Observations II: 2015 vol 1.
1. I am terrified of writing. I think I love writing so much that it terrifies me. It’s been a while and I haven’t updated the blog with my drafts of things I did since arriving in Spain. I had really good reasons before: my computer broke down; the Spanish keyboard makes the flow of words too staccato; I didn’t want to leave the comfort of my flat to walk to the school and write. But I also overcame that when I made my iPhone 5 (RIP) my best friend and used it to write posts. I remember everything pretty well but something about sitting down and really giving myself into the blogging experience, scares me. I woke up this morning and decided to research how to delete this blog because there was no point in continuing since I was already so backlogged that I didn’t measure up to any of the things I set up before I left the US. I do this a lot. I get super excited about stuff and then I conveniently find things to just push it to the next day until I just don’t follow through. So, I’m terrified about writing and I’m still doing it. It took a lot of thinking to understand why I wanted to delete the blog. I’m not even sure if I’ll publish this post. But my goal is to do one thing everyday that scares me.
2. I think you need to be extremely disciplined to blog consistently. You have work on your craft and your thoughts and edit and proofread it and finalize it before you publish. And you have to want to do this every day. I think that is what overwhelms me. I see so many different parts about my writing that I want to improve that I get scared – even though it’s something I think about every day. So I spend the rest of 2014 and the beginning of 2015 reading and researching how to build your blogging process. It was supposed to make me feel better – that at least I was thinking about blogging, so it was just a matter of time till I blogged. I imagine this ideal scenario where I have a routine and like clockwork I write a blog post and I have to edit/proofread it once and then whamo! It’s published and it’s a great piece of writing. I actually need to write for me to get anywhere close to that.
3. With every year that passes, I realize that nothing ever turns out exactly how you planned it. That’s a terrifying thought, especially when you work hard to get to a specific outcome. It took a lot of time and retraining pathways in my brain to understand I can still achieve the same outcome while being flexible and spontaneous. This brings me to managing expectations. It’s great to have expectations and work towards your standards but it’s also necessary to manage them. Checking in on your progress and your expectations gives you a good idea of how far you’ve come and how you can adjust your sails for the future. Maybe there’s a more effective/efficient/fun way to get to your goals. So this is my check-in for the blogging. I am not as disciplined as I hoped I would be but I still want to write and so I’m going to figure out how to make that more possible this year. I only have 5 months left in this beautiful town, in this mesmerizing country.
4. When there isn’t that much sunlight in a day, the days seem to fly by or mesh into one. It makes it more difficult to tell time or how much of it has passed. I thought I experienced that in college – but it’s definitely faster once you graduate and you’re doing the life thing. I want to sleep for 4 hours at a time and call that a siesta. Then I want to wake up and eat food while watching tv. I can’t tell how fast time is going by but I can see it happening when I learn how to say new months in Arabic. There’s this pressure to fit everything in and make sure I’ve made the most of this experience because I don’t know when I’ll get to do this again. That feeling is quickly swept under by the ease with which I live my real life in another country accomplishing the things I don’t even remember planning. I also miss waking up to the sun shining through my window.
5. The tingly sensation you get when your feet are soaked in rain water reminds me of Standard 4 in my first primary school in Kenya. I would slowly feel my toes become numb, as they tried to grab onto the wet socks in the hopes they’d get some of the remaining warmth. It was a futile exercise because my feet would eventually feel like lead blocks that I had to muster effort to lift and move to take a step. I think I’m finally experiencing the Santiago that I read about before I got here. It rains, it’s cold and windy, and it’s overcast.