Writing is tough. Writing is simple. Writing is beautiful. Writing is messy. Writing is calculated. Writing is haphazard. Yet above all, writing is just trying to get a point across. The path may be simple. Or it may drunkenly meander, as my thoughts have for the last hour or so while coming to terms that ‘rambling’ does not constitute an introduction, unless….no, I’ll stop myself there.
The point is writing is a difficult, yet wonderfully spontaneous pastime. Two sentences in and you feel as if you’ve shifted the world onto its head. Or perhaps you’ve just experienced a Eureka moment and exclaimed “That’s it” too loudly and now everyone within a few meters of you is peering over in your direction in differing stages of “Shut up” and “Please, I’m trying to concentrate”, so you slowly sink back into your chair and continue loudly tapping away at what – with no doubt in mind – will be your own masterpiece.
Aaaaand I’ve done it again. Bear with me if you’re confused as to where I’m headed through all this.
You see, come times like these, where your head is spiralling with ideas and “is a computer with too many windows open”, you just want to switch off. There’s no shame in ‘powering down’ and being difficult to reach or operating on your own agenda. Taking the time to unwind the knotted strains of thought from just moments ago can prove to be so much more than not touching your device that has 16 notification icons all clamouring for your attention. (If you’ve ever seen my phone, you’ll know what I mean.) Your “clutter on the desktop”, as Matt Haig calls the overstretched mind, can be cleared out. With a little clarity, the view becomes less opaque and confusing and more stunning in its simplicity.
I’m not here to sell snake oil, let alone proclaim to have figured anything out, for if there’s one truth that keeps on popping up in whatever I’m doing or learning about it seems to be there is no one size fits all. To account for the reasonably chaotic brand of organization that I employ outwardly – sticky notes strewn across my walls, papers in places that say “hide and seek” more than “office filing” – and I have spent more time wondering about who I am – as cliché as it is – both inside and out.
Therapists can explore what for you or I may seem like trivial thoughts or unworthy of further discussion. Yet sitting down and accepting me, and my rambling thoughts, for who I was felt simultaneously liberating and calming. My exploration of self, flaws – both perceived and real – and the tangled web of ideas that I presented her with on a near weekly basis provided the foundation of what I see and admire everywhere: intent.
Intent has shown me that I can hope to one day be proud of representing a country playing the sport I love. Intent has meant dedicating energy to something that I believe can grow and is worth fighting for in this blog. Intent has and can mean so many different things, so long as you’re unafraid to throw yourself into whatever the ambiguous “it” is.
And therein lies the kicker. Many of you reading this no doubt have thought about the coming year with your aspirations or goals at the ready. Yet, when we have so many dreams, akin to the varied notifications we get on our phones each day, how can we choose which to pursue and which to ignore? Well, you see, if you try this…wooooah, no that’s the end of line, because I’m no ‘self-help guru’. Heck, I’m a 23 year-old university student who routinely worries too much about what the future will look like.
Some may say there’s a beauty in uncertainty. That not knowing what tomorrow holds, what kind of opportunities may present themselves or discoveries will be made is the wonder of day to day life. Yet having been there, nothing fuelled my depression like leaving my days “open”, suggesting to me that I had no desire or purpose worth considering. Decision-making was terrifying to the point where I’d be asking myself rather ridiculously whether a PBJ sandwich or porridge would be simpler to hash out. The determination being: no breakfast at all.
Yet the simplicity of life – and porridge, by the way, – is often a necessity. I’m under no illusion that my life is somehow miraculously and permanently changed. Many days I’ll need to remind myself of the greater expectations I’ve set myself, often interrupted by the desire to ‘relax’ for no apparent reason. Hence why intent, in my eyes, serves a purpose. Whether I practice, write or relax “with intention” each action serves a more well-defined purpose.
So, with a clearer perspective of things, I’d like to ask you, the reader, that has somehow navigated the completely superfluous, wishy-washy past 500 words: What is your sporting goal for this year?
After all, a New Year calls for…more coffee? Here’s to your achievements and everything you intend to accomplish in 2019!
Athlete’s Voice wish you a Happy New Year!
–Blogger at Athlete’s Voice —