Blind hope is a dangerous thing. It makes me believe that tomorrow will be better without me doing anything about it. The most important thing really is that I focus on executing whatever I can do today, right now to improve my own life.
Right now I’m tired as heck- probably due to lack of exercise following my little illness episode. I slept 10 hours last night. Still tired. I’m cramped into a crowded rush hour train with a lot of tired, weary people. I have a lot of overdue tasks I have yet to complete.
But I’m trying to fight back against all of that. Putting on some aggressive music. Trying to write a vomit that I can publish when I get home. Then I’ll go for a run. And I’ll sleep well tonight. And wake up early tomorrow. That’s the plan- it starts with me finishing this vomit instead of scrolling through Twitter or other distractions.
So I suppose the topic here is self-regulation. That’s what I’m trying to do right now. I’m trying to take control of myself and do things that I say I want to do. I’m used to coming up with a big impressive list of things that don’t really get done- and then coming up with really good, valid excuses for why those things didn’t get done. Now I’m getting good at describing that series of events and ending with an uplifting things-are-gonna-get-better message. That’s all touching and sweet, but what I need to get good next is a lot more succinct- I need to quickly identify what needs doing and then quickly do it. I’ve been sitting around experimenting with meditation and thought experiments and it gives me this nice fuzzy feelings… I haven’t yet reached nirvana. Any moment now. But even that feels like this very longwinded way of trying to confront my problems.
There’s a funny intellectual question that gets raised- when I finally get around to solving my problems, does it happen because I exhausted all the alternatives? Does it happen because all my preparatory attempts, well, prepared me to get shit done? Or does it just happen from raw number-of-attempts? I do not know, because I’d I already knew then I would know more clearly what I should be doing.
When it all boils down to it, what makes a person take action? Why does someone finally quit, finally take the leap, finally publish, ship? How much awareness do they actually need? How much support, reassurance, belief? I still feel deep down that something is being hidden from me about the secret of driven, motivated human beings. And I’ve done the reading. I’ve watched the videos and pep talks- repeatedly! I take notes. I’ve tried to follow the steps, often stumbling and failing. I suppose I should just keep trying. It’s just so agonisingly slow. Behavioral change. I suppose I should write down why I’m doing what I’m doing. Why I care. Why things matter to me. I haven’t modified my environment as much as I can- that is, to remind me of what I want.
But why all these reminders? If you need that much reminding, is it really something you should be doing? Frankly I have no fucking idea and I’m tired of pretending. I’m tired of trying to hold everything inside my head. I’m giving up on a lot of things and putting my faith in this practice. I believe that if I just keep writing, even if I sometimes get stuck in certain loops or patterns, at the end of it I will have learned something. I would have changed somehow, and I would have developed a habit that serves me well.
I’ve had this recurring thought lately that I’ve been writing myself into a very neurotic state, thinking myself into a very neurotic state– by neurotic I mean a sort of anxious, sketchy state. I keep getting stuck in these little patterns or loops where everything feels very pointless and redundant. And then I get very doubtful of my ability to do anything, understand anything. What progress have I made, if it seems that I’m just questioning more things than ever, uncertain of more things than ever? I’m still missing appointments and deadlines.
But as I write this I realize that this must be the transition from unconscious incompetence to conscious incompetence– I’m developing a better understanding of what I THOUGHT I understood, but actually do not understand. This is painful to confront, but it’s ultimately liberating. I can start over from first principles and ask myself “What do I know for sure?”, and I know where not to go. I know what doesn’t work. The quote that comes to mind is– I haven’t failed, I’ve discovered a whole bunch of ways that don’t work. It’s important. It’s painful but I have to have faith that it’s progress.
I HAVE to? Not necessarily. I don’t have to do anything. But I do know that sort of giving up and being lackadaisical about it is unfulfilling. I’m feeling a bit of guilt for having to take so many words to get to this point, but FUCK IT I have committed myself to this process and I will see it to the end. If nothing else, I’ll develop a more nuanced appreciation for words, sentences, phrasing. I ought to remind myself of that– (yes, more reminders– because I forget things, and I overthink, and this might be suboptimal but gosh-darn-it I’m doing it anyway). Remind myself that these vomits don’t have to accomplish anything, they don’t have to take me anywhere, win me any accolades, impress anybody. No. These vomits exist for their own sake. I’m writing them because I am a person who enjoys writing, and I believe that the more I write, the happier I’ll be. The better I’ll be. The more in control I’ll be. The more I’ll grow and learn. And this process might be painful and messy and I’m going to repeat myself. I might be writing the same vomit 700 times in a row. Maybe that is what’s necessary. So Be It. I’ll do it.