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Captain Taru's Log: Out of the Fog


Hitaru
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Thanks again for the kindness guys! 

My friends hosted an improvised birthday meeting and it was great, some unknown people showed up and a new group was formed. The presents were awesome, specially a world map where you can scratch the places you've been (perfect for both my wanderlust and little OCD tendencies) and a reservation for a romantic date next week. Can't wait!

People I've met through my life wrote me, but I've been hiding. I don't know what to say to them, I don't have anything to tell them since last year, and for some others, even more. I'm afraid to disappoint them in some way so they won't write again. Shit, I feel I've took a step back since I came back from Africa, or at least from Greece. Makes me want to cry but I won't be a victim. 

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Something that's been happening in the background is I'm about to reach 90 days without mindless browsing social media and YouTube. There's been a video here and there, but nothing like the old days, the time blocker made sure of that. If anything, there are so many things blocked that I'm having a hard time deciding where to invest the assigned daily hour!

About the military entrance exam, I don't feel there's much more to do, not much room to improve. The question now is if I'll go. I launched plan B before closing A and I might get my fingers stuck, but we'll see.

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I'm determined to do the exam. It will be a disaster, but I don't mind. Going is already a victory. I'll update about it soon.

My phone's screen broke for the first time ever and my cat got something in the eye that needs a ton of eyedrops to cure, but it will be fine. 

The unused energy stored turns into anxiety residue, just like unused nutrients turn into fat. I have to remember this the next time I feel distressed.

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Going and doing the exam is worth it simply for the experience of it. Do your best, but be unattached to any specific outcome. 

I'll try, so I won't do any further comment until I do. No brain rewards.

90 days of no Internet distractions today!

- Game detox: done

- Distraction detox: done

- Sugar drinks detox: done

- Porn detox: Halfway through 

- Couch/Bed/Idleness detox: not done 

So that will be next step. I've tried several times before but it's a radical change. It's going to be physically painful and despair-inducing. Meh. It can be done.

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Good luck on the exam (even though Cam is right; do it because of who you're going to become, not the tangible rewards.)

Also congrats on the progress you've made this far. It's only the beginning, eh? ;) 

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Good luck on the exam (even though Cam is right; do it because of who you're going to become, not the tangible rewards.)

Also congrats on the progress you've made this far. It's only the beginning, eh? ;) 

I'm tempted to say "Why do it if not for the reward?" but I'm wrong and always been.

I've been trying to play life "to win" but there's nothing to win in the end, at least not in the way I'm used to see it. Stuff now. Thoughts later!

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Something that's been happening in the background is I'm about to reach 90 days without mindless browsing social media and YouTube. There's been a video here and there, but nothing like the old days, the time blocker made sure of that. If anything, there are so many things blocked that I'm having a hard time deciding where to invest the assigned daily hour!

About the military entrance exam, I don't feel there's much more to do, not much room to improve. The question now is if I'll go. I launched plan B before closing A and I might get my fingers stuck, but we'll see.

Dude, that's awesome!! I was thinking of doing something like that, since after quitting games, mindless browsing is the only thing that  bugs me. But somehow, I never got the guts to do that, and I kinda regret that a lot. Since quite some time was wasted because of that.
P.S What kind of websites did you block? Like, only YT and FB or any other? I'm asking because I'm kinda short on ideas :D 

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@Remigjus I use Stayfocusd. Right now I can't tell you the whole list but I remember I blacklisted Facebook, Twitter, YT, Reddit, this forum and NoFap (I use them freely on the phone for both procrastination and PMO quitting reasons), humor and meme websites in general (when I find myself wasting time somewhere I just add it to the list) WhatsApp Web, all video formats I come across like Vimeo, Blogspot, TVTropes, Wikipedia, mail (Google and Outlook) and the Google domain (to avoid wasting time searching and looking results for useless stuff). If there's something useful inside a domain (like Google docs for example), you can whitelist it aside so no problem. You can also blacklist a keyword in a URL like *podcast or *content. I have assigned one hour for all the blocked stuff. This way, when I enter somewhere I REALLY need (like checking mail or watch a specific video) I go super focused and straight to the point, I may need the time later. You can always cheat, but you know, the point is that you don't. Take it as a challenge, that helps me.

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@Remigjus I use Stayfocusd. Right now I can't tell you the whole list but I remember I blacklisted Facebook, Twitter, YT, Reddit, this forum and NoFap (I use them freely on the phone for both procrastination and PMO quitting reasons), humor and meme websites in general (when I find myself wasting time somewhere I just add it to the list) WhatsApp Web, all video formats I come across like Vimeo, Blogspot, TVTropes, Wikipedia, mail (Google and Outlook) and the Google domain (to avoid wasting time searching and looking results for useless stuff). If there's something useful inside a domain (like Google docs for example), you can whitelist it aside so no problem. You can also blacklist a keyword in a URL like *podcast or *content. I have assigned one hour for all the blocked stuff. This way, when I enter somewhere I REALLY need (like checking mail or watch a specific video) I go super focused and straight to the point, I may need the time later. You can always cheat, but you know, the point is that you don't. Take it as a challenge, that helps me.

That´s a great approach Hitaru.

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[Side note, I wasted today like an idiot and I just wanted to take it out from my chest. I'll probably do a lot of push-ups to exhaust myself, like... five or so. Ah, weekend was great, the post about it got erased in the middle of writing. But I'll come back to it later.]

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Exam final date this Friday. Oh boy! It was scary to be surrounded by soldiers while making the application, but I did it. I swear one of them could have appeared in old yugoslavian wars news reports. 

I'm fine.

Still fine, it wasn't a sarcasm. 

About last weekend. On Friday I went with my boyfriend to an Ara Malikian performance (concert is a way too tame word to describe it, seriously). It was my suggestion and the experience was absolutely awesome. Then on Saturday he delivered his birthday present, a visit to an arabian-style public bath complex. Caliphate approved for halal enjoyment, I tell you. Praise iberian multiculturalism. I feel extra "proud" for showing the rest of the people that two men together can be near pools and saunas without things turning stereotypically debauched. My, stop the presses, we can be "normal" too if we try! 

That, was a bit of a sarcasm. Sorry. I'm just getting tired of the stares and mysterious sudden coughing that follows us every time we get minimally lovey. But this particular time there was not a single incident, probably because it was like 90% couples and everyone was busy doting their own partners. I'm happy in any case.

And speaking about blissful happiness... No, nothing, I think @giblets mentioned something about it already. 9_9

There's been a lot of political turmoil in my country and of course I'm furious, both because my vocation and spanish natural tendency to take politics personally. It's affecting my daily life, been hard(er) to stay focused lately. In times like this I thank being the only active spaniard in the forums, if an argument broke up I'm certain we wouldn't be able to keep rule #1. I politely request to not be asked about the topic (even though most of you don't know what the hell I'm talking about or just learned about it recently). About my own feelings, I feel powerless. I feel there should be something I could do, and have the power to enforce it. But, it's not to be. Not yet, I guess. I'll have to remember how much I don't want to feel like this again when pursuing my goals. 

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News! I got a decent score in the exam, exactly no more and no less that what I was expecting, which actually makes it better than expected -taking out the nervousness factor. 77 out of 105, global score of 6.033 (decimals are important). I'm not sure if I'll get what I truly want, BUT there's definitely somewhere I can enter. If I'll take the chance or not, that's for me only to decide. Well, unless this promotion has an extraordinary number of geniuses, you wouldn't believe the number of college graduates applying to enlist. Youth unemployment is hell.

Now the only thing I literally have to do in life for the next month and half if I decide to carry on is get fit. Very fit, absurdly fit. Well, on with it.

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It took me 3 days to muster the courage to check on the travel/meeting in Portugal and less than 10 minutes to actually get it mostly done. Again, as Demir from Lifehack Bootcamp used to repeat, "The way you do one thing is the way you do everything".

I am terrified and not ashamed in the slightest to say it. Even more scared than my previous travels. Other times I had a more or less clear idea of what I'd be doing, but this time is a complete mystery. I'm neither complaining nor ecstatic. "Serious business oh jeez what am I going to do" mode has taken over my usual mood. It's not so bad as long as I'm able to regulate the (mostly self-imposed) pressure. 

Aside from that, I checked on super expensive upgrades to compensate for my embarrassing shortage of time to get ripped, namely personal trainers and the sort. And surprise surprise, my mother is supportive this time. I guess she sees the endgame in sight, has resigned to fate or a mix of several things. So do I. Things are happening. It's strange. 

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All set for the Camhappening. Things (logistics) suddenly untangled and got put together again so fluidly I barely noticed. No Hitarus were harmed during this whole process.

Still anxious as fuck for breaking again my comfort zone. If doing it is getting easier, my nervous system is not getting the idea. It's just getting easier as a concept. I fear I might drop dead one of these days, like a horse. I'm still resistant to the idea of medication, I "should" (perhaps) be able to handle it on my own. I should, perhaps, make my mind about it already. 

Anyway, this is not to say I'm in a bad mood, in the slightest. I'm happy, all the happy I think I can be which is positively ok. Last September I wasn't allowed to be stressed about the near future and two years ago I was about to kill myself. Huge, huge improvement. No, a life turn, 360 degrees, even if not all that impressive (mine is a long-term story, that's for sure). And now I'm about to meet the man who made at least 50% of all that possible. I'm well aware he's just a human, right, but boy am I hyped. 

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@Hitaru you're so lucky that Cam chose to travel somewhere near you :D Even I'm hyped for this  meetup even tho I live like 3k kilometers away  :D

There's a good reason aside my awesomeness: Portugal is a great place for surfing and chill. We should visit you next!

About my meeting with Cam.

His exterior calmness may appear unsettling, but there seems to be a conscious effort on his part to be so. Some kind of intentional management, though he would hate to call it like that. Always ready to pour his full focus on whatever he decides to do at any given moment, menial as may be, and let everything else pass him by. The more you stay around him, the more you notice just how much work and intention he had to put into reaching that state. He has a constant stare like he had just finished a workout, as if mildly tired but under control, in top notch of tranquil alert.

A sentence he used full of meaning was "Do your thing" or rather, "Have your own experience", and his whole philosophy seems to rotate around this fact. He lets you be while constantly trying to feel and live his own experience which you and everyone else happen to share, in that specific moment, with him. Neither pushing you out nor pulling you in.

In the world I know, any sign of "conscious" "detachment" is unfriendly. People of this world I know would say: "He's no true friend", "He is selfish" and so on. 

I say, being "granted" all this liberty is completely new and feels oppressing somehow. For every waking moment he sees an opportunity to feel alive, without compromises or mental gymnastics, I see instead a threat of fucking up, of being humiliated and therefore "rightfully" stripped of my right to enjoy such "calculated carefree" life. And they are many, many of those moments. It's exhausting to live in fear and regret, even of mistakes that have yet to happen or may never do. Exhausting and disheartening. In a few hours of being aware, I couldn't take it anymore. I spoke and enjoyed and tried to blend in a time too many, and decided to cut it short.

I woke up the first morning in Peniche with the sore realization that I would "have" to be social and at my best again. Cam was nowhere to be seen. Again the usual morning fear. Did I oversleep? Metallic rattling could be heard from the other side of the door. What kinds of adventures and experiences would he and the other people be having while I was there, lying on the bed, wasting the only life I was randomly given? He would be working and making the world in his head come true while I was letting mine devour me. But it's not like I had something specific to do, right? There is not a single reason I could cite right off the bat to wake up in the mornings, aside from setting a more or less defined difference with when I'm sleeping. Has been my life really been so sad?

Actually he was there sleeping all the time, and it wasn't even 9:00 am.

When we finally got moving, and I said finally because I was torturing myself for hour and half while before he took less than 5 minutes to wake up, I began to walk around inside the hostel for a bit, lost. I was expecting a whole bunch of things to happen, I was expecting breakfast, I was expecting someone to speak up or speak with, I was expecting being asked or pushed or talked into following anyone or doing things by someone's, anyone's suggestion or directive. Cam on the other hand wasn't expecting anything, and if he was, made no commentary about it. He just stood there in silence, stretching and doing a morning workout as if he was alone in the woods. 

It's clear that he does everything doable in his power and ability at his own pace, unmolested by anything and anyone. Single-minded devotion to tasks always seemed to me almost robotic and creepy, and my opinion still hasn't changed. But what am I supposed to say, if the mere act of having an opinion with no practical (useful, positive) impact in the world is already a mistake according to the person I'm judging? After all what are the options? Risk to feel at the end of my life that focusing in certain areas has made me lose touch with others? Look a bit weird in the eyes of the fearful and the bitter, but still get things done? Sure, so dramatic, being judged by fools...!

Or not focus in anything, live a long, safe-ish life of drifting away and semi-quiet desperation, not achieving anything at all and die anyway?

To Hell if it looks or feels robotic or whatever! If it works. Even if my worthless impression was true (spoiler: it isn't). If it helps the goal or cause you've set your mind to. If it furthers your vision. Jesus, god damn it. It's as if someone projected a frontal opposite version of myself. Yet in that frontal opposition I can start to see the decreasingly subtle differences. The things I don't fancy, the things I would or prefer to do differently, not for them being wrong as a they are or how are done but for my enhanced, arbitrary, subjective enjoyment. Like things I personally want to do now, or in a while, or in the future. My life beyond an endless comparison with others. My earned independence. My own self.

---------------------------

Surfing was amazing, though I didn't fell in love like Cam or all these people. Their tribe is warm and welcoming, I'm really grateful and might repeat the experience just fine, yet it's not 100% my tribe. But you know what I'm dying to take back? Sailing. I love the sea and I love the wind, and I discovered I find myself strangely comfortable inside a wetsuit, but in surf you have to do all the work yourself. Nah, I'd rather have a vessel, combine the two elements and be a catalyst of magic, rather than agent. If that makes sense. I shall explore the possibility. 

Socialising as I mentioned was super awkward at first, or as Cam and everyone else here would agree on, I felt it that way myself. But in just some hours it became way more smooth. Yo, I'm dealing with surfers here, no matter how I'd handled it, I'm literally on the top of the social scale of cool. My 10 year old self would call bullshit on me so fucking hard if I could somehow tell him. I also didn't spaghetti the fuck up when dealing with nourishment (or hygiene). I've been eating just fine I believe, even if my stomach is complaining and rebelling most of the time. 

-On a side note, keeping the heteronormative facade was a nuisance, but manageable. It's harder to do it without outright lying (aka, saying I'm dating a girl), I'd completely hate to do that.-

So I guess here ends my chronicle of this trip, yet I might edit if something else comes to my mind. Next time I write, I'll be back in Spain. 

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