Mario Villalobos

The Gamble

One thing I don’t seem to allow myself to have is time. I have this drive to fill every minute of every day as productively as I can, and for the most part, I’ve succeeded in doing that. I do allow myself some time to play video games on my phone or to watch TV or some videos on YouTube or Vimeo or something. For the most part, though, my day is full with various activities that all add up toward me becoming a great writer — whatever that means. I’m really just working my ass off doing things that I want to do, which mostly involves writing. This commitment to this one goal has given me a focus I’ve never had before, but it’s also made me scared to do other things.

The other day I imagined being in a relationship with this girl that I have a bit of a crush on. She’s an amazing girl and one that I want to get to know more, but a few days ago, I gave myself a choice: would I rather ask her out, go on a few dates with her, maybe even have a relationship with her, or would I rather keep working on my novel, keep improving myself, keep filling up every minute of every day with tasks that fuel this fire within me? And I didn’t know how to answer that immediately. I do want to be in a relationship, but I think I want to see this whole journey through first. That’s how I feel right now, and it’s like I’m sacrificing my present happiness for a far greater time in the future. I’m taking a gamble here, and the only way to gamble is by going all-in. I’m all-in on my journey right now, and now I have to make sure I pay it off.

This is actually the first time I’m writing this all out, and I feel sad. My friend asked me if all this is maybe just a cop out. I told her that I didn’t know. Not really. She asked me that I’m going to have to adjust to having both a relationship and the time and focus to work on my writing eventually. This won’t be the only novel I’ll ever write. There will be more in the future, and I don’t want to be alone. But I think I need to focus as fully as I can now because I hope it’ll all become easier later. I’m forging that experience now. I’m learning what it takes, what I’m capable of, and how much of myself I need to give to produce the work I’m happiest and most proud of. Maybe it’ll be easier if I had someone with me helping me along, and encouraging me every day to do better than my best. But I don’t right now, so I don’t know what that’ll be like or feel like.

I really don’t know. Maybe I’m pushing myself too hard. Maybe I’m not pushing myself hard enough. Maybe I’m wound tight. Maybe I’m not wound tight enough. Maybe I’m right where I need to be. All I know is that I’m tired, I’ve exceeded my 500 words, and I’m ready to go to sleep. I’ll sleep on it, maybe for a few days, a week, or longer, and check back in later. Good night, dear readers.