Monday, July 20, 2009

you have no idea

I've been sitting at the computer for the last 2 or 3 hours..... I'm supposed to be doing homework. I *need* to be doing this homework. I know this. but.I.can' I don't know if the frustration is communicated in that last sentence. This is intensely frustrating right now. The obvious question is, clearly, why don't you just do it? get it done? you'll feel better. I'm starting to really understand just why obvious questions are so annoying.
The thing is that I don't know! I don't have any idea why sometimes I just can't seem to do it. I can do anything BUT the stuff I need to do most. It doesn't even matter what the stuff is that I need to do. It can be something that I otherwise enjoy, but as soon as I *NEED* to do it - like someone telling me it has to be done, or that it's *time* to get it done, or it'll be better to just get it done now, it's like all of a sudden my hands are tied and that's it. The only thing that unties me is straight up fear. it has to get to the point of - ohmygodifIdon'tgetitdonesomethingbadwillhappentome. Then I do it. I will fail out of school. I won't be able to pay my bills. I will be embarrassed in some way. I will feel bad - really bad. Because just regular bed doesn't seem to be motivating enough. I mean, I feel pretty bad now and it's not helping me do my homework. It's amazing to me that I ever get anything done. How did I ever get through college?

It's not like this is a new thing. This has been a part of me as long as I can remember. I was telling a story the other day about how when I was little I'd be going about my day, and maybe I'd have been thinking, "Man, my room is disGUSting! I should maybe clean it up a little..." ..and of course this would be the EXACT moment that my mom would come find me and *tell* me to clean my room. disaster. Now I can't do it. Like physically painful to clean my room. Like it is going against every FIBER of my being to clean my room.

What's even more amazing to me are the situations where having someone stand there and tell me what to do is the only way I can do things! Like exercise. I *hate* getting myself to exercise, but if I have someone telling me to go run around and do stuff, like in a class, or working out with certain friends (this is also interesting - can't just be anyone), I'm super happy to be ordered around.

WHY?!!!! why is this?? Why does it seem to take SO MUCH EFFORT to do anything, and even more, why does it take ORDERS of magnitude MORE effort to actually finish a task??? Follow-through, perseverance, drive, motivation, self-discipline........ these things are tenuous and elusive for me. Like a slippery greased pig and I have small hands with big sausage fingers that have no dexterity or any ability to hold on to things. and on top of that I'm fat and slow while the piggy is quick and agile.

Right now I'm wonderig if I'm having this inertia (do you call it that is this kind of situation?) because I'm so nervous about finishing school. I'm terrified of being done and out on my own. I have no idea how I'm ver going to have my shit together enough to support myself. I hate that I'm 30 years old (almost) and I still can't take care of myself properly. Or that (more accurately) I have a bad attitude about it and I don't like the ways I'll probably have to do it. Meaning I don't like working jobs that I don't care about. I don't like the idea of having to have part time jobs that require that I have no life outside of them because it takes all my time to get enough money to pay my bills. I hate that I've spent so much time and money to learn so much stuff and when I have the piece of paper that says I can do these things, it's still not enough.

Why don't I have that drive? Why don't I have a Go GET It attitude? Why am I not money motivated? What am I afraid of? What do I think is going to happen if I do or don't do these things? I can think through all these things and I can come up with my answers - and these answers even make me feel better about getting shit done and doing what it takes, and that working hard for what I want will make it so much better once I actually get it and blahblahblah. and that's just it. it's all just more words and it doesn't get me any further towards my goal. This ethereal goal which is always looooooming out there where you can never quite poke at it, even with the longest stick you can find.

I guess I've come to think of it, funnily enough to me, kind of like I think of religious people. I've always been amazed by people who just seem to have blindly accepted this world view from their parents/families/whomever.. this is the right way to live, these are the rules, etc. EVEN when they don't make any sense. Religion provides a safe place for these people to exist. They don't have to answer these questions for themselves - it's all done for them and they can spend their time praying about how thankful they are that they don't have to think about it. I guess this is how I feel about being in school. It's so safe. I know how it works, I know what I'm supposed to do. I'm not in charge, it's expected of me that I don't know everything. I'm not SUPPOSED to know everything. That's why I'm there! I'm financially supported and my job is to have fun and learn things. I have to take tests and write papers and go to class, but that's all fine because I don't have to be out in the real world where nothing conforms to the rules of the book. and I don't have to figure out how to get someone to pay me to do what I think is fun. and I don't have to spend a bunch of time doing things that aren't fun in the meantime while I figure it all out.

Ugh. You can drive yourself crazy thinking about crap like this.

So I keep thinking, "I just wish I knew what I wanted." If I had a clear idea of where I want to go maybe I could start piecing together some kind of path so I could get there. And upon writing that just now, I think maybe I might possibly have stumbled on one of my major problems. I see an outline of what I want the end of the road to be and because I can't see anything along the path I'm giving up and throwing the compass on the ground and walking away screeching about how it's not possible... noooooooot unlike how I felt about cleaning my room as a kid (god! I still remember how angry it made me). So here I am about to have a peptalk to myself over the computer and broadcast it out to the 3 people who ever look at this thing - haha - and probably won't read this far......... I need some more interesting exclamations. So I guess the lesson here is that if I have at least an idea of where I want to end up, I can start trying to piece together a route. and I guess it doesn't really matter how it is that I end up getting there... and blahblah the journey is all the fun anyway, except that it's really stressful and nervewracking and feels shitty and terrible and I hate it the whole time. God, it's like hiking up something steep on a really hot day with no breeze and a heavy pack with terrible support, and there are swarms of all the worst kind of bugs crawling in your eyes and you're having to walk next to the most annoying person you can possibly think of and it's not even scenic except for every once in a looooooooooooooong while when you think you're just not going to go one step further and then you seem to find yourself on a flat spot and the wind is blowing the bugs away and the annoying person fell far enough back that you can't hear them and the trees clear and all of a sudden you remember why you came this way because the sunset is spectacular and somehow that gets you to walk a little further up the mountain. WHY DOES IT HAVE TO BE SO HARD?


Blogger Jesse said...

I guess the only comments I can think of are along the lines you have already told yourself...

Nothing is perfect, so in the process of getting to the imperfect end goal, you will have (HAVE) to do imperfect things along the way, they will suck, and you will not like them because, well they are imperfect. They aren't always fun, and they aren't always interesting, and they aren't always challenging.

The key here is that you are mostly an optimist (at least more than I am), or at worst a realist, and while these imperfect steps along the way to that imperfect goal are not 100% satiable, remember that there is a certain amount of joy and happiness that you can gain from anything that you are doing. Even in monotonous tasks some amount of satiability is possible. Try to concentrate on that fraction, no matter how small and maybe, just maybe, you'll be able to keep your sanity in the process.

7/22/2009 10:00 AM  
Blogger Catherine said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

7/24/2009 4:19 PM  
Blogger Catherine said...

Reading this was like listening to the little voice in the back of my own mind. I bet you felt better after writing though, right?

7/24/2009 4:23 PM  
Blogger Sleepy said...

One trick i use is to tell myself "i will just do a little bit", then I tend to get wrapped up in it. it's usually that first dive in for me that's the most difficult, for me it's fear that keeps me from doing my work (afraid to not know the answer and feel incompetant).
We all have our reasons for procrastination, there's nothing abnormal about what your going through. i think sometimes we just need to trick ourselves (at least that's what i do-because our minds are very powerful things and sometimes hard to take control), you know like "i'll do the first problem, then at least I'll have done something". For me this usually "breaks the ice" and it's never so bad once i've started it.

good luck

8/02/2009 12:04 PM  

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