I have a confession to make. I hate blogging.
What?! A writer who doesn’t like to write?!
No, that’s not it, at all. I love to write. I’m just not great at obligatory anything. I’ve tried – I really have – but something about You have to post blogs weekly, and Instagram pics daily, and tweets every few hours, drives me batshit crazy. That’s what actually got me writing poetry. I figured I could write a poem weekly without much trouble, and I’ve been consistently doing that now for over 30 weeks (I’ll post another one on Sunday). But, in general, having to sucks the joy right out of most things for me.
Lately, however, I find myself reflecting on life and some of the observations I’ve made along the way. If it’s okay with you, I’m going to share some of those on random days with no set schedule. Just purely for the joy of it.
So, no big surprise, this installation on observations is about obligation. Are we obligating ourselves to be obligated, or are we beating ourselves up trying to fulfill other people’s expectations? Isn’t that what obligations really are? Other people’s expectations?
– You have to go to that baby shower. They’ll be expecting you.
– You can’t not go to church. What will people say?
– You have to drink at the corporate retreat. You’ll look like an outcast.
And? Your point is?
Look, I get that sometimes things come up, and I get that we want to support the people we love and make them happy, but some of us are knocking ourselves out going to and doing things that we simply would rather not do. Does that take a toll? You betcha. Throw in varying degrees of the disease to please, and our health and general sense of self fade into oblivion.
I think that all of this can be summed up with one word: boundaries. If I feel obligated by some branding guru to blog once or twice a week, I’ll never want to write again. I need to protect that. If I drink at a corporate retreat to fit in, I’ll hate myself afterward. I need to defend that. Even if I get passed over for a promotion because I didn’t pass out, so be it. And in my experience, and in most instances, people adjust.
This world has become a fast-paced, crazy-making machine, and unless we take as many steps as possible to maintain our sanity, we’re done.
You know what? I lied. There’s one obligation that I do like: the obligation to protect my authenticity. And, apart from supporting the people I love on their journeys, which I’ll always do, I plan to keep meeting that obligation at every turn.
Oh, and by the way, you were never obligated to read this.
Photo credit: Nick Morrison