Ever had a blender cavitate?
Cavitate - there’s a fancy word.
Here’s how it happens:
- You put a bunch of goodies in the blender and hit the button.
- The blender spins for a second then starts to whine.
- Nothing blends.
- The blades made a space - a cavity - and the ingredients are too thick to slide in that space.
- You have to stop the blender, prod the contents with a spoon, and fill in that cavity so the blades can get to the ingredients again.
That prodding with a spoon?
That’s writing for me.
My brain fills up with ideas, experiences, and annoyances. I hit the mental button to process them. And my brain cavitates.
It makes a space.
Sitting down and putting words on the screen and shaping them into sentences and paragraphs is my way of prodding those thoughts back into the blades.
So here I sit, prodding.
What’s in the mental blender?
I started with a bunch of “imposter syndrome”. Ever have some of that?
The American Psychological Association describes imposter syndrome as:
Occur(ing) among high achievers who are unable to internalize and accept their success. They often attribute their accomplishments to luck rather than to ability, and fear that others will eventually unmask them as a fraud.APA.org
In our world imposter syndrome says things like:
- You don’t know how to run a Facebook group. These other groups have more people and engagement.
- There are better writers than you.
- Those other bloggers know things you don’t. They have a bigger audience and are making more money.
- 7 years on the road and you’re still in campgrounds with hookups. You’ll never be a hardcore boondocker.
- You promote the ditched life like it’s better, but yet you still struggle with finances. And raising kids. Maybe this whole ditching suburbia thing is a lie?
- If you were really good at this life you’d be more upbeat and positive all the time.
That’s not all that’s in the blender.
Good thing, or it would be a bitter drink.
What else is in there?
Time away with my wife.
We spent a few days this past summer celebrating 26 years of marriage at Ludington State Park. It’s one of our favorite places. We tasted what empty nest travel will be like. We got a (small) start on our new travel focus of hiking.
Positive comments about the van.
People stopped to specifically talk to us about it - rewarding after the time I’ve spent on it.
Miranda celebrating her 19th birthday.
19 already. 19 and reliably riding a bike to a full-time job where she’s overcome some frustrating days and been described as a “hard worker”.
Just prodding a cavitated blender doesn’t work. You have to add a liquid to thin it out.
I can’t always write my way out of a mental cavity. I need another ingredient to thin things out and make it all blend.
That ingredient is often time with friends and family.
That was recently the case.
We were treated to meals by other traveling folks. We chanced into extended family we hadn’t seen for years. Walking through the campground I was recognized and invited to a campfire from an online follower.
That time together, those conversations, the encouragement we get, and the encouragement we can give - it helps me process away the imposter syndrome. It lets me focus on the stronger flavor of the good times. The memorable times.
It helps me to know that:
- Things are OK.
- Our work is valued.
- It’s not about the numbers.
- We aren’t yet who we will be.
- We are exactly where we need to be right now.
- Our travels don’t have to - indeed shouldn’t - look like someone else’s.
Back To You
What’s in your mental blender this week?
And what do you do when it cavitates?