#reverb10 – December 20
December 20, 2010 8 Comments
December 20 – Beyond Avoidance What should you have done this year but didn’t because you were too scared, worried, unsure, busy or otherwise deterred from doing? (Bonus: Will you do it?) (Author: Jake Nickell)
Being a person who is, by nature, risk averse, the shorter question might be what did I actually *not* avoid doing this past year? It seems there were innumerable opportunities to take on things that I avoided instead. But there are three biguns that I regret the most: not getting a new job, not writing with a purpose, and not living more mindfully.
If you’ve known me for more than 6 or 7 years you’ve heard me bitch about my job at least once. Probably several times. Things have been especially trying in the past three years and almost unbearable in the past six months (though ironically it’s in this time that I’ve gotten along best with my co-workers–perceived assholery on the part of management has a way of fostering unity). It’s been pretty clear to me for a long time that this job was just not cutting it, and yet, I’m cruising into my 13th year with the company. It horrifies me that I haven’t made a change and yet the situation persists. I apply for jobs and sometimes I apply for a whole boat load of them and then I get discouraged at the lack of response and stop looking. I revert to simply lamenting.
Then there’s the writing. I’ve made little forays but I never seem to hunker down and just keep writing. I allowed one comment from one person about a piece I wrote earlier this year to knock the wind out of my sails so effectively that I’ve barely written anything of substance since.
And then there’s living more mindfully. I’ve been on Weight Watchers enough times to know now that I need to deal with the root of my compulsive overeating if I want to put a stop to it permanently. And when I’m dealing with my emotional state, I don’t overeat. There’s no reason to. But when I get lazy, and instead of sitting through the hard work of facing whatever is eating me, choose to eat my way through it, it never gets fixed. There are plenty of other reasons to get my emotional house in order, but that’s the most obvious one.
I think what bites about these three things is that it’s not like I’ve made no effort towards them. I’ve just not made enough of an effort. I can’t pretend that it’s a lack of time–I have enough of it. I know I have an issue with switching gears too quickly when something isn’t yielding the results I want–so there’s impatience. But then there’s just, I guess, the total fear that nothing will come of my efforts, rendering them pretty pointless. There is the risk that these things won’t work out and it’s the lack of a guarantee that holds me back. But at this point, I just don’t think I have the luxury of holding out for guarantees anymore. Ultimately I have to risk real, spectacular failure, in return for just the possibility of success.