Confession: I quoted Rush in a paper I wrote in high school completely out of context, but just to do it. It went something like this: “If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice. That has literally nothing to do with this paper, but I wanted to cite Rush in my bibliography because I’m a senior.”
That’s what you’re working with here, guys. But on to actual points that are worth making (maybe):
I’m forever working on myself. I want to be better than I am. I also want to be more content with who I am. Yes, that’s right, one of the things I’m working on is not working on myself so damned much.
Some of the stuff I’m working on will resonate with you. Some won’t. I’m going to write about it anyway, because…
(1) I’m working on powering through my self-doubt (“surely they don’t give a shit about what you’re working on, Rickey…”) and putting myself out there.
Here’s my take: we consume 100x more than we create. Consumption is necessary, but without the balance of creation, consumption bloats the psyche. We take in and take in, never repurposing and repackaging the colors and vibrations that hit us. We get fatter and slower and dumber, being spoon-fed the thoughts, statuses, and likes of others.
So, I’m working on taking it as a galactic-level certainty that my life will improve the more I balance my consumption with my creativity.
I kind of want to punch myself in the face for all of that psych-major-on-shrooms nonsense, but…
(2) I’m working on being patient with everyone, including myself.
I am, by nature, impatient. My knee-jerk reaction to people talking to me is to cut them off, visibly demonstrate my desire for them to stop by fidgeting and looking around, or straight up tell them I’m too busy for whatever they’re talking about.
I want my girlfriend to hurry up and conform to my preconceived notion of where her mentality should be, especially when it comes to her mentality on important topics, like me. And I want her to hurry up and get over whatever’s upsetting her and get back to being happy again. On my time. Like right now.
I want the lights to turn green, my internet to go faster, the water to boil instantly, and (most especially) my coffee to be ready, because Lord knows what my impatient ass needs is a shit-ton of caffeine.
Believe it or not, I keep most of that “want” inside. And that’s relatively new. In the last few years, I’ve been trying to recognize that irrespective of what I want, there are other people out there that have different wants and needs. This is probably a “no shit, Rickey” kind of statement, but it’s taken me a while (39 years?) to really wrap my head around the idea that each person I encounter is not an extension of me.
That is to say, the person who is talking slowly and annoying the living shit out of me lived an entire life, full of cause, effect, truth, lies, pain, joy and everything else before they ever started talking (too slowly) to me. When I find myself getting impatient with people, I remind myself, “that person’s life existed before me and will exist after me, and this moment is not solely about me.”
It’s easier said than done…I am still impatient, but I recognize that demonstrating my impatience does more harm than good, and really wrecks my mental state. And that’s important to remember, because…
(3) I’m working on keeping my mental state positive and loving at all times.
I don’t know if I fully believe in the idea that we can manifest positive results by “putting them out there.” But I do believe in a similar thought: Life is easier, happier, and better things tend to happen to you, when you focus intently on remaining positive.
A few years ago, I went through a nasty period of time where a lot went wrong. You can read a little about it here. I hated everyone and everything for a few months, then made a conscious decision: I will fake being positive and optimistic until I actually am positive and optimistic. I faked the shit out of it. I was depressed, sad, lonely, self-medicating like a mother, but I started and ended every day actively thanking the universe for the bounty of awesomeness it had presented me, and that it would present me in the future. I met every challenge by imagining what could go right. When someone brought negativity to me, I intentionally met it with the opposite emotion.
I’m sure I was annoying as hell. But it absolutely worked. I ended up with a lasting optimism hangover. My default reaction is now one of positivity. My default response to adversity is optimism.
That’s not to say that I downplay my own negative emotions. Not at all. I thank the universe for those, too. I’m actively, literally, verbally thankful that I have the capacity to feel hot and cold, good and bad, and that I have the wisdom to glean positive results from negative situations…and the wisdom to understand that negative situations are temporary.
I’m working on plenty more…not leaving the toilet seat up, not spending money on nonsense, being more spontaneous, not putting salt on literally everything I eat, not “reacting” to people…but those are all for another time.