Integrity, reliability, responsibility. (Leadership, discipline…) All a bunch of buzzwords that I remember seeing on the walls of my schools when I grew up. Yuck. Why would anybody want to be any of those boring sounding things? They seemed like the most uncool things, seriously. On hindsight I wonder if one of the main problems about school for me was that hardly anybody really seemed to discuss the greater madness of existence. People seemed to focus on the immediate future– tests, exams, grades, certifications, scholarships, job interviews.
There are some cool scholarships that let you do whatever you like, but I have to ask, still– if an employer needs to insist that you stick with him for 4-6 years after you’re done studying, is the job really that good? Surely, people must be fighting tooth and nail for the good jobs! (Although even this might not necessarily be the case, if people don’t actually know what the good jobs are. They’ll fight for what they’re convinced they ought to fight for, which may not actually be in their best interests.)
I notice I’m seeping in a little social commentary into my writing again. Which I find somewhat regrettable. This is part of a broader general relapse that seems to be happening, that I’m trying hard to guard against. I was telling a friend recently– it’s easier to fail and then apologize for the failure and talk about the failure and analyze the failure and then fail again than it is to goddamn just fucking wake the fuck up, face the failure head on and succeed the next time around. And it’s goddamn boring to talk about failure over and over again so I should really just talk about the nuances- the precise mistakes I made and how I’m going to change things around so I don’t make those same mistakes again.
It’s often really difficult for me to have discussions about this. It usually feels like a game of chicken. The hostage is time– nobody has infinite time, everybody has other obligations. As long as you waffle around long enough, and you don’t have a life to worry about, or you’re willing to basically throw the rest of your life away, everybody around you will eventually have to give up. Or implode as well. It’s really quite a monstrous game, and I’m trying to get my head out of it. I learnt it as a child– no parent and no teacher can discipline you forever. So as long as you keep evading, keep stalling, eventually they’ll have to leave you alone and you can get whatever you want. Or so it seemed.
I’m sure I’ve written about this a few vomits ago, but it’s worth repeating– the problem for me was not realizing that if you really want to accomplish something, you’re going to need that focus and discipline and responsibility and time-management. I was so intent on NOT doing whatever they were trying to force me to do, that I never got around to figuring out how to do what i wanted. I simply convinced myself that I wanted whatever it was that I ended up with, simply being away from whatever.
Not to trivialize other people’s suffering, but it’s kind of like… running away from your oppressive parents to end up with an abusive biker/druggie boyfriend (archetype/stereotype), and then convincing yourself that that’s somehow better. Or maybe then you run away from him, and then you get into drugs, or something else. I don’t know. But you can’t run away from everything forever, because that’s goddamn boring. It’s anxiety-inducing, stressful, chronic, painful, ugh. It’s a sort of impoverishment. The poor live from hand to mouth, not knowing where their next meal is coming from. They make decisions that seem suboptimal because they can’t have any faith in the future.
You have to eventually figure out what you want and then run TOWARDS that. Cultivate that. Because if you’re just leaving all the time, if you’re just exiting, then you just get sensitive to everything that makes you unhappy and uncomfortable, and you’re always in pain, always suffering. If you’re working on something that you care about, if you’re building a home that you believe in, then you can focus on what’s working. Things that don’t work are little annoyances, but you can tolerate them because it’s just steps en route to something else that you want.
Anyway. What I really wanted to talk about here was– how painful it is to stick with the “I want to be reliable” thing. There are so many nagging subroutines in my head that kick in when I say that. “Even if you become reliable for a while, your friends from way back are going to remember what a fail you were. Ha!”
And I think, that’s true. But why should it matter? If they still want to harp on old stuff, that’s on them. And they probably wouldn’t. I’m being unfair to them by projecting that on them. They’re humans too, they suffer too, they’ll change and grow over time too, and I’m sure they’ll appreciate the effort I’ve put in. Or if they don’t, they can kindly fuck off, lol.
Because I am committed to this and I have to weed out all the bullshit that stops me. I can’t make a judgement call and say that I am right and others are wrong, in some absolute sense. Maybe I’m a complete fucking klutz of a clown, a danger and cost to myself and everyone around me, and people should just stay the fuck away.
But I don’t think that is the case. I don’t think that is ever the case with anybody else, so I’m not sure why I allow a part of myself to feel this way about me. It’s strange to even acknowledge that this is a voice, because I try to drown it out in a lackadaisical “man, I don’t give no fucks, man” vibe.
But that’s not true. I care deeply about things. And to make a difference, I have to become reliable. And so I will do that. It will hurt, it will suck, I will fail, but I will get up and try again. I will disappoint some people. I will miss some KPIs. I might lose some things, fail some things. But I will try again. And in 20, 30 years, I will look back and think, “It’s good to know that I could rely on me.”
Oh, the social commentary thing. Yeah, it’s my way of avoiding my own issues. It’s always easy to bitch about the world, and sound kinda smart and accurate when talking about it– but hey, what can I do? What is the change that I can effect? I need to focus on my circle of influence, not my circle of concern. Ain’t no point talking about shit I can’t affect.