Why I'm not happy (a list).

I'm back in a creative rut and I don't know how to get out of it (as per usual). I watched this video by Sam Ravndahl (which I highly recommend) where she talks about her biggest flaw, and it was .. kind of like looking into a mirror and see the reflection talk. Which would be terrifying, but not when it's Sam. So I got inspired to write about this subject because it started a thought process I think I need/is necessary. This post will also hold a new record for the number of times the word "I" will be written. Sorry about that.

This is my very uplifting list about why I'm not happy:

  1. I don't feel like I'm doing enough with my life. I don't feel like I'm doing enough with my time. I don't understand why I'm so tired and unmotivated (note: it's my depression and I know that). I don't understand why I'm depressed. I feel like I'm always waiting for something.
  2. I'm lonely. I've lost most of my network in Bergen in a stunningly short amount of time. I'm not politically active anymore, I'm not volunteering anymore, my childhood friends have left the city, my uni friends have left the city, and most of my (once, let's be real) close friends have left the city.
  3. .. And I've been hanging around some not-so-cool people for a while, and it has left me feeling drained and sad and not wanting to see anyone. I've convinced myself that I'm an introvert and happier alone. Which is bullshit. I'm the most intensely extroverted person you'll probably ever meet. So now that I've realised that I've also realised point two. And it sucks.
  4. I'm horrible at giving myself credit for the things I do. Big goals I've accomplished, small goals I've accomplished, daily routines, workouts, taking care of myself. Every time I reach a goal the bar has been raised and I just .. don't feel any satisfaction from accomplishing it. None of the things I've done the past years (graduating, getting a good job, getting a better job, finding a beautiful apartment) felt fulfilling. It doesn't feel good, it feels like the bare minimum. My standard for myself is extremely high because I know I can do extremely good, and I feel like lowering it is me being a whiny bitch and not taking responsibility for my own life.
  5. My motivation shifts so often I don't know how to keep up with it without spreading myself too thin. One day I want to do AI and set up an extremely detailed plan on how to accomplish that. The next day I want to do 200kg deadlift and shift all my focus on how to accomplish that. The week after I'm pissed at myself for not keeping up with the plan I made last month on how to be good at drawing. And these are things I genuinely want to do and learn and fill my life with; things that come back around again and again, so I feel like I really should give them my time and dedication.
  6. I've become less creative, expressive and passionate than I used to be, without it being a change I actually wanted to happen. I used to be really insecure about internal shit: my feelings and morals and values, which I'm not anymore. But now I'm insecure about external things: my place in society, how I present myself, how I contribute, if I'm being too loud or ~over-sharing~ (I hate that term), which didn't worry me earlier at all. I miss my sass and walking barefoot and talking to strangers, at the same time those things aren't necessarily what comes naturally to me or what I want now.

I don't have a punchline to this or a solution. At a glance, it looks like a huge shitpile of cases where I just need to train my thoughts and recognise the negative stuff I'm telling myself. But I still don't feel it. I don't really feel like it's always that negative either. As I said about lowering the bar, I honestly don't think it will do me any good or make me feel better in the long term. One of the things that Sam mentioned in her video that really hit home was that she feels like she's being realistic – about what she wants to do and how and how fast. Maybe it's being too hard on yourself, but every alternative just feels like taking a poor and easy way out.

So that's my contribution to the "my biggest flaw" challenge (it's not a challenge). And I .. hope being aware of it is a good start for doing something about it. And thank you to Sam for opening up and starting this train of thought. Conversations about The Difficult Stuff is important.

June.

What about those months where you didn't do any of the things you wanted to do and feel like you didn't accomplish shit? Hello June, Gemini season. I've felt shifty and chaotic, been unmotivated and lethargic, but also impatient and searching. Lovely combo.

First of all, this month I've tried to find a system/routines/rituals that will cover a bare minimum of taking care of myself and my home when my energy is low. I tend to plan my months, weeks and days when I'm feeling motivated, ignoring that I probably will have a couple (or a lot) of bad days here and there. Small things like drinking a bottle of water when I wake up, put on a timer and clean for ten minutes when I come home, writing three things in my gratitude journal when I go to bed. I don't have to put feeling into it, as long as I do it.

So, here's a list of all the things I wanted to do for myself, but didn't.

Become one strong bitch

I've followed a strength program for the last three months, and as I'm moving back to hypertrophy I wanted to see if I've gotten any stronger. This testing day landed on my worst PMS day and I didn't manage to do any of my planned lifts. It sucked. So no new ticked off checkboxes here. (I'm still a strong bitch, tho.)

Do two basic back-end projects

There .. has been a change of programming plans. Again. Last month I tried to get myself hyped for Node.js, but after realising that 1) I'm sick of JavaScript, and 2) I don't really know if I like JavaScript as a language in the first place, I've started learning Python. So far, it's bomb. I'm enjoying both learning it and using it way more that JS, and I hope that it continues to feel this good for a while.

I've created an app with Python, Flask, Postgres and Sqlalchemy. And I've done multiple small challenges with both vanilla Python and Flask, and some cryptography. I have the habit of putting everything I do on GitHub (but most of my bigger things are private repos), so I have a lot of basic things there I use for reference and some things I've started that don't work/I didn't finish. But if you're interested in having a look, you can find me here.

Read two books

I started reading Megan (@bodyposipanda) Crabbe's book "Body Positive Power", and it's just too important and too good for me to rush through. I've decided to really work with the information the book gives me, and after three weeks and not even half done with it. 

Be a nerd

This I've done! I've been a DM for two D&D sessions, and it was a lot more fun than I'd expect. I've also put a lot of work into two 5e characters that I'm excited to play more in the future. This was important to me, as I haven't been my most creative self lately, and, you know, trying out new things is cool.

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3.

Thank you for holding on to me through my mood swings, my never-ending demand for cuddles and attention, and endless political rants. For keeping your love available to me even when you're tired or down, for your patience, for your wit, for your sass, and for your honesty. Thank you for growing with me; for bringing out the best in me, and letting me bring out the best in you. For apologising for the wrongs you've done. And for learning and changing. For letting me do you wrong, allowing me to apologise and change as well.

For three years (or seven, if we're feeling frisky). Thank you.
I love you with every cell in my body, with every heartbeat, with every breath.
You, and only you.

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Body neutrality.

(...as a thing I'm trying to figure out for myself)

The more I read about bodies the more tired I get from reading about bodies. I get how people need body positivity, and how I've needed body positivity, and also that my body shouldn't and haven't been the centre of attention for that movement. It's all good. It's actually great. It's a movement I support 100%.

I've been struggling with my body image for years. I've been struggling with eating disorders for years. I've done so much terrible to myself out of both self-loathing and ignorance. Body positivity has learned me a lot and debunked so much bullshit I've thought to be true since I was, like, seven. Both in regards to my health, happiness, worth and food in general. But still, when I surround myself with blog posts and influencers and posters and slogans that are all about loving my body, I get the feeling of obsessiveness and staying in the same loop as I already did, which is wasting my time thinking about how I look. And even if it this time is loving the way I look, I'm still not here for it. Without trying to sound too fake deep: there's a lot of other things I want to think about, talk about, worry about, and give my time and energy to.

I'm at my happiest and most content when I'm neutral: when I meditate, do yoga, weightlifting, or when I'm hiking. In those situations, I don't care what my body looks like, I don't care about its weight, how it folds, and what I ate. I'm minding my own business, and I just am. And I feel that for me, that's both sustainable and healthy. When a negative thought about my body pops up in my head, I gain more from just letting it slide and switching my focus to something else, instead of screaming at myself internally about how beautiful I am.

I'm working on extending that non-self-conscious mindset, to just say "ok" or "namaste" or "fuck it" whenever this dialogue starts playing in my head. It doesn't matter. But figuring out these things take time. And for all you other babes who still need to consciously give yourself love to counteract the shitshow society is throwing on you every single day:

I get it.
Your body is worthy of love and food no matter how it looks like.
Your mental health is more important than your physical appearance.
Your emotional health is more important than your physical appearance.
Your physical health is more important than your physical appearance.
You're in charge of what you do with your body.
You can gain weight and still be healthy.
You can lose weight and still be body positive.
Diets are seriously the worst.
Food ≠ moral ("good" or "bad").

As always: I love you.