I’ve been thinking about making a journal for more than two years, but thinking and doing are two very different things. I’ve had several false starts—each time something seemingly more urgent popping up—I think to myself—I’ll start this later, but in this moment I need to focus on ———.
This notion of trading activities that keep the internal compass pointed in the right direction for things like email, slack, instagram, etc. is really a crappy trade, but sadly it’s an easy one to make. And to make things worse, we pressure each other to do it all the time because of our jobs. The notion of “doing something later” could easily be a stand in phrase for “laziness” or “avoidance” even when filling the space with what could be considered “work.” The ugly truth is… things that keep the internal compass pointed in the right direction are generally super-difficult and time consuming endeavors that are fun to think and straight up hard to do—there is no instant gratification. So, we settle for little dopamine spikes on instagram and netflix instead of digging into the difficult, long-term stuff. I wish it wasn’t so hard to change bad habits or practices that do us more harm than good—or to create good habits! Unfortunately, our networked world is crushing our ability to wait comfortably—to linger on one thing, to slow down—it seems now we need special training for those things. I’ve always been a sucker for irony, but this idea of doing something because you don’t want to do it in this context (a journal for me, where I sit and write) makes sense for so many reasons—especially in the midst of a global pandemic. We get in so deep with daily distractions sometimes it feels almost impossible to figure out the things we actually want to do in our lives, who we want to spend our time with, etc… Ironically, if we do get time to figure out what we really want to do, we are often deterred by the challenge of standing and the base of that mountain, searching for a peak so high it’s hidden in the clouds.
Entries scribbled near-illegibly in my sketchbook recently—cries for myself to help … myself:
I still look good
I still feel good
I still feel passion
I’m not fucking done
I can work through this
It’s ok for something to take a long time
Allow yourself to take the time—it’s not a luxury, it’s a necessity
Slow everything down
Stop rushing through everything you do
Gratification is not meant to be instant
Stop expecting everything to be better immediately—it’s not—it’s a process
Stop fearing judgment from others—especially anyone that’s not a close friend or immediate family