In honour of Movember, I’d like to discuss my mo. Fortunately for me I’m not talking about the furry little caterpillar residing above so many lips right now. The mo to which I refer is my motivation. Or, as the case may be, lack thereof. My heart’s desire is to go back to school to complete a Master’s in City Planning. I know that I want to complete my grad studies abroad, and I’ve got my eye on Europe. Specifically I’ve been researching schools in the Netherlands. In theory, I know what I want and I know what I need to do to get it. Easy peasy lemon squeezy. In practice, my heart’s desire is getting pushed to the bottom of the to-do list in favour of other oh-so-pressing problems. For example,
– What is going on with my skin right now?! How many products do I have to try before I stop having junior high flashbacks every time I look in the mirror? And how much time can I spend staring in the mirror and obsessing about every imperfection before I’ve truly wasted the better part of my late twenties?
– My apartment is looking cute and cosy, but it’s not Apartment Therapy house tour material or anything. Maybe if I frame more photos for the bookshelves and rearrange the top shelves again…
– I should invite more people over this weekend. Drunk people are so fun!
– Boys, boys, boys.
– What does one wear with a faux fur vest?
For real. And that last item has occupied way more of my time than it should have. By which I mean it has occupied any time at all.
Tonight I had drinks with a completely excellent girl that I met last week. I’m glad I didn’t know the full extent of how ridiculously cool this chick was before we met up otherwise I probably would have been super intimidated and wouldn’t have been able to carry on a normal conversation at all. Anyways, this amazing woman said these words to me, “if you want something badly enough, you make it happen.”
As I walked home, I thought about this extensively. I have been reassuring myself lately that grad school will happen because I’m an intelligent, hardworking and capable girl and I don’t let my dreams slip through my fingers. This has usually been the case in the past. I identify a goal. I formulate a plan. I execute the plan. I achieve the goal. Ta-da! But for the last couple of months, I have really just been grinding my gears on the grad school front. So I can’t help but wonder, do I want this badly enough? Actually, that’s a major non-issue. Yes, I do want this. This is the kind of thing that I will regret forever if I don’t pursue. Conclusion: I need to get it together. I originally began writing to you tonight with the idea of identifying some of the tricks I’ve used to get motivated in the past, and hopefully that would help spark the elusive mo again. Here’s the list:
1) Go off the grid. Unplug from that cumbersome social life (both online and face-to-face) and devote yourself to the dream. It should be noted that this devotion sometimes requires you to also give up things like eating, sleeping and showering. But it’s ok because you’re already off the grid.
2) Get a little tipsy. Not next-level drunk or anything, but just enough to infuse you with outrageous confidence. You know, “I will achieve great things!” drunk. Not, “I will finish this entire two-six by myself!” drunk. In my case, a glass of wine or bottle of cider is about all it takes.
3) Turn on some excellent music. Preferably something you don’t know the words to yet, otherwise you might end up having an impromptu dance party in front of your mirror, belting out the words to Metric’s “Dreams So Real” into a hairbrush.
4) Talk to someone who is unbelievably cool and feel inspired. Better still if you talk to someone who has been on the path that you want to travel and maybe they can lend you their compass.
5) And perhaps the most powerful motivator, imagine what your life will be like 5 years from now if you don’t pursue your dream. Ok now dry your eyes and get to work.
Summary. I had an excellent conversation with an inspiring person who just finished a Master’s and has offered to share her own research on grad schools with me, plus I drank a cider, plus I deactivated facebook over the weekend, plus I just downloaded some Lana Del Rey…I’m feeling super charged with mo. Rather unfortunately I have already committed to several plans for tomorrow evening, but Thursday is now scheduled for Round II of research plus my first attempt at writing a letter of intent. Ask me Friday morning if I accomplished anything in pursuit of my heart’s desire. If I have anything to say except for a ringing “hellz yeah!” then please consider it your best friend duty to shame me extensively.