I don’t actually know what I’m going to write about, I just know that I don’t want to break the chain I seem to have started yesterday. So let’s have it. I find my mind thinking about what I’d have done differently, and what I ought to be doing now. In a way, they’re both the answers to the same questions.
I don’t really like answers like “I regret nothing!!!” or “I’d never change a thing, all my experiences make me what I am today.” Your experiences would’ve made you who you are no matter so what, so you’d still be you whether you did X or you did Y. You’d be different versions of you, but both of those versions of you will be quite happy to be the way they are (unless you did something horribly, horribly wrong). Even Leonardo da Vinci said that he wasted his days (or was it years?).
Not quite getting a sense of flow here, I think it has to do with me getting momentarily distracted by the internet. It’s amazing how a little random internet surfing can drastically affect my writing flow. It’s treacherous!
I’m repeating myself a lot in these few posts, but I think that’s a reasonable price to pay. Repetition is reinforcement, and it forces me to refine my phrasing. I get better at talking about it each time I talk about it, I get more precise and clear. And I’m writing this for me, so fuck it, man! I still can’t shake off the “I’m writing for public consumption” mentality, but I’m trying. I really want to get to a state where I’m really writing for me, with minimal self-censorship. I know there’ll always be some of it, but I think it’s really important that I try.
Here are the biggest things I’m learning, the most important differences between me-now and me-before: I think I’m developing an understanding of the importance and power of routine. Of responsibility. Words I used to balk at, because they seemed stodgy, mundane, tiresome. What I didn’t realize then was that we’re inevitably creatures of habit, and in the absence of good routines we fall into bad ones- and those are just shitty to live with, to live through.
More importantly I think I’m realizing just how limited and small I am. I’m increasingly learning about my own limitations, how I have limited willpower, limited brainpower, limited strength, limited everything. I’m very fallible, very flawed, very weak in many different senses.
A lot of the things I said I wanted, I only kinda wanted. In a way, in my youth I was mostly infatuated with ideas rather than genuinely in love with them. I liked the idea of being strong, being smart, but I didn’t really want to put in the work. Or I couldn’t see how the work would make a difference. I was kind of hoping that everything would magically just turn out great, or that I’d be able to skip today’s work because I’ll make up for it tomorrow- I vastly over-estimated my own abilities. If I could start over, I’d set up lots of little routines. I’d work out a little bit every day. I’d write every day. I’d practice guitar a little bit every day- more deliberately than I typically do, so that I learn something new every so often instead of linger at the same skill level forever until I learn something by accident or coincidence.
In short I’d be a lot more deliberate in the way I do things. I used to expect things to turn out well, perhaps because I got away with a lot of things without having to work very hard at it. D asked me a while ago, what is it that you’re going to struggle for? Because that’s where the growth happens, isn’t it- outside the comfort zone. So that’s my main gripe with my history- I’ve been way too comfortable way too much. And the funny/sad thing is, on hindsight, the moments I remember best are always the ones where I stepped outside my comfort zone. (That, and whenever things screwed up big time, or when I occasionally got lucky with something.)
I used to be into HTML and building websites. I wish I had learnt more about computers. That was a passion that I allowed to taper off. I wish I realized the importance of persistence when starting some sort of fitness routine- I’ve yoyo’d between almost-somewhat-fit and horribly-skinny over and over again, and I always make an unnecessarily big deal about it.
Oh yeah, I’d shut the fuck up a lot more and listen. This is still something I have a lot of difficulty with but I swear I’m trying. I’ve had some really nice conversations with the wife latey, and I realize the fragility of her words- she’ll start talking, and if I interrupt her, whatever she was going to say is gone. It would be unlikely that I’d ever get a chance to hear that opinion/input/perspective again. While my interjections and opinions remain constant- I can always test them again another day. The input and perspective of another human being is absolutely invaluable, and I hate that it’s taken me so long to understand this, and I hate that I’m finding it so difficult to learn to adapt and change to be the person I say I want to be.
I think I’m ready now. I think a lot of my life- at least the sombre conversations and insightful quiet moments- has been about thinking about how important it will someday be to work hard at something, to be disciplined, to push myself hard, to learn, to give up my ways of mucking around. And I am sick of mucking around. Beyond that, I’m sick of saying that I’m sick of mucking around. It would be far more sensible instead to keep a track record of what I’ve been up to. A “done” list is more fun than a “to-do” list. I’m planning to read the fuck out of my entire library. And I’m planning to write every day, even if it’s shit. I don’t care. And I’m going to be doing some goddamn amazing work in ecommerce, one way or another. And I’m going to find out who I am past the vague boundaries I’ve never dared to test.
Life is too short to play safe, and it’s not even safe when you play safe, so fuck it, let’s move fast and break things. this wasn’t great but it’s out there, let’s keep moving