Take Off

“It is no measure of health to be well-adjusted to a profoundly sick society.” Jiddu Krishnamurti (via Jason Silva)

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San Diego Saturday

I’m currently writing this from Scottsdale, Arizona. I arrived to my hotel earlier, bought groceries for the week, worked out, did my skin care routine, and I’m about to end the night with Struggle: The Life and Lost Art of SzukalskiMatt visiting San Diego this past weekend was precisely the medicine that I needed. Matt is on vacation for the next two weeks and he kicked it off by coming to San Diego for the weekend. I’ll share some images soon!

I like to keep this space as honest as possible. As I said in my “About” section, my intent is to “As a writer and storyteller, I invite you to join me as I peel all the layers of my not self, to uncover and share my true self.” That sentence is supposed to highlight the process of self-discovery and awareness by alluding to the onion metaphor of peeling layers. In the mental and emotional landscape, peeling layers typically takes time. It’s complex. Just when you think you’ve reached the “core”, you discover 50 more layers. That process is precisely what I think makes the human experience so fascinating. In the spirit of honesty, I’d like to share that on New Year’s day, as the day evolved I began to experience thoughts in the realm of death ideation. I’d like to highlight that death ideation and suicidal ideation are not the same. They differ. I’ve been wanting to be dead for as long as I can remember, yet that doesn’t mean that the desire to take action on that wish is present. After sharing a blog post for the day, I spent the entire day organizing my finances (I do this weekly anyway) and drafting instructions in case I’m not around.

The good news is that I know exactly what the root of the issue/trigger was – I drank alcohol on New Year’s Eve and prior to that I had last drank in October (Refer to reflection #9 in this list). When these instances arise, I know exactly what to do to re-embody myself and become grounded: (1) Time in the sun near the ocean, (2) Exercise, (3) Routine, (4) Community. Luckily, I wasn’t traveling until today, the 6th, thus building routine was easy. Exercise has to be upped to 2 HIIT sessions a day, and spending time in the sun…well San Diego has been the loveliest lately. As for community, I was super lucky Matt came to visit. I talked to Matt about two issues that were bothering me and his logical demeanor was warming. The issues being (1) My egocentrism and (2) My (non-physical) exhaustion.

(1) Egocentrism: I think I’m ridiculously self-absorbed. I’m mostly concerned with my existence and keeping myself alive. I understand and often observe the complex reality that exists outside of the little bubble of me, but my interactions with the world without are below average in comparison to other humans. I’m keeping a tally on my thoughts and actions to observe and understand just how narcissistic I’ve become. Matt (the person I most trust on this planet) and another one of my friends highlighted that my egocentrism stems from the fact that the majority of my life revolves around doing things for myself and my survival. At the beginning of each month, I look at my travel schedule and all the life things that have to get done (cleaning, cooking, laundry days, budgeting, financial organization, car maintenance, workouts, skin care routines, physical and mental health maintenance, etc.). I then add different days in the calendar where I think I can make it all work while understanding that some spontaneous work travel days may appear. I don’t have a partner. The friends that I have in San Diego are not people that I’m ridiculously close to (they’re more like high-level acquaintances or the beginning stages of friendship). My best friends (aka chosen family) are scattered in the following places: Burlington (VT  -soon to change to SF), Denver, Houston, NYC, Orange County, Seattle. I don’t have a pet (who would take care of it?!). I also spend a large amount of time teaching myself things – particularly about personal finance. I didn’t learn about investing and properly saving until about the age of 27, so there’s been a little bit of a learning curve. I’m grateful for books, podcasts, and folks on instagram that have taught me a great amount about personal finance. It’s so important! When I return home from work travel, I’m pretty depleted. I’ve been taking care of myself since the age of 17 – so I wouldn’t categorize these items as difficult, but it certainly means that the past 12 years have mostly been about me. Unless I start traveling less, I can’t envision a version of reality in which life isn’t about me. The only thing I have truly going for myself is work. Attempting to focus on anything outside of that seems horrifying because I have no kind of safety net. I’ve got me and I think I’m pretty damn strong and resilient, but there’s only one me!

(2) (Non-physical) Exhaustion: I’m exhausted – soulfully exhausted. While talking to Matt, he helped me identify the true source of my exhaustion: I need more support. I’ve needed more support for the past 12 years. While it’s impressive (and almost unbelievable) that I’ve gotten myself this far, I have reached a point where I need practical support. There are plenty of people that I can text in San Diego for a good time (ie. hiking, yoga, chat about the universe, beach time, etc.) yet I can’t name a single person that I can reach out to in confidence to help me with the practical aspects of life (ie. Would you take my car to the car wash while I work out? Would you give me a ride to xyz place? etc). Matt suggested that I outsource more of my practical tasks, but in all honesty using my salary to pay for additional services doesn’t align with my long-term financial goals. I would need a salary increase in order to outsource these tasks more often (aka I would only outsource my tasks if my salary increased by 1000%). My only shared expense right now is shared rent. Everything else is on me (and it’s been this way since 17 so nothing new). Do I have money in my account(s) that I could use towards this outsourcing? Absolutely! But there’s a difference between being able to buy something and being able to afford something. I have the money to purchase meal/cleaning/etc services, but that’s not how I want to spend my money. I would rather put towards my student debt, save, or invest the money. I don’t want to have to work for the rest of my life.

At minimum, my quality of life has certainly improved since living in Rochester. When I was in Rochester, I was a hermit. At least now, I’m simply just solitary – I go outside every chance that I get to! Over the coming months, I want to continue to observe my day to day tasks, my level of egocentrism, to then work on finding solutions. Anyway, that’s all I wanted to share. For those readers that celebrate, Happy Three Kings Day! ¡Feliz día de los Reyes!

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Surreal
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Delta: Change is the only constant
SD4
Fragile Bluffs
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Into the Setting Sun

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