I had a long, difficult and illuminating conversation with the wife today when we went for a walk and talked about our future – what it would be like to have children, what sacrifices or tradeoffs or changes we would have to make, and it became very clear very fast that we would both have to grow a lot as individuals before we can begin to enact the life that we want. And yeah, I know that to some degree life never goes according to plan, but that isn’t an excuse for playing your hand poorly. You need to play your hand as well as you possibly can, with the cards that you’re dealt, and try to systematically improve your lot as much as you can (the poker analogy breaks down a little – but that’s because life is more complex than poker, duh).
Anyway. So I started writing this because I wanted to remind myself of something moving forward. The clear thing is that I need to work a lot harder and a lot smarter. I need to be clearer about what my priorities are and I need to work towards achieving future states that I haven’t even begun to consider yet. I keep holding on to this fantasy of “being a writer”, but what does that really mean in concrete terms? Am I going to be able to make a living with it? What’s the path to that look like? I wrote a couple of vomits about it, but what are the concrete next steps that I need to be taking, and why haven’t I already taken them?
The answer is pretty straightforward – I’m nervous, scared, and I keep telling myself that I have time to figure it out.
That may have been true at some point in the past, but I don’t think it’s true anymore. I’ve been coincidentally reading Joseph Campbell at the moment and I’ve been planting ideas in my head about thresholds and trials – I have to say goodbye to Visa-26 and make way for Visa-27, who needs to be 10x better along several metrics that matter. Visa-27 needs to spend much less time on frivolous bullshit that doesn’t have a direct impact on his goals. Visa-27 needs to redefine his goals in more concrete, measurable terms so that he can measure the progress that he’s making. These include more painful goals like financial goals and writing career goals, with clear markers, and this means giving up on a lot of bullshit that I’ve allowed into my life. It means spending much less time on Reddit and Facebook. It means I need to measure my daily effectiveness much more closely. It means I need to take many more breaks in a day in order to reevaluate how I’m doing. It means I need to give myself more pep talks, realign myself, visualize my peak state more viscerally and embody it like a fucking boss. I need to do all of that. I am capable of doing all of that. I believe it. It’s time for me to grow up completely, to tear away all of the shackles and all of the bullshit that’s been holding me back. I’m in control here. I’m not going to let anything or anybody get me down or control me, and especially not the bullshit saboteur-bum in my head that’s been annoying me all my life. We’re done with that boyhood bullshit, it’s time to be a man.
I don’t have a lot of time. I’m already running a deficit. That doesn’t mean I’m going to panic and be a moron about it. I need to be responsible. I need to take care of myself. It’s a marathon, not a sprint, so I need to take strategic breaks to regroup and re-center. I need to reach out to older, stronger men for advice and counsel. I need to make it clear to myself and have it reflected outwards that I’m playing a new game now. I’m being a new person.
I’m not going to compare myself with other people. It doesn’t matter that I’m a little younger, it doesn’t matter that I married young, it doesn’t matter that I could theoretically fuck around for another year or three. I’m done with all of that. I don’t want to have stupid conversations anymore. I don’t want to waffle around like a little boy anymore. I am the one who fires the Patronus – I am the hero I have been waiting for. This moment is the moment that my past self was hoping to eventually have – of enlightenment, of awakening. This is it, baby boy, that’s all there is. Reality, waiting for you, hiding in plain sight.
I’m going to spend more time with my wife – we’re going to take a walk together every day and have more conversations about our future and what we’re going to do. We’re going to be clearer about our plans. We’re going to figure our shit out in much more detail than we ever have so far. It doesn’t matter if we got into this without being super clear – we knew when we started that we would figure it out along the way. Well, we’re along the way. This is it, right here, right now. This is when we choose to be reborn, to start over, to break free.
Part of this is sheer force of will and determination, a hardening through facing up to circumstances. But the bulk of it will require more than just that. It will require discipline and focus and recalibration, or optimization. I cannot lose my fire like I have in the past before. All of the past attempts were leading up to this one – and maybe this one is also leading up to the next one – but this time we don’t get to be less woke. This time we don’t get to go back to sleep. It’s showtime. It’s go time. We have to shake up all our neurons, our entire brain, and realize that this is what we stand for. This is where we make our stand. We’re going in. We don’t have anymore time to waste.