Last updated on May 3rd, 2021 at 01:30 am
I feel like we do this every year—I get a little older, grow a little wiser, but somehow miss the mark on accomplishing the countless items left sitting on my to-do list with each passing birthday. Call it being unrealistic or being too hard on myself, but there’s a genuinely great feeling I get from lightening my load by even one item, and it’s that high I keep chasing—especially when I know I’ve done it right.
It’s not something I expect anyone else to get—it’s always proven difficult to articulate the jumbled thoughts inside my cranium, though Lord knows I’ve tried as this blog’s continued to grow. What it comes down to is this—I know myself: I know myself well, and if I ever want to move on to handle some of the bigger challenges in my life, there’s a tome of writing I’m going to have to do first.
2016’s had its way with me so far, so much so that I had to step away from blogging for a bit before it consumed me completely.
Because I’ve never been the type to accept half-measures—where some might juggle family life, a side hustle, and the full-time gig to pay the bills, I do the same somehow thinking it possible to give all I have to doing my best at each of them. At the same time. Every time.
But reality’s staring me dead in the face—I needed enough energy to be present and active for my young, growing family; the time I’d use on blogging in the wee hours of the night suddenly saw itself consumed by some demanding projects at the “9-5”; and with what little I had left in the tank, it was far from enough to handle a blog that’d long since grown too large for one person to handle, no matter how much I wanted to deny it.
So I stepped away. I stopped blogging for a bit to hold on to what I still had of my eroding sanity, and despite the missed deadlines and page views on a steady decline, it’s the smartest thing I could’ve done—I just didn’t have it in me to keep moving forward with my life.
I haven’t given up, though—I still believe it possible to overcome the wealth of work I’ve piled up for myself; I just need to make the time to put in the work that’s obviously needed, without working myself to the point where working hard isn’t even an option.
And if there’s any birthday gift I can give to myself, it’s that.
Thirty-Three Down, Dozens More to Go: Writing My Way to the Life I Want to Know
The deeper I’ve gone down the rabbit hole with my #BloggerLife, the more I realize the height of the bar floating before me. This isn’t the 2011’s blogosphere where things seemed to come easily and I’d envy the “big dogs” in the room with Twitter followings in the tens of thousands—my hustle’s now in the company of creators with half a million YouTube subscribers, and it’s clear as day that there’s no turning back.
So that’s my story—why my social media isn’t as “lit” as usual; why my drive to create is, at best, stagnant. The things I need to do to continue down the ever-lengthy path to success feel like they’re well within reach, but maybe there’re things I’ve yet to do before I feel worthy of taking all this to the “next level”… whatever that is.
I guess what I’m trying to say is this—giving up isn’t an option. I’m in too deep and tasted too much to just walk away from the #BloggerLife… even if I do feel like wrapping it up at times. There’s no guide out there that’ll tell me what it is I need to do next—the only things that’ll solve this puzzle are time, determination, and a crap ton of self-reflection.
Happy birthday to me—may I eventually get it together so I can figure out which “me” I need to be.
Until the next,
6 replies on “Thirty-Three: Looking Hard Trying to Find ME.”
What an honest post . It’s funny how the things you love to do can suddenly turn into work and become over whelming . I myself have faced a similar wall and it seems that no matter who you talk to, you know only you have the answer . I too am an all or nothing kind of person and when I delve into a project I give it my all . I think for me the hardest thing is moderation and I have a feeling that is the key to success as well as happiness . Happy Birthday may this year bring you lots of success !!!
Thanks Diana, I really appreciate the feedback—if I could, I’d write posts like these all the time, but it takes a lot of soul-searching and looking into the corners of myself to find the words I’m looking for; it’s never an overnight job. But you’re right—it’s always ourselves who have the answer, we just usually don’t know it until we’ve looked long enough to realize it.
We’ll figure out moderation one day! Hopefully I can continue putting stuff out that inspires discussion ????
All the best!
I love the post man. I love how honest and vulnerable you were brotha man!
I know all TOO well what you meant when you said :
” but somehow miss the mark on accomplishing the countless items left sitting on my to-do list with each passing birthday. Call it being unrealistic or being too hard on myself, but there’s a genuinely great feeling I get from lightening my load by even one item, and it’s that high I keep chasing—especially when I know I’ve done it right.”
In the past, I have totally underestimated how much time I TRULY have and I have overestimated just how much I can really accomplish in a day, week, month or year.
I get the same high by knocking things off my list. I feel like I just got a power up in Super Mario and have a boost of energy. I love the feeling and it gets me excited to knock more things off my list – but then somewhere along the line, I realize my list just keeps on growing even though I keep knocking things off of it. Probably because I keep on adding more things to it because I tell myself “I can do this…or I need to do this also because a super successful entrepreneur said to do it to be more productive or more successful”
But over the years, what I’ve learned is this:
1. I can only focus on one thing at a time.
2. I am more productive when I put less things on my list each day
3. Complete the most important items first
And you’re exactly right. There is no guide out there to help you figure this all out. It takes some soul searching and knowing yourself well enough to know what works for you. And it sounds like you’re on that path!
Wishing you all the best man!
Ryan, thanks for the comment, bro—I always appreciate when something I’ve written touches friends and peers enough that they leave their thoughts here, so don’t think it goes unnoticed!
One thing I know I’m horrible at is prioritizing like you mentioned in your third point. I tend to do whatever my soul feels drawn to at any given moment, and that seems to help everything figure out as it needs to. The more I try and the more I experiment with, the clearer my vision of what I’m actually trying to accomplish makes itself… I just know that I’m not yet at the end of the path that’ll help me figure out what I’m trying to get from this life.
That said, I’m doing a lot better at figuring out how to make the most of my days than I might’ve in years past—I just need to keep reminding myself of all the potential that’s out there in the days that aren’t as great.
Thanks again for the words, bro—let’s chat again soon!
I LOVE your “99 problems and they all have something to do with blogging” graphic. I need one like that too!
My energy for the blogger life ebbs and flows depending on what else is going on in my life (my book project has basically consumed my energy for a year +) so it’s not just you. For what it’s worth, I’m continually impressed by how much you do & do so well, considering you have a growing family & full time job! Colour me impressed 🙂
LOL—thanks Simone; I’d be happy to make one for you if you want. Just send me an image you want to work with and some colours you like 😉
And thank you; I know I’m hard on myself, but it’s what keeps me going, I guess. That said, I’m taking a bit of an unexpected break right now, so….