Updated: Sep 19, 2019
There’s no doubt that one of the most potent motivational actions you can take is to identify your “why”. The reason you do it all. The reason you don’t burn out. The reason you push through. The reason you don’t give in to doubt, or challenges, or failure.
It isn’t always easy, though, to get really introspective and identify why you want to do it all. Digging deep takes work, and very often the last thing we want to do, especially when we’re trying to motivate ourselves to do more work, is to, well, do more work. But (yes, of course there’s a but), if we don’t do that, if we don’t identify and really recognize our why, we risk not giving ourselves the fuel we need to truly excel, to truly become the thing we work so hard to be.
I’ve been doing my own introspection.
Why this? Why freelance writing? Why local? Why do I get giddy even though this work keeps me up well past midnight?
To answer that, I need to give a little background.
I grew up in Kingston, NY. An IBM town left decimated when IBM pulled out. There wasn’t one of my friends whose parents didn’t find themselves jobless or relocated. As a highschooler, all I wanted to do was leave. And I did. As soon as I finished college, I moved. And for 14 years I only came back for brief visits with family.
Life relishes irony, and I found myself sheepishly returning home, back to the town I couldn’t wait to leave behind.
And the town welcomed me.
And the town grew up.
And the town shined. It shined with entrepreneurship. It shined with art. It shined with renewed culture. It shined with hope, and cafes, and diversity, and, oh-so-close to my heart, the relentless belief in itself.
This was not the Kingston, NY I had left behind. This was vitality and bravery and, dare I say, victory!
Victory. I craved victory. Over life, over circumstance, over failure. Kingston showed me how utterly possible that was.
I am not building a restaurant, or opening a café. I’m not curating works of local artists, nor am I trailblazing green paths across midtown. I can’t play an instrument, nor grow a crop.
But I can write.
I need to repay Kingston. I need to give to the community who welcomed me back and showed me that even the most hopeless can shine again. I need to help those who are working so hard to keep Kingston thriving find their voice. I need to use the talent I have to do this.
And that’s my why.