Sunday, December 19, 2010

Try v. 1.2

What do you want to try next year? Is there something you wanted to try in 2010? What happened when you did / didn’t go for it?

Roller derby is tangible (tho, bad news, due to inventory delays I don't get my gear til January. Rats.), let's try getting a bit more esoteric, here.

Next year, I want to try failing. Not the self-sabotage sort of failing that I'm so damn good at, but rather, trying things and not liking them. Walking away from situations. Making decisions knowing that whatever I decide, it's not the end of the world.

See, I have this issue with fatalism. In my head, every decision ever made is the final one. There's no going back, no changing my mind. Oceania has always been at war with Eurasia.

This results in things like sticking with a job I hate, even though I'm miserable there and no good at it. Holding on to friendships even when they're not healthy for me, or stubbornly refusing to speak to old friends because of past differences, even if enough time has passed that we could, conceivably, be civil to each other. Refusing to stray from my chosen career path because, it's a path, I can't wander off of it.

Doorways don't represent possibilities to me, they lead into rooms with no windows and no way out, and the door that led me there slams shut behind me. Every decision I make, I agonize over, because there's something in me that makes me believe that I'll never have a chance to reverse it.

So, next year, I want to try failing. I want to see what it's like to not hold myself to a life choice, to walk back through an open door and try something different.

I don't particularly know how to manifest this. I just want to be able to do new things (or change old things) without them being a decision that will lock me in for the rest of my life. I want to be free from the weight of the world that has rested on my shoulders for as long as I can remember.

I'm seriously toying with the idea of a vacation semester. I've never taken time off from school (outside of breaks and graduation, anyway), I've never transferred programs. Education has always been a strictly linear engagement, and not finishing the things you start with it - I've never perceived that as an option. It's never been presented to me as one. I spent 13 years at a private school that I hated, did my undergrad in 4 years straight. (2 of those years, I hated my school and desperately wanted to leave. Did I? No. Did it work out for the best? Yes. I ended up loving it. In retrospect, I even liked my private school, and would like to send my future children somewhere similar, though not for 13 years.)

I know what the arguments against such a thing are. Just get it done. Muscle through it, crank it out, put it behind me, move on. I've been struggling so much the past few semesters, though, that I can't see how that's a good idea. I think I need to take some time off (even though the possibility of doing "nothing" terrifies me) so that I can regroup, rethink, reassess. Fail a little bit now, so I can do something spectacular later.

I don't like the feeling of not finishing something - yet when I self-sabotage, that's exactly what happens. What if, instead of backing myself into a corner, and consequently feeling awful about my inability to follow through with things, I opt-out? Take the time to finish things at my own pace, try new things, do something different?

I don't know. That route, it's new. It's foreign. It's scary. But I'm thinking, the old routes haven't been working out so well. So maybe it's time to try something different.


  1. Wow. This is *so* perfectly timed for me to read. Thank you so much for sharing this, and thanks to #reverb10 for bringing me here.

  2. Some would say that without failing you're not trying, so it sounds like an excellent 2011 objective.

  3. If you can learn to love yourself through failure, you become invincible. :)