Just wanted to make a new blog post because it’s been so long since I’ve made one about the good things in my life. I’m not even sure if this will entirely count as a “good” blog post, but it’s certainly a lot lighter than some of my recent ones.
So life is going A-O-K right now! I’m still dealing with varying levels of anxiety on a daily basis, but because I’ve acknowledged it, rather than tried to just ignore it and function anyway, I’ve been able to be much kinder to myself. It doesn’t mean feeling stressed in the morning and declaring the rest of my day wasted and doomed to unproductivity. It’s taught me more about how to do things that need to get done (mainly by just doing them), but more importantly, how to not do things that don’t need to get done. I’ve realised that one of my problems is that I write stupidly huge lists of things I want to do in a day, and even if I get 6 things done, I’ll still get annoyed that there are 4 other things I didn’t get round to doing. I never say, “Hey! Wow man, you did 6 things today? That crazy yo! Take a break, reward yourself and have a good night’s sleep!” It’s stupid of me to try and fit too many things into a day, and then to get frustrated at myself for not managing to meet my unrealistic expectations of myself. I’m working on being more honest about how much I can get done, and what is really worth doing (rather than pushing myself into the idea that I should do something, even if it’s not needed until next week).
Part of deciding not to do things that I don’t need to do is finding things that I do want to do instead. You may need to read that sentence twice to understand it, but it’s perfectly phrased, just the way it is. A world of possibilities has opened up. For years now, lists of games to cross off have plagued me- if I ever get free time, I should spend it playing games so I can acknowledge I’ve passed them and have accomplished something in life. What a rubbish goal! It’s much healthier to play games because I want to play them. That’s not to say I shouldn’t try and pass games- there’s great pleasure in that too- but I shouldn’t game just for the sake of gaming. That was something that really got me stressed- I’d feel anxious and play video games to distract myself, but because I wasn’t enjoying playing, it just made things worse. So now I base more of my decisions on questions like “What would I really enjoy doing right now?” or “What would give me pleasure?” And sometimes the answer is unconventional to the ways I’ve been thinking. How absurd an idea it is to want to read a book instead of play a game. Reading is a semi-productive passtime only to be used in situations where portable and compact entertainment is needed! What rubbish. Reading is pleasurable, especially with tea.
So that’s about where I am at the moment. It’s much, much better than I was a week or two ago. It’s a really difficult idea for me to not be “productive” and do things. My counsellor helped me realise that I’ve always suffered the feeling of needing to look busy. For whom? Myself and my mother mainly. All my life I’ve maintained the facade of looking like I’m doing important things with my life, but really, the most important things I’ve neglected. Like naps, and cooking and going for walks. I’m trying to get used to the idea that it’s okay to not do things. It’s okay to have a blank schedule. And if I want to be selfish and say no to people, that’s perfectly reasonable too. I don’t have to live up to the expectations of my friends, tutors, sensei or even myself. If I want to be by myself, that’s okay, and I can do that for as long as I want. A huge part of me loves my own company, and I really want to get to know myself better, away from the expectations of others. But I’m also learning that I don’t need to withdraw from the world like a hermit to do that- I can still do all that’s required of me as a student, a martial artist, a boyfriend, a friend etc. and still take the time to learn about myself. I can live in the world and still be happy. And that sucks a little, because I was really looking forward to withdrawing from the social realm on an emergency vacation, but I know now that I don’t “need” to. Maybe I’ll do it anyway, but probably not for three months. Even when I’m feeling overwhelmed, I’m still perfectly capable of looking after myself and still doing everything that needs to be done. And that’s a pretty wonderful thing to realise.
So I’m kind of rambling now. It’s only 8:30 but I haven’t slept well the past few nights (partially because a certain brother of mine was talking loudly to his friends on the internet all night long with the door open. But that’s okay, because I’m proud of him for pulling an all nighter to finish a music video project, so it evens out a little), so I think I’ll have an early night soon. I’m just going to close with some random poetry which I said I’d post a while back. I cringe a little to read it now, but it was one of my first attempts at poetry.
The Snowflake (2005)
“A hundred thousand brothers and sisters twirled and fluttered by.”
Glittering, shimmering snowflakes,
Pure as pure can be,
Were swept up by the wind,
And cast towards the sea.
The clouds blotted out the shining sun,
Their storms drawing shadows.
In the night, a snowflake fell,
And skimmed across a meadow.
The cattle grazed, and looked to the sky,
And there they saw it drift.
The snowflake went on, flying by,
On its journey swift.
Over the quiet hills
And down towards the river.
The night so icy freezing cold,
The fish began to shiver.
Twirling and spinning and pirouetting,
Slicing through the air.
A snowflake to survive this long,
Such a sight was rare.
A cherry blossom, somewhere else,
Was snatched while in its sleep.
Taken by the wind’s chilled hand,
It fell towards the deep.
Landing on the riverbed,
It was swept up by the stream.
And from the sky came the little flake,
Its path quite like a dream.
Touching elegantly on the blossom’s nose,
The two seemed to embrace.
A newfound fellowship was born,
As delicate as lace.
Together they drifted down and down,
Floating on the rush.
The river’s restless, hurried current,
Breaking gently through the hush.
As the sun began to rise,
The petals seemed to wilt.
The bliss could only last so long;
Utopia on stilts.
The petals curled, and became faint,
Their colour weak and dreary.
The dawn gave birth to death and light,
From the sky, so eerie.
And as the rays reached the little flake,
It too began to change.
As warmth met cool, and ice met heat,
Something happened, strange.
The crystals slowly merged to one,
As it began to melt.
The sun scorched ever mercilessly down,
So swift it never felt.
As the river’s flow increased,
The two knew they would die.
Their short life, their companionship,
Was nothing but a lie.
The world was no place for such a timid pair,
What made them hope at all?
It mattered not, for they had tried,
Though they began to fall.
Holding close for one last time,
The knew they’d met their end.
But in death they found some hope, some strength,
In relying on a friend.
The two did not die that day,
They did not greet demise.
The story does not end just yet,
For there is a moral, wise.
Company brings more than friends,
And friends bring more than strife.
It is with those whom you love most,
You find meaning in your life.