I wish I could tell you that I have my shit together, but often times, I don’t. I make plans to get X, Y, Z done, and they don’t get done. It’s not really because I don’t have the time. It’s because I lack the energy.
I love playing. I love passing the time sitting under a tree and doing nothing at all. I love staring at my snail in my pond jar, watching her clean up all of the algae. It makes me sad to sacrifice idle time for working time.
And with all of the projects that I often pile up on my plate, I can never manage to keep up with all of the ideas in my head. And then, sometimes, a voice of disapproval creeps in, with words that start with “You should…”. I hate the “you shoulds” because I don’t want to. I don’t want to work in a linear way. I work best scattered. My brain is like a Tetris game with pieces falling from all sides. Sometimes, things like up. Oftentimes, they don’t. So I need down time to declutter.
And I’m finally starting to see this as an advantage. Because if I didn’t have these little breaks in-between moves, I might end up continuing with an idea that isn’t working. I might keep doing something that doesn’t fulfill me. Nothing scares me more than falling into the trap of just doing things out of habit.
You do what you can with the time you’ve got. And idle time is part of the process. Being playful informs you. Exploring the world allows you to explore yourself. Don’t ever hesitate to slow down.
When I first got into business earlier this year, I though I’d switch my focus to marketing. I’d become so disinterested in technology. I’d become bored, and tired of not being heard. But, it turns out that the marketing world isn’t for me, either. I don’t yet have a word for what I do, and I don’t even know how to describe what I want to do in the future. So, when that happens, you just use the words that are the closest. I suppose I still help people with “digital strategies” or “quality assurance”. But, I feel like that’s not it.
I’m going through what we could call a “re-branding”. Or simply, “I took some down time to be still, and I realized a few things, and I’ve decided to pick a different fork in the road.” Maybe if I spoke German, there’d be a word for that.
There’s a lot of pressure when you’re out on your own, to conform, to become, to be a certain way. We need to make money so we imitate the people who make money. It just seems easier than trying to do something new.
But, I get it because having a roof over your head and eating good food isn’t really optional. I wish I could tell you that I’m a maverick, but I’m not. I do the traditional things, too. I have bills to pay.
And when I’m done paying the bills, I’m tired of working. It feels, sometimes, like this is a grueling marathon. That the big “one day” will come, and that you have to race towards it in order to get there.
The truth is? There isn’t really “one big day”. There’s just a culmination of moments that build up the “thing” that you’re becoming. And you’re being lied to if you believe that you have to work on it like a dog. I don’t believe in hustling. I believe in nurturing. Because whatever it is that you’re building, it needs to be loved, not rushed. It needs time, and it needs to be done from a place of realness.
Do what you need to do for commerce, and in order to provide for yourself and your family. But for personal and professional fulfilment? There’s nothing wrong with working on stuff in spurts. Don’t let yourself be lectured by a voice that’s shaped by other people’s opinions. Your “thing” is yours, and you’ll love it in whatever way you can.