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I went looking for advice earlier today, and the advice was something that I'm almost unable to hear: that I had to be still.
I have never been able to be still. When I let my mind wander, I do it while moving – I zone out while I run, or during some other sports. Basketball, which I suck at, is a place where I zone out a lot, because it's oddly easy to focus on the bouncing ball and the repetitive motion of grabbing the ball and shooting.
In my first job out of college, I used to take over the aisle storyboarding presentations because I thought more easily when I had to move around. In the job before that, I used to volunteer to buy lunch so I could go outside. A couple jobs before that, I was outside shoveling horse shit most of the day.
We all get to that point in our lives (often, many, many times) where what worked before doesn't work anymore, and we have to change things. I'm there, right now. Not in a sad way: in a practical, what-got-me here-isn't-going-to-get-me-there way, and there's no good guide or mentor for the next thing that I've found yet.
That's why the advice was to be still.
Obviously, I'm avoiding doing less, because I'm writing this. Being still scares the crap out of me. When you spend your entire life with one main tool – in my case, moving faster and more – it's frightening to flip it over.
A lot of people who know me think that I'm often introspective. The truth is, when I'm quiet, it's more like that song Your Ex-Lover Is Dead: "All that time you thought I was sad... I was trying to remember your name."
One of the things that I hate most about trying to be still is that everything I read about it talks about how you find your true self when all the other noises are quiet, and I believe that your true self is what you do for and to other people. It's not some fantasy of what you could be if life wasn't in the way.
At the same time, I know that I need to get the thousands of conflicting thoughts to just shut up for a bit, kind of like a system reboot. Without acid or 'shrooms or anything like that – I'm not trying to re-wire my brain. I'm just trying to flush out the crud.
Since that's where I am, so I guess that's where I'll go.
And one other thing for today that cracked me up:
That's it for today! Thanks for reading.
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