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Under the Spot Light

Remember the days when you were little. There was always that one relative who thought it hysterically funny to throw you into the air. You’d squeal and laugh all at the same time. For a moment you cared about nothing, but the sense of freedom, of flying. Falling didn’t bother you in the slightest, because that one relative who ignored your mothers screams of “not so high next time he almost hit his head”, was always there to catch you. Invariably you wouldn’t stay caught for long, you’d be soaring through the air again. Completely and utterly trusting that somewhere below you was someone whose eyes never left you and whose hands were always ready to catch you.

As children our sense of trust – at least mine was – is absolute. There was never a moment when I didn’t feel safe, and protected. At least until I went to school and met a schoolyard full of rowdier, rougher children than I was ever going to be. In the school yard was were I learnt to doubt. Where I learnt that sometimes people do take their eye off you, and there are no longer hands to catch you and poke you in the belly and throw you free again.

I’m long past the school yard these days. According to the few recruitment consultants I’ve spoken to over the past six months I’m also long past the employable stage (I’m 40). There haven’t been hands to catch me for quiet some time. Somewhere along the journey I learnt a negative lesson. I learnt not to trust anyone.

More importantly however, I learnt not to trust myself. And that is probably the worse lesson I could have learnt. I doubt every single decision I make, and in the doubting I lay the foundation for the “walking away” from it. When 2014 dawned I decided that I was going to take 1 step a day to move towards a goal. I decided I was going to trust myself to do what would ultimately end up being right for me. I was going to catch myself for a change.

So far, it’s been so good. I’ve stuck to my exercise plan. I’ve stuck to my new eating plan. I’ve stuck to not smoking. I’ve stuck to no fizzy drinks and I’ve stuck to drinking only water. Each day I’ve thrown myself into the air so to speak, in the absolute knowledge I’d be there to catch me when gravity takes over.

Last night I was sitting on the bed, watching TV and I found myself in old territory. Doubts. Would I lose the weight? How long could this positive new me last? How the hell did I manage to catch a Staph Infection in my Lymph System?

Last night I began to think about moving into the next phase of the 1 step a day journey. I began to think about writing again. I’ve always had about a million projects on the go at any one time. It’s a well tested and proven method of never getting anything finished, while looking as busy as a bee. Last night I began to realise those half written, half planned, mostly talked about writing projects had to go.

I was wracked instantly with fear. How could I get rid of those ideas. They were my future. They were going to be published and I’d be the next William Shakespeare. Without them I’d be nothing. I’d be unemployed forever.

What those projects – for the most part – were, was simply my safety blanket. I was watching an American reality TV show the other day called Clean House. Basically a team of people go into a house filled with rubbish and clutter, sell it all at a yard sale, and make the house over for the homeowner.

In the particular episode I was watching, there was a lady with a 5 year old son. She had all of his baby clothes sitting in a heap on the floor of a room. When the Interior Designer suggested she sell them at the Yard Sale she began making excuses as to why they couldn’t be sold. Ultimately she said something along the lines of “I plan to make a quilt out of them one day”.

The host of the programme, who came into the room to help talk the owner into giving up all the baby clothes said “if you haven’t made a start on the quilt in 5 years, something tells me you’re not going to.”

It was at this point I realised how the ideas I have cluttering up my computer – both of them – are simply there for protection. I don’t like not having anything to do. So I keep a couple of dozen files cluttering my desktop. Some of those ideas are over 10 years old, and have moved from computer to lap top, to lap top to MacBook.

They are my fall back plan. When I really thought about them, there were 2 that stood out as something I’d be tempted to start. And there was one that has been at the back of my mind for I don’t know how long that stepped into the light and said “you might want to consider me you know, I’ve been hovering here for years but you never even looked at me seriously.”

Those old ideas are now living on a remote drive. Safely tucked away in a drawer. The desk top is now clean. You see, if I am going to live this year authentically, I need to listen to my vibes. Not second guess them every time they turn up.

I promised myself I would I listen to my instincts and I would act on the gut feelings this year. I’m not 100% confident. And I’m not going to delete any story idea without serious thought. What I am going to do however is trust that my vibes will catch me if they throw me into the air.

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43 year old Australian writer currently working on the first of a planned three book Epic Fantasy series. When he's not writing policy discussions, or tales of swords, Gods, and magic, he can be found making a mess in the kitchen, and turning perfectly good ingredients into crimes against humanity.

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