A Little Bit o’ Life

Hello everybody! I feel like I’ve been a bit MIA lately. To be honest, I haven’t had the motivation or inspiration to write any posts. I have a couple somewhat ready to go; one is a children’s book review roundup and another is a list of random things about me. Those will be coming at some point, but I didn’t want to do back-to-back list posts, although, I am personally a list-lover. Not much has really been going on in my neck of the woods, so there’s not one distinct topic to talk about today. No moments of enlightenment to share or advice to hand out that I need to take more than anyone. It gets a little exhausting always being in your head, even though I do tend to enjoy the insights I gain because of it. With work and school winding down a bit for the summer, I’m about to enter my period of boredom and realization that I need hobbies. I was watching a short YouTube video on finding your passion, something I believe is a modern-day luxury, that was talking about where we get our dopamine from. We used to get it from creativity or being part of a community, but now get it through consumption (drugs, alcohol, Internet, social media, etc). It suggested to cut back on consumption and up the creativity by looking up a list of hobbies, noting the ones that interest you, and trying them out. I don’t entirely see how that can lead you to your passion, but I do think decreasing consumption and increasing creativity is beneficial.

I tend to be a person who prefers being physically busy over being mentally busy. I always have these grand plans to read and learn a language when my schedule slows down, but I soon discover I don’t actually have the drive for it. I had been thinking of creating a vision board, which would include all of the things I want to do or be. As most things do with me, it’s taken many forms as it’s sat in my brain. It began as looking towards others for photographic inspiration and then shifting towards using things I’ve already accomplished that fit into my goals. I feel it could be more powerful already knowing it’s something you are capable of. My vision board turned into a vision wall and from everything to the things that really speak to me and are constants at my core with a couple other things mixed in. Last night, I was feeling a little bummed about not feeling like I fit in with a few different groups in my life. I know fitting in and belonging are supposedly two different things, but I feel that with some people you don’t belong unless you fit in and that’s hard to navigate. I was missing my old coworkers a lot and the silly version of myself I was around them. I started to miss my old Instagram, as well, and all of the photos that I felt really spoke to who I am, which often feels like who I was. But I still feel that same me in there excited about spending time in my garden, visiting with my cats (don’t judge), building something, cooking, baking, exercising, dancing around my kitchen to songs at least ten years old, and possibly working on making a quiet book for my boyfriend’s kids in my extended free time. I’m just out of my element and fearful that I won’t be accepted in that form. And, let’s be honest, poking fun at each other can be fine, but there’s a certain kind of pain that comes with someone making fun of the purest version of you.

My free time has allowed me the opportunity to cook and bake, which has made me happy and feels like an odd relief. I’ve been trying out a few recipes in hopes of having something to finally post on the blog. If I’m honest, it scares me to put a recipe out there. I keep having the thoughts of “What do I know?”, “Who am I to tell people how to cook or bake?”, and with any unsuccessful attempt at a recipe a “See, I told you you don’t know what you’re doing”. I also worry that someone will claim I stole their recipe or that I don’t have the photography/plating/decorating skills to make something look appealing. Let’s add to all of my fears by including that I can be a pickier eater and am afraid people will think the things I make are bland. It’s difficult to silence the voices of negativity. With anything new, there’s a level of fear. I became aware this when I was taking a yoga class and had a moment where I thought that I should teach yoga. I played with the idea for a little and then quickly talked myself out of it because teaching my own yoga class feels daunting. Yet, I’ve had the thought many times, which led me to deciding to document when those thoughts of ‘I should’ or ‘I really love this’ enter my brain. What I concluded, though, was that most things can be equated to a difficult college course. The professor hands out the syllabus and you’re looking at it wondering how the heck you’re going to accomplish all of that or successfully learn about the material within the semester. However, you don’t jump from week one to week sixteen. Abilities and knowledge are slowly stacked onto each other until what seemed terrifying is only a small obstacle. 

To jump back on the negativity train for a moment, I recently received an academic award within my major at school. While I do have good grades, I couldn’t help but think that not many people applied for the award. In fact, I’m 97.2% positive not many people applied for the award. It left me feeling like I wasn’t entirely deserving of it, especially because I lack the extra curricular activities that others do due to their dedication to pursuing a career within the field. It’s a challenge for me to express something about myself that makes me proud without including a clause. I feel like it goes back to my insecurities and putting people down to try to make myself feel better. Once I became aware I was doing that, I worked at not thinking of myself more highly than I ought. Maybe that backfired a little. One day I’d like to do a post about proud moments as a way to own up to my accomplishments, big or small, without any ‘yeah, but’s.

I also took the Enneagram test the other day. I was somewhat disappointed in it, if I’m being honest. To quote from http://www.enneagramworldwide.com, “The Enneagram is a powerful tool for personal and collective transformation. Stemming from the Greek words ennea (nine) and grammos (a written symbol), the nine-pointed Enneagram symbol represents nine distinct strategies for relating to the self, others and the world.” I could be wrong, but my results felt like they could have the potential to really suit anyone. I took the test through http://www.enneagraminstitute.com and had 6 and 4 tied for my highest score followed by a 1. Within the 6, it said they don’t trust their own abilities and they need to test someone’s loyalty to them, which I do see in myself. However, a 4 hits closer to home by saying they want to be unique and distinguish themselves from others. They would prefer to know what qualities set them apart from others than being told they’re loved. If that doesn’t hit the nail on the head, I don’t know what does. They also can have a tendency to be self-absorbed. Also accurate. In relationships, a 1 can be too serious, wanting to use free time for productive purposes, such as yard work, discussing big ideas, or doing something educational, rather than having play time. I definitely see that within my relationship now that I’m often more serious than playful. There’s more I need to read for each one before I can say if it was really worth taking or not.

That’s about all I have today. I apologize if that post wasn’t a ray of sunshine. It serves as a reminder that we’re always a work in progress. For those curious about the Enneagram test, I included a general photo.

Photo from Entrepreneur’s Handbook.

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