I could use a victory right about now.

I’m in a weird place right now. The past week, I abandoned all my tracking methods, all my time-keeping, everything, because it all got so confusing cross-referencing and tracking everything that I just kinda shut down from all the chaos. The scheduling and tracking was actually taking more effort out of me than getting the work done, and it was reflecting in just how much of the work I WASN’T getting done. I was (and still am) behind in readings for my classes, and got informed abruptly and unpleasantly that my average has dropped below Honours standards, and so was unable to take a number of courses I wanted to take.

At the same time, I’m becoming sick of my job. It’s not even that bad, but I just keep getting this pit of my stomach feeling that I’m wasting more and more of my life and energies there that I could be using for something else. Something that brings me at least a little bit closer to my chosen career. But as my academics have shown, my performance and productivity has almost next-to-no correlative relationship with how many hours I’m working. Last fall, I routinely worked 20-24 hours at work and pulled a high-seventies/low eighties average. If anything, having MORE time on my hands lends itself more to me choosing NOT to do something with it. I need that structure, which is suppose part of why I liked incorporating all of the planning/scheduling systems, because it gives me something of a scaffolding to build off of.

But now I’m just kind of back at square one. Rebuild that scaffolding from the ground up, guarantee myself 8-10 hours of sleep per night, cut down on my spending on any food that isn’t groceries and eat right… take advantage of the awesome social resources I now have to keep me motivated and working a little bit on my various projects everyday, Also, prioritization is a big thing I need to work on. I had a really bad habit of choosing the easiest tasks, getting those done everyday, and then leaving the big “I-don’t-wanna-do’s” undone until the last minute. I think getting the 8-10 a night, and going to bed early enough to afford me the ability to wake up early and get those out of the way before anything else.

I think as far as scheduling goes, I need to pick one system instead of half-assing it by trying to amalgamate the best of all the resources I draw from. Synergy is great, but as I mentioned in the first paragraph, the system becomes so bloated and overblown that it becomes a burden rather than a help. The frustration from all of this kind of manifested itself in a lack of discipline with my diet. I am loathe to look at my body composition for this month with all the ice cream and chocolate I’ve eaten. I’m a pretty terrible stress-eater.

Needless to say, I’ve got a lot of negative thoughts towards myself right now. Fat, lazy, incompetent, stupid, awkward… the whole gang’s in there today. Those thoughts tend to turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy, what with the junk food and not shaving for several days/haircutting. I could use a victory right about now.

Unclogging the Brain

I feel like I’m procrastinating. On just about everything except my physical fitness and diet. School, writing for the Bookshelf, writing for The Rogues’ Gallery, doing podcasts for the Rogues’ Gallery and taking the wheel on making sure that we have a regular recording schedule again… I’m actually getting really fucking frustrated at myself for the sheer amount of time I spend browsing online or meandering by watching tv or playing video games.

It’s especially ridiculous with video games in that my account with Gameaccess was supposed togive me an outlet for my love of the medium without allowing me to overindulge. Instead, I’ve stopped actually getting down to writing reviews about the things I play, instead opting to burn hour after hour after hour just… playing them. Sigh. SOME kind of change needs to happen, it just feels like I’ve got this big clog of things I need to do/want to do/should be doing all colliding at once and causing the gears in my brain to grind to a halt.

It fucking SUCKS is what it does. I just can’t seem to get the engine to turn over in terms of actually doing stuff. StayFocusd (an app I use for Google Chrome) isn’t working, as I can just jump into incognito mode and dodge it with only minimal inconvenience (and certainly not enough to keep me from DOING it. So, once again, the internet has become the formidable engine of distraction it was before.

It’s also become apparent I can no longer study at home. In addition to my aforementioned videogames callling my name from the adjacent room, ceasing my working efforts before I even start, Shauna’s also there. It’s not even the whole puppy-dog-following-her-about type of thing (okay, maybe a LITTLE…), but everytime we talk we end up talking for multiple hours and just… I really love spending time with her, to the point where it’s so hard to tear myself away when we start to chat. It’s been a long time where I’ve had such stimulating conversations on a regular basis. It of course doesn’t help that I find her almost ABSURDLY hot. Damned Y chromosome…. >.>

I think I need to make another gigantic-ass list of things I need to do. Just something big and ultimately comprehensive. That way it can be right in front of my eyes and I can take account of everything just… THERE. I wonder if I can make it so that Evernote launches upon start-up on my computer. That way when I log on in the morning, it’s the first thing I see. Only one way to find out, I suppose.

*deep breath* Here I go again.

NOW. NOW. NOW.

So I’m really fucking impatient. With just about everything, including myself. My therapist mentioned this at my last appointment, and I’m more and more realizing just how correct he is.

When I make a mistake, I immediately go to work identifying the cause of what went wrong. And if I correct it, and things don’t IMMEDIATELY improve, I get frustrated, down on myself. I ask “WHY ISN’T THIS WORKING? I DID THE REQUIRED STEPS!!” I call myself weak-willed, incompetent, lazy… because clearly if I’m not getting results, I’m not trying hard enough.

When I’m not making progress in my workouts, I feel like shit about my body AND my efforts. Things feel pointless, and it feels like biology is forever laughing in my face. But I’vel earned lately the credo  that results both take time AND consistency. Making little adjustments every week is continually robbing me of the latter, and just… I need that. Part of the problem, I think, is the self-consciousness that comes from the fact that Shauna 9the woman from the previous post) is now coming with me to the gym. It was nice to get the extra motivation from someone to actually GO, but 1) Now I feel more self-conscious and unable to just focus on THE WORK while I’m there, and 2) I need a place I can be alone without anyone I know, and where I’m not doing schoolwork or whatever. Someone to meditate, to be totally self-focused, alone with my thoughts, the whole deal. With her with me on the bike-ride, timing her workout to end with mine, I’m not getting that. I’ve awked her to go on ahead this morning for precisely that reason. I need space and time to myself. To reflect, to gather myself, to be as selfish and self-oriented as possible. I need this place of meditation. I like being in a place where it’s just me and the iron.

Well, I’m going to head off now. Going to try being a bit more forgiving of myself. I need to do SOMETHING, because this just… isn’t working. Or who knows. Maybe I’m just not giving it enough time.

Thrown for a Loop

Man it’s been a while. AGAIN. Longer than possibly ever before. I’ve been avoiding this (or excusing it) because initially, I was ashamed for not keeping up with it. Then I rationalized it away as, “It probably won’t help anyways, and it’s just a waste of time, which I don’t have.” I’m beginning to notice this pattern of Shame—>Rationalization in many areas of my life, leading to a perennial tendency of aversion to effortful tasks. So for the next week, I am going to focus on using those same rationalization skills to remind myself why it IS important that I keep doing this.

Because if I’m honest, even if no one is reading this, I need this decompression. To spit out my thoughts, feelings, troubles on a page to look at them. To dig my way through the rubble of my own cognition, trying to find a loose thread of flawed logic that I might be able to pull on so that my neuroses can begin to unravel into nothingness.

Part of the issue is that I’m feeling like I’ve been knocked off kilter as of late. There’s a woman (of course there is, says one of the many members of the peanut gallery in my head). We have tons of chemistry, she’s geeky, analytical, as into weightlifting and fitness as I am, driven, creative, independent, all that good stuff. Unfortunately, we’re hosuemates. Unfortunately, she just broke up with her first-ever boyfriend not long ago and doesn’t want to see herself in a relationship-type context right now. I know, because I attempted to ask her out, and that was the response almost word for word.

Now I’m in this weird pattern of behaviour when I have feelings for someone, where I’m trying to be on my “best behaviour” to try and show that I’m someone she’d want to date later on when she IS wanting to date. But this leads to the only areas of my life that receive nourishment are the ones she is also privy to. I devote more energy into acting “good” than a lot of things I should otherwise be focusing on (ie. going to class, maintaining my diet, getting my various writing and reading works done on cammpus or on my own). It’s like the sniper reticle of my willpower and focus is firmly placed somewhere OTHER than it should be. The rest of my life isn’t in TATTERS, YET, but I’ve noticed this pattern before back when I was dating Jay, and I can’t let my concern for how she may or may not feel about me motivate my decisions during the day. I realize this is just a basic human reaction and I shouldn’t beat myself up for it. But it also doesn’t make it okay to let myself off the hook and coninue with it.

The point: she’s awesome, we get along great, and she’s my friend. But she is just one person. I can’t let the guiding light of her emotions guide my life. I have too many balls in the air right now to afford to do that. Besides, remember that when she first met me, she was interested before I started FOCUSING on flirtatiousness and whatnot.

On another note, I’m going to start writing not as a “sit-down big project”, but as a nervous energy reduction method. Also drawing. I need outlets, because frequently getting stuck stewing in my own thoughts is not doing me any favours. It paralyzes me, I get nothing done, and I feel worse about myself both because of the self-destructive thoughts AND the lack of productivity.  I need to acknowledge the present of my talent, and not just my duty to use it. Not to use it out of duty, but just cuz, y’know, I fucking FEEL LIKE IT. Not everything needs to be planned. Hell, on my desktop background, I have the word “START” in giant white letters. So here’s my first attempt at doing so.

On The Lizard Brain

It’s been a while since I last updated. Which is ironic, considering the amount of stuff that’s happened to give things to think about. So here goes. Hopefully I can mine something useful out of this.

1) I had my second counselling appointment on Campus. It was a pretty productive session, and I got a couple of nuggets of wisdom which I’ve been thinking over ever since. My counsellor, Bruno, who is a very understanding and insightful guy, said he believes I have a lot to offer people in the way of opinions and insight, but he’s worried that I don’t see myself that way. I don’t see what I have to offer, and so I’m constantly trying to prove my own worth to people, and especially to myself.  It might be part of the reason why I get so frustrated with myself when I fail, it’s like a chunk of my self-worth is being chipped away with each stumble. I don’t really know how to change that… I have a lot of mental re-evaluation to do on that front. I’m afraid of losing my drive if I don’t hold myself to a high standard, but I’m thinking the manner of standard I’m using right now is just too damn self-destructive to be any use beyond taking one step forward and two steps back. I use just as mental energy flagellating myself when I mess up somehow as I do trying to formulate a situation.

I’ve had a lot of negative reinforcement in my life to push me to succeed. Whether it was my elementary school grades making up the majority of my identity to my parents, and having both myself and them FIXATE on them as a means to avoid a life in the gutter… or the verbal and anti-social beatings I took in Vancouver… the times I improved most were when I simply had to to avoid emotional pain. Which is something that I realize only just now is incredibly unhealthy… I find it so difficult to pursue positive results because I’m so used to investing effort so I can avoid the negative.  So when I get comfortable, that hindbrain, the Id, The Amygdala, the Lizard Brain, whatever you want to call it… the thing that seeks physical pleasure and avoidance of pain above all else, marshals all its strength to keep me there.  And often, it succeeds. I hope that a greater awareness of it and what it’s trying to do will help me stay on track more consistently, and more importantly… help me re-orient my thinking into less of a pain-avoidance mindset. I imagine it’ll help my anxiety and indecision to do so.

2)  I sat down and talked with my ex earlier this week, whom I haven’t talked to in six plus months. I’d asked if I could come to the Thanksgiving Potluck she and all of our friends were hosting, since I was unable to go home this past weekend. We talked for a while, talked about why we were so pissed at one another. Still not friends, and still not guaranteed we ever will be. It ended up being a nice conversation eventually, but she did tell me that she’d had a number of our mutual friends come up to her and ask what to do, because I’d made them uncomfortable talking on Skype or FB Messenger or whatnot talking about personal stuff, but were too polite to say anything.  Of course, she didn’t say WHO, exactly… so I’m not sure who I can bring up personal stuff to when it bothers me and they’ll be okay, and how many of them are just going to ignore me until I go away. It didn’t help when I messaged a bunch of people yesterday, just to say hey, and I either got super curt responses or total silence. So the take away I got from that is 1) I can’t trust people to be honest with me when it comes to if they feel uncomfortable, and 2) I come off too honest and too personal too quickly with people, and I need to work on that.

I just suck at small talk and want to talk about real, personally relevant things, and yearn for that personal connection with people. I just need to learn that connections like that have to build gradually, and I can’t push them into that territory right off the bat. It’s a tough lesson to learn, and I wish that I could’ve learned it directly from the source, and not from a third party. It’s funny that this came up, because it reaches back to the other thing my counsellor mentioned… that I’m REALLY impatient with… just about everything. Whether myself or my friendships, or my career aspirations and projects, it’s really hard for me to just accept that things take a while to build. There are a number of reasons why this could be, but I think it’ll take another full blog post to really address something that big. Anyways, I think that’s it for today.