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knowledge of self


On hobbies and self-improvement and meaning

I don't have a lot of hobbies. Part of the reason is that I have stringent rules on what's an effective use of my time: it's either got to be something that improves the way I feel about myself or something that's social, that helps create good bonds with people I enjoy. Playing a video game or seeing a movie feels like a waste of time; a distraction to keep me from having to work towards my goals. I enjoy it while I'm doing it, but at the end of the day, before I go to bed, I have a brief attack of self-loathing; "Man, I barely did anything today."

My major hobby is self-improvement. It makes me feel better to consistently be working towards my ideals, both physically and personality-wise. I'm proud that I've stuck to my working out so well, and I'm much better at convincing myself to do things without procrastinating than I used to be. The only thing about that as a hobby is that it's not much to talk about with other people. You tend to sound pretty self-centered if that's what's interesting about you, that you never settle for "that's just the way I am" and work to improve yourself constantly. I don't feel like I have very much that's interesting to talk about.

The sucky part the aforementioned world view is that it leads to a lot of anxiety. I'm constantly struggling to find meaning in my life. I think too much about existence to switch it off and just be a hedonist. I crave purpose and meaning. I want to be doing things I can feel proud of. But I don't as much as I want to.

I guess the main point of this post is that I'm still trying to figure out how to live my life, I'm not sure if I'm getting closer to where I want to be, and that Xanax is awesome.


Hobbies and porn

My former psychologist, while not particularly good (I don't need someone who just constantly listens), did suggest that I needed to pick up a hobby, something I could do on my own. We talked about possibilities, and we discussed geocaching, but I never really tried it. A few friends of mine also said I needed some hobbies, and while I understood the words, I couldn't just randomly pick something to do for fun.

I realized today that for 10 years, I did have a hobby I did regularly and enjoyed - cybersex. I used to spend a few hours a day on Tapestries, meeting new folks who seemed into something interesting, or old friends. I really loved making something of a collaborative story that I not only found hot, but I shared that hotness with someone else. But, sadly, everything changes, and Tapestries has kind of sucked for the past few years. It seems like furries just got over trying to learn how to MUCK and just roleplay on messengers, FA notes, or other decentralized chats now. That's what I'd been missing in my life; something I did by myself for a few hours that I just found to be fun. The thing is, it's not coming back, it seems.

So, in a way, I have to move on from that, too. I'm considering spending an hour a night writing porn - at first for myself, and then maybe for mass consumption. I also realize that, subconsciously, I knew that maybe Civ V would also fill the "just doing it for fun" need that I have. I can't always be super productive, and I can't always hang out with my friends.



I think I had a good day today overall. I did good at work, and at home I finished the chores I didn't finish this past weekend, did 400 calories of cardio, and had dinner with friends. And got to TS some. :) I am still re-calibrating what a good day means though. It is nice to look forward to some things again. No call back from the psych yet.

These won't always be daily, but I want to recommit to writing again for a little bit. In the future I think I'll mostly write if I've got something introspective on the mind, which happens a fair bit.


Weekend work

I had 3 goals for the weekend: find a psychologist, apply to new jobs, and finish my profiles on dating sites. It was more or less successful. I left a voice mail for my chosen psych and will make sure I'm prepared for our consultation so I can find out quicker if he's good for me. I browsed OK Cupid some, but I didn't see many people that grabbed me. I think if I'm going to date outside the fandom, I'm going to stick with BigMuscle and because the only reason I'd want to date outside the fandom is to be with a big, masculine guy I find hot. So I gotta finish up those profiles.

I decided to hold off on the job search because the guy I work with at my major client has decided he wants me off the on-call rotation, which would vastly improve my work life; therefore I'm going to wait to see how that shakes out before making other moves. And Dice and Monster seemed pretty barren for Windows administrator positions..

I got a brand new laptop (Lenovo Y570) that is blazing fast and awesome. I downloaded Civ 5 but did NOT play it yet.. cause I had too much to do this weekend. :) But I got it all done! So maybe this week..

The working out is going okay. I'm getting back into a regular swing of things, but I still have to dedicate myself more. I'm not quite taking all my supplements regularly, and I'm not running as much as I want to.

I'm going to start planning stuff for myself to go and enjoy, because I'm tired of not feeling like I have things to look forward to. It really helps me get through the day/week, knowing I've got something cool and fun to do the upcoming weekend.



Hi. My name is Arrow.

I live with Croc, Jimmy, and Bacon in San Jose. I work as a Windows administrator. I am single, and have been my whole life. I am an only child, and my parents are both still alive and married in my native Massachusetts. Below are common aspects of life which determine happiness or stress.

I like my job. It is challenging, but doable. I feel like I create value for the clients I work for. I hate being on-call, though, and we're stretched so thin that I'm beginning to look for other positions. A client is asking me to leave because one of their executives don't like me, which is upsetting, even though I'm not sad to be off that account.

I like my roommates and home life. This is really the first time I've lived with people I consider myself close to, and it makes the little bullshit that happens as roommates way easier to deal with. However, we're being asked to leave our house, and we will have to find a new house by March, which I am not looking forward to dealing with.

I am healthy. I have no chronic pain, and my body mostly seems to work fairly well. I gained a bunch of muscular weight over the past couple years, so my back gets tired easily in an ill-fitting chair, but that's very minor. I am struggling to locate a good psychologist.

I spend a lot of time with my close friends - my roommates, Chance and Tsuyoto, and Colson. I liked spending time with them a lot, too much so maybe. I am trying to diversify but struggling with a lack of desire to do so.

I have been trying to devote more time to the thing that makes me feel most good about myself, weightlifting. I weigh around 240 now and feel pretty big. I've always wanted to feel attractive, and I feel like I am now, but it highlights the real, internal issues I've never managed to fix which cause me to remain single.

I don't want to be single forever. I want to be with someone I never get tired of spending time with, who I feel is special and interesting, and who feels the same about me. I want to have adventures with this person.

I don't really have any hobbies I do for fun. I feel like they would distract me from my goals. However, I am going to start dabbling in different things because a shallow distraction would be better for me than empty, inactive anxiety.

I am not really part of any organized community or club.

I am financially secure thanks to my job.

I am not particularly close to my family, and somewhat worry about what will happen as they get ill, how I will cope and/or assist.

I have to remake myself somewhat, and I am hoping to get psychological assistance to leave the places I am in now and gain the desire to move on with my life. Until then - and maybe even after then - I hope to be writing here more, because to be honest I feel like I've lost the ability/venue to talk about my life. There's a lot of stuff bottled up. At some point, I stopped talking to 100 people on LJ, and started only talking to 5 people about the things that matter to me, and my focus narrowed too much. These will get crossposted to Twitter, so if you want to read and get to know me better, please continue reading. If you are not so interested, please just scroll past the tweet, yeah? I'll still have other, more minor things to say in 140 characters. It's just frightening to think most people don't know much of who I am, or how I'm doing, past those 140 characters.

Do you have anything you'd like me to write about more in-depth? Otherwise I'll just be writing about things as I think about them.


I found something interesting.

I went somewhere today and found something interesting.


Alone.. but We All Are, or Will Be. Are You Ready?

I've been having a lot of cognitive dissonance lately. In a way, it's a good thing, because after a turbulent year and a half, I'm finally back to where I was before - self-examination. In another way, it's a bad thing, because the conclusions drawn are not always easy or settling.

I have a strong existential viewpoint. I figure it's a little old-fashioned, sure, but I really like what this article has to say. It may sound harsh to say that we, as people, are essentially alone, that life is meaningless, but I like the positive conclusions that section comes to.

I believe that an argument with a friend is pointless, unless said friend is doing something that causes harm to myself or others; your point is meaningless, and my point is meaningless, and the argument itself is pointless, but my connection with you is real, and desired, and above such fleeting and likely incorrect ideas as "I am right" or "I am the winner." Facts are facts, and are objective, and I can look them up in an encyclopedia; opinions are opinions, and are subjective, and cannot be correct except by luck, or occasionally astute pattern-watching. (In fact, the opinion contained in that last sentence is likely incorrect as well; I would delete it, but the irony is too salacious to strike.)

Existentialism is all well and good, but the dissonance comes from the fact that my self-esteem is too poor to allow myself to provide the validation I need to be happy and living a productive, creative, full life. In my nonstop zeal to connect to others, to provide for them and have it reciprocated, I've lost the ability to provide for myself. Instead of doing things I want to do, I distract myself to pass the time until I can see others again and validate myself through their company. My "life-meaning," therefore, is laid at the feet of others whom I seem to want to provide me constant reminders of my self-worth, uniqueness, and specialness. It's not good, especially since every time I leave, I'm uncomfortable with my aloneness and unable to muster the emotional energy to do things I intellectually want to do.

This is coupled with poor self-efficacy - the idea that I won't succeed in my goals. Not that I can't succeed - I know I have the capability to - but that I just won't, for whatever reason, for whatever I apply myself to. I will make excuses, I will distract myself, I will wait until the last minute. I'm not sure I have the ultimate "strength and courage" to follow through to success. I know I have potential, but at what point does potential become wasted?

It's a little anxiety-inducing to think that, during the course of this one life I am granted, I am wasting it paralyzed in.. anxiety. Nice feedback loop there. While I have the freedom and responsibility to make decisions for my life and its meaning and purpose, I am instead holding my arms around myself and hoping some magic fairy comes down from the heavens and gives me everything I've hoped for. The magic fairy isn't coming, and if I ever want to be truly happy, I'm going to have to suck it up and go get it myself. I know I can, but will I?


Top Ten of 2009

I've been posting pretty sporadically, but one of the things I missed doing, and one of the things that crocodile tells me he missed, was my top 10 albums of the year list. So I figured I'd get one together, belatedly. These are my 10 favorite CDs of 2009. Same rules apply, as always: it's MY favorite CDs list, not anyone else's. Honestly, I don't know how someone who doesn't work for Rolling Stone could possibly make a value judgement on the best CDs of 2009, with all the possibilities out there. In addition, I included a number of CDs that were actually released in 2008, but for whatever reason I didn't actually acquire and listen to them until 2009.

Previous years:

Drumroll please..Collapse )


2010 update

I'm going to make a concerted effort to start updating my LiveJournal again. I know, I know, I say this all the time, and this time likely won't be any different. But the intent is there! I was considering deleting LJ because I only posted when I was depressed/anxious/upset about something, and it really made me come off pretty poorly. (I use Twitter for the most part these days.) But instead of that, I'll try to actually get back to writing longer things without constantly changing longer words for shorter ones to fit under a 140 character limit.

So, what have I been up to lately? I went to RainFurrest in September, and MFF in November, was home in Massachusetts for the Christmas holiday, and celebrated New Years' with a small group of my closest friends. I'm such a con veteran now that cons aren't really life altering anymore, just a really good time. Even with attendance issues (RF is too small for my tastes) and hotel issues (MFF's parties being shut down didn't bother me THAT mu--shhhhh!), they were both really fun. I got way more into fursuiting during MFF - I went out probably 4-5 times in Bluff - and was very very warmly received, moreso than I was at FC or RF. I'm looking forward to this FC, with some more confidence and experience under my belt.

Otherwise I've been mostly being social, playing a multitude of games with friends all the time - board games, poker, racquetball, Rock Band - and otherwise getting together to hang out. Every other weekend there's a party for one reason or another. I'm still working at Nielsen, but am working up the motivation to look for another job, as mine has gotten very boring and I am seriously underpaid. Maybe I should make it my job to find a new job.

I saw a psychologist 5 times in and around October. I wanted someone to ask me some difficult questions and professionally examine my life, rather than the understanding, agreeable therapist I had before. I stopped because we got pretty far, and she made a lot of great suggestions, but I needed some time to get my heart in the right place and implement them. Progress has been slow, but steady.

Next up, I need to set some goals and start working towards them. I've been in a serious rut for a little over a year now; I don't have any career goals, or personal change-my-life goals, or work-on-this-project goals. My financials are going to force me to find a new job - my car insurance, for instance, is going up by $80/month because they finally ran the motor vehicle report and picked up all my tickets and accidents from 2007. Generally I just hate feeling like I'm not doing anything interesting with my life and not going anywhere in particular.

2009 is not going to end up being listed as one of my favorite years - there was a lot of struggle, and a bit of pain - but I made it through and am looking towards further improvement in 2010. I must be fine cause my heart's still beating. I figure, if you're not improving, you're stagnating. And I hate stagnating. Onward!


Move Along

"It’s not unlike an athlete who lets you know before the game that his arm hurts; if he gets lit up for seven runs in three innings, you know why. If he throws a shutout, he’s a hero. That’s why it’s considered pussy to mention that your arm hurts before a game. It is pussy. If you’re well enough to play, zip it."

I'm well enough to play.


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