I didn’t go for a walk yesterday and was thisclose to not going again today. At the last second I told myself to get the funk UP and go. I’m really glad I did. The air felt great, the sun was shining, I listened to some standup comedy and laughed while I walked. I had a good time that I wouldn’t have had if I were sitting at this stupid desk.
I’ve just been thinking about choices a lot lately. I go through phases where I am an impossible procrastinator. I go through phases where I never procrastinate. But it’s all choice and thrust. I am an easily distracted person but when I put my whole mind to something, the results are always amazing. I’m not a stupid person by far but I am a person who tends to allow herself to make bad choices. Well, wait, that’s not totally true. I think hard about the person I want to be. I sometimes fall short of the mark but I am always trying to be a better person than I was yesterday. And that’s not me trying to be goody-two-shoes, I’m for serious. I think hard about my actions and try to make choices that don’t hurt anyone’s feelings (including my own).
That being said, when it comes to doing things to benefit myself, I have a GIGANTIC devil on my shoulder telling me to do all the wrong things. I don’t have to listen, but I do. I’ve been trying to master the art of discipline lately. “Walk every day at lunch” is a rule I have that I don’t allow myself to break. BUT I’m also into listening to my body and yesterday I needed the rest so I allowed myself to rest. When it came time to walk today, the gigantic devil on my shoulder told me to sit down again. It was so easy to sit down yesterday, why dontcha do it again? And I fought that bastard and won. Small, teeny, tiny victory but a victory nonetheless.
I had another small victory yesterday afternoon. I really wanted cookies from the vending machine. I didn’t need cookies from the vending machine so I didn’t allow myself to have them. The craving started around 4pm. The gigantic devil kept telling me that I was hungry. You have a few more hours until you can leave work and it will take you another hour to get home. Go get cookies. You can’t let yourself starve. I beat it by saying, go another hour and if you’re still hungry, go get them. On that hour, I said, go one more hour and if you’re still hungry, go get them. It was time to leave at that point. When I got to the elevator, I could have gone one floor up to go to vending or one floor down to the parking lot. I realized it was about choice. I chose the down elevator. Once I got in the car, the gigantic devil told me to stop somewhere and pick up a snack, or get a shake or something. Instead I just got on the highway, knowing I’d have dinner when I got there. And it felt good. And the dinner Kristyn made was healthy and delicious. Lot of protein and mixed veggies with a large glass of water. I felt good.
But I’m not just talking about food and health. I think that through these choices, I am deciding to be more the person I want to be. And that change in me can be applied to anything else about me I need to work on. I taught myself to be decisive a few years back. I started making decisions for myself based on what I want rather than what’s best for everyone. Not everything in my life has to appeal to the masses. Naturally, a few people walked out. Me doing for me was an inconvenience and I had no more value. This even happened pretty recently.
None of this is bad, it’s all progress. The problem is that I have a tendency to look back and wonder if I made a mistake. Wonder if I was too harsh. Wonder if I ever had a right to stick up for myself in the first place. Wonder if that person just wasn’t “hurt by my actions”. I realize now that that’s all bullshit. When a person is using you to meet their own ends, they’re never going to come clean and tell you that shit. They’re going to move the funk on to the next schlub. And if you go back to apologize, you can bet they’ll shit on it because you’re making them feel worse than they need to. Imagine using someone and they come back to apologize? It must feel horrible.
And I’m not trying to play the sob sister card here. I have pleeeeeeenty of faults. I’m just realizing that they’re not superhuman faults. They’re not HORRIFYING personal defects. They’re not “worst person on earth” flaws, they’re just run of the mill, common asshole flaws that a lot of people have. I’m always late. I talk too much. I’m fidgety. I’m flakey. I pick my hair. I get mad at people. I’m not neat. I’m self-righteous. I have a sweet tooth. I’m an over-sharer (but you like that). Money burns a hole in my pocket. I bite my nails. I always have cat hair on me. If I don’t eat breakfast as soon as I get up, I get HANGRY. I don’t like talking on the phone. I’m a procrastinator. Whatever. All these things happening at ONCE might make me a monster. All these things happening individually, or subtly or in small combo-packages aren’t such a big deal. And I harangue myself like crazy to fix them. My constant thought in my head is something similar to: Coleen you are a terrible person, Coleen you are awful, Coleen you are the most evil person alive. It is ex-haust-ing.
THAT being said, I feel there is value in looking at the past because there is a lot to learn from it. But it is CHOICE that gets you a bright future. Looking at the past (and thereby punishing myself because of it) has led me to look at my own responsibility and want to take steps to become a more effective person but it has always been CHOICE that has gotten me there. I guess we’re all a work in progress until the day we die but I’m glad to understand the power that choice can have in your life. You can live your life allowing the tide to drag you along. In my stupid-stupid early 20’s I remember distinctly making a choice to allow that to happen to me. I didn’t want to make any decisions. I didn’t want to have any nearby goals. I wanted to float and let the world kind of take me where it will. At that point in my life, I was still trying to decide whether I wanted to live a traditional life or take the road less travelled. There were upsides to this lifestyle because my time was free. I did whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. I still made it to work. I still (mostly) made it to school. But the rest of the time was blissfully unplanned.
After a while, that shit got OLD. When you allow your life to go with the tide, your life tends to go nowhere. You end up with the same people, doing the same things and completely constricted by routine or at least I did. Then I decided to do some work. Make some moves. It was really tough but I got some pretty awesome spoils out of it. For one, I quit drinking almost altogether. I had half a glass of Guinness last night but that’s the first one I’ve had in a month or two. I got hired to a couple cool jobs. I got a promotion. I got myself some new hobbies and interests. I moved to LA and now I’m finishing a school that took me FOREVER to get out of. Now pretty soon I’m going to start another school and go on to another adventure.
I guess what I’m saying in this whole babble is that I realized that I am NOT special. I think people tend to walk around thinking that they were each individually crafted into a unique diamond. God is punishing me and only me. These things only happen to me. Everyone’s out to get me. I am the worst person in the world. No one knows what it’s like to be me. All of that is bullshit. I and every other dummy on the planet are just the same. We’re not snowflakes. We all have similar internal dialogue, we’ve all had someone in our life tell us we were a shining pearl/flaming dogshit. We’ve all had ups and downs. This is actually kind of freeing to me because it tells me that I am capable of doing whatever I want to do. Nothing in this world is a question of talent or “the way you are”, it’s a question of choice. Almost all my heroes are college dropouts. But all my heroes took the path less travelled. It’s important for me to finish school so I will (if it kills a bitch) but what I get out of that is that you can make something out of yourself if you TRY, CARE and CHOOSE to do so. You don’t really need money, brains or talent if you have stick-to-it-iveness, focus and willpower. Okay I don’t have any money. I am smart. I do have talent. I do have stick-to-it-iveness. I tend to lack in focus. I have no willpower to speak of. So there we go, that’s what I need to work on, focus and willpower which naturally overlap.
This isn’t really going anywhere, this is just what I’ve been thinking about lately. Every moment is a choice. Every day is a day to start over. The only time we have is right now. Simple.
That being said, I have something I really ought to be doing haha.