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.

29 comments:

whimsicalnbrainpan said...

I'm glad you're ok. I was getting worried. And a little silence is good for the soul now and then.

foam said...

hey russ,
what a drag that your computer crashed. that's a wake up call for me, man. time to download my photos onto disks. i've been thinking about that for a while...but have been procrastinating.
you know you write really wonderfully. this is a very thoughtful post. many of us do rush, rush, rush. with demanding jobs, children, aging parents..how can we not? but like you said, as long as we know when to stop...just stop when there is no need to rush. thanks for writing this. oh, btw
i've changed my blog, my blogger name and my link. so, i may not be familiar to you. in that case we'll just meet anew if you so desire......:)
(nothing much on my blog yet.....
i'm sorta taking a bit of a break)

russkal said...

Whim,

Thanks for your concern. I only noticed now that Dirk was away for a long time too, what happened to him? I hope he and his wife are ok.

Foam,

Thanks for the compliment. How can I forget the moaning foam? I mean, the foaming moan? ;p Can't wait to visit your new blog. I'm going now!

tkkerouac said...

Thanks for dropping by. Yes I'm a Jack Kerouac fan, I am also a Kerouac and my grandfather was Jacks uncle.
As for you PC going down and you feeling the loss, I know how you feel, we are creatures of habit and this took you away from your routine.
I myself have just begun blogging but have alot of readers, possibly because my daugher Raymi is the number one blogger in canada. But I'd also like to think I'm a bit nutty, different.
It can be obsessive, the blogging. It has been for me,still hoping to find the balance. So for now, I'm the whiley coyote. I want to tief that photo from you. This was my fathers favourite cartoon.
And I'm always thinking and moving, not stopping long enough to smell those roses....one day maybe, one day.

Also, you have to ask yourself, am I posting this for my readers, or for myself. Am I living for my readers?

Eve said...

It's good to stop and take a look around once in a while.

Welcome back!

Craig D said...

Good to have you back! Check out this past Sunday's OPUS COMIC and see if you find any parallels!

Jay said...

A little break every once in a while is a good thing. Sometimes I wonder if I should give it up for a while too. Just to see if there are more productive things I could be doing. Well, I know there are, but I prefer this. LOL

russkal said...

tkkerouac,

You're actually related to Jack? Cool! Silly me for missing that part of your profile.

Kudos to you on your newfound hobby (blogging, that is). I'll make sure I drop by as often as I can.

And sure, grab the photo!

Eve,

Amen to that.

Craig,

The strip was hilarious! It did remind me how I felt when my PC crashed. Maybe just a lil bit exaggerated.

Thanks for the link!

russkal said...

Jay,

I wouldn't mind dropping everything and getting stuck in an island inhabited by supermodels even for a brief period of time.

Then, I could be really productive!

But that's another story...

Amery Celiza said...

you're back! i had no computer for about 6 months so i know how hard it is to be sans-pc. however, i'm glad that you found your way back to blogger-landia. everyone knows we need a bit of russ-induced-laugh once in a while to take the pressure off. :) welcome back!

russkal said...

Thanks Amery!

Why do I feel like I know you? Hmmm...

Just curious

Amery Celiza said...

Yikes! Russ!!! I can't believe you know who I was talking about. Small world. I'm just crossing my fingers that you're not friends with him. :P

russkal said...

Amery,

see my reply on your blog.

P said...

i, too, get a kick out of visitors and comments. comments are love. :-) but ultimately, i think the healthy stance is to simply blog for self. rant and release, for your own sanity, or whatever. if thers out there get it, great. but YOU decide how fast or slow you glad you're well and back.

skeet said...

Ah, you came back and I wasn't here! Sorry I quit checking for a while, my friend, but ever so glad to see you back.

I've changed my own blogging habits somewhat. Ditched the frenzy to post, post, post. Writing less and enjoying it more. Oh, and moved from blogspot to my own domain!Hope to see you over there soon!

Pepper said...

Welcome back. Wonderful post. I ran like the roadrunner but now I am so happy I slowed down.

Its great to hear from you.

Kat said...

(hugs) good to hear from you again. :) Here's my comment - come wander by the blog... much has happened over the last month... (go back to Feb 4 or 5 (somewhere in there)... seriously...)

Enemy of the Republic said...

Glad to see you, friend.

Dirk_Star said...

Long time no see, good friend.

Seven more weeks to go until the baby is born.

I am going to have a son...

Dirk_Star said...

The truth be told...

Dirk_Star said...

I'm conducting an important readers poll, can you spare a minute?

Amery Celiza said...

russ! finally got my old blog look back! I'm starting to go job hunting and i never expected that it's be hard. (or maybe i'm just really picky. heh). :P

dd said...

Down and out of memory (or a computer) is a terrible place to be. Its hardest the first time (deep dark depression and excessive misery), a p.i.a. the second time and a blip in the road the third. I've collected so many external portable drives for Back Up that I've run our of names to give them. Glad to read you are posting again and that insomnia can be so productive.

Dirk_Star said...

Dude,look away from the light...

Come back...

russkal said...

P,

I couldn't agree more. Here I am after a month long hiatus. It feels good to be back again : )

russkal said...

Skeet,

Glad to hear you have a new site now. Change is good : )

russkal said...

Pepper,

Thank you for welcoming me back.

Kat,

I've been there but I didn't see anything. What am I missing?

Enemy,

Glad to see you again too.

russkal said...

Dirk,

Wow, have I been gone that long? I wouldn't miss your son's arrival for anything, man. Glad I came back on time.

russkal said...

Amery,

Good luck on the job hunt. Hey, have you tried calling our office? Maybe you can submit your CV...

DD,

Tell me about it. I'm glad I invested on a second back-up hard disk. Now I don't have to burn my important files on DVD every now and then. Thanks for stopping by!