Failure to Change

 

In 2017, my new year resolution (yes, I do occasionally maintain these) was to try and fix what I did not do in 2016. In 2016, I wanted to develop a consistent hobby, something other than gaming or sleeping or watching a tv show. I also wanted to begin travelling. And finally, I wanted to adapt- and be more social.

So, how did I do?

New hobby – Pass.

I succeeded in the ‘new hobby’ category. I bought a camera and have been learning how to shoot pictures that are more than your standard phone camera affairs. I enjoy the technical skill required and the little bit or artistic flair needed to frame a shot perfectly or capture a moment that otherwise would have gone unnoticed. I especially like landscapes, though portraits are likely what deliver better results. My point is, this resolution sort of worked out.

Travel, Passed, barely.

The next one is less of a success, sure, I traveled more in 2016 that in 2015. I went to Tokyo & Bali. However, in both cases, I did not plan my travel well in advance. I treated the trip as just another air travel rather than try and create a true experience. I was disappointed by both trips and for my next trip, I intend to make it more memorable- ie plan an itinerary in advance, hit the spots, plan to have fun, actually have fun and then mark this one off as a success in the end.

On the other hand- fun is overrated. I do not need to plan to have fun. Just not to regret doing whatever it is that I end up doing.

Being Social. Fail.

Occasionally when reading random content on the web, I hit upon an article that discusses the follies of an introvert. Or how hard it is to make small talk. How it is a waste of time, requires no imagination and actually detracts from meaningful discussions. Yet, the definition of small talk in these articles is things like, how is the weather? how the traffic was like getting here? what did you do on your holiday? how old is your kid? what are you doing for new year? what is the meaning of life? why are you asking so many questions? what is going on? is this a meta discussion?

Okay Okay, maybe only the weather and traffic questions are really small talk to most people. But for me, well, almost everything is. I’ve hit upon this point before in the blog where i describe how self centered I am. That remains true. I can talk about my hobbies, my life, my job, my dog, my Ferrari… okay, i got derailed again-

The point is, when it comes to discussing my life- I am great at it. I can go into adequate detail. I can overshare. I do overshare. When someone tells me something, it is easier for me to pretend to empathize, if I draw parallels with something that has happened to me. And then I am social… Okay, saying pretend to empathize is going too far. I do care, i just don’t do a good job of explaining it.

A lot of this has been going in my mind recently as I have receded into my private sphere, away from work and closer to family- trying to fit in.

Not everything in my mind is about ‘the feels and discomfort’ though- I am scared and terrified about my job. I am anxious about the future and okay- I see what’s going on- I am all about the feels and discomfort after all. But I don’t want to be. I want to occupy my mind with less of the everyday mind numbing awfulness and instead focus on one big thing. This year, that one big thing is self development and career.

Being Social is not something I will keep in my to do list for 2017, but arguably, the most social I was- ever – was when I was in my MBA and was focusing on self development. I wrote more actively on the blog, I talked to more people about things other than myself. I made more friends that ever before- which reminds me- gotta connect with a few of them again. And just like that, but broadening the definition of being social from just small talk- to focusing on self and reconnecting with friends… i think 2017 can be a lot more overrated fun.

For 2017

  1. Travel
  2. Grow at work
  3. Play less Overwatch
  4. Focus on self development and re-kindle old friendships.

Oh and happy effing new year to you as well.

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Twin Sister and more good times

 

That title is a little misleading. It suggests I am having good times. I am having… okay times. But one area of my life where I am having a great time is music.

The current track I am jamming to is Bad Street by Twin Sister

It basically rocks. I wont have it any other way.

My music setup currently involves a pair of v-moda m100’s and m80’s. Both are great headphones. I really pick one up based on how mobile I want to be. At home, I have definitive technology’s incline speakers that are a standard 2 channel affair, but include a DSP and can pump out some amazing bass. So, yes, I am curating my musical experience carefully.

And there is nothing better than putting together a playlist and tearing up in joy, or sorrow, based on the mood. When music is this good, I start to understand why music has the power to unite. A concert filled with hundreds of thousands of people just swaying to an anthemic track. Or maybe an intimate live track that reminds you of the garage band you wanted to start. Maybe you had a go at the electric guitar once and felt that if only you possessed a little bit of skill you could become a God. It’s great that even as a passive listener, music lets us participate in the event, and remember with all its texture intact.

The past few months have been more that just discovering great music. I hate to admit it, but I have been a bit of a recluse- and yet, I have had a good time. I think on balance, this is the best I have felt in a great long while. A part of it is maybe the halo effect of the job- which I still love and have a great time every day. But it is more than that. There is peace of mind. Not having to worry about a hundred different things and instead spending time with myself, building my personal space in a way I find fit. All that’s missing is a cat and I would be certifiably depressed- or worse, a hipster. Good thing that I can’t really stand cats. Dogs though- maybe a cute puppy that can pull in the ladies…. that’s a joke.

Sorry this post has been a bit scatter brained. I haven’t tried to really organize my thoughts, simply typed along to the music. But hey… enjoy the music, yeah?

Rock Music is Dead.

No they were not trapped in a time capsule. This really is a song from 2004. But this is one of the most anthemic 80’s rock ballad I have heard in the past decade and I am really disappointed that what we called Rock today is really just a version of pop. Or do you really believe in Coldplay? At the very least, the definition of what mainstream media thinks rock music is has changed.

The MTV effect which occurred in the late 80’s when video killed the radio star was as follows. Epic rock stars (even if they were balding) who made great music while wearing bandanas were replaced by choreographed dancing and catchy tunes from pop music. Once MTV decided that it was possible to just show pretty people playing or ahem… pretending to play music, that ruined things even more. And then there was auto tune.

Today, with streaming music and all the hue and cry of albums not selling, the only way it seems anyone is successful is by appealing to the masses. And so we have a string of awful, awful videos with people shrieking and cursing each other all in the name of music. And the definition of Rock music has changed. Is it just semantics? Are people just using the word differently?

The essence of a rock band is drums, guitar, bass and vocals. You need the 4. its a quartet. And for a long time the formula worked. I was okay if Jennifer Lopez or Iggy Azalea were most watched on YouTube. After all… no one was listening to their music. But then Lorde wins an award for best Rock song because maybe ‘Royals’ was a little different from what people had heard… and Paramore won the grammy for Aint it fun. Which is likely the worst song they wrote in their self titled album from 2013. The only song that would qualify as more awful than Aint it fun was Ankle biters. But hey… that’s rock music for you today.

And so I am digging in the past to find something I like.

But it is not all bad news. Some singer-songwriters are doing really well. Youtube has also made artists like Kina Grannis and Mindy Gledhil possible. And for every awful song from a Carly Rae Jespen, there are artists like Maria Taylor, Allo Darlin and Rilo Kiley.

You just have to dig deeper. It takes more effort. But the rewards are worth it. Beautiful tunes and the smugness of being a hipster. Why not embrace it? We are having to work so hard for it.

“Of Monsters and Men – Slow And Steady (Official Lyric Video)” on YouTube

Of Monsters and Men – Slow And Steady (Official Lyric Video): http://youtu.be/uRyRymflxtU

So my ears been hurting almost all day because I haven’t taken off my headphones in a long long time. And this song is to blame.

Mannequins in the coffee shop (fiction)

Unhappiness is never knowing what could have happened. What if? What if I were braver? What if the music was not that distracting? What if it was not closing time yet? What if time could stand still or turn back at my will?

What if the bad memories just faded away and only the version of you and me that remained was the one we mutually liked?

We would become mannequins, empty shells with fake emotions endlessly repeating what the other liked until one of us finally chose to move on. We would be happy for a while but it would be fleeting for both you and I are actually quite fond of change although we do protest it. In our plastic bodies all dressed to please each other, we would be uncomfortable and feel trapped. You would grow weary of my sarcasm and I would learn your mannerisms and mock them- for that is what I do.
You would tell me of adventures I had never been part of and share anecdotes more exciting than are friendly and loving tête a tête.  And I would be mad but patiently listen… for our conversations are always one sided. We talk, but we would not absorb. Plastic is that way.

Soon our unhappiness would start to show with forced motions forming jarring memories, and metallic emotions that we would learn to despise. The shiny happy people from technicolor movies who adored polaroids and brunches would realise their lives were like a daily soap on the telly that they escaped from in their perfect little coffee shop. This coffee shop.
This make shift home away from home where company was pleasing but cold and coffee was sweet but expensive.

They would soon despise each other, these fantasy versions of us. Yet you are perfect the way I picture you. I need to broaden my mind you say… You are the loveliest version of yourself when you are with me… Or is that just me projecting on this empty chair.

I am haunted by those memories. This coffee shop brings out the worst in me. I will not come here again I tell myself. I tip, I leave. Its is colder outside. Or maybe its an after effect of an operation. A surgical procedure where memories of you are being taken away. I can never come here again.

On Music, and discovering a new band…

I discovered a band.

I say that like it means a lot a lot to me. And really, it does. At different times in my life I have discovered a new band to crush on, to follow, to worship, to *like*… but while a band like daft punk may have a few songs I think have a good rhythm, they don’t completely invade my mind or have a lasting effect. For all the Carly Rae Jepsen’s of the world (I’ve never really heard her song. Its more like a bieber reference I am throwing in to sound cool…), Anyway, like I was saying,there are only a select few bands I admire and *LOVE*
I just found a band I love.

Joining the ranks with The Shins, Belle and Sebastian, God Help the Girl, Allo Darlin, Fleetwood Mac, The Smiths and Pink Floyd are one of my new favs… Camera Obscura

What matters really for bands is not the music- its the words. Thats what we remember, or mis-remember years later and those are the songs we imagine we are living. With Camera Obscura, I have found music and words that resonate with me perfectly. Its magical. Allo Darlin is a similar band- songs that are light, set to a decent melody and have a timeless quality to it. All these bands I like, they could have been from the 70’s or the 80’s. They are a bit retro… That some of them are making music in the same word where Lorde wins best rock album befuddles me. But most of popular music and the culture around it is crazy anyway. No offence to Lorde- she is cool. I actually like her music. But she could really write better. What’s with the queen bee, green pea whatever… references like that take me out of the music.

Songs need to mean something. They need to matter. After all, songs are an outlet for us non creatives to feel and experience what the artist is saying. No, feeling. A good writer is able to tell us a little something about them in the song. Some are able to narrate an experience- without having to shove in a pointless cryptic video. Oh and I hate the fact that MTV figured out that they don’t need to play good music. They just need to show pretty people. Unfortunately the democracy that is YouTube only convinces me that to the populous out there, it is not the music that matters, but the celebrity. Well, we have better taste.

Camera Obscura, a scottish band, fantastic lead singer. She sounds like Maria Taylor, only more retro. And I LOVE Maria Taylor. In some ways, this music is trapped in time. Like it were playing from a stereo. Remember those?

I recommend The Sweetest Thing. This is a crowd pleaser. It has a chorus you can’t help but sing to – see if you can spot the Fleetwood Mac joke in the start. It’s ‘rumored’ haha…

[the words]

But, the real song by this band that I *LOVE*, where the words matter more than the music is ‘New Years Resolution’..

[the words]

Perfect.

I’ve been cool with you
The sooner you admit it I will too

Anyway, later.

From INTJ to ISFP

So I went from INTJ to ISFP.

How did that happen?

I took myers briggs today because I have more free time than sense and I measure my personality by filling forms and live how the results tell me how I should be living. If the results say I am a creative, I need to create and if it says I am a hopeless depressive, then I start listening to brooding songs. Jokes aside, I just moved from a personality type that is more methodical and analyzing to one that is all fluffy emotions and lets be best friends for ever buddy!!
The problem here is that I think I am actually changing as well. So its more than just the piece of paper sending me a message. I am fairly certain that I am not the typical INTJ any more. Or that I never was. Perhaps I was mechanical in at work and did a few things by following protocol. But there were always wild flourishes of creativity, humor and cool-ness about my work as well. In the end of the day, I do care about things like empathy and yes, I do like pretty/artistic things and reading people’s body language.

Why do I do this? I have no idea. Maybe I have always done it. The INTJ was perhaps a mistake.

So what does my new ISFP status mean to anyone who interacts with me? Well, from what they say here…(http://www.personalitypage.com/ISFP.html) it sounds like the following atleast they get right.

1.  ISFP is likely to not give themselves enough credit for the things which they do extremely well (Yes)

2. ISFPs have no desire to lead or control others (Never wanted to and probably never should)

3. ISFPs are warm and sympathetic.(I try. you know nobody’s perfect)

4. ISFPs tend to be quiet and reserved, and difficult to get to know well. (But if i start talking you will… haha)

5. Life is not likely to be extremely easy for the ISFP, because they take life so seriously. (You can say that again. if buyer’s remorse tends to keep me up at night and minor decisions put me in a ‘state’, I can tell that my life is going to be atypical and stressful.)

The reality is though, I am sure I could find common themes in any number of other personality types. Can’t really live by this can I? I just need to do my own thing and it happens to result in an ISFP personality type, then so be it.

Alternatively- maybe I am not so easily defined. Maybe life is not so simple or I am not so simple that an an ISFP or INTJ can correctly predict my behaviour at all times. Time will tell.