Motivation mo·ti·va·tion mōdəˈvāSH(ə)n (noun)
– the general desire or willingness of someone to do something.
The second time I tried to attend college I thought the drive to be out of my mom’s apartment would be enough to keep me going. I hated living in her living room with no privacy, no space of my own, and constant supervision. I had to get out of there and the only solution to that was to go back to school full time. So I moved out and went back to college in a different city, determined never to find myself in that situation again. It started how I expected, I had fresh notebooks, a shiny new campus to explore, and a brand new major to start in on so I was revved up to get some knowledge. And yet a month into the semester I started skipping classes, maybe once a week, then two, then three…then all of them.
The first couple of times I skipped I would ask myself, “Kendyl don’t you want to get your degree? Don’t you want to earn a lot of money? Don’t you want to live on your own, get your dream job, get married and not disappoint your family?” Yes, of course I’d say, but then I’d roll over and take a six hour nap.
For awhile I thought all I lacked was motivation (and maybe coffee.) I just had to find that thing that would get me going again. I looked for it everywhere, is it money? Maybe if I barter with myself and go to at least three classes I’ll buy a new shirt. That didn’t work. Maybe I’m motivated by the need for love? If I go to class I’ll take to that cute girl who sits near me and maybe we will become friends. Nope. So maybe I’m motivated by spite. That one guy in class laughed at my answer so I’ll go and get an A on the test and prove that asshole wrong. Yeah, not good enough.
I couldn’t find motivation anywhere and my lack of it started to escalate until it became obvious that not having a motivator wasn’t the problem. Spoiler alert, it was depression.
Except, even now, when I can confidently say I’m not depressed, motivation still eludes me. I obsess over it sometimes as if it’s a measuring stick on how I’m handling my mental health. Like okay I’m motivated enough to get out of bed, get dressed, feed myself and go to work but not motivated to go to Zumba. Does this mean I’m still depressed? Am I just lazy? Do I need motivation for every activity or life goal I try to pursue?
I think about it often, asking myself what motivates me and what could drive me to better my life and really the only conclusion that I’ve come up with is, motivation is bullshit. You read that right, motivation is absolute bullshit and I need to stop looking for it. Nothing motivates me and I’m aware of that. Accepting that and just finding the sheer will to still live the life I want is enough for me and isn’t that what motivation is anyways? The general will?
If you haven’t guessed, the answer is yes, because I defined it up there at the top of this post. You’re welcome. So that’s what I’m going to do, not rely on some external motivator to magically keep me going. My motivation is just…me. I want to live, and I want to live well so I will.
Then again I could be full of shit so my question for you is, what motivates you? Do you obsess over motivation as much as me or are you suddenly going to start to because of this question? (If you are I’m sorry, it sucks I know.) Or has your motivation changed over time? Let me know.