"Study strategy over the years and achieve the spirit of the warrior. Today is the victory over yourself of yesterday; tomorrow is your victory over lesser men." -- Miyamoto Mushashi via @i570k
If I could do anything as my main gig for the rest of however long I'm around, I'd blog. Which is funny, in a you're probably not going to laugh at this kind of way. I've had a lot of time on my hands lately, being virtually unemployed and all, yet still I've managed to neglect the old SoC. Random Flashback: There's nothing like the rush of starting an assignment 1 hour before, and handing it in 2 minutes after it's due (Uni oh, how I miss you). That's what I used to think before I couldn't pay rent. Now I watch deadlines fly by like they're F-16 fighter jets given a mandate to terminate with extreme prejudice. It's thrilling. I could be applying for jobs that I don't want right now (done plenty of that already), or I could keep living the dream. Yes, it's true, I exist in a dream world where writing for the pure joy of it makes sense. I need to do more of this.
Dedicating my time to things that I care about is not a novel idea, but more often than not a rare occurrence (unless you count browsing the net in which case the time invested has probably long passed the point of diminishing returns). It's like I've been poisoned by one of Angelina Jolie's magic spiders from Salt -greatest movie reference of all time - and only now are the paralytic effects beginning to wear off. I can wiggle my toes, almost feel my arms. Am I awake yet?
The metaphor is a strange one, granted, but no less so than the abstract notion at the heart of my perpetual lack of motion. Look back over the sum and total of my writings. Perhaps (sadly?) you'll find the voracious but ultimately empty barking of a young dog transitioning into a "mature" dog, devoid of any new tricks, having failed to properly learn the old ones. I am Peter Pan with a receding hairline, king of the lost boys. I tire of this. I want to grow up. I want to be a fucking pirate and fight alligators or something. Yes we're back to metaphors, I'm starved for imagery that would imply that I'm taking any of this seriously. This is as adult as I get without the aide of internet porn. Pirates? Shiieet. Well, what is the heart of the problem then, the Alligator I must slay? Myself? Yes, partly. I am utterly terrified of everything. Success, failure these are foreign concepts, I cringe at the very of thought of thinking about them. You know the old story about 2 fish swimming in water? Old fish bumps into them and asks how the water is. They swim on for a bit until one of them wonders: "What the hell is water?" For me fear is water, it is so much a part of my world that I don't even notice it's there anymore.
Did I mention that I used to be paralyzed? Damn you Angelina and your goddamn dirty spiders. I grew up believing one day I would be a god. If you believe that type of nonsense you'll probably believe anything (Mormonism, you can be my fall guy any day). Becoming a god is a lot easier than it sounds, tick a few boxes, adhere to the social expectations set out by the group and one day, before you know it, you'll be making big bangs like primordial atoms. Yes, that was a double entendre. Making universes and populating earths is what Mormon graduate gods have to look forward to. I'll concede on this point: fucking for eternity is my idea of heaven too. But what was the real point again? Hmm, Due to my docile nature, a collection of placid eccentricities and a suffocating culture I by chance happened upon a combination of learned helplessness (don't think, just obey) and a powerful aversion to non-conformity (don't rock the boat). I'm that little elephant that grew into the big elephant that doesn't know that a simple rope can no longer retrain him. Indeed I am a lot of things.
Can't blame the church or anything else though. Jesus isn't going to materialize out of thin air and save you. No one can save you, not Obama, not Jersey Shore, not even viagra. No one. Nothing. The last bastion of hope is yourself. Same as it ever was. I've been waiting to arrive for a very long time now, but for who and for what? I fear (there I go again) that in the process of trying to play the game, I've been getting played. Living lives and dreams that I never wanted. Gradually I just packed it all in and became a hermit locked away in a 6'2 foot frame comprised primarily of pure NZ beef. I sometimes wonder when I gave up trying, just simply trying (maybe Yoda was wrong, there is a try). Success is too big a burden to contemplate, because it takes so much failure to get there. What is success though? Other people probably do not give 2 fucks about what I'm thinking. If only they knew how much I dread their opinions of me, so I shut down, operating strictly in safe mode as it were. Success was being invisible.
So now, I'll start simple: success is breathing. I'm still here mother fuckers. There are other useful suggestions about the topic as well: "Spend less time fantasizing about 'success' and way more time making really cool mistakes." says Merlin Mann. Repeat after me, it's OK to mess up, it's OK to look stupid messing up. In fact from now on it's mandatory. Still breathing? Good. Coach Wooden offers: "Peace of mind, is attained only through the self satisfaction, in knowing that you have made the effort to do the best of which you are capable." The measuring stick is one's self. It's a low hurdle at the moment for me admittedly, so why wait, time to get on track ;)