Friday, November 30, 2012


Life has been bizarre lately.  I have been meditating a lot, and reading a lot about Zen.  I have been working on a lot (relatively) of personal projects.  It feels good to be making progress in that dimension, which is part of why I undertook this journey to Farfaraway in the first place.  At the same time, I feel that my life is not exactly on track...maybe?  It's hard to tell.  Compared to where I was about a year ago, I guess my life is more on track than it was...

I was recently explaining to a distraught friend that it's not necessary to think of life in terms of where we are going, but it is important to think of life in terms of how we live.  So I guess, by that metric, I am doing good.  My days are filled with activities that are meaningful to me.  By that metric, in fact, I am doing exponentially better than I was before.  Nonetheless, I am still plagued by the feeling that there is not enough time to work toward all the goals that I have.

I have read, on more than one occasion, about the importance of limiting, or outright eliminating, one's goals.  And frustratingly, I have eliminated, or at least majorly postponed, a lot of the goals that I used to fret over.  I suppose I shouldn't say "frustratingly," because the other side of that same coin is "comfortingly."  While I do remain frustrated by my lack of godlike ability to progress insanely fast, I am also doing better and better in terms of being at peace with the progress that I am able to make.

Everything is okay.  It's just weird and constantly changing, and also constantly uncertain.  I guess that's how it is for all of us, at least on some level.

Just for the sake of consistency, here's my little battle mantra:

Go go go.  Fight fight fight.  Be unstoppable.

Sunday, November 11, 2012


I think many of the heaviest questions that we ask ourselves, such as "who am I," "why am I here," "what is my purpose," "how can I overcome my problems," "why do I lose control of myself," etc., are sometimes unanswerable.  There may be moments/minutes/weeks/years where you know that you have a purpose in life, you know with some certainty who you are, or you recognize that certain triggers cause you to behave in certain ways...and yet I bet that these realizations are also temporary.  Your purpose in life today may not be what it was yesterday.  You may lose control when someone says something dumb, and maybe you can overcome that, but there is no way that anyone will ever be a "perfect" human being.

Sometimes we may just have to recognize that a question is unanswerable, and let yourself get carried away by the current of acceptance.  You could fight death with exercise, your lifestyle, avoiding dangerous activities...but there is no way to perfect your strategy.  You may get hit by a meteor or a lightning bolt.  You may be attacked by an invading army.  A piano may fall on your head.  A cosmic event may destroy the entire planet.

This is not to say that it's not good to try.  We should always try to understand, try to be better, try to be perfect.  But perhaps there is a way to aim for perfection without investing your sense of self worth in attaining the impossible.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


I just read an article about a woman who was gang-raped, strangled, and burned alive in Ukraine.  She survived, although she had to have two limbs amputated and lost 50% of her skin and some of her organs were irreparably damaged.

How can we live in a world with crimes like these?  How can reality possibly be this way?

Monday, November 5, 2012

Deep Breath

Unexpected bad thing lead to a rough, stressed-out morning.  Struggled and struggled to get over it/figure out how to deal with it/just deal with it...haven't really found a solution yet.

But it's important to remember that all you can do is try your best.  Bad things happen.  One day maybe I'll get cancer and realize how trivial this problem actually is.

Music is powerful.  Listening to music is helping me cope.  Breathing deeply, remembering to be present in the moment, and acknowledging the beauty (sometimes it is tragic beauty) and complexity of life, regardless of whether you are on an upswing or downswing, is the way.

Be strong.  Do your best, never give up.

Sunday, November 4, 2012


Reading some messed up stuff....thoughts:

What percentage of children in the world are victimized or abused?
How horribly messed up is the foster care system in the US?

How can we find and deal with the criminals and psychopaths who seem to be so successful at victimizing children?

God the world is depressing sometimes.

In the Zone!

Last night was fantastic.  After going to my 'normal' job for about 3 hours (I have an irregular work schedule), I was able to go home and chat with my friends/girlfriend for a while and then, amazingly, I had the rest of the night to myself.  I grabbed a coffee, turned up some trance music, and worked on my website for nine hours straight.  So awesome!  I haven't been that focused and productive for months.

I've had this thought before, but last night really reminded me that productivity is like many other activities in that you need to warm up.  Before someone sings, or plays guitar, or works out, they have to do warm-up exercises or stretches.  So it is with sitting down at your computer and cranking out your next novel or a piece of software.  Paul Graham explains it somewhere in one of his essays, I can't remember which one;  he says that programmers need long periods of time in which to work.  Interruptions break your concentration and make it very difficult if not impossible to solve the problems that one is trying to address.  This seems like it is probably true for all sorts of jobs in which the output is creative or material, as opposed to jobs in which the output is something like helping customers or organizing documents.

Anyway, last night reminded me how high you can get from a productivity streak like that.  I'm resolving to be more of a hermit in the future, so that I can allocate more of my time to these kinds of sessions.

Fight fight fight.