Friday, June 3, 2011

Resistance. Truth: Part 10.

WalkingImage by koeb via FlickrHave you ever searched for something far and wide, and then once you found it... you froze... unable to take that final step?  You can call it anxiety, fear, laziness, or resistance.  You can blame it on being weak or a perfectionist.

Whatever it is you want, you are the only one standing in your way, but you can't move: you're paralyzed by this inundating resistance.  You can't figure out how to get out of your thoughts and just PUT. ONE (damn) FOOT. IN FRONT. OF. THE OTHER.  Thinking about the task as a whole seems enormous, too much, or maybe even pointless by now... whatever your mind is telling you.  You've created an unsatisfying end (or thirty) to the story without even engaging beyond page three.  You put the book down and are ready to walk away.  

'I already know what's going to happen,' you tell yourself.  But you don't.  But you sure know what's going to happen if you stick to that thinking: nothing.  Nothing will happen.  Nothing will change.  Nothing will come to you if you don't go get it.  Or even just ask for it... though asking isn't easy when you know someone has the power to say 'no'.

Isn't just letting it go easier to deal with than finding out what you want is no longer for sale, not in your size, or just slightly out of your reach?  'Sorry,' your little heart tells you, and it feels so real, before you've even tried seeking the (actual) truth.

I play this game.  The more important the thing that I want, the more frozen I become.  This started in college as I was nearing the end of my studio classes; a resistance kicked in that I'd never known existed within me before.  I feared everything.  I couldn't put pen to paper, or finger to keyboard.  I slept hoping to wake up without this heaviness existing upon me.   I punished myself and denied myself playtime.  But it never went away.  The heaviness stuck, time kept ticking, and deadlines were looming.  I became a zombie.  I knew the motions, and I tried to just Do the Work to distract myself.  This worked for a little while, until I'd become overwhelmed again and have to try a different approach. Then I'd start this process all over again.

I feared failure more than anything I've feared in my entire life.  I feared going all this way and not getting that degree, or that stupid little B that I needed.  I was so terrified of failing that I almost made sure I failed just so I could know if I would survive it.  What is it that makes us do this to ourselves?

Today I had something important to do.  Actually, this week I had something important to do.  I wanted to get it done Tuesday.  It didn't happen.  Wednesday passed... Thursday... 'okay, okay.'  And then the external resistance kicked in.

'Just how strong are you Sera?  How much can you handle?  How much do you want this?'  THAT... that is when my perseverance kicks in... the inner athlete in me sees a challenge.  'Oh, so you think I'm going to let this beat me down?'  I had to get something printed... and of course I'm out of ink at my house.  The first place I go, the only place I thought I'd have to go, can't print something double sided and make it line up.  'Are you kidding me?'  Maude is now having a field day.  Here we go... nothing can be that easy.  

I start calling print stores, and no one's answering.  By this time, it's after 6pm... and they're probably closed.  But I've got the determination NOW; I need to do this NOW.  I need it printed in color on card-stock.  Still, no one's answering.  The library prints for free on regular paper, and black and white.  'Something is better than nothing, Sera.'  Okay.  To the library I go.  I print.  I print a few extra copies just in case.  I check out the book I reserved from another library.  I walk out to my car and realize... I did it, and yet, nothing is going to change in the next 12 or even 24 hours.  I want color and card-stock.  I don't want to settle.  I want to do this right.

Friday morning.  Body is sore.  Supposed to do this, need to do that.  I can't do one thing because I'll be distracted by the other: I can't go on my scheduled weekly 'artist's date' because I will be beating myself up for not doing what I need to do.  One foot in front of the other.  Get dressed.  Put your contacts in.  Make yourself presentable so you can face the day without confidence as yet another distraction.  Bring all your supplies, your zip-drive and your card to pay.  Just do one step at a time.

Drive to the print store.
And then print.
(Breathe some more.)

And now... it's DONE.  And while one step at a time was manageable, I was nearly in tears by then end of this process.  But I did it.  And now there will be no regrets, no lost opportunities, no blame to throw around.  Take THAT, Maude. 

I'm doing the best that I can. (And yes I have to keep telling myself this.)

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