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

Hitaru

Captain Taru's Log: 20000 Withdrawals above the Sea

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I've been finding more trouble with the more emotional, checking with yourself part of Respawn, but I'll get it done.

The violin delivery is being delayed (we're -me and my contact- waiting for the bow) but it will happen before March arrives.

My state hasn't been good, but I've been eating slightly better each day and didn't drop the gym, which was a small miracle in itself.

I have a good schedule prepared probably for the first time ever and know what to do step by step, but not overwhelmingly so, there are gaps and it's more oriented to get daily goals done rather than controlling every second of the day. Has room for improvement but the basics are covered. Now it only takes mustering the courage and that's the whole deal for me.

On a slightly hopeful note, I might be fetching aforementioned shitty job soon, that would be big. Fingers crossed.

Edit, more stuff: Saw the last film by Guillermo del Toro today and while not risky in the argument part, it was a really pleasing experience. Probably the first movie that inspired me to think about starting a collection of favourites. Perhaps I should do that, make a conscious effort to keep the things I like (movies, music, motivational videos...) close instead of "floating around" in my life? Sounds pretty basic but it's a kind of revolutionary concept for the one I used to be. I mean, that probably would help me to keep me motivated and with my spirits up. Essentially what the rest of humans do by instinct but I have to walk the extra mile to enforce. I feel weird about myself sometimes, as if I was lacking a piece in my machinery. Ah, nevermind. 

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One of the worst things of having relapsed is no doubt having to tell people about it:

"Oh, really?" 

It's heartbreaking. My tribe, my purpose, my connection, feels as if I lost it and it's all my fault. My weakness, my cowardice. Now I can only feel shame and guilt. Talking with people holds no excitement, I no longer have plans for them. Reading journals is painful and leaves the impression of events escaping me, falling behind until I fall from this train, to be left alone and hopeless.  

"That's terrible." 

I know this sensation. I felt like this when I gave up the acting school. -

[My classmates are graduating this year, I'll go see them and it will be pure torture, distilled angst nihilist movies are made of. I'll have to talk about what I've been doing, the staple nightmare of any NEET.]

- Having this clarity of mind about what's going on with me is, at the very least comforting. It feels as if the failure was within some part of me as a person. Honestly speaking, the thoughts about dying have returned. Not by my hand. How many times will I have to return to this point until it works or I give up? It's exhausting. I've turned defeat into a habit.

I want to ask for help but I don't want to look more dependent and powerless. 

How am I supposed to help others if I am powerless?

But I need help.

We talk business now:

The combination of mother's house and care + laptop is a fucking disaster, so I'm quitting it. The house will be harder, so I'm starting with the laptop. I'm making a list of everything I do or potentially do with the laptop and set alternatives. Surprise, I can perfectly stop using it, I'm just addicted to it. I'll look for alternatives for music and reading, transfer the passwords, all the stuff. I'll carry all my technology needs in my pocket like a man of the future. That will be the key to open the door of my freedom. I was never a mobile gamer to begin with. 

Also violin parts arrived, now it's just picking and paying it up and there we go. I don't think I'll find a place outside to practice and that'll be perhaps a problem, but I'm working on it. 

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14 hours ago, Hitaru said:

One of the worst things of having relapsed is no doubt having to tell people about it:

"Oh, really?" 

It's heartbreaking. My tribe, my purpose, my connection, feels as if I lost it and it's all my fault. My weakness, my cowardice. Now I can only feel shame and guilt. Talking with people holds no excitement, I no longer have plans for them. Reading journals is painful and leaves the impression of events escaping me, falling behind until I fall from this train, to be left alone and hopeless.  

"That's terrible." 

I know this sensation. I felt like this when I gave up the acting school. -

[My classmates are graduating this year, I'll go see them and it will be pure torture, distilled angst nihilist movies are made of. I'll have to talk about what I've been doing, the staple nightmare of any NEET.]

- Having this clarity of mind about what's going on with me is, at the very least comforting. It feels as if the failure was within some part of me as a person. Honestly speaking, the thoughts about dying have returned. Not by my hand. How many times will I have to return to this point until it works or I give up? It's exhausting. I've turned defeat into a habit.

 

Hitaru, I read quite a lot of your posts. Not all of them and I often miss some, but quite often, they kinda break my heart a little. Bare with me, this might be a long speech, but I feel you need this mental slap and mental hug.

I once suggested to you that you go offline for a while. I did this, because I was drunk and when I am drunk I tend to have super-power empathy skills or something. Or not, who knows. Anyway, from reading your posts it becomes clear to me that you are stuck in some sort of devastating spiral. The worst part of this spiral is, however, the guilt factor. You do not fall behind. If reading journals creates such feeling, stop reading them until your emotions rest in their natural balance again. "The feeling of falling behind" goes hand in hand with self-accusation. You suggest to yourself that you do not invest enough effort, don't have enough strength or generally spoken, that you are inadequate. You are not. Quitting games, living a meaningful life full of love and friendship and sunshine and mental balance and so on and so forth is NOT a task or a mission. It is a goal. A goal nobody will ever reach, because nobody can always live in a constant condition of pure awesomeness. It is only a goal and what is important is not whether you reach that goal or not, but the steps you take on the way towards fulfilling that goal. Because that is where life happens. On the way towards our goals. Not at the end of the way. You live now. And if you decide to punish yourself for giving up acting school a hilarious long time ago, than do it for a moment but than ... stop. And after you stop, it is time to shift.

A couple of days ago, I decided to give up my podcast website. I loved doing it when I first started it, a couple of days into my detox. I loved doing it and it was the most important thing to me back than. But it was important to me, because I was living in my personal hell. I was gaming because of the fact that I lived at a place I hated, surrounded by people I hated. The worst kinds of people. And in the place where I lived, I did not feel safe, because my alcoholic, drug addicted neighbors kept fighting in the stairwell, punched or apartment door, punched the wall to our bathroom, broke into our basement to steal our stuff ... it was a nightmare. So I gamed. And after I stopped gaming, I had to live this nightmare again. So I picked up a hobby, which was podcasting and such. A year later, moved to another city and it took me yet another half year to accept that in this city, people aren't scum. Like, some are but most of them are extremely friendly and peaceful and it was hard for me to let go. "To let go". Which leads me to the next chapter of this wall of text.

We have to let go. Everybody has to let go at some point. Like I said, a couple of days I decided to stop doing the podcast thingy. It was useful for me back then but I can't get myself to continue it. Instead of talking to people online, I feel an extreme urge to connect with real people. Outside. While having a podcast is great to express yourself, you cannot have a real conversation. And talking to people online never felt fulfilling to me. I miss real people. That is why I decided to shift and do something else.
But wait, that means that ... I gave up. Like you said you gave up the acting school. Saying this already implies ... well, giving up. Defeat and such. It does not necessarily mean that we are defeated, but you know the connection between giving up and failing. It is so close to each other, at least mentally.
Anyway, in order to continue living our lives, we need to let go. I could not fight the feeling of failing, so I did what was necessary: I forgave myself. In order to actually let go, this old stuff needs to get out of our heads and hearts. You gave up acting school. That does not mean you failed at it. You simply decided to do something else, or it wasn't the right time or whatever reason it was. Important is, you had a reason to do it. Which means, it was important that you took this decision. But now, a long time after you made this decision, it is time to let go of the acting school. And if you still feel bad about it - and judging from the words "torture" and "staple nightmare" I kinda feel that you do - it is time to forgive yourself. I mean it. YOU. Have. To. Forgive. YOURSELF. You quit acting school. Fine. Write a letter to yourself. Write about everything you feel when thinking about acting school. Especially this NEET thingy. This is not a race. Your former companions are not winners while you are a loser. You live your very own life. You make your very own decisions and you are the only one that has to validate these decisions. You did what you felt was necessary. You CHOSE and now stop punishing yourself for this choice and start living with it. Start living with the consequences. Consequences often sound so harsh and dark and harmful, but consequences are completely neutral. The way we feel about them determines whether they are useful or not. Your mindset determines how you see the resulting consequences of your choices. You quit acting school, awesome! Now you have time and energy to do something else. Something you really want to do. Isn't that a good thing? And if you talk with your former companions about your employment, why should it be a nightmare? Because you are still on your way to find your truly desired employment? Because you failed sometimes? So what? Show confidence! Gain confidence! In order to feel confident about your choices, you gotta accept them and you gotta stop feeling ashamed or guilty or bad or inappropriate. So you are a gaming addict, what about it? You had a conflict in your life and you are working on it. Does that make you a weakling? No, it does actually make you a strong person. You are in charge and you are doing a great job, you just have to see it. Hitaru does what Hitaru does. Don't feel bad about it.

So, like I said ... stop this spiral. I would suggest that you go offline again. For a couple of days. Leave the PC to collect dust somewhere. And try not to distract yourself for some time. Expose yourself to your very own thoughts and feelings. And when you start thinking and when you start feeling, have a pen and paper ready and write the stuff down. Write a letter to yourself about how you feel, why you feel this way, about your thoughts about you and why you think so and in the end, make peace with yourself. Forgive yourself. Than, either burn this letter or bury it somewhere. Repeat that process as often as you need to. Do it for the acting school situation and in case the emotions come up again, write another letter. Especially before you go there.

You, my friend, need to accept your choices. You are such a great guy and like I said, it breaks my heart to see you suffer, but I cannot overlook the fact that it is you who creates your suffer in the first place. Let go of all the times you "failed, gave up or lost". Forgive yourself and continue living the consequences of your choices. Turn them into what you want them to be. You are in charge of your life and you decide whether it is a grand life or not. You decide whether you want to see life as a constant race against competitors or as a adventurous hike where you decide where to go.

I love you mate, even if I don't know you. But I see this amazing spark in you.

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@Regular Robert I read you brother, the moment you posted it. It's powerful. Anything I say about your words will probably sound stupid, but I promise you they won't fall on deaf ears. You have my word, friend.

I'm navigating through this... moment, of my life. It's a short moment, I've seen the word generally used for longer periods, but a moment. It's not over yet, I don't want to be overconfident; in doing so I know I end up not being confident at all and you all end up having to read my woes so I don't want to fuel that dynamic as well.

Recent news, I did my C2 English exam and was good, issue is there is very short room for making mistakes and I may or may not reach the required score. I'm not worried no matter the result, but it would be amazing to get the thing, it would allow me to be an English translator. Like, for real, a literal translator (requiring a license and whatnot but an achievable thing). Good prospects. 

Violin will be in my hands tomorrow, finally.

I haven't played games for a while now, but again I don't want to take this relapse for ended. I know I'm just abstaining. I know I'm repeating the same old patterns. Now that my PC is not blocked anymore I feel the cravings and symptoms. I cannot sleep well at nights (to be fair, I couldn't either when it was). I know putting some distance is one of the essentials, so will I need to sleep in hotels from now on? Feels like square one, or two to be kind with myself. In a very painful way, all this discomfort kind of feels like the soreness from being chained, and the most relevant part is the awareness of it.

All in all I don't want to give you the usual, boring spiel. I'm not ok, that's a fact, but I think things are developing and... I guess I just need some time for myself. I hate the idea, and in a sense everything related to myself, and that's all the more reason for such time. Funny, I used to fear missing out on my favourite games, or regret never having involved with the community of people who loved the same games I played. Now I regret missing on this community, on the value I could provide. On the sense of connection of belonging to a place. No, no, it's not baiting for a pat in the back, I'm not joking. I don't know how to properly phrase this sensation because of the feelings of inadequacy but I'll get over this awkwardness eventually (I hope).

I've been observing myself and quite right, there's not a real reason to use my PC for more than... an hour at most, being quite generous. So, ridiculously obvious as it sounds, I'm addicted. In its most primary definition. I'm addicted to the glow of the screen, because if you check my history, I don't even do that many things on it, just the same two or three all the time, that I can perfectly name. Play lewd games. Watch porn. Listen to music. Watch a youtube video now and then. 

I guess what I'm trying to say is... I'm detoxing, and I'm feeling terrible. But I'm going through it. And I'll come back in some days better. I think. Right? Right.

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I'm reluctant to write since I'm still in some kind of adaptation period and I don't want to give my brain an early reward, but there's also a commitment with myself to journal and I find that a good thing. I'll keep it short. 

Violin arrived. Testing it for the first time tomorrow. Pretty excited and nervous. I don't want to get overwhelmed in two days and give it up. I invested too much, financially and emotionally. I'll find it its place in my life. It will be hard tho. 

Been three days clean. No PMO, no games, barely any mindless browsing, three, four hours in the whole week at most. Sleeping, eating, showering, getting out. The background anxiety is killing me. It is a problem. It's a fact that I'll run out of willpower eventually (using it trains it, but it's still a limited resource), so before burning myself out and get into the next funk I need to take decisive action about this anxiety. And to keep this streak of absolute fact, I admit I don't have a single clue. Should I talk with my mother to go to a therapist? Another one? I can't pay for it anyway. My hands are tied in that sense and it doesn't look there's an easy way out. 

In the meantime, I began tracking my moods again. I'll do my best to keep a positive balance of moods (have more good moods registered than bad ones), as some sort of challenge. So far I'm good. It can be a way of motivating me to "double down on what works", since the app has the kindness to track that for you as well. Pretty handy. 

Ironically, I checked on my Passion Planner and I'm actually close to meet the goals I set for 3 months, despite the whole relapse and feeling like crap. They were: getting the English certificate (don't know for sure yet but at least I went to the exam), getting the violin and getting the driving license. The license will take at least two months if I start now, and there's also a huge examiners strike, but I could get the theory done fairly easily. Think I mentioned this before, situation hasn't changed since. 

Considering this, my life seems to be working somehow yet I think it would be pretty fucking sad to live the whole present of my existence like shit and only realize that things were fine once they passed. You know what I mean? Having a huge Wikipedia entry is great and that, but I also want to be happy - no, 'content', satisfied, at peace; that's happiness for me - . I'm not making progress in that area. Maybe, and just maybe, @Cam Adair is right after all (notice the sarcasm in "after all", since apparently I've tried all and every method except the one that works) and doing the right things for enough time eventually puts shit in place, and the magic happens. Still too early to know.

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Short news: I passed my C2 exam and I'll be spending the next 6 months in Italy. Starting yesterday. So hi from Italy! 

Explanation: My relapse was over a while ago, but being stable is not the same as being ok. I still have a lot of fucked up habits. Deep down I knew the effective solution for this was to put distance from home, but my chances to get a job were slim. So without thinking it too much I applied for some voluntary work abroad, and got selected. It wasn't a genius move on my part, it just kind of happened on an impulse. 

There should be a wall of text or two here, but they keep being 'delayed'. I'm on it though. There are things to tell, for sure.

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So apparently I suddenly have a B1 in italian, according to some dudes in Brussels. Will the surprises ever end. 

I'm adapting fine, haven't procrastinated, socialized, did things the proper way. From time to time I have panic attacks which were something I'm now more certain than ever had supressed by playing games and more recently wasting time on the internet. Will be a very huge problem to deal with during my life in general, but overall fine. There are moments when I spontaneously do this or that to help my mates, clean, cook, take care of myself or others, partially thanks to some implicit agreement or positive peer pressure floating around the air. And also other times where the other people do things for me that help me keep going, like cook or make coffee, those sorts of things. Strange. My mother insisted that it wasn't the atmosphere that was preventing me from being functional, but now I can say for sure. It was the atmosphere. I should never return to my mother's house/previous home, but I still have 6 months to think carefully about that.

I'm also having the impression that I'll be having times available to work on Game Quitters or whatever I want, like this one, so I'm looking forward to it. Time managing without breaking is going to be hard as fuck, but I'll try my best. So far, I've been listening to my inner rithms and taking breaks and times alone when I thought I needed them, regardless of the mood outside. I fear I might come across as broody or detached at times, but better that than collapsing and becoming a burden again.

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Where do you live in Italy (if you feel comfortable sharing)? :)

& Congrats for your B1. Trust the guys in Brussels. They know their business. They told me I have a B1 in German and I was like “lol are you serious I can barely order kebab” but then I found out they weren’t totally wrong. B1 is exactly what you need for basic stuff like ordering a meal, paying your rent, going to the toilet in public places, etc... And now that you live in this country you’ll improve a lot!

I’m happy to hear that you’re doing well for the most part. About time management, I find it easier when it’s not you managing time, but time managing you. I’m not talking about videogames, of course, but having a busy life! Farewell!

 

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@info-gatherer Yeah, it happens that I can do all those things. I'm amazed at myself. My grammar is shit ofc but if I learn the basics I have the feeling I'll become much more fluent at the overall language. I'll keep track of my progress.

I'm living near Naples. People talk in dialect here and damn. But I can survive. Specially since it's not just only me.

- - - - - - - - - - - 

Had a panic attack last night in front of everyone (the people I'll be usually around most of the time). It's the first time it has happened in front of people.

I thought I was about to die from shame but I guess it was fine for them since it's been little time and easier to asume I'm just like this. Harder for me to assume that I am like this. We had a long talk, they were supportive, we all tried to shrug it off and act like it didn't happen. It's working, but I still feel... Not sure how to express it. Need more time. I'm being way too hard on myself. 

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Being in Game Quitters and having years of experience in listening, facing problems and motivating people, I've become good at it outside the forums. When I talk, if I do it for enough time, people listen. They get emotional. I get emotional too, though still less than them. Sometimes it's hard to handle, specially compliments, specially when they are spontaneous. But the thing is, I'm somehow, somewhat able to engrave myself in the hearts of people. 

But I still don't believe in it, in my words, in my feelings, I still haven't embraced myself and what I 'preach', and people notice, I'm completely sure. I haven't embraced being afraid and naked in this world, and it's so disappointing for me sometimes. Perhaps even for them in some way. My inner voice has to grow, someone has just said. Sometimes it feels like screaming and burning yet I keep holding myself back. My voice. Would this people who talk about my voice be really willing to listen, be near it, notice it's many ripples or tides? Would I be willing to be alright with myself if I let it speak and shout and scream? 

I can do things better but I'm starting to hope in a real, lasting change. Very, very slowly I'm starting to feel the process called learning, or 'growth'. It's nothing but terrifying and uncomfortable, and I can't only truly enjoy it when I look back each time. Writing this just triggered another panic attack, the third in one week -there was a pause in my writing- . But, life continues.

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Hey Hitaru,

I can definitely see grow in the way you handle the world around you. Your perception of things seems also to shift more to a "growth mindset". The environment and especially the people around you have a big impact on every aspect of your beeing. I think one of the best way to be happier in the long run is to build emaningful relationships with the right people. They don't even have to be positive world changers. Just standard people who don't are fucking anchors and only drag you down.

I am sorry to hear about your panic attacks but you seems to handle the results. Several people I know had similar problems. I personally never felt worse over them.

I wish you sincerely the best of luck and hopefullly less and less future anxiety attacks.

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20 hours ago, Hitaru said:

@info-gatherer Yeah, it happens that I can do all those things. I'm amazed at myself. My grammar is shit ofc but if I learn the basics I have the feeling I'll become much more fluent at the overall language. I'll keep track of my progress.

I'm living near Naples. People talk in dialect here and damn. But I can survive. Specially since it's not just only me.

- - - - - - - - - - - 

Had a panic attack last night in front of everyone (the people I'll be usually around most of the time). It's the first time it has happened in front of people.

I thought I was about to die from shame but I guess it was fine for them since it's been little time and easier to asume I'm just like this. Harder for me to assume that I am like this. We had a long talk, they were supportive, we all tried to shrug it off and act like it didn't happen. It's working, but I still feel... Not sure how to express it. Need more time. I'm being way too hard on myself. 

:)  You survived the panic attack, and you gained a support system.  You actually over came something that most people would just run from.  Fight/flight/freeze mode is what happens when anxiety overcomes us.  But 'you' persevered through the attack because you didn't run away from the situation.  You stayed and talked it out.  That is something to be proud of.  In my past, I suffered from panic attacks during university, especially when I had to make a presentation in front of the class.  My first panic attack, I sounded like I was having a stroke.  My words were incoherent, and I was saying things that I couldn't even understand.  Heart raced, hands clenched and sweaty, I couldn't even focus my eyes on anything.  Many years later, after some therapy and real life practice, I am now comfortable with public speaking as that is a part of my current job. 

It sounds like your peers meant very well, and were supportive and compassionate.  When we show others our vulnerable sides, it forms a bond, because people can relate to pain, shame, embarrassment, and feeling...well...vulnerable.  For your sake, I am glad this anxiety attack happened in front of people.  This is one of those moments wherein you see a cross-road before you, left or right?  Left = not learning from it.  Right = gratefulness, self-growth, healing. 

Thanks for sharing

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Had an argument - more like a disagreement - with someone today. From what I understood of it, there will be plenty of people which will have a different worldview than you that they'll be proud of. They'll value different things than you, or doing them in a different way. So there will be a point where they'll be no longer interested in hearing your motives, or able to understand them. And this is actually fine because there are things about ourselves that we like to keep no matter how they try to convince us to change.

In these cases is where you must stand by your boundaries. If you do something and someone doesn't like it, even if you both have a common goal or good intentions, be open to talk about it and proactive in the effort of reaching an agreement, but stand by yourself beyond the point of negotiation. Don't just concede or say "Sure, whatever" until the situation repeats itself until it explodes. Defend your own thing. If they don't understand, that's just how it is. If they get angry, that's just how it is, don't join their game. Respect yourself by respecting their own way.

But if they see you're confident in the way you behave, even if being misunderstood feels bad (I know), at least you'll be sending a message which says that's what they should expect from you. In a way, this is reassuring for them as well. That's the true meaning behind the clichéd expressions "Be yourself" or "Honor your word". Just do your damn thing, no matter what it is, correct it if necessary but truly make it your thing, and follow it. It's sometimes way more useful than trying to explain with words they have no interest to hear in the first place.

People like it when you come clean with how you truly are. Hero, villain, saint or jerk, what they truly value is to feel in control of the decision to agree or disagree, to stay or leave. Assuming you embrace being in power of making such decisions about anyone in your life at any time, which you are, it's only fair to let them have their chance with you. No need to be "Too honest, like it or not". That's just being an asshole. I've never been a fan of damage control in my personal life, and the more I lean into this mindset, the lighter the backpack of bullshit I'm carrying.

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I find manual labor relaxing and a form of connection with myself, but not so much as for myself than as for others. Or ideally for myself AND others. Perhaps I should find or found some kind of group, cooperative or something back home. I would be in charge of doing a common work with others, and at the end of the day we would stare at our progress and at each other in mutual approvation and satisfaction. Ah, nice. How about a Game Quitters Cooperative Farm and Activity Centre? (?)

I had an exhausting and at some times frustrating week and for the first time I look forward to the weekend as any other person in the world. I may go to Rome for the weekend, or to a party at the mountains, or even venture myself alone visiting Naples or nearby places. Possibilities! Being able to enjoy this freedom makes everything else worth. I start to understand some things I guess.

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On 14/4/2018 at 2:40 AM, Cam Adair said:

Pompei is cool! 

I'll be sure to visit and post the obligatory picture!

The weekend was a bit lazy, but in the end we visited some stuff. The weather was meh, my health was meh but I guess I learned a good lesson on pushing a bit instead of just doing what I feel like doing in the moment, be it stay at home or rush outside without thinking. Also, to prioritize being outside. Always be outside, take any opportunity. For people like us it's essential, even if it can feel like a real pain in the asshole at times. If you are like me, probably most times. The more it feels bothersome, the more you should do it anyways. Not to become an extrovert chad or some shit. It's just that if I'm any close to the computer, I always end drawn to it, no matter if around me is happening the absolute funniest whatever. So be fucking outside. Even if you have this grumpy aura or don't give a fuck. Be grumpy and full of questions and self-doubt and anxiety outside. Yes, this also goes for me.

That said, there's a lot of things I should be doing and thinking about, yet I feel stuck. When I'm working, I'm busy. When I'm at my place and not socializing or feeling like I could explode from the stress of working and socializing, I'm feeling sick or lazying around speaking with friends in Instagram or shitposting political debates in Telegram. The good thing is, I've started to walk the walk and began my collection of assorted documents I find interesting to read as a stepping stone towards that common phenomena called studying, still absent in my life. Now that I've stablished the routine and I feel myself losing the "new thing" push, I'm becoming a bit restless.

I'm not sure who to talk this with though. The suitable person is currently nose deep into heavy drama unrelated to this journal, friends are way too far away and my boyfriend, while understanding, would probably throw generic encouragement in my direction, which I appreciate (deeply) but it's not exactly what I feel I need right now. I would probably need a mentoring figure who would give me the slight initial push in the right direction, so I could simply repeat and refine the process until making it part of myself. @Cam Adair is busy elsewhere however, ha. Of course, you're most invited to come sometime, no pleasantry, for real. 

Now, there's some more stuff I should be thinking about right now, but I have this fog in my head. Got 5 months and a half still to clear myself up.

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~I think I fucked up~

Being in a mindset of trying to improve, I found myself begging for forgiveness, attention and chances to be useful, all the time. If I noticed, people around me must have noticed tenfold. 

I just can't find the way to assert myself, be integrated and at peace at the same time. It looks so easy for the rest of the world. I know deep down everyone is almost barely holding themselves together, for some of the people who are currently sharing their lives with me in this place I even have solid evidence as they simply told me, but it's still not helping my frustration.

I'm just making the same old mistakes all over, but older. Only that now I can't give up, at least not without making a real mess. 

Speaking of older, the first pictures that people and myself took of the project came in. And... 

I see myself disgusting. My posture is fucked up (in a very "beta" way even, using Internet jargon). The short hair also reminds me of my younger, middle school self. There is something about me that still screams "Cringy teenager" and considering my life stopped in a way when I was 16 (or perhaps less) , I can't really complain about it. It's like I was frozen (frozen while a teenager, the worst age possible) to be woke up only to be thrown into these situations with no warning or instruction. I get it now. I get why people are afraid to stop gaming and face this. I get my own fear as well. 

Today I coincidentally thought about it. I'm preparing a presentation for 17 year olds. My goodness. It truly feels like yesterday. For these people I'm old, seasoned. That's at least what I thought of 23 year olds back then. While from my perspective I surely am way more immature than many of them in many ways. 

My roommate entered while I was writing this, full of good vibes and humor as always. If by any chance he didn't like me, he would be doing a damn good job at hiding it. People have nothing but good words and smiles for him. I was about to say I should observe him, but I also should stop saying should forever. I'll just do it. And learn. Which is not the same thing as copy.

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Life at the hostel in Italy has stabilized. I managed all the phases that I already know, the phase of the initial hype, the phase of initial conflicts of character with the people, the phase of initial reluctance, the panic attacks (which never happened before in public), having an impossible crush on some local, the boredom and cravings to leave, I even had video game cravings while I was here. And it's been only two weeks. I did waste a bit of time here and there, like water spilling from my hands, as I told you. But lately my mind has been more awake (not that much, but it's improving) and I've been working on several long-due projects. Perhaps at the expense of some socializing, but the people here didn't seem to notice or made comment on it: since they assume and accept that I'm working, and for my own security I do it "in front" of them, then I must be working. If I wasn't someone would have made a joke already, and it hasn't happened. Therefore, I'm working! Whoa.  

My heart is divided. I have the impression that I have so, so much to do at home. Even related with what I'm doing here, I could do it at home, for the good of my life-long known neighbors and my own. I should be "advancing my career" (whatever that means because I have some pretty long-term goals that require of preparation, titles and lots of hard work) instead of doing... whatever I'm doing here. Which is nice. And useful. And helps me grow. But it's not "the thing". 

On the other hand, I know I'm still neither ready or acceptably not-ready to pursue wholeheartedly "the thing". I'm restless, but at the same time I have a slowly growing confidence that maybe at the end of the 6 months this feeling will grow and mature, and I'll be completely focused to start, ready or not. Acceptably not-ready. If I returned now, I know for sure I would go back to the same old ways. It angers me, but I enjoy the truth. 

Probably a travel on the weekend will ease my heart, so to speak. I still have not dared to try a trip on my own (for the adventure of it, it has nothing to do with displeasure with my mates here) and perhaps the moment has arrived. Destinations thousands, so I know I'm just making excuses (can't drive, will visit that with mates later, may visit that with boyfriend if he comes, not sure how to reach that, etc.). No no, screw that. Can't promise this weekend will be the weekend, but I'll try my best.

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Try your best. A trip on your own could be a very enlightening experience. You are a strong person, and if you really want it, I believe you'll find a way. 

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Love solo trips. Also, going home is back to the same environment that has been a problem before. Whereas Italy is independence and the capacity to work on projects without the challenging environment of home. :)

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On 4/16/2018 at 11:51 PM, Hitaru said:

If I noticed, people around me must have noticed tenfold.

Imho this is not how it works. Usually, it’s when you notice tenfold that people around you start to notice. It’s an egocentric world, people mostly care about themselves, and THEN about others :) Don’t be paranoid :)

Have a good time this weekend! I don’t know about the weather in Napoli, but in central Italy it’s getting better and better, it’s almost summer, so you could consider going to the seaside and have a swim in the sea!

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@info-gatherer Been sunny as hell here lately. Don't hesitate to spam me with suggestions to visit all over Italy if you feel like it or you remember. I'm making my custom map in Google Maps. Gamifying traveling as some sort of "open world unlocking places and taking pictures discovery adventure" makes it strangely nice. Like a scavenger hunt. Of places. Hm. Of course I'll try to also enjoy the feelings, of the experience of traveling, of nature... Not just, you know, checking places out of a map as if it was some sort of Pokémon Go (which I never played but always saw a bit silly). 

True about focusing on myself. It's probably one of the best lessons I can learn here. The reasons why people focus mostly on themselves are several I think. Many people simply feel too overwhelmed with managing themselves to start noticing others. Or is that only me :16_relieved:

@Cam Adair Absolutely true bro. Gotta make a clear distinction between returning 'home' (my country, my social customs, what I could do to improve the life of others) and 'my mother's place' (stagnation, bad feelings, being a child). If I return, it needs to be somewhere else. That's going to be pretty fucked up because I don't think there will be a real chance to improve my financial standing while I'm here to the extent of being able to live somewhere else by myself (even with flatmates and whatnot). But now is not the time to think about that. 

@Natasha @Dannigan @WorkInProgress Thanks for your encouraging words folks. They help.

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On 4/17/2018 at 7:51 AM, Hitaru said:

If I noticed, people around me must have noticed tenfold. 

On 4/20/2018 at 5:39 PM, info-gatherer said:

Imho this is not how it works.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spotlight_effect

The spotlight effect is the phenomenon in which people tend to believe they are being noticed more than they really are. Being that one is constantly in the center of one's own world, an accurate evaluation of how much one is noticed by others is uncommon. The reason behind the spotlight effect comes from the innate tendency to forget that although one is the center of one's own world, one is not the center of everyone else's. This tendency is especially prominent when one does something atypical.[1]

Research has empirically shown that such drastic over-estimation of one's effect on others is widely common. Many professionals in social psychologyencourage people to be conscious of the spotlight effect and to allow this phenomenon to moderate the extent to which one believes one is in a social spotlight.[2]

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