I sabotage myself.
It's a stupid thing to do. It's pointless and wasteful, like trying to armwrestle yourself; you won't get far, but you'll get tired fast. But I overpromise, underdeliver, waffle, baffle, perform well for a few weeks and then completely disappear. I'm undisciplined with time, space, commitment, and focus. I actively stop myself from unleashing my own potential. I make it so that other people think of me as an irresponsible idiot. Worst of all, I do it consciously.
I don't want to be good.
Well, no. I want to be good. In predictable, standardized, measurable ways. Things that make sense on a resume. Numbers I can point to on a transcript, on a test, on a letter of reference. Unambiguous proof that I fit in and make sense according to their standards. Rest from the incessant demands of having to make my own. I desperately want to fit in that square hole, so I whittle down the round peg until it's an inscribed shadow of its former self and rattles around loosely in the assigned slot - but damn it, it's in there, isn't it?
My soul is screaming as I type the previous paragraph.
I want to be quote-unquote good. I don't want to be great. I don't want the reputation, nor the responsibility, nor the solitude of standing at a pinnacle or blazing a new path. If I'm good at something, for the love of God don't tell me because I will start tearing it down. Bless me with mediocrity. Let me not know, because knowing is hard. Knowing is this terrible, this beautiful monster of potential clawing out through the seams I can't watch and can't patch fast enough. It won't stop, won't be schooled, won't be tamed; it just batters opportunity against the door until it splinters, then devours your life. Give me my life. I don't want to use it. I just want to hold its warmness in my hands and look at what it could be, because dreaming is easy and doing is hard.
I want to be. Not of service in any way.
What if my calling ends up being somewhere I don't want to go? Hey. Here I am. Send me... to any one of these fifteen pre-approved peer-reviewed destinations. And I expect frequent flyer miles.
And what if I stop holding myself back (because I do)? What if I accepted my lack of focus in an accepted area, grew selfish enough to puruse my own moments of flow, and allowed myself to institute the discipline needed for true creativity, external standards be hanged? If I let myself be whatever I can be, and it turns out that the best I can be isn't really that great?
We will now take a moment as Mel puts her sane face back on.
This post has been written by a component of Mel that doesn't often speak or wish to be acknowledged. I don't want to admit to its existence. It's not something I'm supposed to be. But dragging it painfully into the sunlight is the only way I'll ever deal with it. Begone, demon.
Of course I'm gone. I'm right here.