Τετάρτη, 24 Μαΐου 2017

Blog no. 23: What plan?

  Have you ever ridden a bike with a friend on a rocky road with no regards for safety, him yelling to "hold on" at the top of his lungs and you knowing that it's gonna be a bumpy ride which will probably end up badly? Yeah, that's life for ya.
 


 I came to a realization the other day that I have no idea what I'm doing, and that's OK, because nobody really does. Some might think they know what's up, some might pretend they do but in reality, most of us are just winging it. Like a good choose-your-own-adventure book, we just make choice after choice, day by day, hoping we don't fuck up and regretting it at the very usual occurrence that we do eventually fuck up. You can call it Murphy's law or just bad luck, but making the wrong choices and getting punished for it is perfectly human and will happen a lot, so you better get used to falling on your ass. Thing is every time you fall on your ass it's a lesson to be learned, so by the 100th time you will have ass muscles strong enough to support your fall and make it a bit less painful. Or, y'know, put a damn pillow underneath if you are that prone to failure.
  Personally, I feel like the world moves faster than my ability to comprehend it. I feel like I'm in a perpetual state of catching up. I think I understand how things work and the status quo suddenly changes and I'm so lost I can't even understand myself sometimes. It's no use to try to wrap your head around how things work really, the world is evolving so fast by every passing moment that you can't actually keep yourself up to date. It's like an NVIDIA drive in that sense, there's always something new you have to account for, something different that fucks the whole system up. One of the most important traits you can have nowadays is the ability to adapt; without it you're just a 20/30/something-year old model running on outdated software.
  Planning for things has never been my thing, partially because I'm really really bad at it and partially because it's not my style. Even when I'm forced to think ahead, I'm the sort of guy who will lay down a very elaborate and well drawn plan, will write exact times and dates for each step of the plan, and will abort everything once the first step is not accomplished, making the whole thing crumble in a wreck of regret and missed opportunities. That's why I don't do New Year's resolutions anymore, I always fail them within the first week. I'm envious of people who can make a plan and stick to it, they are the kind of people that I would like to have in my lab assignments so I can have somebody to encourage me to follow said plans. Then again, isn't it a bit restraining to be forced to follow a certain path, whatever the circumstances might be? In a basketball match the coach lays down the positions and job of each player before the game, but once his team is trailing by 10 with 1 minute to go, it's all back to the drawing board with some impromptu, hopefully game-changing play. A friend of mine decided to write down some short term goals for herself 3 months in advance, with some of the bullet points being romantic relationships and mental state, so I asked her quite nicely: "How the fuck do you plan on these things in advance?" Short answer: You don't. Long answer: You really, really don't.

  It's fine to plan stuff that you can actually mostly predict like your financial state in a few months, but after a certain point planning about easily variable stuff, forces you to act in a very unnatural fashion. When you're forcing situations that should not normally be forced, you're setting yourself up for failure. This even applies when talking to people: it's perfectly reasonable to think before you talk if you're afraid of saying something stupid, but when you're close to someone isn't it better to just, you know, talk? 

  We had this exercise during my trip in Madrid where we had to make a short presentation about ourselves so that they could tell us what we could fix about our body language and since none of the stuff I said were practiced or pre-planned, I said some truths about myself that I hadn't really thought about before. Since my mouth was running faster than my brain what I said was pure improvisation, and I realized how I perceive myself unconsciously. I mentioned in an earlier post that when you stop thinking about stuff, that's when the real thinking begins. I still very much stand by that belief, but now I also have personal experience that it's actually true.

  When I write stories, blog posts, poems or even when I'm doodling something on a piece of paper, I never think about what I'm doing until I'm halfway through. I don't put any thought on what I'm writing, I just lay my hands on the keyboard and let my fingers do the talking, and that's why all this is so real for me. That has always been my goal really; if I can't be real myself, why should I expect anyone else to be? Here's the thing though: if people like the real you, you know you've done a damn fine job. And if they don't? Well you can't make everyone happy, can you?

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