Living deliberately: About the launch of this blog and living with intention

So, this is new.

As a lifelong writer, reader and producer of #content, I've launched probably a dozen blogs in my lifetime, each with different intentions and themes, a few with a variation on the same name: Living deliberately.

That phrase pops into my head often, ever since I visited Walden Pond a few years ago and I saw this sign with a quote by the man Henry David Thoreau himself:

I was 19 then, and I didn't think much about what the quote meant. "Living deliberately" meant nothing to me at the time, I was just fascinated by the idea that this dude went and hung out in the woods for a while. Didn't he get bored? A life in the woods sounds lonely.

Since I saw that sign six years ago, I've questioned myself. What does it mean to "live deliberately" and how do I learn to do all things with intention? How do I set goals for myself each day and actually achieve them? More importantly, how do I live without guilt when I inevitably don't achieve those goals? How do I regain control of the thoughts that fill my mind, the habits that fill my day, and the people that fill my life?

Well, here's the entirety of that Thoreau quote from the sign:

I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms...”

At the end of 2016, I found myself run down and exhausted, ensnared in the clutches of clinical depression and high-functioning anxiety. I felt like a broken boomerang. Somebody had thrown me into the wind with the expectation that I'd make my way back eventually, but we were both starting to figure out that maybe I wouldn't. I was hurtling through time and space with no direction and no safe landing.

So I began thinking about this quote again — this whole idea of "living deliberately" — and even though I generally shy away from making new year's resolutions, I thought the dawn of a new year was as good a time as any to try to muddle my way through figuring some of this stuff out. 

I don't have all the answers, if that's what you're looking for here. I fully expect that 365 days from now, I'll be sitting at this same desk, staring at this same laptop, wondering how to better my life. But that's the beautiful thing about being human, right? We're constantly trying to better ourselves. We have the gift of complex thought and self awareness, and we can choose to be or do whatever we want. And we have the ability to fail, epically and painfully and viciously, in ways we think we can't bounce back from. But we do bounce back, even if it's not in the ways we expect. Boomerangs return, eventually.

And that's what this blog is about. It's about learning to live with intention. It's about life with depression and anxiety. It's about a girl in her mid-20s trying to figure this big damn world out. It's about living and loving and traveling and reading, and sometimes failing (okay, OFTEN failing) and figuring out how all of that fits into daily life.

This whole thing is scary, but let's do it, shall we?