With focused discipline, you can quiet the mind enough of the rattles of stress and anxiety to do almost anything. You can subconsciously mute the noisy office or do the impossible. What that requires, however, is the occasional respite. Not a relapse or reclusion, just a quick relaxing check-in to see if everything is alright. Without that, motivation breaks, weakness seeps in, and the next time you’re tempted by something bad, you might take it.
Why do we become addicted to our work? Why do we allow our work and employers to entrench themselves so deeply into our psyches that when we’re in the shower, we give effort to our work, we complain about work to family, and we work when we sleep? Does it fill that void otherwise filled with insecurities and self-loathing? Do we yearn for the stability that comes with employment and the fruits of our labor?
“If I had a superpower, it’d be persistence.” I’m tested against that seemingly arrogant statement every moment of every day. There will always be reasons to slip. Peace might just be unobtainable through any other means than constant conflict, yet that’s the only way I see that will get me to a place where I won’t feel tempted due to insecurity, doubt, or misery. To persist in the face of adversity is my comfort zone.
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What hill are you willing to die on? What is the one goal you hold in such high regard that you will do whatever it takes, for however long it may take, to achieve? My truth is, even after fully envisioning the achievement resulting from surviving that hill, any vulnerable moment contains elements trying to drag me down. Why can’t we ignore these distractions and continue our climb? Why do we fight in meaningless battles?
There is little more sobering than a close call. If it weren’t for the anecdotal driving stories I was told back in college, and fast reflexes, life would have been drastically different for me a few months ago. What ended up happening was the adrenaline-junkie drove off in a red car with California plates, his adrenaline high briefly reinvigorated, after slamming on his breaks from speeds about 30 miles per hour to intentionally crash my car.
“Is that… vodka?” Why is it weird going to a bar or being in any social gathering and drinking water or any flavored drink that won’t influence your thoughts? Are we so damaged as a society, or insecure as individuals, that we can’t just hang out with new people without getting wasted? We don’t even ask to receive our equivalent ‘drinking age verified’ bracelets. They’re just given to us on presumption. Why oblige alcohol norms?
Most days are reliable like any piece of furniture, where any decent chair will consistently relieve your physical stress, then there are those few days… Maybe something breaks off from the chair? Maybe there’s an awkwardly persistent smell? Maybe something just feels off when you sit on it? What happens on those days? We can’t just dump the “broken chair” off somewhere and buy a new one. How then can we reupholster our life’s chair?
The situation left me so angry! Inebriation is never the solution for these situations. That’s not addressing the issue. Instead, I will fully recreate the events in my head while exercising. I’ll remember every detail, conversation, and emotion. Once I’ve arrived at the root cause, my mind will become once again calm. Here’s how I break through the water to get to the root cause of the issue taking down my post and my stability.
There’s a scene toward the end of Cowboy Bebop where two characters eat and eat and eat. They’re in mourning. This weighty scene retains its relevance nearly twenty years later because it’s rooted in fundamentally realistic emotion: they act how we act. We compulsively overeat, and overindulge, when faced with overwhelming circumstances. Unfortunately, no matter how much we eat, we’ll never fill that hole. Even if we identify this vulnerable state, can we fix it?
There’s this numbness I felt often growing up. Despite everything going well enough on the surface, underneath, there was a great weight pulling me down. Maybe it’s that warrior spirit fighting through the noise of this distracted generation. Maybe it’s the need of wanting to feel more alive than just going through these motions. It was this feeling that would cause me to drink the most heavily. This unbearable ennui. Now, let’s try something else.