Terrible Ideas and Terrible Advice

November 22, 2015

Some things we do because they’re easy. Other things we do because they’re hard. But then there are the things we do because we’re evidently bloody great idiots. This is one of those things. Not only have I decided to do NaNoWriMo, I have decided to switch to Colemak while doing it. It’s hinestly the hardest thig I have ever done. Case in point, I’m using Colemak right now, and it has taken me 22 minutes to write this paragraph.

I’m more than ten times slower at typing than I used to be. I did the math. I’ll write a post mortem when I give up on give up on the whole thing, or when I get good. Whichever comes first.

And so with that in mind, today’s post is going to be exceptionally short.

I have a friend who is very unhappy with her life. She lives in a city she hates doing a job she hates, somehow going day to day hating most of the people around her. It doesn’t sound all that awesome to me. We met abroad, on one of her “escapes from the real world,” and haven’t talked much since.

(Forty minutes into writing.)

Anyway, a few days ago she posted something on social media that my brow furrow. It was something along the lines of “don’t reflect on the past; don’t endeavor for great moments coming up; just live for the moment.” I gently reminded her that greatness doesn’t happen by itself; that it’s up to us to create greatness. Remember: greatness isn’t something you are, it’s something you do.

My friend responded that she’d rather take things as they come, “no matter what.”

Now forgive me if I’m reading too much into this, but “don’t reflect on the past; don’t endeavor for great moments coming up; just live for the moment” strikes me as being just about the worst possible advice imaginable. I think you’d be pretty hard pressed to to find a philosophy any more amenable to having a shitty life than “don’t learn from your mistakes, and never work towards anything better.”

Your life isn’t set in stone, and nothing has been predetermined for you. If you don’t like something, change it. Rinse and repeat. Couldn’t be simpler, really.

Or maybe I’m just reading too much into this.

But I don’t think so.