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.



It's getting dark really early.

Now that isn't all that strange, being something that has been happening for as long as I've been alive, what is a bit stranger though is that while it probably isn't the first time I notice being affected by it, it definitely hasn't been many years. Until not that long ago I even preferred the dark in a lot of cases, with its more cozy atmosphere, yet now I am definitely noticing how it's affecting my mood in a not so positive way—making me more lethargic and even more difficult than otherwise to get going on things.

What seems to have helped is increasing my dosage of D³—something I take as a supplement anyway—but I'm not quite sure if that's just placebo or actually working at this point. I feel better though, here's hoping that feeling stays.

Another thing that hit me the other day, was how seemingly quickly this fall has gone by, something I felt especially strongly as I was out shopping the other day and there was some sort of Santa-event going on and my first thought being "it's a bit early for that isn't it?" yet quickly having to concede that with it being about a month until Christmas it really isn't that early for something like that—maybe it could still have waited until December though, feels somehow more fitting that way.

I wonder what's behind that, since I don't think there has been anything particularly interesting happening that would've caused the time to go by so quickly. But then, maybe exactly that is the problem, I haven't had much going on—partially fueled by my less-than-motivated state caused by the darkness—meaning the days have blended into each other and everything feels quick in retrospect even though the individual days might've felt somewhat slow at the time.

With the help of some of that newfound energy I'll try to stay a bit more active again, we'll see if that ends up helping as the winter progresses.


Now what?

I am noticing a trend in my thinking that often leads to me feeling somewhat lost or unsure about the things I have done, or rather how to go forward with them, namely: false expectations.

Most recently, I am noticing this again with Linux, where I once more am feeling the desire to try it out a bit more and have actually done so on my laptop this time around—where I am currently using OpenSUSE Tumbleweed—but the "problem" I have ran into once again is this old feeling of "now what?". I've installed it, am using it and for the most part enjoying it—aside from the small problems I had with the wireless networking and touch pad, both which seem to be solved now—but it's all just so disappointingly normal that I am to a degree asking why I bothered. Don't get me wrong, I still like Linux and will probably keep using it on my laptop for the foreseeable future even if desktop is probably out of the question for now due to gaming, but I had just for some reason expected more even though I'm not quite sure what and since that expectation was unreasonable I didn't end up getting it.

It's also something I'm running into with Final Fantasy XIV, where while I have been enjoying leveling rather a lot so far, I'm kind of stuck with it at the moment since I've ended up wondering what I'm doing it for—fun being the obvious answer, since I'm having fun—because I just stop playing the job basically the moment I hit max level. I did do some more playing with the white mage as I quite enjoyed healing, but even that was rather minor. It doesn't really help that every time I do end up hitting max level I have on the one hand this feeling of elation of finally reaching the goal I had been working on, but simultaneously this overwhelming feeling of emptiness since I don't really know what to do without something to work on. All of which ends up leading to this nagging feeling of wanting to play more, yet not knowing what to do once I am playing.

Perhaps there is a solution here in two parts. Part one: learning to set new goals ahead of time, so that even once I finish one I immediately have something new I can start on—or rather, preparing those new goals so that I am ready to start the moment I finish if I so desire.

Part two: learning to let go. By this I mean for example, even though I technically had the next goal ready and waiting once I finished leveling white mage, since I had grown so attached to what I was working on previously I took a long while to start on the next thing. This in and of itself is fine, working for a long while on something confers a certain level of attachment to that thing when it's good so I'm not saying I should detach myself, but when that attachment is keeping me both from enjoying the old thing since I don't know what to do with it as well as preventing me from starting something new since I'm clinging to the old the only thing it's bringing is trouble and that is unnecessary. If you love something let it free and all of that.

Now of course, I'm not sure these things will solve my problem, and talking about it is always easier than actually executing on something—along with the nasty tendency of planning and failing to execute something resulting in a rather big amount of stress and thus negative feelings for me—but maybe writing about it here can be a first step towards a better me. If not, maybe it at least provides some food for thought for you, dear reader.


I forgot

So last week on Monday evening, I realized that I hadn't written anything for the blog yet, simply having forgot to do so. I had been meaning to sit down and write something over the weekend, but just never ended up finding the time or remembering to do so.

So, as said, Monday evening rolls around, and I think to myself "well, that's fine, but I'll write that I just forgot at some point during the week, maybe even with a few extended thoughts, and it'll just be a shorter post this time around". Lo and behold, it is the weekend again, and I still haven't written anything, so it all now rolls on to the next post. An unfortunate circumstance to be sure, but not the end of the world I don't think.

To be quite honest, this sort of forgetfulness is something of a theme in my life, and I tend to organize things in such a manner that they are in my way so that they become harder to forget, it just hasn't been necessary for the blog yet and as such when a time of greater activity came about it got overlooked. It really does help that in general I have such a generous amount of time allotted to myself to write these things, meaning in all likelihood at some point during the week I'll end up remembering to write a post on here—even if that all too often ends up being on Sunday.

When such discipline isn't available though, it can be interesting to look in retrospect how long certain things can end up taking, days stretching to weeks stretching to months before I realize that there was that thing I wanted to do, now is just (still) not a convenient time for it. It seems to be especially prominent for me with social interactions, as while I do find that I need them my needs are rather low and anything fixed and scheduled tends to have a really draining and intimidating effect leading up to it, even for things I know I'll enjoy. This leads to me rather often neglecting to make time for being social and talking to people, yet at the same time missing that kind of interaction.

The silly thing is that I know the solution to this all, which is simply just do it, but as noted once something is fixed and planned the anticipation just ends up really draining me, so planning anything is something of a difficulty. It feels strange, yearning for something so within reach yet the behaviors required for it going so against what I have become comfortable with that executing those becomes all but impossible. I know, I know, getting out of one's comfort zone usually leads to bigger and better things, but those first steps can be oh so very hard to take, especially as so far they have shown no real sign of getting any easier with time. But I try, I try, and one day I shall get there.


Motivation, pt. 2, addendum: self-esteem

In my post about motivation recently, I speculated about poor self-esteem and how it might be at least part of the reason for some of my difficulties. Thinking about the matter further, especially as it combines with gaming which is something I end up spending rather a lot of time doing, I started wondering why it then is that I am so drawn to games and RPG's specifically. One reason undoubtedly is that they are part of how I got my start in gaming, and as such there is a certain nostalgia-factor even with newer games, but I think another large contributing factor is achievement.

Now, obviously, games tend to be made to be fun and as such are built to give a certain level of feeling of achievement to the player, either through their story or their competitive nature, but since we are talking about RPG's the former more aptly applies—disregarding for the moment MMORPG's and how those add competitive elements.

But what I think is the larger contributing factor in my case, is that in RPG's I'm not myself but rather someone else, and as such the achievements are externalized allowing me to more readily accept them, and to join other's celebrating and recognizing those achievements.

That's probably also a large part, to be fair, having something I do be recognized, or more specifically, being able to myself recognize that something I have done is an achievement is something I struggle with. So when that feeling of achievement is externalized to my character, I am more able to partake in it.