The thing about processing life is that I am mostly frustrated by things that don’t make sense: irrational choices, emotional accusations, you know, the whole gamut. Acceptance is the dirty word here-you call it acceptance, I call it resignation.

It goes against my nature to just give up. Sometimes, the right thing to do is to give up-I need to accept this. This is true especially when I don’t really want the thing that I’m pursuing-I’m simply playing to win, to prove to myself that I can win, that I always win. What’s with me and winning? Maybe I don’t realize how competitive I am.

The natural next question is, ‘Am I pursuing a win for validation?’, “Do I really need these people to accept me?” I don’t think so. I think I simply am proving to myself that I am acceptable-these other people on the outside are tools that confirm where I stand on the scale of acceptance. They are replaceable-which tells me that I view my life as a series of challenges where I prove to myself that I am acceptable using people on the outside as my gauge in this effort.

Who is this God inside me that I am proving this to? If this God is me, why can’t I accept me without these validation games on the outside? I don’t seem to be comfortable gauging self by my own standards. I want to be objectively acceptable. If they accept me, I can accept me.

The danger with self-standards is not knowing where you stand objectively. Of course, the key is to reach a middle ground between my own and objective standards. This means, I am not going to be acceptable to everyone out there-I was running that risk either way. I need to be able to accept that as a possible outcome-that I will not win all the time and that’s ok. Sometimes, I am worth more to myself than the win is.

My thoughts have been clearer since last week. My brain has been making sense of things in the past, as it usually does; on auto.

I’ve got a lot done: re-arranged my bookshelf, vacuumed the entire house, cleaned the bathroom, put up some pictures, rolled out an area rug under my bed months after purchase, organized my desk, re-started making my bed in the mornings-I have no idea when I stopped doing this. As you can imagine, my space and my head seem tidier.

There have been moments in the past that I’ve woken up one morning and my brain has fully processed everything there was to process-it’s as if I woke up to a new chapter of life. I’m simply waiting for that day-I feel it approaching fast.

Pain is interesting to think about. As someone who suppresses most emotions, I don’t usually feel physical or emotional pain; neither do I remember pain. It takes me two days to realize that I’m sick. A couple of years ago, I was depressed for months before someone told me I was and that I should probably talk to a therapist-I had no idea until I was told.

Being unable to remember past pain leads to repeating patterns of behavior that lead to painful situations. It’s a kind of insanity, really.

When it comes to emotions, the only way out is through. Suppressing pain leads to lack of awareness, which leads to subconscious anger and bitterness, which in turn lead to frustration and negativity expressed in thoughts and behaviors.

Sometimes, when I express my thoughts out loud to people, I am told that I am being very negative. It is at this point that I realize, I have subconscious pain that I have not dealt with. I do not realize that I am being negative until I am told so-that’s how disconnected I am from my emotions.

It is painful to realize that I am causing others discomfort by talking about my pain. It is easy to let that thought lead me down the road of self-pity. “Woe is me, no one cares about me, yada yada.”

I have heard of cry-routines that worked for other people-I might try that; the thing about cry-routines is that I get distracted by other things and forget about committing to the cry-I will need to work on that.

As an alternative, I can journal and try to process my emotions on my own or I can pay someone to help me process and give me honest feedback. The alternative seems like the way to go.

Took the day off work yesterday to, well, work without the distractions of meetings. Sadly, this is a common occurrence for me. Worked all day and got a lot done though. All this to say that my mind spent most of its time doing focused work rather than taking things in-the latter is the norm for me.

Woke up this morning with a much clearer and focused mind. The usual clutter of thoughts about other people ceased. I observed myself thinking about what I could get done today and how to get things done efficiently.

It’s as if I am back in control of my thoughts-in the driver’s seat; no longer a back-seat driver. At the risk of sounding dramatic about it, I feel like I am me again for the first time in months.

Things are looking up.

It occurred to me today that over the last 10 years, I’ve moved 15 times, among 7 cities, across 3 countries. That’s more than once a year!

I wonder how common something like that is. Here are stats from other people I know over the last 10 years.

Looks like I may be on the higher end of that spectrum – it does depend on what phase of life you’re in, of course-in which case, everyone in that list apart from my mom and brother would be fair comparison.

Moving has never really been an ordeal for me-I seem to be more focused on my goals rather than the inconvenience or emotional effects of leaving a place.

Over these changes, I’ve learned to live, get along and connect with people from different cultural backgrounds, beliefs and races. I’ve also learned, tolerance, generosity and when I need to get away. As I write this, I realize that I may have moved more than some people have in their entire lifetime.

A few weeks ago, I had a conversation with someone who mentioned that they are too attached to their garden to move out of their current place. It’s interesting that they would choose to sacrifice opportunities to live a much better life for a garden that they can acquire at any other time in their life.

On the other hand, these days, millennials speak of lifestyle design: working backwards from a vision of your ideal life. We have remote software jobs that can be worked from a mountaintop or a sleepy coastal town. People seem to be abandoning the chase and returning to simplicity. The chase makes sense when figuring out a career but things eventually slow down and the chase is abandoned in favor of ‘laying down roots’.

I don’t expect to move much in the next 10 years. In case I have to, I think I’m well equipped for it.

It is day five of no social media.

I am usually able to fake social interaction by watching podcasts on youtube. It’s surprisingly effective-not the case today.

I need to make friends IRL or get chatty with co-workers on slack. Hope this gets better.

A few days ago, I was thinking about a problem involving other people in my life.

On thinking the situation through, I concluded that I should have communicated my expectations and boundaries better with those involved.

Talking this through with two other people, I received two very different responses. One reached the same conclusion as I did and suggested that I should have communicated my expectations while acknowledging that there is shared responsibility in any situation. The other painted me to be the guilty party while absolving the others of all responsibility.

Critique is something that I can work with and is therefore valuable. Accusation, however, is imbalanced and casts unhelpful blame onto someone who may actually want to improve.

Critique me all day but miss me with those accusations.

Last week, I decided to get off social media for a few months. This was preceded by a gradual decrease in the amount of time I spent on these apps over a three-week time interval.

It all started with a panic attack towards the end of December 2022. On researching the attack and processing the events leading up to it, my frequent use of social media was clearly at the root of this problem.

Prior to this, social media was not an issue for me-I was a passive consumer. Never actively engaging with people, I used it to keep up with current events and feed my interests. Until, I encountered discord.

Discord is addictive because of how quickly you connect with people on voice chats, the smooth interface, seamless integration with gif sites like tenor, the ability to multi-react to a message, threads, consistent availability of features on the web, desktop and mobile apps. Yes, I know the discord mobile app isn’t perfect but have you tried Facebook messenger? It’s akin to going back to the stone age.

People who frequent discord servers seem to struggle to regulate their discord use. They would leave servers and re-join them in a week or so, never being able to stick to their decision to leave. Discord seems to be a place where time stands still-a place people frequent to hit pause on their real lives. I find this observation to be true in myself.

Nothing is worth sacrificing my long-term goals for-be it connecting with people, ‘having fun’ or learning about interesting things. Personal fulfillment is a non-negotiable for me.

Two things: Thing one-most people on discord seem to be addicted to it and using this addiction to stall things that need to be done IRL. Thing two-IRL connections with people > online connections in terms of satisfying our social needs as a species.

I do value the connections I made on discord but choose to reject the app. Taking a break off media for a few months should help me make better decisions on how to integrate social media into my life, if at all.

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