What do you do when you’re in a funk? When you feel your life is stagnant and you are being overcome by distractions and discouragement. I’ve been hopeful for my prospects in life but it does get discouraging if you don’t feel as if anything is really happening. In my current situation, I did put myself out of a job in hopes of pursuing something that I found meaningful. It’s been a bit over a month now and here I am blogging on a daily basis because I have yet to receive any calls back from any job opportunities. So what does one normally do to get through discouragement?
Well one thing to not do is to stay at home doing “fun things”. This includes spending hours binge watching Netflix, YouTube, anime, or your favourite TV show. Or other things like playing video games to pass the time. While I am guilty of this behaviour, I know how destructive this is. At first it’s not so bad because you think things like “I still have lots of time”, “Just one or two shows won’t hurt me”, “I need to relax so I can release my creative energies” etc. You think of it, I’ve probably thought of it before and might even have told myself that lie too. But the problem that this form of entertainment is exactly that, just entertainment that doesn’t help you develop any sort of life skills or even develop you as a person. It promotes anti-social behaviours and these activities are often done alone. Don’t get me wrong being social and watching a movie or tv show with someone else is a perfectly valid activity to do. Doing these activities alone is usually the behaviour that leads down a dark road of late nights wasted pursuing these activities. Hours at a time there is a slow descent into doing them longer and longer to feel more fulfilled. Soon you’re spending all your waking hours trying to fill the void with these things but to no avail. I can say this with confidence because several years ago I had a severe video game addiction that was so destructive I almost dropped out of university, but that’s another story for another time.
Another thing to avoid is not as obviously apparent because it can seem like a good thing at first but if pursued too long it becomes just as bad. I’m speaking of keeping yourself busy. You might wonder, “how is keeping myself busy a bad thing?” Well let me explain. We as human beings feel that being busy is a sign of productivity, while being busy CAN be a sign of productivity it is in no way inclusive of being productive. Being productive can equal being busy, but being busy does not equal being productive. So lets take my life as the example, because well it’s a good example. Over the past several weeks, I have been what I’d like to call “busy”. I put busy in quotes because it’s precisely that. I’ve been doing things over the past several weeks since my unemployment and I have had little time to say I had nothing to do, but not all that time was done pursuing things that led to improvement. I would do menial things that took up time, but really didn’t change my situation or challenged me intellectually, physically or spiritually. So while I was busy, I haven’t really been doing things to “boost my stat points” (RPG reference, because I’m a nerd).
There are several other things to avoid but for now I’ll leave this blog at this and I’ll continue with this in my next post. I’ll follow these up with what to do instead, so stay tuned for that.
I often wonder what things would be like if I were a robot. Would I have the capacity to feel? Would someone have programmed an ability to sense emotions? What kind would I be? Something like Asimo or would it be more of the stereotypical sort of cube robot? I only mention this as I was opening this post edit window, a short splash animation popped up saying “Beep Beep Boop” which amused me.
In any case,if I were a robot. I’d like to think I’d be a helpful robot that would be something to the effect of Baymax from Disney’s Big Hero 6. If I were a robot would I be autonomous or would I be one that was controlled by someone . It’s scary to think that some people would rather live their lives being controlled by others wanting someone else to make their decisions and choices for them. But it’s something that if we don’t make choices ourselves, don’t do what we need to do and work like we need to work. We’re essentially giving any power we have over our lives to other people. So that they can make choices for us by limiting our options. If we are indeed humans and not robots, then why do we make so many decisions that are based on logic but sometimes lack humanity. Maybe we aren’t really humans at all but we’re autonomous robots. Would anything change if that were the case? Would your actions change how you acted towards other people. I’m not really sure anything would change significantly for me but maybe it wouldn’t. Would I still be inclined to make morally right and wrong choices? If you were a robot what would you do differently? This is just mindless dribble at this point, so I don’t think I am a robot because it’d be irrational for a robot to make choices and decisions like I have been making thus far. Who knows….
“Beep Beep Boop”
We as individuals, I am especially guilty of this, have this fear that there will be better things in store for us. This causes what has been deemed as a “Fear of Missing Out” or FOMO for short. I only learned about this acronym recently but it’s a theory that I’ve been aware of for quite a while. It’s something that’s sort of dictated a lot of how I lived my life in the past. I was always worried that the opportunities right in front of my face while they were good, weren’t the best. So because of that there were a lot of times I passed up on certain things because I felt that there was something better out there for me. Other times, because of that same fear of missing something better, I would over analyze my situation and then miss out because I took too long trying to come to a decision of what I should do.
These two situations are very general in scope because they are very much applicable to many people I know and what I assume to be the general population of people. Fear often leads to poor choices and inaction is very much something that is another result of fear. I find people who are able to overcome this very inspiring because this is such a big issue for me. Contrary to how people seem to perceive me, fear is very much a part of my life that I am still trying to overcome. I’m not saying I am unique in any way because fear to some extent is what motivates many people. Fear of failure, fear of letting others down, fear of disappointment, fear that someone bad will happen to those you love, or any number of other things can be a motivating factor in the lives of many. But that’s not how I want to live my life.
So the question then is how can one, such as myself who lives in fear or has this condition of FOMO over come it? Well for me one of the biggest things I need to work on is to stop thinking so much and just live in the moment. Now don’t get me wrong here, I’m not saying don’t think at all, but be selective in what you think and how deeply you let something affect your actions. For example, in high school around grade 11 there was this girl I had been dating for a month or two (a long time in high school), she was cute, fun, and she was really into me. There was nothing really wrong with this girl, but one of my friends mentioned once that she wasn’t the most attractive girl (I was shallow at the time… I’d like to think I’ve changed). At first this didn’t bother me because I was young and in love… but as the next few days and weeks passed, what my friend said to me really had affected how I viewed my girlfriend. Shortly afterwards I broke up with this girl, not because of anything she had done wrong but because I was afraid of missing out on something better. I know I’m a jerk but that was me in the past. Since then I’ve learned to not pass up on some opportunities, and more so to appreciate and be thankful for the things and people who are in front of me. Sometimes it still does take a little bit of time for me to realize and get over my fears but it’s a work in progress.
Even if there might be something better, if we do indeed have a fear of missing out. What seems better from the outside does not always mean it is better for you. If we always give up some things for something better then we’ll never have anything because there will always be something better. As for me, and where I am now. I’m pretty happy with my whole situation, it could be improved but I am not going to complain about what I have because on the whole. I think I’ve surrounded myself with some pretty great people who encourage and support me and things who give me the opportunity to pursue things that will ultimately help me to learn and grow. So really what more can I ask for?
It’s probably one of the best descriptions of a boring date I’ve heard in my recent past. This conversation with a friend about her latest date went as follows:
Her: “We talked about hobbies and stuff”
Her: “ummm… he liked watching cnn, and tried jogging once”
Me: “he tried that once?”
Her: “and used to like watching sports”
Me: “why are all these past tense?… he used to like doing these things… does that mean he got bored of doing those boring things so he ran out of boring things to do?”
Her: “Because now he likes to do nothing”
While this amused me, it left me to think about my life and what i find to be interesting. What makes interesting interesting, and what makes boring well.. boring? I don’t think there is an absolute scale of interesting vs boring where some things are interesting independent of everything and other things are just boring. There will always be someone who enjoys some things while other people hate it for every thing we find in life. It’s all about perspective and life experience. I wouldn’t necessarily I live the most fun filled life, but it’s about my outlook and how I perceive my life. Am I living the life of fun and adventure I had believed my life to be when I was a kid? No not at all. Not even remotely close. Do I enjoy my life on the whole? Of course, and it’s precisely that attitude towards life that becomes desirable to others. People have come up to me a lot over the past few years and have commented how they think I live the life. They’re jealous of how I have all the fun in the world, travelling here and there, or I’m always going on adventures. But to me, my life is just plain, I make the most of what I have and I just have a positive outlook on my life. It can also be one of those the grass is greener on the other side sorts of things. I’m not entirely sure. I do know that I’ve had my share of boring dates myself, but I enjoyed the company I was with, so yeah we didn’t do anything extraordinary. More often than not the simplest things allow you to get to know someone the best. So while this guy my friend went on a date with was probably immensely boring to her, that’s because he didn’t make his life seem interesting and he didn’t know how to make the most of everything he had. Or maybe he did his best and was just a plain old boring date.
Inspired by another blog post written by a good friend of mine, I will periodically share tales from my life.
My first year of university was quite the doozy all those many years ago. I was young, naive and really didn’t want to be in university (that’s a story for another time). Unlike many of my friends in high school whose programs set them up for specific courses to take throughout the year having 8 or 9 courses chosen for them of the necessary 10 to take a full course load for the year, my program was the complete opposite. My friends would say to me “I’m having such a hard time deciding what to take for my one optional course, I have to choose between course A or course B” or something to that effect. I would look at them and think… “so you’re struggling on one optional credit course. interesting…” The reasons I thought this was because A) is it that hard to pick one course? and B) my program gave me a whopping 0 mandatory first year courses to take meaning I had to pick a whopping 10 classes on my own… what did this mean to me? Well it basically meant that I was responsible for my learning. *shudders at the thought of being responsible in university*
So where did this leave me? Well, I read through the course descriptions and felt, hmmm these sound interesting. The only thing I understood at that point were that there were some courses I couldn’t take because I lacked pre-requisite classes. Everything else was fair game. Since I didn’t really know what to take other than my selected major, I focused all my courses on taking courses relevant to my major. Sounds like a smart plan right? Wrong! My program (Philosophy) only offered 2 first year courses related to it. Intro part A and Intro part B. So logically I’d pick other first year courses to ease me into university right? Also wrong! I thought… well since they only offer 2 first year classes, I’ll just take second year classes as well since they don’t need a pre-requisite. Wonderful…
Fast forward to the end of term to exam time. Universities tend to schedule exams in each program year so there aren’t conflicts with people taking those courses. However, what they tend to overlook is sometimes people don’t take courses relative to their program year i.e. me! So here I am, looking through my first exam period schedule to see when my exams are… I’m taking 5 classes, so it shouldn’t be too hard to figure out. After writing out the times and dates for each course, I looked down at my paper and thought. Man is university hard. My calmness quickly fled as I noticed there was a commonality among 3 of my exams… They were all on the same day!!!! I thought okay.. you can do this, it can’t get any worse than this right? Wrong again! I then noticed right after the day with 3 exams, the very next morning at 9am was another exam! So at my university they had exam slots of 9am/2pm/7pm every day of exams. So the tally for that exam period was 1st university exam 9am, 2nd university exam 5 hours after at 2pm, 3rd university exam at 7pm, and 4th university exam the very next morning at 9am! For those of you counting at home that’s 4 exams in a 24 hour time frame. Now for experienced university students, this wouldn’t be a problem as they would know to just go petition to change the exam times or have it deferred. But as a lowly university freshman, this was the ultimate test! Not because I wanted to but because I was young and naive and didn’t know I had options.
Needless to say, this was one of the most stressful time if not THE most stressful time in my university career. After that point, I felt the need to share my situation with any other undergrad student who ever complained about their exam schedule being too hard because even to this day of the people I talk with, there has not been an undergrad student who has had a worse exam schedule than me.
In case anyone was wondering, I took quite the beating from those exams but I barely made it out of that exam period alive. Although sometimes I wonder if it was worth it… ~_~
Well I guess the time of the day isn’t indicative of my insomnia, or is it? I was tired while going home, tired when I was getting ready for bed, then I took a shower and I became wide awake. Does that count as insomnia? Or is that just poor day planning on my behalf. Then again when I shower, there is a 50/50 chance of me either being incredibly sleepy to the point of me appearing to be narcoleptic or being wide awake for several hours and throwing off the rest of my day.
Sure enough, my day has been thrown off. I’m lacking energy and I didn’t even finish this post that I started like 9 hours ago. I ended up falling asleep after the sun came up and I’m just experiencing all sorts of tiredness right now. Mental, physical, possibly spiritual too. Sleep is really such a valuable asset, commodity, necessity really. Something I’m severely lacking, especially as of late. I haven’t really had the ability to sleep much of my life, something I’ve mentioned in my blogs before, so this isn’t new to me. It does take a toll on my body and my mood. I once had insomnia for a few months while I was serving my mission in California. It was definitely one of the hardest periods of my life, both being a missionary working all day then not being able to get a full night’s sleep took quite a toll on my mental state during that time. Again I might be going through some bout with insomnia right now… or I just don’t sleep well. Probably not as serious as insomnia.
I wonder if insomnia is caused by a mental deficiency or if it’s caused by a physical weakness. Maybe it’s a combination of both of the mental and the physical that causes insomnia. I’m sure there have been research studies done on the causes of insomnia, for me and what causes it in me is still a mystery.
What happens when I can’t sleep? I often wonder why I can’t sleep, I lie in bed with a million thoughts going on in my head but I’m often unable to distinguish any specific thoughts. Sort of like white noise in my brain, with all sorts of information being transmitted every which way but not being sent to the processing plant of my mind. After this happens for a bit I inevitably get up from my bed and try to do something productive like writing or something to that effect, often turning on music to my soothing sleep songs. This sometimes leads me to be more awake because I begin to imagine myself in different situations as the music takes me to different locations both real places I’ve been to and incredibly imagined ones that probably don’t exist in the real world. In the end I usually end up staying up till the sun comes up. Then struggle through my day as I try to stay awake in a desperate attempt to sleep properly at night. Does this lead to productivity? Definitely not, by the time I got started today it was about 3 in the afternoon, even though I woke up around 10 this morning after sleeping at like 6 something 4 hours earlier. Here I am trying to make the most of the day that for many are finishing up their work day as I write. Sleeping disorders suck sooooo bad. But at least I’m still alive, I could be in a worse situation so I’m not complaining too much.
I often have wondered what I should do with my life. Consciously I’ve made the decision many times to pursue this or that career, yet here I am, sitting in my room, blogging (something that I’m not particularly consistent at either). There are definitely more productive things I could be doing, but here I am. So the question or reason I’ve decided to continue with this endeavor is because I was motivated to blog more because I read my friend’s blog. She’s pretty cool but she’d never admit to something like that, possibly with sarcastic overtones. So the reason I bring this up is because she’s a great writer and story teller to boot, and it really inspired me to continue writing, hopefully more consistently going forward. Like I’ve mentioned several times in my previous posts, my problem isn’t talent or skill (or being humble – hahaha). My problem is entirely to do with the fact that I am inconsistent and lack diligence when it matters the most. I’m often so focused on trying to achieve big goals that I become overwhelmed with the end goal and just revert into my shell of comfort (video games, YouTube, and Netflix). This is incredibly toxic behavior and it would do me well to overcome this, because well lets face it – I’m an adult. Generally that’s what adults do right? I really don’t know how to do this whole adult thing. Rather I do know what do, but I have difficulties putting it into action. So my small goal will be to update this blog on a daily basis. Even if it’s a short entry I will be accountable to those who follow this blog. The handful of you I guess (if it’s even that many). I’ll update this for the next 10 days as a first check point, then we’ll see my progress and go on from there. So I guess… this is how I’ll keep on trying, to pursue my passions and follow my dreams of becoming a writer. At least for now…