Small (but big) milestones I should’ve celebrated

A reminder to be present and enjoy the journey

On the road to personal and professional growth, I set such big goals that I forget to stop and take in the smaller milestones that pass. It isn’t until later that I realized I needed to be more in tune with the present. These little goals are as important as the bigger ones; I didn’t realize it until now.

First subscriber to my newsletter (that wasn’t friends or family )

I love my friends and family, but there just isn’t the same level of excitement when someone you know in person subscribes to your list than when a complete stranger does. The first time I got a subscriber that wasn’t a friend or family member, I didn’t even notice because I never expected anyone to subscribe.

I never stopped to appreciate that a complete stranger that I don’t even know and have never met gave me their email address so that I could send them things that I wrote.

The first person to email me saying they like an article

I’ll never forget when a reader emailed me to let me know they liked an article I wrote. It was about watching horror movies as a vice to ease anxiety. I never knew expected someone else to relate to what I was saying, but I was wrong. And even though it felt amazing, I never let it sink in. I just knew I needed to write more things like it.

The first article to hit 100 fans

My most popular articles are always the ones that I rule out as filler content that I’m only writing to fuel and gather other ideas. That content ends up being the most authentic and resonates with users the most. I was so thrown off the first time one of my articles got a lot of fans that it didn’t even sink in. Every time I reach a goal I set it as it as a benchmark and need to work on celebrating the small wins along the way.

The first time someone you admire, admires you back

I used to see Medium as an exclusive club. The authors who got a lot of attention were my idols and who I aspired to be. One day I got a like from an author I had been following closely for a few months, and I was giddy. Not only did she read something I wrote but she liked it, and somehow she found my page and was exposed to my content.

Then it hit me. I was watching Parks and Recreation, and this quote spoke directly to me.

Stop treating these people like your idols when they can and should be your peers.

First cold email

Cold emailing was so out of my comfort zone that I completely wrote it off as something I would never be able to do. Now I send off pitches off every week without a second thought.

The first time an article is syndicated

Usually when I publish writing, I’m half-convinced that (1) no one will read it (2) no one will like it. One day I got an email from a publication I had admired for years. Someone at the site read something I wrote and thought it would resonate with readers of their site. And then they asked if they could repost it.

I knew it was huge at the time because I had never been approached by a publication I actually admire, but I forgot to celebrate it. My immediate reaction was “what else can I write that they would want to publish. This is my in!” I forgot to celebrate that my own content IS good enough and immediately set out to one-up myself yet again.

First one-way ticket booked

A new place feels like a perfect place to build a new idea. Right? I started my journey in Bali and recently decided to go back to continue my journey. It’s the first the first time I’ve booked one-way to a new country. The uncertainty and spontaneity of it all are terrifying, but I’m working on savoring this moment now and appreciating it for what it is. If I don’t, I know I’ll look back a year or two from now and me upset at how anxious and nauseous I am right now.

If I’ve learned anything from these small milestones, it’s that, the things we think aren’t a big deal make all of the difference, and the big things aren’t as big as we think they are.

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