We operate from within our own heads. Our systems are built up through our experiences, our physicality and our chemistry. What you deem normal may not be normal. That is neither a good or bad thing. It is simply a thing to understand. Know that you must build systems to function in a world with other people, and you also need to build systems and routines that will foster your growth, and nurture the specific framework that you operate in. Mental health is as physical health. Train and maintain yourself. If you have one shot at this or many , health and longevity is key. It’s a marathon and a sprint at the same time. Move sharp and quickly on the day to day, but know that you must look to the future and set a pace to your actions to ensure a desirable result.
Expectations and patterns are everywhere. Understand that most people do not achieve what they set out to do. The societal norms may or may not be to your benefit. Carefully study them and hold them against your own core values. Question if obligation is programmed into you, and if you see fit, move past them. Understand where you really want to be, and who you want to grow into, and then ask yourself why. After this is made clear, take the necessary steps to become that which you seek. It doesn’t matter what others around you are doing, as long as you know that you can not be influenced in ways to your detriment. Stay cautious. Stay free. Stay creative.
I'm seeing it daily. People are becoming slaves to social media. They're becoming slaves to keeping up with the joneses. The obsessions with always showing up and always being in the mix is at a level quite dangerous. People are more concerned with posting every single day and always being around but they're no longer thinking about what they're actually trying to say. Of course there are efficient models of production that allow us to keep turning out posts or content daily. Methods like prepping a bunch of pieces ahead of time and setting them for an auto rollout is very effective. But, there's a point where we have to think about what we're creating.
The larger purpose of what we're creating means much more than showing up every single day with little bits of random nothings just to stay on the minds of viewers. It becomes a drug.
I've made a personal shift because this problem affected me for a while. I was finding myself tired, and worn down for no specific reason. I realized that it equated to running around in circles. All of the content that I'd see day to day would be a mix of funny little things, and interesting little notes, and quotes but none of it had any contribution in terms of what I actually had to do with my life. I want to create stories and films and make a difference in the world, but participating on social media had little part to play in it.
Of course all things are simply neutral tools and there are great advantages to using them correctly, but in large part the apps and sites that are used by most eventually turn into more of a time sink than a productivity machine.
THINK OF IT IN TERMS OF FLOW.
Management of the in and out flows of information are key. Compound this with the idea of direction and it all becomes clearer. We can ask ourselves, does this lead me closer to my goals or farther away? Am I supposed to be doing this or is this something that I know is keeping me back from something on my schedule that I should be taking care of?
When the directions are made clear, our time and our actions can help us become more efficient even when we're less visible. It's better to do important things and show up less, than to show up every day doing nothing of importance.
A SHORT STORY
Some years ago I was in animation school. It was a part of the industry culture to push yourself until you burn out. This was common. If you're not drawing you're a failure/lazy/etc. Due to this I saw many of my classmates get destroyed, both mentally and physically. They overloaded themselves and some of them ended up with irreparable damage to their hands , wrists and elbows. A few even had to leave the school and give up on their dreams of becoming artists. All of this to uphold an image, an image that they were working hard and they were dedicated to their craft, and that they could "do whatever it takes" to make it. It's poison really.
At a point I was going through a bit of the same , and I realized that it made no sense to train consistently in that manor beyond the point of unconscious competence. There's a point where the skills and the patterns and lines become ingrained in your mind and your hands just flow. You can create what you want at a level that your conscious mind no longer has to work over. After that point you actually start to learn faster by not drawing.
It would serve you better to just take the 80/20 rule into consideration and figure out what the little things are that make the most change. By going out and taking photos and video, and by moving the camera around, my direction got better. By reading through anatomy books and watching actual athletes move around, my sense of structure got better. By actually getting out there and training in dance, my animation ability improved, because it wasn't just a drawing, I was now physically connected to the movement. I could work out actions in my head. It was to the point that when I completed my thesis film, people asked if it was rotoscoped. The natural flow became intuitive.
The core of all of this is that, you can develop a deeper sense of understanding and competence in anything without always breaking your body. There is no need to die for your art. You can be efficient. It's allowed. It's ok. Forget all of that noise that people tell you.
You may very well find that you improve faster by actually thinking before doing something. I know , magic right?
The family that you stay with is not always the group that you were born into. People grow and change, and many don’t. Understanding that it’s a dynamic balance between many creates a much clearer picture. You’re not obligated to be close with anyone. Don’t force it. Understand all involved as best you can, and let go of anything resembling resentment. The aim is to heal and grow. Understand reality, and understand the ideals and projections that we are awash in on the day to day. Family can most certainly be found, though it’s done through speaking and living honestly. The balancing elements will naturally sit around you, though it also takes a measure of discipline to hold onto that authenticity.
I often feel like life is some beautiful sick joke. Having moments where the seams show has me laughing in a blend of confusion and wonder. I'm enjoying it and haunted by the horrifying potential
Forever and ever. Someone asked me where the love songs went. I told her, they've changed. Love is wanting the best for someone even if the message has to hurt them. Even if it has to shake them up, make them break routine, and face their fears. Love isn’t easy, but it’s not flashy. Many are incapable of letting actual love take hold. It’s masked in ritual, in displays but seldom takes on the core issues that the parties involved need to grow. This ties into self awareness. Not just simply in what one wants, or in what one wants to see, but in what the truth is, beyond any individuals’ intent. Embody love, the hard way.
On a journey. Searching for something. Sharing what's found.