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Camp NaNoWriMo and keeping your word to yourself...

I was thinking about how often we (me) don’t even try to keep our word to ourselves. Like, so many things we promise to do and then, when it gets hard, we so often move on to the next thing.

How often I hear (or see online) people (myself included) say things like:

“This is the year I lose weight”

“This is the year I write that book”

“This is the year I finally go after the job that I love or the person I love”

“This is the year I stop being so negative”

“This is the year I change my eating habits”

“This is the year I follow that budget”

Then life happens, and we move on. Instead of continuing to take small, calculated steps toward our word or goal. We forget (I forget) small steps still count. Each step is closer than you were before taking no steps.

Battling Lyme has forced me to break my word so many times before I knew what was happening to me. I would fully intend to go to the graduation but not be able to get out of bed or move. I would fully intend to go to the funeral, but already be dealing with so much trauma physically, mentally, and emotionally that I was tapped out. I was dealing with Lyme disease I wasn’t aware of, and I lost five people close to me in a year and a half. I finally put up a wall, afraid to even agree to do anything anymore for fear of having to cancel or worse, not be able to show up and not be able to cancel because the explanation alone was too stressful for me.

But I also stopped giving my word to myself. Of all the things, I should never have stopped that. Because eventually you get pieces of your life back, even though it looks different from how it used to, and you must learn all this again.

So, I’ve been slowly easing back into that. But also having to learn with that sometimes comes disappointment. But that doesn’t mean I get to just back out on what I said to myself.

My first bigger promise to myself was writing in NaNoWriMo in November. I set a goal and then life and more life and more life happened, and I could not meet that goal and let myself down. Sure, I had valid life reasons, there was nothing to feel bad for and nothing that kept me from writing could have been helped, but something just still felt off.

I felt I could do better. I remembered that time keeps passing no matter what I do. I remembered wishing I had kept fighting through in the past. So, this time was different. This time I kept writing and working even though NaNoWriMo was over.

Then I saw camp NaNoWriMo starting in April. I was nervous (even though this is only for me lol). I felt it was time to make myself proud. So, I signed up and crushed my goals this time in half the time. And got this fancy winner goodie sign you see at the top of this post to boot lol.

I not only kept my word to myself, I found out I could do a lot more than I realized.

It did something in me to see myself finish something I said I would do. It empowered me to do other things I thought I couldn’t’. So even if the time seems to have passed, if you promised yourself to do something, do it, take those steps no matter how small until you get there.

Train for that marathon, learn that instrument, go talk to that elderly neighbor, pay for the person behind you in line, put your application in for the job you love, write that book. Whatever it is, give yourself another chance.

Because there is a beautiful, powerful force behind keeping your word to yourself. Even if it doesn’t end up looking exactly like you thought it would.

Be honest, Be real, Be you

Bobbie De Leon


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