Getting There

When I leave for work or class, I tend to leave pretty early ahead of time. Some might say earlier than I really have to. We’re talking early enough that I arrive 20-30 minutes early. Now, it might sound reasonable to do this to avoid the possibility of being late and experiencing the consequences thereof… but that’s not why I do it.

I mean… maybe it SHOULD be, but that’s besides the point.

The reason I leave so early is that being on my way somewhere but not in a hurry is one of my FAVORITE things in the world. Just being able to take everything in, enjoy the however many minutes I spend walking somewhere, maybe while reading a book or even just being alone and able to process my thoughts in absence of video games, TV, internet, or what have you. On top of that, the lack of stress over “oh my gawd did I leave early enough, am I gonna be there on time, oh what happens if the traffic is slightly heavier than usual aaaaaaah” is absolutely fantastic. It gets to the point where I actually fear the stress of being late over the ACTUAL consequences of being late (which is interesting in and of itself).

As I was heading to campus to do some work tonight, I was thinking about this whole thing, and how it might be useful to apply it in a more abstract way to my writing, creative projects, or whatever it is I happen to be working on at the moment. It’s kind of a more complicated version of the whole maxim of “it’s the journey, not the destination”, but I think that going at least one layer deeper helps grant a deeper understanding of why thinking in such a way is so valuable. For instance, with respect to procrastinating.

In the “leaving for class/wotk” example, if I leave earlier, it alleviates that worry that I won’t get some place when I’m expected or “supposed” to be there. When I procrastinate, it’s like the existential dread version of the same fear. The later I leave something, the more I get anxious that I won’t be where I’m supposed to be (a certain skill level, a career goal, whatever yardstick you want to use for successful adulthood) when I’m supposed to be. By the same token, if I “leave earlier” (get started working right away), it’s valuable not simply because I’ll arrive to my adulting destination “on time” (whatever that means), but because when I decide to leave early, it frees me up to not be thinking about that whole endgame in the first place. Instead, I can take my time, free up my mind to process and appreciate the whole progression of whatever it is I’m doing. Therefore, it’s almost as an accidental side effect that I end up enjoying the consequences of starting early and often.

So, by ceasing to care about the outcome enough to just start whenever, you actually end up getting the outcome you want HAD you cared about it in the first place.

Brains are weird, you guys. Well. At least mine is.


Lost Days

Man, ASTRONOMICALLY late start today. Woke up super late, and I’ve been kind of spinning my wheel all afternoon. Getting caught in the gravitational pull of various things on the internet and really having a lot of trouble concentrating. I originally planned to go to the gym today, but decided against it given that I have a considerable amount to cover today. I have exams on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, and an essay due on Wednesday that I haven’t started yet. Hoo boy, have I ever made some poor choices this weekend.

I’m not going to lie, I was sorely tempted to skip writing in this blog today, but I realized that I need this perspective. Just to kind of reframe everything, good and bad, to re-orient my brain what’s going on around me, rather than just kind of floating on from one internet link to another like I often do. So let’s see, I have… roughly three chapters of Evolutionary Psychology to get through, an outline of my philosophy essay to write, and several papers for Health Psychology to read through and summarize. Gawds, it’s been so long since I did any actual reading for Health Psychology (or gone to class for it) that it seems almost entirely unfamiliar. When I start thinking about how I’ve missed so many classes, it really makes it easier to star in on insulting myself and questioning my ability to do anything productive from now until forever. But I suppose that’s precisely what I have this blog for. I can at least identify and call out those bullshit voices in my head that tell me I’m a piece of shit that’ll never amount to anything because of whatever poor choices I’ve made in the past. But I know that’s not true, and when I see the words written on the screen, I can see just how overexaggerated and untrue they really are.

So, okay: Priority List.

  • Chapters 13, 14, 15 of Evo Psych: Read, write review Q and A’s for
  • Read three weeks worth of Health Psych Lecture Notes and Papers, organize accordingly with Q and A’s
  • Outline essay for Contemporary British and American Philosophy.

I aim to be in bed by 11pm tonight, so that gives me three and a half hours to do this. I can do this.