Posture says a lot about a person, which is why it makes me so furious when my stance is lazy. I hate slouching (even though it may feel amazing after a long day) because it puts my body and my mind in a state I can only describe as sloth. Slow like a sloth, my mind drags along like a snail, leaving behind a trail of wasted time.
I am motivated by productivity. If I can get started, it’s easy for me to continue. In fact, it’s painful for me to stop working once I’ve found my rhythm. I like to prep my space and my body in such a way that I have no excuses for lack of effort or progress. I get enough sleep, I wake up with coffee and get something in my stomach, I exercise every day to keep my blood flowing and my stress low, etc. I also keep my space incredibly clean and organized. There is nothing that I hate more than working in a messy area. Posture can be rumpled. Life can be messy.
Right now, my posture is not good. I am sitting up on two decorative pillows, and I am 100% sure my spine is not in alignment. My body is already in the way of producing work that I am proud of. However, I have had a long day. I sometimes forget that my body has to recover for me to make actual progress towards my goals and passions. So, I am allowing myself to slouch.
As I allow myself to slouch, I don’t let myself to ignore my to-do list. Having something to show for every day is motivating as well. It is productive, admittedly not the most productive I’ve ever been, but still productive. I produced, I grew, I continued to reach for those goals.
We will have good days, we will have great days, we will all have days where we feel like we ascend to the highest tiers of production. Yes, we will have bad days. We will have days where our bodies or our minds or our experiences kick us and throw us to the ground. All that matters is that we remember our good days, our great days, our golden days and reach for that level of creativity. Progress propels us forward and lifts us up when we feel as though we have nothing left.
I’ve never run track and field, but I used to go to meets to support my friends all the time. I remember watching my friend give it her all for thirty or sixty seconds just to collapse at the end. It was almost mesmerizing to see every sprinter’s knees buckle as soon as they fell over the finish line, almost as though it was enchanted.
I know what kept them going, I know that bright yellow stripe pulled them in like a magnet. Some days I wonder what keeps me going, what is my bright yellow line? Is it my strange desire to be different and successful? To prove to the world that following in the footsteps of the majority isn’t the only path to happiness? To achieve my greatest dreams without meeting a single expectation of those around me? I don’t know, I just know it’s there. My finish line, my magnet, my driving force. I hope I never meet it. I hope I never cross it and fall in the heat like those runners.
The hurdles always seemed daunting. Running and jumping is something I’m familiar with, but not in this context. When I run or jump, the only thing standing in my way is my own ability to push off the ground and stretch my muscles into the position I need them to be. These runners had a set goal: get over this hurdle so you can get over the next and eventually see that beautiful line of paint. That gorgeous boundary that means rest and accomplishment.
Except I don’t want rest, not now. I want accomplishment, I want value, sustainability, work, revenue, joy, adventure, aesthetic beauty, a sense of pride in my lifestyle. Rest is something I will eventually need to provide myself with. In my youth, rest is all but wasteful. It is a leech on the most productive, efficient time of my life.
People say you can rest in the grave, I will rest in retirement.
Being late bothers me. I had an interview this morning, and I ended up being 15 minutes late because of some traffic. I had gone to get coffee and thought I had plenty of time to get to my laptop for the call. 9 am rush hour did not agree.
This time it wasn’t that big of a deal. I was interviewing the person I called, not the other way around. If it had been the other way around, I would be significantly more upset than I am. I think tardiness is a sign of a persons ability to manage their time. I would say my time management skills are getting better, but I will have to learn to account for things such as traffic and weather in the future.
I’m young, I’m naive, I’m learning, and I’m ok with that. The world is full of people who are afraid to make mistakes. How can I expect myself to one day take a massive life-changing risk when I can’t even forgive myself for being late to a video conference? It takes time to build that idea in your head, but once you find the reasoning, it’ll be easier to make your little slip-ups less seriously.
I hate multitasking, but I do it anyway. I always half-ass my work when I multitask. No matter what, I cannot give 100% to three or four different goals at the same time. When I was growing up, multitasking was all the rage, but now I think people are starting to understand that dividing attention when working on something important might not be the best idea.
I’m multitasking right now. I’m writing this blog, talking to someone about an upcoming trip, thinking about all of my belongings I need to pack for this upcoming trip, checking my itinerary, my hotel reservation, my boarding passes, my passport, etc. I’m multitasking to distract myself from my anxious energy.
My anxiety is coming from several different places. The one that is front-and-center right now is a page I am working on that I don’t feel like I am contributing to well. I believe in this page, I love what it stands for and what it is trying to create, but my fear of my inadequacy has kept me from doing outreach and adding value.
I think in some ways, public education really made it easy for me to tear myself down. I have noticed that many of my peers outside of the school I went to have a lot more constructive opinions on my work than most of my teachers did. My constant worry that I am not adding value to the projects I work on may stem from the overwhelming pressure I felt to compare myself to others and my past self. These ideas of measurement all came from public education. I see them as a failure of assessment.
From now on, I want to only focus on improving my communication skills without judging my past mistakes. They have inhibited me so far, making me feel incapable of even trying something new. It is time to let them go and realize that they are products of a system that never wanted to help me.
I had a ballet class today that made me feel like a new person. I love the teacher, her style, her passion, her aggression towards injustices within the ballet world, etc. Her class lifted my spirits after two and a half weeks of nonstop travel. However, it also made me very sad to remember that it was the last class I would ever take with her.
I haven’t taken many classes with her. She was diagnosed with an auto-immune disorder when I had first started dancing, so she was out of commission for the earlier part of my ballet training. When she came back, her teaching reminded me of how much I enjoy the musicality and inflection that ballet should express. So many other teachers get caught in repetition and technique, that they forget that the audience has no concept of 180 degrees of rotation. They only want to see beauty and feeling through movement.
I’ll miss her. I wish I could take her with me so she could continue to support me in what I know will be a difficult transition. I truly hope I am wrong, and that this was not my last class with her.
My Cleveland trip is winding down. This particular one has taken a lot out of me, so I’m going to keep this blog short.
I’ve been asked and have asked myself to take on a lot of new jobs and responsibilities lately. I find that nothing scares me more than the realization that I don’t know how to do something. I believe I have been trained to think that a lack of immediate knowledge or proficiency means failure.
It will take time for me to lose the panic that comes with feeling unskilled or ignorant, but it will fade eventually. I think we all must take time to remind ourselves that no one is born knowing how to write good emails or reports, how to plan articles, how to dance ballet, or how to tell a story. We are all in a constant state of learning.
For now, I will make it a goal to embrace the unknown. At least I will know that there is always something new to experience and discover.
Emotions. Mine have been blocked for eighteen years. I finally started to acknowledge and act on them right before I graduated high school. Most of the people around me have begun to resent me for it.
I still get my work done, I still seek out opportunities, and I still focus on improving myself as a person. On top of this, I am happier than I have been in a long time and I have no doubt it’s because of my new connection with my thoughts and feelings. I’m spending time with the people I care about most, speaking my mind, and being honest with myself.
I graduated summa cum laude, rarely went out with friends, never partied or drank or did ridiculous drugs. I was a perfect daughter for eighteen years, but the second I did something that was out of turn, I became a monster. All of my redeeming qualities gone, all of my accomplishments out the window. I lost the freedom that I thought came with perfection. Of course, it turned out that that freedom was only another form of imprisonment.
For the first time in my life, I feel as though my thoughts are being discredited before I am even able to speak them. Everyone has advice on ideas I haven’t even had yet. They practically trip over themselves to tell me to take advantage of my youth, to be smart about my options, to leave love for the later years. Not a single one has stopped to consider if the thoughts they are offering wisdom on have even come into existence. They don’t wait to think if I have been given the space to nurture those ideas on my own.
It won’t be long before I am actually free, still, it feels like forever. Sometimes the passing events have a funny way of showing you how your past was never the way it seemed. I yearn for the days of ignorance and love. I yearn to rid myself of the hate and anger that accompanies realization.
All in due time.