Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Rising to the Challenge

I've noticed something rather strange about myself. When I can't work up the will or energy to do something for myself, whether it be to go to a strange place or work on a publication or create a project, I can do it for someone else. If someone else comes to me and asks, I will invariably somehow come up with some way to rise to the challenge. Absurdly, this even works in odd situations where I have to go somewhere new and don't know the way. If I were by myself, the betting is that I'd get lost. When I'm responsible for someone else, everything works out well.

Responsibility changes people. I know that in my case, it changes me for the better. Responsibility means that I have to produce things ASAP per a deadline and do them as well as possible. This leaves little room for me to obsess over how everything can be made better, which is good as well.

Anyway, this is a note to all of you (especially those who actually know me.) I want to explain to you that this year, my computer is not simply a separate entity. My computer is a new limb. It's part of my body.

Basically, I'm going to be living in my room this year (or at the uptown library. Take your pick.) Nearly everything I'm involved in has to do with the written word, which means that I need a computer with Internet access at all times, which means I will be living in my room. Hibernating here, more likely. Here's the deal: I've contracted myself to a whole lot of people, and in deference to my parents, I won't say exactly what it is I feel like, but to phrase it euphemistically, I'm everybody's woman at the moment.

School hasn't even started and I'm swamped in work.

I'll tell you what's so amazing about this, though: it's the sense of challenge. Competitive people like me thrive on challenge. We need challenges; we need the impossible. I have what can be termed a killer schedule [1] (physically and academically- physically in that I have no lunch breaks, which means I go from 9-3 without eating) but I feel like I really go to school for the extracurricular activities. (Parents, please don't throw fits now; I know that schoolwork comes first, etc.)

Basically, this is my own challenge to myself. I know that my schedule is impossible at the moment. The question now is, can I do the impossible?

I'm so excited at the moment; I'm very revved-up and ready to go. I love it when everything seems impossible and crazy. I love insane amounts of pressure. I work very well under pressure. I need everything to be crazy so that I feel a sense of accomplishment when it works out in the end. I think that's the reason that I and others like myself procrastinate so often; it's our challenge to ourselves. We often know we'll earn the expected result if we write our paper early, like we should, so the question now becomes a game, something far more fun- how late can I write this paper and still succeed? We make it a challenge. We need challenges. Challenges, you see, are fun. If a situation is not crazy, we will make it crazy on purpose in order to induce productivity.

Anyway, what will I need from you?
From the people I know, I'll need entertainment (please, emails or stopping by my room is a must, especially if I seem dangerously near tears. Incidentally, that is often a sign that I am on the verge of a breakthrough, and if I like you enough, I'll need you to push me and tell me to stop crying and finish what I started. Be careful if you try that approach; most people aren't able to do it well and you don't want me to be mad at you forever. In fact, don't try that approach unless I tell you that I appreciate your criticism.) I also need places to crash.

And from the others I don't know who read this, that is in and of itself enough!
This is going to be a crazy, amazing, fulfilling and absolutely fantastic year.

Especially since I know someone who has it even harder than me and looked like death tonight. I'm amazed by the fact that he continues on. Anyway, if he can do it, I certainly can.

In his words, after I exclaimed that I'm not going to have a life this year, "What you do becomes your life."

I love that. What you do can represent what you are, what you subscribe to and what you find important. Not always, of course. But at the moment? Hell yeah!

School is going to be intensely fun this year.
[1] I absolutely acknowledge my schedule is not at all comparable to what the guys do uptown, especially those in YP. I doff my hat to all of you.


jackie said...

Come visit the former BRH 5b crowd already!

Anonymous said...

you need to be reminded that:

If you have too much on your plate, admit it.
Then cut back as needed.

Schedule relaxation time.
Everyone needs some downtime to stay happy and fulfilled.


Chana said...

No, you don't understand: the work is the play. :-)

e-kvetcher said...

I thought it was "The play is the thing" :)

haKiruv said...

I wish I could outsource some of my CompSci homework to you.

G said...


Stuff like this always makes me want to get back to the hallowed halls of learning.

Scraps said...

1) You're insane.

2) If you ever need a place to crash uptown, you've got my number.

3) Can I come visit you in the library?

4) You're insane.

5) I once did a 9-6 schedule without a lunch break, but only two days a week, and without so many extracurriculars. It still nearly killed me.

6) I know what you mean, by the responsibility to others pushing you to do what you can't do for yourself. I've been in that position before.

rivkayael said...

making it impossible makes it possible! if that makes sense.

SJ said...

I miss Chana! Impossible Girl, you are always welcome in my room...well, my new room feels more like a closet, but still, you are always welcome! And I look forward to seeing you often, crazed and exhilarated by chaos and success!

the only way i know said...

wow Chana

I loved this post. It speaks to my heart - it's the way I love working too!
Best of luck!!!