I'm in the middle of reading Andre Agassi's 'Open'. As you might expect. Apparently he wrote it himself and if so, that's amazing. It's a beautiful, tautly written book. Sport is so much more than the performance, it's a freakish, lonely life. This book captures that.
Anyway, at the heart of the book is a contradiction. He hated tennis but couldn't stop. 'I want this to be over' 'I'm not ready for this to be over'. I think this captures a truth that isn't just about sport, but about anything that's worth doing. It's conflicted and un-simple.
In George Orwell's 1984 we have double think. The idea of holding two contradictory arguments in your head at the same time. I think there's power in conflict and contradiction. There's real power in tension. Not the resolution of tension or conflict, as much of advertising tries to work to, but a fuzzy spot in the middle of both.
In sport, proper sport that requires pain and sacrifice, athletes at once love it and hate it. Pain brings joy, joy in effort etc. You want the pain to stop, but rejoice in forcing yourself to carry on. Every single training session is redemption and escape from your own personal limits. There is no joy without pain. They are two sides of the same coin and need to be allowed to co-exist.
This is true of so much in life. Most people in agencies for example at once hate it and love it. They hate the hours, the constant grind, the stress, the unpredictability. But they also love that stress, it makes them feel alive. It's addictive. And the effort and trial and tribulation make the end result so much sweeter. Even that's bitter sweet, there's nothing at once euphoric and sad as coming to the end of a book and having to start again. Much of agency life is like that, much of LIFE is like that.
Anyone that tells you that a having a baby is simple joy is offering falsehood. It's hard, stressful and restrictive. But there's an intense joy in that effort, doing something for someone else, at the mercy of your own instinctive need to care for your own flesh and blood. And amidst all that is the first smile, the first giggle and the holding him in your arms and just loving him.
Yep, there's power in contradiction, not necessarily in its resolution, sometimes (mostly) in NOt resolving it.