Alternative route

The second risk I face when I have too many ideas is that I will be paralysed by self-cynicism. I, at some point, grew so tired of my brain taking on the personality of a really enthusiastic special needs labrador, that I learned to counteract inspiration with brutal, faithless apathy. Bleak, and effective.

Neither the labrador nor the cynic are really welcome contributors to my life path right now, but I wonder if maybe I should just let them fight it out and see what happens.

A long time ago, I was told a story about some guy who got attacked by someone on crack, but he was a blackbelt in Aikido so he just kept disabling him. But his attacker couldn’t take the hint because he was invincible, so he kept on attacking, and Aikido Guy had to keep upping the severity. Until, eventually, by the time the police turned up, the attacker had a bunch of broken bones and other injuries and was staggering around after him like a zombie. And Aikido Guy got charged with GBH.

That’s sort of how I imagine this going down.

Danger ahead

I’m going to have to be careful, because I’m getting too many ideas. Whenever this happens, I risk disappearing into a soup of half-started projects, entangled in competing priorities and counter-productive overexcitement. I risk making bad decisions. I risk losing what I’ve already built.

And when I read that back, it sounds pretty serious. It sounds like some pretty maladaptive impulsivity. Yeah. I’m going to have to be careful. But, Once Upon A Time, it wasn’t just a risk, it was a guarantee. So I guess that’s something.

Chocolate chip entropy

I do best with a diet which excludes dairy, soya and oats. If I provide myself with that, other things pretty much fall into place. If I do not provide myself with that, all things tend toward entropy.

I think it was Brian Cox I once heard talking about how living organisms are essentially agents of entropy, catalysing the Universe’s descent, paradoxically, due to the necessity of staving off entropy within themselves. Maybe I should think about how I’m killing the Universe in my own minute way the next time I want to waste a week of my life on some chocolate chip cookies or something.

Because the annoying thing about me is that, even though I know very well by this point that there is a clear and meaningful difference between who I am when I’m eating the right things and who I am when I’m eating the wrong things, I still keep feeling the need to just…test it. Or, if something really fucks me off, it still seems like a good idea to bury my sorrows in some junk food that I conveniently didn’t check the label of.

That’s why I’ve been splashing around in the mud much more than I should have been these past few weeks. Things got emotional and I decided, despite all the well-worn tools and techniques available to me, that I would eat my feelings about once a week, and then spend the rest of the week regretting it not quite enough to stop me doing it all over again.

I’ve spent most of my life feeling pretty shitty, so it’s easy for me to forget what feeling good is like. But every time I get back on track I think why the fuck would I do that to myself? …and then I do.

In my defense, I think there’s a bit of a pendulum effect going on, and the swing is gradually decreasing. Getting better is a strange thing. Maybe this is just how I have to do it.

Time to level up?

What am I doing?

If I wanted to be a blogger, there are a whole lot of other ways I could be going about it that would be better than this. But I don’t, especially. I want to be a writer.

And I think I only mean that in the most basic of senses. Just that I am a person who writes. Ideally, a person who writes well.

I have always, when allowed to exist unfettered, been a writer. But the bleakest times of my life coincide with the most pages left blank, because I let myself be easily stifled. Part of this endeavour has been to consciously resist my tendency to fall silent in appeasement.

When I started this originally, while pregnant, my aim was just to write something every day. I failed fairly quickly. This time around, my aim was to write something worth writing every day. I confess I’ve actually missed one day, and a few of my posts were maybe scraping the barrel, but, even if I have failed, I’ve failed less.

The thing that is irking me now is this: I’m not trying to get people to look at this. And so not many people are looking at this. And so, I may be writing something worth writing, but am I writing something worth reading?

To find that out, I need more feedback. And that’s going to require me to do work that isn’t just writing. And I don’t fucking want to. But that’s where we are. And that’s my choice if I want to level up. And that’s very inconvenient for me.

So what’s it gonna be?

The mess

Life is messy.

I’m sure I’ve talked about this before. I wholeheartedly support life being a mess. I believe it is really the only way for it to ever be beautiful.

And so, many times, I have made it a point to embrace the mess…until the overwhelming compulsion to clean up the whole debacle has overtaken me.

I’ve been working to soothe my flash-sterilising tendencies over this past year. And I haven’t had any uncontrollable urges to paint the whole thing white and start over in a good long while.

But there is a certain mess right now that I may or may not be trying to prematurely organise. Morality and self-worth are tied up in it, and so I am needing to examine whether my inclination to keep things straight and tidy is, on the one hand, a wholesome desire to uphold my integrity or, on the other hand, a simple discomfort with letting it hang where it is until it’s dry.

Sometimes things are what they seem. Sometimes they are not.