015 – numbers are great servants but terrible overlords

I want it so badly. I am trying so hard. I need to make progress. I must make progress. Argh, why am not making progress! Why aren’t the numbers going up faster? Many mornings, that’s what I am waking up to. Progress, numbers, speed. Progress, numbers, speed. I am a creator and I don’t even remember how I started being one nor how I arrived here. I have no mental space for long-term memories, I must load in memory the whole chunk of the graph that I am focusing on, so that I can make a breakthrough and publish my next piece. There is no choice, that’s what I am here to do. The numbers must go up, or I won’t ever be able to leave. 

Wait, hold on. I am remembering something. Some memories are still there. Maybe I can actually answer your question, maybe I am not useless. Maybe I can serve you well. I remember that when I first came here things were exciting and colourful. It was all about discovery and change. I didn’t know much about the craft, but once I arrived here everything started making sense. My childish attempts, my long distracted afternoons. Everything clicked into one place when looking at them from here. I was made to create but I didn’t know how. Being here taught me how. It gave me the tools, the skills and the knowledge. Suddenly, I was a craftsman, I was creating. Everything fell into place. I started knowing how to and when to. I recognised what I needed to focus on and how to load graph chunks in my memory. I discovered how to transform them into pamphlets. I pushed out the products and good feedback started coming in. I felt seen. I was thriving. I was alive.

But it didn’t last long. My mind started wrapping around the procedures and the numbers, desperately trying to squeeze numbers out of them. Soon after, everything felt out of place. My mind hurts when I load in the whole graph. My pamphlets sting me to the point where I don’t want to show them to anyone. Even though I know how, I don’t know why. I have no connection to what I am doing. I have embarked this journey with a timid sense of curiosity and quickly after I was overloaded with a full identity and responsibilities around it. I got tasked to fully build out my journey. I was responsible in front of everyone else to report on the progress. What did I create? What results did it produced? Where are my numbers? Progress, numbers, speed. Progress, numbers, speed. The timid sense of curiosity that initially led me here had no role. There was no need to hold onto it. It wasn’t there with me every day when I woken up. One day, I simply lost it, and it never came back. That’s when everything started falling out of place.

To my defence, they bribed me into this. Everyone wanted my numbers. Everyone wanted to celebrate them with me. They provided me guides, mentors and motivational speeches about my numbers. Of course they did, they had to push their numbers. Everyone is pushing their numbers higher, and few are looking at who’s behind the numbers. My original timid sense of curiosity wanted to describe how I was feeling. It wanted to explore different ways of being and share them with others. It craved being reflected back its experience in different forms, shapes and colours. One day it was gone, and it never came back. They didn’t teach me how to nurture it here, they didn’t teach me how to talk about my experience. They only wanted me to create and to push the numbers up.

Thankfully, they don’t have the keys to the door, and I can leave. We can leave. We can start all over. It will be painful, but we can. We take on the door and we leave. But my heart faints and sinks. I was there for much longer than I realised. There is no more time for me to start all over. The one I am making for you, will be my last writing. I went in circles, many times. Even if I didn’t notice, my circles had a trajectory that led me here. Can you see the rhythm of my circles? Can you see what led me up and down? Are you, that can, going to learn from it? I was so self-absorbed and self-obsessed that I didn’t pay much attention to where I was. It didn’t matter much if the place where I was was suited to go where I wanted. Everything that mattered what how I was doing. My progress, my numbers, my speed. That’s why I always ended up in circles. My starting point was an excuse to do something, but it didn’t infect my soul. I didn’t let it take over me. I wanted my independence, my shouting free will. I didn’t care about where I started and what I could do about it. I quickly forgot it once in motion and moved on. But because I didn’t carry it with, I didn’t grow or transform it, and eventually found myself in it again.

Progress, numbers and speed and great tools but terrible aims. They are great servants for our dances but terrible masters of our parties. I was given countless tools, yet I treated them as overlords. I was given limitless power, but I had no soul to contain it. I was given ocean of information, but I didn’t attend the calling of my hearth and quickly drowned. As you had the luck of meeting me, you can avoid my mistakes. If not for yourself, do it for me. Attend the calling that I didn’t. Let your hearth guide you and the tools empower you. Allow yourself to play the story that you want, any story. Let the numbers be numbers, don’t make them overlords. They cannot tell stories, only you can. They cannot find meaning, only you can help. They can help you going when you are tired, and correct you when you miss the point. Numbers become overlord when we don’t have trust in our stories. When we don’t trust our stories, we need to grasp on what’s left, the bleak remains of the fact that we are being. But the story is yours to discover and tell.

227 thoughts on “015 – numbers are great servants but terrible overlords

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