When I was young I had 2 professional aspirations: to be the first female press secretary. And to be a psychologist. I even have a psychologist office all planned out. I always wanted to be a writer of some sort–and ha, I am. Just not the super creative type. I spent a good amount of my 20s trying to get paid for writing before going to graduate school and trying to alter my path. But, I still ended up doing grant writing. And then I veered off. Now, I’m back. Although I think I’ll be doing less writing in this grant job than the last one.
Being a psychologist. I love hearing people’s stories and sharing my perspective. And there are a lot of people that appreciate my perspective. I am pretty honest/blunt though. I say it like it is. Which is a little hard sometimes. I am glad, though, that I didn’t become a psychologist. Sometimes separating sadness or pain that I hear about is hard. I’m a little too sensitive and empathic. I’ve developed a tougher skin though.
I think that a job with some writing and some research is good. Eventually, I want a job with some writing, some research, and some innovating. That would be the sweet spot.
Discipline is so hard to cultivate. And I’ve been devoid of good self-discipline for a while. So I’m already flailing! When I was a child, I had a ton of self discipline. And a super strict mom! I would practice piano before school. Every day. And after school sometimes, too. I would spend periods of time working on projects. I had this old book I got a used booksale–a how-to for roller skating. I would go over to our neighboring driveway (it was a driveway without a house) with that book and work for hours on the tricks. I don’t think I ever got very good, but I tried.
It was after college that I lost my self discipline, I think. But, especially in grad school. Because I got sick then. And everything just went out the window.
One thing that has carried me through these years though is taking myself to the woods. When I need to reconnect, exercise, get some fresh air, I go. Whether to a state park in Wisconsin or a forest preserve here in the Chicago area. I love being in the woods. It’s beautiful. There are things growing. There are trees. I also love being near the water, so if it’s near a lake or river, even better.
In the summers I’ve worked hard to go swimming at least once a week (I have a harder time in the winter, but this winter I’m going to try!). Now that I live in a fancy suburb with a nice indoor pool that isn’t at the high school, I am looking forward to trying it out.
I discovered podcasts over a year ago. Before that, I listened occasionally, but I wasn’t that into them. And then I got an iPad and realized what I was missing! Now, I have an unnecessarily long list of podcasts I listen to regularly. Podcasts have helped to expand my mind, engage my curiosity, and learn new and different things. Podcasts really made the last year or so much more bearable. Especially on all the driving I have done in the midwest (up to Eau Claire, Minneapolis, down to Chicago, and more).
So, what’s on my podcast list? There could be so many more. I wonder what this says about me: I like stories, I like thinking about culture, feminism is my jam, and I love new music.
So here I am . I’m ready to a writing practice for the month of November. I have intentionally brought balance to my life with a big tranformation. New job. New apartment. New city. Here I am! I moved back to the Chicago area. Took a grant writing job at a community college. I leave work at 5 (!). I don’t have my work email on my phone or ipad. I never check it on the weekends (may change with big deadlines). I’ve been working for a little over a month at the new place And now that I’m a little more used to everything, it’s time to improve my self-discipline and habits. Before, at my old job, I was so consumed both with work and the emotions necessary to sustain the work (adrenaline for sure) that I just couldn’t do it. Now it’s time. It’s been a few years without discipline. Maybe since grad school? I need to regain myself. That’s my goal for this year. I started this job, appropriately right after Rosh Hashanah.
What am I going to write about?
- Who I am now?
- The trip to New Orleans my sister and I took this year
- My bucket list
- Prompts from here
- My favorite podcasts
- Thoughts on current events.
- what I’m consuming from pop culture
Whatever I do, I just want to develop a writing practice. Improve my skills. Foster my creativity.
The students are gone. June has begun. Work hours are shorter. I have more time in my life. I need to develop discipline and new habits. Maybe getting back into blogging will help with this. I don’t know. I did this quiz on Linked In that Gretchin Rubin, Happiness Project author, created about habits. And, it told me that I have a hard time developing habits for myself because I give so much of myself to others. It was accurate. I have a very hard time with maintaining new routines or habits. I live alone, there’s nobody here to hold me accountable. And, it doesn’t seem as worthwhile as putting something new in place at work.
I spent this year intentionally working on developing more space for myself in my life. My work had consumed me. This year was much better. But, I’m still missing out on big components of a full life–a life that would make me happy. In the meantime, I still do things I enjoy, and in the summer, I get to do them more!
Today I went hiking at Lake Kegonsa State Park (can we talk about Walker’s new cuts to the DNR, grrrr). It was gorgeous and because it was free this weekend, busy. I bought my State Park pass though, and I hope that others also purchased one. Even if you don’t use it again, it helps the parks. Anyway, it was so nice to be out in the woods, on a familiar trail. I’m looking forward to more. And to swimming.