Fidelity, honoring myself and expressing the truth


#21

What are some other places you might head to?

You’ve traveled for your job in the past, I think. Any regions that you enjoyed or that appealed more?


#22

There’s this particular reality to feeling and expressing feelings; as opposed to analyzing them. I think that you understand this; definitely on an intuitive level and probably on other levels as well.

Allowing oneself to speak from the heart. From the immediacy of how the world looks and feels right now, in this moment. There’s a real value in it; and this is also where much of art has its origins.

It’s not about an absolute or programmatic statement about all that reality is and can ever be. It’s allowing the feelings, the thoughts, and the reactions to exist as they are. In an incomplete, evolving state. And having the bravery to expose them to the light of day. There’s a truth in it.

When someone responds with ‘Yes, but…’ or ‘What you’re missing is…’, it can really feel that the person is missing the point.

At the same time, the objective, analytical aspects of us are real and legitimate too. They too have valuable assertions to offer.

The mistake, I think, lies in mistaking analysis as some sort of antidote to the feeling mind. The two are more akin to imperfect partners or potential friends, each shoring up and compensating for the other’s weaknesses.

This dynamic between genuine expression of feeling and accurate objective analysis can get even trickier in the context of an online discussion forum. Doesn’t have to; but can.

Anyway, I read much of what you write as genuine, authentic reports from your current mental and feeling subjective space. You yourself can and do mix in tropes of analysis. So this is not some kind of pure case. Still, the true feeling part tends to be there; just about always, I’d say.

I guess that somehow the frame of ‘What This Is About’ has to be established and will continually be renegotiated.


#23

None that really stuck out. Hard to tell too because I was under tremendous stress at the same time. I’m going to let my intuition guide me on this one. I’ll be updating my journal while I figure it out. I kind of want to find a place that isn’t well known but is still nice. I feel like in the US there are a lot of hidden gems so to speak.

And your second post, I spent a large portion of my life repressing a lot of stuff by being overly analytical. It hurt me a lot. I’m trying to regain balance here, but quite literally I think the dam is just burst open and it’s all continually pouring out. I couldn’t shove it back in if I tried because I know how bad it was for me now.

But it’s like you say. A lot of this is how I feel. I feel it but I’m not controlled by it. Quite the opposite. I’ve found when you actively repress this stuff, try to hide it, be ashamed of it, that’s when it really controls you. Which is ironic because there’s more of an illusion of having control over emotions when you attempt to assert your will over them.

I like being honest here. It’s not always the happiest thoughts or most encouraging things, but it’s real. My hope is that anyone who stumbled upon my journal in a similar situation gains the courage to move through things with their own life. Life can be hard for some people and for whatever reason some people like denying that. And I feel like that’s the worst feeling in the world, just being invalidated and isolated and told you just need to try harder.


#24

So many limiting beliefs wrapped up in anything art related. So goddamn many. I have never seen anyone be as discouraging or patronizing to those who want to make art a main focus of their life. Many people think it’s easy. That anyone can pick up a guitar or paintbrush and create great work. They fail to see it’s an innate skillset that aids the creation of the art. Certain people make art, just as certain people become engineers, lawyers, doctors, etc. I’m gonna use whatever innate gifts I have to build my life around my strengths. Even worse are those that tell you if you don’t have “it” to quit. If the desire is there for expression and you feel strongly about it you do have “it”. Some people are more talented than others, but that’s not what makes a great artist.

I realized I have 0 people in my life that I relate to on this level or are there to support me in my weaker moments. That’s a strong reason why I want to move somewhere else. I need a network to lean on when I’m facing difficulties most of the world just won’t understand. Too often in the past I’ve been alone and start thinking I’m delusional, a dreamer, unrealistic, and wasting my time. I’ve never been strong enough to advocate for myself, I’m getting there but it’s been difficult in my life. It’s the main reason I’m in the life I’m in right now because I never told people no or trusted what I felt. I just always assumed I was incompetent and dumb and everyone else knew better than me.


#25

Experimenting with 2 loops. Overdid it yesterday by not spacing them out enough. But I feel better today than I have the past few days so I take that as a good sign.

Got a lot I have to do and I’m having trouble doing it though. At the end of my work day I’m exhausted. I definitely crash from these meds too around 3 or 4 pm. Just tired. My main focus was going to be finding another doctor that will work with me to figure things out. I don’t need therapy or insight, just quite literally I have trouble executing most of it. I’m not a dumb person but I can appear to be depending on how much stuff I have to juggle in my life.

I’m going to be returning to beyond limitless Ultima. Going to see if I can gain some cognitive enhancement from that to make me less stressed.


#26

So that was cool today. I got informed I’d be getting a 1000 bonus this Friday. Also got told this tradeshow was still happening in January which is fucking insane. But I told my boss that’s the line I have to draw. I won’t go. For my own mental and physical health, I’m sick of pushing myself past my own personal limits for the sake of others. There’s no reason for it. Yeah other people are fine with all this but I’m not. Even when covid wasn’t happening these events were troubling to me. I’m not gonna stay here and subject myself to it just because I was insecure that I couldn’t handle it all.

I can feel the focus of this custom better than my previous build. There have been small but important shifts in how I approach things. Feels like they are stacking up to make a bigger change.


#27

You’re talking about Fidelity here, right? The custom described up in post #1?

If so, pretty cool. 14 modules. Each one intentionally chosen and addressing what you’re really working on. And the cores are in line with longstanding efforts and priorities.

Nice.


#28

Yup Fidelity. One before this I was so scattered in my head. But this one I can feel like it’s building me up more. And the modules seem to be working more synergistically rather than being another thing my mind has to process.


#29

Every step–even every so-called mistake–makes possible and gets you to the next step; as you continually learn, grow, and refine.

God only knows where you’ll be 3,6, 9 years into this process.

hmm…day may come when you’re one of these Dragon Reborn people, going through that process of change, healing, and transformation.


#30

It’s definitely in my plans to run dragon reborn. But right now my goal is to grow enough so I can enjoy life instead of feeling like a bystanding witness to it. I’m not even out for grand achievements yet, I’m almost entirely working on building a life that finally let’s me feel like I can breathe.

I’m 29 which isn’t that old, but I look back on how much I missed in my past and it’s a lot. I don’t want that to ever happen again. I still mourn that time lost to depression and anxiety.


#31

Definitely feel like the ultimate producer module is pushing me in a certain direction. I’m thinking about learning guitar, piano, even drums. I was thinking of taking my bonus I’m getting and investing in a nice electronic drum kit. My goal isn’t to really become super proficient in one instrument, but sort of be a multi instrumentalist that applies to my music I make. I’ve seen other producers do it, I know it’s possible. Even if I’m not the most amazing drummer, pianist, or guitarist anything that I can use to make music would be nice.

Going to continue with beyond limitless Ultima. I’ve already got a piano course I never finished and a guitar course I never even started. I’m going to research more into the electronic drum kits to see how much they cost. I’ve got such a long history of trying to learn stuff and then not being able to follow through and it sucks. I want to learn and I don’t want to let these limiting beliefs that it’s not possible for me get in the way.


#32

Heavily inspired by a bunch of dream pop and synth pop lately. Felt like making something like that. This was one of those “when enough is enough” moments. It’s really hard to know when to stop or stop shoving stuff into the song. I’ve realized my composing style is very much like my personality and how I articulate things. I like everything to have a purpose and I’m very selective in what gets expressed. Sometimes it’s chaotic, sometimes it’s not. I’m gonna post another track I did to show the contrast in how the compositions can change depending on my own headspace.

I find it very tricky. I could have a great song with only a few elements playing and then feel that nagging feeling that I have to “do more”. But it’s more like insecurity than genuine desire to express myself. I think I could finish more songs if I wasn’t so weighed down by this. It pretty much feels like I’m not doing enough or trying hard enough or I’m just being lazy and mediocre not putting more attention to detail in my stuff. This has been an ongoing battle ever since I started with music. Feeling like there’s something missing, but not knowing what it is. But this Iras Glass quote always resonates with me.

Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.”
― Ira Glass

One I finished about a month ago

The one I finished up yesterday


#33

One more thought. Sometimes I feel like people who say “make music for yourself, forget about getting fans or making money” is just a well disguised limiting belief. Should I make music for myself? Absolutely. But is that the only thing I should limit myself to? Hell no.


#34

I was thinking about the whole when enough is enough thing with my music. Then I realized that applies to other aspects of my life too. Am I just going to keep isolating myself and holding myself back from relationships just because my life is messy? To be honest I never saw relationships as healing, I felt like if you couldn’t be happy on your own then relying on good relationships to help you feel better was a weakness. I’ve expended so much mental energy over the years trying to keep up appearances just because I’ve been so afraid of being honest with people.

I’ve fallen into the trap again of trying to improve myself to avoid something or hide it. When really I should be improving myself to have the strength to be out in the world as I am despite my flaws.

For years I felt isolated, alone, misunderstood. But I never really reached out. I never connected with or trusted people. It’s hard. I know it’s hard for most people, but for me it’s always been a serious issue. My main coping mechanism was to shut people out. I told myself relationships aren’t that important and I just need to focus on myself more.

I don’t really know but It’s like I still hold myself back. On an unconscious level. It’s better, but the core avoidant behavior still manifests a lot. Maybe that’s why music is important for me. I can share myself in an indirect safe way. Put my thoughts and feelings into this abstract thing and it’s almost like encryption. People that resonate with it will understand, those that don’t won’t have a similar key to decrypt it.

And through it all I keep telling myself “no you’re not supposed to be this way”. And fighting and fighting. But what if this is my journey in life? What if the thing I’ve been avoiding for years is what I have to come to accept? And learn that its not bad, it’s different. The only thing that causes the distress is trying to live a life continually denying who I am as a person.

The thing with these subs sometimes, especially something like AM. I start overcomplicating what needs to change in me. I start assuming I need to become this archetype or something. Be someone incredibly different from who I am. But I’m trying to change that focus into strengthening who I naturally am and being an individual, not some cardboard cutout of masculinity.


#35

I feel like I’m making good progress. But man these past two days have been really rough. Zero energy, very scatter brained, and a continual anxiety of wanting to do things but not being able to. There was one point yesterday I sat down on the couch of a bit because I needed a break from my ruminating. I went on instagram and I scrolled and scrolled, the never ending goddamn feed of stuff. It’s worse for me because I don’t go on that often so there’s always a ton of content to catch up on that I’m following.

Anyway at one point I got pissed and just threw my phone across the room. It just fucking angered me how I have this pattern of being anxious, then turning to the most easily accessible thing and then getting stuck there. These apps suck, they’re designed to keep you glued to them and give you little hits of dopamine. And I can’t control myself. It’s not that I’m checking it all the time, but when I do I just get absolutely sucked into it. Like a broken record, I can’t break myself away.

I told myself instead of saturating my brain with mindless stuff when I’m feeling that anxiety I’ll work on ear training for my music. I downloaded a functional ear training app that helps you learn to identify intervals and chords. It’s kind of like a game so it’s got a small reward for getting things right but at least it’s productive.

Today is tough for me. Decided to put everything else aside and get a list of doctors I can go to. This is my biggest issue. I’ll have days where I think “ok it’s not that bad” and then days like this where I’m completely knocked on my ass. I was supposed to go grocery shopping and that’s just not happening today. So it gets very unpredictable with what I can manage day to day. And that’s a problem. Luckily I have some stuff frozen to make during the week, but I’ve had weeks where I didn’t go grocery shopping on the weekend and I barely ate during the week. It’s just a horrible domino effect that can fuck up everything.

Debating if I should continue with the 2 loops or if this was too much for me. Even though I’ve had some good growth, it seems like the rest days are really heavy for me and I’m not sure if I can realistically handle it at the moment.


#36

I am very conflicted right now. I can’t tell if what I’m feeling is a result of too much exposure or important growth and I need to keep pushing and not give in to wanting to drop back to 1 loop.

Seriously can’t tell. But it’s 4:17pm right now and I haven’t done shit all day. Couldn’t even bring myself to look up doctors and get a list of phone numbers. And I can’t even take it easy and relax because I feel guilty for not doing the stuff I know I need to do. Terrible feeling.

On top of that getting some hardcore reconciliation. Where my life is at and where I want it to be and how much of a massive gap there is there. Just makes me feel like I’m never going to get there.


#37

Pull that lens back and switch over to the big picture.

Your mind prefers to close-up on the details.

Clock says that was 5 hours ago. Hope you’re doing better now.

We’re all in different time zones on here.

It’s good to treat your mind like a fancy, vintage car sometimes. high-performance, but with a lot of quirks.

this one’s wicked powerful but the gear slips between 3rd and 4th

that one’s super fuel-efficient but the steering tends to drift to the left if you’re not paying attention

another one seizes up when the temperature gets cold, and needs to be accelerated gently

and so on

curiously and non-judgmentally observe how yours works. just so you can drive it better. they’re only fatal flaws if you don’t take them into account. otherwise, they’re just challenging quirks or even special features.


#38

Thanks. I was a little better, not much. Called it an early night. The idea of working today was slowly creeping in too and that caused me more anxiety as well. I’m going to try again with two loops this week to see how I do. I’m going to be as objective as possible so I don’t burn myself out by being insecure about how much I can handle.

I have a tendency to put myself through hell for the sake of change but it’s not always sustainable. And it seems like I never got aquatinted with the idea of personal growth in a paced way that’s enough of a challenge but not crippling.


#39

Have you ever read Dr. Elaine Aron’s book The Highly Sensitive Person, or checked out her work? I know I’ve mentioned it before, but I’m not sure how familiar you are with it. I am one. You seem to be one too. I’m older though, so it probably makes a difference.

What made me think of it was what you said about running two loops. I think that with an HSP, a few loops could potentially go a very long way.


#40

I’ve looked up some stuff on it, never read the book though. Yes I’m definitely a HSP. But I know high sensitivity comes with ADHD as well. In any case, yeah my threshold for stimulus isn’t as high as other people. 1 loop of this custom might be enough to be honest. I very often feel “heavy” for lack of a better word about 1 or two hours after my first loop.

I still have a lot of trouble regulating my environment/behaviors to not overwhelm myself. I find a lot of the time I feel guilty if I don’t push past it. So I’ve kind of conditioned myself to not even pay attention to my internal cues when things are getting too much for me.