10.28.19

I think I would benefit from grabbing an AirBnB or something out in the woods for a weekend by myself. In my mind, it would be a great way to relax, calm down, and really focus on writing. Resistance works against this idea, though. It takes a couple of forms. First, I have this doubt that I would actually get the work done. This thought distortion (as my therapist would call it) is “fortune telling”. I don’t know what the hell would actually happen out there, and to assume that it would be a waste just prevents me from trying.

Resistance also takes the form of telling me that going out to write is something Writers do, not “writers”. The thing is, I am a Writer. You are reading the proof. I am a person who creates by writing, by definition I am a Writer. Full stop. Writer may not be my profession but that doesn’t make it any less an accurate part of my identity. Others may have their own definition of what a writer is… maybe I need to have published a book or pay my bills off of the earnings or something. Does that mean Shakespeare became a writer after a play or two? Or never? Or was he a writer simply because he wrote. I think the latter is more accurate.

10.27.19

Going to therapy always sparks motivation and creativity in me. I leave feeling a bit euphoric and excited about the world, even when (or especially when) it is a tough session. There are times I feel awkward and confused and frustrated, and working through those moments breaks up so many blocks in my mind.

Each block that is broken or fractured or cracked lets in more light and opportunity in my life. It is natural that I put up walls and blocks to protect myself. The problem is that I never started tearing down the blocks that were no longer of use to me. Well, I never did until I started therapy. Blocks I put up to protect myself as a child or in the military or after a heartbreak are still present, even though the threat is gone. As I tear them down it allows for a more full and bright life, and from that life comes creativity and happiness and satisfaction and motivation.

10.25.19

Last year I started therapy and it has become one of the most important forms of self-care that I practice. I originally went to help with PTSD, anxiety, and motivation issues, but it has blossomed into something more than that.

I really think everyone should go to therapy. I find it so interesting/frustrating that we universally see the point of going to a dentist and doctor regularly to ensure our body and teeth are in good working order, but to see someone regularly to keep our mind in good working order is kind of taboo. You don’t need to have serious mental health issues to see a therapist any more than you need to have a cavity before seeing a dentist. It is just part of good self-care and if you are in a position to go once a month or so it can really pay off. I actually think the improvements made due to therapy have made me money. I wouldn’t be as effective at my job if I didn’t talk to a therapist.

10.24.19

One of the things that makes me uneasy is how often certain things are described in supernatural terms. This is something that is incredibly common when talking about creativity and art. Terms like Muse, God, Resistence, Forces, all bring to mind conscious entities that exist outside our realm.

I have come to realize that my perspective of these things as supernatural (and subsequent rejection of them) is short-sighted.

I can believe in Muses, Inspiration, God, even a sort of desire by these things, and still reject the idea of the supernatural. Now, that isn’t to say that everything we don’t understand is supernatural, there are certainly forces at play that we simply don’t understand. Just because humans didn’t understand that light was doesn’t mean our eyes didn’t work. There may be things out there that we are receptive to and may impact our lives that we simply don’t understand yet.

What I’m realizing is that a prayer or meditation or whatever to the Muses is really tapping into our own subconscious, it is opening up previously under-used or unused neuro pathways. I don’t need to believe in a conscious force to recognize that the practice of creativity leads to results or that when I follow my “intuition” things start to just work out. It isn’t magic making them work out, it is human nature. We may be “wise men” (homo sapiens), but we are also “creative men” and “exploring men” and “loving men”. Our nature is multifaceted and beautiful, and with that nature we can follow many paths to fulfillment.

10.23.19

Each day is a new life. It starts out in darkness and silence before the light breaks in. Traffic and noise and chaos erupts. Horns honk with unchecked emotions. People are hurrying towards their adulthood, bitter towards everyone else on the same path. Then things calm, people have settled into their daily routine. Each minute, hour, day, month, and year looks much like the last and much like the next. Then again, chaos as traffic fills the world. Sadness and confusion and anger at the impending death, there is a desire for change and justification. Then calmness once again, the sun begins to set and lives end. Then out of the shell of the previous day a new life starts to be born again.

10.22.19

A couple weeks ago I was listening to Rick Roll’s podcast and he (or his guest?) mentioned writing every day. I’ve always wanted to do that, much like meditation or running or drinking 8 glasses of water a day I am convinced of the benefits of that practice. However, I struggle with it. It seems that when I sit down at a regular time I have trouble finding something to say.

There was a tip mentioned in the podcast that stuck with me. Basically, Roll (or guest) said that the key for him to write daily is to try and think of something to write about the day before. By spending some time throughout the day thinking about tomorrow there is often an idea that comes to mind. That really kind of resonated with me. I usually just blog when I have a huge burst of inspiration and happen to be at home. That is a shitty way to do things, my Muse will never know where I am. I need to sit down consistently and just write.

10.21.19

It is amazing (and frustrating) to me how I can know exactly what I should do to reach my goals but still neglect them and procrastinate. The things are simple (and often pretty easy) but there is still this Resistance to it. Like part of my subconscious doesn’t want success or risk or accomplishments, it would rather have failures and comfort and mediocrity.

Exercise, drinking water, meditating, writing, reading, cooking healthy food, turning off screens at 9, brushing my teeth, etc. are all things that I have time for but still find ways not to do them. Much of my time is taken up by work but I am lying if I say there isn’t 5 minutes available to meditate during the day or 30 minutes to go for a jog. I wish I could account for what I do instead of these things but it is mostly a blur of staring at screens.

My biggest obstacle is myself.

10.18.2019

Getting back into Daily Blogging… again! For the hundredth time!

I find it frustrating when I know what I should and shouldn’t do but struggle so much to actually do it when the time comes. I know my morning should involve meditation, exercise, writing, and reading. I know that it doesn’t move me towards my goals to spend the morning looking at social networks, checking email, or reading the news. Yet, without fail, nearly every morning my activities are more like the latter than the former.

I know that each night I should put the screens away early, prep the next day, and enjoy a relaxing activity. I know that it doesn’t move me towards my goals to have “one” more beer, keep the tv on until bedtime, or to bring my phone to bed. Yet, every night I end up doing that which doesn’t help me in the long term.

I guess one thing I should try to do is analyze why I am defaulting towards practices that are instant gratification. We all need time for leisure and independence and connection. Am I not getting them elsewhere in my day? Are there better ways I can get them?

Yeah, probably. I should look into that.

Year 38

Today, the 13th of October, marks another successful trip around the sun. Being closer to 40 than 35 is kind of a weird feeling, though not as scary as I thought it would be when I was in my 20’s. I think it would be easy to view this “mid-life” phase with some fear or regret or harmful reflection, but none of that comes naturally to me. Partly there are I few reasons that make it feel like I’m not actually halfway through my life.

I have had many overlapping lives, some of which have ended – though all have ripple effects in my current life. The simple math is to say, “hey, you’ll probably die around 80 and you are at 40, therefor your life is half lived, you are approaching the end, time is running out,” but that isn’t the right way to look at my life/lives for me.

I don’t think it is truly representative of the experiences I have left to include my time as a child. Certainly, the first 18 years of my life have little in common with the last 18 or the next 18. Hell, even my early 20’s aren’t really in my current life. Until I graduated college I was very much under the control of other people, I had very little autonomy, even though I was an adult. On the macro level I really only feel like I have been in my current life for about twelve years, and with another 40 ahead of me I feel rather young. How many awesome things am I going to experience in my 40’s, 50’s, 60’s, and beyond?!?! Every decade so far has been better than the last… hell, every few years have been better than the ones before. They haven’t been universal, across the board better but the overall experience continues to improve.

Beyond using my life after college as a metric, on a micro level I’ve had many lives. I spent ~3 in DC working for liberty-oriented non-profits, then I biked across the US (mostly) solo, I worked and lived in LA and met my partner, we biked around the US for a couple of years, and now I’m a home owner in Wilmington who works in housing policy and is training for my first marathon. In the next 20 years I may live in Omaha and/or Santa Fe and/or Belize. I may spend two weeks in SE Asia or write and publish erotica or start a hard cidery. If I’m overwhelmed about anything it isn’t my eventual death, it is the sheer number of awesome experiences that still may be before me.

So yes, with another turn of the Earth I’m excited. Each year has been a blessing filled with more memories than I can contain. Since last October I:

  • Had my five-year anniversary at Burning Man
  • Am currently in Alberta visiting my brother, sister-in-law, and nieces
  • Was given greater autonomy at work
  • Was visited by another brother and his wife
  • Went to the LEAF festival
  • Went to western Virginia with strangers who became friends
  • Spent New Years in Asheville
  • Began a number of exciting projects

I’m sure I’ll have a similar report in about 365 days. 😊

Day 3?: Slip and Fall

Well, it didn’t take long for me to miss three days of blogging. I have all the excuses in the world, some more valid than others, but the truth is I am just really out of the habit and it is difficult for me to get back into it. There are several practices in my life that I know are valuable but have trouble really making stick. Blogging, meditating, and weight training top the list.

Accountability definitely helps. I think that is why my running has been consistent lately, Anna and I have both been running together and that helps keep it going. I don’t have that same sort of accountability with anything else. Sometimes things just slip my mind and sometimes I just lack the motivation. I’m not sure how to find someone to give me little reminders and pushes for these other things. Though, the Noom app is helping with overall exercise and diet. Oh well, I’m going to keep pushing and trying, even if it feels like a Sisyphean task.