In one of my yoga classes a few weeks back, I shared how hard it can be for me to stick with things. I explained how when we all went into quarantine, some of us suddenly put this expectation on ourselves that we were going to emerge from this cocoon totally metamorphosed into bread bakers, gardeners, and Master-Classers. There’s all this emphasis on new-ness: new hobbies, new learnings, newly potted plants. It didn’t take me long to realize that starting new things is not actually new for me.
Recently, I’ve been going through a personality test of sorts that pairs different archetypes to different parts of my identity. One of my archetypes, the pioneer, is entranced by new land. She’s constantly seeking new knowledge, starting new projects, and onto the next thing. Personally, I have a bookshelf full of books I’ve started (but haven’t finished), and I’ve spent the last few months searching for my next new and exciting career move. And I don’t think this theme is that uncommon for us millennials. We created the gig economy, donut burgers, and plant-based meat. We’re the generation of Snapchat, Snap Yo Fingers, and Snap, Crackle and Pop. We know innovation. We are pioneers.
So, it’s no wonder many of us are jumping at the opportunity to try yet another new thing while stuck at home. For me, though, I’ve realized that if I really want to come out of this with what Swizz Beatz referred to as “A 2.0 Version of Our Gameplan,” I’ve got to try something newer than new- I’ve got to try continuing the old.
An opportunity to confront this head-on came up the other day when I was offered an opportunity to continue my same line of work, teaching tiny humans. When the offer showed up, my first reaction was to think about how I couldn’t take the job, because it was the same old gig. It was a new grade, a new group of bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, mask-wearing kidlets, and a new curriculum, but somehow my ego began comparing this opportunity to The Great Unknown.
I turned this over in my head, the idea of giving up on the unknown and going back to continue the career I had started. I realized how much mental space I had been giving my inner pioneer. Excited by the prospect of creating a new chapter, I had been letting my ego run rampant, searching for the next big thing like a dog chasing its tail.
I accepted the job, and let my pioneer create my 2.0 Gameplan: Operation Stick With It. My new adventure? Keep going. Finish the book, the workout, the job. Finish the courses I’ve begun, and the bottle of wine I just opened hard conversations I’ve started. The beauty comes in the blossoming, not just the planting. I’m not going to make bread, or tye-dye shirts, or embark on some new career. I’m not going to reinvent myself and emerge from quarantine a totally different me. I'm going to keep doing what I’m doing, better and wiser, and nailed to the present moment. And I hope you’ll join me.