Consistency is key.
Or at least that’s what they have taught me to believe. And the truth of that is still debatable in my mind. I see the virtues, the value of remaining consistent to a task. The act of dedication towards a goal requires a large amount of consistent behavior. I can logically assess the need for consistent action in order to achieve greatness. I can logically assess this, yet my emotional behavior bites it’s thumb at the idea.
My inconsistency is sometimes my strength. And before you poo-poo this, I will give you an example. I played the cello for 8 years of my adolescence into young adulthood. As there was predominately just two of us cello players in my high school, I didn’t put any consistent practice in. It didn’t seem to matter too much, because I couldn’t go below second chair and I knew that second chair was still an honor. (Obviously less so when there are only two but the layman need not know there were only two.) I was an adequate player, received high marks at the solo and group ensemble competition and was content with my inconsistency. My junior year, a bug itched and I desired the first chair. I’m not sure what changed, but I opted to practice- everyday. I would lug my cello from school to home, or I would sit for an hour and a half practicing in a practice room of the auditorium. I gave my teacher the challenge for 1st chair. To put into context, my partner for the last 6 years was a wonderful girl named Jackie. She actually practiced semi-regularly for the last 6 years, she actually had a talent, and although she never said it, I believe that the first chair status was important to her. She (rightfully so) laughed at my challenge and easily beat me that year for first chair. My five months of labor and consistent behavior was nothing against her innate ability. I resigned myself to the second chair.
Sometime in the next year, as I was preparing the college transcripts and saw my accomplishments in almost every activity, I caught the bug of wanting to put ”first chair” on my transcripts. This time I was erratically inconsistent. I can honestly say I am not even sure I practiced. And when I sat in the chair, in front of the class, challenging Jackie I wasn’t even nervous. I had a very “fuck it” attitude and just played what I could. To be fair, I am sure that Jackie had an off day. To be fair, I am sure my teacher had an abundance of empathy. But regardless my inconsistency got me that first chair… for about two weeks. Nevertheless, I was able to put it on that transcript, I was able to get into that college where my inconsistent behavior (i.e. partying) got me sent home after a semester. (I never said inconsistency got me EVERYTHING!)
I find that when it comes to my creative world, an inconsistency can sometimes help my wellspring of inspiration. I was drowning a bit in the regularity of my blog posts. Stifled by the drumbeat of impending deadlines. I find that the first day that I pick up my guitar after a long hiatus, it sounds sweeter than the fifth day of repeating the 12 songs I know how to play. I find that returning to my play adaptation of “A Handmaid’s Tale” after a break of a year or so gives me new ideas and ways to tackle such a dense narrative. I find that waiting for the muse to arouse my synapses sometimes provides a greater avalanche of creativity to work with, that my inconsistency allows breath to accumulate. To wait for the sigh, the grand exhale, is sometimes the greatest pleasure.
This theory does not bode well for daily life, however. Consistency is key, when you have deadlines, when you have necessary goals, when you have been asked to perform a task. Consistency is my stronghold, my armor, my rock that allows people to describe me as ”trustworthy”, “hardworking”, “diligent”, “invaluable”. Consistency allows me to build relationships and maintain them. I am nothing but consistent.
Which is why it’s nice to be so inconsistent every now and again. Thank you for hanging on whilst I figure out how this blog is going to work, and what it’s purpose is. I will be as inconsistent as I need to be in order to produce work and hope that you will stick around to see what happens. Danke!