I already wrote a post essentially telling you what I learned in 2012 and what helped me.
This time I want to ramble about slightly different things that are also related to the idea of change and new beginnings. This time I’m writing about what didn’t work for me.
I joined a gym in 2012 and now I’m quitting it.
Gyms do not make sense to me and, quite frankly, I abhor most of them. (I know they work for/are enjoyable to some people, and if you’re one of those people, please don’t take this personally.) I had joined XSport, which is essentially a factory for exercise. There are all of these machines lined up (way too close together for my taste) and you’re supposed to just get on one and move while watching a little television two feet in front of your face. Sometimes you can smell the sweat and hear the grunts of the person next to you. It’s very off-putting.
The whole set-up is problematic for me for many reasons. I get sensory overload very easily. Simply being in the gym is bothersome to me–it’s too loud, too crowded, and the air freshener or cleaning spray or whatever I can smell is too strong. The lighting is fluorescent, which my irritates my eyes. I need to put in ear buds and watch the tv to drown all of this out, but really I don’t desire to watch tv or wear ear buds in the first place.
I also disagree with the gym (this gym, at least–I’m sure there are some yoga or dance studios that have gyms I could get behind) on a philosophical level. It’s as if the people there are trying to do the least mindful activities as possible. They appear to be trying to drown out their surroundings and just get the exercise finished in a very factory-like way. There doesn’t seem to be much joy in the process.
I also wonder, why is the equipment necessary? I mean, I can do sit-ups and push-ups and arm circles and leg lifts and squats and jumping jacks on my own and get a decent workout. It doesn’t cost me any money and it doesn’t require some huge things that take up space and use electricity and damaged the environment in their creation.
This is another thing I should’ve already known better about. I’ve tried online dating in the past and quit, yet I joined again this year and recently deleted my profile again.
Although I know receiving several messages a day telling me I’m gorgeous should feel good, it really did little more than stress me out. If a guy seemed like an asshole or wrote a misogynistic-type message, I’d feel irritated. If a guy seemed nice, I’d feel guilty for not responding. The small handful of guys I felt were worthy of a response either showed they wouldn’t be a good fit in subsequent messages or promptly deleted their accounts.
Online dating is another thing I hope I do not go back to. As I’ve learned before (but I guess pushed out of my mind), I feel it perpetuates a perspective I do not want to have–one of judgment, one in which dating is approached in a manner similar to shopping. Sure, I know many men view women as objects rather than people. That breaks my heart. Still, I don’t want to respond by doing the same. Online dating leads to me doing the same. It involves shuffling through and rating a bunch of abstracts, which I believe changes how I view dating and men altogether.
It also encourages me to spend more time online. If I take away the possibility of meeting a guy (something I’d like at this point) on the internet, I’m forced to go out and meet more guys in person. For a portion of 2012 I did this, and I am grateful I met more dudes and became more outgoing with those I felt attraction towards even if none of it materialized into anything. Even if I’m going to end up alone at the end of the day regardless of what I’d do, I’d rather spend the meantime going out exploring life and the world and hoping to meet someone that way rather than spending the meantime hunched over the computer for hours on end–something I do way more than I’d like to admit.
I don’t want to quit modeling. I enjoy it and I learned a lot from it this year. I do want to re-evaluate what I’m doing with it and switch course.
The last time I wrote about it, I said my goal was to make money from it. That is still true, but I think I’ll be going about it a different way. Before I had said that I wanted to try to get into Sears catalog. Um, why would I want that? Most if not all of those items are made in sweatshops and are not at all eco-friendly or friendly to the human body. I aim for a life where I won’t have to buy those types of items, so why would I want to use my image to promote them? I don’t. My image is more valuable than that, and to be in the Sears catalog (or in almost any retail advertisement or catalog) would be selling out.
In an effort to be more healthier financially I’ve been doing a lot of promotional modeling in recent months. I don’t want to quit this altogether, but again, I want to re-evaluate and be more picky about which jobs I will accept. In November and December I accepted an on-going job promoting gel nail polish you can buy in stores. I really regret that and am thankful that it is over. Gel nails are completely toxic and I do not recommend anyone get them. (Actually, I’m no longer using any “regular” nail polish, and am sticking to water-based polishes, which I’m sure I’ll write about later.)
Most of the modeling I’ll do in 2013 will probably be for art. I also want to look into modeling for local small businesses. Sure, they won’t have a huge budget, but at least I’d be helping sell something I believe in.
Trying so hard.
My motto for 2013 is “No resolutions,” or “Don’t try so hard,” or “No goals,” or something along those lines. Actually those are all negatives and I want a positively-phrased motto. I guess my motto is, “Let go,” “Relax,” “Go with the flow,” etc. I already wrote about this in the last post so I won’t repeat myself, but essentially I have grown to be able to spot the difference between trying too hard and being mindful or in “flow” and allowing things to progress naturally. The latter comes from a place of peace whereas the former a place of anxiety.
The three things I’ve mentioned here as not working for me are all reflections of me acting from a place of anxiety. Me trying to do a top-down, force-myself-to-become-who-I-want-to-be management on myself rather than just chilling, man. Take joining the gym, for instance. Why did I do it, if I’ve done it several times in the past and not once enjoyed it or felt it was a good fit? Because I wanted to be in shape and I didn’t trust myself. Yes, I can get on the floor any time and do sit-ups and push-ups or burpees or whatever, but I was coming from a mentality of fear and lack of faith. I didn’t think I’d do that–I thought I’d fail. I thought I needed something external like the gym to keep me in line. Instead of pursuing health and happiness, I ran from a fear of being out of shape.
Because I dislike the gym, joining it had the opposite effect. Once I joined the gym I found myself procrastinating and working out less often. And of course! Why should I be motivated to do something I dislike? The irony here is that I joined it because I believed I wouldn’t be motivated without it, yet it essentially killed my motivation. I let fear rule.
Online dating is another example of my trying to exert control in a situation that I feared wouldn’t turn out well if I “let go.” I haven’t been in love for three years. That feels like a long time. I crave intimacy. Many fears arise–What if I will never again meet a guy I can truly love? What if I have to choose between settling for someone I only sort of like, or living alone forever? What if there is something fundamentally wrong with me that will forever keep me from being happy in a relationship?
From these fears came my action of rejoining OkCupid. I was fighting against them. I was trying to prove them wrong, and force the situation I wanted to appear in reality. It also backfired. I felt irritation, anxiety, or guilt almost every time I signed into that website and I did not meet anyone I liked.
Okay, this is a long enough post for today. Again, I am learning the same lessons over and over. I’m not annoyed though–that shows they must be really important lessons. Let action come from love, not fear. Let go of trying to control outcomes. Accept that I cannot know, understand, predict, or control everything. Trust that things are okay and will continue to be okay. Remember to be fully engaged in the present moment rather than hurting over the past or worrying over the future. Etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc.
These principles rather than set goals or schedules or lists of accomplishments are what I hope will guide me throughout 2013. Happy New Year!