Finishing what you start


I’ll admit it: I follow more how-to blogs than I can count on my fingers and toes, I read multiple books at the same time and don’t finish all of them, and I am not one to lay awake at night over unfinished hobby-projects.

I am an un-finisher. I start things up with raging enthusiasm: raw-food diets, new hobbies, educational certifications, you name it. But my ambition inevitably wavers, and I end up tearing out my journal’s pages marked with strategic bullet-lists before the ink even dries (well, practically). My journals are characterized by gaping, ragged sections missing, all from those moments of disgust at having not completed the tasks so passionately penned just a few weeks before.

I read a blog post today from a woman that counsels budding writers. She highlighted the difference between a mature writer and “the rest” (those that give up after a bit of failure). She totally called me out as residing in the latter category, and I was filled with gratitude over her blunt honesty. I went to tell her so by commenting below her post, only to be led to an error page and then a field that refused to let me insert my comment, at which point I said in exasperation, “I give up”…..

Well. That little verbal slip-up was very well timed and reached the collective consciousness of each and every cell of my body. I give up. I give up when the going gets tough, I give up when my feelings are hurt, and I give up when I just feel too damned stupid to find a solution.

That all being said, I do forgive myself for having a bit of a wandering eye. I know life is meant to be explored, and I do sometimes enjoy the rather halt-and-go path I have embarked upon. But not finishing the things I start takes a major whack at my self-confidence because I start to believe as I approach something that I won’t finish it…because that’s just what I do. I think psychologists call it “learned helplessness”.

I thought about this and decided I’m going to pick up the blogging hobby again, even though my original 90 days are long gone. I have 90 new days to play with, and by god, I’m going to finish what I started.

I will always be a bit chaotic and ADD in pursuing my dreams. I’m a dreamer; that’s just who I am. But I will not let my perceived failures stop me anymore. Life is not always just bowl of cherries. Life is a bowl of cherries with pits that can chip a tooth. Roses have thorns.

I’m old enough now that my life isn’t shiny and new with the world as my oyster. I’ve worn myself down with my own stupid ideas of perfectionism, and I’ve failed at quite a few things lately. But maturity is about seeing through the failure and having the guts to go after what it is you want. What you really want takes work, determination, and the ability to burn through the tediousness of perfecting your craft.

I have whittled my potential crafts down to a few, and I will further this elimination process with the slow and steady persistence of a person that knows it takes hard work to become anything. Because it just does.

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