Forbidden Pleasures

Motivation is a weird force.

The entire two days of this week, the only reason I didn’t give up on school/life was knowing that a extra-long weekend was waiting afterwards. Historically, the week of Thanksgiving has been a horrible two school days. This year was no exception. (Last year, I stayed up the Sunday night before reading a book until 5AM. The next “morning” made me vow to never pull an all-nighter until absolutely necessary.)

In class, I would literally be doodling out to-do lists of things I wanted to accomplish over the break, with finishing NaBloPoMo at the top. Thank goodness I wrote it all down, because now that freedom’s finally arrived, I’ve completely forgotten what productivity means and I just want to go on the computer and feign actually doing something.

Sometimes I need the pressure of a school workload in order to get anything done, especially with NaBloPoMo. It’s much more fun writing a post unrelated to school when there’s the threat of unfinished homework weighing down. (It’s not that glorious, but you get the point.) Throughout all the weeks of NaBloPoMo, the weekend posts were the hardest to write because I had the time to actually ponder about every idea and throw out any imperfect, whereas over the school week, any idea about which I could spit out 300 words (or less) got published. [See: Why Quantity Should Be Your Priority]

To be honest, I don’t have that clear of a mission statement as to why I’m doing NaBloPoMo. Yes, some vague definition of success is waiting for me at the end, but it was depressing knowing that I had 29 posts, 28 posts, 27 posts, etc. left. My best strategy was just to go through one day at a time, not thinking about the future or the end goal.

There is a story of a young, but earnest Zen student who approached his teacher, and asked the Master, “If I work very hard and diligently, how long will it take for me to find Zen?”

The Master thought about this, then replied, “Ten years.”

The student then said, “But what if I work very, very hard and really apply myself to learn fast. How long then?”

Replied the Master, “Well, twenty years.”

“But, if I really, really work at it, how long then?” asked the student.

“Thirty years,” replied the Master.

“But, I do not understand,” said the disappointed student, “at each time that I say I will work harder, you say it will take me longer. Why do you say that?”

Replied the Master, “When you have one eye on the goal, you only have one eye on the path.

-From Valedictorian Speaks out Against Schooling

Was I ever willing to put in all the work for the intangible “benefits” of NaBloPoMo? Who knows, but I’ve been blindly dumping my brain out to the Internet for the past few weeks, and there’s no going back now.

Yawn, I would write more, but I really want to sleep before midnight for once. Goodnight, and here’s to the last few days of NaBloPoMo and the beginning of Turkey day break.

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