My kids went easy on me this week. Well, it’s Monday, so I guess I should say last week. Aside from the typical toddler tantrum here and there, it was a relatively “easy” week in the world of mom-dom. I’m still working on my book – trying to find an agent and spent a couple of days focusing on that so I could spend the rest of the week catching up on house work and getting the kids out to play. Just the average, everyday things that we all do, whether we stay home or not, juggling “work” with family and all that entails.
But, as I’ve mentioned before, reaching out to agents is probably the thing that gives me the MOST anxiety. Each one has their own special requirements for submitting your query. One wants just a short cover letter and the first 20 pages of your manuscript. Another will want a full synopsis, 50 pages of your manuscript and a more detailed cover letter… so it takes time and focus to get it just right before you hit that send button. Because, once you click it, it’s done. You’re putting all of your faith in yourself at that point. Faith that at least ONE of those agents will like what you have. Faith that you didn’t type their name wrong, even though you triple checked. And you have to hurry it up because the kids will wake up soon!
Particularly stressful few days!
It’s emotional for anyone who is putting themselves out there in hopes that they aren’t torn apart by a complete stranger. Or worse, ignored altogether. It’s not a black and white industry. I can’t turn in a report with a bunch of facts to a boss and know it’s good to go. This is all me and I just have to cross my fingers that what I have to say, translates to what people want to hear. It’s a different monster and one that I’m constantly trying to learn how to tame. That’s why I cook and exercise a lot, it helps me relieve my tensions and it’s something I KNOW how to do, so it helps me to not overthink things too much… because I’m also SUPER good at that!
One thing I’ve noticed, not just in this process, but in every aspect of life, men and women handle stress differently. And more so, we are treated differently when under stress. Depending on the level of stress and whether there is an end game in sight, determines how each will react. We all pretty much act the same – however it’s the reaction from others that is interesting to me.
If a man is juggling a lot at work, trying to meet deadlines, trying to impress a boss, climbing the ladder of sorts – they are held high in the eyes of their peers. Cheered for and encouraged. Respected. They can sometimes be called names, “Dick. Jerk. Hardass.” But women… we are a different story. If we act the same way. If we handle the same amount of stress and have moments where we appear frazzled, overwhelmed, snippy… it’s “Oh she’s just a bitch.” “Someone is too emotional, must be on her period.” and my FAVORITE – “She’s crazy!”
Yes. All women who are having a rough day, week, month… we’re all crazy. We must be on our periods. Do we need to take time off?
I mean, come on.
Have you ever heard someone feel that way about their male counterpart? Has anyone ever questioned their mental state and told them to basically take a “time out” because they’re stressed out? Newsflash…stress is normal. Stress, in my opinion, comes when you are actually invested and passionate about something… or else it wouldn’t matter. Women are sensitive and emotional creatures. And, I for one, have a pretty thick skin. I’m also intensely sensitive, which wouldn’t seem to make sense, but it does to me. I notice, the more a woman voices her stresses anxieties, the more others want to say, “Oh she’s off her rocker.” When no… it’s called being honest. Open. Getting it out so we can suck it up and move on. Venting is healthy, and a lot of the time, just talking about whatever it is that’s getting under your skin, can help to relax you and the situation doesn’t seem as heavy as moments before.
Nobody’s “state of mind” should be questioned when they’re pursuing something difficult and have moments where they feel like pulling their hair out. What needs to happen in those moments, what we need to do for our friends, family, WHOEVER, is to be supportive and encouraging.
You’re doing great!
Don’t be so hard on yourself.
This is what you love, just take a minute to refocus, and get back at it!
Words of encouragement go a lot further for someone, especially women, than implying they’re in a dark place or unable to handle whatever they’re working on. It’s admirable to watch someone working hard to improve themselves. It’s a constant game of balance. Figuring out how to squeeze in all that you need and want to do, and do it well. Having support from the ones you care about most can be the difference between feeling like you can get it done and feeling like you are sucking at life. Whether we like to admit it or not, we all need those words of affirmation from others. We need to know that we aren’t alone in our attempts to reach whatever goal it is we have set for ourselves.
We all have stress. We also all have some need to prove our stress is greater than someone else’s… probably because we are looking for some kind of validation. And would it kill us to offer it? To take a minute to tell someone we know is working on something, “Hey…you’re pretty awesome!”?
No, it wouldn’t.
The only people who are crazy, are the ones who sit on talent and do nothing about it. Crazy is not busting your ass to fulfill all of the goals you’ve set for yourself. Fill up that bucket list and check that shit off! And if you hit a rut – if you have a few days where you feel like you don’t even know why you even started your journey, take a minute. Drink a beer. Glass of wine. Go for a run, read a good book, and get right back on the horse, because you’re RIGHT there! You’re SO close to whatever it is you’re working for. That’s the reason you’re having all that anxiety – you, deep down, know that you’re inching closer and closer to the finish line and it’s a lot to process.
But you CAN do it!
You’re already doing it!
And you’re not crazy.