Hello, world, I have arrived! It has certainly taken me long enough to get here. I’ve thought about starting a blog several times over the years but never pulled the trigger. I’m pretty sure it was even my New Year’s resolution to start a blog in 2015 (better late than never?). I started to think about it again earlier this summer, deciding to make it one of my “pandemic projects”, but again had a failure to launch. At the time I blamed it on being a little brain-fried. I am currently a graduate student and between suddenly being thrown in to a virtual schooling environment in the spring (thanks, COVID), lots of written assignments now that we were virtual, dealing with pandemic emotions, regular anxiety about school and life, applying to my doctoral program, and then spending the summer writing a manuscript for publication for the research I’m involved in, I thought my brain just didn’t have the bandwidth to then devote to more writing, even if it was of a different, more personal, creative nature. But then I realized I was struggling with the manuscript as well. Writing is something that has always come fairly naturally to me and is something I enjoy doing, so what was the issue?
Sometime mid-summer I started to figure it out. As my default, I tend to learn towards being more outcome oriented rather than process focused. I think about the big picture, the end product, the finished result. But to get to that end result, you first have to start and it’s often a little messy along the way. I found myself getting so hung up on the end product, the final published paper, that I was getting overwhelmed and couldn’t even start. I was worrying whether or not what I was writing was “the right thing” and I didn’t give myself the room to make mistakes, delete, rewrite…if it wasn’t going to be fairly great from the start then how could I have a great end product? If I’ve learned anything from this pandemic it’s that people like to throw science under the bus for any infraction (even made up ones) so if I don’t want my paper to get chewed up and spit out it has to be perfect, right? (Perfectionist, who, me?) Wrong. I was finally able to start focusing on the writing process instead of what the end product was going to look like. By breaking the paper up in to smaller components and giving myself more grace as I went through the process, I’ve managed to almost complete my manuscript (or at least a well written first draft) but I realized I actually do this a lot with other things in my life too. For instance, starting a blog. I was subconsciously getting hung up on all of the decisions that come with starting something new (in this case, what is the theme, what do I want it to look like, what topics am I going to write about) that I just couldn’t figure out how to take the first step. I can see it as it should be, but I can’t always see how to get there.
I realized today how silly this is, especially in this case as it’s just a blog. Something I’m doing for fun. It’s not like I can’t edit and make changes along the way (but really that’s true for most things in life). So something for me to remember: Don’t be afraid to take a step just because you aren’t sure if it’s the “right” direction. Taking the first step builds momentum. Standing still does not.
So here it is. My blog. It will definitely evolve over time and more changes will be coming soon, but it’s a start. As you can probably guess from the name, it’s a lifestyle blog with a heavy focus on my running adventures and training, but will also include other life adventures and probably health and wellness topics too (as that is what I am going to school for).
With that, I will leave you a quote from someone who always seemed to jump in to everything with confidence: