Posts tagged with "self-improvement"

it is impossible to stop the motion of snow at night

I got what I wanted for Christmas.

Piles of it. Sheets falling from the sky, melting instantly on your windshield, forcing the traffic to 20kph on the highway. So much that you have to brush off your car if you leave it parked for more than a minute, but the sky glows orange for you to savour every second.

house in the snow

Not that I celebrate Christmas, but I do enjoy the trappings of the season. The lights and the decorations and the spirit and the snow. I’m just sick of the consumerism. It seems perverse to see all this fancy paper wrapped around a box only to be torn off and thrown away. To see people scrambling to buy things just to have something to give. I’ve got it just right, where I don’t exchange gifts with any of my friends cause I don’t want either side to feel obliged. I’d rather give a present when the time is right for both people, and save my money so it’s something special every now and then. The last thing I want is to be a scrooge, but the older I get, the more I feel like that’s what I’m turning into.

The holidays are the only time I truly veg out. I watch more TV on Christmas day than in the entire year combined, marathon reruns of Dog the Bounty Hunter and Parking Wars and Cake Boss. Shows that are fascinating in short bursts with the right company and snacks, but never good enough to make a point to watch on my own.

trees and night

I was lucky enough to spend some quality time with a cheap electric guitar. The body was dusty, the strings were dirty, and the intonation left something to be desired, but the action had me feeling like all the time I’ve spent with a stiff steel-string acoustic has paid off. About a month ago I put down a $200 deposit on the nylon-string beauty I’ve always wanted (with the promise that I’d get my deposit back if I didn’t like it) so I could wrap my arms around the body, run my hands across the glossy finish, and feel the fretboard beneath my fingers. Guitar has been my only therapy lately. The only thing I can throw myself into and forget about everything else, the only part of myself that I can tangibly tell is improving, something I need to be feeling right now.

I’ve never been this uncertain about the future, and it’s freaking me out. I already had a feeling 2012 was going to be a new start. My projects would be done by the end of the year, I’d have a nice little break, and I’d be ready to begin again. Now I’m forced into that reality, and life is soon going to be very different. I don’t know if I’ll be able to handle it, but I suspect I won’t have much of a choice.

a short break in adolescence

I’ve been feeling like an adult.

This isn’t due to my fiscal responsibilities or my tidy home or any other things I used to use as a measure for maturity, but from feeling like everything makes sense. Like I have all the answers the way adults seem to do, because I can see the big picture, I understand what truly matters, and I don’t sweat the small things anymore.

It’s only now that I’m at a point where I feel like a grown up. Like this is finally who I’ll be for the rest of my life.

That’s not to say I’ve finished growing, that I’m not human or infallible, but there aren’t the same struggles or changes that I used to have, so my emotions and attitudes have evened out.

For a while I wondered if I’d just become another turning-30 cliché, but I realized it was never about age. Various things have brought me to this maturity, from conversations to relationships to trips far away. It all happened to be around the beginning of a new decade in my life.

Maybe I’ve been feeling this way only because things are going so well. It’ll take some hardship to test how far I’ve truly come as an adult, but until then I’ll try to live like a child, cause too often youth is wasted on the young.

the art of longing’s over

So the great affair is over but whoever would have guessed
It would leave us all so vacant and so deeply unimpressed

On a sleepless night in Paris, I came upon the sudden realization that the last thing I should be thinking of was a person I hadn’t spoken to in more than half a year.

It brought to mind something Jason told me once, about a policy his life-coach has for his sessions (which are very forward-focused): if you bring up something negative from the past three times, the life-coach would end the working relationship cause it’s in indication that you’re holding on to something that keeps you from moving forward.

So there’s three things you can do:

  • change the situation
  • change yourself
  • nothing (which implies that you stop bringing it up, because you’re not doing anything to improve the situation)

For so long, hope meant that I’d been trying to change the situation. And when I finally, finally, finally understood the futility of it all, I knew I had to change myself, and come to terms with what I didn’t seem capable of accepting. Being in another country, surrounded by an indulgent, hedonistic culture and filled to the brim with happiness, was exactly what I needed to galvanize myself into that change, and end things on my terms.

I’ve been settling back into my regular life, and I don’t feel much of anything now, except free. Like I’m finally in control, above water, instead of treading it.

la petite mort

I’ve been spending too much time around friends and fallen heroes, staying up too late, running away from my thoughts, punishing my body, killing myself one day at a time. The exhaustion is numbing — exactly what I need — but I know I can’t keep this up forever. I used to lose a day here and there, think it’s Wednesday on a Thursday. Now I lose entire weeks. I’ve decided that it’s all okay as long as shit gets done.

Maybe that’s why I’ve been feeling trapped. I’m too busy to see past things as they are right now, a victim of my own self-distraction, so it feels like I’ll be here forever, stuck in this endless loop of healing and heartbreak.

I’m still trying to find that delicate balance between accepting myself (which risks complacency) and striving to improve (and the constant dissatisfaction). At the very least, I’ve come to the realization that there’s a difference between the things that happen to us and the way we react or deal with them, and since you have no say in the former, all you can do is improve the latter.

Sometimes you have to die a little inside to figure that out.

i know i found the recipe for me

All I do nowadays is dance. Not in any coordinated manner, mind you, and certainly not in the presence of anyone else.

I’m only now starting to realize how necessary it was for me to survive that crucible last year, and how important it was for me to save myself. It hasn’t tempered the extremes, but they don’t last as long anymore.

Blue Mountain village at night

 

It’s comforting to know I’ve been through this before. It wasn’t all for nothing. I’m a little wiser now, and I’m not going to make the same mistakes again.

This winter hit us heavy once more, and like it I refuse to die.