Saturday, November 16, 2013

vigilance has a price

I must be willing to give up what I am, in order to become what I will be. 

This quote is tattooed on my chest, over my heart.  Once I decided to get a tattoo, I searched for something that had particular meaning for me.  Whatever I chose had to be a guiding force me for years to come.  It had to mean something.  At least once per week, like a two-by-four to the face, this quote finds a new application in my life.

Give five miles more...

This quote is on my left forearm.  The words are a paraphrase of a plea made in the dark of a Texas night by a dear friend, in a moment that I needed to hear such words.  It was a moment that I wanted to quit, when I wanted to quit on myself.  Giving myself five miles more to mulling things over, over and over, allowed me to delay the decision to quit, till the task itself was done.  This quote stays with me, as a reminder in everyday life to not quit, when that is all I want to do at that moment.

Life is about decisions.   What to do.  How to act.  When to act.  What, when, or how NOT to act.  In the moment any decision may seem inconsequential.  Only with the passage of time does one gain the perspective necessary to see whether a decision was right, or oh so very wrong.

It could be a huge decision, a game changer.  Or it could be a series of baby steps.  Paper cuts instead of full amputation.  One leaves the sufferer in immediate shock, while the other is unnoticeable till moments or hours later.

Everyday I have to weigh options and consider the future impact of those decisions.  That is the nature of my job.  On a daily basis, what I do at 6am may have repercussions twelve hours later.  Literally, that is the nature of my job.  The past Me was often paralyzed by indecision, fearful of making a mistake or taking a misstep.  The current Me has to decide and act, without hesitation.  Later, in a quiet moment of reflection, I can look back and consider what I did right and what I did wrong.  Making mistakes is how one learns to avoid future mistakes.

The last few fears have witnessed me make many mistakes.  Regretful decisions reexamined and over-analyzed.  However, there is little denying that I am less who I once was.  I am becoming more so who I will be.

The worst part about making a decision - or even a promise - is sticking with that decision.  Turning words into reality is not one of my strengths.  I am full of want, less so of results.  My track record is abysmal.  I want that to change.  Fuck it, I need that to change.

I must be willing to give up what I am, in order to become what I will be.  Give it five miles more...

I want to make this change, but it will not be easy.  Not because of outside pressure, but from internal forces.  I have to repel compulsions, impulses, and basic want.

I want to drink, but I want more to not drink.  This is a simple statement, but it is anything but simple in practice.

Vigilance has a price, precisely because I have to give up what I am, to become what I will be.

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