Day here in the U.S. – a currently frightening event given the circumstances.  A great deal hangs in the balance as we await the results.  I did my part by early voting, but today I think we, Americans, need a little (or a lot) of positivity.

everythinghappens4areason

Let’s hope and work toward a better tomorrow!

Wishing you all the very best!