Will I?

Will I get it done this time? Will I complete my first work of fiction?

Let’s dissect a blog post I wrote back in 2012 appropriately titled “Write” to see what the past has to say on this matter.

“I have been praying and listening for guidance while working hard to maintain my sanity and sense of well being – and now I have received what God wants me to commit myself to do. Write.”

I was pretty certain God was calling me to write and even then, it was nothing new.

“Writing has always been a huge part of my life.  I’ve been journaling and blogging for years.”

“Whenever there has been a lull in my life, writing has always provided me with an outlet to work through it”

“Aside from thinking up businesses as a kid; I would think up story plots, characters and fantasize about being an author peacefully tucked away in a cabin in the middle of a beautiful forest or in cottage by the sea transposing words as the waves crashed unto the beach.”

“Prior to making the decision of joining the Marine Corps, my heart had been set on becoming an author but this dream was shut down by people who told me I would never make a living from it.”

There hasn’t been a time in my life when I didn’t want to be a writer. There also hasn’t been a time in my life when I thought making a living as a writer was a viable option. Neither statements have actually changed.

E-book to Nowhere

I completed the e-book I mentioned in that post. I was proud of myself and it felt like an accomplishment but it went nowhere, although I accompanied it with a radio show, webinars, workshops and speaking engagements.  In the end, The Loop of Confidence and the persona of the Confidence Builder died on the vine as well.  I ended up back in the Marine Corps with my thoughts focused on making the Foreign Service my next career move but turns out, I couldn’t even pass the Foreign Service Officer Test so for now, that career option is also dead.

Not Ideal but Perfect

Thankfully, the interest in the Foreign Service lives on and my research into it hasn’t been a waste because the heroine my book is a Foreign Service Officer. That’s right! I’m writing a book.

Since arriving in Germany, I’ve been stuck living in a hotel room which has had an odd side affect…it’s motivated me to write. As much as there is to see and do in Germany/Europe – a lot of my time on the weekends goes into writing, researching or reading.

My desire to write has once more demanded I give it my time and energy. It has established yet again it’s not something that will go away or be ignored. It’s faithfully proven to be a way to escape and to find solace when nothing else makes much sense. It’s once more become a source of motivation and inspiration.

Each time writing comes knocking at my door, I go down the road with it a little further. This time I’ve signed up for a course where I’ll be mentored for the next 8 months through the writing process.

I will open myself to sharing and being critiqued on my work. I will put in the work in not just writing but getting better at it. If writing is to become my craft and my art – it will require a lot more than what I’ve given to it in the past.

It might be time to stop chasing the ideal work/business/career I’d love and flourish in and accept a job that allows me to pursue my writing.

Staying in Germany/Europe

While writing had me playing with the idea of getting a job vice pursuing another entrepreneurial undertaking – something else dawn on me.  I’m enjoying myself here and exploring new aspects of myself so why leave? Only way to stay is to find a suitable job…the second road leading me for the first time in my life to seeking a job that is not the Marine Corps and not self-employment.

I’m unsure if any of this is part of God’s will at this point. It seems I’ve been off base in the past so I will pray on it and continue to seek His direction while I pursue this new course of action for my life.

A Simple Wave

A simple wave, a wild imagination and a hunger for love and romance – sometimes I wish I were the one writing my love story. Back in August of last year, I wrote a blog post called God: Author of my Love Life in which I said “I believe now nothing is more beautiful, amazing and incredible as a God written Love Story and yes, I would love my own.” I do believe God can and will do a better job than me but a simple wave today had me composing how I would ignite my love story all day long…and it had me all kinds forgetful and distracted.

It started about a week and half ago, I was at Medical to get my annual physical done…I was personally in no hurry to get this done but since my name popped on the hit list for medical readiness, I’ve been getting weekly reminders from the good MGuns to get this done.  Anyway, I was sitting in an office waiting to go in to take my hearing test when the Sergeant came out to tell me I could proceed into the next room. As I was getting up to walk into the next room, this tall and handsome guy walked out. Almost walked into him. Our eyes met and we exchanged quick smiles.

Patch and Panzer are full of Special Forces (SF) guys, I see them in the gym all the time and perhaps while on missions they blend in, but on actual Military Installations they stick out like sore thumbs and this guy was definitely a SF guy.

So he caught my attention but not sure what woman’s attention he wouldn’t catch. Went in to take my hearing test and then headed out to make my way back to Panzer, except I got blocked by school buses for almost 10 minutes trying to leave the parking lot. When I was finally able to go, I decided I might as well go get gas.  Well…guess who was at the gas station?!

There’s something about being attracted to someone and having the desire to get to know them that just makes you feel giddy and alive. We exchanged glances again and I knew I somehow had caught his attention.  There was definitely something about him.  He was more approachable…friendly then just about all other SF guys I’ve encountered, not just here but in my career. He stood behind me in line while I paid and I wanted to just turn around and say something to him…but I didn’t.  I drove off…thinking about him but not having done anything about it.

I’ve made the first move with too many guys…my love story is with a man who knows how to be a confident man, risk rejection and approach me by making the first move.

By the time I got back to work that day, he had become a distant memory because another thing I’ve noticed about SF guys…you see them around base for a short while and then you don’t.

This morning I had to go back to medical to get fasted blood work done, so by the time I’d returned and was walking back to work, it was way off the regular time I normally head to work. Shortly after I crossed the street by the hotel, a car drove by that I recognized (well of course, I paid attention to what he was driving) and I spotted him, he spotted me, he waved and I waved back.

A split second later, I was wondering “WTF”. I recognized him, he recognized me…he waved. Guys don’t wave like he had just done.  Who was this guy? Would I run into him again? If I do run into him again, will he talk to me? Who is this guy? WTF?

Once the questions subsided and I had exhausted replaying each short encounter we’ve had (I sound like either a hopeless romantic or desperate chic based on that statement) I began writing the next potential sequences of events in my head (for the rest of the day, while trying to write a COOP plan, needless to say, it was rough), under the assumption of course, that he in fact feels the same attraction and desire to know more about who I am. The one I like best goes like this.

Since he actually has knowledge of my last name, rank and that I’m in the Marine Corps (because each time we’ve seen each other I was in uniform and I expect him to have a keen sense of observation and situational awareness…aren’t all SF guys trained to have both!?!) He could easily Google: “Major Bernard, U.S. Marine” and get a lead on my first name since a few articles related to the pull-up videos I’ve done come up using those keywords (and yes, I’ve tested it. Give me a break here – gotta make this fantasy somewhat believable).

Next, once he has my full name…he can frankly pretty much get most of my life’s story (at this point to include reading about himself).  Assuming that doesn’t scare him away and as it were, it doesn’t in my fantasy (duh); he weights his option on how to contact me. Based on the fact he saw me walking close to the Panzer Hotel, his next assumption would be I’m staying there.  A phone call to the Hotel would confirm said assumption pretty quickly. So based on today’s fantasy, I would return to a voice mail on my room phone with a message from him asking if I would be interested in being at the same place, at the same time on purpose on Friday night. (In case it needs to be said, that did not happen)

Not sure how God is supposed to top that one.  Okay…one other scenario had him walking in at church on Sunday and deciding to come to sit with me. God could run that play but that would require me to go to church on Sunday instead of a bike ride…perhaps it will be raining Sunday!

Let me end this post by saying these two things.

1. I’m in the process of writing a book…which revolves around a love story so these types of scenarios are running rampant in my head because of it.

2. I undoubtedly…but not desperately no matter how this post makes it seem otherwise, am interested in love entering my life.

Researched into Question

In 2013, I read well over 20 books, the first year in many years in which I made reading a priority again (buying a Kindle Fire made a big difference) and what a soul nourishing commitment it turned out to be.  I read for leisure, to learn, educate myself and to find greater clarity.  I also began to read for research purposes for the male character I’m developing for a book I’m writing.

Two books I would not have otherwise read had it not been for my research are: How God Makes Men: Ten Epic Stories. Ten Proven Principles. One Huge Promise for Your Life by Patrick Morley and Fathered by God by John Eldredge.

First let me say that in those two books, I fell deeply in love with men…not “men” as in humanity but men as in the flesh, bones and soul of men God created.  The masculine men God intended men to be as especially described in the masculine journey men are to undertake: in their Boyhood, Cowboy, Warrior, Lover, King and Sage stages in Fathered by God.

The ache to meet such a man who is seeking God and is embarked on the journey created for him as he grows in the image of his Creator is well…lets just say a girl can dream (meaning pray) for it constantly!!

And of course in my case, I can write him into a kind of reality…the point of venturing into this reading (research) in the first place. I wanted to find/capture the essence and true sense of manhood as created by God – not what society is now saying manhood ought to be/look like.

My love for Jesus is greater than any love for anything or anyone else.  When I think or hear His name “Jesus” my heart is filled with so much love, admiration, and gratitude.  His is my one true King however, many other men in the Bible also move me like the ten men described in Patrick’s book: Abraham, Joesph (I relate to him a lot), Moses, Gideon, David (no women would say no to having her own King David – faults and all), Solomon, Nehemiah, Job, Peter and Paul.

It’s funny how discovering the true perspective of manhood according to God made me both happy and sad. Happy of how beautiful God created it to be and sad of how rare it is in our society. Happy to know somewhere out there men are reading (and writing) these books and dedicating their lives to work on being what they were created to be. And again, wishful to meet said men.

What I didn’t Expect

What I didn’t expect was to relate so much to the ten men in Patrick’s book and the masculine journey outlined in John’s book.  Our humanity link men and women so of course, we share many life lessons and common trials and victories but women and men are quite different from each other in the Bible.

Admittedly, over the last couple of years in my walk with God as I have shed my stubbornness, ego, and pride and have allowed God to provide and be my strength; I have in fact found more of my femininity. I don’t believe up until now I could have been a good wife to the kind of man I desire.  I had too much to prove, too many wrong idealism, pain and walls up.  Gone are those, but here is still the path the Lord has me on.

I’m far from being on a quiet, passive, submissive or supporting type of road. Looking back on my life I can see when/where I went through my own “Cowboy” stage and can you say “Warrior” any louder than by being a Marine…my writing, reading and love for nature is where I express/experience my own “Lover” stage and the leadership roles I’ve been endowed with have/had me in a “King (Queen)” stage.

I certainly know there are many complexities to gender roles and there is no one size fits all…this is a delicate post to write and it’s really a post where I’m putting my thoughts/confusion out for the Lord to walk me through the answers.

It’s about fulfilling who He created ME to be and not answer this question for everyone since the answer is in fact unique to all of us. I can see where I have developed in me what I did not find in another when I didn’t know how to seek the Lord for it. I faced many trials on my own prior to allowing God in which again, had their impacts.  The wounds are healed but who they made me, remains. I grow to be more like Jesus everyday and He certainly embodies a masculine and feminine essence.

I don’t need answers today.  I find this type of discovery very exciting now because I know the Holy Spirit will work through me to give me the answers when the time is right. Both the questions and the answers are entitled to their proper time…God’s timing.

Meeting my Writing Goals

I have always been overly ambitious; well about many things, but without a doubt about my abilities to “pump out” pages – each and every time I have started a book.  I’m apparently quite good at underestimating how much harder it is to write something specific vice writing when inspired to get a point, story or thoughts across.  None the less, I have set a daily writing goal and I will hold my feet to the fire to meet it.

Writing Goal

My writing goal is no less than 10 pages a day starting today to have my e-book complete no later than August 15th.  I want you to be able to download my book, appropriately titled “Develop and Flex Your Confidence Muscles” by August 18th.

So far I have organized all of the content I already have according to what chapter it belongs to.  I have also basically finished the introduction. The e-book with the introduction will probably have eight chapters; at least that’s how I have it setup now.

Not going overboard with how much content to include or how deeply to get into any given aspect of the book will likely be the bigger challenge.

Self-Discipline to Get it Done

There are a few key factors to getting any goals achieved but none is more critical than self-discipline.  Doesn’t matter how much you love or want your goal – at some point all you’ll have to get the work done is your self-discipline. Thankfully, between school and dieting – my self-discipline levels have increased and there’s more for me to tap into…while you deplete your availability of self-discipline it’s also how you acquire more. But this isn’t a post on self-discipline and writing a post on self-discipline would be stalling (procrastination tool) and I know all this because of my excellent self-awareness.  LOL! For the record, I did talk this way before officially getting my psych degree 🙂

7 pages to go today (counting single spaced pages) – so gotta run!!

Write

I have been praying and listening for guidance while working hard to maintain my sanity and sense of well being – and now I have received what God wants me to commit myself to do. Write.

Sometimes I just don’t know if God works in mysterious ways, life is full of irony, timing is indeed everything or it’s a compilation of them all. Writing as always been a huge part of my life.  I’ve been journaling and blogging for years. I have written thousands of pages and who knows how many words and I remain filled with things to say and share.

Whenever there has been a lull in my life, writing has always provided me with an outlet to work through it – I have started no less than 5-7 books, none of which have yet to see the light of day or be completed.

I’ve been told more times than I can possibly count to write my story and how having a book “under my belt” would help my speaking aspirations and the growth of The Loop of Confidence.

Aside from thinking up businesses as a kid; I would think up story plots, characters and fantasize about being an author peacefully tucked away in a cabin in the middle of a beautiful forest or in cottage by the sea transposing words as the waves crashed unto the beach.

Prior to making the decision of joining the Marine Corps, my heart had been set on becoming an author but this dream was shut down by people who told me I would never make a living from it. When it was time to decide what to major in – I debated heavily between Psychology or an English Literature major. I did however come to realize I wasn’t a fan of dissecting other people’s written work and that I struggle with finding my voice in my writing, hence all the unfinished books and majoring in Psychology instead.

Will it be Different This Time?

The last few days, the only thing that has brought me happiness, only thing I’ve been motivated and inspired to do (besides training) is writing.  When I write, I’m finding myself in that precious and rare thing called “Flow”. Flow is the mental state of operation in which a person in an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and success in the process of the activity. Proposed by Mihály Csíkszentmihályi, the positive psychology concept has been widely referenced across a variety of fields.

I will also not start from scratch, nor am I setting myself up to take on a massive writing project.  I’m going to write about self-confidence development.  I’m going to use all the content I already have, package it, expand on it and make an E-book out of it.  Once I have an e-book on self-confidence under my belt, I will than explore writing about my life/story, but best I don’t put the horse before the cart.

Because It’s a Year of Accomplishing What I Once Started and Set Out to Do.

Last but not least, and where the irony of life meets God’s sense of working in mysterious ways – because writing a book is something I have wanted to accomplish and do for more years then I’m willing to count and this has been the year I’ve accomplished and wrapped up my other goals that started eons ago; nailing this goal to the proverbial cross makes absolute and complete sense!

I will continue to blog a few times a week on here too since what I discuss here is different than what I’ll be working on and I enjoy writing these blog posts.