i was really anti new year’s things this year. a good friend wanted to work on goal setting together, and i told her that while i was totally supportive of her, i wasn’t sure i was up for it. the below is from my email to her – edited for clarity.
here’s the thing about me and the intense goal setting things that the internet is so fond of. it just makes me feel like shit about myself. every time i’ve done these things, i end up feeling broken and worse than everyone else and deeply, deeply ashamed and convinced my life is worth nothing. all i can think as i go through these exercises is “am i doing it right? am i choosing hard enough things to accomplish? am i being weak about it? i am, i must be. TRY HARDER. MAKE BETTER GOALS”. it’s actually ridiculous. i’m trying really hard to overcome this attitude, because i know it is ALL ME and no one else’s fault – but i don’t have that process down yet.
goals are important, work is important, passion is important – that said, i cannot spend my life feeling crushed anymore. i just can’t. and i have to face the fact that i am out of the house with my attention focused on my job for 11 hours a day (9 hours in the office + 2 hours commuting). i have about 3 hours when i get home at night, out of my day, to do other shit. that is very little, and i need to be careful with it. i am not going to be able to do absolutely everything in my 3 hours of spare time a day + weekends. that’s just not human – i mean, maybe the special people of the world can do this, but i cannot, and i have to know that about myself and forgive myself for it.
it’s christmas time and i want to enjoy it. i want to look at my little village that makes me so happy, i want to get a tree and put too many lights on it and sit and stare at it with tea, i want to make my own cards and send them to people to tell them i love them, i want to breathe. i want to breathe and appreciate my life, and not hang myself up feeling awful about every part of my life and how i need to improve it. i’m frankly pretty tired of feeling like shit.
but then i actually read some of the materials she sent over and i realized there’s nothing wrong with my goal not being some big crazy tornado whirlwind. there’s nothing wrong with a quieter, more private, introspective goal that has nothing to do with make x dollars or lose x pounds or write a book or something very external with a finished product. i get caught in the idea that it must be fear talking, stopping me from the Big Crazy thing i actually want to do, but – no. it’s not. the biggest thing i want to do is calm down. find peace, actually. if i had to wrap up my mantra for the new year, it boils down to finding peace.
i’ve stepped back from a whole hell of a lot in the last few years. i’m learning what it means to curate. i am trying to remember to eat something on saturday mornings so i don’t turn into a rage monster. i’m making time for words, for creation. i’m remembering that the pieces are very rarely all in place – it won’t be contrived when you stumble across the moment you created in your mind, it will be organic and you savor it then. but when you wait for it it never ever comes. mostly, i have my shit together and about some things, i just don’t know. a therapist once told me, “well, what’s wrong with being confused?” she was a pretty awful therapist but that one line, that stuck with me. but about some things, i’ll be confused and the sky won’t fall. it really won’t ever fall.
that’s how i’m moving time along. with a commitment to calming the fuck down, and opening the door to some peace in my world. i’m too young for some of the ailments that have befallen me, and the details, they’re boring and there are enough people complaining on the internet – i don’t need to join the chorus. i know in my heart this is what i need.