Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Create Yourself

Today's guest post comes from a wonderful lady, Lynette M. Burrows.

Create Yourself_html tags

Are you searching for yourself? Is your life missing something? Does it seem as if for every little thing you want there is a can't?

You want a vacation to Florida, but can't afford it. You hate your job, but can't quit because you have a mortgage to pay. You dreamed of being a dancer but can't because you are too short. You want to travel the world, but can't because you are afraid to fly.

You watch or read enviously about someone who has 'made it.' They achieved their dream. Why them and not you? You feel like a Martian. Someone who doesn't fit in the hole that's become your life.

It's not that you don't love your family. Maybe you even like your job. But you always wanted to try horseback riding or being a race car driver.

You have lots of reasons why you can’t do something. Maybe you had a bad childhood. Perhaps you married too soon, you need a new car, you aren't smart enough, you are afraid of hurting yourself. There are always plenty of can'ts and shoulds in life. Just as there are plenty of bad things you can blame.

When you are trying so hard to survive you can get so focused on trying to figure out how the world works, so focused on how you fit in the world, that you lose your focus on what you want. You ignore what you need. If you ignore it long enough you forget it was what you wanted, or you get frustrated and throw everything away so you can start over. Only to find yourself in the same old rut, the same hole dug by can't.

You don't have to throw away everything you've achieved in your life. The reality is that you will not be able to wave the wand of decision and be a brain surgeon tomorrow, but you can take the first step.

George Bernard Shaw said, "Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself." In otherwords, you create your opportunities. You take responsibility for making choices that carry you forward, toward your goal. How do you do that? Take a step back and a step sideways.

Ask yourself what would happen if I quit my job tomorrow? What would it take for me to move to Europe? What would happen if I took a race car driving course?

Do not allow yourself a single,"I can't" or "I should" in this conversation with yourself. Make it happen. In this conversation, nothing is impossible. If I quit my job tomorrow I'd have to figure out where to live. I'd have to give up my daily latte at my favorite coffee shop. I could take a ship instead of a plane. Write down the posibilities. If some of the steps seem too big, too much, too abrupt, break it down into smaller steps.

Now you have a list of things you CAN do. And you have a choice. So reality says you won't be a prima ballerina or a world champion race car driver. Reality doesn't mean you can't or shouldn't try. Take lessons. Sing in the shower. Sing for friends and family. Go to the speedway, drive a race car. You _can_ quit that dreadful job because there are alterantives you can pursue. But only you can create the person you want to be. Make it happen.

Remember Shel Silverstein's poem

A l l T h e W o u l d a - C o u l d a - S h o u l d a s
L a y i n' I n T h e S u n ,
T a l k i n ' 'B o u t T h e T h i n g s
T h e y W o u l d a - C o u l d a - S h o u l d a D o n e . . .
B u t A l l T h o s e W o u l d a - C o u l d a - S h o u l d a s
A l l R a n A w a y A n d H i d
F r o m O n e L i t t l e D i d .
F r o m O n e L i t t l e D i d .

Create yourself. Just pick a direction. Take a step back and step sideways. And please, share with us the steps you have taken or will taken in creating the new you.

right-wrong image by Stuart at freedigitalphotos.net
street signs by Stoon at freedigital photos.net

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About Lynette: 

I was born in Detroit to teen-aged parents.  My father, with only a high-school diploma, constantly sought better pay or a promotion at the next job, in the next city, the next state.  As a result, we moved seventeen times before I graduated from high school.  Friendships with next door playmates never lasted beyond the next move.

Nancy Drew, Laura Ingles, Meg Murray, Mrs. Who, and Mrs. What, an countless others became my best friends.  I haunted libraries searching for more.  Story characters and worlds were as real to me as the ground beneath my feet: they taught me, comforted me, and sparked a desire for adventure.  That's how I became something of a Ms. Walter Mitty - dreaming of action, suspense, heroes, and heroines.

Searching for who I was, I took ballet, piano lessons, and sang in the choir.  I wrote in my diary, played adventure games in the backyard, and joined drama club.  I worked at burger joints, pizza joints, and retail stores.  Inspired by books like Cherry Ames, Student Nurse I became a nurse, learned to create stained glass windows, and adopted a cat.

I learned that Cherry Ames' work day and real life were in no way close to the same thing.  I married the wrong guy, had a baby, and learned that adventures in parenting can be harrowing and wonderful.  Attending my first science fiction convention, I finally discovered that I was a writer, that writing completed me somehow.  

I met and married the right guy.  He encouraged me to live the life of Ms. Walter Mitty, to follow my dream, to be a writer.  I love exploring and learning about the creative process.  I've struggled with and come to detente with the dark side that haunts every creative person.  I write about strange and wonderful story worlds populated with villains you love to hate, and heroes big and small.   

Through my novels, my blog, and my website, www.lynettemburrows.com, I hope to encourage you to explore, discover, and follow your dream, whatever it may be.  Find your joy.

Be the hero of your own story.


  1. Some really good points here! One way to think about the ol' "I can't" is to ask is it really more like "I don't want to?" For example, in the job-quitting scenario above, maybe the real answer is "because I don't want to move." That's not a bad thing, just a different way of looking at it, and maybe one that can help us see what we *can* do. I can keep my job that pays the bills (and that I like) while writing evenings and weekends. Sure, my books don't get out there quite as quickly, but not having to worry about money is a huge benefit to me. Thanks for the inspiration!

  2. "Should" is the biggest obstacle for me. There are all these things that I "should" do or "should" be, but I forget that just because someone else says that I "should", it doesn't mean it's right for me. I'm working very hard to try to create the person I want to be, for me and me alone. Thank you so much for stopping by, Lynette. Wonderful post!

  3. You are absolutely correct, Jennette. We often use can't and should instead of I don't want to. But sometimes, remembering that it's a choice helps me figure out whether I want to do something or not.

  4. Samantha, 'should' is a big one for me, too. But I definitely get into a 'I can't' cycle periodically. And this kind of 'I can' conversation with myself almost always helps me find my way again. And, thank you, Samantha, for having me.

  5. Oh, I just love this. I've had to re-invent myself more than once. It truly can be done, but it is a bit scary.

  6. How did I miss this? What an awesome post Lynette! And what a gracious host Samantha! I love the positive vibe. And the part, "Don't allow yourself to say can't". That we need to move forward. I needed this post today! Thank you both! :)


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