Friday, January 20, 2017

The Dream is Free

It turns out that in the past several weeks I have been challenged beyond my comfort zone and I have responded DIFFERENTLY this time. Historically, things come to me so easily that as soon as something gets hard, I quit. I don’t want to work TOO hard for it. My first instinct is to opt-out every time. I mean, there are consequences, but my first response is always to just QUIT.

I’m a substitute teacher in our local school district. My contract expires in February. I was willing to let it go. I didn’t get much work this year anyway, so I was ready to split. However, I got this really sweet gig which is kind of a permanent part-time position, however, in order to get (keep) this job, I had to renew my license. And to renew my license, I had to study, take and PASS (with more than 70%) THREE (3) EXAMS! 

I LIKE my new job. I’m actually making a difference in my new job. It’s even enough cash to keep me in the black on my bank balance. And if I want to stay with it, I would have to push through to learn and memorize several key facts in order to pass three exams.

The old me would have quit. Sure, the gig is sweet, but I would have to STUDY. And there was a bunch of stuff I didn’t know! Did I want to work for it? Did the NEW me think it was worth it? So the NEW me tried to recall what tactics I’ve used to study in the past. It finally came to me, having rediscovered those tactics, I set out to ‘Get ‘er done.’ Whew. Two weeks and four days later, I sat for the exams and passed them all at least 10-15% higher than the required result.

That made me feel good.

Spanish. I’ve been learning Spanish for about a year now, on and off. I decided to commit to getting at least 90 days in a row. The app I’m using keeps track. I’ve been doing this for a while, so although I didn’t have a 90-day streak, I thought I was doing pretty well. I realized, however, that I have come to the end of all the Spanish I have ever heard or learned, or could glean from my previous study of Latin. That was at about day 65, and it was getting somewhat challenging. My option, of course, was to quit. 

I figured I could pick it up again later, if I felt like it, until I remembered why I was learning Spanish. First, the most important reason, is that my eldest nan-child speaks it and I wanted to be able to converse with her beyond ‘Hello, how are you?’ Second, because I am looking forward to travelling in several Latin American countries, I’d like to be able to speak the language.  And, finally, I believe learning another language is a great idea! So, as I got more and more frustrated and was ready to quit…I almost let 24 hours go by – but, nope, I committed, let’s do this.

I am happy to say that I am currently on Day 90. And I’m still at it.

The last, which is the opposite of what I have done so far, is to ACTUALLY QUIT something that no longer serves me - The Casino. This is by far the hardest decision to make, considering that up until now, quitting is something I do well.

I wasn’t hanging out all the time, but it was just too many times for my budget. I have exciting plans this year. I have things I want to do. I have places I want to go. Yes, I win big sometimes, but I’d be having so much fun I rarely took much of it home. I need healthier options when I’m celebrating. I need healthier alternatives when I’m sad. I need new friends. 

I am only two weeks into this one. I figure I would have been there at least four times by now. However, based on the success of the other two…

Is this what it means to be a grown up? I thought I was doing a good job. I was taking responsibility for my actions. But what actions? 

I thought about some things I have done in the past and realized these issues have come up for me for YEARS. I see things that I didn’t follow through on because as soon as they got tough I quit. Or, I would convince myself that I didn’t want to do that anyway, so let’s try this (next thing) instead.

This all came because I was trying to figure out the reason that I am not making any notable progress in my entrepreneur venture and wondering what to do about it. Did it get too hard? Yup. Is there stuff I need to learn? Yup. And did I quit? Almost...

So many times I’ve heard ‘The way you do one thing is the way you do everything.’ And now I understand what that really means to me. Back at it. 

It's right what they say, the dream IS free, but the hustle is sold separately. 

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