What's this? What's this?
You know that scene in The Nightmare Before Christmas where Jack first gets to Christmastown and is running around, looking at everything in wonderment? He is trying to take it all in and feeling overwhelmed and overjoyed at all once as he bursts into song?That's me right now transitioning back to New York City. I want to everything all at once right this very minute. I want to see all my friends. I want to see all the shows. I want to eat here and drink that. Museums, movies, pop ups, dinner parties, holiday adventures. Yes to that happy hour. Yes to that festival. Yes to that exhibit, that friend's show, that concert. Yes, yes, yes to it all. I could be busy every night of the week if I had endless funds.Notice how none of those things I listed are actually the creative work I should be doing?Yeah, me too.I've said it before and I'm saying it again: New York City is Neverland. There is so much to see and do and experience here every single day of the week. You don't even have to wait for the weekend! You can have the best meal of your life on a Tuesday! You could see the biggest hit on Broadway at 2pm on a Wednesday! You don't have to be a responsible adult for most of the time and order in dinner every single night!Have I written in my novel in three weeks? No, I haven't. Am I prepared for Nanowrimo to start next week? No, I'm not. Have I created any sort of writing habit or creative time to start diving in on our new screenplay? That's another big fat nope. Excuses course through my veins. I just got back, I need to catch up on all the things I have missed! The city is overwhelming. It is so shiny and pretty and it is all I want to do after taking part in a slower life for the past few years. I have missed out on so much! I need to do all of this, right now, fuck anything else on my agenda.I am my own worst enemy.I can absolutely put off doing any of my goals and still enjoy every inch of my life. How can I not? I'm out doing things that I love and seeing people I have missed. It is difficult to not relish those moments and experiences I craved for so long. I don't want to miss out on them even though they are available at all times. God, don't you love excuses?The mother of them all is here once again: the Holiday Season. That's right, I capitalized it because it is the best excuse I know. You all know it, too. Once Halloween passes us by, it is all holiday travel, gift giving, parties, baking, events, you name it. It is a jammed packed 62 days of crazy and who can get anything done with all that noise? Not me, I say. I will start again in January with the momentum of the New Year that we all know lasts two weeks and then it is back to our regularly scheduled programming. I can feel it on the tip of my tongue every time I remember I haven't checked any boxes off in a few weeks. It's ready to be unleashed and to give me every reason to be lazy.Then it creeps up on me. The long fingers drape across the back of my neck and I remember the main reason I came back: opportunity. It gently pokes me, saying to turn around, remember, focus. I start to but something shiny comes across my path and I chase after it like a kitten. I'm distracted again, unfocused, out doing something I have wanted to do for months. I am happy. But my soul is hungry and needs to be fed. It needs me to work.I see what happens when you work. Books get published, jobs get offered, gigs get booked. I write a lot about my struggle with a creative life and how to hustle when everything seems impossible. I write about it because I know I am not alone in feeling like this. It is unbearable at times and feels like a curse to want to be a professional artist. We have to work so hard at it, every single day, never giving up hope that it will all pay off.The worst part for me right now? I know that it does.I know if I truly take a crack at it, I can be successful. I know I can achieve even the bigger things on my career goals. I see it in my friends. I see it out in the world. It is not impossible and it does happen to anyone. Sure, if I was wicked rich and had major connections, it would be easier. But even if I was, it still calls for some effort. It calls for saying no. And that is what kills me. I say no to one thing and I can write 1000 words down before eating dinner. I know it is possible. I have seen it in the growth of this blog by writing every week and publishing on Medium. I've gotten followers, comments, attention, support. I know it is possible. I know the work WORKS. Why is it so easy to keep saying yes to fun instead!?!I am content in knowing I have found the problem. I missed so many things and I am a child at Christmas, or a Pumpkin King, running around, opening all the presents and shoving candy canes in my face. I am curious, alive, and excited. I want it all immediately. Instant gratification, take me home!But who will I be if I let that take over me? What will I feel like in a year when I realize I didn't finish the draft of my novel or publish an essay this year as I promised myself I would? Will the joys I am experiencing be enough to keep me whole? I know they won't. Excuses feed me for now but I will be hungry in an hour. It won't be enough for me. Maybe it is time to change how I feel about the Holiday Season. Maybe it is the perfect time to wrap up this year and finish the projects I started. Maybe it is the ideal excuse to get shit done.