To put it kindly, I am more predisposed to being ‘driven’ and ‘motivated’, but I think a more accurate term would probably be something along the lines of ‘obsessive-compulsive’. There is some strange tendency in me to take things a little excessively if I had my way with it, and when you are bright-eyed and wet-behind-the-ears the world feels like your oyster! You can do anything and everything! Activities not contributing to this overall personal growth just seems so pointless. I remember distinctly a night some years back, when it was 2 am and I was fighting the lethargy, thinking to myself that you know what, sleep is such a goddamn waste of time. I can do so much more if I had all the time I wasted sleeping.
It was a very intense urge, a compulsion to be a robot.
Rest is a concept that makes complete sense factually and logically, but one I can’t really comprehend…emotionally? Mentally? Work done almost always correlates with results to me, which is counter-intuitive in cases such as 1) overtraining or 2) trying to study but eyeballs falling out from exhaustion. Something about the time spent on something, even if ineffective (or counter-productive) just…means something to me.
Of course, such extreme drive doesn’t just continue indefinitely. Losing steam sucks, especially when against your own will. Isn’t it odd how you can wish to not want to feel a certain way? If you want to not want it, can’t you just…not want it? If you want it, why would you not want it? It ‘would be nice’ if I wasn’t so hard on myself all the time – but would it really be nice? Would I really be happy, settling for not-so-good or dropping things I’d like to do due to lame reasons like time constraints (there is always time, it depends on how much you want it), the need for rest (what is rest??)?
(Well, NO, because one of my greatest fears is mediocrity.)
Is there really a way to accept personal limitations while still maintaining a sense of drive and motivation? I think this is my greatest hang-up – if I ever put my foot down and acknowledge with my heart that there are some things that cannot be achieved regardless of the time and effort outpoured – then why does it matter? Why would all things matter at all? I do go through such personal crises on a regular basis, just wondering why I bother to do anything when decades down the road I’m just going to be ashes and dust in this big world that revolves perfectly fine without me (or humans…or living creatures) and the universe eventually converges to a black hole singularity and implodes. (When I was younger this sort of scenarios scared the ever-living shit out of me. I recall a family trip to Bintan in the early 2000s where I stargazed with my brother and he enthusiastically informed me about black holes and other astronomical phenomenon (his main interest then) and I was so terrified of being swallowed up by a black hole and being spaghettified and what would happen to me or my life or my memories?!) The same scenario now gives me a calm, soothing sense of existential nihilism. Calm and soothing is good though, right?
Luckily (?) such crises don’t last long, even if they occur often. Maybe in some sense it counter-balances my extremism with a dose of another extremism of the other end. Maybe that’s why I’m still fairly functional, which would suffice quite well for now. I’m still in the process of sorting my own big mess out, and maybe logic will one day prevail and allow me to understand and embrace that I can’t be everything I want to be. And then further down the road, maybe this realization wouldn’t hurt as much to lose faith in the whole damn universe.