Can I just say it? Things suck right now. I was going to be stoic and not bitch and moan in public, but this is my blog and I just want to and so I'm doing it anyways.
I was reading this article on Pocket earlier today, which talks about how the death rate in Russia spiked after the fall of the Soviet Union. He crosses off different progonses until he basically up and says because the nation didn't value people's lives (Mongols -> Tsars -> Russian Civil War -> Communist famines -> WWII -> wealth inequality), they just started dying in droves. I don't think that's the first time I've heard of this. This article claims a lack of love empirically resulted in a 33% infant mortality rate in orphanages. At the end of the day, we kind of do want, even need other people to love us. Otherwise we go insane.
At first I thought this Russia thing was going to be a diatribe on politics, because any mention of Russia in America brings up politics. And yeah sure that bugs me to no end. But when I think about it some more, I guess I see Russia today as the future for not just here but a lot of places. I think in years past, we could dream of ending up like Japan, a bunch of older people with not enough young people to support them, but otherwise a gradual aging of the social fabric tempered with friendly healthcare robots and conveyor belt sushi as we all circle the drain of eternity. That seems quaint nowadays, and the future looks a good deal spicier.
Maybe I'm just a little bitch and I need to man up, but I'm skeptical things are that simplistic. Honestly other people do have it worse off than I do. My grandparents and parents lived through WWII in China (not a cakewalk), the Great Leap Forward, the Cultural Revolution, Tiananmen Square, and they managed. And I don't think I was ever able to “man up” in the conventional sense. I think it's just the dichotomy between growing up amidst wealth and stability and then having that turned on its head over the course of a few months. If I grew up in Norilsk (the most miserable city in the world), I probably would have died a long time ago, but if I didn't I wouldn't find the present state of affairs so miserable. The human mind gates pain, and so you can replace the most painful experience with another more painful experience and not that pain accumulated.
Maybe that's why misery is such an easy default state for me to be in. Why I never furnished any of my apartments. Why I save so much of my paycheck instead of spending it on experiences and material goods. It's not just because I'm waiting for “the big one” (which I guess is this slow burn starting with 2020), but also because I figured you can't really miss what you've never had. Even if America became fascist and my neighbors reported me for being Asian and took all the money in my bank account, I don't think I'd be more broken than I am right now. Just add it on the pile of bad stuff that happens, you know? That and the concentration camp nonsense. Have a high level of pain tolerance and you can do anything.
Now that's just the problem with this approach, it's always can, not will or had. You can't prove that winning gold at the suffering Olympics results in or is even correlated with a better future. That comes from hard work and focus, not to mention a good deal of luck. I guess that's the conflict in me when thinking about leaving the country and starting a new life somewhere else. Suffering doesn't really pay off. Whether it comes to staying in an unsatisfactory job or in a country that might not like you in a specific way very soon, you have to be selfish and mercenary if you want to live a good life, because nobody's going to care about you as much as you do, and that just doesn't fit with my identity structure. I don't like seeing myself as somebody who runs away from his problems. Maybe that's the problem I should be tackling.
Well, I think I finished my bitching and moaning for today. It does feel kinda nice to be able to scream into the void until my voice (or my fingertips) are numb and hoarse. I wonder what is in my control.
Going to bed earlier: I think I've been sleeping around 2:00AM to 3:00AM most of…this year. And I've been getting out of bed pretty late for most of…this year. I think the only times I've gotten up before 8:00AM was when this current job started, and even now I'm fading during the days I'm not working.
Exercising: I walk about an hour or so every day, about 3 miles or so, but it's a far cry from exercising at the gym earlier this year and the 5 miles of walking I did back in Virginia (even during the pandemic). I just measured myself for the first time in two, three months. I weigh 180 pounds. I was 155 pounds back in June. No wonder I feel so lethargic and out of shape.
Just…having my freedom back. Parent's place is nice for the pandemic but staying two or three months was just so bad for my mental well-being. I'm looking forward to going back to Virginia.
Writing on my professional blog regularly. I think I stopped the practice of sending out weekly updates when my job had started, and I stopped sending out email notifications to people once I realized TinyDev was in the shitter. I need to make progress on this front, especially if I'm committing to coding on the side regularly.
It kind of sucks not be able to look for hope in the outside world, so I guess cat pictures have to do. That, and maybe lifting some weights.