0648 – work through the discomfort

Would be nice to be able to complete a word vomit right now before I got to bed. Let’s run through a quick status update.

I slept quite late last night after having a long conversation with the wife. I do not ever regret this, even if it means that I’m sleepy and groggy at work the next day. I think one should always make it a point to prioritize a good conversation about an important relationship whenever it comes up.

I’ve been feeling a little anxious and stressed lately because I’ve been feeling a little overwelmed with all of the commitments and obligations I have. I definitely have more on my plate than I’ve ever had, so it’s important to be as balanced as I can. I really need to zoom out, see the big picture, let some things fail, and systematically make the best decisions that I can. Right now it does feel like finishing a word vomit would be a good idea. Then I’ll need to go to bed.

I’ve been doing something on Facebook that I’m quite happy with. I try to write a mini-essay in a moderate amount of time – either when I’m buying a cup of coffee early in the morning, or when I’m commuting to work, or when I’m buying coffee near work (if I didn’t buy it earlier in the morning). I try to write about something that’s on my “to write” list. A lot of those items have been sitting there for months if not years. And so it’s very satisfying to get them out of my system. I’m already beginning to think of what I’m going to write over the next few days, and how I’m going to use the constraint of “I only have a few minutes to talk about this, I’ll elaborate on it if people respond to it but otherwise I’m just going to lay out my starting thoughts and leave it at that”.

Another thing I’m happy about is the idea of having a bookmark on my Chrome that points to http://visakanv.com/1000/?random – it solves a problem I’ve had for some time – how do I keep myself interested in reading my own material? The idea of starting all over from 1 was tedious and annoying to me – I had already read the first 10-100 vomits over and over again. Random allows me to hop back and forth. I thought I would have to to use some sort of plugin to get it, but turns out that ?random works for (seemingly) all wordpress blogs.

What’s next? I’m very excited about the prospect of being able to go through my “to write” list by writing status updates on Facebook. I feel like my friends are supportive of it, which is something I’ll admit I was a bit worried about. Which maybe brings me to the main thing I might want to talk about. I realize that I have an actual real fear of asking people for what I want. I’ve somehow been trained or conditioned over the years to think that it’s bad to ask for things. I know it sounds a little weird or silly coming from me – a lot of people assume that I’m this very extroverted, assertive person – but I’m really only that way with words. I was never really “social”. I found an explanation that made sense to me – the idea is that kids who grow up reading books more than talking with other kids end up developing ‘unwonted interiority’ – we spend ‘too much time’ in our own heads. Of course there’s no such thing as an optimal amount of time, it all depends on what you want out of life, and what sort of person you are. Some people drive themselves mad with their internal lives but also end up producing the most amazing art. Is that what I want? I don’t think it’s so binary. I think it’s possible to have a reasonably healthy life and also make good art.

I want to make good art. I want to write. I want to create. I believe that I have greatness within me that needs to come out. I still believe that. I just need to do the work. I can’t see the entire staircase, but I am confident that my confusion and lack of answers is a strength, not a weakness. I have high standards and I’m difficult to satisfy. I just need to live with the discomfort and work through it.

That’s a common motif for a lot of things in life. Once you’re clear about what you want, you have to learn to live with the discomfort and work through it. This isn’t universal advice – sometimes when you feel pain, you should stop, because it means that you’re hurting yourself. With music, you want to practice with perfect form and then stop when your form starts failing, because you don’t want bad form to be a part of your playing. I wonder if the same applies to life in general. I think it’s quite likely.

I was thinking to myself on the way home earlier today that I was feeling some sugar cravings. And I marvelled for a while at how a body can have some very real cravings. Is it the body or is it the mind? It’s not all in the mind. It’s all connected. And I know so little about it. I know so little about how I feel. I spend all my time inside my head but definitely not enough time in my body.

Anyway. I think I’m making progress. It’s not as linear as I’d like, but I find myself circling around the right things, and returning to the things that matter. I’ll be turning 27 this year, so I think I have to definitely have to make some changes. The time for doubting and uncertainty is diminishing – there will always be some, but I think I’ve learned enough about myself to be able to make some projections with confidence. I think I can settle on what I have on my plate and really just work hard at it for the next 3 years or so. And I really look forward to meeting the end of this project – meeting the person I will be at the end of it. Can’t wait.

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