I began the Cultivate 2012 project with the hopes of cultivating myself and living a better life. As each month rolled around, I felt more and more pressure to cater to my readers — to worry more about others instead of worrying about myself. That hasn’t been very cultivating for me, which doesn’t serve my purpose considering the nodule in my neck has grown persistently over the past few months. If I don’t stop and worry about *me* soon, there might not be much of a *me* to worry about at all. So instead of stressing about creating a prompt for my readers to follow, I’m simply going to report on my own progress/ regress and invite others to do some self-guided exploration of their year so far. Feel free to continue doing monthly self-guided exploration of your year on a self-determined basis (a week, a month, whatever suits you).
Back in April I read an article by Ashley Ambirge in which she encourages her readers to “name it.” “As in put a name on your ONE THING. Call it something. Give it an identity.” And so I did. I thought a lot about my dreams, about my desired lifestyle. I thought back to leisurely summer vacations, doing as I pleased, enjoying life on my terms, on my schedule. I thought about how freeing that felt. I thought about how much I anticipated summer vacation every school year, how much I dreaded returning to the early morning alarms and days spent inside a packed, over-air-conditioned building. I realized that I want to live every day like it’s summer vacation. I want to choose when I start my day, where I spend my days, and how I spend my days. If I want to live every day like I’m on summer vacation, I need to work hard now to cultivate that lifestyle. I need to create offerings and publish. I need to put myself out there. I don’t need to accept every gig and offer that comes my way, but I had better put myself out there to attract clients. I need to build my income — especially my passive income — so I can afford myself the luxury of lounging when I want/ need to. I need to spend enough time caring for myself so I can enjoy this life a little longer. Having a nodule growing on/ near your thyroid really changes your perspective on life, that’s for sure.
Distractions have surrounded me for the past couple of months. The much anticipated move — and the dreaded unpacking — took some of my attention. Honestly, my attention has been stretched in several directions. Moving out of a bad situation only highlighted other issues that much more, and there’s so much more to fix. My distraction drains my creativity, and I haven’t felt capable of producing quality, witty work. The realization that June’s nearing the half-way point forces me to make a choice — do what I love or settle. I hate settling (unless we’re talking about settling down in a space of my own). So I must choose to do what I love. I have to continue fighting, no matter the odds. I made a promise to myself on January 1st that this year would be different. That promise included nurturing myself, and I need to revisit that. I cannot live the dream if I’m always tired, dehydrated, and unwell. I must invest in myself and my future. It wouldn’t be selfish if I gave myself just a bit of love and care — and I shouldn’t feel that way. My family needs me. So I need to take care of me.