Giving Up The Most

So Ch. 4 is going well, my novel is going smoothly. I’m happy and getting happier with it, and (as an extension of the novel) I am also content with how this blog is turning out and how people have been receiving it. I would have never imagined people from half-way around the world would be reading what I wrote and would care at all about what I had to say! Mind-blowing. But that’s the power of the internet.

But something other than my writing has been gnawing at me, and I don’t know where else to process it other than here. Although writing is going well, the rest of my life isn’t. It’s downright pathetic actually. These past two years have brought a whirlwind of unexpected challenges, each of which I am no sure I have conquered, but simply, endured. I’ve managed to get by. After every wave has hit me to the ground, I’ve managed to get back up again, only to be pushed back down again.

Certain hopes I had were dashed to pieces, and people I thought I knew and cared about, suddenly up and left–a revolving door of great expectations, that never exited the building to meet up with me. I tried to toughen it all up. Build up great walls. But that didn’t work. Then I opened myself up, wrote it all out, cried it all out. That helped. I have managed to try to find a way every time, to avoid what I think would be the worst move, which is to give up completely. I’m no fan of giving up, and I have always been one to finish what I have started. I set a goal and I meet it. But life often doesn’t go by the rules, does it? Your most detailed plans for yourself can be subverted, undermined, expunged. This week I found myself seriously considering giving up, in more than one aspect of my personal life. Trust me, I have tried. I have read every self-help book I could. I meditate. I keep a journal. I have talked to friends and family about it.

My life has become a crazy balancing act, where one challenge goes away, and as soon as it does, another comes that needs my attention. There has been no time to rest, no time to asses, no time to reboot the system. There’s the constant stress and anxiety and stress of–all right, all right–ENOUGH ALREADY!  When’s the next thing? What else do I gotta deal with? What else needs my urgent attention? How much harder do I have to work? How much thinking must I do? And yet with all that, it never seems like enough.

I’ve been told that my life had been on the “fast-track” and now I’ve hit a rough patch. That part of life where no, not everything turns out the way you want it. So what do I do?

I turn to this blog, and more so to my novel. And in that novel (call me I child, I could care less anymore) I have all the control in the world.  I know that in my story all the scary monsters aren’t real, and pose no real threat. I know I have control over everything that happens. I know that if I want, I can guarantee a happy ending. There I sit with the words, and I can be incredibly happy and excited to see what great adventures and characters my character will encounter next. My novel is my only sanctuary at the moment, the only thing that feels right, the only thing that is going right.

With my novel, time stops. The people around me go out of focus. For a moment, life is infinite. For a moment all the problems go away. The world is content, and I can bat away all the thoughts that say I’m not fit enough for the cover of Men’s Fitness, I’m not going to get that wedding kiss at the end of every romantic comedy, I’m no overnight success like the guest on this week’s Oprah. I can only dream about a house on a hill.

With all of this, I was about to give up. But I didn’t. Because I realized something:  giving up is a choice.  Did you know that Colonel Sanders, the founder of KFC and creator of its original recipe, was rejected 1,009 times before he was able to sell his original recipe to a restaurant? You know what happened after that. Do you know that Walt Disney was rejected 302 times before any bank would fund his silly idea to create an amusement park in the middle of Anaheim, California? You know what happened after that.

These are business men, but the lesson stills stands. These men chose not to give up. Anyone else would have seen all of those losses, as losses. Proof that The Giving Up had got to them. But I think both Sanders and Disney realized for themselves that The Giving Up is not something that could get to them, it was something that they would have to choose to accept, and so they simply chose not to accept it. You can can choose to see your setbacks as setbacks, or you can refuse to see them as such. That’s sounds like insanity, but I’m not sure you can call Walt Disney insane.

So has The Giving Up gotten to me? Not this time. Because I was able to understand that giving up was a choice.  I hope to keep on reminding myself about this truth as I go forward, yet again.

Wish me luck.

much love,

Ollin

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12 comments on “Giving Up The Most

  1. Atta boy, Ollin! Don’t let anyone/thing keep you down. It’s a positive attitude that will get you through. But I know how you feel about keeping a happy face when that’s not what you’re feeling at all. My own personal life hasn’t been that great lately, but recently I got a fantastic internship I was NOT expecting or waiting for which is helping to keep the sad stuff at bay. Chin up! Things will get better when you’re not expecting them, and until then, your faithful readers are here for you!🙂

  2. ollinmorales says:

    Thanks so much, Aspiring Novelist. Congrats on the internship! Is there writing involved? Hope so!

  3. Lua says:

    “Certain hopes I had were dashed to pieces, and people I thought I knew and cared about, suddenly up and left–a revolving door of great expectations, that never exited the building to meet up with me.”
    I can truly relate to that… These last two years (ever since I graduated form collage, that is) have been tough- to say the least. And I consider myself a fighter, I don’t give up easily and I actually enjoy a good challenge but most of the time I feel like all I do is simply enduring life. But as you said- life is a balancing act and all we can do is try to stay in balance and there is no point in beating ourselves up if we fail from time to time. There are so many things that are out of our control in life, it is pretty difficult not to fail…
    And perhaps that’s why we rather live inside the stories we create than to live in the world that surrounds us. We can have control over the events, places and if we’re lucky, even the characters (they don’t always listen though, do they?)
    I don’t believe you’ll ever give up, you seem like one of those people who’ll never choose that option but instead look for another one and if you can’t find one- I’ll bet you’ll create one!😉
    I wish you the best of luck Ollin!

    • ollinmorales says:

      I guess we’re in the same boat then. No wonder we can identify with each other!🙂 No, but seriously, it helps to know that I’m not the only one whose been unhinged off the fastrack. Although I do hope that things get much better quickly for you too.

      Thank you Lua!

  4. unabridgedgirl says:

    You’re right, giving up is a choice. And I think that endurance is part of what you have to do conquer a problem. I am the sort of person that wants things fixed and I want them fixed right now! LoL It’s taken me a while to realize that not all problems are fixable “right now” – – some problems take time and effort and patience. Most importantly, these problems have also given me experience and opportunities to learn about myself and the people around me.

    Best wishes.

    M.

  5. ollinmorales says:

    “some problems take time and effort and patience.”

    That’s true. It’s so incredibly ANNOYING. But it’s true. I’m like you, no patience. And I think it’s because everything in my life has gone so quickly, and effortlessly, but I had not realized that up until now, now I have no idea how to be patient. But i guess, like you said, its this experience that will help me learn about myself and others. Even if what I am learning is that even I have my limits.😦

    Thank you unabridgedgirl!🙂

  6. unabridgedgirl says:

    I just thought of something else, Ollin. It came to me today when I was thinking about stuff going on in my own life. I heard it, once, explained to me as the process of excavation. For example – – we’re each kind of our own Grand Canyon. The Grand Canyon is beautiful, right? (Say yes.) But it didn’t happen over night. Rocks had to fall, mountains had to widen, etc… Basically it had to be excavated. Each of us has to go through excavation as well. In order for our own “Grand Canyons” to grow beautiful and big and all that…we have to allow the rocks to fall, no matter how much it hurts. Anyway. I thought I’d share that with you.

  7. ollinmorales says:

    That is an A-MAZING analogy unabridgedgirl. Yeah, I feel after what I’m going through I will be as wide and deep as a grand canyon. Thanks for the wonderful thought. I will keep it in mind as I go forward.

  8. […] how sometimes writing can be boring. I’ve had moments of apathy and moments where I wanted to give up completely. Then there were those dark moments when I hit a dead end or felt like an absolute […]

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