I’m too ambitious.
This probably surprises most of you who know me. In person I come across as laid-back, easygoing, level-headed. Lazy. This is for several reasons. First, I am all of those things! But my nature is a conflicting one, and if one side has to subdue the other, I’d prefer it to be the more risk averse side of my personality. Say you’ve got a dog tied up in a yard. To me that’s the idea of self-restraint. And then you have a dog who went to obedience school. That’s self-control. I’ve been trying to put myself through obedience school for the past decade or so. Until I graduate I’m sadly tied up in my own metaphorical yard to make sure I don’t run off, chase cats, get in fights or anything else a lovable, easily distracted dog might do.
You see, I want to do EVERYTHING. Ever since I was a kid I’ve always been subjugated to an onslaught of ideas. Random ideas, project ideas, ideas of what my life should ideally be like. Further still I could imagine the path each idea might take were I to pursue it. Good for foresight, bad for getting things done. I become instantly paralyzed by possibility. This is why it took me so long to decide what to do when I grew up (27 years) and why I’ve asked out a grand total of one (1) girl in my life. Instinctively, I want to try grandiose, crazy plans just to see what would happen. But that damn collar, which was a nice idea at the time, is just too tight.
Near the end of my years long dejunkification project I developed a plan to fix my problem with plans: I’d get rid of them along with my stuff. The final straw was realizing my extra “art room” was more often used as a “storage room”. And I don’t even have that after moving back in with my parents. Clearly, as much as I love making things, it’s not where my focus needs to be right now. Art supplies are packed up in storage and my creative goals have switched entirely to the task of writing, which as a bonus takes up a lot less space.
Then, the other day, I had a great idea. A fun, relaxing painting project that would actually be really, really cool when finished. And from that idea I realized I could do the same thing with different things. But oh I would need some things to fix the things before I could do the thing to the things. Later that day, I began to stress about things. Because there are some things in my life that are ***STRESSFUL***. I’ve been able to take it all in stride lately, but suddenly it was too much. Was I too tired? Bad day at work? (There HAD been an interesting sanitation issue in the men’s bathroom). Then I spied the shopping list I made for my new project.
I’ve had to write the idea on a slip of paper and stuff deep into a box so I may find it later and remember. Because right now I can’t take on extra, fun projects. I could maybe take on ONE fun project. But projects are akin to rabbits and mathematicians in their ability to multiply.
Here is what I’m allowed to work on at the present (similar to the list I have here):
1. Writing: Even here I have to be careful. I’ve organized all my story ideas so that I only actively think on a few at a time.
2. Reading: I haven’t read many non-job related book in a while. I aim to use the time NOT fretting over projects I won’t finish by doing more things I want to do.
3. Media downtime: Same as reading. I’m going to start seeing movies in theaters when I randomly feel like it (and can now afford to). I also have a stack of video games that needs playing. It doesn’t feel productive, but that’s not the point.
4. Go outside: Still haven’t quite figured out what people do outside of the house, but by golly I’d like to find out.
5. School: well I’m not in school this semester, but yeah. Maybe until next semester I’ll teach myself to play the guitar.
6. Taking care of myself: now would be a good time to learn how to make a slew of healthy meals. I will miss you, pizza.
One thing that has helped me tremendously is a simple bamboo dry erase board given by my friend, Caprice. It’s a step up from scraps of paper that would pile up. I can continually update it. I don’t worry about finishing the list. I focus on marking things off, erasing them, and adding whatever comes next.