Expectations

Hello! I’m happy to report that I have survived the busiest months ever! Somehow, the end of June into beginning of August was when All The Things™ happened, and big part of making sure I survived was prioritizing the small amount of free time I had to take care of myself. This meant not feeling bad about falling behind on an arbitrary blog schedule I created for myself. I definitely stand by the fact that even though I’ve had all these ideas of stuff to write, I decided to get some sleep instead.

So what have I been up to these last two months? Well, after wrapping up a successful pride month, there were birthdays to celebrate, concerts to dance at, a four day work conference to prepare for and attend, and I moved out for the very first time.

Like I said. ALL. THE. THINGS.

But for real, being busy is my favorite, so being busy with all these incredible events in my life made for such an exciting way to spend my summer. And the fact that my yearly family vacation on the beach fell exactly at the end of my busy months didn’t hurt, either. It made the reward that much sweeter.

It’s sort of been a little too perfect. Spending time and energy on projects I was excited about, practicing self care to handle my busy schedule, and then getting to relax and refresh on the beach for a week. It’s left me feeling completely recharged and motivated. Sort of like New Year’s. Plus, when I realized that I moved into a new apartment at the very middle of the year – the beginning of July – it was a perfect opportunity to hit a reset button. On my resolutions, intentions, and general plans for working toward my goals.

So what now?

As an overly enthusiastic and creative person, it’s tough to navigate all of the ideas and aspirations I have for myself. I get so amped about a project I want to start, and then I have 10 other projects I want to work on, and then I get so overwhelmed that I don’t choose anything and instead just watch Netflix.

I see so much stuff online discussing what to do when you’re lacking motivation and want to get started on something. Or how to keep the momentum going once you’ve found it. But what about when you have the drive but aren’t sure where to direct it?

As I will tell anyone who will listen, Leslie Knope and I are undeniably the same person. There’s a particular quote that comes to mind when I think about our similar levels of enthusiasm, motivation, and stamina:

“I’m going to work until I’m 100, then cut back to four days a week. I’m already bored thinking about that fifth day. Oh, well, maybe I’ll go to law school!”

Right, so that’s how I feel most of the time. When I have a day off, if I’m not crossing something off my to-do list, I feel unproductive. Sure, I’ll take some time at the end of a busy work day to hang out with friends or watch YouTube videos and eat some ice cream. But there’s always this lingering judgement in back of my mind that is trying to convince me to step it up. When was the last time I wrote something? Should I be focusing more on a side hustle? Why didn’t I go for a run before dinner? I always want to be working, improving, and feeling as fulfilled as possible. But there’s certainly a difference between being fulfilled and being completely stuffed.

There’s another quote from Parks and Rec that I’ve been considering lately that I think will serve me better than my usual Leslie Knope energy levels.

Never half ass two things. Whole ass one thing.”

Much like the goal I had set for myself to write a new blog post every month, my motivation often comes from my own personal expectations. While there is certainly a benefit of purpose that comes along with setting a goal, it’s important to remember to keep a balance. Once you start setting too many goals without the proper resources to complete them, you’ll likely end up more frustrated than satisfied. It’s absolutely important to work hard to achieve what you want, but not at the price of compromising your true and full potential.

So maybe right now, instead of using my newly renewed energy and motivation to figure out how many projects I can work on, I can pick the one I’m most excited about and see where that takes me. Maybe after a few weeks I’ll want to shift my focus onto a different project for a while. Or maybe I’ll find time to take smaller and more meaningful steps forward in the areas I can handle. While it may take more effort and discipline, I think I can stand to be a little more flexible. I can whole ass one project at a time and move on when it feels right. That way, I can feel productive and creative while still having time to watch Parks and Rec. Again.

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Revival

I can’t believe I’ve had this blog for over a year! Let’s chat about then vs. now.

There were a lot of reasons I finally decided to take the plunge and publish that first post January of 2016, but in all honesty, I had no idea what this blog was going to become over time. My only thoughts were I like to write, I like to share my opinions, and I liked participating in bigger conversations. And this has definitely been the perfect outlet for me to do all three of those things. I’ve written posts about my favorite pop culture topics, commentary on social discourse, given dubious advice, and shared genuine reflections on my life as a young adult. In trying to brainstorm some new ideas for a blog post – considering it’s been well over two months since my last post, yay for consistency! – I figured it might be worth it to take a step back and reevaluate my purpose for this platform. Am I still posting for the same reasons? If not, what are my new motivations and challenges? Is anyone really reading this stuff? Will I ever write that post about why Ben & Leslie are the greatest TV couple to ever exist in the history of network television?

I have a strong feeling that the last one is a solid yes.

One of my biggest hesitations to start my blog was the fact that I never wanted to restrict myself to a schedule. Writing posts was (and still is) the most enjoyable for me when the inspiration was fresh and I felt passionate enough to share my thoughts. Unfortunately, I don’t have very much control over when these moments of inspiration happen – as I’m sure most writers can attest to, harnessing this motivation and discipline to write is one of the most difficult parts of putting words on paper. And while I was able to maintain a semi-regular schedule of posts for a while, these last few months had me getting a little worried. Was it worth it to write something half-assed for the sake of adding content? Or should I wait even longer for the new idea to strike, even if it meant my blog would remain silent for a number of months? I couldn’t really decide, but I always leaned toward the latter. That’s just how I tended to operate. Either I was passionate about doing something or I had very little interest to do it at all.

If you look back to the last post that was published on my blog, you will see another aspect of why I’ve been silent on this platform. The frustrations of the world around me have taken a pretty big toll on my mental health, and over the past few months, I’ve been dealing with a nasty bout of depression. This doesn’t quite mean I’ve been having trouble getting out of bed or that I hate the world around me; mental illness is a lot more complex than that. With everything that has been going on with society as a whole, plus my own personal obstacles I was working through, I found very little interest in a lot of stuff that I would often rely on for support. Any time I had the tiniest speck of an idea for a blog post, the drive to run to my computer and open a new document quickly dissolved, leaving me with tons of unfinished ideas and half-hearted brainstorm sessions.

And while it might have been that nobody gave a shit that I hadn’t posted anything in a while, I gave a shit. And I still do.

So maybe my blog will continue to be a place for me to share stories and ideas with you all, and maybe I won’t post as frequently as I’d like. Or maybe this post will spark a resurgence in my passion for blogging and I’ll pump out a bunch of different posts in the next few weeks. I’ve decided that I’m up for any outcome. Like all of my social media platforms, I like to think of this blog as a more polished representation of me; these posts are the thoughts and ideas and feelings and other things I want to share but may not be able to put into words face-to-face. Instead, I take the time to type them out and organize them and put in some silly jokes or fancy words to get my point across. But that’s also the nature of who I am – I’m a planner, I’m a thinker, and sometimes, I can be a bit of an overachiever. And for now, that seems to be working out just fine, so I think I’ll keep it up. Until it’s time for a nap.