2017-08-01

[Life] Stay Fresh

I have a very nice problem.  What to do now?  I'm no longer in school, now commitment-free.  I now wonder what to spend the next 30 years of my life doing.

Candidate ideas include
  • returning to martial arts and becoming quite skilled,
  • getting back into Open Source development and making important contributions,
  • trying to write Computer Science papers and get published, outside of University,
  • learn a lot about issues facing society and write,
  • resume drawing (like I did in 2015 to prove to myself that I still could),
  • learn French and Japanese (thanks, Duolingo!),
  • learn more about zoology and botany,
  • become a competent rock climber,
  • become competent at piano and (finally) learn how to play the violin,
  • travel and live abroad,
  • and many more ideas
I want to avoid any more long-term commitments, like school, that are somewhat inflexible.  Also, any large debts.  Also, doing anything involving serious competition (sorry, kendo). 

Short-term goals are clearer,
  • pay off debt,
  • spoil father,
  • continue to improve mental health,
  • stay fit,
  • and maintain friendships.
I took a break from martial arts officially due to school, but in reality due to philosophical differences, and not ones that directly pertain to martial arts.  However, I found the practise very rewarding, and it helped begin and structure a lot of my modern physical life.  I need to see if I can find a way to enjoy it while focussing just on the martial arts and staying out of non-martial philosophies.

GNOME remains a love of mine.  I was actually somewhat active in it for a while.  I was somewhat disenchanted by one experience in particular one summer, though, which had me also take a break, again until I would finish school and then have more time to focus on GNOME.

I don't think I could stand to think or read a paper in any domain of computer science (or any science) for at least a few more months yet.  However, I have copious notes and ideas that I think are worth exploring and sharing.  I'm not sure what opportunities there would be outside of an academic institution though.

I've spent a lot more time reading about various issues.  I tend to read a lot before getting involved in anything.  Lately, I've been reading up a lot more on issues surrounding feminism, native rights, and, of course, veganism.  Despite being involved in an animal rights club for the past 5 years, I haven't been able to spend as much time researching it as I'd like.  I still remember my friend Ariel who could quote facts and numbers off the top of her head to form very compelling arguments.  And people surprisingly like data.  Likewise, in a lot of issues, I rely on logic and reasoning, but would like to know more.  Friends involved in activism can be pretty critical of those who aren't as active.  However, many forms of activism don't resonate with me.  I remain unsure and skeptical of what approach is overall most effective in improving the world.  I hope I might be able to play a role in writing arguments and participating in informal, intelligent debate, though.

Drawing!  It's so much fun!  I've even attended a couple life drawing classes in the past year.  In 2015, I was relieved to be able to build it into my routine for 2 months, and be able to produce work I was satisfied with.  (Ask, and I'll share that album with you.)  I still have a web comic in-progress, involving viking teddies. :D  I think I'd like to draw some more of my favourite video games: Splatoon, Breath of Fire, and the Legend of Zelda.  And animals and plants!

While I did study German in University and grew up with German parents, I did find Duolingo to be immensely valuable and effective in growing my vocabulary and refining my grammar.  A lot of the news I read these days is in German, and I watch the odd anime in it, too.  I think it's important to understand and speak French, as a Canadian.  I'm a bit nervous about learning Japanese.  I feel as though part of the charm of J-Pop, J-Rock, anime, and video games, is that I don't directly understand what's being said in Japanese, and I can just assume it was well-written script and well-said dialogue, while following along from subtitles.  Once I understand Japanese, perhaps the magic will disappear.

I've been in love with flora and fauna for over a decade now.  I actually manage to keep my plants alive, now, and care more for the experience and lives of animals than before.  Still, there are too many local birds and even dogs that I can't identify.  Recently, a friend found an injured chipmunk, and I didn't know what advice to give - but I knew who to ask, which was a wonderful feeling in itself.  I could and should spend a couple years volunteering with wildlife rehabilitation.  Also, I'd like to grow some of my own food.  Even if it's just tomatoes in the window, and to be able to identify more trees, more specifically.

Rock climbing is a lot of fun.  It's great exercise, and for various reasons, in-door rock climbing gyms are less objectionable to me than regular gyms.  I like climbing with friends who can belay me and whom I can belay, but sometimes that's hard to get a consistent group and coordinate times.

Hehe, I keep learning a small number of pieces on my keyboard, then putting it away "due to school" for months and actually forgetting them all.  Hehe.  The next time I bring it out, I won't have a good excuse to stop. :)  And once I have paid down more debt, I'll be more free to instead pay for violin lessons.  Hopefully I'll be able to play something by the time I'm 40.

I was just in Vancouver, and this time it wasn't horrifyingly traumatic, but instead was delightful.  I truly do love mountains, oceans, and forests, and it has the right job opportunities for me.  Perhaps I'll relocate there.  The biggest consideration is my wonderful father, as I don't feel comfortable leaving him alone in Ontario, unless I could somehow financially justify flying back for a visit each month. 😆  Other than that, the other standby nations are still there: Germany, New Zealand again, and somewhere less Western.

One of the best things I've accomplished in the past 6 years, and especially the last 2 years, is greater independence.  The last two years especially, thanks to improved mental health with the help of Zoloft®!  Without the stress of school, I hope to see if I still need Zoloft®, but in general, I strongly recommend taking whatever measures are necessary to maintain your mental health, even if it involves taking medication.  That used to have a large stigma for me, and I'm glad that my friend Sarah helped me overcome that. :)

Another large contributor has been extensively revised outlook on the world and on people.  I used to have less realistic expectations for humanity and reality.  I would like to think that now I have more useful ones, that don't rely too much on cynicism.

Anyway, if you read this for some reason, thanks, I guess?  I would like to either blog or journal more.  But here's one update for now.

Ciao.




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I am aeronautical, vanship-style.  I am olympic and mythical.  I rest on my laurels.