Three words: freedom of expression. Been thinking a lot about that recently. Why not tell that guy you like his shirt? Why not bop along to the music in your ears while walking down the street? Why not tell that girl she looks cute? What consequences do we fear? Most of them aren’t real. The rest aren’t likely. What’s holding us back?
8:04pm, alone in the apartment, on the couch with my feet up, computer on my lap. It’s quiet in here, dark outside. The remains of a cup of tea beside me, some camera equipment, a tissue with blood on it, my backpack, a chopping board shaped like a pig. It’s quiet in here, dark outside.
Spent the past eight hours hammering away at the redesign for this very website. Fasting today, so only had quick breaks for tea and pee and that was it. The hours slipped on by, hardly noticed them, in a trance with the machine.
Sam Harris and William MacAskill in my ears, talking about effective altruism, moral illusions, existential risk, and other mind-bending topics. “If you’re listening to this, you’re probably in the top 10% of wealthiest humans on the planet. And if you earn more than $55k a year, you’re in the top 1%.”
The biggest regrets we have in life are usually the things we don’t do, the chances we don’t take. I have to remind myself of this regularly, because it’s so much easier to be passive, to keep your mouth shut, to stay where you are. So much easier… but only in the short term. Remember: playing it safe is the riskiest thing you can do.
Been trying to get this new website launched all day. Hasn’t gone to plan. 1:17am now, still a ways to go. Guess I won’t be up at 6:45 for the usual workout. Been getting harder and harder to do that anyways, every morning dark and wet this week.
Man, a whole day gone again trying to get the new site launched. I had figured no more than 3 hours to make it live, ended up being more like 36. Totally derailed my week. But it’s live now, at last. Tomorrow I will go outside and interact with humans again, and eat something that isn’t toast.
Lay awake last night questioning my life choices, wondering why I haven’t accomplished more. I get like that sometimes. But I don’t take the doubts too seriously. Here’s how you get through it: sit down and make a plan. Figure out where you want to go and how you’re going to get there. That’s what I did this morning. I’ll sleep better tonight.
Today definitely a dime on the contentment scale. Got organized for the week this morning, then a tough 2-hour Freeletics workout in the park, followed by an afternoon wandering around town with a friend, chatting up a few nice ladies. Drew some smiles, had some fun. Finally chilling out at home this eve and I get a surprise call from a NYT best-selling author.
Been calling around to all the Irish pubs in Berlin, chatting with owners to see if they need help with anything online. Dropped into three this evening. Responses are hit and miss. Owner of the first place almost ran me out of there with a snarl, while I encountered warm welcomes at the other two. Not looking like there’s much of a market there though.
7:05am, at the dome in the dull and the drizzle. No circuits for me today, just some stretching and traversing, resting up a bit for the 19km obstacle course on Saturday. That and I’d rather just get back inside where it’s warm and dry. Getting fed up with this ugly weather. Tenerife will be a welcome relief.
Been dropping by a Toastmasters club here in Berlin the past few weeks. I was in a club years ago in New Orleans and made great progress but have since regressed with lack of practice. It’s something I’d love to dive into again. Being able to speak confidently in front of people, and effectively deliver a worthwhile message. Few things more powerful and empowering than that.
My most compulsive behavior? Eating. I eat to procrastinate, to relieve stress, and to cover up occasional feelings of loneliness. Like this evening. Wasn’t all that hungry, but ordered soup and bread and a big falafel sandwich at the place down the road. Ate it all, then ate some dates. I felt lonely, but still wanted to be alone.
Sent out an email to 3,008 close friends today asking if any of them wanted to come to Myanmar with me in March. Total cost for a 12-day, 13-night tour including round-trip flights from Bangkok is $2,400. Some people replied to say the price is far too high, that it must be a scam. Others replied to say it sounds like great value. Typical.
Strong Viking today. 19 kilometers through mud and cold water, beneath barbed wire, over walls, avoiding electric shocks, throwing mallets and firing paintball guns, clambering over rocky hillsides and across ditches, dragging logs and lugging sand bags. So much fucking fun. All those early mornings in the dome the past few months served me well.
In the comments below, let me know which of the above Momentos is your favorite. Which can you relate to?