Posted in Mind

Diary, pt. 3

Fairly shortly I think after I wrote the second time about keeping a diary, I ended up somehow stopping writing in it. At first, merely only rarely, when something "significant" happened or I felt like I actually had something new to write, but at some point I just stopped completely—probably because I simply forgot to do so after dropping the habit.

The problem for me became—which I also at times have with the blog here—that I just felt like I was repeating basically the same entries most days, which let's be honest aren't usually that exciting. Now, of course, the purpose of a diary isn't to be exciting but to provide an opportunity to both reflect on the happenings of the day and allow you to look back on your past state in order to have a better idea of what you were actually thinking at the time—something which otherwise gets all too easily lost in false memories of one were to try to rely on ones memory alone.

The problem of course, is that when the activity becomes repetitive it kind of loses its shine to me and becomes boring, which means I'm both less likely to do it and more likely to question its purpose—neither of which is very conducive to actually keeping on going with it. This of course prevents me from taking the opportunity to actually reflect on why I keep writing the same things day after day, and if those things are not to my liking how I might go about changing them.

Because of this, I feel like I should give it another try, or at least something like it. I think I could really benefit from some sort of deeper reflection on the state of my life as I feel rather lost in where I'm going and what the meaning of everything is, but at the same time it feels somewhat silly to try the thing that already failed once again instead of something else. Maybe what I need is merely a different approach to the same thing, to be more deliberate of what I want to include and perhaps even just keep it shorter, maybe even just a few sentences, so that it get distilled to the core of the message.

The question, then, becomes what is it that I would want to include? What is important enough for me to want to try to keep track of it on a daily basis? And finally, how do I want to do it—merely pen and paper as before, or do I want to enter the digital realm both with the opportunities that provides but also with the reality of it being something of a less tactile experience? Is being able to leaf through a book of my own writing something that has value to me in some way, or is the easier organization of digital files worth the switch?

I'll keep pondering these things, but it definitely feels like something worth pondering, as I know I must do something to change the current state of affairs and perhaps a greater awareness of exactly what they are is what I need to influence change in a better direction.

Mind

Credit

While learning Japanese last week, I momentarily hit another small slump in my learning motivation, where I was frustrated at not being faster at learning the language and simply wanting to be done with it and already having learnt the language. While my first instinct might be to just write this off as another patience problem, I think there might be something else underlying why I end up feeling this way: credit.

Credit, in the sense that I don't give myself enough credit for the things I have already achieved, and the fact I have already learned some things which is an achievement when thinking about how vast a project learning a new language is, and also when considering I have already learned other languages and while those things also took their time and consequently feel rather second nature to me at this point, it's still kind of awesome and badass to have actually gone through with it and achieved that.

I think that might generally be a problem I have, where I don't really recognize the effort I have put into learning earlier things, and consequently have a hard time doing new things since I've come to expect a certain level of competence of myself and merely write things I can't do yet as either too hard or not interesting enough to be worth the effort—yet the very fact I try to do them in the first place should be an indicator to me that I'm interested in learning to do that thing.

Now, of course, nobody can learn everything, so there is some limit to the things I am interested in but might not have the time to learn, yet at the same time what seems to be missing for me is not really the time but merely—merely she says, even though learning this will probably be harder than learning any language—is the kindness towards myself to allow myself to actually fail while learning and take the time I need in order to get to the level of comfort that I have with things that I already do know.

It feels like I've fallen into the trap of only really learning new things that are already very adjacent to the things I already know, thus facilitating an extremely short learning time, and just giving up on things outside that sphere as "too hard". A large part of this is probably also that I don't really have a good methodology of learning new things, especially bigger concepts, I can't really break things into smaller more manageable chunks so that the subject is easier to learn and just kind of want to know what I need to know in order to achieve whatever it is I want to achieve through knowing the subject—but now it feels like I'm returning to territory that I already covered in my earlier post.

Now I just need to figure out how I start actually internalizing and practicing the things I've noticed, but I think some vague awareness of why things are the way they are is a good starting point to doing something about improving my situation. Here's hoping this year provides good opportunities for me to do so!

Mind

Patience

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.

Mind

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.

Mind

Darkness

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.

Mind

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.

Mind

Motivation, pt. 2

Some while back I wrote about my struggles with motivation, and while I did end up trying the whole novel-writing thing, it unfortunately did not end up quite as hoped—well, "end" is perhaps premature, it is still something I have a desire to do yet have laid to the side for now. But my recent forays into more, shall we say, motivated gaming have caused me to consider once more what it is about that activity that captures me so and how it might best be translated to other parts of life. Now, the simple and somewhat obvious answer is "because it's fun" but there are other things that are fun that I still end up not doing or not doing as much as I'd like, so that isn't the whole truth of the matter.

Actually, thinking about it, the problem for me in a lot of cases feels like the age-old problem of intrinsic versus extrinsic motivation, but with a twist: I'm really bad at intrinsic motivation. There seem to be precious few things that I manage to do out of the enjoyment of doing itself, and must resort to some sort of external motivator to keep me going. As an example, my recent forays into crafting and gathering, even though I was finding a certain degree of enjoyment in the collecting of things, as soon as I had reached my goals there appeared this internal resistance of "why bother?" that made continuing for lesser rewards or merely for the simple fun of it very difficult, leaving me adrift without cause.

This is a strange situation to find oneself in, because I can feel the call to keep playing and doing things, yet at the same time there is this huge internal resistance to actually do anything. One of the things I have going on is to level up another job, and I have been doing that mainly through dungeons since that seems to be the sensible way to do so, yet it for some reason requires rather a lot of mental preparation and focus to click that button to queue up. One might think this has something to do with shyness and other people, yet I had the exact same resistance even when launching on a command mission—as in, doing dungeons with a group of NPCs—so that doesn't seem to be it.

What might hint at the root cause of this problem however, is what else I have been doing in recent days: programming. Now, that in and of itself isn't the cause of course, but what I notice is that when I am programming I feel bad for not gaming and when I am gaming I feel bad for not programming, meaning whatever I do I feel bad. Now the problem of not being able to do what I wanted to do before I found new programming projects to work on did exist, yet it was somewhat easier to motivate myself then because I didn't have anything else I could be doing, or the things I could be doing were small and discrete making it easier to get started by thinking "I'm not doing anything at the moment, so let me just get X out of the way".

Maybe in the end all of this has little to do with motivation and more with indecisiveness, but the end result seems the same: not being able to do the things I want to do.

Right, now I remember where I was going with that whole motivation thing and why I was so focused on gaming: challenges and obstacles, and how that ties to intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. I am noticing, while gaming and programming, that once I hit an obstacle or have to think too hard or the like, it gets very hard for me to keep pushing through with intrinsic motivation alone, yet if there is some extrinsic motivation also at play—e.g. more story for completing the dungeon or some other reward like glamour or the like—it is much easier to keep on track and push through. I am not quite sure what this indicates, since the common wisdom is that intrinsic motivation is stronger than extrinsic, but maybe it is a hint that I don't enjoy the things I do as much as I think? Yet that doesn't really feel true either, so mayhap there is some other explanation.

The first that comes to mind is poor self-esteem, as in I don't value myself enough to give sufficient credence to my own motivations and therefore rely on external motivators to keep me going, and deprived of those find myself lost. Perhaps that is also why I take so much comfort in the knowledge that death is an option, and if life gets too much I can simply not. At the same time, I have made the decision not to merely not because there are things I want to do and see and achieve, yet that was very much a conscious and not emotional decision and as such its power to work as a motivator requires a somewhat significant amount of mental energy. I think, however, that the insight gained in writing this might give me more tools to empower that decision.

Mind

Obsession

The past month or so has been very, well, not busy but self-indulgent, in that I have chosen to prioritize my time in Eorzea over other concerns, even personal goals such as keeping up with this blog. It has been equal parts freeing and exhausting; on one hand it has been lovely not to have to think too much about other concerns and properly engross myself in a story and another world so completely, on the other hand there is always a toll taken when not tending to one's obligations or goals: the feeling of failure.

Considering it has to a degree been a conscious choice for me to ignore those other concerns that feeling is somewhat dampened through me having chosen it, yet at the same time I can't help but look at the things I feel I should have done and feel dejected having not done them. What doesn't help it that I find it difficult to pinpoint to which degree it was a choice of mine, and to which degree it was my obsessiveness—not quite sure this is the right word, but I'll come to that—taking over.

You see, it is all fine and good to frame something as a choice, yet when the alternative seemed to be almost a paralyzing unwillingness to act due to a desire to do something else and the sadness resulting from not doing it, how much of a choice was really made? More importantly, what does this say of me and my mind that I have such a overriding need to fulfill my current want that I become all but incapable of taking care of other things? Is this all merely learned behavior from having the opportunity to indulge myself for so long, or is it a symptom of a low degree of mental energy available to override this more instinctual behavior in favor of more long-term thinking? Am I merely unlucky, and need a higher degree of mental energy in order to override these instincts?

Now there are things which I have managed to keep running during this time, with more or less difficulty, and as always keeping them running has been what has provided some measure of accomplishment and relief to the whole situation for me—even though in many cases the whole reason they have been kept running is external supervision or support in those endeavors which means a social cost to not doing them instead of merely a personal one—which makes it feel all the more strange that I should sabotage myself in such a manner.

Overall, it is a strange situation to be in, being aware of what is going wrong to a certain degree yet being unable to stop oneself, thus a feeling of having failed making it yet harder to stop oneself since what is the point, I've already failed? Doesn't help that staying focused and indulging in the obsession is what keeps such thoughts at bay, further reinforcing the desire to keep indulging.

A strange spiral to have been in, one into which I will doubtless fall again in due time, but for now I think I can see the end of this incarnation, and the opportunity to enjoy my adventures in another world in a more productive manner.

Mind

The seeming impossibility of mundane tasks

I sit here, reveling in the feeling of accomplishment of having once more folded and put away my laundry, and am left pondering on why these most mundane of tasks seem to take so much energy and effort to get going on. It is, once more, something I had been putting off for several days, a personal record in speed really, usually it remains undone until I have finished dirtying the pile of clean laundry again and it goes back into the washing machine—the filling of which, itself, is also a task left to the very last moment.

It is such a strange thing, feeling the overwhelming pressure of effort that is required to start such simple tasks, and then every time rediscovering the feeling of elation and accomplishment at having done the task and not being pressured by needing to complete it anymore. Even before starting, I most of the time know how minute it is and how quickly it goes, yet the feeling of impossibility remains always, preventing me from even starting.

It seems to me, this experience cannot be an universal one, for then almost nothing in this world would get done, yet looking at others it seems still to be rather widespread, which leaves me bewildered as to how the world runs as well as it does, or is it all merely a façade? Perhaps it is, as some say, a sign of some sort of neurological divergence on my part, and the masses have a easier time with it; but how am I to know, I know only my experience, my reality, and can relate to the realities of others only through this lens. Whatever someone describes to me, will be distorted by my own perspective, my own experience.

I take a sip of water, and ponder.

Is the problem perhaps even the opposite? While there is certainly a pressure to accomplish such tasks, the postponing of them also works for a rather significant while—for some definition of works—and with the distractions offered by modern life to take one away from such unpleasant pressure, there are precious few opportunities for the mind to get to the point of actually starting such tasks. Once the postponing has been started, it tends to become a self-perpetuating cycle, since one knows it is something that should already have been taken care of yet remains undone, and a certain level of shame of having put it off for so long makes starting that much more difficult.

Strangely, even now, writing this, I notice some of that very same resistance, some of that effort of forcing myself to do something, and finding it all the harder because I am for once actually writing this well ahead of time. It feels so strange, that even for things which I do enjoy doing—namely, writing—there is so much resistance to actually doing so, and my mind keeps wanting to do something lighter, easier, more distracting. Is it merely because I am struggling to find what I want to say? Another example of my mind wanting to flee adversity, instead of confronting it and dealing with it? Is this why, when wanting to write a book, I ended up stopping so soon, because it felt like this pressure was popping up all too often, and I don't know how to handle it with such frequency, and it ended up causing me to be stressed out by the whole process of writing creatively?

Perhaps, in the case of the book, I was trying to do too much. Perhaps, I need to train myself to handle such pressure better, and it was coming from too many places at once. There is no real reason for the book to be a completely lost cause, merely because I have not written anything in the last while; the foundation is there, I can pick up and continue when I am ready. Maybe being kinder to myself was the key all along, not creating a standard for myself that I cannot achieve, and accepting myself and what I can achieve as I am, being happy when I go beyond what I thought possible, and kind when I do not; nobody is at their best all of the time.

I go and put the kettle on, tea would do nicely after this excursion into my mind I think.

Mind

Social

It feels like there is a certain dichotomy in modern society of the introvert—who hates people and would prefer nothing more than live alone on the moon—and the extrovert—who can't stop talking and starts crying the moment they are left alone, which of course is a completely false construct, and people mostly fall in somewhere in between with variance through time and space as their feelings allow. I know all of this, yet I am starting to feel I, too, had fallen into the trap of identifying a bit too much with the introvert side of myself, and neglecting or not understanding my need to be social.

During my time in primary and secondary education, I was rather socially active, partially through the mere fact of seeing ones friends daily, and partially because the bonds we forged in school ended up continuing outside it. Thinking about it now, it feels even a bit odd for me to have identified as an introvert considering the reason I used to hate going to our summer place in the summer was not being able to see my friends during that time, and times being what they were availability of things like cheap telephony and Internet in remote places wasn't what it is today. Perhaps it was even a defense mechanism of sorts, trying to protect myself from the pain of separation through turning inward and creating worlds of my own to be in, occupying my mind with other things. It is a skill that to this day serves me well, and there are definitely still times when I would prefer nothing more than being left alone to do in peace whatever it is I want to do, yet in optimizing so hard for myself to be able to do whatever I want to do, I notice often a certain lack of doing things with others and communicating. Sure, there are people with whom I write a great deal, and share memes or interesting articles or the like, but the times I end up just talking to people feel all too rare.

The exception to this, still being someone who raids, are of course the raids, yet due to their scale of being 20 person challenges there is a certain lack of intimacy going into them, and being someone who now at least does not feel overly confident in large groups, there ends up being a distinct lack of discussion in them—not that there would be much time for it anyway, since the level of challenge does tend to necessitate a certain degree of focus.

Looking back, it feels like a earlier sign that there was a need that wasn't being fulfilled for me was my desire to participate more actively in social media, thinking back specifically at Mastodon, since the whole point of such media—as the name implies—is to be social. It feels like the experiment to do so has been one great failure, since while my usage has gone up, I remain more of a observer rather than an active participant. Looking at the harm social media can cause, perhaps this is a good thing, but it does mean that this need is still going unfulfilled.

I have had some more successful attempts more recently, and have taken to a bit more actively phoning friends and asking how they are doing—which to be fair, is probably the better idea anyway and more fitting for me—and perhaps the hopefully soon once again beginning rounds of Dungeons & Dragons will provide opportunities to socialize. We have the past few weeks already been playing the new release of Dark Alliance so there has been some of that going on already and it has definitely been helpful, but I am looking forward to the tabletop variant even more.

In the end, this feels like a long way of saying: be careful hiding behind a label or in a box you put yourself in, and try to examine your feelings and listening to your body for what you actually need, not what that label or box tells you is what you are supposed to be like. This, unfortunately, isn't always as easy as it sounds, because being a human is hard and confusing—heck, it took me something like 10 years to understand this—but identifying what is missing is the first step to finding it.

Mind

Identity

Last week I talked about my feelings regarding World of Warcraft, and specifically how I was unsure if I wanted to continue playing since it seemed the stress was outweighing the joy. In the week since, we've had our first retail raid after having taken a break, as well as a boost raid, and while it wasn't all positive all the time my outlook on the situation is definitely a lot more positive than it was before that—it really served as a reminder of what the game can be at its best.

What I also briefly mentioned but didn't go deeper in on was that it felt like being someone who plays and is somewhat decent at World of Warcraft seems to be a somewhat large part of my identity which made even considering stopping somewhat agonizing. Now, it wouldn't have been the first time I stopped playing but it would be the first time I think where the decision to do so would be such a conscious one as opposed to merely logging in less and over time stopping since I didn't feel like I had anything to do in game. That then is what I would like to write about: identity.

The question of who I am seems like such a huge topic, a vast sea of uncertainty that I have so far in my life rather successfully avoided sailing. Now, sure, there are aspects of my identity that I have spent a lot of time examining and questioning and consequently have a fairly good understanding of what they are at the moment and what they mean for me like gender and womanhood—especially as someone who won't experience motherhood, as those things seem to be so deeply linked on the societal level—but simultaneously there are also huge gaping holes in my knowledge like what do I want to do and be and what do I like doing.

One of the confounding factors I often encounter when trying to do this sort of exploration, is the disconnect I often have between desired and actual desires. There are so many things of which I think "that would be cool!" only to discover that what I liked about it wasn't necessarily the activity itself but the idea of it or the image of being a person who likes the thing. This, of course, is part of the process of discovery and in and of itself not necessarily a bad thing.

The problem is by the point I often actually end up trying things I am already either so emotionally invested in wanting it to happen or socially invested through involving other people in the activity that it becomes difficult for me to admit that is the case and I end up continuing through a feeling of obligation rather than enjoyment; this then leads to a certain degree of resentment of new things since the process of discovery becomes tainted by negative feelings and the whole thing ends up reinforcing itself.

Last week it feels like was actually a perfect example of this manifesting, since it to such a great degree felt like my fear of stopping was primarily driven not by a want to continue but by a fear of the unknown and doing things which I wasn't used to; stepping out of my comfort zone. It feels like there are so many things in which I continue to engage through either habit or a feeling of obligation rather than enjoyment. I am aware there are going to be high and low points to anything one does in life, and like the past week shows there it is often worth it to hold tight through the bad times to experience the good times once more, but it just feels like that stubbornness can at times also sabotage my attempts at finding my way to better times and greater knowledge of who I am.

So who am I? Am I my actions? Or are they merely a manifestation of my desires made real by my fears, a distorted reflection of the real self? That, unfortunately, I do not know, though writing this is a step on that path, hopefully one day leading to enlightenment.

Mind

Boredom

Being bored is something I feel like happens relatively rarely in modern times, at least being properly bored. It's so very easy to find a distraction that being bored is rather rare. I've noticed this in myself at least, where the moment there is even the slightest hint of not having something occupying my mind, I turn to some easily digestable task like scrolling through memes or watching videos.

Both of these activities aren't bad in and of themselves, and sometimes that distraction is exactly what one needs, and the videos I watch tend to even be mostly educational in nature, at least slightly. Despite this, I've noticed a certain need in myself for allowing myself to actually get bored and not fall into the trap of these easy distractions; both because I need to actually take time to process what I am doing or feeling or wanting to do, and because being actually bored and not doing anything seems to be the best motivation to actually do the things I want to do instead of filling my time with the distractions from my boredom.

So that's been what I have tried to do as well as I can lately, and I have to say, while the switch has been partially quite fruitful in getting me to do more things and appreciating those things more as well, other things it certainly doesn't make any easier to achieve and it is quite hard to pull of in one fell swoop. It almost seems like in order to still avoid being bored, I've merely changed the category of tasks I do to distract myself, but still don't necessarily the things I actually want to get done. The reflection part is also still missing for me, where I merely give myself time to think, though to be fair that's usually at least partially covered by me thinking during my daily walks, this isn't the always the case and I do often end up escaping into fantasy worlds during those in order to avoid confronting the things bothering me or to avoid boredom. Consequently I also haven't been as succesful as I'd like in exploring more and simply taking in my surroundings better, since I tend to just walk the same route and be lost in thought while doing so.

Still, the steps I've taken so far feel like a good start, and I think I'm expecting a bit too much from myself by expecting me to be able to make such a drastic change at the drop of a hat, this is something I'll need to work on for the forseeable future I think. But it feels like I'm working on the right thing at least, trying to make myself more capable of achieveing the things I want to achieve and doing the things I want to do, so that feels like a positive. I'm not sure what the next step after this will be, but I think I need to take this one first before I start worrying about that.

Mind