On habits

I turn my mattress around every three months. Every week I change my sheets. I wash my towels every three days, my hair every two, my body each and every one. I have one lighter in my car, two in my bag, and one in my jacket. I carry a book and a notebook with me everywhere I go, even if I’m certain I’ll have no time to use either. 

I am a creature of habit. We all are.

What is a habit if not a pattern? What does it do except make us painfully predictable? Its virtues are order, discipline and responsibility; its vices are sloth, compromise and (sometimes) loss of self. I’m sick of them, for they relay monotony. 

I don’t believe in resolutions. They never work. They’re pretentious. They’re carelessly contrite. But if I made one this year it’d be to break my habits. All of them. Stop everything I’m doing and do it differently; again, but antithetically. Not for the sake of it, no, but to disengage from the mundane, the customary, the prosaic. 

What turns a single action into a habit? What locks us within it and forces us, with such ease, to rhythmically fade out as we blindly walk in and out of its vicious circle of haunting familiarity? It is the lack of thought, effort and ever decreasing level of difficulty. For as we grow older we do not only lose our patience and willingness to try something new, but, worst of all, expel our imagination and evict original thought as if it were a contagious disease that could kill us, or worse…awaken us. 

Habits encapsulate human existence as they trample on its essence. They amalgamate with our DNA to the point where breaking them almost seems inhuman. The choice of verb is not coincidental: to break a habit one must be willing to tear limbs, fracture bones, rupture thoughts, and sever movements that were once connected and weaved with reason. 

Our survival instincts are to blame. For they hibernate when we are not in danger. They become indifferent to the state of existence as long as they actually exist. Even if inside we’re rotting away, slithering in a pool of numbing acquiescence. 

Destroy them, why don’t you. Annihilate every crumb that falls from your swollen mouth of lies to the floor on which you crawl daily and call life. 

Break the habit.

Shatter bones.

Crack your skull.

Rebuild yourself anew. 

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