We know the good things in life. Doing things that fill us with joy and a feeling of accomplishment, surrounding ourselves with people we love, eating tasty things that fill us with profound delight. It seems simple, right?
But life is weird.
We nag ourselves over things we can't change. We argue with the people we love over trivialities. We know the things we want to do, or "should do", but don't, because of reasons. We want happiness, and we think we know what that means, but most of us claw at it blindly and never quite reach it.
I don't know the answer for this. I do a lot of awesome things. And I've done still more that I don't do anymore. I shot photos for years, but I rarely pick up a camera anymore. I don't know why. I just don't. I studied languages for a long time. Japanese, Italian, Spanish. It was super cool. And I don't anymore. I don't know why. I spent a week in Quebec, and I tried to communicate in French once. I was.... ashamed. Because I didn't speak it well enough. Like I should be perfect at something I've literally never done.
|What is this weird thing??|
It's self-judgment. Just constant, unabating, self-judgment. I just recently finished an Ironman. An Ironman. I crossed the finish line. If I write a list of things I've done, I can put "Ironman" on that list, fair and square. So why don't I feel, just... epic? I'm wearing the shirts - pretty much every day - but I don't feel any different. I don't feel any better. My main thought, really, is, "why didn't I do better?"
And I didn't rest. At all. Well, one day. And then I ran. With my broken legs. I ran the next day after that. And the next. And the next. I'm training now for Wineglass Marathon. I have maybe 5 weeks between the Ironman and Wineglass. And I committed myself to beating the sh*t out of my body during that time. I pushed my body to the very limit that my injured muscles and tendons could handle.
And despite all that, my main thought in the past few days is, "I'm too slow. Why am I so slow? I need to be faster. I'm going to bomb at Wineglass. I suck."
|Why is this so weird?!|
You're reading this, dear delightful reader. Does this seem incredibly stupid to you? Like, this guy did something awesome. Why isn't he basking in a sense of profound satisfaction? I honestly don't know. There's some evolutionary reason for it, no doubt. Something that makes us always push to be better, to never be satisfied with what we have. I get that part.
But it's so d@mn frustrating.
For once I want to do something and feel good about it for more than five minutes. For once I want to spend time with people I love and not immediately think, "f%ck, I'm so alone." For once I want to actually acknowledge what I've accomplished, rather than thinking that I didn't accomplish it well enough.
But you know what the weirdest thing is? I don't want to change all that.
I'm defined by all the crazy stupid sh*t I do. Training every day. Breaking myself. Never being satisfied with what I have. Fighting, fighting, fighting for more. Whatever evolutionary goo is hardwired into my cells that makes me crazy, I'm glad for it. Because as nice as it would be to sit back and say, "whelp, I'm good, I've done enough awesome. it's time to chill out," that sounds just.... awful.
|Why is it so weird out here?|
Because my life isn't about pursuing one thing, and doing that thing, and then being done. My life is ABOUT the pursuit. That drive. There's never one thing. Because if I do something, then that must mean that there's something else that's even harder to do. And suddenly that becomes a thing I have to do. And I'm glad I'm insane. I want that drive.
This applies to love. No, not that there are "better" people to love. Not at all. The people in my life are freakin' amazing. But that I can be better at it. More loving. Less obsessed with myself (except for in the recesses of my mind that I keep to myself). I used to be very selfish. And the time I spent with the beautiful people I encountered were superficial. I squandered a lot of love and joy. And I don't want to do that anymore.
The stuff I do - all of that crazy stuff - isn't just about me. It makes me a better person. But being a good person in a vacuum is meaningless. It makes me a better person.... towards the people I give a sh*t about. To be an inspiration. To be more patient. To be more understanding. More compassionate. More full of love.
|This is cute.... but also weird|
Because the more I hurt myself, the less others are capable of hurting me. The less I take accidental hurts personally. The more hours I spend by myself, on the pavement, the more patient I am when a friend wants to tell me about whatever it is that's important to them. The harder I train, and the more suffering I go through, the more I can appreciate the pains and difficulties that everyone goes through.
I don't want life to be easy. Easy is boring. I don't want to take anything for granted. I don't want to be given something I don't deserve. I don't want people to love me for a facade. Everything I have, I have it because I deserve it. The people I love, I love selflessly. I have nothing to prove, nothing to gain.
I want to make what I am more - infinitely more - and then take all of that and put it out into the world. And make the world better for it. I want to take all of that pain, suffering, anger, self-judgment... put it through a furnace of focused determination.... and take that sword, that diamond, that gleaming product, and have it shine upon, protect, embolden those around me.
So bring it, life. Do your worst. You think you're weird? I'M WEIRD. I like your weird sh*t. You want to beat me up? Stomp all over my thoughts and emotions? Throw a bizarre surprise at when everything seems to be going well? I'M INTO IT. I'm here to fight. So bring your A-game, life, because I ain't going down easy.
|What's your problem with weird anyway?|