Drunk plans


Here's to all the things Im considering now I'm drunk, absent anxiety, and full of energy.

  1. Learn to shuffle!
  2. Take a course in digital signal processing
  3. Build (either using PCBs or vinyl) a graphical map of San Francisco
  4. Trick out my bike with LEDs and a speaker system
  5. Actually fuckin start Reclaim The Streets here in San Francisco

Posted on June 13, 2020 by twitchyliquid64 | Tagged: #drunk  #life 


Determination


Somewhere within, an unvocalized, intense desire for change springs forth. Marked by sheer intensity of will, the burning impulse rouses all faculties to action, unwilling to consider pacifism in pursuit of its ultimate goal.

With engines revving hard and the Doing Brain kicking into gear, there is no time for even a passing acknowledgement that the status quo is unsatisfactory. Every uncertainty quickly takes its leave, as you laser focus towards your target. There can only be strength, and a direct hit is certain.

These moments are rare, but damn are they powerful.


This feeling


Oh how I missed this feeling. I haven't felt it in a while.

The hopeful anxiety, the intensity of the moment, the future rushing forward bursting with incredible possibilities. Feeling the cold wind through your fingers as you hold them up to the world, as if you are the master of the very air. The knot in your stomach that brings you soaring to an incredible natural ecstacy, drunk indulgences of making plans.

Alas I know, this is just a moment. Sometime soon, my hopes may turn to worries, probabilities to possibilities, and my unnatural grin may fade to indifference. But hey, this it what it means to be alive.


Paradigm Shifts


This has been a draft since 2015. Time to see the light of day.

From depression and sadness comes self evaluation and the openness to change things. From this, spawns the opportunity to shift your thinking and improve yourself. I hope this post is a way for me to document these thoughts that I have, right now, to keep me moving forward.

Sometimes, I feel like what I am doing is moving backward, particularly with the development of my social self. These last few months have seen my outgoing self supplicate in congruence towards a certain special individual, unsurprisingly (in retrospect) leading to my ultimate rejection. I know full well the saying be yourself, everything else is tragedy, yet seem to have difficulty putting it into practice. No more.


Paradigm Shifts

Predictive sociality

  • I used to approach all problems with the same reasoning - understand - predict - calibrate. In other words, look ahead, reason the potential outcomes, and work my actions towards promising opportunities.

  • But, If I am honest, this approach is less than effective- even retarding, in social circumstances. In a social setting, outcomes and specifics are entirely unpredictable, and attempting to reason them sets you up with expectations which play with your head. Worse still, continually having expectations broken and being put on the spot engineers an anxiety complex, further damning hope for improvement.

  • Instead, it took a previous mentee (I) - now turned mentor - to realise that this approach is far from reality. Whilst no action should be entirely devoid of reasoning, you cannot attempt to predict social interation or outcomes. Instead smile at how unpredictable it is, throw yourself headfirst into every opportunity you get and take pride in not knowing how it will turn out. Goes well? kek. Badly? Epic banter. You cannot let yourself think about all the things that can go wrong, or you will never be surprised by all the things that will go right.

  • In terms of challenging habits, that means:

    • No more playing out conversations in my head ahead of time ... It throws you off in the moment.
    • No more fantasizing about potential outcomes ... It messes with your head when they inevitably dont occur.

Shia LaBeouf style Motivation

  • If the whole world had no fear and no anxiety, what a world it would be.
  • Finding the inner strength to do what you really want to do is still a major challenge. Fortunately, there are a couple of things you can do to help you across the line.
    • Technique one: Baby stepping
      • Start by taking little steps towards your ultimate goal (the one that gives you the anxiety). Remind yourself that this is just one step, still innocent, you are still in control. For example. if you wanted to get a girls number, you would start by taking your phone out of your pocket.
      • Step by step, you get closer to the goal, till there is only one thing left to do - in our example that would be to ask for the number.
      • In this moment, remind yourself of all the steps you did to get here - and that taking all those steps before, you meant to do it and they were easy, this one will be no different.
    • Technique two: Taking control of your legs
      • The instant when you are aware of an action you could take, a war - a mind war sparks inside you. On one side, your ego drives you towards what your truely want. On the other side, our emotions attempt to maintain the status quo, and generate fear and anxiety to attempt to keep you in stasis. Reader, whatever you do, it is your job to make sure the ego wins, because otherwise, you are not yourself, just another shell following the whims of an invisible force attempted to stunt your development.
      • You know what you want. You know what you feel. In this instant, you push your emotions down in a wave, gaining control of all the muscles above the wave. Push it down to your toes.
      • You know what you want. Your emotions are going to make sure it's not easy. But you are in control of your legs now, so you walk towards your decision even though your emotions make sure your not comfortable. Baby step it.

I want this to be a living document, so I expect to add to it over the coming months.

... its not quite about thinking and reasoning, but a lack thereof. It's about being able to just... let go and trust yourself. You don't feel like you need to deal with it, it just happens.

- Taylor Ian

Br,

-twitchyliquid64


Travellers


Vulnerability is a beautiful thing. It empowers us to share, to feel freely, and find parts of ourselves in the mingling of others. Vulnerability keeps us open, provides as purpose.

But for weary travellers chasing the opportunity of The Unknown, we leave parts of ourselves behind every time we depart for the lonely road. Our new home is always temporary, one stop on a long journey of experience and sonder. Its beautiful, but also bittersweet.

Somewhere in my heart, I carry pieces of the people i crossed paths with; the essence of souls mingling, possibilities that could have been.


Superhuman


A few years ago, I knew what I wanted to do with all the certainty and energy of a teenager coming of age, discovering what it means to be alive.

I wanted to travel the world- to drift with ease wherever my heart takes me. I wanted to meet people at the drop of a hat, and find my way; fearless, unapologetic. I wanted to see the world through a lens that was not coloured by anxiety, by regret, or any shade of grey, and i wanted to leave my mark before i fade to credits.

But I'm no superman. Instead, I discovered a world that is not friendly to enthusiasm or diversity. Even harder to deal with, I discovered that I could not move through the world with the grace and emotional resilience my youthful self envisioned. I felt myself falling into the same emotional anti-patterns that plagued my early teenage years; the self-conscious, the helpless introspection, the walls closing in that grow harder and harder to break free of.

But I've done this a few times now. I see my young expectations are rather unrealistic; It takes time to settle, to meet people, and you don't have to be happy all the time. I realise that the things that matter to me take time to build, and I don't need to make myself worry if I have made no progress in a few weeks. The timeline of my life is measured in years not months.

I know I wanted it all and that was foolish, but thats okay. I'm not superhuman.


Destructive Tendencies


Humans are social creatures by nature, so it not surprising that too much of the opposite can send some of us into darker days. What should manifest as fleeting moments of loneliness instead spirals into serious depressive or anxious states, which can take some time to climb out of. Seems a tad counter-productive from an evolutionary perspective- a defect if you ask me.

I've always prided myself on being able to detect and avoid downward spirals of thoughts and emotions. But truth be told, pride is both foolish and a sin- pride clouds ones own vision with a smug smog that hides the inevitable imperfections in your perspective. Needless to say, I'm realising I'm not as good as I thought I was at stopping destructive thoughts.

Whole schools of thought have been built up around preventing these negative thought spirals. My favorite authors on the subject, M. Williams and D. Penmen, have written Mindfulness: A guide to finding peace in a frantic world, which guides the reader to understand these patterns and learn/practice techniques to overcome them.

“Overthinking ruins you. Ruins the situation, twists it around, makes you worry and just makes everything much worse than it actually is.” - Unknown

Following the mindfulness school of thought, I would like to think I am slowly observing my own destructive patterns, in the hope of avoiding them in the future.

So heres mine, in some rought chronological order:

  1. "Oh, I haven't spoke to anyone for a while, and there is nothing exciting planned for the near future". Cues mellow music
  2. Hmm something feels wrong. Why do I feel wrong?
  3. I feel wrong because of {Insert insecurity here}. SOMETHING IS MISSING.
  4. Omg im so lonely/sad/isolated
  5. Cue anxiety about meeting people, general gloominess, depeleting thoughts and negative re-enforcement
  6. Doesn't get out there to fix it due to pt. 5

The ramblings of an weary but optimistic twenty-something


It's my birthday in a few days. Wierd.

Queue the passage of time. Enter moment of introspection and reflection. Blog post? check.

Learnt heaps of new things at work and in my own projects. Felt lonely at some times, estatic at others. Met some new girls and said goodbye to others. Sure.

Its funny how familiar this gig is. In some ways, nothing has changed. From another perspective, everything has. Memories fading and feelings changing.

Me changing. How quaint.

I feel like I'm more mature this time round. Like my experiences of the last year, and my social successes over the last three months have taught me some unseeable truth. Like I finally feel comfortable with the lulls as much as the highs. Like I've finally tried enough and learned enough to settle into some stoic frame, the essence that I will be happy calling Tom.

I thought that last year too. Quaint, once again.

Despite this fallibility, the endless repetition, the moving goalposts ever out of reach, there is a peace. The peace is in looking back and watching yourself struggle on through, up and down, again and again.

The peace is knowing yourself, learning the hard way what you always knew but never felt; you will make it, it will be worth it, you will find happiness.


Lets try something a little bit different


Its really hard to stay in a happy state, whilst also having the emotional / physical energy to be social, be productive, get the girl etc.

I've heard from quite a few people now an interesting concept: setting your life on an upward spiral. Great read here, a summary of a good book here, and a more systems-oriented piece here.

An upward spiral is about continuously re-enforcing patterns, thoughts and emotions which are beneficial and help us grow. Whilst being a very agreeable concept, the challenge is bringing positivity to every facet of your present living, rather than keeping a balance or simply relying on blind optimism.

How am I going to do it? I'm going to go out and spend meaningful time with friends and family. I'm going to work towards tangible Things That Matter in my spare hours (fitness, exploring the world, persuit of love & happiness) and try and exclude a lot of my hobbies which, for the time being, are simply distractions.


Araitz


Burned into my memory, the sight of green eyes smiling at me in the moonlight streaming through her window. Her intoxicating smell filling my nostrils with sweetness. Her soft, tanned skin beneath my hands and face.

There is something about lying with your woman in her pyjamas that mellows the soul and puts everything into perspective. Those magical moments spent pressed up against another human being with nothing separating you. In the rising light of the morning, it is us against the world.

We talked about everything and nothing that mattered, and went from enthusiastic strangers to teary-eyed lovers saying goodbye.

Her memory continues to fill my mind. Its little things; her gorgeous Spanish accent, Affectionate phrases, along with the way she plays with my hair or touches my face.

I like to think that everything happens for a reason- every little moment or person I meet has a part to play in my journey as I play a part in theirs.

For us lonely souls, there are reminders that there is love coming but just out of arms reach. Its a teaser, a signal to not give up hope. To fight with all the strength we can muster as we ride - broken and scarred but with high spirits - through the rapids of life.

Araitz, thank you for the gifts you have given me. Thank you for your sweetness and gentle touch. Thank you for those 11 hours that were arguably the best 11 hours of my life.

Long lost nights

And an ache of lust

I can feel your touch

I will feed on us


Low tide sighs

And it's not enough

I would lace you up

I could taste your love


Echoes burn me in the night

My silence you're stealing

Since you taught me how to do it right

My heart has been bleeding


Begging to return the light (You taught me babe)

In the silence i'm kneeling (Now I crave someone)

You taught me how to do it right (Who feels the same)

My heart has been bleeding

-- Bigger than Love - Ian Bluestone


Sadness.


I lost all my riches, The diamonds in the mind.

It turns out that this was the best thing to ever happen to me.

Errors and glitches, What a way to find,

That such hurt could bring you greater peace of mind.


If you've ever lost every part of yourself,

If you've left your heart on a lonely avenue,

It will be only a matter of time,

Before your life comes through for you.

:))))


The End of Sonder


Sonder

n. the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own—populated with their own ambitions, friends, routines, worries and inherited craziness—an epic story that continues invisibly around you like an anthill sprawling deep underground, with elaborate passageways to thousands of other lives that you’ll never know existed, in which you might appear only once, as an extra sipping coffee in the background, as a blur of traffic passing on the highway, as a lighted window at dusk.

- jkcreative

Why is it that every single decision or action I make, every fucking one, is tainted by the silent motive of my longings. A demon of silent desire and envy, {REDACTED}, hangs over me like eternal baggage, and brings a fading edge of hope everytime it shifts uncomfortably in its ride.

I don't remember when it started, it wasn't always like this. But at such stretches of memory closure escapes me. Somewhere, my essence decided that my life was given colour by something eternally out of reach.

I've been trapped ever since. My decisions are no longer truly mine, even on the days when I'm feeling too proud or happy to admit it. Instead, any possibility of satisfying my longings shifts my desires, and temporarily rewrites whole parts of my behavior. So much for be yourself.

I've done the internet searches. I've read the books. And yes - I seem to adore all those songs. But how can I {REDACTED}

Ironically, the perpetrator of all of this is me. Whilst the object of my decisions and desires is clearly driven in a single direction, I sabotage myself with my hobbies, music, youtube videos, and innane gaming. Why can't I dedicate as much effort towards happiness as I can towards my distractions?

So this is my contract with myself. If I have not made substantial improvements, by the 20th November 2016, I must aggressively pursue personal change to these ends to the detriment of other pursuits. This is not the start of something, it is merely a safety net - to avoid an end.

I need to change how I do things. I need to remember in every moment that I need to do something DIFFERENT to what I have always done.

No more can I stare idly at the world and admire its potential without adding to its possibilities. This is the end of sonder. Should I fail, I die.

Retrospective edit: This was a ... hard time in my life. I'm better now.


An update.


Its been a while.

My wonderful time at uni is coming to a close. The things I have learnt, the memories I've made and the people I've met are all fantastic. Now that I face my final semester, the remaining 6 months are colored with a tinge of finality and nostalgia. I'm going to miss it.

Career wise, things are going well too. While I am studying I.T, I have always had a keen interest in electronics and engineering. While interning at a software company, I saw an opportunity to move into a team developing new products - working on both the software and hardware sides. As this is something that interests me greatly, I took it. It is immensely challenging, but the work is very interesting and I am learning so much. Even better, I was offered a very flexible casual contract to continue my work following the internship, so I will continue working at this company. Exciting times.

I have long held the idea of moving out to be important next stage in my personal development. Working two days a week over an hour from home, AND juggling full time uni is no easy feat, so I am considering renting an apartment/studio somewhere in the city to reduce the complexity of some things. This is by no means a small mental barrier - but it would be a big step forward for me.

In terms of keeping myself organised, I have a number of things on my event horizon. As usual, this consists of a combination of self-development/organisational/work-related and personal projects:

  • Recycle old shirts that no longer fit me to reduce clutter in the amount of clothing I have
  • Throw out old socks / jackets
  • Find a rental property for the next 6 months - either on my own or with a flatmate (M.M)
  • Clean/consolidate my room, preferably putting the things worth keeping into boxes
  • Get all important toolchains working on my laptop - so I can work anywhere

Projects:

  • Panel creator cad program - for creating DXFs for laser cutting
  • PIC Web IDE - to make programming PIC micro controllers as easy as arduino
  • 145MHz Oscillator circuit and custom PCB - my first entry into the world of RF electronics
  • ESP8266 mesh network node - Building a mesh network using the popular wifi SoC. Each node will have a large battery and a solar panel.
  • Access Control System (ACS) for the BioFoundry bio-hackerspace - built using ESP8266s, electric door strikes, and relays.

Project wish list:

  • Generalised communications system (probably based off IRC) for a chat network or signalling in a distributed system.

  • Generalised plugin architecture for running code and gathering data in the field - for general infosec research.

  • RTL-SDR tool for finding and decoding data bursts in the 433Mhz range (for finding and decoding transmissions from arbitrary devices automatically).

As always, stay frosty.

-Tom


Dear Tom


Its funny how the words can find you in the nosiest of moments, as drunk uni-students brush past you like the crisp winter air, with the lights of the city filling the shadows of your footsteps. Each step connects itself in solidarity to every other lonely walk, every twilight city stroll, reviving old memories and feelings lost to all but the mellowest parts of my being.

Goals are, for the most part, eternal. You're never finished with them. You never stop reaching for them. And in the darkness and solitude, your dreams, achievements, and goals lay themselves out across the streets and intersections of the city. Some of those streets you have already tread, illuminated by the moonlight, intimately familiar. Others are marked at the crossroads - their names foreign and the path bumpy - the ones which are yet to be faced at some undetermined time in the future. In this lonely journey, you are faced with crossroads every day, but turning down them remains the hardest choice of your life.

Each crossroad offers a unique challenge, and forms a new characteristic or skill, through which you can find and define yourself. The hobby and curiousity driven ones are the easiest, easily travelled with reading and thought, and you often take these in lieu of the harder paths that lay before you. You have to pick your battles.

But the night sky reveals all, and the roads ignored are as obvious as the nights in which they were discovered. Every time, the night fades a little with the realisation.

This is you, Tom. This is me, every broken self promise and dream and wish almost forgotten about and every time you moved on. Every girl you ever liked where they never knew it, every first-year night rampaging the city with friends, every time you knew what you needed to do to push yourself - just say something, just call someone - but in your mind you had already confined it to a thought almost as soon as it manifested. This is us.

And once in a while, just like every once in a while, something happens. A force from within, a drive, a mighty bulldozer smashes through the walls in your mind and frees you from the containment of self conditioning. You find the space within you to do what you always imagined yourself doing, without a hope for redemption or failure either way. The dark roads light up, the crossroads align. Through this grace, we find the means to break into a new district of our journey.

--twitchyliquid64


Moments Pt. 3 - Time


An ecstasy of waves gently lapping the bow of the ship. The sunset casts shadows across the Brisbane cityscape, giving colour to the wind as it spirals across the deck, beckoning passengers closer. We lean away from it's edge, edging towards each other.

The boat docks. Strangers take their seats at the bow. Enter a traveler, run away to Australia to meet the world. Half a world away, she lands sitting next to us. The specifics are a fantastic blur as I snuggle into you.

A euphoria of laughter in the biting wind. Our mysterious traveller, a German, meets two misfits who unceremoniously collided on a casual night in a cold place.

Despite the moment, I couldn't help but savour the feeling.

A rapture of possibility,

us travellers drifting, tumbling,

through a chasm of entropy

yet settling perfectly for the happiness of two young souls.