I had the words for this earlier, but they got twisted around like the sock with the heel on top of my foot that would feel so much better if I’d just take the few seconds to fix it, but today it just feels beyond me.
I convince myself that I want to wallow in this moderately uncomfortable place, it’s so familiar. That one where I know there are things I could do, things that need doing, things that would feel so good to get done, but that would obliterate this familiar narrative that I just don’t follow through on things. That I let myself off the hook, make indecisions stretched out to such a degree that the decision is made for me and I fall into a cozy cocoon of maybe later until there are no laters left.
I set a goal, make a resolution. The beginning of the week, the beginning of the month, in 12 minutes when it is exactly 11am. Oh I missed it? It’s 11:02? Well then, in 58 minutes.
I will stretch every morning for the rest of my life.
I will eat healthy starting tomorrow and for the rest of my life.
Every day I will write words that are smooth, lucid and cohesive, rather than this ramble which feels like I’m gargling marbles and trying to speak Italian from those 6 lessons I did on Duolingo before I got distracted by nothing in particular.
I don’t even really want to go to Italy.
I mean, I do, I want to go everywhere, it’s a long list, much like the ones I have rattling about in my head, carved in stone so that if I deviate in any way from what I consider my plan might have been, it’s rock ’em, sock ’em upside the head with the abject failure to stick to anything in particular.
I get so tired of my own bullshit.
Of the transparent justifications that keep me scared to shed this skin and put on a self that actually fits me.
I have no idea when I got so scared of everything.
This isn’t even about ambition, this is about merely getting the fuck out of my own way. It doesn’t matter what it is, I find ways to impede myself so smoothly that it might be months before I recall I had intended to do something.
I write lists in books, then pages get flipped and we never look back.
When I was young we went to church and I got in trouble for looking back in church.
You don’t look back.
When I cohabitated with someone for a time and we left the house only to discover we’d forgotten something we meant to take along? It got left behind.
You don’t go back.
When something traumatic has happened to me in my life, I compartmentalized the fuck out of it and turned my gaze forward.
It’s in my past.
It doesn’t define me. (except it does)
I will not look back at it, and let it hurt me anymore. (except it does)
I initially wrote the words more or less in front of the word traumatic because that’s how I minimize things.
It sucked, yeah, but I’ve moved on.
It’s really okay to just write, It sucked, yeah.
Instead of “yeah you kinda hurt my feelings.”
“Yeah, that sort of makes me uncomfortable.”
The things I feel are the things I feel and I’m tired of softening it, for fear of making waves.
I once mentioned to a friend that I was afraid of success.
He laughed, somewhat derisively and said, huh, wish I had some of that.
I felt like an idiot because who doesn’t want success, apparently?
Perhaps I’ve trapped myself in a mentality where poverty suggests integrity, and wealth suggests corruption?
However if I don’t try, I can’t fail either.
Okay. So. Resolution.
A firm decision to do something, or not.
I’ve spent so much time deciding not to do the thing, letting my life show up, calling it adventure, and it’s been working pretty well for me, honestly.
However, now I feel I’d like to try it the other way, be a more active, engaged participant.
Until the moment I fall back a bit, and spiral into a place where I consider it failure, without any cogitation that I’ve spent decades fine tuning the art of self sabotage.
This is not going to happen overnight.
I think of making a resolution, being resolute, as one definitive thing. One particular act that, when engaged with, must be followed through on, or one has failed in a promise made.
But resolution itself isn’t encapsulated by one thing when looked at from other perspectives.
In Music, it is the “passing of a discord into a concord during the course of changing harmony.”
Something that unsettled, wasn’t working, discordant, dissonant, as awkward as a sock twisted on a foot, made concordant with time, patience, experience. One doesn’t go from dissonance to harmony jarringly, suddenly. It takes a moment or two to work out the path, and find the way (back) to a place that causes the tension to ease.
And in Medicine. It’s “the disappearance of inflammation, or of any other symptom or condition.”
Sometimes things happen and there is instantaneous swelling, an indication that something is dramatically wrong and needs attending. But often, it is years of habit, of minor injury downplayed, ignored, until one day I can’t lift my arm above my head. It feels sudden, and I demand instant relief, but the injury has dug itself in, and requires time, patience, experience for my body to find it’s way (back) to a place that causes the tension to ease.
In Chemistry; “the process of reducing or separating something into its components.”
We spend years compiling experiences, layers upon layers of habit, memory, hurts, even things we don’t notice gathering at the time. Often when I find myself upset about something, it’s not actually that thing which upsets me, but something that thing reminds me of. And so it goes that when I make a resolution, a decision to create a new ideally beneficial habit to replace less productive ones, without doing the work to understand all the factors involved in creating them, I’m essentially painting over wallpaper that has mold trapped underneath it. Walking around with a general malaise that I can’t shake, bad habits I can never quite get free of, regardless of how much paint I cover everything in.
It’s okay to go back, to strip the paint, peel the paper, scrub the mold.
It might be the only sane way to do it.