For many years, I had believed in the notion of soulmates. That there was only ‘one’ person, who was destined to be with me. That this person was looking to. That this person could fill an emptiness deep within me. Loneliness is what I have felt, for a majority of my life. It is in this loneliness, I had attempted to find fulfillment but had not succeeded.
I had spent hundreds of dollars, and countless hours of cold-readings, psychic hullaballoo for what? to quell my anxieties. To tell me that “It will be okay. It will be fine.” To be entitled to this fictitious pipedream of ‘true love’, via the media.
Nearing my late 20s, I realize that none of this is real.
The Greek Mythos, as per Plato’s symposium spoke of the notion of soulmates… that the eternal struggle of human, is to find the ‘other’. Such mythos permeates all throughout religions. It is deeply ingrained in history, and by extension, culture.
The belief of soulmate sets idealistic expectations… one which ultimately disappoints. People aren’t products. They desire, and fear… they have feelings. Yet, in today’s era we swipe through slews of people as if we were looking at a catalogue. To place a ‘value’ on a person. The notion of ‘soulmate’ demands that the other person be ‘perfect’, when perfection does not exist. Immediately, the individual strives for “happily ever after”, in this pursuit of perfection. That is their ultimate motivation. We lie to ourselves.
Soulmates aren’t all that romantic. Rather, it’s selfish idealization. Fights, squabbles, arguments… they happen. Polarities between two people. They happen. The notion of soulmate demands that the other does not bring conflict with them, during union. Again, nonsense.
In my digression, that is not to say that I do not wish to get married one day. On the contrary, that is my intention. To one day marry into a stable commitment, with the intention of ’til death do us part with children in-mind. They are not perfect. Rather, they are human. They are real, and practically speaking they fulfill my expectations. Man, or woman. It matters very little to me. It is the person.
“Is this the person I wish to spend the rest of my life with? To grow with, to experience all of life’s trials and tribulations with?” The ultimate question. I am looking for the best journey with this other.
Even then, one is complete all on their own already. There is no cosmic love pre-assigned.
NOTE: I’ll be updating this with any new discoveries I make for my own pianistic progress. Pianists, especially piano students stress the importance of technique in pianism. That is why many a young student attends Music College. To refine their technique.
It’s been quite some time since I’ve posted, and this is attributed to my attention being divided elsewhere. Namely, my PhD. I, however have not abandoned the prospect of piano. Primarily, I have been working on refining ‘technique’, that is to better make the piano sing… regardless of repertoire, regardless of differing rhythm or key. How can I better serve the piano? How can I?
The piano must sing.
I am reading a fantastic book by Hungarian Pegagogue, Jozsef Gat. It is titled “The Technique Of Piano Playing.” My piano teacher gave me some of the pages—scanned in-fact, which was given from one of the piano teachers to a good amount of students at The Conservatorium. Being the nosy beaver that I am… I tracked down the original publication. These are some notes that I’ve taken, to better refine my technique, so that one day, I may make the piano sing.
The structure of the human organism (physiology and neurology) has not differed, therefore, there is no new way to play the piano. Since Chopin, Liszt, and Bach’s time… the manner of piano playing is still employed throughout all conservatoriums. Good Piano playing. Just as well, in companion to the physiological aspects of human, the piano-forte has not since changed in its construction since the 88-key variation by Steinway & Sons was released in the 1880s. It is therefore, affable to consider that there ought to be a parallels drawn between the aforementioned pianists (and more), in how they relate to their instruments.
As for the “piano-murders”, and the thumpers… non-non. You want to love the piano.
Questions: What are tone-colour concepts? : Tone Colour Refers to the quality of sound, also known as “TIMBRE”.
What is Agogic elements within pianism? Accents dude, accents.
What is the “Dolce Touch”? Dolce Touch means “Sweet Touch”. The pianist sweetly ‘touching’ the keys.
What is vibrato in pianism? In context of applying a display of ‘force’. One can physically bend the pitch by applying more pressure, or forcing the key downward. That is, keeping the hammer in contact with the string, not retracting it to its former raised position.
Do not associate the notion of “Tone colour” with the execution of touch upon the piano. The pianist makes use of many functions, physiologically speaking. Many a time, some functions… whether that be the wrist, pivot of the elbow, trunk and/or feet can be in contradiction to one another. Effecting ‘touch’, thus, effecting playing.
Tone colour refers to the quality of sound, within the harmonics series the ear is a peculiar thing… we’ve the lower overtones and upper overtones within each tone/note. Lower overtones produce a ‘softer’ note, whilst upper overtones produce ‘sharper’ notes… note that this is on the minute level. Within semi-tones. To the standard listener, a note may sound the same or register as the same note via a tuner device… however, the frequencies/oscillations will determine the ultimate quality of the sound. E.G. 440 HZ may register as an absolute A4, however 430 HZ still registers as an A4… albeit softer in its colour. The colour of tone is dependent entirely on the construction of the piano, and its very quality… that is, the physical materials used in unison to produce the sound.Quality of felt, and coating on the hammers for instance.
A longer time of contact, that is hammer to string will produce softer tone colours. Inversely, if contact time is shorter, tones will be sharper. Again, this has much to do with the piano’s construction.
By way of oscillograms, higher piano tones diminish more rapidly in comparison to lower piano tones. In essence the tone colour does not depend strictly on the pianist, but rather the construction of the piano.
SWING STROKE VERSUS PRESSING A KEY:
“The hammer cannot be brought up to the strings by a uniform motion and therefore a swinging motion has to be applied in order to give the hammer the require impetus” (23).
NOTE:The velocity of the hammer, to the string determines the dynamics/volume of the vibration.
The velocity of the hammer is dependent on the pianist’s striking of the key, attained at the escapement level.
The manner in-which the piano operates, mechanistically to produce sound has to, in simplistic terms do with the hammer striking the string. Not ‘touching’ the string, rather, ‘striking’. If one were to softly press a key downward in a soft and even manner, one will no-doubt touch the string of the piano to the hammer. No sound, however, will be produced (Mute Sustain). The feature of the hammer falling back immediately, after ‘striking’ a string is tantamount to the production of sound.
Sustaining a note, without use of the pedal is where one would press the key/depress it right into the board. If one listens closely to the piano, vibrato is generated. A display of force leads to “Vibrato”. One is forcing the key, if one presses the key down to the bed of the keyboard.
Pressing refers to a consistent, and constant application of ‘force’. One does not press piano keys to adequately play, doing so is an inefficient use of energy. The beginner’s mistake, also is to combine the two… that is, ‘swinging’ with ‘force’ after the previous.
This is known as ‘thumping’. The pianist who depresses the key all the way to the key bed, fails to see how the piano works. There is no need to exert unessacary energy to produce a sound from a piano, even if one is attempting play at a louder dynamic. In deploying the depression of the key, should the strike be executed correctly… the key needn’t sink in completely, rather, only half-way to the bed of the keys. The mechanism of the hammer, supports this. Even a slight tap will deploy the hammer on the string. Therefore, any additional movement or force from the finger is merely supplementary. Never force the sound out of the piano, by way of the keys. Never.
THE FACTORS OF SWING-STROKE:
A firm basis: An elastic support; an actively swinging unit for executing the swinging motion, referred to as the “Active Unit.”
A firm basis refers to the appropriate position of the body. That is, a good stool or bench and correct posture.
In piano playing, the entire body works as an elastic support. The body is always in a state of elasticity, when afforded healthy tension. The rebound (springing back) of keys/shock produced is absorbed by a series of elastic joints. The subtle kickback is not noticeable, but indeed present.
The same can be said for one striking a hammer onto a nail. One will not hold the hammer down after the blow, but rather, one will re-coil the hammer elastically by muscular action as well as force generated from hitting the hammer onto the nail initially. The same mechanism can be said of the piano hammers to the string. The ‘rebound’ or ‘kinetic force’ must be absorbed by the joints (of the entire body) in-order to execute the next stroke successfully.
Yes, the entire body plays a role in absorbing this ‘rebound’ produced from the keys bouncing back. Therefore, the feet of the pianist plays a very active part in providing ‘elastic support’. NOTE: The feet do not play an ACTIVE role in playing a note, rather the feet act as support to the rest of the proceeding mechanisms of the body.
NOTE: Elasticity refers to physics. That is, the body possesses a healthy amount of tension, where the body can resist distorting influences I.E the motion of touch to the key.
EXERCISES/BREATHING TECHNIQUES: Alexander Technique.
There is a lot of pressure, especially in this society for people to couple with one another. The need to settle quick and fast, is what… I believe accounts for the high divorce rates nowadays.
As a twenty-five year old woman, and welcoming myself back into the dating scene… I don’t have a sense of urgency to settle, as I formerly did during my youth. For me, I do not need a man. I want a man. During courtship, if I am unappeased in any manner, or if any of my boundaries are crossed. I simply cut ties, and that’s it. I move on. There is no loss, for me. Continuing any further would be an ample waste of time for me, as well as energy. I’ve better things to do.
Although I had only just began, three years ago, working on myself as a person I see that there is still much work to do on myself. At the age of twenty-five… I view this as an optimal time. To do all of what I desire, to go to wherever I wish, to take up any hobby that my heart, well pleases! (piano and music theory) I am free to do what I wish. I’ve no obligations, no responsibilities and I am infinitely lucky. The time is ripe for myself.
And so, for the first time, I decidedly used my Sunday off to take myself out on a date.
I walked around the city, marveling at the beauty of the sights, smells, and cacophony emerging from… what could only be best described as an orchestral profession of crowds. The smell of singed meat on the BBQ stoves, the beautiful flowers, the children thrashing about in the communal pools, the skateboarding youth and joggers who added to the picturesque land-scape of my view. A strange calm came over me, as I strolled around observing people. I felt as if I were in a dream. Families, couples, and the odd homeless person or two graced my senses. Each with a story, only known to their sacred inner-circle. “People are just so infinitely interesting” I thought to myself. Some people had noticed me, and flashed me a smile. Some had even waved. A friendly gesture, which warmed my heart and yet… felt so strange. As soon as the exchange was made, the people would of course be quick to go about their businesses. I would become invisible again. Free to wander around, and admire the handiwork of this world without interruption. I felt as if I were god, generating and organizing this reality with my own filter of consciousness.
From all of my walking, I then had to add bandages to my blistered feet. My leather loafers bit into my heels, by way of my enthusiasm in covering as much of that portion of the city as possible. Whilst I tended to myself, an odd fellow approached me. Looking rather unsettled, he would point jarringly at my bandages and spit out nonsense that I couldn’t recollect. I would look past him, not acknowledging his presence. Signaling the vibe for him to back off. And much to my surprise, he did. I thought then “All of my working on myself is paying off…”
There upon. I had the opportunity to wander around my University. It was abandoned, after the Pandemic had led to a closure on many establishments. Doors were locked, the Campus empty… signs detailing the onslaught of fear and panic, with “Social-distancing” littering the expanse. The Café all boarded up, and chairs and tables, akin to a lifeless bodies stacked against its front wall. A complete ghost-town. And yet, in eying my reflection in the multitude of glass-panel windows and doors, I saw myself. Although I was physically alone, I didn’t feel that way. I enjoyed that echo of mine self, and I sunk deeply into the moment. I would dance, and tap my feet… allowing that impression of myself to follow suit. “We are both like puppets, on a Broadway stage… aren’t we?” All the while… the undulating, and familiar hums of “The Best Of Frederich Chopin” radiated from my noise-canceling headphones. Into my ears. Into my heart. Into my soul. The moment, through poignant imagery and sound now branded to memory. A sensation I desired to have again.
There upon. I attended a museum exhibit, and drunk in the sensual pleasures which resulted. The political commentary, the peppering of violence and sex in the displays–a common feature, no doubt in regard to contemporary art. I still remember that visual experience. That sensation. That emotion. I want it again… in writing this. And strangely enough, it was just me the entire time. Enjoying my own company. Enjoying my own time. I eyed couples who had also attended the exhibit. The museum exhibit, a common dating staple, to have poor fools who converse about their surroundings as opposed to each-other. Why is it, we are afraid to face one-another… yet we claim to love one-another? The cinema is a similar place. Stare at a screen. Do not bother about each-other.
My being solo had led me to reflect and observe these couples. Walking hand-in-hand, with much lust in their eyes, for one another. The giddy smiles, the queasy gestures. Their hands surfacing over the ‘designated’ places, where they ought to touch one another… their little conversations, that may later relegated to mere fluff. Ornamental, they felt to me. Yet, I felt compassion as I gazed down from the second floor, upon their little bobbing heads. Helpless fish, thrashing about. The curators, shuffling back and forth underneath to color that image with more ‘excitement’. Poor creatures… I wonder if they wonder what tomorrow may bring. I wonder if they wonder…
Wondering if you’re wondering, that I’m wondering… or perhaps to lead one to wonder again?
“How could they look so alone, even though they’re with one another?”
Was I envious? Strangely enough. No. In my being solo, there was no one to hurry me along, or annoy me with their banal conversation. I could take as long as I wished to truly enjoy what was on display. For it to leave a lasting impression. For this moment to be for myself, and no-one else. An instance of this rushing I had observed within those traveling in a pair of more, was that their attention was not theirs entirely. It was sacrificed for the good of those accompanying them. This revelation came upon me, when I saw that I was the last individual to sit through an entire Art film, whilst others had left. The raunchiness of the film, the absurdity. I saw it in their eyes. Glazed over. They were not attending to the piece. They were more fixated on others… and of course, themselves.
I came from being someone with little value of myself. I cared deeply to show compassion to others, at the cost of my own being… at the cost of my own character. My value was at their beck and call. From that moment, I realized I had changed. Now, I see that only some people are worthy of that tenderness. That softness. Not all. And that when people do things, there is no reason to get upset. People will do what they will do. I never had any say, or control over their agency in the first place. And why should I?
And I decided that the one who deserves that the most. Is me.
This is what it’s like huh?
Then I came to the conclusion: “I can make beautiful memories with myself. And yet, I fooled myself for years and years thinking that my life will only begin when the right man enters the picture.”
I learnt that day, that I am just as happy and complete alone. I will take myself out on dates, anywhere I please from, now on.
Before 2020 ends, It is important for myself that I ought to be honest. Always.
I like to be openly honest. Not to allow myself to be vulnerable… but to more or less place higher expectations on myself, and to of course improve as a person. If I have but one true purpose in this life, it is to find my true value in this life. Nothing else.
Some people may fear doing so, in speaking about themselves or publishing snippets of their lives on blogs. That’s understandable, I used to fear doing so for years. For me, my comfort is garnered from the reality that a. no one truly cares, b. I’m writing for myself, past anyone else and c. I’m forever evolving as a person. I have nothing to hide. Even with the walls of text I am prone to write, I still don’t reveal all of myself. I simply can’t, no matter how much I desire to. Therefore, this should further solidify my justification. This post will age, for certain, and with its aging, I will have matured into a different person, by then… as I have been, since I firstly began on this journey to retrieve myself.
I write a lot. Anyone who has corresponded with me, can attest to the amount of detail I put within letters. I enjoy writing… so a lot of people may make the false assumption that I am obsessed with myself to an unhealthy degree. On the contrary, I do not fantasize about myself (after this post, I now do)… rather, I project what I long within myself onto others. Therefore, this would suggest that I have much more work to do on myself.
I should be fantasizing about myself, that’s where I’ve been going wrong.
Problem area #1. infatuation and crushes.
I’ve recently entered into the dating scene again… not primarily for the reason of attempting to find love, but more or less for the reason that I’m interested in testing how much confidence I’ve garnered through the years. Initially, I had suffered with severely low self-esteem in my youth. ‘Extremely low’, by that measure would be an absolute understatement. I hated myself for many years. This hatred is a product of a number of things… firstly, one being with how I experience the world. My being Autistic (Asperger’s) leads me to be hyper-sensitive and anxious a lot of the time. Just as well, my being different and idiosyncratic to others is instantly recognized… and I was severely bullied as a child for this reason. The perfect recipe for low self-esteem, and the funny thing is that… I didn’t even know I had low self-esteem ’til three years ago. My initial low self-esteem led to a very damaging and toxic relationship. When you have no self-worth for yourself, anyone will do.
However, I do not regret this relationship. Just as well as everything in life, despite the pain, for it led me to realize: “Ah yes, I hate myself don’t I?”
And so, began three years of work on myself… and now, the results: I am two years away from a PhD, financially independent, and I have taken up piano and music theory. I have developed a voice of my own, and assertiveness. I take myself out on dates, wherever I desire: The art gallery, piano recitals, concerts. Years ago, I wouldn’t have allowed myself to do that.However, I still have many blindspots to myself that I must iron out.
One of main issues in life is crushes and infatuations. They serve no purpose, and are of no use to me… yet they have sustained my fascination toward the unknown, throughout my twenty-five years. My infatuations would be very intense and long. I have in-fact been single for a majority of my life by choice, and my infatuations and have sustained me for one to two years. Such obsessions and inclinations have nearly destroyed me, and you know why? I was too stubborn for years, to let go of these fascinations due to my fear that I wouldn’t be able to draw.
OH! Heaven forbid that I don’t have some ideal–some muse to draw! HEAVEN FORBID! Yes, I’m a lot like Hector Berlioz… sadly. Minus the genius.Berlioz always had to be infatuated, or he couldn’t create.
And although that was the narrative Berlioz told himself, I believe I can change mine.
Infatuation can only happen from when you are distanced from the object, or you just simply don’t know them enough. For me, it’s perfect. I could fantasize and imagine the way this person is, in any fashion I would like. Selfish? Absolutely. Which leads me toward that desire of rectifying it, in the first place.
The rush of fantasizing about scenarios in one’s mind, much-like a film reel of romantic montages is like that of a dopamine hit. I have clung to it for years. Oh, for so long… I have longed for an idealized image of someone who is my counterpart. The unreachable. For so long… and this is a guilty admission that I have kept to myself for all of my life, due to a lack of understanding. This is an unhealthy, obsessive fascination which boarders on absolute lunacy. My infatuations would be long, and detailed within the space of my mind. I would fantasize about objects of desire, and how great I thought they were. How wonderful it would to be with them. To talk to them. For them to understand me. For them to hold me. And so… this desire would fuel me during courtship. I would take the initiative, and pursue my object of interest with tenacity. Leading the conversation along, as it were. Taking a stronger approach as opposed to being meek. When I see something, I have all intention of attaining that goal. And of course, this scares men off. They go running for the hills.
Was it desperation then?
No? For me, that never occurred to me. Subtlety isn’t something that I can do naturally, however it’s the forte of the feminine, apparently. If I like a guy, I like a guy. I tell him, and whilst doing so, I set boundaries. I am impatient, and I don’t like wasting time truth be. Either, the guy likes me or not. If he doesn’t, he can fuck off. Simple as that. I can seem rather forceful. Rather intense. I know that to be certain. Is that the main problem? No, because in all truth I don’t care if they run. It’s the feelings I am left with, that are far worse (even if I have another guy to replace the former guy). And they aren’t a symptom of the fellas who run. It’s a symptom which leads one to ask “Why.”
Causation: Lack Of Self Love.
This is the reason: It is within these objects of desire I see lack, not a lack of their presence (although, that is a very important thing) but a lack within myself. My longing, and fantasizing for someone else is evidence of the still present lack of self-confidence within.
For years… I finally figured it out. I wanted someone to complete me. I wanted happily ever after. I wanted roses. I wanted that nastiness–that emptiness within me to go away. To subside. But you know what? That isn’t addressing the issue at all. No man could ever complete me, no matter how perfect he appears to be. No one should EVER place their condition of happiness on someone else. EVER. No-one is responsible, at the end of the day for how you feel.
People are unpredictable, nasty and damaged themselves. People will let you down again, and again.
Therefore, the responsibility of happiness shouldn’t be placed unfairly on others. Always, the responsibility is yours. You decide, and you choose your happiness.
In your life, you are number one. Always. Number one! I know it’s cliched, but damn if there isn’t any truth in it. You must love yourself before someone can love you. It’s that simple.
Just as well, place expectations on no-one. People will do what they will fucking do. No-one is predictable. No-one.
Ultimately. When it comes to a crush: tell yourself, it isn’t true. Because it isn’t. That there is as fake. You don’t want fake. You want real.
The fake imago that I had built up in my mind, through strangers all had one thing in common: They would adore me. They would understand me. We would have long drawn-out conversations together. And they would love me.
Therefore… I had all I needed to know. I now needed to do all of those things for myself.I needed to give myself all of those things, and that is what I am now in the process of doing.
I see this disease is found, not just in myself… but others too. We all desire for ‘love’, yet none of us know what love is truthfully. I myself, do not know what it is, in regard to Idealizations, and seeing past the ‘good’ of the person.
Everyone has darkness to them. Everyone.
One day, I am certain that I WILL love. However, love truly is mysterious. Lust isn’t love… love has staying power. Love is getting to know someone for years, and years. With all of their damage. With all of their ugliness. With all of the gross and disturbing truths. People are gross close-up, did you know that? Love is all about staying for the reality of those things, despite that, you stay! That is what love is.
Heuheuheuheuhe, also divorces are at all time high nowadays. Did’yaknowdit?
What does one do?
DON’T HAVE A CRUSH ON ANYONE. EVER. Sure, they look nice. Sure… but did you know that they shit, fart, and masturbate like everyone else? Also, 9/10 they’re emotionally stunted and don’t bloody know what they want. There you go, cured. But I hear you saying “What If I see them with another –” Yeah, don’t just look… stare. Take it all in. That’s their problem now! See, I fixed you. They not only get the sweetness of that person. They get all the ugliness too… ohohohohohohoh~
That there, is just a human being. The meaning you assign to the human being through your eidetic experience, is how you perceive the being. Your subconscious is the one that’s kicking you in the ass, my lovely. Instead, your mind ought to be occupied with fantasies and admiration of yourself, as opposed to some cookie-cutter ‘dream’ cooked up from the recesses of your subconscious.
Although, if you do have crushes you simply can’t be rid of… treat them as if they’re fiction. You know? Movies, or celebrities. I like to daydream about Frederic Chopin every now and again, but that doesn’t mean I’m obsessed with him (to be fair, he is my phone’s wallpaper though). Hahaha, hell no! Stay dead, ghostie! Chopin is my go-to material for enjoyment. In my daydreams, he plays me all the Nocturnes I want on demand. And, he also bitches about Franz Liszt and tells me that he’s in awful pain all of the time. Then I laugh to myself and say “Oh Chopin, you so crazy~” My imagined Chopin is more reliable than anyone else, and yet… I still know he’s fiction. Because he’s dead, heheuheuhehueheuhe.
Meryl has a dead boyfriend. Meryl has a dead boyfriend. Meryl has a dead boyfriend~
No! Meryl has a dead husband. Get it right. He’s my husband in my daydreams!
Although, daydreaming about yourself is really what you ought to be doing past the object of desire. Honestly. For example, I like to daydream that I’m playing in front of an audience, and my hands have the same dexterity and agility as my teacher’s… when I’m like 30 or 35. And then, for some reason Frederic Chopin comes out of nowhere and starts making out with me.
Also, depersonalize people you’re interested in. Have the least bit amount of faith in them, especially in the early stages. A majority of people you cross paths with in your life, WILL NOT WORK OUT.
Sing it with me.
Don’t expect them to contact you. Your world doesn’t revolve around anyone else. Don’t put them on a pedestal. They won’t ever prove anything to you. Don’t believe their words. Always expect that they will fuck up, because they will. Replies are shit? Do the same. Look at their actions. They are already fucking up. Ghosted you? Then fuck them off.
You’ve got no time for that shit!
You have your own life to live. You have lived without them, and you can easily live without them now.
And don’t give them second chances. Fuck them off for good. Use your ‘tegridy! There’s billions of people this world, mang. Don’t be wasting your time on someone that’s wasting yours. With my disappointments, I always get new replacements and the fun begins again!
GET YOURSELF SOME QUALITY! DON’T SETTLE FOR LESS.
In my observation. I have learnt much.
I have now decided to never have a crush or infatuation on anyone (alive) ever. My sister, in her infinite wisdom… and her having more dating experience, told me that she doesn’t develop crushes, anymore because she just knows it’s a load of phooey. From the land of make believe. People aren’t impressive up-close. People are just people. Therefore, that’s all the justification one needs.
” No one could ever live up to the idealizations within my mind. No-one. Mere illusion are what these fantasies are, and figments of my psyche past anyone else. To place such standards on others, are of pure selfishness and masochism on myself. “
Wish me luck. When this post ages, I hope to hell that I’ve made progress.
But Meryl, what will you draw if you abandon crushes? Have you seen the world? There is a lot of shit out there to draw. A lot.
Who knows what will capture my interest? That is the ultimate beauty of it all.
Side bar advice: Don’t ever change yourself for anyone else, except yourself. Always. And as my former viola teacher used to say
Just a personal post to keep myself accountable. I learnt this in one of my day’s off, in my attempt at increasing my productivity.
Any activity which anticipates a potential reward, releases dopamine.
The highest dopamine release occurs when one is taken by surprise. In today’s age, we are amidst dopamine overload with constant distraction. Whether that be trivial entertainment, or the like. As a result, homeostasis is utilized by the body as a means of maintaining dopamine receptors. This in-turn results in a dopamine tolerance. Working hard, releases dopamine in lower amounts, in comparison to other pursuits… such as browsing the internet.
Sugar addiction, or addiction toward any kind of substances for instance, will illicit an immediate dopamine response. The instant gratification we seek, is fleeting… and the repercussions, long-lasting.
So, why is dopamine tolerance bad? Because it leads to a lack of motivation, and laziness. One will be led to do unfulfilling things–trivial things such as entertainment, for the dopamine it provides, as opposed to anything constructive, such as practicing the piano or working on developing their business.
Therein, one must lead themselves to a dopamine detox.
To keep myself disciplined. I do these things: I quit sugar. I quit coffee. I fast for 24-hours a day. My dietary choice is vegan. I am voluntarily celibate. I abstain from television and watching media for enjoyment. I, however read books for my primary source of entertainment. I choose a voluntarily hermetic lifestyle. Not having many social ties, apart from colleagues. I abstain from all social-media, outside of this blog. I have been partaking in ice-cold showers for three months. And I try my best to humble myself, in any given situation.
To be fair, my dopamine tolerance is quite low.
Just as well. I don’t reward myself with anything instantly gratifying… a reward which would take days to manifest, or to develop, is far more constructive. For instance, ordering a good book is both productive, but also rewarding past wasting one’s money on wining and dining at expensive places. I’m not into that scene at all, and I am most certain that for the remainder of my life… I never will be.
A good example of a dopamine inducing scenario, would be infatuation or lust felt toward another individual. Entertaining fantasies for instance, provide an impermanent high with no staying power. Being ‘love-sick’, is a common instance. Mere infatuation is comparable to those, growing in love (notice that I did not say ‘falling’). The journey and reward of cultivating a relationship, with discernible ‘staying power’, is one which provides a greater reward. Albeit, the dopamine released through that instance isn’t as ‘powerful’ as a one-night-stand would be… the rewards are sporadic, and produced in incremental portions here and there as per the nature of life’s chaos (of course, save for life-changing moments like marriage or birthing children). The difference is that the rewards of a long-term relationship, that is, if it is one that is considerably healthy, is lasting… although the ‘shots’ of dopamine are smaller in comparison to a one-night stand. To me, the triviality of one-night-stands never made any sense to me. You would like to boink someone without even knowing them personally? That’s gross. Ew (you are free to do what you will). As for idealizing individuals, I will however admit that I had fallen, time and time again… victim, to idealizing individuals in a romantic sense. Yes, I have wasted many hours daydreaming about marrying the man of my dreams. And how we’d have children, and how he’d say that he loved me, and how he’d understand me better anyone else. Hehehehe, damn, that’s some fantastic shit.
Note: Idealizing people is a disappointing endeavor. Although, we are led to believe that people are all the more impressive far away… upon further inspection, and getting closer, we realize that they were not. Everyone has ugliness to them, no matter how seemingly impressive they appear to one, at a surface level of inspection. Idealizing individuals is quite selfish, in an implicit way. We place expectations upon the other, that of course, would, by most realistic conventions, be impossible to fulfill.
It is best to lower your expectations toward others. Find someone who is a complement, not someone who is perfect. As my homeboy, Jodorowsky would say: Too much perfection is a mistake.
But that’s just a dream isn’t it? From the land of make-believe, it is. Not at all, is it productive. Eventually, I will be rid of this fantasy so that I may focus on what is truly important.
If you were to ask me where my main source of excitement comes from… it is primarily created by my discovering new pieces of knowledge, and disseminating that information to others (hence, why I became an Academic and teacher). Whether that be what a constant harmony is, within music theory, or how one can learn music theory by 88 keys of the piano… I will be exclaiming how great this is to others. I don’t rightly do it, to proclaim my superiority over anyone. I would say that, from my aversion to anything which would effect my dopamine response, my tolerance is quite low. I don’t care for distraction outside of that, although admittedly I had fallen into the trap of wandering around the internet here and there. Reading articles, watching pointless videos, leaving nonsensical comments here and there (if you find me, say hello)… and listening to music. Who hasn’t from time to time?
And just as well… practicing the piano, from my experience generates a good dopamine response. Hitting the keys is rewarding. Lest you were forced to practice the piano as a young child, which thankfully I wasn’t. I choose to play the piano.
Also, don’t fall into the trap that I tend to. Over-thinking things. Analysis-paralysis. If you want to do it, just fucking doing it.
This place, is more or less what you’d consider a personal website and blog. Its very creation is predicated upon my inclination towards expressing… and explicating my thoughts. I don’t write for any wish to be read, but rather, I write for the wish to allow myself the freedom–that is, to be set free from the shackles of judgement. However, not by the hand of others… but by of course, myself.
Whether that be for the purpose of individuation, to develop more personal character… or, just to learn something new. I see that one’s core identity is constantly in flux.
Above all else, I suppose what inspired this page was my desire to track my journey towards attaining knowledge, applying it, and of course… disseminating it to others. I’ve an array of interests, that aren’t ever limited to one single thing I’ve found. And by my very nature, I am indeed very inquisitive.
So, should anyone who is similar to me, come across these feverish scrawlings… and should they feel a camaraderie by them. That is indeed, welcomed too.
In this blog, you’ll find me tracking: my musical journey, my academic journey, my artistic journey, and setting challenges for myself to improve myself as a person. To be clear, this blog is not educational at all–nor is it intended to be for others. It is for me. If I find that I am not embarrassed, or estranged from who I was a year ago… then I am definitely not doing a good job of managing myself at all.
Is this blog a glorification, or some kind of narcissistic manifesto? Heavens no. And, I certainly hope it isn’t read that way. For, I know narcissism. Not in of myself… but in growing up with a textbook example of one, during my seminal years. Thing is, they can never change–I don’t believe, any narcissist is capable of doing so. It’s a peculiar thing. Now, to stress again… I may sometimes be self-absorbed, and one-minded with my high-functioning autism… but narcissism? No, I know myself well enough to know I’m definitely not of the sort.
I wish to discover myself, above all else, and the potentiality which lie within. So that eventually, I may help others just as well. One must find themselves, before finding others.
So no. I don’t wish to compare myself to others, nor do I wish to parade about my achievements or test scores for the purpose of temporary validation. That is sheer emptiness. It doesn’t account for the total sum of myself–nor should it ever account for the total sum of a person (yet, we are lead to believe that this is the case).
No. I wish for something permanent, past ephemeral pleasures.
And that is my purpose to this life. To do all of which I must… And one day, perhaps near the very end. I’ll come to understand.