We no longer serve the Resistance here

August 17, 2012

Creativity, Self-discipline

My father died 15 months ago. I’m still very angry and probably still mired in denial. Because most days I’m happy that he’s gone. (I know this is harsh but stick with me.)

I’m trying to restart my life now that I’m free from judgment and unsought opinions, labels and directives. Free from the subtle, subversive, genius way he had of pushing me in the direction he wanted me to go.

I’m trying to start. A career, a business, an artistic pursuit. Trying to shake off the messages that told me I was great and yet never quite good enough. Trying to make a start.

I’ve spent this whole day reading Steven Pressfield and thinking about the Resistance and how it’s got a hold of me. I need to be writing my book. I need to be building my business website. Instead I flit from chair to chair, couch to couch, still dressed in the dog-walking clothes I threw on at 8:00 this morning, physically agitated and restless, mentally paralyzed.

You can’t make a website,” Dad told me a few years ago when I was assigned to a web project at work. “But you can tell them what looks good.” (Where, them is people who actually do possess what it takes.) He sat right across the booth and said that into the face of his first-born. I have not been able to shake it; the way he so effortlessly and quickly articulated and corroborated my own self-doubt. The Resistance has made that line into an inexhaustible source of fuel and strength.

But today something happened. As I read Pressfield, weeping and boiling over this issue, I realized, I can build a website. Duh. Of course I can. I have built websites. How the fuck are you reading this right now?

Today there came an epiphany that is cooling my anger and snatching that meal right out from under the laughing, scarfing mouth of the Resistance.

Today I realized that in that booth, on that day three years ago, my dad wasn’t talking to me. He was talking to himself.

###

Steven Pressfield’s Do the Work is short, jam-packed and $5 on Kindle. Get it.

Image: Dead Air

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6 Comments on “We no longer serve the Resistance here”

  1. Suzy Says:

    I love reading about your journey to inner peace and individuality! Keep it up!

    Reply

  2. Karen Marston Says:

    Fuck yes. Of course you can do it. You’ve just got to do it.

    Reply

  3. Lindy Siu Says:

    I can absolutely relate, Gretchen. My parents and sister have always put me down, not to hurt me, but because they don’t dare to believe that we CAN do better. It’s taken me a very long time (and several massive arguments with them) to break off the shackles, but I’ve come to realise that you’ve got to do what’s best for you, however difficult that is. My parents and sister are still alive, but most days I wish I didn’t have to deal with them at all, and then I feel guilty about feeling that way. So I definitely get what you’re going through. I’m sure that your Dad would be very proud of what you’re doing right now, if he was still alive. You ARE awesome, just based on this beautiful website and your inspiring posts. Lots of love, Lindy xx

    Reply

  4. Steph Says:

    OMG
    LOL
    And… You go girl!

    Reply

  5. Susan Says:

    l love reading your blog. I hope you can bury the negative feedback you received for so many years. I, for one, have always found you amazing.

    Reply

    • gretchen Says:

      That means a lot to me coming from you. I don’t want to dwell on the negative or the past but some days it just comes busting out. It makes me happy that you’re reading!

      Reply

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