I’m not entirely sure if this is going to make sense. But if you need to read it, then I believe you’ll understand that you need to just keep going.

Just Keep Going

Original photo by freestocks.org 

No giving up. No new plans. No bright ideas or crazy changes. Just keep going.

The original title for this post was going to be something like “My Don Quixote Life” but I felt that was a little tragic. Admittedly, I’ve never read Don Quixote. Or even seen The Man of La Mancha all the way through. And while “To Dream the Impossible Dream” is the noblest of causes and very, very motivating, I believe Don Quixote is a pretty sad dude.

Like delusional sad.

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And I wanted to convey hope with this post. So we’re moving away from that guy and we’re going to use my life. Okay? Okay.

(As of this writing, I don’t believe that my life is tragic. Maybe a little quixotic, but like, in a sense that is divorced from an old man trying to fight windmills.)

Just Keep Going

It’s easy to pack it all up. It’s easy to say something is too hard. It’s easy to find a clearly defined path and take it.

All of those things are fine. There is no shame in quitting something that no longer serves you. There is no shame in admitting that maybe something isn’t for you. There is no shame in taking a path that is well-worn and familiar.

Unless you don’t want that. Then you’re just lying to yourself. And in that case, I don’t want you to feel shame. I want you to recognize what you’re doing, and self-correct.

(It’s worth noting that there will probably be some shame in self-correcting. We’re surrounded by people who don’t get it, and people who want you to just do what it’s normal and easy. As if they had a say. As if their opinion of what you’re doing mattered. As if they knew what’s best for you.)

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This is a post about doing hard things. It’s about opportunities. It’s about knocking on the damn door. And it may seem fairly vague up to this point, so I think I’ll try to make it pretty clear.

When it comes to things you want to do with your life, you just keep going. It doesn’t matter if you’re wildly successful. Or the Instagram wunderkind who gets all the attention. Or if you never actually “make it.”

(For the record, it’s starting to look like I’ll exist firmly in the third category, and I’m trying to be okay with that. Also, I couldn’t tell you what “making it” is, so I’ll keep you posted.)

I know I want to write. I’m not always sure of what. I’m not always sure how it’s going to pay the bills. I’m not entirely sure that my writing is marketable. I’m not sure that anyone wants to read it.

But I can’t really care about all that.

(I could, but it doesn’t seem as important as just following my heart. Which is hella cheesy but also the best advice I could ever give another person.)

So I know that no matter what, I have to write. That’s the number one thing I must do in my life.

(It’s also worth noting that you’re supposed to be here.)

I went to TravelCon recently. It was a great experience, and probably the best conference I’ve ever been to. I love getting advice from people who are doing impossible things. I love being reminded about the joys of doing impossible things. I love seeing others living that “shoulder to the wheel” sort of life and reaping the benefits. I love it when a quixotic plan comes together.

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And one thing that was stressed multiple times there was the need to just keep going. Whether the speaker was a person who made 6-figures for a series of Instagram posts of penguins or people who got paid to travel the U.S. in a van and interview park rangers or someone who quit their day job at 33 to become a full-time travel blogger with almost zero experience.

As impossible as all that sounds, each of them happened to someone who spoke at the conference. And each of those people couldn’t say enough about the just keep going mindset.

(Maybe travel isn’t your thing. It doesn’t really matter. What matters is that you just keep going.)

Anyone can get an unfulfilling day job. Anyone can ride someone else’s coattails. Anyone can walk a clearly defined path.

Very few people realize what they want to do and create their own path. Very few people have the energy the clear that path. Very few people have the ability to just keep going when that path takes a lot longer than the the on-boarding paperwork at some corporate gig.

(This isn’t a post that’s meant to shame people with corporate jobs. I’ve had many. And public sector jobs too. And because of that I can say for a fact that creating something of your own is immensely more difficult than having a job description and showing up five days a week from 8 to 5. And from the little I’ve tasted of it, it’s also infinitely more rewarding.)

As I write this, it’s before 6 AM on a Sunday morning. I can hear the ceiling fan overhead, a dog snoring in the background, and rain falling just outside the window. I would like to be asleep. Those are the sort of conditions that breed the best sleep, honestly. But I couldn’t. I thought about this post, and decided I had to write it. For me, “just keep going” is beyond a mindset. It’s a way of life now.

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In two weeks, I’ll be 33. I think this is the time that I’m supposed to be settled with a house and 2.3 kids and a husband. I think I’m supposed to be quietly showing up at my day job every day and living vicariously through my children. (That seems to be the only aspirations we give women with children.)

But that’s not how it is. And I don’t think it’s ever going to be that way. I don’t know what the future will hold, but I do know that I will always be writing. I know that it will always come first. I know that I won’t stop.

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I don’t know if this will resonate with anyone, but at the end of the day, that doesn’t really matter. If it resonates with me, that’s enough.

How Do You Just Keep Going?

Are you in a space where you question if what you’re doing is worth it? Do you want to pack it all up and call it a day? Do you have any advice to just keep going?

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