I get a lot of ideas. I'm grateful for this, because I've gone through periods of time in my life when I got literally no ideas, ever, and that was terrible. But even though I get all these ideas that I feel super psyched about, going from idea to action feels like the equivalent of trudging through 4 ft of mud up a mountain while I'm wearing a backpack made of steel, filled with melting snowballs.
I don't know why it feels so difficult to make a move. I see people and read about people and watch people on TV making moves all the time. They wake up early, go to work, take care of their kids, cook dinner, workout, and still have time to write a book or start a business or travel to Greece or meditate twice a day. Meanwhile I'm in my bed or pacing around my apartment getting excited about making vegan mac n cheese, while simultaneously feeling agitated and anxious and unable to actually make it.
My main excuse has been "but I have to soak the cashews for at least 3 hours." I've been wanting to make this mac n cheese for 4 days. I even went to Whole Foods to buy the nutritional yeast that will create the cheesy flavor. I want to make it, not only for myself, but because making vegan foods is literally so exciting to me that it makes me want to dance and I want to make cooking show YouTube videos about it. But first I need to practice my recipes. So I need to make the mac n cheese. But I have to soak the cashews, and that feels utterly impossible.
It's things like soaking the cashews that stop me in my tracks, over and over and over again. With self-publishing my poetry book, it was trying to decide which ISBN option to choose. I sat on that question for at least 2 months and once I finally just decided to buy my own, I published in just a couple of weeks. With cleaning my apartment, it's usually just putting the clothes away, putting the dishes away, or taking the recycling outside.
Inevitably every roadblock I encounter takes approximately 30 seconds to a minute to get through, once I start. There might be more steps that take a longer time after that, but the things that I'm dreading, the things that actually stop me, are so minuscule in terms of time and effort. Today I soaked the cashews. Do you know what it takes to soak cashews? One bowl, or in my case, tupperware container, a cup or two of cashews, and water. Not even a specific amount of water. Put cashews in a bowl, poor water on top. It's literally the easiest possible thing to do.
But my kitchen was dirty, so I had to clean it first. Maybe that was it. Maybe it's the fact that it's new. I haven't spent much time soaking cashews in my life. I'm a creature of intense habitual tendencies. I hate new things, like really hate them. My dad's favorite story about me involves a new restaurant my family found and loved when I was probably twelve. They wanted to bring me to it, but I refused. I thought I wouldn't like it. I didn't want to try it. Under no circumstances would I go to this new restaurant. Except one day when it was my stepsister's birthday and she wanted to go there. So I had to go. And guess what? I LOVED IT. Obviously. It became my new favorite restaurant. I only ever wanted to go there. So this is my challenge. Or at least one of them. It might not be the whole cashew story, but I'm guessing it's at least part of it. Because now that I've soaked the cashews once, I feel that in the future, I could soak them again.
I don't know where I'm going with this. I don't know what the answer is, or how to get past this paralyzation that occurs at the prospect of taking tiny action steps. The only thing I can think to do is just to fucking do it. Just take the step, make the move. Because everything flows after that. But like I said, it often feels like trudging through 4 feet of mud up a mountain. So I don't know. But at least I know this about myself, so next time I can for say for sure "Ok. This thing I'm dreading/avoiding, just do it. It looks like a giant mountain, but it's really just a tiny pebble I have to step over."
Anyway, here is the mac n cheese I made. It was crazy good.