Running With It

I am at a difficult point in my life, the last stretch of a marathon. Climbing the last hill, I can see the finish line creeping over the horizon, but the burning inside my body is attempting to, begging at times, to stop, to collapse on the side of the road and give in. To give in to the paranoid whispers in my ear, telling me to stop, telling me that it was never possible, that it was always a dream, a figment of my imagination; and at the same time, there’s another voice, a voice telling me to never give up, never give in, and never surrender. There is also this light, this beautiful light inside my heart, that like a magnet is attracted to another light just beyond the finish line. Each morning I wake up and I pray to this light, seeking answers, seeking comfort, seeking a resolution behind my hopes and my fears. The answer is always the same, don’t give up, don’t quit, just keep going and you will achieve your destiny.

A year and a half ago, my parents and I moved to Austin. Since that day, my father and I have religiously made the 10 minute drive to Francis’ office.  Once there I make my way to the back meditation room, close my eyes, and immerse myself in healing energy. At some point in the day, a lull occurs in the constant stream of people who come in for healing, and Francis peaks his head in the door and says, “I guess it’s your turn Colin”, in his warm, Scottish accent. As he walks in he says, “Howdy!” in a booming voice, followed by his ever present smile. “How are you doing?”

“Fine. How are you?” I ask, knowing full well what his reply is going to be.

“Disgustingly well!”, he says.

He sits behind me and I lean back and close my eyes with the constant hope that this will be the day, that this will be the day that all of this energy, all of this healing that has built up inside my nervous system, will overcome me with glorious ramifications. My toes will begin to move, I will feel a deep pressure in my stomach as my abdominal muscles begin to fire and suddenly all the muscles in my body slowly awaken. I open my eyes, and tell Francis,” I think I can stand up”.

“Then do it”, he replies, and so I do. I stand, and everything I’ve worked for, spiritually, physically, and mentally, will pay off. All the fear, the fear that’s been telling me I’m a fool, a fool chasing an impossible dream, will fade away. What will happen next, I’m not sure. It’s impossible to fully understand how I would respond in a situation like that. All I know is that I’m ready. I haven’t always been ready. For much of this experience of paralysis, I have been scared. Scared of the world I would have to face after recovering. Scared of facing a new life, a life where the world is at my fingertips, where I no longer have to face a mountain of struggles just to get out my front door. A world of responsibility, where once again I am in charge, fully capable of anything and everything, and thus, comes the fear, the fear that I will fail. One of the many lessons I am meant to learn in this life, that success is not an absence of failure, but a constant ability to pick myself up, despite them. The constant realization that there really is no such thing as failure, only a concept, a thought that tells me I failed, when in fact there is really no way one can tell the difference.

I’ve always given myself time frames as to when I must call it quits, when I must reevaluate my situation and move in another direction. It’s a constant cycle of life, where we do something for a while, find fulfillment, and then begin to feel empty and hung up. At that point we must make a decision as to where we want to go next, what new endeavors and challenges we want to face. Despite struggles, I’m still not at that place. Fortunately, or maybe unfortunately, I realize that giving up on my healing is really not an option. After putting in more than eight years of effort, it seems silly to stop now, but the fact remains that I do need something in my life that makes me feel worthy. I’ve accepted recently that I am a writer. It’s who I am, it’s who I’ve always been. Ever since I began to write in school, as a very young child, my teachers would praise me for my writing abilities. Because of my injury I was able to once again tap into this ability, but I still feel that I’ve yet to fully realize my potential. My commitment to healing prevents me from getting a full-time job, or even a part-time job. It hinders me from going back to school and getting a masters degree, but it does not prevent me from writing. I have decided that I need to fully embrace this gift. I see myself writing fictional stories and novels. I can see myself writing children’s books, books for young adults, and maybe one day fantastic mystery novels for adults. I also see myself writing an autobiography, detailing my entire life and struggles I’ve gone through, and all the lessons I’ve learned.

The two main things that are stopping me from fully embracing this task of being an author, is fear and a lack of motivation. It’s highly possible that the lack of motivation is caused by fear. I feel that I am very talented, but I’m also a perfectionist, and so as a perfectionist anything but perfection, is failure. I need to push past this notion. So how do I do it? I think more than anything I just need to write every day. It doesn’t matter what I write. I can write in this blog, I can write in another blog, I can write in my personal journal, or I can write a fantastic story about a talking turtle who wants to learn Spanish. It really doesn’t matter, as long as I open up my heart and mind and simply let myself be an instrument for my talent. Eventually, after constantly sitting in front of my computer and writing no matter what, maybe something special will emerge, and if it does, well, I will have found my talent, and I can run with it.

In many ways I have already started and I am running to an extent, but it’s more like a slow jog at the moment. My most recent creative effort, besides this one, is on my music and movies blog. http://surfingthemuse.blogspot.com/ I wrote a long bio and review about one of my favorite bands, Cloud Cult. They are very inspiring, and have filled me with a strong sense of purpose at times when I really needed it.

“May your lives be long, and may your wishes all be simple, and may your hearts stay strong” – Cloud Cult

God bless,

Colin

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8 Responses to Running With It

  1. Jill says:

    You are a writer–accept it. It’s not the extent to who and what you are, but it’s a large part. Treat writing like your job: get up, get dressed, go to your computer and write for at least 2 hours every day. Commit to your writing as you have to your recovery.

  2. Lisa Hurst says:

    Colin –
    As I was reading the first paragraph of this post I was literally overwhelmed by the beauty of your writing. THEN later as a read the words ‘I am a writer’ the biggest smile came to my face, it’s if I never read a truer statement – ever.

    When talking about your insecurity about how to start and where to go, I am reminded if a mini-course I was listening to not long ago. I subscribe to a daily e-mail called the Daily Love, written by a guy named Mastin Kipp. I further signed up for one of his 4 part courses under what he calls Love University (gotta love a brand-right!), having to do with addressing the fear that holds you back. In his course format he usually has a random caller who he ‘goes-deeper’ with using their specific issue, whatever it might be. One person he worked with was a would be writer, and the story she told about becoming a valid (for lack of a better word) writter was very similar. Mastin’s advice was that in order to be a writer she needed to set aside disciplined time to work at the skill. No skill was advanced without disciplined practice. That the outcome may not always be pretty or feel comfortable, but that there would be a cumulative effect in the very discipline.

    The timing is such that I couldn’t listen to the course live, so I got the mp3 download, which I probably have. Not sure it’s shareable…I’m not a tech idiot, but I’m not brilliant either. Happy to try. Any thoughts?

    At any rate, I think this is such a good path for you to puruse!!

    Lisa

    • Colin says:

      Hey Lisa! I’m sorry I never replied to this comment. I unfortunately neglect this blog entirely too much. I have indeed been following your advice as far as setting aside disciplined time, though I could probably do a better job of it. Hope to get a new post up soon detailing aspects of my recent journey. Hope you’re well!

  3. The Visitor says:

    Hi Colin – I’ve been reading a few of your posts. Some of your descriptive stuff is very good. It’s pretty evident, from the fact you’re blogging regularly since 2005, that you’re a writer. Probably what you need to do is just shed a bit of your perfectionist nature, believe in yourself and rush off some of your writing to people who can give feedback.

    Some pointers / links:
    Winged Words – Andaleeb is herself a writer and I believe that she can probably guide you. I know her personally. She’s a task master, but good.
    Writing for a Living – GB is a writer of children’s book. She has written on her blog, a series, Writing for a living, which I found to realistic and inspiring as well.
    Ode.la – A site where aspiring authors / writers interact, post their stuff – worth exploring.
    Good luck.

    PS: I chanced on your blog from an FB link.

    • Colin says:

      Thanks so much for the links. I will check them out. You’re definitely right about my need to shed my perfectionist nature. I’m working on that, and currently coercing myself to dive into some serious writing projects.

  4. Hi Colin, I can visualise you up on stage one day giving motivational speeches to corporate people like me. Until then keep writing! Love the honesty. And don’t ever give up please. You now have a responsibility to continue to inspire. Your new day job! 🙂

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