I think my life can be a little seasonal sometimes. Lots of people around me often talk about productivity as though it’s something that can be managed effectively week on week, and I think there’s some truth to that. But I also have this nagging suspicion that I might operate subconsciously at a “seasonal” level– ie there might be 3 months in a year where I’m much more focused and powerful than the rest of the year. I don’t really have any evidence for this, though, and I’m not interested in doing the elaborate amounts of work I’d have to do to verify this – if I have the energy to do lots of work, I’m going to devote it towards doing, you know, WORK.
I have to confess that I’ve once again, at some point this year, felt a general malaise, ennui, sianness, depression, whatever you want to call it. It doesn’t rattle me the way it did when I was a teenager; I’ve gotten much better at living with it and recognizing it when it happens, and taking steps to diminish it. My recent insight was that I don’t spend enough time actively taking care of myself. I don’t carve out time for me to rest, reflect, relax in a deep sense. Sometimes I get some of this when doing sessions in a float tank, which I don’t do as regularly as I’d like. But it’s not the float itself per se. It’s the fact that for 2 hours nothing and nobody can interrupt me. I think that’s what provides me with the restful effect. If I want to be more effective towards achieving my goals, then I need to also be more sincere with my rest and the care that I devote to myself.
Anyway the point of this is. I find it a little silly that I’ve been writing so many vomits for so long and I haven’t hung them up on a consistent, coherent framework so I can see where exactly I’ve been repeating myself. Because I’ve obviously been running in circles a lot. I think when I set out I was intending to sort it all out at the end. Halfway through it’s become clear that that’s going to be a hell of a struggle, and I can save my future self some trouble by taking some steps to make it easier in the present. That means doing some editing on the blogposts that I’ve written, so they’re easier to read later on.
One of the things that I think is going to be clear is – changing myself is a heck of a hard thing to do. There are many moving parts, and I need to keep track of many different things. And part of the reason why I felt I need to make some sort of change was that I was screwing things up from being bad at keeping track of things in the first place. There’s a very special kind of delightful irony in failing at becoming better because you were predisposed to failing at things in general to begin with. You know what I mean? You suck, you try to get better, but you suck at getting better because you suck, so you don’t get very much better.
But it looks like the only thing to do is to keep doing it. I’ve made some progress on the cooking front. For the longest time I fantasized about someday becoming comfortable with food. Well, I’m now moderately comfortable with cooking chicken breasts or thighs on a pan, or salmon, or minced beef. Those are things I can do. I can feed myself with those things. It feels pretty great. It builds on an earlier insight – that I’m a pattern in space-time that tries to be self-sufficient, and while it didn’t get a lot of guidance in the start, and was generally bumbling around and getting into trouble, I’ve somehow bumbled my way to a reasonably manageable state. I’m here. I’m awake. I’m alive. I’m not broken, I’m not hugely fucked up, I’m breathing, I have money in the bank, I have a job, etc. Some of my mentors would say that that’s a very low bar to set, and I agree – I need to set higher bars for myself. That’s part of the point of this post, and that’s the point of the title of this post – that I need to let go of my past frustrations and greviances to become the person that I’m going to be.
But okay, so this is me, saying thank you to my past self for trying the best he could with what he had, even if it was sloppy, even if it was suboptimal in some ways. So be it. He got me here. That was his job and he did it. It’s my turn now. And I get to start as fresh as I possibly can.
It’s theoretically possible for me to finish my entire word vomit project by the end of the year. That’s 4 word vomits in a day. I have 106 days to write 400 word vomits. I can definitely do it. Why not? Why not finish it and get it out of my system? I could drag it on and do one every other day or every week and so on – which is kind of how I’ve been doing it – and it’ll take me until late 2017, maybe 2018. OR, I could hunker down and just light a fire under my ass and get all of this stuff out, pronto. It might be a bit premature to say this – I don’t want to say that I’ve gotten MOST of the value out of this project already, but I’ve crossed some milestones, and if I’m not racing to the finish line maybe it’s because I haven’t adequately visualized the possible outcomes. If I’m done with this quickly I can clear my headspace and move on to other things. I might have interesting conversations with people about what all of this means, what it’s like to do this, what I’m going to be doing next. And a great part of these vomits is I can figure out the answers to those questions along the way, just by doing this. I can go through old vomits and answer questions by writing them and then I can link from one to the other. Or not. It doesn’t matter. I can do whatever I want to do. I forget that sometimes.