I know it’s been said countless times before, but I need the reminder so I’m going to say it again. And if you need a sign to start a task or make a lifestyle change in your life, this is the sign, and a reminder for you too.
I’ll start by repeating I love writing. Even though I share these posts, for the most part I write for myself. It is an outlet for me and my thoughts. I share them in case someone else needs to hear it as well. This blog is also a reminder for me to remember what I felt was important to share and to look back at the various places I have been in since writing. My point is that I thoroughly enjoy writing and this blog is something I’m proud of. Yet while knowing and feeling this way I still could not get myself to write a new post or edit my drafted ones. I am procrastinator at heart, but procrastinating something I actually enjoy, that is helpful for me, makes me ache out of guilt.
I kept asking myself why. Someone would bring up my blog and I’d say it had been a while since I have posted, but things are drafted. Still, I never made an effort to edit or post any of the drafts. The thought would cross my mind when I had some time to myself, and even then I was scared to come near it.
A part of this was the idea of perfection. I want to make sure what I am saying makes sense and that I fully stand behind what I am saying at the time I write it, and hopefully in the future. I want to make sure every word choice is intentional and my punctuation is correct. I read through the drafts over and over again thinking of more to add or what is over explained and needs to be cut down. The truth is that when you strive for perfection, and expect to actually grasp onto it versus making it a motivator, you are going to be working at it for a long while. This, like pretty much everything, is situational and may not always be a bad thing. In this case it was an obstacle. For me, striving for perfection was me making excuses for not writing and not posting because “it just wasn’t perfect or ready yet.”
The biggest reason I had been putting it off was that I sort of gave up on myself. I did not have the motivation because I convinced myself I was not sure how to word the things I wanted to say to effectively get my point across. Though that thought was valid, I let it dictate my reality in a way where I gave up before I even tried. I allowed myself to believe I would not be able to find the right words no matter if I tried or how hard I tried. That thought process led me to putting it off. I thought that the fitting words and phrases would magically appear in my brain and I’d write when I was ready. Now that I have made the discovery that I was lowkey giving up it’s brought me here again, putting in effort and making the first steps. And when you see this it’ll be a completed post.
So my message here is just do it. Nike has it as a slogan for a reason. It’s become cliche for a reason. It is so easy to get caught up in our own thoughts. It is so easy to make excuses for not doing what we say we want to do. It’s easy to be overly perfectionist that you end up wasting time. It can be so second nature that it becomes effortless and we don’t even realize we are talking ourselves out of what we want to do. We forget whatever it is we want to do is as simple as taking the first steps. I forgot going to the gym and exercising was as simple as stepping on an elliptical. I forgot reading was as facile as opening to the first page. I forgot writing was as uncomplicated as typing a couple of words. The rest follows and you can adjust on the way. This is your reminder, and mine, to just take the first steps in what we want and have planned. Just do it. You can do it.
My view on happiness (and emotions in general)
Every time I see or hear something that implies that happiness is a choice, I feel mixed emotions. I understand and agree with the logic behind it, but still a part of this belief makes me uneasy. I agree that if you actively choose to look at the positive instead of the negative, life becomes a little less of a struggle. Your mental outlook has a huge influence on how you interpret and live your life. Always being negative and self-deprecating will affect your demeanor whether you notice it or not. Deciding to be more positive can lighten your mood, and overall make being happy more achievable.
However, saying “happiness is a choice,” seems to imply that people who aren’t happy are actively and defiantly choosing not to be, when that’s not the reality of it all. Very few things are that simple. Generally speaking you can’t decide your initial, subliminal feelings. Emotions are a result of the chemicals in your brain, after all. The actions of yourself or others can influence your feelings, but in the end you can’t choose to feel a certain way about anything. All you can do is understand why you feel the way you do and react accordingly.
It can be difficult to be in control of your emotions and it takes time to train your mind to be stronger than and to reason with the way you feel. It’s okay to be happy just as it’s okay to be unhappy; what matters is how you react upon those emotions. You can’t fight what chemicals and how much of them are being produced (without external help or guidance) but you can decide “this isn’t how I want to feel… what can I do to modify this?”
Even more than that, happiness, along with every other emotion, is subjective. What makes you happy won’t necessarily make someone else happy. Happiness isn’t definitive either. There isn’t a clear cut way to make yourself or other people happy. Some days you just aren’t happy, just as other days you are. What once made you happy won’t necessarily make you happy in the future. It is ever-changing. Happiness is fluid and intangible — never to be fully realized and possessed. Therefore, there is no secret key to maintaining a constant stream of happiness forever. Lastly, happiness is also influenced by things beyond our control. We can’t control other people and their actions and it takes time to create the type of life you want to live. It’s not helpful to tell someone to “look on the bright side of things” when they are constantly being bombarded on the daily from stressors.
So as a tip, moving into 2019 and beyond, don’t tell people they should, “just be happy,” to, “count their blessings,” or anything along those lines. Allow people to feel the way they do without judgement as you would want the same for yourself. As always, try your best not to make anyone feel any negative way. And lastly, take the initiative to train your own mind to be able to reason with the way you feel.
Reason why I started a blog
So lately people around me have been writing blogs and starting Youtube channels, documenting their lives, thoughts, and challenges. The reason why I enjoy social media so much is because it serves as a platform for people to share whatever they want and gives the opportunity for others to relate. What better a platform than a blog? I have been considering doing this for a while now. The idea really stuck during summer but every time since the thought came up I pushed it away. I wasn’t even sure what exactly I would be writing about. But since I have basically nothing else to do right now and need some sort of creative outlet, it seems fitting. Writing is something I have always done; for some reason I’m drawn to it. It’s something no one really knows I do, until now. I remember in middle school having to write a book of poetry and though school projects were always the worst I didn’t mind that one. Even analyzing poetry and texts and listening to my interpretations compared with others has always and probably will always interest me. Bet that’s why I’m so good at overanalyzing.
I never really understood why I’ve been drawn to writing. Whenever someone caught me writing, I felt the need to hide. Writing this my dad walked by me and I felt the urge to switch to online shopping out of habit. It’s the things I’m most passionate about that make me the most nervous. Failure, not being good enough, even worse just being flat out terrible are all fears that make me the most anxious. When you’re bad at what you love to do, it can be disheartening. I used to rather never know than to know. Now I know better than that.
I didn’t realize until now, but I only have two goals in my life. The first is true happiness. Happiness is something different to everyone; maybe one day I’ll share what my happiness is. The second is to inspire. If anything I decide to share or have to say means something or makes a difference to even one person, I’d be on the road to being content. The problem is I’m not a good public speaker; it’s something I’m trying to better myself with. My shyness is something that developed from my experiences which is another reason a blog is more fitting for me. Another reason why I take advantage of social media.
With all of that said, my first piece of advice, a lesson I’ve learned, stop being afraid. Don’t be afraid to do what you love. Don’t be afraid to show it off and don’t be afraid of constructive criticism. It only makes you better. The nervousness and fear will dissipate with time. The fact that there is any nervousness or fear can even means it’s the right move depending on the situation. This idea has been floating through my mind for a long time but ideas mean nothing if you don’t act on them. People don’t know what you don’t say; you can’t inspire by staying silent. So, here’s what I have to say.