Wednesday, January 29, 2014

I've Come From Where I've Been

So I really haven't been blogging much the last...well, forever, and I realized the main reason is that I wasn't writing in my own voice.  For some reason I felt like I had to sanitize, organize, and basically go through all this process that made writing hard and not fun.  Not that process is bad, just that mine was so scattershot and focused on the wrong things that it became the epitome of process that just gets in the way.  So, I'm going be better about blogging this year (that's the most of a resolution you get out of me), this time with a new process, approach, and an actual schedule.  I'm not a professional writer, so when my writing voice can be the same as or near my thinking and speaking voice, I tend to write more, and have more fun doing it.  Corollary to that, I'm going to try and not post too many NSFW images (no porn or anything) or get too vulgar, because really I don't swear that much in real life, just when I get excited...and I guess "NSFW" depends on where you work.

...probably the most NSFW thing I'll post, boo if your co-workers can't take a joke.

    To give a bit more context before I jump in, one of the main things I learned in the last few months is that I have an unnatural love of training, to the point where it feels like a second job (but it's that proverbial "DWYLLWYD" type job).  This realization and acceptance was a big part of me getting on track and focused, which I credit for the huge upswell in positivity in my life as of recent, and it's been a marked change (people say I smile more).  As a result, it's going to seem like some of these blogs are super random and have nothing to do with training, technology, or any of the topics I originally set out to pontificate on in this blog.  In the interest of organization (a little), I'm starting another blog for stuff that's obviously not training related in any way, personal philosophy type stuff, random observations, art and creative process, etc.  If I start out on something and it obviously belongs there, it'll make it's way there (and you'll never know the difference;))

The blog is called "Finding My Mexico", if that phrase means anything to you (hint: it should)

    OK! Onto the meat of this post.  I've noticed a trend over the last couple years, this idea that, without fail, "Man, Last Year Sucked."  Seriously, take a moment, browse your social feeds from around NYE/NYD, and verify this for yourself.  In retrospect, it was the same last year, and I imagine if I were to scrape feeds from all the years I've been on social networks, it'd be the same (hmm, visualization project?).  Now, I don't mean to brag when I say this, but when I look at last year and going forward, I'm pretty happy!  Sure, I didn't do everything I wanted to do, had some false starts, some changes of direction, and some running through molasses, but I feel like I came out of it all with some good direction, and most of all, a destination I think is reachable.  I'm terming the process Mapping My Space (which I guess is a nod to work, so i'm not leaving it completely behind), and I'd like to share some thoughts on that over the next couple posts.  Granted, I can't give you a step-by-step that's going to work 100% for you, but maybe the Cliff's notes will give you some ideas. 

    I'll be honest, the real motivator for me was me was in a nutshell thinking: I need to Fix My Shit, which is something I think we all need to do to some extent.  Now, I don't want to come across as some tough love peddler, because that's really not what it's about.  I realize that some people, probably quite a few people, went through very real situations that they had little-to-no control over, and I'm not trying to make light of that at all, in fact, my heart goes out to quite a few folks as I know people have lost loved ones, had horrible accidents, business mishaps, relationship problems, from ugly breakups(definitely feel you on that one) to divorces (involving children, alimony, petulant ex-es, etc) and the like, so I understand some things do require a bit more than just a simple flip of the switch.  In fact, let me indulge myself a bit (further) and whine...uh, I mean elaborate to give a bit of context (although "break up" is a slight misnomer): I went through what to me was a pretty jarring personal incident literally the week of Christmas, made all the worse because it really did come out of nowhere, you know, it was one of those situations that you feel like, ok, I've finally got a handle on this, I can get a little comfortable, and then Crack!  Right on the button (down goes Frazier, DOWN GOES FRAZIER!!).

You never see the one that gets you. Probably why girls make such good fighters.
Ok, no more negativity directed at women ever again. Moving on.

    From my perspective, it was definitely bad enough that I could've just said, "Fuck it, 2013 is a wash," (though, in retro, it now seems so small and far behind, even just a month later, that it's laughable to think I could've gone down that road, in all seriousness, not being petty) and let me be clear, the outcome was shitty, i mean, i lost someone out of it.  That's never good, but choices had to be made, action had to be taken, and the best course was just walk away.  I'm not saying it's easy and over, it's still a thought and I'm sure i'll be dealing with it for the next few months, but the fact that I have a plan for how to transition my energy keeps me comfortable with saying "that's just how it's going to go," and letting the plan flow.  I know i've sorta skirted around my weird relationships in other blog posts, I'm not going go into detail about them, but I also promise that I'm not going to ever mention relationships again, even in passing.  Over, said, done, keep breathing, keep moving.  So let's pull back out a bit now and start setting the stage for the actual process...

...or hallucinogenics, because this MIGHT require a bit of a shift in thinking on your part.

    Here's the thing, I'm actually not opposed to people declaring that it's a new year, new me, or that this year is the year that they're going to become a badass at whatever their chosen focus is, and fuck all the folks who love to meme that shit, you're all kinda dicks.  Personally, I think it's fuckin great, it hypes me up too!  I get excited to see that people are passionate and I get even more excited to see people succeed and become that new them or hit the levels of awesomeness they're after.  It actually amazes me a little that more people aren't supportive of that pursuit, although I guess it could be chalked up to ego, something about how we view even the slightest bit of emotional investment as tantamount to full commitment, and so we take it as a personal slight when we encourage someone to get after it and then they don't live up to our expectations...of what they were going to do for themselves.  Put like that, it seems even weirder that people instead tend to have this sort of attitude (with friends like that...):

...honestly, this meme pisses me off more than most of the others combined.

    The problems set in after the initial New Year excitement wears off and we're left wondering...Ok, where do I go from here, or even worse, everything just sort of fades out and we continue to trudge on along a similar path unless something major like a move, new job, or unfortunate tragedy jars us onto a new path. That's exciting (in a good or bad way) for a bit, but eventually we tend to drift back to the same courses of action from our previous state, right up until, oh, say about the 31st of a December of a given year, whereupon, we look back and decide, "Man, Last Year Sucked," made all the sadder because this year was the year we really decided to do it and make some changes, you know, do things differently, become a personal badass, be the new me, and all that such positive affirmation (despite whatever snarky memems internet decides to foist on us).  So where did it all go wrong??  We came seeking awesomeness!  I'm going to hypothesize a bit based on my own experience and say that often it boils down to a few points, including, but not limited to:
  • Lack of focus, because of
  • Too short- or too far-sightendess, which lends itself to
  • Unqualified expectations, leading to
  • Lack of perceived progress, all of which stems from
  • An unclear plan, due to
  • Lack of personal honesty (my words applied to myself, not commenting on you)
    As I said, including, but not limited to, so I don't mean this to be a definitive list or a call out, nor am I saying this is what's going on with you.  Again, this is based on my experience and observation, thus, these are the things I noticed in my own process.  But let's be honest, I'm sure none of these sound out of the ordinary at all, and if you take a moment and think about it, you may even be able to identify some of these as your own sticking points, I mean, I read this list myself and it does sounds like Self-Help 101, which is probably just a commentary on what a textbook case I am.  I promise, this is as generic self-helpy as this is going to get, my intention going forward is not to give you a blanket process for solving the problem, instead, I'd like to take a look at how I solved (am solving/addressing) these issues through my own lens, including my training focus, well, especially my training focus, in the hopes of you being able to replace training with your own personal equivalent focus and move forward from there.  In the next Wednesday's post, I'll talk about how this all started with me and how I addressed the first couple of these posts, so stay tuned.  Serious as a heart attack when I say I'm going to get back to blogging this year.  This is going to be one (of many) awesome year(s) for me, you should do the same...

...because 9 out of 10 fence-jumping Corgis already think you're awesome.