Reclaiming My Time

Smoke danced from the cigar and my mind followed the winding gas until it dissipated. This is becoming somewhat of a girl’s trip tradition. Don’t worry, it’s not a habit, I won’t be getting any of that there cancer. While I am not technically on a “trip,” Kiara and Britney have made their first trip to visit me in Atlanta and this is enough to make the city feel new again. As we relax on my patio and puff our cigars, trying not to inhale too deeply because apparently that is a bad decision, my mind wanders and the thought appears, “What would my life look like if I gave a true effort?” Not a half attempt or enough to be safe. Some days I cannot decide if I’m very lazy, painfully mediocre, or overly critical of myself. I know that I’m my own biggest critic and truthfully speaking, I likely fall into the latter category. I’ve gotten up more times than I’ve fallen down and I truly believe I’m in the process of building and sustaining a life that I can be proud of. The thing is, I have never required much output to be “good.” I made it through school being decent without ever having to put forth very much effort. When more is required of me, seldom do I tap into my full strength.

I open doors daily. Countless doors to my home, work, stores, etc; doors are freaking everywhere. Anyway, I pretty much knew how much strength the average door requires until I met the doors that led to the food court of Oak Court mall. My God, why has nothing been done about these doors? They are relationship goals: heavy, inseparable, bonded. Anyway, I always underestimate the amount of strength it requires to make it inside and receive warm greetings of honey chicken on a toothpick. Another thing, the mall really isn’t that big. In fact, the mall is small! Aren’t three Asian spots a little excessive? I digress.

Doors tighter than Beyonce’s leotard.

I’ve reached a point in my life where I’m learning the amount of output it takes to yield the results I desire requires much more than I’ve ever given. I’m making great strides that I am proud of, but I know they didn’t require my true capacity and I’m having an intrinsic struggle with that. Good is… good. Good is fine and so damn painful when it has been attained by mediocrity. For me, at least. This is what started my new “journey,” and it’s a bit embarrassing to share that I have not lived in this way already. I want to know where I will be if I give life my all. Let’s not be too ambitious, though. I’m comfortable with giving a strong 90%. I currently sit at 62% and a 45% change is straight with me. I had a conversation with my sister earlier this week and she made a point that kind of expresses what I imagine 100% is. She began to tell me how she needed to start running again because she was fairly good at it and her fastest mile was pretty decent at 12 minutes. I don’t know how fast the average person runs a mile, and I wasn’t trying to be a hater, but I didn’t think that was fast. (I googled it and even Google did the head scratch. Apparently, there’s no study on this.) Anyway, this led us to google the world record for the fastest mile. I’ll spare you the keystrokes, Hicham El Guerrouj did the damn thing in 1976 at 3:43:13. I was so impressed, I had to see the YouTube video. Keep in mind 3 minutes and 43 seconds is only extremely short in terms of the time it takes to complete a mile, the video felt long as ever. Not the point. The point is, he lagged in like… third place for most of the race and then he dusted these folks. Rome hadn’t seen this type of destruction since Constantine. Guerrouj didn’t come to play’a, he came to slay’a.

Fastest mile runner in the world, Craig!

Second place lost to him by a fraction of a second. I tried searching his name for y’all but one google search didn’t yield any results and…lazy. My sister made the statement, “Had he tried just a little bit harder, he would hold the title! Fastest man in the world!” I scratched my head a bit, what a thing to say for someone averaging 12 minutes. “Mel, the man ran a mile in less than 4 minutes, how do you know what he was giving?” I asked. Mel responded, “I just know if I were that close to a world title, there is nothing that would have stopped me from winning. I don’t care if I felt like my leg was about to break, I ain’t stopping.” Leg breaking is pretty extreme to me and that sounds like 100% effort. I’m not committed enough to anything right now to embrace a snap of the tibia, 90% is feeling real lovely at the moment. Honestly, I’m not even sure what ninety looks like right now, I’m just pushing until I know mediocrity is a far cry away.

What does this mean? I don’t have the answers, mane! I’m only a 26 year old baby! I’m making logical steps the best way I know how. Beginning by eliminating time wasters. I rid myself of all social media platforms last week, and for the time being I’m only allowed to keep Medium. For other people, this may not help, however, I spend more than enough time looking at what everybody else is doing and it isn’t the best use of my time. This week: I meal prepped, talked more with my sister, read more, wrote this blog, I learned about new creative techniques to gather customer insight, I worked harder on advanced Excel formulas, I meditated, and researched Caligula a bit, boy was he mean! Basically, I’m reclaiming my time and working it to its maximum potential.

I’m taking mine back too, Auntie.

Oh, and I hiked!


I also ate more chocolate cookies than I’m willing to admit and still wasted lots of time. Progress, People. Progress.

Journey with me.

Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark in the hopeless swamps of the not-quite, the not-yet, and the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish in lonely frustration for the life you deserved and have never been able to reach. The world you desire can be won. It exists.. it is real.. it is possible.. it’s yours.” — Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged

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