“Midway upon the journey of our life, I found myself within a forest dark, for the straightforward pathway had been lost.”
― Dante Alighieri, The Divine Comedy
I started this blog because I turned 40, the pandemic hit the US, and I was laid off – all on the same day. Happy birthday to me. Why lead with a quote from Dante’s Inferno? Not to be dramatic, honestly. The quote seems to capture the sense of wandering and aimlessness that I felt leading up to my 40th birthday. I felt like I was trying to be something I was not in my professional and personal lives. I felt like I had lost the “straightforward pathway” in trying to live up to others’ expectations.
I have explored a lot of roles – Shakespearean actor, horse groomer, certified personal trainer, yoga teacher, physical therapy student, business owner, entrepreneur, personal coach, operations consultant, barista, cafe manager, web developer, and more. Each role has been an attempt to express myself more fully. Some roles have sometimes been attempts to fulfill someone else’s expectations about me.
There is a common theme among all of my pursuits, former and current, and those threads are: education, self-expression, and empowerment. I’ve always been interested in teaching myself and others how to do things. I’ve always struggled to express myself honestly and authentically, although I’ve found writing helps me to do so, especially when I do it frequently. I’ve always believed that empowerment comes from self-education and self-expression, through action rather than words, although I will admit that I have felt disempowered since 2016 when my business closed and I felt weighted down by guilt, sadness, and lack of direction.
I hope to use this blog as an arena in which I can explore meaningful things and to inspire others. To air out the dusty spaces in my mind and to let some light in. To practice gratitude for all of the experiences life has brought me.
The goal is simple: write and publish at least one blog post a week for three months. The topics will range widely but they will always be things I’ve been gnawing on mentally for a while. One week it might be a meditation on the current state of education in the US and the student debt crisis. Another week, it might be dealing with health anxiety, rejection, loneliness, or depression. Another week, it might be my favorite science fiction novels. Another week it might be 10 things I learned from dropping out of graduate school and starting my own business. Some blogs will be short, others will be long. Some topics will be treated once, while others may be looped multiple times.
It’s going to be a mixed bag for a little while. But the important thing is to build the discipline to write each day, to publish each week, and to focus my mind on meaningful topics.