Saturday, November 9, 2013

Because I Want To

A few people have asked me why I'm doing this whole National Blog Post Month thing. I think I've come up with some pretty compelling answers: because I want to prioritize writing for a while before Baby #2 is born; because I want to be able to say I did it; because I want to flesh out some of the many draft posts I have sitting around waiting for just such an excuse to write.

But perhaps the truest answer I have for the question Why participate in NaBloPoMo? is simply: Because I want to.

For as long as I can remember, I have (unwittingly) held onto the belief that for a person to do something, she should have a good reason. I'm not entirely sure what qualities make any particular reason for doing something legitimate enough to qualify as "good." What I do know is that I've held so steadfast to this belief that I've actually discouraged myself from trying or doing things because I couldn't come up with a good enough reason.

A couple years ago I began to question this belief: Why should I have to justify something to myself in order to allow myself to do it? Why shouldn't I do something based solely on the fact that I want to do it? After all, isn't that a good reason?

So I ran a 5K. I decided to do it, I trained for it, and I finished. This may not seem like a big deal, but I'm someone who had never before been involved in any kind of athletics (aside from dance), and I'm also someone who deals with chronic pain. Crossing that finish line because I wanted to was a huge accomplishment for me.

A few months later I completed a 5-day juice fast. (I didn't write about it, but I did take a few photographs during and after the process.) I had some other reasons behind wanting to do the juice fast, but the most honest and compelling reason was that I just wanted to do it.

Many because I want to things have followed in the years since (most of them have not been physical challenges like the two I mentioned) and NaBloPoMo has become the most recent addition to my collection. As I reflect now I can see that it has gotten a bit easier for me to follow my own whims without as much self-doubt, questioning, or guilt. Another unexpected effect of this gradual shift is that I've also been allowing myself to let go of things that I'm doing primarily out of a sense of obligation or duty.

Because "I don't want to" is a good reason, too.

Do you have trouble with needing "good" reasons to justify doing something you want to do? What's something you've done lately simply because you wanted to? I'd love to hear about it!

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