The commonplace problem.

I’m definitely a New Years resolution type of person. I really get pumped making lists, which is fortunate considering that that is considered a very healthy outlet for anxiety and other mental ailment. I understand that that makes me a special kind of dweeb. I’m starting to feel more defiant about my nerdiness than I have in the past. I used to think that hobbies and fanships should not comprise the majority of an individuals personality, but I’m questioning whether that might be true, if even unavoidable. I question a lot about myself lately. That’s what I’m told being in your thirties, along with solidifying who you are, is.

I’ve been in-between things for years now, and I’m working at getting unstuck from that space. There has been slow, steady progress – I think of the kind that is recommended by advocates of the way I’m trying to do things. I’m not a success story for the positivity or self-help book paths, but I ain’t going to lie and say that I didn’t spend a considerable amount of time down a rabbit-hole of YouTube videos and pop-psychology books at the start of this third decade of mine. They definitely had their impact, but not in any way that would make me a die-hard adherent to any particular style.

One of my problems is consistent effort. I’ve always been wiggling my way out of doing work by being accidentally distracted by, say, videogames for hours on end. Or being overwhelmed by the sheer amount of things I have want to do that I can’t even imagine prioritizing one over the other. I’m very glad to have read ‘Bird by Bird’ by Anne Lamott when I did, probably four years ago first time through, and got that story about the school report about birds and the father’s sagely advice of, when in doubt, to just take each problem one-at-a-time, bird by bird. It always pops up in my head whenever I realize I’m not doing something that, undoubtedly, I should be.

The name of the game is prioritization. It’s a big problem for me, and I hope it’s not for you but frankly wouldn’t be surprised if it was. It seems to be commonplace. I struggle with it everywhere: work, home, cooking my meals, playing my cleric in DnD. My scheduling has been off for years, ever since I was a child and filling out daily planners for school to prove that I was doing homework that I most likely was not. I have since upgraded to keeping a pretty fastidious record in my Bullet Journal for the past half a year and I enjoy it. I definitely see when and where I am getting stuff done or failing to. Has it made me more productive? I can’t say for certain, but my instinct tells me that I’m mostly just seeing what my pace is like right now as opposed to actually fixing it.

I’ve been in observation mode over myself for at least four years now – unfortunately coinciding with the election of the 45th United States president. I’ve looked at, somewhat deeply, my flaws and have been learning to note my benefits as well. I’ve gone through my period of practicing ‘I love myself’ exercises on repeat for days on end and I feel like – ‘OK, it was weird, and I don’t want to make a big deal about it: but it worked. And now I can move on and never have to talk about it to anyone other than my therapist and my unfortunate partner and shit, so great’. I don’t have to stan for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, so I won’t. Unless it’s of use.

I very much want to be of use while also being able to maintain some distance from people. I think that’s why I am so attracted to writing. I’m a trained actor, which is great and I have fun doing it and what not, but I like the solitude that comes with sitting at a computer/notebook/blank page and honing in. People always complain about not knowing what to write, which if you have a deadline and don’t really give a shit about it I understand. I think the bigger problem is people are afraid they won’t like what they write. Which, yeah, probably not. I don’t like most of what I write either. The trick I’ve found in not giving a fuck is in making the game out of the leap.

There’s this jump you take in putting word to paper. A giving in to chance. A certain amount of loving not caring comes into play here. You gotta figure that part out for yourself, but I can say for me that I found it through improv and repetition. That’s the thing: we’re all just making it up as we go along in almost all interactions we are doing, and that includes the rote ones. And, for me, I’m hoping that by continuing to do the interactions that I want to do repeatedly by choice, I’ll get to doing them regularly by having made a groove for myself there.

Thanks,

Adam

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