Contemplating My Next Move

Every couple months or so I decide I am going to be a better/healthier/smarter/thinner/more incredible person.  As it is, I am more or less an average person with average ambitions, average intelligence, and average means by which I can achieve these ridiculous goals I set for myself.  To be fair, I have made strides over the course of my life to be someone I actually want to be, but it seems no matter how hard I work, I eventually slide back to my previous position of averageness.  Indeed I have accomplished some things that I can be proud of, but if I were to judge the person I am today, I would have to award myself the Bronze medal (yeah, the Olympics just ended) or maybe on a good day, a Silver, but never a Gold.  That’s to say, sure, I reached somewhere close to the top, close to my goals, but not quite to the top of the heap.  I can be proud taking home a medal, and no one would think any less of me, but in truth, anything but the Gold is a failure in my mind.  So why do I fail?  I suppose laziness could be the easy answer.  I dream up these great and lofty goals, but when the hill becomes too steep, I settle for wherever I happened to land.

I hate to always use foreign languages as an example, but it’s all I am working on in my life at the moment.  I speak Spanish.  I don’t really speak Spanish.  I speak Spanish probably better than the average gringo here in the United States.  I still can’t carry on a conversation without pausing or making a tremendous amount of mistakes.  I can read books, watch movies, and talk with my Spanish speaking co-workers without a tremendous amount of difficulty.  Ok, so what does this all mean?  It means I have accomplished some of my goals regarding Spanish, but I am still a novice when it comes to fully understanding the language.  I was exposed to Spanish on and off ever since i was in high school, but I mark the Summer of 2008 as when I really began studying the language.  That was four years ago.  If you set my sights four years ago on what I would consider the Gold, meaning total fluency, I would only be able to award myself a Silver at best, and even that might be a stretch.  Have I made progress?  Surely.  Have I done all I wanted to do with respect to the language?  Obviously not.  So what do I do?  Well, as far as Spanish goes, I am going to push on, but I came to a bit of a roadblock today.  My goal this Summer was to write a blog entry in Spanish everyday for 12 consecutive weeks.  I still have two weeks to go, and I have no doubt I will do it, but once I reach 12 weeks, what do I do next?  I want to set myself another 12 week goal, but I have no idea what it should be.  Instead of coming up with a list of ideas, I started thinking about all the things in my life I have settled for the Silver in.

My health.  I am not unhealthy.  People look at me and say I am in good shape.  I look at me and say I have let myself down.  I used to go to the gym five or six times a week.  I fell out of that habit back around the time I started with Spanish.  The two have nothing to do with one another.  Anyway, this past March, I somehow managed to get back to the gym on a regular basis and for the next three months, I was getting back in shape and I was proud of myself.  Then I got lazy again.  It got hot and I used the heat as an excuse not to go the gym.  I know, that’s a terrible excuse, especially when the gym is air conditioned, but whatever, soon I found days and weeks going by without going to the gym more than once a week.  I used to be in really good shape, but I don’t know that I was ever right where I wanted to be. When it comes to working out, it is hard to ever reach where you want to be because you have to keep working at it all the time in order to maintain it.  So now, as the end of the Summer approaches, I once again feel like I have let myself fall out of shape.  I know I don’t have anyone to impress, but it is important to me to be in good shape.  At age 31, it is doubtful I will ever get back those six-pack abs, and because of a very stupid injury I inflicted upon myself, I will never have huge, well rounded biceps, but there is no reason I can’t get my lazy ass back to the gym and in shape.  A note on the gym thing:  My membership to my current gym expires this week.  I have decided that for financial reasons, I am not going to renew my membership there, however there is a gym closer to my apartment that offers a better deal.  Perhaps this is the kind of change I need to get myself going again.  In order to be thinner (I am not fat, but I am overly critical of myself) I need to manage what I eat and when better.  I have fallen into the habit of not eating anything for long periods of time and then eating crap when I am hungry.  First of all, it is a terrible idea to eat when you are hungry.  Sound counter intuitive? Think about it.  If we only wait until we are hungry to eat we are going to overeat thinking we need all that food.  If instead I were to eat small portions spaced out over the day, I am certain I would be able to get back in shape much faster.  The problem is trying to develop a plan to go about it.  I make excuses that my schedule prevents me from accomplishing many of my goals, but I bet if I put my mind to it I could work a schedule out around my current work schedule.

I have books piled all over my house.  I want to read them, honestly I do.  I pick them up, I flip through the pages, and I put them down, telling myself I am too tired to focus.  I have books in Spanish that I want to read yet I read a page or two and decide I am not comprehending enough to go on.  How can this be true when I managed to read the first three and a half Harry Potter books in Spanish.  I can read anything I want if I just sit down and do it.  I just can’t seem to make myself do it.

I like to write.  I haven’t written anything (ok, I write a shit load of stuff here, but it’s not going to be published as a book…at least I hope not) in literally years.  Sure, I open the documents, I skim over what I wrote years ago, and I decide I don’t have any good ideas to add to it.  Now, to be fair, my writer’s ego took a shot a while back and I have had a hard time climbing back out of my self exile, but to be fair, any good writer needs to be able to handle criticism and continue on.  I have even said I would like to write something in Spanish as an exercise in both writing and learning more Spanish, but once again I have managed to convince myself it is too hard and I give up before I even start.

I had made a pact with myself that I would try to be a more social, outgoing person this year, but so far I haven’t had much success.  My underlying goal was to hopefully find myself a girlfriend, or if nothing else, meet some new people who may someday introduce me to a potential girlfriend.  I have made baby steps with this goal, but I use my lack of money as an excuse not to go out and have a good time.  Yes, money is an issue in my life and it always will be, but I also promised myself I would not let money concerns rule my life anymore.  I do manage to go out sometimes, but as far as being more social, I am still struggling with that one.  I wish I were the type of person who could just talk to anyone, but unfortunately, I am still fighting to get over my shyness.

I don’t know that I will ever be able to truly change the person I am, but I would really like to be the person I would like to be, if that makes any sense.  I have plenty of aspects of my life that I would like to improve upon, yet I spent my afternoon staring at the TV and pretending like I was contemplating things.  Perhaps tomorrow I will be ready to be the person I want to be.

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~ by James on August 13, 2012.

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