The most annoying part of life is time. Not that in itself it’s a nuisance but the fact that you can’t suspend it for a while makes it feels like you’re always rushing; or being rushed , even for the smallest insignificant things. Like menu choices or what socks to wear. Life is a constant stream of events marked by time, one following the other in glorious reluctance, giving the illusion of some form of progress at the very least. Is it possible to put your life on hold? Seems so; of course that depends on how you define [your] life.
I’m probably not the first man alive to put off plans for the sake of other people. That’s the most general explanation of ‘putting your life on hold’, and is more perceivable. This is known. One of two other form of pausing your life is a subtle form of self sabotage; constantly (or occasionally) getting in your own way, even with good reason. It took a week of me powering through numerous obstacles to see through a plan I was determined to not renege on; to realize how easy it is to get in my own way just because I feel either the time isn’t right, or the people involved aren’t. At times there are a plethora of reasons I could decide not to do something, even if I feel it right in my gut. Sounds like a ‘comfort zone’ thing but I’ve been out of my comfort zone for a while now. Or comfort zone has become such a cliche it doesn’t mean anything anymore.
At times I wish I wasn’t so ridiculously meticulous, especially at making plans, because with that much detail and ‘dedication’ it becomes very easy to write off plans when things go awry. And I have killed a good number of plans just because things began changing more than I wanted to. Surprisingly, if the plan is for someone else then I don’t mind moving mountains. But when it comes to my own it’s a whole different story. At one point I was asking myself is it just my plans that fumble or, if at all, just bundle themselves over the finish line? Is it some form of ill fate to come up with really good plans and fail miserably at the execution? The saying ‘best laid plans’ had actually become like a mantra, because of how many plans were falling on their heads.
Nothing teaches you the unpredictability of life like the life of a freelancer. You draw up a plan, the client doesn’t want it, you do another, the client agrees, payment is delayed, meaning your payments get delayed; things can go wrong very quickly without some contingencies in place. And this lesson isn’t really a great one particularly for someone who has a knack for predicting things and thrives in stability. Or maybe I’m just not as good as predicting or reading situations as I think.
I remember that week everything around me was just screaming ‘RENEGE! RENEGE!’. But I think something just snapped. Screw the ‘I love it when a plan comes together’ Hannibal tagline. I think I was just done with this perfectionist planning syndrome or whatever. Sitting down, I had a stark realization; the time will never always be right, the situations will never always be ideal and there will always be the risk of failure. Basically, it boils down to this:
How badly do you want this?
What are you so afraid of?
Looking at the monster that has its finger on the pause button, I only see three faces. Fear, perfectionism and nonchalance. But once fear is dealt with the rest seem to disappear.
Even with a brick wall there are a number of ways to get round it. The first is to go through it; it hurts, it’s messy, but it gets done. The second is to climb it. Difficult, sweaty, less painful than going through but definitely longer. The third, which I just unlocked recently, is simply to find another route. There’s always another way.
Thinking about it now, it seems like the people who excel at this game of life aren’t the ones with the perfect plans or situations, but it’s the ones who turn really crappy situations to really great ones.
*This post has been delayed severally because the content keeps morphing in my head; but now the wine’s breathed enough and you can all drink*
So, of all my 23 years on this earth I’d say that 2014 must have been the weirdest of all. Okay maybe ‘weird’ isn’t the proper word but I still think it’s the closest when you want to describe a year full of eye squints and ‘okaaaaay’ moments… No, no, by all means 2014 was a great year; I finally graduated and finished the school part of my life (for now?) and started doing my own stuff (which isn’t ready for the public just yet), but lets just say what I had predicted the year to be was totally different from ho it turned out. Like when you’re sure you’re getting a glass of orange juice but it turns out to be pineapple juice instead; both are delicious but just different, with one having a tad more calories.
Then I began to take stock; to analyze what I’ve been doing with my life. And I noticed for the passed seven years or so I’ve spent a huge amount of time and a lot of energy helping people achieve their dreams. I’m pretty good at it; I’m a qualified and probably the best dream achieving sidekick you’ll ever find, but what I noticed is I’ve been spending so much time and energy helping others out, that my own dreams have stalled. I’m an INFP so yo can imagine exactly how many dreams I have. But also because I’m INFP it means my energy is limited so I can only do so much during a day. Am I blaming my ‘dreams on hold’ situation’ on helping others? Certainly not! I love helping people! Even if [most of the time] it’s not reciprocated; I’m okay with that. But that’s the question I had been asking myself towards the end of 2014 – who’s gonna help me with my dreams? Should I stop my assistance outwards and help myself for a while?
I was at a point where I was giving up on people and their [stupid] promises. I got tired of people not understanding and decided you know what, to hell with everyone. It’s my life I’ll do what I want and what I think is best of me. Forget people and their ‘it’s not gonna work’ or their opinions on what ‘suits my lifestyle’. Yeah, I’m not going to sit down and hear someone lecture me on being me. [Seriously]. So I had decided that this year, well, people just had to sort themselves out. Because I have my own stuff to deal with. I didn’t really care if I came off mean or selfish; I know I’m not so their opinion is the least of my concern (always has been). Originally this post would have ended on this tone, but then something even more weird happened at the beginning of the year; a single action that reminded me of a lot of stuff and why this approach just won’t work!
I’m not going to tell you exactly what happened (it’s pretty trivial; this one’s for me), but I can share the forgotten lessons I had relearned. One, you can NEVER stop believing in people. Because if you do the world’s gonna eat you alive. Two, if you’re good at helping people, then keep at it. The world has an acute shortage of that type of person. And three, those principles you’ve lived by; the ones you use to make decisions when stranded and the ones that have made you reach where you are today, you can NEVER let go of them. Because when you do it’s over; all your past decisions will come back to you and you’ll begin to doubt every single step you’ve made up till now. That’s a spiral you’re better off avoiding.
So no, I’m not cutting off people. In fact I’m going to help out even more. I just have to find the balance and see what happens. Because sadness is contagious. I feel its going to be a great year.