Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Overcoming Inertia, One Step at a Time

Why is it so hard to start something new? I wrote down a whole list of ways to become involved in the Austin community. But making myself go? SO hard. The top three items on the list are joining a church, volunteering/interning at a farm, and volunteering at the local bike co-op.

Joining a church. Two weeks ago I went to the local Unitarian church; last week my husband came with me. They have an active young adults group and I am hoping to get involved that way. I do much better meeting people in a smaller group as opposed to trying to make small talk with everyone standing around after church. I know I should stay and introduce myself, but I find it terribly awkward.

Volunteering at a farm. I made excuses all of last week as to why I couldn't go (I don't have a cutting tool, I don't have a hat, I want to sleep in, I'm avoiding the awkwardness of starting new endeavors...), some of which were clearly more legitimate than others. Yesterday, I emailed the owner, told her I would be there this morning, and set my alarm for 5:50. Now I had to go; I can't back out of a commitment. Have I mentioned that it's 9.2 miles away from my apartment? And that we don't own a car? Those two facts translate into a lovely hour long bike ride each way. Who knew it was still dark at six in the morning this time of year? Not me. The distance of the ride is not a problem, but I will need to attach the rack and panniers my garage-sale extraordinaire husband found last week; carrying back all of the delicious veggies I receive as compensation in my backpack is not ideal. I have also decided that I can postpone purchasing a gym membership if I am regularly biking twenty miles a day. Right now I am hoping to volunteer four mornings a week (Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday), but I am open to revising that if need be.

Volunteering at the bike co-op. I haven't actually gone yet, but Thursday is the day. We (my husband wants to come, too) said that we would go last week but when he got off work later than expected and after eating dinner and cleaning up it was too late (or at least that's what we told ourselves).

I always enjoy when I get out and do new things, I just hate the part at the beginning when I don't know anyone and have no idea what's going on. But I want to make friends and become a part of the Austin community. As we were waiting to hear where my husband would land a job, I just kept thinking about how this next move would be where we could put down roots. Maybe not forever, but at least for more than a year or two. I haven't lived in the same place for more than two years since high school (even undergraduate was broken up by a year of studying abroad). I keep getting to the point where I have a community of support and network of friends and then we pick up and move. I don't regret a single move I have made, but I am so looking forward to being someplace for the foreseeable future. And as much as I hate the first steps, I am making myself get off the couch and get involved, because making friends after college is harder than it seems.

I'll end with a quote that I read today from Steve Jobs' 2005 commencement speech at Stanford.*
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. You have to trust in something—your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever.  This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.  --Steve Jobs
Right now, I just really need to believe that the dots are connected in my life. I need to trust that it is all part of a bigger picture, even if I can't see it and don't know what form it will take. And sometimes? I think I do know what form it will take but I am afraid. Afraid because jumping into the unknown is terrifying. But so far all the best parts of my life have happened when I ignored conventional wisdom and followed my instincts.

* Not many people know this about me, but I am a complete quote nerd. I love reading quotes. Love it. The cheesy ones especially. I have entire word documents on my computer devoted to storing the many quotes that have moved me at one time or another.

1 comment:

  1. I think that sometimes I feel like I have so much to do that I'm paralyzed by the amount of it and I therefore do NOTHING. I am super impressed by the number of [sometimes really difficult] tasks you've set for yourself and how you're following through! Sounds like the farm was great, at least for the exercise! I know you'll be great at the rest of it, too. xx