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What the heck am I doing?

Hi, I’m Kayla.

I’m almost thirty. I’m married. We live in a tiny house in a small town with our pup, Penny, and our ten-foot boa, Sadie. I work full time in Community Impact for a local nonprofit. I’m about eight months away from graduating with a Master’s degree in Professional and School Counseling. Last week I started a counseling internship at the high school I graduated from. My husband and I are in the grueling, stressful and ever disappointing process of house hunting. I’m fairly private, I’m incredibly self-conscious and I easily become a raging stress storm of anxiety when I’m overwhelmed with too many things to do.

 So, why the fuck am I signing up to write a blog?

1. To Do Something I Love

I used to be an avid writer and documenter-extraordinaire. I wrote every day. I strategically purchased purses based on if they could fit a journal, planner, camera and arsenal of writing utensils along with the other necessities of life. I wanted to remember everything, so I wrote down everything I could and spent hours reflecting on my experiences. It was something just for me and something that I enjoyed doing. Not only was it therapeutic, it was my identity.

I still carry around a journal. Occasionally, I even use it. For the most part it’s become a giant scratch pad filled with shopping lists, schedules, directions, things I’ll forget to do if I don’t write them down…basically, a book of reminders concerning the monotony of “adulting”.

A couple weeks ago I asked my husband a very important question:

“What’s something that you used to do that made you happy and that you don’t do anymore?”

It was a somewhat sad realization that there were quite a few answers and even more sad were some of the reasons why. I said that I don’t write anymore because I’m too busy. I definitely don’t have as much free time as I did when I was in my early twenties so there is some truth to that, but I hate when we use time as an excuse.

The truth is; there is always time to be made for the people we value and the things we love to do.

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2. To Foster Creativity

I thought more about why I don’t write like I used to and what it really came down to was that I don’t feel like I have anything interesting to write about. When I was young(er) I could fill books with stories of wild nights and crazy adventures. I was single, I didn’t have a career or any real responsibilities. I could be out all night or leave for a week and really not worry about losing anything or being accountable to anyone but myself. It’s much easier to be a free-spirit when you are indeed, free. So, somewhere along the way, I’ve lost that part of myself. I’ve allowed myself to be so caught up in the demands for daily life, that I’ve forgotten the zeal of expression and creativity.

When you think of the essentials for human life, you probably think of the basics: oxygen, water, food and shelter. You might even think a bit further and say relationships, acceptance or purpose. You might not be so apt to think of creativity, but I urge you to add that to your list.

In “The Gifts of Imperfection” by Brene Brown, she discusses her research on the importance of cultivating creativity in order to lead a wholehearted life. Creativity isn’t just painting or sculpting, it’s creating. Our ability to create and express is crucial to establishing meaning in our lives. Brown goes on to determine that people aren’t biologically established as either “creative” or “non-creative”. Rather, there are people who use their creativity and those who choose not to.

The truth is; the secret of creativity lies in the power of using it.
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3. To Grow

Naturally, after I took the call from Odyssey and agreed to submit, fear took over and I thought of every reason not to submit an article:

My writing skills are not what they used to be, I don’t even remember proper grammar half the time, I don’t know what to write about, my husband might read this, our family might read this, people who hate me might read this, or worse…no one will read this.

Everything seemed to boil down to the same underlying sentiment: feeling inadequate. I’m constantly struggling with feeling like I am not good enough. I’m always worried about sounding like a fool, looking like an idiot and being overly concerned with what other people think. It keeps me limited to living within a shell of approval; unable to reach out of this zone for fear of failure or shame. It’s ridiculous to think that we should be limited to anything in this world.

“If there is something you enjoy doing, don’t let the fear of not being the best at it hold you back from having that experience.”

So, it’s with discomfort and anxiety that I embark on a new adventure, which I’m hoping will teach me more about myself and allow me to more secure in who I am.

The truth is; our ability to genuinely connect is congruent with our willingness to be vulnerable.

“Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on” ― Louis L’Amour

Credit to Kayla Petz writer for the Self Love Beauty community on The Odyssey Online.

Note: The Self Love Beauty is a platform for all Self Love Beauty stories from The Odyssey Online.