The other day, my boyfriend, Chris, and I had a conversation about our less-than-desirable habits. The one of mine that I discussed with him was the fact that I just pick up my phone if I’m bored. I don’t have a particular reason to be scrolling through one app or another, it’s just the fact that it’s the easiest way to occupy myself. It sounds even worse when I type it out. Yikes. But it’s true! We all have those little habits that don’t necessarily make a huge difference in our day-to-day, but in the long run, they steal a bunch of our time. I’ve begun to wonder over the last few months what I may have accomplished by now if I didn’t spend so much time on my phone. What if I’d distributed my time differently? Self-reflection is something that I’ve been keen on lately, because I’ve realized that what I want most is to continue growing.
“Get your priorities straight!” has recently been my rallying cry to myself. In a world full of distraction and chaos, it’s imperative to keep focus on what matters, and that differs for each of us. I made it a point to write down my own priorities onto a piece of paper, and set my rallying cry to work. I’m going to share them with you, and I hope that you might consider writing yours down and really creating a atmosphere that caters to the things that matter to you most.
This one is first and foremost because it’s the most important. Over the last few years, I’ve cultivated a core circle of people who I surround myself with, and I really want to pour into those people and give them more of my time. They are people who constantly encourage me, love me, and push me to be my best (and in turn they let me know when I’m wrong, which is very important). It’s an honor to say that these people are my family and friends. I want to continue to add to this circle when appropriate, and really focus on the life-giving people.
On the other side of this, I’m going to be honest. My relationship with God has been distant. I’ve fallen out of prayer and I’ve been trying to figure out the details. I know I am a Christian. However, I’m trying to figure out the best way for me to worship and the best community to foster that growth with God. I’m relocating my home in the coming weeks, and it will be interesting to try out different churches in my new area to see which aligns best. I don’t think it’s a bad thing to question what you believe and why you believe it, but I’m really trying to get back into prayer. I’m simply talking to God and finding myself spending time in His presence and listening for His truth. I’m coming back to God and my relationship with Him.
2) School and Career
These two are one and the same even though they present differently. I am going to school in order to lay a strong foundation for a steady career that can sustain me for the rest of my life. For those who aren’t familiar with me, I am currently pursuing my MA in Professional Writing and Rhetoric. The goal is to build a career as a copywriter/editor. I am currently going to school part-time, but I’m really trying to absorb the material from my classes. I’m going to be diving into lots of relevant texts this summer to really build my background knowledge and professional library. I’m going to be reading style manuals, rhetoric texts, as well as entrepreneurial resources (useful for building my business in the professional writing field as well as creative ones). I’ve found that the more I learn about other types of writing, the better my creative writing gets.
In addition to investing in my own learning outside of school, I’m going to be preparing ahead of time for my upcoming semester. I’m going to be getting textbooks early and reading over the syllabuses when they become available. It’s best to go in knowing exactly what is expected of me and how I can support my own learning in each online classroom environment. I can be aware of how much time I’ll need to dedicate to school and how much I can set aside to work (and freelance) this fall. Creating a solid system ahead of time will synchronize my schedule so I’m not left scrambling when deadlines are just ahead.
As of now, I’m in the very beginning stages of building a career, but it’s imperative that I pace myself. I’m more adamant than ever about not comparing my professional journey to someone else’s, especially when they aren’t in the same field as I am. I’m pleased with where I am currently, and I recognize that there is a lot of room to grow for me. Having that ability is something that appeals to me, so for right now, where I am is just fine.
Here’s the thing: I’m twenty-one years old. I want to be as financially secure as I can be now, but even more so later on in life. It’s already been said that it will be monumentally more difficult for my generation to buy a house or even to retire, so yes, it’s important to get serious about finances as soon as possible. The first thing I’m doing is simple: I’m saving an allocated amount of money out of each paycheck. I do this every week, and if I have a little bit extra, I’ll deposit more than that amount. I’ve also downloaded Every Dollar, an app designed by Dave Ramsey to help you budget on a daily basis. I’m going to have a strict budget, because I’m quickly recognizing that future security and prosperity is so much more important than instant gratification in the present moment.
Finally, I’m still learning. I realize that I’m no expert with numbers and that this kind of thing doesn’t come naturally, but I’m a big advocate for the fact that if you desire to learn something then there is a way you can learn to do it if you’re dedicated enough. I want to set money aside for retirement now, find the best locations to keep my money, and I know there is so much more out there to know. My curiosity has been sparked and it’s about time I know exactly where my money is going.
It’s no secret that it’s a dream of mine to publish one day. I’m always putting together little poetry collections in my head, or mapping out a potential novel concept, but I’ve come to terms with one error in my current ways: writing is on the backburner. I want to push my writing abilities and create pieces that impact others. If I want it to reach others I need it to be published. If I want it to be published I have to pitch it to a publisher or take steps to self-publish. To pitch it to a publisher or self-publish, I have to finish the piece at my best. To finish a piece at my best, I have to set aside time to create it. I’m going back to the origin of where the goal needs to begin. I haven’t dedicated enough of my time to writing lately, and if I want a different result, I need to change the way I do things. It’s time to grow in every sense of the word.
More than that, though, I want to get to the heart of why I loved writing as a kid: unending possibility. I want to explore creativity with no expectation of sharing it with anyone; it leaves the element of surprise even for me as the writer because there are no configurations or expectations to match up to. I want to leave sharing the work for later, and writing the work as a personal experience. Creativity is deeply personal, and we need to have a relationship with our own creative spirit before we can share it with others. I want to come back to a child’s inspiration that results in scribbles on a page only legible to me. I long to capture that essence within language, and leave the future version to the future. Inspiration is now.
All in all, it’s about investing our time and understanding why we have the priorities that we do. It’s important to note that overall health and fitness are also on this list, but I do a separate series about my journey with them, so check that out for the next update coming soon! I did another post last year about investing time, but I think that it’s super important to write down our priorities every so often to understand how we’re evolving and where our time should be going as our goals constantly grow. I’m really trying to see the whole mural of what I want my life to be, not just the current picture. I challenge you today to see which people and things in your life are most important, why they’re most important, and how you can pour more time into them.
Live inside inspiration.
Much Love, Quinn