I wanted this mission to feel like a Beyonce video - bold, beautiful and far too bootilicious but actually I've ended the week feeling rather weary. I think because it's cold and serotonin snatchingly dark and also because I have a toddler that is somehow appropriating Red Bulls and chugging them when I'm not looking and also because this mission seemed small but it was really kinda heavy.
The mission was to set an intention and make it public, an easy one to ease into the year but actually there was a reason why I hadn't really done it before and it was not because it was too easy. Somewhere along the way I had received the memo that telling people what you want was a baaaaad idea. As if making your desires public somehow robs them of their power. Throughout the week I felt real and readily accessible anxiety about the process.
The only reason I think this could have been is the fear of others seeing me fail, not just seeing me fail because, welcome to my life, but seeing me fail at something I've said I really, really wanted. I don't know what I imagine will happen, perhaps this conversation at the scene of my deathbed...
Great Grandchild 1: It's so sad Granny C has gone. She was so sweet.
Great Grandchild 2: (She becomes a doctor) And kind.
GGC 1: And funny! Remember that song she used to sing?
GGC 2: Oh, yeah! How did it go..I can't take this?
GGC 1: (Tears silently rolling down her face) You can't touch this.
Both together: (Mournfully) Na, na na na, na na, na na, can't touch this.
GGC 2: But didn't she say she was going to write a book?
GGC1: Yeah! I think Dad said she wrote a blog post about it in like 2019 or something.
GGC 2: What's a blog?
GGC 1: Oh I don't know but it's not a book and the point is she totally said she was going to do something and she like totally didn't.
GGC 2: That's megatron crap. I don't think I even love her anymore.
GGC 1: I know right.
An intention, failed or realised, is not and will not be the sum of who I am and spending time thinking about it and having some helpful chats about it has helped me to see something very important - people don't really care that much about your goals. As long as you're healthy and reasonably happy they tend to care more about what you can do for them than what you're doing for yourself and with that knowledge comes a lot of freedom.
You'll notice earlier I mentioned the B word - yes book. You see for the longest time I thought I wanted to write a book. In fact I sent a book to a publisher aged ten and I'm still grateful that they wasted their paper and postage rejecting me. I wrote another book in my twenties which has since been shredded and was read by only one other person who has been sworn to pinky swear secrecy about its contents.
Other than those two novels my authorly ambitions amounted to taking courses, reading about other peoples successes, writing first chapters and daydreaming about book launches. And then my husband wrote a book. An excellent book (available in all good bookshops). And it was if my soul truly believed that there could be a limited number of authors in the world and our family had had our quota. I let all my ambition drain away with my next lot of dirty bath water and forgot about it, until this week when my friend Hannah asked me, 'Why did you start your blog?'
In that moment I realised that whilst on paper I had started in order to share my experiences, deep down I had started because I want to write. I don't even think I want to write a book, perhaps a book was just my clumsy representation of what being a writer is all about. In fact in writing this blog I have realised that what I love is communicating in all it's glorious forms - in 140 pages or 140 characters.
Therefore my intention, my public intention, is to make a living from communicating with people. I'm not attached to the method by which I do this. Whilst I realise could do it in a very noble, very private way, I would like to do it on as grand a scale as I can because I want to communicate with as many people as possible. I want to talk to all of the people, all of time!
I'm going to honour that intention by writing every day this year even if it's only a sentence. I'm going to set a schedule for writing on this blog and stick to it as closely as I can. And when I write, I'm going to own my truth and write like no one's reading, but I very much hope you will.
What is your intention for 2016 and beyond?
Did you join in with the mission this week? Sign up for email updates to find out the next mission a week in advance.