For Real This Time…

I’m doing it. I’m finally doing it. No more excuses. No more anxieties. I’m freaking doing it.

I’m starting a blog.

Okay, but if I’m honest with you guys, even as I type this, my inner dialogue is going something like:

Me: Just take it one word at a time

Me to me: Go to bed and finish tomorrow morning. 

Me: But I promised myself I’d finish toni-

Me to me: You have 8 more days before the Gilmore Girls revival and you’re only on season 4 of the original series…

So, the evil Kermit won. I started writing this on Thursday night and it is now Monday. You win some, you lose some. As I was saying…

I’m starting a blog (for real this time).

I know this doesn’t appear to be much of an endeavor. Lately it seems like everyone and their dog has a blog of some kind (there’s literally a show on Disney Channel about it. Spoiler: it’s terrible). For me, however, blogging is a challenge; it is the mountain that I am never ready to climb.

Why? I guess you can *blame it on my ADD, baby* (sorry, even I hate that I said that).

I was diagnosed with ADHD when I was in the second grade. If you somehow have never heard of it, ADHD stands for attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder and just in case there is any confusion: YES it is a real thing, YES it is a chronic illness that, for some, requires lifelong treatment, and NO this is not up for debate. Moving on…

You might be thinking, “What does this have to do with her struggling to start a blog?” and my response is “Everything.” But for the purpose of this post, my reasoning can be summed up into a single word:

I know, I know. Now and then, everybody is guilty of procrastinating. It’s human. However, I, ladies and gentlemen, am the Beyoncé (read: queen) of procrastination.

It is my superpower, given to me by the radioactive spider that is ADHD. And my weakness? Anything that requires time and commitment. Do you know what takes time and commitment? B L O G G I N G.

Is this starting to make sense now? Let me break it down a little more.

For me, starting a blog is like starting a college research paper. At first, I’m excited and I promise to get started right away. Inevitably, seven weeks will pass, and not a single word will be written. To avoid failing, I’ll work like a crazy person for two days–not stopping to eat or sleep–until I have produced a decent paper. But this isn’t a college research paper. There are no deadlines or final grades. In other words, there’s no extrinsic motivation. It’s all up to me and THAT is what makes this so difficult. Without some sort of external reward or consequence, I will continue to put this off.

Now you might be thinking, “Ok, so just don’t do it? Find a new hobby? Move on with your life?” And, yeah, I guess that is an option. But here’s the thing: today’s “starting a blog” is tomorrow’s “running a marathon” or next year’s “finding a job.” If I continue to succumb to my procrastinating ways, I will never learn. I will never progress. More importantly, I want to do this. I want to write about my travels and my experiences abroad. Fifty years from now, I want to be able to remember the places I’ve been and the things I’ve done. I want to share these stories with my family and friends. I finally have enough intrinsic motivation and I am ready to give up my procrastination superpowers.

Basically, this blog is an “assignment” that is six years overdue.

The first time I thought of starting a blog was after my Junior year of high school as I was getting ready to go to Spain. It was my first trip abroad and I wanted to document everything. I was already an avid writer and lover of social media, so I thought it would be easy. However, saying “I’ll do it later” turned into “maybe on my next trip…” and eventually, the pictures were all filed away or lost on old USB sticks and many of my experiences in Spain were quickly forgotten. Now, six years, seven countries, and countless forgotten trips later, I am finally learning my lesson.

About four months ago, I decided to move to Italy to work as an au pair. Not only would this give me time to figure out what I wanted to do with my life, it would also allow me to travel more. Upon hearing this news, my close friend and fellow globetrotter, Molly, recommended that I write about my adventures abroad. I thought YES. I’m finally doing this. If the Cubs can win a World Series, I can start a blog.

Even though I was finally ready to start climbing ‘Blog Mountain,’ it took me a couple months to decide what I really wanted to write about. There are thousands of travel blogs out there, written by people who are much more talented and worldly than myself. I wanted to find a way to make mine different. And the more I thought about it, the more I realized that my experiences are, in fact, different.

In my blog, you won’t find an organized list of museums to visit or restaurants to avoid. You won’t find a detailed history of the last city I visited. Actually, you’ll be lucky if I even remember the name of the city! No, I can’t write about that stuff, but I can write about traveling with ADHD.

During a tour, I’ll forget most of what the guide says because I’ll be distracted by the noises around me, but I’ll be able to tell you everything about the other tourists. Most days, I’ll get lost, probably because I forgot to pack a map, but I’ll be able to tell you about the perfect café I discovered as a result.

Sometimes, I’ll be emotional. I’ll cry and I’ll freak out in public places, but I’ll be able to tell you about traveling with depression and anxiety (disorders that co-occur with ADHD). I’ll write about all of my experiences, the good and the bad; when I fail and when I succeed. I’ll write about what I’ve learned and how I’ve grown. Maybe it’ll be good, maybe it’ll absolutely suck, I don’t know. That’s the fun of it.

So. This is it. This is me turning in my assignment after six years of saying “I’ll do it later.” This is my blog. Like my mind, it’s going to be ~all over the place~.  I’m okay with that.

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