I spent my Friday night attempting to project manage my life. I started last night and finally came up with a way to manage my life via excel spreadsheet. It’s colorful and will work while I develop my plan and my life for the next several months. Throughout the week, on multiple occasions, I got hit by the reality bus. It was traveling full-bore and instead of stopping to pick me up, it just ran me over. I did things that I’m not proud of. I sunk lower than I’ve ever sunk before in my adult life and because of that, there has been a dark cloud hanging over my heart all week long.

I used to be an avid reader, but with my time restrictions, I rarely have the opportunity to pick up a book. Instead, I listen to books on Audible during my 20-30 minute drive to and from work every morning and evening. I’ve fully stepped away from fiction and have immersed myself in self-betterment books. Anything from lady-power, to running your own business, to unfucking yourself, to books on leadership and spirituality. I listen, I consume, and I attempt to live my life as a better person. I also listen to, and read (because these books are in physical form over audio form) books about genocide and what we can do to prevent these atrocities from occurring again. I identify with a lot of what I listen to and always take away key learnings that help make me a better person, leader, lover, and friend.

My current listen is Brené Brown’s book, “Dare to Lead.” In it she talks about being a better leader, communication, listening, empathy, and shame. I’m about half-way through the book and I am learning so much and understanding what I need to do in my own life to be a better leader, someone who can lead not just the launch of a nonprofit and film festival, but someone who can lead her own life. Which is why the low that I reached this week and the devastation I feel in my heart is more than my soul can bare. But I will bare it and I will grow from it and I will become a better person because of it - that’s what leaders do. At this time, I cannot write about what happened, because it could be detrimental to my career and my life. Some things you just have to keep close to your heart until you’ve cleared the pain and rubbish and can talk/write about it without repercussions.

Enough of that.

Brown’s book on leadership is what I need in my life. I had an epiphany at work today. Epiphany might be a bit strong of a word, but I noticed something. I received an “urgent” email from someone who has equally been struggling at work - too much work, not enough time, no time to recharge in order to tackle our tasks-at-hand; mistakes are made and we’re left scrambling to hit deadlines no matter how we get there. In reading her “urgent” email and providing her with a couple of solutions, I realized that I’m not the only one who struggles. I know this. I’m not so egotistical to think that I’m the only one, but sometimes you get so wrapped up in your own bullshit that you can’t see past your struggles, you can’t see past all the muck to realize that there are people out there who are your allies and your compatriots in struggle. And once you both make it out on the other side, you can take your day off (if you’re lucky), breathe, and recharge.

Recognizing that everyone faces the same, yet different, struggles is what a friend and leader practices. We’re in this together. We’re in life, work, living, loving, growing. We’re in all of that together. Attempting to take control of my own life by project managing my life outside of work is the start that I need to be a better person. To make sure that I hit my goals. To make sure that I come out on the other side stronger and a better leader. And to make sure that I complete all my projects on time and with grace and dignity.

I haven’t touched on grace and dignity yet, so I will briefly before I close this blog post out. (If you haven’t noticed, this is a string of consciousness post - my favorite way to write.) My personal trainer is an incredible man with a lot of insight not only into the human body, but also into the human mind. While he’s making me squat so-many-pounds, or lift so-many-pounds, we’re also diving deeply into the philosophical mind and how that relates to our mind, body, and spirit. In working through a really difficult breakup that’s been going on for way too long, he reminds me to approach it with grace and dignity. Two things I feel like I practice in my life, but to be honest, ever since my divorce (or maybe even my entire life) I don’t do grace or dignity very well. On the surface, sure, but inside and in my private communications with myself and a few close friends, I do not follow through with either of those. I slip. I’m a mess. I acknowledge that and I’m working to change that. Along with working toward being a good leader in whatever capacity that might mean. Even if it is only leading my own life, I will lead it with grace, dignity, and love.

Stream of consciousness over. Mic drop, but not really. Time for bed. Those should all be hashtags. ###