If You’re Going to Do Something, You Might as Well Do It Properly

Always good to start the year with a vulnerable sounding post. The internal voice really needs an outlet. And of course, this is an attempt to disassociate myself from my thoughts with a heading but this is very much me. 

I have to admit; I don’t care for many things. Aeroplanes, Tissue paper brands, the dust on my fan and the German language. I don’t care for these things. I don’t care for throwing a dirty plastic cup into the recycle bin. I don’t care to reply all my emails, don’t care enough to close my windows before going home on the weekends. Didn’t care to order my books until the first day of school (today).

I realise I’m not the most caring person. I conceded that a long time ago. I cannot multi-task, things slip my mind and I cannot hold it together as well as I’d hoped. I’m very easily distracted, I lack drive in a lot of things. I read two out of three chapters of my readings and am typing this as if it were graded. Story of my life? Perhaps.

Maybe that’s why it scares me so much when I suddenly care for something. You know that feeling? When you’re usually not like this but this thing makes you so. And you’re feeling like it shouldn’t.

And most of the time care gets redirected. I always find better things to do with this leftover propensity for care. A lot of it goes into my writing. So much so that writing has become one of the only things I’ve actually cared about lately. It’s scary when you invest so much into one thing for some period of time and you realise one day that this could be the rest of your life. As of now I can see myself years down the road still sitting in front of the computer (maybe they’d still be called computers) and typing out something, anything. But in that vision of future me sitting in front of future typewriter, I am a happy man. A fulfilled man who knows exactly what he wants from this life. That’s always very comforting to know. It’s the sort of vision that keeps me typing. I see a clear future.

I used to think the same about running. I was 100% committed, running 5 times a week, ten kilometres at a time. I ate really healthy, picking only the stir-fried vegetables, steamed fish and rice when we went out for dinner at Chinese restaurants. I could see that my future self as well, me running well into my forties, having the time of my life. This whole injury really put things into perspective. You commit to something and then suddenly when you can’t do it you feel so cheated. It really stings when you need something to cheer you up and then honestly it just isn’t there.

And if something as personal as running can go so wrong, what more can be said about people? Do you people stay the same, will you stay the same? will people come into your life and pledge never to leave and actually not leave? Improbable, at best. Because the fact is that with most precious things in life there may never be the vision of a clear future.

I’ve tried, as far as possible then, to not care so much about people if I could help it. I just wasn’t certain. Ever. It’s probably a defence mechanism, for I believe if I did bring myself to care too deeply it would get really ugly. I’d be thrown in hard and I don’t think I could ever get out alive. I’m not sure if I’m making sense. It doesn’t matter if I am. Only I need to understand this. Someone once told me that I had the emotional capacity of a teaspoon. And I believe that I do. There’s no hiding it.

I tell myself constantly that once I go about doing something, you can bet that I’m going to do it properly, that I’m going to invest everything I’ve got to making sure it works. I’ve thought of this for a while and I realise that “chill” isn’t something I am once I start caring. I pursue what I want fiercely and consistently. I put all my effort behind it, and put all distractions aside, get into some sort of routine and I stick by it. I’ve seen this only a few times in my life; once for running and the other for my travel writing. I would get up at five before school, leave early for gatherings and sacrifice a bunch of things to facilitate what I’d really wanted. It sounds very noble of me, doesn’t it?

This brings us back to my emotional capacity being that of a teaspoon. Essentially what this means is me always taking one step back  at the first sight of trouble, telling myself time and again that it’s never worth it. And when you tell yourself repeatedly that something or someone isn’t worth it then before long it becomes a fact. You reduce your capacity for mistakes, uncertainty, loss and fear to that of well, a teaspoon. You can tell yourself all day that oh if the conditions were such and such that I’d give it everything, that I’ll do it all. But the fact is you didn’t. The fact is, in your inaction, they were no longer worth it. You start to look down on the situation, lose faith in the other before the worst thing happens: you lose faith in yourself. Maybe that’s why I like writing so much. I can put into words the things I was always too afraid to do.

This struggle has been a central one for the last few years. The entire fear of getting my feet wet, where to “see how” has never been an option, where excuses abound and the option of flight an all too popular one.

Good things can come out of this, sure. I’m still writing, writing everyday in fact. I’m even embarking on a new project, attempting to get my writing out there, published onto different journals come 2016. I know that the very desire to do this has been half the battle won. I know that if I really want something I will get my hands dirty. I will do it. It may be words, but when you generate enough words the very act of writing becomes an independent action in itself.

But I digress. Overall I have to reallocate some things in my life. I have to reallocate and care more for things that I haven’t been, care more and ease up on my fears, and just go out there. Go out there. I realise I’m just repeating myself at this point because I don’t actually know how to go about this. I mean, I can give my all towards things that are certain but the fact is that most things in life will never be certain. I have to admit to my cowardice, and just feel more for the unknown instead of act all recluse and stick to the things I know.

All this pent up feeling does make good literature, but it would make for a poor life. It would make for poor emotional capacities, too.

So face your fears and just go do shit. You have this.

 

 

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