Challenges Don’t Challenge Me


It is the 2nd of April, which means a new season of tasks for online creativity. I normally look at BEDA, or Blog Every Day in April, where I aim to post something every day over the course of April. I fail. All the time. And instead of inspiring me to be more productive, I am discouraged and don’t want to do anything.

A challenge is supposed to inspire a person to do bigger and better. It is an opportunity to prove to yourself what you can actually do, beat your own expectations. And, if you do it in a group, you can all help motivate one another, it can work very well. Blogging is a rather solitary task, so it is nice to not do it on your own. Nice to be able to discuss ideas and theories on what you are writing.

However, I haven’t really got involved in many groups and communities, which means I am on my own when it comes to motivation and ideas. And, it can be pretty difficult. And then I join a challenge, like BEDA, and hope it gives me the kick I need to post more regular, and the effect is opposite. I forget to post once, and feel I have failed the challenge, so don’t see the point in continuing. I sometimes struggle with deadlines and doing things, and although I set my own targets, sometimes they seem too large. I have a horrific fear of failure, of being told that I am not good enough. And I sometimes think that it is easier to give up, on my terms, rather than fall down despite my best aims. It is a habit that has been picked up from school, and it is an awful. Sometimes, I am better trying things without a serious goal. That way I can work away without the pressure, and I find I am better. It feels less forced, and there is no big nasty target to discourage me.

I am glad that challenges work for so many people, and every month there seems to be more coming to light. And, they do sometimes encourage me to pick up my art tools, camera or notebook, to try and create something. But, I have to remember that daily challenges don’t help me, so sometimes it is okay to simply sit out.

Trying Is Important

I attempted to blog every day in April, and I didn’t. Including this post, I blogged 21 out of 30 days. It doesn’t sound like much, but it is a lot better than what I thought I would do. Every other time I have tried any daily creative challenge, I have usually only work on it for a few days. I don’t even bother trying to struggle to do things, they become a challenge and I give up.

As I have mentioned previously, I have not been of the best health recently, and I have been going to work, eating and sleeping. I found that if you are not well, and continue working, you have no energy at all. It makes everything so much more difficult. I am not looking for sympathy, I just find that I forget how exhausting things can be sometimes. The good things is, that whilst I am still a bit bleugh, I am getting better. I am not trying to cough up a lung several times an hour and I am getting more sleep. This is making everything a wee bit easier to deal with. So I thought I’d pop on here, and just touch base.

The BEDA thing was fun when I did it. I love the process of creating content on a daily basis, and like the challenge of posting something. Some days were easier than others. Some days had hundreds of words, some just had a photograph. It made me realise what this blog means to me. It is one of the very few places online where everything posted is original content by me. Which as someone who likes being creative, I think it is important to have somewhere like that. Anyway, because I enjoyed blogging every day, I am going to try and continue posting daily now I am feeling better again. If I don’t post a day, it’s no big deal, I’ll just post the next day. The important thing is that I try, it gives me some kind of focus.

Buzz Buzz (BEDA)

This is a challenge for me to write today. Not for any other reason than, for a change, I am happy. Which I know sounds weird, but it’s true. And when I use blogging as a way to ‘let go’ of the negativity in my life, I always get a bit lost when I don’t feel so negative. I just don’t know what to write. 

I guess I’ll maybe start with why I am so happy. I have been ill the last few weeks, with a cough and some eye/allergy thing. The cough is still here, but it is on the way out, and my eye isn’t bothering me nearly so much. Which is such a relief, but I found that I barely did anything last week. Because I was getting no sleep, I had no energy. It was horrible. But now I’m feeling a bit better, i have so much energy. The last 2 days I have went for long walks (4-5 miles) to try and get into shape. Because I have been sick a lot recently, and I am thinking that it could be because I am in RUBBISH shape. 

So, in the last few days I jumped back on Weight Watchers and have been trying to walk as much as I can. Why walk? Well, it’s free, is really good for you and can save me money on bus fare. I think it has been so easy to jump into walking more, because it has been a really nice few days. And the sun being out always helps my mood. 

What has surprised me most, is that, despite that I haven’t done many long walks recently, I wasn’t tired at the end. It was the opposite. I was buzzing and was a big ball of energy. I came home, and couldn’t sit down, so had a busy afternoon. It makes me think, I am normally a slow riser in the morning, maybe if I had a walk first thing, I’d have more energy for the rest of the day. I am going to try it for the next few days before work, and see what happens. 

Advice (BEDA)

I am awful at giving advice. And yet, people always approach me for help. I can sympathise with someone and their issues. I can understand that someone is having a hard time. I just don’t know how I can tell someone what to do. I don’t have the most exciting life, what can I pull any advice from? 

Advice isn’t something I like asking for, on a personal level, anyway. I have never liked imposing myself on other people, which is why I keep things to myself. Or I try to, anyway. I also feel that because I am crap at giving advice,  it’s a bit rude to expect others to give some to me

Tired (BEDA)

Sometimes I get tired. Tired of all the effort that has to be put in to make life bearable. It doesn’t happen all the time, just once in a while. I do that thing where I lie in bed and wonder what would happen if I wasn’t there anymore. Like would people give a shit?

I have talked it over with friends, and am assured that I am not the only one who thinks like that sometimes. It happens when it feels like life has come to a dead end. That no one calls or does anything with you, so they wouldn’t miss me if I just disappeared. And how easy would that make any problems? Just run away and forget about them. 

But then, isn’t the point of life dealing with challenges and choosing different routes through life? It is easy to get to the point where you can’t be bothered, but true strength is carrying on through those feelings. And sometimes, something will happen that makes you feel valid and a good person. Those times are what should drive us. Helps us say to ourselves ‘well, life is shit, but look at all the stuff I did’.  

Maybe you need to feel tired, just so you know when your awake. 

Change Is Good (BEDA)

Everyone needs change. Everything needs a refresh every now and then. If we don’t, then there is a chance what we are doing will become stale. In personal experience, I find that is where I struggle to continue to work on a particular task. I need what I do, to be as fluid and ever-changing as I can be as a person.

So, I have changed a few things. For the last few years I have used the internet as Sue Riot Graphics, as Riot Graphics was the design company I planned on running when I left college. Unfortunately, life got in the way, my inspiration stalled and it never really came back to me. As I have been attempting to blog every day for a month, I have been spending more time online again and discovering that having Graphics in my online handles was no longer in-keeping of where I am now. In fact, I found it a constant reminder that I failed to achieve all I had planned. I felt like a failure just by logging into a website. And that lead to me being completely de-motivated with things.

So, I am currently going through the process of re-naming my online account so it is simply Sue Riot. People ask me, what’s the point of not putting my actual ‘real’ name on these websites? My only answer is that I feel that the person I am online, is different to who I am in real life. I also like that by having a slightly different name online, I can be myself, without having to compromise my personal privacy. Because that is one thing when you share your life on the internet, it is how much details we place on the internet. And as much as love sharing my experiences and thoughts online, I don’t want to share my personal details, because you never know who could abuse those details.

But yeah, slight new name change to the blog. Also over the next few days sueriot.com should start working. The blog is set up to start feeding automatically to the new URL, so everything should still be intact and functioning fine. I am so happy about it. Change feels awesome.

Feeling Small (BEDA)

I am still feeling very sorry for myself, with allergies combining with a cold. I am grumpy, tired and have very little time for the bad attitude of others. Two different people spoke to me, and the spoke to me in a manner which made me think of a child being scolding by it’s mother. I felt small and stupid, and both times I just wanted to find somewhere to cry. Which is what I want to do when I am sickly, anyway, so feeling attacked by people around me was never going to help.

Actually, it wasn’t like I was being attacked, it was how things were said to me. Like that certain tone a person gets in their voice when someone isn’t worth their time. That tone that tells you a person is irritated. Add to that, the eye rolling/ staring daggers, I felt super uncomfortable and just wanted the ground to swallow me up. I really should have spoke back, stood up for myself. But, considering I only got 2 hours sleep last night and I felt so ill, it took all my energy to simply not cry. It made me feel worse that one of these people was a manager, who is not even in my department. Like, I have been doing the same job for a while, and as usual, I am finding myself stressing about how I can do my own job. I get awful panicky, and do stupid things, like going in when I am sick. And when someone speaks down to you, as if you know nothing, anxiety levels start to rise.

I think part of the problems, that in companies where there are many different departments, the departments can be operating against one another. As if the working day is one big competition. But the thing is, all departments have the same goal. They are there to serve a customer. But nobody seems to see that in large companies, its all competition between different departments. Which could be good, in some ways, like competition in targets and things. But sometimes, people refuse to help people from other departments. And that can be anyone from general associates, up to department managers. It is a really awful way to work, and the bad attitude to people ‘outwith your team’, can also be applied outwith work. People hate those who come from different backgrounds, believe different things or look different to them.

By making people feel small and insignificant, it can make people feel taller and more powerful in comparison. It happens everywhere in life, really. The truth is, that if someone is doing something, who is anyone to tear them down. I got up today and I was sore, puffy and struggling to catch my breath, I went into work. Something I am glad I did, something I did because of willpower, because I don’t want to beaten. But when I used so much energy, just being able to function, I had nothing left for when I encountered a problematic person. But maybe being made to feel insignificant isn’t my problem, it’s the problem of the manager who feels he is better than me. I know, after thinking about it, that I have changed a lot over the years for me to even think about going into work today. I have a motivation that I never had, one that I had lost when I started getting problems with depression.

I am sitting here in a very different mood to what I was in when I started writing this blog. I was feeling very sorry for myself, because I feel like crap, physically. But, the more I rambled on, the less sorry for myself I felt. I feel like I have achieved something today, even if it was just a few hours at work. Though that might be helped by the fact that I am out of work, and don’t have to see that manager when I am feeling so bad. I guess, it is looking for your successes, rather than focusing on what others see as failures.

Out & About Again (BEDA)

Today I was down the the public park in the town I live. Used to love going down their for a picnic when I was a kid. There is some ‘gates’ which looked like old prison cells, or that’s what we believed when at school. 

   

          

It’s great looking around where you live. I love taking a camera with me. It helps me realise that there are some nice things about living where I do.  

Keeping on track (BEDA)

Whoops! Someone forgot to post yesterday. I was actually socialising for a change, and forgot to post. I only actually thought about it this morning, when I checked my blog on my phone and realised I didn’t update. This would be an easy place to give up on the challenge, but I thought I’d carry on regardless. It wouldn’t be a challenge if there were no hiccups along the way.

That is something that I am trying to change about myself. I have always been very good at giving up when things get a little bit hard. It’s like I have been programmed into thinking that I should quit something before I fail at it. If I do that, it is like I am taking my fate into my own hands. Except, that isn’t really true. I take the easy way out, because giving up is easier than trying hard at something. It’s maybe why so much of my life hasn’t met my expectations. I haven’t really seen anything through to completion. And then wonder why I am stuck in a minimum  wage job.

I have the dreams, to be better at what I do. To get paid to do something that I am passionate about. That was why I went to college, to hopefully get me on the path to a job I loved. Unfortunately that hasn’t worked out for me, and I think it is my issue with seeing things to completion. I always think I am going to fail, so it’s easier to quit. It says a lot about my self confidence that I think that. But I have never had a good self confidence. And it’s hard to gain belief in yourself, especially when you never had any before. I want to change it, but its only possible if you take one thing at a time. Doing things like writing challenges may seem silly, but it is motivational, and helps me believe in me. Something I need to do a little more of.