Friday, April 15, 2011


That's why I am so offended when I am told that I am the "least motivated person [she] knows." Because everything that I am proud of, everything that I care about, is wiped away by that sentence. They no longer exist. If, as I believe, success = motivation + willpower + forces out of our control, then without motivation there is no success. First one must want, and then one must try, and then, if one is lucky, one gets. Without motivation, everything I have done is something that simply happened. It was not willed or wanted, it just was. So all of the things I am happy about today? I didn't do anything to make them happen. I didn't even want them.

All of the things I am proud of from the last four years -- the going back to school, uprooting my life and making a new one, trying over and over, despite constant failure, to date, learning how to confront substantial addictions and eating disorders and be healthy for the first time in my 30 years of life, finding the courage to show people the ugliest parts of myself because I think it should be done, graduating with the best grades I've ever gotten in my life, trying and trying and trying and finally succeeding in getting a job in my field in a place I'd like to stay, in a community I've built around me-- I believe that I wanted these things. I believe if I didn't want them, they wouldn't have happened.

To suggest that I am unmotivated is to negate all of that. Either it didn't happen the way I think it did, or it happened, it just isn't very much. It shows motivation, but so much less than everyone else. So my accomplishments aren't negated, just diminished. They are worth less, somehow, than those around me. I am diminished, and I do not like it.


Unknown said...

I cry bullshit. I cry bullshit a lot.

I can see how someone who is very bad with words and possibly ideas could call you unmotivated. They confuse motivation with... I don't even know what. But you make it look natural and effortless, and that sometimes means people don't see things, like athletes we say are naturally talented while neglecting years of training. I think there is something in the back of your head that says, "Okay, what needs doing? We'll do it. A, B, C, all the way down, we will get this done." You do incredible things and make them seem simple and effortless.

Unmotivated? Hell no.

Angela said...

There shall be no bashing (not that you were, just that it's easy to turn internets into bashings). Friend in question is amazing and wonderful and loved.

I think, were the conversation to continue (it was somewhat cut off), perhaps there might have been a definition difference, or that the phrase was only relevant within a very specific context. There are many things I am unmotivated towards. Looking traditionally presentable, having a home that looks presentable, engaging in social activities that conflict with staying at home and playing computer games, etc. There are many motivations I do not have, and feel no sorrow for their lack.

So if the statement had an unspoken but meant-to-be-understood qualifier, I might agree with it.

Unknown said...

Okay. If it's not the entire conversation, then the misunderstanding could be either the one I saw-- that you make it look easy-- or the ones you mentioned. I think I interpreted it as coming from an authority figure rather than a friend, and that definitely makes a difference.