I haven't stared at these pages in God knows how long. It's been so long since my fingers last danced across a keyboard, trying to desperately keep up with my racing mind. For a while, the peace of it was overwhelming. I enjoyed it while it lasted, kept it going as long as I could but in the end, I knew what I was chasing was impossible. Perfection can sometimes seem to real and so close. Then, like a mirage, it vanishes in the wind, never to be seen again. The overwhelming peace that I felt when writing those posts was replaced by something just as profound. A feeling, while familiar was unsettling. That was replaced in time, as the posts slowed and the desire died out. What replaced it was the feeling that something that something valuable had been lost. Something that was born not of greed or arrogance, but a question. An almost deceptively simple question:
"How many of us ever know what it is to become the perfect version of ourselves?"
And as much as that question defined this entire endeavor, I know now that although that question created this spark, I never imagined that another question, simpler in asking but infinitely more complex in its answer lie beneath the surface...
"What would you do?"
Forgive me if it takes a while to regain my stride. Unlike riding a bike, this is not something that comes back to you simply by starting again. The entire purpose of this project had eluded me. I knew that it was about becoming the perfect version of myself, but why? What was going on in my life that made me so desperate to change myself that I would publicly open a window into such a private place? Why allow the general public a free pass into places that I sometimes don't even want to venture. I wish I could say it was completely noble, but truth was, it wasn't. I was looking for a cheering section. I wanted someone who would be there to celebrate my triumphs and mourn my failures. Someone to take this journey with me.
When I started, I was disappointed that I had to beg my closest friends and family to follow this project. After all, who better than them to be there when I faltered and to greet me at the finish line than those who knew me best? But most importantly, they were to be support. I knew that eventually, the world would catch wind of this arrogant endeavor and do everything in its power to stop me.
Now, don't misunderstand: I'm not saying that "the world" was out to see me fail. But the world would do what it always did: continue spinning and marking the time as it marches in its endless waltz around that glowing ball of light that we watch rise and set every day. The world, as the phrase goes, turns.
Events that are monumental to us are but brief blips on the radar of life. Even things that seem to be life-altering events: the loss of a job, victory in the battle against cancer, taking part in a prestigious and historic event are but mere seconds in the grand scheme. Friends come and go, life begins and ends, things change but the only thing that remains constant is the steady march of time.
And thus, the reason that I selfishly wanted my friends and family on board. Why I wanted to be able to look up and see them there with me as I did this. Eventually, the truth of life would catch up to me:
No one gives a fuck if I become the perfect version of a flawed human being. Period.
Let the gravity of that set in for a moment. Now, imagine that that was said to you when you said that you were seeking perfection. Now, the cherry: Imagine if that person who said it was you. To yourself. There are not very many people that will read this and be able to tell me honestly that they could continue a course that they themselves believed was pointless, fruitless, and a waste of time.
And yet, I said that to myself, almost a year ago. And the light from this computer screen went dark.
As I trudged through "real life," I wondered to myself, was it even worth it? Was it doomed to fail before it began? Did I, with all the logical though that I pride myself on having, think the through and still, after knowing that it ultimately didn't matter to anyone, continue to go along with the insane endeavor? I sat and thought about this, over and over again as I silenced the alarm on my phone to write a new P3 post, and concluded: No one would miss it. It's just a waste of time. But it was me. It was something I wanted, desperately needed, and felt strongly about that I still plowed ahead, undaunted of the lack of support or accolade, or hell, even progress in my own eyes. So, if it was such a waste of time, and it was me, the core of what defines me, how could it be a waste of time? If it was born from the part of me that still reads my old writing, re-reads research for projects, reminisces over past awards and former glory, did that mean that all of that was a waste of time as well. Was I a waste of time? The darkness and gravity of that thought swirled around me every night when I tried to sleep and woke me every morning. As time went on, I encountered other events in my personal life that did nothing to help my rapidly depleting reserves of self-confidence and drive, leaving only the necessary reserves to continue living a mundane life, barely scraping by in an existence that I once wanted so desperately to escape. The light was gone, and where there is no light, darkness prevails.
And there in, in those darkest of moments: a tiny spark still lived on.
If I truly had given up on this Project, why hadn't I deleted the posts? Surely the past was not important enough to keep a firm grasp on if I felt that the future wasn't slated to get any better. So, why keep it? There it was: another unanswered question. At the time, my life was full of them, about my job, my relationships, my future, and yes, although I'm ashamed to admit this in hindsight, my life. For a person who must find an answer when a question was asked, i was starting to collect them. With so many questions, even the tiniest bit of light in the dark can seem like a lighthouse's beacon to the person that's searching for it. And as I continued to descend, a tiny spark lived on. And then...
It ignited. A small fire, true. But just large enough to illuminate the answer to one of those questions. Was I a waste of time?
I could never be a waste of time. The world wasn't marching on, oblivious to the events that happened every day. It only served to prove to me one simple, inalienable truth: The world always has time to spare, for those who would use it wisely. No matter what you lose in the march, no matter the costs, personal, and public, physical and mental, spiritual and emotional, there's always time. And my time is coming.
Now, let's just hope I don't die waiting for the bastard so show up.
"Judge a man by his questions, rather than by his answers." -Voltaire