0432 – let go of your fixations

I’m not sure when or how exactly I was triggered to write about this, but it’s been obviously something that’s been on my mind for months and months now, maybe a year. Clarification: I’ve been fixated for over a decade. I’ve been progressively bothered about that fixation for a couple of years, and the past half a year or so feels like it’s leading up to some sort of climax. What I’m imagining is– either I can try to let it all go from where I’m standing (which feels like a rational, drama-free approach), or I can really lean into it and fixate on the fixation, go meta and go crazy until the whole thing sort of collapses under its own absurdity. I’ll be honest, I’ve always romanticized the latter idea. There’s a sense that you get some nice art out of it. Or at least terrible neurosis. Wasn’t that the deal for all the suicidal Russian novelists? I don’t know, I’m just being silly here.

I guess I was in the shower and I was thinking, man I’m tired. And I’ve been thinking that for a long time. And some people joke that adulthood is about always being tired. But I don’t buy that. I’ve seen people who don’t look it. And there are different kinds of tiredness, too. There’s the general exhaustion you get from pushing yourself, but that’s different from the chronic stress of playing constant catch up. And frankly that’s how I felt through most of school (god, really? in a post about fixations? lmfao).

I wish there was a simple an easy way to visually represent feelings and ideas. Words don’t cut it. That really means I’m going to have to learn to draw. Things don’t quite seem real until they are spatially visualized. I mean, and this is coming from a person who writes a ton, who loves reading and writing. I mean, when we’re trying to convey concepts. Describing a cylinder as “radius of x and height y” isn’t as compelling as when you see for yourself how it looks like when drawn.

What am I talking about? What is it that I want to draw? I just want to feel like I have a grasp of my life. To feel like everything is reasonably well represented. I keep feeling like a pile of messy filing cabinets. I should be able to get rid a lot of that stuff, I don’t want to be sentimental about those things anymore.

No, what do I want to draw?

This vomit and the last are a little disassociated I think because of sleep deprivation. The thoughts aren’t coherent, they’re sort of… scattered. Which might be interesting to read later.

What do I want to draw? Graphs? Models? Flowcharts? What? Why do I constantly feel like there’s something that needs revealing that hasn’t been revealed yet? What will be the manner in which it is revealed? Will it be solved when I complete the word vomit project? No, not after merely having written 1,000,000 words, I don’t think so. There will still be editing that needs to be done afterwards. I will still need to make sense of it all, to identify trends and themes. Should I wait until the end to do that? I think not. I think I will be making attempts along the way. If I write at least one word vomit every day, I could afford to set aside some time on the weekends to process them.

What am I trying to find? I’m trying to reduce the gap. There’s this messy, convoluted gap that my mind has to cross between my intentions and my actions. This gap isn’t just a short simple hop– it’s more a complex puzzle of sorts. Maybe. I think.

Uhuh, then what? How do we fix it?

Do I need drawings to remind myself what I care about? It feels like I need to remove steps. The whole thing is a little too byzantine. (I’ve been using that word a lot lately, but it’s used properly.)

Well… what is the gap? I should maybe go through the article by Scott Young that I was reading. It’s not that he’s got anything magical to say, it’s all the basic fundamental plumbing stuff that I was working on. But I need to take that stuff and make it more visceral. I need to take my statements of intent and make them intense. I need to make it such that it’s crazy if I don’t do what I say I’m going to do. I already know that this is true, but this knowledge isn’t sticky, it isn’t constantly at the front of my mind.

So it’s a kind of marketing challenge, a kind of storytelling challenge, a sort of design challenge. I already know all the problems, I already know all the solutions. Intellectually. In the brain. I need to translate that information in a way that my feet can understand it, and I need to transmit and communicate that information across my nervous system. Metaphorically speaking.

Well, how do I do that? Do I even know how to do that? I’m not sure. I’ve only properly done it with regards to these vomits, it seems. These vomits are the only thing that I’ve really managed to overwhelmingly persuade myself to persist with.

I was re-reading Tobi’s keynote recently and I was in total agreement with everything. And I was reading the Adulthood Is A Scary Horse post and I was in total agreement with that, too. But again, all of that is in the brain. Writing vomits is largely a brain activity (although it takes feet to get started, and to type the words as they come, but this is largely an automatic process for me.) If progress seems slow, it’s because I’m looking at the brain rather than examining the feet. (And examining the feet is a brain activity, so there’s a sort of funny elegance to the whole thing.)

Now I will leave for work, and when I get there I’m going to buy a cup of coffee, and drink that coffee while going over my plans for the day.

Oh, back to the original title. I find it annoying that I’m so fixated on my past. I can always revisit it if I want to, but the fixation is vexing. I need to let go. And I suppose in a way I have, just by being a little disassociative. I can always grab the next thread. Let’s go.

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