Cover your eyes — my crazy is showing
Cover your eyes — my crazy is showing.
I want to be a lot of things.
I want to excel at my job. I want to learn more marketing skills. I want to work on my writing. I want to do a TED talk. I want to start networking groups. I want to be an advocate for mental health. I want to write for magazines. I want to publish a book (or two). I want to own my own business. I want to get my masters. I want to be a professor. I want to lead.
Are you exhausted yet?
I want all of these things, and somehow, someway — they are all innately woven together... though how I don't yet know.
The list of things I wanted in my career and life started long ago, and here's how it went:
One: Kick ass in school. Two: Kick ass at internships. Three: Kick ass at getting a full-time job. Four: Kick ass at that. Five: Move to Boston and start all over again.
Somehow, someway — I did the first five.
And yes, it is pretty surreal.
But somehow it isn't enough — nothing is ever going to be enough. Why? Because I like to grow, I like to learn — I like to push myself.
It's not about being someone new and different, it's about becoming more myself than I ever have been before. It's about loving where I am today, accepting who I am today — and wanting to grow and change because I love myself that much — because I want to give to myself that much.
It's not about doing it out of self-loathing or self-harm — but out of love for me, for the others I would like to touch.
Now, these thoughts, these reasons for growing — they were not always the case.
I accomplished the first five. Yet in doing so, I struggled on the inside. I strived to be someone out of my reach, because I simply strived to not be me. And while my resume and references screamed gold stars, my inner soul and thoughts were still trying to keep up.
The truth is — they still are.
I was writing down the things I want to accomplish during my no-set-end-date time in Boston, and the list looked like this:
-Refine my marketing skills through certifications & courses
-Write my book
-Be a tutor
-Host networking groups for like-minded souls
-Get my podcast on iTunes
-Do a TED talk — public speak
-Get my MBA with an emphasis on Leadership
-Think about building a business
...the list goes on.
These things I want to do, well, they're a lot. And the problem, the problem is that I care about each one of them equally. I can't tell you that I want to solely be a writer or a marketer or a business owner or a student. I want all of these things, at some point in my life.
But I simply can't do them all, right now — today.
I can't do them all today for a few reasons. The most obvious being that no one person working a full-time job and commuting an hour and a half a day (who also happens to be someone that needs at minimum 7 hours of sleep) could ever do all of these things at once. The second reason being that I'm simply not ready.
As much as my resume might say otherwise — I still have a lot to work on internally — on me.
I need to catch up.
Because the truth is — I still often struggle, I still self-deprecate, get high anxiety bursts, and turn to bad habits that cause me to feel pain and remorse. I still go back to the wrong reasons of needing to accomplish these things instead of the ones grounded in growth and challenge.
I still do it all.
And I deserve better than that.
You deserve better than that.
What if, we all took the time to work on ourselves internally, in order to do the best job externally? What if we dug deep and freed ourselves from ourselves in order to create, live, love, and share experiences?
We're all capable. We all do amazing things. I have accomplished goal after goal after goal, I have pleasantly surprised myself with different writing and creations.
But what if I was free?
What would my work and life be like if I was free? Free from my constraints — my made up limitations?
Then what could I do?
I want to know that answer.
I want to know what would happen, if, instead of sitting and writing the same goals over and over again — I took them bite by bite — one by one.
I want to know what would happen, if, instead of wallowing in my own problems, I worked on loving myself and going out and making the world better.
I want to know what would happen, if, I focused on the right things instead of the wrong ones. If I learned to not obsess over my schedule, my food, my looks, my resume — my goals.
I want to know what would happen.
Maybe nothing, but to be honest, at this point, that's a risk I'm willing to take.
These things I want that I mentioned so specifically above — I still do.
But how can I give a TED talk when I am still finding my answers? How can I write a book when I am still finding the end? How can I get better if all I do is repeat the very patterns that made me worse?
I can't... and I don't want to.
A co-worker shared an article with me today that I appreciated, and one quote in particular really stuck.
"Embrace your capacity."
It is not about doing all of the things right this second. It is about doing the things that I want and need to do today, to be my best self today. Not next month, not next year — today.
I am embracing that I need my sleep. I am embracing that I need my exercise. I am embracing that I need to write when I feel I need to write. I am embracing that I have goals that are going to take time.
I am embracing that I am human — and that I need to focus on getting back to me.
I am embracing that my resume might need to wait a little longer — that my book might need to be completed a little later.
I will be taking these goals bite by bite — one by one. And while doing so, I'm going to focus on what I've been needing to focus on all along.
My health. My mind, my body — my spirit. My relationships, my ability to give to others, my creativity — my life.
I have always said, "you need to fix what's going on in here, so that you can go and fix what's going on out there," and I think it's about damn time I took my own advice.
And so, I'm going to write when I want to write. I'm going to jot down ideas when I need to jot down ideas. I'm going to start to work toward what excites me, right now — today.
Even if it's not in the plan. Even if it's not as strategic as possible. Even if it's not within the frame of the picture I had so perfectly painted.
That is what I'm going to do.
And I hope you do too.
Now, this doesn't just apply to those in need of some self-love and reflection — but also to those that maybe have more than one goal in their life. Maybe it's time to set your goals by unsetting some of your goals.
Maybe it's time you take it bite by bite — one by one.
Because then, and only then, will you start to clink away at the statue of your life.
Then and only then will your goals turn into accomplishments. Not by staring at a list, but by slowly, but surely, working to cross them off.
Bite by bite — one by one.
Inch by inch.