Doing The Thing I’m Doing Because It’s the Thing I Want to Do (period). Day 66, The “Me Project”
What if I learned for pleasure, instead of fear? What if efforts toward my growth were just because I owe myself a chance to stretch, instead of growing toward a goal? I don’t know if I know how to do that.
Here’s my thing. I can’t do art because why bother. I can’t change, because it might not work out. I can’t finish a book because there has to be such clear gain from it. I try to nibble off the corners of everything I do until just the core that might make it on the test remains. I do this with jobs and relationships and any manner of learning new skills.
I don’t remember ever not feeling terrified of not getting good grades or achieving the next thing. My standards for myself couldn’t go high enough, I knew I’d never prove to be worthy, but I thought if it hurt enough, if I hit 100 enough times in a row, I might come close.
The only time I tasted something really explosively, exquisitely fascinating that I hungered to know more about just for the sake of knowing it, it was the human body/medicine. So I started taking classes, started reading. But then I got into a program with a career at the end of it, and my eagerness became a panic disorder to stay academically viable. No time to appreciate, only fear of failure. No cupping the knowledge in my hand like the delicate secret of the universe that it is, because there was only deadlines and competition.
So I got over that passion. I have my moments, but mostly I lost the wonder and replaced it with another version of terror in insecurity. Some day I want to re-evaluate humans and God and where it all meets over medicine. I’ll put it on my list.
Writing is my grown-up version of that passion I once had for medicine. Something I was curious about and maybe had some aptitude for, now at risk of becoming another way to drag myself.
The nagging questions about what it is, what it will become, why bother, who do I think I am, aren’t I really just bullshit? By what ruler am I measuring, how do I know when I’m falling short…that nagging voice has tried to kill my desire to write.
But it’s all I want to do. If I were locked up without writing tools, I would write in the dust or on my body. (It would be good for me to edit it for brevity if I were writing in blood.)
I don’t want to let the need for achievement and perfection take this one from me. It’s too, too good.
It’s 1am and I just finished watching an extremely creative, stimulating show (Russian Doll, Netflix, so fucking good I can’t deal) and it’s got me all abuzz. I just want to TRY to put thoughts into words into stories that might light me up, might light other people up. I just have to try. For the sake of trying, for the sake of learning, for pleasure.