A mini recap of a few things the last months have brought up: There will be days when you don’t know if you’re forwards or backwards. You’ll have days when left looks like right and no matter what you try on, it’s too tight. You’ll experience amazing days with tiny moments of sheer terror, you’ll experience terrifying days with small moments of greatness. You’ll come to know the thoughts in your head better than you know your closest friend and you’ll begin to either shut them up or share them with the world based on what they say to you. Do yourself this favor: always view yourself from the perspective of an admirer. If you can’t trust your own opinion, take someone’s you do trust.
I started this “40 Days to Make it Write” challenge on July 8th. If you calculate that out, you would find that it took me exactly 70 days to complete – the 40 day challenge.
I’ll start by telling you I’m not upset about it. If you know me well enough you’ll know I am. I tried intensely to justify it. I’ll let you in on some more of my craziness. Here’s how my head works: First, I thought, “Okay, my Dog just turned 70 (human years)…and it was a 40-day challenge. If you take 40 from 70 you get 30. And hey! I’m 30-years-old! Perfect. It should have taken me 70 days.”
Then, of course, I realized how ridiculous that was. I began to think of another justification route; “Okay, if you divide 40 by 70 you get 0.57. That averages how many blogs I did per day. If you round 0.57 you would get 0.60…this is equivalent to 60%…which is a passing grade! It’s a “D”, not an “F”, so you see, I didn’t fail! Another ridiculous justification that only exuded the fact that I was upset about ‘failing’.
A good friend of mine I hadn’t seen in awhile called me a few days ago on my evening run. She was coming back into town and just wanted to catch up. We were talking and she interrupted herself and said, “Oh hey, by the way, I have to admit I stopped reading at Day 30…been a little busy, but I commit to start reading again.” I laughed and told her not to be in any hurry because Day 40 still isn’t up and it’s been a week and a half! (How can ONE DAY take over 10 days to write?)
She recognized the ‘real’ behind the sarcasm and said, “Mel, that’s why you call it a challenge. It is challenging for you.” I started thinking: If I had made it a two-day challenge I could have 100% succeeded, no problem. (Yes, Mel, it’s called setting the bar low.) I started thinking more about failures. I recently read something that I really liked about failures. It made a lot of sense to me: “If you are going to achieve goals you have never achieved before, you must be willing to do what you have never done before. One of those things is to allow, no – actually, PUSH yourself to fail.” I paused when I was reading and thought ‘what the hell?’ I continued on: “If you want to succeed big, you have to fail big. There’s no way around it.” Setting goals you know you will meet is pointless. For example, if you set a goal like, “I want to show up to work 5 days a week and take 2 days off.” Unless you have some crazy reason why you have severe difficulty getting to work, you’ll be there. Bottom line: Don’t set goals you know you can meet; set the scary ones.
I didn’t want to post today because honestly, I don’t want it to end. After all the advice that’s been given to me about that, I’m finally convinced and have an attitude of “it’s only over when I say it’s over (bitches)”…and nothing ever has to end.
Today does end the “40 Days to Make it Write” Challenge. I’ll tell you this; I learned a lot. I learned a lot about myself, my emotions, my triggers, my attitudes, my outlook on life and different aspects in life among so much more. The most important thing I learned though was about you. I learned about so many of you through your sharing. I so loved getting to connect with you. I was not only inspired but amazed at how you opened up and shared to someone (many of you) hardly know.
You shared about many things that I would have never dreamed an eating disorder inspired blog would bring up: sexual abuse, drug addiction, prescription pill questions, social anxiety, divorce, sexual addictions, severe anxiety and guilt, depression, fitness and nutrition, experiences with abortion, experiences with medical providers…the list goes on and on. It made me realize that even though some of my actions and behaviors were different, we are feeling some of the same things. For each and every one of you I talked to, I need to tell you that I am SO proud of you. More than that, I admire and respect each of you for your courage.
Sharing allows us to connect to people #1, that we normally would not connect with and #2, on a level that exceeds most levels: It’s a cognitively higher level. If you read one post or you read all forty, I hope what you got out of it is this: Everyone has their issues. EVERYONE.
We are all working on some issue (or issues). Working through them is a part of life. Hell…it is life. The 40-day challenge is done but my writing is not. Granted, I have a couple things that are going to take precedence for ‘minute’: Nursing care plans, Nursing fundamentals, Dosage calculations, quizzes, papers, exams (I hate that they say ‘exam’ instead of ‘test’…so anxiety provoking) presentations, readings, Anatomy and Physiology II and diagrams that will need to be focused on…but writing will never stop. For me it’s like breathing, or working out, or sleeping, or eating (thank God) – all things are necessary for life, stress management and health in moderation.
I didn’t want to finish Day 40 because of this lingering question: So what’s next?
I don’t know. (Ha!) But seriously I don’t. I’ve thought about doing a weekly challenge. Take ‘one thing a week that scares me’; do it, then once a week write about it. I don’t even know if that’s doable at the moment. Then a friend mentioned asking other readers to submit their story. Publish their stories and help share with the world some of the amazing people I’ve met. I can assure you that the “40 Days to Make it Write” will be a book and (the GOAL) is to have it published and released by December 10th. If you want to help hold me accountable to this I’d appreciate it.
Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for reading. I hope you enjoyed the last 40 days (okay, 70) as much as I did. As for now, I’m now sure where life will take me, but I promise; I Promise I’ll Write.
Take care, Mel