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. 💖