Familiarity

habit

In this world, there are so many things to experience, weird and wonderful and varied and vivid. Most of us will only see a handful of them – basically nothing, when compared with what’s possible. Even just in the realm of art, there are so many films and shows, books and games, plays and songs, that there will never be enough time to experience them all. And, more often than not, we don’t even try.

More often than not, I find myself not trying. More often than not, I find myself returning to the familiar rather than exploring the new, and I keep on wondering what that indicates. Is it because I find myself straining to cope with the scope of the project I’ve chosen for myself, and with the daily struggles of understanding that being an ethical person in a diverse world demand, such that I have little world-understanding energy left over to try new things? Or am I just getting set in my ways? If it’s the former, I wonder about the ‘core gamers’ who seem to feel so threatened by feminism and games informed by it, by ‘non-games’ and ‘walking simulators’ and – is it because they’re constitutionally unable to empathize with other points of view, as so many presume to be the case, or have their empathetic capabilities been stretched, exhausted? Perhaps it isn’t important, and is, either way, one form or another of growing pains.

It’s strange how much one can want something in the abstract and yet find it difficult to approach. I want to try new things, because I usually enjoy it and feel enriched by the experience, but when faced with actually doing something about it I feel a crushing apathy. I have a hundred games I haven’t played in my Steam library, and every day I scroll down through them, peering at them one by one to see if they sound appealing, and end up playing TF2 instead. I’ve uninstalled TF2 several times to try to incentivize myself to play other games, but it usually makes me instead scroll down the list of games, peering at them one by one to see if they sound appealing, and deciding I’d rather take a nap or something.

This inertia is difficult to conquer. I would hate it, except the same habits that make it hard to experience new things also make it possible for me to work consistently every day on the same large and slow project for more than a year. The same sluggishness and stubbornness that enables me to do the same thing day after day also encumbers me when I try to do something different every day.

It’s a difficult conundrum, creating a habit of novelty, particularly on a low budget. This is a big part of the reason I did that experiment with drawing assignments from a jar. And, though that particular experiment didn’t pan out, perhaps the time is approaching to try something similar.

Heck, I’ve already got the jar.

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1 comment
  1. Very true ,the apathy created by doing the same thing over and over is debilitating but this same force allows to persevere with lengthy projects keeps us on track. Often its just the “thinking about” doing something fresh and new that keeps us going, not the actual process of doing it

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