I’m pretty sure a lot of bloggers out there are like me and Alice. I give myself fairly good advice in some of the posts I write, but I don’t follow it as often as I should. I write a post one day, and then, boom. All that motivation and growth seems to disappear, and I’m back at square one.
I think I’ve been sleepwalking. As defined by Celstine Chua over at Personal Excellence, someone who is “sleepwalking” their life away is not literally sleepwalking. Rather, they are “unconscious” in that they are “unaware” of what’s going on around them. They might live out their life day-by-day. They might not know what the grander scheme of their life is and what they want to do. But, in general, they seem to be going through the motions, not making any wholesome progress towards true self-actualization and happiness.
So, does this apply to me?
Even though I remember telling myself at the age of nine that I wanted to be a writer, I still have doubts about writing being the one thing I want to do for the rest of my life. And now that I’ve graduated from college, I’ve realized three things.
- Focusing on getting an English degree possibly took away some of the time in my life that I could have gotten a head start in other areas I enjoy, like art and music.
- Graduating early and not getting in to an MFA program has given me time to step back, evaluate my life decisions, and see what else I want to explore.
- I’m drugging myself.
Number 3 is not what you think. I promise.
I’m not taking any illegal substances.
In fact, to my understanding, what I’m taking is legal.
My body is hard-wired to produce it, and so is yours, dear reader.
It seems, at the moment, my drug of choice is fear.
Rinsing and Repeating
There seems to be a cycle that I keep going through that my current friends don’t seem to go through. (Either that, or they’re just hiding it very well.) I write a post, post it, feel good about myself, forget about it, not feel good about myself, and start at square one.
This cycle has also been appearing in other parts of my life.
It’s affected my ability to get a driver’s license for the past six years. I get a permit, practice a little bit, have panic attacks, procrastinate practicing, have my permit expire, feel horrible about myself, and start the whole process again.
I eat. I sleep. I wake. I read. I write. I rinse. I repeat.
I’m sleepwalking. And this hasn’t been the first time.
This has happened multiple times.
Picture a disreputable medical facility, where the nurses in their white coats have a daily duty: to drug you with fear. Oh, and don’t get me started on when you do something completely fearless and groundbreaking, or even want to hop the fence and leave for good. That, right there — That’s when they looooove to hit you up and make you forget you ever said anything or did anything courageous.
That is where my mind keeps going back to, at the moment. And it’s not a good place to be.
It doesn’t feel like fear, because it’s masked as comfort. It’s ritual disguised as freedom.
The funny thing is that I never made fear my drug of choice, or made this state of mind my favorite.
My body has. My subconscious has.
Fear is in every human being, and fear is more prevalent in me than most other emotions, due to genetic and psychological circumstances. But I didn’t wake up one day and decide to be afraid. There have been days where I didn’t choose fear and reaped the enormous benefits.
But there have also been days where it feels like all that I’ve ever done has never happened.
And I don’t want that to happen again.
Remembering or Forgetting
If a three-year-old can know with certainty that he loves love hearts on his socks, I can know, as a nine-year-old, that I like to write stories. I can know, at 13, that I like to write music. I can know, at 22, that I like to draw lips in profile. I can still explore and grow, even when I think I can’t.
But I need to stay awake.
I can’t forget this. I can’t fall back into my old habits. I need to shake myself out of whatever stupor I’m in and do what I need to do. I need to flap my arms, kick my legs, and break through the surface. Otherwise, I’ll drown and sink further into fear and complacency.
I need to remember. I need to fight.
I need to win.