Joel Hook’s digital garden is definitely a model. I don’t think a blog is bad for me, but readers don’t want to wade through the mix of personal writings and more interesting stuff. (Do they? Honestly I enjoy it, but I don’t know about others.)
Paul Graham’s site is a collection of essays. I really admire it. Having a clear and long arguments about something while being relatable without being judgy is really something else. He doesn’t really have.. references? Maybe because he’s already experienced what he’s saying. Sometimes his posts are short too. And interestingly he set a pretty short linebreak, so his paragraphs are actually not that long each, but looks proportional. I really love how he starts with a central idea (If you wanted to get rich, how would you do it? I think your best bet would be to start or join a startup.) and delves down on the idea, scale, opposing views, and takes you on a tour.
Pawlean.com is a really personal blog. I still feel a bit too.. vulnerable to write like that. But I like the fact that it’s not about being authoritative or even guiding, but just telling her experience.
jenny.world is also a very personal and mixed site. Kinda like tumblr (is it tumblr? it is). I really, really like Vacuuming. On another note, giving up hosting/other stuff to tumblr is a good idea. But I’ll stick with jekyll for now.
notes.andymatuschak.org is a really experimental UI. Well at the end of the day it’s for me to look at how to take notes more properly instead of a blog. The really interesting idea for me right now seems to be Close open loops. I like the sentence-as-title system he got there too. How to succinctly express an idea and have it as a relationship. Have to start taking more notes, honestly.
I also want a /now page like sivers.org/nowff describes. Or make that my main page (his front page is pretty cool too). Listing all the things I’m into right now (tech stack, FE learnings, hobby (simracing), ideas floating in my head.) and last updated is pretty important too.
Simon Willison’s site is also freaking great. I love the fact that he has both a blog standard (‘entries’) and other random stuff curated (‘til’, ‘links’ and ‘quotes’). I don’t know whether I post often enough to do that, but it is cool to see that separation. Monthly entry archive vs a daily view that includes quotes and links. Turns out the tag (example: datasette tag) also displayes all links and quotes related to that. I wonder what’s the difference between these in-the-moment short content and longer ‘entries’. It’s a weird mix between a publishing platform and a personal knowledge management thing for him.
The biggest thing from Simon’s site is that I want to use that format to curate what I come across on twitter/other daily or even from my library. Setting things up to be curated piecemeal but merged into tags. I already have several pieces related to a topic, but not organized into tags. Example: With enough sacrafices.., Fate/Destiny/Life, Our Life is Not Ours.
Some more inspiration that’s stuck on my curation: Khanism’s Fate and Destiny (I think there’s a specific post that really resonates with me but can’t find the link) and Melting Asphalt’s A Natural History of Beauty.
Honestly, all this stuff is useless if I don’t write. This is why I posted this up on the blog. Let’s keep this going. ✌️
I just seem to have a lot of false starts and holes in my writing. But reading back through these pieces reminds me that a lot of things are the same. I’m still scared to be vulnerable as my career goes on, as I felt over 2 years ago. I’m splitting up this website to separate my blog posts and other more “safe” writing. But is this right? Should I step forward with all my faults or should I craft my image?
I’m still not sure, as ever. I want to write publicly again. I don’t have any constant readers, as far as I know. I don’t have any or a lot of projects that’s documented well enough to be published. But I guess this blog should be more of a.. personal yet public page to share my thoughts and feelings. Instead of a platform to broadcast who I want to be seen by people I don’t know about.
What I do have is a.. possibility. To curate. I don’t know how stuff will link, or how I can package them. Instead of remixing content, I’m leaning towards just finding really good gems in the dirt, or even extracting what I think is the central piece of an idea. Or a piece that resonated a lot and can be applied more generally.
We’ll see. I don’t want to be preachy. I don’t want to be seen as an expert in topics that I’m not well versed in. I want to be more of a tour guide. A journey through what I think would be interesting for my friends.
On the topic of personal posts. I’ll put up some of my other writings here from my journal or other places where I wrote. Just to make it more complete. And I’ll also date them at the time I wrote them. Should be interesting..
So. After a few months of silence I’m finally back on here. I wrote a lot less, and, as always, I don’t like it.
I don’t really have anything to blame but myself. I’ve been pretty stringent with my media intake (no instagram, no reddit until this Friday, 3 days ago), yet I still have a lot of things that I spend too much time on (read: Hacker News).
I’ve concocted a plan to get away from it, making the HN Wisdom summary from my favorite comments and making an Action Plan from it, which I intended to straighten me up in my recent, and current, slump. Yet I still got back.
I’m busy, yes, but it has always been since I got back in December. I’m tired, yes, but it’s always like that.
I’m not sure what’s happening, as ever.
I needed something easy to work on, so I decided to move my blogging (again) to Jekyll. I just don’t feel like paying DigitalOcean $10 every month anymore (sorry, DO).
I decided to build on Jekyll because I’m currently in the progress of rebuilding an e-commerce-ish site for my mom’s business, which was built with Wordpress for the customer-facing site. It’s abhorrently slow, and almost impossible to transfer to a VPS. (Which needs another hosting fee every month.) I’ve dug into JAMstacks and serverless hype, and got back to Jekyll to do it, and decided to try it on my blog first.
My intention from the start has always been to deploy it on Netlify, but when pushing this to GitLab I realized they also have GitLab Pages available as a service. Yet when I tried it, the GitLab Pages didn’t run, and netlify ran really smoothly.
One thing I decided was to port some of my old posts back to this blog. I envy people who has years of posts archived instead of months, yet I always avoid it due to feeling vulnerable (first) and the posts are on another platform (second). But I decided it would be worth it and ported my posts from my 2016 blog. I decided to not move posts from my 2017 blog yet because it’s mainly just a blog for my DECO2200 class, with only 1 post on an app design feedback.
I guess vulnerability is the name of the game. We live solitary lives inside our mind, and sometimes the thoughts are not pretty, or flat-out wrong. Yet being humans, perfection is unattainable and to learn is only through failures.
I hope this site will live for longer than what was my previous blogs.
(btw, I need to backup all my pictures/images from my old blogs to.. somewhere. I love/hate WP automated caching.)
See you around.
Happiness = Reality – Expectation
Seems like a simple enough formula. One thing that’s fickle is the human that’s running the equation. The parameter that keeps on changing is the expectation part. To expect, in our mind, is to hold on to a fantasy.
The only thing that keeps this away is to make your expectations real. Write it down, talk about it. Or your expectations will just float like a kite without a string.
To actually remember what was good enough yesterday is to not make today’s good enough expectations a way to chase an unattainable perfection, throwing away what you already have for an imagined nirvana.
Maybe I’m late to realise this. But our life is not truly ours. Whether it’s the deities we choose to believe in, the family we’re born to, the nation we live in, or even the friends we choose to make.
Each of them (and many more) is about expectation. We expect something out of them, and we, in turn, are expected something out of ourselves.
Our choices then must also take them into account. And their choices affects us too.
To be free is to choose which ones do we want to keep and sometimes how much hurt you cause that you can forgive yourself for.
To be free is to sacrifice: the bonds, the expectations, and the uncertainty of what’s ahead.
This is a rambling after reading Freakonomics. Yes I just finished that book now.
“The two biggest lotteries in life are the country you were born in and the parents you were born to.”A quote from somebody that I most definitely butchered
Our lives, like it or not, are not totally in our control. What shapes us today, were decided years, decades, or even centuries ago by the unintended action of those who before us. And this also happens for what shapes us tomorrow.
Power is what all humans desire. Maybe you (and me) does not desire to be in power of a nation, but to have power is still in our desire. For me, the definition of power is the capability to bend others to our will. Not just other humans, but all other things in this world. It’s carpentry to bend wood to furniture. It’s code to bend data to something useful. It’s our hands to bend the direction of the car. It’s ad to bend our wills to buy stuff. To alter the course of others is power.
So if a lot of our parts of our life has been decided, it’s a logical consequence that we do not have power over it.
And decided does not mean predictable. What seems good in the past may be trash tomorrow.
This conundrum is what being human is: to keep living and keep pushing through, knowing whatever we do, we are not in control. That we are partial gods, trying to wrestle our own lives under control and be happy when we know it’s impossible.
Life takes you around.
From feeling excited to feeling lethargic.
From feeling like you can take over the world to feeling like you can’t even get over yourself.
And sometimes you get this feeling taking over you,
the thoughts consuming,
the idea poking you through your waking hours,
in the midst of all the uncertainty of what it will be.
But one thing it definitely feels like;
far more lively than what I’ve got going right now.
I don’t want to hurt others. People, at least.
But what could be considered as hurt?
Is it just physical violence?
When I know unseen wounds hurt more?
But how could I stop others from hurting, when the pain comes from their unfulfilled expectations of me? Is it my fault to not do or be what they expect?
Should I tell others to not expect anything from me? When I clearly expect something from them to not expect anything from me?
I have nothing to write today. Just want to let this out.
I feel the space closing in.
Not physical space, but the mental space. My mental space to experiment and make mistakes.
I was suffering back then, but yet I was free. I created a space to explore my thoughts and share it, to do what I please with my eyes and hands, and to own it.
Now I am okay, yet I feel trapped. It feels like anything I put out can be my downfall. To reveal a bit too far, to be vulnerable. It feels like now, there’s too much on the line.
“The moment that you feel, just possibly, you are walking down the street naked, exposing too much of your heart and your mind, and what exists on the inside, showing too much of yourself…That is the moment, you might be starting to get it right.”Neil Gaiman
I hate this feeling. To be vulnerable is being open to be wrong, and to be really right in the ways that is not possible by being safe.
Yet now it seems like there is so much to lose.
Is it worth it?
If anything moves anything else, where does one come in?
Our background is not ours, our environment is not fully ours.
Even the our inner force to change what we do and what is around us is a chain reaction from the outside ourselves.
So where does one come in?
When we do the right thing because we’ve thought about it for long and hard or when we do something regrettable because we acted on a whim, we deem ourselves responsible.
When we influence people to do things, good or bad, we believe they have the power over themselves and choose what’s right for them.
Is it true though? How much power do we have over ourselves? How much power do we have over others?
Where does one come in? Over anything else that is not themselves?
Our vision is limited, we can only see what’s here and now.
Our prediction sucks, we can only hope for the best.
Our evaluation is imperfect, we can only assume the worst.
And when all seems bleak, we can only hold on for
at a time.
Humans really like stories and sharing them. We, to each other, are just a bundle of stories. The stories we went through together, the stories that make our history, the stories that we share.
It is not too far to say that the fabric of humanity is stories.
Through stories, we’ll get compassion and understanding. But, it needs thinking. Not just hearing the stories. Our conscience to others is to reflect on their stories. To ingest their stories, to deliberately understand the stories and the storytellers. To give compassion to both of them.
The stories can be real, or it might not be. In defining what is and what is not real, I often come to the conclusion that this all is fiction.
But what good is to declare everything is fiction when it’s pretty much all we mean?
Social media has ushered us to another age of stories. We can become a global storyteller with a few strokes of our fingers. And we do. Through our writings, through our pictures, through anything that we post.
The stories became something else. What would be a sincere story of a moment in your life can become so much more. And we make them more. And sometimes we just realise that not everyone (especially ourselves) has that interesting of a story to share. We need to do things, define and determine what is interesting, and craft the delivery to make our story go.
We perceive ourselves, and others, from what we share on social media. It’s one step further, but also one step closer to what stories and sharing really means to us.
Thoughts are not stories. Thoughts are not real. Until it becomes a story. What is real is only what can be shared.
And humans can only hold on to what’s real to them.
“..I think it’s absurd: the idea of seeking “meaning” in the set of circumstances that happens to exist ofter 13.8 billion years worth of unguided events. Leave it to humans to think the universe has a purpose for them.”Tim Minchin, from his UWA Commencement Address
Life’s meaning is as you want it to be. It could be anything. Is it your faith? Is it your craft? Is it your family, or your friends?
As small this life might seem, one thing you can always make is what are you grateful for. Is it your friends? Is it your home? Is it the way the wind blows on your face?
The value of life can be measured by how many times your soul has been deeply stirred.Soichiro Honda (?)
The length of your life does not represent the value own life or whether it is enough. Yes, people will see you based on how long have you gotten through life, and it is not a wrong gauge to see who you are. By the virtue of length of life itself, you have more experience in it. But to yourself, it does not matter.
The meaning of your life, depends on you, and how you want to define it. You might have your own belief on what you want to achieve in life, or what you enjoy. And it is nobody’s business to tell you what is worth it, or how long do you have to be here.
It’s your life.
“It is not the years in your life but the life in your years that counts.”Adlai Stevenson
I read a bit too much, and sometimes I read books, sometimes I read articles on the internet, or discussion threads on reddit or hacker news.
If you’re interested in the things that I’ve read please find the links below.
If you would like me to write about some of those things, please bother me through any channel you can find me. I will also write about some of them in the future.
A piece of my journal, written 2 years ago.
This is the book I filled up the fastest. And the one I filled with a ton of thoughts and stories through one of the most life changing periods of my life. Time to move on.
Thank you to all the people whose thoughts inspired mine, whose stories intertwined with mine, whose hands also graced this book.
Can’t wait to fill up another.
Weekends now worth a lot to me. The space to rest and let go of all the things that tires me through the week.
I want to meet all my friends, I want to have fun and go around all weekend. Especially that I rarely go out on weekdays anyway.
But, honestly, I just want to feel refreshed on Monday morning, and going out every day and night on the weekend is certainly not the recipe for that.
I guess this is part of trying to be a responsible adult.
Written on a Saturday night, with me feeling tired as fuck on my bed and not looking forward to being sick on Monday
I do believe in the phenomenon that is climate change.
But I hate the narrative of ‘saving the Earth’.
Or the planet.
Or the environment.
Because it’s just not true. The purpose to care is for ourselves; the survival of the human race.
Earth has gone through much, much worse. And she doesn’t care. What happens, happens.
Species die out everyday, the landscape changes every 10 thousand years or so.
But humans, humans only know this life.
Where earth is green
and food is plenty
and air is cool.
Alas, people need to care. Or it’s too big and we need to leave.
It’s about us.
“Look, if I were born in a slightly different situation than I was born in, a few miles from where I was born, to different parents, with different color skin — I have no delusions, I wouldn’t be in the place that I’m in,”Sam Altman, taken from The Political Awakening of Silicon Valley
I realize that I am really lucky. Born to a parent that can take care of me when I’m young, send me to great schools for me to open my mind and learn, and able to indulge on my wishes when I’m older. All of that, or even any of that, is something that not everyone has in their childhood, if ever.
I try to be grateful of it. To realize that not everyone has that kind of privilege to live as comfortable as I am. I should not waste what I have.
Sometimes I beat myself up over this; to see someone else that are doing better with less. Then I ask myself:
“What the hell is wrong with me?”
I do envy them. Their drive, their grit, their motivation. To break through their challenges that, honestly, unthinkable for me to go through. Thinking how much greater would they be if they started from my position.
But beating myself up over things that I’ve done is always unproductive. Dwelling on the things that I can’t change.
Trying to change myself is always a constant struggle, too. Peppered with the above question at every step of the way. Thinking how I don’t deserve this.
And my way to stay sane is to always work on things that helps other people. A bit here, a bit more there.
“If you are successful because of things that aren’t in your control, you have a duty to pay it forward, which is what I’m trying to do here.”Sam Altman, taken from The Political Awakening of Silicon Valley
I stumbled upon an article about young founders in Silicon Valley. The article chronicles and profiles teens, most who dropped out of high school, who are living in Silicon Valley working on their startups and pitching them to investors.
In a way, that is my dream. Getting out of a normal life, doing what others are not able to do. Especially to do it at such a young age. Faced with stories like this, I feel like I am incompetent.
The fantasy to be one of those people. The genius, the prodigy. The one who figured out something that is valuable.
I do tie my self-worth to other people’s perceived value of my work. I don’t know if I can change that. It’s certainly unhealthy. I don’t have a work that I keep for myself (like Tim Ferris’s podcast with his parents). Is that a sign of not enjoying my own work?
I don’t even know what is my own definition of success. Is it actually living free, doing whatever the fuck I want because I have all the money in the world? Or is it living free by living in complete honesty, baring all my faults, and not caring (or not having to care) what other people think about me? Or is it getting recognized by a ton of people and getting praised for my work? Is it changing life for the masses? Is it freeing people from their burden?
I don’t know. And honestly, to think about it sucks.
To have a definition of success means to have to stick to it. To not fulfill it means I failed.
And I have way too much hurt from expecting from anyone.
Even from myself.
My ideal situation would be to just hunker down and do whatever I have on my plate. Knowing that whatever the future holds, all that matters is that I do what I can.
And be happy whatever that may come to.
Because whatever it is,
it’s what I deserve anyway.
And to expect anything else is to kill myself.
(You know what? Maybe I just defined success for myself. fml.)
I think I was spoiled.
I know what it meant to be utterly loved.
Why do you think it’s getting spoiled?
Maybe because it would be hard to fill in those shoes, and really, I don’t expect anybody to fill those shoes.
Spoiled might be the right word. But spoiled means you do expect someone. How do you feel about it?
Sad. To be utterly selfish, I want to be loved like that again.
Do you think it’s gonna happen again?
I’m not sure.
Well, it’s better to have felt it than never, no?
You prefer to have never experienced it?
The yearning hurts more than the memories?
Of course. Memories make the loss feel sharper.
It’s hard to appreciate anything as they are. Sometimes we find our self worth tied up to memories of the past. Not being able to relive it makes us feel that we are less.
How do you deal with that is up to you. I personally feel.. life goes on. Our best point may have passed and we’ll never know it. But what use is to dwell on things we can’t change?
That’s true. I don’t know. Maybe it’s better to just let it be as it is right now.
2017-09-10 Blogging About the past Week
identity crisis, feeling like needing some space. went outside got sushi and wandered around. killed off ig.
I realized i just forgot them all. feels like a very long time ago yet it’s just a week. this all passes so fast
I feel more of it lately now that I’m working. Days just blur past, weekends go by too fast. Like right now, I have been yearning for a break for the past week but without realizing it I’m here again on my computer on a Saturday night. Tomorrow’s a Sunday, and the day after that, I’ll be doing this all over again.
I don’t really know how to make time last. Maybe I should get off my computer. Maybe I should get outside and see a museum or an art gallery, or go for a walk around the city. Those days do get by slower. Means a bit more. Meeting with people, talking about things. Not that I hate playing games with my friend, but time do get so fast, with such a small payoff.
Every weekend I realize this and I still do the same thing.
Time becomes a precious resource. Time to do work. Time to sleep. Time to rest. Time to play. Time to meet friends. Time to connect. And wasting it has been my default mode since forever.
I am weak on that. I know that for now, everything will still be alright. I can cram my work in short amounts of time.
Time wasted is life wasted, though. I need to use time better.
Actually resting instead of scrolling through feeds.
Create something coherent instead just having ideas of things to do.
Learn a tangible skill instead of collecting tips on every single tangential topic I’m interested in.
..but tonight, let’s sleep early and see how tomorrow goes.
Spent pretty much the last week trying to archive, reset, and tune this blog to my liking. I think this is a much better look for the blog rather than last year (which is pretty much just a blog for my coursework). And yes this is pretty much like the one before that. This blog is something to force me to create something every day, kinda like Austin Kleon’s blog (although not as good, probably). See you around.
It’s about how many times you don’t give a fuck and keep going.
You can say whatever you are and what you are not.
But the truth always comes out when you feel like everything goes wrong.
That’s who you actually are.
Life is endless until it’s not.
Things that you need to do will not wait on whatever you are trying to do right now.
And the only way to keep yourself sane is to only say yes on your own terms.
You’ll never make it end.
But at least you’ll make it a bit more manageable.
You don’t deserve to feel in any certain way.
What you feel is what you are meant to feel.
Sometimes I just feel my energy just going down the drain. Nothing to be excited about, they just become things that I need to do.
It’s hard to say what I want to do anyway, other than doing nothing.
But that is not an option.
I need to keep walking.
Just keep walking.
There’s so much interesting things to read out there. Either I found it through my share of favourite blogs (Lifehacker is one), or through reddit/hacker news.
My habit is to see the comments first. If it’s quite interesting, I’ll open the link.
But then, the link usually goes to Pocket, and the discussion page goes to saved/favorites.
Repeat this for a few dozen of weeks, and what’s left is tons of articles and their accompanying discussion pages.
Which goes unread.
And I’m keep adding things on top of it.
So I’m changing it now. No more adding stuff to pocket. No more saving things on reddit and hn. I’ll get through the queue and try to get something out of everyone of them.
Another kind of media diet, I guess.
It’s hard for me to find what is my true thoughts.
For I always process everything that I read and listen.
So what is my true thought? How to differ what is truly mine and what is not?
If one’s authentic thoughts can’t come up, then freedom is moot.
Life is a string of choices. No more than that.
What we have done dictates the options that we have right now. Sometimes there are no better thing to do than to accept that we have made a mistake in the past.
And there lies the true pain in life:
What to choose then?
What to choose to not make another mistake?
What to choose to not cause further hurt?
It’s not what you can live with, but what you can’t live without.
We don’t need most things that is available. Or most things that we have. Or most things that we think about.
We buy things thinking that we might need them in the future. Or because it’s pretty.
We then ignore them in storage for years, even forgetting having them when we need to use them, ending up buying the same thing again.
We read all about the things that are happening with the world. Good or bad. About something that actually matters to you, or doesn’t matter to anyone.
We then have thoughts about someone else’s life. How good they have it. How we want tolive like them, or thoughts that horrible things that are happening halfway across the globe is also happening right here while they are not.
We fear that we won’t have the things we need in urgent times.
Or we won’t be good looking if you don’t have the newest clothes.
We fear that we’ll miss out on the newest stories.
Or we’ll be behind everyone else if we don’t know everything.
We are peddled with this narrative through advertising and the general media. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, they always have something that you “need” to know, or a “must have”.
It is more important now than ever, to think about your possessions and thoughts, and to pare them to the only things you can’t live without, or things that bring you joy.
Anything more than that is noise and crap.
I said I wanted answers about the reasons things that happened to me. I don’t anymore.
I’ve made the decision 6 weeks ago. I would leave the past. Leave the answers to my questions. Leave the memories of a bitter time.
So I looked at the present and the future. And things has indeed become better.
I don’t have those weird thougts again. The thought that this is not worth it. The thought that I would rather end it all rather to feel that pain again.
And that pain never came back.
I hope it won’t ever come back again forever.
Now I’m free, now I can see clearly.
I don’t regret what I’ve done, and I’m not angry for what I’ve went through.
The only sane thing to do is to accept things as the way they were, and the way they are right now.
Time to move forward.
Figuring things out is really fun. You start with something that you can’t do or doesn’t exist.
You try to find out how other people have done it or things like it. After a while, you know all the things you need to do, and you do them.
Sometimes you fail. Or you hit a brick wall. Or you think you just don’t have the patience or the diligence for it.
But actually, all you need to do is to take a break and try to figure out something else. Like dirty water, it will become clear when you let it sit still for a while.
Then what after you figure it out? Feel relieved for a minute before you find something else you want to figure out. Then repeat again for the rest of your life.
Something I want to share after finally building my first keyboard. Now figuring out how to make another one..
Snapchat’s latest update just revolutionized cameras and publishing.
They know a lot of users (not most) already have snapchat as their primary camera app. These users are not the majority in total numbers of users, but they are among the most active.
And now Snapchat just made itself the main gallery app and longer form publication platform in one go.
Their Memories updates enables users to group their snaps in a snap (sorry). And they can rename them. And add more photos / videos from other sources than snapchat. And you can name the collections. And most importantly, you can search the collections basedon the name or location.
Awesome so far.
The game changer though, is in the publishing. You can edit the collections, and theindividual image/videos as you can edit them on the usual snapchat. That’s your editing platform.
Then you can send it. In one go. That’s just insane.
I, for one, welcome our Snapchat overlords.
Labels are powerful. Be careful about about how people label you and how you label yourself.
It’s hard to be diagnosed something anyone can’t be sure about. Unlike cancer or broken bones which can be confirmed through MRI and x-ray, mental illness does not have a confirmation of the illness. Sure, you can discern the symptoms and try to group them, and try treatments that have worked for other people with similar symptoms, but nobody isreally sure about what is happening.
I have thrown myself around trying to get something that I know is impossible. A concrete answer for what is happening to me. What I’ve come to conclude right now is that I have gained more knowledge, but not much more wisdom since I’ve started the journey. All I know, is that something is wrong with me.
I’ve tried medication (which have made things much worse) and therapy. Some that I have consulted to say I’m depressed. Others say to not believe the label. Some thought something a bit beyond this world is affecting me. Others say it’s only in my thoughts.
I can’t pull something concrete out of them. Sometimes I feel better, other days it feels like one more day is too much. And I can’t really point out why. All I got is questions.
I only want an answer.
Sometimes I think about myself. About what I have done and about what I am doing, and about what I want to do.
Often, I will end up thinking about how I have done nothing useful or have not done things the way that they should be done. Then I would think I would never do the right things or doing hem in the right way.
What I need to remember in those times is that those thoughts are not useful. Those thoughts distract you from what I’m actually doing well and what I need to do next.
I need to flip the lightswitch to see what I’m doing, and be back in the present.
It’s been 2 months since the last period that I have written regularly here. Things change. I’ve returned to my old habit of media consumption, and sometimes my mood gets the worst of me. Re-reading my own writing, I feel like the past me has figured out all of it. But what’s failing is me. I didn’t keep doing what i know makes it better, I justdo what I like. Then I forgot what am I supposed to do, then I’ll feel like shit.
Currently rebooting through life. Trying to adapt to newly realised reality. Trying to sort out matters of past that keeps spilling into the present. Trying to sort out matters that will interfere with things that I actually want to do in the future. Trying to sort out myself.
It has been a little over two weeks since I have started my media diet. This diet is certainly much less extreme than the one I did in early 2015, but I have sustained it for a longer period. I am not planning to cease the diet now, or in the near future. I may have to use those tools again in the near future but until I can’t avoid it, I probably won’t use them.
One thing that I do notice is that I go less on my phone on occasions. At first I would reach my phone but then just open the gallery full of old pictures. After a while then I would just not open my phone to seek distractions anymore.
My thoughts are certainly less scattered. I would seek to peruse resources that I knowwould be more substantial than the ones I used to consume, and I have certainly gottengreat value out of them. I will be writing about these valuable in the future.
One interesting thing now is keeping up the news is overwhelming. I can really sense the way my body reacts to what seemingly close by and constant threat, though the reality is not that way. It scares me a lot and I really do not like that crawling feeling again. I have found that keeping up with the general news is not essential.
One expected hiccup that I did not expect is that I missed writing for this blog at all. Somehow it just missed my mind for days then there’s too much of a queue of days to catch up. I have decided that I would just chalk that mistake up rather than trying to wring up more substandard writing to fill them up.
It’s been a great experiment, and I look forward to continue it.
Most things I see in my feed is noise. It’s either something bad that I can’t change about, updates that does not matter to me in any way, or something about someone else’s agenda.
These things, whether frequent in consumption or not, consumes time in your thoughts. I would like to reduce it.
From now I have deleted almost all feed-based social media applications from my phone (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter) and try to reduce things in my Line feed. I still keep Snapchat because there’s not too much noise there.
I also will try to refrain myself from opening Reddit. I will seek better sources for information. I have some. Maybe I should write about them in the meantime.
Happy 47th birthday mom. Thank you for everything that you’ve done for me and my sister. I know that it has not been easy for you, doing it all alone. You’ll always be the number one example of working hard, smart, and diligently.
I adore people who can dissect what they feel and think. About themselves. About a piece of work. About what’s happening in the world.
Those who can point out what exactly from an event that they think could have been changed, and how it can be changed.
Those who can slice a piece of work in mere minutes pointing out it’s strength and weaknesses, and how for them it could be improved.
They know they are not the best, and they might be wrong. But they tried and they are confident in what they say, because they have a scary clarity to their own thoughts andfeelings. Those people are the best people to discuss with and work for.
Some days are hard. Really hard. Not on the body but on the mind. You manage to get up and go, but your mind is fucked up. You try to sing and dance in the car but you end up with tears in your eyes. You just try to pay attention to the lecture but you beat yourself up because you can’t. The words just fly through your ears, but your mind is thinking the worst about other things. You feel defeated. But it’s still 9am.
Sometimes the best way to help yourself is to help others. Being there for others and showing that you care for them. It’s not about you for a moment in your life. It’s about them. What they experience. What they feel. What they think.
You don’t judge them for what they did. You don’t judge them for what they feel. You don’t judge them for that they think they should do.
Simply be there and listen. Presence is the best gift of all.
Being a decent person on the surface is not hard. You are not supposed to be the best person in the world. You just need to be decent. Make a few mistakes here and there, and learn. Try not to hurt anybody else. Listen to the other person and try to understand them.
In reality, most of us have a person in our lives that we seem not even decent. Brings the question, how hard is it actually to be a decent person? Is it that much of an effort to not break somebody else’s trust or heart? Is it that hard not to be so selfish to hurt somebody else for your own gains?
I’m scared that I won’t be enough of a decent person. I really am.
There are a lot of things that you can do to entertain yourself. Play games. Watch videos. Browse through epic dank memes. Read discussions. A lot of activities.
Most of them are truly entertaining, but only some (and not the majority) are valuable. True, most of them should not be, but if it were the only thing you’re doing in a day, it becomes a concern. Even less offer fulfillment.
Fulfillment for me comes from an accomplishment. Passing a goal is a thing. Or just doing great in something. Understanding something new is amazing. And also doing great in a CS game.
Not much to do it. But I do need constant reminder to do it.
Sometimes you feel like you’ve had enough of yourself. Your past mistakes and failures surface up again in your thoughts. You feel worthless. You think that there is nothing more that you can do anyway, it feels better to dwell in the sorrow once again. Or end it, even.
But try one more. Always try one more. Do one more task. Help one more person. Write one more thing. Converse one more time with your closest. Go out once more.
Believe me. One more is all you need.
There’s a lot in common between a lot of us now. A lot of us reads and reacts to the same things. We watch and adore the same stories. We share a lot of what we feel and do with each other.
So who are you? If what we see and feel is the same? If what we think is the same? Where does the commonality end and the individual begins?
Nothing is better than the present.
For the future is unknown.
And the past is gone.
Nothing is better than the present.
For everything never happens in any other way,
than how it is happening right now.
Nothing is better than the present.
For accepting things as the way they are,
than trying to make as we want them to be.
Nothing is better than the present.
I remember a friend asked me a question that she thought was easy for me to answer.
“What is passion?”
I thought that was easy too, until I actually have to answer it.
For me, passion is an interest that you always hold dear to heart. Something that you enjoy doing and have been doing for a long time. Maybe you’re good at it.
One thing that really stands out for your passion is your curiosity about it. You want to grow and develop your skills in it. Not because you are pushed to by expectations, but by your sheer personal enjoyment of doing it.
Another way to find out if it’s always something that is in your mind. No matter what you do, it always has a time in the day for it to pop up and lead you into deeper thoughts. Probably something else to do, or observing something related to it.
These might be very vague, but it is important.
For me, finding a passion and making a living out of it is a personal goal of mine. If it makes me happy and feeds me, it doesn’t take much else for me to be happy.
Now it seems really far. But at least I have something to look forward to.
Noise is everywhere.
I don’t mean the noise outside the house, but more of cognitive noise.
There’s simply too much unimportant things that we are served everyday, whether through the press and the media, or through our own “curated” feeds on social media.
I don’t blame people to push their agenda to everyone else, such is the purpose of life. It is hard, to be honest, to keep control and not get distracted by their agenda (which is other’s agenda).
I intend to keep my mind less cluttered. Which means less noise on social media. Sometimes it gets through, but a little spring cleaning goes a long way to prevent that.
One of the best weeks of my life in recent years was the week I went offline. Not that it was a great point of my life in any way, but the feeling that my mind was free and that I was not mad or bothered by what anybody said about something in the world.
Keeping a lifestyle like that is unsustainable in the long run but I did see the benefits. I’m trying to reduce the noise again right now.
Twitter is dead to me now.
Twitter was the place I found a “voice” in my early teenage years. Not that I have any large following on there, but the fact that I wrote (even miniscule amounts) on there is something I didn’t do before twitter. It was fun when your stupid quotes and opinions was retweeted and responded to (by your friends). It seemed that all of us has a voice and could discuss anything only limited by our imagination.
After a few years of hiatus, coming back to twitter was largely based on curiosity instead of memories. I still have my favorite people on twitter (comprised of @hansdavidian and @hotradero) tweeting away, but even in their feed it’s evident: twitter is dead.
Tweeting found quotes isn’t as fun when it seems like everybody’s already left. The ones that stayed also knows that everybody’s gone. Tweeting like there’s someone will only instantiate a fight over.. anything. Not to mention anyone could argue with you with anything they have, and 140 characters is a large place for misunderstanding.
While I’ll still be checking out some twitter accounts from time to time, it won’t be through my feed anymore.
There’s a lot to look up in life. The successes of founders of big companies. The wealth of the top 1%. The body of top athletes and supermodels. It’s endless. To want them is normal these days. To want them is encouraged these days.
Today I want to be grateful instead. To look at what I have and enjoy right now.
I am grateful of all the people that are close to me. My family, my friends. All that has been there through my tough times, although they might not now. I appreciate the support that they have given me endlessly.
I am grateful for my health that I can do the things I want to do everyday, and I accept that now I am not as fit that I can be. I accept that I should take more care of my knees and spine.
I am grateful for all the things that I’ve been through. For some that I have leaned the lessons of, and others that I haven’t found the meaning of. For life is only strings of experiences, and we can’t choose them.
I am grateful to be me right now.
Life is a bunch of doing. You must initiate action. Do things. Create things. Find the connection. Try. See what it does. Don’t just sit around and look at the world. Not because you’ll get left behind, but because it’s fun.
If you’re a true perfectionist, you’ll never do anything because it’s impossible to reach perfection. The last detail you’ve worked hard for the last hours will bug you forever, but being done with it now is much better than not finishing it because it’s not perfect.
Perfectionists doesn’t do anything. People who strives to be the best of themselves change themselves, and the world.
Ramblings after spending 6 hours changing blog platforms and trying to modify it to the way I like it. I consider it done, for now..
Self-control and discipline is something that I have struggled with for a long time. I never really knew what the effects were until very recently I realized that most of my problems have their root in my lack of self control. I give in far too easy to useless distractions such as reddit, instagram, and other forms of social media.
The book The Marshmallow Test is a great book on understanding the underpinnings of self-control and how it effects our life, from our daily life to life-building habits and decision making. The explanations are very in depth and interesting, and it challenges conventional thinking about self-control and anxiety.
I would like to list the actions that can be taken to improve my own self-control skills, relating to my own tendency to give in to temptation and distractions and my own anxiety.
1. Be more future biased. Self-control, in it’s core, will benefit greatly in the future for the minuscule trade off in the present. As long as I cannot cool the present wants and heat up the future needs, I will value today’s effort much less than tomorrow’s gain. Be more future minded by focusing myself that if I don’t eat healthily now, I risk my health in the future. If I don’t exercise today, I might be less active in the near future. Do not focus on the present feeling of laziness or feeling good.
2. Create If-Then plans. If-Then plans are short actions to take my mind off temptations and distractions. The If part should be the hot spots that trigger these reactions. For example, my trigger for opening reddit in class would be boredom. The If-Then plan would be “If I feel bored in class, then I close my laptop and pull out my pen and notebook”. These triggers can be identified by reflecting and also by keeping track of the impulses throughout the day.
3. Rehearse the If-Then action. Just like a program, decision making must be defined by a condition. By preparing the If-Then action beforehand, I will reduce my decision making effort a lot and help me through distractions and temptations.
4. Imagine the effects as it hits you right now instead of the future. Take example of people who are allergic to something. They instantly avoid that thing immediately, because they will feel the effect instantly they get in contact with it. Imagine you’ll instantly becoming sick when you keep eating unhealthily.
5. Self-distance myself out of terrible experiences. Most of the time I am reminded of something terrible that I experienced, I always place myself in the place of me, feeling overwhelmed with my own emotions and assumptions, thereby increasing stress and anxiety. By distancing myself from the experience (e.g: reexperiencing it as ‘a fly on the wall’), I could reappraise the moment itself with my cooler rational system instead of my reactive system.
These are the basic outlines on which I would like to readjust my life currently. I would like to be healthier, more productive, and happier this year. I hope I can be better by using these guidelines. I now have books written by Leo Babauta of zen-habits in my kindle queue, and I hope to also implement things from it alongside these guidelines.
Starting is hard. I always get distracted by the finer, unimportant details. The things that, in the end, does not really matter.
Starting is a nice fantasy. In reality, starting is a journey. A means to a goal. The first step to something.
This is a start of yet another blog by me. The goal is just to write everyday. Just show up. Rain or shine. Write. Just write and publish everyday.
I’m really trying not to get hung up on the finer details (like how to change the page title in the front page) and trying more to write. I still really don’t know what to write about. Mostly commentary or ideas, or something I notice in the day. Maybe a bit about my thoughts and emotions. I usually ramble around topics and that reflects my way of thinking. I hope by writing everyday I could improve on that.But starting to write is an improvement over doing nothing.
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