Okay, here’s the deal.
I don’t know what I want to do with my life. I’ve been thinking recently about all the big things like careers and families and all those kinds of things and I have a list of things (many of them contradicting) that I want to achieve but none of them seem obtainable or manageable or in some cases even possible. I’ve been in a funk because I’ve spent all this time looking at 100%, and sitting at the 0% mark thinking–“I’ll never get there, what’s the point?”
But then I remembered something. I was thirteen-years-old and had just been assigned the first real research project I would ever have to do. It wasn’t just a “read a bit about the topic and write a page or two,” It was at least a dozen credible sources, a long, well-written paper, visual aids, and a mostly memorized twenty-minute presentation to be given in front of my teachers and peers. Just the requirements for the assignment sat on three front and back pages. I was always a child prone to dramatics and exaggeration, so I sat at the dining room table with those three pages and saw my good grades, my dreams of college, my hopes of having a good life, all slipping away because I was overwhelmed by the project in front of me. It had been a good thirteen-year run, but I was sure this was going to beat me.
My mother turned to me with the appropriate level of exasperation for her oldest child who had just declared she was never getting into college because of an eight-grade-project and said “You’re right. It is a lot of work and it is going to take a lot of time. But you are absolutely never going to finish if you don’t start. Focus on what you can get done today.” I continued to insist that I would never be able to finish it because I was thirteen and a brat, and ended up being sent to my room for back talking–
I continued to insist that I would never be able to finish it because I was thirteen and a brat, and ended up being sent to my room for back talking–but I’ll be damned if I didn’t finish that project (got a B- to boot), still maintained my good grades, and graduated from a good University. And in spite of my recent funk, I am living a good life.
Whats the cliche? A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. If you look at your destination a thousand miles away, of course it is overwhelming. It’s really hard to get to 100 percent from zero. But it’s not so hard to get from zero percent to one. Then one to two. And so on. And so forth.
So here’s the promise. Monday through Friday–hopefully at noon eastern, but I won’t make that a concrete promise just yet–I will have something here. It might be a piece of fiction. It might be the part of me that is an overdramatic teenager still who will declare one bad date means that I will be single forever. It might be an update on how I’m still working to clean up this site and make it something I can be proud of and love. I can almost guarantee that at one point it will be me complaining about how I complain too much.
I’m still not sure where my 100% is or where my thousand miles will take me. But I know I’ll never get there if I don’t start. Here’s to first steps.