This is gonna be the first post in my latest attempt at weekly blogging. I’ve joined a group of alumni from the Recurse Center in the Iron Blogger challenge.

So I’m a workaholic. It’s 11:22 PM on a Sunday night and I just got home from five and a half hours of volunteering followed by 45ish minutes of frantic coding before the start of a 2-hour movie that I fully expected to be deeply emotionally draining. Top on my mind now isn’t sleep, but this blog post. And wondering if even after that’s done, I might be able to polish off a school project due tomorrow (no time to ask why the self-imposed blogging deadline is more important than my grades in college) and even then I could see about partitioning my other computer to get a fresh Linux installation going (which will enable me to spend even more time on technical work). This is me actually living my bliss. I think.

The week before last was Fall vacation. On the first day off, I took appraisal of the projects I’d been planning, and made the judgment call that I couldn’t afford to do much rest. I wrote the following list on four separate sticky notes that I affixed to the wall:

  • Sisyphus
  • Pet Intersection
  • TWID
  • Smash Bros. Go

Respectively, those refer to a zine, an ambitious new game, a full remaster of the game I spent almost a year developing for Steam, and a comedy sketch. What is wrong with me?!

Nothing is wrong with me. That’s part of the process that I have a hard time with. Because it’s technically not true–I’m an imperfect creature and I never live up to all the expectations I set for myself. My flaws occasionally hurt other people, same as anyone else’s. I have a lot to work on.

The problem is my brain’s not an Objective Truth processor. Take the statement “I’m an imperfect creature” and over the course of the day it’ll fluctuate between the fervent belief “I am an actual God” and the derogatory “I’m garbage that doesn’t deserve to exist,” probably more than once. So I can’t just keep repeating the Objective Truth, I have to have faith in certain rhetorically powerful untruths. Such as, “Nothing is wrong with me.” What I really mean is, no matter how much I perceive my flaws in any moment, I’m still a miraculously complicated being that deserves to live, feel joy, self-respect, form friendships, and make mistakes. It is very hard to believe all that 100% of the time. I can’t even expect to be perfect about not expecting perfection from myself.

There’s a line from Skyrim that really hit me out of nowhere:

Have you considered that Alduin was not meant to be defeated?

This resonates with me in the sense that I can heap my to-do lists as high as I want, and I can fight and fight and fight to do everything. I can even have a lot of fun in doing so. But it will never be ‘enough.’ I am a human being.

I am a human being.

I am a human being.

I am a human being.

Incidentally, that was the point of my zine all along. It’s called “We’re All Sisyphus” and I have the first issue scanned and ready to share soon. If you’re interested in more thoughts like these ones, consider becoming a patron and you’ll be the first to see all my new projects. Patreon

Finally: One measure I’m trying to balance out the workaholism as I embark on a year with more projects than I ever have before.

At least with the Iron Blogger challenge, my goal is to keep the pressure and expectations low, and write at such a pace that I can actually live the ideas I’m writing about. And no faster than that.