What do you think about? What invades your psyche like a swarm of moths on a early summer evening, where swatting away only makes them stir with greater frenzy?
Yeah,maybe you know the feeling.
This past weekend, I unplugged nearly 100%. Given how plugged-in I am, this is a feat of nearly WTF-DNA-discovery-Watson-and-Crick-are-at-my-house-doing-kegstands proportions. I went for a 3-hour hike on Saturday, out mountain biking with a friend on Sunday, and on Monday, I went out to shop for a car (knowing that Beatrice Olivia the Mini Cooper’s place in my life was coming to an end).
Here’s what I realized, through both silent contemplation and animated conversation throughout the three days:
I can’t answer the simple question: What do you really want to do?
So today, I slap, and the backhand is cocked (heh, I said cock) back and ready to fly.
I wake up every day and look at my life. I think, “I should be happy — this is everything I’ve ever wanted!” Two books, a column in a kickass magazine, furry friends to greet me at home, and the best friends I’ve ever had waiting for me beyond my front door. The bank account is decent. Cash flow could always be better, but I can’t complain about the cash. I date (rarely, by choice). And I’m finally getting back to doing all of the outdoorsy things I love like hiking and cycling and soon — climbing. I’m great at my job, I love my clients, the new business keeps coming in…
so what the fuck is wrong with me?
Why can’t I answer the question: What do I really want to do?
If you stapled me to a tree and threatened to have Justin Bieber dry hump my leg if I couldn’t answer that question, I’d be completely hosed and possibly need to have my leg amputated.
Because the answer is a resounding I. Don’t. Know. But here’s what I do know.
I love writing. Telling stories. Motivating. Taking people from point A to Q on a path sprinkled with holy cock* amounts of laughter and visuals that will burn your retinas. I love speaking, but even more, I love talking with people after I’m done talking — because it’s their turn (and their words and ideas that matter most). I love the look on a client’s face when we get it done. I love seeing others succeed and knowing that I had a pinky finger — and maybe, if I’m lucky, a hand — in it. I love being a part of team, because people are always more powerful in groups than solo.
*The phrase “holy cock” is fully attributed to my friend Merredith, who spouted that gem as we were discussing the amount of fees the Facebook IPO was generating for those behind the scenes. The answer? Holy cock amounts of money, my friends. Holy cock.
I also know that if I had to work as an office drone again on an 8-to-5, I’d probably shit pygmy hippos and single handedly eradicate their residence on the endangered species list.
So there are the things I know. And yet I can’t seem to figure what the fuck my problem is.
What’s Your Problem?
Yeah, you, Erika. So you’ve made the list and you know what you know. But what is it that you’re not saying or admitting to yourself? The truth has got to be closer to that you’re denying something. What are you denying?
It’s time to map this shit out and figure out what’s next, because when you can’t answer a simple question like, “What do you really want to be doing?” — chances are you’re focusing more on what you don’t want than what you do. If Snooki can make the cover of some pop culture rag about her pregnancy while the everyday world trembles in fear that not only did someone fuck her in the first place, there’s going to be a tiny little Snookette running around soon — you, Erika, can figure out what the fuck it is you really want to be doing.
And yeah — maybe the answer to that question is as simple as, “What would you do if money were no object?” Maybe.
But the only one who’s going to get this shit figured out is you. So today’s the day where we start figuring it the fuck out.
That’s where you come in.
You — my readers. Do you really think I’m capable of doing anything without you or without sharing it with you? You’re the underwire in my career bra, folks. So let’s stop fucking around.
Where You Come In
What are you not telling me? My Facebook page is bumpin’ with comments, but the blog has been pretty quiet as of late.
Do I suck? Have I lost something? What initially brought you here and what keeps you coming back?
These are the questions that I need answered. So what the fuck, guys?
WHY ARE YOU HERE?
It’s to the point where I can’t see the forest for the trees and I never believe my own fucking hype. So what’s the hype? What do I need to keep doing or go back to doing or fucking quit like Nic Cage quits Vegas? I’m not asking you to tell me what to do, but I’m smart enough to know that:
1) You folks are the reason I get to wake up and do things I love every day.
2) If I’ve lost my career compass, who better to ask about its location than you?
I believe that for any business, its audience holds the key. I have beat the everliving fuck out of myself for nearly five days now, not knowing what it is I really want to do and how I’m going to get there.
So I ask:
- What do you enjoy?
- What brought you here?
- If you bought my book, why the hell did you do that?
- How do you describe me to people you share my stuff with?
- What do you miss?
- What do you want to see more of?
- And if I could redecorate this joint, what would make it a place you’re comfortable having the shit beat out of you every now and then (in the most loving way, of course)? Because I know you like the slaps.
And I know that’s a metric ass ton of questions. So pick one. Answer ’em all. Drop me an email at erika@redheadwriting dot com if you don’t want to leave a public comment. Reply to the email that delivered this blog post to your inbox.
For the first time in a long while, I’m taking my own advice. I always have said that your audience is the best barometer. It’s high time I tapped into mine for some honest feedback.
So — slap me, my friends. Slap away. Help me answer this. I’ve turned the tables and it’s your turn to cock (heheheheh) back your hand and let it fly in my direction. It’s dangerous to be alone with your thoughts, as we have an innate talent for turning them over until we get to the answers we want to hear instead of the answers we need to hear. Hiking, biking, and car shopping were all most glorious, but I’ve been alone with my thoughts for entirely too long.
PS: If this happens to be your first stop here, you’re welcome to weigh in as well. Just don’t say a frog’s fine ass hair-sized thing about my vernacular, as I guarantee one thing: It ain’t gonna fucking change.
PPS: As always, typo corrections are welcome. It wouldn’t be a blog post from me if it didn’t have at least one!
The Slapping Booth is open. Let ’em fly.