It tickles me when I come across a channel or blog with their last post update something like “I’m finally back!” or saying “will resume uploading stuff regularly”, and then they never post ever again.
I find it amusing because I totally fucking get that.
I get their hope and intent at setting their goal to return to something with newfound enthusiasm and dedication, but it just doesn’t work out that way.
That makes sense, right?
Does it though??
Well, take me for example – I am a writer and I want to write on this blog regularly, to find an audience who enjoys my words and my style.
But then another 3 months go by and I haven’t even signed onto wordpress since my last post (you know, the one about me setting an ambitious goal as a writer…).
Or my sorry-looking channel on youtube, where I have yet to upload anything after more than a year since my last vlog.
Maybe you, Reader, are already thinking something like,
“But archie! Those are just chores on a to-do list, and we all have things to do that we don’t often ever end up doing, so you not doing something does make sense.”
Okay yes, in a way, us not getting around to do something we – at one point in time – had a mind to do is pretty typical of the human species.
Sometimes we outgrow old desires (and so don’t find enough fulfilment in pursuing it any longer), or life plans force us to do otherwise (we move, we meet someone, we break up, we get a job, we get fired, we get sick, etc.), or our goals simply change based on new information and new experiences (no longer being a need to get a degree in order to have the career I want, for example)…
But for me, my situation still isn’t making any sense.
I am a writer.
I voluntarily choose to write regularly.
I have sought out a career, a lifestyle, a hobby, a pastime, where I think and think and stare out windows and stare at blank pages, trying to arrange symbols in different orders so as to best reflect my inner consciousness.
So why am I neglecting to update my blog, my vlog, when I know it is important to my overall career and progress as an artist?
Is that not a strange paradox, or signal that something is amiss, if I am reluctant to write words on my blog, or if I shy away from talking to a camera about writing?
Like, shouldn’t I have this obnoxious upbeat attitude towards me writing and me convincing you that I am worth reading?
Or even more basic, why do I hide from the things I enjoy?
I’d certainly be interested to hear your answers to my questions, or your own answers to your own questions, or just even the questions if that is all you have so far, but allow me to explain my own resolution to this confusion:
I am a bundle of contradictions.
The stress of daily life, though I feel as though I have relatively few problems, is mostly made up of my inner beliefs and assumptions coming into conflict with one another.
- Example 1 – I think something harsh and judgmental about someone I interact with every day, and then feel guilty about it because it contradicts my expectation of viewing myself as a relatively kind person.
- Example 2 – I fall into a thought pattern that is gloomy and unhopeful about the future, and I make myself feel worse still because I actively try to stay both awake to the harshness of reality but still remaining undefeated by its uncaring brutality.
- Example 3 – I want to write and vlog about things that are on my mind, saying what feels important to me in different ways because I enjoy sharing and listening, but somehow I find myself simultaneously feeling both an egotistical pride to expect anyone to care about my impressions and yet also self-critical despair to believe I could ever write or speak of something worth reading or remembering.
I worry too that the words I put out there will someday turn against me, will embarrass and betray me, make me look foolish and ignorant for believing and caring about what I did in that moment and time…
Now, I can and have taken to self-pity and self-loathing at these predicaments, at me struggling to understand why I can want something and then do the opposite, again and again as though I wasn’t fully aware of this downward cycle in decision-making.
However, getting to the title of this post, I am flirting with a new tact on how to react and engage with the seemingly endless opportunities to feel like a hypocrite or to be left feeling lost in the woods as you try to navigate life on Earth.
And this looks basically like: “Fuck it, I am trusting this to work itself out.”
In other words, it looks like me leaning into my momentum instead of fighting against it. Like any competent driver on wintry roads should know, turning your wheel against a spin-out on ice only makes the situation worse.
Or it looks like not wasting tears and time wishing for the flower to bloom out of its season, because that child of Nature is going to come when good and ready, right on schedule as always.
Better still, this looks like embracing the chaotic changes of reality on every level – not just outside our person but inside as well. So if you get that the only constant in Life is Change, and that means everything is temporary – from the stars in the sky to the shape of the mountains to the empires ruling the world – then it follows too that you and me, our energy levels, our ambitions, our imaginations and our patience will all fluctuate and transform just the same…
From this angle, I can try to accept (if not fully understand) that my worries about writing the wrong word, saying the wrong thing in a vlog, about feeding my ego by assuming I am worth listening to, can all somehow actually be overcome by just carrying on with that same task at hand.
As in, I begin to worry less about my ego and pride the more I write and write.
Or that the way I find out what I think and care about writing requires that I first start writing even when I still don’t know what to write.
And this way I begin to see how much my old “certainties” in life, the convictions and beliefs I took for granted, only served to hold me back from seeing things differently.
Perhaps the cards I hold right now deem it that I don’t need to be producing something because I need to be listening to this or that because I need to wait for that timing to line up for me to really soar high, or because the World is a messy place and to expect us to be anything but equally messy children of it is a … well, messy belief.
Perhaps the truth can look and feel like many things, and sometimes what we know in our minds takes longer to be known in our hearts, or vice versa?
And why not just try that outlook on for size, to see what it feels like to not chase after certainties and permanence in whatever form?
It might allow you more opportunity to do only what you can:
“To smile, to breathe, to go slowly…”
Did any of that make sense?
Well, it doesn’t need to, right?
See you between the lines…