I’m writing in the shed today, legs warmed by the laptop fan, waiting for the sun to peek around the corner and begin to warm this little wooden box. An afternoon wandering around reservoirs has been scuppered as the car broke down halfway there, resulting in a dejected limp homewards, but still plenty of the afternoon left to bask in the sunlight that will soon be shining through the window to my left.
Equinox brought early flowers and daffodils, frogs in the pond and birds in the nest boxes. The days are warming, slowly, and I feel my spirit starting to stretch into the longer hours of daylight. The cat, who has spent the last 5 minutes meowling plaintively outside the shed to be let in, has now decided being inside the shed is no fun at all and is now meowling plaintively to be let out again. The sun is creeping around, slowly, and is tantalisingly illuminating the corner of my chair.
I’ve been thinking – what else is new- over the last few weeks. I’ve talked myself out of Patreon, for now. That lack of self-belief is a current running deep. The big plans I had for a new book club are slinking away to the back burner, also. I found I hadn’t got a strong enough base to begin new projects just now. I’m just keeping afloat with university work and the occasional blog post.
I feel that my foundations need to be stronger to carry anything extra, exciting though all these extra things would be. I know I love to take on loads of projects, but spread myself eagerly over all of them, never giving any of them the attention it deserves. Currently, I need to give my energy to my doctorate – this big, expensive thing that will be my identity for the next half decade.
Maybe that’s the thing, the pattern. I’ve never really focused every part of me into one thing, one project, and consequently have never felt like I belonged anywhere, truly. I like to have a lot of things on the go at once and I’d say I’m quite good at juggling loads of ideas – but what would happen if I really gave all my energy to one thing? Instead of flitting from project to project, would I really find another level of depth and enjoyment in doing just one thing?
My shoulder is warm now, bathed in sunlight, and it won’t be long before I draw the blind down, just a little, to keep the glare from my eyes. I feel like I need to change something in the way I approach things. I’ve made choices that are a little outside the norm, and I feel that in those choices is opportunity for something new. My old career was a time I felt I really belonged, although that belonging brought intense stress, a burnout, and a decade of attempting to recover from it all. Since then I’ve been scared to step into a new me. That fear of giving myself wholly to a project, to a new way of life – the possibility of it all happening again. The possibility of failing.
But I don’t want to wander along for the rest of my life, floating and never finding a place. Although maybe that is my place, wild and changeable, the element air and the spirit fire.
I was going to make a joke about how I wrote all of this as an excuse for not launching a Patreon. But it’s something more than that. I need peace, a sense of worth and a knowledge that I have something to work for. So maybe it’s time to give myself to this process. Cutting down on the excess, putting down strong new foundations – and seeing what I can build.