Love Hurts

Something I’ve been stressing over for about a fortnight is now done. The relief, especially in my shoulders, is palpable. I’m also beyond tired all of a sudden and yesterday’s lifts/squats are manifesting in hips and knees. It’s amazing how these things become physical issues when enough time elapses. Stress kills, kids, don’t let anybody convince you otherwise. Try and find ways to relax.

This morning, my mind is full of the lies I tell myself to keep focused.

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Like it or not, I’m part of a problem that manifests all over social media. Success is the goal, key to changing existence, icing on your metaphorical Life Cake (TM) and only through a tortuous, painful journey of exploration and discovery will we all find a particular flavour of Nirvana that is so desperately sought. To allow this to happen, an awful lot gets compromised along the way, including integrity.

It means, like it or not, everything that isn’t abject failure gets celebrated. This includes such moments as ‘hey I made the Longlist of Award X let’s stick that in my Bio’ and ‘you can utterly tweet about how I almost won this thing because there were 600 entries and to make it to the final 25 is progress…’ and the list goes on… and on. I may laugh at the nerd yesterday inventing his own hype to justify existence, but he’s no different than me.

Like it or not, we’re both fooling ourselves to a point.

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Sometimes, I wish there were a magic button to press allowing me to move forward the writing part of my journey. If only everything were like exercise, where amount of effort inserted becomes directly equal to progress made in fitness. Yes, padewan, you have laboured for ten years on the Plains of Blogging, passed the Trial of Being Paid for Content, and now are eligible to One Minor Literary Achievement Per Year.

Why is this not enough for you?

That’s a really good question: can there not be enough satisfaction gained from just having a published book in your hands? Apparently not, according to the woman who managed this at the writing event I attended last month and pretty much complained non-stop that because she wasn’t with a major publisher, it wasn’t enough. I realise, that if the positions were reversed, I’d be unhappy too. Making something out of thin air once sets a benchmark you’re then forced to better.

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My PT asked me yesterday morning whether I need a goal to work towards in terms of training: maybe doing Ride London again, perhaps a marathon, maybe working towards the Nuclear races so many Gym attendees seem to love so much. I asked for notice of the question, and sitting here now, there is real understanding that if you gave me a goal to work at in my hobby, I’d stop exercising tomorrow. I lift weights and run now as relaxation as writing’s now the job, and goals only exist here now, not anywhere else.

It’s why the news of my favourite video game going back to it’s original iteration this month is enough to tempt me back to the fold, until I remember the kind of people who would be playing, and the real possibility I’d want to be really good at it like I was before. It would stop being a hobby and become something else. It was others that finally ruined that for me, plus the realisation those who bankroll said game are here to turn a profit, and won’t ever share my world views as a result.

Winning isn’t everything.

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Some days, it’s tough to know what matters most. Right now, all that’s really important is being aware that lots of things are changing. Let them happen, digest consequences, make informed decisions based on what you know. If you can learn to trust yourself, answers will eventually become clear, as they have in the last few months. Most importantly of all, success will not define you. How you deal with change will.

What matters most is to be true to your soul.