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




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.

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.


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


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.

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.


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.

Moments Pt. 2 - Memories

Up the lift, take a left. Cross at the lights, pass the old abandoned house with graffiti on the walls and roof collapsing, duck under the branch from the red-brick-house-that-never-does-their-gardening, and take another left.

Over the hill, the road leans home to a comfy bed and phone charger, winding past a mosaic of memories in the distant city lights.

Sydney Lights

I don't stop walking as memories of freedom, late nights, and flashing lights swirl around me, each step as rhythmic as each night that preceded it. Some memories, almost magical, euphoric, colour the road before me as they do my early adult life. They contrast the calmer nights, a fresh sponge soaking up the nights and heights of the people and places around me. Freedom in sight, never alone.

So every evening on the way home, I walk down memory lane- filled with the scenery of summer nights. Without fail, I cannot help but to smile, remembering the memory of what those lights mean to me.

The red pill

Its like standing at the edge of a chasm, looking down at the void which waits below. You know what you want to do - what you need to do - but you are afraid to upset the balance of the status quo; to step outside of your comfort zone. Somehow, you take the first step across the fragile bridge, aware that every and any misplaced step would be your last. It has begun; and now only moving forward is an option - fearful that the mere action of turning back would misbalance you and throw you into the void, lost forever.

You have taken The Step into the unknown, leaving your past self, its moments, and its infinity of possibilities to live on only in your memories. All that remains is the hope of a brighter infinity shining out your eyes.

“We cross our bridges when we come to them and burn them behind us, with nothing to show for our progress except a memory of the smell of smoke, and a presumption that once our eyes watered."

-- Tom Motherfucking Stoppard

Who we are

We are creatures of emotion; living to maximize positive energy, hits of dopamine.

We know we have the capacity to do better; to do what we want to or aught to do. But, almost simultaneously, we are slaves to a system we cannot control, a system which drains that capacity without diminishing our free will.

We are living out of anticipation; craving the future but not appreciating the present.

We are slaves to a sense of belonging; willing to compromise huge parts of ourselves just to fall in line.

Our whole selves are slaves to a system which we cannot ever hope to understand.

What does that make us?


Everyone remembers the good times.

But there are times when I spend so much time thinking chasing these memories that it's just depressing.

Lets return to the past in the present tense. Picture you're there; having the time of your life at whatever place it is. IE: at some event/party chillin with good people. If your default is an introvert like me, you feel fine, even good; but not amazing. Only afterwards, when you start missing the company, or when its almost over, do you realise how much you enjoyed it in contrast to your immediate future or a pending monotonous lifestyle.

At this stage, missed opportunities and fantasies of what could have been expand to fill your mind. At times, you might imagine what you wish could have happened in extreme detail. And every time you do, its like you back there, literally living the dream, a side of you that could have been if only you were a different person.

You end up missing the times you had, but also the times you could have had, if you did something or circumstances were different.

This reminiscence can be extremely crushing; if you have nothing to look forward to. You explore every turn of events and possibility in your mind, as if somehow you could discover a way to return to that bliss; a bliss you didn't realise was bliss at the time.

Red pill or blue pill?

Its fairly easy to idle through life. You simply live; go with the flow, and let circumstance take you in interesting directions. You end up at various places, normally out of your control (ie: At university because your parents/social-norms etc have taught you that's the next step). You let surface interactions, and routine dictate your life.

Then you tell me, are you satisfied? Where is your sense of direction?

Simple answer is no.

The problem is that we as humans naturally (and often subconsciously) build up buffers to challenging situations, rejection and awkward/unusual circumstance. This occurs both mentally - through subtle control of habit and thought - and also physically; though subconscious manipulation of circumstance - taking chances, places we go, people we interact with. To put it simply, we tend to live in our comfort zone - the blue pill.

So what does that make us? It makes us self-conscious, forcing us to conform our outward appearance and personality to align with that of which society expects. Moreover, we condition our behavior to minimise the possibility of an uncomfortable situation (by sticking to ourselves, or people we trust, highly unwilling to venture outside that safe little bubble we have created for ourselves).

So, without a personal goal to work towards or achieve, we sink into a self-reinforced monotonous routine. What's more, is that a lot of people don't even realise that its themselves that are doing it, and instead feel like their trapped inside someone else.s master plan. All in all, they are not satisfied.

There is only really one long-term solution to this kind of problem. The solution is to finally take risks; and break down the prison of a existence we have trapped ourselves in. You need to have a sense/pride of-self which is greater than the opinion of others. You need to step outside your comfort zone and take the steps towards doing what we want and being who we want to be. You need to take the red pill.

From there, you will take control of your own life.


I know, caught up in the middle. I cry, just a little, when I think of letting go. I know, gave up on the riddle. I cry, just a little, when I think of letting go.

- Cry (Just a little) by Bingo Players

Sometimes I miss my memories. This is understandable, and thoughts of nostalgia are common. But nostalgia only applies to memories which we enjoy and miss. What about memories which we did not nessesarily enjoy? or don't miss? What are we to call them? Or, more importantly, why do I find myself thinking about it?


I learnt to think and reason from a very early age. I learnt to look at my problems at face value, identify the root cause, and commence action to solve them. From this, I learnt nearly all the skills I have now; from general knowledge, programming, I.T skills, dealing with stress, and introspection. This helped me a great deal, and in some ways created the person who I am.

I got so used to this kind of thinking - a form of boolean logic and reasoning - that I felt it was the only way to think. Everything in my life at the time could be reasoned and solved with that system.

The truth is, I embellished those things that I could reason using this logic - maths, sciences, I.T, intellectualism, cadets - whilst shunning things that I couldnt explain; without considering that I was actually pushing those things into the corner - english, sociology, emotion. And now, as I try and build up my skills in these areas that I shunned, I am finding that nothing works.

The efforts I make don't seem make a dent in my incapacity. Whatever dent it do make in the short term doesnt last. Fundementally, I presently incapable of operating using a different level of logic; fuzzy logic, or even non-logic.

And this leaves me feeling sidelined, and alone.

Its like I have been working on something all my life - logical intellectualism and all those skills - but now that I stop and look at all parts of living, I feel like I have been barking up the wrong tree and all that really matters now lies in the dust. And now, what I really have, what I really have been doing all these years, is now nothing.

Its the feeling of trying to join in time and time again to something you want to know, but left unengaged, sidelined. Helpless, and depressed.

How can I ever hope to be who I want to be?