Outta My Head

Finding a song for this post was the hardest part of writing it. Spoiler - there are literally NO songs about project management! I'm in love with Khalid and went with “Outta My Head” because sometimes I'm in my head and because it's about love.

'Cause the days get brighter when you're here So I gotta keep you near Goin' crazy and I just can't get you outta my head Love is in the atmosphere, you can feel it in the air Gettin' hazy and I just can't get you outta my head

I've been a project manager for ~10 years and I just realized it had been so long when I was introduced to someone new and gave my 30-second professional elevator pitch. In that time I've worked in a variety of different industries and teams supporting anything from television installations to live events like The World Cup to customer database migrations with Salesforce to building marketing frameworks for cybersecurity campaigns. It's been a wild ride and I've learned that my professional organization extends to accomplishing personal goals too -

  • Losing half my body weight (250 pounds!)

  • Paying off $50k in debt

  • Writing a kickass book (okay so I'm not done yet but you bet your ass I have a project plan!)

I joked that you could apply project management to any goal in your life and that honestly anyone had the ability to project manage and I might just patent that philosophy. Project management for anyone!

In the TED talking style presentation I gave at work a few years ago I said the formula was simple -

  1. Make a plan

  2. Break the plan into goals

  3. Identify the tasks needed to accomplish each goal

  4. Find stakeholders

  5. Iterate when the road gets rocky (and it will)

  6. Track your lessons learned

  7. Celebrate your victories

  8. And most importantly…. Never give up.

And in looking back - it WAS that simple to achieve something like reducing debt or my waistline. However, my foolproof methodology does not apply to 2 critical goals I have been trying to work on -


  1. Moving through the grief of losing my mom/best friend

  2. Trying to have a love life that leads to a husband that leads to cute children

Grief and love cannot be project managed. Trust me, I've tried.

Over the last few years multiple people who know me professionally have referred to me as “pragmatic” and I didn’t believe it at the time but I realized I have evolved. I may still be a very emotional person at my core, but when I need to get shit done; those emotions get shelved so I can deal with things sensibly and realistically in a way that is based on goals and tasks / timelines rather than hypothetical or theoretical scenarios or emotions. Why does this approach not work when it comes to my love life or my grief? Well, because those are both emotions - fluid and ever-changing.

There is no checklist for how to grieve or when things won’t hurt quite so much (I secretly think there will always be a layer of hurt coupled with every happiness because I don’t have my mom here to share things with).

Similarly there is no checklist for finding love. Now, as I say this I will tell you I have totally read books that claim to be able to “teach you” how to find love and they largely come down to ‘be the person you want to date and put yourself out there’. I am working on the person I want to be and I'm not putting myself out there because well hello, pandemic. That said I'm committed to getting vaccinated once I'm able and putting myself out in the world - knowing my mom will guide me to find someone. 💜

For now I think I just have to work on getting outta my own head and allowing myself to continue feeling my feelings.

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