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All posts for the day November 28th, 2011

A Failure and a Promise

Published Monday, November 28, 2011 by Chasing Neptune

Most people who know me relatively well, including myself (as ridiculous as this all will sound), give me too much credit for my ambition. You see, I’m a talker. I have a million grand plans for myself. I know exactly who I was, who I am, and who I want to be. I have a plan for the present and am forming one for the future. I am tied down by obligation and a sense of duty, but I still find time for myself, and in that time, I watch Supernatural and listen to bands that I like to pretend people have never heard of and…make more plans.

In my defense, most of my plans are well thought-out and relatively realistic (other than the ones that involve marrying rockstars and NASCAR drivers). I want to go to graduate school and live in Jersey for a while with my best friend. I want to own one of my dream cars and spend my weekends at concerts and race tracks. I want to write a novel. You see? All obtainable, not easy, but obtainable. The only problem is that I can never actually accomplish a damn thing.

I have my plans and my lists: a bucket list, a list of fears to conquer, a list of music/books to contemplate, a list of things I want out of life. And I can talk the talk, oh boy can I talk it. I interviewed my way to several opportunities in high school. I made my big ideas sound so well planned and so damn easy that I’ve got a lot of people convinced that I have some sort of potential lurking inside of me, just oozing out of the seams of my soul. I know I sound like an arrogant prick right now, and I apologize…because in all honesty, I’m just someone who knows how to fake it.

I often tell my roommate that I feel out of place at comic book stores. I think that feeling is what started this rant to which I am subjecting you, my poor, defenseless reader. You see, whenever I walk into a comic book store – having only read two or three comics in my entire life – I feel like a fraud. Sure, I’ve learned how to browse the shelves, have a pointless loyalty to Dark Horse, and know which titles to peruse and purchase. However, I have no real knowledge of the comic book industry. And I get it – we all have to learn sometime; this is my chance to dive into that world if I so choose, to slowly assimilate myself into a culture which I have long misunderstood and now long to join. So I walk into the store, faking my confidence and waiting for the moment when the part of me who is presently clueless and longing to grasp the meaning behind the art finally combines with the future part of me who fully appreciates that art.

Another unsettling notion is my attempt to “write.” I am so full of shit that it’s terrifying. Since the second grade, when my “talent” for writing was first recognized, I have declared that all I want to do with my life is write books. Ha. Yeah, great idea, Kate. I am a Creative Writing major (like that’s going to do me any good in life), who has turned out no publishable work, save a handful of elementary-level poems. I have failed at National Novel Writing Month (miserably, I might add) for my second year. Sure, I had school work and extra-curricular obligations – but had I truly committed myself, I could have made the word count. I’m not saying my novel would have been anything more than a pile of dead carcasses and a crushed can of Mountain Dew, but it could have been 50,000 words long. Instead, I am sitting on a way-too-low word count, using my beautiful tongue to smooth over my indiscretion to everyone who believed in my big plan to “actually succeed this year.” And what am I doing now? Instead of writing my novel, I am writing a rant that no one will read and hypocritically ripping myself to shreds.

I must get some sort of sick satisfaction out of watching myself fail and then bitching instead of taking control of my life.

In simple terms, here is the problem: my present self has become bored with herself and is ready to take the next step in her character development. However, she is also extremely insecure: afraid of the world and her self. Moreover, like all humans, she finds comfort in what is known and expected and never has the guts to actually try to push herself.

Yes, I have begun referring to myself in the third person. Thus, it is logical to conclude that I am insane and can now rebuild.

From my feelings of inadequacy in situations in which I wished I belonged, as well as my recent failures to stick to any of my big goals, I have concocted…wait for it…another plan. Fantastic, right? Bet you didn’t see that one coming.

Long story short, the ticket stubs that once filled my cork board are now safely tucked away in a scrapbook, leaving me with a glaringly blank brown canvas. This is going to become my inspiration board, which I will fill with pictures and quotes and (of course) lists and plans. Also, I am going to make yet another potentially (aka most likely) ill-fated promise to myself.

Every single day, for 365 consecutive days, I am going to do something that inspires me. This activity may be diving into an interest that I’ve always felt unworthy to explore, tackling an item from my bucket list, confronting a fear, or fulfilling one of my long-lost promises to myself (yeah, I’ll totally work out for 30 minutes today). Hopefully someone out there will hold me truly accountable to this. We’ll see…

If I were being logical, I would declare this to begin on January 1, 2012 – start the new year with a new me. But I know me. If I put this off, I will never do it. Also, if the world ends on December 21st, I will fail by default, so I need to start now and stack the deck in my favor as much as possible. ;) All else aside, it’s in the midnight hour, and nothing logical ever happens in the midnight hour.

So here we go. I began this post Sunday, so lest I succumb to cheating already, I will not count it as my Monday item, even though I am technically finishing it today. And again, I cannot count my mission as beginning Sunday, because all this post has been is incessant ranting, useless self-bashing, and whole lot of ambitious talking.

And I think we all know how I feel about my talking.

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