reflections on intentions

“You can’t always get what you want. But if you try sometimes you find you get what you need.”

– The Rolling Stones

Well, here it is, y’all. The end of October is upon us, we’re about to turn the clocks, the election is just a few days away, and the Fall of Intentions is (somewhat) coming to its close. The start of November is ushering in a new phase of my creative journey, and leading me to a much larger intention than every day of this month combined. But we’ll talk about that a little bit later.

First, I want to reflect on Intentions, because as you know, I’ve been thinking about them a lot these last 6 weeks. I hope you have, too.

For those just joining us, I started a process on September 22, 2020 called The Fall of Intentions. It was a time during which I was supposed to begin (and live) each day to the tune of a meaningful purpose, whether that meant I was supposed to line up a weeks’ worth of Instagram posts or simply take rest after a busy and stressful morning.

It didn’t always work. Some days I forgot, some days I couldn’t think up much more than the remembrance of the way the moon looked in the sky during my morning commute, and sometimes I tried my darnedest to live up to the intention I’d set for myself, only to find myself flailing in the fall leaves.

As the weeks went by, I admittedly felt myself getting lazy with the practice, forgetting and fixing as I went along. But I never forgot about it. Whether I wrote my daily intention down or not, I was always cognizant of what my day’s intention might be, and there were some days in which I really took it to heart. Regardless of whether I was “successful” or not, I was intentional. And that was the whole point.

So, as this month draws to a close and I reach the unofficial end of my Fall of Intentions on Halloween, I’m struck by the way this word – Intention – has truly stuck with me throughout this process. Because intentions, whether we take notice of them or not, are actually always with us. And much as we wish for the best, sometimes we get what we truly need by learning to live without.

We intend to celebrate milestone birthdays with loved ones, but sometimes things get in the way and we have to get creative.

We intend to stay healthy and do our best to protect one another, but we’re bound to find ourselves sick on the couch at one time or another.

We intend to give our best to ourselves and others, but our bad habits often kick in when we least expect them and force us to realign.

We intend to work hard and make a good, stable living, but shit happens. We struggle.

And yet, hopefully, we still come out on the other side of it all. One day older, one day wiser.

Because our intentions are what save us. Our intentions are what force us to wake up another day. Our intentions keep us moving forward, keep us making silly mistakes on our way towards some sort of triumph.

Our intentions are the very best part of us. They prove to us who we have the capability to become. And by something as simple as living each day with a belief in our worth and our dreams, we will grow into that person we so long to be. Eventually. Fingers crossed.

I’ve mentioned before that I had a lot of expectations for turning 30 this year. But the truth is, I just entered this new decade. I still have a long way to go. And living with intention is just the beginning of it. Honoring my intentions and taking them seriously? That’s what I’m going to have to do on a daily basis.

Which is why I’m taking the next 30 days to focus on just one thing: my writing. My fiction writing, to be exact. Yep, fellow writers, I’m taking on NaNoWriMo once again this year. And with daily intention, I might just do it, even if I’m already completely exhausted thinking about it.

You see, two years ago, I tackled my first NaNoWriMo with dismal results. I wrote one day, y’all. And then I kept procrastinating until half the month had gotten away from me and I had zero hopes of picking it back up. I think every writer needs a story like this – the ambitious dreamer, ready to take on the world without a plan, flying onboard the winged creature that will fly them straight to the top of the steep mountain, only to fall off because their fear of height kicks in 10 feet off the ground. We all need to embarrass ourselves with a failure. We need to learn when we’re trying to do too much. But we all need to give ourselves the chance to start again, too. And living with daily intention might be the key.

In the meantime, follow me on Instagram @simpleandgoodblog. I’ll be checking in occasionally with brief thoughts and updates while I take a little break from thinking about the blog and focus wholeheartedly on one project for the month of November. I’ll be back here in December with a full update!