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Here I go

I’ve been thinking about the purpose of this blog. Originally I just wanted a space to record my thoughts and experiences, and maybe eventually start posting photography and short stories. In the meantime, I’ve basically just rambled about silly things and taken online personality tests. While some of the things I’ve written about have merit, ultimately I don’t feel that I’m growing in any measurable way.

Part of this is because my life is at a standstill. I don’t have a job, or at least not a challenging job that broadens my horizons or even takes up much of my time. I’m not attending school. And instead of making good use of all my free time, I spend my days puttering around the Internet, reading blogs and forums, chatting, playing games, watching anime, and otherwise wasting time. I haven’t even seriously read a novel in a long time (though I have started on Master and Commander–just made it to Chapter Three today). The most I can claim is that I keep the apartment clean, and even that seems to be a struggle some days.

There are things I want to accomplish. I want to increase my Japanese vocabulary, kanji included. I want to be a voracious reader, like I used to be. I want to write short stories. I want to take photos. I want to try my hand at drawing again. But recently, I’ve come to realize that I have another wish, something that has been churning just beneath the surface for years.

I want to have opinions.

I am, much to the dismay of friends and family, a career fence-straddler. This is partially because I don’t like to make decisions without getting as much information as possible, and partially because I never bother to get the information. The second bit is what I’m concerned about.

For years, I’ve believed, or thought I believed, that I didn’t have to learn certain things. That I could focus my attention on fun stuff and get along just fine. I didn’t despair too much over bad grades in college, because I figured those subjects just weren’t my calling. I thought that if I really wanted to do something, I would do it, so if I found myself failing somewhere, it was just because I didn’t feel like doing it. Somehow that made it okay.

But it’s becoming evident that I’m not even doing the things I want to do. This isn’t a matter of not having the desire. It’s something else. Fear of failure? Short attention span? Lack of organizational skills? (I used to believe I was a good organizer. The truth is that I am good at organizing. They are two very different things. One involves having the ability to organize, and one involves actually doing it.)

I keep thinking that I need someone else to tell me where to go. That I need to go back to school so that I’ll have a hard and fast direction for my studies. That I need a job in my field so that I can improve along a set course. But I know that even if I did these things, I would be unhappy. No one can decide the right road for me but me. Instead of waiting for someone to come along and tell me what to do, I need to start setting goals for myself, and then actually working to achieve them.

Watching my brothers work towards their goal of being signed musicians and reading the daily testimonials and essays from FlyLady have made me start to think that I can actually do things on my own. FlyLady is concerned primarily with keeping a house in order, but the methods–breaking tasks into smaller parts, establishing routines, babysteps, limiting–can all be extrapolated to anything else. The big thing I have to keep in mind, the monkey on the back that FlyLady preaches against over and over, is

I DON’T HAVE TO DO IT PERFECT THE FIRST TIME.

I don’t even have to do it all the first time. In fact, it’s better if I don’t. It’s best if I start small, get used to the new routine, and then add more things.

The first thing I am going to need to do is create my own Control Journal–a FlyLady staple. All it is is a binder with my daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly routines that I build slowly over time, expanding as necessary. I have procrastinated about putting it together for far too long.

Once I have the Control Journal, I need to establish morning and evening routines for myself. Then…I just work to stick to the routines for a month. No adding. No fretting about all the work that isn’t getting done, because it hasn’t been getting done for years now. I just need to get used to a routine. That is my biggest hangup.

I can do this. I want to improve myself. I want to be happy. I want to be moving forward.

Here I go.

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