Saying No, 20-Year-Old Me, Procrastination, and Purpose

Questions from Melony Hill’s Writing for My Sanity Therapeutic Writing Workshop (@STMSBmore), held online.

• What things in life do you need to start saying no to? What do you need to start saying yes to?

I need to say no to immediate gratification things that don’t have long-term benefits, and say yes to things that last longer. Watching some funny videos might make me feel a little better, but taking a nap would make me feel better for the longer term. Having a snack might make me feel a little better, but cooking a full meal would make me feel even better.

• If the 20-year-old version of yourself could see what you are up to today,
what would they think of you? What type things would they say about your life?

When I was 20, I was beginning my last year of college. I was falling in love with the person I am now divorced from, I was bright eyed about travelling, and art, and living on my own.

I think they would be completely shocked about where I am now. I think it might be such a shock that it would send 20-year-old me spinning into depression. I definitely was not as strong as I am right now.

I think they would be proud of me being able to make it through, but they definitely would not expect this my heartache to be part of my life. They would be proud of me for continuing to make art. They would be proud of what I’ve made with art. They would be surprised at how little music I make these days.

I think they would be worried about me.

There is some of that bright-eyedness that I’m choosing to hold on to and grow. I was recently interviewed as an artist, and the interviewer was marvelling at all the things I was doing, and asked what I didn’t do. Off the top of my head, I said “I don’t know how to surf, but I’m learning this summer!” The interviewer’s eyes lit up, and they said “You’re living everyone’s dream!”

I had to stop and think about that a bit. There is a lot I have to be proud of. I need to let myself feel that more.

• How does procrastination show up in your life? What type of things are you putting off until “later” or the “right” time?

Procrastination manifests for me as overly planning. I won’t buy things, do things, or create things unless I have done a ton of planning. Most of the time, planning is a good thing, it helps me from making foolish decisions, but sometimes it really holds me back from being able to get things done on time.

Sometimes it’s just an email or a message back. But I’ll take all this time fretting about it.

• What tasks do you find make you feel most in your purpose or
element? What about them feels so right to you?

Definitely creating. Especially logos. I feel like all pistons are firing, like I am using my whole creative self to put those things together. Being able to use my whole self, especially at the beginning, is such a great feeling.

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