Finding Motivation

Taps mic–“Ahem–IS THIS THING ON?!”

It’s been a while, you guys, I know, but I figured as the holiday season nears, why not dust off the old blog?

Where to begin?

Actually, where did I leave off? Oh yeah–I was exiled in NYC, working on the Upper West Side commuting from the Lower East Side, wallowing in self-pity (and daily torrential downpours).

I’ve been back in LA for months, working hard for the money, and making the futile effort to get my life together. Once I reasoned that that takes time, I allotted some leeway for this thing called “having fun and being social”. I’ll catch you up on all of those things I’ve been up to as time goes on, but I wanted to write this blog (aptly titled) about how I’ve recently been finding ways to kick myself in the pants and actually DO SOMETHING besides day dream about when I’ll be a filthy rich housewife.

Here are some of my rituals to get the old Think Tank chugging along:

First things first. Breathe. So easy–anyone alive can do it. Literally, if you’re alive, you’re doing it.

You’re on your way to greatness, Champ.

If you’re not breathing, you probably aren’t alive which means you’re probably not reading this. If you ARE alive and you AREN’T breathing but you ARE reading this–seek medical help.

Second. Make lists. Lots of them.

  • Make lists of things you need to do;
  • Make lists of financial goals;
  • Make lists of goals you want to accomplish by the end of the week:
    • the month,
    • the year,
    • two years,
    • go CRAZY and get that 5 year plan going;
  • Make lists of whatever it is you enjoy making lists out of–just do it, because it feels pretty darn productive and gives you a visual THING to hold yourself accountable.

Third. Budget your time. Look at all of those lists and decide when and where in your free time you can squeeze in each individual assignment. The key, here, is to try and be as realistic as possible.

Lastly, and this is honestly my MOST FAVORITE motivator: try and look at your life from the viewpoint of YOURSELF, but 5 years ago. For me, it’s thinking back to 2009 Short and Feisty:

I was a first semester college senior dealing with a new diagnosis for my anxiety & panic issues while navigating the dissolution of several friendships, struggling through some precarious housing struggles, gaining newer (read: healthier) friendships, and JUST TRYING TO MAKE IT TO MAY AND GRADUATION-CAN-YOU-PLEASE-CUT-ME-SOME-SLACK-UNIVERSE?!

I knew that the following year, I wanted to become a live-in nanny in DC to pay off my student loans (which I did end up doing and I did end up paying off a large chunk in those 1.5 years) while doing acting on the side (which I did not get to do). I already had my sights set on NYC or LA, though I had no clue how I would get there with no money, a 20 year old car I’d purchased from my neighbor for $300, and not a connection to my name (I took out a loan, which I paid back almost as soon as I got to LA, I bought a new car from the money I made nannying in DC, and I’m now in LA with both friends, friends that feel like family, and a few genuinely good connections to the industry which I hope to make work for me sooner rather than later). I’d started writing a blog during this time (one that I’ve now abandoned for this shinier, newer model) that eventually helped spark my love of writing (that’s just plain ironic since I was already an English major–you’d think writing as a career would’ve crossed my mind once or twice by then).

In short: I wasn’t in a good place, but my sights were set on the future. THAT’S what kept me struggling through papers, that’s what helped me side-line the drama, that’s what made me actually want to wake up the next day and toil through what had become a monotonous cycle of school, sleep, clubs, school, sleep, clubs, etc.

I like to think that if 2009 Me were able to catch a glimpse of what 2014 Me was doing, she’d probably end up sobbing uncontrollably.

You know, “the ugly cry” kind of cry.

I just think she’d be so incredibly relieved to find out that:

“Hey! We’re doing ok! More than that, we’re still moving forward. We’re still chasing that dream, we haven’t thrown in the towel. We’re still working our butt off and not making excuses. We’re holding down a stable job and supporting ourself, we’re blazing a path to living debt-free, and best of all WE ARE NOT HOMELESS LIVING IN A CARDBOARD BOX ON THE STREETS OF NYC/LA!”


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