THIS PROJECT BEGAN ON A CHILLY FEBRUARY MORNING IN 2017
Who am I?
By kindergarten, I was already a writer. Hunched over my small, desk/chair, prision cell thing, I didn’t have enough lines on the journal page (under the picture drawing area), to say what I wanted to say. Once prompted, I had something to say. I was so integrated with my internal voice, that I felt like I was running downhill, as the words cascaded onto the page, filling the front, side margin and then the back with my thoughts converted to lines of graphite. Over time my voice was silenced by the rules of academia, forced repetition, citation of all ideas, essentially killed any chance for me to communicate any of my own original ideas in any of my own style. Love eventually turned to hate. But after getting my degree I’m not beholden to the shackles of acadamia, I can start a sentence with the word “but” if I damn well please, and my paragraphs may have a completely crazy number of sentences if that pleases me, and it does.
Why Did I Start This Blog?
So I started this blog to be my white, armchair sitting cat, who I stroke for the hell of it, as I laugh (to not cry) at the joy, beauty, pain and ugliness of life. I plan to make this mental space a fun and safe place for my creative self to live. For me, this place is more than a blog, because it will host my Audible Book Fight Club and the blibary. This is a digital representation of my mind, heart and soul, my experience as a human being on Earth. I’m specifically writing 100 free form blog posts, in response to Mark Manson’s personal challenge to me (yeah it’s personal, because I took it personally…). So here I am at middle age, finding my lost voice as a writer, with the time I have since I didn’t get into medical school as planned (the new plan is to get in as a donated corpse).
My Inspiration to Write
I deny being insired to write, for me, writing is instinctual; A natural part of being alive, which I have to block if I don’t want to do it. It’s my soul’s path of least resistance to get to a state of flow. I think writing is the natural digestion of thoughts, which readers ingest mentally. Writing feels right to me at this point in my life, for reasons yet unknown.
How Did I Get My Sh*t Together?
I’ve always been a writer, but I’m just starting right now (this very sentence) to be serious about actually producing writing on a consistent basis. Now is the time because, I’ve got my shit together at a higher lever than ever before, and also because I learned to stop doing everything my loved ones would roll downhill for me to do as I slowly die inside. Initially I accidentally purchased a year of Instacart, food delivery, instead of just trying it (which I was trying to do), so then I thought, what if instead of the hassle of cancelling, I use that saved time to do something worthwhile in my life for this year just to see what happens? And what came to mind was writing. So I made the jump between observer/planner/wisher to doer/writer/jumper. Later my husband took over the shopping and more and more mundane things I stopped doing, which is awesome, but he never picked up any burdens I didn’t set down first.
There were a few things that made a difference to me, the book “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck,” was the first step towards defeating my deep fear of failure and imperfect, the guiding light was “The Power of Habit,” which let me know I had the power and the responsibility of living my life how I wanted to live it. I had two years of proactivity denial and time management struggles, but I changed and have been living my best life the best I can for a few weeks already, which for the most part means living by my values first, not as an after thought, on a daily basis.
Isn’t Living by Your Values Everyday Too Hard?
Yes and no. Not every value everyday, not an essay and a drawing about how it happened in my journal everyday, but living by one or two of my values each day kills that horrible “did I do enough” feeling I get otherwise. If you never read another post, please take this knowledge with you: there is a free website http://www.lifevaluesinventory.org, which lists a lot of values people don’t talk about in everyday life, it helps you rank them based on how significant they are to you, and then helps you troubleshoot difficulties between values and how to fit them into your life harmoneously. In six seconds a day, you can live by your own values, and it will make you feel better about yourself and your life. I’ll detail the steps of value based living in further posts, but it’s also on http://www.lifevaluesinventory.org totally free. If you only used the internet once in your lifetime, I think finding your soul’s unique value mosaic is the most significant thing you could do with a half hour of your time.
Summary of Life Value Invetory’s Guide to Living by Your Values:
Part A: Recognize you are in control of your own life/destiny.
Part B: Learn about different values.
Part C: Pick which value from your own heart to live by today.
1. Think or Write: What do I want to do today to live by my value of _?
2. Think or Write: What can I do today with what conditions (time, money, help, ability) I actually have?
3. Do That, As Best You Can
4. Think or Write: What you appreciate about what you did do (let go of anything you didn’t do).
5. Write: One thing you learned today, that can help you through tomorrow.
It took me a lot of trial and error, what sounded good, what I thought my values were, didn’t really resonate with my soul, but letting go of what doesn’t fit freed me to reinvent myself and learn how to ascribe truthful meaning and satisfaction in my life and the past few years have brought me more satisfaction, with who I am as a person, and my own integrity, than anything else has. I found a deep well of satisfaction, previously missing from my life, when I uncovered and started living by my values.
THREE YEARS LATER
Did you think I would finish? Spoiler alert I did. What I learned about myself among other things is it takes 1262 days for me to write 100 articles. It wasn’t at the same pace, last year I wrote 60 posts total last year, this year I wrote 60 posts in 7 months… so writing accelerated. Shyness eased. Perfectionism evaporated. Quality hopefully improved (but at least didn’t drop – I guess why would it?). Check out the centennial post if your interested of live in the present with my most recent post instead.