Looking around, I sometimes wonder if I’m the only one. People just going about their business. Buying their groceries. Going to and fro. Or people hanging out, drinking a beer at the bar. Friends even, doing the same. A nagging impulse tugs at you: how do these people feel about it? It, of course, being their life. And it keeps nagging at you: don’t they want something better? Don’t they want to be their best?
But of course there’s no way to know. You pass some stranger, going about his business, as you go about yours. How is he doing? Is he doing everything right? Maybe, who knows. You look at your friend as you’re tossing back beers at the bar, and of course you’re a palindrome. You match exactly, except for your outfits (hopefully!). At that point one begins to question the element of judgment, and once the element of judgment has been questioned it is immediately thrown out. No, we’re not judging anyone. But we’ve got a devil (or an angel?) riding our shoulder, and we’re so engrossed in finding this in ourselves that we look for it in the eyes, expressions, and demeanor of others.
We are, of course, entertaining a selfish thought. And that’s really what this is about.
I’ve always had this bug up my ass to be a better version of myself, and yet I’ve soooo many times completely failed to hit the mark. It becomes an ongoing cycle. I guess this is probably how it works for most people. Or those who care to try anyway.
I’ve been slow to get myself into a motivated, productive mode here. That’s what I’m getting at. I need to be more selfish.
After getting wa-hay-ay-sted on New Year’s Eve (and after losing a day to the ensuing hangover), I went out and partied until four in the morning last night. This is not me being my selfish best. I had an awesome time. I mean, it was a fucking blast. But I need to be better at practicing that art of “no”. A friend texts you, “come meet me at this bar” and you need to be better about saying, “sorry, man, next time.”
I’ve always admired that selfishness in others, actually. I remember I dated this grad student awhile back, and sometimes we’d be out on a Friday or something, and we’d be making the rounds through our cell phones, looking for playmates. Many of her colleagues would decline the festive invitations, instead spending the time cloistered away, hard at work on their intellectual toils. Part of that is just the grad student’s life–really the opposite of the nine-to-fiver’s life (which I was obviously living)–but still I admired that about them. It’s a book I should take a page out of right now.
Selfishness can be a beautiful thing. Or a productive thing, anyway.
I didn’t get much done today. Mostly rested and got myself ready for a month of twelve hour days with almost no breaks. I have some very simple but difficult goals lined up for the next few months. But I have loftier notions for what may come later in the year. I’ll be 33 this year, and I’m tired of being beholden to my past. It is time to dig in and shed some ties so that I can move forward unfettered.