Inspired by Nellie Bly

· Around the Block for Eighty Days? ·

November 14, 2017 0 Comments

Yesterday I took a strengths assessment test. Why? Because I was seeking clarity of purpose via external validation (warning: don’t try this at home). I was also kinda curious to see if the results were in any way influenced by the recently jacked up and always dogged pursuit to know thyself.

Here’s what I got, all tied for first: (1) appreciation of beauty + excellence (2) bravery – which, based on the description provided, could only be surmised as mouthiness (3) humor (4) gratitude and (5) love of learning.

Teamwork, prudence and perseverance tied for last. Like, way last.

Honestly, what’s a Type A supposed to do with that?! For shame, for shame.

Today is the anniversary of Nellie Bly’s solo 24,899 mile adventure inspired by Around the World in Eighty Days, a feat she completed in just a mere 72 days. So what does that 1889 feminist act have to do with my report results you might ask? Well when I first read it, I thought “I want to do that!” and immediately all kinds of THINK BIG! OVERACHIEVE! planning began buzzing in my brain.

Alas, all hope and promise was dashed as thoughts turned to that dead last strength: perseverance. 80 straight days of something? Who am I kidding, that is so not likely. One need only refer back to the date of the blog entry immediately preceding this one and the decidedly flaky way I abandoned my last big everysingledaydamnit idea.

Who cares.

I may not be a big finisher but I am one hell of a beginner. There is a joy in starting over, bravery even, clearly a love of learning. As my meditation maven Sharon Salzberg says:

The invitation to begin again (and again and again)…is an invitation for the practice of self-compassion — to heal through letting go rather than harming ourselves with cycles of self-doubt, judgment, and criticism. Beginning again is a powerful form of resilience training.

Here I go again.

Day 1 of what I’m calling “tiny bits of beauty in a twelve block radius for as long as I feel like it.”

Take that Nellie.