Lena Corazon

Flights of Fancy

Hard Truths for the New Year

It’s been pretty quiet over here at Flights of Fancy over the last few months, and for good reason. For me, 2012 was a blur of deadlines and responsibilities, punctuated by my Big Move over the summer from Santa Barbara to San Francisco, and the transition to living with my parents once again.

I finished my MA thesis and earned my long-awaited degree at the beginning of March, switched dissertation topics at the end of May and hustled like crazy to write all the papers necessary to advance to doctoral candidacy by mid-September, packed up all my worldly possessions and moved at the beginning of July, and spent the last three months of the year collecting data for my dissertation.

Oh, and I won CampNaNo back in August and NaNoWriMo in November, started working on my physical health, somehow squeezed in time to have a semblance of a social life, and rediscovered my love for writing poetry.

It’s not a bad list of accomplishments, to be honest, even if the day job did take precedence over my blogging life, and even if I still haven’t gotten around to finishing any of my WIPs. But as I look at this list, I know that the successes I made in 2012 were weighed down by the horrible encroaching monster of negativity that has been slowly taking over my life.

Tangling With the Doubt Monster
(Or, How I Am My Own Worst Enemy)

I am, as most of you are probably aware, a perfectionist. I’m a Type-A personality, and I’ve been speeding along the racetrack for academic success for as long as I can remember. My life has been one long series of coursework and papers and extracurricular activities and, these days, research and teaching. And I love this. I am good at it. But I’d be a helluva lot better at it if my head wasn’t filled with all sorts of crazy bullshit that tells me that I am an utter failure.

I used to laugh my little Doubt Monster off. Y’know, because feeling like a failure in the midst of a life filled with success and a lot of blessings seems absolutely ridiculous. But if I’m being honest with myself, I have to admit that I spent most of 2012 (and 2011, and 2010…) trapped in a horrible paralyzing world of grey, where fear and anxiety leeched away the excitement I should feel for life, leaving me with a mess of despair and a tangle of emotions.

But it is a new year, and I have decided that I’m through with living this way. I could accomplish so much more, and be so much happier, if I kicked my Doubt Monster to the curb and ditched all the crazy that has taken hold of my life.

With that in mind, I leave you with my intentions for 2013, summed up in poetic form. Here’s to a safe, healthy, and wonderfully creative new year for us all!

“Poem for a New Year”

2012 has been a painful lesson
that the way I live–
all smiles on the outside
shattered and broken on the inside–
cannot be allowed to continue.

This last year taught me
that I can’t keep living in the grey world
of can’t–
too stupid
too slow
too trite
too cliche
too untalented–
where I self-mutilitate
not with razor blade and substances
but with words weighed down with negativity
words that pollute and poison
till everything that lives in my soul is mutated, ugly–
foul-looking with missing eyes and extra limbs
savage mockeries of all that was once beautiful and clean and real.

In my brief moments of sanity
where perfectionism and the hideous monster of not-good-enough are silenced
I know my worth,
see the shadow of the woman I know I could become
if I stopped the cray,
banished the negative,
trashed my doubts,
and stepped into the light.

I want a soul free from toxic waste
returned to its former glory
all shiny and sparkly and spangled with glitter
riotous with color, suffused with the glow of a million gems–
a soul that can breathe, one that can create,
one filled with all the glorious dreams I’ve allowed
to fall by the wayside.

And so 2013 is my time
a chance to seize back my life
return to a place where prayer and creation are
where my wings have strength to soar off on new adventures
and my fingers are able to seize hold of new opportunities.

I rejoice in this new beginning
revel in the promise of days to come.
“Strength, courage, and wisdom” is my mantra;
transformation is my goal.

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  1. Lena, the poem is beautiful! We know how talented and lovely annnnnd glittery you are. If you ever need a break, I’ll strangle the monster for awhile 😀 Here’s to all the great things 2013 will bring!
    Lauren Garafalo recently posted..Christmas CheerMy Profile

    • Lauren, I think that is the mark of a true friend: to be willing to step in for some monster-strangling time. Have I mentioned lately how glad I am to know you? 😀

  2. Lena, you captured it so well. I’m also a Type A perfectionist, and I felt like you were speaking for me. I’ve also decided not to let my self-doubt get in my way this year.
    Marcy Kennedy recently posted..Most Valuable Writing Business Posts of 2012My Profile

    • Marcy, thanks so much for stopping by. It means a lot to know that I’m not the only one who is prone to insecurity and self-doubt. I hope we all manage to kick it to the curb this year!

  3. Lena, I know I’ve said this before, but I’m so in awe of your accomplishments. Finding a balance between academic and creative writing is not easy — they’re so different. “Prayer and creation” — such a beautiful phrase. Congrats and happy 2013!
    Debra Eve recently posted..Late Bloomer, Long Tail 3: Heart WorkMy Profile

    • Debra, thank you so much! It’s true, the juggling act does start to feel taxing at times, but I think I’m learning (or at least trying) to make them “play well” together.

      Happy new year to you as well! May this year bring us all continued success. 😀

  4. Lena, like Marcy said, you have spoken what I have felt for a lot of the end of 2012. I’ve spent the last few weeks contemplating throwing in the towel, shelving the writing, doubting myself to the nth degree.

    Like Debra, I’m so impressed with what you’ve accomplished, and I am so happy to see you regain your balance. May I borrow your mantra?
    Elizabeth Anne Mitchell recently posted..Dona eis requiemMy Profile

    • You know, when I think about things in my more rational moments, it astounds me how we can manage to be our own worst enemies. We are all talented, intelligent, wonderful human beings… so why the doubt and fear? It is such a puzzling thing, really.

      I offer my mantra to you with all my blessings, Elizabeth. I’m hoping that we all learn how to master the art of overcoming our insecurities.

  5. Lena, your poem is beautiful. While your 2012 seems very successful from us outside looking in, I know how self-doubt can sabotage us. I love the “seize back my life” line. You’re going in the right direction. Any time you need support, count on us. 2013 will be your best year!
    Fabio Bueno recently posted..YAmondAY ~ Jillian Dodd DayMy Profile

  6. Lena, congratulations on all you have accomplished in the past year. I was often amazed at the load you were shouldering as I read your posts. Now that work is behind you and the rest of your life lies ahead. I’m so happy to read your resolution for 2013. Good luck. Be strong. Don’t stop believing in yourself. And if encouragement and words from a WANA friend help, you know where to find me. I’ll be waiting for your posts and cheering from the sidelines! Onward!

    • Thanks a million, Patricia! Having the support of you and the other WANAs really does make all the difference in the world. 😀

      I hope 2013 has started off well for you. Happy new year!

  7. Yes, sometimes we do doubt ourselves. What I love about your poem is the affirmations that value creativity and that beautiful, glittery free soul of yours. May it be so for us all in 2013. I’m trying to step outside my comfort zone this year with more active marketing of my writing AND continuing to write. It’s really not easy. But with a clear vision and hard work, I believe we can achieve our goals. I’m also participating in the Ultimate Blog Challenge — and thought you might be interested in this blog that I found this evening: http://juliejordanscott.typepad.com/julie_unplugged/2013/01/jan4questions13.html All the best to you for 2013.
    Beth Camp recently posted..I don’t remember . . .My Profile

    • Beth, it is so good to see you here. Thank you so much for the comments. I agree–there are so many things that we can accomplish with vision and work together.

      Thanks for linking me to Julie’s latest post. Definitely looks like something I am interested in.

      Happy new year!

  8. Karen McFarland

    January 4, 2013 at 10:21 pm

    Rock on Lena! That is one amazing poem! I so identify with you. I too like perfection, a wee too much. And the “Doubt Monster” has visited me a lot lately. Not fun. So may we make an attempt to keep each other encouraged Lena. You did have a very productive year. You are achieving things that most of us never achieve. I am applauding you for all that you’ve accomplished! You go girl! You can do it! {{Hugs!}}

  9. Fantastic, Lena!

    If there’s one thing for certain, change is constant, honey. And you’re doing a fantastic job of smiling on the outside. The key to dealing with ‘gremlins’ who chatter in our ear is to acknowledge them, hear them and then tell them to please leave it alone. And you’ve done exactly that by writing a beautiful poem. Stunning work.


  10. Love!!! Fabulous and brave post!

  11. I love your honesty as always Lena and I know, just know, that 2013 is going to be ‘riotous with color’ (colour to me!) for both of us!
    Em recently posted..My 2012My Profile

    • Yes, I wholeheartedly second this sentiment! We have both come so far since we started blogging, Em. I am so excited to see what this year brings for us. 😀

  12. One of the best tests of one’s work is how deeply it echoes in those that perceive it. The fact that so many people here see themselves in your words shows how well you’ve captured the sense of determination in the face of hesitation and uncertainty. Love it and you. Don’t ever feel you should give up writing or creating your dreams, because you deserve to see them realized.
    Eden Mabee recently posted..All Dressed Up And…My Profile

  13. Beautiful poem Lena! Here’s to sparkly souls . . . happy 2013. 🙂
    Coleen Patrick recently posted..Adventure Agenda:Get the Most Out of LifeMy Profile

  14. Beautiful poem, Lena. I hope that 2013 brings you all you desire. Once we learn to let go of the negative self-talk we can make miracles happen.

  15. Lena,
    I hope you don’t mind me sharing this on my FB page. Too close to home for me NOT to pass it on. Your poem could easily be mine, except for the fact that you write better than I do, lolz! Your plight, though, is shared. You are not alone. And now, neither am I, and through us, no one has to be. Thanks for putting this out there.

    *and there was much throwing of glitter!*
    Andi-Roo (@theworld4realz) recently posted..Federal Holiday – What day is it again?My Profile

    • I don’t mind at all! Thank you so much for linking to me, and I am so glad it resonated with you. Yay for not being alone, and for glitterific times. We will beat out doubt monsters together! 😀

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