Oct 30 2019

I feel like I put this pressure on myself to make writing perfect on the first go, and that’s why I don’t really write. When I was younger I wrote all the time. Constantly. Even now I find random notebooks filled with writing from my preteens and younger. I didn’t put all this pressure on myself to make things perfect then like I do now.

Would I like to write up well researched, eloquent, long blog posts all the time? Sure I would. But with where I’m at in my life right now, that’s not going to happen realistically, and that’s okay. At the end of the day isn’t the whole point of blogging to type up some words about your own experiences and share it? I think so. So maybe someday I’ll reach that mythical point of eloquent and informative blog posts. But for now something simple about my life is enough.

For where I’m at right now, I think I just need to let myself free write and press post. Because honestly? I feel a little overwhelmed. A little overwhelmed by life. I’m trying to figure out who I am, what I want, and where I’m going. Those, I’m learning, aren’t easy questions to answer.

Oct 28 2019

Writing is kind of hard. I’ll be honest. Technical writing is hard. And I keep thinking that gathering information will make it easier, but it doesn’t. I’m kind of thinking that maybe I just have to start.

Some background; This semester I changed degrees. Basically it was a complete 180 from what I was doing last year. Last year I was doing a science based degree, basically no writing required. This year I’ve changed to an arts and business degree so LOTS of writing required.

Honestly, I’m fine with it. I’m a lot happier this year than I was last year. Last year I was completely miserable. I didn’t want to go to school, and I didn’t really care about what I was doing. This year I’m actually enjoying what I’m doing. Of course I have days where I’m tired and I don’t really want to go to school, but across the board I’m having a great time.

The only problem is that I didn’t take any first year courses with papers. But I have taken too many first year courses as it is, and don’t need anymore first year credits. So I’m learning how to write research papers in second year courses.

It’s not so bad. I have actually gotten a lot of really good feed back from the professor that has already marked some of my writing. She said I have potential, it’s just a matter of fine tuning things. At the very least, I have decent ideas. I’m just not necessarily as much of a natural writer as I used to think I was. I’m coming to understand that good writing isn’t about fluff and flourishes. Sometimes it’s about being concise and actually making a point. Saying what you have to say and going on with your day.

It’s just kind of overwhelming thinking I have to take all this information I’ve read and put it together into one coherent piece of writing. It’s hard! There’s so much to try and organize and coordinate. But at this point I think I just have to start writing, figure out what pieces I’m missing, read more, and then write some more.

I went to see the writing support services at the university today and the advisor basically told me exactly that. I just have to start writing. And for my first draft I don’t have to worry about being perfect. I just have to try and connect the dots. Then on my second draft I can try to clean it up a bit. And so on and so forth until I run out of time to rewrite drafts and just have to hand it in.

Easier said than done. It’s weird how hard just starting things is. But there’s deadlines looming. I think I just have to suck it up and do it. And I can! I know I can. But writing…. is kind of hard. But I’m still learning! And that’s okay!

Time off isn’t really all that relaxing

Time off isn’t really all that relaxing, at least for me. I have this problem where as soon as I know my schedule isn’t full I go ahead and fill it up!

So, somehow, when I’m supposed to have time off I end up busier than before. So busy that I need time off from my break. Summer vacation is not relaxing for me.

I don’t take time to be lazy, and I don’t go on spontaneous road trips or picnics. Not for lack of wanting to, but I just don’t have the time, even though I’m supposed to be on break. I don’t even sleep in all that much!

If I’m being honest, though, I do it to myself. Whenever my life becomes free of a rigid schedule such as school I feel the need to fill up my time with as many things as possible. It’s almost like I’m trying to cram as much living into a small amount of time as I can. Because during the school year I tend to say no to things, a lot. And my excuse is always because I’m busy trying to keep up with school. So once my schedule is empty (or emptier) I feel like I have no excuse to say no. In fact, I feel obligated to say yes!

I hate to admit it, but I do need some kind of schedule. Even if it’s a self enforced one. Structure, even the most basic form of it, helps me a lot. When I don’t have rigid structure in my life I lose sense of how busy I actually am.

As I am now, my life is a pendulum. It seems to swing between being bogged down by my work life, and being bogged down by my social life. But there is usually a brief moment where I live in perfect balance between the two, and everything in my life runs smoothly.

So let’s say I went out of my way to schedule balance into my life. Let’s say that during the school year I actively schedule time with my friends. And I also actively schedule time to study, and stick to it. And during the summer, next year, maybe I try setting aside some time just for me instead of dedicating all of my time to others.

If I made a schedule and actually managed to stick to it, I would effectively be forcing some balance into my life. Or at the very least some semblance of it.

What would happen then? What would happen if I actually had some balance in my life?

I think that if I purposefully participate in the things that I feel I am ‘missing out’ on during the school year then maybe I wouldn’t be so frantically trying to catch up on socializing every time I get a break. And then maybe I could enjoy my vacations and not end up even more tired by the end of the break. And wouldn’t that just be lovely?

So that’s the goal for the remaining months of 2019. Make a personal life schedule, and stick to it.

-Rory

Routine [24/05/19]

It’s so easy to fall out of routine. As soon as you think you’ve figured things out and everything is running smoothly you find out that not everything is as perfect as it seems!

Routine is a funny thing. I, for one, get bored a little too easily. I don’t like doing the exact same thing every day. I feel like doing the exact same thing day in and day out makes the days blur together. It makes time become one big mess with little distinction day to day. Variety is good. Variety adds body to life.

But some things can, and should, be part of a routine. Like going to bed and waking up. Showering. Stuff like that.

Of course routines get broken sometimes. Life is not always the same and sometimes situations call for a break in routine! But those should not be the norm. And after routine is broken it’s important to work hard to get back to where you were before.

It is also possible to have an unideal routine. Practice makes habit.

For example, I fell out of routine a couple weeks ago after finals ended. I also didn’t make a big effort to get back on the wagon since hey, I’m on break! BUT… spring classes started and, sure, I have a routine, but it’s not great. I’m sleeping 12 AM – 6 AM. I’m either sleeping past my alarm, or waking up cranky, and feeling tired all day. I’m just not getting enough sleep.

The obvious solution is to start going to bed earlier. But when you’ve been doing something for awhile and it’s habit it can be tricky to change it.

Creating a routine and sticking with it is not a passive activity. It must be done with intention. That’s something I have to get through my own head. You can say you want to do X thing all you want, but until you actually take action it’s not going to happen. Nobody can make it happen for except you. And sometimes that’s a hard thing to accept.

But everyone has the ability to make some sort of change, as long as they want to. It may be big, or it may be small, but if they do it for themselves with intention and stick with it, they can make a really good change for themselves that matters.

-Rory

Value Time [09/05/19]

Every resource is scarce. That’s what economics tells us. Some resources we don’t really consider scarce though, such as air. Other things we don’t even consider to be a resource even though it really is.

Time, in my opinion, is a resource! It’s limited too, even though we tend to forget that. Sometimes we feel we have all the time in the world.

But when time suddenly becomes limited, and you can’t spend all your time on something you want to, you suddenly become all too aware of how limited time really is.

Someone very close to me that I used to spend ALL my time with (or at least as much as I could) has taken on a new job that makes him much busier. I’m proud of him, and happy for him, but I miss spending my time with him.

It just makes me much more aware of how limited time really is. It also makes me aware of how precious of a resource time is, and how much we should value it! Enjoy the time you have, and enjoy the time you get to spend with the people in your life.

I’ve started to work harder in advance to make sure I can just be in the moment when I get to spend time with that special someone. I ask myself if being caught up in my worries when I’m with him is worth it, or if I would rather be present and enjoy his company.

It’s easy to get caught up in life and forget to be in the present and enjoy the moment. But it’s so important to take a step back and examine how lucky you are to have the time you do.

-Rory

The True Cause [08/05/19]

Things are not always as they seem. I have found that there are times when the littlest thing upsets me. It shouldn’t be a bit deal, but I just blow up. I also know that logically I shouldn’t be that upset over something small, and knowing that just makes me feel even worse!

Emotions are a tricky thing though, and we can’t always take them at face value.

I have realized recently that when little things cause great distress it is likely that there’s an underlying feeling that is being ignored. Sometimes we are already upset about something deep down, but it’s easier to ignore it than to address it.

The other problem is that when we are upset about things that don’t have an obvious cause we invalidate our own emotions! And then push them down and pretend we don’t feel anything at all.

But of course that doesn’t really work.

Emotions are a part of the human experience and we can’t just ignore them. Whether we acknowledge them or not, our feelings are there, and we are going to experience them willingly or not.

When we ignore our feelings about one thing they often just come bubbling up in some other form. So when we are overwhelmed by emotions OF COURSE it’s easy to blow up over little things!

The important thing is not to completely invalidate how you feel. Even if you think it’s something small or silly, acknowledge it and validate it. And if you blow up over the smallest convenience then step back and think about it. Grab a journal or something and write. Try to figure out what you’re feeling, and why you’re feeling it.

It’s okay to feel things! It’s normal! You just have to give yourself permission to do so.

-Rory

It’s All a Cycle [07/05/19]

Life ebbs and flows. Things change. Even though in the moment it feels like things will stay the same forever, they don’t. That’s not how life works. I heard someone once describe life as a pendulum, and we are always swinging back and forth between two extremes. Chaos and order, relaxation and stress, energetic and lethargic.

Just like a pendulum life will always, eventually, swing back the other way. But I think that sometimes it’s possible to get stuck in a certain mindset and make a phase last longer than it would if we just went with the flow.

Last week I was sick and spent most of my time curled up in bed, sleeping. I was already low on energy because I had just finished exams, so getting sick was just cherry on top of a big old tired sundae. I was(and still am) worn out.

The thing is I don’t think I really did anything to help how I felt. Actions, mindset, environment, all these things affect the way we feel. I TOLD myself I was tired and low energy, therefore I was.

But a few small changes like picking up my room a bit and forcing myself to sit up straight rather than slouch made all the difference. I still feel low energy, but not as lethargic as I was before.

Isn’t it funny, how a few small changes can make all the difference?

Now I’m back on that upward swing, and I better make the most of it.

-Rory