I am going to write 100 blog posts by the end of 2016.
I don’t know when I decided that was my goal, but it definitely wasn’t my aim when I set up Me’anda.
As you can read here, the why of Me’anda was all about sharing my thoughts and maybe, just maybe, some people might read my thoughts and think, ‘It’s not just me, I’m not alone’.
That was the goal. Or, rather that was my intention, because it’s not really measurable.
But somewhere along the way I decided to make it measurable. 100 would do it.
As it stands now, this is my 76th post. That’s an insane number of thoughts and a crazy number of days to commit to sit down, write something and find Wi-Fi to make it accessible for y’all. At least I think it is. And if you disagree, you must really love my whacky, long essays of thoughts.
Ain’t nobody got time for excuses
I am proud of the amount of work that I have produced, but more than that I am so stoked to have given myself time to reconnect with writing and do it for the sole purpose of enjoyment.
Not to try and sell it to an audience, or to help sell a newspaper, or to build up an organisation’s profile.
It’s been a pleasant change; a change that has also rejigged my perspective.
Since I started Me’anda, I’ve learned discipline to make time for the things I actually like doing rather than discipline solely for the sake of getting through the to-do list that makes me go ‘ugh’.
It seems strange that I would need discipline (third time saying it in a really short space so let’s all shout it, DISCIPLINE) to do something I love, but I’ve found myself lacking the necessary discipline too often at home in Australia.
Instead, it was always “I’m too tired,” or “I’m still hashing out ideas,” or “It’s just not a great time for me right now” or some other lame excuse covered in that sickly syrup, fear.
But since I left Australia back in late July, I’ve discovered that if you want to do something you love, you’ve got to eat those excuses and just make time for it.
When you make time for it, then you can start. And that’s scary in itself but people aren’t lying when they say it gets easier; the more I wrote, the less I cared how perfect it was.
Clicking publish for the first time, my heart was beating, adrenaline pumping. Now, I click publish with the blood pressure of an octogenarian.
I just feel relief that I’m creating something.
Probably the biggest game changer for me – aside from discipline, of course – has been realising what a small amount of time it can take to write something, upload it and a few photos and hit publish.
Before this trip, I was constantly saying how I didn’t have time to pursue writing and have a full-time career.
Now I have lived full-time travel with writing on the side, I see that’s just not true and is just another excuse.
It makes writing a play or a novel or a children’s book or anything seem possible.
And this is what I’ve learned from just 75.75 articles.
So why was I, even up until yesterday, fixated on writing 100 blog posts before the end of 2016?
The answer is the same one it always is for me: achievement. 100 is such a nice, whole, big, juicy number to flaunt, isn’t it?
“What did you do this summer?” *hair swish and plum in mouth, she nonchalantly replies* “Wrote 100 blog posts in just over 100 days.”
Oh, sweet, sweet Megan. Who cares?!
I’d much rather reply, ‘Got lost a bunch of times in the Scottish Highlands – those roads are a bitch let me tell you.’
So, why do I feel like I have to have achieved something quantifiable?
I think it probably has something to do with me bullying myself about never finishing anything. It’s a story I’ve started to tell myself the last few years and there’s plenty of evidence to support it, particularly when you look at the number of jobs I started and never finished.
You might be nodding in agreement – oh yeah Megan, you never finish anything – and if you are my Mum, you definitely will; less about careers and more about a childhood infatuation with changing my bedroom every three months or so. What can I say, I’ve always liked seeing places in a new way.
But for the rest of you, you know what, I’m flawed.
I’m a crazy, weird, naïve, idealistic, whingeing, whining, neurotic human.
And I’m just like you.
At least, I hope I’m not alone in the fact that I like to create stories about what I think am and define myself by those stories, which aren’t even real.
In fact, I know I’m not.
I was talking to a friend recently and he had two friends that were dealing with an issue in the workplace. Both called him. One said, “She said X and she just needs to…” while the other said, “She said Y and I know that means…”
They both thought they knew what the other was thinking, but they were both wrong in their assumptions and so he did something brilliant. He called them out on it and told them to actually talk to each other to hear what the other felt.
Just because that happened between two people doesn’t mean it can’t happen between just one. Me.
So I call myself out on the stories I create. Sometimes. Some days are better than others.
I’ve found keeping my mind in check is like looking after two 8-year-old boys who want to play and destroy everything – sometimes you get through to them and other days you say ‘Fine, but can you try to contain the mess to this wall? Thanks.’
So, what’s this post all about then? I get that’s it been a mish-mash of thoughts. Imperfect. Kind of like my whole blog.
But I love its shaky bones.
It reminds me of Jenga – how tall can I build this tower of unstable foundations without it crumbling? And I’m very good at Jenga.
I guess the point I’m trying to make is several fold but comes down to one thing:
Being kinder to yourself.
Achievements are great, setting goals and obtaining them serve a wonderful purpose.
Yet, for me, I’m starting to see a different way of doing the things I love.
A way that still lets me get at all the meaty parts and not at the expense of my own self-worth.
A way that allows me to not cop out with lame excuses, but also lets me say, ‘This has served its purpose, it’s time to let it go’ even if I haven’t reached a big, whole juicy number like 100.
Maybe I’ll write 100 posts before we see in 2017. I certainly am not abandoning Me’anda any time soon. But, maybe I won’t.
And I’m okay with that.
I’m okay with not finishing yet another thing because I know it doesn’t detract from the fact that I am a hard working, disciplined, productive person.
And if I wanted validation, I know all my former bosses would agree.
But, I don’t need their validation – my future employers might – because I know it.
I got that discipline and I intend to use it.