Tag Archives: Self-Love

Insomniac Writings

Let’s start this off like countless other posts of mine: It’s 3:58 a.m. I should be sleeping but I’m not. Why am I awake? Why does my brain continue to run? Why aren’t I normal? Did’ya know most people wake up at like 5, 6, or 7 a.m.? I wake up at 2 p.m. What the hell is wrong with me? Insomnia this, insomnia that, blah blah blah. Yada, yada with a little wave of the hand. We get it. You have trouble sleeping. Carry on now for the love of God.

I’m writing as a continuation of my last post. I’d like to say this, uh, seemingly two part series was subconsciously started by another fellow blogger (I’d link to it, but how does that work? Are you supposed to ask first?). I missed the whole point of his post of it but seemingly got fixated on a tiny part where he says something about knowing your flaws and working through them. The idea kinda snowballed in my head and is now a giant, two-part rambling mess of blog posts. The snowball analogy reminds me of this for some reason:

BADDAA-BADA-PADA-PAP-DOP! *BLLLRRRING* HERE WE GOOOO!

Last post was about how I finally realized I need a proper workspace to write it. My motivation issues weren’t the only cause of my my awful writing habits (lack of habits really) and, hell, maybe I really just did need a desk to call my own. It sure has been helping the past few weeks. I haven’t written much more than usual, but at least I progress to opening the computer and wandering off to YouTube or WordPress. It’s a step closer to Google Docs at least.

What the hell does this have to do with insomnia? It’s a fucking flaw of mine, just like my need for a damn desk, and it’s one I think I’m finally going to own. Insomnia is me, and maybe it isn’t insomnia; maybe I’m just a natural night owl and I should quit fighting it. Going along with the mantra: I’m flawed and might as well figure out how to work with it.

Lemme say I hate being this way. I want to sleep at midnight and wake up with the birds at the crack of dawn. I want to be the guy eating eggs and toast, drinking coffee at 7 a.m. while everyone is still sleeping just chilling in the quietness of the early morning. Last year I tried to make a resolution to wake up at 9 or 10 a.m. everyday and that was the first one I failed. Do I really want to wake up early or is that some dream that isn’t faithful to my flawed self? Or am I just plain lazy?

I’ve always been a night owl to the dismay of myself. I started working UPS 15 damn years ago pulling 10:30 p.m. to 3:30 a.m. shifts; going to sleep at 5 a.m. was my routine for about eight years before I transferred shifts. I now work a 4-9 p.m. shift and, holy hell, I still go to sleep around 4 or 5 a.m.

Come to think of it, I’ve quit 3 jobs in my lifetime and two of these were because they made me wake up early. No fucking joke. Sam’s Club moved me to a 5 or 6 a.m. shift (right after my UPS shift) and I quit about six months later. I couldn’t take it; working the 10 p.m. UPS shift and going to Sam’s until noon fucking killed me. Have you tried sleeping at 2 p.m.? It’s impossible. Your body basically says “Wtf are you doing? Millions of evolutionary years of sleeping when it’s night and you’re trying to override it all? Just like that? With a snap of your fingers? Nice try idiot; it’s daytime and we’re going to stay awake even if you’re tired!” So I quit. No two-week notice, nothing. Jacob from work calls this “The French Exit.”

The other job was Lowes Distribution. This one was even worse if. I still worked the night UPS shift, but this time with a 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. shift on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at Lowes. Basically I had a normal sleep schedule (sleep at 5 a.m.) on the weekdays and flipped it on the weekends (sleep at 8 p.m.). Thursday meant staying up all day into Friday, pounding out a 12 hour shift and doing it again the following two days. In short: hell. Soul-crushing, life destroying hell. My friend actually pulled this off for over three years and I don’t know how he did it. I was funding flight lessons with this job and even that couldn’t motivate me to continue. I clearly remember driving home one Sunday after work and thinking, “This isn’t worth it. I don’t care. I can’t do this.” Six months of that fuckery and I was done via another “French Exit.”

And it’s 4:26 a.m. I should probably try to sleep soon. But let’s keep going. 

It’s a pretty obvious sign that you’re not a morning person when you quit jobs that make you move to mornings. It’s a pretty obvious sign when you pull a no-call, no-show at the dentist’s office for your 10 a.m. appointment because it’s “too early.” It’s obvious when you schedule college classes no earlier than 4 p.m. because you “need time to wake up” and are the only person bringing three cups worth of coffee to Calc III as the sun is setting. I’m not a fucking morning person. Never have been, never will be, stop lying to myself: this is who I am and I love myself for it.

I’m owning it and I’m writing. What else is there to do at 4:29 a.m. besides stare at premarket GameStop prices? Nothing. Might as well be productive, make something to show for it. Honestly it’s a good time to write anyways. No one is awake, it’s quiet, and my brain is on overdrive. It’s easy to let the thoughts write themselves at the time of night morning.

It’s sad that I’ve written two blog posts with the exact same lesson or whatever you want to call it. I’ll force myself to write the lesson again. Honors English always stressed the importance of conclusions In essays and this is essay-esque enough. Restate the intro. Hmm. It’s 4:34 a.m. I can’t sleep. Why can’t I sleep? Why does my brain continue to run? Why can’t I wake up at whatever a.m.? Insomnia is a thing. Blah, blah. Yadas. Hand waving.

Maybe my first paragraph wasn’t the one I was supposed to restate. Oh well, Goodnight. Or Good Morning. Nah, let’s go with Have A Good Day and thanks for reading!

Check out my Instagram where I post pointless artistic pics and shitty poems every whenever I get around to it.

Or my other blog where I sometimes post stories.

Or Wattpad where I have a Morrowind fanfic ongoing also sometimes post stories.

My New Desk is Awesome

I haven’t written any creative stories in about six months, maybe longer. Like most people I attributed this to a flaw with myself. I’m lazy, I’m unmotivated, and I’m paralyzed by perfection, unable to even begin at the prospect of making something subpar. Despite knowing all these flaws I still can’t work with myself and actually write. It adds another layer of personal hatred where I’m aware that I’m aware of my severe lack of motivation and why can’t I just sit my ass down and write?

I like to justify my laziness as well. You have a long day at work or your mood is subpar and it’s easy to not write. “Maybe tomorrow,” I’ll tell myself. Repeat day after day and you’re left where tomorrow holds all the promise of productive but where it’s always tomorrow. One more day of being a lazy bastard won’t hurt right?

One way I justified my lack of writing goes something like this: I can’t ever write in a comfortable place. I’m writing this at work on my phone but this isn’t ideal. A pair of thumbs on a phone screen doesn’t work nearly as well as 10 9 of them on a keyboard does (honest question: does anyone use their left thumb for anything?). Where do I write at home? Nowhere. I don’t have a place to write, no comfy desk, no isolated corner, no hole to crawl into and think. My best options were to plop down on a couch (which is terrible for posture) and try my best to ignore all the talking going on around me, the drone of the TV, whatever noise pollution is going on. Sitting on a couch, where do you put your mug of coffee? Where does the vape get placed between sentences and paragraphs? How can you listen to music and not be rude to those watching TV? Where do you plug in the laptop when the battery shits out? How do you use a USB mouse on a couch? How do you get over the anxiety of someone sitting next to you looking at what you’re working on? You don’t, so I don’t write at home as much as I should.

This sounds like a valid justification I suppose, but this is just me being lazy. Authors all over the place can write in more hostile environments than these, so I’m being a little bitch basically. But what if I’m not?

The past few months I’ve had the creeping suspicion that if I had a nice place to work I’d actually be more productive. Sure I’m not motivated to write like ever, but maybe having a nice workspace would be a tiny bit of goodness that can get my ass in gear. The one thing that’ll make the motivation battle much easier to wage.

I told my therapist about this and she suggested I go ahead and get myself a place for myself to work. Hmm. Since I had sobered up I find myself much more willing and able to fix problems as they arise. It’s an easy formula to enact as well; if there’s a problem you fix it. I want to write, I think the problem is a lack of a workspace, so get a workspace! Nothing is ever accomplished by stewing about the problem. Take your life into your own hands because it’s literally the one and only thing you always have. My sober mindset is really helping me be proactive in life and not just some grumpy passenger along for the ride who bitches about everything. 

Luckily I didn’t have to solve the problem for myself. For Valentine’s Day my wife surprised me with a cheap and simple desk. My mind was blown away! It’s about the best gift ever: supportive of my hobbies, thoughtful, and practical. She even went through the trouble of moving the furniture around and making a spot for it. I now have a slight “office area” in our living room, tucked up against the south wall. I don’t have to worry about people peeking over my shoulder. I can survey the room. I can be present if I need to be but off in my own world if I see fit to do so. There are a few windows near me so the sun shines in and I can stare at my solar panels when I struggle to write something. Speaking of solar power, my desk is right next to the batteries/inverter so my computer, the thing I’m editing this on right now, is fully powered by the sun!

(The modem and the Wi-Fi router are also solar powered. This is a completely solar-powered blog post. Even my vape, the key to productive writing, is solar powered. I guess this is a perfect time to shill my YouTube channel where I talk about all of my solar powered madness. It keeps it out of my blog posts for the most part but I’ve failed miserably this time. Check it out if you’re interested in making your own solar-powered blog posts/phone/vape.)

The desk has three shelves that I can junk up with wires, wire nuts, electrical tape, light bulbs, lithium batteries, vape juice, vape pods, a multimeter, alligator clips, pens, notebooks, and whatever else I decide to put there. It’s delightfully junky, but in a curious tinkerer sort of way; you can tell I’m actually doing work at/near the desk. (Electroboom said something in a recent video like, “You’re not a real engineer unless your desk is messy.”) I bought a tiny Lego set to decorate my desk; it’s a cute electric car with a wind/solar car charger. It even has a little dog with it! I grabbed an old lamp from the basement and booked it into the solar setup and swapped the 60 Watt bulb with a 20W one. Nothing beats that dim, warm light and it looks exactly like you’d expect a light at a writer’s desk to be: candle-like. I also bought two small potted plants to decorate the workspace — a pothos and a Japanese crispy fern — whatever the hell those are.

Basically my desk is awesome. I love it. Thank you Nicki, I love it more than you’re probably aware. But I’m not trying to jerk-off about my desk here; I’m trying to stress the importance of fixing problems and not shitting on yourself too much. It seems a large part of my writing problem was actually the lack of a desk and not just motivation issues or me being lazy even though those are still some big issues. It’s easy to blame yourself but sometimes the world does kinda conspire against you and it’s up to you to fix it. Sure you have flaws, we all do, but you gotta learn how to work with them. I’m apparently a “comfy writer” and need a proper place to sit down and write. I’m a little bitch who wants to be comfy and drink coffee while I deal with motivation issues while staring at a blank Google Doc. I guess that’s how I am. So I played right into it, babied myself, and bought was gifted a desk. “Aww, poor Jeremy needs his own area to write in, a little desk to call his own!” Yes, exactly. That’s exactly what little bitch Jeremy needs to be able to write. And hey, I’m writing something aren’t I?

TL;DR: Be nice to yourself. Be accommodating. Buy a desk. And buy yourself a Lego set and a few potted plants. It’s the key to success and happiness and writing productivity.

Check out my other blog where I sometimes post stories.

Lessons from Substance-Free September: Don’t be too Hard on Yourself

I think I want to do a “series” or something about what I learned during Substance-Free September. It probably won’t qualify as a series and will only be two or three posts, but I do hope I can churn them out together and quickly with few distractions.

Not that I will because I’m terribly flawed. Once again I’m going to shit on myself for not being able to write consistently. How hard is it to get the computer out and type? How hard is it to write a post once a week? It’s hard because I want it to be perfect! And perfection is always the enemy of completing something. Nothing is perfect, just fucking write and go with it.

Let me circle this back to the topic at hand: not being too hard on yourself. I excel at being hard on myself almost consistently with regards to everything, and the previous paragraph is a perfect example of it. Or when I gave up on the Morrowind story. Sure, I came to some ‘positive’ conclusion that sometimes you have to throw in the towel to move on, but the entire post is me shitting on myself with the conclusion being some half-assed attempt at not being quite as hard on myself.

I do this all the time too, and not just with writing. Why can’t I stay motivated? Why can’t I keep the house clean? Why does it take me so long to fix a car? Why can’t I just stay sober? Why aren’t I an airline pilot right now? Why did I drag my feet so much in my 20s and even today? Why can’t I do anything right? And why do the things I do right seem to be outweighed by the things I do wrong? I am a perfect example of endless self-loathing.

It can’t be just me either. Countless people certainly do this. We’re all our own worst critics and enemies. No one sets a higher standard than we ourselves do (at least most of the time) and it’s easy to be unnecessarily cruel to yourself.

A good example: I wasn’t completely sober last month. I drank two nights one weekend due to a notably stressful and shitty situation that happened. I felt bad, I felt like shit, but I was able to get my act together and completed the rest of the month sober. It reminds me of when my work buddy said she smoked a few cigarettes: she felt like an utter failure over it but I tried to be positive. “Well, you mess up. Just acknowledge it and move forward!”

It’s strange how we view other people as opposed to how we view ourselves. Other’s problems seem so easy to solve when it’s not us personally experiencing them. Nearly everyone who has some issue going on I find myself thinking of the most obvious (and easy) solution to their problem. They still don’t see it though and the problem somehow makes itself harder to solve if you’re the one going through it. Friend smokes a cigarette on the weekend? No big deal, just realize you fucked up and move on. I drank two days mid-month? Holy fuck I’m an utter failure and why can’t I do anything right and damn I suck. Like that.

I find it helpful to switch the situation and to try to see yourself as someone else, like a form of ‘reversed empathy’ or something. Tell your story to yourself as detached as possible; think of yourself as a coworker or a friend and see how it sounds. If the roles were reversed, I wouldn’t tell this person who fucked up by drinking during a sober month they’re a failure because no one is perfect! Everyone messes up! By being so hard on yourself you’re treating yourself as perfect while everyone else is flawed and forgivable. It’s kinda selfish in a way, being too hard on yourself. Why are you so deserving of high standards and perfection when no one else is? You, like everyone else, should just acknowledge the problem, move forward, and do the best you can. Obviously it’s hard to reflect this upon yourself and really believe it — it’s always a struggle — but eventually maybe you can move forward and not be too hard on yourself.

I think this became apparent to me during September because I didn’t have anything to distract me from my problems. Maybe drinking so much made that the prime problem in my life so when that was gone I noticed the slew of other issues. My lack of writing. My lack of progress in flying. My inability to shop around for a house. My inability to wake up before 2 p.m. and so on. Or maybe the drinking was my way to ignore the problems where they never bothered me. Either way, I’ve been a lot more loving to myself the past few weeks, and much more willing and able to love myself for the flawed person that I am.

I had a therapy appointment October 2nd. Towards the end of the sessions she always asks me what my intentions and goals are moving forward. I sat there and spaced out, thinking as hard as I could for which goal I would chase after during the next month. I couldn’t think of anything. “Uh, I don’t think I have any intentions or goals this next month,” I said. She then mentioned that not having any intentions was itself a valid intention and I went with it. “Oh, okay! Yes. My goal this next month is to have no goals. I’m just going to exist.”

It reminds me of Peter in Office Space. He’s asked what he would do if he had a million dollars as this is supposed to be what you should do for a career. His answer: “Nothing. I would relax, I would sit on my ass all day: I would do nothing.”

“Two chicks at the same time, man!”

Why was that my goal for the month? Because I’m too hard on myself. I’m too goal-oriented. I feel the need to achieve to the detriment of myself. I see myself as perfect (that sounds awful) and that I should hold myself to this standard of perfection to my own detriment. When I’m inevitably not perfect, I feel like a failure, like I let myself down, that I’m flawed in some way. So I’m not going to have any goals or intentions this month because I want to try existing as this flawed person that I am. Not dangle carrots in front of my face in mosty-wasted attempts to ‘move forward’ in life or ‘accomplish’ some undefined goals. That is my goal: nothing, and I’m doing it because I’m trying to not be too hard on myself.

Think of yourself and think about all the ways you’re hard on yourself. Would you treat friends and loved ones the way you treat yourself? Or would you show them kindness and grace and forgive them for their flaws? You’re just another person like anyone else, not special, and are deserving of forgiveness just like anyone else. Don’t be too hard on yourself and be willing to forgive the most fucked up person you know: yourself.

The next part of this series? Lessons from Substance-Free September: Life Goes On

Check out my Instagram where I post pointless artistic pics and shitty poems every whenever I get around to it.

Or my other blog where I sometimes post stories.

Or Wattpad where I have a Morrowind fanfic ongoing also sometimes post stories.

Or my Facebook page where I don’t do much of anything at all, but I do appreciate more followers.