2021 Retrospective

One of the fun things about writing this blog regularly is the ability to go back and look at what I was thinking about at specific points in time, and the improved ability for myself to be more aware of my own thoughts and feelings. Now to be fair, I mostly don't really make use of this opportunity, as I quite often find it difficult to interact with things I have created—or rather written—but there are times where it feels fitting.

It seems, at the end of last year, I was very focused on what I wanted to be doing with this blog, and I think that has shown through to a degree in the types of posts I have made this year, with them being very inwards-looking and analytical of myself or whatever it was that I was interested in at the time. I also think that the things I feel comfortable sharing with whoever stumbles upon this blog have increased, allowing me to more freely write and reflect on myself on here than was the case before—maybe that comes from in general getting more comfortable with myself and who I am as time goes on, even though I fear there is still a lot of work to be done on that front.

Something I've also more distinctly noted this year than the latter half of last year—the approximate time my personal challenge to publish something here every week has been going on—is that while it hasn't necessarily become more difficult to think about something I want to write about, it does feel like I have been less successful in actually getting something published this year than when I started with the challenge. I think that might be the natural progression of things, when starting out it's easy to remain motivated and keep pushing through any hard patches with the motivation alone, but as time goes by that motivation wanes and the only thing remaining keeping one going is some vague desire to have it done which is considerably easier to overpower—which also keeps getting easier every time one allows oneself to just skip a week, since what's one more time? Despite that, I remain relatively proud of myself to have even such a good track record with this as I do, where on most weeks I did manage to publish something, and for the most part it was even in my personally agreed upon time-slot of 9:00 Monday.

More thinking than looking back—remember, mostly not comfortable actually looking back at the things I've written—it does feel kind of great to be slowly building a collection of written works that I can look back on even if I rarely do. There's just something comforting in having that ability, and something reassuring in being able to see that and know that it's something I'm capable of—especially since what I'm capable of or rather all the things I'm not capable of have been somewhat heavily weighing on my mind lately, more or less consciously, but that's probably something to write about another time if at all.

Overall, it feels like this year has given me a lot to think about, especially as looking back at the end of last year, it felt like things for me personally were heading in a better direction, and while that is true once again as I'm writing this, the past month or two have been a rather hard time mentally and it's only really now that I'm starting to get perhaps a little better that I'm actually understanding how hard it has been. Despite that difficulty, there has also been some progress on a personal level where I have had a certain feeling of slowly getting forward both with accepting myself and confronting my fears—perhaps it is exactly those things that have caused it to be such a hard time—which with the holidays once more upon us does give a certain amount of hope for the future. Heck, I've even noticed myself enjoying things I thought I was past finding enjoyment for, if that's not a good sign for the future I don't know what is.

Here's hoping this upward trajectory continues into the next year!



I've recently started having a renewed interest in the ability to create some form of digital art, either through painting/drawing or 3D modeling, and I'm noticing something of a big problem with my approach to the whole thing: patience. I know these are difficult things in which I have no real experience to speak of, and I'm completely unfamiliar with the tools and as such have a difficult time with actually making my thoughts come to reality, yet despite this I notice myself getting very easily frustrated and basically giving up just after starting because the whole way to completion just feels so unfathomably large as to be impossible to overcome. It doesn't really help that even were I to have the experience and knowledge on how to use the tools, I'm not convinced I have the artistic skill to actually create something I would be satisfied with—though I suppose that might be something of a problem to most artists even, themselves being their biggest critics.

I'm also noticing how it's sabotaging me a bit at the moment with language learning, which I know is a process that takes a great deal of time due to having gone through it before, yet at the same time due to how slow progress inevitably feels while doing it my motivation is again somewhat waning. To be fair, in this regard at least it is not new, and it tends to wax and wane as time goes on and I notice either how slow progress feels or I notice some situation where I can make use of my newfound skills and thus reinvigorate my motivation.

I know that the right approach to deal with these things is probably to break up the problem into more manageable chunks, and learn those one at a time, always building on the foundation of the things that I have learned before; but when those things aren't directly enabling me to do something new that I want to do, it is really hard for me to have the patience of learning something I can't directly make use of or need. Perhaps another way would be to simply do as I have done many times with programming: starting with a clear goal, looking up how to do the pieces as I go along, and then ending up with some sort of amalgamation of different guides and approaches that I can refine once I'm further along and know better what I am doing and how.

Yet even with programming, even for things I already know how to do, I am finding it somewhat difficult to actually do them because while I can envision the end goal and the steps to get there, I am so focused on what I want it to be in the end that I'm not really interested in taking the road to get there. I know it's the journey and not the destination that matters, and once I manage to get started I do tend to enjoy the journey as well, but starting is just always so difficult. Perhaps, with programming at least, that is actually the problem, that while the journey is the part that I enjoy, because I already know so well the steps I need to take embarking on it doesn't feel so meaningful making it difficult to do so? If that is so, why then do I also have these difficulties when starting new things where I don't know all of the steps? Or perhaps I do, I just don't know how to actually do them even if I know what I want to achieve in theory, and that is what frustrates me.

This matter feels more nuanced than I thought when I started writing, and perhaps "patience" isn't the right word for all of this, but it did enable me to start this exploration, and maybe one day I will find ways to work around or along the ways my mind work to achieve the things I want to achieve. But for now, I think this is enough.


Legion M+

Last Wednesday Legion timewalking with mythic+ got released for the first time.

Having done the dungeons at the time, to the point of not doing them very much anymore towards the end of Legion—probably more due to general boredom with the state of the game or the game itself than the dungeons themselves—I didn't have all that high expectations from this event. This was enforced by my general disinterest towards World of Warcraft at the moment, as I'm just really not feeling the game—probably because I've been playing it for a long time now without significant breaks.

This, however, turned out not to be the case. To my surprise, doing the dungeons again is actually a great deal of fun, much more so than pretty much any current content. I'm not sure if this is merely because I actually enjoy them more, or if the fact I am once again playing more with friends along with nostalgia are the primary contributing factors to the amount of fun I'm having, but it was definitely a positive surprise.

It feels a bit strange to actually have fun playing World of Warcraft again, and certainly not something I was expecting to happen so soon or suddenly, but it is a nice feeling to have.

What still puzzles me however, is why timewalking in general is an event, and not merely something one can choose to queue for whenever. I get that it might make sense to not make the weekly quest available at any time, but the dungeons themselves feels like would be a sensible choice. Especially considering all the scaling tech now implemented for the new leveling experience, the distinction feels so completely arbitrary.

Now I just need to consider if I have the time and motivation to tacke the mage tower challenges as well, as those are back too. I did give the discipline priest one a few half-hearted tries, but I do think it might be fun to make more of an effort towards it. I'm just noticing a certain feeling of frustration in me towards again the time-limited nature of that as well, which is making it more difficult to actually start ironically due to feeling forced to do it.

Well, time will tell how that develops, I still have Endwalker to play too so it's not like I'm missing fun things to do—here's hoping I can get started on actually doing them at some point.

World of Warcraft


I have recently started what will undoubtedly prove to be a long journey were it to prove successful: learning Japanese. It's something I have wanted to do for a long time—since my teens, really—because the language just has a certain cool-factor for me, perhaps because it's so seemingly different? Or potentially because it is a language one stumbles upon often enough through gaming and knowing it seems like it could be useful.

I have been putting it off for a while since I wanted to be in a somewhat comfortable situation with my Russian-learning before I started with another language, but decided to jump in anyway since while my Russian is far from perfect or even usable at this point, I feel like I have hit a wall with the tools and methods I am using currently in that department and until I find another approach to continuing it doesn't really make sense to keep punishing myself with something I'm rather sure won't work to get me fluent with the language.

Interestingly, my motivation in learning Japanese has been much higher than it was at any point—even starting out—with Russian, and I've repeatedly ended up exceeding what I have previously had as the daily goal while I'm used to just barely meeting that bar. I'm not sure if it's because the start is so "easy" with me merely having to start learning the alphabet which makes me stay more motivated, or if there is just a greater internal desire to actually learning the language than there was in the case of Russian. I mean, Russian perhaps feels to me more like one of those "would definitely be cool to know it" kind of languages, but I'm just not sure if the motivation is there for actually learning it or if I just like the idea of knowing it. The idea of learning Japanese is definitely a long-lived one, so perhaps it is also merely the satisfaction and impatience that comes with starting something one has had planned for so long?

I do have to admit though, I am noticing a certain level of increased resistance in actually accomplishing the daily goal now that the exercises are getting more difficult and I actually have to have a greater degree of concentration in order to complete them, though at the same time I am more willing to actually try to put in that concentration into the task than I have been in recent times with Russian. Perhaps it was just a bad day or too as well, is certainly also a real possibility since my mood has been rather variable of late.

At any rate, I'm curious to see how this exploration continues, especially as the exercises continue to get harder and harder, and I'll keep brushing up on my Russian on the side as well so as to not forget the things I have already learned in case I find a good way to keep learning the language more in the future, but for now I'm just excitedly looking forward to knowing a language I have wished to know since childhood.

Maybe that also helped me with starting to learn German, having studied it before and consequently actually having a certain level of base desire to actually knowing the language better. I certainly put a lot more effort learning back then than I do now, though to be fair the need for me to know the language was also greater.


Of two minds

I had two rather strange moments today, where I became somewhat disturbingly aware of my own sentience.

At one point, in the middle of a sentence, I just became very aware of the fact I was talking and explaining things, and started questioning from where I was drawing the things I was saying, how I knew all of it, and how strange it really is to just know and understand things.

Later on, after having watched a TV show and being transported back to reality by the ending of the episode, I just somehow became acutely aware of the strangeness of being and this strange disconnect of me having just been so involved and inside of the happenings of the show and the people within, especially since it is all happening in third person, and then being suddenly jerked back into reality where I am myself and things happen in the first person.

These moments are, luckily, somewhat rare for me, since when they do happen they have a rather profound negative effect on my mental well-being in the moment. I doubt the human psyche is built for such examination of the self.

Yet at the same time, I think this certain distance one takes to the self in such moments might prove useful in exploring the, shall we say, defects of the self—behaviors which lead a person to go against their own wishes or interests. Today I unfortunately did not have the energy for such exploration as the experiences rather took everything out of me, the latter more so than the former, yet I think these are thoughts worth hanging on to for a short while, in case I do find more to be had in exploring this matter further.