I’m a liar. Eh. Alright, perhaps I’m being a bit rough on myself. I’m a bullshitter. Or–maybe I’m just working some stuff out in this loud brain of mine.
I’ve mentioned how optimistic I am about the new year–that’s true, I am. I think what’s had me feeling like a fraud is that my optimism has shifted towards endeavors I’m so unsure about. As my goals and intentions for 2018 are slowly coming into focus, I feel clear and uncertain, all at the same time. It’s a different thing I think, when you know that you must set out on a journey that has no definitive destination or ending. That wasn’t how things were last year–last year I had blogging goals–numbers I wanted to reach. And of course, I had the marathon–the ultimate finish line.
I blog to grow. In 2017, blogging taught me an incredible amount of discipline. I learned to write even when I didn’t feel like it, even when I was tired, even when I felt like I might not have anything to say. I pushed through writer’s block more times than I can count and I learned that some of my most fulfilling work is on the other side of crap.
As much as blogging has helped my writing in the past 12 months, I ended December with the sneaking feeling I might have to break out and put my energy towards other forms of writing as well. Here’s the thing about blogging for me–I like the attention. It feels good to put my thoughts out there and almost immediately have feedback on them. Honestly, I think a part of me has gotten addicted to the instant gratification. Whether a response to something I’ve written is positive, negative, or somewhere in the middle, it’s satisfying to feel like my voice is being heard and invigorating when people are moved enough to respond to it.
Now though, all of the sudden, as I’ve made this turn into 2018, I’ve realized that that instant gratification is only going to feed me for so long. I have to start working on bigger projects–I’ve got to push myself to start writing things that people aren’t going to read right away–or perhaps ever. It’s clear to me that by necessity, I’ve turned down a different road. I’d feel more confident if I knew exactly where I was going.
I was afraid that if I didn’t have clear cut goals for 2018, I’d lack focus. I’m not afraid of that anymore. I’m hopeful, eager, and disciplined. I also trust that there is some sort of force in the universe more powerful than I am–and that usually has a plan that is far superior to my own. So I think 2018 will be about quieting myself–about listening intently to hear what the next right thing for me to do is. I’m usually tempted to make things more complicated than they are. As a result I expend more energy than I need to, often on things that don’t really serve me. Take this morning. I was up later than usual watching the Globes last night, so I gave myself the option to sleep in. Normally, I would still wake up at my normal time, and then go back and forth with guilt over whether I should get up and try and get some writing in or make it to an AA meeting (there’s one at 7:30AM every morning I try to hit a couple times a week). If my extra sleep doesn’t go to complete shit over my waffling, it’s usually completely forgone to yawning at my computer screen and taking 90 minutes to squeeze out 3-4 usable sentences.
This morning was different though. On this cold January morning of this new year I woke up at my usual time, peeked at the clock, assessed that I was legitimately exhausted, and fell back asleep hard for another two hours. I woke with no guilt. I felt rested and ready to tackle whatever was next. I was even inspired to put in a little effort and do my hair instead of throwing it up in my usual bun. I truly believe the whole day went so smoothly because I just kept doing what was in front of me–rather than letting guilt and superfluous distractions slow me down and eat away at my time.
I’m hoping I can carry this mindfulness with me throughout the year–but I think that is part of the point–I don’t need to wish for that. I just need to take one day at a time.
This Monday was pretty great. I love when Mondays are great.
I’m pretty stoked to wake up tomorrow and lift and run. Man I’ve been loving running lately. I haven’t gone over 6 miles in weeks and I’ve been loving every step. I used to dread shedding the holiday pounds–I used to dread putting them on, and taking them off. This year, I seem to be enjoying both. More on that soon. x
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