Today I feel like writing in English. Most of the times I feel like writing in Spanish, but as I spend more time talking in French or in English, it just happens that my thoughts are also in that language, and so is my feeling to write in one language or another. And I am seeing right now the face of my dad saying: “but in which language you’ve wrote it? Because sometimes you write things in English or in French and we don’t understand it”. Yeah, I know. And I’m sorry dad, but that’s the way it is. I know you never asked for a tri-lingual (or multi-lingual, polyglot, or whatever the right word is) daughter. I know. Neither did I expect to become one of them. It just happened like that. And here we are now, me writing in English and you not understanding what I write.
So, I was today in my flight back from London (bye bye cold, snowy London, hello, sunny, mistrally Marseille), finishing the last book that one of my latest connections recommended me (The E-myth, Michael E. Gerber, great book, btw), and suddenly I thought on that sentence: “Prepare for the worst, hope for the best”. And then I suddenly realized what it’s been happening to me in the last few weeks. I have been only preparing for the worst. All-the-time. And that is exhausting. And so I kept thinking: shouldn’t I instead, prepare for the best? Because frankly, preparing for the worst is just extenuating. What if we don’t find a lawyer? What if the landlord does not like our application? What if we are not able to get the price we want? What if we don’t get enough students? What if we don’t get the change of use permission? What if the building falls down??? What??? Stop right there just a second. You just said what????
Ah, let me introduce you for a moment the five Elena’s inside my head. Yes, there are five of us. And it gets a little bit loud in here, I’m telling you.
So there is this one, I think she is my favourite. She is the dreamer. She is laidback, in jeans, sneakers, sweter, with a ponny tail and a big flowery handbag. I know you have met her, she likes to travel a lot, she loves Japan, she is addicted (well, almost) to sushi, she likes to dance, she laughs, she listens, she talks (yeah, she’s loud), she is carefree, and honestly, she is good company. She is also the one who thinks life is more beautiful with music, because with music there is dance, and everything is better with dance. And she is the one who wants to contribute to get the world a lot more beautiful by putting more pianist in it. Yes, she is the reason we are here in the first place… I like her a lot.
Then there is the go-get-it girl. She is the one that one day has the opportunity to go live in the US or in France and there she goes. She does not really speak the language, but what the heck, you just learn it, don’t you? Everybody does. So she spends the first few months smiling a lot, but it is not only because the dreamy, smiley Elena is there with her, it is just because she does not understand a simple word of what people around her are saying… but that’s ok, she’ll learn, it is just a matter of time. She does a lot more things like that. Suddenly (or not so suddenly, because there is always another Elena behind the scenes helping her) she decides that she wants to buy an apartment here or there, or buy a car by phone, or just start learning Japanese, or go to Africa and volunteer, or just travel alone. She is the one that one day decides to quit that well paid job for… well… she does not know yet what for, but hold on, there is something out there. Many people do that, don’t they? Why couldn’t she? You would say she is not scared of anything, but she is, she is scared to death. But she does not really care. Because she is the go-getter.
Then there is the accountant one. She is this one with the short hair, glasses, a calculator in hand, addicted to excel, she wears this schooly outfit, you know: white shirt, squared printed skirt, long shocks, and brown shoes… yeah, I know, not the greatest of the outfits, but that’s just who she is. She is also the one who likes to code. She is the scientist. And she can not avoid it, she wants the things to be exact. She wants numbers, she wants details, she wants how-tos, she wants precision, not just those imaginary figures that your business plan says (ah, business plans… no, she does not like business plans cause they are just that… plans, they are not an exact science).
Wait, we are approaching the dark side of the room. Get ready for it.
Now, there is this Elena. She is… the perfectionist? I don’t even know how to call her… well yes, you figured, she is not my favourite person in the world. She just wants everything to be done as things have to be done. Well done. And well done from the very beginning. Everything has a place and a time. There are things that are not negotiable, they are just the way they are. And there are standards. For everything. And standards are to be followed. And there are procedures. And procedures are to be followed. I am not sure at which point in time she was born, or if she was there all along. She can be really helpful sometimes, as sometimes it is really good to have things done in the right order at the right time but… when the time calls for flexibility, she should not be there… and she is. I think she’s been there the last few weeks, and that’s kind of an issue. Because, as much as she wants to help, she just keeps bringing to the upfront our last Elena…
… the child Elena. Here is were you get full diclosed access to my insights… well, not completetly, anyway, there might be other Elenas out there, but if I show everything like that where is the fun, right?
So the child Elena is the one who thinks: “wait, what are you doing? Are you crazy? Who do you think you are? And you think you’re special? Cause you are not. And yes, you might want to do those many things but… yes, it is about time that you realize. It was all luck, and here it is when that luck ends. It is not going to work. You are not that smart, you are not that good, and it is just simply not going to work”.
I know, right? Yes, I stopped writing about that little one, cause suddenly everything became dark and impossible. I think they call it also the “impostor”. Poteito, potato.
So, back to my flight (and to sunny Marseille), I thought that the last three Elenas (the accountant, the perfectionist and the child-impostor) have taken over the power these last few weeks, and they are not letting space to the dreamy and the go-getter. Because they are only preparing for the worst, and while preparing for the worst there is no place to hope for the best. Because the worst always absorbs everything. So I thought I better prepare for the best and let the worst, if it happens, show up in time. I’ll deal with that later, in due time.
And so, I’ve decided I’ll change my what-ifs now (or at least I’ll work on it). And so, my what-ifs will become something more similar to:
– What if everythig goes well?
– What if the lawyer and the surveyor get us a good deal?
– What if the current tenants leave on time and we can make it to the openning in September?
– What if by the openning we have a lot more students?
– What if we find the perfect teachers?
– What if the place becomes what we want it to become?
– What if we fill the world with pianist?
– What if everything works out just fine?