I make excuses for myself.
There is no other way to put it, no other way to interpret my procrastination.
A part of me feels that my excuses are all valid. Fear of failure. Fear of unmet expectations. Fear that nothing I do or say matters. But, at the end of the day, that’s all they are and all they will remain: excuses.
I keep trying to come back to writing, to filming, to being creative, but so far none of my attempts have been conclusive. I keep on giving up instead, i.e. willingly handing power to already deep-rooted demons on a silver platter.
I first consoled myself with the fact that I am showing signs of awareness and, therefore, am able to question this perpetual stalling: where does this self-sabotage stem from? why can’t I bring myself to do what I love on the pretext that I may not be good enough for it? when did my lack of confidence become so crushing that it paralysed me from doing anything at all?
Unfortunately, this unpleasant introspection has yet to bring a satisfying explanation. Any justification I come up with sounds like another pathetic excuse. So, I go back to square one where more questions start to arise, and more answers are left pending.
But are these even the right questions to ask? Obviously not. From an outside perspective, I am probably doing my best to figure things out. The truth is that I am actively digging for irrelevant issues that lie somewhere below the surface and using the leftover mud to try and bury my lethargy, my stupor, my idleness — however you want to call it – in the laughable hole I made for myself. For a qualified procrastinator, I am remarkably productive and imaginative when it comes to ignoring or covering up the problem in any possible way. But then I realised I’d hit rock bottom and there was nothing else to unearth.
In reality, the only questions I should be asking myself are as follows:
- so, what if I am not good enough?
- what if I have no talent whatsoever?
- what if my time here isn’t supposed to have meaning at all?
What then? Is any of these doubts an acceptable reason to silence the voice that aches to be heard? Probably not. Yes, I am terrified of disappointment, but quality of performance should never cloud or dictate what I decide to undertake in the first place.
Regrettably, I have this belief that I must be skilled at something to pursue it. That this something must be perfectly executed to hold value. That this something must go public and be well received for it to be worthy. That I must aim to make a career out of this something to feel legitimised, accomplished and successful.
The day I started seeking recognition for anything I did — writing, filming, even reading — rather than doing it for the pure enjoyment of it is when I truly lost myself. The more I thought about potential outcome, views, likes and so forth, the more I was crippled by anxiety and the less I was able to create.
Experiencing that void only led to more confusion because, surely, anyone who has dozens of ideas running wild in their mind will dedicate time and effort to turn them into something tangible, if only to get it out of their system and make sure they stay sane. Surely, anyone who yearns to write or draw or play an instrument will not annihilate that side of them just because they fear their work will go unnoticed. In that sense, art is almost a second nature, a necessity, not just a distraction. And so, creating becomes unavoidable even if you try.
This reasoning got me to wonder: did I fool myself into hoping I was a creative person so it would give some depth and direction to my life when, in fact, I have no sense of purpose without this personality trait? Is there really such a thing as blank page syndrome, or is it just that my imagination is limited and, consequently, I have already dried up the well of ideas?
But the more I ponder about the latter, the more I find that it cannot be true. I have a few drafts in progress sitting on my laptop, and I clearly remember a time when my brain was swarming with words, scenes and images from various projects. And when I dare look into that first supposition, I remind myself that I can aspire to be whoever and whatever I want, as long as I do it for the right reasons, i.e. because I feel the need to express myself, not because I long to be a bestselling author or top musician.
The bottom line is that I miss reading, I miss blogging, I miss writing, I miss filming, I miss creating. I miss giving myself the space to do it. So, here’s me trying to quit making excuses for the umpteenth time and get back into the swing of things. I have decided to take it easy to avoid putting unnecessary pressure on myself, but I aim to be as regular and consistent as I can with writing, even if it’s only a few words a day. YouTube will never be as much of a dominant part in my life as it once was, but I have the strongest gut feeling that this journey is not over. Filming is another wonderful way to tell stories and I am eager to explore the format more.
I may still be terrified of failure and I feel a bit rusty after being paralysed by fear for so long, but I have overcome much worse in the past and I owe it to myself to at least finish what I started. It might take months to get into a groove again and years to complete something, but my sole concern right now is to fucking stop dawdling and finally start doing.