Categories
Emotional Work

Day 589 and Mental Health

Trigger warning: discussing depression and oblique references to suicidal depression. If you are in crisis please call 988.

I had a scare this morning. Someone I love is going through some stuff. I didn’t know if they were safe for a short period and I found myself frightened by the prospect of losing them.

When I learned they were safe I was relieved but also angry because how dare they scare all of us like that? I scrambled to cope with my own feelings and a desire to engage in codependent behaviors. I called my therapist and pulled myself together.

While I don’t suffer from depression it’s not an entirely foreign concept to me. It has felt closer over the pandemic as I’ve seen others struggle. I have family members and friends who live with varying degrees of chronic depression and I have witnessed first hand how much strength it takes live with it. I have chronic pain and I don’t think it is even in the same ballpark of debilitating as depression.

I’m not any kind of expert and my advice is mostly me talking into the wind so please only take what serves you. But what I’ve learned is that people genuinely do care about mental health if you want to seek a connection. We want to help. We want to help those that want to help themselves. Your people do love you and you may have more of them than you realize.

Sometimes it feels impossible to ask for help. Maybe you cannot ask friends or family because of any number of reasons. But that doesn’t mean you are alone or no one is here to help. There are hotlines. There are 12 step meetings. There are apps and services. As one internet friendly to another you are not alone. If you need mental health care please take whatever step feels feasible even if it’s just a text message into the either. You can do it.

Categories
Aesthetics Internet Culture

Day 588 and Skills Deficit

Today’s most exceptional viral Tweet is a Pyschology Today listicle that says the quiet part out loud. Men are lonely and struggling with how to fix the problem because women are higher expectations for relationships. I’m sure you are shocked by this.

A screen shot of a Psychology Today article summary that has circled the first bullet point in a red MS paint-style bubble. The circled text says “Dating opportunities for heterosexual men are diminishing as healthy relationship standards change.”

Apparently women prefer to be in relationship with men who are good communicators and emotionally available. That common sense piece of wisdom naturally caused the internet to erupt in mirth because I guess last week someone’s husband ate a peach. Women be asking for men to do more than be a paycheck and this has had mixed reception.

I struggle to understand some of the feminine discourse around husbands that don’t do any emotional or housework. My husband does most of the cooking. But I do worry about the fact that men don’t seem to be aware that you can fix not getting laid or struggling to keep a woman around just by learning some social loops. The pick up artist community wasn’t completely wrong that some aspects of dating are just techniques anyone can learn and it does help you build confidence.

I am happily married and missed the worst of the dating apps so my advice might be for shit but I do want help any lonely men out their with their up- skilling if they feel lost. I’m happy to help as your favorite male-brained autist that happens to be packaged as a cute but accessible girl. I’m basically a honeypot for right coded shape rotators. Except you can’t have me so I’m definitely safe to talk to. You too can learn how to communicate with women and even participate in hypergamy.

Categories
Aesthetics Biohacking

Day 587 and Transhumanism is Here

The wealthy are now dramatically better looking than the average person. This is not because because beauty is somehow genetically distributed more heavily to the rich but because you can buy good looks. I bet you are agreeing with me. Maybe nodding. You watch tv. But I’d be willing to bet you’d be surprised by how much work has been done because the good shit is discreet. It looks natural. Super natural.

The horrifying frozen faces, super symmetrical gravity defying boobs, and super puffy dick-sucking-lips are low status cosmetic work now. It’s what you get if you are either poor or have low status taste you haven’t yet figured out how to get rid of. You can tell and I can tell and everyone else can tell you had work done. Maybe you even like it. Porn is it’s own very popular aesthetic.

But looking like you are naturally beautiful requires a bit finesse. And wealthy beauty is natural. It’s more Napa Valley than San Fernando. I’d argue it’s not any less fake but but it’s so perfectly crafted as to aspire to the most believably close to natural as possible. In some cases it’s functionally transhuman at the rate they biohack their looks. Permanently shifting the Overton Window of beauty levels is arising.

Now good health is closely aligned culturally in our minds with good looks. That’s bullshit in a lot of critical ways but also broadly true in enough ways that it is common knowledge. So it feels truthy. This naturally brings up a lot of politics as to who deserves the world’s wealth and how do we determine that. “It’s the true and the beautiful obviously!” And well you can see it’s not a huge leap to fascism’s aesthetics.

I think we will see a backlash against slowing aging in noticeable ways. We will have a new hippie back to the land era of aging naturally. Except people will cheat it. We will hack finer and finer grades of the natural look to signal we value traditionalism but in reality the battle is over. Transhumanism may solve for longevity but it’s going to arrive by vanity.

Categories
Aesthetics

Day 586 and Omnia Vanitas

I’m going to publish a little utility article for my online friends about a minimum viable skincare routine. I framed it initially as a “perfect skin” basics document. I’m going to do a bit more work on it which is why it’s not already up as a blog post. But you can look forward to budget buys and budget uses of your time as well as a lesson on how to improve to the point of diminishing returns. Pareto Principle for being well groomed

I think most people, especially men, are embarrassed that appearances matter. If you think of vanity at all, you tend to assign it a negative valence. And it’s almost always depicted as a feminine sin. Bitches and Narcissists be staring at mirrors amirite? I’m far too serious a person to take how I look seriously we preen to our egos.

But as it turns out vanity’s original meaning was something closer to the fruitlessness of human effort in the material world than shitty self absorption. If you’ve ever seen a vanitas style painting depicting fleeting beauty and the surety of impending decay and death, well you get closer to the original meaning expressed in Ecclesiastes. “Vanity of vanities, all is futile” is as useful a Biblical lesson as it is an aesthetic lesson. Everything is futile but God.

One of the more challenging aspects of faith is the certain knowledge of death. Longevity science and the perpetual obsession with the fountain of youth aside, we are going to die. All we can do to build a life in our time on earth will be taken from us. And so why should we focus on the small things like beauty? Especially our own beauty. If it is at worst a feminine sin, and at best, a pointless exercise as all human efforts are fruitless, then why bother at all?

I suppose you might as well argue why do any of us do anything at all. Why live? Why have faith? Why build? Why build community. Or at a smaller scale. Why care for your health? Why eat well or exercise? And obviously why moisturize? Omnia Vanitas!

I am here to assure you moisturizing has the same impetus as all human’s grand desires. It is the same reason we build temples. And have children. And go to the doctor. And use Botox. We are human because it pleases us, it pleases those around us, and maybe it even pleases the Lord.

Categories
Emotional Work

Day 585 and Rip Off the Trauma Bandaid

I hope I can capture even a fragment of my emotions as I am on the other side of several hours of post-moving therapy. And I am drained but also armed with more wisdom than when I started the effort.

Moving is obviously a traumatic experience for most people. Anyone who moved as a child has some memories of how the change revealed new aspects of who they are and what makes them feel safe. Parents worry about it a lot about moving and for good reason. I know my mother certainly did and she did her best to protect me.

But we know that life is chaotic. Any type of change is already in a dance with accelerating entropy. Expect your unfinished shit to get drawn into the accretion belt surrounding the event horizon of your fears. Black holes are scary because we know they will kill us unless we commit enough energy to the fight to escape.

Sometimes some parts of us don’t make it. They become lost to the nothing. The dark impenetrable inversion point where we are forced to face the powers of destruction within us. Of course, it’s natural to sacrifice some part of yourself to banish the demon we know to be who we are.

It’s actually shocking to realize that inside of you might be some kind of personal Kali ready to rend the apocalypse at your weak side. But then you try not to think of it too much right? You’d rather ignore your demons right. Don’t feed the wolf right? Feed the good they say.

I am here to tell you that the shadow exist even if it scares you. It’s pulling you in just like that black whole. You can fight it your whole life. And maybe you win. Maybe you have that kind of fuel.

But if you ignore that shadow you will be pulled in it no matter what. Wouldn’t you rather run the calculation on how to achieve escape velocity? It’s going to be expensive. But it’s better to know the costs of living.

Categories
Aesthetics Finance

Day 584 and Fraudsters

I hadn’t bothered watching any of the numerous Netflix documentaries on how Americans love a beautiful fraud until this weekend when I made an attempt to watch Inventing Anna. I can’t tell if I regret the decision. I’ve avoided any glamorizing of the various grifters that we love to hate.

I don’t love stories about hustles gone bad because I fundamentally believe the difference between success and failure is a lot thinner than than the average person knows. “Fake it to you make it” is part of the great Pentecostal American prosperity gospel. You can come from nothing and become someone in America. We worship the idea of social mobility even if we don’t always like how people gained their fortunes. It’s an entire aesthetic in America.

This is particularly true because sometimes we actually do let the fraudsters win. Especially if we admire their hustle. And let’s be frank it’s a lot harder to tell who is a fraud these days because decades of publicly being a fraud doesn’t stop you from sitting in the Oval Office anymore.

Is it any wonder we aren’t quite sure how to feel about wealth and privilege and the black magic required to obtain it? We act like fraud is a temporarily embarrassing discovery on the way to respectability. Because it often fucking is.

Being in startups has given me a front row seat to just how much talent and capability matter. Except when they absolutely don’t. It’s genuinely hard to reconcile how little effort and outcome can be correlated occasionally.

And this absolutely lends itself to people being willing to take shortcuts. Mistaking that some hard doesn’t pay will kill you if you aren’t able to stay one step ahead. If you get caught, well that is clearly bad but who is to say you couldn’t have kept it up? It’s not like Americans trust cops or prosecutors (except for the line blue line fetishists). Maybe you were just too much of a loud mouth.

I will say the Inventing Anna series has shown me Americans are genuinely confused on how the rich stay rich. In so far as I can tell it boils down to gambling on who might be the real deal and simply writing off the frauds.

Cost of doing business. It happens to everyone. And the worse your boundaries are, well, the worse off your percentages. If your bullshit radar is bad that’s how generational wealth disappears unless you can figure out a way to rig the system (which is always an option).

Categories
Biohacking

Day 583 and Inflammatory

Remember how I said I was overclocked yesterday? I felt like my entire central nervous system was on overdrive. Well I am a little less anxious today, but no less unfocused. It has been suggested to me that this may be a function of inflammatory stress.

I have in general followed a strict biohacking routine. But moving meant many of the nutritional supports and routines that keep inflammatory stress at bay were not possible. Sometimes your only option is picking up takeout. While I appreciate seed oil disrespecters as the natural intersection of left coded hippies and right coded bro-scientists sometimes the best you can do is chow down on fast food. And boy am I feeling the negative effects of that necessity.

I used all of my focus today to do my various biohacking routines to try to mop up the inflammatory mess that I think might be contributing to this overclocked emotional state. I have a spreadsheet of supplements that has stuff for me to take basically every hour (here are the highlights of my 8am hour which is normie friendly). I went hard on making sure I didn’t miss a single dose.

I also took the time to reboot other activities that should be calming. I went for a leisurely walk. I meditated. Our new power cage arrived so I will hopefully be back squatting and deadlifting soon. We’ve got plans for an infrared sauna. Our pond is fed by a mountain stream and I’d love to dredge it deep enough to enjoy it as a cold therapy dunk. Alex installed a new shower head until then so I can get a more intense cold shower.

All of this is mostly just a mental overview of where I am at and my plans to get my body stabilized over the next couple of weeks so I am at my most focused and capable once summer is over and my fall work season kicks in.

Categories
Emotional Work

Day 582 and Overclocked

I have always been a bit of an intense personality. I’m a little prone to getting overstimulated, which often shows up like anxiety. But whatever the fuck is going on in the last couple days is way worse than usual. I’ve been so overwhelmed by even small things, I feel like I can’t control my reactions.

I am hoping it is just a residual effect of moving and the attendant stress. Perhaps my central nervous system is overclocked and it doesn’t yet know I’m in a safe place. It will just take some time to let all the cortisol spikes drain out and the other sundry overstimulation issues to get back to baseline.

But until then, it isn’t taking very much to set me off. I was driving a friend to the airport and had a full on scream in terror moment when a car honked and cut me off. They got so close to me me I ended up getting forced into a right turn only lane that stuck me onto the highway in the wrong direction. I just couldn’t stop myself from trembling and crying. I was so upset.

Today I had to ship some things in the mail It involved a shopping trip and figuring out some logistics. By the end of it I was completely overcome with a feeling of helpless anxiety as I discovered error after error no matter how hard I concentrated. I tossed my phone across the room just to see if I could relieve the building sense of pressure. It only helped a little.

I’d really like this feeling to pass. It feels a little ridiculous to have my body acting this stressed when I’m living quietly beside the mountains and my own creek. I don’t understand why things that are pretty minor have been crying and panicking. Fingers crossed my body realizes it is safe soon. Or that all the asshole drivers go back to California soon.

Categories
Travel

Day 581 and Lost

I still can’t locate a few basics that are part of my every day routine. My razor is AWOL, the box with my night time cosmetics routine hasn’t been located, and I’m not entirely sure where most of my tee-shirts are located. I don’t think they are lost but they sure aren’t found yet.

I keep making amazing progress on adjusting to the new house and unpacking, only to find that I’ve actually got no idea where something crucial might be located. My ambition to get into a routine? It’s bumping up against the reality that I’m still basically lost.

And in my case I got literally lost on the drive back from the airport. I had full on meltdown as my phone wouldn’t connect to the CarPlay and some urgently late California driver cut me off which forced me onto a right turn only lane. This ended up putting me on a highway for an additional 20 miles of transportation. I found myself lost and hollering into the phone “I have no idea where I am” as I couldn’t get myself turned around or in roads I recognized.

Categories
Biohacking

Day 580 and Feeling Normal

I had quite a case of insomnia last night. Eventually around 1am I caved and took a sleeping pill. I am so glad I did as I slept straight through till noon today. And I woke up feeling, dare I say it, almost normal. I felt better than normal. I actually felt good. Clearly I needed a long, comfortable, and uninterrupted night of sleep.

My Whoop has logged a lot of sleep disturbances since we arrived in Montana which has dragged down my recovery score. It always takes a few nights before I acclimate to a place’s natural sounds. The creaky stairs or the shifting of a building becomes something your unconscious mind recognizes over time. I think I’m finally starting to adjust and feel safe in our new house.

I’d been struggling to keep my routines and rhythms through the moving and unpacking. I had horrible digestive struggles from the excess amounts of processed we ate on the road. Then I found myself overheated and itchy as a heatwave smacked into a lack of air conditioning with a side of dusty boxes. I was physically a bit of a wreck.

Naturally I am relieved to feel like my body is adjusting positively. One of the many reasons we were excited to move to Montana is the cooler weather and ample space to be outdoors. My body is in less pain when I keep it cool and active. The optimism that wilted under the heatwave is now back.