This post will be about exploring my thought processes during my struggle to write the ‘perfect’ introduction for my upcoming post. My motivation is that, by sharing–and thus having had the opportunity to express myself–I won’t feel the need to go through these rather taxing thought exercises again. At the very least, these exercises are interesting to me, and they would serve to be a snapshot of my current thought tendencies and analytical approach that I can look back at in the future.
Alright, so as I first sat down to write my post, the fact that I hadn’t posted anything in a while was glaring out to me. And so, in addressing this, I considered having the title be something like “May 2017: post-finals, post-birthday & my life at the age of 23”, and the post to start as follows:
“I hope that the title can serve to explain–and excuse–why it has been almost a month since I had last posted. Right now, as I consider how I should go about presenting all the little stories that happened in some meaningful coherency, I’m thinking of opting for the autobiographical life update style, because, as such, all the stories can be deemed coherent by their nature of them stemming from my experiences. As well, I would like to express my desire in setting a new tone/voice in my writing, in reflection of me wanting to live life without fear of the past, future, or of judgment. As such, it may be unavoidable for this post to have a manic edge to it, as I’m going to boldly declare a lot of personal thoughts that reside in the present. By prefacing all of this, I hope to encourage myself to be open and unfiltered. I like to think that setting up such a forward/disclaimer unapologetically exemplifies my thought process, and, pointing this out–at this risk of getting into a thought loop–is what makes me me (I think). Anyways, this will be an honest and real life update of me at 23, in what it means for me to live life. It sounds dramatic, and/but it kind of is. But it needs to said and processed in words, even just for my sake; to facilitate moving on, acceptance, and being steadfast in the truth to live in its reality.”
So… that’s a whole lot of words just to say “hey I’m just going to say how I feel now”. That’s why I completely rewrote it today, but I didn’t want to get rid of this because I think it perfectly captures the way I rationalize my thoughts. And given that I was introducing a series of personal, emotional, and real life experiences (as opposed to anime analysis), I was probably/rightfully a bit manic/hyper to say the least. But what my attempt at creating the perfect introduction highlights is my intense desire to intently express myself in hopes that my whole being can be easily understood. And if you thought that the above was bad, it was exponentially worse when I was on psychedelics. I obsessively tried to rationalize every thought I had, and then the whole rationalizing process was explored, and while that never ceased, I would feel satisfied with the fact that I was able observe all these things in my head all the while processing it. It’s this weird literature meta mania, and it was very taxing.
But back to the topic of rewrites, I want to call attention to the fact that the words of the first draft flowed out quite naturally to me, as opposed to the edited and restructured versions where they went through some cognitive processing. Although in most cases I would prefer the polished draft, I feared that this process was taking away from the writing’s reflection of my truer tone and intentions. The difficulty in discerning this is that my head space can become quite convoluted when I spend too much time writing and considering what to edit. Like, for example, with this very post, given that the nature of this post is meta-analytical, I had my brain in knots until I had walked away for like half the day. Initially, I didn’t want to walk away because doing so may dissolve the original feel and drive of the writing; plus I just wanted to finish the post. But, as always, knowing to take the break is something that I have had to work on.
On a slight tangent, I experience similar problems when I produce music. After listening to the same 10 second parts over and over again, it just all mushes together in my head. Either everything sounds right, or everything sounds wrong. Do these elements go together? Should I go back to the original drum pattern? I don’t know. But, moving away from the OCD like anxiety, the good news is that practice does makes perfect. Zaytoven even says that he doesn’t spend more than 10 minutes on making a beat. With art (or with anything really), productivity and consistency is more important than talent, and the later definitely comes with time. I like how Digibro can just turn on the camera and talk without a script and have the content be fairly coherent. Maybe I’ll be there in a few years too.
Once again going back to the writing, I think it’s interesting to note that before I took the break, I felt more negatively about my first draft then I do now. In my initial notes, I had wrote that the first draft sounded very manic, and I perceived my tone to be embarrassingly assertive and declarative. I had rewritten the introduction with that in mind, with a focus to be more friendly:
“I realize that it has almost been a whole month since I had last posted. As there are a lot that I want to share, I’ve been struggling to capture the right tone to introduce this post. But, in wanting to start things off simple, I’ll just put it out there that I’m going to write this post as if I’m just talking to a friend. Now, is this introduction really necessary? Probably not. But this preface encourage myself to just do it, and reminds me to take it easy. I’m also leaving this in here for the sake of showing my concerns when it comes to writing. Plus, pointing this out is a degree of self rationalization that I kind of like about myself, and one that, I think, demonstrates my general thought process. Okay, let’s go:”
This one isn’t perfect either, and I think that, at the time anyways, with the limitation of this being an introduction for a lengthy narrative piece about me, I felt very conflicted in how I could (without changing the tone too much) explain my belief that there must be a reason for the way I think, and in trying to understand it, I can hope to explain myself to others (and to myself) who and how I really am. I don’t know, writing is interesting like that. You’re kind of reinventing yourself, putting yourself in words and therefore consolidating, to some degree, your perspectives.
I don’t know if other people’s inner monologue sounds like this. Maybe everyone is like this, at least at different times (granted I’m not like this all the time either), or maybe it’s just me. In which case, it may be coming from a place of me being defensive, in that by presenting my perspectives with a degree more objectivity, I can removing myself from the content, so that if I’m criticized, they can’t be criticizing me personally. Or, at the same time even, it may be coming from a place of trying to sound intelligent, like hey look at me I can think in all these complicated ways. At the very least, I’ll admit that I do find comfort under these disclaimers. But like I said, now that I’ve said all of this, I should be good.
Although I’ve had bigger fluctuations between mania and depression (though its clinical significance has/had not been confirmed) in how I view myself, I’ve learned that life has different seasons, and that my change in feelings is natural. It’s just a bit frustrating because I’ll talk to my friends passionately and later on (like weeks later sometimes), I’d feel like I misrepresented myself. And then worry that they have the wrong idea about me. But I think we are capable of undesrstanding.
Let me ‘cliche-ly’ end this post with a quote:
“We judge ourselves by our intentions and others by their behaviour.”
― Stephen M.R. Covey, The Speed of Trust: The One Thing that Changes Everything
You know, even for this post I changed the title like three times. I mean originally, the intention behind this post was to expand upon and explain the introduction that wouldn’t have fit very well within the post. And then I realized that this whole thing is an example that I can use to explain myself. And in the end, I realized the overarching topic of this being a writing problem.
Writing is kind of weird. I don’t think I’m very good at it. My head feels dizzy sometimes. It takes a lot of concentration to retain ideas, to develop them as they are being written, and to formulate a logical organization. And, as I’ve mentioned, every time I look at it, depending on my feeling, what I wrote may sound wrong or insufficient. Writing, is an art form on its own.
At the end of all this, I wonder if it really was worth all the effort. Cue Miyazaki’s ‘anime was a mistake’ meme but with blogging. I’m mostly aware that it’s the tiredness negativity talking (it’s midnight now and I kind of worked on this the whole day), but it’s interesting to note this phenomenon where self-doubt comes in right after a period of hyperactivity/excitement. And honestly… it’s because I’m worried that I made a fool out of myself in my manic moments of, “hey look at me, this is who I am, I’m so sure of myself,” when I obviously fluctuate in my confidence, as shown right now. But luckily, I know better to take my thoughts captive. And plus, like, who cares if I mess up, it only goes up from here. And yes, these are all aforementioned ‘self-comforting disclaimers’ presented via stating self-awareness. This is me though, and I’m okay with it.
Image is of Yui from K-ON