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Growing pains

After only one day in my new full-time position, I can tell I’m going to learn A LOT in a very short amount of time.

This is one of the main reasons I decided to take this opportunity in the first place. In all honesty, I felt like I was plateauing as a freelancer, worrying more about finding work than pushing myself to learn more and become better.

I can already feel the mental growing pains that come whenever you have a ton of information thrown at you all at once and, honestly, I love it.

I’ve always welcomed uncertainty in past - you have to when you choose to work for yourself.

Now, since learning is built into the company culture, the only uncertainty is exactly how much I will learn each day and, like most adult things, this is completely up to me.

Growing pains are inevitable when you actively push yourself to learn and grow. Much like after working out for the first time, you experience a certain mental hypertrophy that eventually levels out with practice.

If you ask me, I would much rather feel the discomfort that comes with change than live with the atrophy that comes with apathy. 

Lower your expectations

I’ll be the first to admit - I have unreasonably high expectations for myself.

So much so that I often find myself coming up short.

Usually, when you find yourself disappointed, there are two things you can do:

  1. Rise to the occasion and align your actions with your expectations

  2. Lower your expectations

Depending on whom you talk to, this can be a slippery slope.

In theory, option one is ideal because it forces us to grow and allows us to take action without compromising. However, as someone who has tried this over and over again, I can say it’s much harder in practice.

I’m learning that lowering my expectations in small doses can be okay, especially since they are astronomically high.

When done carefully, lowering our expectations can allow us to still make progress without burning out or being constantly disappointed.

We just need to make sure that it doesn’t become our default setting when things get hard. 


Look around

I’m sitting in what I could only describe as my own personal hell on earth: 

Waiting in a St. Louis Bread Co. at the mall for an appointment at the Apple store in order to fix the display on my laptop. 

At this point in the day, I would usually be head down, full-swing into freelance clientwork. 

Needless to stay, my current predicament has forced me to stop and take a look around.  

As I sit tethered to the nearest outlet from my table, I hear children pleading for their mom to buy them a cookie. I see people meandering about, hopping from store to store. I notice one of the employees is busting his ass, making sure each and every table is clear.

These things may seem mundane and unimportant, but they’re part of everyday life.

At this moment, I’m more present than I’ve been in months.

The sad thing is, it wasn’t by choice. It took a pretty drastic (and hopefully fixable) situation in order for me to slow down and look around. 

It’s hard to create these moments for ourselves without help from an inconvenient stick in our spokes.

I’m going to keep this in mind whenever I have a few moments to look around. 

Now let’s just hope I’ll be I’ll be writing tomorrow’s thought from my laptop...



A weekend to myself

I have a rare opportunity: an entire weekend alone without any plans.

Usually, these weekends are few and far between, especially with one that just happens to fall on my birthday.

Me being me, I obviously want to celebrate, but I also don't want to let this time go to waste.

I have to remind myself that I won't figure out my entire life in the span of a few days, but I do want to stop and reflect on the past 30 years while also looking ahead to the next 30.

Up until this point, my life has been full of fumbling, experimentation, and learning things the hard way. As much as I want to continue exploring new things, I also would like to introduce another level of intentionality into the equation.

This doesn't happen by chance - it takes the foresight needed to block out the necessary time, which is what this weekend is for.

I will revisit and update long-term goals, review my habits (both bad and good), and put a plan in place so I can move forward with purpose.

I also plan on a having a drink (or two).

Being alone

I'm a huge extrovert.

Back in college, I would spend most of my time in my dorm's lounge, constantly chatting with anyone who would hang out.

As a young adult, I always lived with roommates. After all, they are mandatory friends who are forced to spend time with you, right?

Hell, I'm still haunted by FOMO when I hear about friends getting together.

However, at this point in my life, I've finally realized the value of being alone.

In the mornings, I actually prefer to be by myself as I go through my daily routine. Being alone with my thoughts makes it easier to hear and explore them through writing.

Since I started writing, I've noticed I tend to do my best work when I have uninterrupted periods of alone time (shocker!). Thanks to this focused time for deep work, I can really listen to my inner voice and pick apart any problems I have while sharing what I learn with others.

Whether you're extroverted or not, carving out time to be alone can help you practice introspection which, if you ask me, is something we could all use a little more of.