Let’s be honest… 2017 was one weird year for all of us. Whether the presidency threw you for a loop, or, you just struggled with personal issues, 2017 definitely wasn’t for the weak. I wrote a lot about how I struggled this year with finding my path. Like anyone, I curate my internet presence to share only the bright & cheery, but, if we’re being honest, life since August has been a pile of garbage that I’m ready to light on fire. I allowed my biggest fears to twist and knot around my goals.
The part of life that a lot of people forget is that you can have struggles and still choose happiness each day. There’s this lofty idealism that happiness only comes from pursuing passions. That writing only comes from sparks of inspiration. That being a creative is a vessel of constantly fighting “blocks”. The truth is, none of that is true. Happiness is a choice that you make each and everyday. Creativity is a muscle you need to strengthen and the only way to do that is to push through your struggles.
If we’re being honest, I was the number one subscriber to that idealism. I believed that my stories only came from those maniac moments of inspiration. I lacked discipline, I lacked a plan, and, I blamed all of that on erroneous excuses.
My wake up call came two months ago after a horrible evening at work. It was in those moments that I realized I used work as an excuse to not do a lot of things I dreamed of. I have wanted a successful blog since I was 24, but, I used my full-time job as an excuse about why I didn’t write consistently. The truth is, fear was/is the reason I didn’t write consistently. Fear that a million blogs are out there. Fear that I would have to put myself out there. Fear that I wouldn’t fit in with the rest of the bloggers.
Since college, I dreamed of becoming a photographer. I love capturing moments and over the years have developed a distinct style. Fear has paralyzed that dream too. Fear that I’m not as good as others, fear that I would ruin someones moments, fear, fear, fear.
Objectively speaking, this all stems from a lack of self-confidence in my skill. Which stems from a lack of knowledge. I only fear things when I don’t have the tools to become the best. However, instead of taking the steps to find those tools, I relied on my income as an excuse to continue to fear the unknown.
Two months ago, I sat outside of work, crying hysterically. Not because of what transpired, but, because I stalled in achieving my goals. I stayed focused on a job, and did not split my focus on both my job and my goals. It wasn’t the first time I’ve hit rock bottom at work; restaurants are pressure cookers for stress, misunderstandings, and words you wish you never spoke. However, this was the first time I took productive steps to rectifying my path.
- I wrote my résumé; not to apply to other jobs, but rather, to show myself that I have acquired the skills I need to succeed.
- I was accepted into photography school; in order for me to gain confidence, I need to gain knowledge. I want to build a business the right way. Even if that means pushing myself a little harder on days.
- I thought hard over if blogging was truly right for me; it is. However, it’s time to streamline what I present to the readers. Quality writing vs. quantity posts.
- I wrote a plan; I set goals. I booked family photography sessions, I booked a wedding. I study my camera, I joined groups for bloggers, mapped out ideas, planned my days so I could be more consistent.
If we’re considering my biggest fear, its unrealized potential. With so many pieces of my life falling into place, I’m excited to push myself into a more positive 2018. If happiness is a choice, the choices I’ve made over the last two months will help make that decision easier and easier.