I continued revising my manuscript this afternoon. I realize that I’ve got quite a bit of material to work with, but it needs to be better developed. Now I’m on my 2nd draft. Still, it’s coming along and I feel like I’m on the right track. I keep telling myself, as difficult as it is to tell my story, it will never get written unless I write it! I try to write every day except the weekends, and for the most part, I’m doing it. I’m still keeping my blog and I’m still writing guest posts for CureTalk, so it’s getting to be quite a bit of writing!
Mentally and emotionally, I’m doing better and continuing to make progress. I’m monitoring my negative thinking to make sure it doesn’t spiral out of control. I’ve found that whenever I need a cheerful, happy thought to cheer me up, all I need to do is think about my writing. I envision myself a successful writer with my memoir published and working on children’s stories in the years ahead. This is much happier than worrying about what other people think and things I have no control over. When it comes right down to it, the only person we really have any control over is ourselves. We cannot change the people around us, we can only change ourselves. I often wish other people around me would change, but I really only have myself to change. I think I’m doing pretty good so far!
For me, confidence is still the key. Especially in large groups of people. I went to a large Buddhist meeting on Saturday, and I immediately felt intimidated by all the other people at the meeting, many of whom I knew. I had the urge to leave in the middle of the meeting to avoid having to talk to anyone after it was over. I really wanted to go to the meeting so that I could support one of my Buddhist friends who was joining the SGI that day and receiving her Gohonzon. Her parents were visiting her, so I met them briefly and introduced myself (which I rarely ever do). I congratulated her, and gave her a book I had bought for young women. I talked to her for a few minutes, chatted briefly with another friend and then John picked me up. It was a very encouraging meeting, but sometimes I dread the end of meetings when everyone gets up and talks to whoever they know that’s there. I usually feel awkward, but if I remember to be confident and smile, I’m ok. I’m so much more happier when I’m confident and friendly than when I am angry and reclusive. It just takes practice and effort – and chanting too, of course!