0221 – chip away at the boulder on your shoulder

I will definitely sleep better tonight if I crank out a word vomit before I go to bed, so I think I ought to write one. But I’m not entirely sure what I should write about. I suppose I should look up my set of questions.

I wrote a letter to a young smoker in one of my last vomits, I think I also wanted to write a letter to someone else.

Fuck man, I really want to write something that matters but it feels like nothing’s coming to me right now. There must be a reason why there’s nothing. There must be some sort of block. Let’s turn this into an exercise of confronting block, working around it, feeling for the block. What’s blocking me? What do I want to say that I’m not already saying? Do I want to talk about what I’m doing at work? Do I want to talk about my marriage?

Yeah, I think when I’m blocked it’s usually because there’s something personal involved, something involving other people. That’s a cue for me to write something in private. But I don’t want to write something in private right now- I want to write something that I’m happy to publish. So I guess I’ll talk about my current status in thinking about productivity and efficiency. I’ve run through a lot of systems by now. I’ve tried pomodoro and pomotodo. I enjoyed the Pomodoro Challenge Timer (and I even paid for it), but I eventually stopped when I was missing some bits here and there and when I wanted to keep track of everything better- so I tried Pomotodo, which worked well for a while, but was giving me some other sort of trouble. I tried Beeminder for a while around vomits 90-something, but I got tired of all that data entry… it felt pretty tedious. I’m sure there would be a way to link up my wordpress publishing or something with all of that, but in the meantime all of that feels tedious.

I had a little mini epiphany of sorts a while ago where I realized that the thing that mattered most to me was to be able to trust myself. A lot of the grand epic things I try to do, or talk about doing, all of that might be my way of overcompensating for the fact that I used to be called lazy and lackadaisical and all that. I didn’t want to be that slacker bum, like that annoying “business partner” Tom Haverford had in Parks and Rec who didn’t want to do any work, who just wanted the glory of wannabe clever ideas. Gosh, what an annoying prick. I saw a bit of myself in him, which was really scary and painful.

So I have this magnificent boulder on my shoulder that I want to get rid of. [1] And I can only get rid of it by being disciplined and conscientious in service of myself, towards goals that I deem worthy. I think writing a million words will help me with that.

So I guess I’ll just quickly talk about my approach to breaking down this boulder, and to learning to trust myself. How do I trust myself? I need concrete evidence, proof. I need to do things regularly, first little things and then add those little things up into bigger things. I have accomplished things at work, but it often feels like the failures exceed and outnumber the successes. I suppose they always will. Intellectually I can appreciate that, but I don’t like the idea of living a life in constant misery.

Well it’s not CONSTANT misery, but I should be able to struggle and push myself without feeling like I’m always on the brink of bursting. Well- again, I’m never BURSTING, but I’m pretty sure the discomfort and frustration I feel isn’t a healthy, positive amount of frustration. I’m exerting myself a little too hard and a little not-smartly-enough.

I’m like that guy at the gym lifting weights too heavy for him, with form that’s questionable. Injury is imminent if I’m not careful. And I suppose I actually do get ‘injured’ in a sense, from time to time, and then that sidelines me and I can’t make any progress. And it perpetuates this narrative that I have in my head that I’ll never be fit, that I’ll never be healthy, that I’m doomed to this stupid miserable cycle and I should just try to find whatever pleasure I can, wherever I can, from mixed feelings park and from the dark playground. I don’t want that shit. It’s really sad and really shitty.

So I need to work on small bits- c’mon man we’ve been repeating this for 200,000 words now. I suppose the mini breakthrough is the realization that maybe online/digital apps and stuff don’t feel that great because they’re “illusory”, they don’t feel “real”. I’ve tried things like the X effect- it seemed to help me quit smoking, but I then tried to do it for 3 things at once- watch a video, meditate and reflect- and I couldn’t do all of those three things at once for 49 days in a row. Maybe I really gotta start with just one.

Anyway the thing I’m doing that I’m really excited about and have been keeping up with for i think a couple of weeks now is- I got one of those receipt impaling things from the local bookstore, and I’ve been writing my to-dos and tasks on post-its and little pieces of paper. When they get done, I fuckin’ impale them. It’s very, very satisfying. I think as a habit it’s going to stick. I’m eagerly looking forward to filling the tower to the brim.

[1] As I write this I realize- the boulder seems to simultaneously exist and not exist, depending on whether I’m thinking about it or not. It goes in and out of focus. I can distract myself and avoid thinking about it. I can look away and- out of sight, out of mind. But I think it’s there. I don’t think it’s actually possible for me to live my life pretending it doesn’t exist until it doesn’t, because that limits my range of freedom, it limits the space I can navigate.

What’s the real deal here? I suppose it’s just a part of my brain, a part of the landscape/city that is my mind, my life. And if I wanted to I could spend a lifetime avoiding it. But that would be an impoverished life, a limited life, and it seems like there are all sorts of costs to that, just as there are costs to letting part of a city fester and rot. You have to hold your nose everytime you walk past it, have to ignore the pain and suffering.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *