Born Again

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Every morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most.

Status: good. need more sleep though. slept through the alarm again this morning, which is not very helpful because I have a pretty busy day ahead. I’m not exactly sure if the morning meditation is helping anymore. Maybe I should take the next step with it and see if that improves my focus.

Writing.

With everything that is going on, my reading has gone into the toilet. I just don’t have enough time for it, and I need to make some space to read because it does fuel the writing. Not sure exactly how I can do that; maybe dispense with the Joe Rogan podcast for now and get back to audiobooks. At least then I can “multi-task” and listen to it when cooking/eating and working out at the gym. That should be good for at least 2 hours a day.

Photography.

Went back through my older photos last night to see if I had anything worth editing and posting. Found a few, including the above shot. I actually quite like it, and while the composition is not the best, it lent itself to the editing processing quite well. The way the light from the sun plays off the eagle creates some drama, which is important for a black and white photo. Now that it’s getting warmer, I’ll spend a bit more time outside practicing street photography. I definitely want to get a bit of that done before I leave.

This weekend is Comicon and I’ll be there both days taking photos. Saturday I’ll have my Jewish wing woman for a few hours, but Sunday I’ll be on my own. This is a good opportunity to take a lot of portrait/people pictures in a space where they’ll be welcoming of the attention, so it’s a great place to get some practice without the fear of someone getting a little itchy that you took their photo. I’ve been challenged a couple of times taking photos of people on the street and it’s not a pleasant experience, for sure.

Date.

Connected with a part-time model on the dating app and we started a conversation about getting together. I was interested initially, mostly because she said I could photograph her for free, but then the convo veered off in a weird direction which then got my common sense tingling. Firstly, she will only correspond with me by email, she then told me about a hard luck story which centered around a rough relationship, her IG page links to some kind of Patreon page which has semi-nude photos of her, and she is stupidly covered in tattoos. I’m almost always up for going out with bad girls because they are fun AF, but this one looks a little bit too sketchy for me. The trust isn’t there and I think I’m going to listen to my common sense and give this one a miss. My instincts are typically pretty good, so I’m confident that this is the right move.

Besides, I have better options on the table. There’s no incentive for me to mess around with this kind of bad girl.

Nikon D3400
1/20 sec
f/11
40mm
ISO 100

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Dates and Stuff

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The thing I’m most afraid of is me. Of not knowing what I’m going to do. Of not knowing what I’m doing right now.

Status: good. I’m actually okay this morning. Slept well. No brain fog or lethargy. Ticked off a few administrative tasks this morning. It’s better to save them for the afternoon, but it felt right to tackle them now versus later. I keep forgetting how much time they consume, but it’s done.

Dating.

The weekend is starting to take shape. I’m going to see the dysfunctionally compatible Jewish woman again this weekend. She’s expressed an interest in attending Comicon with me, which is surprising because it is a bit of an acquired taste, and I’m very used to women not really liking or even being remotely interested in these types of events. My plan was to really use the opportunity to take as many photos as I can, and having a wing woman might disrupt that a little bit. Or maybe it won’t. Maybe I can use this to my advantage. In any case, it should be fun.

I’ve also set up a coffee date with another prospective partner from the dating app on Friday afternoon. What did I do before this dating app made me so lazy? In any case, she’s a transplant, her written English is poor and she keeps subjecting me to nonsensical poetry. Based upon what she has written, she clearly she has her head in the clouds where unicorns and princesses live. I’ve seen this before and gather it’s a cultural thing. It’s also a sign that she’s impractical and likely spends more time daydreaming than actually working. I’m calling it now: I bet that she has some kind of non-job which in her words will, “allow me the freedom to make my own schedule and be my own boss, you know, so I can be all entrepreneurial and shit”. Which translates into “working” two hours a day and then spending the rest of the day painting her nails and posting selfies to IG with inspirational quotes and the hashtag YOLO.

So, why are you meeting her, bro? Because she’s hot. And I’m curious to see where she sits on the Vicki Mendoza diagonal. But mostly because she’s hot.

Career.

Working on securing living accommodations at the next destination. The tenant’s lease at one of my places is due to expire and they won’t be renewing it, so I think I’ll just move into the unit. It’s not really necessary to rent it out anymore. There is a bit of a gap between when I arrive and when the unit becomes available, so I’ll need to secure a temporary living space. My cousin has offered up a spot for me at his place,  but I think I’d rather do my own thing. That was until I started looking at the prices for short term rentals on the island. For something comparable to what I have right now, the cost is double to what I’m currently paying. Maybe I will take my cousin up on his offer. I think I’d rather use the money for photography equipment instead.

Nikon D3400
1/40 sec
f/4
26mm
ISO 400

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Wabi-sabi

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Imperfections are attractive when their owners are happy with them. 

Status: good. I mean kinda good. post weekend hangover which has left me feeling lethargic and apathetic this morning. That’s not uncommon for a Monday morning. Had a big Saturday night, which resulted in a slovenly Sunday recovering from the festivities. Fully admit that this is a big momentum killer and I seemed to only have the capacity for YT videos this morning when I woke up versus being able to engage with the task list. I think I need to retire this habit as it’s not working for me anymore.

Captain Marvel.

Very mediocre and forgettable. I think I’ll detail my thoughts about the movie into a separate blog post, but this was a very disappointing addition to the MCU.

Date.

Had two dates scheduled over the weekend. The lady I met on Saturday was actually quite nice and engaging. Very quickly realised that the reason we got along so well together was because our dysfunctions were compatible. She has almost the same background as me, and it looks like I’m a good fit to help her recreate her childhood environment. I could see through her body language that she was recognising characteristics in me which are similar to her primary caregiver.

The smart move here would be to run, not walk, in the opposite direction. She reminds me alot of Thais, and that was a fkn disaster which I have no interest in experiencing again. Still, I know this is a temporary situation because I’ll be leaving in two short months, so perhaps I’ll entertain a few meetings with her while I explore alternative options.

Second date for the weekend was due to happen yesterday, and she pulled a no-show. I’m vacilating between indifference and annoyance. She showed signs of enthusiastic interest leading up to the date, which at times felt a bit absurd that someone would be that interested before meeting in person, so I was a little surprised when she failed to show up at the cafe and also that she ghosted me. Part of me thinks that she revealed her true nature by not showing up, and therefore I’m better off having this information now and before I invested any more time into this. The other part of me just wants to send a ‘thanks-for-being-an-asshole’ kind of text message to her, but I know this likely won’t make me feel any better and it will just give her the opportunity to play the harassment card, even if my text is relatively benign.

It might be best to just leave this one alone. I mean, I now know everything I need to know about this person. There’s nothing more to be gained here.

Photography.

In a developing trend, the model I was due to shoot on Sunday decided to cancel at the last minute. Gave me an excuse which may or may not have been the truth. At least she didn’t stand me up, and I had enough time to make alternative plans.

I’m thinking that I may just make arrangements with alternative options, so I’m not wasting any more time with this one.

Nikon D3400
1/30 sec
f/7.1
18mm
ISO 100

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Internal Dialogue

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If you had a friend who spoke to you in the same way you sometimes speak to yourself, how long would you allow that person to be your friend?

Status: good. finally feeling human. Maybe I’ll have a dry weekend for the one coming up. I wouldn’t mind feeling human throughout the whole week and not just at the end. Seems to have an effect on my productivity, or lack thereof.

Career.

Pulled the trigger on the return flight yesterday, which has made this Next Chapter feel a little more real, a little more official. There wasn’t an accompaniment of anxiety, so perhaps I’m getting used to the idea. Curious to see how I’m going to react on those first few steps at the beginning of the Next Chapter, how I’m going to feel about seeing old, familiar places which I left behind all those years ago. I’m hoping the experience doesn’t push me down into the depths of depression. If I can just make it to neutral with a hint of sadness, I’ll call that a win.

(All that said, it is a good opportunity and is a stepping stone to the Thing I Really Want. Need to keep reminding myself of that.)

Photography.

Toying with the idea of purchasing some better equipment. I don’t feel like I’m completely ready for it, but once I make the move it will be hard to source the equipment from there, and it’ll potentially be more expensive as well. If I wasn’t going anywhere I’d hold off a little bit longer because I still feel like I need to do some work on learning more about the compositional aspects of photography. It would be a real shame to shell out a small fortune for new equipment and then end up taking “holiday snaps” with it. That wouldn’t be very smart.

Still, better to plan ahead.

Writing.

I’m not so much procrastinating as I am stuck on the next step. I hate the self-loathing which accompanies the lack of productivity. Something else to get my head around. Another lesson to learn. Need to pick myself up, dust myself off and try again. But without the internal invective directed at myself.

That’s not helpful at all.

Nikon D3400
1/100 sec
f/4
25mm
ISO 800

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Breaking Promises

20190302-DSC_0009Stop looking outside for scraps of pleasure or fulfillment, for validation, security, or love – you have a treasure within that is infinitely greater than anything the world can offer.

Status: wide awake at 2:30 am and couldn’t get back to sleep. lazed around in bed until the alarm went off at 5am and then got up. Second night in a row with poor sleep and I’m worth nothing this morning. Immediately hit caffeine and YouTube because I was half asleep and needed an excuse to not start writing. Even the meditation didn’t help. All the discipline in the world wouldn’t have saved me, as soon as I’m tired I immediately give up and fold like a house of cards. And then the self-loathing starts because I didn’t keep my promise to myself.

I do that a lot.

Not keeping my promises to myself.

If I don’t treat myself like I’m a priority, then how can I expect other people to do it? If I don’t keep the promises I make to myself, then how I can expect other people to keep their promises? (Is that how that works?) All I know is I have zero tolerance for people who do that to me, yet I’ll do it to myself without even batting an eyelid.

I need to start treating myself better. Starting today.

Photography.

I’m stuck with the writing and procrastinating by raking my brain over hot coals with vapid YouTube videos, so decided to be productive instead and started processing photos from the weekend sessions. I’m actually really really pleased with how some of these have turned out. Not only are my compositional skills getting better, but so is my post-processing on Lightroom. I’m faster, I have a better eye for the style that’s going to fit the photo and my colour matching is progressing (which is saying something because I’m figuratively colour blind – if someone said, “match these two colours or you’re dead”, I’d be dead AF in two seconds). I’ll be posting these to IG over the coming weeks.

I’ve also been able to secure the services of an amateur model to help me with a few shots I’d like to take, and she isn’t too expensive. Will figure out where I’m going to slot it into the schedule. Was so out of it yesterday, I couldn’t even wrap my head around schedules and such, and today I’m not feeling much better, but I’m just going to suck it up and get it done.

Writing.

The short story goes to the editor this afternoon. I promise.

Nikon D3400
1/60 sec
f/5.3
48mm
ISO 800

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Safe Distance

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It is easy to be brave from a safe distance.

Status: good. I wonder how Aesop would feel if he knew that someone was using his name to sell skin care products? Disappointment or, show me the money? Maybe a little bit of both.

Career.

Had a mild anxiety attack yesterday thinking about all of the things I need to and want to do before starting the next chapter in my Finance career. I have 3 months left. Three months of freedom. I’ll be handsomely compensated in exchange for my freedom, but will I be happy? Can I go back to something that was making me miserable? Can I go back to the place which was making me unhappy? Appreciate that this is a practical choice. It’s also the safe choice. So, I’m essentially exchanging my freedom for security. My life mirroring an aspect of the current zeitgeist.

I’ve thought this through already and have made my choice. I suspect that I’ll continue to struggle with this…or, maybe I’ll like it. I won’t really know until I get there and experience it for myself. And, I’ve promised myself that I’m going to give it a year and see how it fits. If it’s making me miserable then I’ll take stock of where I am and re-rationalise the strategy. The good news is that I do know what I want to do long term, and I can continue to prepare for it while collecting a paycheque.

Writing.

I’ve had my best week yet, and my word count is getting progressively higher as each week goes by. Seven thousand words so far this week compared to four thousand last week compared to three thousand for the week previous to the last one. I’ve been able to build up some good momentum and some good habits which are allowing me to be productive. I’ll call that a job well done. For The Win.

I think it’s time to take the next step. I didn’t quite finish the first draft of The Patriot story this week as expected, but I’m close and should be able to complete it over the weekend. I’m finding that I’m very productive first thing in the morning if I wake up, meditate and then start writing, which is good, but then I’m fading in the afternoon. My energy levels drop and then I start procrastinating and then the ball starts rolling in the opposite direction. I need to figure out how to reverse this trend. I talked about using a temporary site-blocking app to help me stay focused, but never pulled the trigger on it. Perhaps now is the time to do that.

Date.

Spontaneous coffee date this afternoon. Out of the corner of my eye, I can see a red flag flapping in the distance. Girls from that dating app who are available to meet on short notice are typically bad news. Most people who have their shit together (and have a life) are not available to do that. In her photo she has wild hair and a mildly crazy look in her eyes. I bet she’s lying about her age.

(Then why you meeting her, bro?)

Because of the entertainment value. That’s it. The crazier they are, the better the stories.

Nikon D3400
1/15 sec
f/5.6
18mm
ISO 100

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The Rule of Thirds

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The Rule of Thirds.

Status: good. feeling great, actually. happy. Didn’t skip the vitamin D regimen on Sunday like I did the previous one, so I wasn’t teetering on the edge of depression like last week Monday. Need to remember not to do that and stick with The Plan.

Writing.

Another very good day of writing yesterday. The ‘up and at ’em’ routine is working better. I’m discovering that my word count for the comic book script is higher than the prose, which is to be expected. Building momentum first thing in the morning positively affects self-esteem and encourages me to move forward, so I’ve found the payoff/incentive I need to sustain this model. I am, however, finding that I’m still fading in the afternoon. I’ll try a quick meditation after lunch to see if that helps. Two other things which stick out:

  1. I’m way happier when I’m writing and I need to spend some time figuring out how I can do this full time, i.e. for a living, without pushing myself into the land of poverty. Because, you know, I like money.
  2. I also need to allow myself some time to daydream – that seems to be the best way for ideas to germinate and to work past the sticking points in the story, and I’ve hit a few of those over the last few weeks. I write and write until I don’t know what happens next and then I have to stop. Which is frustrating, but I think this is part of the creative process, so I need to be patient with it.

Tenant.

Aaaaaaaand they’re back with another list of To Do items. I honestly want to take that nit-picky list, set it on fire, take a piss on it and then return the remains of that list to them. But I won’t do that. The key here is to separate Signal from Noise, so I’ll tackle the legitimate items and then politely decline to address the rest. I’m seriously entertaining the idea of terminating the lease and then placing the unit back on the market. I mean, it would make life a little easier to have an available place to utilise while I make the transition from Here to There. That way I won’t have to source an alternative, and I can focus on upgrading and renovating the unit, which I want to do anyway, without having to disrupt the tenant’s living space.

I’ll mull this over some more.

Nikon D3400
1/100 sec
f/5.6
55mm
ISO 100

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