Monday, September 22, 2014

Waiting, or, A Series of Possibly Painful but Necessary Resolutions and Vows


So what do I do? I feel, as I'm certain many do, that I have "Ideas and Stories" and "Concepts" in my head, trying to get out. How do I let them out? Just showing up and "Doing the Work"? Certainly not by sitting here going, "how, how, how??" Would that I can create something of value that outlasts myself. I must do this.

So what am I afraid of?
  • That I won't finish, perhaps. The fear of what comes when I am done is sometimes worse than the fear of starting. 
  • That it won't be good. (Though, first drafts never are...) 
  • That I won't be able to publish. (Even if this ends up being true, there are ways around this...)
  • That they'll all laugh at me. (Oh well.)
But then, out of the blue, a coworker says to me, "Do you ever think about writing?" Ha ha ha, all the time, my friend, all the time. Yet I am so afraid. How do I overcome this fear? "This perfect love casts out all fear." Easy enough to say, and even to believe, but much harder to enact. Why is that? I do suspect that many of my struggles are due to little more than my own mental dysfunctions. This angers me.

But then I sit, try to motivate myself, buck up and get started, drum up motivation and momentum... And instead just fall into a fearful, frustrated, stymied depression. Almost every time. It hurts. I hate it.

But I always come back. That's got to count for something. Got to mean something.



Waiting, like that time my car blew its alternator on the trip back to Pittsburgh during college. Middle of the night, side of the freeway, managed enough out of a dying cell phone to get a tow to a shop. Waiting for them to open. Slept in the car of course, reclining in the front seat. This was before my back injury, so it wasn't so tortuous as it later would have been. Sunlight creeping in as the pale morning woke me. Turned over as much as I could and went back to sleep. Might as well get as much as I needed. Already off schedule for the day, maybe even the week, certainly for the Big Picture.

Wandered across the street to a bar that was open at lunch time. A few characters- the sorts of men who lunch early at bars. I managed to get a sandwich out of the barkeep. After that, scraping together coins for the coin-op coffee machine back in the garage.

Waiting, watching four guys trying to get an alternator out of a hatchback's tightly packed motor bay. Used parents' credit card for the bill. Back on the road at last, finished the drive.

Still waiting.

I'm tired of waiting. But how does one move from "waiting" to "doing"? Ah, that's the great key. If if were so easy to figure, wouldn't we all be "doing"? One would hope.

A Series of Possibly Painful but Necessary Resolutions and Vows

  • I will not buy another blank notebook until all the ones I currently own are filled.
  • I will not buy any more keyboards or keyboard accessories. At all. 
  • I will not buy any more books- literature, non-fiction, reference, etc., etc., until all that I have now have been read at least once. No exceptions. (This is a far more monumental task than it may seem, since I have a decent collection of books, and many of them I have never completed, though most have been started.)
  • I will not buy any more clothing- shoes, shirts, pants, jackets, messenger bags, etc, until all I have now is worn out.
  • I will not buy any more computer anything unless it becomes absolutely necessary due to a failure. 
  • I will not buy any bicycle stuff, apart from consumables (tires, tubes, pads, cables, chemicals) unless it becomes necessary due to a catastrophic failure. 
  • I will not buy any more pens, ink, or other related sundries until all that I have now are exhausted. The 'exhaustion' refers mainly to ink, but more to pens for the intent. Pencils too.
I have been such a typical American Consumer for quite a while. It disgusts me. Poorly considering my decisions, little regard for consequence. No consideration for how to engage in what really matters.

I think this can boil down into a few things:
  • Make no (or at least at first, fewer) decisions that will negatively impact my family. 
  • Work toward leading a more thoughtfully considered life. 
  • Stop shying away from personal goals and ambitions:
    • Reading
    • Writing
    • Art
    • Family
    • Spirituality & Philosophy
    • Friendship
Simplify, simplify, simplify. We always hear about simplification. But to actually do. That takes something. True resolution. I feel I have been so incredibly lazy in so many important areas, yet I feel so exhausted so much of the time. Where from comes this imbalance? I hope that these resolutions and vows will be a starting point to work toward a more centered, careful, considered life. And thereby, start working toward realizing some long-dormant goals.