All I want is mischief.
I love gags, puns, and trouble. I yearn for chaos and winding garden-paths.
It’s so satisfying to set up puzzles for people — good mischief creates smiles on everyone’s faces. A good ruse leaves a victim victoriously saying “aha!” at the end. The best ruses are jokes that exclude noone.
Grafitti can be great! But spray-painting your initials is no fun. That’s just tooting your own horn and seeking an adrenaline rush for doing something naughty. Use chalk instead!
That being said, I don’t live as mischievously as I’d like. College was full of strange plots, but I suppose I’ve devolved into “normal” life as time passed. Why am I not doing what I love? Why did I stop creating memories?
My long-term goals have not changed. I’ve aspired to be a rascal for years now. So why have I become less rascally?
In short, I don’t have the time and energy for it — which is a non-answer. To be more precise, I don’t make time and energy for it. Instead, I’ve been pursuing an increasing amount of consumption. Consuming anime, games, and relationships. But even with those, I don’t consume well! I watch anime, and can’t remember any details about them a year later. I continue to hang out with the same small set of people every outing, and we do the same things everytime.
I’ve been asking people recently if they’d prefer to have a life of mischief or adventure. Most people say adventure, which is not surprising, although there are people like my mother who’d like nothing of either. They’re not mutually exclusive, but to me, adventure is diving into somebody else’s chaos, while mischief is creating your own!
A good mischievious friend never allows a dull moment. They remind people to live and laugh. They remind people that they’re more than meat with a career and family — after a prank, people should feel like just a plain ol’ piece of meat.
But in order to create mischief again, I need to create. But I distract myself with Shiny Things, rather than having fun! What a waste of meat I’ve been for the past few years.
I’m inclined to make a rule like “send a video to a friend everyday” or “send snail-mail every other day”, but I don’t tend to follow my own regimens. I haven’t been able to force myself to do things, but I’ve actually been pretty good at removing things from my life (for a month or two at a time). For example, I couldn’t start meditating, but I reduced my dependence on substances. Attempting a “no consumption” month would be noble, but I don’t think I could get over my FOMO. I have too much fear of missing interesting stuff happening on the internet. My poisons right now are youtube, reddit, crunchyroll, and hackernews. YouTube is the worst offender, with Reddit being a close second. Okay. I think I can stop those two until, let’s say, end-of-june. It might be nice to do “top” binges of the best content. That way, I can solve my FOMO and make my consumption less meandering and inefficient. Part of the problem is not the consumption, but of the “recommended” content and research rabbit-holes. Another rule of thumb is that I’m only allowed to use substances if I’m being productive. Alcohol/nicotine can only be for programming/writing. No social drinking. Shrooms for everything else (if only I had a steady supply).
This essay is just for me, so an onlooker might not make the connection between “no youtube or drinking” to “make mischief”. But I hope that purging my bad habits will give my “true self” space to shine. And deep down I believe that my “true self” is a rascal.