Mario Villalobos

That Fire

With each sunrise and sunset, I move further away from the person I don’t want to be anymore and toward someone I can’t even imagine; yet, I will always keep dragging the weight of my past behind me while chugging along into the future. Time never changes down here on earth. How I spend my time is how I choose to live my life. Time shaped who I am right now, and only through time can I live the type of life I want.

I keep chipping away at improving myself, and with all the small victories I’ve racked up over the past 160 days, I’m at a point where I feel confident enough to do anything. For the past few weeks, I’ve been attempting to rearrange and rethink how I live my days, and for the most part, that meant focusing more on my writing and all the peripheral tasks that can improve it and less on those things that are either unproductive โ€” watching TV, surfing the web, etc. โ€” toward more productive things, things that I love to do but haven’t focused fully on, things like writing, reading, and learning.

I want to be published. That’s it. That’s my goal. I want to write something good enough that somebody with the power to publish it, will. That’s the simple truth of it. But to be published, I have to write. Not only do I have to write, I have to write well. Not only do I have to write well, but I have to finish something, and I have to improve it and improve it and improve it until it becomes better than good enough. In fact, it has to be better than even that. It has to be the best thing I can physically produce at this moment in time. And to do that, I have to keep writing, to keep doing better than my best, and to keep doing all of that every day.

My novel sucks right now. It started off with an intoxicating energy that propelled the first three chapters forward and gave me a false sense of confidence. Six chapters later, though? I want to throw every byte and printed page into an incinerator and pretend I never wrote any of it. Hell, I kind of want to do the same thing to this blog. There’s something about fires that I like. It purifies every thing in its path. I feel like I’m in need of some sort of purification. Catharsis, maybe. Maybe that’s what the past few weeks worth of focus have been about.

There’s something about starting over that feels good, but once the beginning stares at me and taunts me and laughs at my own incompetence, I feel the drench of fear raining on me like some sort of hell-cloud. Then I realize I don’t have to start over. That I don’t really want to start over. That I’m just afraid that I might be a failure or that I will fail. Fail at what, though? Somebody else’s expectations of me? But what about my expectations of myself?

That’s why I keep moving my feet. I keep moving forward because there’s no where else I can go. Time will keep pushing me forward, regardless of how I feel about it. All I can do is take the damn reins and control my own destiny.