Off the Cliff and on into the Abyss - Confession 74

2017.06.26 21:45:36

I'm not sure how far back it goes exactly, but I think it's been now about a year or more since I started doubting my skills heavily. More heavily than usual. Anything I attempt to do either slips out of my hands and ends up a shoddy mess, and even if it doesn't it feels like a flimsy rehash of something I've already done before. There's no improvement to be seen, no end in sight, no goal reached.

This most heavily relates to my artistic efforts, but it also relates to programming. A lot of the projects I've undergone in the past year have ended up incomplete, never to be finished, utterly broken, or in the very least underwhelming. With time ever advancing and my age increasing no matter what I do, it is now that I feel more like a child than ever. I'm not improving the world in any meaningful way, nor am I standing on my own two feet. All I'm doing is just playing around, hoping that I could just get away with this childish attitude of simply doing whatever I want with no regards for anyone else, and still expecting to be praised for it somehow.

All of the articles I've written before, lamenting my difficulties in finding a way to go, a solution to my problems, just all boil down to the same, impudent delusions. I'm not doing anything anyone else might find useful, I'm not offering anyone else my help or skills. Hell, most of the time I even outright reject them, and specifically avoid trying to do anything anyone else might want from me. Instead I just revert to the same idiotic attitude over and over. I do what I believe I want to do, realise I can't do it, end up frustrated, and then hope that someone will pity my sorry ass and at least pretend to care about my petty bullshit. Obviously this hardly ever actually ends up happening for obvious reasons – I don't do anything for anyone else, and don't put myself out anywhere because I'm so scared of getting my ass blasted. What a joke.

The worst part is that I'm writing this knowing full well that this entry is nothing more than another whine in an endless series of articles that serve no purpose than to illustrate how pathetic I am, all the while I never actually improve on any of my issues even in the slightest bit.

How does one even achieve change? How do I get better at the things I'm so awful at? I have not even the faintest glimmer of an idea. Hell, I've even lost sight of how to improve at the things I knew to before. My art is stagnant, my projects unfinished, and everything else I've ever wanted to get good at hasn't progressed any either. Naturally, the way to get better at anything isn't some kind of magic incantation. It simply boils down to “just do it,” in some way or another. I've been “doing it” for as long as I remember, it's just that my returns have completely diminished by now, and no matter how hard I seem to try, it just doesn't get any better.

I don't know if I'm actively not getting any better, or not seeing that I'm getting better. Asking other people about this has proven practically impossible too. They either can't tell just like me, or say “yes you are improving.” Unfortunately whenever I try to ask further and nudge them to explain where they see the improvement things get uncomfortably silent. I can thus only conclude that they said what they did out of a faint hope that it'll somehow cure me of my sad brain, rather than being actively honest. Perhaps that's unfair of me, and they simply don't have the means to express what they see, but I can't help but call bullshit on that front. This also loops back to my concerns about feedback being genuine and from a “trusted source” as I've outlined in a prior entry.

What I think this all comes down to in the end is that I don't have enough friends. This is incredibly embarrassing to write and I am frankly ashamed to admit that I don't really have any idea on how to make friends actively. Sure – I do have a select few people I count as my friends, but I've stumbled towards them more or less by chance, or by them coming to me in some fashion, rather than me coming to them. Furthermore, most of my friends are far from “ideal,” though not through any fault of their own. The problem lies much more in their interests, in that they don't align too well with my own. I don't know anyone else who wants to draw and actively practises it, for example. I also pretty much only have one friend I can talk programming stuff with on a regular basis. Two more of my friends do know how to program, but we barely talk at all, so their “usefulness” in that regard is rather limited.

This lack of people to talk to about my interests, endeavours, and problems results in a lot of isolation, in a lot of my thoughts compounding in on themselves. Because I have no way to validate that what I'm doing is Ok and acceptable, my brain easily latches on to heavy self-criticism, which at sufficient levels only ends up hurting me instead. Adding on to this, because I have no one to talk to regularly about what I'm doing or want to be doing, motivation often fluctuates wildly and my productivity suffers from that. This in turn then makes me feel worse and induces a downwards spiral.

There's this saying that goes “beggars can't be choosers.” I've never agreed with that saying. I justify this by a simple rebuttal analogy: if you give a beggar a pile of shit, he should refuse it. Thus he is a chooser. This is of course an extreme example, and I feel bad for even making it. However, the point remains that authenticity is something that is incredibly close to heart for me. As such, I am incredibly wary of unfounded praise or support. I can't help myself but to be a choosing beggar, or to look a gift horse in the mouth. If I were to have friends that would solve the issues I outlined above, they would have to be people that are knowledgeable in the areas I'm interested in, such that I can trust their judgement.

I'm well aware that this is a very, very tall order, and an incredibly, disgustingly selfish way to be. If I were to read something like this entry, I certainly wouldn't be encouraged to want to be their friend. I would think that it couldn't be worth the hassle– after all, what could they possibly offer me to compensate for the fact that I have to put forth a lot of effort to get them to trust me? Well, the answer to that is that I don't know. I do know that I care a lot about honesty, which is why I'm writing this openly, rather than just trying to get people to like me.

If you are one of my friends and are reading this entry: thank you very much. I thank you from the bottom of my crusty, beaten heart. I'm very glad to have you at all. Every single person I've had the pleasure of calling my friend I've spent countless great memories with. Even if you may not be able to fulfil the roles that I so desperately need filled in my life, that's alright. Putting up with all the bullshit I put forth, all the unfounded accusations I make, the horrendously unfunny, rude jokes I crack, and generally all of the things I do so terribly wrong, is much more than anyone could ever expect. Thank you so much. I couldn't ask for more of you, and I won't.

While I don't want to ask more of anyone, it doesn't change the fact that I do need more if I have any hopes of getting better. After years of struggling with these chronic mood swings, I don't think that I can simply overcome them on my own, or with the help of my psychologist. I need people that I can rely on more often, and can talk to at length about the things I care most about. Whether I'll ever be able to find those people is currently a complete mystery to me. I'm not at all confident that it will come to be, but I do sincerely hope that it will.

I think it's about time that I closed off this incoherent rambling though. I've largely calmed down now, so writing this has already fulfilled its primary purpose. If it has any effect beyond that, I will be very surprised.

I leave you with the music I was listening to while writing this. Perhaps it will be able to calm you too, should you ever find yourself out of sorts.