Alone, with your thoughts, in a place where you’d think you’d have company …
(American Gods Season 1, Episode 1)
is the enemy of my progress.
I was thinking about that word and how apt it was, to describe how the modern mind works nowadays. You flit from one idea to the other, like an indecisive butterfly, never really committing to taking all the nectar from one idea, one philosophy, one … anything.
Right now, I’m supposed to be asleep. It’s 0241 in the AM. I got work at 0900 but once I’m bitten by the writing bug, it won’t let me sleep.
So it’s Red Bull in the morning, and maybe 4-5 hours of sleep.
Writing is the one thing that is never fickle. It’s an obsession, a force of habit that stems from me desperately needing to get something off my chest and clear my mind-space for more efficiency.
Writing is the exhaust of my engine. It lets out all the bad thoughts, all the nasty gas, and cleanse the mind of clutter and build-up emotions.
It hasn’t failed me yet.
But where was I? Oh yeah … fickle.
It’s a good word to approach how I have behaved towards this challenge, post – TET. I can tell my heart isn’t quite in it as much anymore. But that’s OK. Habits … whether your heart is there or not, is you programming yourself to do it.
I take showers in the morning. I brush my teeth. I change a certain way. I do lots of things that construe habits.
What is an hour of exercise at 1900? Another habit I just have to stick to. But getting there, where it’s automatic is another story altogether.
It makes you sound weak.
It makes you sound indecisive.
Fickle … it makes me worried. Can I commit?
If I can’t commit to this simple challenge, what else will I drop at the slightest provocation?
Girlfriends? Education? Health?
I’m afraid of what I have been doing to myself.
In this day and age, it’s so easy to blame other things. To paint yourself a victim.
But I’m not built that way. I believe you have a choice. An active decision making process that makes you the sole person to blame. You can’t go around blaming other people and other things, when in reality, it was your series of choices and decisions that lead you up to this point.
But what are you afraid of Damocles? I hear you ask.
I’m afraid of technology. I’m afraid of being stuck in a shitty job. I’m afraid that my Tofu Events business will never take off.
Because I am fickle.
Technology … has that insidious feeling of rotting you away. I can feel it a bit like a cancer inside of me. Endless crap on Facebook makes you a lesser person. I see endless shit on that site. Constant news articles decrying humanity and society. Mundane and inane shit that people love to tag each other in. Stupid memes that serve to cheapen topics of importance.
They say it brings people closer to together, that more of the world is accessible. I say to that, yes, but you were so preoccupied about with whether you could or couldn’t and never stopped to think about whether you should.
One reason I stay isolated more than the average person is to keep my creativity as fierce as possible. Being the odd one out may have its temporary disadvantages, but more importantly, it has its permanent advantages –
I keep seeing it everywhere … the more connected you are, the more time you spend on the web, it leads to the numbing of the brain. You only need to look at the inane stupidity of voters, toilet rolls and a virus that isn’t even that virulent.
When you are in an echo chamber, and your voice suck, but you keep hearing it every time you log in, eventually you fool yourself into thinking its beautiful.
And that is what Facebook and similar things is like. An auditorium with all the stuff you like, constant playback of the things you hold dear, a product of an unfeeling algorithm.
How can one grow, when surrounded by only the things you want to see, hear, feel and experience?
The art of conversation, intelligence and discussion is lost on that site. People used to go to cafes and discuss topics of great importance and the future.
Now, they laugh at the present times and don’t think twice beyond their next meal that they will Instagram.
I sound like one of those cranky old people.
I probably am. But that’s what happens when you think about the future too much. You become too serious. Too afraid. Too conscious of your decisions. It makes you want to act. But you are frozen with indecision. Because anything you’ll do, will affect the future. And the future is full of consequences.
Beyond being an hyper individualist, I suppose I like to think of myself as a futurist. People would get depressed if they consider the future for a second.
My depression fuels the nihilism within, but the desire to make something of myself snuffs that nihilistic fire out all the time.
Social media … has proven to me, time and time again, that it’s a corruption of “social” skills. You can’t have social skills if you just meme, like, tag and comment on things all the time. You’re just emulating what social skills are. If you have a conversation in reality, you can’t just like what someone says. You have to put thought into it.
And putting thought into something is hard for fickle people. Even harder when your attention span has been shortened thanks to a shorthand in social skills.
Don’t be an addict to your phones. Since when was this tiny rectangle become such a time-consuming, attention seeking automatic habit for me?
I feel like those people who chain smoke cigarettes and keep reaching for one.
But instead of dragging nicotine through my lungs, I’m trying to feed my mind with a notification.
To be an addict, is to be life’s ultimate parasite.
Your only nutrient is what you crave.
Addiction should always be loathed.
A shitty job fear is obvious and entirely linked to my work ethic regarding Tofu Events. I keep playing games instead of working hard. I keep putting it off.
Because I’m tired already. I’m just one guy. The work-load has only intensified since I’ve actually come up with a plan for it. If I had no shitty job, it would be alright. I could dedicate every waking moment to it (but would I actually? In a Utopia; yes, realistically fuck no).
But I got one. It’s called being a Trainee Store Leader at Miniso Australia. And now, I’m burdened with the responsibility of looking after it.
And knowing me, I won’t be satisfied if I do the job half-arsed.
But it’s shitty, I hear you say, why the fuck do you care Damocles? They pay you like crap and you can just do bare minimum.
Because everything I do, whether it’s given to me, forced on me, or whatever else on me, I want to do to the best of my abilities. I hate regrets more than I fear failure. I don’t care if something fails. As long as I know I tried my hardest to make it work.
In 5 months, they can close down the store I run, but at least I can say, it’s not my damn fault that they did. All the elements in my control, I controlled to the maximum of my ability and with an annoying OCD mindset and in the end, it was just the world saying Fuck You to me.
But I spat back at it, with everything I had.
I didn’t take it kneeling, and I sure as shit didn’t let the opportunity slip past me, without me trying to make my mark on it.
I hate inaction as much as I despise regret the emotion.
Because they’re linked and tied at the hip. They’re like Siamese twins together. You do nothing about something … and boom, there comes regret.
So even though the job is crap, I got my hands tied in how to improve it, give it my all I shall.
But just at 90%. I got to learn how to leave work at work. I can’t bring it home and let it get me all down.
Therefore interfering with my work for Tofu Events.
God, there is just so much to do for Tofu. It’s a massive weight on my shoulders. I need to email so much. I need to fix my website a lot more. I got so much more advertising to do.
There are so many times, when I should be exercising, but I put it off to do Tofu work, only to get fickle-minded about it, and sad and angry and bothered by the sheer work-load, that I end up trying to de-stress and end up playing games.
It’s a vicious cycle.
Thankfully, I have not put on any more weight though.
I seem stuck at 75kg. So damn close to my target of 69kg.
It may sound stupid now, but I just realised that the only way to properly de-stress myself is to get to work.
I just HAVE to commit myself to my course of action and get shit done for Tofu. Otherwise I will never be able to move forward.
How ironic. Such a simple solution. But it never really clicked for me.
It’s so true what they say about obvious answers.
But like anything obvious and true, it’s never easy and non-sacrificial.
The truth always takes something out of you.
In my case, it just removed a tiny bit of fickleness.
In which I am very grateful indeed.
The point about me listing those fears above, is that at any given time, I had a choice to do something about them. I could switch off my phone. I could delete Facebook. I could change my feed … so that it’s less stupid. So that the things I see on there are more interesting, more varied, less cancerous.
These are the type of decisions everyone has the power to make. It’s why every so often, I head to my friends list and delete the ones I don’t talk to anymore.
I could have chosen to quit Miniso and make my life aimless and broke again, while I scrabble desperately around to make Tofu Events work. But instead I chose to do 2 jobs at the same time. To sacrifice a bit of mental health, well-being and freedom after 6pm to do even more work.
All these choices were mine.
And mine alone. I can complain in hindsight, I can break down over the work, but at the end of the day, there is no one to blame but myself.
Life is simpler, when you realise that you alone control your destiny. That there isn’t some omnipotent being out there controlling your destiny.
It’s just you.
Yes or No. You either said yes or you said no.
And I chose yes to all those things above, to all the things I fear, all the things I have to sacrifice, because at the end, if I am not pushing myself all the time, how can I possibly be better at anything? I can’t just be playing games all day.
There’s no money or satisfaction in that.
But there is, in one day quitting Miniso, knowing that Tofu is on its way, on its feet and is actually a successful start-up.
Just as there is similar satisfaction in cleansing my mind of the crap you see so often on social media. A detox away from it all. To stop having small anxieties about who messaged me, whether I got a like, or reaching for my phone every 5 minutes to assure that anxiety.
The way forward is clearer now.
I’m going to get my life sorted again. Back to running between two roundabouts, back to skipping so much I almost sprain my legs.
Back to being creative at writing, exorcising my demons, and mental clutter.
Back to the future?
Oh God. That was horrible. Sorry.
But it’s true. If I want to make my future better, I better get to work on it now.
Just wished it wasn’t so hard and difficult.
P.S. It’s currently 0326 … I suspect my shift at Miniso tomorrow will not be pleasant.