Fuck. It’s the first time in 105 weeks that I’ve missed posting on Monday. I want to punch myself in the face. But as you know……
Every week, I challenge myself to a Monday Dare. Click on the link if you’d like to see the complete list of Monday Dares or learn more about its origin.
This week year: Attempt another yearlong project
I thought about writing this post three days ago in a celebratory “Errbody raise your pimp cup and let’s get crunk in honor of this blog’s two-year anniversary. We done did it!” It seemed like a nice idea, but if I’m being honest, it was only a very brief half-thought. The anniversary coincided with my birthday AND the wedding of my best homegirl. Also, I was drunk for most of the day. I see the way your eyes just narrowed a little bit. Gosh, Elizabeth may have a drinking problem. No, ma’am. I was drinking wine and champagne. That doesn’t make me an alcoholic. It makes me a goddamn socialite. Please refrain from passing judgment unless you are well-versed in these nuances.
Learn from me: Never start anything on your birthday. Well, if you’re like most people and quit projects around Day 13, then sure, go ahead and attempt any damn thing you want. I started Flourish in Progress on my 30th birthday to stay accountable during my yearlong shopping ban. By having a blog, my friends and family could keep track of every mistake. Then, at the next potluck, they could shame me and beat me into submission with the green willowy branches of a young sapling.
I wasn’t too worried, even though I bruise easily and have a deep fear of Tree Branch Death. With my strengths (nothing) and weaknesses (everything), it was pretty clear that I would start The Project, write a few weepy self-pity posts about privileged people problems, and then wake up on Day 13 with a “Fuck it, ain’t nobody got time for this bullshit“ revelation and immediately run to Target to spend a grazillion dollars. End of Project. End of blog. Body saved from Bark Devastation.
Then, some weird shit starting happening. A small sense of satisfaction took root in my heart. I started to feel happy. And proud. My confidence puffed up a little bit. I made friends. I talked to good people. Writing regularly about my life forced me to be honest. And not just with you. For the first time, I was really being honest about myself to myself. That shit’s not so pretty sometimes.
I used to think: I’d rather keep deceiving myself because it’s easier. But I wasn’t happy then.
I am happier now. Maybe your set-point for happiness is naturally high, so that sentence didn’t hold the weight it would to a person who has a naturally low set-point for happiness. Like me.
I am happier because I gave up something that was profoundly impacting the quality of my life and ended up getting more, way more, than what I gave away.
SO I WANT TO START ANOTHER YEARLONG PROJECT. AND I NEED YOUR HELP.
Once a month for the next year, I’m going to interview someone who embodies a quality or virtue I admire. Without giving away the entire list, a few I’m currently working on are: Hustle, Persistence, and the Pursuit of Happiness.
I’ve reached out to rappers, comedians, actors, authors, athletes, activists, and fashion designers. And I’ve already locked down a few.
Y’all are the reason I’m able to sit down at my desk and turn on my computer sometimes. It takes me 5-10 hours to write these stupidly short Monday Dares because I had never written anything longer than an email before I started blogging. You give me my best ideas and more love and support than any motherfucker really deserves. Thank you.
So think about who you’d like to see as part of the 12-part series and what quality or virtue they might encompass for you.
Thank you for loving me when I didn’t love myself.
P.S. When Cal asked what I wanted for my birthday, I told her a pimp cane was #1 on my list. She said that since I only gave her $8 a week, I needed to keep it real. Fair enough. But, my friend Mike, DID get me a pimp cane. And I posted the picture on the Flourish in Progress Facebook page. “Like” the page to see more original content not featured on the blog.
GIVEAWAY TIME, Y’ALL
When Sara of BlueQ reached out several weeks ago with the kindest words of support and love, I was immediately smitten with this homette. I didn’t get to meet her during BlogHer, but she saw my Voices of the Year reading and totally didn’t think I was crazy. I don’t know if this means I have low standards, but anyone who doesn’t think I’m crazy is automatically part of the Best Friend category in my book.
I LOVE BlueQ products. About 80% of the time, I carry this pack of gum around in my purse:
You know, in case I need to give it to someone. I like to be prepared for these kinds of situations.
Sara and I chatted a little and I told her I felt a little fucked in the head about turning 32. A few days later, I received a ridiculously large box from BlueQ. A SMALL portion of the goodies is pictured below.
I SWEAR TO GOD I DID NOT ROB THE BLUEQ WAREHOUSE. The card that Sara included with the box is one of the best birthday cards I’ve ever received. Inside, she wrote simply: