The timing of this has been so coincidental and implausible that I would find it ridiculous if I were reading it in a book. It’s almost funny, really, but somehow I haven’t been laughing about it too much.
Less than a month after I started trying to devote myself to writing full-time, I started developing tingling and numbness and pain in the fingers of my left hand. I still need to let the doctors run some tests, but it sure looks like carpal tunnel syndrome to me, or something similar. In any event, whatever it is, it’s definitely making typing difficult, and some days impossible.
It makes me think, what the hell, Universe? Do you not want me to do this? Are you trying to tell me something?
Now, you might not know it from reading my stories, but I’m really a rationalist. I don’t honestly believe that the universe or God or any invisible force is actually out to get me, or to help me either, for that matter.
But the world is trying to stop me. Because that’s just what the world does.
There doesn’t have to be anything malicious or perverse or intentional behind it all. It’s just a kind of friction. A kind of entropy. Whatever your dream is, the more you try to push forward with it, the more the world will push back.
Events will conspire to stop you. You have to take on more hours at work. Your kid gets sick. Your car breaks down and you have to start wasting time taking the bus. Something. Something always happens.
People will try to stop you. The people who are jealous of you, the ones who never achieved their dream, or maybe never even tried, they will mock you and laugh at you and try to tear you down. Even worse, the people who love you will try to stop you, because they don’t want to feel disappointed or hurt and they want to protect you.
Let’s assume for a minute that there is a purpose behind all this. If so, maybe the reason isn’t what we think it is. Maybe the world isn’t trying to say, you can’t have this, you don’t deserve this.
Maybe it’s trying to say, how bad do you want it? How much are you willing to do to get it? What will you endure?
Whatever you’re trying to do with your life, if the world is pushing back, maybe it’s time to get angry. I don’t mean the useless kind of anger that leads to bitterness. I mean the kind of anger that makes you start fighting.
The kind of anger that makes you look at your obstacles head-on and say, this won’t stop me.
This won’t stop me. Say it out loud if you need to. Get up, walk away from your computer, go look yourself in the eye in the mirror and say, this won’t stop me. Make those words the drumbeat pushing you forward. Repeat them until you can feel your heartbeat pulsing in time with them. This. Won’t. Stop. Me.
The only way you lose is if you give up. The only person you’re really fighting, the only person who really has the power to keep you from trying to get what you want, is you.
A few months ago, I wrote about using some voice recognition software. I didn’t really put much stock in it at the time. I wrote it off as potentially useful, but mainly just an interesting toy. I’ve been forced to reevaluate that position, to start using the software again, and this time, to really put time and effort into training it how to understand my voice. I used it to write this post, and at this point I’d say it’s about 90 to 95% accurate, and only slightly slower than typing.
However long it takes to fix my hand, in the meantime, I will do whatever it takes to keep getting words down on the page. I will keep bringing you these posts, and I’ll keep bringing you my stories. That’s my promise to you.
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