Go back to bed, Liz (Part One: Big dreams bring big fears)

Hello friend!

I hope all is well and if it isn't, it will be, I promise!

Having this newsletter and blog is a huge deal for me! I mean super duper huge. So I have to thank you for reading my shit and coming along with me on my journey. Years ago I finally started saying out loud all of the ideas I had in my head. I didn't know how to make any of it work I just knew I couldn't hold the thoughts in any longer.

This story is about a particular night when I finally came to terms with the fact that my passion is writing. I had denied this for so long because I was afraid of what that meant. To me being a writer meant entering a field that is already saturated with millions of brilliant writers. It meant putting myself out there on a regular basis, facing rejection and ridicule. And mostly and most horrifying, it meant waiting tables for who knows how much longer while I worked on making my dreams a reality.

But, however hard the road may be, whatever the outcome, we cannot deny who we truly are...we cannot deny that which brings us the greatest joy...because if we do not embrace our true selves then we are also denying the entire world of our greatest gifts.

I lie awake in bed. Trying to be quiet so I don't wake my husband, or worse...the dogs. Tears stream down my face. I have so much shit on my mind I can't sleep. It is one of those nights when I can feel my heart beating in my head. And my head just aches from the misery of it all. My silent tears turn into silent sobs, if that makes any sense at all. I take a deep breath and wipe my aging face with my achy hands. And in the darkness, I stare at a ceiling I can barely see and pray to a God I have never seen.

I start to beg for answers.

I plead...for guidance.

For a clue. A miracle. A spiritual intervention.

And I whisper.

“Please God. Give me a sign. Tell me what to do with myself. With my pathetic self. Give me a sign. Make it loud and clear so I definitely won't miss it. Give me a sign.”

And my desperation is met with silence.

So I beg some more.

Silence.

“God, I know I have a purpose on this earth. I know you love me. I know I was meant to do great things. But I don't know how. I don't know what to do. And I am tired. I am broken. I am broke.”

Silence.

And, alone with my thoughts, I wonder where my life went wrong.

Was there not a time when I was the smartest in my class?  Was there not a time when people spoke of my potential?  Has my life passed me by?

Suddenly my husband stirs. He turns his head and kisses me on my forehead and then my nose and then my lips.

He gently rubs my face and, feeling the wetness of my tears, asks me what is wrong.

My emotions come spilling out like lava from a volcano that was long overdue for an eruption.

“My Love, where did I go wrong in my life? I am a writer. And that is the worst thing ever. How the hell am I supposed to make it as a writer? You know how hard that will be? And I have no clue how to make a website or send a newsletter or make a Facebook page. I just wish I could have been born with the passion to be something more...conventional...yet meaningful. So I can just move on with my life. And all of my friends...they all have careers and houses and children. And they all just love the shit out of what they do.

I mean look at Pia, she is a teacher. She is molding young minds. Last year she was nominated for Teacher of the Year. I mean fucking teacher of the fucking year!
I mean no big deal...just changing our world for the better...no big deal...making a huge difference in the lives of hundreds of people...every...single...day.

And look at Kika. She is not just a nurse but now she is back in school in a Master's program. And she has been asked to teach other nursing students. She is getting promoted left and right. And she is actually saving lives.
I mean no big deal...just changing our world for the better...no big deal...making a huge difference in the lives of hundreds of people...every...single...day.

And all of them, My Love. All of my friends are just kicking ass in life. They all have successful careers and they own their own homes. And all have children and they don't have to work weekends. And I doubt any of them stays up at night. Feeling somehow behind in life. Feeling desperate. I am going to be 37 next month. Living paycheck to paycheck. Still waiting tables. And sometimes I fucking hate that restaurant. Sometimes I feel as if that place is crushing my spirit. Sucking my soul. Shift by fucking shift."

And then the crying really starts. And through my heaving I can barely spill out the words but the words just keep spilling.

"My parents, they just look old, you know. I don't know when they got so old. I don't want them to die. And ever since my mom got sick I feel like I am racing a clock. I want to be a success for them. For you. For me. I want to show them the world. And I don't think I am going to make it. I want more. More than this. And if I ever had an 8-5 job I would just shoot myself out of boredom. And I just cannot be a waitress forever. I just can't. I am a writer. And what the fuck good is that?"

And then my crying gets louder and I struggle to catch my breath and the last of my heart spills out into the air, in the darkness, onto my husband's caring ears.

"It's just...that... just...every single day....it literally takes all of the courage I have. To put myself out there. To figure shit out. It takes everything I have in me. To write. To pray. To believe in myself. Everything."

And then I cry some more. And after a moment, I finally calm myself enough to be silent.

And I wait for the wise advice that my handsome hubs always gives that makes me feel better. He is always my number one cheerleader. My guru. My teammate. And I listen for his response. Waiting for the words to ease my aching heart.

And in the darkness, I hear it...and it makes perfect sense...

My husband is snoring. So...fucking...loud.

I prop myself up on one arm and look over at him and he is completely asleep. I shake him and say, "Hey! I am over here spilling my guts and you fall asleep...you literally fell asleep mid conversation! I literally just spilled all of my fears and heartaches and you are seriously fucking asleep!?"

He shifts his head a tiny bit and mumbles something like, "Sorry baby...so tired...18 hour shift....I guess we can but you have to be on top." Then he snores even louder.

I plop back down dramatically and then I scratch a scab he specifically told me was off limits. I turn and pet my little dog and she rolls onto her other side in sleepy annoyance.

I look up at the ceiling. And just as I begin to wonder if something is wrong with me for not hearing God the way people do in movies or books or whatever, the voice of Eat, Pray, Love author, Elizabeth Gilbert, pops in my head.

In that book she speaks of a time when she was so lost and so sad and she lay awake one night, crying on the bathroom floor and she heard so clearly God speaking to her telling her, "Go back to bed, Liz." And in that moment she knew that everything was going to be okay. And it was.

And I can't hear God but I can hear Elizabeth Gilbert.

"Go back to bed, Vern."

I smile and I suddenly feel brave.

So I go back to bed, confident my own guidance is on the way.

I will leave the molding of young minds, the saving of lives, the everything else up to my brilliant and beautiful friends. And I will settle on being me. Because I, just like you, and everyone else was created for a specific purpose. And I am exactly where I need to be. I am not too old. I am not too young. I am exactly where I need to be.

I am a writer. And everything is going to be okay.

And I will figure the shit out...because we are never alone. Even in, especially in, the silence of the night.

You are supposed to be scared. But that's not a bad thing. The bigger your dreams are the more fear steps in, thinking it is helping you, saving you, by keeping you safe in your comfort zone. And that's okay. And like Elizabeth Gilbert says, fear can always be with you in the car but it doesn't get to make any of the decisions, it doesn't get to pick the radio station, it doesn't get to tell you where to turn.

Step one. Declare your destiny to the world. "I am here, on this earth to (fill in the blank.)" Declare it. Put on your crown. Step into your purpose. As Oprah would say “Own it.” Own who you are...what you came here to earth to do. You may not know how the hell your dreams are going to unfold but once you decide that these dreams can and will be your reality the Universe will start to align in your favor. Doors will open that you never knew existed. God loves you so much. And He trusted you enough to put you on Earth. Now it's time to trust Him. Trust. In whatever higher power you may believe. Trust.

You are going to need your strength, so for now, just go back to bed....

You can do anything (you really can.)
I believe in you (so much.)
You are greatly loved.

Sincerely,
Veronica Towns