I Didn’t Want This

I didn’t want this. I didn’t even know “this” could be a condition. Some might call it an achievement. Fuck that. I paid attention. I cared. And I paid.

I wish I didn’t care so much. Or in modern parlance, “I wish I didn’t give a fuck.” But I do. Sometimes caring makes life better. And at the same time—usually—it makes life more difficult.

I can’t help myself. I can’t stop paying attention to the details. I cringe when I fail to do it correctly, which means to the best of my ability. I hate myself when I look back and realize I settled for less than my best.

Sometimes I look ahead and wonder where my obsession and obsessiveness will take me. Maybe away from “this” but probably not. I am in it. In deep. In myself. I understand that at this point on the journey I can do whatever I want. And what I want does not lead to comfort, or ease.

When I knew exactly what I wanted I did everything within my power to achieve it. It wasn’t easy. I would have hated it if it was. I did the opposite of many around me and still I was successful. Immediately, greedily, I asked, “What now?”

I should have waited. I should have been patient. Because the decisions I made in the heat of success, of needing to know and do what came next—what I might force to happen next—affected how close I could come to what really mattered.

In that heat I was certain that I knew what mattered to me. I never considered that it might change, or that I might, or that I might be wrong. So greedily, I took what appeared would immediately earn my ego praise. I sacrificed the long view. I did what I hated seeing most in others.

What I ate didn’t nourish. And neither did what they said. On empty praise I spiraled down. I could see the outcome so in the ground-rush I chose to resist my momentum. I had to confront my base, be-like-the-liked desires, to confront everything that everyone around me said and urged and lived.

I did. I fought back. I fought them, me, everything. I wanted something different and I shouted it, worked for it, and nearly killed myself for it. My fight with myself went twelve rounds, then 24, then it was the best of three and in the lull between each battle I realized I was growing, and changing. Mostly for the better.

I won the fight for/against myself and it made me ask, “Who loses when we defeat ourselves?” I don’t have an answer. And I still don’t want this.

I want what the best part of me will do next.


Banner: ©MFT 2019

MFT in Tibet: ©Barry Blanchard 1988

Vance Jacobs shooting MFT: ©MFT 2018

Zack Snyder @ NPEC: ©MFT 2018