I’ve come to a realization: I have squandered the new beginning that moving to a new city offered me. I’ve been here for several months now, and I had the idea of using this fresh start as an impetus to change, to evolve, and better myself. Instead I’ve stayed mostly the same, with a few inconsequential changes here and there, and plenty of regressions as well. I don’t think it’s too late though, I’ve only been here since August, and there is enough left of that newness to allow for the shedding of old ways. I want to become a better, or at least, different version of myself.
I’m not delusional. I don’t expect some radical change that makes me almost unrecognizable to my friends and family; in fact, I wouldn’t want that sort of change anyways. Rather, I want to shed those aspects of myself which serve only to hinder my goals and ambitions, those characteristics which steadily pull me down instead of fueling my happiness, and the sense of regret I always have, day after day, for not yet doing it. I am myself, and I do not wish for a new identity, merely one which is more refined and in line with what I know will make my life something which I can be proud to call mine.
I’m writing this fucking entry at half past two in the morning on a school night with class fairly early in the morning. I’m writing this as a reminder and a sort of manifesto. I can change, I’ve started it many time before, but only ever really once followed through. I used to be addicted to certain narcotic substances, for two years in fact, partially facilitated by a doctor with a ready prescription pen who didn’t try to really diagnose what caused my pain, and also by an over-inflated estimation of myself which allowed me to believe that I was in control. I reference this because it was one of these Eureka! moments which compelled me to quit taking that drug. And I did, successfully. I just stopped, suffered through my deserved withdrawal, and didn’t look back. That was four years ago.
What am I doing?
Often when making plans for the future, whether it’s years from now or only next week, I question my resolve, and even openly laugh at myself because the idea of my actually navigating any plan I implement seems fucking ludicrous. I had the will power to stop destroying my mind and body vis-à-vis chemicals, and I also had the willpower (however helped along by my mother it was) to start and follow through with my education. Without the resolve required in those two situations I would not be here, in Columbia, attending university, to stay up far too late tonight and right this self-flagellating and congratulatory ramble.
So here I am, with another epiphanic moment at hand. What do I do with it? Do I snort in derision at my own foolishness for thinking I can be a better, more actualized person, or do I claim the fucking balls I was born with and ride this thing through til the end? Sure, it requires hard work, dedication, and certain degree of being capable to let go of all the things, both tangible and ethereal, which leave me tangled in the positions I so often find myself. I don’t want to find myself in another year still the same person awake at almost three in the morning because I can’t believe in myself doing things as simple working out, eating better, maintaining discipline for my studies, and getting a fucking job. Because that isn’t who I am, or who I am capable of being. I’ve beaten the odds before, even when I rooted against myself, and I can sure as hell do it again.
I wrote the previous part of this entry, as I said, late at night in one of, what I like to call, my mini manic moments. I am bipolar, however true bouts of mania are very rare for me these days (thankfully) and so too are their counterparts, horrible depression. This addendum here is for two reasons: 1. to make it clear that I did write this in the spur of the moment and did not immediately publish it because those sorts of rants have been known to not be so true the next day; 2. to say that I still honestly agree with what I said before, and the only changes I’ve made to the ramble have been grammatical. It might make more sense to splice this bit of an editorial note to the beginning, to inform your mindset before reading, but I rather like the way I begin.
I’ve thought more about what it is I actually want to do, the things I have to start doing and stop doing to begin whatever journey it is that will lead me to the version of myself I wish to be. I’ve also thought about why it is I so often fail and even fail to start. I have this habit of announcing my plans to people, people close to me (both in proximity and otherwise), and once I do this I immediately begin thinking how horrible it will look if I fuck up and thus paralyze myself from even trying. I don’t see a problem with telling this to the web, because it’s easy to save face when the way to avoid shame is simply turning off the computer until it passes. So, while my friends will be aware of some things I’m doing, I don’t think I’m going to broadcast my each and every move in a way which will cause me to over-scrutinize those moves.
As to what it is I’m going to be doing, I’m starting off simple. I think I’ve been drinking more than I should (not so much that I’m an alcoholic but enough to make me want a break from it) so I’m quitting drinking for a few months. Getting fit and eating better are important for who I want to become, so my first step is cutting out all soda and trying to cook my meals more often instead of grabbing fast food or eating something out of a can. My back has gotten worse again in recent months because I haven’t done the necessary exercises to keep it well, and so with the aid of some equipment I’ve found I’m going to start doing those exercises at least three times a week at first. I’m going to take each of my goals and break them down into more manageable bites. I realize this is not a novel concept, but I’ve always been impatient and thus unable to realize the bigger picture when it comes to something I’m doing for myself and not for school or a job.
I think I’ve about doubled the length of this entry now, when I meant only to add a short addendum and publish it. But, it’s been cathartic and progressive, I think, to actually write all of this out and have some sort of mission statement with which to remind myself of my purpose, and to remind me that it’s okay to fuck up every now and again so long as I don’t give up.