Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Seeking Validation

Nearly everything we do on a daily basis is to seek the validation of others because there is a deeply rooted human need for love and acceptance.  Where this can become an issue is when we’re so insecure that seeking that validation comes in the form of purchasing things beyond our means to assert status and sacrificing our well being for acceptance.  If you think even about the little nuances of everything we do on a daily basis, this is true.  For example, take the person who diets on a regular basis but is afraid of the backlash they’ll receive in a social situation when they decline a drink or sugary birthday cake.  Out of a fear of social rejection, they self-loathingly imbibe to deal with a sense of dread the next morning or later that night in solitude.  They're torn with numerous puppet strings of insecurity now because they want to lose weight to look better in public but they don't want to feel ostracized by not eating because they want to project a complacent attitude that they eat what they want. 

At the end of the day, most people really don’t care what you eat, what you wear or how you act, so long as you're not personally harming them. (Read John Stuart Mills On Liberty) These people may come up as a topic of discussion or gossip amongst friends when said person is not present, but how that impacts our day to day well being is essentially moot, again so long as you’re not breaking serious social taboo and injuring the physical or emotional well being of others.  Most of us feel that a huge magnifying glass is aimed over our heads where people are analyzing and criticizing us, when in fact most people don’t care and are simply focused on their own insecurities and how they’re perceived by others.   

This has led to our culture of narcissism where we hope everything we post on social media is liked by others and enhances our perception. We’ve become addicted to little dopamine rushes of attention by text messages, pokes, likes, tweets that our brains have become wired differently where being alone scares us.  When you pull up to a red light these days, people simply can’t resist the temptation to check their phones for a new dopamine rush.  We all secretly admire that person who doesn’t seem to care what other people think, because we realize how liberating that must be when so much of our daily behavior is geared at crafting a particular image to be accepted by others.   

I’m not sure where this is leading other than my realization that doing things in solitude is cathartic (and necessary).  Although we have human needs for socializing due to our highly evolved social brains, there’s a sense of liberating euphoria during times of extreme solitude because there’s no judgment upon us.  My roadtrip last year made me realize a lot of this since I had to rely solely on myself and my decisions and my main worries were getting a flat tire, having enough water packed and what to do in case of an emergency, not whether people would notice I had a spaghetti stain on my collar from lunch and draw a conclusion that I was a sloppy eater. 

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Booze and dependency

For the next 3 months I'm giving up booze completely because I hate the dependency I have on it.  Family is 100% supportive.  Friends I'm sure will range from supportive to scoffing, but this is purely to see whether my willpower can overcome my dependency on alcohol as a social and mental lubricant.  Over the last few years it's been very rare for me to take a night off from drinking, which is pathetic.  

Cheers to a dry quarter.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Hello 2014 (don't expect much)

For the sake of a New Year, here’s a post.

Since my last post I’ve landed back in Houston with no desire to travel.  Just like my previous exploits, I binged on travel enough to where I got sick of it and looked for the next outlet.  As the time passed idly, I still made time for reading (not a hobby I ever see myself overdoing) and slowly started searching for work. 
After a few months of tepid interviews and reading numerous postings about ‘seeking driven individuals with strong commercial acumen,’ I reached a neutral zone where I was in limbo with regards to working again and having all of this downtime.  Don’t get me wrong, the downtime is great.  I’m fitter, healthier and guilt-free regarding the amount of time I spend with my family and dog now.   That said, I’ve realized being away from something for an extended amount of time leads to romanticizing what you’ve experienced in the past. 
Even though I still have enough money to last me a few years, I began to romanticize work, a steady paycheck and business class flights.  I keenly forgot the mundaneness of meetings, small talk and office banter which led me to always disassociate work from personal life.   Now I’m taking the luxury of downing a few beers at 2 pm on a Wednesday (hello tipsy blogging) for granted and finding myself completely motivated to subject myself to routine and work for a paycheck and security. 

As job offers loom, I can’t help but self-reflect that once working again I’ll miss these idle times that come so few and far between, namely when you’re young and waste your youth.  At 32, with as much downtime as I have, however, it’s led me to a few conclusions about the decision I made last year, but I wouldn’t take it with a grain of salt because I can change my mind pretty quickly according to circumstances and boredom. 

Anyways, I digress.  This post was brought to you by cabin fever, alcohol and some mental stimulation after seeing my last post was over 5 months ago.  See you again later this year, when I’ve once again become a routine oriented capitalistic cog.