The Wall


It is 11:58 am, I am 2 minutes away from my lunch break, and then it hits me: it’s 11 February, 2016, 41 days of the new 2016 – a year that I had accomplished literally nothing, I stopped doing sports, I stopped drawing, basically I stopped doing things that I cared about.

At the beginning of this year I suffered a big blow, somebody who I took for granted, who was always there in the far corner of my mind, passed away. I didn’t even send him a Christmas card, although I hand-made it for him. I just forgot to post it, but hey, we always have the next Christmas, right?

I fell in this deep dark place where you feel extremely sad, but at the same time you feel safe. It’s easy to be sad, it’s easy to all the time expect the worst from your life, your surrounding and from other people. You do not have to invest any emotions or time: you just float slowly but safely somewhere on the edge of reality. Nothing will ever blow you out of balance.

Except something did. This particular date Feb, 11 11:58 am. And it beats me why, because this is not a date I would choose for my spiritual healing or anything. I think I just recently worked too much and allowed my thoughts to penetrate my wall of indifference that I have meticulously built up to fend off any emotions other than bland numbing sadness I got used to.

So ok. It is now 12:13 am, and I have opened my blog I haven’t touched in years, and am writing paragraph after paragraph. One might say I’m on fire. I kind of am, but I am still afraid of it, so I just write really quickly, not allowing myself to lean on my chair and have a real thought hitting my head. But I guess this is good enough for now. That’s this proverbial first step. Good for me! Jo beating Wall 1-0 in a fair fight! The audience in all stands go nuts!!

Exciting? Maybe for an hour, and then back to reality. How do I make sure there is a second and a third step? How do I keep going when the wall is up and running again?

I now realise that the real question is if I want the wall gone. And truth to be told, I don’t. I’m scared of the reality, I’d rather observe it than take part in it. I got used to it. The wall is one big constant in my life – it almost makes me feel invincible, it is a pillar that I have decided to hold on to and never let go. And I have to be honest with myself, I am not inclined to let it go for now.

This not very observant conclusion leads me to another one: an ultimate cliché. If I am so attached to the predictable, to the constant, why not use this against myself. Maybe I should hack myself: why not creating another constant: a set of well-defined routines that will allow me to process the reality with the same robot-like attitude. Mechanical, devoid of feelings.

I am not strong enough to destroy the wall. I need it.

But I can allow a bit of nature on it.

Let it grow with moss.

For now…

Homo Demotivatus

demotivated_2Lack of motivation affects almost all of us from time to time. We don’t feel like working, not even doing things that we like, and we look at happy people with the uncanny mixture of hatred, jealousy and unhealthy fascination. How do they do it? How can they achieve such a high level of ignorance towards the world’s general awfulness? Is it possible to tune out the reality and trick yourself into being unquestionably happy? Is ignorance new happiness? Many questions of similar intense self-pity go through our heads when we reach the infamous peak of demotivation.

I reached this peak not so long time ago. I questioned every step that I had taken in my life, and I evaluated everything in such a negative light that my boyfriend afraid of my intentions offered to stay home to talk this through.

So he stayed, we talked, I felt better.

It was not so long time after when I stumbled across a minor problem which resulted in an unstoppable fountain of tears and a series of sobs so loud that I almost caused my cat to suffer a fatal heart condition. The state of demotivation, protectively wrapped in my boyfriend’s sweet words of love and compassion, broke free to mock me and my so-called stability of mind. Why? I was doing so well! I recognized the importance of surrounding me love, I understood that I have to fight for every goal that I want to reach, and revised again the theory of success achieved only step-by-step with time. Dammit, I talked it through! I got better! So why does the feeling of being powerless haunt me again? Why do I feel so empty and deprived of energy?

I brooded long over cups of coffee so strong that after my musings I had to go for a walk to lose the shakiness of my limbs. I sat on a bench within the protective grasp of the ancient city walls of York, took my phone, and started jotting down all my fears.

Fears are not all so bad; they protect us from taking too hasty decisions, force us to think twice before we leap.

As it came out, my fears weren’t so terrifying after I gave them name and brought them into bright daylight. I came home, googled “types of demotivation,” and came across an article written by Cath Duncan who very wisely compared the state of demotivation to snow: many people see it as a general idea just like they perceive demotivation as broadly-speaking lack of willingness to live; but just like Eskimos who can observe different kinds of snow and name it accordingly, in the same way there exist different types of demotivation. Labeling your state of mind helps you to overcome it, as you are able to apply appropriate preventive steps or/and healing processes.

I learned a lot about myself that day. I discovered that most of my fears derive from the general unclearness of what I really want. Do I want to live in England or go back to Poland? Develop my career as a writer or go back to teaching? I operated within those ambiguities and inscribed them all in my long and short-term goals, instead of focusing on one of them, and developing only one of the possible choices. After my revealing aha! moment, I decided to focus on my present situation: I am an aspiring writer living in a beautiful city of York.

After defining my roles, I felt more self-assured, as if my body, floating in space of uncertainty gained weight and pulled me back on the path leading to a clear goal. I started to feel more real, more alive. Focusing solely on a chosen narrow goal made it far more achievable. I can almost see the end of the path – and it does not matter if I succeed or fail, because both outcomes are finite, and both of them enable me to move on to my next goal, to my next big dream.

In other words, I will continue to dream big, but I’ll resign from dreaming wide.

Will it work?