I can’t decide if I want this post to be totally serious… or outlandishly silly.
So I’m going to try my best to give you a mix of the two, and go straight for seriously silly stuff.
On Thursday I published my second blog post! (Woohoo! I’m practically an Internet Celebrity now! Okay maybe I need like two more posts to unlock that achievement… but hey, two plus two equals “A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!” Am I right, or am I right?)
But seriously, though…
The only thing more nerve-wracking than publishing my first ever blog post? Publishing the second one.
Because the first one could easily be a fluke. But now that I’ve got two… that shows that I’m at least semi-serious about making a real go of this blogging thing. (For real yo… I’m so committed I should be committed… wait something about that comment doesn’t sound right…)
Starting Something New Is Scary
I have a hard time committing to new things. Well, sometimes I do. I mean, it took me three seasons to commit to watching Lost all the way to the end – but it only took three episodes of Chuck before I knew I was hooked.
On the other end of the spectrum though it took me three years of “trying” to learn web design, and telling my friends and family I was going to pursue that for a living… before I finally was able to commit to not pursuing web design for a living.
(I like learning code… and I do have a decent understanding of the basics… but never could figure out how to put it all together and package it as something I could actually see myself doing for money… plus it would mean having to talk occasionally to real live other people and that’s just not something that really gets my excite-o-meter going…)
Suffice it to say it took me a long time to work up the nerve to start this blog.
(I’ve actually been sitting on the idea since August… bought the domain name in September… and still, didn’t start posting until just this week… and now I’ve got two published posts… correction, ‘cause this one actually makes three! Oh buddy, I guess I really am doing this thing now. Gimme a minute here to just absorb the implications of all this, and try to catch my breath…)
Like a certain family member I know who will remain unnamed, who’s always followed the wind… who’s drifted from one place, one occupation, one interest, one pursuit, one “maybe I’ll do this for awhile but if it starts to feel like real work I’m Audi 5000” to another… (okay the family member in question is actually me)…
I have a hard time committing to one specific course of action. There are just so many options available today, so many different things that I want to do, that I could do (and possibly, there may even be one or two that I could be really good at!) And committing to one… always means closing the door on so many others.
It’s Hard To Stick With Something, When You Don’t Know HOW To Stick With Anything!
But randomly meandering through life waiting for that one big moment when the heavens part and the answer to all your deep burning questions falls out of the sky and the stars align and John Cusack magically appears at just the right moment with just the right inspirational message to make you say, “Eureka! This is what I am meant to do!”…
I’m not gonna lie; it’s fun. And it feels really liberating, to wake up each morning and say “I have no idea what I’m going to do today; no responsibilities; no obligations; no schedule to keep; no deadlines to meet (p.s. this only actually feels good if you’re also in a life situation where you have no bills to pay; otherwise it’s the absolute pits… or so I hear.)
Doing Nothing All Day Does Come With A Price Though
Even though it’s fun, for awhile… it’s also empty. Aimless. Purposeless. Devoid of any real meaning or satisfaction, or any sense of real pride or accomplishment. And Homey don’t play that!
It’s… easy… to slide into a routine where you don’t have to do anything… where you don’t have to make any choices… where you don’t have to take any chances.
But sooner or later it starts to eat away at your soul, and you start to realize that if you don’t change, if you don’t make a decision, if you don’t commit to following just one thing through to fruition (even if you’re terrified that you may have just chosen the wrong thing!) If you don’t do something other than what you’ve always ever done – than you’ll only ever know what you’ve always ever known.
And by and large, I’ve only ever known a whole boat load of, “well that was fun while it lasted but now it’s kind of starting to look like work and I don’t use four-letter words in my home so it’s time to drop this hot potato before I get myself into trouble…” (I do like potatoes, though; just not if I have to prepare them myself lol…)
So, I want something different. I want to experience what it’s like to really commit to something. To do it even when I don’t want to do it… because I’ve already committed that I’m going to do it (even when I don’t want to do it).
(Yeah I know I said even when I don’t want to do it twice… hey sometimes I really don’t want to do it! But then other times I’m like “yeah, okay, I can do this… even though I don’t particularly want to right now.”)
Aye aye aye is it just me or am I sounding like a broken record? Spoiler: I actually do want to write my own blog; I just don’t always want to do it ‘today.’ Anyway that’s enough on this subject because we’ve already determined that I’m going to do it whether I want to or OKAY THIS IS JUST GETTING RIDICULOUS NOW!
But Really, What Am I Worried About?
I’m just gonna do this thing. And I’m gonna keep doing it… long enough… that I won’t have to ask myself anymore:
Am I really good enough?
Can I actually follow through on this commitment?
Will I be able to write in the times that I really don’t (I think you know the rest lol…)?
Will anyone read it?
Will I actually help anybody or am I just looking for another opportunity to pretend I’m doing something important when really I’m just using it as an excuse to avoid that ugly four-letter word I referenced above? (The one starts with w-o-r and ends with -k)
Will my writing improve?
Will I be able to learn, and to grow, and to find deeper meaning and purpose and satisfaction and fulfillment, from sticking with one thing long enough to discover that yes I can do something hard…
I don’t know the answers to those questions, today… I won’t know them tomorrow, either. (Update: okay it’s tomorrow and yep, I still don’t know… hahaha…)
I can’t know the answers to such burning questions, based on only publishing two blog posts. (But Michael, remember? This is your third published post? So what are you stressing about? You’re like 97% done with writing 156 blog posts… but why 156 anyway? I mean that sounds like an oddly specific number.)
Right. Back to the title, and the message, in this post.
If You’re Going to Commit… Really Commit
After a lifetime of giving up on practically everything I’ve ever wanted to pursue within the first, oh, fifteen minutes or so… I can’t just go “fifteen minutes” (aka 2-3 blog posts) into publishing a blog, and then decide whether or not I’m going to stick with it. It needs… a little more time… and effort… and (here’s that four-letter word again) work.
Since I can’t know after just one week (but I dare not give up on it yet!) I’m going to commit, to myself, and to my readers, that I am prepared to keep this blog going for a year.
At three published posts per week (and 52 weeks in a year, last time I checked… I’ve been out of school for awhile though so that might have changed, just like they tried to do with Pluto… that’s still a planet as far as I’m concerned and I don’t care what science has to say about it… sometimes even science is just annoying, trying to confuse us all with their constant discoveries and re-evaluations and trying to make things fit the most modern and carefully crafted hypotheses… who needs it?)
Where was I? Oh, right, 3 posts a week, 52 weeks a year… so, carry the 9… wait there’s no 9 involved lol… that works out to exactly 156 published blog posts. And that sounds like a decent number to me, to be able to look back on and evaluate and possibly determine whether or not this is something “worth committing to.”
So what’s the take away?
If, like me, you’ve always wondered where the white goes after the snow melts. (Wait that has nothing to do with this post but it is a good question… what does happen to the color? Since you know, water is basically transparent in most of its varied forms…)
The Only Way To Do It, Is To Do It. Wait What?
If you find it difficult to commit to a specific course of action, and if you’re worried that you may “mess things up” or not be any good at what you’ve chosen or get in over your head or otherwise abandon the whole thing fifteen minutes into it…
The only surefire way I know to get beyond that… is to just commit… to doing it anyway… and to doing it for way, way longer than you think you might need to.
Now you’ll have to wait 153/156ths of a year so I can report back on whether or not committing to a year-long project is in fact worth the effort. (But hey, we’re already 0.98% of the way there… so what’s another 99.1? Or is it 99.02? Well I have most of a year to figure out how to properly round decimals… unless I get distracted again by something more exciting…)
Meanwhile, what’s one thing, big or small, scary or exciting, life altering or just brightening your day, that you are ready to commit to… for just long enough to actually make it stick… and learn that you, too, can make and keep new commitments? Let me know in the comments below, and I’ll see you in my next post.