On Being Brave, On Climbing The Hill

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I said I would write something today even if it sucked.

It’s weird to be out of a habit when you were in it for so long. Like visiting the fields I played soccer on every summer and fall and spring for 10 years the first time I went home from college. There was a period where I was writing for 10 hours a day and it felt like work but not *hard* work. More like hard play.


I have a theory that if you don’t have the motivation to start something, you probably shouldn’t be doing it. Maybe I am just gung-ho about this because I know a lot of people who want to be writers but actually hate writing and I always want to point out these gaps in self-knowledge out to other people because I wish someone would do it for me.

But this theory might suck. Challenges are good. Whatever the thing is that you are supposed to be doing will probably be challenging.


In true basic bitch form I am really inspired right now by this thing I read in People Magazine, it was a Matthew McConaughey quote: “Be brave. Take the hill. But first take the time to ask ‘what is my hill'”

It makes me emotional to think about my hill because I know immediately what it is. I think everyone does.

What’s the thing that makes me most afraid? The one I can’t figure out despite all my attempts?


Part of climbing my hill is radical honesty — writing a great vehicle for that. It’s hard to be dishonest with yourself when you write. To be sure, it’s easy to be dishonest with your audience (hello lifestyle blogs!) but when you write the words out the thoughts float to the surface and you must do the thing we modern people avoid at all costs: sit and be present with yourself.

The other part, is getting rid of the things I do instead of doing the work.

If I am going to climb my hill — which I think is getting to this place where I don’t have anxiety and I don’t do any of my anxiety behaviors like panicking when I get bad news or over-eating when I’m stressed or binge reading trash books and having the radio on when I sleep or cramming my feed full of things to read and look at and talk about so that I am constantly distracted from the State of Myself — If I am going to climb this hill the being present thing is going to be the way.


I’m picturing this big hill, or a mountain, whatever, and there’s a straight climb up it and then there’s a bunch of easy switchbacks that curl around the hill without ever leading up to the top.

And I keep thinking these switchbacks are the answer — because they all promise to be (and god knows they’re more enjoyable than the alternative) — but the only thing to do is sit and be bored and work on myself.


There is nothing more rare in our world than an individual who isn’t addicted to distracting themselves.

It’s already rare enough to find people who actually see this as a vice.

So I am writing into the void today to say “this is a thing I want to do” and “I don’t know how to do this thing.” That’s enough of a step forward for today. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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