“I was wondering, are you working toward any fitness goals that you need help with?” This message comes at me a few times a week from people I follow on Twitter and Instagram. I mean, I get it. Everyone is trying to run a business. Everyone is trying to get another client, but, as someone who relies partially on the income from the art and books she sells, it is clear that selling on a social media platform full of sellers might not be the way to go.
The other thing is, and this is a fact of my life which I am very proud of, my fitness goals are not the kind I need help with. They are not the kind I need direction on. They are the kind that I have created for myself because they are fun. I know that if I am not having fun in some way while I am moving my body, I am going to stop moving my body. That is why one of my fitness goals is handstands. One of them is bike riding. One of them is arms-only planks. Because all this stuff is fun to me. It is play.
This is one of the dangers of becoming an adult. You forget how much fun it is to play. You get real serious. Everything is work, or a goal, or some kind of strategic plan to get you from where you are to where you think you want to go. That is why I don’t do it as often as possible. How many times have I seen people working out, running, or whatever, who look absolutely miserable? More often than I see people looking ecstatic to be moving their bodies.
When I am playing, I get the best ideas because my mind is not focused on any particular goal. So whenever I need a good idea, I go to yoga, or on a bike ride, or I do a bunch of handstands. Sometimes I mow the lawn, but that is a special kind of freaky that I know a lot of people don’t really understand. The point is, people ask me all the time what I do to stay in shape, or to get the muscles I have, or whatever, and the answer is that I have fun. I engage actively in my life. I do not let devices do my work for me.
For instance, I am making folk art posters right now. I am drawing every one of them, though some people have told me there is a program I can use that will do the same things. It would be faster, they say, and more perfect. Um… yeah..then it wouldn’t be folk art. Then, it wouldn’t be punk rock. Then, I wouldn’t be actively engaging in an activity which brings me more joy and personal development than anything else I do.
But this is ME. I would never tell anyone else to live the way I live, get fit by doing what I do, and eating what I eat, because this is my special brand of freak, and I get off on it. It is mine, and I love it. When people ask me for help, I make the assumption that they want help being them, not being me.
That is my most important goal, being me, and in so doing, trying not to not be like other people. Part of that is not telling people how to love themselves, just how to maybe get to a point where they want to and to get to a point where they have the courage to sit with the shit, where they can look at themselves and be relieved to see who they are.
The thing is, there are a million things about every single person that are amazing, but it is difficult to discover those things when you are following a prescribed and well-trodden path that a million other people use. Getting off the path and bushwhacking to get to who you are might be slower going, but you see and experience way more interesting stuff. Stuff that most people NEVER SEE.
This is the reason I even started this blog. I saw a need, and I thought my experiences would inspire others to have their own experiences. The more I am curious, the more I decide not to accept what is presented as the way things are or the way they should be, the more interesting the world becomes.
You could fall in line and do what everyone else is doing, you could set your own goals and use other people's road maps to get there, but a lot of the fun is in the figuring out. A lot of the fun is in the attempts after the failures. The fun and the true success comes through your own efforts, your own decision making, and your own determination of value.
Your life is an opportunity. Don't waste it letting other people tell you how to live it.
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