Just when you build it is when you’ll try like hell to knock it to the ground


We should have seen our tendencies to do this as kids. We can only stack two or three blocks before the uncontrollable urge hits us to knock them down.

The higher we build it, the more intense this urge grows to take our open hand and send the blocks flying like shrapnel across the living room.

Soon, we outgrow this tendency. But our inner child stays put when it comes to our creative endeavors — knocking down one project after another like a crazed toddler.

What is this all about?

Looking at my own life, I’ve done this time and time again. It’s like a broken record — and it’s getting really damn old, so I’m calling this part of me (and you) out on the floor right now to shoot it down in public.

This bastard. Whatever the part of us is that licks its chops when it sees any inkling of our success or fulfillment, waiting in the shadows like a coward until we turn our attention elsewhere so it can jump out, blindside us and sabotage our art.

This filthy waste of gray matter lies nowhere but in our own psyches. We must locate it, root it out, and send it packing.

Just when we get on a roll. Just when we start making progress — something in us flinches and tries to talk us out of it.

Dude. You’re selling out.
Who the hell are you to do this kind of work?
What if you don’t make any money at it? What would your dad think?
Try doing this (enter tempting distraction here). It’s more ‘you’.

I’m fucking. Over it. Aren’t you?

Why must we satisfy this dark, sadistic part of our beings that gets off on our destruction? That feeds off of our mediocrity and collapse?

Why must we ingratiate this urge to knock the proverbial blocks of our life down? To set fire to months — years — of hard work only to divulge in the tasty emptiness of self-destruction?

I’m done. I’m building this tower high.

Another block. And then another.

My hand opens. Seriously, I want to do it.

But instead of laying waste to my work, I’ll take that same itchy hand… Grab another block… And stack it.

One after the next.

Boring? Maybe. It sure is a lot of fun sending these blocks flying.

But I know the urge will pass. Always does. And when we’re sitting there, blocks strewn about the room, we’re left with the dismembered remains of a body of work that once was... something.

Something to be proud of. Something to show others who care. Something to brighten the darkness in a few small corners of the world.

Don’t do it. Find something else to knock down.

Jonas shares short, whimsical daily vignettes here on Medium and around the web. To get them delivered straight to your inbox as soon as they’re live, click here.

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