When I was a lot younger….not that I’m not still kind of young…
I used to write several tasks to do on my calendar.
It was college-y. It was adult-ish.
It was a time when I was changing a lot. Validating things were happening.
I was also kind of in a very strange higher educational muck.
But I would write things to do on my calendar. Stuff to buy, places to go, assignments to finish, people to see.
And I would think of these things like “missions” of sorts, rather than just tasks.
I remember feeling like only my personality of that time would have done such a thing.
That very weird and neat feeling pride in oneself.
Taking profound joy and heart-rich glory over things that would not even have required too much more effort than having my shit together and choosing to do them.
Having stuff do on a list can make it more or less likely that you actually go through with it.
But it always feels nice once it’s checked off.
In this case, I guess you could say, it felt more than nice. Like I was transcending feelings.
I felt like I had something I lacked before.
It probably had to do with who I met and the things I was learning about the ways of the world.
The nasty and wonderful qualities of cultures far and wide being one of them.
I guess you might call what I had,
a dragonlike feeling in the chest.
Genuine warmth in the excesses of self-congratulation. Feeling composed enough to get that you still have things to work on despite that joy. Knowing that even the chores you finished might actually be veering you off the path of success.
You feel encouraged to savor these feelings, because they appeal to the part of you that is….really a fine balance between reckless and careful.
The friction between what something is meant for and should be, how it makes us enticingly shameless.
I am something other than how I was, was how I felt.
Not just getting things done or not and being glad or mad like a typical child.
You being able to feel the contrast with your younger self, more desperate and humble,
and your older self, more determined and discerning….that makes you feel like you’ve got dragon’s muscles in somewhere in your chest cavity.
Such a great, great, great feeling.
Such a famous, awful, unspeakable culprit.
Could you help me….tame the villain of self-improvement?
Of feeling like you’ve become weirdly valuable?
Would you if you had the chance?
Today I feel like I’d throw away all I own
just to constrict our hearts a gentle, proper way.
That gets rid of the need to argue about how to do so.
Because connected to terrifying behavior,
is a very respectable modesty.
Like someone mowing the lawn and staring at their neighbors.
Putting one’s plans in a folder makes them quite a bit creepier, perhaps even innocuous chores. There is a tinge of eerie confidence and of hazardous determination.
Beware, beware….the calm ecstasy of having one’s shit together.
Beware the frenzy of commitment, that believes not in its ugliness.