Do What Makes You Happy

Notice how the title is not do what makes others happy? This is because despite what you may think you cannot control how others feel about any given thing. genuine happiness generally comes from within so you should be focusing on doing the things that make you happy. Note that the things that bring you happiness also may change as you grow and develop as a person. You also may be thinking that this sounds a little selfish, but taking care of your own needs is an important thing we should all be doing.

Nothing is less satisfying than doing something to meet someone else’s expectations or standards of you. As Someone who tried to meet someone’s expectations of me for many years nothing feels better than just doing things to reach my goals and make myself happy. This was another way having half my body paralyzed positively benefited my life. I had to change my focus from making everyone else happy to focusing on my needs. I do not doubt that if it had not happened I would still not be a priority in my own life.

No matter the medium throughout my entire life art has always been one of those things that centers me and brings me to my happy place. That being said art has been my biggest focus during my latest writing hiatus. Whether it’s drawing, or something else It’s one of those versatile things that I can also use to retrain my affected hand. It is nice to be able to hit two birds with one stone yet again. Side note: I’m sorry I have been absent as of late I haven’t been able to make the words work so I’m taking a break.

Back To Basics: Honour The Process

For the last couple months I have been trying to modify and minimize my writing process; no wonder I have not accomplished what I had aimed to. My pre writing process can take over an hour before I get to the writing stage so as you can imagine there are times when I wish it was shorter. Unfortunately my creative process is a step by step process that can only occasionally be ignored.

  1. attempt to get strung out on caffeine-getting to the strung out stage with coffee can be a little difficult so after a pot of coffee I’ll switch to instant espresso and or chocolate covered coffee beans for a little extra kick.
  2. initiate solo dance party– Just as I have probably mentioned countless times solo dance parties are one of the biggest keys to productivity. This has just been the way since before college. every essay and assignment I have completed since my grade twelve year started with dancing it out. One would think that getting moving and increasing energy levels would make it harder to focus, but it does the opposite to me.
  3. dance until I start to crash or the ideas start flowing – Depending on mood and mindset this can  take ten minutes or over an hour each day is a little bit different. Sometimes the music makes a difference, but I have a series of playlists tailored to each emotion I try to portray when writing. Each playlist could be named all the feels numbers one through ten haha.
  4. Write until frustrated with story itself or until falling asleep –Yes sometimes I get mad at the characters in my own stories, and yes sometimes it gets to the point where I rewrite a scene or chapter a few times in one day. At this point if I get stuck there are usually multiple seated solo dance parties repeated until I can finish the scene.
  5. repeat- depending on the day I can repeat the entire cycle up to three or four times depending on how productive the day has been and how long I attempt to be awake and functioning.

Cutting out Coffee… Failed Attempt

As some of you previously read I was trying to cut out my reliance on coffee. Yes I can cut it out and even started to feel okay, but it turns out that I do not get anything done during the day without it. It may have taken an entire hour off of my morning routine, but was not worth my lack of productivity. two weeks away did reset my tolerance a little bit though. Ultimately I wanted to go cold turkey, but clearly that was not going to work at this point in time.

The worst part of no coffee was my productivity levels… as you probably noticed I have not posted more than one blog post during this entire time. I think it’s time I tried to shift my focus onto my next novel and only posted for you guys once or twice a week. I feel fairly indifferent towards my blog right now and need to go focus on something bigger until this passes. If nothing else right now I need to go back to turning coffee into books and not just doing occupational therapy all day. One day I managed to write for most of a day, but out of a couple of weeks a single day is nothing. haha

Today I finally broke the coffee fast and not only did I write a blog post but I wrote over a thousand words of my current project. Apparently without coffee my daily routine is completely broken haha. Looks like I will be going back to a pot of coffee a day if I want to meet my personal first draft deadline. I think this experiment proved that some things just aren’t meant to be changed.

Make Peace With The Past

No matter your background or you come from we all have a part or parts of our journey we are not proud of. Instead of dwelling on the past and wishing you had done something differently accept that the past is the past and try to make sure you do not end up there again. I promise that no matter how much you think about it you won’t change anything so chin up and keep moving forward. Try to remember that those rough patches likely helped shape you into the stronger person you are today. If you don’t like who you are today start taking steps towards being the person you’ve always dreamed of being.

Focusing on your past is just as bad as focusing on the future without being able to see the present moment for its entirety. I guess between having a stroke and losing my best friend within the same year taught me that nothing is guaranteed. Personally certain things in the past just make me sad and that’s enough of a reason to focus on the present with a relatively positive outlook. Life happens and then it either breaks us or changes us. I’m a firm believer in everything happening for a reason, if something happens more than once you obviously didn’t learn the lesson. That being said everyone you meet comes into your life for a reason, not everyone is going to be a blessing. Some people only come into your lives to treat you a lesson.

If you continue to dwell on the past instead of reflecting, assessing and moving on you are not giving yourself a chance. Instead of chaining yourself to the past and any mistakes or situations let yourself move forward. Give yourself a chance to change and move forward maybe even building something better. You may not think you deserve it, but you are also the only one setting limits on yourself from making the future better for yourself.

Modify Your Perspective

If you do not like something change it, and if you cannot change it modify your views of it. Yes this can be difficult, but being able to see things from another perspective is a great skill to have in today’s day and age. For example: back when I pretended to be a social being I really hated Mondays, but now that I’ve given into my antisocial and introverted ways I love monday’s because everyone is grumpy and nobody wants to talk. Right there is proof that changing your perspective even just slightly can make a bog difference in how you see the world around us.

Instead of always seeing the negative in a situation try to find one or two positive things or angles in each. I promise that only after a short while you will begin to see the world and the people around you in a brighter light than you did before. Like If you live somewhere where it’s generally only warm about five months of the year, don’t complain about it because it will be cold and snowy like a disturbing winter wonderland in no time. If you enjoy that heat don’t complain on the rainy days because they save you from having to water and everything gets a little more luscious.

Instead of seeing someone as dumb or unintelligent because they are not good at the same things as you, start seeing them for what they are good at. None of us are good at the same things so stop focussing on what they are  bad at and try to see what they excel in. Everyone is good at least one thing start appreciating them for it.

Alt. Ed. Vs. Mainstream

Being an alternate education graduate who has seen both sides of the education system I do not understand why there is so much stigma towards alternate education. In mainstream education everyone is set to learn material at the same pace and only in one way. Knowing that we all learn different ways and at different speeds I believe that it is complete B.S. that mainstream is still the Norm in today’s day. If I had not switched to alternate education before my stroke I would have been put an entire year behind once I had my stroke and that would have been really unfortunate.

My Alternate education program was essentially distance education held in a classroom where there was  a teacher and support staff if you needed help. For those who had jobs we were able to schedule school around work, which was really convenient for those who needed to work. Even taking a semester off of actual school work and working during my grade twelve year I finished school early and got to chill out for a couple of months before my convocation and exams. Yes I had to be internally motivated and figuratively kicked in the butt some days, but Alt. was definitely the way to go for me.

I have never needed someone to give a lesson out of the textbook for a course when I can literally read it word for word by myself. In most mainstream classes I finished the worksheets and assignments for the class while the teacher was giving the lesson while I pretended to follow along. I think it’s time we stopped treating mainstream as the norm and start normalizing alternate education because we all learn differently. If I had always been able to learn at my own pace I probably could have graduated a year or two early full of facts I would never use in adult life.

Learn To Live In The Moment

We are raised to focus on the future so it can be difficult to stop looking ahead and focus on the present. Yes you may not be where you thought you would be or want to be, but remember all the things you do have. When we are stuck focussing on the future it is much easier to see all the things do not have yet wish you did. It can be difficult to switch to a mindset of living in the moment, but things could look a little brighter for you if you do.

If you never pause to observe and appreciate the present you will never see what you have accomplished or all the things you have to be thankful for. I fully understand how frustrating it can be when you are not where you expected yourself to be. Right now I could almost be finished my college diploma if I had not dropped out because I did not want a career in my major. If I look at this from the present moment instead of focusing on the future it’s clear that I I’m taking steps to go back to school when the time is right.

Focused on the present I am thankful for everything I have and everything I have and that I am exactly where I am in life. If any experience had gone differently in the last three years my entire life could be very different, and I would not want that. Even If I had the chance I would not change a thing because my experiences made me who I am today and I’m content with that.

Paralysis: Beating The Odds