Sunday, August 28, 2011
Talking to Myself
I feel compelled to write this because I feel guilty about falling behind in so many areas, some of which I shall not discuss outside of my brain, others, well, if I am the only person to read this post, so be it. I need to talk to myself.
There is the line in “Hamlet”, part of the “To be or not to be…” speech: “Would that the Everlasting had not fixed his canon against self-slaughter.” My mind changes the line to “self-sabotage.”
Oh, yeah, I plant the figurative internal IEDs (that would be the sweets) and blow up bridges and roads (blowing off exercise) and blaming it on the lack of time, on not feeling well, whatever.
Self-sabotage: progress undone by oneself because…
1. I’m afraid of success? Possibly. This is a life-changing experience (or well, I expect it to be). I’ve had the fatty body armor for years to blame for never establishing an adult relationship and family, for not pursuing my dreams as hard as I should have, for being a slug. If it’s gone and things don’t magically improve, then what?
2. Subconsciously, maybe I don’t deserve this. There was a MAD magazine piece years ago that satirized busing. The one that I identified with and the only one I remember was “Pale, fat ugly girls to the beaches of Southern California.” And here I am. Pale? Indisputably. Fat? Check? Ugly? There are days. And now we can add “old” to the mix.
3. Because I’m letting fear drive the bus. And one thing fear hates and will fight like hell is change. And that fear is saying I’m years late and dollars short on making this change.
4. Nobody besides me will give a damn because I’m not some dazzling 20-30 year old anymore. I don’t want my youth back. Oh, certain aspects of it, sure, like radiant, elastic skin, more energy and especially the power that attractive young women have. If I ever had it, I never knew. I watched women of my age (when I was 20-30 years younger) wrap people around their little fingers simply for the sport of it. I never did that, mostly because I believed I couldn’t. I would like to feel like I could.
“Breaking Away” is a great film and one for which I have a lot of affection. Daniel Stern plays Cyril, the tall lanky kid who doesn’t achieve much. In one conversation with the lead character about taking the SATs, Cyril talks about how his dad likes to be consoling. “That’s okay, Cyril, at least you gave it your best shot,” he says. Cyril goes on to say, “Maybe I’ll take them. If I flunk, that’s okay. He’s got a birthday coming up.”
In everyone’s circle of acquaintance, there are the people who genuinely support whatever it is that you do (even rolling out of bed at 4:30 AM on a perfectly good Sunday to meet a call time way the hell on the other side of LA County) and genuinely rejoice in your triumph. Then, there are the hollow people: the one who pay lip service to support but are the first on the scene with the “Oh well, you tried. You don’t have to keep trying” sentiments when you stumble. I’m not sure of their motivations; perhaps it’s a fear that if you succeed, you will leave their circle of acquaintance, perhaps it’s low grade envy because they cannot get out of their own ways to achieve whatever it is they want, perhaps it’s just that they are truly hollow and can only appear supportive because the effort exhausts their tiny little souls. Some of them are beginning to appear. I need to ignore them.
At any rate, “No surrender” applies. And always win. I’m not letting the bastards win.