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Emotional State of Matt #3: ACCOUNTABLE

I have always been a very private person. My limited use of social media has been to get news updates and to find silly memes when I need to shut off my brain for a while. My perspective has been “I don’t feel the need to tell others what I’m doing every minute of every day, and I don’t give a shit what they're doing.”


So why am I blogging about this trip and posting daily on Instagram? A few reasons: 



First, I am doing way too much amazing shit for me to remember or tell everyone about individually. This gives me an easy way to share these experiences and make sure I don’t forget about any of them. 



Second, people’s eyes light up when I tell them about this trip. It seems like the sort of thing that most people fantasize about doing but never do. Friends, family, strangers - everyone I talk to wants to follow along and experience the journey vicariously. 



Third, I have always wanted to do more personal writing. Previous attempts at creative writing or journaling haven’t lasted because I wasn’t able to create a consistent habit. Although I have always enjoyed the process and the result, I have too easily let myself off the hook and wouldn't write if I didn't feel like it.


Having a commitment to post on Instagram daily and to write at least two blog posts per week gives me structure, deadlines, and a rhythm to stick to. Hopefully by the time the 50 states and 100+ blog posts are done, regular personal writing will be second nature. 



Fourth, this trip is only partly about the outward journey for me. It's also an exploration of self, and a journey to a healthier and more complete me. The point isn't to make you my therapists - I have one of those already. However, I've found the process of sitting down once a week to explore how I'm feeling and why has been an interesting experiment that has made me more aware of what makes me tick.



Finally, and most importantly, doing this publicly holds me ACCOUNTABLE. If I have an audience - no matter how small or closely connected to me - I have people waiting for my updates. Accountability is a double-edged sword - although it can be a pain in the ass when I don’t feel like writing, the expectation and enthusiasm of my small community feeds my creative pool and motivates me to pull out the laptop.



Your support has meant the world over these first few weeks. Every positive comment and like I get on Instagram is a little shot in the arm.



I even got my first "sponsor" who liked the pictures I’ve been posting! Livingstone is a Canadian company that makes durable lightweight packs, and donates a portion of each sale to National Parks around the world (how was that for a shameless plug?). They offered me their new 25L Alberta Pack at a 70% discount and free shipping in exchange for my feedback, and they will repost any gorgeous pictures I take with it on. It may sound silly, but this kind of validation keeps me inspired to keep doing this.


(photo credit: Livingstone Brand)


I have received unsolicited positive feedback on the blog. I have always been a competent written communicator (thanks mom), especially in business, but I’ve never had much confidence in my creative writing. Your appreciation for this creative project fills my heart. 



I’ll be honest - the thought of labeling myself as a “content creator” makes me want to throw up in my mouth, but building this little community has actually been tremendously helpful. 


So let's make a deal: if you will read, subscribe, like, comment, share, and keep cheering me on, I will hold myself ACCOUNTABLE to you, complete this trip, keep posting on Instagram, and write my 100+ posts on this blog.


Are you in?


Yes, and…

Matt

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