Whispers & Screams

Whispers & Screams

Dear Friends,

To those of you who've sent me messages and reactions to the last post, thank you! I really appreciate hearing from you. This break has been a little longer than I expected but you never left my thoughts. Hope you'll be able to join us for the Hang this coming Wed if you're free for a catch up!

Warning: explicit language below

This first quote struck me with the force of a slap. Indeed, the many whispers I'd ignored had forced themselves into a gale of screams. We all do it... We jump to support friends and family, to help a colleague or client. And so often - especially in this pandemic time - our own needs are put on hold. We ignore the whispers that come as niggling thoughts, aches and pains or mailed notices.

And then the scream arrives and we're left with no choice but to deal with the harsh reality of our inadequate attention.

I've been dealing with a number of wailing fiends: financing for the purchase of the new home, fix-up of the old home for its sale, my own health. A hundred small details I didn't pay attention to charged at me... a broken window crank, the sticky door, the locked out CRA account...

I didn't need to beat myself up because others were so quick to pass judgment with snide remarks ("How can you not find your March 2018 statement? Don't you know where your documents are?" "How hard is it to change a pane of broken glass?") Have you ever noticed how ready people are to offer advice on what you should have done, on choices made in the past?! Yikes! I got to hear unveiled criticism about my career shift to working with artists - "I told you so" said with just a hint of glee. I won't hide that it hit me hard to realize that so many people have been waiting for me to fail. For the past five years, they've been judging me on the sidelines, shaking their heads at my mid-age attempt to reinvent a career that suits me. Their jeers resonated more loudly than the screams of my neglected tasks!

I almost gave up. I lost all desire to try because I felt I couldn't win. The French have good expressions: "C'est perdu d'avance" (You've failed even before starting, there's no way it can work); "Envie d'avoir envie" (I want to want/get excited/desire/feel motivated). It was bleak.

And then I flipped the "fuck it" switch...

There's no other way to describe it. Fuck it, fuck them, fuck the anti-vaxxers, fuck RBC, fuck the fake friends. Fuck being polite. Fuck expectations. Fuck feeling fucked over and fuck feeling like "fuck" is the only word I know!!!

I stopped letting others tell me how I was doing, and came back to what I know:

1. So what? I fucked up on some things. I've also done some pretty awesome things. I have nothing to be ashamed of. And if helping others is the what contributed to my downfall, I can live with that. I'm going to put myself first but I won't stop giving.
2. Because, my worst case is still better than most people's best case... I needed the perspective to realize that while I might be broke, I'm not poor by any means. I have everything I need, and more. I am blessed.
3. There is a tutorial on just about everything on youtube. Including how to fix window cranks and find parts for $29 instead of paying for a $150 repair or replacing a $300 window. I also have a vast network of handy folk around me. I can do it.
4. Every "impossible task" can be broken down into 5 minute chunks. Those chunks add up.
5. People who truly care show up in many different ways. They mean everything to me.
6. I am fundamentally a joyful person. I like to laugh. I'm tired of being angry, worried and sad. And so I'm going to be happy. My choices are now driven about whether something brings me energy or takes it from me. It's becoming easier to fill my time and space with joy...

Breaking Forth

This second quote summarizes the most valuable lesson of this period: there is no path to follow. You've just got to walk it.

I want to work with artists because you are changing the world one song at a time. I believe in your power and worth. If anything, I feel even more engaged than before now that I've seen how much adversity there is... I'm not sure how we'll move forward, but we can walk that path together and see where it leads. I've missed our Hangs and cannot wait to see you again!

Why share this (too much?) info with you? What can you take from it?

My main intent is to encourage you to listen to those whispers!
(The scream is painful.)
The whispers are there to save you. My sister tells me that these whispers are sent to us by our angels. I'm not sure about that, but I like the image.
And if you do reach a point where a gale's descended, don't lose faith!
Those challenges let us uncover our strengths and they help us lay out the boundaries we need to be happy and healthy moving forward.
We've got to make our own path by walking it. But we don't have to walk the path alone.

xo Nat



Nathalie Kleinschmit

Article by Nathalie Kleinschmit

Published 10 Aug 2021