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Gaming the System 006 - James' First 30 Days As a Digital Nomad in Thailand!

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kortheo

My Journal - Travis

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Hey Travis. Part of what's happening is that your perspective is growing, so you are now able to see layers of possibility that you didn't before. That's good and a sign of progress. Just remember to take those bigger visions and turn them into actionable habits and small milestones you can hit along the way, as many have suggested in their responses to you.

The vision you have for your life is growing, it's awesome. :)

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Hey Travis. Part of what's happening is that your perspective is growing, so you are now able to see layers of possibility that you didn't before. That's good and a sign of progress. Just remember to take those bigger visions and turn them into actionable habits and small milestones you can hit along the way, as many have suggested in their responses to you.

The vision you have for your life is growing, it's awesome. :)

Hmm, yeah. I guess it's time to go back to basics and trust the process - habits, small steps at a time, Slight Edge style.

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Day 63

I woke up today feeling a little lethargic and depressed. Reluctantly, I got up and did my body-weight exercises and meditated, made my bed, and planned my day. I had been putting off some things that were honestly not very difficult but nonetheless out of my comfort zone. Namely - replacing the wheel covers on my car.

I had two fall off, the other two are old and dirty, and people would occasionally give me a friendly ribbing about how bad they looked. In the past my stance was always that my car was about transportation only and that I didn't care about any frills or aesthetics related to it. So I always brushed these comments off. This is still true to an extent - I don't really care about my car that much - I would prefer something economical to something fancy. Nonetheless, I am coming to realize that the way my car looks to other signals things about me and my personality - how conscientious and responsible am I, for instance? I'm not a slob, but having a junky looking car might signal that to others. Second, I'm realizing that the state of my car, as much as the state of my apartment, affects my confidence and mood. I feel better - happier, less depressed, more confidence - when my car is clean and looks good, as well as when my apartment is clean and tidy and looks welcoming. Just as going to work with wrinkled clothes gives me a hit to my confidence, while being dressed in ironed and clean fresh clothes makes me feel better. On paper this stuff sounds obvious - but I guess it didn't 'make sense' to me really until had actually experienced. It's not "logical", but it's real.

I guess the last point related to this is... why did I put this off? My car has been missing wheel covers for like 2 years. Well, I've always been intimidated by "car stuff", whether it made sense or not. I always overestimate how difficult and complicated anything car-related will be, so I psych myself out and tell myself that it'll be hard and I won't be able to do it. And yet, whenever I do work up the willpower to push myself to do these things, they're usually pretty simple. Turns out wheel covers are way less expensive than I expected and very easy to select and replace. Ha, I feel silly. But anyway, that is done!

That's all for today. Feeling much better than when I woke up this morning :).

Gratitude

I am grateful for...

  1. Google Play Music.
  2. Iron and Wine (Band).
  3. That my sister gets a reprieve from her Aunt-ly  duties because my niece will be gone for a week or so.
  4. That my car looks better now.
  5. That I got to hang out with friends last night.
  6. That I'm hanging out with friends later today.
  7. That I don't feel over-caffeinated after the coffee I drank earlier.
  8. That I have a really good job.
  9. That I live in a beautiful place.
  10. Clear skies today.

Appreciation: I'm proud of myself to replacing my wheel covers, even if I was intimidated by doing 'car stuff'.

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Ninten-Day 64

Got a bit of a late start today. I was out with friends last night. This outing prompted a lot of thoughts and questions actually, so it will be good to share here.

I went out with a group of 8 people to play minigolf. We were at a place with minigolf, an arcade, gokarts, etc. I had met about half of the people before and had hung out with them a few times. A few other people were new.

The first thing that prompted reflection was that I carpooled with one of the people. Let’s call him A. A’s driving wasn’t reckless exactly, but it definitely made me uncomfortable. I’m a pretty cautious driver and I like it that way. Being driven by someone who drives differently, who I don’t know all that well, made me uncomfortable and fairly nervous. It felt like I didn’t have control over the situation. I made a mental note to be a bit more cautious jumping into cars with people I don’t know terribly well, because it’s hard to trust that they’re not going to get us both killed.

The second point is about alcohol. San Diego has a big beer culture, and a big car culture, since it’s SoCal. It’s pretty normal for people go out, have a beer or two, and drive home. Most people seem pretty nonchalant about this. And it’s true that a couple beers over a couple hours isn’t going to put you over the legal BAC limit. This has always made me uncomfortable, though. When I go out I won’t have more than 1 low alcohol content beer if I’m driving. And even when I do this, even though it shouldn’t put me over the limit, it makes me really uncomfortable to drive. Sometimes I feel like my anxiety about it makes me feel the effects of the beer more – a big part of that effect is psychological anyway. Anyway, I have this conundrum where drinking and driving, even if it’s legal, makes me uncomfortable – and yet I want to drink when I go out and have a good time with friends. No one else seems that bothered by it, yet I am. Maybe I’m more of a lightweight than everyone else and feel the effects more? In any case, last night I opted not to drink anything despite peer pressure, because I did have to drive a bit later that night and didn’t want to feel uncomfortable. It probably sounds weird, but I’m considering getting a breathalyzer to make sure that I’m legally OK to drive when I go out. If I had an objective measure telling me I was good to go, it would probably stop my anxiety.

So anyway, we played minigolf. After that we were killing time so we went to the arcade. Forgive me brothers, for I have sinned. We all gathered around a DDR machine (they still exist, apparently) and I played a couple of rounds of DDR against people. Haha, it was less than 5 mins of playing, and it was social, and… yeah, I’m not going to count it against myself. It was fun, but also an atypical situation.

This brings up yet another issue – the issue of having friends who game. Hanging out with this group was preferable to hanging out with no one and playing video games by myself. But it turns out most of them are gamers. Two of them actually have video game related jobs (games journalism). We aren’t friends because of games, and I am candid with them about having quit. We have other interests that we share – intellectual discussion that I have nowhere else in my life right now, for instance. But still, being around people who love gaming can be problematic.

After the arcade ,we went to a …well, how to describe? It’s basically a pub that is table-top gaming themed. So they have tables and food and serve alcohol and have a ton of board games. I was playing a board game with my group, and at one point I saw someone that I knew come into the place. I texted her to confirm it actually was her, and it was. We acknowledged that we saw each other by text, but I never had (or made) a chance to go say hi in person, and while I asked to her to say Hi if she had a chance, she never did. She isn’t someone I know all that well, but we have a lot of mutual friends and have been to events together in the past. I can’t help but feel it was a missed opportunity to a pleasant interaction.

There was also one girl in the group. Let’s call her B. She’s the kind of girl who’s really friendly and open, and touchy, and you can’t tell if she’s that way because she likes you or if she’s just that way with everyone. In this case I think she was just that way with everyone, but it took me a while to figure that out. Anyway, we were talking on and off all night, played DDR together, and then at one point we had this weird interaction where she put her arm on my chair/ around my shoulders, and leaned into me and said we were the only two girls there. Implying that I was a girl? It was very strange, I didn’t know if she was trying to emasculate me, or make a weird joke? I kind of laughed it off but didn’t quite no how to respond, and actually did feel a little emasculated. No one else was really listening to the conversation, thankfully. She seemed serious and almost adversarial about it, laughing at me rather than with me. Not sure what to make of it. But it didn’t feel like a positive interaction.

The group I was with all night was an interesting bunch. I notice that as I’m being more social more often, my social perception is increasing. I suddenly feel like I see whole new layers of social interaction that were invisible to me before. I’m more able to read between the lines, as it were. Though I focused on the negative points of the night in this post, it was actually a lot of fun. But additionally, I feel if I were able to get around some of the sticking points I have socially (anxiety about drinking for example) I could probably relax and have a better time. I’m still feeling the group out in a sense, and I’m realizing and seeing so clearly how everyone has pros and cons. Everyone is interesting if you look for it, and everyone is flawed in their own way. The older ones in the group are more mature (late 20s), and they have aspects to them that I aspire to – the younger in the group are less mature (early 20s) and I see their immaturity and how I have outgrown it. I am in the middle (mid-20s).

Finally, I think I’m starting to slow down and accept where I am a bit. I am realizing that there is a myriad of depth to the social world that I really haven’t been engaging with enough in my life, and it’s fun to explore and learn through it all, as I am becoming more intentional about my social participation. This journal continues to be useful, because it prompts me to clarify and lay down these thoughts when I otherwise wouldn’t do so.

 

Gratitude

I am grateful that…

  1. I had fun and met new people last night.
  2. I had some less than ideal moment last night that I can learn from.
  3. I am healthy.
  4. I have multiple friend groups that I can spend time with.
  5. I have disposable income for a new computer.
  6. That this week is Thanksgiving! (In the US anyway, sorry Cam!)
  7. That I only have to work 2 days next week
  8. That friends invited me to dinner tonight.
  9.  That I am growing as a person.
  10. That my 5k will be this week, and then I don’t have to train as much J

 

One thing I did well yesterday: Got up and was really productive even when I didn’t quite feel like it.

Edited by kortheo
typos and formatting

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Hey Travis. There's nothing wrong with having your own opinion of people. If in your eyes A drove like an A and B behaved like a B, that's fine. As you say, everyone has their pros and cons.

I too have strong reactions towards with people drinking and driving. I don't drive myself since I don't see very well, so I depend on others whenever where I'm going isn't within biking distance. Where I come from many people drink way too much and drive. I used to walk or bike for kilometers! I just hope self-driving cars will be commonplace soon. I'll never buy into "you can't take the pleasure of driving away from me". Take your weapon to a speedway :) Until then, +1 to Chris's suggestion.

About Ms. B. and people who might or might not make fun at you, I found three responses that work pretty well. 1) be naive: "what do you mean?"; 2) deflect with humor: "darling, I'm a lesbian. How about you?"; 3) shrug it off: "haha. By the way...". In any case don't dwell on it: people screw up all the time when trying to be funny. It's part of the game.

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Hey dude, great entry. First, don't worry about the DDR stuff. You're out, it's social, not a big deal. 

The main thing I'd encourage you is next time, instead of texting the girl to see if it's her, just go up and talk to her. You were a bit too passive in this situation, "texting" and then telling her to come see you "if she has time." Step into your role as a leader, go talk to her if you want to talk to her. :)

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Hey dude, great entry. First, don't worry about the DDR stuff. You're out, it's social, not a big deal. 

The main thing I'd encourage you is next time, instead of texting the girl to see if it's her, just go up and talk to her. You were a bit too passive in this situation, "texting" and then telling her to come see you "if she has time." Step into your role as a leader, go talk to her if you want to talk to her. :)

Yeah, you're totally right, I was too passive. I choked and felt like I couldn't leave my group at the time. I'll try to learn from this for next time something like this happens.

 

Day 65

Short update today probably. I hung out with a couple that I'm friends with last night. We grilled burgers and then relaxed in their hottub. It was a good night! Nothing really to say here, they're pleasant and down to earth, and I'm glad I'm getting to know them better.

Yesterday I was also texting with that girl again... we hadn't talked much recently and she texted me out of the blue. Long story short, we got to texting again eventually agreed that our dynamic was unhealthy, and that we wanted different things and couldn't work together. So we agreed to go our separate ways and stop talking. While it's disappointing that nothing came of it, I'm glad that we were able to maturely do what was healthiest, and I appreciate what I gained from the brief time I was getting to know her. Very grateful we met, but now I can spend my (finite!) time and energy on other things and other people.

My 5k is this week! I'm going to rest the next few days so that I'm ready for the race. This is actually a big deal to me - I've been training for 1.5 months. This is literally the first time in my life I've consciously trained for any kind of athletic event. So I'm proud of myself for that. Should be a lot of fun, and definitely a new experience. I have wanted to do this at least since freshman year of college (so like... 7 years? o_o). 

I only work Monday and Tuesday this week - then 5 days off! Can't wait.

Keep on keeping on, everyone.

 

Gratitude

I am grateful for...

  1. The self-awareness to break old patterns.
  2. Developing an abundance mindset in place of a scarcity mindset.
  3. Clean, cool drinking water.
  4. All of my friends.
  5. My nephews and niece.
  6. Thanksgiving!
  7. That the Oceanside Turkey Trot (5k) exists.
  8. The beautiful weather today.
  9. Everything I learned from the girl.
  10. The juggling balls that I ordered. They just arrived yesterday! I can get back to practicing.

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Day 66

Well. I had a minor panic attack at work today. I'm not totally sure why. Had coffee this morning for the first time in a while, which apparently can be a trigger. It might be another reason to give up coffee, because it can also make me feel pretty lousy. I am proud of myself though, because I made it through it OK and I'm feeling much better now. Still at work.

I have tomorrow off, so today is like a Friday for me. 5 days off due to Thanksgiving :).

I'm thinking of buying a computer soon. I am considering getting one of these: https://www.asus.com/us/AllinOne-PCs/Zen-AiO-Pro-Z240IC/. The all-in-one is an unusual form factor, but pretty cool. Major Con: can't be upgraded or repair easily. But it makes sense for my lifestyle at the moment:

  • I have a small apartment, so having something small without many cables to save space is a huge plus.
  • I don't need to game anymore, so I don't need gaming grade desktop.
  • I don't want or need a separate TV, and this comes with a 24" 4k IPS display... which is awesome.
  • I don't have a ton of need for mobility, and while I could get a laptop, I need to use an ergonomic keyboard due to my RSI... so laptops are out!
  • After a long day of IT work, I want something simple, self-contained, that I don't have to think too hard about (like a self-built machine with idiosyncratic weirdnesses). I'll take something prepackaged and meticulously designed.

Hoping I can get a Black Friday deal on one. :)

Actually one note on gaming PCs. This PC actually does have a laptop grade gaming card in it, and can play some older games. I used to think that if I got a machine with integrated graphics then that would be a way to avoid temptation with games. But the reality is we can't escape games so easily anymore. Even integrated graphics are powerful enough to play a lot of games on. There's a plethora of games on Steam that don't require much processing power to run. And just having an average smartphone opens you up to a lot of gaming potential. So really, one can't escape games easily by just not throwing a video card in. It has to be based on conscious choice not to play.

Gratitude

I am grateful for...

  1. Getting through my panic attack.
  2. Having tomorrow off.
  3. My coworker lending me a cool book.
  4. Being productive today.
  5. My coworker spotting me cash for lunch the other day.
  6. My work projects moving along nicely.
  7. Alain de Botton's writing.
  8. Fresh air.
  9. Staying calm.
  10. My family.

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Just curious, why a desktop and not just a laptop?

Primarily this point that I mentioned:

  • I don't have a ton of need for mobility, and while I could get a laptop, I need to use an ergonomic keyboard due to my RSI... so laptops are out!

If I ever do need a laptop I can use my work one in a pinch. But I can't work comfortably with a laptop keyboard for longer than 15-30 minutes. They're really poor ergonomically, and aggravate my RSI. So, it's kind of idiosyncratic to my situation.

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Just curious, why a desktop and not just a laptop?

Primarily this point that I mentioned:

  • I don't have a ton of need for mobility, and while I could get a laptop, I need to use an ergonomic keyboard due to my RSI... so laptops are out!

If I ever do need a laptop I can use my work one in a pinch. But I can't work comfortably with a laptop keyboard for longer than 15-30 minutes. They're really poor ergonomically, and aggravate my RSI. So, it's kind of idiosyncratic to my situation.

ah, missed that point. Makes sense. :)

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Day 67

Had a decent day today. Didn't have to work. Ran some errands, and picked up my bib for the 5k tomorrow! When I went to get it it hit me how big of an event this is. I'll be running with thousands of people! Pretty cool. I'm excited. It will feel good to be doing something with other like-minded people from my community.

I won't go into detail, but in an unexpected turn of events something is going well with a lady in my life. So that's fun :).

Doing a decent job keeping up with my habits. The only exception is that I've been having trouble sleeping lately. I'm going to try to cut out caffeine entirely and work on my sleep hygiene. I feel pretty lousy when I'm not sleeping right.

Thanksgiving is tomorrow! Should be excellent :) Hope everyone has a good one.

 

Gratitude

I am grateful for...

  1. The date I was on last night.
  2. Surprising myself.
  3. Strangers giving me their parking stub as they were leaving so I didn't have to pay.
  4. Sufjan Stevens.
  5. Free mac n cheese.
  6. Health.
  7. My quiet apartment.
  8. Having the day off.
  9. Thanksgiving.
  10. The socializing I have planned for the weekend.

 

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Add f.lux to your computer. It will make a big difference in helping you sleep! :)

Yeah, I do use f.lux, and have a similar app on my smartphone. I try stay off screens as I'm winding down to sleep. I find disengaging my mind from internet stuff helps as much as avoiding the light.

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Day 68

This morning I ran my first 5k, the Oceanside Turkey Trot. It was a pretty fun event. It was huge, thousands of people.

I rode a shuttle bus to the event because parking nearby is just impractical. The shuttle was just for participants, so the atmosphere was good. I started talking with an older woman next to me about the race, since it was my first one. I initiated the conversation, which I'm proud of. Her name was Jeanelle (sp?). She had been to a bunch of race events in the past, and gave me pointers on what to expect or other races to go to in the future. She was just there to support some friends, but she couldn't run because she had injured her ankle.

I heard another woman behind me talking about travelling to Germany and Prague, and I had been to those places and so I piped in about something she said. This wasn't really intentional - she just said something about how when she first got to Prague she was kind of freaked because it seemed really shady - I had the exact same experience and had to jump in. Later, after we all got off the bus and we were walking, we got to talking and when she found out I was at the race alone, she invited me to join her group. Her name is Karissa. She was there with a group from a bootcamp fitness group she's a part of. So I got to meet a few of them. I ended up talking with them for 20 minutes or so before the race, and Karissa and I added each other on facebook.

As the race began, Jeanelle saw me go by and yelled "Go Travis!" as I went by, haha. Thinking about that now, I feel a little uncomfortable. On paper... it's actually really cool that someone I just met would be encouraging me to do well at something. I think there's a part of me that doesn't like myself that says I don't deserve that kind of support, that I'm not worthy of it. Something to think on.

The race itself went pretty well! My time was 32:25 for the whole race, and I managed to run the whole way without walking, which for me is an achievement in itself. Funny how the mind works though - instead of me thinking "I'm proud I ran the whole thing" my mind thought "I wish I had run faster". One stretch of the race went along the beach, and it was high tide, so the waves were hitting on the rocks and splashing people, which was pretty cool.

After the race I just headed back to the shuttle so I could go home. I had lost the others during the race since I ran ahead. Along the way I got to talking with a couple other women who were also looking for the shuttle. They work at a local corporation, ViaSat, that one of my friends also works at, and I had actually interviewed at at one point. Small world.

After that, I just headed home and that was that. I'm considering going to the bootcamp group that Karissa is a part of - it seems like it might be nice from the website, and I was actually looking for some sort of fitness group to join now that I'm done with the 5k - perfect timing. Can't hurt to try!

I write all this out just because this event ended up being way more social than I expected it to be. Not knowing anyone going in, I just expected to run but not have much interaction with others. The people I met were very friendly and inclusive, which I'm not accustomed to. I suppose a 5k attracts a certain kind of person. And I also suppose I'm just a bit more willing to talk to strangers now - I basically was the one who initiated the interactions, looking back on it. Before I quit games I was very different, and I probably wouldn't have initiated those interactions, and probably wouldn't have even trained for the event to begin with.

So anyway. It's already a good Thanksgiving, and I haven't even had food yet!

Hope everyone has a great day.

 

I am thankful for:

  1. All the people I met this morning.
  2. Weather this morning.
  3. The waves splashing me as I ran.
  4. Random people in turkey costumes getting chased by people in chef's costumes at the race.
  5. Free snacks and pictures after the race.
  6. My family.
  7. That I live somewhere safe and not war-torn.
  8. That I was invited to a bootcamp group.
  9. That I've been meeting new people lately, who are not the normal sort of people that I meet.
  10. Gamequitters! :P

 

 

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It's fantastic to read about your experience. There's a whole world behind any action we take to change ourselves. You have put yourself in situations that pay dividends for all the efforts you put into developing your social skills.

I like how you say "yes" to things, go out of your comfort zone, and come back with loot :)

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It's fantastic to read about your experience. There's a whole world behind any action we take to change ourselves. You have put yourself in situations that pay dividends for all the efforts you put into developing your social skills.

I like how you say "yes" to things, go out of your comfort zone, and come back with loot :)

Haha what a wonderful way to put it. "Say yes to things, come back with loot".

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Day 69

Not too much to say today. Spent my morning cleaning my apartment and now it looks great. I have a date tonight, which is great. Spending some time with friends tomorrow, and possibly Sunday. Ordered a new computer yesterday, which should be arriving tomorrow :) Excited for it. Really things are going pretty good at the moment, no complaints.

 

EDIT: I came across this quote which I think is quite applicable for me at least:

"Success isn't owned. It's rented, and rent is due every day" - J.J. Watt

This is something that's important to keep in mind when we're feeling complacent - we can't stop what we're doing or we'll stop being successful. You have to keep up the positive habits and routines that make you successful, every day.

 

Gratitude

I'm grateful for...

  1. My sister.
  2. Clean clothes and bedding.
  3. Free time.
  4. Simple moments of reflection.
  5. Buffalo chicken.
  6. Free guided meditations.
  7. Protein powder.
  8. Holidays and time off.
  9. Documentaries.
  10. Having a nice place to live.
Edited by kortheo

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Day 70

I'm still doing good. Got up, did bodyweight exercises, mediated, showered, cooked and ate breakfast. I'm going on a hike with some friends later. It's a new trail for me and I'm excited to use my new hiking day bag. Need to grab some snacks.

Went on a date last night and it went really well. We went bowling and got dinner and tea, and spent a few hours talking. Continuing to get to know this girl. Getting a lot of personal growth out of my experiences dating her.

I feel like I'm learning a lot about discipline and willpower. It's interesting to see how much better self-control I have now compared to in the past.

Also, since I've quit games I've been listening to way more music, and my musical tastes are even shifting - very interesting. Listening to a lot of indie folk rock and singer-song writer stuff, which is fun.

Have a great day everyone, catch you all later! Stay strong and keep growing!

 

Gratitude

I am grateful for...

  1. My new ergonomic keyboard.
  2. All the free time that I have this week.
  3. The woman in my life right now.
  4. The weather today that's great for a hike.
  5. This tech shirt that I got from the 5k, which will be great to wear on my hike.
  6. My Anker USB charger.
  7. My Camelback day pack.
  8. My health.
  9. My family.
  10. The delicious bagel that I ate earlier.

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Day 70

Also, since I've quit games I've been listening to way more music, and my musical tastes are even shifting - very interesting. Listening to a lot of indie folk rock and singer-song writer stuff, which is fun.

 

If you like singer-songwriter-folk, I recommend "Freewheelin' Bob Dylan" - I listened to it back in 2002, when I was working for a month in Iowa City. In oCtober. It captured the fall atmosphere perfectly. And it's good songs on there.

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Day 71

Hello everyone. Hope everyone is having a good day.

Okay, clarification. I've made a lot of references in this journal to a girl in my life recently.  I'll call her N for reference since she will probably come up in the future. At one point I said we decided to stop talking but that didn't actually end up sticking - we got back in touch. Up to this point I've always mentioned her off-hand or in passing because I didn't know if it would be significant, and I guess I'm a bit shy about talking about this stuff. But at this point we've been talking and hanging out over the course of a month and it's clearly becoming some kind of relationship. At this point we're basically dating. 

Things are going quite well with N. The reason why I bring her up though is because there are a lot of things I'm working through related to dating and relationships and personal growth that I'd like to just get onto paper. They're not really specific to her, but are more general things I'm wrestling with at the moment.

In the past, when I've dated I always tended to cling to the first person who came along who I was somewhat compatible with. Sometimes it worked out OK, sometimes it didn't. One problem that I would encounter is that once I started dating someone, the rest of my life, particularly my social life, would take a back seat or get neglected. I would lose touch with friends etc because I would be totally focused on the girl. While I understand that this is fairly common, that doesn't make it healthy.

Right now, I'm trying to fight against this exact problem. As I see N more and more, I like her more and it starts to feel more like a relationship. We also text a ton and I'm realizing that can be unhealthy too - it's an addiction all its own, and waiting for a response can really preoccupy your mind in a way that I don't like. We're not exclusive at this point and we could be dating other people too. I have this emerging social life that I've created over the last couple of months and I want to keep it and keep developing it. I'm making a conscious effort to do that, and I'm doing OK so far. But, it is taking effort, and it's not easy changing old patterns of behavior. Even when I don't want to necessarily, I will make myself go to certain social events during the week so that I'm still meeting new people and being social. I think this is made significantly easier by quitting games, because I have replaced games with social activities as one of my main forms of fun. I think this is an incredibly healthy shift, but it still takes work.

When I'm alone it's easy to get stuck thinking about her and easy to invent little fantasies about the future and lose perspective. i find that getting out of the house and being around other people does help ground me a bit and pull me back down to reality. I have to remind myself the facts of the situation - that we haven't known each other all that long, that we aren't exclusive yet. It's complicated by the fact that I'm not even really sure what I want long term. I think that will only become clear with time.

I realize as I'm typing this how muddled it all is in my head still. But I guess the main issue of the moment is trying to balance my focus in my life. There is a part of my brain that just wants to focus entirely on her and thinking about the next time that I'll see her. But I need to learn to tone that down and focus on the more everyday things that are, in the grand scheme of things, far more important - the daily habits and routines I've developed, doing well at my job, my family, my personal development, my friends. All of those things will, in all likelihood, be a part of my life for a long long time - this is a person I've known for a month and for all I know may only date for a few months total. I can't predict the future.

All in all, I guess I'm just trying to not get carried away. Also, I'm currently doing nofap hardmode, so that could be affecting my thinking or judgement about things as well. On the plus side, I find that I'm much more confident and better at flirting than I've ever been before, which is really great. :)

I'm sure I'll have more thoughts along these lines, but that's it for now.

Gratitude

  1. This long break from work that is just finishing up.
  2. Sleeping in this morning.
  3. The coffee shop I had lunch at.
  4. Cool autumn air.
  5. Plans with N later this week.
  6. Quiet.
  7. Opportunities for growth.
  8. Decaf coffee.
  9. Watching movies with friends.
  10. Laughing at dumb things with friends.

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I know all about the neglecting other people thing when dating somebody.  It's such an easy thing to do, probably more so for us ex gamers.  One thing that with my now wife that helped show me that it was a healthy relationship was talking to her about it.  I told her that I tend to forget about my friends when I'm dating somebody, and that I didn't like to be that way.  She responded by telling me that she understands that I need to have a social life outside of her and she needs the same.  As long as we make plans to hang out with friends ahead of time and communicate them clearly, we're okay with the other person going out for night.  We probably only do this like once every week or so because we really like our time together, and we're both so busy.  My advice would be to talk to her about it in a friendly and honest way.  These kinds of conversations are essential to have any kind of quality relationship.  You'll really learn a lot about her by having that kind of talk, and there's nothing wrong with that!

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Day 72

I've been struggling with insomnia recently. I'm not really sure why - I had it occasionally when I was younger, but it was never much of an issue. Even though my sleep hygiene is better on average now than say college, I am dealing with insomnia more and more. Still, I can see clearly that when I do stick to good sleep hygiene it's easier to sleep. I don't currently have a real sleep hygiene habit in the way that I have a morning habit, and I'm thinking that's something I should cultivate. I'm tired of being tired in the morning... after a night of bad sleep. Like last night. When I was up too late staring at a screen.

As a simple starting routine, I think this is what I'll do:

  1. One hour before I intend to sleep, stop using electronic devices (Kindle is the exception).
  2. Prep for the morning.
  3. Dim / turn off lights.
  4. Spend 30 mins or so reading.
  5. Drink caffeine-free tea, or meditate a bit.
  6. Sleep.

I usually do something like this when I'm able to sleep well. I think it's simply a matter of doing it consistently. Unfortunately, it appears failing to do it will disrupt my sleep more than it used to.

 

Gratitude

I'm grateful for...

  1. My Job.
  2. The possibility of a vacation at the end of the month (I need one).
  3. Learning something new every day.
  4. Calm.
  5. Small periods of time at work to journal.
  6. My water bottle.
  7. My planner.
  8. My friendships and relationships.
  9. Continuing to get to know N.
  10. Texting.

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