30 Days

Yes, I did say that I probably wasn’t going to update this blog any more. Buuuut I have stuff I want to share and it is not creative writing, and my new blog is only for creative writing. Basically, I’m embarking on a little adventure and it’s much easier to stick to doing something if you’ve told someone you’re doing it, so I’m telling you, the Internet.

Self confidence has been at an all time low of late. In fact most of the feels have been negative ones. Had a flatmate ‘break-up’ followed by a boyfriend break-up, and once all this was over I realised that my family no longer call me. I’ve had a couple of set backs at work. I’m not feeling great. Then I reconnected with an old friend, which actually was and continues to be great. What really caught me off guard though, was her news that she is pulling herself together and finally following a dream. It caught me off guard because it was a dream that I didn’t know she had. It was my dream. In a couple of months she’s starting her MA in Creative Writing.

I have suspicions that I am a pretty not nice person, because I’ve taken this news rather badly. I feel like she’s stolen my future. I absolutely one hundred percent know that this is not the case, and that she is doing a wonderful and brave thing. But I feel petty and jealous and I blame her a little bit.

This is pretty normal behaviour for me – finding a way to blame other people for my lack of success. It’s a really nasty habit. I’d like to stop now. And obviously it’d be better to just stop whinging and start doing something, like working towards my goals.

Unfortunately, this is a conversation that I have with myself all the time. And then I resolve to turn over a new leaf, I make plans about how I will achieve all my dreams. That’s why I have a keyboard in the corner of my flat that I spend maybe half an hour a week vaguely ‘practicing’. That’s why unfinished stories are piled on my desk, my inbox is full of reminders about half finished job applications. I even do it with food – I do a weekly shop for decent, fresh stuff and then subsist all week on packets of crisps and chocolate while vegetables rot in my fridge. I don’t stick at anything. I have no discipline. None.

I watched this TED talk once that really stuck with me. I may have even referenced it here before. I showed it to a class of my students once, and they turned their noses up, but I still love it. You can watch it here, but the gist is that a person can stick at anything for thirty days. You just have to choose one thing at a time.

I’ve never actually tried. I’m too impatient for ‘one at a time’. I want to do everything, now. But I can’t sustain it.

So now, when things are pretty much at rock bottom, I thought I’d give it a go. I’ve chosen exercise as my thing. I’ve got some body issues (as does every person I’ve ever met), and I’m really not enjoying looking in the mirror lately. Exercise is reputedly good for mental health as well, and I could do with some help not going off the deep end at the moment. Also, it’s not about a career goal, or a dream, it’s just about living a better life. About knowing myself a little more. And about learning some discipline of course.

So here is my challenge – to do some form of exercise every day for the next thirty days. Day 1 is out of the way – I’d planned to include it in this post but it seems to have gotten a little long so I’ll pop it in the next one. 29 more to go. I’m hopeful and doubtful in equal measures.

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