When I started this blog back in 2015, I felt lost. I wasn’t happy with my job, but I wasn’t sure how to remediate that. I liked writing, but that didn’t sound like a reliable career choice. I started this blog as a form of escape, writing and posting twice a month, always counting down the days until the weekend, hoping and waiting for something better to come along.
As I found out, things don’t magically change on their own–I needed to put in the work. And I did: in 2016, I quit my job, started my freelance writing and editing business, and went back to school for a master’s degree.
Suddenly I was a whole lot happier–and busier. In 2017, I posted here only five times. 2018 has fared even worse, thus far. All of which meant I was about to learn another lesson: Sometimes it’s about knowing your limits; other times it’s about knowing when you need to change your plan.
“The Times They Are a-Changin'”
I’ve written about hiatuses before, when I took a step back from blogging due to a death in the family. Now, since going back to school in 2017, I haven’t had nearly as much free time–twice monthly blog posts weren’t going to happen.
Time to re-evaluate.
At first, I felt guilty, like I was giving up if I admitted that I couldn’t post at least twice a month. For a while, I didn’t post at all. I pretended it didn’t bother me. I wanted to blog, but I also didn’t want to give up what little free time I had; what I really wanted was a break.
I recently came across a quote from writer and blogger Chris Guillebeau, who said, “[Successful people] set big goals (and often achieve them) but they also aren’t afraid to change their minds and abandon a goal” (source).
Whether or not you consider yourself successful isn’t important here–what’s key is that it’s okay to change and/or abandon a goal. Posting twice monthly was too unrealistic for me once I went back to school. My original plan, made two years prior and under different life circumstances, no longer worked.
Time for a change.
Being comfortable with change isn’t easy. Harder still is making the call that you need to change–sometimes it’s hard to judge yourself objectively; sometimes you aren’t sure how to proceed, even when you know you need to make a change.
For me, the crux of the problem fell onto how to proceed with the blog. I couldn’t commit to twice-monthly posts, but I didn’t know what to do instead. I started out close-minded, thinking that if I couldn’t meet my goal, I shouldn’t post at all–but that didn’t do any good.
What I needed was a reminder to be open-minded, that I needed to be “willing to embrace change” (source) to find and experience new opportunities. If I wanted to get back to blogging–which I did–I had to accept my limited ability to post. Being open-minded lets me accept change instead of harping over it. It’s easier said than done most days, but it’s a good skill to practice nonetheless.
In many ways, it seems, “life is not about what happens to us but how we react to it” (source).
The Moral of the Story?
Re-evaluating is important, whatever your goal is; it allows you to step back and figure out whether or not something is working for you (Google encourages their employees to do this, too!).
Should that break become permanent, there’s nothing wrong with that.
Should that break be temporary, there are plenty of ways to break your goals down–to turn them into smaller, more actionable pieces. For me, that meant posting here less often–and being okay with that change–so that I could focus on other things too, like school, work, networking, writing and submitting for publication, etc.
There’s only so much time in the day. Sometimes you just need a little outside validation to remind you to prioritize.
Next up is an interview with Kelsey Connolly, professional dancer and former Radio City Rockette–check it out here!