Life has a lot of distractions especially in modernity, it can be difficult to stay focused on what is important. Computers may have worsened our attention spans but they are not going away, so we have to become more disciplined with ourselves regarding how we manage our time amidst all of this technology. Create a long-term goal for yourself and remind yourself of that goal every day; resist the temptation of your vices and avoid instant gratification. The best things in life require effort so work for them.
I think I’m slowly becoming a morning person. These early morning hours can provide one with some much needed personal time for self-reflection and internal preparation for the day ahead; early mornings also provide opportune moments for journaling.
Working two jobs is surprisingly doable, it’s all about the people with whom you’re working. If you work with tolerable people that actually get shit done, you’ll find it satisfying to work alongside them. I recommend communicating your boundaries with your boss immediately – DO NOT sacrifice your personal time to cover anyone’s shift. Other shifts are not your responsibility and your personal time is sacred for your own mental health.
What is creativity? It’s one of those deceptively simple questions. What does it mean to be creative? Well . . . create is a verb. Creative thinking without execution is not creativity. Also, I personally feel that true creativity results in something useful to others. Something that either solves a problem, entertains, or helps us connect . . .
By Dylan R.N. Crabb
The key to survival is adaptability, using the tools from multiple situations to improve your own standing on the world. “Survive and take what is offered,” as one of my favorite sci-fi dramas words it.
Adaptability can be difficulty in our modern world because most of the changes that fall upon us are less perceptible in the short-term. Our pre-historic ancestors had to adapt to immediate changes like alterations in the weather, a new predator on the horizon, and a plague-stricken tribe. Today, we deal with more subtle changes like the possibility of a new job, market fluctuations for commodities, and the need to update our personal skill sets. Most people may not place a lot of value on the little decisions made in a day but these little decisions can (unfortunately) add up to a lifetime of regret. Seizing opportunities in youth can help set up decisions for the rest of your life and ensure a meaningful existence as well as commonplace happiness.
I’m not saying that we should stress over every repetitive decision we make in a day like what you have for breakfast one morning or should you drive or ride public transit, excess stress is never productive. I’m simply saying that we should always be reminding ourselves to try new things because it’s easy to get stuck in a routine. Humans are creatures of habit by nature and that can be both an advantage and a disadvantage. To get trapped in a status quo (or an echo chamber) for the sake of security can lead to unfulfillment later in life. Be open to change and actively seek it out.
There is an old metaphor about human potential: if you are a military general leading an army with the goal of conquering an island, the easiest way is to burn your own boats because then there is only one option. It’s amazing what a person can accomplish when there is no way to go back – when there is no way out – when your goals become necessities.
You don’t have to be a “jack of all trades” to be successfull in life. I think it’s much more beneficial if you go all in on your strengths doing work for which you are best equipped naturally. Do not wait to pursue your passions, seize opportunities today.
What is your goal for today – this week – this month – this year?
By Dylan R.N. Crabb
Albuquerque isn’t a bad place to be (for New Mexico). It’s an urban oasis for city slickers trapped among the eastward migrations from the over-priced west coast, but the city is still a couple decades removed from the millennial generation. I’ve been living in Albuquerque for more than a year now and I still feel like Paul Kemp on his first day in San Juan, Puerto Rico, trying to make sense of a city plagued with vice and optimism while being flooded with hopeless venture capitalists. Two soul-sucking jobs in food service are paying my way through my latter 20’s while I try and force the words in my head into a coherent collection on paper with an intent for monetization. All the while, temptations of the mind are all around me, luring me through their doors with carefully crafted messages promising to take away from the daily despair to a heavenly euphoria. Tension seems to be the only thing driving me to get up in the morning, “the tension between a restless idealism and a sense of impending doom (Hunter S. Thompson, the Rum Diary, 1998).”
As long as I put aside the cash for next month’s rent, I’ll survive this city just long enough to get the hell out.
By Dylan R.N. Crabb
I usually have two companions beside me: my shadow and my beating heart (and that’s not just a Green Day reference). Solitude is in my individual nature and that can come with loneliness. There are times when I want to make an attempt to connect with another person but I never know how to present myself in an introduction.
I’m not talking about starting a romance here (that’s a whole different game and one I’m not equipped to play). I’m just talking about meeting new people and initiating friendships. Simply talking to other people is difficult for me, approaching another person and starting a conversation is nerve-racking. I’ve always felt disconnected from other humans as if everyone else was privy to a fantastic secret that I could not figure out and of which no one would inform me. Then I retreat to my video games where I can play a hero (or an anti-hero depending on my mood).
I’m only just now (at age 28) beginning to come out of my shell and make stronger efforts to communicate with my peers. I still feel like I’m wandering aimlessly but hopefully I can find some people just as lost as I am and we can be lost together.
By Dylan R.N. Crabb
When it comes to beating depression, I think “faking it until you make it,” is a decent strategy. Isolating yourself is the first instinct but that tends to amplify the negative feelings in your fucked up head (speaking from experience here). It can be beneficial to force yourself into the world to remind yourself of your place in it.
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with staying inside on your bad days but, when your bad days stretch out into bad weeks, then you have a problem. For times like that, it’s good to have at least one friend with whom you can speak, someone you trust completely.
I’ve found it helpful to think about depression, not as a typical disease, but rather as an affliction, a condition for which there is no cure. Depression is something with which a person must learn to co-exist. As explained by evolution, you adapt or you die. Adapt yourself to the circumstances that form around you and exercise your own independence whenever possible. THAT is the key to “beating” depression – accept the circumstances of your life (which you did not choose from the start) and categorize your life between the positive and the negative, the productive and the detrimental. Analyze what you have in front of you and use whatever is at your disposal to improve your situation.
Life sucks but you’re alive, so what are you going to do?
By Dylan R.N. Crabb
Living in New Mexico is like living in a trailer park that’s been granted statehood. Our infrastructure is barely up to twentieth century standards, our politicians are unprofessional (technically), and most people don’t know how to drive.
New Mexico does have potential for growth if only the public would ditch this lingering old West, Libertarian mindset. “Live free or die,” as they say – oh, wait, wrong state! New Mexico’s motto is a question: “red or green?” That’s also a good way to figure out if someone was born/raised in New Mexico, just ask the person if they like smothering their food in chili peppers to the point where you can’t even taste the main part of the dish. Mexican-style food is delicious when it’s not smothered with one thing like chili peppers or cheese but I’ve digresed.
Perhaps I’m fixating on some things that don’t matter. Perhaps I’m judging New Mexico a little too harshly. New Mexican communities are heavily family-oriented which make for very cohesive communities, albeit communities that are not very well coordinated as one over-arching community throughout the entire state. We’re more like a lot of isolated communties amidst an incredibly wide expanse of geography. Maybe if we had some decent public transportation that was more widespread to more population centers, we could be operating as a more cohesive statewide community.
One area where New Mexico looks very promising is the film industry and we can hope that the state takes further advantage of of this. With the new studio that Netflix is opening in Albuquerque, perhaps we can become the next Los Angeles in a few decades as an entertainment epicenter.
By Dylan R.N. Crabb
Politics is becoming way too tribal these days and I’m becoming more inclined to simply opt out of the process altogether. Why state my opinion if I’ll just get taken out of context and demonized by my opponents? Why try to promote truth when most people don’t care about truth? I’ll just stick to my dead-end jobs and enjoy my days off with some video games.
I think the best way to be politically involved is in your local community (at least). Your home community will have the most effects on your daily life and your daily interactions can have some influence on the local culture (however small that influence may be). Perhaps the keys to countering rising political tribalism lie in expanding your personal interactions on the local level. Every facet of your life should not be a part of some grand political fight, that kind of life grows exhausting very fast. We need to remember to take time away from our personal politics to just spend time with people – no politics, no grand-standing, no partisan bullshit – just spending time with your peers casually bantering with one another (like people used to do in the days before internet connections).
Personally, I would love to find some gamers in Albuquerque just to get together with a couple times a week and talk about video games for a couple hours. Maybe I should start a “No Politics” club to attract more intelligent people. 😀 lol Maybe I can even bring back the Know Nothing Party. 🙂
Btw, my Blizzard gamertag is “Crabb90#1566” if any Destiny players want to jump into the Crucible with me. 😉