Read the Numbers

One of the writing blogs I follow posted recently about our day jobs. What we fill our hours with besides writing. And do we like it?

I was surprised to see so many people had more than one job and that the majority enjoyed them.

“Sure, if I could be a full time writer, that would be awesome, but I’m pretty content.”

This seemed to be the gist of responses. Contentment. The weaker part of me wishes I was so lucky. I’d love to be content. But contentment, at its core, is evil. It is the decision to settle surrounded by a thick, confusing cloud of comfort, and sometimes comfort is all we need. I need more. Maybe that makes me greedy in this life. I think it makes me alive. I’ve been (relatively) comfortable for a while now. Shelter, food, nice, safe job (even though I’ve quit two already, and for no good reason other than just not wanting to be there). But contentment kills. It is the silent epidemic that creeps up and pierces our beating hearts, suffocating our need to dream, to ask the universe for what we really want.

What do I really want?

I want the opposite of contentment. I want to exist.

And God wants me to as well.

The universe has been speaking to me. It has been for a while, but it’s up to me to choose whether I want to listen. Just like you. You may not realize it, but you’re given signs everyday, as answers to prayers you don’t realize you’re asking. Or maybe you do. But how can you receive an answer when someone doesn’t physically reply? You’re given hints, guides. Signs that direct you this way or that, helping to keep you on the path you’re meant to tread.  And these guides happen in all different ways, from songs to movies to things that drop (not so accidentally) into your life. All of them are speaking to you, requesting that you follow their direction if you merely open your eyes and pay attention. I believe signs are everywhere, and appear in different forms to different people. But the method I’ve come to understand and rely upon the most is numbers. I just read the numbers.

222.

This is the one I’ve seen most recently. Over and over and over since I had a mini breakdown a couple weeks ago because I was just miserable that I had to get up and do something that didn’t even keep me content. Why is this such a struggle? Why can’t I just wake up every day and write? I know what I want… why can’t I just go for it? Like my nurse and teacher friends who are already settled in their careers. Why do I have to keep a day job when it’s doing nothing other than occupying time? Why, why, why, why, why? To pay bills? To keep this life of non-contentment going? What’s the point?

I don’t want this. I don’t want this. I don’t want this.

It was like a prayer, a sacred chant that began to build upon itself, festering until it grew from the outside in, and eventually, blossoming into a silent request to the universe:

I want to write, I want to write, I want to write.

I want this badly enough to sell my car. To eat Raman Noodles every night. To covet every single dollar so I can take a year off and just go for. Just go for it. Am I supposed to just go for it?

222.

On license plates and word counts, telephone numbers and addresses. Clocks and countdowns, it’s everywhere I look.

222. 222. 222.

What? What is the universe trying to tell me?

If you believe, like I do, in reading the numbers, then you know what I’m about to say. That God, or the universe or whatever deity or higher Being you believe in is agreeing with me. 222 is the number(s) associated with life purpose, with aligning thoughts and truth. I’m being told to focus on these thoughts, these wants, these desires because I’m made up of them; they’re part of my physical and spiritual being and so when I concentrate on them, it’s God or the universe or whatever deity or higher Being you believe in telling me that I’m on the right path, that I’m connecting with my life purpose, that I’m in tune with why I’m here, what I should be doing.

That’s a lot to go off of by just seeing three numbers repeatedly. But what else is there to rely on? Contentment? A job that offers no satisfaction or life fulfillment? I can’t do that. I can’t just work in spare moments and late hours and be content with my day job, thinking “it would be awesome to be a full-time writer.” That’s simply not a possibility. The weaker part of me wishes it was. If writing was a hobby, maybe it would be different. I could acquiesce. I could breathe all day long and delight myself with fun projects in the evening. I could be content.

But I want the opposite of contentment. I want to exist.

And it looks like the universe agrees with me.

IWSG, You are You.

It’s the first Wednesday of the month which means it’s time for IWSG!

Are you a writer? Do you know someone who is? If so, it’s probably a good idea to check out IWSG (Insecure Writer’s Support Group), a blog hop for aspiring writers to share doubts and fears and to encourage one another on the difficulties and struggles of the writing life. IWSG was started by our fearless captain, Alex Cavanaugh, and I’m truly glad he did, because now I look forward to the first Wednesday of every month. I look forward to sharing my own insights, to reading others and to be reminded of the vast writing community, struggling and aspiring just like me.

So, as my third post for IWSG, I’d like to share something with you:

*takes breath*

Sometimes I hate the way I write.

It’s true.

Sometimes, on the really bad days, I shake my head and accuse myself. Why do you think you’re able to do this? What gives you the idea you have anything to offer? Anything other people want to read?

I hate that I do this. I hate it. But I hate even more when I let that doubt and fear seep in, depleting me of all the hard-earned confidence I’ve built up, and I’m left feeling insecure and embarrassed. And it’s no one’s fault but my own. I did this. I made myself feel like this. It’s so easy to focus on the negatives because I know so much can go wrong. People could hate it. Nothing is guaranteed. Anyone can write—what makes me special?

I wish I could give advice on how to avoid these feelings. But sometimes they’re inevitable. Sometimes you read something so beautiful, something you love so much that you find yourself comparing it to your own words. Don’t. It’s easier said than done, right? Any time I see or hear or read or appreciate something that is truly spectacular, I find myself wondering about my own artistic contribution. Am I the real deal or just an amateur? Should I just give up now? Save myself the time and embarrassment and work in a cubicle for the rest of my life? It’s definitely the safer route; it’s quiet. I won’t risk anything… but then, I won’t gain anything either.

Doubt and fear are poison. Never let them rule you. Never, never, never.  Everyone is different; everyone has their own style. If we were all the same, there would be no variety in this world and it would make for a very dull, very boring place to exist.  So please, don’t ever compare yourself to others. Don’t wish you sounded like them and berate yourself for not. You are not them. You are you. And you possess your own talent, your own special spark. And that’s what we want to hear. You. So don’t be afraid. Be the best that you can be. Love yourself and love the way you write. And if you do that, we will too.

Happy IWSG!

Keep writing 🙂