Ramping

Prepare for the word ramble. Goal with this piece — like many of the pieces I write — is strictly volume (not coherence, not objective quality, just need to get ideas out). I am sitting here in Cambridge (Boston) on my iPad while my computer charges. I am having a bit of antsy day — waiting for someone to get back to me. I also just booked a flight to Montreal. Part of me is acting manic and part of me is acting extremely chill. I have a lot that I could be excited about. And I have a lot I could be stressing out about. And by lot — I mean it is all relative, it feels like a lot to me. But I know I have had more in the past. Like much more. This is nothing that old version of me would say. And I imagine things will get materially worse and better in the future, too. All that can be true — and I can STILL feel the weight today. I can still feel the drudge of sorts weighing on me. None of that is bad. But it is a feeling I am experiencing.

And perhaps in the past these emotions would just roll through me. Like waves. Perhaps more accurately they would have been blocked out. Like there is a wall up. A defensive shield. And they would have never made their way in in the first place.

But that was the old state. And perhaps a future state. But not the current state. The current state is…well…different?

You probably do not have the context. How could you? But I could summarize it as saying that my whole world has very recently flipped. I will not go into every detail — maybe one day — but basically imagine that my identity has transformed over the past few months relative to the past few years.

I had all these things going for me. And I made the leap to say goodbye to all of them. I turned the page of the book. Started a new chapter. And I am proud of myself for doing that. Because honestly it was hard. Not afraid to admit that. Many downs. Many many low points.

And now…well now I am out. I made it to safety. I did the thing I was worrying about doing — transitioning out of the cage I was in — and now I am free.

And externally I won the race I was in. Like the outcome was good. I exited the situation. People are happy and I am happy with how I acted. So kudos to that.

But now I have this break of sorts. A period of time where I do not need to do anything. At least not legally or contractually or as part of any employment or commitment.

And yet…and yet…well if you know me…you know that optionality can feel dangerous. You know that me sitting around all day with no objectives is…well…weird for me?

Perhaps this is not unique, but I find myself fidgeting. Wanting to structure something. Wanting to do something.

And I’m like dude just freakin chill. You been working. Now chill.

But no. I want to do more. I crave the loop. The winning. The trying to figure things out. The being in it with other people. The making something bigger than myself.

That vibe. You know the vibe. I mean it’s a bit cheesy. But it’s a real thing.

It’s serious. Serious freaking winning.

Like the type where you are actually excited to wake up. To win the thing. To break the record. To crush something.

Not in like an overly masculine way. No, I mean there is some of that but that’s not the idea here.

It’s more like a commitment — a standard of sorts. Discipline. Battling the entropy. Battling the status quo.

For me, living almost feels like it needs that. Like I need a push. I need to push. I need to do that stuff to live.

Of course it is not exactly true. At least to my understanding. There is no like law of biology where I have to act this way. I have probably been conditioned of sorts. A product of my system.

But man is it powerful.

Like I have all this freedom. I am lucky. I do not need to work formally for like a company for quite a long time.

And yet…and yet…

My ego creeps into the picture. Like I have no reason to be cold emailing people. I have no reason to be writing. Hey I have a reason. But no obligation. Like there is no one telling me to do this. But I am doing it. What do you call that? Your default? Your urge? Your obsession? Like why am I doing it?

My ego is creeping in. It wants to win. It craves that taste.

The other part of me is like DUDE FREAKING CHILL OUT. But is life too short for that?

Is life too short for being caught in the pit of mediocrity?

I am not saying like not have fun. Or not do pointless things. That is not what I mean by not serious stuff. It’s more like half ass stuff. The pit of mediocrity. The slump. The not that healthy meal that also does not taste very good. The boring-ness. The stuff you never remember. The stuff you rather just skip. Or if you could go back, you would just skip.

So many people are stuck there. Perhaps not by choice but like they are just caught in their system. Of boringness. And mediocrity. That scares me so much.

That is why I let the ego creep in. So I can tell my identity that I will not get caught being boring. Boring is not cool to me. Like you can do random stuff and it not be boring. I do not want to be boring.

But I also do not want to choose the wrong thing to do. Like perhaps it is all motion and not actually the right area to spend my time.

You see how this can turn into a loop. How it becomes incoherent.

That is what goes on in the pit of pointlessness. The place you go after you are out of the rat race. Like I was in the rat race. I was mr. rat. I was growing. And then I realized I did not really want to be a rat anymore. I did not want to play in that race.

I mean being in the race has perks. You have food. And focus. And direction.

But it all may be a sham. A simulation of sorts. So like you wake up one day and you realize that and then you rationalize continuing to play because you do not have the self-confidence to bet on anything else. And then you have that same realization months later. And later. And over and over and over.

Until one day you break. Or you just chill with mediocrity and accept it but I was not like that. I broke. Fully.

And now I am out. Right? Like I should be fully happy?

And I am in ways. But I am not in other ways. Like I am partially out. There’s s lingering infrastructure. Human conditioning is extremely powerful. Like the habits do not just go away. Unless you change the infrastructure of course. That is what I am trying to do. Change the system around me. And I am peeling it off slowly. And it is making a difference.

But i have so much energy. The energy is life enduring. Like it is contagious. Internally and externally. Like I feel more alive when my energy is flowing. You see the problem right — like I crave that loop and yet I am cutting it out. So what do I do with that energy? Where do I put it? Surely it could do something? But what thing?

This is the moment of despair? This is where I must make choices and live with the consequences.

I crave seriousness. I crave winning. You can read that in my writing. You can read that as I sit in this lame hotel lobby.

I will not fall to the depths of mediocrity. The trap so many fall into.

Time to amp it up a notch. Time to ramp. Slowly, no one will see, but it’s time to invest in me and learn and build that foundation. The super strong foundation that sits an inch below the surface. No one else will see it. But it’s there.


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