Wait a Second

It’s putting things generously to say that I am a procrastinator. I put off the difficult, the unpleasant, and the confusing; I put off the things that scare me. I don’t know why I do this, because it seems like my life would be a lot simpler if I could just get the hard parts over with right away.

Actually I just proved my point by going on Facebook instead of working on this post. My bad.

Anyways, though–nearly everything worth having in life takes some effort. It’s unavoidable. And part of me is convinced that if I wait long enough, things will get easier or even just go away–and to be honest, sometimes they do. Procrastinating isn’t a purely bad thing. The problem is that it keeps me from being scared.

I’m not saying that waiting until the last minute to do my homework is going to stunt my personal growth or anything like that. But the problem is that I don’t just procrastinate on the small stuff (like homework or blogging or taking out the trash): I procrastinate on the big stuff, too. It’s like I’m a little kid, curled up under the covers with my eyes squeezed shut because nothing can hurt me if I can’t see it. Except this time, it works. I can put off things indefinitely and never have to deal with them.

The problem is that then I end up staying underneath the covers, forever a six-year-old afraid of the dark. I’m an involuntary Peter Pan–not just because I won’t grow up, but because I can’t.

And that’s not how things are supposed to be. Equilibrium is artificial because the Earth is spinning slowly into chaos and there is nothing that we can do to stop it. Entropy is a fact of life, and that means that when I procrastinate–when I keep myself from being scared and growing up–I’m artificially maintaining my sameness. I’m Gatsby, trying to repeat the past again and again and again; I’m Joe Kavalier, forever haunted by the ghosts of the same people and the same problems but refusing to deal with any of them. And let’s be honest, things really don’t end too well for Gatsby. Joe Kavalier gets a happy ending eventually, but he has to grow up first. If I want any kind of happy ending, then, the message I’m getting is that it’s time to grow up–it’s time to be a little scared. Procrastinating might work forever, but that doesn’t mean it’s good for me.

I want to change, but I want to not be afraid. The two, however, seem to be more or less mutually exclusive. Doing things that scare me makes me grow up a little bit every time.

I know that courage is not the absence of fear but the ability to act despite it, etc. etc. etc.; but I have a tendency to keep myself in a bubble where there is no need for courage, because I never need to be afraid. To me, that is a purely bad thing. If I’m never afraid, then I never need to grow or change. That scares me, more than any of the other things that I’ve put off. There’s beautiful stuff waiting out there–I just know it. All I have to do is go find it.

Oh look, a Facebook notification.

Just hang on a second, life, I’ll be right with you.


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