Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Live Now, but Don't Forget to Look Ahead

I am a dysfunctional person. In case you were wondering. I have a terrible habit of not doing anything that I'm supposed to. I lack any motivation to do well in life. I oftentimes have trouble keeping friends. I have some of the worst timed luck (or unluck, more like) ever. 

Simultaneously, however, I want to write novels for a living, of all things. That takes ambition, motivation, the ability to talk with (the right) people, and a whole lotta good luck. And yet my disfunctional ass keeps on trucking towards that singular goal, ignoring the inevitability of real life and my lack of dedication. 

I have always had a simple view of things. There is today. Tomorrow, the rest of the week, the months and years to come, etc. are all just abstract ideas that may or may not come to fruition. The past is an always-present demon that can only be ignored or swatted away temporarily, always haunting you, shaping who you are, and influencing your decisions. You live in the present, because there is nothing else to consider. 

Really, this is true. You don't have much of a choice but to live in the present. But mentally, you do have a choice. You can choose to focus on what is now, or you can choose to focus on what is passed, or what is to come. You can choose how much you think about where you come from or where you're going. Which is good, because I've recently come to the realization that you can't always just focus on the present. Especially not if you're someone like me. 

I recently got in a car accident (I'm fine) and lost my car. It was my only mode of transportation. Things have been a little ridiculous since then. My current situation is something like this: I need a car to get a job. I'm not able to get a car unless I have a job. I'm sure you can see my dilemma. 

The point of this is, sometimes real life hits you and you don't expect it. You have to adjust. And you have to look (and plan) ahead. You can't just live in the present anymore, because once you start playing with the real world, it won't let you. You have to constantly have things organized (in some fashion) ahead of time. And you have to take every opportunity you have to reflect on the past, because they won't come often. You lose sight of the goals you had when things were simpler. When you were living in just the present. 

And that's exactly what I have done. I've lost sight of what I wanted to do in the first place. To write novels. Sure, I'm still dealing with real life stuff, but my life is still relatively simple. I know soon it's going to be significantly more complicated than it is now. And I have to prepare for that. 

Well, I choose to prepare for that with my goal kept in mind. Because I don't just write because I feel like it, or because I just want to (though I do want to); I do it because I love it. Because I long for it. 

I long to go to places no one has ever seen before. To record the stories of people who succeeded and who failed for others to see. I want to go to distant lands of memories' past, where honor prevailed and one's dueling did the talking for him. To places where magical creatures roam freely and where anything (yes, anything) can happen. I want to see the stories of rebels and tyrants, gods and mortals, life and death, and the fate of the world itself unfold before my eyes. Then I want to write it all down and show it to other people. To say, "Hey! Look at this thing I found. Look at this place, these people. Look at their story."

But to do things like that, I can't just live in the present. No matter how much I want to. I have to look ahead and consider real life's unexpected intrusions. I have to prepare for more of them. And I need to look back to reflect on what has happened, and how to prevent it from happening again. To motivate myself to action when I don't feel like taking action. To realize that if I don't prepare for things to happen, then I will never know what to do with myself when they do. 

I can't just live in the present anymore. I have to consider the future, and the past. They are a part of me. And I can't ignore them any longer.