You know that one quote... it's not about the destination, it's about the journey...or something like that? Well, it's kind of the worst. I've found myself really struggling with process lately. I want to skip to the end, to the best part. With everything.
I haven't written for the Wonderlust Project in almost a year. I didn't know what to say. I'd run out of energy, as I suspected I would. But I had promised myself at the beginning of this project that I wouldn't be one of those people that gave up on their pursuit of important things simply because they ran out steam. I allowed myself space to find the path again. It looks like today, I've found my footing once more.
Process is my entire life right now. I'm in the process of being engaged. It's the most magical, surreal thing in the world, but I want to skip to the end, to the wedding. I know that the next process is waiting for me there, that the wedding is not the end, but a lifetime of process learning about my best friend. That doesn't stop me from wanting relief from the daily struggle of planning and preparing and improving.
I feel the exact same way about design. I don't want to slowly improve as an artist over time, I want to be a great artist NOW. I cringe looking back at old projects (I went through the archives recently) and want to weep when I think about what I'll say about my work in another ten years. In preparing to marry Ryan we found old pieces of art that I had given him five years ago that he wants to hang on the walls of our home. I rushed to snatch them out of his hands, saying "I know I can make something better now if you'll just let me!" I also decided to re-do this website (which I definitely don't have time for). Not to mention, it's taking literally all my willpower not to wipe this blog clean and start again. It's time to invest in a better camera...
Everyone talks about learning to love the process but it's really. Hard. I'm not sure I know how. Don't get me wrong, I love being engaged and I love being a designer. I just also long to be the best version of myself. I want to hide the humble beginnings.
I went to grab the journal that Ryan and I started when we were 21. I bought it for us when I was in Beijing. It still smells like leather and street food. I want to write my vows to him in it. Stamped across the cover is the CS Lewis quote that goes like this: "Little by little one travels far".
I put that on there when I was in a great mood, feeling inspired by all the places we'd go and how we'd eventually get there together. I wasn't thinking about how agonizingly slow the journey can get sometimes. I've read a lot lately from people who have finally achieved their dreams and/or goals and talk about how they didn't get there overnight. They offer encouragement that if you are persistent and keep trying, you will get there too.
But no one seems to talk about it while they're in it. I have yet to see the other side, so I can't promise I'll get there. I can't quite offer the encouragement of someone who's already made it.
But what I do know is that it's incredibly important to focus on one step at a time. If I want anything to get accomplished at all, I can't be overwhelmed by needing to do everything at once. That's actually a secret that has helped me minimize stress during wedding planning. I'm trying very hard to extend it to other areas of my life as well.
For whatever reason, it's been easy for me to not worry about what anyone else is doing or has done for their weddings and simply focus on what's best for us. The result? Some of my best work to date, because it's exactly what I wanted.
If you have any other secrets on learning to love the process, please share!