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Ikar

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  1. 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.
  2. 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 @BooksandTreeο»Ώs are struggling sometimes, don't be afraid to reach out.
  3. 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 @BooksandTreeο»Ώs 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 πŸ˜„ 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.
  4. 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!
  5. 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) πŸ˜„ 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Welcome back! πŸ˜„
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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 πŸ˜„ 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.
  13. 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 πŸ˜„ 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 πŸ˜„
  14. I also remember the time I envied people, for example a girlfriend, but that's luckily been a few years. The last "enemy" I've had was maybe 2-3 years ago. He's a financial adviser. The main quarrel I had with him was that he tried to manipulate me to believe him (invest with him), while I had clearly better investment offers on the table. He kept ignoring my objective (number) questions/suggestions, because he a) didn't know and hadn't done the math himself or b) did know, but wanted to keep me as a client because of the fees going to him through the products. Maybe wearing a nice suit and talking about a money future (without half the important numbers) works well on most people, but I am not most people πŸ˜„ The "us against the world" is a flawed mechanic, but I wouldn't underestimate the number of people who actually believe it. It's also the main policy of many countries and religions. If people could just "snap out of it", it'd be great, but alas they don't. It's true that gamers are not the masters of relationships, but stopping contact after quitting a shared hobby is quite normal. There have been many people I have met during the last 5 years. They were fun, interesting and everything, but there's just not enough time to meet everybody, people live far etc.
  15. Ikar

    Ikar's Diary

    I'm using the template I used the last time. 27/3/24 - 10/5/24 "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: Still reading the business book. Not daily, but enough to get a new idea or two from it every week. Some newsletters too, but not many. T: I think that in the last six weeks, I've read the 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. Possible direction/goals: (Borrow) and read one book until the next monthly report. Family: L: Had a few family meetings, a lunch outside too. T: 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. 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: My work has been going well. I've had some good initial lessons with my students in the last couple of weeks. The uptick in my own courses has been significant. I'm likely going to cancel two agency courses. I was a bit bored after finishing the university, however the last two weeks I'm overwhelmed. I feel like I need to do a better job managing my time and prioritizing again. Maybe I could cancel all agency courses in E, but that'd probably be excessive and needlessly imbalancing. 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. Canceled the two agency courses. I also changed the format of some of my 60minute lessons to 55 minutes, so I won't need to jump from one meeting to another instantly. Things are still going fairly well. T: 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. Now for some statistics: - 1) I decided to dig up the records on all the students I've taught privately, either from my calendar or bank records, so I don't think anyone slipped through the cracks. I included even the smallest jobs. The results are quite interesting: Out of all students who finished having lessons with me, since I started to call this a career, from fall 2020 to December 2023, the average study of my students with me was 6,8 months. The median (the middle student) had 3,5 months of lessons with me. The average study of my students who are still studying with me is 7,7 months. The median is 3 months. If I combine the categories above, it's 7,3 months for the average study. The median is again 3 months. Takeaways: The average student (around 7 months) will not last longer than it takes me to increase the price. I raised prices 4 times in the last 42 months, meaning I increased it once every 10,5 months. One less pressure point when negotiating for better money. The question then of course is whether the higher prices really throttle demand or just change my target group. I've had a few students tell me they chose me also because my prices were professional. My prices are currently about 80-90% of those provided by language schools to individuals. I'm planning to close that gap this year. I managed to gather enough students over time to turn this job of mine into a fully independent living without any intermediaries. I'm gonna consider offering lesson "packages" for the future, although I've been kinda doing that, when students pay me once a month upfront. I also think I provide good enough motivation - positive (via my approach on the lessons, bi-annual questionnaires etc.) and negative (increasing the prices regularly means students need to think whether it's something they need/want). - 2) The number below of 22 taught hours per week holds true. I calculated I also spend about 30 hours a month/7 hours a week on admin tasks (both median and average - from April 2023 to February 2024). I also spent 7 hours traveling to/from my students, regardless if I charge them for that or not (I don't charge walking but I do charge car riding πŸ˜„ ). Voila, 36 hours a week I need to pay myself for. Of course, these are just statistics. There are a lot of things I don't see. - 22 (23) hours last week in April: Category A 74% (71); B 3% (3); C 5% (9); D 11% (11); E 7% (6). 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. Create a learning plan for myself. Go through "lecturer academy" materials. Write down specific areas and what I want to do in them: Networking and business events. Get a system to mark down the progress of my students, together with their learning plan. Check out business vouchers for equipment. Past projects: Questionnaire. 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. 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. Sample business contract on my website. Google sheets system for students. Questionnaire part 2. Exercise/Movement: L: Went for walks and hiking trips with my girlfriend. T: Went for a hiking holiday with my girlfriend in Slovenia for two weeks. Went cycling and running as well. 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: Now, blogging has a reminder in my calendar now, however it's not really an activity I could care for now. We'll see. T: I actually got a spur of inspiration and wrote an article in two days. Wow πŸ˜„ 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. I want to work on the questionnaire part 3 in May/June as well. Reconstruct my grandma's kitchen. 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: went for one smaller trip and one bigger holiday, finished moving, got a great new table and a new chair, went to the theater, worked on my business, hung out with friends, spent time with my girlfriend, went to the cinema, attended speakers' events, fixed my phone, spent time with my family. --- 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.
  16. Ikar

    Ikar's Diary

    4 May - 8 May: Traveled around with my girlfriend a bit more again. We cleared up some future holiday/traveling expectations and planning as well. It wasn't easy to communicate these things, but I believe we are on the same page now and we don't need to clash about it in the future. The weather wasn't as good yesterday and today, but we still managed the trips.
  17. I guess people/actors enter a trance-like experience when they perform. Sure, they have some skills we don't have, but I also think they calibrate themselves towards the performance too. I think theatre actors are mainly interested in these states/benefits and that's why they do their jobs. I'm curious. How do you understand the word "meritocracy"? What is it in your eyes? From the way I understand it, good performers get a raise, get recognition/good feedback etc. To link up to what I wrote above, let's say I want to visit a play in a classical theatre. I pay my time (and normally some money too) and I expect a certain level of performance from the actors. They don't need to be the best and do their best on that day, but the idea here is I can't "see through them" whether they mess something up. I think if the institution put together a bunch of amateurs with little experience/little finesse/little care, I'd have every right to be unhappy with their lack of skill. I'd prefer to watch a bunch of average professionals who know their business, likely who got to the theatre play based on merit and who worked their way up from being amateurs at first. (Note I am not arguing whether some jobs should be paid more/less or whether being a CEO is more valuable than being a regular worker.)
  18. How is the job search coming along? Is there anything relevant for you? I think going somewhere for a few hours a day, learning something new, providing value to other people and getting paid in the process is a good idea overall πŸ˜„ I actually listen to game soundtracks fairly often, because they are good pieces for work or fit my mood and I know them. I don't really search for any new soundtracks though, as I am not involved in gaming anymore. I found some new artists later on too, but for me the categories are "I listened to *this* when I was 15, 18, 21, 24." without any strings attached. I still have gaming related thoughts and dreams regardless, but no urges, as I don't want to go back to who I was when I gamed. "Clicking around" is a part of many jobs, so it is a skill, or at least a part of some skills. It doesn't matter if they're paid or not, but people normally give others money for things they don't want to do themselves. I don't know what the most viable definition of a "man" is. I only know that it has to be natural and come from within you. I know it's good to align words with actions and focus on things that matter. I think that these are surprisingly universal and are a part of my monthly reports (social - family/friends/girlfriend, work, health/exercise).
  19. Ikar

    Ikar's Diary

    I get it now, thanks. Yes, I think my girlfriend and I are fairly independent-minded and I also think we both benefit from the relationship. I think it's useful to notice the patterns, as then you can parse out what you want and perhaps what you don't want as much. It's relatively easy to admit a fault within oneself, but especially difficult to start working on it though. I keep mentioning my nationality and masking it at the same time too, so no wonder you're having trouble πŸ˜„ Blogs are different from diaries. People are usually more critical towards blogs, and they should be, as blogs are meant to influence public opinion, otherwise the writer wouldn't publish! Diaries usually don't offer much to be criticized. People just (try to) quit games, meet friends, feed their pets and go on with their lives... In the rare case I do criticize/suggest something, I mostly do it for a) the intellectual exercise and b) to offer a perspective of someone who quit gaming 5 years ago and turned his life around. Brains are indeed very often copycats and like easy solutions suggested by someone else πŸ˜„ I guess I still mostly agree with what I wrote back then, though as I wrote, I the texts are not practical enough for my taste now. Again, glad you liked it πŸ™‚
  20. Ikar

    Ikar's Diary

    It's really the same for me. I find organizing such trips stressful and mostly not worth the effort to even write others about it. I can do "my things" anywhere too, so I don't need to leave either. I found out that "taking a break" to change my perspective on some long-term projects doesn't really work. My girlfriend rightly called me out on the fact that I talk about some things more than I actually do them. I'm more acutely aware of such unfinished business when I am on a "true" holiday than when I'm in my normal workweek. What do you mean by the whole "rocks" thing? I tried to get it through my head, but I'm still missing the point πŸ˜„ Travel recommendations are tough and I'd say pointless, unless you know what type of places you want to visit. My girlfriend loves active holidays with lots of hiking, nice nature, viewpoints and not many people. I don't think it's my passion as much as its hers, but I know that light/medium exercise (which hiking is) is good for me and I need to do it as much as possible. The above means we need to look for nice places that are not a) overcrowded and overpriced tourist traps and b) too much for me to hike. Other people prefer to just walk from the hotel to the sea for two weeks straight. It really depends on your taste. Really? Thank you! πŸ˜„ I started writing about personal finance in Czech (my native language) two-three years ago, kept the concepts, and officially launched the website in August last year or so. It's something I can combine with some philosophy, it's practical and I can share it with my friends directly, FB or even LI. Writing essays on philosophy/psychology in English is generally less relatable and I haven't had the taste to write something like that in a long time.
  21. Ikar

    Ikar's Diary

    29 April - 3 May: The first day was the toughest, as we spent several hours in the car and I had a headache the next one from the experience. The trips have been nice otherwise, mostly the ones where we go to the nature. Some of the places are really beautiful. Though I am getting a hunch that the whole traveling thing isn't my cup of tea, or definitely not something I'd do every day off. Maybe once or twice a year. But being a self-employed teacher means that I'd just never take a holiday just to spend it at home, in my usual setting. It's a tough thing to truly prioritize and to start with personal/business projects/ideas that are always put off for "later", because I just never find the time.
  22. Ikar

    Ikar's Diary

    19 April - 28 April: To quickly go over the events of the past two weeks: 1) I installed my new PC station with the help of my friend and my girlfriend's father. I'm now able to stand while working and I have a 89 centimeter monitor installed. For almost a month I had only used my notebook/sofa after changing the flat at the start of April. 2) I think the flat is fully furnished now. There are just two boxes next to my PC table with papers and documents, but the rest of the boxes are away. 3) I should take advantage of the public healthcare system we have and go for a few checkups. I should look closely into the condition of my spine, my occasional head(aches) and my hearing. I just never seem to make it a priority, because none of them are acute problems. 4) I think I've been over a week or two without porn. I really haven't had the taste for it. 5) I made a blog post on my financial blog after about 8 months. 6) Went shopping for some sport clothes at the weekend. I rode some 40 kilometers on my bike yesterday on the way to my family. 7) My girlfriend and I are going to Slovenia and Italy for the next two weeks. Decided to have several lessons a week with my students online, as the last 12 months or so have been draining on my finance and I've run through my short-term financial reserve. I don't think I've been spending frivolously though, as a big part of it was investing (for into the new PC station, adjustable chair and table - it'll definitely have a positive effect on my health). The long-term reserve/investment into stocks I made mostly in 2021/2022 is +25% up. I just don't want to touch it.
  23. Ikar

    Ikar's Diary

    11th April - 18th April: My girlfriend and I went to a puppet theatre last week. It was an adaptation of Orwell's Animal Farm. We enjoyed it a lot πŸ˜„ We spent Friday evening with friends. At the weekend, we also visited both my and her parents. I also had to change the wheels with winter tires for summer ones that are at my parents' house. We also cycled a bit and went to the cinema to watch a documentary. My PC table arrived on Monday, though I can't assemble it fully without a drill. I had the CELTA interview on Tuesday and it went well. That means I should spend July trying to become a better teacher πŸ™‚ Worked on my taxes on Wednesday. I also visited the speakers' club and attended a birthday party, so it was a good day. I fixed charging troubles I had been having with my phone yesterday. Busy week overall, but nice.
  24. Sending a CV is the first (and out of necessity formal) step in applying for a job. Building rapport is for the interview itself and for the trial period. It's not personal that company X doesn't reply to your CV. Maybe their HR is overloaded. Maybe the job offer isn't current. Maybe there are some hidden conditions they don't mention. Maybe some people applied before you and they're having interviews with them before (and if) they get to you. You can't know, so there's no reason to worry about it. What I did in the past (some 3-4 years ago) was to find companies that I felt were relevant to me as a potential employer (that is, even without them explicitly offering a job). I jammed every email adress I could find into Bcc, wrote something short, attached my CV. I did that maybe twice or thrice. I'm sure I sent out hundreds of emails this way. From all those emails, I was at around 30 interviews. Maybe 5 turned out to be profitable (gave me courses at some point) and maybe 5 others came back to me later. But before I started that, I was also hung up on getting a response/interview/job from "that one company". Now I can turn them down, because I don't need them anymore and I have better paid courses. - As for the dicussion about authenticity that @wheatbiscuit @Pochatok and @Vee expanded on: I found out that honesty and authenticity works great in my life. But (and this is a big BUT), there's also a lot of "catching up" to do with others, at least at first. We've rebuilt ourselves since admitting the gaming issue. Some more, some less. Depending on how much we still identify with our "gaming past/gaming trouble", it will influence the conversations we have and the relationships we have. We all here joined this forum, because we understood we had a serious problem. Gaming is/was our drug of choice. Even being among addicts is often troublesome on its own. Some people will damn us for that outright just out of their strange principle that we're not "normal". And even if we never had a gaming problem, people are people and some people don't like others just because.
  25. Ikar

    Ikar's Diary

    8th April - 10th April: Worked on some important projects in the last few days. The new PC chairs for my brother and me arrived on Tuesday and I helped my brother to transport it and assemble it. I also ordered a new adaptable PC table, so I'll be able to stand while I work when I feel like it. I'm currently working on a few projects - CELTA certification for English teachers and finishing the furnishing of our new flat.
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