Monday, September 3, 2012

Scattered but strong

Wow, I can't believe it's been a month since I've written — and it has been a strange kind of month around here. I didn't mean to go on a blogging hiatus, and in fact, I wish I had been writing. That would mean I wouldn't have been living in this brain fog that's been my companion the past few weeks.

Nothing too life-altering has happened; I am simply feeling scattered and spread in too many directions. It's a natural product of my being a bipolar Gemini — always shifting moods, always catching onto big ideas — and sadly, I get to this place all too often. But at least now, as opposed to in my younger years, I hunker down and try to make sense of my world instead of running away from the madness.

One of the things I've been putting a lot of focus on lately is my latest professional endeavor. I've never mentioned this officially here, but those of you who know me in real life know I have a "Pinterest Test Kitchen" column on, which recently made the jump to TV. So now in addition to writing weekly, I am featured every Thursday at 12:45 on KSL-TV News at Noon. When this opportunity finally came to fruition I felt like I had won the lottery. How awesome that I not only get to keep writing for a living, but I get to be inspired by and play around on Pinterest — legitimately! — and get paid for it?

Here are a few of my columns and TV appearances:

DIY dishwasher detergent recipes put to the test

Popular Pinterest recipes for easy, healthy, make-at-home snacks

Pinterest goes camping: Do-it-yourself ways to keep the bugs at bay

Anyway, I am so lucky to have this opportunity, but lately I've been getting really stressed about it. I have a grand vision and I have high hopes for this segment — not to mention the incredibly high standards I've always held myself to. Despite the success of the column, I'm still struggling to get my vision to translate to TV. This has led to an ongoing internal struggle, with me wondering daily if I need to try something else, or just suck it up and work harder, or if my energies would be better spent elsewhere and I'm just wasting my time. I can't figure out the answer to that one, so I am pressing on, ever pushing toward that mythical vision of success.

In the end, it doesn't matter what project I'm stressing over. This is what I do. My sister and husband continually chide me about this, because it's becoming a set-in-stone pattern: I start a new project and am completely gung-ho, proclaiming it the coolest thing EVER. A few months go by and my energy naturally wanes. Then, one hangup or another slows my progress, and I find myself in a cycle of self-doubt and frustration that takes another few months to power through. Then, I either find a way to work it out and circumvent the problem, coming out even strong than before — or I deem the effort a doomed failure and move on to find a new project.

And thus the cycle begins again.

It must be exhausting to live with me. If it's any fraction of what it's like to BE me, then yes, I can say with 100 percent certainty that it IS exhausting to live with me. And yet, I like to think my loved ones wouldn't have me any other way. OK, I may be totally making that up. It may be the thing that pushes my husband to his last straw one day, or the habit that drives me into eventual ruin. Or maybe the truth is this: that underneath the crazy-making self-doubt and frustration are the enthusiasm, drive, determination, and bold confidence that push me to succeed. Because yes, success (of varying degrees) is always a phase in that cycle, every time.

I didn't sit down to write anything in particular tonight; I mostly wanted to just push myself out of a writing rut. But as is so frequently the case, when I let myself follow where my writing leads I always find something redeemable about myself or my situation. I see a bigger picture and I see a moral to the story. Today, the bigger picture is that I am blessed with some pretty unique and exciting opportunities in life, and despite what roadblocks I come across, this is the bare-bones truth: I am at the heart of every failure and every success. It all depends on where I choose to stop in the cycle.

So, my message to you, friends: Don't give up. Take a step or two back if you have to, re-assess, and take a hard look at your life, but don't throw everything away in a time of worry and sadness. Don't believe your self-doubt; only believe the enthusiasm that pulls you toward all the good things in your life. It is what will take you to where your heart truly lies and where your success will take shape.

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