Commitmentphobia

Lately I’ve been experiencing a bit of commitment-phobia. I’m sure there’s an actual scientific term for this, which I haven’t looked up yet. One sec…

Gamophobia! The word derives from the Greek words Gamos (which means marriage) and Phobos (which means fear). Now I don’t actually have Gamophobia, but lately it has gotten harder and harder to go back to projects or tasks that I have started and haven’t finished. I’ve written a third of three books, I’ve watched half of countless television series. I haven’t committed to any new travel plans (save one), or the fostering of new and old relationships. Things have been slipping.

There are probably a host of reasons for this. A friend of mine and I were discussing “decision fatigue” a few days ago, a concept I am now very familiar with. When one spends all day making decisions, the last thing one wants to do when one gets home is make more decisions. When I come home from work, I want to eat and then let the dulcet tones of the television lull me to sleep. And though in theory this sounds perfectly fine, is does not make for a particularly interesting lifestyle.

The problem could also be stemming from me, or who I inherently am as a person. I have a lot of different ideas and dreams about my future – goals that I want to accomplish. I want to write a book, and make a film. I want to get better at understanding plot and story structure. I want to have a wider circle of friends and I want to see as much of the world as humanly possible. But occasionally I get stuck on the practicality of these dreams and my desire to be the best. What’s the point of working on something when it’s not going to turn out the way I want it to?

Of course, this becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. When you want it all, it’s very easy to end up with nothing. I can sit here all I want and lament on my lack of time or my lack resources and say, that’s why it hasn’t happened for me! But that wouldn’t be remotely true. Though my job is demanding, it does not completely suck the life out of me, and there are usable hours that I let slip away because I can’t bring myself to get to work.

As Dumbledore said so wisely, “It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” Being a person means you have to make decisions and commit to those decisions, no matter how hard it is or how tired you might be. And when we care and we’re committed to whatever we’re doing, our decisions get better and easier to make. Finishing projects and seeing things through makes us better people. We become more well-rounded, less half-assed.

There are a million different quotes about this subject and they are all very cliche so instead I will eave yo with this. There is a fantastic public art piece in Brighton, England by Naoimh Looney, along the Madeira Drive Promenade. There, giant steel letters form her proclamation, “I have great desire. My desire is great.” On cloudy days it is easy to miss. But when the sun is shining, the words glisten and the result is inspiring. My wants and desires run deep within me and have become entrenched in my personality. It would be a pity if none of them were ever realized.

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