Master Yoda once said……
It’s a quote I think of often in my results-driven life. Sometimes it pushes me to do better and other times I feel defeated by my supposed lack of “do”. Everything I’ve always done has had a purpose. When I was younger I studied to get good grades. Then I got a job and earned money so I could save it to buy things. When I gain weight I exercise and change my diet to take off the extra pounds. When I try new things, I try to do them well always thinking about tomorrow and how everything I do today is one step closer to something better.
I don’t think I aim for perfection, really. What I do think is I’m addicted to improvement. Today’s best has to be better than yesterday’s best or I am standing still on the treadmill and essentially moving backward. I measure everything whether I realize it or not and if I find I don’t excel at something? Bye bye. Off to something I can feel good about.
It’s a big part of why I repurposed this blog to remind myself that “just” is a four-letter word and there is no reason to beat ourselves up over not winning at everything. Because who in the world ever wins at everything? I so want to embrace all my justs, but the journey has been harder than I expected.
At what point in my life do I get to do something because I like it and not because it makes me better, stronger, richer, fuller or happier? What if I simply did something because I enjoyed doing it without putting so much stock in the results? Is it even possible?
On the recent recommendation of my friend Erin, I bought the book The Fringe Hours. I’m almost done with the book and as you might have guessed from the title, it’s about finding pockets of time in our busy lives to do the things we enjoy. The funny and almost painful part of this story is that as I read through this book, I haven’t been able to think of anything I do for the simple act of enjoyment. Everything has a reason. Everything is purposeful or goal-oriented.
And then I think of this space and it all makes sense. What I have been doing for nearly 12 years is the thing that brings me joy. On paper, this is not a successful blog. Yes, I have made many connections and have even been hired because of blogging, but Just is a Four Letter Word is not going to be paying the bills any time soon. And I am ok with admitting that.
For so long, I have wanted a seat at the table. I wanted to be recognized or succeed just enough to legitimize my need to write. I couldn’t allow myself to just write for the sake of writing, here or anywhere. I think it’s natural to want to feel like what you are doing is worth something. But it’s also necessary to recognize that worth doesn’t always come with dollar signs (or page views, or likes) attached.
Most blogging experts will tell you that a successful blog offers its readers a solution. Why else would anyone read? We need info and we want to find it quickly. I think in some ways I have offered a solution or two over the years. But more often than not, that’s not me. I don’t have a lot of answers. I’m making it up as I go along and I am finally okay with saying that maybe my place is to simply be here and walk next to you.
12 years of writing speaks for itself. It may not be saying the typical success words I so often seek. But it tells my story. It says I am here, I am staying and we can walk together. That’s something worth my time, whether or not I end up with results. It feels good to own that.