Friday, August 27, 2010

The Giant Brick Wall

This was written on August 27th 2010

There's this giant thing that is over the heads of humanity, pushing down on our shoulders and condensing the air surrounding our heads. This thing makes it very hard to focus, hard to stand upright and just hard in general. It gives us all headaches and pushes tension into our backs until we literally can't stand anymore. This thing that hangs over all of us is our own progress.

Now, this may sound funny as everyone believes that progress is a good thing. We all know it's a good thing and that progress helps us grow. Still, so many people are afraid of progress, afraid of change and success. So they see it coming and they start running away from it, running away from the chance of success. They do everything they can to keep success from themselves because they're afraid of what may come from success.

I know I'm guilty of it. My senior year during my final Cross Country season I ran a 18:36 for a 5k. I never ran even close to that speed again, in fact in my final race that season, I faked blacking out and just lost all will to continue racing. I sabotaged my own success because I was afraid of the pressure of being better than I had been before, so I caved.

There are plenty of situations that people have been through like mine. We see something coming and as much as it is unreasonable to do so, we sabotage ourselves out of fear. There's this giant brick wall in front of you, a wall you've tried breaking down, climbing, digging under, going around. You've tried everything you can to get past this wall and all of the sudden a large rumbling begins to roar around you. You can see the dirt on the ground bouncing and leaping and the world seems to shake. You can feel in your bones the fact that something is coming to break down this brick wall of yours, to give you a chance to get past it. You have no idea what is coming, how dangerous it could be to you. It could put you in a struggle for your life, or it could be a kind creature which protects you for the rest of your journeys. You don't know.

This is when fear takes hold, when the unknown stands in our way, when something that we cannot calculate for is produced for us to deal with. It's a reasonable fear, but our reaction to that fear is what changes our character, defining us to be the best we can be. If we are to succeed in life, we need to let that creature crash through our barriers and then grab it by the horns, harnessing its power to move forward for our own goals. For me, that creature was the realization that I could do whatever I wanted. I had this wall in front of me waiting to be broken down and I could feel what was coming and so I stood and waited. Deciding that running away from all my progress was something I didn't want to do this time. My bones shook, my sweat rolled and I could feel the fear welling up inside of me, telling me to get out of the way, but I did everything I could to resist and I kept persisting.

It is my goal to own three houses outright by the time that I'm forty and I was given the opportunity and started down the path toward that goal. Despite my fears of how much it would change my life, I pursued this idea because what matters most to everyone is security, whether it's a house to fall back on, family who loves you, or a lover. Everyone needs security, and everyone finds that at some point their progress may take them further away from that security. That is a scary thing. So, I ask you all to consider, what is it that makes you afraid of your own progress? Then once you realize that, ask yourself this, will you run away from progress again? Or will you stand and fight for what you want?

The Beginning

This was written on August 27th 2010

This is the beginning of what is going to be a collection of essays.