So last night I was letting my mind wander while sitting around playing some Cave Story,1 trying to decide whether I should blog the story of how I learned the word “residence” (yes, these are the things you think about when you are me), when I had a funny thought. Yes, a second one.
It went a bit like “Everett, you could share bits like that on your blog, but you do realize that in doing so, you’re cannibalizing content that you could be saving up for the memoir you may one day write, right?”
I chuckled at the thought and concluded that the story of how I learned the word “residence” may not, after all, make for that great a blog post. But in another moment of insight, I took my secondary thought to its logical conclusion: if I were serious about considering writing a memoir (and I wasn’t), perhaps at this point in my life I should worry more about who would even want to read such a book.
That’s not to put down my life and those who have played a role in shaping it, but… sorry you guys, I just don’t think it would make a compelling book. And a life spent sitting around wondering if I should write a book about my life seems even further away from a life worth writing about.
I wondered if maybe this principle (one worrying more about some potential future, at the expense of the present, which could be better used to get one to their desired future) is something that a lot of people do, something that has broader implications than some hypothetical, self-indulgent tome. Consider the example of relatively not-well-off people who oppose that which would be beneficial to them, by, say, having political leanings that do more for those who are much better off than they are. Why would they do this? Do they actually think they’re likely to be in that other class someday? Planning on winning the lottery, much?
It’s one thing to plan for the future. But it’s another to fetishize some outcome that, be real with yourself, is unlikely to happen… and is all the less likely, yet, if you sit around daydreaming about it.