I’ve always been into personal improvement/lifehacking/goal tracking and all that. I can’t remember a time in my life where I wasn’t. One of the common threads in the world of personal improvement is the importance of building productive creative habits, particularly writing. Julie Zhuo, a designer at Facebook I’ve followed on Medium for a few years now recently posted about the importance writing has had on her life and career. It seems pretty obvious - the power of being able to formulate and communicate your thoughts and opinions - and it’s something I’ve toyed with doing a few times now, but I never feel like I have anything in particular to say.

Considering it’s Feb 1 and it’s a short month, I thought I’d throw myself a challenge. Post something every day in February. I have no idea what. I’ll probably just sit at my keyboard and bang at the keys until something comes out. Maybe it’ll just be random thoughts on nothing. Maybe I’ll actually find something to say, why not give it a shot? I apologize in advance for what may be a lot of words about nothing interesting. I promise not to turn this into a Livejournal. Hopefully.

Day 1: It’s been a hectic few weeks. I made some decisions that changed the trajectory I had originally envisioned for my year, but in reality it actually made the path I was looking toward more feasible and hopefully fulfilling, so I’m excited to see it all unfold in the coming months. More on that when the time is right.

In the midst of it all, I spontaneously booked a ticket to Dublin. I’d originally hoped to visit Ireland last year around this same time but I had to cancel it for work. This trip won’t be as long as my original - I only have about 4 days so I likely won’t be exploring beyond Dublin itself, but I’m so glad I’m finally getting to visit Ireland. It’s been on my wish list since I was a kid. Luckily, the cheap fare that I nabbed for my trip last year resurfaced this year, so I jumped on it.

All I have sorted at the moment is the ticket and a hostel. I know I’ll go to the Guinness Storehouse even though the only way I like Guinness is in an Irish Car Bomb (yes really), but I like to take the “When in Rome…” philosophy when I travel. I might even go to the Jameson distillery, because why not? In general I’m hoping to just wander around with my camera and pop into whatever strikes my fancy. It’s probably going to rain the whole time, but I guess that makes the experience more authentic? That’s what I’m going to tell myself at least.

Oh and bonus points: It ticks off another country in my attempt to visit at least 30 countries by the time I turn 30!

Meanwhile, I’ve still been freelancing/consulting, which, for curious minds, is how I pay the bills after the reset button last summer ;). Since August, I’ve been working with various startups and aspiring startups to help define and develop their MVPs or iterate on their current products to improve on some areas of weakness. It’s been a lot of fun diving in to new products every few weeks (or months depending on the scope of the project). And equally fun/challenging to figure out the logistics of working completely remotely with designers, developers, founders, biz dev, etc. when we’re all working independently and across various time zones. I’m a huge fan of the remote work movement and this has definitely been an educational introduction.

February looks a little quiet for me at the moment (maybe another reason I thought this would be a good month to try this writing challenge). I always find quiet/downtime anxiety-inducing. Like I should be doing more with my time. Or making the most of the downtime. Don’t get me wrong. I’m awesome at sitting on the couch all day and binging on Netflix, but it comes with a massive helping of guilt. I’d love to go somewhere fun in my downtime and do my work from there, but I don’t know where that would be and my schedule for March is a little up in the air at the moment so I don’t want to impede on any flexibility I might need there. It’s partially why this Dublin trip worked out so well. Gone 5 days. Breaks up working on the couch and the Netflixing.

It’s the month or so following my return that has a giant ole question mark looming over it. Or maybe we’ll get another awesome snowstorm and I’ll be thankful for the downtime so I can build an epic igloo and camp out. But the unknown of that timeframe has been eating away at me for a few weeks now. I know I’ll have a decent amount of client work, but not enough that my days will be chock full. Plus I need a non-work outlet! I’ve been toying with the idea of taking up running but a) hahah yeah right, b) I hate treadmills, and c) February isn’t exactly the best time of year to run outside. Did I mention haha yeah right? I’m so not a runner. Throw me on a soccer field or a volleyball court, or any team sport for that matter and I’ll run my behind off. But just running for the sake of running? I’ve never quite gotten that.

OK. I feel like I’ve gone on about 100 tangents at this point. This has definitely been one of those “bang on the keyboards until something comes out” posts. Yay for stream of consciousness. I’ll try to think of something more cohesive for tomorrow’s post. 1 day down!