Ursula is back and she's in rare form.
Ursula is my alter ego... and she is a bitch. She is the voice in my head that says things like: "I told you so" and "Don't be an idiot." I named her Ursula after the sea witch in Disney's The Little Mermaid. In the movie, Ursula steals Ariel's voice. When I am feeling stuck, Ursula steals my voice (confidence) too. Ironically, I don't picture the sea witch when I think about Ursula. Ursula looks more like Edna Mode (the costume designer) from The Incredibles. (Edna was the one who says to Mr. Incredible: "My God you've gotten fat" without batting an eyelash.)
Ursula showed up today because I needed to write a summary for this blog. It's a simple question: "What's your blog about?"
Why does that one question completely stop me in my tracks every time? Why can't I just say it in one or two sentences? Why is this so hard and creating so much doubt? It goes back to the "peanut gallery" commentary that I got back when I shared the "book" with family and friends.
"Who is going to read this?"
"What is it about?"
"Why would anyone care?"
"What are you trying to say?"
"What is the point of the story?"
Oh shit. I don't know. So now as I try and summarize it, I am completely blocked with Ursula saying, "You're an idiot." I am going to try to figure this out by just writing my way out of it:
I mean really.
I am so tired of you showing up and telling me why I CAN'T do something.
(Remember in elementary school when someone asked you a question and your answer was simply: "Because.")
Because I wrote these emails, that became a journal, that became a book, that became a blog. Because I am going to launch this blog and I might not have a good answer as to what it is about OR why someone should read it.
In fact, there is a hell of a good chance that NO one will read it OR like it.
But at least I wrote it and it was fun.
I used to mock corporate retreats where they would bring in coaches (meeting facilitators) to lock us in a hotel conference room for days at a time to come up with our mission statement for the year. Or re-brand our network. Now I get it. Now I understand the import of a logo. A tagline. A mission statement. The elevator pitch if you will. How did I spend 30 years in corporate America and miss how crucial this actually is? Here I am trying to figure out a summary for one project. A project that I wrote. I created. I envisioned… and I can’t even sum it up to one line. Kind of crazy.
The irony is that I could actually change the tagline/blogline every single day if I don’t like it. But somehow it continues to be this personal goal to get it right before the launch. To make sure that it speaks to me. Represents me. Amuses me and clarifies the endless question: “What’s your blog about?”
It is definitely about life. Definitely about reinvention. A second act. Definitely about Mondays. Definitely about neurosis… and writing.
I wrote this journal because I was stressed and I was trying to find answers.
I wrote this journal because I wanted to learn how to write.
I wrote this journal because I spent my whole life juggling work/life balance and I had none. I wanted to start a new career (work) that had balance (life). I thought if I started writing maybe something would manifest.
I wrote this journal because I knew that I couldn't be the only woman on the planet who was trying to figure out her second chapter in life.
I wrote this journal because I was tired of feeling stressed all the time and I thought maybe I would find answers in writing.
I wrote this journal because I needed to find the humor and irony in my privileged life that didn't feel so privileged.
I wrote this journal because I was tired of reading self-help books that weren't helping. So I decided to help myself by writing.
I wrote this journal because I was in transition and I thought it would help me stay sane.
I wrote this journal because I thought maybe I could get rid of Ursula once and for all.
So f*ck you Ursula (or Edna) or whomever that naysayer is that lives inside all of us.