My New Normal
It’s 6 AM on a Tuesday. I know for some people, for the high-achiever-entrepreneurial mindset-self-growth and discipline -people, this is a perfectly normal time to be up and write. For me it’s not. My natural rhythm is to go to sleep around 2 AM and wake up at 10 AM. Or so I’ve always thought. I don’t know anymore. Honestly, there are many things about myself that I always thought I knew, that I’ve recently gone back to unlock, like answers on a trivia game. “Definitely this... and also maybe not.”
So I’m up at 6 AM, and it’s not normal, but I’d like it to be. As a person that hasn’t experienced them enough in her life, this early morning hour is mystical. It has something delicate about it – quaint, even. The city is quiet. The building is quiet. The world is quiet. (Except for my cat who has a lot to say about this new circadian arrangement.) I’d like this to be normal, because I’d like other things to be normal with it.
I’d like it to be normal that I crawl out of bed, make a pot of tea and place it on the little saucer on my desk, switch on the old green banker’s lamp, and after being reminded of my “why” by my desktop background, begin work.
I’d like it to be normal that this is my work, and it is also for me. My work has always been for others. It’s been for customers, guests or for diplomats, it’s been for businesses, agencies or institutions. It has had a purpose, but never one that I’ve written on a desktop background. Never one that I’ve completely, unwaveringly stood behind of. Never one that has fed my soul. My soul is hungry. And in a way that few hours of creativity in a week doesn’t fix. I need the majority of what I do to feed me - both literally and metaphorically – not just the few hours squeezed off to the side. I can’t live for the weekends. Life is too short to want to skip 5 days of every 7.
I’d like it to be normal that my tea gets cold because I’m so in the flow. I’d like it to be normal that what I do is for me, and also is for others. That it makes others realize their visions, their dreams, their artistic aspirations. I’d like it to be normal that my company offers independent creators a way to not only find and connect with each other, but collaborate on, envision together, reinvent, and actually make into reality their wildest most beautiful creative ideas. Because I’d like it to be normal that people do.
I’d like it to be normal that I wake up at 6 AM, go to work at home, build a company in New York, and make a living making people’s dreams come true. I’d like it so bad. But I’m afraid. Not of the hard work. There are many kinds of hard, and this is the right kind. Not of failure. At least not in the traditional sense of the word. I don’t know that I believe in failure. I think there’s just “getting up and trying again”. I think I’m afraid of some kind of untethering. For the first time in my life I have a home. I have furniture and carpets and plants and a photo collage on the wall. And books. Too many books. I have weekend mornings and walks in my favourite park and game nights and wine by my fireplace. I have real friends and traditions and annuals and inside jokes. This path may take me away from all of this. It might untether me and make me a nomad once more, once more a drifter living out of a suitcase with nothing but high hopes. I’ve been there before. I know it’s like heroine to me. Seductive, addictive, and inherently bad for me. I’m afraid that if I do it again, I’ll do it forever. I’ll wind up from place to place, baseless, homeless, restless, untethered. This could do that. I could either end up living far enough from everyone so that I will see people even less than I already do, and spend most of my precious purposeful life alone in my room. Or I might have to leave America. Wind up on my sister’s couch. A foreigner in my own country. Not belonging anywhere. Untethered.
Sometimes we have to go towards what scares us most. It is nothing short of ironic, that my whole life has been about finding connection – and after all the lessons I’ve learned in the recent years, after turning my entire take on it around, I’m risking connection with others over connection with myself, and what I was put here to do. That is, in my little life, nothing short of revolutionary. As is the thought that it could be normal – not luxurious and a rare privilege but utterly, wonderfully, painstakingly mundane, to sit down at my desk, open my laptop, and stay. In all possible meanings of the word.
So I start staying with it. Here we go. Wish me luck. Love,