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  1. Ikar

    Ikar's Diary

    12 June - 16 June: I met my friend, spent time with my girlfriend and attended a small high-school reunion. It was nice to see the guys after a while. I also finished the testing of students who had it as a requirement. I also worked on updating my website yesterday, although I am heavily considering consulting a professional. I strongly believe in improving my online presence as much as I believe in improving my actual teaching skills. It's really on the same level and these two must go together. My brother, my girlfriend and I also visited my mom at the spa. The visit was OK, so I hope it helps her mental health. She should come back home the next week. I was also a bit bored yesterday, but I did some things around the flat. It's odd, but necessary to be bored sometimes. I haven't watched porn in almost a month, so hooray for that 😄
  2. Wow, I can't imagine the nerve of that person. I can imagine happening it once (even though meeting somebody new should likely be top priority), but not twice. I'm certain it's a good thing you won't work there, if that's how it goes there 😄 Do you have any support to help you with that? I started solving my porn problem actively and I've been clean for almost a month now.
  3. I don't know myself, but I think every relationship is different in this aspect. If the dynamic is set correctly and both parties agree, then there's not much to disprove. To expand on your safe space idea: my girlfriend can be angry and happy (at the same time!) about the qualities that I have to make her safe space "happen". It really depends on the context.
  4. Ikar

    Ikar's Diary

    8 June - 11 June: I went out with some friends I hadn't seen in a long time. I also visited my family and worked on the kitchen. I went to the last of the doctor's appointments and I am happy to say everything is OK. I've been craving porn for the last few days, but I'm porn-free for almost a month. I'm in touch with a non-profit that offers resources and support for porn addicts. If you guys @Pochatok and @BooksandTrees are struggling sometimes, don't be afraid to reach out.
  5. Ikar

    Ikar's Diary

    I'm using the template I used the last time. 10/5/24 - 7/6/24 "L" will stand for the (last) plan/notes for this term. "T" will stand for done this term. I added "Future goals/direction" to better reflect on the things I am trying to do and to add specificity. I will copy it and stick it somewhere where I can see it to remind myself whenever I feel aimless. I will also use different colors: blue for newly added goals/habits, green for completed/successful, orange for ongoing/some progress and red for ones I haven't worked on in that period. Books/Reading articles/Learning: L: I think that in the last six weeks, I've read the business book once. Not because I don't want to or because it's not practical (it's quite the opposite), but because I'm always doing something else. I have been more active here though. I also went to the speaking club a few times last month. T: I had to return the book, as the library borrowing expired. I worked on the CELTA though, so that's learning and development. Possible direction/goals: (Borrow) and read one book until the next monthly report. Family: L: I had a Easter family meeting and a trip with my brother to try out the new chairs in a showroom. I'm making my grandma's kitchen my priority before I leave for the CELTA course in July. T: I have grown disappointed from the reality of my family. I always thought that if there was a real need, then we'd close up and work together. However, it just seems to me that once the bare minimum is done, then everybody just goes away and doesn't care anymore. The kitchen is a perfect example of that. It's not urgent, so it doesn't get done. I had my other duties to finish in the past year since we bought it LAST June (finishing my degree in September-January and then moving in with my girlfriend February-April), but I could've definitely done more, so I take the blame for that. Yet everybody expects me do just "do" it, while I have the least experience with it. I know nothing about electricity and gas pipes. My expertise stops at assembling furniture from IKEA. Speaking of which, my father told me to ask my brother to help me with assembling/measuring a cabinet, to see how it works out with gas pipes. So I went for sushi with my brother. He told me that I can handle assembling it on my own. So, the next week, I took my girlfriend and another friend, who were actually willing to help me, and assembled the cabinet. It took us two hours in two/three, so I can't imagine the struggle of just doing it alone, which would probably take up the whole afternoon too. I'm not going to beg anyone for help, it's not in my nature. It seems to me this happens every step of the way. I humbly ask for help. I get a limited piece of advice to work with. Then I don't know what to do first, because there is no plan. I can't plan it, as I have no idea what influences what. I am paralyzed, as I have no idea as to what I am missing. The work stops. Nobody ever asks me what the problem is. Everybody either ignores it or thinks it's my turn to do something. I will try to communicate, but I think I have communicated enough and to no avail. I'm exhausted. That's on top of all the other negative stuff: my father not coming to my mom's gallery exhibition, my grandma constantly bitching about my uncle/his second wife or panicking about something trivial and my mom having a mental condition. I just don't think families of any (former) addicts are truly good and functional. That's not to say that all the individual members need to have a bad life or something. I just mean the fact that the unit and its relationships are contaminated and it'd take a sincere effort of all involved to make it better, which is extremely rare. I think you guys @BooksandTrees and @wheatbiscuit and possibly many others would agree. NOT: I don't want to get alienated from my family. Possible direction/goals: Work on getting the new kitchen for my grandma. Continue work on maintaining the relationships with my family. Business/English: L: I was away for two weeks in the last six weeks, but otherwise I can again say it's been going well. The 60/55 minute transition is going well, although I think I should be stricter in enforcing it and perhaps informing my students a bit better. My priority for the next few weeks is to prepare for the CELTA course that starts in July. I want to work on the questionnaire part 3 in May/June as well. I might want to create some list of milestones I've already achieved, in the type of "past projects" below to have a better overview over the work I've done over the years, but I'll leave that for the next report. T: I did the questionnaire part 3. I expect to have next to no lessons in July and probably a few less than usual in August. I'll probably cancel the rest of the agency courses from September, but I'll see in August. I think I don't need to gather new ideas, but I need to work on the ones I already have. - 20 (22) hours last week in May: Category A 75% (74); B 4% (3); C 0% (5); D 13% (11); E 8% (7). Brackets are % values from previous month/week. - I've done a bit of an analysis of my courses and categorized them based on what they provide me. I earmarked five types of courses: a) my own - well paid + generally more motivated students (as they pay the courses themselves) + more challenging b) premium - language school courses paid at a premium compared to my standard LS courses for various reasons (roughly matching the a) group) c) flexible - courses from LS that don't have a fixed schedule, meaning it's on me if I make time for them or not (though I mostly do, as can they plug the gaps or can start my day) d) challenging/fun/prospective - standard LS courses with an added quality e) neither - standard LS courses without any added quality - NOT: I don't want to have a job that I don't enjoy. I don't want to have a job that is not well paid. Possible direction/goals: With my job position and student demand secure, I'm more able and willing to reschedule or even cancel classes in case I want to do something, mainly in the evening and for holidays. I enjoy having this option thoroughly. Keep classes at a stable 20-25 hours a week. Keep asking for reviews or recommendations from students. Look into strategies to become truly self-employed by skipping the agencies in between. - check university offers after CELTA Create a learning plan for myself. - going to CELTA Go through "lecturer academy" materials. Networking and business events. Past projects: Questionnaire - June 2023 Fixed logos on my website for better visuals. Updated the pricing section of my website. Variable/tiered pricing (do in July/August). Got minor pay raises from language schools. - summer 2023 Did evaluations/testing of my students, if required. Attended one networking event and one marketing seminar. Introduced "phone call" classes. Update website/business profiles with "phone calls". Lecturer academy. - fall 2023 Sample business contract on my website. - update the web with new ideas before July Google sheets system for students. - update it Questionnaire part 2 - January 2024 Canceled agency courses - March Taxes - April/May 60/55 minutes online transition - April/May Questionnaire part 3 - June CELTA - July Exercise/Movement: L: Went for a hiking holiday with my girlfriend in Slovenia for two weeks. Went cycling and running as well. T: Went for a hike and went running a few times too. Visited doctors for checkups. NOT: I don't want to become fat. Possible direction/goals: I enjoy the fact I do not have to be "actively" dealing with this area of my life, as it's technically a part of my job. I just have to be on lookout if that was to change. Keep in shape. Blogging: L: I actually got a spur of inspiration and wrote an article in two days. Wow 😄 T: I had an idea for an article and I wanted to write it, but then I did something more urgent and I haven't had the time since. Oh well. Possible direction/goals: Find a suitable UI/web template. Set up emailing for subs. Post two articles a month. Polish links in articles. Interlink new articles with old ones. Finish articles in concepts. --- What to do if I am bored? Replacement activities for 1 hour: reading books, cleaning, washing the dishes, reading newsletters Replacement activities for 2 hours: going for a walk, work on my business, blogging --- Additional thoughts/activities: I had somehow thought I would have more time to do "stuff" after I finished the university in January. I put on average 2-3 hours towards my thesis a day to it throughout October-January. The thing is, I don't think I do have more time. February-April was about moving in with my girlfriend. I'm happy I did. I also had an uptick in the number of students/lessons. I'm also happy for that. However, I have 10 things I have to/should do in my head now. I spent some 5 hours on exploring/writing this report to help me sift through it all. Some of the things are nice and I want to do them, but I don't have the time. Some of them are important or promised, but I don't want to do them. It's OK, I am not THAT much under pressure, but I need a system to get these things done and to move forward. My priorities for the next six weeks: Prepare for the CELTA English teaching course that starts in six weeks. - almost done I want to work on the questionnaire part 3 in May/June as well. - done Reconstruct my grandma's kitchen. - working My hobbies are: personal finance, graphs/projections/statistics, gunnery, GIS/statistics, reading/videos about (modern) history, English, working on my business, blogging/writing, geography. This month, I did these cool activities: stopped watching porn, visited an art exhibition (in which my mom participated), played Scrabble with my girlfriend, went hiking, visited a debate about my region, spent time with my friends. --- Goals/resolutions/aspirations for 2024: Main must-have plans for 2024: Prepare for (Feb-June) and successfully make (July-August) the CELTA certificate course. Finish the university in January. In case something goes horribly wrong, then in May. I've got this. Move in with my girlfriend in April. Set up the new kitchen for my grandma. Optional nice-to-have plans for 2024: Re-start my financial blog in February. Learn how to type with all ten fingers on the keyboard. Habits: Stop watching porn (again). Start getting up when my alarm rings = Put my alarm across the room. Establish flossing at least once a week. Exercise regularly. Continue: planning, walking/exercising, writing/journaling, reading, working on good life/work balance. It's a short list, but if I manage all of it, I will be happy.
  6. Ikar

    Ikar's Diary

    30 May - 6 June: I visited the dentist after a long time, as it was fairly troublesome to find one after my old one retired. My no-porn streak still continues. At the weekend, I spent time with my friends and my girlfriend - we cleaned my car, assembled furniture at my grandma's and went for a hike. I sent the questionnaire to my students and already talked to some about the price increase. I prepared for the CELTA as well. Happy D-Day everyone!
  7. This is a tough point to make. One could very well blame his family for "letting" him become and addict when they didn't detect (or ignored) the fact when as a kid they were falling into the spiral of addiction. On the other hand, everything may have turned out swimmingly if it was not gaming but, for example, engineering. Then the innate energy and effort of the kid would be directed well. I wish my family spent more time with/on me when I was a kid. It depends on the person, but I think it's normal to have a job. Frankly, I always thought of unemployment benefits as allowance for a holiday (though I don't know if you actually receive it) 😄 That "not waking up dead" gave me a chuckle, it sounded relatable for whatever reason, but the list should obviously be fluid. I don't compare it day-to-day, but I'd find it to be suspicious if it stayed more or less the same.
  8. Ikar

    Ikar's Diary

    23 May - 29 May: The questionnaire for my students is finished. I have studied for the CELTA course. I also watched the hockey championship, visited my family and went to a debate about my region. My girlfriend, my friend and I ran in a competition at the weekend and I managed to run 4 kilometers in under 19 minutes with little training. I've also taken active steps to uproot porn from my life; I understand it was a coping mechanism that perhaps made sense in the past, but not really once I quit gaming and started to have better relationships with women.
  9. 5 years is a long time, but it's very likely that those 5 years will eventually pass, so we might as well do something meaningful. Even after all these years, I find that many things are still the same. So while starting my journal to counter gaming was the primary motivation for it back then (and the result of internal turmoil of the months and years before that), today I mostly journal to keep track of myself through time and to organize myself better.
  10. Ikar

    Ikar's Diary

    17 May - 22 May: I caught up on some reading about finance. I also went running with my girlfriend and my friend. I started actively working on my porn problem. I'm also solving the next pricing adjustment, working on the questionnaire for my students and preparing for the CELTA certification.
  11. Unless something is wrong, I think an 18-year old adult is normally able to get by on their own in a society, either by working or studying at the university. Yes, many parents support their kids by paying (a part of) their rent or send them an X amount every month, but I don't think the support is normally too critical. There are some exceptions of course (handicapped kids or severely ill parents), but I'd say that unless you yourself want to be a "people manager" for your dad and "weaker individuals celebrator" for your mom, you shouldn't do that, simply because wasn't/isn't your choice. Their health will naturally get worse over time and if at (your) 40 the situation will be the same, you will be the number 1 person to take care of their checkups, shopping etc. I'm not writing this as a bad thing, but you must count with that as a realistic future outcome, and consider, if it's something you want to happen and then commit to.
  12. I don't have the work/living history mapped out for you and your family, so I don't know if the following is the case. Regardless, if your parents still support you in one way or another, they will want to have some influence over your life. The more existential the support is, the more influence they will exercise. Worse yet, they can still picture you as a child. Once you "break free" of their influence (e.g. by getting a job and paying the rent yourself or moving), they will have no choice but to treat you as an equal. The above was certainly the case with me. I even fell back into that situation when I moved back in with my parents after finishing my army career. It's not something parents will tell their kids outright, but good parents should create incentives to make their kids independent. I got such an incentive when my parents imposed rent on me (for living in their house). I moved out to the student dorms (single room) in autumn 2019 and I guess my expenses/rent stayed more or less the same. 2020 was of course corona year, but I very much preferred to stay in the company of fellow students at the dorm than to move back home again. Really one of the best decisions I've ever made. I have just a few good friends, because I don't have much time to gather a bigger network. I also have work in the evening, meaning my socializing is mostly done with my students and they actually form a big part of my social life. It's an odd situation, because if I am presented with having lessons/working with my students and going out with (my) acquaintances, I mostly choose my students, because I paradoxically know them more, get paid and I also know the atmosphere will be positive and I know there won't be any strange dramas.
  13. Ikar

    Ikar's Diary

    11 May - 16 May: I spent most of 11 May (Saturday) writing my report and organizing myself for days to come. I think I got some good work done overall, or at least started on the projects: 1) I visited my family on Sunday. We went through the next moves regarding my grandma's kitchen. I want to do something, but intelligently and not in a rush. 2) I visited my general practitioner on Monday, asked for and got vouchers to visit four other inspections: two X-rays (one of my feet and one of my thorax), to a proctologist and an ear doctor. I have four or five inspections coming in the next week; I'm also going to visit my dentist. Also used a dishwasher for the first time in my life, though we don't have that many dishes to fill it 😄 3) Finished filing my taxes on Tuesday. 4) "Researched" a surprise for my girlfriend - a skating course on Wednesday. Also looked into getting us mosquito nets for windows. Both are still in process. Went to my mom's exhibition of paintings in the evening. 5) Had 7 courses of English on Thursday (yesterday), so I didn't have much time to do anything else. 6) On top of that, the usual stuff. Sadly, I also watched porn three times after being clean for about a month. I reached out to my girlfriend who in turn reached our to her therapist, whom she meets for specialized support to deal with her eating disorder/bulimia.
  14. I think the assumption in the first paragraph is correct; it is possible to have a meaningful time/life without owning much. I would say that the average Western citizen today has "more money" than they have "mental health". Money doesn't necessarily solve mental health on its own, though you can change it for therapy and other things. In fact, I think money can sometimes show mental health, such as with people who borrow money for holidays or Christmas gifts. Don't ask me why, I don't know either 😄 As for the next paragraph, I think even if somebody "has it all figured out", I think it still takes effort to keep all the things together. Entropy is real and new information becomes available over time. So, I think it's possible to have most of the "answers of life" correct, but this intellectual exercise is nothing compared to putting these answers into practice. The last one is interesting. I think I read something a long time ago that said that if people wrote in a too complicated and verbose way, they a) wanted to impress by being incomprehensible and b) thought to be superior to others who don't know the vocabulary. I like to be creative with words and to play with the vocabulary myself, but at the end of the day, language is for communication with other people. I often break down language to basic elements (or change the level of my speech) to help my students understand - i.e. "talkative" is "somebody who talks a lot". I wouldn't have a job otherwise 😄
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