I didn't know how to title this post, because for a while I've been wanting to start a "steps" series that consist of posts on what I can do to help with whatever I'm facing. I wanted to add the word "new," because a bunch of new things have been happening lately: A new look to the blog, new job as a teacher, new family dynamic (more to come later), new interests.
I'm someone who doesn't come up with goals that I'd like to achieve, therefore making it hard on myself to see any progress or any growth in various aspects of my life. Back in school whenever I studied a clarinet piece, it was easy to see the progress from sight-reading to performance ready, because I'd work on it daily and have a goal (recital, jury, concert) to achieve. [perfectpullquote align="full" cite="" link="" color="#dd3333" class="" size=""]But with things that aren't mandatory or governed by others, it's much harder for me to come up with goals I want to achieve, which leads me to not having any inspiration, ambition, or creative purpose.[/perfectpullquote]
I realize that having goals are important, because it creates incentive, which I strongly need on working towards whatever it is that I want.
For example, with writing. Yes, I want to become a better writer. But what are some steps I can work on to get me to a higher level than where I'm at right now?
- With the upgraded version of this blog, my plan is to write 2 posts a week. #nomorelazyblogging. I'm not at the point yet where I want my blog to have a million followers, be monetized, get featured in publications, and be awarded cool accolades. Small steps first!
- Aside from blogging, I also write creative nonfiction and fiction stories. I have a bunch of things I'm working on, but I want to get them read by submitting to literary magazines. Maybe every 2 months I'll submit something. This is a bit flexible, seeing that I can't usually whip up a good story in days. End goal is to publish a memoir.
If I'm not specific, then how am I going to actively keep track of my progress? I realize I didn't really set details for the second bullet point on writing more. It's a little vague, I know. But I have an idea of how I'd like to go about writing stories. At least I'll start, work on it, and try submit something every 2 months. If I can't meet that ballpark area, then I'll adjust my expectations according to my progress.
Being specific places things into existence. Some other things I'll try:
- Making deadlines
- Recording what I want out of each goal
- Recording who I want to become from it
- Creating vision boards for specific goals (eg. with writing, listing authors, books, styles of writing, subject matter, etc. to gain inspiration)
- Creating incentives <- I have a reaaaaaaaaaly hard time with motivation (read here), so I need some huge incentives
In The Vampire Diaries, vampires have this "switch" in them that allows their humanity to be switched on and off. (Basically evil vampire -> good vampire.) I wish I had one to turn my horrendous attitude into a jovial one.
I recently got a job offer to be a school teacher of music theory. Now, of course I should be happy, because:
- I'll no longer be a bum
- I'll be making my own money (no more asking from the rents)
- I FINALLY HAVE A JOB
- I'll be spending time being of use to others
- These are the first people in Kenya that have gotten back to me.
However, if you've been following this blog, you know there's always a BUT. . .
I'm not happy because:
- Being a class teacher is not what I want to be
- I don't have a teaching qualification
- I hate music theory
- I have NO idea how to do what I'm supposed to do
- I feel like I'm being bound to something I don't want to do
- I'm worried I'm only doing it to please others.
Honestly, my main reason of disappointment is because I have an attitude of fear. I knew I was going to get this job, but I didn't want it because I was and still am scared. I actually asked God to not give it to me, and for a while I thought He answered me when I didn't hear back from the school after some time. But this is what's been given to me, and my attitude toward this experience will determine a lot.
On Looking Forward
Before I left the States to come back to Kenya, I had written down some casual goals/prayers: To be bold in my faith and my life, to be able to have a voice, to be patient, to complete tasks, to let go of fear over my life, and to live for what's to come. I can't help but be humbled right now when I think of the opportunities that may allow for these goals to be achieved. New experiences allow us to enter into a newness that we've never known. Because of that, I want to be excited over fearful, to have new lenses into new beginnings. I want to have new ways of going about things that haven't always worked out in the past, to see the pluses over the negatives.
I have to embrace everything, regardless of how I feel towards it. This is my life and this is my new.