ideas & perspectives, things i learned

writing || when living “intentionally” backfires

Okay. This is going to be short, and it’s going to be to the point. Funny because in writing that, and prefacing this very interesting topic with an uninteresting little meta-insight, I’m being counterproductive to my whole initial mission to stick to the point. But I always seem to feel the need to explain what’s in my brain before I actually say what’s in my brain. Are any other writers out there (or journalers, for that matter – but that’s more excusable) afflicted with this illness? Please do share. I’d like to talk about this.


My word of the year last year was “intent”. As in, do things with “intention”. This year it’s “flow”. As in just go with the flow, yo.

It’s funny because I never really noticed that these are practically complete opposite words. I suppose I live up to my self-awarded reputation of being constantly in a state of flux. But the thing is, even when you choose a word for your word of the year, it doesn’t mean that it magically begins to dictate your every move. 

On the contrary, 2018 has been one of the least “go with the flow”-y years yet. In fact, I’ve been through a lot of forcibly self-inflicted torture. Trying to control what I eat, how much I work out, what I read (even going as far as to force-swallow shitty books… GASP! the horror!), where I go, how I feel (that’s not very successful). The list goes on. Point being, I’ve been trying to control so many aspects of my life in an effort to be more fit, more productive, happier, healthier, in possession of better habits, and more perfect. Because perfect exists, right? Girl, it doesn’t! Why would we even want that? Perfect is no fun.

The reason I think this particular year brought out my inner control-freak so much is because it was meant to be relaxing. And god knows, workaholics don’t know have a clue how to relax. Myself included. When they’re left alone with no one to tell them what to do, they become their worst boss.

At school, I started with four courses in January. Then in February, my second semester started and I took first period spare. For those who need some help with math (we get it, it’s summer), that means I only had three courses. FREEDOM! Right? Wrong.

I made it my goal to wake up at the same time and smash out a workout each day. As a side note, how do you think that went? The answer is great the first few days, torture the next couple of weeks, then a failed project and leaving me feeling a failure as well. (Later, I got back on the working out train for a steady month before completely stopping again. Haven’t voluntarily sweat a drop in the past three weeks. So much for consistency. I’m working on figuring it out though.)

In May I wrote my exams for two of my courses (the ones that are IB), and bam! I was done with two more. Meaning (come on, you can do it) I only had one course. The utter freedom!

But that’s when it started getting harder. Now don’t get me wrong. Things aren’t just black and white. I probably had more great days than bad days, and just because I’m dramatizing an aspect of my life doesn’t mean that it’s ALL my life.

But when you’re so, purely, utterly FREE, you get used to it. You start to abuse it, to expect things from yourself, to have so many options for how to spend your time that every decision you make becomes an agonizing “but maybe I should be doing that instead”. I went on what we can dub a “productivity diet”. And everyone knows that the only things diets are good for is a loss of self-worth and binge-ing (yes, Netflix was involved).

Call me a victim suffering from some mental ailment (no thanks), call me obsessive (who cares?), or just call me me. Me, who wants so much from herself that her word of the fricking year was “intent”. Me, who doesn’t trust herself to make good enough decisions that she needs to control and plan everything she’s doing so that it makes logical sense and checks off all the boxes. Me, who doesn’t stop to tune in to what she wants, feels, and needs.

So here’s what I think. Before this turns into a long, drawn-out rant on nothing in particular (oops).

Being intentional with your goals and your life is so great. It gets things done and makes you accomplish great things. #runtheworld. #yay.

But you know what’s so much more important? Paying attention to yourself and what your body is telling you. It’s telling you a lot of things, and you’ve got to work with it.

You’re a partnership, not some boss-slave cohabitation situation.

You don’t NEED to do anything right now.

Stop EXPECTING things out of your day.

Get RID of that “formula” you’ve created for a perfect day.

EMBRACE the imperfections of each day.

Love YOUR imperfections.

Stop living with your BRAIN and start living with your HEART.

Lately, the only thing I’ve been doing with “intention” is doing whatever the f*ck I want. If I wake up in the morning and the only thing I want to do is go buy some milk to try (unsuccessfully) making an iced coffee, then I’ll effing do that! Oh, it’ll take three hours out of my day? Whatever. Oh, I wanted to do a lame workout jumping up and down in my room once I woke up? (Hey, maybe you can walk to the store, how about that? No? OkAY!) Oh wait, I wanted to write a blog post today? Heck, that can wait. Life’s so short why waste time doing things you don’t want to do? ESPECIALLY when the only person making you do those things is YOU? Like, come on! DUH.

So, I’ve come to the grand epiphany that I can’t keep bossing myself around so much. And (I think) it’s really helping me out. You know, mentally and stuff.

And that’s a wrap! Is that what I was trying to say when I sat down and started writing? I don’t know. I guess I’ll write another post if I have more to say. That’s how this blog thing is supposed to work, after all, right? Kay bye. <3 Comments welcome. Love hearing from ya!

1 thought on “writing || when living “intentionally” backfires”

Leave a Reply