The Project/Journey/Direction/Beginning/Middle and End

Like most things in my life currently, I find myself unable to make a decision of what this blog posting should even be called. It is all of those things, yet none of them alone or even in entirety. Instead, this is just an arbitrary marker in time in which I make a decision to do something different, change things, if even just ever so slightly. The reality of the situation is that today marks nothing in particular. I am not overhauling my life, really. I am instead setting up an arbitrary way to keep myself accountable. Not "on track", no particular destination per se, but I realize that I have spent enough time pondering on things and instead want to get the show on the road. I see life as a journey, not a destination but I have been sitting next to the proverbial road for some time now and its time to get back on my feet and go.

It has been a year now (more if we want to trace it back and back, but then we get to the beginning of my life and somehow I am not interested in spending that much time catching things up to speed) since I have really been contemplating the direction I want my life to go. Sure I have been somewhat "quarter-lifey" since I came back from London in the summer of 2005, but for the last year I have ever increasingly grown tired of my own indecision and waffling. I am ready to come into my own, settle (or unsettle if the journey so decrees) in and carve out my own little niche.

For a year now, for all intents and purposes, I have been without a formal home. I have also been focusing intently on where I want to go career wise (or figuring out if that at all matters to me), where I want to live, what form my life wants to take on. I am fully aware of letting things organically evolve and am fully on board, but I have also done an incredible amount of self work and know that I am overly prone to contemplation over action and thus can find myself thinking alot about life instead of just doing. This year has been an incredible, dense, amazing journey indeed. However, what I thought I would accomplish when I started has not come to fruition. In part I wanted to:
  • Save money and pay off my student loans/debts (not accomplished).
  • Find a physical location to call home and start plans to move there (not accomplished).
  • Beginning working towards a career in food writing/culinary (debatable, but not nearly as defined as I would have liked). I have kept up my Food Blog pretty well, but again, its not nearly as far developed as I would like.
  • Enjoy the freedom and flexibility of my current work to contemplate/work on the above (yes, but to no end....)
  • Travel and enjoyed the heck out of the freedom that comes with no rent (roger that!)
  • Race and run all over the world and blog all about it on my Running Blog (double check!)
  • Spent time and energy living, loving, thinking and contemplating and just plain being (duh!)
 I have had an extremely awesome summer which has lent itself to not get to wrapped up in contemplating what I might be doing, because I was far to busy just doing. But now, on this first day of fall, I realize that there are things I want to do in life, there are goals that I have set for myself and part of my endless flounder over the past year has been a product of simply having no idea how to even move in the direction of those goals. Deep down inside I knew it, I have goals, I have dreams, I have a path I desire to follow but I have thwarted myself out of fear, out of doubting myself, out of over-contemplation, out of not seeing a clear path to proceed forward on. But to hell with that! I am in a privileged position, such as my generation is defined, to find myself able to ponder these things. And I realized, if I have the space to ponder then I have space to change- everything.

And that is just what I plan (project, direct, begin....) to do. I have all these things I want to do, things I want to work towards (though who knows how that will change along the way), goals I want to pursue and I have simply not held myself accountable. I keep waiting and waiting and waiting for the opportunity to come to me, instead of just making myself accountable to make it happen. I recently got "Amor Fati" tattooed on my wrist, which means "love of one's fate" and is meant to describe a philosophy about life that embraces all things in life, even suffering and pain as a good, meaningful part of the journey. And while I love my fate, I also do not believe that I am simple a passenger in the backseat of the bus of my own life. I am driving bus and while I may not be able to control where the road goes, I can definitely point my wagon as I see fit. And thus, I want to keep myself accountable. I have all these really cool (to me) goals and I could waste my entire lifetime just sitting and hoping that they will come true. If I hold my breathe for that, I will die of asphyxiation.

I need to say it out loud. I need to state my goals, no INTENTIONS, because writing them down in my little notebook just isn't really cutting it. The goals get rolled over each year and not accomplished.

What I want (The GOALS):
  • Pay off my student loans/debt before I am 30 (Yes turned 27!).
  • Become/develop myself as a food writer including cookbooks, articles, books and blog to a degree that that is my job.
  • Develop my blog into the source for the collision of gourmet food & nutrition for athletes.
  • Save enough money to open a small scale cafe or bakery.
  • Find a place to call home.
 What I have to do am going to do to achieve those goals (The Tasks):
  • Budget, budget, budget.
    • I thought that moving out and giving up my $1,000/month rent would inherently mean I just saved gobs of money, not so. I have magically spent all of that money on food. Tasty, but not very good for paying down debts more rapidly (I have never missed a payment mind you).
    • I have written a budget for myself but important here is to note that I will maintain it (very generous I know, attempting to underspend as drastically as possible) and track(!!!):
      • $1,000 per month for groceries ($250/week)
      • $400 per month for dining out
    • Over time, I would like to decrease those amounts, but am starting out a bit forgiving to work out the kinks.
  • Blog on a schedule
  • Write the cookbook(Gourmet foods for athletes, no that is not the title, because that would be a lame title).
    • Edit, re-write, develop recipes and write recipes to include in the book
    • Find a publisher or at least look at my options
  • Get a nutrition certification.
    • Part of becoming a "source" for something is having the expertise. I want my blog to not only draw from my culinary education but from a nutritional one too (though arguably my culinary education from Bauman College was such a collision).
  • Take continuing education classes in both food and writing.
Accountability. I have put it out there. There it is. I can stop holding my breath. Will this change anything? That is entirely up to me. I can tear this blog down, mourn the lost hour of my life and pretend I never ever said it. Or, I can stand up to the tasks. Especially the first three, those are very very clear and defined tasks. It is like my running schedule, when I wake up in the morning I look at what I am planned to do for the day and by-golly I do it. I trust my coach's guidelines and I do it. Structure, I like it. I thrive when I have some of it. In most parts of my life I definitely can use more of it. This little proclamation/project/journey/beginning/thing is my structure now. It is like scaffolding for my life. And it is officially.....right now....on.