Distractions are a wonderful thing. They take the goal at hand and simply move it out of the way. They allow us to forget about our current situation, and lets us focus on more interesting and fleeting topics. For me personally, distractions are a highly addictive substance. So much so, that I might have to make up a personal 12 step program.
Distractions come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. From the simple shiny object in the distance, to the traditional ‘view outside the window’. Distractions can easily come from anywhere. But perhaps the most dangerous and engrossing distractions are those of the mind: a stray thought, or perhaps even worse, an idea.
All it takes…is a taste. A simple taste of a random, uncategorized thought and I’m hooked. I tend to loose myself on this type of distraction, simply gorging on hours of one random thought to the next. To the point where I have no idea how I got to thinking about alien sharks using a black hole to siphon all the earth’s water supply to the 11th dimension where their three headed overlords are extremely thirsty.
Nevertheless, after it’s all over and I come down back to reality, I feel guilty and ashamed about my latest binge. A hangover of sorts, without the upset stomach, but double the splitting headaches.
But perhaps the most dangerous type of distraction, the kind that I habitually Overdose with, is the Idea. This is no random occurrence. An Idea is formed; it takes shape and evolves as it grows. This type of distraction doesn’t simply give you a quick fix and lets you go, the Idea tears it’s way into the back of your mind and starts to erode at your senses.
Once it makes it’s way into my veins, I can’t stop thinking about it. It pesters me, pushes its way into my daily tasks, and makes me crave for more. Soon, one idea leads to the next, I start exploring new ideas…bigger ideas that grow ever more elusive. That is, until one day, I finally snap awake.
I look around and find myself in a dimly lit room, 4 a.m. displayed on the wall clock surrounded by crumpled pages and empty soda cans. My hands covered in ink and graphite, and my eyes stinging from the lack of sleep and prolonged exposure to the glow of my laptop. I hang my head in shame. I know that whatever I did for the past couple days has led to nothing productive.
Once I start something, I have to finish it. It’s unfortunate that I can’t use this addictive quality for anything remotely productive. If I spent half the time I lost to my addiction for something related to education, I would already have my Master’s degree. Sadly, mine is an abusive cycle that can only be broken sheer force of will; a force that I have been unable to muster for quite some time.
For now, I continue to live with my addiction. A struggle that is best taken one day at a time. Even now, I can feel my latest Idea gnawing around the base of my skull. An idea for a video game, if you would like to know. I must remain focused, stay on the task at hand.
~Kurtis the Red
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