This journal, has been expanding exponentially since I’ve decided to dust it off when I started my Before 30 Challenge.
But it was COVID-19 that really allowed me to take this journal to another level and express myself even more.
I felt like talking more, mostly because I was being driven to the depths of boredom at work.
COVID-19 has really also made me wish I had an editor on board, because the keyboard at work is atrocious, and its “stickiness” causes a lot of grammatical errors and spelling mistakes.
I don’t think I’ve read a single post, whereupon publishing, I would reread it and be compelled to go back and edit out the mistakes.
This keyboard, I am writing on, truly sucks for speed too, as my thoughts often run faster than I can type. I do miss my home keyboard, because it allows my hands to keep pace with myself.
There’s also the frequent interruption to my chains of thoughts, as I have to duck out for a few seconds to serve customers or help them, before returning and struggle to recollect my chain of logic.
It’s a strange mental exercise, but one that I am slowly getting better at. I think it’s an important skill, to hold something in your mind, address something else, and then return to it.
Memory skills are something I really need to train and develop. It never ceases to amaze me, how much I forget in a day, the important details I’ve missed and the crucial conversations I lose track of.
Memories, I feel, are crucial to your overall mental well-being, because beyond its obvious indication that you don’t have dementia, it also serves an important function in reminding you of lessons you need to take heed of.
To err is to be human, to make the same error twice, is stupid.
In context of this journal, COVID-19 has also granted me a boom, in followers. I’ve been really surprised to see the number of people follow and read this blog, and show their support, even in the smallest way with a “like.” I have done absolutely nothing to promote this blog, no tags, no SEO-linkage, nothing at all.
So to have anyone genuinely read my posts, despite the huge amount content out there, still floors me. The fact that I have an audience, no matter how big or small it is, means that I feel encouraged to keep writing and producing stories.
Honestly, I get such a swell of emotion whenever I get that WordPress email telling me that someone reacted positively to my posts. It reaffirms my belief that I am not the most horrific writer out there, that people can actually enjoy reading something I’ve made.
This has been a surprising experience for me as well, because usually I am quite a private person, unwilling to share my thoughts, even amongst my friends. I made the decision to go public with this Journal, because I felt the need to be held accountable for my progress in the B30 Challenge.
“Public shaming” if you will.
I couldn’t live with myself, if I failed in front of people, so that’s why this Journal exists. To keep pushing me to create, be productive and keep practising what I preach.
It’s easy to convince yourself to accept failure when you are alone.
It’s a lot harder to convince yourself that you are doing things right, when you fail in front of people and peers.
I’m really glad I took up writing again, just before COVID-19 started, because it provides me with a reference to my state of mind before the pandemic. As I mentioned earlier, it’s amazing how much the human mind forgets and often, we need a record of ourselves to help enable more personal growth and introspection.
When we look back at ourselves, we should have two feelings: embarrassment and pride. Embarrassed that we were so uncivilised back then and proud that we have grown up and moved past that state.
Seeing progress in ourselves, is what makes us confident and better people.
This Journal has helped me see that I’m getting better, in some ways and worse in others. It lets me identify key problems within, and create solutions to address those issues.
It also serves as a pep talk to myself. I think, everyone reading this Journal can see that, whilst I am extraordinarily harsh on myself, I am also quite encouraging. I know that I’ve made mistakes, that I’ve slipped, but that isn’t a call for defeat, because I can just get back up, take notes on why I made a mistake, and not repeat it.
I suppose you could say, I do reassure myself a lot. Probably my subconscious working to protect my fragile ego.
But if it works, it works, and I’m not one to break from an established procedure that has proven itself.
In a way, COVID-19 has proven itself to be a bit of blessing when it comes to personal development. Whilst the world has gone to shit, I’ve felt more attuned to myself and my needs and my priorities. I’ve focused on making myself resilient and tough in the face of adversity.
And all the pandemics in the world, can’t really take that away from me.
It might seem like a waste of time, a frivolous expenditure of your life, but can it truly be all that bad, when you’ve improved yourself?
COVID-19 might have paused the world, but it can’t pause you.
Work hard, train hard and be hard.