Unlike most weeks, I haven't had an exorbitant amount of time to think about this week's topic, which is "Obstacles".
...That's not exactly true. I actually had ample time to do so, but instead prioritized watching episodes of Into the Badlands and Jessica Jones, both of which I encourage people to watch. Unless you're not into violence. Then you should probably stay away. Sidetracked.
Much like real vomit, this post will be even more uninhibited and uncomfortable than usual. It'll be quick and pretty painful to read, too. But at the end of the day, I'll feel much better about myself despite smelling like stomach acid and what you ate at your pre-Thanksgiving dinner.
I find it ironic that, when given the topic of obstacles, I put up many road blocks in order to distract myself. I told myself that I needed to watch episodes of my favorite shows. I told myself that I needed to pack for vacation; that I needed three hours to really make sure I got everything. Truth is, I spent two of those three hours watching TV, and the last hour contemplating if I could avoid writing this week. Somewhere in there, I found a spare 15 minutes to pack. Even then, I only used five of them to actually pack. So where did those other ten minutes go? I HAVE NO CLUE.
The point is, while there are many times when life throws a wall at us, I would think more often than not, we place those obstacles in front of ourselves as a way to distract ourselves from the things that make us worry or anxious. I find that whenever there is something in my life that I am told I have to do, I make excuses as to why I absolutely cannot. Eventually, I become so convinced of these excuses that they become self-imposed obstacles. "want to's" become "need to's", and continue to waste time by prioritizing the wrong things.
Take for example, this blog post again. What originally began as wanting to catch up on episodes eventually became a necessity to start writing. I couldn't even dream of writing this post if I hadn't watched Krysten Ritter beat up David Tennant! And when that wasn't enough, I began to rationalize why this was a good decision: because if I didn't do it now, I wouldn't have time next week at all. The humanity!
That's the danger of these self-imposed obstacles. We become so convinced that they are real that, without knowing it, they become real obstacles. What's the point of that? It's stupid. Why would you go out of your way to avoid a difficult task by... making your life more difficult? I don't have the answer to that--I do it all the time. But if I had to take a wild guess, I suppose it's an innate fear of incompetency, and our inability to do things.
In terms of obstacles that are in our lives without our control, I think the only thing I have to say about that is that it really depends on whether you're going to let it drag you down, or if you're going to... drag it... down... This sounded a lot better in my head. What I mean to say is, when we are faced with obstacles in our lives, I think we are essentially left with two options. Either we can treat it as a wall and stop where we are, or we can see it as a simple road block--something we can detour around.
When I was a sophomore in college, while driving from the Upper Peninsula back down to Ann Arbor, there was so much rain that day that several ramps where closed and traffic was held up on the highway for many, many miles. For the five of us in the car, we were left to debate between staying where we were and waiting for things to clear up, or we could find a ramp that wasn't closed and try to make a detour. Like life, sometimes we don't really have to deal with obstacles we're unequipped to handle. We could easily wait them out, until they dry up and our path is clear once more, or we can take a detour and reach our destination some other way.
If you've been reading my posts, every once in a while I'll leave some tidbit about failure. I think this is no different. When we take detours around obstacles we can't overcome, we tend to learn new skills, experience new things, and maybe even get to our destination faster. On this flood-filled highway, the people in my car decided to take a detour through other cities and bypass the flooded parts of the highway. It was here that I saw the state of not just downtown Detroit, but some of the surrounding suburbs, as well. And, not to digress too much, it was an entirely new experience from the drudgery that is driving on a highway and looking at trees for five hours. You can't always break right through your obstacles (it would've been pretty dumb to try to drive through flood waters), but there is always another way.
That said, I think waiting is a terrible option. I'm saying that for me more than anyone else, because I know I like to play the waiting game. When we wait for things to get "better", we are discounting our own capabilities and saying that life is too much, let someone else handle it. But the question is, how long will you wait? If the answer isn't "forever", then why not do something about it?
I don't know the answer to that, either. Let's do life together and figure it out.
Thanks for reading! Clean yourself up. I brought an e-mop.