Monthly Archives: April 2013

How to keep moving forward, even when your brain hates you.

a little dose of keelium

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If you’ve been around here long, or if you know me in person, you probably know I have a slightly defective brain, which is to say that I have a history with clinical depression. Add on to that a(n un-)healthy dose of perfectionism, and you have an expert procrastinator. I can miserably waste a day (and yes, if you didn’t get anything useful done OR even enjoy yourself a little, that was a day wasted) with the best (worst?) of them.

But I’ve been at the depression game for 10+ years now, and the perfectionism for 20+ (I distinctly remember bawling over imperfect crayon drawings. Started young.), and I’ve had to…

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What the Fuck Am I Doing with My Life?

I want a big change in my life, but I don’t know what to do. I don’t want to fuck up my future or my relationships, but I don’t want to later regret a nondecision either.

I feel like I should be doing something else. I try to talk to my husband about this, but it’s never very helpful. Either his advice is no good or he takes it personally. And I feel like I bring him down.

There are so many things I want to do. My husband thinks it’s a waste to try to do many things; you only have one life, so you should use it to become the best at one thing. On the other hand, I think it’s a waste of time to spend your entire life doing one thing. What if you end up not liking it? It would kind of be a waste. But then again, it takes a lifetime to become good at anything, which is also important to me.

But how do you know what to spend your life doing? Like I said, it takes a lifetime to get good at something, and the longer it takes for me to figure out what to do, the less of a chance I have to become good.

I realized this is the reason why I don’t finish a lot of things I start. When I become interested in a new hobby, there’s the initial stage of “This is so much fun! This is so exciting!” Then I realize I’m no good at it and that it’ll take a lifetime to become good, and I don’t even know if it’s something I enjoy enough to make that kind of commitment.

And with video games, I feel like I’m wasting my time. “Playing this game isn’t going to add anything substantial to my life.” Or even if I can put that aside, I’ll get stuck. Or I realize someone’s already posted a walkthrough and I can follow it to get a perfect score, but then what’s the point?

I have a million dreams that all take a lifetime and only one life to live them all.

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“I know some other foreigners. Want me to introduce you?”

English: Foreigners_in_Yokohama_in_1854

Foreigners in Yokohama in 1854 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m ready to start making friends for reasons other than we’re both from foreign countries.

I need a Japanese friend who is jaded with foreigners and who just wants to talk about cool stuff instead of only my home country and what I think about Japan. Is that too much to ask?

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April 13, 2013 · 9:58 pm

Making Friends Online and Keeping Offline Friends Offline

Sometimes people I know in real life ask if I use Twitter and if they can follow me. These moments are always very uncomfortable for me, and I always have some excuse to keep them away. It’s not because I don’t like them — that has never been the case. The reason is more complicated than that.

Here’s the thing. The internet is such a low-stress way to interact with other people. (It can be very stressful if, for example, you let yourself get overwhelmed by the mountains of hate people dish out by the second, but that’s another topic.) You can toss your thoughts, opinions, and art into the internet void, and eventually someone will see what you made and will talk to you about it. They will come to you. Or they will post something and you will go to them. There is very little pressure to interact in ways you don’t want to. If you have something to say, you can say it, and if you’re content saying nothing, just keep clicking.

For this reason, I think it’s so much easier to make friends online than it is in real life. For me, this is especially true of Twitter. My Twitter page is me on paper (or in pixels, rather). It’s a daily stream of my life, going back nearly five years now. Who I am is all right there for you to see, and if you like me, you’ll follow. If you don’t like me, you’ll move on. There is no uncomfortable, forced interaction. You interact with who you want to and in the way you want to.

A lot of the friends I have now are people I first met online.

A lot of the friends I have now are people I first met online.

Here’s where things get complicated.

If someone I know in real life asks if they can follow me on Twitter, it means I’ve already been interacting with them for a while. But unlike how things are online, they’ve seen only a very small, very colored portion of me. When I post things online, it’s still a small, colored portion of me, but it’s a version of me that is probably less edited and less censored than who I am when interacting with people in the flesh. I’m going to be more careful about what I say in face-to-face conversation than I am with my stream of thoughts online. And it’s for this reason I don’t feel comfortable with people I know in real life first following my exploits online. Maybe they had a different image of who I am. Maybe they will no longer like me. Things will become uncomfortable between us.

“Don’t we learn that you need to be true to yourself? Isn’t the separation of your IRL self from your online self kind of deceptive?” Yes. It absolutely is. And this is one of my greatest anxieties about face-to-face human interaction. I can’t be myself in the flesh, in the moment. I will say things I don’t really believe. I will agree to things I don’t really agree with. I don’t want conflict. I want to be liked. I want the moments to pass as smoothly as possible. I’m more myself when I have time to form my thoughts carefully. Speaking to someone in person doesn’t allow time for that. They say something, and you need to have something to say back to them NOW. It feels nearly impossible for me to be myself in person, but it’s not something I can avoid. Face-to-face interaction is inevitable.

Perhaps if I were someone more extroverted or strong-willed, I could be myself in person. But I’m not, and so I’m left feeling anxious about my never-ending in-person deception. And I’ll keep coming up with excuses to keep my real life and online life separate.

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