Thursday, September 7, 2017

Realizations and epiphanies

I have had some realizations and epiphanies from thinking about the comments I got from Shane and Ken on yesterday's blog post and from a short DM conversation with Doug and from listening to MMD's segment on the latest Garbagecast Conversations and from listening to episodes 46, 47, and 48 of Transpondency.

I started writing these down in a Field Notes notebook yesterday. Then, it became too much for that so I started a Word document on my laptop this morning. I wanted to get it all down so I could read through it, accept and consider what I am really feeling these days and start working on who I want to be.

Next, I decided that the best way to really start on what I want to start on was to post it because it would not had happened without listening to and/or having conversations with the people above.

This is sort of a disjointed, stream of consciousness (shout out to Ken!) list but it's all out there on the page and there is no use in trying to edit it to make it 100% cohesive. All of the points that need to be there are there.

Finally, this is a starting point. It's not a solution. It's not a quick fix. It's what I am working on and will continue to work on and I know it's certainly not unique to just me.


1.     Getting rid of old blog posts, podcast episodes, podcast clips that I ended up deleting, web sites, etc. has been mostly a form of self-punishment out of frustration with Past Jason. That's right, Past Jason. It's easy to destroy what Past Jason created because he is in the past and can't do a thing about it.
2.     What do I have against Past Jason? I don't know. He's not a total screwup. I'm not sure what I expected him to do different or how I would want to change my current situation today if he could go back and make different decisions. Maybe I am not just wanting to destroy him but also the bad memories that he is associated with in my mind? Who knows. I have to ponder more over this.
3.     Past Jason has taken on a sort of mythical form in my mind because he's been around for so long and Current Jason is just in the now. It's easier to waste my energy analyzing what Past Jason did or did not do than it would be to invest my energy into becoming who Current Jason would like to be now and in the future (Shout out to Future Jason).
4.     Current Jason is doing fine. He has a good life, family, home, dogs and a sweet Buick. I think the main problem is that he is perplexed as to how he got here and he doesn’t give himself enough credit for getting here since Current Jason thinks Past Jason was sort of a doofus and, while this may be somewhat true, Current Jason needs to give Past Jason credit where credit is due. Maybe Past Jason is not that much of a doofus but admitting that would mean that Current Jason has the potential to work a bit harder and do a little more and that flies in the face of just laying down and being self-defeating and lazy.
5.     The self-defeating and lazy period has been going on since about June of 2015 2001 1990 1973.
6.     There is also the fact that Current Jason thinks he’s just been lucky and eventually that luck will run out and this contributes to sleepless nights.
7.     Current Jason also has this idea that he doesn’t deserve to be happy and he’s not worthy and these thoughts are running on a tiny film screen in the back of his mind and it’s the same film that’s been running over and over since childhood. It’s the self-defeating and lazy part of him that runs that film and there are brief times when the projector doesn’t play and things are going great but then someone seems to plug the projector back in and film starts playing and it might as well be 1979 again.
8.     I did the whole Marie Kondo/Spark Joy thing and before that numerous purges of material things and internet things over the years thinking that getting rid of things would be some sort of fix. I've realized now that getting rid of things fixes nothing and I know I got rid of some things that I probably should have saved, such as pictures I not only trashed but also shredded out of a dumb ceremonial act of ego.
9.     Purging certainly helps reduce the burden of stuff and that is a good thing but it really just clears the space in your environment and in your mind so that you can confront the real issues at hand. So, there is a next step and figuring out what that next step is can be elusive, daunting and even disheartening. Purging removes a distraction and distractions are nice blocks that we set up for ourselves so we don’t have to do the real work.
10.  Holding on to items out of guilt (example: Mom would expect me to keep this! I know she had it out of sight in the attic for 35 years but she still saved it so I would have it again one day!) is unhealthy and one major step in the right direction for me has been letting things go. The idea of considering if items truly spark joy was a major breakthrough for me that allowed me to see the burden of a lot of things I had held onto out of guilt or the elusive status of “I might need this one day.” Of course, as much as I know that it was the right thing to do, the guilt still comes back at times when I consider certain things that I parted with.
11.  My answer to Shane implied that self-consciousness has been the main cause for me recording and then deleting multiple clips of the podcast (probably, and I am not exaggerating, 100 clips in the past 3 months) when, the more I have thought about it, it was more about lack of self-worth and feeling like what I have to share is too negative at times although that is an accurate reflection of how I have felt most of the time.
12.  It’s been impossible for me to share clips accurately reflecting how I feel when I am not always in the most positive state of mind because that validates that yes, this is how I feel. It’s easier to live in denial and deleting clips, blog posts, etc. perpetuates that denial and allows me to avoid the real issues. Also, admitting how I have truly felt would cause people who really do care to reach out and that would lead to me having to confront the problem. So, it’s easier to sweep it under the rug and not have to confront a thing.
13.  On the reliance on the community for feedback and motivation: the community evolves and our reliance on a community in evolution can have a negative effect on our creations if that listenership and feedback in our only barometer of success. So, I feel I’ve distanced myself from the community in order to avoid them abandoning me first rather than just riding out and being a part of the natural evolution of the community.
14.  I quit a lot of things out of my own projection of my own inner negativity onto others around me because it’s much easier to project onto someone else than to admit to an internal problem or problems.
15.  I wrote this yesterday and it was probably my biggest realization of the day and the most truth I have admitted to myself and publicly for a long time: I think I project a lot of my inner doubts and self-punishment onto my creative side, so the blogs, Twitter, etc. get deleted. I am in a state of rebuilding, not happy with what came before, so I keep tearing down my "creative building" instead of building on top of the work I've done. It's a setback. I am talking into the recorder right now about it! Finally, inspiration for Up In This Brain!”
16.  But, guess what happened, which I am surprised I admitted by responding to my own comment: “Oh, well. I tossed that recording too. Can't stay focused. Will try again another day!” I deleted the clips because they were too raw and too real and I think people would rather hear the funny me and I would rather BE the funny me.
17.  Another reason I deleted multiple recordings yesterday is back in point number 7, of course.
18.  On my response to Ken in the blog comments about staying focused: the dogs and the phone ringing is frustrating but I also don’t make recording and writing a priority so the time I could be doing these things without interruption gets spent doing other things. I make my creative side low-priority and there are consequences with starving your inner artist that is discussed all through The Artist’s Way books. But, there is a big difference between knowing this and actually doing something about it!
19.  I feel selfish saying it but I felt some closure of old wounds recently when I saw other folks dealing with loss and, although I was able to see a clear relationship between my past losses and their current loss, I was able to think “This time it is not my loss” and my emotional reaction was not based on my own past experiences but I was instead able to fully experience the current loss only from my current perspective. I think this is a healthy place that I have not been in for a long time. I’m not sure I could have done that even six months ago.
20.  It’s not about me, I say to myself over and over in every situation I find myself in and I feel I am finally listening, some of the time. Past Jason does not loom over me as greatly as I have let him loom over me for years.
21.  Letting Past Jason loom over me has been a defense mechanism, an excuse to not confront today, an excuse to not take risks, an excuse to not put myself in a position in which I have to believe in myself and what I am capable of doing. I wonder if I do this because I am lazy or trying to avoid failure or both? Regardless, the result is that I have become quite stagnant.
22.  Being stagnant is frustrating and, instead of moving forward and building on what I’ve done in the past, I’ve destroyed my past (see point 15) and wasted time in this cycle of destroying and rebuilding that goes back years and years. It’s like trying to build a skyscraper in Sim Tower but constantly getting up to about four floors and tearing it down and starting over, again and again.
23.  On listening to MMD discuss his view of the Garbagecast on the Checking In episode, I was shocked at how positive he is about the art and about the creativity. I can remember a time that I thought the same way and maybe I do feel the same way when I record my segments but most of the time I don’t really understand why I am doing what I am doing so I’m just drifting creatively. I have lost my focus on the love of creating, regardless of what that creation is and I have to start working to get it back.
24.  “As long as I have you out there, I think I can do it” – MMD. This is one of the most freeing things I have considered in a while.
25.  There was a time when my biggest concern in podcasting was the audio quality. Once I relaxed from that, my biggest concern was being something I am not, an entertainer, a clown. I stopped being me most of the time. There are days when just seeing the recorder makes me feel frustrated and panic sets in.
26.  On listening to the latest episodes of Transpondency, I am in awe of how freely Adam talks. Maybe he is deleting a ton of clips also but I doubt it. He just flows with it. The words seem to come out quite easily. There was a time that I could do that, a time when I wasn’t worried so much about what people thought of me or my projections on them of what I think of myself. Yep, that’s the problem – my projecting my own expectation of negativity onto others. The self-sabotage that has become part of my modus operandi is crippling.
27.  On the topic Ken and I wrote back and forth about on a separate creative persona: I think locking down Twitter and closing that door may also relate to a lack of self-worth more than my excuse in the blog post of not wanting my tweets, posts, podcasts to somehow reflect on my kids. The reality is that what is create is really not important enough or controversial enough to really matter a whole lot. Maybe it is the not mattering that throws me into self-doubt and I would rather not confront that so the reality is that I am probably projecting my own inner insecurities onto them in the name of “sacrificing my creations for their good” which I realize, the more I consider it, is a load of crap!
28.  Here are some questions that get in my mind and make me lock down accounts or not create at all: Why publicize this? Why share this? Who is going to care? What if my ramblings and writings just disappoint and repel people? Can I handle that rejection?
29.  On the flip side of that, why have I let possible rejection from people I don’t even know suddenly become a motivating factor in my life? Am I still trying to seek approval like I did in school? It makes me wonder – do I still do it as an adult? Do I feel like I am the least person in the room most of the time? A lot of the time, that is exactly how I feel (I’ve felt it recently in new social situations) and I’m sure it reveals itself in my body language, discomfort and silence. I also have a tendency to want to prove my worth so I probably speak out too much or try too hard to gain acceptance when 95% of what I worry about is in my own head.
30.  Speaking of letting the imagined rejection by strangers influence whether I am able to create or not, it makes me wonder if I am weak. Then I wonder: Should I be ashamed of my weakness if that is the case? Shouldn’t I be old enough to get over what I imagine people might think of me? This is all just me projecting my own lack of self-confidence onto other people and it’s thoughts like this that keep the roulette wheel of negativity spinning. As long as that roulette wheel keeps spinning, no one will ever win – me or anyone around me.  

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