This long weekend has been a classic case of my overthinking brain, doing it’s usual overtime activity. Except, something was different. That difference was my choice.
As someone who wants to do every single thing possible all the time, but also wants to do everything perfectly, I’ve often lingered in the ideation phase for a little too longer than for my own good. That paired with my overthinking nature, well let’s just say it’s a struggle. Now being an idealist is part of my nature, and I’m not sure I want to change that, but what I can change is the level of attachment I have to every single thing I want to undertake.
This weekend was about exploring myself, about pursuing some ideas that had been brewing in my thoughts, and about allowing myself to take the time and space to go off that grid, outside the lines and pattern of my mind, just a little deeper.
For every new thing I tried in this time, it was always preceded by a moment of reluctance, of doubt, of a question – do you really need to? No?
But yes. That’s where I decided to change the outcome.
Do you need to talk to the random stranger and ask her for a picture? No? What will she think? But yes.
Because I’ve made a promise to myself to learn a new skill, produce more pictures, videos.
Do you need to go cycling around Brooklyn early in the morning? No? I do have a cold, and I am not really sure of the roads and the traffic rules. But yes.
Because I had decided to this weeks ago, and I do really want to do it.
Do you really need to make this video right now? No? There are so many people around, what will they think? But yes.
Because this is your journey that you’ve decided to document, and it really doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks.
Do you really need to go out tonight? No? I have just been out the whole day, and now just want to lay in bed. But yes.
Because I had chosen to make new friends, and they are really interesting people.
Do I really have to think about my future and start making some plans? No? I do have plans in my head and I’m not really sure how I should go about it. But yes.
Because I can be better prepared, and yes I could actually move on from ideation to execution.
Do I really need to write a blog today? No? I’m not feeling inspired. But yes.
Because I’ve committed myself to writing more and that makes me happy.
All of these above scenarios could’ve had a different outcome had I simply decided to linger in the “No”. What a huge disservice I would’ve done to myself, and for what reason? Because I was afraid to fail? Or because I cared too much about what other people would think? Or was it as trivial as giving in to lethargy or reluctance? Because the truth of the matter is, whenever you start to do, you always follow through. The key is to start.
Now I’m not here to explain how exactly doing all of those things is indeed beneficial to me, I’m simply here to share my experience of it – because I know I’m not the only one who battles such questions everyday, because I know frustrating, how noisy it can be, and how difficult it can be to listen to your heart, make the choice.
So what does all of this have to do with being an idealist? Let me go ahead and complete my initial thought on this – It is through experiencing things that we learn what we truly want, what we truly feel, and most times some experiences are more valuable than others. To ensure that we have the time, the space, and the mindfulness for these experiences, we need to detach ourselves from all others. I don’t have the right answer as to how one can achieve this, but I will share my attempt at it – I’ve started becoming more honest with myself about who I am and who I want to be, I’ve also started being more grateful for my life and the endless opportunities it presents, I’ve started valuing not just time, but mindful time. And so I’ve learnt to accept that I can’t be everywhere and do everything, nor can I never fail and be perfect, but also, that if I don’t try I’ll never know. This tells me that I have a choice – to prioritize, take action. Because if I don’t, someone else will, for me.
If you’ve watched the movie Never Back Down, it’s one of my favorites, you’ll know this quote from it which sums up the essence of what I’m trying to convey today – “No matter what happens, control the outcome, it’s on you, always has been.”