Tag Archives: affirmation

Affirmation #2.5 (Interlude): To Pace or Not To Pace?

Recently, I’ve been thinking.

“A dangerous pastime-”

“I know.” #DisneyReference

Unlike Gaston, we are NOT idiots, and know the values of thinking about things.

And BOY, have I been thinking!

Being positive has become a part of my life. I’m not Miss Super-Peppy, Captain Positivity, but sometimes I wonder if that’s a good thing… 😉

That being said, I know I’ve got a long way to go. Depression and negativity are a struggle to get over, especially when they’ve pulled the strings my entire life. To me, taking things one step at a time isn’t cutting it. Slow and steady isn’t a viable option. One foot in front of the other needs to be a sprint rather than a  casual stroll.

You are probably rolling your eyes and thinking, “Now you’re gonna say taking your time to ensure perfection is a bad thing.”

Well, yes and no.

 

I see I’ve got a few mouths dropping open. Alrighty then, explanation time.

Yes, in some cases, taking the time to make sure every piece is in place is essential to success. In those instances, details pile up, and need to be double-checked to make sure not a hair is out of place. Even the slightest deviation or slip-up could result in catastrophe, Armageddon, or the apocalypse (whichever you prefer), and nobody wants that. For those plans, yes, take your time.

For other times, when details are fuzzy, duration to goal is indeterminable, and the want to succeed is only overshadowed by the obstacles in your way, DON’T SLOW DOWN. If you go full press toward your goals, you won’t have time to look back, or second guess. Distractions will lessen or vanish out of conscious thought completely.

Consider this idea from a story-telling POV. I’m going to give you two similar stories. Both involve same characters, setting, plot. The difference is in the story I am telling. Read on:

**

Narrative A:

Before leaving her room, Sariah grabbed her sheath and her cloak, throwing the latter over her shoulders and yanking up the hood. She dashed down the halls of the palace, making sure to peek around corners to avoid guards. Then, she reached the servant’s entrance near the kitchen. Once inside the large tunnel, she met the eyes of her best friend from the outside, Korbin.

“Sare, you ready?”

She nodded. “Ready as I’ll ever be.”

The two checked outside to ensure the coast was clear before dashing out of the entrance toward the crowded streets of the city. Right before she got to the safety of the travelling citizens, a hand grabbed her wrist. A sharp gasp shot from her lips as she was jerked back. Her body slammed into the chest of another, and a cool blade was placed to her neck. She met Korbin’s wide eyes at her capture, but the boy did nothing but clench his fists at his side and grind his teeth in worry and fear. Huffing an annoyed breath, Sariah somehow had the guts to ask, “What do you want?”

*

Narrative B:

While she was excited to sneak out, Sariah worried it might not go off without a hitch. For protection, she took her dagger off the dresser. In order to hide from her guards, she tied her cloak around her neck and pulled the hood over the top of her head in the hopes they wouldn’t recognize her. Right as she dashed out of the room, she skidded to a halt. She realized that her door being open and unlocked without her in it might set off some bells. She quietly shut the door and locked it with her key. With a confident smile, she made her way quickly down the hall. At each corner, she slid to a halt, looking down each crossing hallway to ensure no guard’s awareness of her escape. Occasionally, she saw a single guard or two, but waited until they turned away before dashing across. She took note of the noise of her sandals against the palace tile, and tried to minimize it as much as possible. Her hood kept sliding down too, which annoyed her slightly. Finally, she made it to the servant’s side of the large, ornate, pristine palace. Ducking into the entrance tunnel, she saw her best friend Korbin standing there, waiting on her patiently. As she approached him, she readjusted her hood and checked to make sure her dagger was still on her belt.

“Sare, you ready?”

“Ready as I’ll ever be.”

They hid in the shadows of the doorway for a few moments, making sure no one of importance was watching. Then, they bolted for the city streets. Sariah felt her adrenaline pumping with every step she took. Before she got to the safety of the bustling streets, a hand wrapped around her wrist. She jerked to a stop, and then was tugged backward into the chest of another. Her eyes met Korbin’s worried but angry ones as the cool feel of metal touched her throat. She huffed, clearly annoyed with this turn of events. Blowing hair out of her face with a quick breath, she snapped, “What do you want?”

**

Both decently-told stories, right? Same scene, same characters, same plot.

“What’s the difference, and what’s your point?”

The difference is in the pacing. Narrative A was written to be a quicker, suspenseful scene, telling just enough detail to entice the reader, but keeping the ball rolling. Narrative B took its time, giving more details than are necessary to the main actions of the scene.

I’m not saying one is better than the other. Not saying that in the slightest. The point I’m making is the difference in reading style here. If you want the action to go by at, what I like to call, a “Patterson-esque” pace, then Narrative A is your ticket. You want to reach that goal with no distractions, with the confidence that you’ll eventually reach a huge plot twist or exploding conclusion. If you want to know every miniscule point on your journey toward your goal and ensure the details of your story are accurately told and nitpicky to a fault, Narrative B is more your cup of tea.

Like I said, neither is better than the other. It just depends on the kind of story you are trying to tell.

So, here’s wishing good luck to me, as I switch from soda to water and attempt an exercise regimen, in the hopes of looking semi-presentable.

Who knew I could go to the bathroom so much?

Until my next real Affirmation, Keep Faith, everyone!

Affirmation #2: The Internal Conflict

(#2 in an 11 part series of posts about change, perseverance, and being a better you. Though personal to help myself, I’m posting these here in hopes I can help others who are struggling and wanting to make a change)

**     *********

YOU! YOU THERE!

YOU are AWESOME!

Here’s your button! 🙂

 

That awesomeness also spreads to your companions all over the world. “Wait, what do you mean? I don’t know anyone across the ocean/continent.” That could very well be true. However, I wasn’t talking of personal relationships that you have cultivated as you’ve been alive. I meant like-minded companions; the people out there go through the same type of life that you do, with the same problems and stressors you have. Stage fright? Anxiety? Eating disorder? Self-harm? Depression? Broken families?

The list could go on and on.

It’s so much fun to write about internal turmoil in fiction, but when it creeps into your personal reality, it becomes extremely hard to bear.

Most people have at least one thing that makes them want to hide in a dark corner and shrink away from people who might help. They look around and think, “How can everyone else be smiling? They must never have this problem.” Or, “No one understands!”

Both of those statements are completely INCORRECT. I will admit to have thought like this on numerous occasions, and I’m definitely not proud. The truth is, nothing you’re going through is the only instance in the history of the world. I’m not saying that to belittle it; trust me, I know some upsetting things can be really difficult and unbearable, and are by no means easy fixes or minor issues.

Feeling upset is universal, one which has touched every being on this planet (Yes, animals included; you should see my Sammy boy when I try to take him to the V-E-T). Understandably, we can easily agree that upsetting instances make us want to cry or curl into a fetal position. THIS IS NORMAL! We all have fight or flight instincts in us, and when we can’t comprehend which one to pick, we feel conflicted, and panic.

As of right now, I’m personally in this conflicted mode, from an email this week. I’ve talked various times before about how to handle this particular instance, but won’t bother you with the details. My struggle right now is taking my own advice when all I want to do is quit.

I’ve come up with a quick little regimen to combat this feeling of isolated fear:

Close your eyes.

Take a deep breath.

Stretch your muscles.

GO DO SOMETHING!

That’s right, you heard right. Do something. Anything. Go for a walk. Ice-skate. Hang with friends, family, pets. Sing. Draw. Write. Take your mind off your problems for a little while. Any time you feel yourself getting upset again, repeat. Do this until you feel you are stable enough to tackle the problem head on. This could take hours, days, weeks, maybe even months, depending on the problem. Before delving in to confronting the problem, tell yourself this, in-between deep breaths:

I am not alone.

Others have fought and won.

This is normal.

I can do this. I can definitely do this.

I am a strong, intelligent, amazing individual… who’s about to kick some serious @$$!

Then, stretch your muscles again, take a few more deep breaths, and open your eyes.

 

And say:

“Bring it on.”

That’s all it takes.

 

Leaving you with this cover by the always-amazing Evynne Hollens. She and her husband Peter have impacted my life in more ways than anyone knows. Whenever I’m down, or doubting myself or my dreams, I listen to their music, and remember they are just like us. They have struggles of their own, and yet are able to get past it to live their dreams. Click on their names above to check them out on Youtube; they are amazing singers and awesome, caring, wonderful people.