Restlessness and Self-Improvement

I'm genuinely not surprised. Committing to a regular, scheduled task like maintaining a blog or journal has never been my strong suit. The last update came two months after my first real post, this one's coming three months after that. I swear I'm not going to wait 4 months for the next one - at least I hope not. Let's start out with an update on how things have been going for me. Going alright honestly. Can't complain, and I mean that with all sincerity. I have a good job, my family's with me, and I'm not actively dealing with any major conflict, struggle, or burden in life. A lot of people can't say that about themselves. I'm very lucky, but can't say I'm really happy. Most days, it just feels like I'm on autopilot and just being dragged along by routine, instinct, and gut reactions to things. One of the main reasons I even started this blog in the first place was to give myself a sense of balance, a place to just sit down be still, and self-reflect. So when I feel restless constantly, I can't blame anyone or anything but myself. If I had simply committed to this on a basic level, I might already be in a much better place. But that's okay. The time is always right to do what's right. I think it's time to start doing right by myself.

For one thing, I'm going to create a schedule for daily activities I can do for self-improvement. I've narrowed it down to 4 major things for now:

  • Meditation + Breathing Exercises
  • Studying philosophy
  • Studying mental health
  • This blog!

More details on all of those. The first one is mainly just to combat my restlessness. There was once a time, as early as the start of this year, where I practiced both of these daily. During those days, I remember being calmer, in the present more, and just focused. One day I just stopped, however, and all progress I made on my mental state just vanished. That's why I'm starting these back up again. My life now isn't as consistently stressful as my university days but they've been really intense some days. I mentioned getting my first job as a data engineer. Well, the first project I actually got to work on didn't go very smoothly. Things got derailed, and we fell behind. The result was sometimes weeks on end of working overtime and even weekends. It got to the point where I felt so burnt out that one day I woke up and just couldn't muster the energy to work. So I called in sick. Things have calmed down a lot now, but I don't want things to get to that point again. Making the effort to take stock of my mental state each day, calm down, and just be in the moment should do wonders in making sure I don't have to do a full reset every now and then.

I believe I mentioned two reasons in my introduction post about why I wanted to create content: simply avoiding the existence of a mindless drone, and intellectual stimulation. Well, there's nothing more intellectually stimulating than philosophy to get into. This is just one of the many fields I wanted to earnestly learn more about. The others being mental health, linguistics, and maybe art history. All of those topics have piqued my interest consistently over the years. That's why I want to devote a chunk of time every day to just sit down and learn. Not only will I be able to obtain valuable insights and wisdom, but doing this will stave off the lingering feeling I have some days where I think I wasted the day and did nothing productive.

Studying mental health is about trying to understand why exactly I'm feeling the way that I'm feeling most days. I'm not actively dealing with any diagnosed illness or condition, but that doesn't mean my mental health is at its peak either. Just like how simply not being sick or disabled doesn't mean someones' at prime physical health. If I can put a name on some of the recurring thoughts and behaviors that contribute to me feeling unhappy, that should be the first step in dealing with them right? That's the reasoning at least. The bare minimum I want to accomplish with this is just becoming more self-aware and giving myself the ability to notice when I'm experiencing certain thoughts or impulses, understand where they're coming from, and reel them back in if need be.

And I'll document my journey through all that in this blog! Reading is all well and good, but actually sitting down to gather my thoughts, condense them, and write about what I learned on a given day will do wonders in helping me absorb the material and endure that I truly comprehend it. To that end, I'm still not sure I'll be writing posts on a regular schedule, at least, I'm not making any promises. I will sit down and write when I feel like I have something to talk about, or just want to share my notes and thoughts about a reading I did. To ensure that that happens, I won't force myself to reach any kind of minimum word length for my posts. If all I have is a single sentence to write at the end of the day, I'll put that down. What matters is that I get it done at the end of the day. Although, glancing at the length of this post, I wager that I won't have too much trouble filling space any time soon.

And that's about it. A quick life update and a plan for the future. Even just laying all of this out made me really excited. I know I've practically said this before, but I plan to be around a lot more frequently in the future. To everyone that's reading this, I hope you have a good day. If not today, then tomorrow, or the day after that.

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