There's never enough time

Sometimes I'll sit down at a keyboard and ten, twenty minutes will pass without a committed keystroke. Anxiety kicks in at that point -- since when do I not have something to say? -- and reflexively, I'll kick over to Reddit or Facebook for a quick jolt of instant gratification.

The work will just have to wait for another day, I'll think. The relief is nice, and after all, it's not like anyone else is gonna notice that I tried and failed to create something in that moment.

Here's the problem, though, and it's the part that keeps gnawing at me, long after I've given myself a free pass for the time being:

there won't always be another day. 

Statistically speaking, the odds of there being more "another day"s dwindles every time I take a breath. You can quantify a life in all sorts of colorful ways, but there's very little doubt that those numbers all count downward.

I'm turning thirty this month. I've written plenty on my feelings about that, but you're never gonna see any of it. It's because I've been selfish; I'm worried that time is slipping faster than I can find my center in any given moment and make a conscious decision on which current to paddle against. Like I'm owed a map and instruments, somehow. And every time I try to gather my thoughts, I just end up scrawling out the same fears:

"too late to change directions"

"never going to be a good enough programmer/musician/illustrator/person who returns people's texts in a timely manner in order to maintain some semblance of a commitment to friendships"

"can't connect if you can't put yourself out there"

On and on like that.

So the hell with studying the currents and finding a direction. It's time to just start rowing.

I don't know what I'm doing at all, and that scares me. Ideas haven't been coming to me for the past few months the way they used to; my brain feels drained, empty, quiet and fuzzed-out. But even in the best of times, when I've got more ambitions than I know what to do with, I inevitably give up after a few weeks, if not days.

So I'm breaking the cycle right now. I'm gonna spend some time every single day on putting something out there. Or at least, that's the plan.

I don't know what it'll be, where it'll show up, who it'll be for or even how long I can keep this up. But I know myself well enough at this point to recognize that I'll never feel fulfilled if I don't feel like I'm giving something back to the world.

So that's it. Just so it's out there.

Nick CummingsComment