Tag Archives: Personal Flaws

Personal Growth Sucks

Do you guys ever hate being human? It’s so damn complicated. I have on my ever-present and ever-growing to-do list to “write a blog post.” Easy enough but seeing as I’ve been up since noon and am just now getting around to writing something it’s hard not to ask myself, “What the hell is my problem?”

So I went about trying to trick myself into writing something. Opening the computer, opening WordPress, playing some music, and making myself some coffee. Still nothing. Motivation is at zero today. I busted open my journal Google Doc and wrote in that, trying to get into that “The hardest part of anything is starting!” mindset and damn it actually worked.

But why’s it so hard to write? Why do I have to go through three hours of tricking myself into writing? Being a human sucks. And doesn’t it feel like I’ve beaten this dead-horse of a topic enough over the past few years?

We listened to an Oprah podcast at work this week. I was skeptical because it’s Oprah but it was actually really good. I don’t want to get into the podcast itself because it’s a mess — a bunch of stuff about self-actualization, intentions, values, and everything about ‘living your best life’ — but it was a good mess. It all made wonderful sense and was enlightening.

My supervisor/fwiend asked me after the podcast what I thought about it. I said I needed some time to think and process it all. Luckily she took notes on it like it was a school project or something and I took a picture of the notes for future reference. My brain still feels fucked and my memory useless (I’m blaming the drinking from a month ago by the way) so a reference page with the main points was great.

My immediate thought after the podcast was, “Why is being a human so fucking complicated?” Seriously though, do we need to listen to podcasts and experts to get a grasp on how to live as happily as possible? I want to say no — life should be as easy and as natural as anything — but I’m going with a resounding ‘yes’ to that question. Being a human is complicated as fuck, maybe unnecessarily so, but complicated. Especially for people trying to actually grow and live as happily as possible.

(Another guy was there and listened to the podcast. His immediate reaction was to say, “I’m going to go eat my food” and walked away. He totally got the point of the podcast! His “I am” statement: I am hungry. His intentions? I intend to eat my food.)

We had a guy at work who didn’t seem very bright. He seemed like he lived life to his base needs; he worked to get money to pay for his shit, liked going to the race track and watching cars drive in circles and crashing into each other, and apparently loved to drink Mt. Dew and Jack Daniels. He could’ve been an alcoholic but he didn’t seem too worried if he was. He lived his life and didn’t get a shit about anything I seemingly worry about constantly.

He’s dumb as a rock but I have the suspicion that he’s probably one of the happier people I’ve came across. He never seemed overly happy, but he never seemed overly miserable either. Hell, his wife passed away a year or two ago and he seemed upset for a few weeks at most. I’m not trying to trivialize how other people cope with loss, but it didn’t seem to bother him outwardly. And six months later he had a girlfriend and seemed as happy as he’s ever been, once again not outwardly happy but living life like it wasn’t hard or challenging at all. He exists day to day and that’s just what he does, seemingly without deeper thought to anything going on around him.

I’m conflicted here because, well, what is the point of all of this? I mean life by the way. If it’s to be happy and content with the day to day humdrum of it all, this guy probably has it made. Dumb as a rock, but content and happy with his Jack and Dews and his new girlfriend. Something smart and wise about The Allegory of the Cave here to illustrate my point. How important is ignorance to being happy?

And what in the hell am I doing? I’m writing a big rambly blog post about happiness, ignorance, and wondering what the hell the point of it all is. Who’s really the flawed human being here: me or the dipshit from work? I’m always bothered by everything, wondering about everything, trying to discover the deep secrets of existence, trying to be my best self — as enlightened as Buddha himself, stressing out about how my life is always running out of time and trying to do something important with the rest of my time. Objectively my life is pretty damn good but I can’t help thinking there is more I could be doing and I’m not living up to my protentional or something.

Maybe we’re just two different people: he’s living his best life because he doesn’t give a shit about anything ‘deeper’ whereas myself is fixated on ‘deeper meaning’ so I’m continually needing to gain new information and insights for how to live my life. Maybe it all makes sense given who we are as people. I still think it’s bullshit that life — or maybe my life — apparently requires me to listen to podcasts and go to a therapist and make lists of values and intentions to feel like I’m making personal progress, but I can’t help but feel like I am making progress and maybe this path is the path I gotta take. Sure it’s painfully slow progress but it’s progress none-the-less.

(I did some Googling and came across this Reddit post from someone who gave some good criticisms to the whole “self-development trap” as he calls it. It’s interesting to see the counterpoint, the idea that you will be you no matter what you do. I’d still like to disagree but oh well.)

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Personal Flaws or Personal Strengths?

I see my therapist every two weeks now. It happened by accident a few months ago when she was off on vacation but we’ve kept to a biweekly schedule since. I think this is the plan all along, although I’m still new to all of this stuff. It makes sense if they think you’re improving that they ween you off of their support. As you grow stronger you don’t need them anymore and can function all on your own.

(Fun Fact: ‘biweekly’ can mean either twice a week, or every two weeks. I guess rely on context clues to figure out which one is being implied!)

I was surprised when I was able to stick to this biweekly schedule after the past two weeks. When I was picked up by the cops and hauled to talk to a counselor two weeks ago, they suggested I make an appointment with my therapist to help me work through my current predicament. I agreed to this but mostly so I could get the hell out of there. Not like they had any leverage over me once I left. After I hauled my camping supplies back home and started to drink heavily, I did think about scheduling another appointment. But no. Something in me was stubborn and wanted to face reality and my problems on my own, even if I was limping along in life with alcoholism. Maybe that says something good about my mindset; even in the depths of feeling like total shit I still had confidence that I’d get through it and I could talk to the therapist about it in a week and a half. That’s what I did and I saw her last Friday.

The thing I like most about therapy is how she doesn’t bark commands at me or tell me exactly what I’m doing wrong. It’s easier to get people to listen to you if you feel like they’re learning shit on their own. This is why arguing on social media never works; calling someone out on their flaws, even if true, won’t make them very receptive to your views or opinions. The therapist does this wonderfully and I wish everyone would someone adopt this technique. She guides me along and kinda hints at solutions but never tells me exactly what I’m doing wrong. She allows me to realize things on my own which really helps a person interalize their realizations.

This post is about one of these realization friday. Something about one of my flaws. About how I’m never happy and at peace. This is most relevant with relationships in this case, but it applies everywhere. I’m not happy at work; I think I can be happier elsewhere. I’m not happy writing because I think I could do a better job at it. Take this blog and my views over the past few months for another perfect example. One of my goals this year was to have 1,000 monthly views which I finally cracked last month. I think I ended with 1,200 or so. I was happy for a few days but then it disappeared. I did it, sure, but now what should I do? This month has over 2,000 views already, and think about that. I doubled my goal for this year and how do I feel about it? Perfectly fucking blah. I’m so happy and thankful, but I know it’s a temporary feeling. Those two writing awards I received years ago in college? Cool at the time, but so what? I haven’t won any awards recently so it seems silly to still feel good about them. Oooo, I finally got my commercial pilot’s license last July? Same thing as always; I felt good for a few days and then stressed out and wondered what my next step should be. As soon as I achieve something the happiness wanes and I need to do something else. I’m seriously never happy.

Now that I think of it, a friend at work asked a question that most people seemed to find very enlightening to think about. It went something like this. “Imagine you are 50. You’ve made all the money you’ve wanted to make. You’re happily married or in whatever situation you hope to be in. You’re drinking your favorite beverage on the porch in your dream home watching the sun either set or rise, whatever. Life is perfect. You’ve made it. What music are you listening to? What are you feeling at the time? What are your current thoughts?” I think there was more to it but this was a month ago so I forgotten about the details. The general gist should be fine.

The few people I heard answer the question actually answered it. I kinda frowned thinking about it and when asked said the premise was totally off for me. I knew I’d never have that singular moment where life was totally complete, finished, and I was content and happy. If I was in this spot I’d still be antsy always looking for some other project or goal to work towards. I’ve basically accepted this fact about myself: I’ll never be happy because I need goals to chase and such. Or maybe since I’m never satisfied I need goals to chase. I don’t know which one drives the other really, which one is the carrot and which one is the horse.

Enter the therapist appointment. I don’t know if she said anything, but I’m sure she did, and I came to the realization that, hey, wait, what if this major flaw of mine is a good thing? Something bothers me when I see people totally stagnant in life with no goals, dreams, or hobbies. I wonder if this bothers them. Do people really sit around and enjoy the weather? Do others really rest, relax, and chill? Really? You can even view it in a darker way as well. Think of hopeless alcoholics who drink daily working a job they hate and they just exist in that environment for literal decades. Does this bother them? And does it bother them enough where they want to change it? For some people this answer is certainly “no,” and this is frightening to me. It sounds like someone whose soul is dead and they’re only physically alive. Honestly, this was myself last week, but it wore me down. Something seemed off. Something within me didn’t like the entire affair. I was giving in to being lazy, giving into my current situation, giving up on life, and content with just existing as a drunkard with no dreams or goals. And I don’t want to be that way.

This flaw I have about always needing something else, if viewed correctly, or as the therapist mentioned “directed,” it’s an amazing gift to have. It keeps me from giving into the dreariness of life, or the blandness of not moving forward. It manifests in negative ways in relationships obviously, but knowing my tendencies could help me redirect the energy into a positive way. What I always thought was a flaw — maybe I just had to learn to be happy with where I am — also can manifest as a drive for more that if used right is an amazing gift that many others might not have. Sure this causes me a great deal of suffering, but so what?

Usually we view our traits as totally positives or totally negatives with little thought about the contexts we apply to them. Being “giving” is usually viewed as a good trait, but it can also be a flaw. If you’re so giving to others that you gladly give money away to bums at the expense of yourself or your family, this is bad. “Greedy” sounds bad, but it might also allow you to save money and have a large safety net of cash on hand. This might be old information for those wiser than myself, but I’m pretty happy I stumbled upon this little gem. So think about the traits you have, whether positive or negative, and try to see them from a slightly less biased perspective. Many of the negative ones might be awesome traits that can be used to benefit yourself and others. One of my flaws, always needing more, might be a blessing in disguise that I only thought was a flaw. It’s all on how you view and use your traits I guess.

Now the question is how to use this apparent gift of mine? Well, I have this blog post to show for my efforts. That’s a start…