December 31, 2011
I don’t make silly resolutions. I can’t. My brain doesn’t work that way. It’s one of those things you learn about yourself when you actually take the time out of life to sit down and learn about yourself.
People say, “Make goals! Tell everyone! Make a plan! And do it!”
“Life coaches” and the “personal growth” section of book stores make a shitload of money on that ridiculousness.
Apparently, I’m not like normal humans. I don’t make goals. I don’t make resolutions. In fact, I don’t even have any expectations of myself, other than to just continue to be as awesome as I possibly can until I take my last breath in this life. Awesomeness. That is my only goal.
For instance, a couple years ago I was taking my normal morning walk. At that point, I had been walking every morning for probably a year already. But a couple years ago, I decided walking just wasn’t fast enough. So. I decided to run. I didn’t get very far that day. But the next day I got farther. I had no goals. No intentions. No expectations. I had never heard of “couch to 5k.” I was just thrilled to eventually pass 2 mailboxes instead of one before I stopped. And that’s as far as I ever thought I would go. Until the next day, when I made it all the way around the neighborhood. Again, I was thrilled. I would have been happy if I never went farther than that. And I kept doing that for a while. A few months went by, and I decided one day that I really fucking loved going fast. So, one morning, I decided to run until my brain told me to stop. That day, I ran 4 miles. I felt like superwoman. But again, I had no goals. No intentions. Four miles was beyond anything I ever thought I was capable of doing. And by this time, I was doing it every damn morning. Four miles, without stopping, every morning. Until one day. I decided to take a detour through a 1-mile circle around a neighborhood I usually pass. I took that 1 mile detour, and I took it again on my way back home. That day, I ran 6 miles. Without stopping. A couple days, I did that twice. Never in my whole life has running been anything I was interested in. But I was good at it. And I loved it. So, I just did it. I still have no goals. No expectations. None at all. If I decide to run a half-marathon, I will. But I have no plans. And I don’t care to make any.
Another instance. You see, I am a writer. The writing you see here on this blog is not all that I write. It isn't even a third of what I write. I have been a writer since the day I was born. It's in me. It is who I am. I write a lot. All the time I am writing. Either on a page or in my mind or on the back of junk mail envelopes while sitting in my car in the Wal-Mart parking lot during a downpour. I have had projects that I start and stop. Ideas that swirl around my head that go nowhere. Ideas I eventually come to hate or love. Errant stories and lines and ideas and characters and lyrics scattered in every recess and tunnel in my brain. I see a lot of writer-downers who are not writers. They want to be so badly. So they force themselves to write. They spend an inordinate amount of time doing this. Searching for motivation. Scratching for inspiration. Making “words per day” or “words per week” goals for themselves. If it isn’t in your blood, it just isn’t there. Forcing and squeezing and vomiting the words out of yourself will not make you a writer. It will only make you ridiculously prolific in putting words on a page. A 3rd grader does that. I will never set writing goals for myself. Ever. The stories will come in their own time. The rhymes, the stanzas, the chapters. They will come when they are ready. They will find their way.
And really, isn’t that the way of things for most people? You will find your way. When you are ready. When it is time. Not the time you create. Not the time you rush. Not the time you watch ticking down on man-made ticking things. Not the time you check off on your calendar, the time you lament and watch pass with every goal you don’t meet. But time as it has existed since things became themselves. Since life became life. Since atoms first danced and redshifts first shifted and nebulae baked their waking suns.
There will be time for me to run. I just have to be awake enough to feel it. There is a time for me to write, and a time to walk away. I am still sock-sliding across my time to be a mother of children, when soon it will be time to be the mother of adults. There are times to return favors and times to ask for them. There are times to realize your body hates what you put in it, and a time to give your body what it needs. A time to simplify and a time to complicate. Times to cry and times to soothe the criers. Times to cross finish lines first and times to hold the hand of someone who doesn’t want to cross it alone. These times can’t be rushed or planned, but they will happen yet. As long as you are awake enough to feel them.
The time that will never come, though, is the time you tell Time what you are going to do and when. Because time has been here long before you have, long before humans have, long before the stars and galaxies, and time will be here long after we are all gone. And when you start trying to go all human and boss Time around, Time will laugh at you and tell you to back the fuck off.