Friday Blog – 12/30/22

This week has been so busy for me. I meant to blog earlier in the week so I wouldn’t have to do it today, but I just finished up working a seasonal job which is transitioning into another part time job. I’ve adapted this mentality to enter into the workplace each day with a huge, cheesy smile on my face. This way, I can tackle all of the problems I need to do without getting too stressed out. This takes me back to an anecdote from middle school. We had this one counselor who would tell us that if you force yourself to smile, your body will think that you are happy, and then you will be. I honestly don’t know if this is true, I might read up on it, but I keep this in the back of my mind before I step through the door for work. 

Stress and anxiety have always been something that I have struggled to deal with. I always thought that I was a type-A personality because of the unreasonable extremes I push myself to regarding my goals. These extremes are unreasonable because of my lack of tact in time management, so that’s something I’ve been working on as well. What helps me with stress and anxiety is analytically breaking down what causes it. If I get a rush of adrenaline, that’s my anxious-attachment system being triggered which is telling my body to either fight, flight or freeze. I typically either fight or fly away. I am trying not to fight or fly away now; I’m just trying to deal with whatever causes my stress on the spot through logic. It takes a lot of time, which I did not give myself before, to be able to think things through in my head. Sometimes anxiety has things to see and people to do, so it totally disregards the present moment. 

Speaking of being in the moment, this is something I am practicing as well. Let me tell you how I practice this; The other night, the temperature in my city reached 50 degrees. Keep in mind that it is almost January and we had just endured this intense snow storm which took place over the holidays. Now, it’s spring temperature outside. 

I live in Chicago; we have a lake. It’s called lake Michigan. Residing on the other side of the lake is the west side of the state of Michigan, the state where I am originally from. I never feel too far from home. The lake froze during the snow storm, and giant mountains of ice from the waves pushed the beaches backwards towards shore. I walked along this shore for about 2 miles, observing the icy waters slowly melting to reveal a clear image of the fine grains of sediment resting at the bottom of the lake. I’d really thought that I’d find a dead body that night, as the water had never been this transparent before. Usually, this walk to me always feels like forever, but last night it felt like a mirage; a conglomeration of mental images and deep feelings which I forced myself to confront. Seldom am I in the present moment when my eyes are open and I’m going about my day. I am constantly either thinking of the past; my anxieties about all the things I did or didn’t do, or the future; my anxieties about all the things I did or didn’t do just yet. On this walk, I seared the present into my memory, as I was paying attention to every little detail. This is my practice; being in the moment. 

When I’m on the train, I look out the window at the houses, cars and forests. Sometimes, the lake is there to greet me and I can get lost staring out into its vastness. Other times, it’s the people and their stories who greet me, although there was not a soul in sight. I see their stories when the train intrudes on their lives, I caught a glimpse of a junk yard once; cars piled neatly on top of each other in an automotive graveyard, I imagine the man who operated the crane ever so precisely, the man who was able to stack these cars so perfectly as if they were a deck of cards. You can tell a lot about a town and its people by looking at graffiti. Sometimes, the graffiti is really funny so you know that it could have been from some high schooler. Other times, the graffiti is angry and says something bigoted or incredibly stupid. What does that tell you? 

I wanted to talk about this concept I’ve been mulling over in my brain. It’s not a concept that I have read about or that has been described to me, its my own little thing. I call it “itemization”. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the word itemize means; to set down in detail or by particulars. My concept of “itemization” involves the details of particular items in everyday life… (this might get confusing so I’ll do my best to explain what’s in my head). Consider an unacknowledged item; a piece of trash that ends up sitting in your bag, a single leaf which somehow slipped in through the front door, or a piece of string that unraveled from a garment you were wearing.  It’s not necessarily a neglected item, as you have regarded it as meaningless to begin with, which is why I say that it is an “unacknowledged item”; it holds no meaning, and it is meant to be thrown away. To throw away items requires actions; to retrieve the item, walk them to the trash can, then take the trash bag out of the trash can and throw it into another trash can. From there, the government spends money to remove all of your trash and recycling. So, in a sense, this trash does have value. 

When we understand items at the most fundamental root, and acknowledge that they are a possession that we own, we learn to regard our most meaningful possessions with a little bit more care. We can give them a home, as well as signified value. Every T-Shirt needs to tell a story for me. If it were a gift and who it was given to me by, if I bought it on a vacation or at a concert, or maybe it’s the shirt that has been sitting in my Amazon wish list for two years that my dad and I got for Christmas. Now to make these items last, I need to take care of everything I care about. I have to know what the item is, where it came from, what it means to me and how I take care of it. Just like my house plant Andy Warhol. 

I am so proud that I wrote that paragraph, holy shit. Please let me know what you think of “Itemization”. Is it tedious? Stupid? Hold some meaning to it? Will I die and become a philosopher in the history books? That would be so funny, actually. We never know how the world is going to define us after death, that’s why it’s so much fun to invent so many meanings into my own life. 

Now let’s talk about my New Year’s Resolutions since goals are my favorite thing and I love talking about myself. 

New Year’s Concepts;

  1. To practice being in the moment more 
  2. To practice “Itemization” 

New Year’s Habits

  1. Use Excel more for: 
    1. Personal finance 
    1. Information management 
  2. Implement cleaning systems and routines 

New Year’s Goals

  1. Complete a studio album 
  2. Save more money 

Let me know what your goals are!!! OMG WAIT, I can finally tell you…
Coding a website was fun, but I wanted to add a feature for you guys to be able to comment on these blogs. So, I switched over to WordPress… Eventually, I will upload the other website I coded as a fun little rabbit hole… Maybe I can work on a little video game 🙂 That’s an idea for the future… but for now, please feel free to explore and comment on my new blog site!!!!!!!!!

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  1. BTW about that keep a smile on your face and you’ll be happy,I think it does work to an extent! The way your body is postured affects how you feel. Ppl usually see it the other way around but it works both ways. I remember hearing a study on it done with hermit crabs I believe not too sure. Smth I just thought about is that this might also be the reason why the phrase “chin up” exists.

    1. Very interesting! Crabs are cool, my friend wrote this really short story based on the “crab mentality” that I really liked; when in a bucket, crabs will prevent each other from escaping as a means to preserve the conformity of the group. She compared this to people. Chin up crab up lets go

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