August 16, 2019

The value of writing

Got to start writing again about live, and all the little things that happen while trying to get the most out of it. Why haven’t I written for so long? Well, it is really really hard to stick to writing every day, or every night for that matter. Because the written words seem banal at that moment. And of course it is tiring to try and record live in a diary, as if live wasn’t right there in front of me, waiting to be lived. But the writing is not only a record of life, it is also analysis and helps you to distill the meaningfulness and focus on living live mindfully and the way you want to live it.

It is difficult and requires a lot of concentration for me to distill something worth writing down in during my every day life. The average day looks rather unexciting and repetitive. Finish work, go to drink” is what my Thai friends in Khao-Lak used to say when I was there. Now, when was that again? In 2007, 2008 or 2009?

I don’t remember. If I had a diary from that time, I could probably look it up right now. On the other hand I could also look up the time in my cloud-saved photo albums. But the hassle. The struggle is not real, but feels real.

Thinking of those pictures from Thailand always reminds me of a few very specific pictures, mostly of myself. One is me in a white XXL Ralph Lauren polo shirt, after I had approximately lost 15kg after living in Thailand for 3 or 4 months. It looks so ridiculous, I don’t know how anyone could let me go out like this. I am pretty sure now I threw the shirt away after coming back to Europe and seeing those pictures from a different perspective, i.e. pictures of moments clearly lying in the past. I never wanted to go back to wearing XXL Ralph Lauren shirts.

I think I never really did. My body weight fluctuated quite a bit still. I got fatter again after Thailand, without a doubt. But few years later in China, I also became skinnier or at least fitter again, with the gym just a few floors down from the room I lived in. I even got quite ambitious and wanted to run a marathon some more time later, and, along the way, got close to actually being skinny. Being skinny, was a first after elementary school for me. But 2 professional setbacks at that time destroyed also my marathon ambitions. Plus, my knees, my legs and my back don’t seem to be built for running. I’m feeling too much pain to go through the arduous training essential to finish a marathon successfully.

On the other hand, I think my mind is perfectly made for running. I enjoy running, the ability to focus on setting one foot in front of the other, controlling my breath and giving my head a 1 hour break to go blank and think through anything it desires to think about. Running is fascinatingly liberating for my mind, and gives an immediate mood boost. But but…the pain in my shins and my lower back the next day is not worth it over the long term. I want to continue to be able to move myself somewhat agile when I am sixty, and not have a worn of knee-cap and non-existent backbone marrow.

Thus, I have to find mindfulness in other exercises. Riding for example, or swimming. Or simply listening to music, smoking weed, drinking alcohol, or writing. Yes, writing is good for that too. The problem with writing compared to running is twofold. I don’t really support my health by sitting on my butt and typing on this not ergonomically designed keyboard, while staring at a bright, eye-sight worsening LED screen. More importantly to me though, writing is slower than thinking, and it involves more mental and physical rules, such as grammar and keyboard layouts. So, I’d argue it is not as free-floating as what I think about when running.

This text serves as an example of where writing goes. But, it will only do so in hindsight. If this text survives my scrutiny in a year from now (and more years later would even be better, but I am an impatient writer) writing will have proven to be an effective way to organize and consolidate my thoughts. I guess the goal is to produce something of value. The question is do words become less or more valuable after enough green grass has grown on them?

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