I will start this post by saying that motivation has never really been a big issue for me.. I guess you could say I’ve always been a pretty driven person. It’s pretty hard for me to remember a time where I needed people to remind me or prompt me to do things… and let’s be honest those of you who know me in real life also probably know that my agenda is like my BFF (yes I’m old school like that)
There’s something really satisfying about crossing everything off of a list. Let’s take this past week for example, things keep piling up- honestly for the past month and a half I feel like it’s been like that, which has made it a little hard to “enjoy” the time that I have to myself, I really struggle with that. But I’ve also been making a conscious effort to try and have some grace with myself because I know I have been operating on all four cylinders for the past 11 months with very little to no breaks in between.
I’m sure a few of you reading this are like “wow, I wish I was like that”! – and sure, there are great things about being “this way” that are positives.. but like almost anything it is both a blessing and a curse. I have a really hard time turning my brain off, and disconnecting. The “to do” list feels like it is constantly filling up in my head (thank you to my OCD for that!) And so while it keeps me on track and motivated to get a lot of things “done”, it also means that I am constantly on to the next thing, instead of being in the moment sometimes.
This pandemic has really showed us that we don’t know what is going on in the lives of others. What we see and what is really happening can be two totally different things. While one person may be posting about the million renovations, loaves of bread they have made, or deep clean of their house, that same person may struggle to get out of bed and drag themselves to the shower another day – and that’s okay. We are all only human. The having grace with yourself (in a society where we expect things so immediately) can be really really hard… but is so important.
Sometimes, it’s important to take a second and just appreciate how far you’ve come.
However, being a pretty driven person, I often struggle to take the step back and recognize what I have done.. as I’ve said so many times, I often just feel like I’m fumbling through it all. I hold myself to a really high standard, and that means I don’t like to half- ass anything.. but when I finish something, it’s on to the next thing. I finished undergrad, I started a masters, I do one volunteer project, and I move onto the next… and to be perfectly honest I can be pretty hard on myself. Certainly when I don’t meet my own standards anyways. I always want to push myself, on to the “next thing” – where will I be in a year, two years, five years? What will I do with my masters degree? Who is the person I want to be?
I will totally admit I am guilty of this because I didn’t grow up with “cheerleader” parents – I don’t mean this in the sense that my family wasn’t supportive. They were- just in their own ways I guess. The joke is that if I came home with a 98% they’d ask where the other 2% went. They were proud of me, and they are proud of me, I know that. I appreciate all of the hard work and perseverance they instilled in me- I think it is a really important quality. I have been very privileged in many ways in my life, especially growing up. But I’m not entitled and I am proud of that. I think hard work is important.
That being said, sometimes an environment like this doesn’t always scream “do you have balance in your personal and professional life”- it just doesn’t cultivate those seeds, you know? I think a lot of us gravitate towards others with similar values to ourselves (friends and relationships wise) and I have certainly seen that in my own life.
Has anyone ever had that “aha” moment when it comes to figuring yourself out as a person? I never really understood why I “was” the way I am (this high achieving perfectionist, hard on myself version of me) – but with a lot of time and work at some of the issues I’ve faced and my “feelings” (I know BIG accomplishments over here from this girl who hates those!) – I’ve realized that a lot of the reason why I turn away from feelings or can be so critical of myself is because this is kind of how I was “wired” growing up.
When I (rarely) take a step back, I think I surprise even myself a little bit. By all the things I have accomplished so far- I’m twenty six, with a bachelors & a masters, I was offered my “goal” job earlier this year (in a temporary role), and I somewhat do have my life together. I work my ass off, and I have to give myself some credit for that too. If I don’t have it all together right now, give it a few years- the world has a way of working itself out… and with the hustling work ethic, I know I’ll be able to find a way to achieve the things I want to do. So to everyone out there – whatever you were able to accomplish today- whether you crossed everything off your list, or only one thing. You are great. In a time like this, we need to be mindful of that about ourselves. Because nobody is perfect, or going to be perfect… but having some grace and celebrating even the smallest wins can also give us the strength to move forward.
I don’t know who’s reading this today, but it’s okay to celebrate your accomplishments.