Day 32: A new day and a new challenge

My 500 Words, Professional

It is day 32, which means that I have accomplished my initial goal of writing 500 words a day for 31 days. I did it! It also means that I cultivated a habit during those 30 days and am now continuing to write. I have extended the goal from 31 days to 50 days. So, the journey continues. I have debated throughout this process whether I should try to focus my messaging to a certain idea or topic throughout, but I like this free form style due to the fact that I have to write every day. In order to stay engaged, I need freedom to switch it up and just write about what feels interesting or good. So, that is what I am going to continue to do.

This weekend has been tough on my body. I am not sure if I am drinking more than normal or just fighting off sickness, but I am so tired! I feel like I need some R&R for the next week or so, and I am so excited for it. The older I get, the less alcohol and me mix. We are slowly going our separate ways. Also, I am staying at someone else’s house with the dog in our bedroom. It is not sitting well with my soul.

In any case, tomorrow will be a new day, and I have high hopes to get back to my healthy, normal self after some sleep and better eating and drinking habits. Balance! Such a struggle to strike it!

On to more pressing matters, like my career. I have been thinking a lot about moving in a more creative direction and trying my hand in a new space. I am interested by light, color, and how it makes you feel or think about a thing. I am just in an exploratory mode when it comes to this, so we will see! But, I would love to have more creativity in my professional life and to work on projects that excite me a bit more than I am currently. But, I also love health and the promotion of wellness. If I could combine these, which I think I can, that would be a cool next step.

I wonder how I could manifest the next step in a way that was meaningful and cool. It isn’t a blue duck, so it is hard to say. I guess I would love to turn this blog into a health and design blog, just to promote those ideas and designs. This could mean anything. It wouldn’t be limited to design in spaces but open to clothing, accessories, art, digital arts, film and more. Am I making any sense?

Basically, I want to explore more about how design can make our lives better, like actually better. Also, maybe it doesn’t. It could be the exploration of this as well. Well, I am just kind of musing for now on what could be. Maybe my next blog will be about the interaction of these two things. Maybe it will not, and I will move on yet again!

Until tomorrow, we shall not know. Tootles amigos!

Day 1: A Dream Deferred

My 500 Words

Well, today is the first day of the My500Words challenge. That means I have to write 500 words today. Yesterday, I was full of writing inspiration, my imagination going wild. Today, the day I need to write something, my mind is blank.

I was an avid writer as a child. I loved poetry and silly books, re-reading Shel Silverstein and Jack Prelutsky in the corners of my bedroom or libraries. Language was fun with these writers, and it really appealed to me. Words and phrases could mean more than one thing. They could describe one thing but make you think of another. This playfulness excited me and set my imagination on fire.

As I grew older, I still loved to write, and I was fairly good at it. When I practiced sufficiently and put care into my writing, I sometimes would win little awards or competitions. I thought I would study English in college, given my interest and knack for the subject in high school. I told my parents this, and it was met with stares of confusion, stares that I still remember to this day. Whenever, I think back on college and my decisions thereafter, I remember that feeling of shame at having wanted to study literature or writing. I remember feeling stupid for even thinking it, and I remember pushing it to the back of my mind and trying to ignore it.

“I learned many great lessons from my father, not the least of which, was that you can fail at what you don’t want so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love”

– Jim Carrey

My memories of that feeling and the ensuing decisions to please others rather than myself are enduring. I continue to feel an internal conflict to ignore myself and listen to others, others I assume to know me better than I know myself. Have you felt this struggle? Have you ever made a personal decision to please someone else and pushed your own interests aside? I see this side of myself even today. I often ask loved ones what they think about an idea, and I am immediately gripped with fear, fear that I am not good enough to have this thought, to do this thing.

I have dealt with this self-doubt in small ways over the years, primarily by not sharing my thoughts and dreams, wounding myself to save face. I have tried blogging in an effort to get back into “it”. Blogging efforts, over the past 10 years, have unearthed a gigantic fear of failure and judgement. A fear that I have not been willing to acknowledge, a fear that I am decidedly inadequate. As I write this, I am struck by the sadness of such thoughts and, mostly, by the wasted time, potential, and creativity.

Whether it has been writing and my love of language or another dream deferred, I have allowed the fear of failure to determine so many choices. I have let others’ dreams become my goals, for fear of not being able to reach my own. And furthermore, I have had the audacity to wonder why I was not happier, more fulfilled, more successful. Maybe today will be the day I stop deferring my dreams and pursue something wildly my own.