writing || What kind of conversations do you want to have: A Reminder to venture outside your self-obsessed life
Hello Mistral Spirit. I’ve missed you. In 8 years of blogging, and 17 years of LIVING, I’m quite familiar with my fluttery ways – essays and books and academic ramblings for a few months straight, then self-help and lifestyle and art for some. My obsessions are predictable currents of excitement.
In fact, I never seem to do both in balance on this blog – and when I do one, I get fully immersed into it. Perhaps it means I’m highly focused. But it also means I’m highly unfocused because each phase never stays for longer than a few damn months. I’ve more or less resigned myself to my project-centered personality complex.
But recently I realized that this is the longest time I’ve been in a self-help, lifestyle, art phase. And I also realized something about this particular phase, because it was an obviously deep immersion, given the sudden explosion of my YouTube channel, and my one-day mastery (ha ha) of Adobe Premiere Pro, and my excitement and enthusiasm for having people actually want to read about this kind of stuff. I realized how SAD it was to be stuck like this, as I’d become to be.
I recently met with an good friend I’ve known since I was little. And at different parts in our lives, I’ve noticed that our conversations have been focused on different things. The last time we met, we had a great time. We’re both growing and becoming our own people, and it’s lovely to reconnect. But looking back, I realized that a large part of our recent conversation was so superficial. We talked about people, gossip, things we accomplished (only barely), relationships, things we liked, our plans, our goals, and our FEELINGS. No problem? Let me tell you the problem.
It’s so easy to talk about people and feelings, isn’t it? I feel insecure. They’re no longer together. I feel like I overthink things. He’s finally got a job, that’s so unlike him. I feel anxious. She parties all the time. I’m stressed, depressed, obsessed. Let’s share and feel normal together and enjoy the juiciness of our own endlessly exciting lives. After all, it’s what we’re always mulling over in our brain, isn’t it? Not to mention we’re teenagers, and truly approaching the climax of our fumbling explorations of ourselves and others.
(Let me just pause now and say I’m analyzing this from a purely scientific point of view, and also mainly from a self-critical perspective. I’m not criticizing my friend, who is awesome. I love talking about anything and everything with my friends, but I’m just saying that I notice I’ve tended to gravitate my conversations towards these topics a little too much lately.)
And yet I was thinking about this and about being a YouTuber and how you practically film your entire life, except it’s filled only with working out and meeting people and making healthy food and making study techniques and colour coding and drawing and planning things and then editing and it’s all so SUPERFICIAL.
What are you filling this life with? ITSELF?
I’d become so engrossed in this life and developing these habits I wanted to create and at the same time sharing the journey with the world that I didn’t realize
I was becoming brain-dead.
I wasn’t actually learning anything, looking critically at anything (besides my own feelings), or creating and applying my personal values.
What about the other stuff, the difficult stuff, the intelligent, meaningful, mind-grappling topics? The things you actually had to read about and learn and not just do from experience? I’d even completely stopped reading and I only did school to finish it or to take notes and study for tests.
Speaking of which: it’s not like the school system helps. I mean, it’s not like we do (or even have time to) debates or discussions in any of my classes to REALLY understand what we’re learning. We just read things from a textbook and memorize it. We don’t read a first-hand account about it, or investigate it further, or spend some time sharing OUR opinions. (Though as a side note, that’s very unlikely to happen anytime soon anyways – turns out having an opinion is a Bad, Offensive, Triggering, Thing nowadays.)
And so I was there, blabbing about all these things, these social-media age, breaking-news, SMALL-mind things, when I could have been talking about the last book I’d read, the character’s development, things I’d learned, morality, virtues, society, religion, the universe, stars, science, history, new personal discoveries,
THINGS OUTSIDE MY TINY, SILLY, LITTLE ATTENTION-SEEKING HUMAN BRAIN
I was just so annoyed at myself for having completely fallen down this rabbit-hole of introspection. Not to mention the rabbit-hole of social media (which I think plays a big role in this condition), where I’d open Instagram and browse for hours to see what people were up to and think about what other tidbit of a habit or activity I wanted to add to embellish my life instead of prop open a book and read about the world and think about something besides my own damn self.
Basically, I think it’s important to have some outrospection to liven up our lives and give our mind a little jab.
And that’s about it.
Oh, and yes as you can tell, I’ve also decided I’ll be doing more thought-inducing blog posts. Because as with my conversations, my posts have turned into lists and tips and tricks. Which is great, but it’s so superficial and … EASY. And I want this blog to be an outlet. P.S. If the emails are annoying you, change the frequency! There’s a “manage settings” section. Or unsubscribe. That works too. I’m not going to please everyone, however much I like to think I can.
Long Story Short
Basically, I’ve just been thinking that I need to re-evaluate my focus and not forget to work on my brain and critical thinking just as much as (if not more than) dissecting my feelings and relationships and lifestyle habits.
A bientot, Mistral Spirit!
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November 19, 2017 at 8:46 am
Hi Iona, you are so damm right… I have been experienced the very same thing for a while. For me, and I don’t know if it is your case, I am always so curious about everything… Maybe I expend two months focusing on a project and then I found another thing just as good and I change. I have accepted I am a curious person seeking for deepness it it makes sense, but I also have realized I just can not reach everything. What can I do, as you say, is being more aware of what is happening outside and not as much of what is happening inside. What is happenng inside is important, and of course we need to take care of ourselves, but to really improve and grow we need to be feed by the outside. And I mean from the currently knowledge there is everywhere: books, research…the whole intellectual spectrum, not what other people are doing about what time do they get up, which are their favourite snacks or they work out routine.
I am very excited to read your future posts. You have here a follower
November 19, 2017 at 2:38 pm
I love love love how you worded it: “to really improve and grow we need to be fed by the outside”. So true!
And thank you, I’m glad you’re here! 🙂
November 28, 2017 at 9:22 pm
To add some discussion to the idea that society has a negative view of an individual’s possession of strong opinions, I think that the ability to express one’s values and thoughts in a civil way is essential today. At the same time, during heated debates or tense conversations on controversial topics, I am usually the one to sit there and absorb all the factors that lead to the forming of each side’s argument. Each method of contributing to difficult discussions has its value.
On another note, it’s so rare today to find someone who is able to know their interests, to do what they love, and to love themselves completely. The majority of society, especially women, constantly criticize themselves and focus on their external image. Judging from your past blog posts, I’d say that you do an awesome job seeking knowledge and understanding the world around you. At the same time, you balance that with a perfect amount of attention to your well-being. That balance, in my opinion, is most important; one shouldn’t strive to focus solely on oneself or to focus on fiving attention to others and/or the outside world.
Last but not least (I know this is super long), I think that most of those small, seemingly trivial details that you talked about with your friend should also be part of that balance. Similarly, tasks that may seem irrelevant to life as a whole, if they make you happy, are actually important. What I’m trying to say reminds me of that quote by Kurt Vonnegut that goes something like this: “enjoy the little things in life for one day you’ll realize they were the big things.” If they make you happy, do them. Don’t spend your time striving for those “big” things, because they are difficult to find. Small things add up.
Thanks for your posts and essays! I’m very inspired:)
November 30, 2017 at 10:30 am
Thank you for the kind words, and for your comment! I really appreciate that you took the time to engage in the discussion, it makes it that much more interesting and fun! 🙂
I think what you say has a lot of value, because it’s true – having difficult discussions is great, but so is having light, friendly discussion that engages everyone – whether it’s “deep” or not! Since writing this post, I’ve discussed its topic with a few friends and I also came to the conclusion that perhaps my impression of these “small, trivial details” is skewed because it is such a big part of my life. To me, it seems like a very superficial thing because I am always doing it, but to others (and from the outside) it may not be so! Bullet journaling and lifestyle and health tips may be very fascinating to people who don’t engage in those kind of dicussions regularly. Everyone brings a different perspective to a conversation that might be unique for the others involved!
With regards to the possession of strong opinions – in the past weeks particularly I’ve paid attention to that a lot. I think you’re right in that we’re always criticizing ourselves, and as a developing, young adult (trying to become a confident adult) I’ve found it really challenging (but very fascinating) to have to consciously critically assess myself and set aside the values I was instinctively falling back on and which I’ve grown up with. I think a huge part of being an adult (and I’ve noticed university seems to really effectively do this) is finding my own way moving forward and effectively “filtering” what I’ve been “made up of” to this point. Very interesting discussion to be had there about opinions and values! Maybe in my next post!
November 29, 2017 at 10:27 pm
Your blog is such a blessing to many students and aspiring bullet journalerers. Thank you so much. <3
December 2, 2017 at 12:43 pm
Thank you, you’re so kind! <3