Clarity in Anger and An Empty Room

I am starring at this mountain. The feat required to climb this obstructive mammoth will require willpower, fortitude and discipline. From all angles, it is jagged and cumbersome. The only way past it is through it. And so, I climb.

This is rather a dramatic analogy to cleaning my room and I do not apologize for the comparison.

I have struggled with organization in my life as an adult. It seems, my mind cannot keep up with the chaos of maintenance. It feels like I am staring at a mountain with a horizon so high into the clouds, and realizing I have to get up one step at a time.

One step.

Only to realize I am walking backwards.

Inspiring for some, overwhelming for others. I was the latter.

I have struggled with organization in my life as an adult.

I have started to accept this notion that subtraction is foundation.

It sounds like an overly philosophical approach to cleaning one’s room. In essence, I have taken an minimalist approach in life. But in practical terms, I rid myself and my space of everything that is not essential to my well being.

I think I have decluttered over 50 percent of what I used to own and it feels so freeing. I have not looked back. In fact, this is considerable knowing I did not own a lot to begin with.

If you have followed my previous posts, I suffer from a cluttered mind. I cannot seem to see past my feet and it has reaped irreversible consequences in my life. It is often painful to think about.

The first step I have taken is to always make sure my room is clean. This idea was cemented after learning about Jordan Peterson’s Rules for Life; Clean your Room.

It felt like no matter what my day is like, no matter how lost I felt, how jaded my mindset, if only I could come back to a clean space, maybe that would be enough.

I still struggled with keeping a clutter free room. It is not that I had too many things. I just did not know why things were there. Until, I started to learn about the concept of essentialism.

Before being introduced to the concept, I used to have this weird habit of tossing things out when I was angry and ruthlessly decluttering my physical space.

Anger was and is a frustrating feeling, but simultaneously freeing.

Frustrating because there is something in the way, and I feel powerless. But freeing, because it gave me more clarity of things I did not care about. Things that did not matter. Did. Not. Matter. I talked about this in abstract in my last post.

Something about anger brought about a process of cleansing, really in a practical way. I tossed out everything in my way. I would rid myself of things I had hoped to pursue but did not. I am not sentimental when I am angry….or rather I am only concerned about the necessary.

I tossed out everything in my way

I still do not know what I want; it’s hazy and opaque. But, with crystal clarity, I know what I do not want. So, I start from the place of subtraction. A via negativa approach.

Having clarity, is like realizing that I do not want to climb that particular mountain, I do not care what is at the top of it. I still have to pass it, so I will walk around it and find something else.

Que in minimalism. Instead of waiting for anger, I take a more proactive approach. Why not eradicate distraction, clutter and sentimentalism in a tangible way.

I look at stripping away the unimportant, rather than learning to maintain chaos.

This ongoing decluttering process has helped my room stay clean.

This seems like a rather trivial or even juvenile accomplishment for an adult, in fact, it is. But, it is also my story as mundane as it is.

There is a point that subtraction can become addictive, a coping mechanism to overwhelm.

At this time, I will not attempt to derive a greater meaning to this than just having a clean space that I can come to at the end of my day.

When it becomes the only thing

I seldom write. I am unmoved.

But when a light gust of wind knocks me down bracing me to the dirt that once shifted beneath my feet, I become anchored to the ground. Unable to get up.

Still gasping for air. Feeling every sharp inhale. Exhaling shards of glass. Writing becomes the only thing.

It is in this solace of desperation truth becomes comfort and solitude becomes a fortress.

I once heard ‘obsession’ imagined as “being in a ditch and having bullets shooting at you from all angles. You want to get out, but you do not know where they are coming from”. I am not obsessed, but this is what it must feel like.

I do not know when I see more clearly; when I am on the ground seeing every crevice and crack, feeling every stone and deep edge in the trenches or when I am standing upright with my head fully immersed in the powdered clouds ignorant of myself and my place in the world.

This state of being is where I have lodge my temporary home. This is where I write.

Otto Regular

Sharing Half baked Thoughts and Diving Deep.

When I start writing, I usually do not know the purpose of what I am about to write will be.  All I know is that there is something in the innermost part of me that wants to understand and communicate. I have this profound inclination to simply write, express and share.

What stops me from sharing is that my thoughts are often always half-baked. I feel as if when I write something, it should be a report of how I have accomplished something and how you can too.

I am on a journey. I know nothing, except for the fact that I know nothing,  As I am on this journey to self-discovery or self-creation, I have been watching YouTube videos, and reading articles that give advice on self-actualization. But, for me, a lot of what I read and the advice that is given does not reach home. It does not move me, and therefore, it does not change me nor advance me.

It is not that the advice given is not true. It may motivate me at the moment, but I get lost on how I pragmatize this into my life in a real and sustainable way. I am not sure how to internalize it so that I understand it at a transformational level.

Writing this out, I realize that for me, the purpose of this blog is not to provide a how-to, it is not to motivate, it is not even to educate. I write for the sake of expression and share for the sake of connection.

Each post may not provide closure or a life lesson, but it is a space of reflection, that maybe we can start sharing deep nuanced insights that mean something.

In my daily life, I do not feel a sense of connection to people. Understandably people position themselves and postulate. There is nothing wrong with this, but it can leave a gap in the human experience. At the end of the day, everyone wants to be understood. Whether someone is an introvert or extrovert they want to feel connected.  When a gap is left empty something else fills it in, like mental health issues and addictions.

Social media is a way for humanity to have conversations with itself.

~Yung Pueblo

Writing this has brought something to mind. In my previous posts, I articulated the same feeling. I had not meant to publish the article, these were just my raw, unpolished thoughts. In the comments, I received advice that “We suffer from this at different levels, because we all seek to be validated and acknowledged for our existence. Ultimately your self-worth comes from you.”.

I knew this was true. But, at the time this did not fully resonate because I did not know how this advice could be practicalized. My mind was clouded from understanding this on a cellular level. But as the clouds are lifting I am beginning to learn.  I can never feel connected until I validate and acknowledge myself.

In a practical way, acknowledging myself means writing and sharing without having a clear purpose. It is having faith that what I do in direct response to my internal compass is enough. Dysfunction happens when someone is not aligned with themselves. I cannot waste time hoping that others will get it. It does not have to make sense to anyone else, but me. It is what artists do with a paintbrush, and musicians do with music and it is what I do with words. 

How do you acknowledge yourself in a real way?

These are my thoughts. Until next time…….

But its not abstract

I had the urge to paint.

A while ago I bought this cheap paint pallet from my local dollar store. You know, the kind of paint that is like chalk in its dry form, and comes with a paintbrush like plastic wires.

You have to add water to it for the paint to be usable. And the paint brush does not absorb the paint, it only carries droplets of colour to your canvas.

Part of the reason I got it was that my sensibility advised me that it was less messy than other types of liquid paints. The other reason, was that nostalgia insisted.

This paint reminded me of my childhood, when I used to thoroughly enjoy painting. This paint would come attached with a colouring book.

When we were new to Canada, we received donations from our Church. Some of the donations included fun supplies and toys, like colouring books.

I remember this paint would come attached to a colouring book. I do not think I ever used the colouring book. Instead,  I would cut up a cardboard box from an empty cereal box and use the reverse side of the cut up pieces to paint. Painting was bliss.

I probably could paint for hours. I lost that desire to paint a long time ago. I was discouraged from painting because I would make a mess. Plus, it was not really a productive way of spending my time; it was not a marketable skill, as I was advised. I lost my desire for painting.

So when I passed through the paint isle at Dollarama, I could not resist.

I knew one day, I may want to paint again.

I moved away from home (for school) and brought the unopened paint with me. The paint pallet had been sitting in my suitcase for a couple of weeks. Waiting for me to be inspired.

These last few days I have been going though quite a bit emotionally. My mind just felt blurred.

So, today, I decided I wanted to paint. I put on some chill music and just ran my paint brush through the page. It was my way of expressing how I felt in my mind: the blurriness, the lack of mental focus, the lack of clarity.

I probably only painted anywhere between fifteen to twenty minutes. I just started feel anxious and good not focus long enough to do it for much longer.

But, I am glad I did it. I just painted how I felt. I used only blue and white.  It came out as an abstract piece. Actually, to call it abstract would be giving too much credibility to my artistic ability.

Probably too unimaginative to call it abstract art, but too thoughtful to be considered scribbles.

For the longest time, I never had a way to express to myself the way I feel, besides to cry or develop negative eating habits. Then I recently started writing.

Writing is great, but it felt so good to paint again.

I had the urge to paint. After that, I had the urge to write this.

How do you express yourself? #HowIExpress

Too young to be feeling this tired….

This must be what they call a “quarter-life crisis”.  I have all the symptoms….I self-diagnose of course. The heart palpitations before work. The tremors of a thousand should-have’s and shouldn’t haves.  Mental fatigue as the aftermath of repetitive administrative tasks.   And the vivid nightmares of reoccurring Mondays, only to wake up and find out it really is another Monday!! 

I have constant day-dreams of breathing in fresh air, taking in the beams of sun-rays unseparated by walls or glass and freely letting my toes touch the soft blades of grass.  I can only use my imagination as there are no windows in my office. 

I constantly feel as if my head is in the clouds, grasping for something I cannot reach. 

This is my Monday to Friday. This is my nine-to-five. 

One evening, I was indulging in a series of YouTube videos as I have grown accustomed to doing every evening after work as a way of mental escapism. I was going through a series of videos, and one of them was a GaryVee video interview. The video got me re-motivated to starting an online business. I got up off my bed, missioned myself to the computer— only to feel a sudden draining of motivation, enthusiasm, and ambition. 

I started to remember how incompetent I am. A tide of unwanted emotions started to flow in— lethargy, self-doubt, exhaustion, and depression. 

I am not sure what is going on. It seems so abnormal to feel this mentally and emotionally tired over a job. I often hear of people feeling this way mid-way through their lives and careers, but not this early on. 

Most people seem to get on with life—pay their dues at work from Monday to Friday and live for the weekends for 45 years until retirement. And make the best of it. 

Somehow, I know this is not for me, but the hard part is not knowing what is for me. 

I constantly feel incompetent at work. I fret and have anxiety before work. Sometimes, in my office, I am in tears. I wipe my face off before clients walk in or before my manager passes by to ask if I reached my daily sales goal.  

I am grateful for the job I have, do not get me wrong. I just feel as something wrong by me being there because I feel as if I cannot do it. But, what is it that I can do? 

This is not me just being hard on myself. I see the disappointment in my managers when they realize my competency is not what they expected. I often skip my lunch in order to get done what is expected of me (and still manage not to get most things done). 

Have you ever felt this way? If so, how did/ are you dealing with it? 

“For the vision is yet for the appointed time; It hastens toward the goal and it will not fail Though it tarries, wait for it; For it will certainly come, it will not delay.

Habakkuk 2: 3

 

Otto Regular

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Medium is the Message| 3 Quotes Challenge

Thank you msykmak for nominating me for the 3 Quotes Challenge. 

My chosen quote is…

One of the most important things you can do on this earth is to let people know they are not alone. 

Shannon L. Alder

I just started blogging a few weeks ago. Before then, I never followed blogs, I never read blogs. 

Since starting this “writing adventure”, I have realized something special about the process of writing, specifically blogging.

Writing is both a revelatory and therapeutic experience. Don’t you think so? 

Revelatory in a sense that the process of writing reveals a lot about yourself to yourself.  It requires you to remove the fluff clouding your thoughts so you can get to the core of what you want to say or how you feel.  Like an archeologist, you have to dig through the dirt in order to find what has been long buried. In a sense, it’s self-discovery. 

Therapeutic as it is a form of expression. It allows you to both externalize and internalizes your thoughts and feelings to a more creative form.  It gives you a more nuanced perspective. 

The fact that blogging is both revelatory and therapeutic is exactly the reason I have been finding myself at odds. It feels rather selfish blogging, especially when I notice I have been using a lot of personal pronouns in my writing. “I, I, me, me”. Then I stop.

And then I start again. I realize that is the point of blogging. I often find myself feeling alone, but when I read a blog or writing from someone about their experiences, I somehow feel less alone. I also begin to understand the writer’s experience. I become a more empathetic person to those around me. 

I had a friend tell me something I have never forgotten: “Everyone wants to be understood”.  

Often people are depressed because they feel alone. It is not hardship in itself that pains people, it is the feeling of being alone, but the feeling of not being understood. It is what isolates people into their own melancholy.  

When I think about it. Movies are a form of escapism. An opportunity to tap out of reality and experience something different from your everyday life. Most times (not all times) when you read, you are looking to connect or understand.  Maybe with blogging, the “median is the message”-Marshall McLuhan.

Sharing experiences through avenues such as blogging lets people know they are not alone. And that is one of the most important things anyone can do. 

What do you think? 

 

Otto Regular

______________________________________

The Rule Book: 

1.Thank the person who nominated you 

2.Post a quote for 3 consecutive days 

3.Nominate 3 bloggers 

I nominate… authoronablog

Maybe its time I become myself…

 

cropped-girl-3.jpg

Do I start with a contemplative quote, a heart jarring lyrical verse, a revelatory scripture from the Bible, or do I try to be witty to garner your attention?

These were my thoughts as I was getting ready to write this post.  But, I have tossed away any ambitions of composing an ornate intro.  Rather, I will start with my simple, yet true thoughts…

I am Malaika King—just call me Malaika—- and this is my very first blog post.

As I am now 25, I am facing some internal and external challenges I need to overcome— some new, most of them old.

When it comes to my internal challenges, the question is not where do I start—it is where do they end? 

I take the risk of sounding cliche, but I have been struggling with depression, ADHD, anxiety and the feeling of incompetency.

At the end of everyday, there is this nagging and persistent thought always tapping on my shoulder—that I am not the woman that God has ordained me to be.  In fact, not a day has passed when I do not feel subpar and incompetent. I can only describe it as a constant feeling of thorough dissapointment in myself.

If a week goes by without me having an internal melt-down or pouring out in tears, I consider that a victory. It pains me to think that I am sleeping, crying, and throwing away my life. 

As long as I can remember, I have been running away from myself. Now, I do not even know who I am.  Maybe its time I renew my mind and become myself. 

 

Cue in the quotes after all….

“There comes a day when you realize turning the page is the best feeling in the world–because you realize there’s so much more to the book than the page you were stuck on”

I have been stuck for so long…too long. This is where I turn the page and a new chapter begins. 

I will be writing and sharing my thoughts, experiences, and lessons through posts, poems, and photography (well…”iOS photography” for now—-good old iphone).

My journey is about being a woman after God’s own heart. About becoming my most authentic self. About living a beautiful, giving, joyful, and full life. My journey to becoming Malaika begins here…

Lord, you have examined me
    and know all about me.
You know when I sit down and when I get up.
    You know my thoughts before I think them.
You know where I go and where I lie down.
    You know everything I do.
Lord, even before I say a word,
    you already know it.
You are all around me—in front and in back—
    and have put your hand on me.
Your knowledge is amazing to me;
    it is more than I can understand.

Psalm 139: 1-6

I would love to hear your thoughts….are you starting a new chapter of your life too?