As much as I would like to say I do, the reality is this: I don’t have my shit together.
Trust me — I would love to be one of those girls wearing flawless red lipstick on at midday on a Tuesday with a to-do list that’s almost entirely checked off and an espresso in hand, but I’m not. My ideal vibe has always been one of those girls that’s effortlessly cool in hot weather, her hair is bouncy but still glossy, and her fake tan is never streaky. She doesn’t panic-order fries when she’s out for lunch, nor does she talk about how sweaty she is at the most inconvenient of times, and don’t even try to catch her off guard, because you never will. It’s impossible.
The truth is, I’ve never once felt as though I completely have my shit together. There’s been a few times that I’ve thought I might, but looking back now I see all of the tiny cracks in my figurative (and literal) foundation that were threatening to give way and expose me for who I really am: a complete and utter mess.
It was only last week that I learnt Naomi Watts and Nicole Kidman are actually two seperate people. I still mispronounce diagonal as diag-nog-al, even though I’m a twenty-six year old English major. I drink way too much Diet Coke, and find myself easily distracted by Vine compilations on YouTube. I spent the first twenty-three years of my life thinking that you performed a ‘Heineken Remover’ on people who were choking, and I still haven’t harnessed the ability of measuring time unless I’m staring at a clock.
Have I been writing this post for five minutes or five hours? We’ll never know.
My point is — I don’t have my shit together. Not at all. And actually, I’m starting to think that very few people do. However, the allure of being ‘that girl’ is a constant pursuit of mine, and there are certain things I do every day as a way to venture ever so closer to that end goal. And, to some degree, I think it’s working, based solely on the amount of messages and questions I get from you guys every week.
How do I edit my photos? How do I use my DSLR? How do I start a blog? How do I stay motivated? How do I create graphics? How do I make money from my blog? Etcetcetcetc.
So, if you’d like to work towards having your shit together and being the ~ultimate~ #girlboss, here are a few things to try.
WRITE SHIT DOWN
Perhaps the most mundane bit of advice I’ll ever give you on this blog, but it’s also the most practical and useful advice I can give you for this topic. Write shit down. It’s really that simple. You forget 0% of the appointments, bills and deadlines you write down in plain sight. Now that can be in a virtual calendar or diary, or on a paper calendar or diary – or both? I use both, because sometimes I forget to bring my paper diary with me when I’m out and about. My preferred virtual diary is iCal, but I do utilise Evernote for to-do lists and other important information that I’m likely to forget — like buying tampons and remembering to renew my license. I use my paper diary when I’m sat at my desk at home, and I love to plan my week with it.
NEVER UNDERVALUE THE PROCESS OF LEARNING
Sure, it may be easier to outsource your photo editing and the more finicky parts of your to-do list, but there’s something to be said about teaching yourself how to do these things. Becoming entirely self-sufficient is a long-term goal of mine, which is why I’ve never outsourced anything related to my blog. I do it all myself — from photo editing and website maintenance to social media and accounting — everything that happens with this platform is both my responsibility and my creation, and I’ve taught myself how to do all of the necessary things to make this blog successful. It might be easier to take a photography course and have someone else tell you how to play around with ISO and aperture, but I truly do believe that the best way to learn is to teach yourself.
UNDERSTAND THE NEED FOR COLLABORATION
While it is important to allow yourself the time and space to learn and improve consistently, I do think there’s a need for collaboration in every industry. Often times the element of competition can stop us from reaching out to those in similar fields and positions, but collaborating with your “competitors” is such a brilliant way to excel. Think of it this way: if you were really good at maths, but couldn’t quite grasp chemistry, and your best friend sucked at maths, but was a whiz at chemistry; wouldn’t it make sense to collaborate and share your expertise with each other? That way, you would get the help you very much need, while at the same time helping someone else. The narrative of you vs. them is SO boring, and I truly do think that community over competition is the key for success in 2019. Focus on building a longer table, not a taller fence.
TAKE THE FUCKING RISK, SUSAN
You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take, after all.