Unplugging.

Well, I’ve finally done it. I’ve been obsessing over the idea for well over a year at this point, and I finally woman-ed up and just did it.

I cancelled Netflix.

I cancelled Amazon Prime.

I cancelled WiFi.

My connection to the last of these will be terminated on the 15th of the month, in T-minus seven days.

Starting on the 15th of the month, I will no longer be a Netflix-binger, online-window-shopper, or internet-user in general.

At least for the foreseeable future.

At least until January.

Rather, I’m hoping I can make it that long.

Here’s the thing: my productivity levels at home su-uuuuck. Once I’m home, I’m basically done for the day. I turn on the TV, select a Netflix show, and promptly become a mindless zombie.

I can’t even be bothered to respond to texts; how dare they interrupt my solace.

I once read that a study was done on people who watched TV – they came out literally dumber than before the episode or binge or whatever. I don’t remember where or when I read that, but it has stuck with me for ages. And I’m probably imagining this to some extent, but I feel dumber lately.

When I was 16, I was working two part-time jobs and going to two colleges full-time. I was exhausted. But, like, a good exhausted. The kind you feel when you know you’ve used up every bit of energy your brain and body can produce for the day.

Now I feel bad exhausted.. pretty much all the time. The kind you feel when you have a mountain of to-dos and spend three hours binging Friends rather than completing even a single task. The kind you feel when you’ve been a zombie for so long that you struggle to get creative juices flowing, juices that used to flow freely and allow you to bang out a 5-page essay in 20-30 minutes.

EL. OH. EL.

Don’t even ask how long it would take me to write that essay now.

I was talking to a friend last night and he point-blank asked me if I was living any of the advise I freely give others about pursuing their dreams.

The answer was an obvious and awkward: “um, no..?”

And it was just the push I needed to finally get it together.

So I called Spectrum at 12:05 PM today, and cancelled my WiFi.

I’m hoping this exercise in unplugging will make me so. stinking. bored. that I actually want to tackle that mountainous task list.

I need fewer distractions and temptations to waste my life, and by getting rid of WiFi in my apartment, I’m getting rid of almost all of them.

Thanks to the recent declutter, I don’t own much in the way of entertainment. My books are purged down to just a Bible and 3-4 non-fiction books I’ve been meaning to get to for ages. My collection of movies is downsized to 3 – the Anne of Green Gables series. I have a handful of games and five partially empty notebooks. I’ve got an iPad, MacBook, and iPhone. Oh, and a keyboard.

All of these things are generally ignored in favor of Netflix or YouTube or window shopping on Amazon.

Getting rid of WiFi is getting rid of pretty much everything I do in my free time.

And this idea thrills me.

A world with no old habits to fill the time is a world of endless possibilities.

Who knows what I’ll do first.

I imagine I’ll catch up on sleep again, and maybe finally read those books. I’ll probably get outside more and call friends more and study the Word more. I’ll probably goof off on the keyboard and spend focused energy on developing my vocal range. Maybe I’ll finally get around to experimenting with new recipes in the kitchen. Maybe I’ll go on more adventures to local museums or random far off places. Oh, oh – I might even become a consistent blogger (aaah ha)! After all, there’s nothing else to do.

Just to clarify for the nay-sayers: I’m not cutting the internet or entertainment out of my life entirely.

This should be obvious since my job is 100% an online gig.

Also, as I said, I have an iPhone which has data which means internet. And there’s no way on earth I’m giving up my GPS, the ability to check open/close times of businesses, or an opportunity to fact-check people in the middle of a conversation (because yes, I’m one of those annoying people who has to fact-check EVERYTHING).

I can even use the internet for other things if I should so desire, just not at home.

There’s a Starbucks with great indoor and outdoor seating areas and free WiFi less than a mile away. I’ve got a MoviePass membership (that will soon be swapped for the AMC membership because MoviePass just passed a bunch of new policies that are complete suckage) that I will use to enjoy the frequent theater experience. I have a DVD player and a library card. My iPad is already filling up with books I want to read, and my phone is overwhelmed with Podcasts I intend to listen to on long evening walks. I also have Ronnie, my delightful car that is more anxious to hit the roads than I am.

The point is: I want to make distractions harder to get to; I want to make them a reward, rather than my norm.

So here I go, starting my experimental mutiny of the internet. Wish me luck.

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Unplugging.

I wear black on black on black, and then, if I’m feeling adventurous, more black.

I only wear black clothing. Okay, occasionally a garment will have white/grey stripes or something, but 99% of the time, it’s straight black.

Over the least year to year and a half, there has been a lot of speculation as to why I do this. Folks have assumed that I hate all colors, that it’s an act of cultural rebellion, etc.

On one of the four times I wore color (yes, four times in 1.5 years – not counting a neutral tan cardigan I occasionally wore for like two months), a woman who never speaks to me approached me to say something like: “You look good in green. This is your color, not black. It’s time to stop grieving.”

I literally died laughing that day.

*Literally was herein used for sardonic affect rather than for its actual meaning.

Here’s the thing, none of the afore mentioned assumptions are correct. Well, I do enjoy the accidental side effect of cultural rebellion… but that’s not the point.

There are two reasons why I wear black. And believe it or not, neither of them are because I’m a minimalist (although everything matching and therefore needing fewer clothes is a HUGE plus – ten/ten recommend).

  1. I sweat a lot. It’s a trait I inherited from my dad. Sweat pits give me the creeps, ergo, I wear black.
  2. I get, like, bad anxiety when I wear color. Ergo, I wear black.

Over the years, I started to notice a trend with myself. When I wore colorful outfits, the world felt too… loud. I started integrating neutrals, and then slowly shifted to only black, and suddenly the world felt quieter.

I have a very loud, obnoxious, passionate, annoying (I think wonderful) personality. Part of it is that I love basically everything and experience it all with a ridiculous amount of zeal and an overabundance of wonderment.

Food isn’t just something to eat; it has an emotion and a heart. French fries are literally my boyfriend; coffee is my soulmate. Museum’s aren’t just a place of knowledge, but a portal into another realm. Movie theaters are an out of body experience. Music is more magic than oxygen. A full moon makes me fly and a sunset can bring me to tears for the sheer beauty.

I don’t just hang out with friends, I belt songs with them and explore with them, and fight for them, and dream with them.

I don’t just sing praises to God, I smile and dance and shout and float in His presence.

Rain gives my heart wings!  And snow.. well, snow actually leaves me speechless.

The point is: I LIVE FOR LIFE.

(I’m an ENFP. If you know anything about Myers-Briggs, you’re nodding with sudden understanding.)

It’s just so dang glorious and exciting.

But it’s also a lot. Like.. a lot. And sometimes dealing with it is extra hard.

Wearing black is like painting myself in a blank canvas. With the magic stroke of pure nothingness, I can design my world through my words and actions, rather than through my dress. People don’t get to decide if I’m funky or athletic or eclectic or classy by the color of my clothes. They have to stick around and figure it out through my personality.

And my personality is a loud mouth.

So my clothing can’t be.

To quote my sister Sarah:

“Some people are really obnoxious and they wear a lot of color, so it’s… like… too much. You’re really, really obnoxious. But since you wear black, it’s not as bad.”

Heh.

Black is like a warm cozy blanket. It makes me feel grounded and connected, when the rest of me is freaking out. When I wear something with color, I feel like everything about me is just too much, for others and for myself. Emotions become too heightened, the world begins to look like a Picasso painting as my brain starts to spazz out. I feel breathless and spun out of control, like I’m floating rapidly away and my tether has been snapped.

In color, I feel unnatural, intimidated by both myself and the world around me.

I become un-me.

This probably seems soooooo dramatic. But if you’ve ever dealt with anxiety, you understand. Sometimes we just need a rope to cling to, whether we’re conscious of it or not. Something that tames the mad beating of the heart, calms the racing rivers of the mind. For me, that comfort comes in black clothing.

I wear black on black on black, and then, if I’m feeling adventurous, more black.

Relocating

Y’all, life is hilARious. Like slap your mama kinda funny.

You know how I mentioned on Tuesday that I’ll be moving in 2018 or 2019? Well, yeah. I’m actually moving this weekend. Mmhmm. You read that right.

My apartment has had… odor issues since I moved in (turns out it may actually be sewer gas coming from the building next door – which would mean I’ve been slowly getting poisoned for the last year or so – cheers!). They weren’t constant, but would come and go at the most inconvenient of times. Recently, the odors combined with fibro have been making me miserably ill. After the millionth attempt to get my landlord to correct the problem, they offered to let me out of my lease, reimburse me this month’s rent and refund my deposit, so that I can move.

Hallelujah.

ish.

I’m not gonna lie, I’m fairly excited about the new apartment. What I’m not excited about is the headache of moving when I’m at 50% health and the curve ball this will throw into my afore mentioned money goals. Gah. Life.

Trying to think of this as an adventure. ‘Cause that’s exactly what it is.

This morning I dropped off an entire trunk full of donations and gave a very hearty “Merry Christmas!” as I drove away. It felt amazing. Especially since the moment was book-ended by doctor appointments that really had me in a mood.

Anyway.

I’ll have to review my goals and see what’s going to change. I know a couple right off the bat are my “keep it under $1,500” and “pay off $10,000.” They’re going to need some modifying. Hopefully not too much; I was dang excited about that biz.

My apartment is packed and everything hurts, but soon I’ll be thriving in my new home. It’s been a busy weekend.

How was yours?

Relocating