Let’s Talk: Giving Up

Like everyone else, I go through phases of liking and disliking things. I’ll be enamored with a particular endeavor one day, only to be unmoved several days later with no justification as to why. That’s just how I am.

In a sense this is nice. It means I get to try new things. But it also means that I’m pretty terrible at following through on the things I say that I want to.

I want to start running and maybe try a 5K one day…

Actually only run twice a week for three weeks, then get distracted and quit. Blame my busy schedule…of TV watching.

I want to learn guitar…

Halfheartedly take lessons for two years, realize I have no rhythm, then give up. Keep the guitar as impressive decoration in your first apartment.

I want to make YouTube videos…

Marathon produce a bunch of videos all in one afternoon, publish them weekly for a month, then give up because I’m too shy to film around other people. Repeat this process every six months for three years.

I want to publish a book…

Periodically write random sentences, then create a special blog category for “Unfinished Business” to perpetuate the illusion of actual prior thought. Secretly accept the futility of my efforts, but continue mooning over About the Author sections for every book I buy, anyway.

So far the only two hobbies that I’ve ever been consistent with are my efforts to complete the 52 Book Challenge (completed in 2014 after three previous failed attempts) and publishing every weekday to this blog. Go figure, right?

Sometimes I give up on things because I’m legitimately distracted. I’ll stop reading Game of Thrones because another more interesting (and probably shorter) book came along, or I’ll decide to switch from one TV show to another because there’s a lull in plot. But sometimes I give up on things for more worrying reasons.

I’ve always been an emotional person and when I get disappointed by something, that disappointment and numbness has a tendency to mute my passions, too. I lose interest in things I genuinely love simply because I’m so overwhelmed by how bad I feel about something completely unrelated and that’s not ok with me. That’s a feeling that I’m not willing to accept and I’m trying everything in my power to overcome it right now.

But it’s it hard to ignore an instinct that tells you to walk away, hard not to just wallow when you’re feeling sad. Funny how my instinct is to react in exactly the opposite way of what will actually make me feel better. What I need to overcome the encroaching disappointment is action and productivity, not passiveness, but it’s not any easier to do regardless.

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