So it’s been a little quiet around here, eh?
Well, that’s about to change. You see, I’ve been doing some thinking.
Some soul-searching if you will.
And I’ve made a decision to come back to this little corner of the internet.
I bet you’re wondering what has been keeping me away. Actually, I know you are — because you’ve asked me repeatedly.
Well, it’s a little hard to explain. But here goes: I seem to have been struggling with a little something called permission.
What’s permission you ask? Well, permission is something that many people struggle with, but I think that some people are just better at hiding it.
I am not one of those people.
I mean, you might not be able to tell by looking at me that it is something I am struggling with, but if you look closely it looks like this:
Yep, it looks like nothing.
Literally nothing. Doing nothing.
Are you wondering what I’m blathering on about?
Let me help you to understand:
You know that voice in your head that tells you that you have no business doing the thing that you kinda (or REALLY) want to do?
That voice that interrupts you when you think, “Yeah, I could totally do that thing!”
The voice that says something like, “Ugh, there are already ten thousand other people doing that exact. same. thing. No one wants to see another person doing that thing. That thing is already covered, thanks.”
Well, I hear that voice, too. And, like many people, I listen to it more than I should.
I take it to heart when I hear that voice saying that I can’t really be a writer because I don’t actually have any formal writing education. That there are already so many other people talking about the things that I want to talk about. That I don’t really have anything of value to add to the conversation that is already happening.
So that’s all well and good, but for some reason I just can’t I simply leave it at feeling like I’m a fraud for wanting to be a writer.
Noooo, of course not!
When I start feeling like I have no business doing the thing, I take it one step further and feel guilty for even thinking about actually needing permission to do the thing.
I mean, permission is a pretty privileged concept to ponder, no? To sit an dwell on whether or not you have the right skills to even consider telling your story seems a little pathetic when there are so many other things in the world to worry about.
For example, do you think the person delivering your mail ever ponders the consequences of delivering said mail? Do you think they ever turn up to work in the morning and question how people will view them if they don’t do it well? Or even worse, if they DO do their job well? And do you think they ever walk into work one morning and turn right around because there’s probably someone out there who can do their job better than they can?
I’ll give you the answer: Nope, they don’t. They don’t have the privilege to sit around and wonder whether or not they’ve got permission to do the thing they’re doing; they’ve got shit to do, man.
So this is where I’ve been for the past year. No, I haven’t been under my covers hiding out. I have been out in the world, happily living an incredible life that I am extremely grateful for. The problem is that I have been (mostly) keeping it to myself because I’m worried that I won’t write well enough to do it justice, or that it will seem like I’m trying to brag about the things I get to do, or simply that there are people more talented than I who are already covering this expat experience better than I ever could.
And I don’t want to do that any more.
I want to write.
So I’m going to.
I’m telling permission to go you-know-what, and am just going to do the thing.
Novel concept, huh?
I hope you’ll join me while I try my hand at doing the thing.
In the wise words of Elizabeth Gilbert: