We all fuck up.
We all have that moment where we realize we’ve made a grave mistake, and sometimes we might think, “Huh, this was definitely a foreshadowed moment in my life.”
I recall thinking – early in my project – missing a couple days wouldn’t be the end of the world. As I mentioned in the last post, DO NOT LISTEN TO THAT MORON. That little voice telling you to relax? NO. They lie profusely, because all they want are chocolates and mindless hours of YouTube.
How do I know? I’m glad you asked.
Texas is the dumbest state in the country – and we have stiff competition with Florida in the running.
Snow effectively spanked us. There were a lot of tragedies, but I won’t go into it.
In my small town, people lost their minds.
While the roads were dangerous, I was in a lucky (or, unlucky, depending on how you wanna look at it) position. I lived absurdly close to both work and a grocery store. Mind you, the town doesn’t take long to drive through in the first place, so… everywhere is close. I was just extra close.
The freeze started on my second to last day. I helped salt and sand the most slick areas people would use (it’s a hospital, so naturally ALL of it gets a lot of foot traffic). I didn’t know what to expect, because like an idiot, I just didn’t read the weather reports.
Snow never hit us, and I couldn’t remember the last time the roads were too icy to travel on.
Boy, was I fucking stupid.
I wake up to what should be my Friday, my last day before I can relax and do nothing (except work on my writing, of course).
I’m the only employee other than my supervisor to show up. I work security, so it’s not like we can just… not be at work.
I do my job for the day, careful not to slip and break anything (I almost do, twice).
When I say goodbye, my supervisor asks if I can make myself available for the next day. Definitely not the day after, because everything should be fine.
Spoiler alert: everything is not fine.
I come in on both days off, because the roads are still frozen. In fact, they’ve frozen over worse! On top of that, I was in the midst of trying the Keto diet. So in between cooking foods that I strive to make bearable when reheated, I’m driving at two centimeters an hour to work, when I should be writing!
If I could’ve gotten out of it, I would’ve. Unfortunately, my supervisor knew I lived nearby, and was already tasked with driving out to pick up people who were too nervous to drive. We gotta love that capitalism, baby.
By the end of the day, I found myself exhausted. I could hardly think, let alone write.
So for a grueling period, my story took a backseat to the day job.
I felt unreasonable amounts of guilt and panic, which added on to stress I didn’t need to have in the first place. I kept wondering, will I finish in time?
Will I be able to succeed in my challenge?
What will I do if I fail?
I know myself. I’m terrified of failure.
I hate starting anything if I have a feeling I’ll suck. This is my worst trait, as it has gotten me out of several things that might’ve been great had I just tried.
Instead of wasting time dwelling on the “could have been,” however, I forced myself to find time. Though I was stuck at my job, I had the task of sitting inside a guard shack to screen all the people coming in and out. I had access to a computer, and I could easily email files to myself. Rather than complain about burning eight hours doing nothing, I had the chance to get in my maximum of four hours.
Pushing through the hump, I made it out to the other side.
I had a good flow when I was able to write, and I put myself back on track. I only had so much time before the month ended, but I was ready to climb this uphill battle.
I still needed to finish the grand finale and edit.
Then, the hardest part.
A cover, and a final title.
Advice for the week: Push yourself when you can. Sometimes it’s good for you and your brain to see how far you can go. Don’t let arbitrary reasons stop you from doing what you want.