“You can always change, but you can’t edit a blank page.”
These were the words I wrote in my journal today. “Create. Do it. Start today.”
Sometimes we need to start before we feel ready. Whether we’re talking about starting a job, taking on a new project, committing to a longterm relationship, or writing a paper, we don’t always feel ready before we begin.
As we meet here, a part of me feels like I need to write great pitches, give endless advice, and show up perfectly at all times. That’s not who I am in my life. That’s not who I want to be in my business. I wear my heart on my sleeve, I have a terrible sense of humor, I curse to make a point, and I believe that we can only heal as deeply as we trust. I feel like you’ll get the most out of this exchange if I’m fully honest with you too, so that’s what I want to do. Let’s get real.
When I was in middle school, I built my first website. I had no idea how to code (in that respect nothing has changed), so I make a bunch of features that I had to control by hand. My classmates had profiles on the website where they could do quizzes and earn points to buy new backgrounds or music videos to make their profiles look nice. It was fun for a while, but it was challenging, and I never made it beyond the basics.
Fast forwarding to a good decade later (at the time of writing I am a few weeks away from my 23rd birthday), I am building my first REAL website. I love my work, and I want to be able to reach people in a different way, but I still have no idea what the fuck I’m doing, and it’s scary. I want this to be right. I want to share tools and techniques of value that will help people like you and me feel better in their daily lives. I have been working on this project for years, and I know that it works, but I still don’t quite know where to start.
Which brings me back to the beginning:
I am planning my day in my Moonsight calendar (my latest planner obsession), answering the question: “What messages does your intuition have for you today?” I love this question. It forces me to get still and listen for a minute.
“You can’t edit a blank page.”* Such a cliche. I almost don’t write it down, but I take a deep breath and I feel that it’s right. Another breath, and I begin. Here I am, writing to you. I start before I am ready, and while I am typing, I notice that my hands seem to know what to do. I take a break and read my own words. This feels right. This is exactly what I want to say.
I still worry. Is it a mistake to make this personal? You’re here to learn about you, not me. But then I remember: we are all so very human. I am not unique in my struggles and my insecurities. We learn through stories. It helps us make sense of the world. We learn from the lives of others, because – above all else – we have so much in common. So, I keep writing.
When perfectionism, fear of failure, or not-quite-ready-ness stops me from taking action, I take a breath, and I tell myself: It’s okay, you can always take a different road later. You have no obligation to keep everything the same. Life is dynamic, and so are you. You have permission to change your mind.
You have permission to change your mind.
The next time you get stuck in Paradox Paradise (“I can’t start because I’m not ready, but I won’t be ready until I start, so let’s hang out in an endless loop of ‘not doing it’, which feels safe but boring as hell“), remember this.
Just begin. Make a mess. Do it badly. Try something crazy, and don’t be afraid to keep it. Try something crazy and throw it away. Start again. But start, because you have to start somewhere, and you’ll be ready soon enough. I believe in you. You’ve got this.
*I’d seen this quote many times before, but never with a source. To give credit where credit is due: this quote comes from a writer named Jodi Picoult.