I Am a Coward

Let’s be honest: I BS my way through this blog a lot.

Not that BSing things is bad, per say, because that’s also how I got through high school and most of my freshman year of college (with the exception of Spanish class), and that obviously worked out all right–but I feel like it’s probably pretty obvious when I’ve only spent five minutes on a post, or a half hour on a Wordy Wednesday piece, versus when I actually care about what I’m saying.

And here’s the dumb truth of it all: I am lazy. I am an extremely lazy human being, except when it comes to the very few things that I actually care quite a bit about, primarily being my novel writing and using an obscene number of adjectives and other noun modifiers (because seriously, I don’t know what’s with me and modifiers).

But here’s another truth that has finally been coming into focus for me lately: My laziness is just an excuse.

If you don’t know, I use laziness as an excuse for everything. Why I don’t party, why I don’t get a job, why I only took twelve credit hours this past semester. If it can be attributed to laziness, I will attribute it to laziness, no matter the actual reasoning behind my decisions.

And how stupid is that? It’s like I’m so scared of actually backing my decisions, because people might judge me for them, that I just blame it all on how lazy I am instead. And you know what? I was not actually a lazy person until recently. But because I kept blaming things on being lazy, it just slowly seeped in; my deciding to watch Youtube videos instead of working one day, or choosing to hide behind my fear of rejection instead of sending out a query letter, or spending five minutes on a blog post instead of the couple of hours it would take to put in my best effort.

What started out as me just avoiding giving the details behind my choices has turned into me deciding not to make any choices at all. Instead, I just sit here and grouch about the black hole I have forced my life into being.

Recently, all separately of one another, my friends and family started complaining about how I’ve been complaining too much lately. I usually don’t think of myself as being easily fazed, but the past couple of months it’s felt like absolutely every little thing has been a cannon ball crashing through my life, and I’ve turned to ranting to anyone who will listen to me about my “problems”–how I haven’t been asked out in almost a year, how no matter what I do I will never be as good at theatre or singing as I want to be, how other people are naturally gifted with beauty or humor or sweetness while I just sort of wallow in my pile of ordinariness on the sidelines.

Apparently, at the age of nineteen, I have turned into a bitter and jaded moron.

It kills me when people tell me to put a sock in it, that I’m being annoying, that I don’t know how good I have it–not because I’m mad at them, but because I’m mad at myself, for letting it get to the point where someone feels the need to remind me that life doesn’t revolve around Planet Julia.

You know what? Life is hard. Writing is hard, querying is hard, growing up and letting go is hard. All these things that I have been complaining about are true. But what’s also true is that if they weren’t hard, they wouldn’t be worth doing. And as difficult as it is sometimes to look at how much I’m struggling and then see how much easier other people have had it, I’m learning that it’s important to remember that every story is different; just because one of my favorite recent authors, Kat Zhang, got a great agent and a book deal off her second novel, which she began writing her senior year of high school, doesn’t mean that she had it easier than I have, or that I’ve failed just because I have now finished my freshman year of college and I’m querying my fifth novel, still unagented and sans book deal.

All my life I’ve gone about complaining about how I’m not smart enough, not pretty enough, not funny enough, not sweet enough, not talented enough–but you know what? I am sick of complaining.

And I am sick of blaming the decisions I should be proud of on laziness. Like just because someone else might think that I’m an idiot for taking only twelve credit hours in order to make time for writing and putting extra effort into Spanish class doesn’t mean that I should feel that way about it also.

So what if I’m not the prettiest, funniest, or most talented person in the room. So what if my opinion isn’t the popular one, or others don’t agree with how I spend my time. It’s my life, and I am sick. and. tired. of acting like it’s a burden instead of the incredible gift that it is.

I am a coward. I’ve been hiding behind the bad stuff for too long, and I want to embrace what I do have, finally, instead of focusing on the things that I don’t.

So, this is me attempting to be a better person. No more BSing the blog, or focusing on how I don’t have as many views, or followers, or comments as someone else. No more lying around on my bed with the lights off in the middle of the afternoon, just because I’m too scared of failure to go out and take action.

I don’t have to be the best to be good enough. And I am good enough–at something. We all are. What else would we be doing here. You know?

My best is good enough. No more BS. I’m going to carpe that diem and not let go until I achieve what I have been working towards, now, for years.

One of my novels will be published someday. Maybe it’s Cadence, maybe it’s not. And while I certainly hope that it’s Cadence, if it’s not… well… there are always more novels where that one came from.

It’s time for me to stop being “lazy,” and be brave instead.

So, all my readers: Thank you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I love talking to you and getting to know you and knowing that, somewhere out there, there is somebody who I don’t directly know in my life who is willing to put in the time to read my blog. And thank you to all the people who I do directly know in my life who also read this, because your never-ending support means SO much to me, as well. So much.

The new chapter of This Is a Book will be up soon. Thanks for sitting through my rant. I am so grateful to have you in my life, whether this is your first time visiting my blog or your hundredth.

 

 

~Julia

PS. Today is my brother’s 22nd birthday. Can I get a whoot whoot? 😀

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13 thoughts on “I Am a Coward

  1. I just read that entire post as an apology to me for NOT REPLYING TO MY EMAIL YET (measle) and instead have left me to wallow in my own pool of self-pity that is Great Expectations, presentations, projects, and physics.

    On a sidenote, I don’t think I’ve ever responded in a serious manner to any of your blog posts, regardless of how serious they are. *awkward turtle*

    But awkward turtles are cute, so you should forgive me for being a jerk incapable of taking anything seriously. Ever. 😛

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  2. Wow, sounds like you’ve been doing some soul searching. I’m glad to hear your new resolve and new take on life. You are a very talented, gifted, beautiful person! 🙂

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  3. Julia, firstly I’d like to say that you are VERY pretty and talented (not even adults can finish novels sometimes! And singing? Heck, you can write song lyrics!!) 😀 Secondly, this post is awesome because I can tell that it’s so honest and I really saw little pieces of myself, too, because I’ve basically just BSed my way through junior year and procrastinated like none other. But while I procrastinated on school stuffs, I wrote, and while I can’t say that it made me less stressed, it was still something productive to lay the blame on. I KNOW you are an amazing writer and that I’m going to see your books in B&N some day and. You have validation that you work is GOOD, whether from contests or query crits. So keep on querying! You are awesome and an effortlessly nice person and if there is anyone who deserves recognition for her talent, it’s you 😀

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  4. That was a legit post. =) Respect to you my friend. And I think we’ve all had this kind of feeling before, so you’re not totally alone.

    On the subject of cowardice, I spent the first 18 years of my life afraid, and it’s been a relief, in this year, to finally learn how to not be afraid. I still am afraid, sometimes, but it’s not half as bad as it used to be. I don’t think I’m a coward, exactly, but I’ve never been brave either. Now I’m starting to see how brave I can be.

    Love and courage to you!

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    • Back at’cha, Kira! While maybe you’ve been afraid in the past, I think you’ve definitely always been strong. It’s been good to hear how things are getting better for you.

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