April 2018: Figuring Stuff Out and Out-Stuffing Figures

Hey, everybody! It’s your monthly update from your once-a-month blogger and unpublished novelist, K. A. Parker, and man…

Have I got some stuff to share with y’all.

You ready?

Life Likes to Happen Around March

Don’t ask me why, but a lot of life changing things like to happen in March, for me. Last year, I got notified of my offer on the waitlist for the JET Program, which then lead me to start my brief life but exciting career as an independent contractor. This year in March, I started playing Dungeons and Dragons and am currently DM’ing a game every Wednesday. Just this past weekend, while visiting my sister, I got a job interview request after three months of firing off my resume to Indeed.com. And, as of the day of this writing, I finally submitted my novel to three beta readers, officially kicking off its beta stage.

Again, don’t ask me why. Maybe it’s a mojo thing from having a birthday in February. Maybe it’s because it’s the beginning of spring, and things are literally and figuratively blossoming. But, still… a lot of crazy life-changing stuff.

And with that life changing stuff has brought some interesting epiphanies.

Why I Think Surf the Web

I’ve always surfed the web, but for a long time, I never did it with conscious awareness. I used to have social media icons all across the top of my bookmarks bar within easy clicking range, but once I discovered that I clicked them too much for my liking, I put them in a folder. Still, the same habit remained.

Thanks to meditation, though, I think I’m starting to understand why I hop on Twitter, Facebook, Youtube or whatever website that gives me my dopamine fix: It helps me forget about the things that bother me.

Scrolling Facebook and Twitter help me briefly forget about the things that I think are hard and subsequently want to avoid. When I look at a task on my author-entrepreneur plan, I get a queasy feeling about it that I mitigate with a brief check of either of my feeds. If I’m having a hard time with a particular chapter or paragraph I’m writing, I might google how to solve the problem I’m grappling with, but I might also peek at Facebook to see what videos come up on my feed. If I’m adding a book to my Goodreads list… you get the picture.

I’m not thinking of giving up social media completely. I think it has its uses. But it’s made me think about doing a social media detox for a good week or so, though that’s going to require planning on my end. I mean, what constitutes “social media” in this case? The big three plus Instagram? This blog? Does YouTube become social media even when you’re not commenting on a video? What if I’m just listening to music on SoundCloud?

Yeah. Lots of ramifications, but I’m sorting them out. The mindful detective in me is on the case.

Who I Think I Am Becoming

In the same way I’m discovering where my Internet surfing habit is coming from, I feel like I’m sort of rediscovering who I am and watching myself become the person I’m rediscovering in a kind of mandala mirror image. I’ve known who I was for a long time: an avid lover of stories and art with a childish desire to make art and stories of her own. Playing video games, especially RPGs, helped sate that desire, but Dungeons and Dragons, man…

At the end of the first session on the 21st of March, I got to share an improvised story with a bunch of strangers all over the world via the Internet, and it was one of the most nerve-wracking, hilarious, and magical experiences I’ve had in a long while. Like, I had trouble falling asleep because I couldn’t stop thinking about how much fun I had. The game, the characters, the shenanigans with dice–It made me feel like a kid playing make-believe again, and most of all, it made me feel free to be even more me–the more loose, flawed, mistake-making me that says whatever’s on their mind. Not only was it freeing to play D&D; it was just plain nice to reconnect with that child-like wonder for stories in me again.

And I hope that you, reader, wherever you happen to be, you find the thing that keeps you up at night with excitement and glee. Something that reminds you of who you already are and who you are becoming. You’re going to need that when things get tough.

See Ya Around!

Anyway, that’s it from me. Until next time, dear readers!

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