Don’t call it a detox.

In an effort to not mirror the attitude of my last post, I will be more constructive and forward-looking. I knew that I’d encounter obstacles, and that changing up your life for the better isn’t black or white nor easy. What I did not suspect was for the option of completely staring over to become so attractive. I did not expect those obstacles to show me that my problems are more fundamental than I’d like to admit.

The idea of starting over sounds appealing, doesn’t it? The idea of waking up one morning limitless–that’s essentially what staring over means. You’ve never failed so you don’t have any preconceived notions of what you can or cannot do. It’s escaping the reared-in-chains elephant mindset: you did not have that inescapable chain binding you to one place, one outlook on life when you were a child, so therefore it did not lead you to believe that even into adulthood you were helpless, despite your maturation into a majestic and massively beautiful creature of leather-bound power and grace. You are free. You have not succeeded so you are not paralyzed with the notion of recreating that experience, there is no obsession. You have no responsibility other than the one to yourself. Nothing to pull you away, nothing to keep you here. It’s not merely free-floating, it’s not merely existing. You are, essentially, infinite.

So what if I did it, Reader? What if I jumped, regardless of whether or not a net would appear? With disregard to naturalists’ quotes and ancient proverbs, to reinvent myself I would descend into what could easily turn from untapped fortune to madness. Where the scales are balanced, I have no fail-safes or padding or advantages. What if I leveled the playing field for myself? Do you think I’d feel liberated? Oppressed? Overwhelmed or at peace? Who knows…but what should be asked next is…how. How would I do it?

I was thinking…minimalism. I start with nothing, slowly and deliberately build up good habits. I should start with foundation. I will learn to walk again: my only concentration will be on being well fed, well-groomed, and well maintained. I concern myself only with keeping up with work and school when necessary. I consider it steps towards a better me when I wake up at a decent hour and go to sleep at a decent hour. I’ll consider it a step in the right direction when I shower, shave, perform oral hygiene, and put on lotion and deodorant. I’ll consider it great when I keep my room clean. I’ll consider it temporary defeat when I don’t, letting that usher me onto a more experienced and meditated path. I will not accept permanent defeat because I will not quit. It will get hard, I can’t rewire my mind overnight. I cannot reconstruct my reward circuits with mere thoughts. I can not drop the social life in which I’ve constructed so easily.

So my only to-dos concern progress job and education wise. My only habits to keep track off deal with survival. Lets so I live my day to the fullest and complete all that can be done that day, what then? Simple. I read. I exercise. I meditate. I write. I cultivate my mind and soul, I will make savage my body. I will continue to fight. Because to fight is what I’ve always done. It’s in my DNA. That’s one of the single most important things passed on to me: my fighting spirit. It has been exhausted in the wrong places for far too long. Internal struggles will meet the malice of my external struggles. There will only be one struggle: balancing doing things and not doing things. Because there will be no rights and wrongs, every thing that I do will be right and every step that I make will be in the right direct: we are at square one, Reader. At least, when looking in on my life.

Crazy, huh? Scary…impractical even. But can it be done? I believe so. Will I fail? No. Will I become something else by a point of stabilization? Who knows. Will I be alien, foreign, hated, criminal? I do not know. I’m sorry, I just don’t know. Must be weird for you, to keep up with this social experiment dialogue, to bear witness to the deconstruction and reconstruction of a person. But I’d imagine, if you’d pay attention, you’d see it all around you. The world isn’t done yet; that’s why you and I are here. If it was so perfect, why were we born? For that matter, if God was so perfect and all-knowing, how come the urge to create rose in him? At least I know why it germinated in me: the world isn’t done being created yet. I can’t help but laugh a bit when look to the left of this computer screen. Boorstin’s The Creators.

Funny enough, I was looking for a place or rather someone to talk to first, about this self-provoked paradigm shift that has been trundling around in my head. I thought, “wouldn’t it be nice to clear up space in my mind? Wouldn’t that be nice if it transferred over into my life? Haha, yes! Like in “Walden”: ‘I had three pieces of limestone on my desk, but I was terrified to find that they required to be dusted daily, when the furniture of my mind was all undusted still, and threw them out the window in disgust.’” Went to the place I was introduced to “Walden”, r/minimalism. A thread lead me to r/freshstart, and that was enough. I wasn’t alone. Yes, it would help me feel better to share this with them all but it doesn’t really matter. I’m technically late to the party but I’m glad I found my way. And I assume that I only wanted to chat to someone so I could quell or work out my feelings, to solidify my decision. I really don’t need to do that. Jump headstrong, you’ll learn from the experience. No worries. No fear. No sense of self but the one that you create, that you own. Here’s what I ended up posting to reddit:

Saw it mentioned on /r/ Minimalism. Decided to investigate. On the fence about the dive I just might take…might as well stick around and check things out, right? Work up the courage to jump?

Prior to joining the Army, I had been a lot of people in my life. At the point of enlistment, I wasn’t someone I wanted to be. In hopes of having a way to pay for school and build my character as well as just burn out the impurities to some degree, I enlisted. Its been 484 days since I enlisted. I’m one helluva person yet I still have a lot of things on a fundamental level that are conflicting with becoming the person I want to be.

I’ve been rolling over the idea of starting over in my head for a couple of days now. WHAT IF…I woke up one day and had no limitations. No prior engagements, no promises, no responsibility other than the one to myself. What if nothing stood in my way, not even fear? What if I had the entire day to do what I had to do with no pointless distractions? I couldn’t complain about my bad habits, I’d just need to keep them in check. Hell, I don’t know have a clear picture of what my bad habits are yet! But I bet I’d figure them out once I realize I have this sense where I can’t go through the day without being attached to reddit/facebook/my email/Skype/my phone/video games/whatever it may be. I bet I’d get to read daily like I want to, write as much as I’d want to, meditate, exercise, run as much as I’d like to. And I wouldn’t feel bad about procrastinating because I wouldn’t. The expanse of my life would be exactly that: my life, the making of everything that it is composed of as laid out in front of me, in the form of my actions. Nothing more, nothing less. Just my life, no strings attached. Such an attractive idea, right? If I jumped right in, I’d learn from the experience no doubt. I have faith that if I commit, I’ll learn to deal with the difficulties…sure there are snags and little thoughts that pervade my confidence but what are they in comparison by what there is to gain? True freedom? Full responsibility and realistic control. No excuses. Just fighting, something that I want to do so bad. Sure it may not be smooth sailing at first but if I stick with it, make it work full well knowing there will be intensive obstacles…my, my. The bright future ahead, painted out in all the colors of my choosing the metric shit ton that life would throw at the canvas.

Yet here I am, browsing reddit, messaging over Skype, prepping to play a video game. Tomorrow will probably be something along the same lines: wake up late even though you said you’d get on a good sleep schedule, sham your morning routine in terms of personal hygiene, put off the things that don’t need to be done right now, barely satisfy survival needs, think a lot about what needs to be done and even try to plan on doing it but never really doing it. Rinse. Repeat.

But…but if I put everything away, if but for a week…my phone, my computer (unless I needed to do stuff for my job), what would happen? Friends may not be able to contact me so easily but so what? If they REALLY need to contact me, they know where I live. They have my address. They can coordinate and inquire with other people. They can figure it out and contact me, if you wanted to so badly.

Everything that I’m doing right now doesn’t need to happen, while my life is hung up on a self, near the to-deal with pile that has been slowly accumulating over the years. I say near because I’ve gotten so lazy that when placing it there originally, I didn’t bother putting it where it should’ve been placed. It’s slow gathering dust, progressing through half-lives as I mindlessly dance the night away with procrastination, numb with a tinge of anxiety.

Relevant.

As far as a permalink goes to this post, here.

Outline, Operation Foundation:

  • Wake/sleep reasonably.
  • Start cooking.
  • Morning hygiene routine.
  • Keep a clean, “minimal” space.
  • Three objectives a day, only. Throw myself with reckless abandon at them, launching such an overwhelmingly massive attack on these objectives that neither hesitation nor fear dare rear their ugly faces in defiance.
  • Read, meditate, exercise, write, wonder/adventure, socialize in your leisure.
  • disconnect yourself from your phone and your computer unless necessary…for a week.

Just to prove a point, no matter how counterintuitive it may sound: you may return to your old ways once everything it is that you feel needs to be done is done. I suspect you’ll be astonished by how much you actually get done and how good you feel that you’ll learn to move forward from that point. Work hard. If you need to, remind yourself that you may return to your obsessions and addictions once you are done. But I suspect you’ll never actually be done, haha. Oh welp. We’ll see I suppose.

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2 responses to “Don’t call it a detox.

  1. J

    Patience is key here, I think. Habits aren’t formed overnight, especially not healthy ones (those are the hardest).

    • It’s true, habits do take awhile to form, and patience is a virtue. But after learning so much and feeling so much, I just exploded and threw myself at the idea of better living. I was frustrated beyond belief at the idea that I am stale, unmoving in my old ways.

      I am, however, relearning what it means to struggle every day for the better. Patience, is in fact, key.

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