From chaos to order

Been thinking a lot about my life and the things I do on a day to day basis. There’s no routine to it, other than a few teaching commitments, some volunteering and a supervision meeting. Everything else is just passed time. I’m not really taking care of what I am supposed to be taking care of, my thesis. I keep finding myself doing a morning of teaching, and then slacking in the afternoon without having achieved much. I need to be sensible and use that afternoon to advance my PhD. This is after all temporary. I need to find ways to bring balance and routine to my life. So I am joining a gym, yikes. Never been good with gyms, I have and always have had cripplingly low self esteem. This goes back to primary school, and it progressively worsened as I got older. The idea of using a gym, particularly with lots of people around, petrifies me. However, I know my recovery has stagnated, I know I am beginning to regress. I know that there are numerous benefits to regular exercise, and yet the only barrier to changing this is me. I put the roadblocks up, I make the micro-decision to slack, I make the decision daily to choose comfort and familiarity and food over healthier pursuits. So now I choose to reject this. I reject the voice that says I look stupid. I reject the same voice that says “stay in, play computer games”. I want to get better, and this might be the only way to snap out of this cycle. I’ve gone just about as far as is possible in terms of mental support; there’s nothing any therapist can say that will instill in me an unshakeable confidence to go into a gym and exercise. I have to walk in and carry all of my unease with me, and exercise in spite of it. Maybe it will get easier. The age old twelve step philosophical trope says “You can’t think your way into acting better, but you can act your way into thinking better.”. I do not have to be held prisoner by the standards I imagine other people to hold. I need to do this for me, not for anyone else. As it is for me, only, why does what anyone else might think, matter? Nowadays I am so used to feelings of unease about what I presume people to think of me, that I pretty much just shortcut to feeling uneasy, without any thought to it at all. I cannot in this moment picture a time recently where someone actively did anything to me to trigger feelings of doubt and worthlessness. Unless you include me of course.

Maybe with balance I can achieve that idealised version of my working life, where I can have several plates spinning and remain at speed with them all. All of the people I most admire can do this, and I aspire to this level of “mental exaltation” that Sherlock Holmes talks about. The very thing that I want is being interfered with by the very same thing. It is amazing how the brain is the source of so many incredible things, and so many falsities all at the same time. That we develop these routines of self-doubt, amidst all of our high-functioning capabilities, is quite strange really. It takes incredible hard work to outsmart our own minds, but I think I just did.

Words I happened to be thinking about earlier today:

“You exist because we allow it, you will end because we demand it.”

“Savior, conqueror, hero, villain. You are all things, Revan… and yet you are nothing. In the end, you belong to neither the light nor the darkness. You will forever stand alone.”

“Perfectly balanced, as all things should be”

“Daniel-san you remember lesson about balance? Lesson not just karate only, lesson for whole life. Whole life have a balance, everything be better, understand?”


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