Sometimes it is hard to be positive, when things don’t seem to happening. I know that people say to have happiness, you have to look inwards and find that centre of yourself that makes you happy – it doesn’t necessarily come from external things, like money or fame or success. It starts with accepting yourself and learning to love yourself (apologies for the hint of ‘new age’..), imperfections and all. It is hard in a world where to feel good about ourselves, we feel we have to buy things, or that we need this or that. Recently, I’ve been thinking about what makes me happy. What makes me happy is finishing a short story, talking and laughing with friends and family, connecting with people, sign-language, reading. Writing itself doesn’t make me happy – but that’s a given, because it is really hard work. The amount of self motivation I’ve needed to be a writer is bewildering. When I started out two years ago, finally making the decision to be a writer, I had no idea how hard it would be to keep myself motivated. When I read a book, I have more respect for the author.
It takes time, patience, self motivation and determination to write and finish a book. I have to admit that at the moment, I’m struggling with writing my first novel. I’m determined to do it, it just seems that at the moment I’m faffing around, not getting down to the matter at hand. Mostly, I know what research I need to do, but my focus seems to have taken a back seat. I’m still plodding along with 750words.com and my daily(ish) pages in my notebook. These things help to keep my mind focused on writing, help me to deal with any issues or worries. I’m also working my way through Old Friend From Far Away: The Practice of Writing Memoir by Natalie Goldberg – I’m enjoying it, and the exercises are interesting, and helping me to remember things I thought I had forgotten.
Money has been an issue, and more than ever, I’m determined to get myself sorted with a freelance business and also with my sister and I’s jewellery/craft business. People we have made jewellery for have loved what we make, and we both enjoy it. The past few months have been challenging emotionally so it has taken a back seat. One of the pitfalls of starting a business is trying to make a business plan, networking and starting from scratch – building up a customer base and identifying why your business fills a gap, or who your consumers are. With jewellery, there are so many wonderful shops out there, especially on etsy, that it can feel daunting. However, with some time and patience, I know we can build it all up. If our ancestors and relatives can do it, so can we. They own a jewellery shop in Newmarket, Suffolk! My Mum’s parents, my Gran and Pop, always had jewellery around, and I remember seeing my Grandad (Pop), with a jewellery monocle scrutinising jewellery he had to repair. I found it interesting, and I’ve always been fascinated with the process of making and selling jewellery.
Crafting is something I love doing too. That, and messing around with making collages and occasionally doing some drawing or illustrating. Not that they’re any good, but it releases some tension and helps me to relax. What I want is to feel fulfilled, more than anything. To be able to create and help other people, inspiring other people by doing what I love doing. My sister and I created a signing video for a year 6 class to use in their end of year production. The songs were from Wicked (the musical – but the book is incredible too), and although I was nervous, I felt proud of both of us for doing it. Doing things like that makes me feel inspired and motivated, rather than stressing about the next signing exam, and feeling inadequate because I still struggle with aspects of BSL. But then, so do other people. I don’t know whether its because I’m deaf, therefore I feel as though I should be better than this, that it should somehow come naturally. In some ways it does – my sis and I are expressive and use expressions and arm gestures a lot, which translates well to sign language. I find myself using signs in conversation with hearing people too, but it is good practice, if more SSE (Sign Supported English) rather than straight BSL (British Sign Language).
I know I will miss the classes and learning BSL when its finished. The people in the class are lovely – so supportive and we’ve all learnt a lot about each other. With BSL, I feel as though I’m proud, proud to be a deaf person with such a rich cultural heritage, but I also feel wary because I know my first language is English. I feel that it is okay to be bi-lingual, and still be accepted for who you are. When you live in a hearing society, there has to be some kind of bridge somewhere. Although I do feel like I miss out on things, things that hearing people take for granted, I’m also happy with the sometimes silence I have when I take my hearing aids out. It means that I can have my own little bubble and not have to hear all the noise of the modern world. It doesn’t mean that all I hear is silence – I also have tinnitus so it isn’t silence. A trick I’ve learned over the years is to sing songs in my head and the tinnitus is the rhythm or the bass line! I’m not sure if I wouldn’t rather have an ipod though…
Over the next few weeks, I will set myself the challenge of my lifetime – creating a business for myself. It might not be off the ground for a while yet, but at least if I make a plan, I’ll feel like I’m going somewhere positive.
Image from We Heart It.
Happiness is an attitude. We either make ourselves miserable, or happy and strong. The amount of work is the same. ~ Francesca Reigler