Unfinished Business


I have a really hard time finishing things.

I’m great at starting most of the time. Once I get an idea, it’s really hard to shake it: I gotta get it off my chest/brain. It’s what I imagine running a marathon must be like: I start running, and I’m feeling good. My feet pound hard on the pavement, my legs and arms pump as hard as they can, I feel like nothing can stop me. My lungs burn, but it’s a good burn. It’s like a fire right near my heart; after the fire, everything is clean and clear. I keep going. And going. And going. I make it through one mile and another and another. I feel unstoppable. I feel like I can reach that finish line. Before I know it, it’s mile nine. I’m so close to being done and that’s when it happens:

I stop.

I give up. Sure, I could keep pushing. I’m more than halfway there. I could keep going. But my muscles are sore, and I’m too tired, and it’s another four miles to go. How could I possibly go that far? I don’t think I could make it. I doubt myself. I shut down.

It’s my pattern with everything, especially art. I keep telling myself, “You have the tools! You have the skill! You have the imagination! You’re at mile nine! What’s stopping you?” And I’m not sure I have a good answer for myself.

My go-to phrase in life is always, “I’m doing my best!” I assure myself that I am trying as hard as I can, that I’m putting my best foot forward, that I’m going for it. But am I really? I look at the small breadth of work I’ve created on this blog and I’m moderately impressed by it, but I know I can do better. I know I’m not working at my optimum.

There’s no words to accurately describe the frustration I feel at myself. I want to step outside of my body and grab my own shoulders and shake myself most of the time. Because I know I can do better than this if I just go for it.

I’m afraid, most of the time. I’m afraid to go through with things, because I’m afraid that I won’t be doing my best. So rather than follow through: I give up. I find excuses for myself. I am really tired most of the time. I do have way too much school work and work-work most of the time. I don’t feel all that great most of the time. But complaining about it isn’t going to solve anything.

The artists I love and admire most don’t find excuses, they just do. And I’ve never been a “doer.” I’ve traditionally been a complainer. But I’m sick of that. I’m sick of complaining and finding excuses and doing things that don’t work out all that well.

I’m going to finish more things, because dammit, I’m great at things. I want to feel like I am working at my optimum. I want to feel like I’m doing a great job at things. I don’t want to just run the marathon, I want to finish it as well. I want to excel and I want to go go go.

That starts with finishing.


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