Bonjour! I just returned from a trip to Quebec City, my first time to the capital city! I have to say, I’ve returned filled and fired up. And not just filled with the best pasta, escargot and local craft beer. Filled with gratitude and inspiration from the city, the charming old streets and our rich history.
Oh, what a place Quebec City was.
I think every Canadian should make a point of visiting the oldest city in Canada to appreciate the architecture of our earliest settlers but also the history of our country. It is a seriously beautiful city with so much to take in – beautiful countryside, too many good things to eat and drink and the feeling you get while walking the quaint streets is a feeling like no other. It feels like you’re in a different place, far away from home. As if you’re across the pond walking down some European street.
It was not hard to be inspired while I was there. Inspired to write more, share more, do more, think more and just be more. As I opened my laptop each morning filled with excitement to write, it reminded me of why I hesitate to write when I’m ‘back at home.’
Why is it that in a foreign place or in the most random of times, we get some of our best ideas and want to openly share them? And then the minute we get home or ‘back to our routine’, we are more reluctant to share that same blog post, tweet or idea?
For years in my job in politics, I learned to watch how every word could be taken. Manipulated, spun, used against me and my boss. It just came with the job, I knew that. Every time I’d thought of blogging for the past number of years, I’ve always wondered if what I said would be taken and spun against me professionally. There was an instance that something was spun against me, but that my friends, is for a whole other blog post.
So, now that my political days are behind me, it is a weird feeling to know that the only thing that is holding me back is ‘moi.’ There is no consequences to what I want to say now. I can’t get fired. My words won’t affect my boss. I only have me to think about me again and my personal brand. And yet, I still feel like I have to watch what I say because with our digital world, we’re never really sure when/where our words will be used against us. It comes with the territory of using platforms like social media to share our ideas.
I think this notion is why so many people hold back in saying what they want too. They are either:
scared of what others will think of them;
worried how their words or ideas could impact them/their family/their work
feel like what they have to say has no value or that someone else has already said it
How fitting then, that while I was in Quebec City, I watched the movie The Star is Born (which everyone seems to be raving about BTW and I can see why.. go and download the soundtrack!). And how cliché then that while watching the movie and thinking of this notion of why people (like myself!) don’t actually do or say things they want too, that the main character, Jackson Maine aka. Bradley Cooper says the following:
“Look, talent comes everywhere, but having something to say and a way to say it so that people listen to it, that’s a whole other bag. And unless you get out and you try to do it, you’ll never know. That’s just the truth. And there’s one reason we’re supposed to be here is to say something so people want to hear. So you got to grab it, and you don’t apologize, and you don’t worry about why they’re listening, or how long they’re going to be listening for, you just tell them what you want to say.”
So, where do we start and where do we go once we have the courage to finally say something? I don’t know. If I knew the answer to that, I think I’d be retired :P
But the point is to start. I think every self-help book starts with this premise. Start whatever it is that makes you hungry. Its why I’m going to get back into this writing thing and share more on my blog. No, but really, for real this time. I’m hungry again.