Starting Line

I am doing neck stretches, giving my hands a quick shake, stretching my legs, doing a light jog-in-place.

I am about to run.

I had always refused to call myself ambitious. Where I’m from, the term ambitious has negative connotations, like it’s synonymous to selfishness and a callous disregard for anyone else for the sake of going after what one wants. It’s going all-out predator in a dog-eat-dog world.

I’d considered myself more of a laidback person, but a laidback person who tries. You know, the type who does what she can and then leaves it to the gods to award what is deserved. The type who doesn’t argue with fate, who’s comfortable with whatever is. See, my mother taught me, “Whatever is is best.”

And for a long time, I believed those things about myself.

But I am starting to reframe my concept of me.

They say there’s a difference between espoused values and enacted values. Espoused values are the ones you say you have, while enacted values are the values you actually uphold through your decisions and actions.

And looking at how I behave and the kind of decisions I make time and again, I’ve started to see and accept that yes, maybe I am ambitious, though not in the way I’d believed ambitious meant. I’ve since learned that ambition is not necessarily bad. What’s more, I’ve also come to learn that comfort is not necessarily good. Or more like, it doesn’t feel all that good to me. Comfort actually scares me. The moment something becomes comfortable to me, I become suspicious, like maybe I’m actually in prison but I don’t realize it because I’d downed some Kool-Aid. So the irony is that comfort actually feels uncomfortable to me. I become restless and feel that I need to get away.

My blood seeks adventure.

I run away from easy, and towards the difficult. I attack the difficult.

Maybe it’s some sort of defense mechanism. Attack the difficult first, head-on, before it creeps up behind my back and attacks me when I’m not looking.

Or maybe ease, contentment, and happiness are so foreign to me that when I get a taste of them, I am conditioned to feel they are poison.

Or maybe I believe that contentment and happiness from the easy and familiar are nothing but a trick or a mirage, that true contentment and happiness always lie on the other side of the difficult, and I need to get past the difficult first before I get to them.

Or maybe I’m just easily bored.

Whatever the reason, I see now that this has been a pattern my entire life. Between the easy and difficult, I’ve always chosen difficult. Between staying put and breaking into another run, I’ve always chosen to run.

My blood thirsts for adventure, along with all the stumbles, falls, bone breaks, scratches, and wounds it entails.

Now, back at the starting line, I am doing neck stretches, giving my hands a quick shake, stretching my legs, doing a light jog-in-place.

I am about to run.

And the starter pistol is going to fire any minute now.

On your mark.

Get set.

starting line

This entry is part of my undertaking a 30-day challenge Matt Cutts talked about at TED2011. The premise is to “think about something you’ve always wanted to add to your life and try it for the next 30 days.” I am challenging myself to post one blog entry a day for 30 consecutive days. 

Today is Day 16.

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14 thoughts on “Starting Line

  1. Or… Like me, maybe you over think the hell out of things. All of it is true, and none of it. Words vs actions, but words prompt actions and actions supply new words.

    This was a recent discussion we had over –> there. Dialog in stories is not remembered. But events (actions) are. In your life do you remember what happened more than what was said while it happened?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I do overthink. But at the same time, I think overthinking is necessary sometimes, to get to the bottom of things. I always question what’s on the surface, and I overthink because I want the truth. I don’t know if it’s the right way to go.

      That’s an interesting question. I think I remember what was said, more than what happened. I remember words over actions. And when I recall actions, I remember the words I said *in my head* while observing those actions.

      What about you?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Don’t remember a thing people or I, myself said. I recall the people and places and reasons for events and the special or traumatic things that happened. But words? Do you really remember what was said around that campfire? Or do you mainly remember the people, the time and the joyful occasion?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Well, I think most of the time before I could remember what was said, I’d have to be able to remember the people, the time and the occasion first. So I do still remember those things, but not as the focus of the memory. I mainly remember the conversations, really. Sometimes I forget the occasion and time, just remember the words someone said to me–and like you, mostly just the special or traumatic words said.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I also go after the difficult. Sometimes it just ends up being extra work for nothing and sometimes it makes a big difference because you can achieve a lot. Good or bad, it’s the way I am, too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree! And sometimes even the “extra work for nothing” bears fruits of its own, at least internally we gain more skill, or resilience, or insight, even if it isn’t acknowledged or rewarded in the outside world. Thank you for sharing. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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