a year in retrospect

I spent about a year rewriting myself.

I took a good hard look at my life because I realized that I was not the person that I wanted to be, and I was not making any changes to achieve my goals. I was just… there. Enjoying myself, wasting time, and I would even argue getting worse. It was sad to watch, and hell to live through. So I made some decisions and went through a lot of shitty time, to eventually broaden my view of the world. And it’s helped immensely.

It’s hard to look at my past without automatically applying some of my current self to it, but in my past, I was really this sheltered, jaded, recluse, people-are-stupid-type kind of person. Basically a dick, and I really didn’t care much about other people, but felt really justified in my beliefs due to my self-centered life. I guess it’s not really a big deal in the whole context of the world, but fuck it, it’s my blog, and changing yourself is god damned hard. It’s really depressing to see myself relapse into shitty behavior that I know is wrong and look in retrospect at my behavior when I’m showering. But it’s really fucking nice to see positive (at least I hope) changes in my behavior, outlook and attitude.

If you’ve actually read a bunch of my more recent posts you’ll really notice I’ve started developing this intense hatred of negativity. It’s a bit circular really, and I suppose I should be more open to negativity, but after a while you just realize how sad it feels. This change has happened in my real life as well. I’ve cut off people that were truly negative. You know the type if you’ve been in schools, the guy that tries to wave his dick around or put you down or constantly assert his opinion. I just can’t deal with that anymore, so I don’t.

This extends a bit more into just being a lot more careful about what you say and how you say stuff. Some people like to make fun of other people’s Facebook posts or Twitter tweets, but then it always nags at the back of my mind, “do they do the same thing to me?” So I don’t do it anymore, or try not to.

But there’s just this huge problem where I’ve developed a relationship with these people based on my previous personality. So now when I talk to them there’s this awkward tension where my new things don’t really interest them, and I can’t find some newer common ground that I also enjoy talking about. Then I relapse into my previous self. I’m still in the progress on working on this and it’s really difficult. I’ve found that a really helpful solution is simply cutting out a number of these people. It’s a shitty thing to do, but I can’t continue communicating with them if all it does is perpetuate the negativity and broken social interactions I’m trying to escape from. I know it’s shitty, but hopefully some will forgive me, and that I can grow up and learn how to do so properly eventually. Maybe it’s a matter of communicating without actually allowing your communication to represent who you are. But that’s eerily similar to lying.

So yeah, the past year has been hugely revolved trying to re-align my outlook on things. Laughter is a lot easier. Smiling is a lot easier. I haven’t achieved that happiness I want, but I’m feeling farther away from the depression I once had.

There’s a lot of other changes too.

I’ve realized that how good people waste their time. A very memorable moment was when one of the top students in my class - marks-wise, job-wise - was complaining about how he got stuck on Reddit for a couple hours one day and hated it. And then he said he loves Reddit, but hates being on it. And it makes so much sense.

Reddit, and to an extent TeamLiquid is a timesink for people with too much time on their hands. You don’t hear of progamers stalking TeamLiquid. Not only is it a non-ideal environment to talk in, but their just too busy actually getting shit done and improving their careers. Just as you don’t see famous people on Reddit daily. If you value your time, you won’t waste it. Time is your most precious commodity, so while you are enjoying yourself on Reddit, you’re wasting the time you have to achieve something. So I’ve scaled back my consumption of them considerably.

It has the added effect of me leaving the group-think mentality and really getting away from the negativity associated with that. There’s just a lot of false opinions, or not even false but highly negative ones that bring no value, and it’s enjoyable being able to identify them and isolate myself from them.

Personal hygiene is going up considerably. I’ve finally managed to right up my sleep schedule (well, not after SOTG100 which ended at 3pm :3). Hopefully I’m not hitting the superficial point, but I enjoy actually putting thought into my clothes and outfits. Apparently I started wearing skinny jeans because jean salespeople keep recommending me to the skinny jeans section. Awkward, but they do fit a lot nicer than normal jeans.

I started working out, then stopped, started again then stopped. I’m still reaping the benefits of my first stint, but hopefully I’ll start up again. I’ve always preferred the lean look versus the buffed out look, but I’m hoping to add some more muscle, just because the stamina gain is amazing. Same goes for running, which also I hope helps with my childhood asthma. Last time I checked I ran 5k in under 25, not sure how much under 25, but at the very least 25. Very cool. My goal is still 5k under 20. I will definitely hit that in 4 months. Here’s hoping.

Starcraft has been on and off. I finally hit Masters, but now I’m back in Diamond and with so much more variance. It’s so hard adjusting to the new continual assault in ZvTs. I don’t understand ZvZs because I simply just lose to hidden mass Zerglings all the time. ZvP is somewhat stable unless I lose to a timing I’m not prepared for.

My biggest accomplishment is getting rid of that angry loss attitude. It’s really been nice just gg-ing and leaving instead of screaming at my opponent. I’m still getting huge adrenaline spikes and make me shake, so that really hurts my practice time, but I don’t have enough free time to play enough to be actually good anyways. I love watching streams though.

School is a drag. Last term was a recovery term and my average dipped to 81, which was a shocker, but I promised myself I would do better this term. Well, this term was hell, and I’ll be lucky if I can keep up the 80 average for my scholarship. I really really really hope I do, because it’s $1500 per school term, and I’m an idiot if I don’t. I messed up on really easy courses and I’m hoping I did okay in my harder courses (all of them lol).

I’m in Software Engineering, so a cross between Computer Science and Electrical Engineering with an emphasis on Mathematics. If you’re interested, I had an Algorithms course which was okay, but I could never get to the 90-95 range even though it was really possible, so I’m aiming for a mid-80, though reality is more high-70. I had a Design Patterns course which was good, but I think I’ll only get mid-80. There’s a Calculus course that I’m sure I only got mid-70 on, and a final Combinatorics course which I hope I’ll get 80, though that’s unlikely. All-in-all, a decent term, but anything under an 80 average is a fail for me so hopefully I pass. ;o

The main problem was a lack of motivation. I really enjoyed my CS courses because in the past year I’ve really grown to loving programming and writing code, but I just didn’t want to study. It didn’t help that I had hay fever for the first month that flipped my sleep cycle and made me nocturnal, but those are just excuses. I didn’t attend classes, and my marks suffered. I tell myself next term will be different, but I will have to make it different. I don’t like school, but no one does, so suck it up and get back in the top 10% of the class.

I’ve met a bunch more interesting people. I’ve broken friendships, broken relationships, made some new friendships, met some amazing people, but I’m looking for more. I still haven’t met any core group of people I truly relate with and am really comfortable with. I’m hesitant as to whether this is a fault of my personality or if I just haven’t met enough people. And it’s awkward meeting people as my personality, attitude and interactions keep evolving, so the me today isn’t the same as the me the next week, which messes up any chemistry we may have developed. I’m going to continually work on my positivity and outlook on life, and hopefully meet a bunch more people (I need recommendations on things to do!) to see what else is out there. Can’t stop now.

There’s another concept I’m trying to emulate. I want to love meeting people because I love that people can bring other people into my life. It’s hard when I don’t meet that many people in the first place, but I really do enjoy new people’s presence.

However, there’s a lot of people who just don’t mesh well with me. For example, people just cruising along in class, or who go to class, but prefer to joke around and talk rather loudly to their friends. It’s really difficult to be accepting to these, but I’m trying to learn how to be more accepting and open. It’s hard. Then there’s also ones that are a bit awkward. The ones that are a bit of an asshole in general. It’s really difficult to decide whether I simply want to ignore some of these people in my life, or actually try to form somewhat of a relationship, because you should be able to talk and be polite to these people. Still trying to learn.

I am seeing my parents slowly turn from strong youthful and active parents into old, racist, stereotypes and it is horrible

This example about how your life flashes before your eyes is just really striking and scary. I’m trying to understand the view of the people to be more tolerant, but it’s just so intense thinking about it.

This is the scariest trap I hope I don’t fall into. But I have to meet more people first. I hope I’m not meeting enough people because of this reason. I’m not really sure how to approach people in the first place so I don’t think so, but it’s possible.

I’m only 20, and I have a long way to go. But life isn’t going to be over for a while, even though it feels so short already. I have 3 more years to explore the depths of myself and my university, and until the rest of my life to form many new friendships along the way, and explore the world. In retrospect, it’s been just over 13 months since that fateful day, and this is how far I’ve come and grown. I really can’t wait to see what I’ll look like in another year. All I know is I just have to do more shit. Thanks for reading.


Contact me at lai.victor.vl@gmail.com.