The 400th entry to Better Zombie had the wrong URL for over 12 hours… oops! That’s a trivial mistake. One problem I had growing up – maybe we all did – was the fight toward perfection through never acknowledging your mistakes. It’s always someone/something else’s fault I didn’t get that good grade. That irrational irresponsibility leads to subconscious suffering. Rather than admitting a problem to overcome it, if you avoid confronting the problem, you grow to fear it!
I’ll sometimes ask questions a self-aware videogame character might ask to progress the story along. (…I was a character in a videogame…) Especially when there’s enough time for parting words, I like asking for advice. Along with the extra lives’s worth of experience, these are the most rewarding conversations, because when faced with the reality that we may never meet again, any pretenses are dropped, and we exchange unfiltered truths about ourselves and our realities.
We have too many distractions. Some distractions are good. Too many distractions leads to that certain indecisiveness that spoils us of our time, enables us to be lazy, and prevents us from doing what we must. These distractions help us cope with terrible commutes or mediocre gigs at the expense of addressing what we must do to resolve the origins of these stressors. Taken broadly, the more we distract ourselves, the less we can do.
If “The Story” is my writing end goal, why distract myself with so much? The rowing makes sense because it’s good to be healthy. Why not compress it down? Spend that time studying fiction? Read the classics? Take classes, write drafts, send them out for criticism, revise, and learn the craft? Well, the thing about John (left) and Trishna (right) is that they’re two shades of our reality spectrum, and their story references it all.
Through many thousands of words on self-improvement, “you’ll be fine” should be the overarching mantra that glues it all together. We must now endure an unprecedented amount of stress, from work and others, in this modern reality. Wasn’t the future suppose to be easier? More stress-free? Instead we must find coping mechanisms in inebriation, toys, and escapism to cope. “What happened? We never used to need to worry like this.” “It’s stress. It affects everything [2,3].”
Words mean nothing when you’re stressed out and longing for that familiar, harmful way to decompress. Even close to five years later, the numbness of having a drink or five is still ingrained in my psyche as the ideal evening. We must instead practice alternative actions. Since I don’t think as clearly in the evenings, after constantly confronting stress, I go to sleep early to subconsciously wade through that stress to arrive at actionable solutions.
Words mean nothing? If only it were that easy to ignore the comments of others! Especially when I haven’t been confident with my abilities or even my sense of self, even subtly critical statements would dig deep. Now it’s not so much that I don’t care, it’s just I really take a critical look at the sender. Do I know this person? Do I trust this person’s judgement in this area? If not, trash it!