I have been thinking a lot about self sabotage lately. About subconsciously, or sometimes half-consciously, screwing things up for yourself. It frustrates me and fascinates me at the same time. Why do we do things that we know are bad for us and that we know counteract our goals? I have arrived at the tentative conclusion that it has to do with having nothing to lose, about the relief of having nothing to lose; about the freedom from anxiety about losing things. But… I still want to have things. Friends. I still want to make progress and achieve goals… so it is complicated. I’m in two minds. And as if no further complication was needed, sometimes the things you want are not just dependent on you.
This became very clear yesterday. I have been writing a story together with a friend – something that has meant very much to me. I have really been suffering from a lack of creativity the last couple of years, and finally getting to plot and develop characters, and collaborate with somebody else who has great ideas and characters that I’ve grown very fond of – well, it’s the most fun I’ve had in a very long time.
But, unfortunately, my writing partner is not always as engaged in the project as I am, and as days turn into weeks without any input from their side, and the energy starts to leak out of the story, and I start to forget what was going on, I find myself growing increasingly desperate. What do I do? I’m enjoying this so much, I feel so much potential for the story and the characters. I would hate to lose it. At the same time, the pace is not working for me. The negative feelings stemming from our different approaches to working on the story is starting to almost eclipse the joy of it, and I find myself wanting to simply put it out of its misery. My misery. And I don’t know what to do.
You don’t throw away what you love because it isn’t perfect. But at the same time, if you hope for change where you know there is no hope, that would be akin to the ‘first sign of madness’ – no, not talking to yourself but doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Add to that the fact that you cannot change others. I know that things are not going to get better and I know that I will not be able to both keep my enthusiasm for the story and avoid my feelings of resentment and disappointment when things are just left to wither over long periods of time. It is such a hard decision, because the basis for making it are so… unreliable. So I’m in two minds. Two very well matched, equally strong minds. And… well. It’s a problem. But at least I understand them now. Not having anything to lose, not having to worry about it. And wanting to have something. And understanding always helps. A little. I think.