I spent the first day of 2022 contemplating how I was going to write this post, but after all that, I came to the conclusion that I wasn’t going to be satisfied either way, so I might as well start. This will be another aimless post where I will probably go one a few tangents and then attempt to circle back, and ultimately get nothing actually Done. I’ll start also with a foreword of sorts: I’ve only become more arrogant and annoying this past year due to the resurgence of my superiority complex, and as such I’ve ended up setting more standards and boundaries. We’ll get into it later, but part of it pertains to writing. I want to be less pedantic, less worried of offending my audience, and less concerned about if someone wants to pick apart my words (“well, reality is whatever you perceive it to be,” or ,”everyone’s a little insane,”). Those are trite sentiments, and even a 10 year old kid knows that. Don’t mistake simple existential questions for art. …this isn’t necessarily directly related to my Year-End Reflections or New Year’s Resolutions, but serves as a precursor. Basically, I have too many opinions and I am ready to fight, and also I am easily distracted.
Overall, 2021 wasn’t that eventful. Third year was entirely online, and to be honest, as the weather began to warm, I started having fun. In spite of the less than ideal learning situation, I enjoyed the self-directed studio course, and I bought a second-hand camera from 2001 to play with, and I made a few friends (somehow). The summer was alright, too. I went home and ate good food with the family, and came to a few conclusions (I love conclusions) there as well. For example:
1. Although I love my siblings and my parents dearly, I don’t know if I can go back to living at home 100% of the time. I’ve grown so accustomed to having full control over my own schedule and personal space (which I value heavily), and I fear I won’t be able to concentrate at home. Especially if I actually continue going to school. If I was working, then it would be fine. I guess that’s something for me to figure out later this year.
2. Trust my gut. My intuition rarely fails me, but often I ignore sketchy signals in favour of keeping the peace, or simply because I’m afraid of repercussions. In general, speaking up leads to productivity, and that’s infinitely better than doing nothing/moping.
3. I want nothing to do with those people from high school.
That last point is related to the disabling of my Instagram account. I’ve had it since I was… 13? I’ve always liked taking photos and so I posted little snippets of my life up on there (pictures of my brother over the years, food, the places I visited, the usual suburban kid stuff), but in recent years, I realized that whenever I opened the app I felt disappointed and utterly disinterested in the lives of the people I followed. Someone asked me why I didn’t just unfollow them, and I said that it’s more work than simply disabling the account. Social media is a joke! I’d also just rather waste my time elsewhere. Also, that’s one less place for people to see what I’ve been up to. Some people don’t need to know.
I’ve also been struggling with talking to people who have no ambitions and never take initiative, or want to please everyone and as result, accomplishing nothing. To me, most things seem incredibly simple: setting up a vaccination appointment, making a plan to graduate in four years, an essay assignment, hanging out with your friends. I understand that everyone has different tolerances for stress as well as different problems in General, but in a specific case that I shouldn’t be complaining about, if I am making myself available to help make a schedule with numbered Steps to Accomplishing This Goal, what’s the problem? How can I help someone become motivated? If their heart isn’t in it, no amount of lecturing or gentle persuasion will do anything. I’m talking to a wall, and I am tired. To conclude: I am not their parent, and there is nothing more I can do. Unfortunately, though, now I don’t really want to talk to them.
So to sum up the last two paragraphs, I have stopped interacting with people who 1) I have no interest in talking to (anymore), and 2) who drain me. The boundary here is my comfort. I don’t have to make myself available to people if I don’t want to.
That all sounds pretty negative. Let’s move on to something else, like last year’s reminder:
Continue going with the flow. Don’t be too quick to judge others even if they judge you first. Sometimes people are just like that. The only thing I know is myself, and I have faith in my (lack of proper) morals.
I probably should’ve read it first, because it seems like all I’ve done is judge others. Well, it’s not as if I haven’t done a fair amount of self-reflecting in tandem. I am highly critical of myself first and foremost, for better or for worse. But yes, sometimes people are Just Like That. I don’t know what exactly I was referring to, but there should be a continuation to that statement. Maybe “you don’t have to put up with it.” I like that I wrote that I had faith in myself. That probably holds true a bit more now, but to be honest, it’s hard to say how much of the confidence is a façade and how much is Legitimate. Maybe 50/50.
For much of 2018-2020 I was very lost and unhappy about a lot of things. I thought that if I uprooted myself I’d be happier, but all that happened was I felt tiny, useless, and had no direction. I was disillusioned with the things I was studying and making, and the people I was in classes with. The difference is that now I’m not as passive, and I am disillusioned but with a direction. If something “bad” happens, I harness it and turn into Work, and I feel productive and therefore Better. Weaponized trauma, profiting from suffering, all that sort of stuff. Otherwise it’s a waste. Something I fear now, though, is that I’ll run out of steam some point this year before grad. I keep trying to put my focus on school and Creating that I forget that I should be able to think about other things. There’s no line between my work and I, and that is a problem.
This year’s reminders will be relatively straightforward, maybe a bit on the Nice side:
Take stretch breaks, eat something with substance, and do at least one thing that is purely to make you happy per day. Also… watch more movies.
And sleep earlier. I woke up around 4pm today. Ah… winter break…
Also, the video above is one of four I made for the first half of my thesis project course. I shouldn’t say much more about it, but there it is. That’s all for now. I’ll continue the solar term schedule, but there may be some changes. Until then.