Volume 2, Issue 1: You Can Do the Thing

Hi friends! New year, same me! Time is arbitrary! That being said, it’s nice to have some kind of marker of when I am starting working on a project, goal, or resolution and new year’s, the first of a month, or the beginning of a week are as good a time as any. At the end of this newsletter, I’ll be sharing my goals, resolutions, and intentions for the year.

But first I want to share a story.

In November, one of my colleagues at one of my jobs said in our Slack, “I remember there being someone here who bartends. Who was it?” What she was remembering was that I mentioned on a podcast episode this summer that I had gone to bartending school in my twenties and I still love to mix drinks at home. So I pinged her and said, “I think you’re thinking of me!” She then asked if I wanted to be connected with an organization looking to hire a virtual bartender for a one-time gig.

I had many initial internal reactions, including but not limited to:

  • “Bartending school was almost twenty years ago. I’m not the right person for this.”

  • “I never worked in a bar and only did private parties in Bel Air. I’m not the right person for this.”

  • “They probably want someone who still is actively bartending. I’m not the right person for this.”

I made myself step away from the computer and not reply immediately with self-deprecation. I asked myself the two questions that I always ask myself when deciding to do or not do something:

Realistically, what’s the worst that could happen? Realistically, what’s the best that could happen?

In this case, the worst is that I talk to the person at the organization and they say I’m not right for the gig. Or I learn more about the gig and I decide for myself that it’s not something I want to do. The best? I get a gig doing something that is silly and fun and I also make some money at it.

Then I asked myself the other question:

If not me, then who?

Sometimes there are situations where I very much recognize that my voice shouldn’t be the loudest in a given situation. This was not one of those situations. It was picking out three accessible drink recipes, giving them thematic names, and then teaching people how to mix them on video.

I have bartending experience. I have experience teaching. I have theatre experience. I have public speaking experience. I was wildly qualified for this gig.

I just had to remind myself of that fact. And that there are people out there with fewer qualifications than me that say yes to these things.

What do I want you to take away from this? Apply for things because mediocre people are already doing them. Apply to things you’re only partially qualified for. Don’t wait until you tick 100% of the boxes because I promise you, other people are not doing that.

I also want you to know that, for the most part, you likely have everything you need to start doing whatever it is you want to do. You don’t need to wait for the perfect conditions or the best equipment or even the best mood. If you keep putting something off while waiting for the perfect conditions and always having an excuse, maybe you need to be honest with yourself if you really want to do whatever it is you say you do.

For example, for starting this newsletter, it really came down to me being tired of my own bullshit i.e., all my own excuses. I thought about this newsletter for almost two years before just being annoyed with myself and starting it. At first I thought I was going to have a blog and website. Then I had to pick out the perfect name. And a perfect logo. Then I thought, no, wait, I’ll do a podcast! So now I had to learn everything under the sun about podcasting. Then last year was the third year I had something about this nebulous idea as a new year’s goal and I had made zero movement on it for the prior two years and I was just, well, tired of my own bullshit.

So here we are. Volume 2 of Enthusiastic Encouragement and Dubious Advice. I am tremendously glad you are here with me. I can’t wait to see what kind of nonsense we get into this year.

I’m going to put my 2021 goals and resolutions here for transparency and accountability. Here is an image of the handwritten list which I will hang in our bedroom (I refer to myself as Suzi, my family name):

  • Read 120 books

  • Zoom with loved ones twice monthly

  • Watch eight musicals that Nicole hasn’t seen yet

  • Tidy one thing a day (literally, just put one thing away a day)

  • Write and submit two pieces that aren’t my newsletter or for Book Riot (fiction or nonfiction, doesn’t matter)

  • Focus on accessibility on all content I put out in the world

  • Chill using the Calm app daily, even if it is just a breathing exercise

  • Tend to my skin. I’m not completely ashy, but I’m not gonna lie, I can definitely do better

That’s it for this week! If you enjoy this newsletter, please subscribe, share it with a friend, and/or give me a tip!

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