1. Happy anniversary!

Once upon a time, I was a teenager with a blog. Then I grew up and became a teenager with twenty* blogs.

I used to write a lot. A lot a lot. About life, random things, short stories, how boys in books are just better. Sometimes I'd write thrice a day. I never considered myself a writer; I was just someone who wrote. 

Now I call myself a writer but ... um. Haha, girl, where's the writing at?

Once upon a time, I used to write -- because it was fun, because I wanted to talk about my day, because to be honest: nobody was reading (except for my friends, because we all blogged about each other, and my mom, because she's my mom).

And then this whole trying to blog legit-ly happened, and without even realizing it, I was worried about word counts, and shareability, and paragraph length, and readability, and is-this-relevant-to-my-audience-what-if-I'm-just-being-mema (mema as in, may masabi lang, as in, saying things just to say things), and is this strategically building my brand, and is this sufficiently related to my niche, and are there enough headers and images to break the text, and

aaaaaaaaaaaahhhh

All of that paralyzed me from doing this thing that I used to do without a second thought. It was the most natural thing in the world to me, and now I'm afraid of it.

 

 

So this is The Daily Write.

This is a new, separate blog for this new personal challenge.

The only rule: write every day. That's it.

No word count minimums or maximums. I'm allowed to not make a profound point if I don't have one. I'm allowed to write about anything, even if that means writing about the broccoli I had today that was buttered just the way I like it (enough so the edges are slightly burnt and crispy, fyi - also the way I like my fried eggs). I'm allowed to write multiple entries a day if I want. Pictures in my posts? No need.

As long as I write every day.

Because:

The more I write, the better I write. Rust is real. Or as my Spanish teacher said (about Spanish, but it totally applies here): if you don't use it, you lose it. I'm not going to improve my writing skills if I don't keep practicing.

The more I write, the more I write. There's probably a psych study about this somewhere... but I find that I'm more prolific when I'm prolific. If that makes sense. 

I'm forgetful. I think of all these "I should write about that!"s in my head ... except I don't write about that, and they all just become "what was that again?"s.

Old writing is super fun to look back on, even if by "super fun" I mean "super cringeworthy." I used to write "shiz" a lot - and that shiz was published in a broadsheet when I was 14. Hala ka 'day.

It helps me make sense of my thoughts, which are, on good days, a jumble of overwhelm. 

It's fun. I'd forgotten.

It's soothing. That, too.

They're dots. And by that I mean, I'm a fan of connecting the dots - and I'm also a fan of collecting the dots to connect. Writing every day is both: logging in the connectable dots, and allowing myself to see the connections among them later on.

Like this one:

 

 

On this day last year, I officially declared my quarter-life crisis.

I'd probably been in crisis for a while (because truth be told, when am I not?) but this was The Pivot Point. I wrote about it on April 27, 2016 in what is now an old blog. I said: 

Last Tuesday, we got the news: my little boy got into Big Boy School! This split my body four ways: very very proud of him, very very excited, very very panicking, and very very trying not to panic.

In what I hope was a moment of rational thought, I decided to begin a project for my new reality show, Keeping Up With the Life Expenses. (More on that later.)

In the process, I started to question myself like I were a branding client. Unfortunately, asking myself “Why should people care?” “What makes you different?” “What value do you have to offer?” “And even then, would anyone even want what you have to give?” over and over has done a number on my self esteem.

Do I matter?

And, as a matter of urgency, how can I?

What do I do, and is it needed?

My sister just got in to the final elimination round to qualify to compete at the World Hip Hop Dance Championships in Vegas this year. My mom has just come from the UN (again!) for a world drugs meeting. My batchmates are now (some just today, congrats y’all!) doctors.

Me? I had VCut for breakfast yesterday in between panic attacks I’m not allowed to have.

Steve Jobs said:

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.”

And then I went, you know what, I'm going to do something. I don't know what, and I don't know how, but I cannot not start.

“There’s no such thing as ready, there’s only willing.”

(TY Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist (Rachel Cohn & David Levithan))

With preschool prices the way they are, I literally cannot afford a quarter life crisis. I can (and probably will) ask myself forever and ever if I’m worth anything, but if I’m stuck at just asking, then there won’t even be anything to be worth nothing.

So I began.

It’s a process of pushing against the panic tide while simultaneously ignoring it. I decided to start by designing a website for the project: a concrete step forward, yet small enough that I’m not overwhelmed. If I try not to pay attention to the EVERYTHING THAT NEEDS DOING and just look at the one small step in front of me right now, then maybe I can actually take it. Then the new one in front of me, and take that. And another. And another. And another small baby step at a time — whatever keeps me moving.

I can’t be paralyzed by wondering if what I can offer matters before actually offering what I can. If it turns out not to matter, then, cool. One week of mukmok, then iterate. But I won’t get to the “I never thought this would be such a big thing, I mean, I only started it as a hobby, and wow, I can’t believe it, thank you so much everyone for making me such a success!” humblebrag if I don’t “only start(ed)” it in the first place.

So, yeah, no, I’m not ready. But ohhhh boy is a financial statement ever going to make me willing.

Progress report

It's been exactly a year, and only a couple of hours ago, I got off the video phone from brainstorming with one of the people I super look up to in the online business industry. As in, celebrity status. Stalked and devoured her resources for the better part of a year. Still stalking and devouring her resources.

And not three hours ago, she asked me, "Mikli, what do you think about this thing I'm doing? Do you have any ideas on how I can go about this?"

We've been working together for almost a month now. And that sentence to me is so strange, because:

  • "we" as in, I'm in a "we" with someone I just used to study and read through my computer screen???
  • "working" as in I'm actually doing this super cool thing with my life???
  • "together" as in WHAT. I'M SO STARSTRUCK.

Super duper surreal, okay.

And that's just comparing what happened on April 27, 2016 to what happened on April 27, 2017. There was a whole bunch of stuff in between too, like, oh writing a book and being able to pay for my son's tuition installments with money I made from said book instead of dipping into my savings! I'm also working with some seriously cool entrepreneurs, and earning from that, too - because they find my work valuable enough to pay for.

It's good. It's a good reminder, you know? Of how, somehow, anyhow, I am making my way forward.

I get so easily lost and buried in the everyday struggle that I'd forget what I'd already done. Which is totally what happens when my mind is kind of obsessed what I haven't done yet and what I'm not able to do.

Am I where I want to be? Hah, super of course not! It constantly feels like I'm hiking and trudging in mud beside people who seem to kind of just sweatlessly breeze through.

PERSON ON THE INTERNET, YOU ARE MY AGE AND YOU MAKE MY ENTIRE YEAR'S SALARY IN 2 WEEKS. BUT ALSO YOU ARE SO NICE AND SWEET AND SMART SO I CAN'T EVEN BE MAD?? LIKE. AND YOU HAVE A CAT. SO.

But have I made it past April 2016 me? Yes. Yes I have.

Happy first anniversary to my quarter-life crisis. You're one worth celebrating. ♥︎

 

 

P.S. April 27 is also the anniversary of my college graduation. Today gets extra poignant points.


* That is, unfortunately, not even an exaggeration. Not counting my haiku twitter account, my three separate Instagrams, and the ones I'm sure I forgot, I also had:

  • Mo'Time - 2. Mikx and Bloodstains. Bloodstains.

  • Xanga - 3. Revenge of the Me, another one whose title I forgot but I used to write stories in there pairing my friends together, and Silently Insane. Silently Insane? Was I okay?

  • Deviant Art - 1. My username was temptressofthenight. It still exists. Please don't look at it. My tagline was: "Call me.. Mikli.." .. ok ..

  • Livejournal - 1? 2?. It's still alive, though it hasn't been touched since 2007. I feel like I had another one, but now I'm not so sure...

  • Blogspot - 1. I called her Flabubulita because I couldn't think of a username. I had fun with that one, both the name and the few really weird entries on there.

  • Tabulas - 2. One for the world, one for my ~feelings~

  • Multiply - 1. RIP Multiply.

  • Tumblr - HAHA WAIT. Like, 5? No, 6. One for reblogging, then anotherfor personal writing. Then I started over and created another two for the same purposes. The 5th one is still alive; it was the stesha.org right before this current iteration. That tumblr is now behindthescenes.stesha.org and all my old stesha blog entries still live there. The 6th is Instant Doodles, the drawings of a girl who can't draw. (It's actually 8 tumblrs, but I won't count Raket Like a Hurricane and Storm Room - they never got past the installing-a-theme stage.)

  • Jux - 1. The first stesha.org! It was so pretty and I'm sad they ran out of funding.

  • Postach.io - 1. The next stesha.org, after Jux died. It was nice because it integrated into Evernote, but I couldn't mess with the CSS and HTML, which I love to do.

  • Wordpress - 1. Candid.ph lives/lived there (depending on when you're reading this... I'm letting it die a quiet death when my hosting and domain expire. I should back that ish up). Let's just say it taught me about things I didn't want - things like niches and services and... um, blogging platforms. (Sorry, Wordpress!! You are not for people with slow internet connections AKA me)

  • Squarespace - 1. Stesha.org from the second half of 2016 to present! #represent

    • But that number is a lie. Because it's actually now 2 including this new one. And will probably be 3 by next week. What's wrong with me? 

And that's twenty-two. MIKLI ANO BA.



This entry is part of #TheDailyWrite. You can view all the entries here.

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