Saturday, 24 September 2016

Life at the End of Your Comfort Zone

What does your comfort zone look like? Is it a warm, safe space that you never want to leave? Do you want to leave it but worry about doing so?

This time last year, my comfort zone was torn apart when I moved house. Everything I'd ever known and loved was being packed up and moved across town. It was uncomfortable and painful and I fought it tooth and nail. I wanted to stay in the warm, happy space that I knew. I didn't want to be anywhere else. Yet this move was only the start.

It's a theme that's continued well in to this year. At least once a month, I've had to face up to another fear, whether that's going to a venue that I greatly dislike or learning how to communicate with people. I've met people I never thought I'd meet and done things that, two years ago, I'd have laughed if you'd told me I'd be doing them. 2016 has, for many people, been a year of upheaval and change whether it's been in their personal lives or through watching their favourite musicians die.

Yet it's also been a year that's shown many of us where we're supposed to be heading. We've discovered who our true friends are or that our career needs a shake up. The comfort zones that we know have been taken apart and reassembled elsewhere.

It's uncomfortable when your comfort zone starts to dissolve. You may feel frustrated, depressed, and angry. You may get upset with the people around you and have trouble controlling your emotions. I know that all of that happened for me, and is still happening. Little by little, I'm being taken away from the places I used to know and being put somewhere completely new. It's unnerving yet, at the same time, it's exciting. I've wanted to do different things for a long time and now, slowly but surely, they're happening. There are times when it's still distressing but I know that it's part of the growth that I need to go through to become the person that I'm supposed to be.

If you know you need to be somewhere else in your life, get ready for things to happen in order for you to get there. It may be a move, or a loss, or something entirely different. You may have people put on your path who are sent to teach you something, or even to guide you to the next place. Keep your eyes open and trust that things happen for a reason (Again, a year ago, I wouldn't have believed that to be true. But so many things have happened that have lead me to believe that so many things that happen to us have a reason behind them). Let go of everything you know and go with the flow because who knows where you're going to end up!

Saturday, 10 September 2016

Letting Go

Dreams are awesome and everyone should have at least one. Whether it's getting that perfect job, starting a family, or finishing that book you started six years ago. Dreams, and the processes that go with them, are a healthy part of life.

However, sometimes there are dreams that we just have to let go of and hope that the universe beings them back to us.

If you'd told me this time last year that I'd be writing two non-fiction books, I'd have laughed. I was deep in screenplay territory, crafting the perfect story for the big screen. Getting it just right was essential. Besides, it wasn't my first go on such a ride. I've worked on screenplays before. I've written treatments for other people. Little parts of me have already made it into cinemas or on TV. I'm not a novice when it comes to the world of broadcast media.

One of the advantages of spending four years in film school is that my writing is apparently already fairly visual. Several people have uttered the words, “It was like watching a film”. So I was fairly confident that I'd find someone out in the world who'd give me an answer on my current idea.

The story started out as a novel and as slowly built into a script. From there, back stories, outlines, and treatments were created and, finally, the whole package was sent out in to the world.

I waited.

And waited.

And waited a little more.

I knew not to pester people because I knew that I'd be asked to be patient for a little longer.

In April of this year, twelve months after the first copies had started to make their way out into the world, I decided it was time to try something else. By then, I was already working on the idea for the tribute bands book and decided that, if the film was supposed to happen, then it would.

So I reluctantly put my dream of selling a screenplay on to the back burner and knuckled down to my latest project. In July, I added a second non-fiction book to the roster. In August, I went back to working on an anthology that I'd started back in February.

Releasing myself from the stress of the wait seemed to fuel me in ways that I may never understand. No longer was I checking my email with baited breath. No longer was I watching my phone from the corner of my eye. Instead, I'd said, “Okay, if this is meant to happen it will happen. Someone, somewhere, will pick that up and think, 'This is just what we want'. But, for now, I'm going to concentrate on other things.”.

It was hard to reach that point of letting go. It was hard to free myself from the daydreams of being back on a film set and of finally seeing the finished article. But I knew that, deep down, it was the right thing to do. Since then, everything I've been working on has seemed to flow like water from a mountain.

You have a right to have dreams. Some are easy to start working on. Eating healthier, looking for a better job, losing weight. Others are based on the whims and choices of others, leaving us to do little other than wait.

But every dream has the possibility of coming true, even if it has to go on a back burner for a while. Because who knows what tomorrow will bring. Tomorrow may bring that phone call. Or, somewhere across the world, someone could pick up your manuscript and say, “Hey! This is just what I've been looking for.”.

Give in from time to time and go with the flow. But never give up. Because you don't know where life's going to take you.