Thursday, April 26, 2012

my word for the year // finish

I don't know if I've ever admitted this to anyone, but I've always considered myself somewhat of a quitter.

Geez, quitter sounds so harsh, doesn't it? Some words just carry so much judgment with them, and that is certainly one of them. But it's true - I've always had this habit of picking things up and then tossing them aside once the next shiny object comes along.

When I was little, like most little girls, I started as a ballerina (still don't understand to this day what the allure of a pink leotard and tights is. I mean, it doesn't really get more uncomfortable than nylon and spandex up your butt, does it?) But after one year I gave up my ballet shoes in favor of something more... exciting. Rhythmic gymnastics. Yes friends, I was a ribbon dancer. And boy did I ribbon dance my little heart out. Until of course I realized that I was the least flexible person in the universe (still am) and couldn't do a backbend, therefore banishing me to the back of the class in our recital. Um... nobody puts this ribbon dancer in the corner. After that, it was tap, jazz, and hip hop, but it didn't take long for me to realize I had more fun challenging my brothers to a game of PIG on our basketball hoop in our driveway. I wanted to do something competitive. So I started soccer, and after about twelve seasons of that I wanted a new challenge so I learned how to play volleyball. And flag football. And at one point in there I think I seriously considered joining the diving team in high school. Scattered throughout there were school plays, art lessons and an endless amount of fads and hobbies. As a college senior I took up piano lessons for pete's sake!

So why the constant change? Because there is nothing in life that I enjoy more than a new challenge. I've always been that way. Really I'm only half kidding about the whole quitter part. I honestly think this serial hobby thing has less to do with my habit of stopping things, and more to do with the fact that I love starting new things. There is something so gratifying to me about learning a new skill or picking up a new hobby. It's a fresh start at mastering something. I get bored easily, and constantly switching things up keeps my brain fresh and my interest renewed.

But here's the problem with serial hobbyism (yup, I just made it a thing.) Sooner or later, you're still always left feeling like a quitter. You look back and realize you never really saw anything through, never pushed through the plateau of slow and steady cultivation of a craft. It takes diligence and commitment. Well these are certainly qualities that I want myself to possess, so I started thinking maybe I should push myself to focus a little bit more.

A while ago I came across a blog post on Life As An Artistpreneur (yet another blog that my blog would love to be when it grows up) and it was all about choosing a word for the year. This one word would give you something to meditate on or work towards throughout the year. You can visualize a direction you want your life to go in over the course of the year just by being mindful of this one word (talk about pressure to pick a good one!) I read the post way back in January, and told myself I wanted to think long and hard about what my word would be. Well, (surprise, surprise) I completely forgot about it and for months I went wordless.

But now I know.

My word for 2012 is.... finish. A simple notion perhaps, but the word itself seems to compel. It begs to be acted upon. And that's exactly what I need and what I want to accomplish this year. Not only do I want to commit to my interests and really cultivate a craft like I mentioned, but this word stretches so far beyond that. I want to follow-through, to become reliable, to keep promises, to push forward when things get hard or boring or inconvenient. It's not just a word for my hobbies, it's a word for my life.

Yesterday marked the completion of my two-week challenge to myself to write a blog post a day here. I'd be lying if I said that some days I didn't want to call the whole thing off. My attention would be elsewhere or my creativity would be stunned, but I stuck with it. Because my word is finish. And finish I did.

I have such big dreams for this blog. Almost every day I read these other fabulous blogs written by these inspiring women that seem to be an endless wealth of wisdom, humor and inspiration. I want to be that. I want this blog to be that.

It's kind of like when you're 12 and you see an episode of Sex And The City by accident (at a friend's house obviously. As if we had HBO... ) and you just have this sudden and urgent desire to be grown up. You want to wear the big girl clothes and talk about big girl things and let your bra straps show under your tank top and have it somehow be cool. But then you look in the mirror and you are forced to remember - you're 12. You don't quite know your place in the world yet and you have absolutely no control over your hair and you don't even have bra straps (well, not real ones at least.) You're forced to realize you're still just a little girl and being in a rush won't get you to your twenties any faster, it will only frustrate you.

THAT is the story of my blog right now. I have all these ideas for what I know it can become. I want it to be better and more me. I want to update my design, I want to have regular features, I want to have guest bloggers. I want to learn how to be a better photographer, and I want you all to have a reason to come back each day. But here's the thing - I'm still 12! I do my best to remind myself that all of that will come, in time. As with all great things, it is an evolution, and my blog will be all grown up after it has put in the time. Maturity must be earned from experience. And commitment and diligence, as it turns out - those pesky, elusive qualities I'm working on.

This two-week challenge was my first step. The first thing I finished in a series of months that will hopefully be about teaching myself patience and focus. It's about making this blog a priority in my life and remembering how much joy and fulfillment I get from seeing it grow. It's about not only writing down goals for what I want it to be become, but dedicating myself to accomplishing those things. To finishing those things.

I haven't stuck with one thing this long in my entire life. While I can't promise I'll be posting every day anymore, I can tell you that these two weeks have been just what I hoped they'd be - a pleasant reminder that I am not, in fact, a quitter. Not if I don't want to be. So here's to 2012, and my new word of the year. Who knows what I will finish next.

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