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Ikar's Diary


Ikar
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14th Apr - 18th Apr:

On 14th I decided to go to an English event I haven't attended in a few months, as normally I get up early on Fridays and now that I have no lack of English connections. I met some old faces and even made two new connections with guys to go to the shooting range with next month. Crazy. I also visited a friend's birthday celebration nearby.

We had Easter holidays for four days here after. I did some schoolwork, got new shoes, a gift for the Georgian girl once she returns, finished the outline of my thesis and sent it to the prof, worked on my English business marketing, watched a lot of finance videos and visited my family. One thing that stains it a bit is the habit of masturbating before sleeping, however I am not going to lose my sleep over it (pun intended, because I actually do). I'll do better next time.

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abstaining PMO is so challenging I had to make a P MO  tracker for just P and a  P MO tracker for just MO .. MO is so darn difficult to abstain some times.

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On 4/20/2022 at 2:27 AM, goodvibes said:

abstaining PMO is so challenging I had to make a P MO  tracker for just P and a  P MO tracker for just MO .. MO is so darn difficult to abstain some times.

I mostly only care about cutting the porn. I've been in a content (sexual) relationship for about four months, but now we're briefly apart for about two weeks. I just want to keep my mind in the real world. Even for singles, keeping the sexual mind on the people that are really around them is still the best solution, because it's at least an actionable indicator that this guy/girl is attractive to them.

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19th Apr - 27th Apr:

As for porn, I haven't watched it since the day I made my last entry. Neither have I ejaculated until I had sex with my girlfriend yesterday. I believe the best way to control porn is to have a working relationship with all of its elements. I literally had zero thoughts of porn until I came back here to report on it now.

I did some work on the marketing/benefit programs to increase my reach to potential students. I will continue working on it in the following days.

We with my girlfriend went to the LibertyCon in Prague the last weekend. The topics were very interesting, ranging from economics, politics to philosophy. I definitely had some takeaways from it.

I played table football with my friend and we finished 3rd on a tournament on Monday.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm using the template I used the last time. 05/04/21 - 08/05/21


"L" will stand for the (last) plan/notes for this term. "T" will stand for done this term.

I added "Future goals/direction" to better reflect on the things I am trying to do and to add specificity. I will copy it and stick it somewhere where I can see it to remind myself whenever I feel aimless. I will also use different colors: blue for newly added goals/habits, green for completed/successful, orange for ongoing/some progress and red for ones I haven't worked on in that period.


---

 

Books/Reading articles:

L: I realized I actually do read quite a bit, it's mostly just not books. I'm currently reading one book on sex, but overall during the month I've gone through many articles on history, finance and current events, as well as my newsletters. I've actually decided to block one news outlet that I think I was reading too much for no real gain. Now I follow "Portal:Current events" on Wiki, where I can easily see world-wide news and access information without much bias. 

The situation is fairly similar, except that I cut down on news. I think I much rather watch videos where people are having a conversation or explaining something rather than reading or just simply listening without video. I've barely touched the newsletters.

T: I actually went through my 100+ newsletters yesterday to give myself a fresh start on them and to see whether I will keep up with them. I could unsub from some/all of them, if I no longer find them interesting. No books.

Possible direction/goals:

Continue getting through the newsletters.

 

Family:

L: A few weeks ago, I decided to visit my family every other weekend for the afternoon to prioritize my own issues, needs and wants. I think it's also better to meet the members separately - i.e. meeting my family twice as a whole, plus meeting my father and my brother once for a month for lunch - somewhat seems as more valuable than meeting my family four times as a whole. I also helped my grandma with getting a new phone and transitioning to a new operator!

T: Nothing new comes to mind.

Possible direction/goals:

Continue working on bettering the relationships with my family.

 

University:

L: University's been normal and the classes I attend are mostly interesting. I haven't gone to Germany, but I am planning to go to Bulgaria for Erasmus after summer. It's amazing how the perception of education shifts once one has a real job and isn't fed by parents, for example by learning to value one's time.

T: I sent the prof the outline with ideas what to write about in the thesis and I'm planning to meet him in May. I'm going to have two exams in a few weeks, but I suspect they won't be overly difficult and that I'll pass with a few days of studying.

Possible direction/goals:

Find more sources for my upcoming masters' thesis.

Work on the assignments in a timely manner.

 

Exercise/movement:

L: I feel that my "free-time" movement habits are sliding, however I somewhat counteracted that by creating incentives to push me into movement, such as having to visit students within walking/biking distance. I'm really not a fan of going to the gym lately, however I've already been outside with people playing football or basketball, as the weather got better.

T: Same as before.

Possible direction/goals:

Keep in shape.

 

English:

L: I worked around 110 hours this month; 65 and 30 for language schools and 15 for my private students.

I also visited my English teacher-friend and asked him about his history when it came to teaching English. He said that he started teaching when he was 26, started his own courses when he was around 35 thanks to recommendations and had these ever since. He is now around 50 and he started teaching at high school a few months ago for a change of pace.

The meeting helped me soothe some anxiety over the fact I am not advancing as fast as I'd like to when it comes to teaching. Regardless, I've recently made the effort to ask my students for recommendations to a) the respective language schools, b) on my website and c) on Google Maps. It can help me leverage my position regarding the language schools as well as to attract more private students.

The salary negotiations have turned out to be quite a drawn out process. I'm trying to position myself as best as I can in regards to several companies and to present my case as best as I can as well. I hope the interview I'm having tomorrow will be constructive, as I am also effectively asking for my competences and responsibilities to be expanded.

T: I managed to get a raise from one of the companies, a nice 16% raise. I'm also looking into getting my own payment terminal in my phone and possibly a pay gate on my website, on top of the cooperation with the benefit companies. I might even start my own LLC soon.

Possible direction/goals:

I'm also gonna attend an interview and another to re-negotiate my salary, once all the reviews I from my students are in. I received some information that I could use to my advantage, so I'm gonna work on that in the next few weeks.

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

I am going to pursue closer co-operation with my English mentor.

I am going to check out a few more seminars on how to run online courses. / English research

 

Women/dating:

L:

Spoiler

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

T: In April, we've been apart for about two weeks and there's one more week until she moves to another city for the internship. We spent a lot of time together this week.

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

Possible direction/goals:

Set up at least two dates a month.

 

-----

 

Additional thoughts/activities:

My hobbies are: personal finance, gunnery, GIS, reading about history, English and geography.

This month, I did these cool activities: reading about personal finance, planting trees, visiting LibertyCon, watched videos about modern history and took part in many social events.

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I haven't been feeling particularly great mentally today, however I do feel solace in the long-term plans that I have set up for my future. It gives me the confidence that no matter what happens, I'll be able to deal with it.

8th May - 12th May:

I had my last uni classes for the semester and I have two exams coming up in a few weeks. I don't expect them to be difficult, but I'll have to put in the time to study.

I've been in contact with the benefit companies and managed to sign a few contracts already, so I hope this will lure some potential students my way. Pay-gate and mobile terminal solutions are in the works too.

I went out for a walk with one of my friends I haven't seen in a while and did a bit of basketball yesterday.

I'm catching up with the newsletters as they come now. This is actually helpful, because I do seem to have a tendency to explore new things a lot. I'm on YT and Wikipedia fairly often already, plus they're related to my hobbies and interests. I just had to get rid of the baggage of the hundred accumulated mails to get started on reading them again.

The Georgian girl is leaving to another city on Sunday, so we are spending our last days together. We are continuing this regardless.

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13th May - 19th May:

I spent the last few days with the Georgian girl before she moved to another city. We did a bit of driving, cooking and also socializing. We'll see again the next weekend, at the end of the month. We called yesterday for half an hour and it was nice.

I'm also getting through the newsletters continuously. I am almost finished with setting up the cooperation with the benefit companies. However, one hurdle is that my phone doesn't have the NFC chip for payments, so it can't be used as a mobile terminal. My old phone has NFC, but the Android version is too old for the app. I'm not interested in renting and carrying around a real portable terminal, so we'll solve this another way.

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I recently saw an animated YT video trying to explain what "love" is, based on one guy's interpretation of what Jesus said or did in the Bible. He interpreted it as "giving willful attention with the intention to understand someone". This fosters connection between people and creates a bond if done right, unless the person is completely deluded or seriously mentally ill.

Stereotypical romantic "TV love" is mostly focused on getting the other person's attention during some sort of courting process of uncertainty. It's also possible one person does something fairly crazy to achieve that. It's worth mentioning that what one sees as undying acts made out of love, another might see as creepy. Finally the couple kisses at the end and the credits roll, or alternatively the main character wallows in the pain of unrequited love. It's fairly interesting this recipe is often applied for singles, as well as divorced (casting serious doubts on the fact that the first part of the relationship is the most important, as presented).

Regardless, it's just the first part of the relationship that doesn't repeat itself afterwards. It's a fool's errand to try and implant something as intrinsically unstable as this period of courting into an ongoing stable relationship. The instability past the first stage has different sources, e.g. figuring out what to do together or considering each other's long-term values. Not whether the other person likes me.

Pure sexual desire with zero knowledge of the person is not love either. Otherwise PornHub would be called LoveHub. However it's not completely independent, as it's hard to be romantically involved in a relationship with zero physical contact.

All this means that the word is fairly ambiguous. For me, "love" can be directed towards anyone, anything or any activity. There's a sense of devotion, attention, betterment and purpose. It's also trying to understand other positions and points of view. Giving the benefit of doubt, ingrained in the approach of not blowing up every time someone does something stupid (from our point of view).

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20th May - 2nd June:

Porn is still a struggle, however this week's been only once and the last one as well.

I feel like I am going outside more and walking or cycling more often.

The exams went fine, though I want to get a better grade from one to get the grade stipend from the uni.

I went to get sushi with my brother on Wednesday. It was fairly good and I think we'll go there again.

I feel like I got more time overall and that I also laze around more. I'm also fairly social in the evenings. I think it could be the aftermath of the Georgian girl leaving, as we socialized one another fairly often. On a related note, I enjoy spending time with her every day, however not all day. But that's the reality we live in and we have to deal with, when we see for the weekend every other week. She however inspired me to read more and educate myself more now.

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3rd June - 7th June:

At the weekend, I was searching for some (paid) praxis/internship and I found one interesting offer. Listing all my qualifications and achievements and reflecting on my life made me feel nice and grateful. I don't think that I am delusional about that either. Unless there's some catastrophic event wiping out my relationship with the Georgian girl, getting fired from my jobs and university and losing a friend/family member COMBINED, I'll be doing just fine. I can handle these one by one "going out", even if it will be annoying and saddening. Life is good.

I went to the shooting range with a friend on Saturday, visited my family on Sunday and started studying for my last (for a better grade) exam on Friday. I picked up my suit and shopped for food yesterday extensively. I got a lot of good stuff (read nuts, olives and non-alcoholic beer) for a good price. I actually enjoy shopping for food in bulk 😄

I also felt fairly tired the last two three days before going to bed. That's a good sign that I am putting myself to work.

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Posted (edited)

What do I NOT want?

An idea that kept bouncing in my head for a long time after watching Peterson's videos. It's easy to define what I want and then be complacent enough not to care or be happy where I am. I will put this into my monthly report as well to keep track of it.

---

Family:

I don't want to get ostracized from my family.

My brother is nice to hang out with and my father is a reliable and I can count on him with anything, though he is sometimes too hotheaded.

Things are more difficult with my mom and grandma. I spend several hours a month alone with my grandma. I think she sometimes has the "victim" complex in a way that she did XYZ for other people and they didn't do anything back for her or don't understand her (without her asking).

I can't help but feel that she also distorts my ability to have an opinion on my mom and that I see my mom as a caricature. That's not to say they dislike each other - my mom visits my grandma regularly and that wouldn't happen if they weren't on good terms. Weirdly enough, I think my mom is the family member I know the least. 

University:

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

I forewent going to Erasmus completely, as it would result in the inevitability of extending my studies while not working towards anything relevant to my studies. There's no good way to do any courses/subjects or to write my masters' thesis abroad. I have a creeping feeling that the longer I take to complete the studies, the less likely it is that I'll finish them.

Exercise:

I don't want to become fat.

I haven't been to the gym since April and seriously (every week) since March. I keep moving by visiting my students either by walking or cycling, going to nearby evening events on foot and I manage to go for a walk once or twice a week. I also sometimes take the basketball outside and hop around. I think the combination of all this works, however it's not a 100% stable habit, so I have to keep an eye on that.

Work:

I don't want to have a job that I don't enjoy. I don't want to have a job that is not well paid.

I don't know if I am going to teach English forever, but I like it reasonably enough, sometimes it's challenging as well and it's paid nicely. As I wrote above, I need to take some internship/praxis for the summer and the one I responded to was paid nicely as well. We'll see if I like it (and if it gets approved by the prof at the uni).

Relationships:

I do not want to be lonely.

I'm intentionally putting a very broad classification here, because I don't know how my friends or romances are going to look like a year from now. All I know is that long-term isolation is deadly and that I want to have meaningful relationships.

---

I do not want to become addicted again.

All of the things above got a lot better once I stopped gaming several hours a day and dozens of hours a week. Time to time, I encounter a game with a strong pull on my psyche. I don't know if there's anything else that could have such a pull on me that would be good for me. Who knows.

Edited by Ikar
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8th June - 13th June:

I've been keeping fairly busy - going out with friends, studying for the last exam (got it), setting up the internship/summer job and visiting my girlfriend at the weekend.

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I'm using the template I used the last time. 08/05/21 - 18/06/21


"L" will stand for the (last) plan/notes for this term. "T" will stand for done this term.

I added "Future goals/direction" to better reflect on the things I am trying to do and to add specificity. I will copy it and stick it somewhere where I can see it to remind myself whenever I feel aimless. I will also use different colors: blue for newly added goals/habits, green for completed/successful, orange for ongoing/some progress and red for ones I haven't worked on in that period.


---

 

Books/Reading articles:

L: I actually went through my 100+ newsletters yesterday to give myself a fresh start on them and to see whether I will keep up with them. I could unsub from some/all of them, if I no longer find them interesting. No books.

T: I've been keeping up with the newsletters and read a few short booklets I got from LibertyCon about philosophy.

Possible direction/goals:

Continue getting through the newsletters.

 

Family:

L: Nothing new comes to mind.

T: My brother is nice to hang out with and my father is a reliable and I can count on him with anything, though he is sometimes too hotheaded. I went for sushi with my brother two weeks ago and it was cool.

Things are more difficult with my mom and grandma. I spend several hours a month alone with my grandma. I think she sometimes has the "victim" complex in a way that she did XYZ for other people and they didn't do anything back for her or don't understand her (without her asking).

I can't help but feel that she also distorts my ability to have an opinion on my mom and that I see my mom as a caricature. That's not to say they dislike each other - my mom visits my grandma regularly and that wouldn't happen if they weren't on good terms. Weirdly enough, I think my mom is the family member I know the least.

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

Possible direction/goals:

Continue working on bettering the relationships with my family.

 

University:

L: University's been normal and the classes I attend are mostly interesting. I haven't gone to Germany, but I am planning to go to Bulgaria for Erasmus after summer. It's amazing how the perception of education shifts once one has a real job and isn't fed by parents, for example by learning to value one's time.

I sent the prof the outline with ideas what to write about in the thesis and I'm planning to meet him in May. I'm going to have two exams in a few weeks, but I suspect they won't be overly difficult and that I'll pass with a few days of studying.

T: I forewent going to Erasmus completely, as it would result in the inevitability of extending my studies while not working towards anything relevant to my studies. There's no good way to do any courses/subjects or to write my masters' thesis abroad. I have a creeping feeling that the longer I take to complete the studies, the less likely it is that I'll finish them.

I've successfully completed the semester and I even got the highest merit stipend (which is funny, because I didn't have a single A at bachelor's). I'm currently looking for the internship/praxis.

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

Possible direction/goals:

I finished the exams successfully.

Find an internship for summer.

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

Work on the assignments in a timely manner.

 

Exercise/Movement:

L: I feel that my "free-time" movement habits are sliding, however I somewhat counteracted that by creating incentives to push me into movement, such as having to visit students within walking/biking distance. I'm really not a fan of going to the gym lately, however I've already been outside with people playing football or basketball, as the weather got better.

T: I haven't been to the gym since April and seriously (every week) since March. I keep moving by visiting my students either by walking or cycling, going to nearby evening events on foot and I manage to go for a walk once or twice a week. I also sometimes take the basketball outside and hop around. I think the combination of all this works, however it's not a 100% stable habit, so I have to keep an eye on that.

NOT: I don't want to become fat.

Possible direction/goals:

Keep in shape.

 

Job/English:

L: I also visited my English teacher-friend and asked him about his history when it came to teaching English. He said that he started teaching when he was 26, started his own courses when he was around 35 thanks to recommendations and had these ever since. He is now around 50 and he started teaching at high school a few months ago for a change of pace.

The meeting helped me soothe some anxiety over the fact I am not advancing as fast as I'd like to when it comes to teaching. Regardless, I've recently made the effort to ask my students for recommendations to a) the respective language schools, b) on my website and c) on Google Maps. It can help me leverage my position regarding the language schools as well as to attract more private students.

I managed to get a raise from one of the companies, a nice 16% raise. I'm also looking into getting my own payment terminal in my phone and possibly a pay gate on my website, on top of the cooperation with the benefit companies. I might even start my own LLC soon.

T: I don't know if I am going to teach English forever, but I like it reasonably enough, sometimes it's challenging as well and it's paid nicely. As I wrote above, I need to take some internship/praxis for the summer and the one I responded to was paid nicely as well. I'm gonna have less English classes during the summer, so I'll spend the time on the internship or master's thesis. We'll see if I like it (and if it gets approved by the prof at the uni).

I paid the taxes this month. I also contacted the benefit companies, which advertise my business for a small cut of my profits. I also talked about this with my students. Some of them work in HR or marketing and they've been very helpful and the advice they gave me was useful. I went to a business workshop on Wednesday organized by the university and it was useful to clear up some concepts regarding marketing and business progress.

NOT: I don't want to have a job that I don't enjoy. I don't want to have a job that is not well paid.

Possible direction/goals:

I'm also gonna attend an interview and another to re-negotiate my salary, once all the reviews I from my students are in. I received some information that I could use to my advantage, so I'm gonna work on that in the next few weeks.

I set up cooperation with the benefit companies.

Keep asking for reviews or recommendations from students.

Create a client persona for both B2B and B2C.

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

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

Check out a few more seminars on how to run online courses. / English research

 

Women/Dating:

L:

Spoiler

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

T: We've been seeing for weekends. My girlfriend even made a surprise visit today, traveling to my hometown for the weekend.

Possible direction/goals:

Set up at least two dates a month.

 

-----

 

Additional thoughts/activities:

My hobbies are: personal finance, gunnery, GIS/statistics, reading/videos about (modern) history, English and geography.

-

I do not want to be lonely.

I'm intentionally putting a very broad classification here, because I don't know how my friends or romances are going to look like a year from now. All I know is that long-term isolation is deadly and that I want to have meaningful relationships.

I do not want to become addicted again.

All of the things above got a lot better once I stopped gaming several hours a day and dozens of hours a week. Time to time, I encounter a game with a strong pull on my psyche. I don't know if there's anything else that could have such a pull on me that would also be good for me. Who knows.

-

I spent more money than usual this term, due to the fact I had to pay the taxes, stock up on food and buy fuel for my car. It's no problem, I'm still bound to get two full paychecks until the summer break starts for some courses.

I also noticed I'm writing here fairly often now.

This month, I did these cool activities: reading about personal finance, taking part in many social events, working on my business/visiting a business seminar, going to the shooting range, going to the excursion with the uni and overall visiting a lot of social events.

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  • 2 weeks later...

19th June - 27th June:

I can't say there's been nothing happening, however I have not been recently in the mood to write anything. I spent the weekend with my girlfriend camping in cities we've never been before. I spent some time reading about finance and the mindset, socializing and moving as well. The summer break for many courses starts next week, therefore my plans for the extra summer time are:

Find and do the internship.

Work on my business.

Get into better shape.

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  • 2 weeks later...

29th June - 7th July:

So I went to the gym and then to the shooting range on 29th. That was a pretty great day!

On Sunday, I cycled for about three hours to visit my parents instead of taking the car.

 

For the first week of July, I decided to visit my girlfriend in Prague. I took advantage of the fact that a lot of my students told me in advance that they will have holiday this week, so I only had to write two or three mails to reschedule the classes with the remaining students.

It's a mixed bag of vacation, breaking the stereotype of being in my hometown and spending time with her. I'm not planning anything or using my calendar at all. That said, it also doesn't mean I'm not doing anything useful.

I drafted curriculums for students of courses that require them and I edited the font on my business website. I've also started reading "Digital Minimalism" by Cal Newport in I'm pretty much through half the book (230 pages in total) in just three days. I can't remember when was the last time I read something this fast.

I picked up the book about two or three years ago at a book fair, but it's been sitting on the shelf ever since. I decided to take it with me to Prague. I know one of my friends decided to do a weekly digital detox and that I'm kinda back-and-forth between using news websites and Youtube, but I didn't actively consider that before taking it. I just remembered I had it and took it.

---

The plan is to get rid of or reduce the usage following apps and websides. I will include cases why they might be useful and why I have had them so far:

Instagram app - deleted. I have a few acquaintances there, but they're mostly foreigners and hardly anyone writes me there. If my friends have it, I have other means of contacting them too.

News webpages - blocked. I use them merely as a source of fun, due to their comment sections. I hardly ever come across an article that I would be genuinely interested in (maybe one in a hundred or a thousand). The same will go for "Wiki/Current events" - even though it's a healthier alternative to consume news, it might sway me, so I'll get rid of it too for now.

Facebook - blocked. I used to justify keeping FB around for scoping events in the area, but I can't remember when was the last time I actually used it before coming to Prague (and I was looking for events here, as I am not local). 

YT - limited. I listen to music on YT, so I won't block it completely, however I am going to block/reduce the main page to prevent me from scrolling it. YT works well with my interests overall, but I noticed I just rely on it to entertain me more than I'd like.

The blocks will apply on my desktop computer and notebook. I'm gonna have only one browser on them with a blocking addon installed.

My phone will be "unlimited", mostly as I am not really used to using it that much (not having mobile data helps a lot) and in case I actually DO need to use the services above. I also have a "Digital Wellbeing" widget on the homescreen of my phone, showing me how much time I spent on each app.

Replacement activities for 1 hour: reading, cleaning, washing the dishes, learning languages

Replacement activities for 2 hours: going to the gym, going for a walk

This is definitely not the first plan I devised for this area of my life. I actually have it partially in effect on my desktop computer at home already. This is just a thought out update of the plan put into words.

---

I have a good opportunity to focus on my own life with all its needs and wishes now that I'm mostly on break from both teaching and university. The real work is now!

Made a promise to not watch "porn" to my girlfriend. Our relationship is very warm.

---

Summer goals:

Find and do the internship. - I found one, unpaid, but I am 90% it will get approved.

Work on my business. - Website fonts

Get into better shape. - Working on it.

Digital cleansing. - Find more activities to do over time instead of clickbaits and lazy fun.

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Posted (edited)

According to the author Charles Duhigg, this pattern of falling back to old habits occurs during heightened stress levels or uncertainty.

It may just also be a drift to low performance. For example communication in person and books is better than watching internet, but internet takes out the perceived negatives: you get anonymity which immediately means less fear of being critiqued. Also the information is more tailored to your needs and interests, so over long term it can become a habit that negatively impacts critical thinking and communication skills.

I remind myself of having lived a life of an absentee from as young as 6 years old because video games were more interesting and easier to do than other activities. 

I think I have been encouraged to stay away from internet except Gq for the rest of this week.

Edited by Amphibian220
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On 7/9/2022 at 3:12 AM, Amphibian220 said:

According to the author Charles Duhigg, this pattern of falling back to old habits occurs during heightened stress levels or uncertainty.

I think in my case, it's true, if you consider "heightened stress level" an acute feeling of boredom. It's sometimes the case that I feel idle for too long and that subsequently stresses me out and makes me unable to concentrate. It's just due to the nature of my job that I often have 1-2-3 hour windows and YT videos of 10-30 minute length are the easiest way out for me.

On 7/9/2022 at 3:12 AM, Amphibian220 said:

It may just also be a drift to low performance. For example communication in person and books is better than watching internet, but internet takes out the perceived negatives: you get anonymity which immediately means less fear of being critiqued. Also the information is more tailored to your needs and interests, so over long term it can become a habit that negatively impacts critical thinking and communication skills.

I remind myself of having lived a life of an absentee from as young as 6 years old because video games were more interesting and easier to do than other activities. 

I think I have been encouraged to stay away from internet except Gq for the rest of this week.

I think GQ might be the last website that I regularly comment on. I don't comment in the comment sections of news stories. I used to comment very often on various websites in the past though.

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I'm using the template I used the last time. 18/06/21 - 13/07/21


"L" will stand for the (last) plan/notes for this term. "T" will stand for done this term.

I added "Future goals/direction" to better reflect on the things I am trying to do and to add specificity. I will copy it and stick it somewhere where I can see it to remind myself whenever I feel aimless. I will also use different colors: blue for newly added goals/habits, green for completed/successful, orange for ongoing/some progress and red for ones I haven't worked on in that period.


---

 

Books/Reading articles:

L: I've been keeping up with the newsletters and read a few short booklets I got from LibertyCon about philosophy.

T: I've been keeping up with the newsletters. I've read a lot of articles from "Mr. Money Mustache: Blog". I also read "Digital Minimalism" in about four days when I was on holiday visiting my girlfriend. I wrote about it above, though I will mention it again in the text below.

Possible direction/goals:

Continue getting through the newsletters.

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

 

Family:

L: My brother is nice to hang out with and my father is a reliable and I can count on him with anything, though he is sometimes too hotheaded. I went for sushi with my brother two weeks ago and it was cool.

Things are more difficult with my mom and grandma. I spend several hours a month alone with my grandma. I think she sometimes has the "victim" complex in a way that she did XYZ for other people and they didn't do anything back for her or don't understand her (without her asking).

I can't help but feel that she also distorts my ability to have an opinion on my mom and that I see my mom as a caricature. That's not to say they dislike each other - my mom visits my grandma regularly and that wouldn't happen if they weren't on good terms. Weirdly enough, I think my mom is the family member I know the least.

T: I'm going with my brother to sushi today. I don't think there's anything special happening at the moment.

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

Possible direction/goals:

Continue working on bettering the relationships with my family.

 

University:

L: I forewent going to Erasmus completely, as it would result in the inevitability of extending my studies while not working towards anything relevant to my studies. There's no good way to do any courses/subjects or to write my masters' thesis abroad. I have a creeping feeling that the longer I take to complete the studies, the less likely it is that I'll finish them.

I've successfully completed the semester and I even got the highest merit stipend (which is funny, because I didn't have a single A at bachelor's). I'm currently looking for the internship/praxis.

T: No university duties directly, however I found the internship and I'm going for the interview/praxis tomorrow. 

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

Possible direction/goals:

Find an internship for summer.

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

Work on the assignments in a timely manner.

 

Exercise/Movement:

L: I haven't been to the gym since April and seriously (every week) since March. I keep moving by visiting my students either by walking or cycling, going to nearby evening events on foot and I manage to go for a walk once or twice a week. I also sometimes take the basketball outside and hop around. I think the combination of all this works, however it's not a 100% stable habit, so I have to keep an eye on that.

T: I visited my family on the bike two weeks ago, meaning I cycled about 40 kilometers in one day. I take the bike or walk fairly often for minor errands. I'm planning to go to the gym after finishing this report. I feel better about my physique now that I have more free time to work on it.

NOT: I don't want to become fat.

Possible direction/goals:

Keep in shape.

 

Job/English:

L: I don't know if I am going to teach English forever, but I like it reasonably enough, sometimes it's challenging as well and it's paid nicely. I'm gonna have less English classes during the summer. I paid the taxes this month. I also contacted the benefit companies, which advertise my business for a small cut of my profits. I also talked about this with my students. Some of them work in HR or marketing and they've been very helpful and the advice they gave me was useful. I went to a business workshop on Wednesday organized by the university and it was useful to clear up some concepts regarding marketing and business progress.

T: The work has been slower as expected, though I still do maintain about 10 lessons a week. I picked up a few new courses too. I'm currently working through a lot of ideas/concepts I accumulated during my holiday last week. I got a new font for my website too, so that's something!

NOT: I don't want to have a job that I don't enjoy. I don't want to have a job that is not well paid.

Possible direction/goals:

Keep asking for reviews or recommendations from students.

Create a client persona for both B2B and B2C.

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

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

Check out a few more seminars on how to run online courses. / English research

 

Women/Dating:

L:

Spoiler

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Possible direction/goals:

Set up at least two dates a month.

 

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Digital maintenance:

The plan is to get rid of or reduce the usage following apps and websites. I will include cases why they might be useful and why I have had them so far:

Instagram app - deleted. I have a few acquaintances there, but they're mostly foreigners and hardly anyone writes me there. If my friends have it, I have other means of contacting them too.

News webpages - blocked. I use them merely as a source of fun, due to their comment sections. I hardly ever come across an article that I would be genuinely interested in (maybe one in a hundred or a thousand). The same will go for "Wiki/Current events" - even though it's a healthier alternative to consume news, it might sway me, so I'll get rid of it too for now.

Facebook - blocked. I used to justify keeping FB around for scoping events in the area, but I can't remember when was the last time I actually used it that way before coming to Prague (I was looking for events there, as I am not local). 

YT - limited. I listen to music on YT, so I won't block it completely, however I am going to block/reduce the main page to prevent me from scrolling it. YT works well with my interests overall, but I noticed I just rely on it to entertain me more than I'd like.

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The blocks will apply on my desktop computer and notebook. I'm gonna have only one browser on them with a blocking add-on installed.

My phone will be "unlimited", mostly as I am not really used to using it that much (not having mobile data helps a lot) and in case I actually DO need to use the blocked services above. I also have a "Digital Wellbeing" widget on the home-screen of my phone, showing me how much time I spent on each app.

This is definitely not the first plan I devised for this area of my life. I actually have it partially in effect on my desktop computer at home already. This is just a thought out update of the plan put into words.

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What to do if I am bored?

Replacement activities for 1 hour: reading, cleaning, washing the dishes, learning languages

Replacement activities for 2 hours: going to the gym, going for a walk

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Additional thoughts/activities:

My hobbies are: personal finance, gunnery, GIS/statistics, reading/videos about (modern) history, English and geography.

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I do not want to be lonely.

I'm intentionally putting a very broad classification here, because I don't know how my friends or romances are going to look like a year from now. All I know is that long-term isolation is deadly and that I want to have meaningful relationships.

I do not want to become addicted again.

All of the things above got a lot better once I stopped gaming several hours a day and dozens of hours a week. Time to time, I encounter a game with a strong pull on my psyche. I don't know if there's anything else that could have such a pull on me that would also be good for me. Who knows.

-

I'm gonna get through all the bookmarks/ideas/concepts on my notebook. Areas: social, business, planning and more.

For the first week of July, I decided to visit my girlfriend in Prague. It's was mixed bag of vacation, breaking the stereotype of being in my hometown, creativity and spending time with her.

This month, I did these cool activities: spending time on trips with my girlfriend, reading about personal finance, taking part in many social events, working on my business, going to the shooting range.

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13th July - 17th July:

I've been feeling boredom here and there since I've blocked YT main page a week ago, however a few seconds after realizing that, I always come up with other things that I need and want to do, such as reading, taking a shower or writing here.

As for news, I only watched a bit of national news with my grandma yesterday on TV, nothing besides that.

I used my phone browser version of FB a while ago to search in specific groups for specific exchange programs. A few days ago, I also checked one event I attended that was organized by my friend to have all the relevant info.

-

I went with my brother for sushi, started the internship, read about finance, read a book about homeless people, did a bit of car repair, went to the gym, cycled, visited my family and played billiard.

My internship mentor is working on the conception of greenery and its classification in our city. We'll go around the city and evaluate the state of the greenery into some quantitative form using the given criteria.

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How has quitting YouTube helped you? I find that nowadays I don’t even watch a lot of YouTube videos, but I keep returning to the app as a way to alleviate boredom, if for nothing else but to scroll through videos to see if something will interest me. I’m considering deleting the app myself. Just wanted an idea of how getting rid of it has helped you along the way.

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1 hour ago, Paul A. said:

How has quitting YouTube helped you? I find that nowadays I don’t even watch a lot of YouTube videos, but I keep returning to the app as a way to alleviate boredom, if for nothing else but to scroll through videos to see if something will interest me. I’m considering deleting the app myself. Just wanted an idea of how getting rid of it has helped you along the way.

As I wrote above, it's been just a week without the YT main page. It helps me internalize that there are other things I can be doing instead of scrolling the videos and trying to find something new. I follow several channels and there might be, let's say, 3 hours of content a week they produce that I am interested in, but that doesn't make YT the "default" place to go if I feel idle. It's definitely something I can live without for a month or even longer if I so choose.

Just one note, I mostly watch content I am interested in on desktop computer. On my phone (Redmi Note 10), it's impossible to remove or deactivate the app just by going to the options, because it's a system app. That makes the process quite annoying, as you have to devise a more complicated process to restrict the access to the app.

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On 7/18/2022 at 8:43 AM, Ikar said:

As I wrote above, it's been just a week without the YT main page. It helps me internalize that there are other things I can be doing instead of scrolling the videos and trying to find something new. I follow several channels and there might be, let's say, 3 hours of content a week they produce that I am interested in, but that doesn't make YT the "default" place to go if I feel idle. It's definitely something I can live without for a month or even longer if I so choose.

Just one note, I mostly watch content I am interested in on desktop computer. On my phone (Redmi Note 10), it's impossible to remove or deactivate the app just by going to the options, because it's a system app. That makes the process quite annoying, as you have to devise a more complicated process to restrict the access to the app.

It was a system app on my Xiaomi phone too, but we were able to use a PC program to remove it. I don't remember what it was at the moment, I'll have to ask my wife and then get back to you on that.

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10 hours ago, GrainSiloEnthusiast said:

It was a system app on my Xiaomi phone too, but we were able to use a PC program to remove it. I don't remember what it was at the moment, I'll have to ask my wife and then get back to you on that.

Thanks! I am sure @Paul A. would appreciate that as well.

I'm at a loss how is YT or Chrome are a system app, while Xiaomi offers its default apps. I'm at a free-market/capitalism proponent. I believe most people would be much better off if they just tried smarter/harder, however I agree with Manson that many things today are optimized for engagement/addiction, so they're hard to kick:

https://markmanson.net/newsletters/mindfck-monthly-102

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18th July - 21st July:

The internship has been interesting, despite the fact that mapping of greenery and its usefulness for people was not exactly the first thing I'd imagine doing for my internship. My mentor is around 60, however he sometimes strikes me as if he's my age and we get along well. He's very knowledgeable in his field, however he did mention he has no illusions about how much of his work actually gets to the decision makers/politicians. We walked a lot as a part of the mapping.

I finished reading the book about homeless people. It was interesting. It made me realize that while at one point there was a possibility that I am going to end up homeless, as in the real story below:

A friend of my father has a son who used to game all day and didn't do anything else. He and his wife decided to kick their son out of the flat, so that he could get a job and start functioning properly. There was no telling what would happen (i.e. he could have turned into a homeless junkie), but in the end it turned out well, because he got a job and was able to take care of himself.

Now the chance of that for me is zero. I'd have to literally become insane AND forget everything at the same time AND lose all my friends and family, but I wouldn't or couldn't care at that point anyway. I wouldn't be I as I know myself today. Life is looking pretty great for me since I have stopped gaming.

I went to the shooting range with my gun buddies on Tuesday. It might actually become a regular hobby of mine.

I had a long video-call with my girlfriend on Wednesday.

I didn't miss YT the last few days as I was busy working on other things. Gonna allow it from 12th August to see if I broke the habit and if I can use it in a more constructive way.

I'm also going to share how my finances look like, to give some context why I sometimes mention it at all in my entries. I started my FIRE journey in April 2021 and I plan to be financially independent by the time I am 35! Links are below:

Jack Bogle - bogleheads.org forum: https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=344956 - this one is with some discussion with other users, as it's older and provides more context.

MMM forums: https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/case-studies/my-fire-journey-(24-czech)/ - this one is new and distilled based on the previous link.

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Do they discuss the barbell strategy of investment? Investing 90 per cent into the safest possible instrument and the 1-10 % of savings into highly risky venture capital.

I read in one contemporary finance book that “medium” risk is a misnomer because of how volatile the markets are by their current nature, so it only makes sense to put most of your money into the safest bet and a small fraction into a business that given your intelligence has potential for major growth. It makes even more sense to work for that venture capital firm because your motivation will be greater. 

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