On Being Rather Tired

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I wonder how often people, when they say they are tired, are tired as in sleepy versus mentally exhausted. The word tired has a whole bunch of meanings – you can be tired and ready to sleep (me), you can be extremely done with heavy thought (me), you can be ready to just sit down and not move again (me), or you can be tired of a particular thing (me -> on school, on robotics meetings).

I’m always afraid of getting tired and just stopping one day. Like, when I start a big project, I’m kind of worried that I’ll just get tired of it, and then all the work I’ve put into it will turn into insignificant details of the past. My first few works of writing have been completely abandoned at this point, which is okay because it wasn’t any good, but is also kind of sad. When I was twelve, I really thought those projects would be the very foundation of my writing career. I was a very impractical pre-tween. It terrifies me that one day, all of the writing I’m doing right now – the projects I hope will be the very foundation of my writing career – will go onto the shelf in the same way. I don’t want to get tired of my current projects, mostly because of all the work I’ve put into them.

I finished the first draft of Rise of Serentonia in October, and I’m still not done going through the horrid process I’ve brought upon myself. I’ve decided to go through this editing process of reading through the story a total of thirteen times. Each time, I’m reading for a different character – only finding information about that character and learning about them. Nothing else. It sounded like a really good idea in October, but it’s EXHAUSTING. I’m halfway finished with revision 11 of 13, and I feel so strongly against doing the revisions, because they take so much out of me. It’s so much busy work, so much typing and reading that my eyes hurt, and to be honest, I’m tired of it. I’m ready to move on to something else, to re-writes and deeper edits and spare doodles in the margins of my pages. I know in the back of my mind that I have to work through the tired spell, because it will be worth it. It’s worth it already, but I’m tired of the process. I want it to be over.

It’s really sad, being tired. It’s sad because being tired [of something] means you were once not tired, once extremely excited. Every big project you end up hating started with a really enthusiastic you declaring that you would never get tired of the project, and that the work wouldn’t get to you. I mean, on the first day of school or when signing up for classes, it all seems super worth it. I’m already in this bubbly phase where I’m super excited about my senior schedule, and I’m absolutely sure that I won’t get sick of my classes or my schoolwork.

(But I know I will, and it sucks to know that my excitement will fade.)

I think, though, that some things you just know are worth it, and that being tired of things doesn’t matter. Because there’s always that moment where I’m staring at my history book and thinking you know, who needs this? But oh, AP Euro was worth it. My thoughts are wild and worldly because of the class, and even though I was tired of doing the work for it more often than not, I’m incredibly glad I did it. And I’m incredibly glad that in one more year, I will have taken Politics and Economics and O-Chem, even though I know I will probably be shaking my fist and cursing the classes come next February. I have no idea of what kind of an impact it will all have, but I’m absolutely sure that being tired will just be unimportant when I’m done. In two more revisions, wow those edits will be worth it, because I’ll be so much more aware of my own strengths and weaknesses, of the story I want to tell, and, I think, of other people around me.

So, I think what I’m trying to say is that there is some melancholy inevitability that we will get rather tired of everything. At the same time, being tired is a sign of working hard, and working hard always has its benefits. Being tired makes the finishing process that much more relieving – if it were easy, why bother? I hope that no matter how tired I become, I will follow through on the projects to which I commit, because that’s the way to fulfillment and reward.

~ELS

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