There’s somewhere (or someone) you want to be 100 days from now. Can you imagine yourself there?
I read “WILD” a memoir by Cheryl Strayed over the holidays. (I found the movie adaptation with Reese Witherspoon the perfect supplement – it was so well done.) The book details the journey of Strayed as a young woman who is truly taking control of her life for the first time by hiking the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT). She planned the 100-day journey that would lead her from outside of LA to Portland, Oregon. She coordinated boxes of supplies to be shipped to her various resting locations and she spent every last penny on the gear to get her to her destination. And (spoiler alert) she got there.
Preparation isn’t everything. Self care and adaptability are critical in achieving success, along with a dozen other attributes. I want to focus on preparation a little because simply put, creating a map and plan for yourself provides confidence and clarity. Plotting milestones, while they may not always be met on time, gives you a point you can look forward to. I imagine writing my capstone as if I were Cheryl Strayed on that trail. Finishing feels so far away. And as I sit and walk through the Van Pelt library I come across all of these different characters – from the undergrads making me feel old when I order chamomile tea at the cafe, to the actual physical books I am going through. Over the last few weeks I’ve had an idea of where I was heading with my capstone, but it was still semi-vague. On Monday I had a call with my advisor who directed me to compose an outline of my paper, and fill it in with the questions I hope to answer within each chapter I intend to write. With the help of a lot of questions she asked me about my topic, I got into that outline and I knocked it out. I now have a puzzle of questions to solve, and I know what I have to do to make it happen.
100 days from now I’ll be days away from my graduation ceremony. I won’t be done with my capstone (it’s due July 1st), but I hope I am in a place with it where I can feel relaxed… The months of February, March and April I imagine being a bit frazzled and I’m OK with that. It’s a hike, and when one boot falls from the cliff, I’ll just toss the other one down with it.