Sunday, February 25, 2007

Too Fast, Too Fearful

Have you ever thought, one day in your life that you are, or things are, moving too fast? Beating deadlines, chasing promotion, climbing the corporate ladder, marrying or just plain moving in with someone. Chances are, all of us have been, once, twice, or countless times in our lives, guilty of hurrying. It’s an endless race, like Wile E. Coyote chasing the Road Runner.

I am. And while I did remind myself and everyone who reads this blog to stop and smell the roses and enjoy the silence some time ago, I have never truly steered away from the race track. How could I? I eat deadlines for breakfast. I have too. Otherwise, I won’t be able to serve anything for breakfast at all.

And that is why, when my PC crashed almost a month ago, I was devastated. It felt like a part of me crashed too, and like a writer without a pen and paper on his hand, I felt disabled. I had many fears. True, we will probably never run out of pens and papers but in this day and age, who needs them when you have computers?

My biggest fear was losing important data. Years of moments captured on photos and videos from my trusty digital camera, 4,000+ songs diligently ripped, labeled and categorized, business files, sidelines, personal files – all important files – gone. Vanished. Kaput.

And while I was unscrewing the last screw in my CPU trying to find out what went wrong, it hits me. I may not be able to do many things for a long time. And that includes playing video games, downloading torrents, doing sidelines, surfing the net and updating my blog – my midnight routine. You may say that I can do those things in the office, but I don’t. I am a night owl (obviously) and my PC is what keeps me company when everyone else is in deep slumbers.

But that was over. My PC has been up and running 3 weeks ago. I’ve lost some files*, but was able to retrieve some from my spare hard drive, DVD backups and iPod. Nonetheless, I spent almost a week trying to restore it all. The question now is what took me so long to write a new post? I don’t exactly know the answer, but I believe it has something to do with this post’s title. I got too fast, too fearful.

I was moving too fast that when my PC broke down, all of a sudden, I have nothing to do during midnights. Everything came to a complete halt. At first, I dug out my old PS2 games and started playing again. I got bored sooner than I expected. I watched DVDs that I already saw. I read magazines, books, scribbled down poems, and struggled to write a script for a short film, all just to keep my brain and hands from being idle. But then, just like before, silence prevailed. Once again, I was captured by the serenity of my own thoughts, and it’s telling me not to rush. It’s telling me to enjoy the lull. However, it is also the same reason why I became fearful.

Not being able to update for almost a month now, I feared that I cannot write an interesting post anymore. I feared that no one will give a damn to visit and check if I have finally updated. Most importantly, I feared that I was beginning to like not being able to post. It’s new to me, the feeling of suddenly spending midnights without thinking of the next topic that I should write about. Not worrying who to visit next and whose comment I should reply to. Not spending hours just to write, search and download photos to make my latest post interesting for visitors.

We are taught that the human brain is designed to handle new experiences with either anticipation or apprehension. Oddly, I began to feel both. I was excited that finally, I don’t have to depend on my PC when my insomnia kicks in, but I was also fearful that this is not what I want to happen.

For almost a month, I was in limbo. But not anymore. I know the answer now. Like I said, it’s been more than 3 weeks since my PC was restored. I could’ve written a new post during those days but I didn’t. I could’ve visited your blog, or simply post a comment. But I didn’t. Instead, I used those days, actually midnights, to ask myself, “Do I really want to do this?” And if the answer is yes, I have to make sure that this time around, I’ll know when to stop. What I learned in this experience is that there is nothing wrong in moving too fast. You just have to know when to stop. That way, you won’t have to fear if you come face to face with a wall. Don’t be the Coyote. Be the Road Runner. Run as fast as hell but stop when you need to.

So will I set foot on the race track again? I think the answer is pretty obvious.

I am back. Hopefully now, I’m neither too fast, nor too fearful.

* I also lost the bookmarks in my Internet browser, so if I haven’t been to your blog, that means I can’t find a way to reach you. Please leave a comment so I can visit you again. Thanks.