19/100 — On the idea of essentialism

A couple of days ago, Matt D’Avella published an interview with Greg McKeown, author of Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less. I’m currently looking (as always) for ways to prioritise my life; to learn how to recognise noise and identify the few vital things I want to spend my time on. This interview is a good introduction to the topic.

Part of me bristles at the idea of ‘discipline’, of having to put a system in place by which to live my life. On the other hand, such are the times: distractions are everywhere, and so are opportunities. As a multipotentialite, I love doing many things and am reasonably good at those many things, but it also follows that I never really focus on anything for very long. There’s no area that I have a proper portfolio in; my works are scattered across multiple forms of expression (fiction, non-fiction, poetry, design, acting, photography, drawing, singing, dance, …), and in turn, I feel scattered as a person. And that’s already a problem before all of modern day’s distractions in the form of screens and sounds which prevent me from doing anything fulfilling at all. I suppose it is true that in order to identify the noise, most of us will need discipline. Making certain choices is a skill that needs to be learned. For me it certainly is.

If you have 30 minutes, I recommend this video. I’m going to give the book a go.

15/100 — Just checking in

Work has been a lot these past few days. I’ve been on my own in the office, still teaching myself the job while doing it. It’s challenging and different and I look forward to going to work most mornings, but it leaves little room for anything else. I can’t wait for warmer weather, when it’s okay to sit outside with a notebook and an overpriced juice, making use of the full lunch hour.

Spring time always makes me want to hold hands with someone, so on a whim I downloaded Tinder. Apps like Bumble and Tinder are great for window shopping people. You learn so much about others by how they choose to present themselves, and so much about yourself by figuring out your deal breakers. Sometimes I imagine an entire relationship up to moving in together, before I get scared and swipe left.

Because if I’m honest, the thought of trying out relationships seems like a lot right now. Earlier today I came across Grace McCleen’s brilliant Selling the Self on Boundless. This paragraph in particular reminded me of my 2-month stint on eHarmony some years back:

I began to think it was fortunate I only taught part-time because online dating takes time; if you are going to do it properly it is almost a second job. The amount of admin meant that two or three hours could pass in Starbucks before I raised my head, realising my neck had been in a vice of muscle and my eyes weeping from staring at the screen so long.

I’ve been told once that finding the right person makes everything easy. I look forward to that happening to me some day, but I know that the amount of work before that easy bit depends purely on your luck. It might happen after 2 weeks, or 6 years. I know the amount of admin: finding the right first words; the anxiety of managing more than two matches at once (apparently I am incredibly old-fashioned and feel like an immoral two-timing beast when I meet more than one person within a week); the disappointment when you seem to be chatting to a completely different person than the profile you swiped right on; and so on. Plus, there are the people where it seems easy, but after a few weeks it turns out it isn’t. Those are the ones I really want to avoid.

Maybe I should just focus on finding a flat; that’s a full-time job too.

12/100 — Home

I write this sitting on my parents’ sofa, recovering from the day’s first round of food before moving on to the next. This is a thing I get to do now, being back in the country – I can leave work on Friday, hop on a bus and go home for the weekend.

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We went out for brunch this morning in Dresden’s Barockviertel, a historic part of the inner city full of little streets and galleries and shops. It was a very quiet morning, walking just off the busier high street and visiting tiny expensive shops we’d never seen before.

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Brunch was pretty nice, by the way. I’ve been trying to eat better, i.e. eat more ‘intuitively’ and stop when I’m full. That did not happen today.

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It’s someone’s birthday soon, so it’s time to make last week’s cake again, this time with slight improvements. (The improvement is cocoa powder. Chocolate makes everything better,)

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Tonight we’re having pizza, and maybe we’ll finally watch Moulin Rouge like we’ve been saying we should for years now.

What are you up to this weekend?

11/100 — Happy Friday

This has been a really long, really mellow Friday. I started the day with a 30-minute yoga workout that was a lot easier than I expected it to be, did all my work, and now I’m tidying up the office and my work documents while listening to Boogie Belgique. On any other day I’d probably go home soon, but I’ve got a bus to catch later tonight – I’m visiting my family this weekend.

I hope you have nice plans, too!