End of 2018

It’s getting close to the end of this year. As I’m writing this, I have hardly slept and spent a few nights laying in bed wondering and thinking to myself. I have slowed down in writing my thoughts in my blog in this latter half because I haven’t been too well since my doctor passed away. I am still hoping I will get the help I need before it’s too late. I just have to practice and find a balance to everything which I hope can help me away from my malaise.

I haven’t picked up my camera in the past month. Starting to feel bad about it since I haven’t taken a lot of photos. Looking through it’s viewfinder, I miss how it feels and the joy it use to make me feel. Perhaps around Christmas or after Boxing Day I’ll take up photography again. The most difficult part right now is keeping up with work.

Getting a seasonal gig with my former employer is great, despite all the pain I went through last year. I hope eventually it will turn into a part time job considering the first time I felt fairly qualified to work more than a sales associate, assistant manager perhaps? Regardless I’m glad and I get to see all the people I’ve met before, though I have forgotten most of their names.

As what I hope to be the second last post of the year I guess I should try and make a list of all I have accomplished this year. As per my doctor’s last recommendation, I’m starting to look into a lot of cognitive therapy to cope. So…accomplishments:

  • Went to Niagara Falls for the first time In January it’s still beautiful despite the cold, icy, wet weather. I wish I spent more time.
  • Surpassed 300 photos on 500px. Also surpassed 10, 000 shots on my first DSLR camera.
  • Bought a new laptop. For now I have two but eventually I will have one once I feel comfortable enough to part this old thing I found in the trash. You have served me well.
  • New toys! Bought two used lenses, one (almost) brand new lens, and a used camera body. Overall I paid market price after having them professionally cleaned.
  • More recent, started to look into sleep meditation and actively managing my depression. The ADHD behaviors I can accept but the feeling sad stuff needs a lot of attention.
  • Enjoyed a long lost hobby, reading! I’m nowhere near attentive for novels but I’ll accept a good narrative after playing Life is Strange and Life is Strange: Before the Storm. Which reminds me, I should preorder the comic book.
  • Finished Fallout 4. Now I can move on to other games. Hopefully that gaming list shrinks quickly.
  • Paramore!! Second time I saw them live. Still great but I connected more with their previous album.
  • Getting on the dating scene? A bit embarrassing but I can own up to it. Been on way more dates than the last 4 years combined. No winners…yet.
  • A year without Star Trek Online. I haven’t logged in for so long. I think I can finally move on since the Kelvin timeline and Discovery kind of gave me a sour taste for it.
  • Nuit Blanche art event. Spent the entire night checking out all the arts and culture. Last year was way too political. Still very crowded if not worse.
  • Bought CD’s. An old medium but once I get a portable disc player, I’m going to have fun.
  • I got Instagram to share some photos.
  • I got business cards, I wish I could add my Instagram on them. They came first.

Still more to come in the last few weeks. My plans are to buy the SNES Classic and maybe the NES. I’m thinking of another Niagara trip either Niagara-On-The-Lake or somewhere small. I still want to snap photos and hopefully punch through to 400 on 500px. Lastly…

…I want to write my final post for the year. Stay tuned!

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False Positive Reinforcement

I realized more recently that positive reinforcement doesn’t necessarily work for me. In this day in age, everyone is trying to see the better of things. Even then, the tiny voice in my head wouldn’t let me accept other people’s positive attitude especially if it’s directed at me.

I’m questioning a lot about myself recently. I’m not uncertain, but I feel like a kid breaking open the toaster and wondering how it all makes toast. How did my life so far created this burnt mess? I feel like I’m asking all the questions and I’m not solving anything. I guess it’s that empty part of me I’m still looking for, those answers to questions I should be asking.

A simple “good job” or “well done” triggers the inner pessimist. I don’t think I’m ever doing good or have done well to be congratulated. I just do. In a way it self-establishes I don’t have skills, yet I do. I have a talent to be talentless. I look at myself and see someone who has not achieved anything with age and wisdom. I look around me and I see a bunch of people who have at least an accolade they can be proud of, yet I’m here with a few people thinking I am worth something. Inside, I feel I don’t necessarily deserve it.

Perhaps a life time of negative reinforcement is catching up. Perhaps what I see in positive reinforcement will never come because it’s just how I grew up.

Retrospective.

It’s my birthday month. After a long ass time working on my blog, it’s hasn’t change much compared to everything else in my life.

From what I can comfortably tell, this blog has gone through a few changes and I’ve tried to do one thing and another. I tried reviewing stuff here, I’ve ranted and still ranting, I’ve tried to reach out to the community a bit for some inspiration. The problem for me is I was never much a reader. It’s an unfortunate situation because reading is a great thing to do. Ever since I started this blog, I do want to read more. Recently I’ve even bought a few graphic novels and books. I’m actually reading through Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy by Dr. David D. Burns, MD, kind of want to but at the same kind of have to; it’s what my doctor says, so I feel I should find the answers to my own problems. Still reading for the sake of reading is beyond my grasp. I think awhile ago, I did mention this blog is more about to document changes; just a bit of something to share and look back on one day (assuming WordPress will still be around before and after I die).

I think I’ve made a lot of progress within the one or two years. Within the two years, I’ve gotten a part time job and still planning to work more often. Within a year I think I can recollect a bunch of new things I’ve tried and retried. I’ve taken up photography through buying a new camera. As you’ve seen in previous posts, there has been a few photos which turned out well. I’ve connected to the paint.net program through this, I’ve never found photo editing to be a fun task. Though my medium is digital, I admire some work still done with film. Those film photographers out there, you folks do have a remarkable skill. I’ve also made some small purchases as well from the book store aside from Feeling Good. Most of graphic novels and perhaps I might read more through graphic novels. After I’m done with this self-help, I’m ready for a light or fictional piece.

What I expect going on for the next year, I hope I gain and never lose. I’ve had a long slump in the past with only scarce small victories. Now I’m hoping more small victories with little losses, more gains and a flourishing lifestyle.

And cake, more cake!

The Other Side.

Recently at work, I have been on the opposite of where I was over a year ago. Rather than being the trainee, I was supporting the staff in training.

I had a year of learning my job and now looking back, it feels like a lifetime has passed since then; sitting in a remote field, I can’t help but think. It’s been almost a decade since I got out of school, almost two years into the second steady job I’ve had since I started working; this nostalgic feeling under the bough of this lone tree, I can’t help but crack a smile.

Sometimes, it does feel there isn’t enough time to really sit back and watch it all go by; life in it’s minute workings, then seeing a bit of yourself without your ego. You were once there and now here you are on the other side of the machine, the painting, the tableau. It’s beautiful knowing all he hardships have brought you have right back around, yet there is nothing you want more to keep going not matter how tiring it can be.

There may be days when it can be slow, mindless and monotonous. The know there are others around you coming from different backgrounds coming together for similar things, it’s something…zen about it. Even on a hot day where I want to do nothing but drink water and watch the clouds go by, just a bit of work in the mix made it something worthwhile.

Perhaps the most worthwhile things are those we don’t necessarily see but it is when we see it.

Time

“I’ll do it later”, this phase much like myself have said and thought many times. Many times before, I have this and little have been accomplished and little was ever explored. Recently I found myself thinking about time; in it’s power and fleeting, I could only cherish what I have left for it.

The last couple weeks I’ve been hard at work, task after completed task.  Always moving and doing, something I don’t mind when I’m not sore or tired. However this week was a very big push with much to do with very little hands to complete them. After a long day, a co-worker I rarely seen or spoke to asked if I wanted to join him for the evening to meet some people. By this time, I wanted to do nothing more to sleep or say “Maybe another time.” Insistent as he is, I agreed to go; I later found out, it was a dance class.

Not much of a dancer, I played with the notion of learning. For my first class, I did fairly well though if I did keep trying, I would be excel. As the instructor went through each routine in the corner of my eye, I saw this one girl. There were a lot of women in this class as well as men, I wasn’t too sure why she drew my attention. As the class winds down, I knew two things. First, I’m a terrible dancer. Secondly, I had to speak to her. Just an impulse I wanted to walk up and introduce myself. As awkward as I tried to not be with my introduction, I think I did a good job breaking the ice. We spend about an hour talking about her education and my work. We exchanged Facebook contacts.

Now two days after first contact, I come to realize later will always come but time is always running out. Of all the potential women I could’ve of asked out, I’ve chucked it to the the phrase “maybe later”. I spent my days saying rather than doing. Dreaming rather than working. As awkward this Easter can be, I really want to innovate myself. Perhaps this is the later I’ve been waiting for and now I can start living.

Tenacity.

Recently, I had the opportunity to use my “once a month” airsoft budget to play again. This time rather than the shy timid person I was, I opened up to myself as the personality that I am towards my fellow players. Though I must admit I was a bit physically rough with myself with some sustained injuries, it wasn’t that painful compared to my last experience. Definitely lessons learned and points to sustain for every outing. However this time as I readied for the first round of the night (2 v. 2 team deathmatch), I felt less of the hesitation and nervousness that I feel when I try something new. Second time at the facility, I really felt ready to play. My rifle recalibrated and optics finally sighted, any fears faded and began to live here and now. As the referee counted down – “THREE”, my mind racing and thinking. Will I draw blood this time around? I am getting older, why am I living like this? “TWO”, how will this round will turn out? how will other think if my injuries was caused by these actions? Hundreds of questions until the call. “ONE”, silence. It was me, my breath and heartbeat as I drew my rifle up for the go.

Many things in my life, the best things happened in my life this far, have occurred when I’m nervous and scared. Unsure of the future, unsure of the consequences; risk and risk alone was the award for me. Yet risk and risk alone was what ended those great ventures. When I was young, I feared risk. Risk of injury, risk of loss, risk of failure. Much of the best years of my life is avoiding risk. I realize risk is what I need the most.

Life is indeed about trying new things, growing outside a shell. Though it’s not permission to go wild, it’s the steadfast determination when facing impending consequences. Being into the very moment to think and react and to not be ready what will have days and weeks beyond.

This moment in time is what we have left of ourselves. The next moment might not be the same. It could be but there is nothing to gain in a moment if it is the same. In the very moment, nothing beyond should really matter but right now. In my life, it has only happened once. The moment when my mind clears and I am in that moment. The moment when everything is nothing but what I hear, smell, touch and see. Itself in words only can quantify an infinite feeling. It’s almost exhilarating and yet I dare find it.

Lesser are my fears even if they exists. Facing them and challenging them is one thing I alone must achieve. Perhaps in it all fear is our greatest enemy but tenacity is humanities greatest weapon.

Specking IRL

In video games, especially in MMO’s, specking is a way if life. The purpose to be best of the best; either to be the most swift, the most smart or the most strong. Which would explain why everyone looks alike in their equipment, either to counter weakness or amplify their strengths. As I grow older, it seems to me this fact slowly holds true in many vectors in living.

Must like video games, modern society focuses on learning a set of skills or possess particular knowledge akin to skills and attributes. When you go to school at a young age, it’s merely the tutorial to the real world. It should be teaching things to talk to other people and complete certain tasks. Over time you begin to do these things regularly in different settings and with speed. Then you get into university, that’s where you specialize into doing something in the group. This institution is the two to six years where you pick you class, archetype or specialization. After that with much hope and debt, you are thrown into the open world with other newbies and seasoned veterans. It this ultimate massively open world experience; you get no respawns and rerolls, reputation and social groups matter, and the choice to add more specializations at a cost.

Choosing something for yourself in this game may be difficult but like any MMO, it’s based on what you want. If you want a life of brute labour, focus mainly on a strength build of lifting weights and running. If you want to be more brain than brawn, tapping out data and equations; then calculus and mathematics should be something you should really concentrate. If you stay the course, you would do fairly well. Those who decide to backtrack and choose something else, it can get difficult. Without the safety of a tutorial environment, you would have to learn on the go. If you wind up in a grind, you wouldn’t have just bored to deal with; some people just can’t handle it and would just get fed up.

As a person with a intelligence build who is more into a physical build, here’s my advice to anyone still in tutorial. Find something. Pick something you are good at and go with it. If you can think fast then find something more fast pace. You like to lift? Then pick a laborious workfield. Want to stick to something you like to enjoy? Stick to it. Disregard what other people say to you that you won’t make money or whatever, screw them all. People want you to have a intelligence build and all you want is agility with some strength, then agility and strength. It is up to you to make those choices to get you the right build. When you get it right, things will be easy. Get it wrong? Well…let’s hope you enjoy a longer grind to the top than you think.