This is the second year I’ve set the goal to publish a blog post each week, but unlike the first time, I’ve struggled to experience the creative inspiration that a deadline typically generates. In the past, the weekly publishing requirement compelled me to write some of my favorite posts, but instead of finding that to be the case this time around, I’ve published many posts that make me cringe when rereading. Because of that, I’ve decided to eliminate that goal to focus on higher-quality posts in the future.
I was recently out for a drive through the hills surrounding the town where I grew up—there isn’t a lot to do in rural New York—when I passed the place of an unforgettable experience. I checked back through my posts and realized I wrote about the memory, so I’ve decided to share it today. It was a 2017 post titled That Time a Permitted Driver and a Pastor Crashed Near a Former Insane Asylum, and, as the title suggests, it is quite the tale.
One year ago, after a lovely evening spent celebrating the 4th of July, I headed inside to journal for the day. I recently came across that entry and was amazed at how things are both completely different while also somehow incredibly familiar. So, just as I’ve done with past journal entries, I am going to “react” to the journal. In it, I wrote:
I was terrified by the thought of attending college. I would be the first person in my family to obtain a bachelor’s degree, and thoughts of failure kept plaguing me. As you can probably deduce from the numerous times I’ve mentioned college on this blog, I ended up completing my degree thanks to the incredible support of my family. And as a result, education holds a special place in my heart.
Peter Drucker, the famed management consultant, educator, and author, once said, “Knowledge has to be improved, challenged, and increased constantly, or it vanishes.” It was this line of thinking that prompted me to create the goal to take five professional development courses this year.
Most people who are around me for more than a few hours discover that I am an introvert. This typically comes as a bit of a surprise since I tend to be confident and outgoing, but it’s usually evidenced by my need to briefly slip away during long group activities. Are you starting to understand why I go by “most boring person” yet?
There’s a lot to love about working for a university. You get to play a role in the education of the next generation of leaders, you get access to student dining services, and you get to take classes offered to faculty and staff. While each is a fantastic benefit in its own way, the latter is by far my favorite, and it was what I most looked forward to when I was offered a job at a university in New York. The position started in January, and not wanting to waste any time, I signed up for two classes within a few weeks of being there.
If one had to guess who my celebrity of choice was when I was a college student, they’d probably say Miley Cyrus or Lana Del Rey. I mean, look at the above picture of the Lana mural hanging in my sophomore year dorm room (yikes). Surprisingly, the person whom I was dying to meet wasn’t a former Disney star or a moody singer; instead, it was a famous psychologist.
I like to think of myself as a pretty tech-savvy individual, but that has notion has been seriously challenged ever since I started working from home. Upon learning that I was going to work remotely, I considered quite a few things. I wondered how it would feel sitting in my mid-century modern desk chair (immensely uncomfortable), how the lack of a commute would start my morning (a little jarring), and if I had forgotten any files from the office (thankfully, no). However, throughout all of my thinking and worrying, I never once wondered how video conferencing would be.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I, like many other people around the world, have been cooped up inside my house for the past week and want nothing more than to avoid thinking about the widespread disease. The problem is that it’s quite difficult to avoid it when there seems to be a new negative development described in detail every time I go online. And while I do hope to write more uplifting things in the future, it’s honestly been too tough to switch from my negative headspace to a creative one this week.