Escaping My Life


I have been feeling really scattered lately.

I mean, I know I have four small children. I get that.

But I was really rocking it a few weeks ago. Almost whelmed, even.

And now?

Now, I am decidedly tipping over whelmed.

I can always tell when I’m about to lose it. I escape into TV shows. Read books. Play Two Dots obsessively on my phone.

Anything to avoid dealing with my life, making meals, work (self-imposed or not), and my children.

I am even crankier and crabbier than usual.

Gamera calls me mean. She curses me under her breath. Like, ACTUAL cursing.

She’s 5.5.

And even though I know that my 2017 Theme this year is to Suck It Up and act like a grown up, truthfully, I just want this year to suck it.

Which is weird because this year has actually been going really well.

I have been reaching out to do more writing in different capacities, pitching the occasional collaboration or sponsor, finishing my ebook, and generally doing more than I have ever done in regards to writing.

So of course, I feel all my writing juices drying up. Leaving me withered. A husk.

I feel all out of words. Or at least, all the good ones. You know, the coherent ones.

Coherent words are good.

(See? I have been reduced to caveman speak. Words good. No words bad.)

Now that I think of it, it makes TOTAL sense why all of a sudden, I want to dive under the covers and disappear until 2018 or perhaps forever.

I am afraid.

I am afraid that because I have had some marginal success that more will be expected of me. Or required of me. And that I won’t be able to duplicate that success.

(And seriously, who do I think is expecting or requiring this of me?)

That everything up until now has been a fluke.

A complete accident. And soon, real soon, someone is going to realize that I am full of shit and that all my bluster is just that: bluster.

Unsubstantiated.

And for crying out loud. I am almost 40.

I SHOULD NO LONGER BE UNSUBSTANTIATED.

When I look back on my life thus far, there are two things that stand out in my mind that encapsulate how I deal with my fear of failure. Coincidentally, they both deal with musicals.

In my last year of high school, our choir and drama program was putting on the musical, Bye, Bye, Birdie.

I really wanted to be in it.

But I was afraid.

So I told myself there was no way I would get a part because I was Chinese – and there were no Chinese parts in the musical. Instead, I convinced myself I would be fine being in the orchestra and told my choir director that I wanted to be one of the pianists.

I didn’t try out at all.

I took myself out of the running entirely.

Four years later, in my last year at UCLA, I tried out for a musical written by Weiko Lin (music by Christopher Wong).

This one, I had a good shot of getting into – not only because I was good friends with Chris. This musical was about the Tienanmen Square massacre – so there were definitely roles for Chinese people.

So, I sucked it up and auditioned and lo and behold. I got one of the four lead parts.

I was ecstatic. And terrified.

And so, I did what terrified people do. I found an out.

I called my prayer partner up and we did “listening prayer” and I somehow convinced myself that God wanted me to turn down the role and spend more time on my floor to evangelize or whatever.

So, I turned the role down.

To this day, I regret making that decision. Not because I would be some famous actress or Broadway star now, but because I let fear dictate what I could or could not do.

Also, how many other chances would I have to be a lead in a musical now? I’m not saying it’s not possible. It’s just not high on my priority list.

Anyhow, I have told these two stories to Dr. T at least several times, and each time, she suggests that I might fear failure.

And of course, each time, I say, “Noooooo. That’s not true. I’m just lazy.”

But she’s right. As usual.

My laziness is the cover story I tell myself. To hide from myself my abject terror in trying out for the things I want – and want badly.

So, of course, now that I am taking some small, tiny steps towards being a writer, I am running scared.

Self-sabotage in the form of procrastination and laziness.

I escape into realms created by other people. Consuming at a ridiculous pace so that I can perhaps satisfy the craving to create something myself without actually having to create anything.

Well, brain. I’m onto you.

You’re just gonna have to suck it up like the rest of me. We’re going full steam ahead.

Preparing for the Pending Zombie Apocalypse

At least once a year, (more so if I happen upon a traumatic headline or read a book based on the Holocaust or something), I mentally freak out and start going down the Prepper rabbit hole and worry about the zombie apocalypse and completely go nuts Googling for random survivor gear.

I have posted about it at least once or twice before. And though I know that this irrational response to finding seed banks, buying shotguns, having a year’s supply of water, and purchasing survivor gear is merely my control freak’s way of coping with fear and uncertainty, I also know that it is important to be prepared given that we live in Earthquake country.

However, one thing my deep dive into the Prepper craziness has taught me is that all this stuff is completely overwhelming and that very overwhelmingness causes many of us to do nothing.

For instance, all I have is an Emergency supply kit for a family of four that I bought off of Costco.com. I also have some water purifying straws (affiliate link) that I broke down and bought when they were a lightning deal one day on Amazon. I also have some water supplies, but other than that, my stuff is all over the house in random places.

Plus, I am worried that I am buying redundant items and wasting money, but you know what? Sometimes, I think it’s good just to have it and buy it again, even knowing that it’s redundant.

So, I’m curious, dear readers.

1) How many of you have emergency kits/supplies for all family members?
2) Do you also have Bug Out Bags?
3) Do you have bare minimum of things or have you gone all Survivalist?
4) How often do you swap out your supplies?
5) Do you own a backup generator?
6) Where do you store your stuff?
7) Do you have comparable bags/supplies in your cars?

Many of you who are friends on Facebook will recognize the questions. But I would love to hear from you again (as well as if you’re interested in me posting a series on my findings).

I have decided that putting together everything all at once will overwhelm me entirely. (Although, really. When am I ever just whelmed?) So instead, I am going to make sure I do something emergency supply/kit related once a month. (See? I apply Dr. T’s advice!)

Would this be something that would interest you as a reader? And would it be helpful? (Since hopefully, it would also inspire/goad/provide an easily actionable item for you?)

Let me know what you think. (Yes, yes. Super short post today. But truthfully, if I get started down this road too long I will just panic.)

The Discomfort Before Birth

Before you freak out that I’m about to post another TMI pregnancy post, it’s a metaphor, see? (Although, it being a metaphor doesn’t necessarily preclude me from TMI sharing. But I think I did enough of that on Monday.)

Anyhow, a lot of what has been occupying my mind is working on my So You Want Your Kid to Learn Chinese ebook. After my conversation with my friend about blogging and business, a fire was lit under me.

I suddenly had a burning desire to finish my ebook before Baby4 made their eventual egress.

So, I took several days off of homeschooling and just had my kids play in the background and I ignored them and I plowed through a LOT of my book. I decided I was going to attack the low-hanging fruit first and then start on the harder parts of rewriting certain pieces as well creating new pieces out of whole cloth.

I was on a good clip and got about 90% of what I need done. Now, of course, I have ground to a halt.

Why? Because who likes to do hard or tedious things? (Although, to be fair, I did tackle a few harder pieces already. Only 2-3 are left.)

So, I’ve done most of the work and now, true to form, I have slacked off. I started reading books. I rested. I watched movies (which if you know me at all, is rare and few and far between).

I even (looks around) homeschooled my children.

Truly, procrastination is in full swing.

I have lots of good reasons to stop and take a break. And I don’t even necessarily think stopping for a break has been a bad thing.

But I do know myself. If I allow this break to stretch even longer, I will never get this perfectly doable book done and I will be TERRIBLY disappointed.

In fact, I really didn’t want to mention anything publicly about compiling this ebook because of my fear of failure. Who wants to announce working on something that I might punk out in the end? Who wants that in people’s working memory?

Truthfully, nothing bad will happen if I don’t finish the ebook. It is not monumental in terms of the world, my life, or my relationship with people.

However, I really want this to happen.

So, here we go.

I’m going to make this happen, friends.

Even if I’m distracted by pretty, gritty, stubbly mens on the internetz. Or fat baby pics. Or life.

I’m getting this done by Induction Wednesday.

Alright. Short post today. It’s rare so enjoy this unicorn for what it is. Happy Wednesday!