Thrills & Thrills

I’m no super-blogger, but one of my 2013 goals is to maintain an inspiring real-life-according-to-Marilyn blog. With that said, real life according to me is pretty choppy–an ever-changing obstacle course of creative, political, spiritual, wanderlustful, advocacy-related phases. Are you ready?

Actually, am I ready?

The problem is, I cannot stick to one thing for too long. You might have noticed this if you have been following this blog for a while. My few and (very) far between updates are a product of my problem with the word “consistency,” I just can’t grasp it! In the last few years of college, I’ve noticed that I have a tendency to destroy a routine once I notice that I have one. Why do I do that? Even if the prior routine was a productive one, something inside me rejects it the moment it pokes its little nose out. It’s embarrassing.

The one thing I want to get rid of in 2013 is my inconsistency in action. That’s no easy task if you’ve known me for a while. Maintaining my actions is tough, I get distracted really easily, and sometimes even intense motivation can’t break my fall. Unlike my phases of interest, I am ashamed of my inconsistency in action. I can’t even keep up with a blog regularly, let alone a schedule or workout routine (which I’d really like to). I look back and imagine all the growth that could have happened if I had just stuck to something, be it a diet or reading plan, for the last year. Life would be really different!

I would like to write regularly this year, to create regularly, and to exercise regularly. If I can go six months simply sticking to doing these three things, I would be so impressed!

What I’d like to let alone in 2013 is the natural ebb and flow of my little infatuations, which can seem a little out of the ordinary to an outsider. I’ve stumbled into the lifestyle of someone who is inspired by the “Renaissance Man (or Woman).” Because of this, I’m into more hobbies, subjects, and niches than I can list. In the last year alone, I’ve gone through at least five or 6 major “phases of interest” as I like to call them–major shifts in my curiosities. It’s a crazy ride. Some watch me and see a girl who doesn’t know what she wants or likes at all, but really, I enjoy living this way. I like getting really into some new, beautiful thing for a while–absorbing a ton of information about that thing, and letting the appeal fade. What’s left is a calm enjoyment and understanding of the subject that lasts.

C.S. Lewis, in Mere Christianity (I’m reading it right now) says something great about phases of interest, which he calls “thrills”:

“It is simply no good trying to keep any thrill: that is the very worst thing you can do. Let the thrill go–let it die away–go on through that period of death into the quieter interest and happiness that follow–and you will find you are living in a world of new thrills all the time. But if you decide to make thrills your regular diet and try to prolong them artificially  they will all get weaker and weaker, and fewer and fewer, and you will be a bored, disillusioned old man for the rest of your life.”

Yes, Mr. Lewis, yes. 

This totally made me feel better, less insecure, about how all over the place my interests are. Still, there are a lot of disadvantages that come with this lifestyle. For one, it’s hard to become an expert at anything. They say it takes 10,000 hours of practice for one to become an “expert”, and at this rate, I probably have a few hundred hours in 10,000 different things. Another problem is that priorities can pile on top of each other within a few days of discovering the next awesome activity. I’m a Christian, and try to maintain an ever-increasing closeness to God, but sometimes my relationship with Him can get confusing when I get caught up in other things. That’s the major challenge.

Even though one day I’m into Korea, and the next, old newspapers, I’m still a pretty balanced person. I’m still myself. Luckily, I am pretty solid in my belief that my identity doesn’t lie in anything like my blog or current interest–but instead something a lot more enduring.

I used to think people who are very stable in their interests hated watching me ride the roller coaster of awesome subjects and hobbies, but now I don’t think about it at all. Well, okay, that’s a lie, let’s just say I think about it a lot less often. Now, I shrug and keep moving forward. I brush off whatever anonymous hate, or self-inflicted insecurity, that jumps on my shoulders and continue to be myself, excited for the next thrill–life is full of ’em, I don’t wanna miss out.