soos_mite_ah

Psychoanalyzing Myself

87 posts in this topic

I’ve been meaning to start a new journal because The Joy Journal is getting too long and I want a fresh start. I also came up with a better title for my journal after a couple months of starting my first journal. I originally went into that one not knowing where my journaling would lead and as a result, I didn’t really pick the best title and I caught myself cringing a little lol. But yeah I’m fixing that problem as well as giving myself a new start since the last journal has too many posts to where I even have trouble keeping up with it and organizing my thoughts.


I'm just here man.....

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Dealing with Collective Trauma

So it’s safe to say that after a year and a half of this pandemic that I have a few screws missing and that I have acquired a new flavor of crazy since 2019. The whole new variant thing is freaking me out tbh. I’m so tired of dealing with this stupid thing. And I’m not even the type of person who checks the news very often. If anything, I don’t check the news unless it’s necessary because I know this shit stresses me tf out.

And now I’m in school. I was driving to campus on Sunday and I ran into a bunch of protesters with signs saying “death to Fauci”, “1776 is stronger than 1984”, and people calling mask and vaccine mandates tyranny. Honestly, I can’t even say that I’m angry. I don’t have the energy to be angry anymore. All I did was sigh and say “oh god, this shit” under my breath. I’m just exhausted by this whole thing.

I also have a few classes where we end up discussing this pandemic a lot from an HR and corporate perspective. And so far I know that I have classes with a few anti-mask/ anti-vax people. Listen, I get that my college has an over all conservative leaning and that even if you identify as a liberal (much less a leftist), people are going to look at you like you sprouted a second head. But of all things, why does this shit have to be political. I can’t even say that I completely disagree with the *muh freedon* people. I’m just as tired as they are and I don’t want to deal with this stupid thing anymore. I empathize with their emotions. But it’s like… these are the sentiments that are causing this to prolong and mutate. And it’s just like….. can we not?!?!?!

It would be one thing if I had to deal with this for a few months. I think if that were the case I’d would be fine for the most part. But it’s different when you end up dealing with a prolonged stressor like this. And I’m not even the type of person who feels super emotionally impacted by current events long term. Yes, they do emotionally impact me but after a couple weeks I’m back to normal. And if that’s not the case, I simply put boundaries on the content I consume for a duration of time. But this shit….. this shit feels like it’s been lasting forever.

Like if there is anything I wish for, I would say that I wish a future version of me could travel back in time to this present moment and just tell me when this thing will end just so I have something to hold on to and count down from. Because a large part of the exhaustion is the feeling that this thing is never ending and trying to figure out how to deal with the uncertainty.  

And because I’ve been readjusting to the culture of this campus and now everyone else’s attitudes with this pandemic, I feel rather tired even though it’s only been 2 weeks. Time feels like it’s dragging on and in general my anxiety has been all over the place. I haven’t hit the ground running and I’m trying to be gentle with myself when it comes to this. But I do get this temptation to be more critical of myself especially because I’m surrounded by people who are rather cutthroat.


I'm just here man.....

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Liminal Stages 

So I got side tracked from my work and I started looking into this genre of memes that are often characterized as "weirdcore." One of the things I found there was the concept of liminal spaces. What are liminial spaces? Well they are spaces that we typically pass through to get to one place to another. As a result, because we aren't supposed to stay there too long, when we do stay and look around, since we aren't used to it, the whole experience just feels really creepy. In a way, it feels like you're in an alternate reality. And in a way you are because you are stopping at a transitional period between two different places/ realities. 

I found an article that explains the concept of liminal spaces really well. 

https://theludlowgroup.com/2018/05/31/why-do-liminal-spaces-feel-like-an-altered-reality/

Quote

Picture this.

The nearest clock strikes midnight, and you find yourself in the parking lot of an abandoned K-Mart, underneath the only lamp post that isn’t flickering. The store’s lot is full of potholes and cracks, all of which extend towards the neighboring lot, where an old Chinese buffet once stood. A little ways across the street, you spot a playground; raindrops from the most recent shower have collected on every inch of the playground. There isn’t anybody nearby, but if you listen closely enough, you can just envision the joyous screams of neighborhood kids clambering on the jungle gym.

A sensation of unease washes over your body, raising the hairs on the back of your neck, though you can’t exactly figure out why.

You’ll notice that, in certain spaces under certain circumstances, you’ll experience a feeling of things being slightly off. An altered reality, if you will. The most interesting thing about this is that this isn’t an uncommon occurrence. It’s a liminal space.

Liminal spaces are something that have always existed, but haven’t exactly had an official term. The appearance of the space in question isn’t what’s so fascinating about the liminal space. It’s the feelings that are created when a particular design is interacted with outside of its intended context.

The word “liminal” is derived from the Latin word “limens,” which means threshold. When you’re interacting with a liminal space, you’re quite literally standing on the threshold between two realities. For example, a rest stop on the highway is designed to be just that. A rest stop between your place of departure and your destination. These areas are not meant for you to stay in for very long. In this case, your realities are your place or origin and your destination, while the threshold is the journey, the rest stop included.

Once you step outside the rest stop’s intended purpose by staying for much longer than you usually would, you begin to experience the sensation of “reality shifting.” This sensation can occur in many places too: empty train stations, stairwells, schools during summer break, laundromats at night...the list goes on.

Perhaps the most interesting about liminal spaces is that our reaction to them is reflective of our dependency on functional design. Viewing a space within an accepted context is what we as humans innately look for; however, outside of that, in a liminal space, we lean away from it because it lacks context and purpose.

When it comes to design, we crave a rational explanation for the existence of a particular space and, when we can’t come up with one, we avoid it altogether.

 And here is a tumblr post that also explains this pretty well. I really like how it talks about how our brains are hardwired for context. 

liminal.png\

 Now, what about liminal stages. I think for me personally, I have been stuck in a liminal stage in my life. I feel like I have been in this awkward in between stage where I'm just waiting to step into who I'm supposed to be. This started in 2016. There is both a personal and collective element to this.

Personally, I lost a loved one during this time and because I saw this person on a daily basis, their absence was very existential crisis inducing. Their room still feels like a liminal space of sorts. The existential crisis really caused me to revaluate a lot of things in my life. But here's the thing, we aren't supposed to stay in this grief/ existential crisis for a long time. It's supposed to be a phase. 

And in a way it was. I can say that I have processed and moved on from this event. But soon after I was done grieving and I was ready to go back to my friend group, I realized that I changed as a person and that I no longer resonated with them anymore. That was difficult to go through and it was like I traded one type of grief for another. On top of that, I went through a phase of not having many friends or having a social circle. That isn't too weird and a lot of people pass through that stage. Except, this isn't a stage I passed through. I would say that I'm still in it. 
I thought this phase was going to end when I graduated high school and entered college. After all, I was going to be exposed to new people. But then I had a bunch of physical and mental health concerns kick in and I wasn't able to really put myself out there socially. Then, the moment I started feeling better, the pandemic hit and as a result I'm still dealing with social isolation. I lost my social circle around late 2017. It's late 2021 now. I've been in this liminal space of not having any friends for 4 years. 

The existential crisis from that death didn't pass either. It just morphed into a different kind of existential crisis. Once I finished grieving the death of a family member, I started grieving losing a lot of relationships. Once I finished that, I started having an existential crisis regarding wtf I'm doing with my life in college and how tf am I going to heal from my family issues. Once I finished dealing with a lot of my family issues, that was the moment I got dragged back in because of the pandemic. And now I'm dealing with and existential crisis regarding my academic issues, my family issues, and what life is going to look like for me in a couple years. 

Now for the collective side of things.

I know that when Trump got elected in 2016, people were talking about on how this whole thing feels like they stepped into an alternate timeline. We're just in an awkward place in history and this is simply a phase we will just pass through. BUT NO, SHIT GOT MUCH WEIRDER AS TIME WENT ON. So as a result, this isn't just some weird transition phase, it's a whole ass stage of it's own. 

Then we have the pandemic. Because you aren't going out and doing things, internally it feels like not much time has passed but externally time has gone by. The fact that it will be 2022 in a few months and 2020 would have been 2 years ago doesn't make much sense to me. There is the whole thing on how life is never going to be the same after the pandemic. With something like 9/11, life wasn't the same after that event and it did mark a transitional phase. But with the pandemic and how long it's dragging out, the fact that this thing isn't over yet feels like a liminal space. Also when the lockdowns were happening, a lot of spaces that used to be bustling with people were empty, thus doubling down on the whole liminal aspect of this time period.  

And the whole feeling of there not being an exit  and time feeling stagnant (that is talked about in this video) I feel is also applicable to my condition. This transition phase in my life, this pandemic, both feel never ending and kind of ominous. I'm going to explore this video more and a couple other ones and how it relates to this stage of my life. 

 


I'm just here man.....

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Clicking with People and Trying to Make Friends Part 1: Leftists  

So, I'm trying to build my life and socially get out of this liminal space. And I have made an observation as to whether or not I click with people and how that normally pans out. 

I'm so grateful that I clicked with my roommate and that we're good friends. It happened pretty quickly but really naturally in the sense that it didn't take long for either of us to feel comfortable around each other and we basically didn't have the awkward phase. And I was trying to pin down why exactly it was so effortless for me to become friends with them and why it's not the same with other people.  

I think it comes down to two things. The first is exactly how far left are they and the second is how comfortable with things outside of their comfort zone (I guess if you took the Big 5 (OCEAN) personality test into consideration it would be how high they score on the openness factor).  

I felt much more comfortable around this person when I found out that they were a leftist. I more or less got the sense that I could let loose politically in the sense that I could say what's on my mind, explain my takes on things, and not have to tip toe around conservative ideology or go into a whole explanation of where I was coming from. It made me realize just how much being a leftist is a part of my identity and how much of it affects my hobbies and interests. I'm very much related to anything that is related to the social sciences and a lot of those topics often have a leftist undertone to it. 

There was something about knowing that this person was a leftist that also made me feel more comfortable with being vulnerable around them. I think there is a correlation there for me when it comes to how far left they are on the political spectrum and how comfortable I am opening up to them emotionally. When I'm around conservatives, I guess there is a thing in my brain that kicks in and is like "well if they hold conservative views towards race, gender, sexuality, and economic issues, they are less likely to have a healthy outlook or to be emotionally validating when someone tries to open up about their personal lives." I think this comes from this subconscious knowing on how there is technically no such thing as a personal problem rather all of our problems are symptoms of systemic issues that affect us personally since our problems don't exist in a vacuum. And when your issues on a larger picture have to do with things like racism, sexism, homophobia, late stage capitalism, ableism etc. when you know that in the big picture that the person you're talking to doesn't give af, you're reluctant to open up to the smaller more personal side of things. Like for example, I'm not comfortable in engaging or even mentioning how I had to take a break from school because of the way the pandemic affected me and my family if I know the person I'm talking to doesn't even believe in masks and vaccines. 

I also have a few liberal friends who do agree with certain leftist talking points like health care for all, funding college education, dealing with wealth inequality, having higher wages, etc. but they aren't to the point where they see capitalism as the problem or see how it affects daily life (as in they are going through their hustle culture/ girl boss phase even though they aren't pushing that onto others). And while I am friends with them, I do enjoy being around them, and they are very supportive about my mental health regarding my family (especially since they have similar experiences with their parents), I don't feel comfortable with talking about the anxiety I feel searching for a job in this apocalyptic times. I have tried to talk about it and I'm sure they get where I'm coming from, but the moment I touched about my big picture thoughts on how this relates to capitalism, it just didn't click with them. I kind of got the vibe from them that was like *I get what you're saying but you're looking too much into this and you need to get back down to earth and be more practical when it comes to dealing with your personal issues.* I decided that I wasn't going to plop down my leftism just yet lol. Which I'm ok with. Sometimes you need that healthy stage orange to sit you down and tell you to come back down to earth when you've been spiraling about things like climate change and capitalism which are not exactly in your control. But at the same time, I felt this lack of connection and sense of emotional distance because of different world views. 

Then I have a few centrist acquaintances who I don't feel comfortable really talking about politics or a lot of my more unconventional interests around them. Basically it's the normal SpongeBob meme. I can generally get along with them but I don't feel comfortable fully being myself. I feel like I have to straight jacket myself and present this really vanilla version of my views and my life in general. 

normal spongebob.jpg

In conclusion as far as emotional openness and vulnerability for the sake of friendship is concerned, conservatives ignite my fight or flight response and centrists make me want to straight jacket myself. I'm comfortable with opening up to liberals about certain things but not totally so I tend to hold back my "craziest" thoughts and experiences. And when it comes to leftists, well I feel like I can be very authentic around them. 


I'm just here man.....

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Clicking with People and Trying to Make Friends Part 2: Scoring High on Openness  

1 hour ago, soos_mite_ah said:

I think it comes down to two things. The first is exactly how far left are they and the second is how comfortable with things outside of their comfort zone (I guess if you took the Big 5 (OCEAN) personality test into consideration it would be how high they score on the openness factor).  

Ok, so I've already discussed the whole leftist side of things and for the part 2 I'm going to talk about scoring high on openness. I guess before I get into that, it's important to talk about what exactly I mean by openness. I found a couple of good explanations of what I'm talking about: 

Quote

https://positivepsychology.com/big-five-personality-theory/

Openness to Experience

Openness to experience has been described as the depth and complexity of an individual’s mental life and experiences (John & Srivastava, 1999). It is also sometimes called intellect or imagination.

Openness to experience concerns people’s willingness to try to new things, their ability to be vulnerable, and their capability to think outside the box.

Common traits related to openness to experience include:

  • Imagination;
  • Insightfulness;
  • Varied interests;
  • Originality;
  • Daringness;
  • Preference for variety;
  • Cleverness;
  • Creativity;
  • Curiosity;
  • Perceptiveness;
  • Intellect;
  • Complexity/depth.

An individual who is high in openness to experience is likely someone who has a love of learning, enjoys the arts, engages in a creative career or hobby, and likes meeting new people (Lebowitz, 2016a).

An individual who is low in openness to experience probably prefers routine over variety, sticks to what he or she knows, and prefers less abstract arts and entertainment.

Quote

https://www.testgorilla.com/blog/how-to-interpret-the-results-of-a-big-5-ocean-assessment/

Openness

The openness trait reflects how willing your candidate is to explore new opportunities and ideas within your organization. The score they receive will determine how ‘inquisitive’ they are in new situations, and how open they are to new ideas.

High openness score – If they receive a high score in the ‘openness’ category, your candidates are willing to take new experiences in their stride. They can be highly creative, bringing new ideas to the table, and often use their imagination to make positive changes in the work environment. A candidate with a high openness score will cope well with changes at work but will struggle with repetitive, mundane tasks that lack creativity and require logic. 

Low openness score – If your candidates receive a low openness score, however, they typically prefer methodical and logical approaches to their work. They are also less likely to embrace change, preferring to maintain the status quo in terms of their work style. 

I wouldn't necessarily say it's bad to score low on openness. People who score low on openness tend to be conservative, more methodical, and logical which can be really important in certain settings. But personally, I find it kind of difficult to connect to people who score low on openness. And this was an observation I made before I found out about this test. The test and the description of openness helped me better articulate my observations. 

There have been instances where I have talked to people about things related to art, society, and big picture ideas. I was thinking that I'm taking a topic that came up during small talk and going deeper with it, therefore allowing the other person to engage with the topic more so we can get to know one another. Normally this type of thing works and it helps me out a lot in social situations. I tried to pull this in the business school once with a few people I was in class with and I could tell that they couldn't care less about what I was talking about and low key wished I shut up. 

But when you take the trait of openness into consideration, things just made more sense. In that same class, we had to take the OCEAN test and the class average for openness was pretty low (I think it was in the 20s out of a 100) and I scored pretty high (I think I scored an 85). And at that moment, I was like *well no fucking shit I didn't resonate with these people!* I was approaching a conversation based on what I, someone who scores high on openness, thought would make a conversation interesting. 

Now, I can't have everyone I meet take the OCEAN test. But generally, I feel like you can get a feel for the level of openness someone has based on talking to them similar to how you can tell whether a person is an introvert or extrovert. For example, when it came to my roommate, just from talking to them for a little bit I got a sense that they were pretty high on openness. They came across as very eccentric. This person loves to collect little knick knacks, sows and crochets in their free time, loves to cook, has traveled to many countries, is majoring in philosophy and human rights, and lived in Japan for a few years. And best of all, they are so unapologetic about that even though they know that they'd probably be considered rather weird, eccentric, and intense in the eyes of others. Them being so forward with their "weirdness" (I'm putting this in quotes because none of the things I listed about them falls under the category of weird though some people will definitely see them as unconventional and as a result lump them into the weird category) made me comfortable about my own weirdness. And being comfortable with my weirdness and eccentricities is a huge part of me feeling like I can be emotionally vulnerable with someone. Because I know they can take it and I know they won't pass judgment. 

Although me and this person don't have much in common as far as hobbies and interests go, because we are both really high on openness, we both enjoy watching the other nerd out about something and talk about something for +15 minutes straight. I once spent a solid hour listening to this person talk about how much they love to cook, all the different dishes they enjoy making, and all of the different foods they enjoy. Even though I didn't have much to add to this conversation, because I'm really open, I just soaked all of that in like a sponge and simply enjoyed being. They also watched me nerd out about different topics regarding the social sciences and my observations on how our school worked as a social system. 

Overall, we just a general mutual understanding of each other and we look at things in a similar way as far as open-mindedness and curiosity goes.  


I'm just here man.....

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Gen Z Crackhead Humor 

So my roommate brought to my attention that there is an official term to Gen Z crackhead humor and that it's basically the new wave of dadaism 

A really good example are weirdcore memes, particularly the me and the boys at 2 am looking for BEANS: 

dada.png

The whole point of dadaism is that it makes absolutely no sense, it's chaotic, and kind of dark. 

Weirdcore aside, I'd say that this form of humor is also pretty mainstream. I found a video a while back that did an analysis on it. 

And then we have these two comments that are near the top of this video that I feel sums things up pretty well. 

"This generation's humor is literally just a re-birth of dadaism. This humor was weird and dark and no one found it funny except for that generation. This humor was really popular during the Great Depression and World War 2. There is also fatalistic humor that is super popular now as well. I like to say that the type of humor shows what a generation has gone through. The darker the time the darker the humor. It doesn't surprise me that during this time of political, economical, social and environmental unrest that the generation would cope with insanely bizarre humor. Super fascinating, especially as someone who's a part of it."

""over the top humor, a little bit of depression, with a side of silliness" is actually the most accurate sentence i've ever heard about this generation and it's fcking floored me" 

And though this video and these comments were posted 2 years ago, I feel like the whole chaotic vibe of the world and of the humor just intensified since then. Honestly, I don't know wtf is happening or where tf it's going and sometimes I catch myself going into doomer spirals and the only thing to get me out of it is this fatalistic form of crack head humor. 

I also found these two video really interesting when it comes to analyzing dadaism in general as well as how it deals with leftist politics

 


I'm just here man.....

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Reflections: July 2020- March 2021 

I was looking over my past journal posts during this time and I was reflecting on the things that are similar and different from back then to now. I do feel like I have grown and I have worked through a lot of things which has resulted in some of the following: 

  • Learning how to take better care of my health specifically when it comes to my diet and my attitude towards food
  • Learning how to be gentle, nonjudgmental, and patient with my self 
  • Learning how to deal with shame 
  • A more complex world view when it comes to dealing with my own issues as well as learning how to deal with others 
  • More self acceptance specifically when it comes to my negative emotions, hobbies and interests, and how I navigate social situations (you don't have to click with everyone). 
  • Dismantling hang ups around competence and productivity 
  • Dealing with limiting beliefs around money and where I'm going to be in the future 
  • Letting go of the attachment to detachment 
  • Having a better relationship with self help and self development 
  • A greater capacity for vulnerability 
  • A redefinition of my priorities and learning how to stop comparing yourself to others 
  • Dealing with my spiritual ego and taking a break from spirituality in order to come back down to earth 
  • Developed my writing skills and gained more confidence in my writing 

Of course this isn't everything. I kind of skimmed my own journal and didn't go into too much detail to really analyze myself (thinking of doing that later  though). And even though I can't say that I am a whole lot happier, I can say that I do feel more stable and that I mentally feel like my world view internally and externally is more complex and more matured. I feel like a lot of things I was discovering about myself and about life in general during this time feels kind of like common sense now because of how embodiment works. In other words, I currently feel like the expanding brain meme: big brain.png

I think this also goes along with the whole concept of "if you decide to be 1% better everyday, in one years time you would be 38x better than your current self." It's basically on how growth compounds. I can't say that I feel like who I am now is 38x better than who I was 6 months to a year ago, but I do feel the growth compounding.  Gonna be honest, I'm not sure to what extent other people notice or to what extent I'm deluding myself. 

Though I have grown a lot of ways, I did still stagnate in pretty big ways. Like my previous self:

  • I still crave stability and a quiet/ boring / almost mediocre life. 
  • I still have issues with procrastination. I still don't really know what I'm doing with my life and what my next steps will be after graduation.
  • I still have a degree of social anxiety in the way I see myself as the weird kid.
  • I still have issues with confidence because I feel insecure about my abilities and my intelligence and I have a sense of imposter syndrome.
  • I still doubt myself a lot and I am still sometimes victim to doomer spirals because of how the world is.

Idk, there is a part of me that feels like I achieved a lot of the smaller goals but I didn't achieve a lot of the bigger goals I made a point to accomplish. And I'm not sure what that says about me or my path to growth. In a way, I feel like the fact that I didn't set out to achieve what I originally wanted diminishes what I did accomplish.  But then again, I do tend to accomplish a lot when I'm supposed to be doing something else. I really don't know how far I've come tbh. 


I'm just here man.....

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Redefining Common Points of Self Improvement

If you have been consuming self help content long enough, or hell even if you aren't super into self help (you probably encountered this anyway because people who do these things don't stfu about it) and you're trying to optimize your habits and life style, chances are you probably ran into some or all of the following: 

  • The benefits of waking up at 5 am 
  • Clean eating through a restrictive diet either through juice cleansing, keto, veganism, etc. 
  • Working out everyday for an hour 
  • Bettering your social skills 
  • Reading a book every week for a year

And while all of these things are important, I think it's important to acknowledge the people who no matter how hard they try, they simply can't sustain that habit. And no I'm not going to put the blame on a lack of vision, a lack of discipline, laziness, or ego backlash. I don't think our human nature is something we need to fight rather it's something that we need to work with to find what is optimal for us individually. 

Waking Up at 5 am:  

Take the benefits of waking up at 5 am for example. I stg I always run into people telling me about the benefits of waking up early, getting a head start on the day and whatever the fuck. I also have a shitty sleep schedule 90% of the time. However, it's only a shitty sleep schedule because it doesn't conform to the whole "early bird get the worm" concept. I have nevertheless tried to do the whole wake up at 5 am every day thing and it wasn't feasible for me. So here is what I do instead. 

Instead of focusing on what time I wake up, I focus on the amount of sleep I get in the night. To me, even if say I go to sleep at 2 am and wake up at 10am, that's still better for me personally than going to sleep at 12am and waking up at 5am. That's part of the reason why waking up at 5 am was so unsustainable for me. I could keep it up for like 3 weeks but after that, I would've racked up on my sleep debt which is the amount of sleep you didn't get in a certain period of time which then piles up and starts affecting you emotionally and physically. Then, to recover from that, I would sleep for like 12-13 hours one day and then all of my "progress" would've gone out the window and my sleep schedule would get messed up. I guess the easiest solution is to go to bed sooner so I do get in my 7-8 hours before waking up at 5 am. But that would mean that I would have to go to sleep at 10 or 9pm which doesn't even make sense to me. Unless I'm going through something where I'm adjusting for time differences, it's very unlikely that I can go to sleep that early in the day, even if I take exhaustion into consideration. No matter how tired I am, I can't go to sleep before 11:30. Normally, my sleep schedule is that I fall asleep sometime between 12-1am. And I decided that I'm going to work with that instead of against it. I can normally focus on 6-8 hours of sleep (6 given I'm not doing that everyday) so if I go to sleep at 12 am, I'm probably going to still be able to wake up at 7-8, 6 if we are pushing it. And to me, it's much more important to consider what I do during my time awake than to see what time I wake up. Like regardless of what time I wake up, the same shit gets done anyway in a timely manner. Sure some days it drags on more in the night, but that works for me because I'm a night owl. 

My point is that productivity doesn't look the same for everyone. I'm still productive even when I wake up at  10-11am  during the weekend and for the longest time I didn't recognize that because everyone painted that off as laziness or saw it as a sign of me being undisciplined. It made me feel like something was wrong with me and that this was a symptom of my sleep schedule being messed up which then I would try to over correct during the week by waking up early, thus causing me to be sleep deprived by the time the weekend comes along, and therefore causing me to mess up my sleep schedule even more. Being a night owl aside, I do have some checks so that I don't go off the rails and start falling asleep at 4 am and waking up at 12 pm. I make sure that I have like an 8 am or 9 am class (despite literally everyone advising against it) so that I'm forced to wake up. In those cases, I don't need all that much will power because the sense of responsibility caries me. And plus, I'm probably going to have to wake up accordingly when I start work after graduating anyways. 

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Clean Eating:

I'm not going to get too into this because I have an entire journal dedicated to it and my journey but this is my over all take. Eat what genuinely makes you happy and feel good and have a healthy relationship with food. That means, instead of focusing on all of the things you can't eat, focus on the things that you can and you are excited to eat.  And you can do this while taking dietary restrictions into account. For example, if you are trying to cut out meat, don't focus on the steak that you can't eat, focus on eating whatever vegan or vegetarian dish you really enjoy. Or if you hate drinking celery juice in the morning, don't drink celery juice. There are plenty of other options out there when it comes to eating healthy. You can explore different cultures and flavors, and figure out what really works for you. Because if you genuinely enjoy a lifestyle and it's easy you're going to keep doing it. Feeling like you need to restrict 90% of food and eating chicken and brown rice isn't going to help. All it's going to do is make you feel deprived, cause you to binge, and then you're going to feel even worse about yourself. 

Also, if you have a craving, just let yourself eat the damn thing. Because the more you restrict and the more you moralize on food, the more you end up craving it and the more you'll binge when you get the opportunity to eat it because you built up this novelty/ guilty pleasure around it. Eventually, after giving in to it enough times, you'll start seeing the food more neutrally and you're going to get tired of it, meaning it's going to be easier to make healthy decisions because now everything is on the same playing field. It's pretty counter intuitive tbh. 

Additionally, take your environment into consideration. If things are out of sight, they are out of mind and the better you're at dealing with environmental concerns, the less you have to exert willpower and the more sustainable the whole thing is going to be. Sometimes it can be as simple as taking a different route to work or school or switching the grocery store that you get your food at. But of course, this is going to depend on an individual basis but yeah, do things that are sustainable to your environment and be empathetic to yourself in that regard. 

Finally, something that a lot of diets don't take into consideration when marketing to people is how the diet affects people mentally. It's so important to take your body image into consideration as well as your overall relationship to food and emotional eating. Those have a huge impact on your diet and can make or break whether or not a certain way of eating is going to be healthy for you. It's important because you don't want to overcorrect on something and causing more issues than results or you don't want to focus on the wrong issue and dig yourself into a hole. 

Basically, find foods that you like and that are good for you and eat those on a regular basis, let yourself have cravings without moralizing them, and take care of your mental health. 

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Working Out Everyday: 

Similar to the healthy eating, do exercises that you genuinely enjoy so you have the motivation to keep doing them. For me that is strength training and if I don't want to go to the gym, it's either dancing around in my room for an hour like a crack head or going on a walk while being lost in my thoughts. If you enjoy sports, do that. Make exercise a social thing that is enjoyable. I remember seeing a post a few days ago on how the reason why we end up disliking exercise as an adult is because we take the fun out of it and we put all of these standards as to how we're supposed to look onto it. Like if you think about it, you don't have to motivate a child to go out and be active. And I believe that there is something we can learn from that. 

Also, building in exercise into your normal routine helps. This is going to be different for everyone but because I live on campus, I have to walk everywhere so as a result I probably walk 2 miles a day or so. I honestly just count that as my exercise. I also worked a job not too long ago where I was always on my feet and had to lift heavy things so my work out was automatically taken care of. And again, even when neither of those things were at play, I still made time to dance like crack head in my room because it simply sparks joy. I also have some active friends who enjoy going hiking on some Sundays  (this honestly started because of the pandemic) so I do that too. Basically, build it into your schedule so that you don't feel like you're going out of your way to do things. You want things to be in the flow of what you're doing. Again, work with yourself, not against yourself. Self control is overrated. 

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Bettering your social skills 

I think before getting started on this goal, it's important to take into consideration what exactly you mean by bettering your social skills. I'm going to be talking from my own experience but I always had this certain image in my head of what having social skills and being socially competent looks like. And that image is someone who is incredibly outgoing, clicks with everyone, and is the life of the party. I always found myself falling short of that and then I decided that I was going to redefine what it means to have decent social skills. Because not everyone is going to be the life of the party and honestly thank god because that would be waaaay too overwhelming. Instead, I think we should have more of an emphasis on learning to be vulnerable and authentic, learning how the empathize with people personally and systemically, being socially informed and learning how to act accordingly in a way that is assertive and empathetic. It's learning how be confident without being egotistical, to learn how to advocate for ourselves and have boundaries, to learning how to navigate different contexts, different power dynamics, different types of relationships, and different situations. Not to mention it's about being self aware and socially aware to where you can read the room.  You don't have to be over the top assertive, out going or for a lack of a better way of putting it "being alpha." Just because you are those things, doesn't meant that you're socially competent. We know people who are outgoing, who click with everyone, and who are the life of the party but are pretty insufferable because of their lack of self awareness. 

And because I had this limited image and I never measured up to it, for a long time I thought there was something wrong with me socially. No I still don't click with everyone, but I do know how to deal with different people in different contexts and I do know what to look out for to find my own tribe. No, I'm still not super outgoing, but I am still confident in myself and I know how to step back, evaluate a situation, and act accordingly.  And no, I'm not the life of the party and honestly, it's probably because I'm not a party person anyways and I prefer to watch a movie with a couple of friends and just talk for the rest of the night. And when I finally let go of this image of what social competence looks like, it was honestly a weight that was lifted off my shoulders in terms of the ways I judge and critique myself. 

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Reading a Book Every Week for a Year 

I think this is one of those things you need to really look at what your actual goal is. Because if you want to be more informed and knowledgeable of the world, there are plenty of ways you can do that. You can read the news, you can listen to podcasts and audio books during your commute or doing chores, you can watch commentary channels that analyze different trends in society and pop culture, and you can go out and talk to people and have worthwhile conversations to name a few things. You can do a lot of things that are going to compel you to grow and compel you to have a more complex and informed view of reality. You don't have to limit yourself to reading a book every week as the only medium. Because when we over prioritize the goal of getting a book done every week, we lose out on our actual intentions and we overlook the process and whether or not that is sustainable for us. And in some cases  we end up like Tai Lopez who goes around talking about KnOWledGE and bragging about the number of books he keeps in his garage with his Lamborghini when in reality, he just reads the spark notes and summaries without actually applying or integrating any of the knowledge. 


I'm just here man.....

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Feeling Profoundly Stupid 

If there is anything that college did it is make me feel stupider than when I first started. Studying a lot of the topics I'm interested in really made me realize exactly how half baked and partial my takes were and how I don't have enough information to do... well... anything for sure. The pandemic certainly didn't help because it took any amount of planning I had and chucked it right out the window into the void. I really can't say I know anything anymore. 

I think leaving college feeling stupider and less confident on your own takes is basically the Dunning-Kreger effect where the smarter you are, the more you realize how much you don't know. And then as a result, all of the smart people are self aware enough to realize on the grand scheme of things that they are actually stupid while all the stupid people tend to think that they are absolute geniuses. It's kind of how Trump goes to the NATO summit and starts talking about how he is "a stable genius" when he is actually probably the most unhinged mf that held office in the U.S. 

I have fallen into excess when it comes to this feeling of stupidity. Sometimes, rather than manifesting as humility and strategically standing back to get more information in order to carefully take action, it manifests as self doubt. self criticism, and feeling like I should stay quiet and not assert myself. After all, how could we say we know anything at all for sure? How could we say that we aren't bias and the factors we are looking at to come to a decision is something we are doing impartially and truthfully? How could we say that out methodology and our perception is to be trusted if the questions themselves have a degree of bias?  How could we ever say we know what lies up ahead when there a ton of factors that don't even cross the radar until it's too late?  How could we ever say that what we are doing is the right thing to do? 

And I'm not even talking about *oh everything must be relative, there is no absolute truth.* That can be a factor at times yes but when it comes to absolute truth, I feel like it's very unlikely that you will ever grasp it fully because it is by nature infinite. We can only have our own little piece of infinity if we look hard enough, but we can't have the whole thing, at least not all at once in this life time. 

All of that aside, coming back down to Earth, I feel incredibly stupid like 90% of the time in my classes and when it comes to making sustainable life decisions. I'm confused like all of the time and I feel like I do encounter an information over load in my head every so often. My head hurts and my soul feels like it doesn't have certain, solid ground to stand on. 


I'm just here man.....

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Being Pushed in a Certain Direction 

So I began talking to one of my professors regarding what kinds of jobs should I look into and just in general wtf I should do with my life when I graduate and how tf I'm supposed to navigate all of that. Basically, he was like, *given what you told me about your interests, I think in the long run you would be good in a mentoring or counseling role when it comes to business and HR where you work one on one with people to develop their career and personal/professional development.* And even though that idea does sound nice, in the back of my mind, I sensed my lizard brain doing an eye roll where it's all like *this again.*

A month ago I went to a astrology person to get my birth chart read so I can get an idea of wtf is happening in my life and where all of this was leading because I was having an existential crisis. When I asked about my career, this lady told me on how I'm apparently destined to be self employed and run some mentorship/ life coaching/ psychic healing by sharing the healing I did for myself to the world. 

Then you have a bunch of people on this website who also have their own coaching/spiritual thing going on and I'm also around a lot of people who want to get into the mental health field. Bruh.... even my therapist lowkey wonders if I'm studying psychology on the side because of the way I tend to analyze myself during sessions. One time she even joked about on how she doesn't feel like she has to do much and give a little guidance here and there because sessions with me is basically her watching me get my life together and come up with my own solutions and insights on the spot. 

I guess the reason why I'm resistant to this idea of me being some type of healer, counselor, or life coach is because it feels like the path of least resistance in a certain way. Like, it doesn't feel like something that I actively chose rather it was something that seemed like the natural progression of my skills, life experiences, and my social circle. I kind of also feel basic for thinking about going into this kind of field because according to my surroundings, it feels like everyone is doing that. Also, the idea of having to go get a PhD in psychology doesn't seem appealing to me, nor does the passion I have for becoming a therapist outweigh all things I would encounter in the process. Finally, I have entertained the thought of becoming a life coach or a therapist in the past but I had this intuition to just not do that because I got the feeling that this motivation for wanting to be  a healer/counselor/ life coach might not be coming from the healthiest place. I've been considered the therapist friend for as long as I can remember and I know that was rather dysfunctional. While I'm not the therapist friend anymore and I have since worked on the issues that was causing this, there is a part of me that is nervous about this career path doubling down on my negative tendencies. 

All of this feel like I'm being pushed in a certain direction. I don't think that anyone who is suggesting this is doing so with bad intentions rather I do think they are pointing at similar things because they all notice certain qualities in me. I kind of feel like this meme.

 I can't read.png

I also think that the dynamic of feeling like I'm being pushed in a certain direction is itself something that I'm resistant to.  

I also like this video. It honestly just feels like content section of the life purpose course in a nutshell. 

From 2-6 minutes, he basically talks about how people tend to be really monkey-see-monkey do and how they tend to go with the first options that are in front of them and how that can be incredibly limiting as to what your future job can be because you're so focused on the specifics of what traditionally consists of a career. I also felt really seen when he brought up on how because both of his parents are doctors and because 3 out of the 5 brown kids he grew up with also turned out to be doctors, that going into medicine felt very natural to him. While I'm not surrounded by doctors in my community, that was the path that my mom really pushed me towards because it was seen as this ideal in my community. And while I don't see that many aspiring doctors, pretty much all of the brown people I associate with are doing something that is science related. When I noticed the majority of my peers going into a certain category of jobs, I couldn't help but question the authenticity of those choices. Don't get me wrong, by knowing and talking to these people, I know there is that self motivation and that desire to go into these fields but it's just like, if there wasn't something in the larger picture driving this, then why are people disproportionately attracted to STEM? To what extent is this the product of conditioning and to what extent is this just the path of least resistance because it's one of the few options you were given? 

And even as someone who isn't majoring in STEM, as a business major, since my parent's and a lot of their friends don't know much about all the thing you can do with a business degree, everyone just assumes that I'm going to be working in banking, consulting, or accounting. I definitely feel this push towards that direction even on a university level since a lot of the people I have classes with want to go in that direction. But it just doesn't resonate with me and I don't even know where to start because I haven't been exposed to that many options. Like, I would say this pretty much sums things up: 

Some random aunty or uncle: Oh so you're in college? What are you studying? Engineering, medicine, or computer science? 

Me: Actually I'm double majoring in finance and international relations. 

Random aunty or uncle: So what do you want to do with that degree? Banking, consulting, or accounting? 

Me internally: *bruh... this is the same shit in a different font. What's with yall and having only 3 options*

Me: I don't know yet. 

Random aunty or uncle: You should go to grad school as soon as you graduate while you still have that motivation.

Me: I don't think that's a good idea since I don't know what kind of career I want. I really think I should work for a few years and get an idea before I commit a lot of time, energy, and most importantly money to grad school. Plus I need a way to pay for grad school so there's that. 

Random aunty or uncle: *goes on a lecture on how I'll never get a job with a bachelors degree and how I'm making shitty life decisions and how their kid is going to med school*

Me: ???

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Person: You know, you're really empathetic, self aware and good at giving life advice. You should be a therapist. Or since you're getting business degree, go into HR. 

Me sorting through my own childhood trauma because I didn't have access to mental healthcare growing up: ???

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Person: You know, you're really good at creating arguments and advocating for social issues. I think you should go into law. 

OR 

Parents: You  know, you should be a lawyer since you are so good at arguing (because you can't exactly call your 10 year old a smartass). Your grandpa was also a lawyer. 

Me hating the idea of law school because it feels like it would basically be learning about the terms and conditions for 3 years:

???

 

 

And on the video, around 8:30 to around 13:00,  I also really like the idea of having a competing interest which is where you have a vision you're passionate about to where the sucky parts of the journey seem worth it. At 12:00 he talks about how a lot of people choose a career because it's logical and good on paper and thinking about all of the things you *should* do isn't enough to overcome the suffering you have to go through for the career. That's basically my whole thing.

Whenever someone presents me with one of the handful of career options that I talked about above, there isn't anything that really motivates me to go out and get the qualifications and jump through all of the hoops because deep down inside... I really don't care. Like the whole thing feels really annoying and exhausting and I would rather just not. But of course, I never say any of that out loud because then I would labeled as lazy, unambitious, and idealistic. The video towards the end talks about how it's not that you don't have anything that you're passionate about rather it's probably buried because of your life circumstances and therefore it's important to work on yourself and take care of yourself. And that's basically the position that I feel like I'm in right now.  

Edited by soos_mite_ah

I'm just here man.....

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Getting Back Into the Flow of Things

I haven't been posting so much in this last week because school just hit me out of nowhere. I had 3 meetings with my professor, a paper due, an exam, and a bunch of other stuff that isn't pertained to work directly but still effects it. I was being pulled in all types of directions. 

As far as academics goes, I'm relieved and also really proud of myself for getting everything done while still managing to take care of myself and take care of my mental health. I mean, compared to last time I was at school, I think I'm doing much better this time around. And I also think having things to do helped me regain some agency and some sense of control in my life. I got this sense of *hey, I guess this is what it means to be normal and functioning.*

Socially, I did manage to connect with people. I can't say that they were deep connections but I will say that after interacting with people, I felt more like an actual person. I feel like isolation left me feeling like a hermit in gremlin mode. I definitely feel like I'm slowly switching back and returning to my normal self. It's taking a minute. When you have lived a certain way for a few years, it takes a while to deal with it because of the built up inertia. I think also a part of me forgot that I do, in fact, have a personality and that I'm able to interact with people. I know that sounds a little dramatic but I guess I just haven't been embracing this part of myself in awhile and it needs some dusting off. And by it's taking time, I don't mean to say that I'm awkward and it's difficult for me to open up. If anything, for me personally, I'm surprised that's not happening. Rather, I mean that I'm just not that used to exerting this much energy into connecting with people because in the last few years I'm so used to directing that energy to connect back to myself. This change has been refreshing but it does take some getting used to since I am dealing with breaking down and readjusting old habits here. 

Getting through this week basically made me think *well I guess I can handle things.* This week has been messy and chaotic but I think a couple more weeks of me being consistent with my efforts should do the trick to where weeks like this are much more streamlined because I'm used to it again. I can't say that I'm where I was at at February 2020 but I can say that I'll probably get to that point by the end of this semester. 


I'm just here man.....

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Elements of Doomer Mentality 

I've been really enjoying a lot of HealthyGamer GG's content. As someone who gets into doomer spirals, even though I don't find myself completely consumed by doomer mentality, I did find this video to be rather insightful since I am trying to understand this part of myself more and how to effectively deal with it. I made a thread about my own doomer mentality not too long ago: 

I really like on how this video validates the emotions behind the doomer mentality, sees that it isn't just something that is born from a bunch of cognitive biases, and how these are rational responses to a lot of people's life experiences and the way that past generations have tried to guide current generations. This is a post I'm planning on making later but the spiritual community is sometimes prone to toxic positivity because everything is good, love, and light. Sure I suppose on some absolute level that's true but telling someone that they should just see these events as part of absolute good can be pretty gaslighting to the pain that the individual is experiencing. And that doesn't help someone move towards acceptance of the situation nor does it help them accept their own negative feelings which ultimately becomes another blockage and point of resistance to their psyche. 

One of the points that really sticks out to me is how a lot of the doomer mentality comes down to elements of uncertainty, isolation, and lack of agency. While I don't really relate to the situations that a lot of the people on this video were talking about,  I think for my particular case and my experience of the pandemic, these elements really do show up. I don't know what I'm going to do after college. I don't know how long this is going to go on. I don't know how things are going to be like on the other side. I have had to deal with a lot of isolation during my self help journey. Much of that was intentional but during the pandemic, a lot of it was thrusted onto me. Which then leads to the whole lack of agency part especially when it comes to living with my parents for so long and dealing with other systemic issues that impacts my outcomes. 

I think a lot of it also comes from unfulfilled promises from previous generations and how late stage capitalism is playing out, how we don't know how tf we are going to get people to get on board to care about climate change, how we are more isolated from each other because we have to work most hours of our waking day only to be too tired to do anything else, and how systemically a lot of people are trapped in situations that they can't really leave because they have to pay the bills and survive.

 


I'm just here man.....

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Envy, COVID, and Rich Conservative White Kids 

I think that the culture shock I have been experiencing since coming back to school along with my general pandemic angst had calmed since I moved out of my parent's house. I have been meaning to do this post but I have been having issues with getting myself to write because the initial emotions that were driving me to write have mostly died down. Nevertheless, I think it's important to write about this because even though the emotional intensity isn't there anymore, I want to also make sure I don't have any baggage left over either. 

When it comes to dealing with the pandemic, because of the place I go to school, I'm surrounded by rich conservative white kids who don't really care about the pandemic (since they are the main ones not being affected by it) and basically treat it as a minor inconvenience. I guess this time would have been easier if I decided to go elsewhere for my education because I could easily distance myself from their experiences. I think the main thing at play here is how Contrapoints talks about the proximity effect as it relates to envy. Basically, we are more likely to envy people we are close to or people we have resemblance to because those people represent a version of us, a version of what could have been if the circumstances were right. With these rich conservative white kids, not only do I have more geographical proximity to them where I'm constantly being reminded on how they don't give af about the pandemic, but also there is this sense of proximity that comes from all of us going to the same school. In my little lizard brain, it doesn't matter that we are all on different playing fields and that it would be unfair for me to compare myself to them. Optically, we are in the same playing field. 

I'm at the point where I basically have to avoid social media. Every time I open it I just get reminded on how in these last couple years, everyone has still been living fairly normal lives and have been going about their lives with little to no disruption. They are reaching milestones, both personal and professional, as if the pandemic never happened. Meanwhile, the opposite has been happening to me where my world was turned upside down, I had a health crisis, I was pushed into a toxic household, and I have financial issues due to this whole thing. I didn't get the opportunity to get out and live a normal life. 

Normally, it would just end there but in this case I do see more resentment bubbling up with this attitude of "if I had to put my life on pause to deal with this stupid thing and I couldn't live a normal life, then no one should be able to live a normal life." And I think part of it is because if people just stayed their ass at home and got vaccinated like they were supposed to, then maybe we wouldn't have a continuation of this situation now would we. 
Not only do I envy their lack of awareness and their selfishness in this whole situation but also the privilege they have to be unaware and selfish. I can't even go out to a small gathering of people without feeling like a terrible person. Crowds and parties are out of question and are to an extent anxiety inducing. I guess technically I could have started going out since April or so but again, it's a whole moral and survival conflict. Also, I remember back in February and March of this year I would see people on social media posting about parties, going out, and travelling without masks. And it's like.... I know damn well that these hoes weren't vaccinated because my family and I tried to get the vaccine as early as possible and we didn't get it until April. But then again, the vaccine really doesn't matter to a lot of people there. I also have classes with some of them and I have had to listen to a few anti-vax rants. I also ran into a protest near my school of a bunch of anti-vax people a couple weeks ago with people holding up signs of how Fauci is a fraud, how vaccines don't work, and how this is all tyranny. So that was fun to deal with smh.

I'm also still scared of catching something and then giving it to my parents. That's another thing, my parents are on the older end so I have to be extra cautious and responsible. Rich conservatives aside, I know a lot of people who are my age and who have really young parents (as in their parents had them in their teens and now their parents are still in their mid-late 30s) and they had the opportunity to be much more carefree about this whole thing because the stakes are much lower for them. When it comes to my parents however, if one of them catches COVID, they are basically done for. And it's just wild to me that a lot of these people can take road trips and go to social gatherings  (not shaming them, I'm pretty sure they are following guidelines) because it's like I'm living in a different reality. 

I wish I had the privilege of being unaware. I guess part of me does see these rich conservative white kids as an alternate version of myself, an alternate version that doesn't have a care in the world and is still living their best life as if nothing happened. It makes me think of what my life would've looked like in the last year and a half had the pandemic never occurred. Sure I'm not thinking of yacht party, but I am thinking about finding a close group of friends, growing socially, studying abroad, and having my career figured out for the most part. I'm thinking about saving time from not dealing with the trauma that my home situation, my academic situation, and my health situation.  There is a part of me that thinks of the person I saw myself about to become back in February 2020 and then that being cut short.

There is a part of me that wishes I was selfish enough to make the choice to not live with my parents this time last year. I'm convinced that was one of the main components for me to basically lose my mind. My whole thought process for that decision was that I need to be responsible and safe and so I should stay at home instead of returning back to campus. Sure living with my parents is mentally draining, but it's better than putting other people at risk and dealing with the constant anxiety of being on campus without the vaccine. Plus, my parent's probably couldn't deal with the mental stress of me being on campus with all of this going on. I could also put them in danger. I prioritized all of this in exchange of my mental wellbeing. And I feel like I didn't get much in return by making the right decision. If anything, I got punished for it. While I have since worked through the shame and the resentment I had towards myself for making this decision due to the outcomes, I still have a degree of resentment towards people who deny this whole situation and act as if the pandemic is a hoax. In a way, it's almost as if their ignorance and denial of the situation is like a denial of my pain and my experiences. 


I'm just here man.....

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HealthyGamerGG 

I'm really enjoying HealthyGamerGG's content at the moment and I'm binging his videos.  I have watched a number of other videos as well and I find myself relating tp or getting bits and pieces of insight. I am aware that this is going to sound cocky but it's kind of reassuring to see someone who is  in a similar situation as you used to be get the same advice that you have come to terms with in your own journey whether the conclusions were things you have come to or you came to with a therapist. It's kind of like walking a path that you aren't really sure about your way around and then later on see someone take the same path and go through the same milestone markers that indicate that they are (and as a result you are) on the right path if that makes sense. 

Nevertheless, these are a couple that I find myself really resonating with. The first reminds me of something that I was unpacking this time last year and the second reminds me of something that I was unpacking in the last 6 months or so. 

 


I'm just here man.....

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I really need to learn how to trust myself, my abilities, and my instincts more. As great it is to question everything and take your thought process into account, I think I'm going too far on the other end. I need to develop a solid sense of self trust and confidence because I can see myself ending up in some pretty terrible situations if I'm always doubting myself. 


I'm just here man.....

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Temperature Check  Part 1: Spiral Check

So my birthday is in less than a month and I've been thinking on how it's probably a good idea to take stock of the things I have learned and the ways I have grown as a person to give credit where credit is due. I know that can sound rather egotistical like I'm just writing to toot my own horn but I have noticed with me personally that I do need a moment to acknowledge my progress in order to have an accurate view of myself and take action accordingly so I don't over correct and get myself into an unhealthy loop of sorts. For my temperature check, I'm going to look at my old posts that I have made on my short comings in spiral dynamics as well as a reflection on where I'm at in the 9 stages of ego development. 

I am going to start with spiral dynamics and the hang ups I have in green and yellow. This is the original post I will be referencing: 

In this post, I bolded the items I find myself having difficulty with. Those are the items I'm going to be talking about and the ones I have crossed off are the ones that I feel that I have effectively dealt with. The text in ___ is what I have to say as I am making this post on 9/26/2021.

On 10/18/2020 at 3:11 PM, soos_mite_ah said:

Limitations/ Excesses of the Stages  (Green and Yellow)  

 

Naïve pacifism. Sometimes green loves peace and love so much they can't accept the harshness of the world (1:26:54)

While I have dealt with this particular thing in the previous paragraph, I still find myself with issues regarding fully transcending this. I'm much better at dealing with this than a couple years ago but I will say that the issues in society still does pull at my heart strings and it does hurt. 

I'm not a complete softy but I do find myself numb, apathetic, and pessimistic at times. I'm at a place where I'm exhausting a lot of unhealthy green. There is a post I made a while back. I don't care to refer to the whole post because it will stray from the subject but this is the portion that I think is important and that I think reflects where I'm at.  

On 2/21/2021 at 6:17 PM, soos_mite_ah said:

Similarly, I find myself in the same place but instead I'm moving into unhealthy green as I sort through my stage orange trauma while moving into yellow. I sometimes catch myself going into these angsty anticapitalistic spirals and feeling tempted to embrace the archetype of the hippie that sits around smoking weed all day (I'm not smoking weed but that's just the energy I'm in lately). I also catch myself getting attracted to astrology and tarot as a way of giving me hope and explaining my unpredictable life (again, not coming at this from the healthiest mindset, there isn't anything wrong with astrology or tarot per se). While from the birds eye view I know what I'm doing isn't the best manifestation of green, I feel like again I need to exhaust it to move forward.  These were originally things about green that I was uncomfortable with upon finding the spiral dynamics model and now I'm taking those things to the excess so that I cover the stage thoroughly for a solid foundation. 

Can love to talk about spirituality but be unable to embody it (1:37:02)

I think this is something I am dealing with right now. I think it becomes much more of a problem when it comes to shifting to yellow which I will talk about in the next section with yellow. 

I'm doing a good job at catching myself when I find myself not embodying something but I honestly think I need to go full on turquoise to get to the point where I can cross this off. 

Yellow (1:38:00- 1:45:00)

Yellow is still stuck in duality. There is no possibility for deep mysticism because yellow is too stuck in the thinking mind. As a result they can fall into the trap of confusing the map for the territory (1:38:27)

I think I need to maybe experiment with psychedelics once I take care of my other issues. Also I have been trying to be more mindful of different areas of my life where I confuse the map for the territory. Recently I wrote out all of the classes I need to take and I looked at it and I was like "wow this won't be too hard, I just need to do x,y,and z" but I know that in the moment when I'm actually going to be in those classes, I'm likely going to be stressed out. I think this can be dealt with the whole concept of how awareness alone is curative.   

I haven't worked this out yet but I am much better at not confusing the map for the territory which is why I'm crossing out a portion of this. 

Yellow is not ready to escape the mind. They aren't ready to do that yet because they are still so fascinated with different models  and concepts. Basically they can be unwilling to transcend models and concepts (1:38:56)

Yeah that's right, I'm not ready to transcend the mind just yet. I acknowledge this but I also know that I need to pass through yellow until this becomes a limitation. In order to transcend yellow, I need to embody it first. While this is something that I have short comings in, I do realize that now is probably not the best time to deal with it. That's why I have italicized it instead of bolding it. 

Still not ready to transcend the mind. 

Can get bogged down in complex analysis (1:39:53). Can develop an intellectual hubris of arrogance (1:39:58)

I addressed some of this in my post "Conscious Unconsciousness" where I discuss my reasoning for integrating my inner basic bitch. I also think this  form of  the "i'M NOt LiKE oTheR giRls" attitude as it relates of consciousness can be detrimental because there is arrogance and ego involved. However, I'm still in the process of integrating all of this. I decided to copy and paste that specific portion of that post because I don't want to water it down:

I haven't worked this out yet but I have done a good job on setting boundaries with myself regarding thinking, analyzing, spiraling, and ruminating so I don't find myself going insane. I am dealing with this but I can't say it's to the point where I can cross it out. I have, however, worked through a lot of things regarding my spiritual ego. 

Can invent futuristic solutions that aren't pragmatic. Looks good on paper but can't actualize  (1:40:18). Can't finish something because they have so many ideas and visions (1:40:34) 

I need to really commit to a life purpose and address my ADHD. That's a whole thing on it's own that I plan to work through once I get out of this depressing/ self loathing slump. 

I haven't worked this out yet but I have gotten out of the depressing/ self loathing slump for the most part (still dealing with some stuff but it's whatever). I think I've come a long way since I started writing this but not so far to where I feel like I can cross it out. 

Yellow tends to be a cold individualist and a loner which becomes a problem when it comes to actualizing something because they need a team to implement a vision. They become isolated and feel lonely and disconnected (1:41:10). Yellow has a difficulty in building a community/ becoming emotionally distant and forget to connect with people because they are too focused on models (1:41:29)

I have become rather disconnected with other people during my college career where I have essentially immersed myself in models. I am meaning to address that when the pandemic is up and I have more opportunities to socialize. I think this sense of disconnection and loneliness is also causing me to question whether or not self actualization is even worth it since I don't have the best foundation in relationships and external signifiers of success. I think this thread explains that pretty well: 

Yeah I'm pretty good at making communities and connecting with people. I just didn't have many opportunities to do so at the time I was writing this. 

All this understanding will not lead to happiness because happiness isn't found in the mind (1:42:19)

I feel called out and I'm not sure how to handle this at this moment. But I am recognizing the problem more and more because of the way I'm frequently immersed in learning

I'm not at the point of embodiment but  I'm pretty sure I emotionally grasp this pretty well. Which is why I'm going to cross this out for now.  

Lack of embodiment of the things they learn. This can be a problem in actualize the vision because you lack the selflessness/ discipline/ socialization skills to implement your solutions. This freaks out yellow because it means that they can't rely on their concepts to do everything for them (1:42:56). 

I think a lot of the problems I'm having with depression is coming from a lack of embodiment of the teaching I have absorbed previously. The only way out of this is through truly embodying what I have learned. Also the whole concept of yellow freaking out because they can't rely on concepts I feel draws a parallel on how I can't rely on being smart alone to evade life issues. That parallel makes me feel called out. 

I have since embodied a lot of the things that I preach. Do I still think there is room for improvement? Absolutely. But have I realized that my concepts can't do everything for me and have I worked on my self discipling and socialization skills? Yes I have. Which is why I'm crossing this out. 

So basically, to continue moving up the spiral I need to do the following: 

  • Exhaust the remainder of your unhealthy stage green tendencies
  • Stop hyper analyzing things so you aren't bogged down with complex analysis 
  • Create innovative solutions that are also pragmatic
    •  I think I need more education, life experience, and a clearer idea of my life purpose to do this tbh. 
  • Get out of duality and embody things more
  • Transcend the mind
    • The last two I think I'm going to focus on much later when dealing with more existential questions 
Edited by soos_mite_ah

I'm just here man.....

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Temperature Check  Part 2: Ego Development Check 

Again, commentary made on 9/26/2021 is in blue. 

On 4/30/2021 at 11:53 PM, soos_mite_ah said:

9 Stages of Ego Development: Where Am I Now? 

Where Am I Now in April 2021? 

Achiever: Though this isn't my center of gravity, there are still somethings that resonate and that I need to exhaust. I still resonate with self analysis and understanding people being my favorite pastime (p.44). I still need to figure out my career path and become financially independent from my parents  (p. 43).

  • P. 43: "Achievers are more aware of their overall career path and how they got to where they are. At the same time, they trust in the potential to improve themselves through effort, learning and feedback. Feedback can now be listened to without necessarily agreeing with it or feeling one’s whole identity has been diminished. Whether the critic is right, misinformed, or misjudged me, the their response is useful information both about myself and about the critic."
    • Still not sure about my overall career path. I'm still figuring out a lot of life purpose/ career related stuff. I'm only crossing out the whole feedback portion of the thing  which I should have left out in the first place because of what I wrote before (see the part that isn't crossed out in the next bullet point). 
  • P.44: "Thus, the analysis of others and self-analysis become a favorite pastime and challenge. Many typologies and theories about human behavior come out of this motivation to classify and understand other human beings. From psychoanalysis, to behaviorism, to Rogerian therapy, to Gestalt approaches, many of the major therapeutic schools were born out of the Achiever mindset. Knowing the root causes and reasons for unwanted behavior helps one to fix problems and to achieve better outcomes. Indeed, finding the causes and working out explanations for what one observes are paramount for the scientific, modern method of inquiry and knowledge acquisition." (I don't have an issue with constructive criticism but I will say that I have no idea where I'm going in the next 5-10 years)
    • Honestly, I don't think I'm obsessed with self analysis in the achiever way now or even when I first wrote this. I recently met a guy who is at this stage and the way he approaches and is fascinated by self-analysis feels different from the way that I see it. That's not to say he's in the wrong or anything but there is less nuance involved from what I have observed. 

Pluralist: I have worked through much of this phase but I notice myself slipping back here at times when I'm less conscious such as times of stress. I need to study epistemology and philosophy to horizontally develop in this stage (p. 54). I have highlighted portions from pages 56-58 as well as 61-62. To move past those hang ups, I need to find my life purpose. 

  • P.54: "The 4th person perspective allows individuals to focus on epistemology, that is, to examine how they came to believe what they believe and feel and how one knows and proves things. The transition to the first postconventional stage is a watershed in so far as it is the first time that the vertical move and the questioning of previously unexamined ideas is no longer supported by society and its chief conventional representatives. Postconventional thinking and questioning assumptions may be taught and encouraged in college courses, but then challenged and or dismissed at work and at home." (I need to look into epistemology when I go back to delving into deeper topics)
    • Not really ready to delve into epistemology just yet but I will get there. Haven't forgotten about it lol 
  • P. 56 (resonated with me from 2018 to now): "As Stage 4/5 individuals explore their feelings and motivations, they can also begin to become aware of how easily we can fool ourselves. The possibility of defensive self-deception and culturally biased distortion are now starting to be experienced as ever-present dangers. Given the increasing awareness of one’s own vulnerabilities, persons at the 4th person perspective can exhibit a new, non-hostile type of humor that is directed towards the self. It is based on an the beginning sense of the futility of framing things in terms of right and wrong, provable or disprovable. It also recognizes how easily we can fool ourselves about our motives and intentions." 
    • I think I'm swinging the pendulum back to wanting to create more self trust rather than self skepticism for now which is why I'm crossing this out. I'm simply not at this place anymore. 
  • P. 56: "Cognition: Thus, In the positive, liberated version of this stage, individuals may enjoy paradoxes and contradictions and no longer try to explain them away....Rather than trying isolate aspects of experience into different to categories and analyze them separately as independent variables, Stage 4/5 individuals are looking for connections and subtler clues to what is going on. Useful information can come from many sources that were previously considered outside the realm of scientific inquiry and viewed with skepticism, such as body sensations, intuition, dreams, reflection, and meditation." 
  • P.57: "Individualists often replace the focus on causality (past) and goals (future) of the Conscientious person with a fascination with the immediate present. They need to understand and watch how things unfold. Their attention turns from outcomes and deliverables to an interest in the processes, the relationships and the complex, non-linear influences among variables." (basically me coping with the pandemic by trying to be present and focusing on myself since there isn't anything else I can do) 
    • I think this and the previous bullet is also very much present in the strategist stage so I wouldn't categorize this as something that is unique to the pluralist or that it is a hang up really. I'm crossing this out because I'm simply not concerned with dealing with this. 
  • P.57: "They can therefore become enthralled with watching themselves trying to make sense of themselves. They often withdraw from external affairs and company life, or from ordinary daily routines. Instead, they turn inward in search of their unique gifts or answers to their own burning questions. If they are given room to be themselves and time to experiment freely, they can provide valuable input to the workplace. They find novel ways of looking at problems, or inspire others with their enthusiasm in pursuing their own interests and questions. If working independently, they are likely to fashion schedules and work contexts to optimize their flourishing. Sometimes, they are content to simply live day by day following “their own drummer.” Today’s hippy culture still embodies some of that sense of freedom and self-expression in the company of like-minded others symptomatic of the Individualist mindset." (this is me taking a break from school and trying to figure out my purpose tbh). 
    • I think I'm past this tbh because I have returned back to external affairs but I am still contributing in a good way as a result of my previous withdrawal. 
  • P. 58: "Depression at this level has several facets: a) The realistic fear of being reabsorbed, that is sucked back into the “rat race” of the Achiever mindset by the demands of society; b) The dread of a routine work life that does rarely allows for individual self-expression and creativity; c) The concern that one will never find a clear self-definition from which to consistently operate and generate a coherent self sense; d) The deep experience of worry and tensions that come from growing beyond the conventional mindset especially when it comes to intimate relationships." 
    • I find myself dealing with this much more effectively compared to when I wrote this and hell compared to where I was a few weeks back. But I'm not crossing this out because I honestly feel like my depression and angst is dormant because I'm busy with school and figuring out my life and when I do slow down again, the existential crisis will be back lol. 
  • P. 61:"Personality types: Individualists often prefer to live at the fringe of society, to live exactly the way they want to be. Admired by postconventional people for their spontaneity and unique self-expression, conventional persons may distrust them for being non-conformist and impossible to understand and predict." (this and the quote from p. 58 have to do with  my angst with capitalism and how there is a part of me that wants to live out my cottage core fantasies in a farm isolate from everyone)  
    • I don't have the urge to run away from society anymore tbh. I feel like I have let go a lot of my angst by letting myself really feel into it. 

Strategist: This is my center of gravity as I'm writing this. Everything in this section of the paper resonates with me at this moment.  Still my center of gravity.

Construct Aware: This is where my higher self is at. Even though I can cognitively grasp the concepts in this stage, I'm far from being able to articulate it much less embody it emotionally. I need to work on my foundation with more basic forms of self help especially as I'm writing this since I'm currently taking a break from deeper topics because I noticed myself getting burnt out, overwhelmed, and like I don't have the proper foundation to integrate teachings without misunderstanding them and using them in an unhealthy way. 

I would say that my center of gravity is at the strategist and construct aware stages. The construct aware part still needs a lot of work as far as embodiment goes but I have emotionally integrated much of it compared to when I first wrote this post. There is a few things here and there I don't quite find myself resonating with just yet like feeling comfortable with chaos and wanting to delve into existential topics but over all I can still cognitively grasp it. I'd still say that like before that the construct aware stage is where my higher self resides but I would say that a lot of it has also come closer to my center of gravity. 

As for unitive... yeah I'm not even getting to that until I get the rest of my life together so that I have a good foundation and so I won't backslide and ruin my progress. 

Closing thoughts: 
I have done a good job at dealing with a lot of the remaining hang ups of the pluralist stage. Still need to look into epistemology more and tbh I am finding myself naturally going in that direction especially with a lot of my course work this semester. I also still need to figure out my career path and my life purpose which is well on the way. I think over all, being in the strategist/ construct aware stage is a good place to be given where I'm at in my life and given that I'm not planning on delving into psychedelics or deep existential questions soon sorting out a stable foundation for my life. I just have to do clean up work and check in with myself to deal with any hang ups that might arise every now and then from the lower stages. 

Going forward I need to: 

  • Sort out my career
  • Deal with my unhealthy stage green coping mechanisms/ deal with my depression and existential crisis around these dystopian times 
  • Look into epistemology more 
  • Do the psychological clean up whenever my lizard brain acts up 

I'm just here man.....

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Disassociation

Not sure to what extent this post even makes sense since I’m running on no sleep at the moment but these are some thoughts that I’ve been having lately.

I’m really freaked out on how disassociated I have been for the past 2-3 weeks. I haven’t gotten much work don’t (thankfully I didn’t have much work that I need to do) and I am able to go to meetings and such without being a mess. But I feel like I’ve been on auto piolet. Even in my classes, I’m not really there. Logically I can respond and do what I need to do but emotionally… there isn’t much going on. I don’t feel negative or positive, just numb and low energy. There is this weight that I have been carrying around and I guess I am performing emotional labor, but my mind doesn’t want to acknowledge the full extent of it so that I could continue trudging along. I feel like I unlocked a different flavor of depression.

Speaking on disassociating, I’m really comfortable being on my own. Which is probably why I haven’t had the impulse to really reach out to people all that much. Because I’m on the go, I actually appreciate the time I have to myself whether that be me having a meal or me chilling in my dorm watching youtube videos. And obviously when I’m working I’m not socializing all that much because or else I won’t be able to focus. And next thing I know, I find myself alone like 90% of the time.

I’m at peace with this and as they say, time flies when you’re having fun and minding your own business. But every now and then, this sense of dread that comes in. I wouldn’t quite call it loneliness as I don’t find myself longing for the company of others, but I say dread because it ultimately comes down to this. Am I living my life to the fullest or life just passing me by? And while when I’m on my own I feel the former because I like being present in my own company, sometimes I look at how fast time goes and think about all of the memories I’m not making and all of the relationships that I don’t have.  The lines between living and existing starts to feel blurred.

And when I’m sleep deprived, my mind then proceeds to go towards more self-deprecating thoughts. There is this notion of social inadequacy that comes up because of my lack of meaningful relationships though a lot of it is situational. I try to reassure myself that there isn’t anything wrong with me and that these things take time especially given the pandemic. But that goddamn lizard brain kicks in and starts throwing a tantrum like a 5 year old because it wants what it wants and it wants it now. And honestly, I would say that is a rational response on some level. It’s been a while since I’ve had a solid group of friends and I have been patient when it comes to “finding my people” for years now. And when you have to tell yourself to keep being patient and keep doing the inner work, it gets exhausting. You start to get impatient. It’s not that I’m not seeing myself make progress. I see it, but it’s slow and steady. I just thought that I would have finished the journey a long time ago but the finish line was moved a few times as new things that I had to work through popped up.

Then there is how I haven’t been writing lately. That in itself isn’t the issue rather I think it’s a symptom. I think me not writing as often reflects my emotionally disassociated state in the way that I tend to reflect through my writing and since I haven’t been writing, I haven’t reflecting. And as a result, I’ve been on auto piolet. Just haven’t been having that many thoughts that I could write about since I’m not even fully here.

And speaking of the pandemic, that fucked up my sense of time. I’m turning 22 in 2 weeks and I still feel just 20. The fact that 2020 would’ve started 2 years ago in a couple of months doesn’t really click. Time just froze during the pandemic. And even though I have taken a break from school and thankfully I’m not a senior, everything just came and went in a blink of an eye. It’s freaky. Not to be cliché but where has the time gone? I don’t even remember stopping to smell the roses even though I have records that tell me that I did. And since I’m on the topic of the pandemic, I know I’ve said this before but imma say it again. I’m so fucking tired of “once in a lifetime” events.

Finally, of course, there is the fact that it is October. Just in general, I have a lot of baggage around October and this time of the year is always rough on me because I get reminded of a bunch of traumatic things that come up. I also have a lot of baggage around my birthday which I’m planning on writing about later. Especially because of the events this time last year, I really feel this emotional weight in the background of my awareness. There is a part of me that keeps thinking on what things are different and what are the same. I guess that lack of focus and lack of presence adds to this dissassociative state. Also, I think a lot of the emotions around this time is overwhelming and my brain is like “nope, we’re dealing with this later,” as a way of protecting my sanity so I can keep going.

 


I'm just here man.....

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Imposter Syndrome

I am empathetic, well thought out, disciplined, able to stick to projects long term, good at weighing risks, skilled at analyzing systems and cultures, and a strong writer. I’m independent, resourceful, patient, self-aware, good with people, and good at dealing with different perspectives. These are all things that would be beneficial to a work environment. But I can’t talk about these things? Why? Because I didn’t get these skills and strengths from challenges in an internship or work experience. I developed these qualities from being in an emotionally abusive household and healing from generational trauma. I developed these qualities by coming from an underserved community and being forced to adapt to a predominantly white university where most of the student body is more well prepared than I ever had the chance to be. I developed these qualities by dealing with my own physical and mental health crisis during a pandemic where I was forced to go back to a difficult home environment. Grappling with these challenges is where much of my time went towards during my time in college. How the hell am I supposed to talk about any of these experiences in a job interview without seeming like a victim and without seeming like a hysterical brown woman.

I wasn’t able to be an RA, a TA, a researcher, or a leader in student organizations. I wasn’t able to study abroad nor did I secure a part time internship for more than a summer. Hell I wasn’t even able to make a solid group of friends because much of my time went towards taking care of myself and keeping my mediocre GPA together. And while these things might seem like high expectations, I often feel like it’s the bare minimum of what I must do to even secure a decent paying job that will give me things like health care and decent vacation time. And because I fell short of this because of the circumstances in my life, I’m afraid that it’s going to set me up for a lot of struggles for the early parts of my career.

I have the skills and abilities. I just don’t think I can say much about them because they aren’t on paper.

And this hurts me so much because my greatest accomplishments are things in my personal life rather than anything remotely professional. I feel like all this work that I put in myself, though I have gotten a lot from it from a better quality of life to a personal sense of fulfillment, this work isn’t exactly something that I can show off externally. And because of that, all of this emotional labor goes unrecognized and unappreciated. On the surface, on paper, I look like I didn’t do much with my college career. But I know that what I did was the best options for me and that it’s laying a foundation for a much better quality of life emotionally and spiritually for me and anyone who comes after me.

I don’t think I have room to negotiate anything because I don’t feel qualified for most positions anyway. I don’t have years of work experience as I talked about before and I don’t have relevant experience. I have a mediocre GPA. And I don’t have the safety net of taking risks with negotiating because I can’t afford to ask for too much and come out empty handed. I have to take what I can get. And god forbid I get labeled as some young person who has unrealistic expectations because of instant gratification and get called out for “asking for too much” when I advocate for basic needs by some boomer who doesn’t get what the world is like now for young people.

A lot of times I don’t even feel like I deserve to be at the college I'm attending much less in the business school because of how underprepared I was because of the lack of resources in my area. Apart from how I don’t socially fit in, academically I feel like the dumbest person in most of my class when really, I’m under prepared and I look at situations differently compared to a lot of people in my classes because my experiences and my path just isn’t like theirs.

And sometimes I wonder if my professors are just telling me things to sugar coat my situation. And if that’s not it, I wish I could see whatever the hell they see in me because I sure don’t.

Edited by soos_mite_ah

I'm just here man.....

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Birthday Blues 

There is a wave of depression that hits me around my birthday every year usually starting a month before my birthday. I have a lot of baggage around my birthday and I just wanted to vent about that. 

My birthday never felt like my day. 

First of all, my mom and I have the same birthday. We never had a good relationship and I don't like having to share my birthday with someone who caused so much pain in my life. She also always makes a fuss about the day, yells at service workers, and nit picks at what I'm eating when we go out to eat for the night. 

I also always feel like I'm being forced to celebrate. I'm always feeling depressed during this time of the year and instead of my parents trying to empathize with me and hear me out, they try to force me to celebrate and then yell at me and call me ungrateful when I'm not faking a smile perfectly. The celebration feels much more about them in the sense that if I had a lowkey birthday that they would feel like terrible people. But when I voice what I actually want, then I'm the weird one and there is something wrong with me because no normal person would be down on their birthday.

I'm also forced to be with my toxic family during this time. This year, my anti vax aunt and uncle are pissed because I didn't celebrate my 21st birthday with them. I mean, this time last year was when the pandemic was peaking and we didn't have the vaccine so like.... I was trying to make sure we were all safe... But yeah, because of this my parents are like "it's your family obligation to spend time with us on your birthday." 

Then there is how there is always a ton of religious stuff going on during October. Basically, from the end of September to early (sometimes mid) November, is the holiday season for Hindu people. Having your birthday around Diwali is the equivalent of having your birthday on Christmas so I get the whole *hey, this present counts for both holidays* thing. That doesn't really bother me. What bothers me is how growing up I could never celebrate my birthday around my birthday because every time I would try to invite people, they would have plans. So most of the time I would celebrate at November. One time my birthday even got pushed all the way back to December. And because of the amount of stuff happening during this time of year, most people forget about my birthday anyway. 

My birthday is a reminder of all of the years I wasted being depressed. 

I had 2 suicide attempts around my birthday. One was the day before my 16th birthday. That year basically marked me being depressed for over half my life and I didn't want to continue living if it meant my life was going to continue on like this.

The second was around this time last year. I ended up in the hospital and I had to put school on pause. I was finally starting to live my best life and get out of this only to be dragged back into living with my parents because of the pandemic. It sometimes feels useless to try to get better. 

I don't feel all that better compared to last year. Sure I don't want to kill myself but I still feel depressed, anxious, and exhausted and I'm not sure if there are any good things in store for me. My birthday basically makes me think *great... another year has gone by with me being miserable. How much longer do I have to hold on like this?*

My birthday reminds me on how I'm not living a normal life, how I'm not living up to my own standards, and how I don't have friends. 

I feel like most normal people expect that you have plans for your birthday. Whenever that question comes up, I just don't have an answer because in most cases, I just want to be left alone during my birthday. I don't have that many friends who I feel like I can celebrate with.

I also feel like I don't have a good enough social life. I feel like most people reminiscent on all the fun memories they made with their loved ones during the past year and I just don't have many of those memories. I don't mind having a few friends and spending most of my time in solitude but I feel like when my birthday rolls around, I feel like I simply didn't do enough. 

It's also just like how I feel like I haven't achieved enough each year. I feel so stagnant in my life and I feel like I'm not growing up. A lot of this goes back to the whole imposter syndrome thing I wrote about in the previous post. Also, my 20s actually feel like a thing now. And that freaks me out because it feels like my 30s are going to creep up on me and that is like a scary age to me. I know this isn't the healthiest outlook but I feel like there is this pressure to basically live out your whole life in your 20s and how this is the decade where you're supposed to have an amazing career, have a house, a solid social circle, a husband, maybe think about settling down and having kids, travel, be hot, achieve a shit ton of things, and basically be a full fledged adult with their life sorted out etc. I think a lot of it has to do with the boomers because economically, doing a lot of these things were feasible whereas things are simply not the same now and people are taking their time with these milestones.  There are a couple of videos that I really like on this subject: 

 

My birthday also remind me aging and as a result mortality which then leads to an existential crisis.

At one point, my 20s were also a scary age. I remember having this pressure to figure out what I wanted from life and what my priorities were in my late teens and have this plan of how I'm going to be full fledged adult. I also felt like I didn't have much of a margin of error and that any mistake I made could set me back like a decade and that's a decade lost of me not living my fullest life. I think a lot of this had to do with late stage capitalism and how the older people basically started nitpicking at the ways young people lived their lives and dealt with money instead of addressing systemic issues. And to still not have my shit sorted out now freaks me tf out. 

Then there is the whole pandemic and how I had to take time off of school messing with my perception of time. Basically, it can be summed up by this: 

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Like, I don't feel like I'm about to turn 22. I still feel a few months into 20. And it feels like I wasn't able to start my life and instead I acquired a new flavor of crazy after sorting out my issues from my childhood. 

I also feel like I really let down my 18 year old self because of how these last 4 years went. I was supposed to be senior this year and I wasn't even able to do that. And it isn't even because my priorities are messed up or that I made a ton of bad decisions. Life just kind of happened. Like I remember at that age telling myself that I'm going to prioritize having quality relationships, pay attention to school but not get consumed by it, travel, let myself growth from and experience life, and over all have this well rounded college experience. I had the right idea and what I valued hasn't changed. It wasn't a lapse of judgement rather it was a lapse of circumstance that cause these thing to not come true.

And that's something I'm afraid of. I'm afraid of going through life not really living, not because I don't know how to live or because I have shit priorities, but because life just happened. I'm not saying this as someone who is afraid they aren't taking control / responsibility of life and they are just letting things happen to them. Rather I'm speaking as someone who is taking responsibility and is putting in the effort to build something sustainable but there is always a chance that something completely outside of your control can come in and take everything from you. I make well thought out decisions because I don't want to waste my time prioritizing something stupid and instead I want to maximize the amount of fulfillment I get while I'm alive. And given how things have gone so far, I can't help but feel like I'm wasting my life. 

Edited by soos_mite_ah

I'm just here man.....

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