Better an oops than a what if – Beau Taplin
For a long time now I have wanted to write this post – ever since I read this quote gracefully hand-lettered on a toilet seat cover by @stephankunz – ‘Create something today, even if it is shit’.
I have spent weeks, sometimes months, ruminating over plans, decisions, and to-dos – never realizing that in this time, I might have accomplished something worthwhile. That 6 months later, I wouldn’t still be making these big plans but seeing some real results. Maybe successes. Maybe failures. Maybe a change in plans or maybe a shift in focus. If nothing else, I would at least have something to look back on, reflect, learn, observe or analyze.
Aren’t we all always waiting for the right time? – once the kids grow up, once we finish our exams, once we lose some weight, once we get married, once we make some more money, once we retire, and the full toss excuse – once we find time.
But, you know this already – you will never find time. You will never make time. You will never prioritize your plans. But, you just might prioritize something that eventually becomes second nature – like 5 minutes of deep breathing at waking, cooking at least one meal at home everyday, exercising thrice a week, reading for at least 10 minutes in a day (even if it is the morning paper), doing what you love at a fixed time twice a week, meeting friends, or just spending a few minutes connecting with yourself.
I understand that you think you are busy. Ask yourself why and be honest. Have you bitten more than you can chew? Do you find it hard to say no to people? Are you helping people at the cost of your own wellness? Are you organizing your life? Are you sleeping too much or too less? Are you in a relationship where you share love and responsibilities? Are you ashamed to ask for help or hire it? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you already know the problem and the solution. It’s bloody common sense. But you can’t seem to get your head around it. You can’t seem to fully accept it. You are so addicted to the rush, the chaos and the ‘no time to think’ autopilot mode, that it has become second nature to you (and not the things that should be). This frenzy is now a part of your brain biology, it’s what makes you tick, it’s what makes you feel important, it’s what consumes your mind. This feverish high enslaves you, dominates you and controls you, almost willfully. So you go on with your days, engulfed in the daily grind of worldly things, and forget the joys of thinking, feeling, reflecting, perceiving, accepting and changing.
The thrill of being spontaneous, the satisfaction of cultivating hobbies, the desire to learn a new skill, these simple joys are long-lost in the furtive current of our hectic lifestyles. We are constantly juggling, traveling, housekeeping, babysitting, or just being kicked around like a muddy football under pouring rain. We never give ourselves a break. A break doesn’t have to be an expensive holiday that takes months of careful planning and adds more stress. A break could be a small outlet to release the tension, to relax the muscles, to stretch the body, to exercise the mind, to reflect on your day or to simply switch off from the world.
It could mean that you use your day off to attend that theatre class, or leave the baby with your parents and go watch that movie, or buy a pair of dumbbells, a skipping rope and a yoga mat, and start sweating. Stop waiting. For Monday, for when your period will be over, for when the baby sleeps, for when you can wear that dress again, for things to come to your front door. Hustle, organize, regroup and attack. Start up. Start over.
Being prepared for a planned future situation/event is extremely critical. But, taking too long to prepare will do exactly the opposite of making you prepared. It will drown you in self-doubt, questions, fears, and more uncertainties than you first began your research with. And that is exactly what happened to me when I wanted to start this blog. I knew too much too soon, and it made me want to ditch my dreams and chicken out. Blogging needed everything I didn’t have – time, money, some tech understanding, blogger friends, knowledge of photography or a talented photographer, discipline and social presence. And the one thing that I did have – serious competition – wasn’t of any help either.
I started this blog on my bestie’s birthday (so September will call for twin celebrations!). All I needed to hear was someone telling me that they believed in me. The desire and inspiration to start writing, and the hard truth that nobody would actually read it unless I told them to (blessing in disguise), helped me find the will to write my first post. But I did it. And as planned, I did a post every five days. I had no views and no followers. But once I had begun, I had given myself the push, the drive. Everything that followed was just an organic flow of events. Change can be life-altering, a necessary tête-à-tête with some massive discomfort and yet a wise reminder that anything is possible if you do the hard work, and do it well.
As of this date, I have no sponsors or affiliates. I work alone, for me. I still post every five days and look forward to it more than you probably do. As much as every blogger dreams of big collaborations, I’m just grateful that I began my journey last year. Now I know what it feels like and I know I love nothing more than clicking on the ‘Publish immediately’ tab of my wordpress account. I have more than half a year of work behind me and that is a source of motivation in itself, a sort of self-commitment to my work, an accountibility to my readers and a lot of feedback, statistics and analytics that can only help me make better decisions. I’m not harping on a ‘what if’, but rather making plans for a ‘what now’, and that’s more than I can say for all my years of endless excuses.
So, please don’t be afraid to start something new. This is the right time. Your time is now. Start before someone else does.
In my definition of success, my blog is a personal success. If nothing else, it will always be my tunnel of love reaching out to you. Maybe, this post will make better sense if (and when) my blog also becomes a business success. But, then it would just be a boring old success story. Today, I have nothing to lose and I want you to know that it doesn’t matter to me. What matters is that you are here, and if it wasn’t for you I wouldn’t be here either.
This is my time, right or wrong. I’m finally doing what I love and I’m in it for the long haul.
What’s your story?
Until next time, XOXO.