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Ikar

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Posts posted by Ikar

  1. 23rd April - 2nd May:

    I finished some schoolwork and passed the first uni exam. This weekend I picnicked with my friends, visited my family and went cycling with my girlfriend. Watched some good movies as well and met up with a guy I haven't seen in six months 🙂

    • Like 1
  2. 15th April - 22nd April:

    I spent a good part of the last weekend with my girlfriend. I also wrote my monthly report, did some school preparation.

    On Monday, one of my friends and I won the table football tournament that we have at the dorm. It felt very good! 😄

    I met my girlfriend on a few occasions during the week. I also had meetings with two new students, both of whom decided to have English lessons once a week. I visited a guest lecture at the uni and also had business mentoring. My friend celebrated birthday on Friday, so he invited me as well. Yesterday I met my girlfriend and worked on uni projects.

    • Like 1
  3.  I'm using the template I used the last time. 14/03/23 - 15/04/23


    "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.

     First off, I've been looking forward to writing this and having the time to do so. I like this habit of mine 🙂

     

    ---

     

    Books/Reading articles:

    L: No books, just some newsletters, although I've just borrowed Idiot by Dostoevsky.

    T: Currently reading Idiot by Dostoevsky, although not very regularly.

    Possible direction/goals:

    Continue getting through the newsletters.

    (Borrow) and read one book until the next monthly report.

     

    Family:

    L: Mom's gonna be intermittently in and out of the hospital possibly forever. Our uncle came to visit us with my cousin. I'm working on getting my grandma the new kitchen. I also "inherited" my father's old car as he got a new one. I'm happy and grateful for that and I hope it will serve me for a long time.

    T: I've been spending more time with my family than planned this month. I'm one step behind on the kitchen plan, however I will make some progress on it over the weekend and ask my father about some technical details of the purchase.

    Spoiler

    Since October, the project of my grandma's kitchen has been my responsibility. Some progress has been made, however I know that half a year is just too big of a time-frame to justify. I'm gonna lay out the plan:

    Weekend of 11th/12th March: Ask my grandma to give me a "free hand" in the reconstruction of the kitchen. She was hesitant regarding the scope of the reconstruction, which made me hesitant in turn, because I didn't know what to do. I want to convince her that she has nothing to worry about and that the whole operation will be fast.

    Weeks 11 and 12:

    Consult my father and brother as to the design of the kitchen and use the IKEA kitchen planner to help me out. Show my grandma the plan for the kitchen at the end of week 12 and get a green light.

    Weeks 13 and 14:

    Go to IKEA to get the furniture and other shops for linoleum and other smaller stuff. There's no need for new electronic appliances, so there's no need to get involved with electrical thingies. Transport the furniture to my grandma's flat.

    Weeks 14 and 15:

    Plan a weekend with my father/brother to help out with the reconstruction. Removing old furniture, a bit of demolition, painting, laying the new linoleum, putting in the new furniture. Get it done well and ASAP.

    ---

    And with this plan, my grandma should have a new kitchen at the end of April 🙂

    NOT: I don't want to get alienated from my family.

    Possible direction/goals:

    Work on getting the new kitchen for my grandma.

    Continue working on bettering the relationships with my family.

     

    University:

    L: The university has been taking up around 13 hours a week in total as I predicted. I'm gonna go for a trip to Finland with a few of my classmates.

    T: The trip was nice and the projects are still ongoing.

    NOT: I don't want to drop out of the university.

    Possible direction/goals:

    Do the main part of my diploma in summer 2023 and do the defense and finals in January/February 2024.

    Work on the assignments in a timely manner.

     

    Job/English:

    L: I got a few more private students/courses this month, the total should be around 3,5 hours a week more.

    Language school 1 told me they can only increase my wage from September after negotiating a new contract, so we'll see if I am there long enough to see it. Language school 2 increased my wage right away last year without a problem and if they couldn't go into loss with some courses, they promised (and raised it) a few months later.

    T: I went to the career festival. I didn't really get any deals done which was the primary point of my visit, however I think it was still a good idea to go, meet some friends and acquaint with others.

    I started a new mentoring program yesterday, so I am pretty excited. I hope to get some good ideas for my business and make new connections.

    -

    Classes are at a stable 25-30 hours a week, plus a few hours for admin work.

    Example for 31 hours next week: Category A 53% (55); B 11% (12); C 7% (0); D 10% (11); E 19% (22). On top of that, two first meetings for new students. Brackets are values from previous month.

    -

    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 25-30 hours a week.

    Keep asking for reviews or recommendations from students.

    Write down specific areas and what I want to do in them:

    Networking events.

    Work on the new mentoring project.

    Variable pricing.

    Look into strategies to become truly self-employed by skipping the agencies in between.

    Get a system to mark down the progress of my students, together with their learning plan.

    Past projects:

    Update my website to reflect the new ideas and inspiration from the web.

    Get a customized redesign and SEO for the website.

    Networking events. = Attended networking event on 5th April.

    Work on Linked In - use the notes from seminar.

     

     

    Exercise/Movement:

    L: I got the bike back from the service. We've been going for walks with my girlfriend fairly often and on Sunday we are planning to go to the swimming pool.

    T: About the same. Went for a bike trip with my girlfriend.

    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.

     

    Women/Dating:

    L:

    Spoiler

    I learnt that perhaps I do not have as hard-core of a monogamous mentality as I thought I would have. I'm also probably more aware than ever that everybody is fucked up, including myself. There are a few women I could think of in the romantic plane in my area. I don't think it makes much sense to be writing about specific women though. I came to the realization that planning in this area is usually cumbersome and counterproductive.

    I cut one of the relationships, did sex and I'm keeping my eyes peeled.

    I was predicting the change in my sexual mindset and behavior for a long time. I behaved and acted in line with it. I just needed the reality to catch up on it; similarly to that when I was gaming, I got fired from the post office several days after I quit gaming, because most of my (unsatisfactory) work there was done when I was still gaming.

    In the past, I believe I looked at the more obvious sexual displays of others with both distaste and envy at the same time. Especially when I thought that I have no other option than to sit and do nothing or to get drunk and hope that something happens. It just took some time to internalize that the thing standing between me and a good (even if only sexual) relationship with a woman is... me.

    As long as there are two consenting adults, whatever goes. Whether it's a good idea or not is another question (given the circumstances), but I won't villanify that behavior a priori anymore.

    That said, a horrible relationship is better than none at all. The cataclysmic end of my last one was likely the trigger for me to quit games for good. Nothing is forcing anyone to stay and die in a horrible relationship, except the lack of options in one's head. (December 20)

    I learnt a lot about the sexuality of women over the past few weeks by spending time with the Spanish girl. I learnt a bunch about my sexuality as well. I also learnt relationships can be more nuanced. It's been a great learning experience so far. (January/February)

    I've spent about two months with the Spanish girl and this morning she left home for three weeks, after which she should come back. I feel that she's into me, that she cares about me and that she doesn't want to lose me (be it to another relationship or due to some quarrel between us, though I find the latter less likely), though at the same time I feel we both want to assert ourselves to leave other options available. In my case to find someone more "permanent" to date/be together with, because I know she'll be gone in the summer. In her case it's different relationship philosophy and uniqueness of every relationship.

    To explain that further, she actually encouraged me to meet other girls to see what might come out of it, which is generally something I am not 100% confident at and could use some practice in. Regardless, despite our differences, I feel that we're willing to respect each other and not argue about them. (March)

    We had a few talks together with the Spanish girl and decided we wouldn't carry on with the sexual element in our relationship. It was the first time for her trying to amalgamate sexual and affectionate relationship into one and the second time for me. I decided to take her for her word and not to push her into something she doesn't want or isn't sure about. I sensed/noticed that it's not the first time she's having difficulty in continuing the relationship in the current setting. I think that a part of good relationship is the ability to respect "no" as a "no" and it's definitely one of the things I want in all my relationships that go deeper.

    I'm actually somewhat surprised by how romantic the relationship has come to be. I think we are both considerate of each other and already value each other to go through this in an abrupt or otherwise bad way. I feel a sense of loss in a way, but I think various factors chimed in to dampen it. Besides, I have learnt a lot about various sexual topics and I grew more confident in this regard. It's very liberating to be playful and inventive too!

    This one is actually only a few days old, but I do feel attracted to one girl and I want to have sex with her, although I don't think something long-term could come out of it due to the factual differences that we have. Hooray for being human! (April)

    We've been flirting and dancing around around with the girl from April. I told her we're gonna do something together after I am done with the finals and I want to keep that promise. I'm not 100% sure if it's the right move, but I'm gonna take the opportunity regardless. (May)

    There are some situations with the girl where we do get close, although from some situations I also understand that I don't want to be too closely involved with her and neither does she. Though I like her physically and I think she's aiming at good things in life, I feel she constantly needs to put herself in messy/highly emotional situations and states. I can joke about it and laugh it off with her as her friend, but it'd be very different if I decided to be a more unpredictable variable in her life.

    That doesn't mean random and unpredictable sex can't happen. The last week I had sex with a friend from the dorms I've known for over a year. We were both tipsy, though I think we were both surprised how that evening ended up happening.

    I've been having thoughts about the time with the Spanish girl, meaning there could still be something I need to decode. I didn't talk to her before she left to Spain about a month ago and nor I gave her the letter I wrote and planned to give her. Regardless, I've thought about the topic myself. I found that the main idea is to take it as it is, regardless of what the reasons of her sudden April "cut" were. I also believe that sometimes the more loving and more courageous decision is to walk away to prevent more hurt and pain, whether due to toxicity (my X) or time constraints (Spanish girl?). One of the things that "got" me closer together to her was the care. She really did care for me as my mom or grandma would, which I noticed when she was adamant about the fact I needed to see the doctor. The fact that we could also agree to disagree was amazing as well. Lastly, she did catalyze more effort from my side to get to know my family better and closer.

    Talking to one of my friends, she said the average masturbation for her is better than the average sex. I found that quite surprising, as I've never thought that would be the case for anyone.

    To end on a good note, I met an interesting girl yesterday in the evening and wrote her on Messenger today. I really should meet even more new people. We'll see what comes out of this. (June/July)

    I noticed that I am thinking more outside of my head about this topic and around friends which is good. (August/September)

    I'm fairly positive I am making progress in this area. It's really only about having the guts to say hi and then making the ask to meet. It needs to become the routine, if I want to have some control over this aspect of my life. The end-result doesn't actually matter. And I'm aware I will make mistakes, get myself in stupid situations, get used and whatnot, but it's all in the game. I'm fairly adamant and determined in this. I've done a lot of scouting recently, so I got some "hard data" on a few girls I was interested in. (September/October)

    To put a real example here, I'm currently making an effort to find dates and a girlfriend. I met a girl last Monday, had a good chat with her for a while, wrote her to meet up and she agreed. Five minutes into the second meeting, I found out she had a boyfriend, yet I didn't just turn around on my heel, as I promised her a walk around the city she doesn't know. I spent some two hours with her, had a good conversation with her, found out she's a good speaker and discussed some views on philosophy and politics.

    The advice I could take from this regarding my dating life: Be more aware of social situations when I am first interacting with a girl I like and be better at scouting to find out whether she's already seriously dating someone or not. Then again, I got something I wasn't expecting but is valuable as well: thinking about reconsidering some of my life views through a good debate.

    All in all, it's impossible to answer the question: Was it a success or a failure? Well, It depends on how I choose to look at it. (Oct/Nov 21)

    I've been meeting one girl for about a month now, both in a planned way but also running into her randomly. She seems shy, a maverick/lone-wolf to a great extent, but also quite honest. I think it's gonna be interesting. Gonna meet her on Monday and do something together again. (Nov)

    So I've been out a few times with the Georgian girl I met at the beginning of October. She's fun to be around, likes my analytical mind and so we sometimes grapple intellectually. She's also kind and I'd argue more compassionate then I am. We're gonna plan something together the next week too. I'm fairly unaware about where this is going, so I'm leaving this go its own way. The only thing that's for sure is that she leaves at the end of January.

    What I've been probably happiest about that this area of my life seems to have some traction, as I felt there was none during the summer until the end of September. What's also worth noting is that this one of the areas with the most shades of gray and trial and error I've been in. I can absolutely not plan for an outcome. It's as much about knowing the other person as it is about knowing myself. (Jan 22)

    Things have been going pretty well with the Georgian girl. She's gonna stay here until June and I myself might go to Germany for Erasmus in April, if the situation permits. It's nice to have somebody close to me to share things and try new things with every now and then. She's intellectually bright and can challenge me on a few things, so she also gives me the mirror sometimes.

    She's also good at English and had some interviews already. She negotiated even a bit higher rate than I did. She actually gave me the impulse to revisit the payment I get from language schools this early. (Jan)

    February and March have been pretty good with the Georgian girl and I believe we both enjoyed it. I'm happy that we managed to get the things we wanted to get done together. We will continue to date, until the distance is just too much to bear. She's going to have a more complicated schedule in April with a lot of traveling and in mid-May she's going to move to another city, which is however reachable on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. I hope to post an update on this when the time comes. (Feb/Mar)

    In April, we've been apart for about two weeks and there's one more week until she moves to another city for the internship. We spent a lot of time together this week.

    I've entertained the idea to have a long-distance relationship until I/we are able to be in one place or to change location at will. My plans are to do the Erasmus in Bulgaria and finish the masters at the uni in early 2024 and after that I am completely location-independent - until then, I am to an extent bound in my current city. The money is not necessarily the issue either; although it's usually more expensive to travel than to stay in one place, I expect my financial situation to be healthy. It's not unrealistic, but we'll see. (Apr/May)

    We've been seeing for weekends. My girlfriend even made a surprise visit today, traveling to my hometown for the weekend. (Jun/Jul)

    Made a promise to not watch "porn" to my girlfriend. Our relationship is very warm. We shared some nasty secrets about one another and I think that bound us even closer. She's leaving back to Georgia in mid-August. We plan on seeing once or twice more and deciding what's next. (Jul/Aug)

    She told me she doesn't want to have a long-distance relationship when she leaves in two weeks, partly because she already has the experience of long-distance for three years and she doesn't want to go through that again. I did cry (which I haven't in at least a few months, if not years), although I do not feel heartbroken. I take it as it is. Life's good.

    She's been a great friend to me and I believe she will be in the future too. I believe she made her decision after contemplating it for a long time. I know she likes me, loves me. And because she's a great friend of mine, I won't question her judgement and try to convince her of something else. She knows what she would go through if she had another long-distance relationship. She has the right to say "no" to it and act in her best interest.

    The malicious part of my mind keeps telling me that I am a rejected loser, as I was unable to convince her to continue the relationship. I think the malicious part takes inspiration from concurrent culture/TV or my past experiences with women. However I decided to have the relationships I want now, not based on templates that somebody tries to feed me or on what happened before.

    The good thing about the "romance" in the relationship is that it has a closure I can understand and get by. So while the pain is inevitable and it sucks we won't see each other anymore, the suffering is next to none, as I don't pity myself or second guess something, as I did with the Spanish girl.

    Another great thing about the relationship is that I never needed to "act like a man" or "extort" something from her. We always said what we wanted, more or less straight up. Not playing mind-games saves a lot of energy and even if we argued sometimes (about something philosophically significant; not about who is going to wash the dishes), we just acknowledged the differences and moved on. This also meant acknowledging our negative personality traits - she is often too disorganized and bad at planning things, whereas I can be sometimes condescending and arrogant (I think I share that trait with my father). (Aug/Sep)

    IMPORTANT - I thrive when I have an equal partner in a relationship. I also have experience to see obvious red flags contrary to that a mile away. In a relationship, I can be sometimes condescending or arrogant. I know what I want in a relationship. I won't sell myself short in a relationship. (Sep/Oct)

    I saw a girl on Monday, we started chatting two weeks ago because we share one subject at the university and decided to meet together, because we are writing a lot. She's quite talkative, seems like the nervous type, though she seems to have some tactical tools to help her with that, like good hobby structure and calendar. We'll see. Going out with her again tomorrow. (Oct/Nov)

     I think quitting games matured quickly and brutally overall, including in my relationship to women. I can say I am attracted to the girl I have been seeing. She gives me more than enough signs that its mutual. I don't think I am wrong, but I've been surprised before 😄

    I have to scout her behavior for a longer time to see how (in)secure she is. She's capable of being independent, based on the things she's done in the past, so I am not sure whether she's just trying to seem more "approachable" for me to make a move on or whether it's a bigger issue. I don't want to have a clingy girlfriend.

    It's been going well with the girl. I wouldn't dare to call her my girlfriend yet, but we've spent several afternoons/evenings together, so it's pretty serious dating now. (Nov 22). I believe now she's a girlfriend. (Dec 22)

    It's been going well with the girl. I wouldn't dare to call her my girlfriend yet, but we've spent several afternoons/evenings together, so it's pretty serious dating now... I believe now she's a girlfriend. (Jan 23)

    We've been seeing over the weekends mostly for an afternoon/evening. It is good (Feb 18th 23)

    T: We've been seeing over the weekends mostly for an afternoon/evening. It is good 🙂

    Possible direction/goals:

    Set up at least two dates a month (with my girlfriend).

    -----

    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, uni work, blogging

    -----

    Additional thoughts/activities:

    My hobbies are: personal finance, gunnery, GIS/statistics, reading/videos about (modern) history, English, working on my business, blogging/writing, geography.

    This month, I did these cool activities: working on my business, business mentoring, reading about finance, spending time with friends and my girlfriend, going to a career festival and cinema, kitchen planning for my grandma, watching a series about people in debt and their solutions, setting up web-hosting for my blog, going to Finland.

    ---

    Goals/resolutions/aspirations for 2023:

    Pass all the exams at the uni, finish the thesis and finish all university duties successfully in January/February 2024. - WIP, progress = yes

    Improve my business, so that I don't need to teach for language schools anymore, by getting more private contacts, opportunities and students. - WIP, progress = yes

    Go to Georgia to visit my friend. - Unfortunately, the plan didn't work out. I plan to go there later this year, either in late summer or autumn.

    Stop watching porn (again). - I am not porn-free, it comes in waves. I'll try to be more aware when the urges come and what makes me more likely to have them. This month (March) I had a good run without porn and too much news 🙂

    Start getting up when my alarm rings. - I got better, not 100%, but better.

    Continue: planning, walking/exercising, writing/journaling, reading, studying for uni, dating, work on good life/work balance.

    It's a short list, but if I manage all of it, I will be happy.

    ---

    Add-ons:

    I enjoy writing articles, however I am not enjoying the process of how to actually set up the blog, whether I should try and make some money off of it. I think I will, but I won't go on writing e-books, providing courses and whatnot. Just a few affiliate links for the services I like. This allows me to focus on writing and not fret over something I don't even know I want to do.

    I found out I quite like to give presentations, if I really believe and enjoy the topic. This goes for both my school and business presentations. Better keep that in mind.

  4. 10th Apr - 14th Apr:

    I visited my friend after appendix surgery together with my girlfriend at the hospital. I spent some time working on school projects, at school, teaching English and with friends.

  5. It seems like great news overall! Congratulations on all of your achievements, especially on the marriage. It's plain to see from your diary that you have made a lot of progress in your life over the years. I'm happy I could be a part of that for a few years too.

     

    On 4/10/2023 at 3:55 PM, BooksandTrees said:

    The issue is I crave food a lot because of my last two jobs. For some reason, it is super satisfying to just stuff my face with tasty food and have a moment of bliss. I also get very bored exercising and just don't want to work out or do anything. I'd like to play a sport maybe. That might help me get motivation to train, so i can be better at the sport. I just think training for the sake of training is really boring. I know it's good for you. I just can't get into it. I'd rather sleep.

    I'm horrible at planning any physical exercise as well, so I just planned it into my work calendar by visiting students in the city on bike or on foot. My girlfriend is very sporty too, so it helps me drag myself outside and do something together.

    Be well!

    • Like 1
  6. 2nd April - 9th April:

    I visited my family both weekends and we went went to the cinema to watch the newest John Wick film. I met up with the Spanish girl (she was here with her scouts' group as a leader), went to a career festival, had a business meeting in a business accelerator and worked on a field project for my university.

  7. 25th Mar - 1st April:

    I spent time with my girlfriend and I have been reading Idiot by Dostoevsky. I went to Finland for a few days with my geography group and overall had a good time.

    Today I've been catching up on errands that accumulated during my week of absence and planning for the next one. I set up a networking meeting and I'm going to a career festival the next week as well.

  8. 20th Mar - 24th Mar:

    I've had a cold for the past week, I probably caught it on the bike trip with my girlfriend. I met with my friends a few times while keeping warm, although I do feel somewhat tired. I've been working on the financial blog and I'm going to make my first post soon.

  9. On 3/21/2023 at 8:34 AM, Markus said:

    Yeah, it's unfortunate he's a Jordan Peterson AND Alex Becker fan... I still hang around since I use the forums mostly for tracking my process.

     

    On 3/21/2023 at 8:40 PM, NeonCat said:

    @Markus thats fair enough. I came back to this today because it was pretty late at night when I posted and I reacted a bit harshly. I think I'll stick around the forums to track my progress. Thanks for your comment, it was helpful to see that there are people here who aren't supportive of ppl like that.

    I used to follow Peterson closely for about a year or two after I quit games in April 2019. I'm not as active as I used to be around here, but guys around the forum and I mentioned his videos/writing/advice quite often in our diaries. Mind you his content then was more in line with "Peterson the psychologist" line, rather than "Peterson the public commentator" he branded himself into after 2020-2021. You quitting games is a bigger deal than what Cam Adair thinks about Jordan Peterson anyway, so welcome onboard 🙂

    • Like 1
  10. 16th Mar - 19th Mar:

    I wrote my monthly report, went to the doctor, visited my family, had classes with new students, met with friends and played board-games and billiard with them, worked on the kitchen layout for my grandma, worked on some uni projects, went for a bike trip with my girlfriend and watched "Enemy of the State".

  11.   I'm using the template I used the last time. 18/02/23 - 16/03/23


    "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.

     First off, I've been looking forward to writing this and having the time to do so. I like this habit of mine 🙂

     

    ---

     

    Books/Reading articles:

    L: I read Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps That Explain Everything About the World. It was a nice book from my field, recommended by my girlfriend. Fairly caught up on the newsletters.

    T: No books, just some newsletters, although I've just borrowed Idiot by Dostoevsky.

    Possible direction/goals:

    Continue getting through the newsletters.

    (Borrow) and read one book until the next monthly report.

     

    Family:

    L: I went to lunches with my brother and my dad. I still can't get myself to care about the kitchen. I guess the time shall come.

    T: Mom's gonna be intermittently in and out of the hospital possibly forever. Our uncle came to visit us with my cousin. I'm working on getting my grandma the new kitchen. I also "inherited" my father's old car as he got a new one. I'm happy and grateful for that and I hope it will serve me for a long time.

    NOT: I don't want to get alienated from my family.

    Possible direction/goals:

    Work on getting the new kitchen for my grandma.

    Continue working on bettering the relationships with my family.

     

    University:

    L: I finished the exam at the end of January. The university started again this week. I expect I will spend about 8 hours a week present on classes and another 5 hours a week working on the assignments.

    T: The university has been taking up around 13 hours a week in total as I predicted. I'm gonna go for a trip to Finland with a few of my classmates.

    NOT: I don't want to drop out of the university.

    Possible direction/goals:

    Do the main part of my diploma in summer 2023 and do the defense and finals in January/February 2024.

    Work on the assignments in a timely manner.

     

    Job/English:

    L: I went to a small business conference, although I quickly found out that a) my acquaintances hadn't arrived and b) the topic of the conference wasn't useful for me. I actually redesigned my website and did the SEO on my own in the free time I had by not going to Georgia and still having a week off.

    T: I got a few more private students/courses this month, the total should be around 3,5 hours a week more.

    Language school 1 told me they can only increase my wage from September after negotiating a new contract, so we'll see if I am there long enough to see it. Language school 2 increased my wage right away last year without a problem and if they couldn't go into loss with some courses, they promised (and raised it) a few months later.

    -

    Classes are at a stable 25-30 hours a week, plus a few hours for admin work.

    Example for 28 hours next week: Category A 55%; B 12%; C 0%; D 11%; E 22%.

    -

    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 25-30 hours a week. I'm likely going to outsource a few of the projects, such as the modern re-design of my website, SEO and perhaps some more advanced marketing stuff. My students have also been helpful as far as this goes. I have many upcoming projects in the pipeline.

    Keep asking for reviews or recommendations from students.

    Write down specific areas and what I want to do in them:

    Update my website to reflect the new ideas and inspiration from the web.

    Get a customized redesign and SEO for the website.

    Networking events. = Attend networking event on 5th April.

    Variable pricing.

    Work on Linked In - use the notes from seminar.

    Look into strategies in becoming truly self-employed by skipping the agencies in between.

     

    Exercise/Movement:

    L: I got the bike back from the service. We've been going for walks with my girlfriend fairly often and on Sunday we are planning to go to the swimming pool.

    T: About the same.

    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.

     

    Women/Dating:

    L:

    Spoiler

    I learnt that perhaps I do not have as hard-core of a monogamous mentality as I thought I would have. I'm also probably more aware than ever that everybody is fucked up, including myself. There are a few women I could think of in the romantic plane in my area. I don't think it makes much sense to be writing about specific women though. I came to the realization that planning in this area is usually cumbersome and counterproductive.

    I cut one of the relationships, did sex and I'm keeping my eyes peeled.

    I was predicting the change in my sexual mindset and behavior for a long time. I behaved and acted in line with it. I just needed the reality to catch up on it; similarly to that when I was gaming, I got fired from the post office several days after I quit gaming, because most of my (unsatisfactory) work there was done when I was still gaming.

    In the past, I believe I looked at the more obvious sexual displays of others with both distaste and envy at the same time. Especially when I thought that I have no other option than to sit and do nothing or to get drunk and hope that something happens. It just took some time to internalize that the thing standing between me and a good (even if only sexual) relationship with a woman is... me.

    As long as there are two consenting adults, whatever goes. Whether it's a good idea or not is another question (given the circumstances), but I won't villanify that behavior a priori anymore.

    That said, a horrible relationship is better than none at all. The cataclysmic end of my last one was likely the trigger for me to quit games for good. Nothing is forcing anyone to stay and die in a horrible relationship, except the lack of options in one's head. (December 20)

    I learnt a lot about the sexuality of women over the past few weeks by spending time with the Spanish girl. I learnt a bunch about my sexuality as well. I also learnt relationships can be more nuanced. It's been a great learning experience so far. (January/February)

    I've spent about two months with the Spanish girl and this morning she left home for three weeks, after which she should come back. I feel that she's into me, that she cares about me and that she doesn't want to lose me (be it to another relationship or due to some quarrel between us, though I find the latter less likely), though at the same time I feel we both want to assert ourselves to leave other options available. In my case to find someone more "permanent" to date/be together with, because I know she'll be gone in the summer. In her case it's different relationship philosophy and uniqueness of every relationship.

    To explain that further, she actually encouraged me to meet other girls to see what might come out of it, which is generally something I am not 100% confident at and could use some practice in. Regardless, despite our differences, I feel that we're willing to respect each other and not argue about them. (March)

    We had a few talks together with the Spanish girl and decided we wouldn't carry on with the sexual element in our relationship. It was the first time for her trying to amalgamate sexual and affectionate relationship into one and the second time for me. I decided to take her for her word and not to push her into something she doesn't want or isn't sure about. I sensed/noticed that it's not the first time she's having difficulty in continuing the relationship in the current setting. I think that a part of good relationship is the ability to respect "no" as a "no" and it's definitely one of the things I want in all my relationships that go deeper.

    I'm actually somewhat surprised by how romantic the relationship has come to be. I think we are both considerate of each other and already value each other to go through this in an abrupt or otherwise bad way. I feel a sense of loss in a way, but I think various factors chimed in to dampen it. Besides, I have learnt a lot about various sexual topics and I grew more confident in this regard. It's very liberating to be playful and inventive too!

    This one is actually only a few days old, but I do feel attracted to one girl and I want to have sex with her, although I don't think something long-term could come out of it due to the factual differences that we have. Hooray for being human! (April)

    We've been flirting and dancing around around with the girl from April. I told her we're gonna do something together after I am done with the finals and I want to keep that promise. I'm not 100% sure if it's the right move, but I'm gonna take the opportunity regardless. (May)

    There are some situations with the girl where we do get close, although from some situations I also understand that I don't want to be too closely involved with her and neither does she. Though I like her physically and I think she's aiming at good things in life, I feel she constantly needs to put herself in messy/highly emotional situations and states. I can joke about it and laugh it off with her as her friend, but it'd be very different if I decided to be a more unpredictable variable in her life.

    That doesn't mean random and unpredictable sex can't happen. The last week I had sex with a friend from the dorms I've known for over a year. We were both tipsy, though I think we were both surprised how that evening ended up happening.

    I've been having thoughts about the time with the Spanish girl, meaning there could still be something I need to decode. I didn't talk to her before she left to Spain about a month ago and nor I gave her the letter I wrote and planned to give her. Regardless, I've thought about the topic myself. I found that the main idea is to take it as it is, regardless of what the reasons of her sudden April "cut" were. I also believe that sometimes the more loving and more courageous decision is to walk away to prevent more hurt and pain, whether due to toxicity (my X) or time constraints (Spanish girl?). One of the things that "got" me closer together to her was the care. She really did care for me as my mom or grandma would, which I noticed when she was adamant about the fact I needed to see the doctor. The fact that we could also agree to disagree was amazing as well. Lastly, she did catalyze more effort from my side to get to know my family better and closer.

    Talking to one of my friends, she said the average masturbation for her is better than the average sex. I found that quite surprising, as I've never thought that would be the case for anyone.

    To end on a good note, I met an interesting girl yesterday in the evening and wrote her on Messenger today. I really should meet even more new people. We'll see what comes out of this. (June/July)

    I noticed that I am thinking more outside of my head about this topic and around friends which is good. (August/September)

    I'm fairly positive I am making progress in this area. It's really only about having the guts to say hi and then making the ask to meet. It needs to become the routine, if I want to have some control over this aspect of my life. The end-result doesn't actually matter. And I'm aware I will make mistakes, get myself in stupid situations, get used and whatnot, but it's all in the game. I'm fairly adamant and determined in this. I've done a lot of scouting recently, so I got some "hard data" on a few girls I was interested in. (September/October)

    To put a real example here, I'm currently making an effort to find dates and a girlfriend. I met a girl last Monday, had a good chat with her for a while, wrote her to meet up and she agreed. Five minutes into the second meeting, I found out she had a boyfriend, yet I didn't just turn around on my heel, as I promised her a walk around the city she doesn't know. I spent some two hours with her, had a good conversation with her, found out she's a good speaker and discussed some views on philosophy and politics.

    The advice I could take from this regarding my dating life: Be more aware of social situations when I am first interacting with a girl I like and be better at scouting to find out whether she's already seriously dating someone or not. Then again, I got something I wasn't expecting but is valuable as well: thinking about reconsidering some of my life views through a good debate.

    All in all, it's impossible to answer the question: Was it a success or a failure? Well, It depends on how I choose to look at it. (Oct/Nov 21)

    I've been meeting one girl for about a month now, both in a planned way but also running into her randomly. She seems shy, a maverick/lone-wolf to a great extent, but also quite honest. I think it's gonna be interesting. Gonna meet her on Monday and do something together again. (Nov)

    So I've been out a few times with the Georgian girl I met at the beginning of October. She's fun to be around, likes my analytical mind and so we sometimes grapple intellectually. She's also kind and I'd argue more compassionate then I am. We're gonna plan something together the next week too. I'm fairly unaware about where this is going, so I'm leaving this go its own way. The only thing that's for sure is that she leaves at the end of January.

    What I've been probably happiest about that this area of my life seems to have some traction, as I felt there was none during the summer until the end of September. What's also worth noting is that this one of the areas with the most shades of gray and trial and error I've been in. I can absolutely not plan for an outcome. It's as much about knowing the other person as it is about knowing myself. (Jan 22)

    Things have been going pretty well with the Georgian girl. She's gonna stay here until June and I myself might go to Germany for Erasmus in April, if the situation permits. It's nice to have somebody close to me to share things and try new things with every now and then. She's intellectually bright and can challenge me on a few things, so she also gives me the mirror sometimes.

    She's also good at English and had some interviews already. She negotiated even a bit higher rate than I did. She actually gave me the impulse to revisit the payment I get from language schools this early. (Jan)

    February and March have been pretty good with the Georgian girl and I believe we both enjoyed it. I'm happy that we managed to get the things we wanted to get done together. We will continue to date, until the distance is just too much to bear. She's going to have a more complicated schedule in April with a lot of traveling and in mid-May she's going to move to another city, which is however reachable on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. I hope to post an update on this when the time comes. (Feb/Mar)

    In April, we've been apart for about two weeks and there's one more week until she moves to another city for the internship. We spent a lot of time together this week.

    I've entertained the idea to have a long-distance relationship until I/we are able to be in one place or to change location at will. My plans are to do the Erasmus in Bulgaria and finish the masters at the uni in early 2024 and after that I am completely location-independent - until then, I am to an extent bound in my current city. The money is not necessarily the issue either; although it's usually more expensive to travel than to stay in one place, I expect my financial situation to be healthy. It's not unrealistic, but we'll see. (Apr/May)

    We've been seeing for weekends. My girlfriend even made a surprise visit today, traveling to my hometown for the weekend. (Jun/Jul)

    Made a promise to not watch "porn" to my girlfriend. Our relationship is very warm. We shared some nasty secrets about one another and I think that bound us even closer. She's leaving back to Georgia in mid-August. We plan on seeing once or twice more and deciding what's next. (Jul/Aug)

    She told me she doesn't want to have a long-distance relationship when she leaves in two weeks, partly because she already has the experience of long-distance for three years and she doesn't want to go through that again. I did cry (which I haven't in at least a few months, if not years), although I do not feel heartbroken. I take it as it is. Life's good.

    She's been a great friend to me and I believe she will be in the future too. I believe she made her decision after contemplating it for a long time. I know she likes me, loves me. And because she's a great friend of mine, I won't question her judgement and try to convince her of something else. She knows what she would go through if she had another long-distance relationship. She has the right to say "no" to it and act in her best interest.

    The malicious part of my mind keeps telling me that I am a rejected loser, as I was unable to convince her to continue the relationship. I think the malicious part takes inspiration from concurrent culture/TV or my past experiences with women. However I decided to have the relationships I want now, not based on templates that somebody tries to feed me or on what happened before.

    The good thing about the "romance" in the relationship is that it has a closure I can understand and get by. So while the pain is inevitable and it sucks we won't see each other anymore, the suffering is next to none, as I don't pity myself or second guess something, as I did with the Spanish girl.

    Another great thing about the relationship is that I never needed to "act like a man" or "extort" something from her. We always said what we wanted, more or less straight up. Not playing mind-games saves a lot of energy and even if we argued sometimes (about something philosophically significant; not about who is going to wash the dishes), we just acknowledged the differences and moved on. This also meant acknowledging our negative personality traits - she is often too disorganized and bad at planning things, whereas I can be sometimes condescending and arrogant (I think I share that trait with my father). (Aug/Sep)

    IMPORTANT - I thrive when I have an equal partner in a relationship. I also have experience to see obvious red flags contrary to that a mile away. In a relationship, I can be sometimes condescending or arrogant. I know what I want in a relationship. I won't sell myself short in a relationship. (Sep/Oct)

    I saw a girl on Monday, we started chatting two weeks ago because we share one subject at the university and decided to meet together, because we are writing a lot. She's quite talkative, seems like the nervous type, though she seems to have some tactical tools to help her with that, like good hobby structure and calendar. We'll see. Going out with her again tomorrow. (Oct/Nov)

     I think quitting games matured quickly and brutally overall, including in my relationship to women. I can say I am attracted to the girl I have been seeing. She gives me more than enough signs that its mutual. I don't think I am wrong, but I've been surprised before 😄

    I have to scout her behavior for a longer time to see how (in)secure she is. She's capable of being independent, based on the things she's done in the past, so I am not sure whether she's just trying to seem more "approachable" for me to make a move on or whether it's a bigger issue. I don't want to have a clingy girlfriend.

    It's been going well with the girl. I wouldn't dare to call her my girlfriend yet, but we've spent several afternoons/evenings together, so it's pretty serious dating now. (Nov 22). I believe now she's a girlfriend. (Dec 22)

    It's been going well with the girl. I wouldn't dare to call her my girlfriend yet, but we've spent several afternoons/evenings together, so it's pretty serious dating now... I believe now she's a girlfriend. (Jan 23)

    We've been seeing over the weekends mostly for an afternoon/evening. It is good (Feb 18th 23)

    T: We've been seeing over the weekends mostly for an afternoon/evening. It is good 🙂

    Possible direction/goals:

    Set up at least two dates a month (with my girlfriend).

    -----

    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, uni work, blogging

    -----

    Additional thoughts/activities:

    My hobbies are: personal finance, gunnery, GIS/statistics, reading/videos about (modern) history, English, working on my business, blogging/writing, geography.

    This month, I did these cool activities: working on my business, going to see a ball, reading about finance, spending time with friends and my girlfriend, seeing my uncle, going to the swimming pool, going to a book festival and cinema.

    ---

    Goals/resolutions/aspirations for 2023:

    Pass all the exams at the uni, finish the thesis and finish all university duties successfully in January/February 2024. - WIP, progress = yes

    Improve my business, so that I don't need to teach for language schools anymore, by getting more private contacts, opportunities and students. - WIP, progress = yes

    Go to Georgia to visit my friend. - Unfortunately, the plan didn't work out. I plan to go there later this year, either in late summer or autumn.

    Stop watching porn (again). - I am not porn-free, it comes in waves. I'll try to be more aware when the urges come and what makes me more likely to have them. This month (March) I had a good run without porn and too much news 🙂

    Start getting up when my alarm rings. - I got better, not 100%, but better.

    Continue: planning, walking/exercising, writing/journaling, reading, studying for uni, dating, work on good life/work balance.

    It's a short list, but if I manage all of it, I will be happy.

    ---

    Add-ons:

    I enjoy writing articles, however I am not enjoying the process of how to actually set up the blog, whether I should try and make some money off of it. I think I will, but I won't go on writing e-books, providing courses and whatnot. Just a few affiliate links for the services I like. This allows me to focus on writing and not fret over something I don't even know I want to do.

    I found out I quite like to give presentations, if I really believe and enjoy the topic. This goes for both my school and business presentations. Better keep that in mind.

  12. 3rd Mar - 9th Mar:

    I've been busy with university work whenever I have 2+ hours free time in my schedule. I don't like to plan it into shorter time spans, as I can't ramp up my focus just for an hour and I don't like to work under limited time pressure. Smaller chunks of time are more problematic to deal with effectively.

    At the weekend, my girlfriend and I went to a book festival, but mostly we went there for the seminars and debates.

    I have a new car (my dad's old car) as of Monday and I went to the scheduled service check with it on Tuesday.

    I've been fairly social this week in the evenings and I am thinking of getting my finance blog off the ground (again).

  13. 14 hours ago, Amphibian220 said:

    i may have missed, have you started new work in the way of business presentations? Or is this in the plans at the moment.

    Nope, it's still just a part of my English business that I might want to focus on sometimes at some networking events.

    14 hours ago, Amphibian220 said:

    Your journal discipline is high quality. I think that is helping in raising the quality of your work.

    Yes, I think it's very good that I find time to write here about once a week and keep disciplined with monthly reports to see how I am doing. I'm thinking about doing (half)year reports too, to see if I am on track strategically as well.

  14. 24th Feb - 2nd Mar:

    I updated my LinkedIn profile on Friday and a day later got an offer there to teach English. Funny how that works 😄

    At the weekend, I spent Saturday with my family. My uncle came after a year or two, so it was nice to meet him and one of his daughters. On Sunday, I worked on some uni projects and spent time with my girlfriend.

    During this week, I had my regular English and uni classes. I also did my taxes for 2022.

    I wrote one of the language schools to increase my salary. I don't have any regular meetings with their representatives, so I just send them a mail every couple of months to see if they have anything to spare. I don't have any inflation adjustment in the contract and, likely due to the inept policy of our national bank, we had around 20% inflation the past year.

    I keep in mind that the best long-term strategy is to have my own students and set my own prices. However, in the meantime I can do some balancing by dropping a few courses for language schools and still asking for higher pay. We'll see what they write.

    ---

    From Mark Manson's Breakthrough newsletter:

    Two things for you to ask yourself

    What have you been avoiding through over-planning or telling yourself that you’re not ready yet? What would you lose by simply starting anyway? If the answer is “not much,” then guess what? Start anyway.

    Recommended: Use these as journaling prompts for the week.

    ---

    Since October, the project of my grandma's kitchen has been my responsibility. Some progress has been made, however I know that half a year is just too big of a time-frame to justify. I'm gonna lay out the plan:

    Weekend of 11th/12th March: Ask my grandma to give me a "free hand" in the reconstruction of the kitchen. She was hesitant regarding the scope of the reconstruction, which made me hesitant in turn, because I didn't know what to do. I want to convince her that she has nothing to worry about and that the whole operation will be fast.

    Weeks 11 and 12:

    Consult my father and brother as to the design of the kitchen and use the IKEA kitchen planner to help me out. Show my grandma the plan for the kitchen at the end of week 12 and get a green light.

    Weeks 13 and 14:

    Go to IKEA to get the furniture and other shops for linoleum and other smaller stuff. There's no need for new electronic appliances, so there's no need to get involved with electrical thingies. Transport the furniture to my grandma's flat.

    Weeks 14 and 15:

    Plan a weekend with my father/brother to help out with the reconstruction. Removing old furniture, a bit of demolition, painting, laying the new linoleum, putting in the new furniture. Get it done well and ASAP.

    ---

    And with this plan, my grandma should have a new kitchen at the end of April 🙂

  15. On 2/28/2023 at 10:13 PM, Yan said:

    Even if you try to quit porn, masturbation proved to decrease risk of prostate cancer. So in the long-haul, you may want to consider scheduling it in 🙂
    (I mean you may masturbate without porn)

    Yes, that's my goal. I have regular sex with my girlfriend as well. No news or porn this past week. So far, so good 🙂

     

  16. 18th Feb - 23rd Feb:

    I did some minor improvements to my website, spent time with my girlfriend and friends, read newsletters and went to uni classes first time this semester.

    ---

    I don't think I've been doing a good job looking after myself recently. I have to watch my phone usage, as I scroll news and watch porn on it. I want to use my time in a better way with healthier activities.

    • Like 2
  17. On 2/17/2023 at 11:25 PM, Faroe Islander said:

    Thanks for getting back to me.

    Right now I'll continue trying to get activities to occupy myself. One last thing, I tend to overdo it a bit when scheduling my time for work, do you have any insight on how to keep a good work-free time balance and check if you are putting to much time on one of the too?

    Right now I'm studying and I like what we are learning in the lectures and application clases/courses so I can put a lot of time per day into it without many worries about burnout, but can you tell me a bit about how you decide on how much time you want/need to dedicate to the different aspects of your life?

    In the case of overwork, I calm myself down, relax, set priorities and continue. Usually, there are not that many urgent things coming up that I would completely forget about. That means I am mostly able to organize my schedule effectively and do something when it needs to be done without stress.

    In the case of underwork, I remember my hobbies, habits I want to practice and projects that don't have much priority.

    Both happen rarely, but I sometimes bump into both the "overworked" zone, as well as the "underworked" zone. 95% of the time I feel neither though. I use Google Calendar for my work/uni (it's pretty much necessary), as well as tasks/ideas/projects to work on when I have more time.

    As for how much time I put into what activity, I rely on my gut. I don't think there's a better way than that and I haven't heard anyone telling me I should do less/more of X/Y/Z (except myself, of course).

    • Like 1
  18.  I'm using the template I used the last time. 21/01/23 - 18/02/23


    "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:

    L: I read Free to Choose by Milton and Rose Friedman and I also watched the video series. A very catchy and interesting book.

    T: I read Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps That Explain Everything About the World. It was a nice book from my field, recommended by my girlfriend. Fairly caught up on the newsletters.

    Possible direction/goals:

    Continue getting through the newsletters.

    (Borrow) and read one book until the next monthly report.

     

    Family:

    L: The kitchen unit design is still on me. It just feels like too much work and something I can't care about, so I don't really know when will I get down to it. I went to sushi with my brother on Monday and my mom is on a rehabilitation again.

    T: I went to lunches with my brother and my dad. I still can't get myself to care about the kitchen. I guess the time shall come.

    NOT: I don't want to get alienated from my family.

    Possible direction/goals:

    Continue working on bettering the relationships with my family.

     

    University:

    L: I finished all the projects and smaller exams successfully. I have one more exam on Thursday and today I'm going to study for it.

    T: I finished the exam at the end of January. The university started again this week. I expect I will spend about 8 hours a week present on classes and another 5 hours a week working on the assignments.

    NOT: I don't want to drop out of the university.

    Possible direction/goals:

    My plan for some time has been to do the main part of my diploma in summer 2023 and to do the defense and finals in January/February 2024. With my university duties taking 10-15 hours a week and English teaching taking 25-30 hours a week, on top of other activities like the business mentoring, social meetings and one-off things, the last thing I want is to add too much to the university bucket.

    Find more sources for my upcoming masters' thesis during the summer.

    Work on the assignments in a timely manner.

     

    Job/English:

    L: I've been working on the re-design and re-writing of my website and I am planning to make some progress this weekend. I got some good ideas from the meeting at the beginning of the month.

    T: I went to a small business conference, although I quickly found out that a) my acquaintances hadn't arrived and b) the topic of the conference wasn't useful for me. I actually redesigned my website and did the SEO on my own in the free time I had by not going to Georgia and still having a week off.

    -

    Classes are at a stable 25-30 hours a week, plus a few hours for admin work. I even canceled 5 hours throughout the last month: 3,5 from category e) and 1,5 from category d). At the same time, I picked up 4 hours for category a) since the New Year. Anywhere between 1-3 for a) are in the pipeline coming in the next few weeks.

    -

    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 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

    I have about 30% 20% (a month later) of my workload in category e), so I am going to eliminate that that time, starting next month by removing about half of them. I might transfer them to my former Georgian girlfriend if she's interested.

    -

    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 25-30 hours a week. I'm likely going to outsource a few of the projects, such as the modern re-design of my website, SEO and perhaps some more advanced marketing stuff. My students have also been helpful as far as this goes. I have many upcoming projects in the pipeline.

    Keep asking for reviews or recommendations from students.

    Write down specific areas and what I want to do in them:

    Update my website to reflect the new ideas and inspiration from the web.

    Get a customized redesign and SEO for the website.

    Networking events.

    Variable pricing.

    Work on Linked In - use the notes from seminar.

    Look into strategies in becoming truly self-employed by skipping the agencies in between.

     

    Exercise/Movement:

    L: Still walking and cycling regularly to see my students or when going out in the evening. Unfortunately, my bike chain broke and overall my bike needed to be put into the service. Luckily, I live in walk-able distances to my students, so it doesn't matter that much.

    T: I got the bike back from the service. We've been going for walks with my girlfriend fairly often and on Sunday we are planning to go to the swimming pool 🙂

    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.

     

    Women/Dating:

    L:

    Spoiler

    I learnt that perhaps I do not have as hard-core of a monogamous mentality as I thought I would have. I'm also probably more aware than ever that everybody is fucked up, including myself. There are a few women I could think of in the romantic plane in my area. I don't think it makes much sense to be writing about specific women though. I came to the realization that planning in this area is usually cumbersome and counterproductive.

    I cut one of the relationships, did sex and I'm keeping my eyes peeled.

    I was predicting the change in my sexual mindset and behavior for a long time. I behaved and acted in line with it. I just needed the reality to catch up on it; similarly to that when I was gaming, I got fired from the post office several days after I quit gaming, because most of my (unsatisfactory) work there was done when I was still gaming.

    In the past, I believe I looked at the more obvious sexual displays of others with both distaste and envy at the same time. Especially when I thought that I have no other option than to sit and do nothing or to get drunk and hope that something happens. It just took some time to internalize that the thing standing between me and a good (even if only sexual) relationship with a woman is... me.

    As long as there are two consenting adults, whatever goes. Whether it's a good idea or not is another question (given the circumstances), but I won't villanify that behavior a priori anymore.

    That said, a horrible relationship is better than none at all. The cataclysmic end of my last one was likely the trigger for me to quit games for good. Nothing is forcing anyone to stay and die in a horrible relationship, except the lack of options in one's head. (December 20)

    I learnt a lot about the sexuality of women over the past few weeks by spending time with the Spanish girl. I learnt a bunch about my sexuality as well. I also learnt relationships can be more nuanced. It's been a great learning experience so far. (January/February)

    I've spent about two months with the Spanish girl and this morning she left home for three weeks, after which she should come back. I feel that she's into me, that she cares about me and that she doesn't want to lose me (be it to another relationship or due to some quarrel between us, though I find the latter less likely), though at the same time I feel we both want to assert ourselves to leave other options available. In my case to find someone more "permanent" to date/be together with, because I know she'll be gone in the summer. In her case it's different relationship philosophy and uniqueness of every relationship.

    To explain that further, she actually encouraged me to meet other girls to see what might come out of it, which is generally something I am not 100% confident at and could use some practice in. Regardless, despite our differences, I feel that we're willing to respect each other and not argue about them. (March)

    We had a few talks together with the Spanish girl and decided we wouldn't carry on with the sexual element in our relationship. It was the first time for her trying to amalgamate sexual and affectionate relationship into one and the second time for me. I decided to take her for her word and not to push her into something she doesn't want or isn't sure about. I sensed/noticed that it's not the first time she's having difficulty in continuing the relationship in the current setting. I think that a part of good relationship is the ability to respect "no" as a "no" and it's definitely one of the things I want in all my relationships that go deeper.

    I'm actually somewhat surprised by how romantic the relationship has come to be. I think we are both considerate of each other and already value each other to go through this in an abrupt or otherwise bad way. I feel a sense of loss in a way, but I think various factors chimed in to dampen it. Besides, I have learnt a lot about various sexual topics and I grew more confident in this regard. It's very liberating to be playful and inventive too!

    This one is actually only a few days old, but I do feel attracted to one girl and I want to have sex with her, although I don't think something long-term could come out of it due to the factual differences that we have. Hooray for being human! (April)

    We've been flirting and dancing around around with the girl from April. I told her we're gonna do something together after I am done with the finals and I want to keep that promise. I'm not 100% sure if it's the right move, but I'm gonna take the opportunity regardless. (May)

    There are some situations with the girl where we do get close, although from some situations I also understand that I don't want to be too closely involved with her and neither does she. Though I like her physically and I think she's aiming at good things in life, I feel she constantly needs to put herself in messy/highly emotional situations and states. I can joke about it and laugh it off with her as her friend, but it'd be very different if I decided to be a more unpredictable variable in her life.

    That doesn't mean random and unpredictable sex can't happen. The last week I had sex with a friend from the dorms I've known for over a year. We were both tipsy, though I think we were both surprised how that evening ended up happening.

    I've been having thoughts about the time with the Spanish girl, meaning there could still be something I need to decode. I didn't talk to her before she left to Spain about a month ago and nor I gave her the letter I wrote and planned to give her. Regardless, I've thought about the topic myself. I found that the main idea is to take it as it is, regardless of what the reasons of her sudden April "cut" were. I also believe that sometimes the more loving and more courageous decision is to walk away to prevent more hurt and pain, whether due to toxicity (my X) or time constraints (Spanish girl?). One of the things that "got" me closer together to her was the care. She really did care for me as my mom or grandma would, which I noticed when she was adamant about the fact I needed to see the doctor. The fact that we could also agree to disagree was amazing as well. Lastly, she did catalyze more effort from my side to get to know my family better and closer.

    Talking to one of my friends, she said the average masturbation for her is better than the average sex. I found that quite surprising, as I've never thought that would be the case for anyone.

    To end on a good note, I met an interesting girl yesterday in the evening and wrote her on Messenger today. I really should meet even more new people. We'll see what comes out of this. (June/July)

    I noticed that I am thinking more outside of my head about this topic and around friends which is good. (August/September)

    I'm fairly positive I am making progress in this area. It's really only about having the guts to say hi and then making the ask to meet. It needs to become the routine, if I want to have some control over this aspect of my life. The end-result doesn't actually matter. And I'm aware I will make mistakes, get myself in stupid situations, get used and whatnot, but it's all in the game. I'm fairly adamant and determined in this. I've done a lot of scouting recently, so I got some "hard data" on a few girls I was interested in. (September/October)

    To put a real example here, I'm currently making an effort to find dates and a girlfriend. I met a girl last Monday, had a good chat with her for a while, wrote her to meet up and she agreed. Five minutes into the second meeting, I found out she had a boyfriend, yet I didn't just turn around on my heel, as I promised her a walk around the city she doesn't know. I spent some two hours with her, had a good conversation with her, found out she's a good speaker and discussed some views on philosophy and politics.

    The advice I could take from this regarding my dating life: Be more aware of social situations when I am first interacting with a girl I like and be better at scouting to find out whether she's already seriously dating someone or not. Then again, I got something I wasn't expecting but is valuable as well: thinking about reconsidering some of my life views through a good debate.

    All in all, it's impossible to answer the question: Was it a success or a failure? Well, It depends on how I choose to look at it. (Oct/Nov 21)

    I've been meeting one girl for about a month now, both in a planned way but also running into her randomly. She seems shy, a maverick/lone-wolf to a great extent, but also quite honest. I think it's gonna be interesting. Gonna meet her on Monday and do something together again. (Nov)

    So I've been out a few times with the Georgian girl I met at the beginning of October. She's fun to be around, likes my analytical mind and so we sometimes grapple intellectually. She's also kind and I'd argue more compassionate then I am. We're gonna plan something together the next week too. I'm fairly unaware about where this is going, so I'm leaving this go its own way. The only thing that's for sure is that she leaves at the end of January.

    What I've been probably happiest about that this area of my life seems to have some traction, as I felt there was none during the summer until the end of September. What's also worth noting is that this one of the areas with the most shades of gray and trial and error I've been in. I can absolutely not plan for an outcome. It's as much about knowing the other person as it is about knowing myself. (Jan 22)

    Things have been going pretty well with the Georgian girl. She's gonna stay here until June and I myself might go to Germany for Erasmus in April, if the situation permits. It's nice to have somebody close to me to share things and try new things with every now and then. She's intellectually bright and can challenge me on a few things, so she also gives me the mirror sometimes.

    She's also good at English and had some interviews already. She negotiated even a bit higher rate than I did. She actually gave me the impulse to revisit the payment I get from language schools this early. (Jan)

    February and March have been pretty good with the Georgian girl and I believe we both enjoyed it. I'm happy that we managed to get the things we wanted to get done together. We will continue to date, until the distance is just too much to bear. She's going to have a more complicated schedule in April with a lot of traveling and in mid-May she's going to move to another city, which is however reachable on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. I hope to post an update on this when the time comes. (Feb/Mar)

    In April, we've been apart for about two weeks and there's one more week until she moves to another city for the internship. We spent a lot of time together this week.

    I've entertained the idea to have a long-distance relationship until I/we are able to be in one place or to change location at will. My plans are to do the Erasmus in Bulgaria and finish the masters at the uni in early 2024 and after that I am completely location-independent - until then, I am to an extent bound in my current city. The money is not necessarily the issue either; although it's usually more expensive to travel than to stay in one place, I expect my financial situation to be healthy. It's not unrealistic, but we'll see. (Apr/May)

    We've been seeing for weekends. My girlfriend even made a surprise visit today, traveling to my hometown for the weekend. (Jun/Jul)

    Made a promise to not watch "porn" to my girlfriend. Our relationship is very warm. We shared some nasty secrets about one another and I think that bound us even closer. She's leaving back to Georgia in mid-August. We plan on seeing once or twice more and deciding what's next. (Jul/Aug)

    She told me she doesn't want to have a long-distance relationship when she leaves in two weeks, partly because she already has the experience of long-distance for three years and she doesn't want to go through that again. I did cry (which I haven't in at least a few months, if not years), although I do not feel heartbroken. I take it as it is. Life's good.

    She's been a great friend to me and I believe she will be in the future too. I believe she made her decision after contemplating it for a long time. I know she likes me, loves me. And because she's a great friend of mine, I won't question her judgement and try to convince her of something else. She knows what she would go through if she had another long-distance relationship. She has the right to say "no" to it and act in her best interest.

    The malicious part of my mind keeps telling me that I am a rejected loser, as I was unable to convince her to continue the relationship. I think the malicious part takes inspiration from concurrent culture/TV or my past experiences with women. However I decided to have the relationships I want now, not based on templates that somebody tries to feed me or on what happened before.

    The good thing about the "romance" in the relationship is that it has a closure I can understand and get by. So while the pain is inevitable and it sucks we won't see each other anymore, the suffering is next to none, as I don't pity myself or second guess something, as I did with the Spanish girl.

    Another great thing about the relationship is that I never needed to "act like a man" or "extort" something from her. We always said what we wanted, more or less straight up. Not playing mind-games saves a lot of energy and even if we argued sometimes (about something philosophically significant; not about who is going to wash the dishes), we just acknowledged the differences and moved on. This also meant acknowledging our negative personality traits - she is often too disorganized and bad at planning things, whereas I can be sometimes condescending and arrogant (I think I share that trait with my father). (Aug/Sep)

    IMPORTANT - I thrive when I have an equal partner in a relationship. I also have experience to see obvious red flags contrary to that a mile away. In a relationship, I can be sometimes condescending or arrogant. I know what I want in a relationship. I won't sell myself short in a relationship. (Sep/Oct)

    I saw a girl on Monday, we started chatting two weeks ago because we share one subject at the university and decided to meet together, because we are writing a lot. She's quite talkative, seems like the nervous type, though she seems to have some tactical tools to help her with that, like good hobby structure and calendar. We'll see. Going out with her again tomorrow. (Oct/Nov)

     I think quitting games matured quickly and brutally overall, including in my relationship to women. I can say I am attracted to the girl I have been seeing. She gives me more than enough signs that its mutual. I don't think I am wrong, but I've been surprised before 😄

    I have to scout her behavior for a longer time to see how (in)secure she is. She's capable of being independent, based on the things she's done in the past, so I am not sure whether she's just trying to seem more "approachable" for me to make a move on or whether it's a bigger issue. I don't want to have a clingy girlfriend.

    It's been going well with the girl. I wouldn't dare to call her my girlfriend yet, but we've spent several afternoons/evenings together, so it's pretty serious dating now. (Nov 22). I believe now she's a girlfriend. (Dec 22)

    It's been going well with the girl. I wouldn't dare to call her my girlfriend yet, but we've spent several afternoons/evenings together, so it's pretty serious dating now... I believe now she's a girlfriend. (Jan 23)

    We've been seeing over the weekends mostly for an afternoon/evening. It is good (Feb 18th 23)

    T: We've been seeing over the weekends mostly for an afternoon/evening. It is good 🙂

    Possible direction/goals:

    Set up at least two dates a month (with my girlfriend).

    -----

    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, uni work, blogging

    -----

    Additional thoughts/activities:

    My hobbies are: personal finance, gunnery, GIS/statistics, reading/videos about (modern) history, English, working on my business, blogging/writing, geography.

    This month, I did these cool activities: working on my business, taking a vacation, going to see a presentation about Iran, reading about finance, spending time with friends and my girlfriend, going to sushi with my brother, lunch with my father, going to a business conference.

    ---

    Goals/resolutions/aspirations for 2023:

    Pass all the exams at the uni, finish the thesis and finish all university duties successfully in January/February 2024. - WIP, progress = yes

    Improve my business, so that I don't need to teach for language schools anymore, by getting more private contacts, opportunities and students. - WIP, progress = yes

    Go to Georgia to visit my friend. - Unfortunately, the plan didn't work out. I plan to go there later this year, either in late summer or autumn.

    Stop watching porn (again). - I am not porn-free, it comes in waves. I'll try to be more aware when the urges come and what makes me more likely to have them.

    Start getting up when my alarm rings. - I got better, not 100%, but better.

    Continue: planning, walking/exercising, writing/journaling, reading, studying for uni, dating.

    It's a short list, but if I manage all of it, I will be happy.

    ---

    Add-ons:

    I enjoy writing articles, however I am not enjoying the process of how to actually set up the blog, whether I should try and make some money off of it. I think I will, but I won't go on writing e-books, providing courses and whatnot. Just a few affiliate links for the services I like. This allows me to focus on writing and not fret over something I don't even know I want to do.

    I found out I quite like to give presentations, if I really believe and enjoy the topic. This goes for both my school and business presentations. Better keep that in mind.

    As I mentioned in @Faroe Islander 's journal, I sense that the divide between my "free" week and my "work" week too big for my taste, so I want to allow myself more free time in general, although now, I'm gonna be more busy with university and my normal English course-load.

    • Like 1
  19. On 2/15/2023 at 12:56 AM, Faroe Islander said:

    Right now I'm in the 1st week of the second semester, there isn't much to do I mostly try to spend time with a research group and a group we students built to compete in a robotics event it is enough to keep me entertained and away from the pits of overthinking but I still have to develop other hobbies I feel like a zombie whenever I finish most activities/work

    I've been wondering about that as well. I sense that the divide between my "free" week and my "work" week is still too big for my taste, so I want to allow myself more free time in general. But now, I'm gonna be more busy with university and I suspect the number of my English courses will be constant, as I drop courses for language schools and pick up more private students.

    On 2/15/2023 at 12:56 AM, Faroe Islander said:

    I'm sure you will be able to it is a continuation of quitting gaming, for me I have had quite a lot of ups and downs, right now I'm in the mids of quitting and towards the nights I sometimes just feel completely apathetic and sometimes go to bed to early, my recommendation would be to talk to close friends and even your girlfriend about it and turn it into part of your identity the not watching porn together with the doing other other substitute activities instead of it

    Sometimes, I have a tendency to finish my day quite early, let's say at 9. I have activities to do, but in that moment I feel tired/unconcentrated and I postpone them. And if there are no activities for me to do, it makes me restless at night and triggers my masturbation habit. Reading books in my bed makes me sleepy, so I should capitalize on that. My girlfriend and a few friends know and I agree it's good to not be alone in that.

    On 2/15/2023 at 12:56 AM, Faroe Islander said:

    One last question, when you quit games/social media Ikar how did you get though the days? I often find myself relapsing on small "slip ups" instead of big ones and when I quit I feel overwhelmed at least temporarily by thoughts or emotions. I have contacted my psychologist and next session I'll tell him about certain issues but I want to be able to attend while being on a streak of "sober days"

    That made me look at the beginning of my diary, because I don't remember what I did. I just remember feeling free after I quit. And that I did anything but gaming and Twitch. I know that before the diary, I had bouts of quitting certain games/starting certain games/watching Twitch. I learnt that my case is pretty abnormal after spending some time here, as most people don't start journaling and quit 100%.

    • Like 1
  20. On 2/16/2023 at 4:52 AM, Paul A. said:

    The plan is to do it professionally at some point: that’s why I’m posting so much on social media, to build and grow an audience that will enable me to make a full time living making music. It’s little more than a hobby right now because it’s not making me any money, but I think if I stick with it long enough, I can turn it into my livelihood.

    Fair, I guess that's the normal way things develop. I have a student who works a job in automotive, but is also a DJ at nights and earns some money doing that too 🙂

    • Like 1
  21. 6th Feb - 12th Feb:

    I read the "Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps That Explain Everything About the World". It was about how geography affects modern countries, mainly in the geopolitical sense. I spent time with friends and my girlfriend, watched films and redesigned my website.

    ---

    In other news, I am going to drop a few courses I have. I want to have more time for myself, to make space for private students and to make time for my uni classes.

    • Like 1
  22. On 2/5/2023 at 4:49 PM, Pochatok said:

    Kind of is happening now! I stopped worrying about applying all my charisma skills to each conversation. That helps with feeling fully present and loving, acceptful of the people I'm talking to, which is nice. Only having 1-2 hangouts feels much less limiting if I take into account all the other times I interact with folks throughout the week- during lunch breaks, at events, etc. .

    I understand what you're saying about applying charisma. I meet a few new people every now and then and today I actually met my girlfriend's sister and her boyfriend for the first time. I felt zero pressure to make a good impression and so I was free to be genuinely myself.

    Yes, we can prepare for a job interview or for an exam at the uni (and we should), but in the end, people either like us or they don't.

    On 2/5/2023 at 4:49 PM, Pochatok said:

    Honesty: When it comes to a few of my relationships, or actually most of them, I find myself not communicating certain things. Sure, I don't say some because they're simply odd, but also I am not allowing myself to be more vulnerable. I am afraid of rejection of any sort- it's so much easier to simply try to have a good time rather than take a risk to expand and deepen this relationship, right? Q for next W: How have I challenged myself to be more open and vulnerable within my relationships?

    That's an interesting remark, as I oftentimes have problems myself with identifying how strongly I feel about certain people and what impact they have on me. That means that sometimes when I'm confronted about that by someone, I have mostly nothing to say.

    Anyway, do you have some benchmark(s) on how you want your relationships to be?

    • Like 1
  23. On 2/10/2023 at 3:45 PM, Paul A. said:

    Well, I think it’s because I just have a lot more going on now. When I’m not working, I’m actively working on either music or content for my social media. I’m taking my music a lot more seriously now, and I was advised to start building my social media presence, so I dived headfirst into creating content. Gaming is the last thing on my mind nowadays. As such, I don’t have as much of a need (or time) to be so active here on the forums. I’ll definitely swing by every now and again with updates, but for the most part I’m locked in with my music!

    Sounds good! Are you planning it as a hobby or do you want to go pro eventually? I remember you writing about finding yourself some good job.

    • Like 1
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