Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Why Life Doesn't Have To Suck So Much

Procrastinating at the lib.
I don't think I have ever actually gotten any work done here.
Que lastima.

My passion is-and probably always will be-history and the other subjective social sciences.
So much so that I hope to be a professor.
Scratch that, need to be, considering the coming shitstorm of grad school loans is fast approaching.
That entails a lot of writing papers obviously.
It also entails not having to give a shit about math.
I'll take that any day.

I'll let you in on one of my many fascinating/fucking awesome quirks:
I can't write papers until the very last minute.
It doesn't matter how long or how important.
I'll research and cite sources beforehand, of course.
But actually writing doesn't occur until the minimum amount of time necessary is left.

There is an important reason for this, and it applies to most stressful situations.

Why do some people have a fear of needles?
It's not the "needles" part.
The pain is virtually non-existent.
The process is almost always beneficial.
Well, unless you're enjoying a nice dose of heroin.
But you probably don't give a shit about clean needles (or Trainspotting) at that point.

It's the thinking.

I've pointed out before how dickish our brains can be.
Evolution had a great reason for the fear response in the beginning.
One fuck-up in the jungle led to your ass being snatched by a gorilla.
When you have a test tomorrow and can't sleep thanks to anxiety?
Not so necessary.
But it doesn't have to be that way.

Fear is obviously engrained in us.
But that doesn't mean it will affect your life negatively if you don't let it.
It's hard work, but what the fuck isn't?
Don't be a pussy.
Our ancestors didn't succeed in eventually birthing your sorry-ass by being a slave to their impulses.
They did it by changing the stupid shit that evolution hadn't gotten around to yet.
One day someone in our genetic history decided hunting mammoths all day fucking sucked, and did something about it.
Fuck, maybe that agriculture shit he'd heard about was worth a try.
Our brains became the complex system we love & hate today as a result.
Even though everything instinctual told him that fucking around with giant animals was a smart thing to do, he simply didn't listen.
He had the free will to change how every human's life after him would be determined.

Anyways, back to the main point (fuck studying).
The paper thing.
I've tried my hardest to do it differently, trust me.
But the fact remained that my best papers were, always, the ones that I wrote with the looming deadline close.
I finally figured out the reason why.

When I know that I have to turn in fifteen pages in 5 hours, no matter how shitty it could be, I stop thinking.
I don't worry about how long I can make the paper or how many citations I need.
I just use the knowledge I've gathered and trust myself and my abilities enough to allow myself to reach a flow.
Flow is important.
It's the feeling you get when you know you are damn good, yet have enough of a challenge that your skills will be tested.
We crave reaching that flow.
It's just damn hard to stay focused.
Fear and worry and anxiety and pointless bullshit and doubt and everything else will always cloud your mind if you let it. 
But you don't have to.

And if all else fails, remember the one constant in the universe.
Denny's is open 24/7, and 1.79 for unlimited coffee is not a bad deal if you just need some goddamn caffeine.
Plus there is no worry about being judged.

The only fucking people who've ever "dined" at a Denny's either were going through an existential crisis or from Alabama.

Peace.
JF.






Blog Archive