Photo: Markus Winkler
I’ve went through life just going through one goal after another. Every time I’d achieved something, I’d just relish it for minutes before moving on to the next one. It took a few tries before I realised that checking things off my bucket list wasn’t as exhilarating as I thought it would be. Then it hit me.
The goals were never the point. The process was.
After all, what good did becoming a salon supervisor do for me? Or becoming a travel writer? Earning my blue belt in jiu-jitsu? Finishing that book? Getting published?
Photo: The Climate Reality Project
You wake up, you check your phone. You want to know the latest stats for the article you’d posted yesterday. Two views. No likes on Facebook. One spam comment.
An e-mail comes in. It’s from that fiction competition you joined five months ago. “Thank you for your participation,” it reads. That’s always a bad sign, and a quick scroll through the rest of the message proves it.
Photo: Pereanu Sebastian
Ah, the infamous shitty first draft. The place where hopes are simultaneously born and slaughtered. The one thing that writers fear the most.
The first draft can be anything. I can write poop all over again if I want. Poop poop poop. I can, like, use punctuation however I like—I can even make sentences no meaning at all fire escape what yes.
Perhaps I’ll rewrite that later. Perhaps not.
But that’s the point. That’s what the first draft is. The canvas where you start creating your art. You probably thought that the blank page was the canvas. Well you thought wrong.
Photo: Quino Al
“You gave me the new guy?” the lady said, her big hair swaying like loose springs as she glanced from one receptionist to the other. “How dare you!”
I stood beside the receptionists and the salon manager, taking particular interest in my nails, not just out of embarrassment, but also because this lady had complained about my lack thereof throughout the entire hair wash. I quickly learned that customers like these only liked it when you raked the shit out of their scalps.
Photo: Curtis Macnewton
Ever since 2020 turned into the year of Covid-19, my social media feeds have evolved into a never-ending stream of home-cooked food, bodyweight workouts, and forwarded challenges of all types.
There have been a handful of people who’ve picked up seven new languages as well as those who’ve turned into three-star Michelin chefs overnight. Then there are the ones advocating self-care from the couch, assuring everyone that it’s okay not to be productive.
I say fuck it. You’re old enough to decide what you should or should not do with your time, regardless of all the flexing—both figuratively and literally—you’re seeing on social media.