Patience

Thursday, March 27, 2014

It is amazing to me that after being alive for 26 years, there are so many things that I still have yet to learn.  The biggest one I am working on now (and one that I think most people already have a handle on by this point) is patience. 

Anyone who has even glanced at this blog will probably get the idea that I'm pretty impatient.  I am constantly bouncing around from place to place, moving 7 times in the last three years, finishing two degrees and holding three different jobs in the last four years... I could probably write a pretty extensive list of the many ways in which my impatience comes out.

Ironically, I've always been an over-thinker.  My problem isn't that I don't stop and think about things, its that once an idea gets into my head I obsess over it for a period of time and then feel immediately compelled to act on it.  I am trying work on slowing things down.    I do not regret any of the more impulsive decisions I've made in my life, but as I focus more on myself and my future, I realize this is one area that I've completely avoided addressing and it's catching up to me now.  In my relationships, in trying to appreciate my current job, in living situations (more on that in another post), I am never giving things time to develop naturally.  I am going to try to focus on letting that happen.

Until, of course, I get too impatient with it.

 

First Steps

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Following on what I wrote about two days ago, I am trying to figure out a few things I can do to hopefully better motivate me to write. I'm sure by building this list I'm actually just postponing carrying them out, but I'm hoping that thinking about building motivation might actually build it on it's own.

So, here's a few first steps I plan to take:

1. Write about writing. I think this one is pretty self explanatory, but blogging in general has always been a great motivator for whatever I'm doing.  It provides some instant accountability and it also allows me to look back and see some type of progress (hopefully).

2. Find a class.  I mentioned this the other day, but I was too busy writing about writing to actually start the search.  I'm sure there are a few different options but I think anything is better than nothing.  My goal this evening will be to do that research.

3. Move my projects to Google Drive.  I have a bad habit of starting a story in one place, continuing it in another, and then completely forgetting what is saved where and which is a more complete draft.  I recently moved one of my stories to Google Drive and it has made everything so much easier.  I can access it from any computer so if I get a sudden bout of inspiration I can log in and work on it whether I'm at home, work, or traveling with my ipad.

4. Set some specific goals.  Back when I was doing my 25 in 25 list, one of my goals was to "finish at least one of my stories." Which is great, but pretty unrealistic.  I'm going to focus on one of my stories first, which is a screenplay.  It currently is 33 pages.  From what I understand a screenplay (for a children's movie) is about 90 pages (roughly 1 page per minute of movie).  This means I'm already 1/3 of the way there.  If I can set a goal of writing 1 page per day it would take me about two months to finish.  Obviously I probably won't write every day, but its often the case when I sit down to write and do several pages at a time.  But one page a day I think is completely reasonable. Also the thought of having a story done (or at least a first draft done) within two months almost gives me enough motivation on it's own.

*Note:  Since starting this post I've taken a few breaks to actually work on the script and got 6 page written today.  If I could do that every day I'd be done in no time!

I think that's a good start for now.  If I can focus on the above I'll be a few steps closer to actually finishing one of these projects.

Fingers crossed!

Jinx

Monday, March 17, 2014

I may have jinxed myself yesterday.  The woman who was supposed to have a baby in a month decided to have it on Friday instead.  We had a single one hour meeting on the various tasks I was going to be covering for her but we left it at, "I have a ton more to show you but we have plenty of time to go over that in the next few weeks."

Or not.  Now I have a few sheets of paper from her that she said still required a lot of updating, plus my gibberish notes that mean nothing to me now.  And I'm getting a flood of emails with questions about various things that I've never even heard of. 

I guess you sometimes get what you ask for.

Passion Part Two

Sunday, March 16, 2014

I wrote a post a while back, lamenting the fact that I felt like I had nothing I was passionate about. I enjoy a wide variety of activities, but I couldn't think of that one thing that I was good at and could pursue as my "dream."  While I have spent much of the last two years distracting myself from this, there have been a few events in the past couple of weeks that have thrown it all right back in my face.

I'm now more than a month into my new job. It is a world of difference from my previous job. The people I work with are great. They are all around my age, one currently exploring online dating, one getting married this weekend, another just about to have a baby. More importantly, I am actually being kept busy.  I spent the last two or three months at my old job doing nothing.  Absolutely nothing.  It was killing me. Leaving that place was one of the best decisions I have made in a long time. And this new job is a significant improvement. But it is not quite everything I was hoping for. It definitely keeps me busier, but I can't really say that it keeps me engaged. I feel like I've already gotten over the learning curve. I've learned the processes and the programs and I already feel.... comfortable. Which, to me, is a death sentence when it comes to work. I thrive on that slight stress that keeps me on my toes and keeps me always working harder. I've already gone beyond that in the first month here.  Luckily the woman having a baby is leaving some of her work for me, but I'm not sure how long that will keep me challenged.

While all of this has been going on, there have been some other big happenings.  For one, I'm seeing someone.  Someone different from the others that I've dated in the past (notice not a single one has ever been mention on my blog before!). We've been together now for three months and things have been going great. Then we found out he is going to be deployed in June. Aside from the fact that this comes at a terrible time in our relationship, this news, combined with my slight apathy towards my job, has had a somewhat greater effect on me than I anticipated.


As sad as I am going to be to see him go and as much of a strain as I know this will be on our very young relationship, it has brought up a terrible feeling of jealousy. It's not that I want to go live in the Kuwaiti desert for 9 months, but instead I'm jealous of his passion for what he is doing and what he knows he wants to do in the future. He's one of the least military-like people you could meet (or at least that is how he would describe himself), but he knows what he wants to do in the future and he knows what he needs to do to get there.  And I am extremely jealous of this. He is a few months away from what might be one of the greatest adventures of his life, and I'm settling down into another dissatisfying job. Jealousy is ugly and I hate feeling this way.

So what can I do about it? After moping and being whiny for two weeks I really started trying to look inside myself for a solution to this problem. And I think it really comes back to my lack of passion. There is nothing that I think about all day, eager to finish my work to get home to. There is nothing that I would consider my "dream." No goal that I am actively working towards every day. 

I realized recently though that this simply is not true. There has been one thing in my life for as long as I can remember.  My dedication towards it tends to come and go (and sometimes goes for months at a time) and yet I always find myself coming back to it. Ironically, it really has been right in front of my face this whole time.  

Writing

I still have an old tattered folder with my first story I remember writing. I was in the fourth grade and it involved a young girl who's entire town was abducted by aliens. I have folders on my computer of the beginnings of stories, including two stories that I feel actually have potential and I have a significant portion of completed. Thinking back to my favorite courses in high school they were easily the three semesters of creative writing I took. Even my major in college (history) was mainly chosen due to my love of the stories (and I probably thought I'd be better off with a history degree than an English degree.  Ha!). And on top of all of that, this silly little blog that I've somehow managed to keep up for over 7 years now. Writing has always been a passion of mine. I realize not having a passion is not my problem. My problem is a lack of drive and motivation. So now it's just a matter of overcoming that. Which, in reality, shouldn't be that hard. I pretty much live on a college campus so I'll be shocked if I can't find some type of creative writing course. Really anything that may get my creativity flowing. 

Writing may never be something I can depend on for money, but I believe it's something that I could become completely absorbed in.  Those I've shared my stories and ideas with have always provided positive feedback. Even this blog (which more often than not is just my own stream of consciousness) has always been encouraged by others. 

So, instead of sitting here feeling like I'm wasting away at a dead end job, I am going to actively try to pursue this.  A small amount of accountability may be exactly what I need to take writing from something I just do when I am bored, to something I turn to as soon as I get home from work.

Just coming here today has made a world of difference in my mood that has been bad for far too long.

I am positive that I am going to go through days of writing nothing to those days of not lifting my fingers from the keyboard, but I know I have plenty of things to write, so if it is as simple as finding something to increase my motivation, what am I waiting for?
My Valentine's Day gift from the boy...
very fitting for one of my stories.