This wordy, preachy, self-indulgent post is for my gorgeous friend Meg, of the unstoppable mind and riotous heart. I got your messages and kept them and kept them, and now it’s time to just write and stop obsessing over the perfect thing to say to deserve your regard.
“On knowing what you want and accepting who you are…”
Living in myself as I do, I don’t think I possess an expertise in these criteria; but looking at the world around me, I want to change my mind in comparison. In the past two years I have slowly begun to develop an increasingly elaborate sense of contempt. Namely, for the apparent epidemic of cowardice that plagues the masses. Knowing what you want is the hard part, so I understand that struggle. Knowing what you want and failing to act on it I simply do not understand. Why the hell would you allow your life to rot around you while you’re staring your heart’s desire in the face and openly refusing to claim it? Why would you waste what you are?
On the occasion that I meet someone who is on a path that they want to be on, doing what they want to do and succeeding, they almost always apologize for it. WTF mate? Who are you apologizing to? The quivering majority that didn’t have the balls to do what you did, whatever that may be? Why would you apologize to such a creature? If anything, by your example and your own apparent joy in your choices you should be saying, “you’re welcome.”
As far as knowing what you are, if I were to give advice it would be to open all the doors and windows of your mind and let the war begin. Things might settle down, they might not, but everything you’re presented with is a part of you and deserves recognition. Only a few of these deserve to be acted upon, and those few will decide the course of your life. Good and bad, loving and cruel, courage, cowardice, terror…I don’t see that these qualities are any reason for praise or criticism. Thoughts, feelings, and inclinations decide nothing. Choices decide everything.
I recently received an email from someone I quit saying, “all I’ve ever wanted is for you to not be so sure of yourself that it causes pain.”
First of all this is a lie. There are plenty of things you’ve wanted much more than my downfall. If I were going to respond I would ask this person why it causes them pain to know that they can’t have power over me?
Why would you want such a thing? Isn’t your own life enough? I guess not if you’re too afraid to fuck up your own life to do anything with it, you can play games and test theories with other people’s lives as they are expendable.
I feel no ill-will, I wish no restitution, there is no anger to let go of or forgiveness to give and free myself…only a residue of contempt with which I don’t know what to do with other than continue to refuse this person access to me.
I full-heartedly support being very, very particular about who you let into your life. Love the people that deserve a place in your life, love them extravagantly, knowing that they are rare, rare, rare. No one has a right to you unearned.
As the wonderful Bradley so perfectly put it, “I will honor myself without question. It is my fucking life.”
The concept of priorities is very underrated. If you know from the inside of your bones what is the most precious to the core of your existence, you can make the right choice when your emotions threaten to pull you off course.
For example, emotions say, “I don’t feel like going to train today and bruise the hell out of my hips and endure the agony of oversplits. I feel fat and tired. I want chocolate and Johnny Depp and to never have to work.”
Response from a prioritized mind, “Well no shit! That sounds really painful. But you’ve already decided that you want to fly through the air with the greatest of ease more than you want bruise-free hip bones and stuffy hamstrings. You can have chocolate and Johnny Depp after you train. And if you really hated working you wouldn't have chosen this in the first place.”
Mind, “Good dog.”
When you have made choices and are going in the direction you want to be going, you can feel free to enjoy the torment and ecstasy of your emotions, ride them out or watch them pass; without letting them run your life. Emotions are the fun part. Act on the ones that deserve it, and that you can live with.
As far as knowing what you want in the first place and forming these priorities, I heartily recommend being ruthless. If all the worldly shit were taken care of: social standing, financial obligations, etc., what would you do? I’m not suggesting that you attempt to ignore the worldly shit when you take action, absolutely not, but they can cloud your judgment when you are deciding what to invest yourself in.
And once you decide, brutally investigate this decision every now and then to be sure you’re not coasting on momentum.
After a while you start to feel like this guy: