My #1 reason for moving to Los Angeles is to write.
Whether my writing ever garners me accolades or money is not the point.
The point is to write no matter what, and since my current script feels like it's taking
me an eternity, this blog is slowly becoming my primary source of achieving my daily writing goal.
This brings me to the point of this post.
Last week in therapy, I asked how I should deal with my mind once I moved here and had some major adjustment time (meaning: I'd have a consistent amount of quiet time to myself).
In seasons of life when I've had too much silence, my anxiety tends to take me for quite a roller coaster ride, and sometimes this is the very thing that leads me right back into a depression. I knew that this move would mean a major adjustment for me emotionally, financially, socially, mentally -- so in therapy I expressed one of my more rational fears of being alone with myself for too long.
But then my therapist said something that I know I will never forget, and it's truly aided me this week, and I hope it will continue to do so throughout my life.
She told me to have "one achievement" each day, no matter how small. She said that even the act of paying a bill is achievement enough to indicate a productive day.
For me, paying a bill is still a big deal. So that is a huge achievement for one day! But bills haven't needed any paying this week. Instead, each morning when anxiety creeps around me at the thought of another day maneuvering and learning this new city, I tell myself that one of the only things my day needs to be productive is a small achievement.
On Sunday, that achievement was settling into my room.
On Monday, the achievement was making it to an interview, doing the interview, going to a transportation office, and organizing my room.
On Tuesday, I made it my goal to find a coffee shop I could spend time at AND not need street parking (hallelujah for spending my third day in a row at the shop!).
Wednesday, my goal was to pick my dad up from an airport and hold my emotions together as I watched him drive away (let's just say that I found him just fine, but didn't hold it all together as he headed north and I headed south).
Today, my goal was to get my parking pass (second try!), but I failed to do so. HOWEVER, I managed to do the errands and make a huge effort, which feels a lot like four or five achievements.
Moral of the story: go easy on yourself. There is plenty of time for healthy pressure, unnecessary pressure, normal stresses of life, discomfort. Letting yourself off the hook in terms of allowing yourself the satisfaction of at least one achievement per day will work wonders for your soul and happiness.
I actually patted myself on the back for making it to the coffee shop after driving over what felt like all of Los Angeles today. I made it, I got the last parking spot, and I get to sit by a window overlooking (what other than) traffic!
While attempting to get my parking pass today, I told the lady at the desk that I hate this city. I began to cry, told her how frustrated I am and scared of getting towed, and I thanked her for showing me kindness and doing her best to help. And she smiled back, and empathized with the fact that I'm not from here, and that honestly made not getting the pass feel okay.
She doesn't know it, but one of her achievements for the day was being kind enough, if even in a typical DMV environment, to see my problem, listen and reassure me.
Life will eventually get crazy.
I'll eventually have a set schedule, a social life (hopefully), and this week will be a minute part of my past.
So for now I'm letting myself off a little easy.
My best friend gets married next week and taking a handful of days to celebrate and enjoy family before really planting myself here in Los Angeles is okay.
It's a lifetime achievement in my book for ever moving here in the first place.
All of the daily achievements I collect along the way are just bonus blessings.
Here's to small achievements every day --
may they make us feel productive,
may they bring us some assurance,
and--if not--may they at least grow us and prepare us for tomorrow's achievements, yeah?
Also, another daily achievement is that it's almost noon and I've only cried three times.
Progress, guys, progress.