0326 – back on the wagon

12:07pm on a Saturday, 23rd May. It’s been 11 days since I last published a word vomit. I’m not sure if I should consider that an exceptionally long period of time. [1]

I was chatting with my boss about it and he told me how I once described them as the canary in my coalmine– when I stop doing vomits, it probably means something is not quite right, something needs to be addressed.

So here I am, getting back on the wagon, trying to write again. I do recognize that I feel a little frustrated, upset and annoyed every time I walk past my refrigerator (which has a 20×50 grid that I’m filling out) and I notice that I haven’t made any progress, haven’t added any new X’s. So here’s more writing a vomit. It might be a bit of a filler – I wonder how many “getting back on the wagon” vomits I’ve written? – but so be it.

I suppose I could loosely talk about all the things I want to explore in the next few vomits.

What do I really want?

Why do I overthink, and what should I do when I’m overthinking?

What is happening as I recalibrate my expectations?

How and why do I self-flagellate?

What do I need to let go of, and how do I do it?

What happens to my habits and routines, and what have I been mistaken about?

What makes me happy?

I feel a little bit worried that as I do these vomits, it’s going to be a little impossible to connect the dots. I might have bitten off more than I can chew there. I don’t want to spend too long trying to find too much meaning in the first million words that I’ve writtenfor the sake of writing a million words.

That’s new, that’s changed. I was pretty certain when I was starting out that there was going to be a ton of value in these vomits– I wouldn’t know what it was going to be, but it was going to be a pleasure trawling through all of them.

Which reminds me– I keep telling myself that I’m going to set aside time to go through my old Facebook and Twitter posts and study myself objectively. I’ve never really done it. I wonder why. Is it because I’m afraid of doing it? Maybe. I think the simpler reason is– it feels like an overly daunting project. So my life is hindered by the fact that I’m really bad at project management. Doing these vomits is a way of teaching myself project management. I really want to figure myself out. I do know the continental/zen perspective which is that you’ll never truly be able to figure yourself out, that this is a linear progress, and that it’s only as hard as you make it out to be. You only have to suffer as much as you think you have to suffer.

Well for some reason I think I need to suffer this. Which is a big change from my earlier teenage days, where I believed that life could be spent simply avoiding suffering as much as possible. Just play, run, hide, avoid, escape, come up with witty clever things, avoid facing things.

Now I’m thinking, yes, The Obstacle Is The Way. It’s all a little subtle and complex, and it’s so easy to get the wrong idea. It’s so easy to get fixated. And I can’t quite think my way out of it. I can do some thinking, sure, but the important thing is that I then let go and meditate somehow, allow the thoughts to fall where they should. There’s an element of trust and faith that goes into the whole thing.

So what’s the obstacle right now? Me and my fears, I guess. That’s probably always the case. Right now as I’m writing this I’m really just trying to get to the end of this vomit so I can cross an X on the chart. And then I can “move on” to writing about specific topics. Here I see the limitation of these vomits– I find myself compelled to be somewhat topical, or consistent within the vomits… or something like that.

I suppose while I have another 200 words or so to go I could just ramble about how it feels like my language is getting worse. Maybe it needs to get worse before it gets better, but it feels like I can’t say anything anymore because everything I say is obviously limited, broken, imperfect, imprecise. I feel like I need to carefully frame and qualify everything I’m going to say, and that’s goddamn exhausting. But I’m not quite enlightened enough to just sit in silence, either. I have problems that I want to work out. And I recognize that I can’t work them out by bashing into them, but I can’t quite work them out just by leaving them alone altogether. The gordian knot slicing solution is not an option right now. At least, not until the end of the 1000 vomits. I need to have at least tried.

Is this a form of self-flaggelation? Maybe. But it feels like something I ought to get out of the way. Maybe I need to ramble about it and see for myself how pointless it is before I can truly let go. If that’s the case I’d like to do it as soon as possible.

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[1] I could go back and re-evaluate all my gaps but I feel like that would be a bit of a timesink right now. It’s more interesting if I say what I think without getting extra context, and then evaluate everything at the end of the whole project. I think not publishing a vomit for a whole week is a warning sign. Ideally I should be publishing at least one every one to two days, and I should definitely be publishing at least one every weekend. Because I know that vomits are my therapy– writing helps me to clear my head. It’s a form of meditation for me.

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