Forced To Observe

Observations of one person's human life. Email me at

My biggest problem is that I think I shouldn't have them.

In an attempt to salvage what's left of my social skills and my overall fulfillment, I will be taking a break from social media from 1/01/19 – 6/01/10.

After that period I will assess whether it's worth rejoining any platform. I've expressed this to some people who's rebuttal is usually “everything is okay in moderation”. But what good is social media in moderation? Does a moderate amount of social media increase one's sense of well-being?

Many say that social media is so new that we don't know how it will affect us. From where I'm standing, I've seen enough evidence.

Part of why I feel reluctant to delete a social media account is because it is one's creation. It's like a painter burning their art or a writer deleting their files.

But I don't like the game of having the best social media account. I do like the game (regardless of how bad at it I am) of writing the best song. I like the competition in art because I willingly take it on. The competition in social media on the other hand, is like being a prisoner thrown into the arena with a lion.


The guy next to me at this coffee shop seized up and folded forward. On his way down he face-planted onto the communal bench I was sitting on and split open his lip. About a quarter cup of blood made its way out of the gash. A quarter cup might not seem like a lot (or maybe it does), but if you were to smear it on a wooden floor of a coffee shop (and some on your hands and face) it would be more than necessary.

I felt guilty and grateful. Guilt overcame because I felt like I could have caught him on his way down and guided him away from the bench. About 10 seconds before, out of my periphery, I noticed something odd—he was oriented in my direction and slightly shaking. Then he fell out of his chair and onto the bench.

I'm grateful that I have my health. This man obviously had some physiological handicaps. I can't imagine not being able do to something as simple as going to a coffee shop without the worry that I might randomly need medical attention.

With all the possible diseases, conditions and injuries that are possible in life, every day that I have my health is statistically a miracle.

We're encouraged to pick a career before we're legally permitted to buy a beer.

And we're not allowed to buy a beer at that age because our decision-making capabilities cannot be trusted ...

The only habits that matter are mental habits. All other routines and rituals are aimed only at mental preparation.

I learned today that new experiences can activate proteins in the body, and these proteins can code for new genes.

This means that if you put your self in stressful situations, beyond what you think you are capable of, your biology changes. It adapts. Adaptation is what us humans (and every single organism) is about.

When I see someone I admire and think “I can't be like them.” I am correct, but only for that present moment. Currently I'm not like that person, but if I push myself, I will be physiologically and psychologically different.

I have to be willing to leave behind who I am in order to become who I could be. Every challenge then is quite literally an opportunity to grow.

I temporarily deactivated my Instagram yesterday. I already feel different. I still feel the urge to use it here and there, but reactivating it is enough friction to stop me.

This is practice for when I stop all social media use for the first 6 months of 2019.

This website will provide some tools that will help:

Make doing difficult things easy.

  • Do the difficult thing early.
  • Put on some music while doing what is difficult (if the music doesn't distract).
  • Have a short-term reward for doing what is difficult.
  • Have the long-term benefit in mind while doing what is difficult.
  • Know where the difficult thing falls in the grand scheme of things.
  • Use a stopwatch.
  • Eliminate distractions before starting. (do not battle distractions while battling what is already difficult).

Before I set off for my trip in February, I’ve had to make a few things clear for myself. This is because travel, to me, has been painted completely wrong by most.

I don’t believe most people enjoy travel in the sense that it is advertised. There are a few things that make us like travel: 1. Not having to work (i.e. vacation). 2. Getting to dine out every meal without feeling bad about the money spent. 3. Finally having something interesting to post on social media about.

The motive for my travels isn’t the possibility of happiness or any kind of pleasure. It is a break from my normal habits and beliefs. Every time I’ve come back from a long trip some habit changes that I was reliant on and beliefs get challenged.

Like a child, sometimes the only way to get them to part with the sucker is to hide it from them.

The feelings we look for all our lives show up in places we don't anticipate.

Sitting in my father's backyard always makes me realize this. I sit in one of the porch chairs and rest my feet on the empty one. The neighbors have palm trees and when the breeze comes through, it's as if it were traveling through a wind instruments.

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