You Are What You Read

A quick scroll through my Instapaper reveals a lot of things to me. Topics I tend to save include but are not limited to: front end development, social politics within the tech industry, intersectional feminism, fitness advice, crochet patterns, gaming guides, and how to deal with anxiety.

What can you infer from that list? First, I’m a web developer with a particular interest in front end. Second, I perceive myself as somewhat disadvantaged (I am in certain ways and privileged in others). I’m a woman and an ethnic minority. I think a lot about my place in this world and how I could help make it better for everyone.

You can also infer what I do in my spare time. I try to stay in shape, I make my own winter accessories, and I play video games. I am otherwise constantly learning.

However the last point, my anxiety, isn’t something I readily admit. What good will that do, when shining a light on it will only make it worse? I’m not looking for pity, and I have people in my life to comfort me. Still, it’s something I face everyday. I read about it. I’m doing something about it.

I wonder what other people could be hiding, if we could only see what they read when no one is looking.

The Cycle of Hobbies


I learn more and more that everything in life comes in crests and dips, even something as frivolous as a hobby. One day it’s all you could do, and the next it’s completely exhausting and you’re filled with resentment. I don’t know if you feel that way, but I do.

I can consciously pinpoint the cause to one problem: I place too much pressure on myself. I’m an overachiever, always have been. I buy too much into the Cult of Busy. No one questions why you’re destroying yourself when it’s for the sake of “self-improvement.”

And while the old adage of “there’s always time” is true, it’s important to let yourself rest on a regular basis. That’s something I have to keep telling myself, when I’m sitting on the couch watching Netflix and anxiety starts filling my mind, when I’m not doing anything and alarm bells ring in my ears. You’re not being productive. You’re useless. Of course, it’s not true. I know it’s not true. But feelings don’t yield to reason so easily.

Tying my self-worth with how much I can get done is a monster I try to kill each day. I don’t always win, but I’m taking baby steps.

No Zero Days

On my lower days, I find it difficult to accomplish anything once I sign off work. I tend to go through extremes. I’m either up to my eyeballs in side projects or I’m sitting in our living room, too burnt out to eat dinner, until I hate myself. No chores, no exercise, no fun, no time spent with anyone.

Being alone, feeling trapped in my own thoughts, is not a place I like to stay in. The only advice that’s pulled me out of it is this: No Zero Days. If I can do one thing that day, just one thing, be it put away the dishes or do a set of squats, then I’ve done well. It might not be ideal, it might not impress anyone, but I’m not doing it for anyone else. I’m doing it for me. On a non-zero day, I was not and will not be defeated.

Rule of Three is an experiment featuring three different, sometimes connected, drabbles that I’ve never managed to flesh out. These three tidbits have been siting in my drafts for quite some time, and rather than letting them never see the light of day, I’ve decided to compile them into one entry. I have more of these in my drafts, and I will continue to compile them when I feel it appropriate.

These three drabbles in particular were written as a catharsis for some troubling times in the past. They do not necessarily reflect my feelings today. I’m actually doing pretty well, so please don’t worry about me. 💖


  1. I noticed that the things that people pin/post/liked typically shows the type of person they are. In this case, all of these topics are totes you!

    Everyone has their “weaknesses”. It’s up to the individuals themselves to make the most out of it. Baby steps are great because you can see actual results at the end- “wow, all of these little things DO make a big difference!”

    1. Little Memory has helped me so much since I’ve been logging all the happy things that’s happened in the day. XD It really helps to remember that there are always things to smile about.

  2. Like you I have my days when I am ready to go do everything on my to-do list, but I also have my days when I don’t want to do anything. Take today for example, I got to work and jotted down all the things I needed to do. I wanted to do everything today (though realistically that wasn’t possible), but after completing one thing, I was so exhausted that I couldn’t do anything else. In fact, I ended up taking a nap. In the end, I accomplished four things today, and that’s good enough for me, because — like you said — baby steps are the key.

    I like your thoughts on No Zero Days. What you do should only be for yourself. You don’t have to impress anyone and as long as you can do at least one thing on those difficult days, then that’s good.

    And I had to think about the whole “You are what you read”. That’s true since I only want to read what interests me, and a lot of my interests has shaped my personality and myself.
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    1. No Zero Days is really helpful! It actually helps me snowball on my activities. Once I finish a to-do, I feel like I can do another so I just keep going.

  3. I think it’s very true that you are what you read. It reflects your interests, and sometimes more personal aspects of life.

    I have a lot of days where I don’t want to do anything, but I find forcing myself to make a start on something helps. It’s just having enough motivation/will power to make that start. Sometimes I sit for hours before I manage to do it, but that’s okay. Your “no zero” rule is great one. It’s always good to achieve at least one thing!
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    1. No Zero Days is really great for motivation. :D Usually, if I can get myself started, I manage to finish most things on my agenda.

  4. It looks like anxiety is tied into how we perceive our self worth, and of course when we base that on how much we do each day we become anxious when we haven’t done enough. However, always remember that you are not useless and that rest exists for a reason. I learned this recently – we need to take as much rest as what we are pouring out through everything we do. That’s why we’re supposed to have one day each week just to rest and recharge. Don’t do anything that would drain your emotional health.

    Thanks for admitting to anxiety though, because you are not alone! <3 It's very brave and admirable to admit it.
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    1. Thank you for you kind words. <3 I find it challenging to share my struggles since I find them deeply personal, but just this once, I wanted to write it out. A day of rest really does help! It's usually Saturday for me.

  5. That’s interesting to think about, that what we read probably doesn’t match up to what we share. Some of what I read is probably obvious since people know I like video games, am in the tech industry, and like cosplay. I also read the news every day on politics and world events, but because I hate internet arguments, I end up not posting about any of it.

    I am the same way with my hobbies! I place a lot of pressure on myself to perfect my hobbies, even though hobbies are supposed to be fun things on the side. While it’s sometimes stressful, I still do it because it feels more satisfying to me. I agree it’s important to let yourself rest though. I was supposed to do some more sewing today but decided to just watch Daredevil instead XD

    I like the idea of No Zero Days! Sometimes I come home and feel too burnt out from work, but being able to accomplish at least one thing does feel a lot better.
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  6. This was a neat little post. :3

    I can really relate my special interests to the way you did with your hobbies; some days, I am all over something, whereas other days, I am not.

    I like the idea of ‘No Zero Days’. c:
    Liz recently posted…Why I blog about being autisticMy Profile

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