Friday, February 12, 2016

Sex and the single girl (#TheONLYSecretToSuccess)

The ONLY Secret to Success
By Erika Abdelatif for love, -j.

Look. I know it’s February. 

I’ve seen the candy hearts. I’ve been harassed by 1-800-FLOWERS commercials. I’ve read all of the click-bait articles promising the secrets to a powerhouse relationship. (Trust me. I’m not kidding when I say all of them.) I fully plan to sneak tiny bottles of Chardonnay into a screening of How to Be Single, even if I have to go alone. Valentine’s Day is my porn, and I’m reveling in all of it.

But I won’t succumb to writing an article about singleness. No. Not this year. I won’t do it.

Instead, I want to talk about success. Because, even when climate change kills off all the people and relationships are a thing of the past, you’ll still have dreams. You’ll still be wondering how to achieve them.

You’ll still be wondering if you’re good enough. You’re still be wondering if you can create anything worthwhile. You’ll still be wondering if it’s time to throw in the towel. And, if the climate change scenario becomes reality, you’ll have to be your own cheerleader.

So, remember this: Nobody knows what they f*** they’re doing. No one.

I don’t know if any single thought is quite so terrifying and empowering.

Pretty regularly, when I sit down to scrape through conquer a new project, I waste a lot of time trash talking myself. My internal dialogue sounds something like this:

Why bother? No one is going to care!
I can’t do this. I don’t know how. Everyone will know I’m full of sh*t.
I should probably read ten billion articles and get a Masters degree in this subject first.
Wow, pizza sounds good right now. This project is fleeting, but pizza is eternal. I should make some.

(Who am I kidding? I’ve never made a pizza! It’s Domino’s delivery EVERY. TIME.)

I know I’m not alone in this. I recently workshopped a friend’s article. When I finished, she looked flush and discouraged. I wasn’t trying to discourage her. I was trying to pitch notes to strengthen it. But, when I asked what was wrong, she responded: I just don’t know how to do that.

Well, no kidding! If any of us knew how to do a thing right the first time, we’d have already done it. We’re all learning. Unfortunately, part of learning is the sticky, scary experience of trying.

You have to try something before you know how to do something. I’m sorry to say, there are no shortcuts. It’s all just trying, and digging, and sweating.

But that’s actually good news, even if it’s scary. It’s good news because it means you really can do anything. You just have to start.

What are you waiting for? Domino’s will come to you while you’re hard at work.

Illustration via Cliparts.