Shifting Priorities

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A good friend once told me you have to go backwards to go forwards.

And I do think a lot of the answers are in the past.

Or at least the perspective I craved.

Being somewhere I lived for 8 years, I kept expecting to run into younger versions of me. Like we all still coexist there.

And on some level we do.

The me that consulted in midtown, I almost glimpsed her through the glass doors in her white Mad Men-esque suit.

The me who commuted to Times Square every morning for 3 years, I traced her footsteps into the subway of Wall Street.

The me who first moved to the city in 2000, I swear she was just across the street in Grammercy. I almost waved.

Each place invokes a memory, a time past. A me that once existed as surely as this one does right now.

And each version had her strengths and weaknesses. But she was there. Marking time and living a life.

The greatest blessing was my trifecta of friends (A, Z, and B). In their eyes, ย I saw who I had been. Who I still was to them. Who I could be again.

Lately, I feel like I’m stuck. Waiting. Like I hit the pause button and my life hasn’t restarted yet.

I want it to. I’ve given two years to the dream of writing. At the expense of everything else in my life.

At the time, it felt necessary. Required to be become a better writer.

But now. Things are shifting inside me.

I want more.

It doesn’t mean I’ll stop writing, but it means writing will be a priority. Not my only priority. And I think I’ll get closer to happy for it.

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58 Responses to Shifting Priorities

  1. Good luck Kourtney, follow your heart!

    • Thanks Victoria. No regrets. But it’s time to accept that writing will happen when it happens. And that I have a lifetime to make it happen. And if it doesn’t, maybe my manuscripts will be well read after I’m dead. At least they exist. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Cat Forsley says:

    K HEART XXXXXXX
    i know exactly what you mean xxx
    love you …….sending you all my love xxx and wishing you a wonderful holiday season of Calm and yes – priorities xxx
    thank you for all the awesomeness this year xx
    i will be around – just not blogging
    xx
    love you xx and may all your dreams come true xx
    Cxx

    • Cat, somehow you always do. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for being you! Hoping you have a wonderful holiday season too. XOXOXO

      It’s been a good week. I’m still working through revisions but if I’m letting my life happen more. Seeing friends. Exercising. Eating right. And I think my writing benefits from not being the center of my existence. It was too much pressure for too long on one part of my life. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Hugs,
      Kourtney

      • Cat Forsley says:

        KHEART XXX EXACTLY HOW I FEEL ABOUT LIFE XOXOXOXOXOXO
        EXACTLY XOXOXOXO
        I WILL BE floating around xxx until Christmas xxx
        a little tired now xxx so yes to LIFE XXXXXXXX
        xoxoxoxo
        C

        • Then I’m in excellent company Ms. Catherine! Float away. Take time for you. Do whatever you need to do to have the life you want. ๐Ÿ™‚

          Big Hugs,
          Kourtney

          XOXOXOXOXOX

          • Cat Forsley says:

            i’m still here my sweet xxx
            big hugs to you xx i know you live in Connecticut x
            all my heart xxx really xx all my heart xxx
            C

          • Hi Catherine!
            Big hugs back. Yeah, it’s just horrific what happened in CT. It’s a town about an hour from where I live. A sleepy sweet community. So so so sad. I don’t understand why people have to take others down with them. I can understand wanting out of this life, but to take innocents along with you. I hope there is a special level of hell reserved for people like that.

            XOXOXO
            Kourtney

          • Cat Forsley says:

            I dunno my sweet —– i tried to stay away from the news as much as i could – can ……..
            makes me sick to my stomach ……
            really does…….
            “take others down with them” well put ……..
            that 20 year old guy that did all that – i really don’t wanna know any more about him – Ughh …..
            but every time i turn on something – it talks about him and whatever he was going thru ……….
            Whatever – …..
            HE WAS GOING THRU ?
            gimme a break …….
            how about the children that are gone ….and the families that will never hold their children again ……
            I guess in the media world – people need to analyze over and over the asailent = spelled wrong –
            to find out what made him do it ………

            i can’t listen to it ………….. it makes me sick to my stomach ……….

            i just hope and pray that the Families and the children
            get the best care and sooo much love xx for they are the ones …..
            not that guy ………
            love you xx
            C

          • It’s very hard to watch. All the news outlets inundate us with images and stories. I want to know what is happening but being barraged with it is difficult. I opted not to talk about it on the blog for that reason. I don’t care why he did it. There is no justification for it. I think it’s the element of control. If we can just figure out why, we can try to prevent it seems to be the mentality.

            I feel awful for the families. This is a loss that eats away at your life. The kind you never really recover from. It’s terrible.

            Hugs,
            Kourtney

          • Cat Forsley says:

            I know my sweet x i could never write about it on a blog post – the sensationalism of media and tracking his life – motive > whatever – i can’t even read it …..
            i watched one broadcast of a very brave dad ,,,,,,,,,,
            talking about his baby girl x i bawled my eyes out …….
            he was very courageous -i think the last name is PARKER ,…….. and was saying that he does send out love to the shooters family …..
            what a big heart to get to a podium and do that …………
            besides that – i read that CT has some of the most stringent laws on gun control …….
            so putting it together from over here – in toronto –
            all i can feel is sheer pain for the families
            and grossness about it all ……… the media – even on yahoo mail – every five seconds something comes up …..
            it’s just gross…………
            huggs my sweet xxxx
            here’s hoping that the families can find solace and peace …. one day x
            it’s a media circus ,,,,,,, and it’s like a virus .,….

            love love love xx
            C xo

          • I am grateful that the police gave the families two days before releasing the names of those killed. The media is really awful. Yes, I want to hear about what happened, but I want these people to be allowed to grieve without a microphone shoved in their face. I want these kids to not have to talk about it until they are ready. It’s a feeding frenzy on the news and yahoo. I don’t know how that father was so gracious. I couldn’t be in the face of such unrelenting evil. It would darken my soul. At least the killer shot himself and saved the families a drawn out trial where we heard about how he was “the victim of something.”

            Yes, we do have strict gun control laws. I know lots of people are turning this into a gun control discussion, but the thing about people like him is they will find a gun illegally. He killed his mom and stole her guns. I don’t know what the situation was in their home, maybe she had them locked up, maybe not. But no law was going to stop him. You can’t legislate away crazy.

          • Cat Forsley says:

            I know —————-and they are sickeningly talking about him so much ……. what’s that gonna do to the other 20 year olds that have those kind of ideas …….
            i can;t watch BATMAN because of the other guy – i won;t
            – it’s too much grossness …..
            i am gonna end my comments here – even though i know you and i could have a ginormous conversation about this and other issues …..

            i see you have a new post up x
            ………. coming over xxxx
            C

          • Agreed. I couldn’t watch Batman either. Understand. This is a tough tough topic to read/hear/talk about. ๐Ÿ™‚ Hope you enjoy Leon’s Q&A!

            Hugs,
            Kourtney

          • Cat Forsley says:

            I did Kheart xx you did a great JOB xxxxx
            so excited for the direction you’re headed in xxx
            ๐Ÿ™‚
            it’s awesome …….. and it’s infinitely exciting with possibilities ๐Ÿ™‚ xxxx
            Hugs xx
            C

          • Thanks Catherine! I really want to showcase the people who have been answering my questions and sharing their experiences. ๐Ÿ™‚ I still have the book out to small presses and agents, but I need to know that no matter what happens, it will see the light of day in 2013. It’s pretty cool to decide on your own cover. Lots of responsibility but lots of control over your work. ๐Ÿ™‚

            Big Hugs,
            K

  3. stuartart says:

    Go for it. The things we regret most in life are the things we DIDN’T do. Imagine the 110 year old YOU drops by to see you today, they only have 1 minute with you – what would they say?

  4. jaimestathis says:

    As far as the younger-self ghosts go: I feel *exactly* the same way. I’m preparing to leave a place that holds 12 years worth of my younger selves to go to a fresh location to write for a few months. Just write. With no younger selves lurking and snooping and judging and peeking over my shoulder. Hmmmm…..who knows though, they might join me! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  5. kford2007 says:

    It’s all part of growing. What a glorious but scary thing. All I ask is you don’t fade from your blog. Yours is one I click on right away to see what you have to say, where you’ve been, what you’ve experienced. So far, it’s been a wonderful journey. I pray your soul finds what it seeks.

    • Definitely. I’m still working on writing. I’m just giving myself permission to make it one of my top 5 and not my top thing everyday. I’ve made eating right and exercising #1 for now. That’s long overdue. I’m still going to self pub my book in the spring and maybe end up self pubbing all of them. Aw, I am so glad you enjoy the blog. It’s wonderful to have you as a reader. When I started out, there were no readers. Just me putting my thoughts out there. No matter what happens, I’ll keep blogging. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • kford2007 says:

        yay!!! ๐Ÿ™‚ Yes, one of my resolutions is to get my weight and Type 2 diabetes under control. Want a daily check-in buddy? ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

        • Kelly, I’m insulin resistant and back on a low carb diet. It works wonders for me. Kept my weight under control for 8 years. I’d love a daily check-in buddy. I actually count my days. I’m on Day 9. I consider them “sober” days because I’m no longer under the sway of sugar. I still have my fruits and veggies and low carb bread. But I feel good again. ๐Ÿ™‚ I also live by myfitnesspal app. Tracking all my food and my exercise. I’ll email you my phone number so you can text me anytime. ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. klynwurth says:

    Blessings to you as you find balance…

  7. Gerard says:

    Go for it! You will succeed at all that you do.

  8. Carrie Rubin says:

    You sound like where I was several years back, when I put my writing on the back burner, because it didn’t seem to be going anywhere. But then life turns around and surprises you when you least expect it. I continue to wish you well and good luck with the self-publishing.

    • I’m hoping surprises come in 2013. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ve just neglected every other aspect of my life for too long. And it’s reached the point where I need to reconfigure things. I’m still writing. Still working on revisions, but it’s no longer the top priority of every day. ๐Ÿ™‚ Aw thanks. Self-publishing may turn out to be the best option for my work. I don’t expect to make much money, but just to actually have readers would be lovely.

  9. jmmcdowell says:

    What an amazing post, Kourtney. So simple and elegant at one level, but the deeper meanings are so clearly visible, too. Time travel, often ridiculed in science in the past, is actually gaining more acceptance as we understand more of the universe (or multiverse). And so it’s very true that those earlier versions of ourselves do still existโ€”as do those that are yet to come.

    I believe you did sense their continued presence and didn’t just dwell in your memories.

    I suspect 2013 will be a year of transformations and growth for you. And I expect to see your manuscripts as published books long before you move on from this world.

    • Aw thanks. ๐Ÿ™‚ JM, I was reading The Time Traveler’s Wife. It resonated through every second of my time in NY. Made me so aware of time and different periods in my life. And the possibility of it all existing simultaneously.

      I swear they were living out their lives too. But the memory served as a jumping off point to rejiggering myself.

      I hope so too. ๐Ÿ™‚ I will have at least one self-pubbed in 2013. I may go that route with all of them. But I’m at a place where I realize even if I don’t, they will exist and they can be published at any time. It takes a tremendous amount of pressure off of me. ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. berry says:

    Very insightful and soul reaching. You will make it on ur own. You are fabulous.

  11. EllaDee says:

    I’m so happy you wrote about this… it does resonate with my ebb and flow post… about which another blogger commented, as well as a ‘real life’ friend that most of us don’t end up where we thought, planned or didn’t… “this is not what I expected 20 years ago”… I was also interested to see your comment about being “insulin resistant”. I have been as well for well over a decade. It’s taken a bit of work but I don’t have much of a sweet tooth any more, and now dislike over indulging in carbs because it makes me feel horrible… it takes time but life works out, and then works out again ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Glad you liked it EllaDee. We seem to be going through something similar. ๐Ÿ™‚ No we definitely don’t. Life is what happens while we are making other plans–I’ve heard it a million times but I’ve felt it keenly lately. Me too. I had it in hand from 2001-2008 but then I started slipping and by 2012 my weight ballooned up. I take Glucophage to control it, but if I really commit, I can do it with exercise and proper eating. It’s ten days in and already my taste buds are shifting. Becoming more sensitive to sweet. I’m so happy not to feel guilty about eating wrong. Each day I am proud of myself for being good to myself. FIngers crossed I can keep this going. But right now I take it one day at a time. LOL. So true. But eventually it all has to work out right? ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • EllaDee says:

        It does work out… in that place in the middle where nothing is prefect but you are happy ๐Ÿ™‚

        • Good. That’s what I want. Me happier. ๐Ÿ™‚

          • Be gentle with yourself. The exercise will make a huge difference – and a choice you must make for quality of life. (my dad dealt with this for a long time – and live happily for a long time – so I can be done)
            This is a great post!
            There was a little of the old MAry Tyler Moore show intro. echoing here.
            Just talked with a friend in CO who is a published author – but finding the industry is really shakey now and though she thought her 2nd book was on track, now, because of the industry worries, no it’s off. She is mirroring your feelings.
            This is always a weird time of year. Time to float until things settle.
            Always appreciate your thoughtful posts – one of the first I check when short of time. So throwing a few hugs and warming thoughts. Hang in there. You are heard.

          • Thanks Karen. It will take time to get me back on track. I appreciate the reminder. I always want results right away. But it’s going to be a long haul.
            I’m glad you liked it. LOL. Mary Tyler Moore–I see what you mean. ๐Ÿ™‚ That’s what I’ve been hearing. Then you read the PW posts about 6 and 7 figure advances to debut authors and you can’t help feeling it’s you. Ugh. It’s such a subjective business. One person’s brilliance is another’s trash. It is a retrospective time of year. Between my birthday and the end of the year.
            Aw I’m glad you like my posts. Hugs back. Thanks for listening. ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. You are a wise woman. enjoy

  13. 4amWriter says:

    That’s right. Some things we have to push or force. Other things we need to let happen organically. It’ll happen for you, one way or the other.

    • Sometimes a watched pot can’t boil and sometimes it boils over. I’m not taking the writing pot off the stove, but I think it’s time I add a few more things to the oven. ๐Ÿ™‚ Hope so.

  14. Laura says:

    I know what you mean Kourtney! I do the same thing, sit around wondering about my past self, what she was thinking, what she was doing, and I also feel like I’m in a big pause in life… like life began and I forgot to get on board and now I’ve come to a station that I don’t recognize…how did I get here? Good luck on your journeys!

    • That’s so good to hear. Sometimes when you’re in your own head too much you forget that you aren’t alone. Sometimes the pauses are needed, but I feel like it’s time to hit play again. ๐Ÿ™‚ Yeah, that’s exactly how it feels, like I missed my train and somehow ended up somewhere in the middle of nowhere. ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. Elliot says:

    Finding the right priorities in life is the difficult thing, but getting them right is the happiest thing. Keep trying. Find what it is you want to do. Work out how to do it, then do it.

    • Sometimes you make something a priority and it doesn’t happen. No matter how hard you try. Like selling a novel. I’ve been working so hard on that for 3 years. It didn’t happen. I did everything I could. But in the end it wasn’t under my control. It may still happen in the future, but it isn’t something I can control. So I’ve got to move things around and have other priorities. Writing still matters a lot to me, but being published is beginning to take a backseat to other stuff.

  16. A thoughtful, introspective post. I love the imagery of walking in your past footsteps. It’s good sometimes to make a reassessment of your direction and priorities.

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