The One Real Moment

I got mugged last night.

It had been three months since I’d started working the late-night shifts at a supermarket. The pay was shitty and the hours long, but at least I was never alone in my apartment. But it also meant I could never complete my assignments on time.

It rained most nights, but I never got caught up because of it. You see, I’d work till closing time and by then the rains would have subsided. It was then that I would walk back home. Every single part of the city was quiet by then. Occasionally I could hear a faraway patrol car, its sirens wailing, but nothing could break the city’s deep slumber.

Once I reached home, I would quickly microwave a bowl of instant noodles. This I downed with Royal Emblem. It was shitty whisky, but it was cheap. I lived paycheck to paycheck, so a nice bottle of whisky was out of the picture. Also, I was developing a drinking habit and getting accustomed to the good stuff would leave me broke. Once this was done, it was pretty easy to fall asleep. I’d be tired enough to sleep right as my head hit the pillow. But some nights were different. Some nights, the tidal wave of repressed memories would flow in and sleep would simply be a vestigial concept in my mind. Then, it was back to the daily grind.

This was my cycle. Every single day. Rinse, dry, repeat.

I’d just crossed the intersection at 45th and Mayde, when it started to drizzle. Fuck! I was about six blocks from my apartment. I had bags in both hands, which meant I couldn’t make a run for it. It looked like I had to brave the downpour and get home. The rain was never the problem, it was the cold wind blowing about that cut deep into your skin like so many little razors. In only a couple of minutes, the drizzle had grown stronger and I was still nowhere close to getting home.

That was when it happened. The mugging. An arm wrapped around my neck like a snake. Hard knuckles dug into me, right below the ribs. It knocked the wind out of me.

When the world resumed its pace in the mornings, I’d be busy catching up with it. Given how tired I was every day, I always woke up late, trying my best not to trip and fall as I got ready for college. After a 30 minute commute that felt like an eternity, I would reach my college, always a hair’s width away from being late. Hour after hour, lecturers would pour in and impart knowledge unto us or pound it into us, while I tried my best to keep my mind focused. This was it, every single day. The entirety of my life amounted to nothing more than being in class for eight hours a day, slaving around the supermarket and having a late dinner before bed.

Before I could get the air back in, a strong leg struck my calf sideways. I felt the sidewalk kiss my face and pleasure was not what I felt. A knee burst into my back and I was cemented between the wet concrete sidewalk and the burly knee. I had just managed to turn my neck and peek a glance at my assailant when a blow landed square on my face.

The weekends for most people is merely a means of escape from the mundane routines of everyday life. For me, the weekends were nearly indistinguishable from the weekdays. I’d be off working double shifts for the extra cash, or I’d sit alone in my room, crying myself to sleep over how I had fucked my life up, or both. Weekends came and went in waves and every one of them seemed to slip away faster than ever before. Maybe I had finally settled into a rut, or maybe this was how life was after the initial high of being alive had worn out?

The pain was now cruising through my face and I couldn’t bear the suspense any longer. I tried to get up, but the weight of my mystery attacker held me pinned to the ground. “Get your wallet out! I don’t need no trouble man, give me your fucking wallet,” he demanded. I tried to reply, but all I could do was mumble. My breath hung low on the cold, wet concrete sidewalk and I couldn’t help but laugh at how mediocre my end would be.

I was livid. I was angry at myself for having landed in this situation. I was scared. But more than anything, I was joyful. I was enjoying every moment of this. This was the most excitement I had had in three months. I felt truly alive. I wanted him to finish me off then, I did not wish to exist a second longer than I had to. This was it.

He tugged on my shirt and pulled me up to my feet, his powerful arms still locking me in place. “I said give me your wallet, scumbag! I ain’t gonna ask twice,” he bellowed. I fumbled around and managed to get my wallet out. I threw it in the air and took my chance to run.

That’s when my face hit the ground again.

I wasn’t the type of person to go out and have ‘fun’. This was because I never had any friends to begin with. I guess I’m the kind of person people are repulsed by. The only friend I had was my bottle of Royal Emblem. I’ve known it for quite a long time and it’s always hanging around by my house. It is reliable — guaranteed to knock me out every single time. And it’s always there for me when I need it. Humans aren’t reliable, so I don’t have any “human friends”.

I tripped on my bag and fell with a thud that reverberated across every bone in my being. He caught up to me and pulled me up by the collar. Another punch to my face and stomach sent me reeling backwards. A direct kick to my shin, then a punch that impacted my chin. I felt hot blood trickle down my neck as it mixed with the cold drops of the midnight rain.

I was already on the ground, getting punched left and right on my temple and forehead. They teach you a lot of things in self-defense classes, but what they don’t teach you is how to recollect all the things you learnt. So maybe it was out of pure instinct that I held up my hands in front of my face. But that didn’t stop him dishing out blow after blow.

It was quite some time later that the barrage of kicks and punches slowed down. I stood there like the hapless victim I was. The rush of adrenaline replaced terror with a rush of euphoria. This was good. This was my ticket out of my miserable routine of an existence.

On the nights that I had trouble sleeping, I’d greet the rising sun with bags under my eyes. I would watch the city slowly crawl back out of its sleep and be abuzz with activity.

I watched the night fade away as I lay there on the sidewalk in the pouring rain. The cold wind blew and I was acquainted with all the bruises on my body. It would be daybreak in a couple of hours and the first signs of life in the city would appear. Soon after daybreak, I got up and made my way home. Sure, I had no self-respect but even I didn’t want the early-bird breakfast crowd to see me. I took a quick shower and watched the blood swirl with the water and flow down the drain.

Almost every single day, my showers were a rushed affair. Trying to make it to classes on time left no time for introspection during showers. Today, I took my sweet time rinsing off the remains of the previous night. The hot water hurt as much as it soothed the sore muscles on my body.

I spent the rest of the day wrapped up in bed, trying to make sense of what had happened. I was mugged and I lost my money. I was attacked and I lost my dignity. But in that loss, I discovered something truly unique.

I stepped out of my apartment that night and made my way across the busy street intersections. I even crossed 45th and Mayde; my bags and the items within were still lying on the sidewalk, silent witnesses to the brutality that had ensued only a few hours prior. But that wasn’t my destination.

I got into a bar and sat up on the high stool. “What’ll it be?” demanded the bartender. “The most expensive whiskey you’ve got, straight up.” A moment later, I added, “Actually, I’ll have two of those.”

I don’t know if it is the rush from what happened, or the influx of alcohol, but last night, I discovered something truly unique. I discovered the one real moment when I was alive.

Woolgathering

Purple streaks of sunlight fill the evening sky. You step out of your cozy house for a quick stroll after which you will have a silent dinner under the stars that you barely notice. The air is fragrant and light. So light that your breaths carry them away, beyond the horizon, never to return again. Your worries and anxieties still run about in your mind, though you cover them up under a fake smile. Lumps still form in your throat and your heart aches everytime they decide to run amok in your mind. But you wish them away, not wanting to ruin what is otherwise a beautiful evening.
You walk along the streets and can’t help but notice the orange hue on the river, glistening under the last rays of the sun. The river had always been a special place for you. It brought back memories of good times and left you feeling stronger. It was one of those places you wished you could bottle up and enjoy later.

You glide down the streets and notice me sitting on a perk bench. You think I’m happy though you know I’ve always felt tour guides were the happiest people around. Street lights flicker and turn on.

You walk without a clear destination, the promise of a magical place luring you in deeper. For the first time in months you look up at the sky and see the millions of stars that have been waiting for your attention, light years away, yet twinkling as if they were within your grasp. You let your mind wander, free from the heavy thoughts that have been weighing you down for so long.

You hear crickets chirping as the last rays of the sun penetrate the canopy of the forest on a hill outside town, that you’ve always wanted to visit. You see squirrels running around having their final drink of the day, before they drift into the vastness of sleep. Who knows what they might dream about. The air is laden with the smell of flowers far-away. The frangrance is a bit tangy but sweet, you can almost taste it. Stones crunch like potato chips under your feet as you near a hill. It seems the promise of a magical place has been fulfilled, but you probe deeper. Everything in this dark place radiates a certain joy and feels magical, yet natural. You can’t help but wonder if this is a dream, and everything in front of you is but a figment of your dormant imagination.

Old dreams are rediscovered as you watch birds drift smoothly into their nests and settling down for the night. Today’s worries and failures are all forgotten. What still remains is the promise of a brighter tomorrow.

The hill is steeper now. The physical exertions bring you back to reality. You turn around and your eyes widen in amazement. The city is bathed in a million points of light, illuminating the place you call home. You realize you’re pretty far away; the city is below you in a valley. Its very dark now and you are amazed you made it this far, yet you carry on.

Deep in the forest is a clearing, which tonight is filled with moonlight. You walk into the clearing and see the nectar, pouring from heaven to this world of us mortals. The crickets chirp in chorus and there is nothing you can do, but enjoy this spectacular scene, devour it with your eyes and engrave it on your mind. Everything is perfect.

You open your eyes but they are immediately blinded. Your face feels warm. And wet. As your eyes adjust to the light, you feel a wave crash into you. You wake up beside the ocean, still in a daze. You never left.

Surreal.

Gone

You try not to look. You try not to look because you know it will end in failure. But you can’t resist sneaking a peek every now and then. Surely no human is above that.

You try not to look because a glance is all it takes. For your hard work to disappear down the drain. All the months spent poring over every last detail of your plan. You don’t want it all to have been for nothing.

You try not to look, but you know you are failing. You know you are. Deep inside, you like it. You like the fact that you are failing. Deep inside you want to look.

Your eyes swivel and you crane your neck. But it’s gone. By the time your eyes have moved, everything has changed. Everything is gone. With nary a glimpse of what you wanted to see, you continue your hike.

You failed again today, but tomorrow could always be better. You smile as you realise you’re lying to yourself again. You do not want tomorrow to be better. You want everything to stay the same; you want today repeated over and over.

The doctor told you your medication would work. But what happened today was proof that it didn’t. You saw it – the shimmer, the little dance of motes in the air, the way the light bent around the outline of the half-formed figure that your brain was happy to fill out for you. That silhouette of a person you know all too well.

You saw it in the corner of your eyes. You tried not to look, but you wanted to see it so badly. And by the time you turned, it was gone. Stupid! Should have turned earlier.

But that’s all okay. There’s something new forming in the corners again; something’s stirring. This time, you’ll see it for sure. And the doctor doesn’t have to know about it.

Why Don’t You… (Or How To Ignore The Voices In Your Head)

It’s amazing what the voices in your head can tell you. Just this week, they have been nagging me like that not-so-favourite aunt who pesters you to get married and sets you up on blind dates. Sure, I’ve been ignoring them – the voices – like everything else in my life, but I thought the whole experience was interesting in its own right.

Much like the ‘bite me in the ass’ tag and my salon experiences, the posts I write about not being able to write, seem poised to be a regular feature, in as much as it shows how repetitive and mundane my life is. Continue reading “Why Don’t You… (Or How To Ignore The Voices In Your Head)”

On Not Writing

There is a fascinating story of creation behind every product. Dozens of unrelated technological innovations coming together to create this new product that will be utilized elsewhere. It is sad, however, that we do not ascribe the same importance to the written word. Every word written, every essay penned is the result of words that came before it and of other words that did not quite make the cut.

Behind this boring post about how there is a wonderful story behind even the most mundane things, is a wonderful story. Things are almost always not how they seem. Now that I’ve got your brain going in loops, let’s move on to the fact of the matter. There is a story behind the existence of this post you’re reading right now. I’ve always been wary of responsibilities and deadlines. This is especially true this year since I’ve joined the Post A Week challenge. Mondays roll in and I’m filled with dread because I don’t even have a first draft ready.

So far, I’ve managed to whip up something in time, thus ensuring that my streak isn’t broken. This last week, I decided to sit down early and get something ready for the weekend. Now you would be forgiven for assuming that someone who shares his tips for beating writer’s block would have no trouble finding something to write about. But history has a cruel way of repeating itself, and I came up short of any ideas.

Over at Aeon, I read this essay on how the writings of Arthur Schopenhauer can help navigate a midlife crisis. This essay, combined with a well-written reddit comment on how to avoid regrets in your 40s, formed the basis for a post I had in mind.

I ended up trashing this idea because I’ve had quite enough of philosophy. I frankly don’t want to be stuck in a place where I am forever quoting philosophers and thinkers and arguing why this school of thought is better than that school of thought. Sure, philosophy is enjoyable and can lead to healthy debates, but when you eat and breathe philosophy, you lose track of your own life and thoughts. Secondly, a 20-something with no life lessons of value mouthing off about a mid-life crisis isn’t the best of things.

Fresh out of ideas, I concluded that a movie might get my creative juices flowing. I have these rare moments in my life where my near-perpetual existential crisis seems to contract. It is precisely in these moments when the masochist in me takes over. Over the weekend, I made myself watch the Star Wars prequel trilogy. Yes, you read that right, I watched all three of the prequel movies and none of the originals. Fans of Star Wars might know the pain I endured over those 7 hours, as robotic dialogues were delivered by characters I had no interest in a sterile CG scene.

The wide variety of emotions that one feels when watching the prequels is enough material to write about. I personally felt the five stages of grief flow through me, like the lava on Mustafar. Why anyone would knowingly put themselves through this traumatic experience is beyond me. Okay, I am exaggerating – the prequels aren’t that bad. I could write about just how disappointing these movies were, and how much of a masochist I am for spending an entire weekend watching these movies. But at the end of the day, I didn’t find the whole premise funny or interesting enough. Not that half-baked ideas have always been abandoned.

The last hope I had for getting some writing done was The Daily Post. They put up a prompt yesterday, which I took on as a challenge. I thought I’d write a short story, probably a mystery-thriller. What I ended up with was half a story, in the vein of Jeff VanderMeer’s ‘Annihilation’. The fact that my story seemed similar to Annihilation did not bother me; the movie comes out this month, so I figured my story would be a respectful nod to the book, which I thoroughly enjoyed.

I gave up on the short story because I was doubtful of my ability to stick the landing – to craft an ending that was satisfactory, with the kind of weak plot that I’d developed. I think that’s just how it is – sometimes what you write isn’t up to the mark. And that’s okay.

To be honest, I consider this post to be quite an achievement of mine. Not only did I make it meta, by talking about other posts that could have taken its place, I also included a bit of irony into this post. Here I am writing about how I don’t have any ideas to write about. In this single post, I’ve written about all three of my previous ideas, something that wouldn’t be possible if I had chosen to work on one of the three.

The #postaweek task has been quite demanding of me, simply because I don’t have a routine for blogging. Churning out content every week, while also maintaining the same level of quality as before is a fine line to walk on. I can only expect the last few posts have been good enough. But that is sort of the point of this task, I guess. Getting to a place where writing is an essential part of my weekly routine, not just something I do an hour before the deadline. So here’s to hoping I have my post ready well in advance next time.

Where Do We Go From Here?

The first week of 2018 is behind us, and boy has it been a wild ride! From hanging corpses to nuclear buttons and sold-out books, the first week of 2018 looks exactly like an extended version of 2017. Not to be outdone by the dumpster fire that is the world outside, I wasted spent the whole week inside like a recluse. Zero productivity, unless you count the many hours I spent pondering about the state of the world.

As a rule of thumb, I tend to avoid new year resolutions as much as I can. The reason for this is simple. I am not delusional about what I can do. I know for a fact that I will fail any goal I set for myself in a week or two. So I don’t bother with it at all. However, two things that I had decided coming into 2018, were to read and write more, or at least marginally more than what I had managed in 2017.

Remember when I said I spent the whole first week like a recluse and got nothing done?

Most people would try to put that one week to good use by writing, but being me, I did not. I did, however, in my usual fashion, daydream about how much I’d write this year and how I would soon slide into a fixed weekly posting schedule. I even had a couple of ideas floating around in my head about what I would write about.

Needless to say, none of that has materialised.

So where do we go from here? Truth be said, despite my anti-resolution stance, I do like the idea of writing more, at least once a week. Going forward that might be a thing or it might not. The first week may have been a dumpster fire, but that doesn’t mean every other week has to.

How has 2018 been treating you? How many of your resolutions have failed? Are you still going strong with your resolutions? Let me know. Here’s to a great year ahead! [I should have said like a week ago :/ ]

A Primer On Death Part 2

Before you begin, read Part 1 here.

Socrates believed that death was a passage to another life. This would explain his calmness when he was sentenced to death. But Epicurus, born about sixty years after the death of Socrates, outright rejected the concept of an afterlife. He did not see death as being good or bad in itself. Being a materialist philosopher, death was just the end of sensation to him. Consider this thought by Epicurus:

“Death is nothing to us, for that which has been dissolved into its elements experiences no sensations, and that which has no sensation is nothing to us.”

What he meant was that, on dying, we stop feeling. Our senses stop working and the abstract concept that is “you” or “me”, the person, ceases to exist. From this point on, we feel nothing, so we don’t feel death at all.

I think that the concept of an afterlife or an eternal heaven is, in reality, a means of sating our fear of death. We want to believe that death is not the end. So if death is not the big bad thing that we thought it was, then that leaves us to our devices with nothing to fear. But that leaves us with a quandary. What to do with the time that we are alive?

You can spend your life in a way that minimizes your suffering. This is what The Buddha strived for. In Buddhist philosophy, it is not death that is the big bad thing. It is the endless cycle of rebirths and lives spent suffering that is to be avoided. It is not necessary to believe in this concept of reincarnations, but you can see the appeal of living a life with no suffering. Over in the world of Western philosophy, Epicurus and his school of philosophy called Epicureanism, also tried to live a life free of pain and suffering, with friends who would always stick by you.

So not only were there thousands of people thinking about death long before you and I, they were also thinking about the most basic of questions: how to lead a good life? The simply answer to that would be, while you are awaiting death, lead a life with deeds that make it a good life. Or as the Stoics would call it, a virtuous life. What they meant by the term ‘virtuous’ is quite different from what the word would mean to us. A virtuous life was a life that was lived in accordance and in tune with nature and its flow. Not surprising, considering that they thought of the Universe as an all-encompassing God.

It is here that Stoicism diverged from Epicureanism and moves closer to Buddhism, in its total indifference to the events that happen in your life. Nothing that happens in your life is good or bad. By practising a strong detachment from everything, as in Buddhism, the Stoics were able to remove emotional reactions from all events and view them as objective actions. The goal was not to be a rock without feelings, it was to treat every situation with the same calm and to experience happiness from any situation.

More than anything, Stoicism is a philosophy teaching us to be strong enough to endure anything and still be tranquil. As Lary Wallace writes,

“Joy and grief are still there, along with all the other emotions, but they are tempered – and, in their temperance, they are less tyrannical.”

This is a good way of living life, according to Stoics, because it acknowledges that life is not always a bed of roses and that there are events that might be labelled ‘good’ or ‘bad’, but you decide to look at them as just events.

But this does not mean that we simply while away our time detached from everything. It is about leading a life in accordance with nature, as the original Stoics said. That would need updating for our times, but it simply means that you go about your life, doing good deeds, and an indifference that would amaze mere mortals.

But what is a good deed? What separates it from a bad deed? What meaning or value, if any, does a good life hold? What meaning or value does our existence have? A discussion on that, soon.

A Primer On Death

“Every breath you take is a step toward death.” – Ali

Death, the one thing that comes to us all. The one thing that we keep ignoring, because don’t we all have other pressing matters to attend to? We insulate ourselves from the concept of death right from childhood. When we do come to terms with our mortality, we realize that death is the worst thing that could happen to someone. Thus, we begin living our lives, ignorant about our impending demise. One could almost say that we are ignoring our deaths, rather than being ignorant about it. But none of us can tune out that little itch at the back of our heads in its entirety. That low voice reminding us that death is creeping nearer every passing second.

But here’s the thing. We never engage ourselves in thoughts about death. We do not think about it the way we should. Our minds are like dragonflies that keep shuttling from one twig to another. When we let our minds wander, our train of thoughts might take us to think about death and mortality. But our conscious mind makes it no more than a fleeting thought, flying off to a different thought, like the dragonfly. At this point, there are two statements that we need to consider and accept as facts. One, we will die. Every last one of us. Two, most of us are scared of death, of our mortality. We try not to think about it, or somehow try to postpone it, only to fail.

So great is our fear of death, that some of us go to extreme lengths to delay or even avoid it, without any success. As Ernest Becker has written, everything we do in our lives is a way of managing our fear of death. This death denial is central to our lives and the lives of people we create. Popular culture is full of such characters mortified of their own deaths. This irrational fear of death drives them to act. By avoiding death, they become immortal, which sets them apart from everyone else. Voldemort, attempting to be immortal, creates horcruxes by splitting his soul. Even the name Voldemort translates to “flight from death”, thus foreshadowing his fear of the end.

Even as a child, Anakin Skywalker is afraid of his mortality and that of his mother. This fear clouds his judgement, which Yoda sees through. It drives him to violence, to kill, and gives him a semblance of control over death, though momentary. He is then confronted with two systems that have differing views on death. The path of the Sith, to indulge in passions and seek control over death, is tempting to Anakin. The Jedi, as we know, are more resigned to death, treating it like a friend, an inevitable event. In the end, Anakin chooses the path that he thinks gives him control over death. This tension within him, that fear of death is what drives him to the dark side.


We fear death, not because we stop existing after we die. We fear death because we know we will miss out on the future. Call it existential FOMO. It is hard to accept that there will be, in the future, conversations, events and moments that we will not be part of. As James Gleick has written in Time Travel,

The past, in which we did not exist, is bearable, but the future, in which we will not exist, troubles us more. I know that in the vast expanse of space, I am an infinitesimal mote – fine. But confinement to an eyeblink of time, as an instant never to return, is harder to accept.

But this existential FOMO is nothing more than a constructed fallacy, if you think about it. As Thomas Nagel says, if you don’t feel a deep sense of loss, at what you missed before you were even alive, why should you feel loss at what you’ll miss after you die? You have missed thousands of years of human civilisation, so why feel sorrow at missing out on the future?

But long before you and I, Socrates rejected the fear of death. According to Socrates, death was not something to be afraid of, so men should face it with calm. He proposed that death could be one of two things. Death might either be an eternal dreamless sleep, or it could be a passage to another life. If it was the former, it would be a pleasant experience, a nice rest after a long life. And that is not scary. If death was the latter, a passage to another life, then we would get the chance to hang out with other people who have already died. And isn’t that a wonderful experience in itself, Socrates thought. So either way, death was not a scary ordeal, it was just something that happened to every one, a great equalizer.

“And they die
An equal death, – the idler and the man
Of mighty deeds.” – Homer


Continue reading, with part 2 of this little meditation on life, death and everything in between.

In Which I Search For Ideas

What’s that I hear you asking? No motivation to write?

Not exactly. It’s just that when I do write, I have both the motivation and the inspiration to write. Right now, I’m incredibly motivated to write. Given a topic, I could probably tackle 500 words without a break. But as (bad) luck would have it, I’m all out of topics right now. I guess I could use the daily prompts, but the thing is, single word prompts aren’t exactly my style. I could never have imagined that my own words would come back to bite me in the ass.

Continue reading “In Which I Search For Ideas”

I Suck At Being Productive

What’s the best way to be productive and get work done? Probably not the way I get things done. The way I get work done is a trademarked method involving tons of procrastination, lots of general incompetence and an obsessive attention to detail that actually gets in the way of completion of said task.

Everyone seems to like pictures of desks with laptops and journals in productivity essays.

I’ve grappled with motivation issues for as long as I can remember; completing assignments on time was never my strong suit, unless my parents were behind me ready to whoop my ass. My phone is littered with dead drafts that never got to see the light of day only because I either lose interest and/or motivation halfway or my internal editor kicks in right when I’m writing.
It’s like another personality inside me that pops up occasionally, but I can’t seem to tune it out. Talk about demonic possessions! Maybe I should see someone about it. Which usually means I won’t.

Now that we’re talking about demonic possessions, I’m proud (and ashamed) to announce that I’m addicted to The Black Tapes Podcast. I’ll admit I’m incredibly late to this party, two seasons too late, and to literally every party I get invited to, which is not much. The Black Tapes is a fictional docu-drama about a reporter who investigates paranormal cases. I won’t spoil the whole thing for you, but binge-listening to podcasts is another reason I haven’t been diligent with regards to my work.

This has always been one on my weaknesses, if you discount the crippling social anxiety, depression, addiction to dank memes and my pathetic athletic abilities, that is. Any time I’m flooded with work, I indulge myself completely in something totally unrelated, like getting drunk and paying a visit to the coastline. In this case, it was podcasts. Lots and lots of it. Enough to justify me purchasing Pocket Casts.

Anyway, while I was powering through entire seasons of different shows, my work load increased and languished in obscurity. Come to think of it, this whole post is another way for me to avoid thinking of all the work that’s pending. All this is not to say that I a complete mess, I’m not one yet. I do manage to get things done at the last moment, like a true procrastinator. The quality of work that I set upon myself at the outset is miles above the quality of the final product, but I beat myself up so much by the end, that any work done seems good enough.

This is how I look like when I’m trying to get my work done a week after it was due.

I’ll let you in on a little bit of a secret now. This post has been in my drafts for a long long time. But it took me just 30 minutes to get past 50 words and publish this, quality be dammed. 😅
Image: Bram Naus on Unsplash