Up until about yesterday, I have spent months racking my mind, trying to figure out how to
do a good job at work
have a regular and orderly schedule
figure out life
figure out dating
figure out women
at the same time, and not go crazy.
I failed. I went crazy. I am crazy.
Or at least I was until about yesterday.
Yesterday, I realized that even if you have a million interests, trying to get them all done at the same time will just make you cuckoo cocoa puffs.
For about half of 2019, the latter half, I was put under so much pressure at work that it seeped into every single thing I was doing.
I drank sometimes. Often, even. Not to excess–thankfully, I don’t have the alcoholism gene–but I was definitely drinking to relieve stress that I otherwise didn’t know how to deal with.
I jerked off a lot, too. (My dick is still mad at me, and I don’t blame him.)
I ate sweet, sweet carbs a lot, too. (And thus died my till-then successful Keto diet.)
2019 was a weird year for me, because the second half felt like a disaster, the first half felt like a Rocky movie.
I studied so hard, every day, that I passed my Japanese test in half the time I thought it would take. Thanks to that, and the certification that comes with it, I am actually in a position now where getting a new job is actually a possibility.
My training montage would not be very exciting. I studied every day, including during slow periods at work. Every day, sitting at my desk. Every day at 3:00pm. Every day with Textbooks X, or Y, or Z. Every day the same method. Every day testing how much I remembered of the old stuff, or studying new stuff.
I almost did nothing but study. That’s how it felt. My effort and focus were concentrated mostly on this one thing. And as a result, a magical thing happened, and I passed on my first try a test that is famous for everyone failing their first time.
Single-pointed focus of mind.
That’s what it looks like.
That’s what it does.
Even writing right now, having (so far) written free-form without stopping for fifteen minutes, I am aware of a certain clarity.
Life provides a lot of dust to cover your windshields. You might be to busy to deal with it if you’re driving while on the phone, while trying to shave, while trying to drink a soda, while trying to peek at your GPS, while trying to..
If I could do that last half of 2019 over again, I would simply
because that’s easier than getting everything done at the same time.
Even trying to do that is how I ended up putting weight back on, losing track of my spending far too many times, falling behind in my studies, and lacking a will to live more often than not.
It seemed like if I didn’t get everything, /everything/ done, right now, then my whole life would fall apart.
That was partially true, because I barely got anything done, and my life did fall apart.
Today, I had one goal: get my worksheets ready for class tomorrow.
That was one of the biggest anxieties I had during Winter Vacation, and one I dragged my feet on for two weeks. (I had a two-week vacation from work, and as I sit here typing at 9:15pm the night before I have to go back to work, it feels like I somehow dreamed it all away.)
Out of the mountain of things that I have to do and want to do, that was the most important–so that’s the one I did.
I have been planning the lesson for weeks, and I had already designed a mock-up of the worksheets and lesson criteria. But I still needed to go and find my old copy of Word, hope that it would install properly on this new computer, and hope that I wouldn’t realize that my idea for the lesson was so stupid that I’d have to start all over.
(Why did I get anxious over this? I don’t know. Maybe it was because I knew that other people would be poking and prodding at it. Maybe I worried that the lesson would confuse students and be a failure. Maybe I thought that if I didn’t get it done, the whole world would explode.
(Sometimes anxiety takes on its own logic. It becomes a fire that feeds on fire. It builds itself up, growing larger, then darker, then brighter, then darker. Even approaching the thing seems like suicide, so you just leave it alone.
(And just hope that it will go away.)
I woke up from a nap, I dug around in some boxes, I found the Word installation CD, I installed it, I reformatted my mock-up docs, I attached a lesson plan for the other teachers who will be giving the lesson tomorrow, I saved the files to the cloud, I e-mailed them, and then I made some quinoa with ground beef and vegetables and watched Jonathan Banks pistol whip some fools.
Sometimes a thing can become a huge source of anxiety just because you know you should’ve done it already and you haven’t. That fact alone gets bigger and bigger until you don’t even know where to start.
So just start.
One step forward.
Fuck up. Make mistakes.
And then do a CSI autopsy on that failure. Zoom in, enlarge, test it for DNA.
Start over. Start better.