Getting beyond the voices

I love reading self-help books. I like lots of other things that make me a complex and worthwhile person, but I also love reading self-help books. They’re like a little nitrous for the soul, just a boost of encouragement and hope that helps me keep the wheels turning even faster than usual for a couple of weeks.

I am lucky that J is also a big nerd and thinks making dinner while listening to Rich Dad, Poor Dad or The Success Principles is a quality way to spend the evening.

But lately, I’m beginning to wonder if I’m getting a little more encouragement than I can handle. Everybody from Gary Vaynerchuck and Jack Canfield to Danielle LaPorte and Chris Guillebeau (no, I do not discriminate, I will read anything) is telling me that I shouldn’t do anything I hate for even a minute. That it’s 2012, that life’s too short, that I’m too smart to be doing anything that I don’t love one-hundred percent.

And oh, that fire is lit up under my ass. And when any sane person feels hot flames on their ass, they run. They bolt. They get moving and get shit done. Only I have these responsibilities to myself, to pay off my car and my debt; to my boyfriend, to pay my rent and the utilities. I have this timeline that shows that I need to keep doing what I am doing for now and for a while longer before a transition won’t be a total disaster.

I feel like the fire is burning my ass, but I am chained to the seat.

I go back and forth, like maybe the chains aren’t real, maybe they are imaginary and I actually need to take a leap of faith, like if I jump then the world will open up a million opportunities for me to write–really write!–for a living. And then sometimes the chains feel so real that I doubt the fire exists and I feel like the only thing I have is my chains, and they are heavy and short and I am not going to be able to get rid of them.

I think sometimes that maybe I should cool it with the motivational stuff, like maybe it’s just making me crazy. But I read and listen to the motivational stuff and I try to act on what I am learning about finances and I feel like I just need to keep going, just a little bit longer. And those motivational speakers, those self-help books, they’re the only voices telling us–me and J–that our jobs aren’t life sentences. They’re the only voices calling to us from the end of a still-dark tunnel, and I don’t want to stop hearing them.

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