Wading backwards through chest-high snow

If you’ve been following along closely, you may recall that I changed the tagline of my blog from Murdering the Yoruba language since 1979 (hehe—I love this tagline so much!) to Ordinary woman pursuing an extraordinary life. It sounds inspirational, right? Based on what you’ve read about me over the years and this new tagline, you’d might expect that in the almost two years that I’ve had this tagline I would have:

  • become more Christ-like
  • conquered obesity
  • become a money-making entrepreneur
  • become less fearful of doing things
  • set up the cozy home of my dreams
  • gotten married
  • had a babytwins (because: I’m no longer 25)
  • conquered my natural hair
  • become a passable cook
  • conquered gossip

I would say that I hate to disappoint you but actually, maybe because you’ve been following me for a while, you’re NOT surprised that things in my world are very much the same (though I’m not doing too badly in the 1st and 8th items on the list!). The only difference is that you hear less about it than before since I’m blogging less frequently (which is because my tagline acts as my blog bouncer—you know how nightclubs have a bouncer that control traffic into a club?). My blog has a bouncer and this is a typical week:

Me: Hands over my ID (blog address). “I want to write a blog post about (one of the aforementioned topics).”
Blog bouncer: Checks my “age” (tagline). “This is a fake ID because your tagline says you’re pursuing an extraordinary life! This blog post idea doesn’t sound like you’ll be providing an extraordinary update on (one of the aforementioned topics). No blog post for you!” He also shoves me out of line—jerk!
Me: Hangs head in shame and waits until the end of the month when I can write my thankful post (the one post that the blog bouncer allows).

So, what’s really going on? Why aren’t things in my life moving at an inspirational pace? Why am I actually backsliding in some areas? Why don’t I do what I want to do? And why are the years flying by so quickly?

I heard something at the beginning of the year that stopped me cold. Courtney Sanders said the following in her podcast:

Inconsistency is a sign that you’re trying to force yourself to do something that is incongruent with WHO YOU ARE!


Her explanation: if you’ve been trying to do something for a while (lose weight, learn to cook, stop gossiping, etc.) and you haven’t managed to get it done, it’s not because you don’t know the HOW of it (even a six-year-old could give you tips on how to do any of the things I just mentioned), it’s because you haven’t BECOME THE PERSON WHO DOES THESE THINGS!

Her example: most of us don’t struggle with personal hygiene; you may be tired but you don’t deliberately skip brushing your teeth, or avoid regular baths, or wear dirty clothing before you head to work. This is because you see yourself as a clean person who cares about their personal hygiene (or maybe you just care what other people will think!). So, if you’re not losing weight or learning that new skill that you claim you want to learn, it’s because you’re still focused on what you need to do rather than who you need to become. In order to lose weight, for example, you need to become that girl who doesn’t eat skittles every day or who doesn’t sit on her couch for more than 30 minutes at a time because those practices would be incongruent with being that “person of a healthy weight” that you want to become. You probably have to become grossed out by the thought of eating lots of sugar and the thought of what staying seated for three hours is doing to your body. If you want to want to stop gossiping, you need to do more than remind yourself not to gossip the next time you go out with your girls: you have to become that person who has so much going on in her life that she can’t even conceive of gossiping, the girl who hears gossip and is actually sickened by the inanity and uselessness of it.

Think of something that some people do that you wouldn’t do because it’s “just not you”. You can easily resist temptation because to do otherwise would be out of character for you. Your ability to resist might surprise people because they don’t think they’d be able to in your shoes. Some people feel this way about being overweight or eating meat; I feel this way about premarital sex. I feel so strongly about it not happening (even more than before) that I believe that God would take me out of the direst situation because he knows how badly I don’t want to go there. I believe that God would even use a guy doesn’t share my opinion to prevent us from “going there” lol.

So, what’s my point? It all comes back to mindset—I have mindset issues. Part of me isn’t convinced that these things that I want for my life are possible for me and that causes me to self-sabotage: on one hand I want to lose a significant amount of weight; on the other hand that 41 ounce bag of Skittles is impossible to resist, especially since I was in the States and I can only get that large bag there, and oh, let me get these four other treats while I’m there (true story). Similarly, I love beautiful homes; I don’t mind going shopping with my indecisive sister because I know it’ll give me time to flip through and salivate over home decor magazines. Yet I get home and put things everywhere. I allow paper to overrun the house. I get lazy about my weekly cleaning routines.

Since I’m sending my brain such conflicting messages, it’s no wonder that permanent change has yet to happen.

Somewhere along the way, I started thinking that with this new tagline, my blog had to be a record of this perfect life I’m creating, but the key word in the tagline is pursuing. I’m chasing an extraordinary life, most of the time it feels like I’m wading backwards through chest-high snow but I can still use my blog to record how that’s (not?) working for me and what I’m (slowly) learning, right? Or would you rather only hear from me once I’ve got it all figured out?

Sorry to disappoint: that’s a rhetorical question!

Your turn: What’s one thing that some people do that’s incongruent with who you are?

6 thoughts on “Wading backwards through chest-high snow

  1. I read something similar a while back on an article about finding your passion. It said if you have been working on something for so long and still haven’t achieved it then it is probably something you don’t want. Because if you wanted it for real for real, you’d have motivation to carry it out.

    • Hi Taynement—thanks for commenting! It makes sense that that’s how motivation works. There are things that are inconvenient for me to do that I’ve made happen anyway despite the inconvenience, because I was motivated to do it, but I wonder if any of those things compare to (for example) the suffering that I’ve associated with losing a significant amount of weight. Definitely food for thought! Also a note to self to reread Brendon Burchard’s The Motivation Manifesto.

    • Sherri! It’s always lovely to see your comment—thank you for keeping me in your thoughts—it means a lot to me.

      That video was so good—Geller was speaking the truth! You and Taynement (who commented before you) both shared info about motivation which is my issue. I’m not intentional about reminding myself of my WHY on a regular basis. When Scott Geller mentioned the third C something clicked: I’ve always been stubborn and resistant to rules and I know especially with weight loss I always want to rebel against society telling me that because of my weight I can’t have everything that thin, beautiful people have. I need to remind myself that losing weight is a choice, my choice, and if it isn’t my choice then I need to rethink it. I’m also not good with the 4th C (community) in relation to my weaknesses because it can be hard to be held accountable on something you don’t 100% believe that you can achieve.

      Phew! You’ve got me seriously thinking. Thank you.

  2. Food for thought. I felt bad a few hours before reading this post because visited Molara Brown’s blog and I want to be that person that jetsets and travels this year but it’s March and I don’t see it happening soon. I like seeing new places but the hassle of visa or even deciding where to go is not giving me motivation at all. At this rate I just might end up visiting a tourist attraction in my city in the end. Lol. Amazingly, even that would be a new experience. Maybe I should start small and build up from there.
    Reading this makes me realize maybe I am trying too hard to change the person I am, and that’s why it’s not happening. Anyway, let’s see what happens.

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