Building Greater Self-Reliance: Day 05

31 Journaling Prompts for Building Greater Self-Reliance:  Day 05

“All failed companies are the same: they failed to escape competition.”

― Peter Thiel

“The dynamic [of competition] is not unlike a popularity contest in which everyone tries to win by being equal parts friendly, happy, active, and fun. Or an election campaign in which all the candidates try to be charming, serious, humble, and strong. Once everyone starts doing it, no one stands out.”

― Youngme Moon

To compete is to choose to play somebody else’s game. This can be a massive source of energy, but it’s also a dangerous game. The billionaire investor and founder of PayPal, Peter Thiel, said that the fierce competition in his college career nearly kept him from doing what he actually was meant to do. He later wrote in Zero to One, “All failed companies are the same: they failed to escape competition.”

When we’re locked in competition we tend to obsess on doing the same thing but faster, bigger, or cheaper. Competition can blind us to opportunities to truly distinguish ourselves.

In fact, the fiercer the competition, the more similar things get. Harvard Professor Youngme Moon writes in her book Different: Escaping the Competitive Herd that, “The dynamic [of competition] is not unlike a popularity contest in which everyone tries to win by being equal parts friendly, happy, active, and fun. Or an election campaign in which all the candidates try to be charming, serious, humble, and strong. Once everyone starts doing it, no one stands out.”

Put simply, Moon has found that, “The more diligently firms compete with each other, the less differentiated they can become.”

Even more often than businesses, individual lives are ruined by being too preoccupied with competition to look around. Where are you competing in your life that you don’t actually want to be (e.g., money, audience, position, possessions, looks, awards, travel, experiences etc.)? If you weren’t worried about winning that, what would you focus on?

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changes of the Self

in August 2015, Brian and I moved from southern Louisiana, very near to the Gulf Coast, to the “great” white tundra of the Minneapolis, Minnesota — which is over 1,000mi (1,600+km) as the bird flies, or ~1,1200mi (~1,800km) as the car drives.

there were many reasons for this move: Brian found and earned a job that would at least incorporate his academic focus (very slightly so, we later fully learn) for a reasonable pay; I wanted to get away from my family drama; I wanted to get away from my paternal drama; I wanted to escape many of the acquaintances I had; I wanted to break free of previous obligations and social contracts I had; I want to explore the world/nation; I legitimately wanted culture shock; and … I wanted to try to recreate myself.

I managed to do so somewhat within the nearly four years I have been up here. I gained better habits and lost some worse ones — some instances of each by choice, and others by force or requirement. so with us discussing the potential success of Brian’s job hunts elsewhere in the nation, it’s time to review these changes and reflect on them.


Who I Was in Louisiana

  • sociable, person enthusiast: I was social butterfly, and often the center of attention.
  • responsible, in charge: I was constantly organizing events or hosting, rarely delegating and actually really being just a participant.
  • empathetic: I pretended to be very kind and compassionate, almost as if I was genuinely interested in other people.
  • adventurous: I sought out wild opportunities and places (granted, I was restricted to the local) in hopes of an absurd escapade.
  • inquisitive, curious: I always wanted to know more about everything, was often researching random facts or topics, and was always asking questions.
  • pillar of strength: The backbone or glue or a group or the unflinching emotional support of a given person — it was more often than not me. Though, naturally, I relied on one (or at least, very very few).
  • energetic, loud, hyper: I had boundless energy, and could go from one activity or event to another with no break necessary.
  • alcohol lush, drunkard: I was the group’s (usually) happy drunk. Any unfinished drinks?– everyone knew I would empty them.
  • giving 110%: if I did anything, I did it to my full capacity — including my faults. moderation was not a concept I understood.

Who I Was in Minnesota

  • sociable, person enthusiast: I still embodied this, but to a lesser degree. I was at several parties wherein I actively avoided calling the group’s attention to myself.
  • responsible, in charge: I let up on this a lot too. I was, in fact, tagging along more often than note with the already created plans of others. Brian has said I take on more of an “okay guys, I’ll join in on your thing” approach than I did back home.
  • empathetic: I did this still too, but I lessened it. if I had too few Spoons on a given day, I didn’t listen to all the bullshit others spouted, but instead scurried away quickly.
  • adventurous: I lost this drastically. part of the limitation on this was winter exists up here from October to now (April) — by which I mean, it is so cold outside it is physically painful.
  • inquisitive, curious: I still had my curiosity, but I didn’t really act on it much. I was too tired all the time to put forth the effort to research anything.
  • pillar of strength: I became a Pillar of some sort for several people up here. but I made to have them understand I was not on-call for them figuratively or literally. even when hanging out IRL, I would sometimes be distance.
  • energetic, loud, hyper: this depleted greatly too. I took breaks when I needed them (even while volunteering), I actively scheduled “Recovery” time in my Google calendar, etc.
  • general lush: I still drank way my than I should. and my first social connections up here were made via a kink community, I was none for my input and presence there (not so much actual physical involvement, granted, due to Brian’s requests).
  • 90-100%: I gave less of myself to other people and things. sure I still “did my best”; but I help back when necessary, so as not to over-extend or exhaust myself.
  • open about my Crazies: I was much more open about my struggles here than I was back home — which is saying something, because I was a major advocate back home. by embracing my faults in an early meeting of someone (other than of employers, lol!), I set the stage such that if I fuck up in one way or another (my bad memory, my low Spoon, etc.), no one is surprised or offended.
  • patience for bullshit: normally, I would just let people say shit no matter how dumb. but now, depending on the person, I either address the fallacies I see or I just walk away. I’m not paid to give you my attention, and in most cases, I don’t even care — so fuck off.

Who I Hope to Be in the Future

this is where we are now. I’ve already begun some of these changes (as you will see below), though I have not been in many situations wherein I can challenge or test the adjusted approach or reaction. so we’ll see how it goes.

  • sociable, person enthusiast: I think this is a skill set I still want to maintain and occasionally practice, as it is very useful for making connections for future social or occupational concerns. however, I do not need to make it the core of my identity any longer.
  • responsible, in charge: again, this is useful if I maintain it as a skill and not as a personality trait.
  • empathetic: I think this is at a fairly good level currently. I am empathetic to gain the favour and affection of others, but I don’t drain my resources on pretending to care.
  • adventurous: Brian has mentioned to me multiple times recently how this is obviously incredibly important to me. and he’s right. I do need to incorporate this into my life more.
  • inquisitive, curious: I’ve started getting this back already. I’m getting my Productivity Projects going again, so that’s nice.
  • pillar of strength: I need to be careful who I befriend. granted, you can’t tell right away — but up here, most of my early friends, I have learned, were exceptional needy. and I just can’t do that anymore. not for everyone all of the time.
  • energetic, loud, hyper: I need to balance this. I don’t like how low-key I’ve become, but I like that I’m learning self-care.
  • sober: another one I’m already well started into. as Brian says, he likes being in full control of his faculties — I’ll adopt that saying as I’m so all over the place already, I can’t risk giving up anything.
  • 90-100%: I think I’m at a healthy point for this one. I try harder than most anyone there, but I’m going to break my back for you. I just have to continue this when we move.
  • open about my Crazies: again, setting up my faults and being open about my issues early one makes it less difficult and more accepted in the long-run.
  • patience for bullshit: I’m still learning the balance on this one. I’m ignoring my father’s stupid political comments, literally not even acknowledging that he said them sometimes. so I like that. but avoidance can only work on some people; I need to figure out my approach for the other folk.
  • solo fun: branching from “adventurous”, I need to learn to have fun by myself. I spent so much time in Louisiana organising collections of people, I never learned how to go out on my own. I want to grow into that before we relocate again so that I can better explore the city and learn about it on my own time, instead of waiting for someone else.
  • us vs them: I have always had an inclination to the “not our kind” mindset, as much as I hate it. working in the political landscape recently, I developed a quicker reaction to it. I also developed a stronger sense of unity, conversely, in my internal effort to fight the aforementioned propensity. but wherever we go, I want to continue getting this out of my system.
  • volunteering: I stopped volunteering as much here as I did back home. in part due to my parents not being here with scout trouble in which I grew up, and in part to my constant transportation issues (RE weather or no license). but wherever we go, I need to start doing that more.

you may be noticing I didn’t include a terrible number of “bad” character traits. that’s because I like to think I am quite aware of those and am already working on fixing them — trust issues, self-hatred, anhedonia, anger issues, superiority complex, a general impatience, misanthropy, etc. I mean, that list I can make in a hot second!

but this was just a very quick, light assessment of my recent growths and how I want to be as positives, a side of myself on which I’m rarely focused.

if you know me IRL and have insight or comments on anything, I’d love to hear them. I’m trying to ensure my self-perception includes at least the consideration of others’ perceptions of me. so it would be beneficial for me to hear — both the good and the bad.

can’t do this

I CAN’T DO THIS.

I’m tired of the NOISE.  so tired of THE LOUD-ASS NOISE THAT FUCKING ECHOES IN  YOUR GODDAMN HEART.  IN YOUR FUCKING MIND.

We throw tantrums like parties.
We’re not happy ’til everyone knows we’re SICK.
And that’s just how we like it.
We’ve hurt Bad enough, right?  We’ve Earned it.
Don’t tell the others, but it’s all getting old.
you can hear It.  It Breathes against you.  It Breathes in spite of you.  you are merely a Pawn in Its creation.
I mean, how many more times must our stories be told?
And being lonely’s only fun in a group;
It sort of loses it’s charm when it’s true.
you can’t do anything against its noise and chaos and pain and hate and loudness and rage and anxiety and compulsions and noise and paranoia and eating disorders and thoughts and opinions and concerns and just everything.  there is too much.  and the Mind never stops.  NEVER STOPS.
So now you know all my secrets.
I want out; I know I don’t need this.
Can you find me friends that don’t rank me on what I’ve been through?
The more battle scars, the more attention it gets you.
Don’t tell the others, but it’s all getting old.
but I Like it; rather I  Need it.  I hold on to it.  I don’t move past it.  because I’m scared about what’s beyond me, what’s More than me, what is -Without Me-.
I meant it when I said,
“I wanna get well! I wanna get well!”
Are the rest of you so content?
Stay where you are, but it hurts like hell.
And I’m sure it’s fun at first;
test your pulse, and check your vitals.
If it’s only a Game, you lost me.
I quit it with the Suicidal Recital.

shit.  I can’t even pretend I know the original direction this post was going in…..
I was lost.  hopeless.  depressed.  so many of those Old and Comforting Feelings I had.  but Brian suggested I Write instead of mope.  Write.  how often do I Write anymore?  and what of that which I Write even matters anymore?  I mean, none of it really.  at least back then, it was the Truth as per a small child whose life was important.  now I’m adult who’s thrown off on her own and matters not.
Yeah, we should’ve known it would End this way.
What did you expect? — pretend it all Away?
And all we’ve got left is a sorry pile of hearts.
I’m getting out — gonna write myself a new Start.
Come on, dry your eyes, meet me on the other side.
Run as fast as you can, and we’ll make it out alive.
We know better now; we don’t have to live like This.
Go tell them all we don’t have to live like This.

SURPRISE ME.

let me go.
let me FREE.

https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/Z9fGKx7yzF4?rel=0

let me not wake tomorrow.

I’m tired of this Battle again.

it’s the same War I’ve been fighting for so long.

LET ME GO!!!

 

apparently I’m a “Social Liberalist”

I don’t do political shit on here often, just because politics and religion are messy topics and aren’t the purpose of my blog. however, I did find the below quiz self-informative and engaging.

8values dot github dot io

I, personally, think it’s pretty accurate.  and my guy Brian agrees.  my cat Zero has no opinion.

so there. now you know a little more about me. 🙂

medication, relationships, and disassociations

oops.  so I’ve managed to not take my morning medications almost every day this week (my most important meds are my morning ones, of course).  also, I’ve forgotten my evening meds numerous times in the last two weeks.  however, I’ve been fairly good about my mid-day meds — naturally, because those are the least important of the three.  ~sighs~

I’ve been totally exhausted lately.  like, before my screwing up the taking of my meds.  that’s actually what led to my forgetting to take them.  over the weekend, I just got really, really tired.  then Monday morning, I sleep in until I absolutely have to wake up for work, and I forget to dope myself up while I rush getting ready.  and it just happens like that every morning for the rest of the week.  today included.

Brian called me while I was on my way to work because he noticed I forgot my meds.  I’d be late if I had turned around though.  and I just also didn’t give a fuck about going back to take them.  “it’s not like they’re doing much good anyway”, half-sleepy me told myself as I steered with one knee, guzzled an energy drink with one hand, and shoved eggs into my mouth with the other hand.  (the second knee was attached to the foot reserved for the gas and brake pedals.  I have to get creative whenever I need each a hand and a foot/knee/leg for the shifting and powering the clutch.)  so I just thanked him, and kept going away from home.

I’ve been frustrated with him for a day or so now.  he did tiny thing A that is a big thing to me, and I noticed I had an emotional response about it.  I did my best not to have an emotional reaction, and I only kinda succeeded.  but then I beat myself up for having emotions at all.  I typically get very angry at myself when and because I’m angry at him.  and of course, during all this, I don’t tell him shit, because I don’t want him to start feeling bad about having peeved me off.  but he inquired this morning, and I was just like, “let’s talk about this when I’m not running late for work, okay?”

second thing I really wanted to discuss here (venting about Brian kinda snuck in here, lol) is my disassociation qualities returning.  I’m getting “that feeling” again wherein I’m not Me.  I’m multiple peoples living in a single body, so take turns sharing the physical cage.  I “see” myself doing and saying things.  I’m over-analyzing my actions in a very particular way — not so much “objective” as it is disjointed and disconnected.

maybe it’s the lack of medication in my system.  maybe it’s the two energy drinks a day I take just to stay awake.  maybe it’s whatever started making me so tired over the weekend.

maybe it’s finally time for a Cycle change, and I’m going to go into a mania soon.  that would be a nice change of pace.  I haven’t had a proper (hypo-)mania in a while.  though I doubt it, given all the additional sleep I’ve been needing.

one thing I’m going to discuss at therapy is how I’m so Tired.  like, when she or my psychiatrist ask me about how this is going or what I feel about that, I just wanna look at them and say, “I don’t know. I’m too Tired to think about an analyze it.”  an me being too tired to analyze something — not a good sign.

I suppose that’s all for now.  I’m just really off kilter.  and because I don’t know the cause, I can’t even pretend to come up with a solution.

the skill of charisma

I think it’s really unfortunate how we’re not taught how to stremgthen pur charisma in school or daycare. we learn how to play nice and not misbehave. but we’re not instructed on how to really sell yourself, unless ypu actively seek out a business class of sorts. various scouts are good about providing these lessons. but not everyone is in such a program.

I swear my charisma is what got me my new job. I uncoothly inquired, albeit on topic and well-time, how many people applied to the position. they received over thirty resumes, twently of which were actually viable. the first rpund of interviews included twelve applicants. the second round was five. and then this cheese stood alone. I know there must have been at least a few of those folks who had the proper qualifications. as such, I am firmly convinced my charisma is what sold me to them. (to be fair, my charisma is badass.)

but for every job or opportunity I get as a result of my charisma, that’s one person who was more qualified or deserving of something who is going to have to go without.I feel a little guilty, honestly. butat the same time, charisma is a skill just like so many others that these jobs need to take into account. but still….

predictability of Self

one of the things I find myself hating the most about my particular combination of Crazies is that I never really know who I am going to be at any given moment.

Brian says that sleep “resets” him.  when he wakes the next day, his mood and minddset are typically returned to a realitively consistant state of normalacy.  and this reset happens most every time.

meanwhile, I don’t know who I am going to be sometimes from mere hour-to-hour — much less a whole fucking day later.

it makes planning hard and predictibility and consistency impossible.  I may schedulebto hang out with friends three days from now, only to wake and be absolutely horrified of the world and social interactions.

《~ posted via mobile device ~》