Private Life Outloud

I’m a rather private person. I don’t often share openly about what I’m personally struggling with outside of a very small circle. I’m not one to broadcast what I’m worried about, stresses, my faith, needs, desires, or even what I’m passionate about (which is probably more odd than I realize). I often find myself writing at the end of each day in Day One, honestly just decompressing my busy days. It’s a place to take a step back from the day full of input from meetings, conversations, advice, and feedback loops and trying to get out of the jumbled mess into an understandable order I can actually comprehend.

I struggle often to find words in the moment, it often leaves me initially shying away from face-to-face conversations because I’m afraid of looking like an idiot in front of someone who has better things to do with their time than to listen to me babble about something until their boredom sets in with a fierceness like that of the panic of a snowy day in Atlanta. I don’t know what that facet of me is, but I can definitely tell it’s limited me in a lot of areas. It not only makes me terrible at meeting new people, I struggle to find helpful words in creative meetings (a huge part of my job that I always feel like I’m ever-failing at), I even have a hard time just talking with people I feel safe with. It makes me terrible at marketing, promoting, or talking about myself.

I long to be articulate, to be worth listening to, or to simply bring value to a conversation that I’m a part of. I want to learn to be able to organize the jumble of thoughts in my head into something worth listening to or reading.

I think the hardest yet most comforting mental state is realizing that God made me this way. He designed me this way, knowing my desires and dreams, to be dependent on Him in the times where I not only feel inadequate, but actually am. He’s created a need for Himself, in me. He’s also created me to not be lazy, to work hard, to persevere, to overcome the shortcomings within myself. I have a lot of learned behaviors that I’m constantly trying to refine so I can be more effective and valuable to my relationships, friends, and job role.

It’s possible that I may never feel confident in my ability, but I think if I ever do, it will be for the worst. My dependence on me would rise at the cost of my dependence and reliance on God, even in the little things. I want to be better, not so I look better, but so God in my looks His best.

Being someone who’s rather private, it’s no secret that I’m insecure about a lot of who I am and what I do, so I suppose it’s about time I say what everyone else is probably already saying about me. It’s time to be a bit more vulnerable, because it’s a lie if I think I’m keeping any secrets (I’m a terrible liar, even to myself).

I have lots of learning and growing to do, but the journey is better than the destination. Here’s to life lived richly, not in the pursuit of riches.


Non-Fiscal Investments

Investment. Defined as “the action or process of investing money for profit or material result.” I didn’t need to include that, you already knew it. We often can’t see through our obsession with financial success and comfort to realize there’s more we’re investing without realizing it. The second definition is lesser used, but more accurate to what the majority of us actually have to invest in lieu of our mega-millions.

Investment. “An act of devoting time, effort, or energy to a particular undertaking with the expectation of a worthwhile result.” Time. Effort. Energy. Things we all have a limited supply of, but things that we squander on a daily (maybe even hourly) basis. We’re not even aware what we have at our disposal until we’re looking back wishing things were different, only to deny we had the potential to make that difference the whole time.

I realize now more than ever that I don’t want to wait until the end of my life to look back and dream of what I could/should have done differently. I’m going to make those changes when I have the chance. The challenge is that it’s not just simply deciding to live my life with purpose and instantly things fall into place. It’s an endless series of small decisions that add up to and support the greater goal being pursued. It’s something you have to decide once, and then decide over and over again every minute of every day.

It’s worth living your life to the fullest, but I’m not just talking about a busy schedule in pursuit of fulfillment, but strategic investments in how to life a rich life. Not rich in money necessarily, but rich in memories, experiences, and reason and well invested time and effort.

You only have one pitcher of life to pour out, choose your cups wisely.


Opportunities for Distraction

Opportunities come to us most often when we aren’t looking for them. Opportunities for more busy work, to meet new people, make new connections, collaborate on a project, or to build something we’ve always dreamed existed. Opportunity is really an invitation to invest your time into something. But too many opportunities can start to become something you never wanted them to be. Like drinking from a firehose, it can quickly become too much of a good thing. Now these new endeavors have moved from opportunities to distractions.

We as humans are often terrible at saying no. We’re intrinsically afraid of rejection so we’ll over-commit ourselves with opportunities that will eventually distract us from the opportunity we hope will come one day. What if we’re making ourselves too busy to actually do what matters? What if, instead of doing what is most important, we’re wasting our time doing what is simply urgent.

It’s easy to waste time on something that is easy to accomplish. It’s predictable, it’s quick, it’s achievable and the goal is in sight from the get-go. On the contrary, doing something new, something risky, something exploratory often has a hopeful but unknown outcome, it can be daunting to begin when you don’t know how it ends. But if we only did things that were safe, we’d miss out on a lot of potential growth. After all, life is best lived outside of our comfort zones. Anything worth doing is often a risk. That big leap, asking out that girl for a first date, a new city, a hard conversation, a pouring out of your soul, taking on that project you’d not done before.

It’s terrifying. It’s vulnerable. There will be failure involved at some point along the way. But one thing’s for sure. Life is best lived as a journey, not a series of destinations. Where are you heading? What are you doing today that’s going to change your tomorrow?

Choose your opportunities.


The ABC of Architects

This is beautiful. An alphabetical list of the most important architects with their best known building.

I love the style, timing, and kinetic fluidity. Not to mention he’s wise in starting out with already beautiful subject matter. Brilliant work from Federico Gonzalez & Andrea Stinga

Concept and Animation: Andrea Stinga, Federico Gonzalez
Art Direction: Federico Gonzalez
Music: The Butterfly from Eugene C.Rose and George Ruble, (Creative Commons)
you can download it here.


Ways of Reading

Some insightful thoughts on the process of reading and writing and how they are meant to work together in tandem. I’ve always thought to read things in their entirety, perhaps discuss them with a friend throughout, then write my own editorial thoughts in some form post-completion. This article (which I’ve quoted below) from A Working Library by Mandy Brown is an eye-opening peek into a few methods and reasonings for reading differently—perhaps more intentionally—than I’d considered before.

Always read with a pen in hand. The pen should be used both to mark the text you want to remember and to write from where the text leaves you. Think of the text as the starting point for your own words.

Reading and writing are not discrete activities; they occur on a continuum, with reading at one end, writing at the other. The best readers spend their time somewhere in between.

Reading must occur everyday, but it is not just any daily reading that will do. The day’s reading must include at minimum a few lines whose principal intent is to be beautiful—words composed as much for the sake of their composition as for the meaning they convey.

A good reader reads attentively, not only listening to what the writer says, but also to how she says it. This is how a reader learns to write.

If a book bores you, or tells you things you already know, or is not beautiful, do not hesitate to discard it. There are better books awaiting you, just around the bend.

Every book alights a path to other books. Follow these paths as far as you can. This is how you build a library.

A single book struggles to balance on its spine; it pines for neighbors. Keep as many books as you have room for.

Read voraciously, many books at a time. Only then will you hear the conversation taking place among them.

The best library contains both books you have read, and books you have not. The latter should grow in proportion as the library expands. A working library is as much a place for the possible as it is a record of the past.