Tag Archives: be proud

I cried for 48 hours (or more) after I published my book

The critics inside of me are telling me to stop whining and excuse myself constantly. They are telling me that what I love to do and feel alive doing is useless, worthless and a waste of time. The insecurity inside of me are telling me to stop ask for peoples time – you are not good enough, they say.

Understanding the world and myself is one of my greatest interests. I have always been one of those people who respond “but why” to every answer I get. I want to go deeper and not settle so easily. I also love the magic of experiencing things I simply can’t explain and where the restless “but why” is exchanged with a fascinated “how the fuck…” My interest in writing comes from a combination of wanting to understand the why but also to express the lack of understanding.

What started off as a psychology assignment called “write about your life” turned into a dream about…a life. The relieving and revealing experience of simply trying to explain to a blank paper what is going on in your mind and body soon became my therapy and I felt like many people would be able to relate and maybe feel less alone on their own journey if I shared my experience with eating disorders, alcohol abuse and an overall lack of self-love.

The lead up

It had been a big week and my hormones were clearly supporting my emotional ride down towards that fear of how many people that wouldn’t read it, or even scarier; how many people that wouldn’t like it. I thought I was prepared for this. I wasn’t.

I mean, I had self published this book and if you have done that you might know that feeling of seeing yourself as a somewhat “fake-author”, no matter how passionate you are about writing. But I had worked so damn hard on this book, I knew that the book wasn’t fake, the work I had put in wasn’t fake – still I couldn’t separate myself from that feeling. Every word had come from my heart and bones – but right now I hated it.

Seeing it on the Amazon website with one review (from my partner) I felt the self-doubt just overflowing my body. My alibies for being a shit-fake writer was everything from; English is not my first language, nobody is ever going to find this book because it is self-published- to believing that I am too crazy and people will not be able to relate at all.

 

I mentioned earlier that it had been a big week, and it had. My caffeine consumption was through the roof even though I know it contributes to my PMS and I hadn’t prioritized sleeping. I basically hadn’t prioritized myself at all. Just this stupid book I’d ben working on since I was 17. Now I am 26 and it was finally time to click ‘publish’. I felt a little nauseous, my palms were sweating and I didn’t know if I was exited, scared or both.

The book isn’t stupid, I know that. It is actually pretty cool. It has a soul quite like mine; a mix of dark and light and a reverse-magnetic- will to spread love in this world. Not just by doing random acts of kindness, but through helping people find out for themselves how they can make their own life a little lighter, and at the same time also the world around them.

The only thing I could think of now was ”who the fuck am I to help people connect to their inner emotions?” I am sitting here, 24 hours after publishing the book on Amazon crying so much my partner had to shove me into an ice-cold shower to try and snap me out of my mental breakdown. Add on another 24 and I am out for a 10km run, still crying, sometimes so much I have to stop to be able to breathe. Who the hell am I to talk about love, health and helping young teenage girls to see their own self-worth?

 What happened next?

I watched some Netflix and felt sorry for myself, believing that I forever had lost my passion for writing. I drank some tea (chamomile mainly), cried a lot, felt like I was useless a lot, wondering if I ever would find motivation to do anything ever again, a lot. When I aimlessly scrolled through my Facebook feed I came across an interview with Ada Calhoun

( https://www.elephantjournal.com/2017/07/how-to-become-a-real-actual-successful-writer-how-to-fail-other-tips-with-ada-calhoun/ ).

In the interview she shares the ups and downs with the craft of writing and she made me realize that I am not the only one feeling like this after publishing something. In fact, it seems to be playing a big part in being a writer, or any type of creative person, to feel this vulnerable when sharing your work. Sure, I can probably learn how to deal with my publishing-anxiety to not scare my partner (and myself) to death every time I publish something in the future, but listening to Ada speak about writing made me understand that it might not be such a bad thing feeling like shit about this whole publishing thing after all – because it means that I care for this book. A lot.

Of course I am scared that it might fail me, and statistically it should, I mean, isn’t that what they all say? But I don’t like statistic – I like emotions, and deep inside, in my gut, I know that I have put in everything I mentally and physically could in this book, never have I worked harder on completing something and doing it properly. Never have I cared about something like I cared about this. And now when it is out there I stopped caring for it. Why?

I was too scared to care because if I care I might start to cry again, and I have cried and walked around all shriveled up (you know that cry-walk) for so long that another 24 hours later I completely pinched my neck in my morning stretch and probably need to wear tiger balm and a flannel scarf for another 48 hours. I cared so much I couldn´t care anymore. Whoa, all of this felt so good to say, and it actually gave me back the writer inside of me who I 48 hours ago didn’t know if I would ever see again.

That’s the beauty of writing, isn’t it? It helps to pick us up when nothing else can…

I don’t want to be as good as “they” are!

For a very long time I have felt confused and pressured that I need to “fight with the boys” and compete with all the men out there. I want to be “as good as they are” and I want to be able to make as big of an impact “as they do”. I say “they” in the most generalizing sense, for lack of a better way of expressing this, and if you don’t read too much into the sentence I think you know what I am talking about. The world is complicated and it is easy to get confused. The confusing part though happens just because we want everyone to fit into one specific framework and instead of learning how to listen to our emotions and interests we get taught to fight our way within this framework – as if that is what matters the most; how far you can go and how high you can climb. People forget to mention, or might not even know, that there is a life outside of it too. A life where you don’t need to fight, don’t need to prove yourself or do things only to show people that you can, too.

The more I stop competing with other stereotypes, other men and other woman, the more time I have to get to know myself and who I am and would be no matter what society look like around me. As soon as I stopped focusing on being “someone-important” and started to focus on creating things that are important to me with a dream of spreading love, happiness and fulfilment in this world I realised what is important in life. Self-expression is so much more than just arguing your point and telling people what to do and how to live. Self expression is to connect with what is living inside of you, what is trying to express itself through you. It is when we start trying to be what other people are and do what they are doing we lose connection to that expression within that is fighting to get out.

When people do what they do just to prove a point – that is when we allow society to make us unhappy whilst we wonder why we are not happy. We compete to prove a point believing that that is the only solution, we compete in the game we dislike not knowing that it is sucking our soul out of us and we become what it is that we don’t like.

This is such a delicate and hard subject to dig into but I feel like for the first time I can make sense to what it at least means for me as a person.

“FUCK I LOVE DOING THIS

Growing up I learnt that as a girl I have to be a part of this conflict; I have to stand up and show all the men out there that I can be “as good as they are”. In my perfect world I wish that people would stop trying to prove a point and instead prove to themselves that they can (and should) do whatever makes them happy. I’m not talking about the “ha-ha I told you so” happiness I am talking about doing that thing that make your whole soul and being happy. In my perfect world people would stop and ask themselves why they do what they do and if they wake up every day thinking “FUCK I LOVE DOING THIS” or if they think “this is what I have to do to be the person that I want to be. To be as good as “they” are”. You don’t HAVE to do anything. Because if you “have to” do things to become “the person you want to be” than that person is not you. Then that person will become a version of you that hasn’t expressed what you truly want to express. The version of you is just doing things because it thinks that that is what is expected.

What confused me, and has confused me up until now is that I have felt this pressure that I have to achieve something career-wise just because I am a girl (or a woman?) because if I don’t I won’t be able to look back at my life with pride. I have felt like I had failed the fight for my rights and that I am not worth enough, unless I prove that I can too be successful (whatever that is?) within the rules of the society. I was confused, up until now, to what is a “worthy” career and I devalued what I truly loved doing because I didn’t think that it was good enough and I didn’t believe that I was good enough at it to be able to keep on working with it.

What I realize now is that if I, from now on, will start dedicate my life to make my way “up” in the society, try to become “someone” people know and start playing by the rules of our society, THEN I will look back and wish that I would’ve dedicated my life to fulfil my passion and spend my time doing what makes me feel alive. If I realize when I am older that I have done what I’ve done to climb some hierarchical structure just because I have compared myself with people who are doing the same and I think that I am not a worthy human if I don’t, then I will look back fantasising about what I could’ve done with all of that time if I only had realised earlier that life ACTUALLY is about doing shit that make you happy. I don’t want to be a part of a group that would like me more and more the higher up I climb. I need people around me who are curious of life. I want people around me who do what they do with love – not with an agenda.

I think that we should learn from nature. Nature doesn’t ever try to prove a point to anyone because that doesn’t make nature happy. Nature does what naturally flows and if an obstacle occurs, it deals with what happens when it happens. Everything in nature knows what it is suppose to be doing. Can we be/are we supposed to be different or do we naturally have a “call” or a purpose too? It feels like when everything around us have such a certain purpose – can we really be so completely different?

The part of me I leave behind

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Forever I have identified myself with my past. I’ve been proud to have been through so many emotional struggles. I’ve been grateful for what life has taught me even though I remember how much I hated parts of my life in the moments. I look back at my life and I feel for myself, and I wish that I could rewind the clock and share with me what I now know. And in one way I can. I can share what I know by listening to the lessons life has taught me, and act with that knowledge, use that knowledge as I keep on walking through life. Because I owe it to my younger self.

As I sat on the tram, going to work I was facing the back of the tram. I saw the path we had been traveling on, leaving it behind and I realised that those moments disappear as the second I leave them behind. Every second I leave time of me behind, parts of me behind, to history. My history. As much as I know that I need to focus on the road ahead and not get tangled up and analyse or over-analyse what’s left in the past I realized that in every second of my life, our lives, we create a moment we will leave behind only to remember. I look at the road I’ve been traveling on and hope that I can learn from the mistakes I’ve made, the lessons I’ve been taught and look back and see all these moments and use them to be proud on my journey forward. I’m done making myself smaller to fit in. I’m done talking myself down and apologizing for who I am and what I want to do and choose to do with my life. I’m proud as I walk forward through my life. I have to be, because I owe that to my future self.