I’ve been struggling like a mofo for the last month. Some days it was even hard to get out of bed in the morning. Some days napping was all I could do to avoid giving up completely.
And then, of course, the moment of integration happened.
In that moment, the energy shifted, my emotions shifted, and all the dots connected looking back on why I’ve been struggling so freaking hard for the past month.
When you’re working on learning something new or reprogramming something old, there’s always a period of uncertainty. A period where you’re not sure if you’re getting it, will ever get it, or if you’ll always just be confused AF. A period where it seems like there will never be a light at the end of the tunnel.
And then the moment of integration happens, and everything shifts from there.
The problem is, you never know when that moment is coming. And that’s why you just have to keep going.
You won’t arrive at that moment any other way.
The moment of integration isn’t something you can plan for or even something you’ll see coming. One day you’ll be feeling lost, confused and like you’re never gonna get it, and the next it will all finally click and you won’t even remember what it was like before that moment.
That’s just how learning, growth and transformation work.
I remember when that moment happened for me with story structure. I’d been writing stories my whole life, but I had never learned about story structure until early 2009, when I came across an article about it written by my now-mentor Larry Brooks.
I remember reading that article, sitting on the brown couch in the living room of my house, and hearing “trumpets” go off in my head and seeing a bright-light shining down from above. It was like my whole life up ’til that point became clear to me. Why certain stories worked, why others didn’t. It was the epiphany of my life, and the moment that has since divided my life in half: before story structure and after.
But that was really just the beginning of my story structure journey. Knowing that it existed, and being able to understand it fully and use it in my own stories was a whole different beast.
I committed in that moment to mastering story structure. I studied it like it was my job. Day in and day out, I would read Larry’s articles and books, and I would watch 2-3 movies a day, trying to find the plot points. FOR YEARS of my life.
But it wasn’t until five+ years later that I had my moment of integration.
Even after spending five years studying structure, things were still a bit fuzzy for me, and I still couldn’t find the plot points in a movie without spending a ton of time trying to figure it out. And then one day, I was watching a movie when suddenly it was like the plot points jumped off the screen and hit me in the face.
I couldn’t unsee what I’d just seen. I had my moment of integration. The moment when everything I’d been learning and studying finally became clear to me in a way where I couldn’t even believe there was a time in my life when I didn’t get it.
And the same thing happened to me over the past two days with all the personal development and growth stuff I’ve been working on this year (really, really heavy shit around lack and self-worth).
I had my moment of integration.
Suddenly everything clicked. Everything made sense. Everything was clear. And when I look back at the past month+ that I’ve just struggled through, it almost made me laugh.
Of course now I get it. Of course now it all makes sense. Of course I finally figured it out.
Because that’s how it works.
When you embark on a journey to learn something new or reprogram something old, it’s always going to feel like three steps forward and five steps back. It’s always going to be a dance of “I totally get this” and “yet I’m still so freaking confused.”
And your job in all of the chaos is simply to hold on tight and just keep going. Even if you feel your fingers slipping and like the pressure is so strong you think your head might blow off.
You just have to hold on and keep going, and if you do, I promise you, that moment of integration will arrive.
You will get to the moment where it all makes sense and everything is clear and you can’t even remember what you were like before this moment. It’s inevitable if you keep going.
How long it takes to get to that moment is different for everyone and every situation.
It took me five+ years to have my moment of integration with story structure, and that’s after spending five full years reading about and learning about structure, and watching and deconstructing movies every single day. It took me 11 months to integrate the stuff I started reprogramming back in January.
It takes as long as it takes. And you have to be so committed to reaching the moment of integration that you just keep going. No matter what is happening in or around you.
No matter how hard it can be.
Deal with the struggle. Feel the uncertainty. Steep yourself in the confusion of it all.
And trust. Trust that your moment of integration is coming, so long as you stay the course.
Dream life or bust,
P.S. Ben Franklin once said: “Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today.” And that’s because “tomorrow” isn’t real. It doesn’t exist until it exists. So you can either live for “tomorrow” or “one day” or “some day” OR you can just freaking do it today, start it today, or finish it today, because today is the only thing that’s real.
Instead of putting off until next year the book you intended to write/revise/finish this year, why not just do it this year??
I’m giving you the support, guidance, accountability and community to do exactly that… start, revise or finish your book, in my upcoming workshop–Get Your Book DONE.
Join us for this 29-day challenge and finally do the thing you said you would for the last 11 months. (And I’m offering it for a Pay-What-You-Can price which = no brainer!!)
>> Details and sign up here: www.jenniferblanchard.net/getyourbookdone