A few things happened to me today. First, I overcame my fear of public speaking by making a presentation to my class at University about the contrasts between the poetic epic that is Beowulf and the masterpieces which Tolkien had produced. I don’t know if any of you had known, but Tolkien was kind of a Beowulf fanboy.
For anyone who doesn’t know, Beowulf was actually an epic style poem written over a thousand years in England. It’s a pretty bad-ass poem too, although it’s about 3200 lines long! So don’t expect to finish it in a single sitting unless you’re tackling it like Netflix binge.
Topic spoiler alert: Both stories have Dragons which slumber on piles of gold and are disturbed by a thief, sending them out into the world to lay destruction on those nearby.
There were many other similarities too, but I think this was the most glaringly obvious similarity.
…What was I talking about again?
Oh yeah… So anyways, I made the presentation which was supposed to last 20 minutes and it was made in 5 days. I’ve been super stressed about this presentation because that was a hell of a time-crunch. It was also my first group assignment, and it didn’t go quite as smoothly as I had hoped but we did pretty good given our circumstances. Being the perfectionist that I am, I would have loved to spend another week refining it though. 😛
So, hell yeah! Go me.
Social anxiety be damned. I’m going to overcome these fears of re-integrating with school and my own senseless doubts about whether or not I can achieve what I want to achieve. At my core I know that I can do anything, but I still have to struggle with that annoying little voice sometimes that whispers,
“You’re not smart enough… or brave enough… or likable enough”
I’ve struggled with my presentation, I’ve been tense worrying about how it all might go and I even allowed it to spark a feud between myself and someone close to me. I’ve realized that I can be a jerk sometimes when I’m mad and stressed out. I grew up in a family where there was a lot of fighting so sometimes stress plus minor conflicts can bring out the worst in me. I’m working on trying to re-direct and shape new behaviors from the old but it takes work and time. I still stumble and make mistakes and fall into old “comfy” habits…
We’re all good now anyways… After my presentation I was over the moon about having finished that assignment, so I went for a run and I ran like a mad man. I ran until I was exhausted and then I’d walk for a bit and then, repeat the process. It felt really good! The more I do, the better I feel about me…
While I was running I realized there is a truth to life which I had to put into words. It is not possible to sit still in your life. That doesn’t exist. You are always going to be travelling in one of two directions. Closer to your goals, closer to liberation and happiness, closer to a better version of yourself, closer to love, or you are drifting farther away from these things. There is no idling in life, our time is limited and we will always be going closer towards those things that we want or further away from them.
If one does not make efforts to get closer to one’s goals, then you are drifting away from them slowly. Everything that we are hoping for in our futures requires energy produced from inside to propel us forward, otherwise we’re drifting backwards.
I like to imagine that we are in a canoe or a kayak, trying to paddle out of an inlet but the water is pushing us back towards the shore gently. We need to be paddling with some speed to overcome the water. Life is like that, and we need to always paddling, otherwise we’re being shoved backwards. When we decide to just “float” in life, we are slowly being pushed backwards, without even realizing it. Farther from our dreams. Farther from our hopes and aspirations. Farther from our next healthy habit or healthy change. We drift slowly backwards without the purposeful intention to move forward.
So, keep pushing forward every day, and don’t lose your drive. You need to push on, even through your fears and doubts. It doesn’t have to be to the point of exhaustion, just do more than “maintain”. We can always change what our goals and ambitions are along the way. You’re allowed to change your mind about your life’s direction! Just keep momentum going wherever your heart pulls you. Live your life with excitement. What a gift we have been given, to experience this Universe consciously, and yet it is a temporary gift. We must show our appreciation for this gift by living for experiences and with courage. We must be brave. We must challenge ourselves. We must do our best to love it and make the best of it.
Money. Power. Social Status. Those things all mean shit if you aren’t happy with your life except for those things. What matters is that you are happy with yourself and who you are, both inside and out. It matters if you are happy rather than kinda happy. Kinda happy is okay, but push for happy. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
Wishing you all the best, dear friends. Thoughts? Comments?