Friday, February 01, 2013

Wet Cat's Paws

Art thou afeard
To be the same in thine own act and valour
As thou art in desire? Wouldst thou have that
Which thou esteem'st the ornament of life,
And live a coward in thine own esteem,
Letting 'I dare not' wait upon 'I would,'
Like the poor cat i' the adage?

- Macbeth, Act 1, Scene 7
Like the cat, fain fish wad ye eat,
but ye are laith to weet your feet 

-Scotch Proverb 
Are you afraid to be the person you want to be? Are you afraid to go after what you really desire? Are you a cat wanting fish, but you don't want to get your feet wet?

I have been, often in my life. Obesity, bad relationships, terrible jobs... I put up with all kinds of shit that I didn't like instead of trying to get something I wanted because it seemed too hard, too painful, or too uncomfortable to endure for the time it would take. There are things even now that I want, but do not try to achieve because I am not willing to go through the perceived discomfort involved in getting my desire.

But here's a thing I've noticed... Time passes whether or not you are doing what it takes to get what you want. It might take months to get to a target weight and physique, or it might take a year to go through divorce proceedings, or it might take years to get a degree, or months to get a certification, or 10 years to get the experience in a career field that makes you happy.

But that time is going to pass regardless. At the end of that time, you will be somewhere, experiencing something. What you do between now and then will determine what you're dealing with when the time comes.

In August, will you have lost weight and be enjoying your awesome body, having become an inspiration to some and the envy of others? Next February, will you be celebrating being out of a miserable relationship on Valentines' Day? In 2015, will you be getting your Associates degree?

Or ... not?

There's no promise that the cat will get the fish, but they will definitely have wet paws. There's no guarantee that things will work out in your favor, even if you do the work that should lead to your desired success. There's a risk that you will suffer, and still not have what you want. There is definitely a chance that we shall fail in our attainment, but if we fail? We fail! And what of it?

We could be in a worse place, or we might be further away from our goals, or a million other possibilities. These are chances, real chances we take when we risk going after what we want. But there's an absolute guarantee that you will still be obese, in a miserable relationship, or in a dead end job if you do nothing to change your life.

And you know what? Fuck that.


  1. Well, this is timed terrifyingly well.

    (Been lurking for a while. I couldn't stay silent after this. THANK YOU.)

  2. Amen to that Frater RO.
    It is true, the clock is always ticking.
    Thank You for this post.

  3. The great thing about life is that it's impossible to fail. Every experience is win-win, as regardless of the outcome it puts you on the path of destiny.
    Being less obtuse, even if you miss your initial goal, the experience will give you what you need to make it next time, or show you why you don't actually want what you thought you wanted.
    Even buried in the most horrible experiences of mankind is the assurance that millions of people have been there before you and even if you DIE you get to try again, so whats the big deal?
    The only possible failure is the LACK of experience, cause it's fucking BORING and it takes you LONGER to get ANYWHERE!!!!!11
    Ok, now I'm rambling....

    Frater IV

  4. Well said! This is something I've been struggling to put into practice.

  5. Thanks for the pep talk! After the New Year's resolution dies down we still need to stay focused on our goals.


Thanks for your comments, your opinions are valued, even if I disagree with them. Please feel free to criticize my ideas and arguments, question my observations, and push back if you disagree.