torstai 30. toukokuuta 2013

Day 246: Doing nothing


One challenge I set for myself when I set off to travel was to break away from my usual routine of working throughout my waking hours and to teach myself to just be and do nothing. I realize that stress is a big problem for me because I do not know where to draw the line in-between recreation and escapism, and so I feel guilty for every bit of non-work and push myself to work more from the starting point of fear.

So at first I noticed a tendency to think that now that I am here on the other side of the globe I should not “waste” a single day. I pushed myself to go sightseeing and stuff and tried to make “each day count”, so that within every day I would get an experience that would make the day feel meaningful. Many times I did, and even really small and seemingly insignificant things would give me that experience that “all right, today I lived”. For example, one day the most awesome thing that happened was that I ran into a dog in a forest and hung out with the dog for a while. Not much else happened during the day, but it still felt like I had actually learned something.

Now in Tokyo there have been days where I have felt like nothing has been happening. I have staid at one place for an entire week, not moving around every two days like before, and I have given myself time to just do nothing at all. I have done small everyday things like gone to the supermarket and walked around a park and sat in a library and sung karaoke. I have sat down with other people here at the hostel eating and drinking and talked. And at the end of the day I have felt guilty about it: Today I did nothing. Did I learn anything? Did I grow at all? Who was I today? Has it been four days already? What the fuck did I even do yesterday? Was it really five days ago? And so forth.

It has been really good to stop because I have thus been able to see more clearly what it is that moves me in my “normal life” (a term/concept I have come to question lately). But I am not sure if what I'm doing is entirely a good thing. Tokyo as a tourist environment is not very enabling if one doesn't have the money to shop and dine in restaurants, so I have perhaps been passivated by my environment which is “lacking” in possibilities for activities. But here I forget that I am able to come up with some ways to utilize whatever happens to be here – I just have to actively get up and do it.

So enough of this bullshit. If it seems that my environment is not “offering” me enough stuff to do, then I've got to get up and do something and make it worthwhile. I am not here to live on a hyperdrive for three months, sucking in the culture of other countries as if it was the last thing I'll ever do – I am here to live as myself within and as breath within the possibilities of the environment I am in, not to compromise myself and feed off on experiences and energy kicks. So just live as I would live in a familiar environment, moved by necessity and opportunity; allow myself the time I need to get my shit together. It's not about achievements but about who I live as within all this.

SF up next.

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