My definition

I am absolutely doubtful there is a word that describes me.

Confused? Possibly.

Stubborn. Acknowledged, but not a defining word. I do have other good qualities.

Directionless? This has potential – but I am able to focus and I know what I want and what to do to get it. I just lack the commitment to shed responsibility and go forth and do as I please.

Guilty. Hmm. We may be on to something here.

I’ve suffered under the crushing weight of guilt all my life. I don’t know if it’s from an underlying need to care about everything when I know I shouldn’t, but I’ve always been sensitive to my surroundings. It’s my lack of action that is worrisome. I come off as indifferent to a lot of things – sometimes I have strong opinions, but I’ve always been open to seeing different viewpoints and making my own rational choice/thoughts/viewpoints.

But the one thing I’ve never been able to get a hold of is the feeling of guilt.

I feel it when I don’t commit to things. I feel it when I don’t help others. I feel it when I look back at what I’ve accomplished and how I could have been better. I feel guilty for not heeding advice and not giving advice. I fell guilty when I’ve broken promises or said ‘no’ when I could have said yes.

This is normal. I have to keep telling myself that – I shouldn’t feel pressured to put myself in a situation where I could put myself in harm – physically, mentally and spiritually. But I do – I think too much.

Some days I try to turn my brain off – and it works. And then the feelings drift back in because all of that time I spent with the door shut, someone needed me to open the door. I guess a lot of it comes from an importance I’ve placed on doing things for me – and I’ve coupled myself to people who are the opposite. I like people who are driven and motivated and positive, because they are inspiring and affect change. I draw energy and motivation from that – but I’m not that type of person. I burn out quickly – I tire easily because I care too much.

It’s like a sprinter vs. a marathon runner.

I liked track and field when I was a kid. I was pretty quick. But I could never run long distances. I couldn’t swim for a long period of time or keep myself afloat treading water. Organized sports would exhaust me because I’d burn hard and fast and be spent at the end. I always felt guilty because I’d let my teammates down due to lack of energy or commitment.

Most of the time it was because I went TOO HARD. And that’s part of the downside of passion – you want to do so much and care so much and act – yet, too much too quickly and you burn out fast. I feel like a firecracker, when I really should be more of a candle. But, it’s part of who I am. I pulse and flare and go quiet, only to come back and repeat the process. It’s the reason why I never succeeded as an athlete. I lack patience for physical results.

Now for those of you with their heads in the gutter… I’m patient when it comes to that. So focus on the innuendo-less part of this, please. 😉

I get excited about a lot of things. I’m optimistic and full of wonder and joy at trying new things and dabbling and noodling – it’s one of the perks of having a creative, inquisitive mind. But there are times when I should just turn off all of the taps of creativity and let one of them flow. Because in time, the tank will empty – and it might be better for that tap to run and produce one big success than to drain out everything and have nothing to show for it.

Enough with the metaphors and the vagueness. Let me tell you about ALL the things that are eating at me that I’d like to accomplish.

SIDEBAR – I see a guy like Tim Ferriss who does a little bit of everything and I’m amazed that a man so young is so accomplished. Tony Robbins is another. These guys may seem like new-age kooks to many, but they’re on to something. And that’s what makes their teachings so appealing. BUT – If you could focus 100% of your being into one goal, and achieve that goal – then use the knowledge from that journey to set another goal, and focus on achieving that one and so on and so forth, the question remains. Is that living a fulfilled life, or is it simply a life where you’re constantly chasing the idea of finding the one thing that truly makes you happy?

Sorry for the brain bender. That was a bit heady for a Thursday morning. Let’s talk about things I’d like to do.

  1. A Full Length animation.
    I’ve always wanted to create an animated piece, whether it was a cartoon short or something a bit more detailed. I’ve thought of a rotoscoped scene from a movie among other things. Animation takes a lot of patience and skill. I have both of those things. But what it also requires is time, on my part – which is in short supply.
  2. An old-school 16-bit Game.
    There’s something about classic gaming that brings me comfort and enjoyment. Today’s games don’t pique my interest or hold my attention for very long because they are formulaic and lack imagination. There are few games that capture the same raw energy of bliss while playing them. Perhaps they’re too complicated. All I know is I’d love to create my own game that was made with a retro aesthetic and would be something that I would have loved to play back when I was younger.
  3. Become an Illustrator
    I always wanted to be a comic book artist. The thing is, it’s a tough road, there is a lot of competition and I couldn’t have what I have right now without a lot of sacrifice. I probably wouldn’t have the same life I do now, so I settled. But in my journey, I found a happy medium between employable, well paying work and passion work. I’ve done illustration on the side for a number of years and I like it. What I don’t care for is the grind of finding clients and work. Most of the time it has come to me and I’ve done well with that – but not enough to start my own full-time business with. Perhaps down the line when I’m older and my employment options have reached their end, I may have to put the hustle on and get cracking – but for now, my time and energy is spent trying to keep my work-life balance at an even level. I would love to be a bohemian artist – making things that inspired me and making some money to continue my craft, but that’s not a feasible, responsible thing to do at this stage in my life. If I was a full time illustrator though – that is closer to the dream.
  4. Learn to play the Guitar
    I dabbled with this in high school. I could carry a tune and was proud of figuring things out by ear. I have some musical inclination, but I lack the drive. I have two guitars in the studio collecting dust. And it saddens me everytime I stop and clean off the accumulated dust each year, knowing another year has passed and I haven’t spent a single minute making that beautiful instrument sing.
  5. Making YouTube videos
    People tell me I’m funny and I have a gift for telling stories. So I wanted to create small videos from these stories. But I could never force myself to put them out there without feeling like I half-assed them. I over-plan things and suck the essence out of them. I don’t think I could be a film-maker, even though I understand the process and the magic behind it. This comes back to the “burning out quickly” problem I have. I really wanted to create a series of art videos that were done in more of a “short film” style. (See Casey Neistat’s Making stuff videos) These videos are short, they tell a story and are entertaining – but they take a while to produce. Because I’m impatient and want to get things out for enjoyment quickly, I don’t end up doing anything because I’ve talked myself out of it. So, to combat this, I’ve decided to turn these videos into a season series and release them one at a time. Then shoot new videos and release those as the next season, etc.

    Now it’s a matter of finding the time to script, shoot and edit the videos. GUUUUUHHHH

There’s loads more I could add to this list – but for now, this is giving you all an idea of what’s on my radar. Hopefully I can accomplish one of those things – but it’s a matter of turning the taps off and focusing, and not allowing the creeping guilt to overwhelm me. I need to focus on doing one task to achieve that one goal.

I have time -0 I’m still young. No sense wasting it trying to do everything at once and get nothing done at all, right? Because I’d hate for my legacy to be the guy that tried a lot of things but didn’t finish anything.