As promised, Ann, here is my blog post about mapping out graduate schools I am interested in and what the requirements are.
I got so into mapping things out visually for school, I also added a sheet about what I want from life. Haha. And then I made a final more “realistic” flow chart with actual dates, with what I am doing when.
I’m not going to lie some of this has caused me a little bit of anxiety, which I think is heavily related to why I procrastinate. But, I think overall it’s a good thing: it means that something is stirring and it’s touching a nerve. And the only way out is through.
So without further ado, here are my “maps.”
1. What do I want out of life
I first started with the question, What do I want? I felt like I had to add a date because, well, I’m human and wants change. I tried to not think with a scarcity mentality of what I can do or should do or get paid to do but really, just to let it loose and write whatever the fuck I wanted. Turns out, the things I want are pretty simple: a family, to have mental and physical health, to make art, to write and to have a job that solves problems, helps people and is creative. Oh, and a summer house on the Aegean coast of Turkey and a boat (happy shiny golden boat, Ann!).
I then got some yellow post-its and wrote actions I can do (daily, weekly or whenever) to not just “get” what I want but to also to create experiences of what I want in the present. For a family, I can start by not dating assholes and to be a good friend, partner, family member. For mental health I can go to therapy, do yoga, eat well, and exercise. For writing I can… write? Set goals to achieve with writing (hello, purpose of this blog!). For making art… I can make art? Take classes? Have deadlines (hi blog!). And in terms of a creative, fabulous job – well, I can just search for it and maybe get educated for it.
2. Mapping out schools
This was actually the first visual map I created but I am ordering my maps going from broad to specific. As such, here is the map of the schools that I am currently interested in.
I decided to color code the most important aspects of the programs:
- When and location
This first five aspects were easy enough to fill in with information gleaned from the websites. The final question of why was a little harder – but it helped me figure out my real reasons for applying to certain programs. They ranged from switching jobs, to moving to Canada to just having fun!
I thought this was valuable insight and a starting point for myself for a future decision-making process of either applying or even attending the programs.
Again, I tried not to think about whether or not I could get in or even the costs – both financial and time. I will do that at a later stage.
3. 2017 – timelines
My final incomplete visual map included concrete dates, activities, goals and how those activities are further conducive to my goals which were written in pink.
This was a little more anxiety-inducing as I realized I was trying to map out 8 months ahead. And given that one of my original problems is that I plan but don’t do, I started feeling like this was a little bit pointless. So instead, I marked down actual activities (like art classes that I had signed up for and will obviously put up on this blog because I don’t want to quit them like I always have!) as well as a concrete date – for example, for a 10K I am running in September with a goal time. As well as activities I can do in August to prepare in advance for grad school applications (even though the earliest one is due January 2018) by at least writing the letter of intent and statements of intent.
I also realized that mental health and “soul”-health are the core of my ability to not only be happy but also to be able to complete projects and have the confidence in doing so. So I drew a little helpful visual map in the center that highlights the more frequent, recurring activities I need to do to be happy such as exercising, eating well, reading more, listening to good music and going to concerts, meditating.
Anyway, I realize this all looks a little bit all over the place but I think the end result is that I have something visual to refer back to every time I am feeling the urge to escape from the world and myself.
Next challenge: completing my short story for my creative writing group! I will keep you updated on the writing process and progress – if not every day, every couple of days!
Over and out!