The mid-term elections just ended. I was watching news when I saw Nancy Pelosi. I google searched "Nancy Pelosi young" then "Nancy Pelosi naked", expecting to see exactly what I saw -- a photo of her face cropped on various poses of naked women. I was kind of turned on by it. More seriously though, I find myself having trouble with political identity. I don't really fit in with either side of the political spectrum. I am fearful that I will always be without friends, without sides, without identity. I am working on this though so we'll see how it goes.
I am pretty shallow. I can't get myself to like a girl unless she is reasonably hot. I also fear that a woman will grow old and fat in a long term relationship. The world itself is very shallow though. I have found that you generally end up with someone similar in attractiveness level to you. The world tells me I am not attractive. It sucks. I posted on social media for the first time in awhile a few months back and a girl liked my post that I think I could have gone out with. She def was not very attractive. She was really asian, church-going, and didn't have her shit together life wise. The thing that annoyed me most was that I got the impression she just kind of presumed that she and I were a great match for some reason which was depressing.
I've thought about getting a cat recently but I haven't made up my mind whether its a good idea or not. I've also thought about getting into scuba diving.
For the first time in literally years
I had my eyes glued to the monitor, laughed, sang along, paused to think and appreciate what just happened, cried first with laughter (grandma passage in the audience), then actually fucking cried (you'll know when guaranteed if you know SNL cast member's past vaguely), the 1.15hours passed like 10 minutes
I also had one of the most surreal nights of my life yesterday, I actually am gonna sit down and write it down thing by thing for myself just to remember everything that happened, it was insane coincidences happening, and me just laughing in awe all night at what's unravelling. But that's a story for me that you wouldn't nearly appreciate, 100% Fresh however you can, and I hope you will be as shocked as I am that this over the top unfunny guy (in recent years at least) can produce something like this
After our first night together, Jane invited me over several times that week. Sometimes she would meet me at classy bars after work and we would share cocktails. Most of the time she would invite me over after my live poker session at 11:00pm for a martini on her backyard deck, followed by a blissful night together. It wouldn't matter if she had to wake up early in the morning, she'd always invite me over. A routine was settled-- we spent the night together, she would kiss me goodbye in the morning and I would be free to shower and make myself breakfast in her empty home. I've been without sex for so long that I was too rough with her in the beginning. Often times she would wake up in the morning with bruises on her arms and shoulders. And this was a no-no because she's a leader at work and cannot be seen with sex bruises. During the weekends she would make reservations for us at the best restaurants in the area and she would pay the bill most of the time. I payed sometimes, but I could not afford the constant expenses of dining at these restaurants. It felt exciting dining out and being seen together. Other times she would cook me candle light dinners at her home; chicken parm, rib eye steak, pork tenderloin-- dinner is always served with plenty of wine. And in the morning she cooked me big breakfasts. She was treating me to new pleasures that I was never exposed to before.
Two weeks into our relationship she booked a mini vacation for us at a ski resort during the summer. She picked me up and drove off 4 hours away. She payed for the hotel, most of the restaurant bills, some of which amounted to a $150 bill. We went hiking during the day, and drank martinis all night, then stumbled off to our room for bliss. I never wanted it to end. She initially talked about us going to a fancy spa together, but changed her mind-- I suppose it's because I allowed her to pay for so much without contributing enough myself. After all, she makes way more money than I do and never seemed bothered to pay, so I let her. In hindsight, I should have at least talked to her about it.
The following week she had a work conference out of town in Toronto and I joined her there for a few nights. When we got there she revealed that it was her birthday. I was completely caught off guard. I never bought her a present and had no clue what to do aside from saying 'happy birthday'. I payed for a dinner, but that's it. She payed for everything else once again, including a massage for the both of us. I never celebrated a birthday in years and I was clueless as what to get her, so I got her nothing. Sigh. This was a mistake.
I stopped playing live poker and switched to online for awhile. So many days I was grinding in her empty home. One day her son arrived home with me there. It was my first time meeting him. He's only 8 years younger than me, which made the interaction very awkward, at least for me. I later found out that Jane had dated someone my age previously, so the age difference wasn't an issue for anyone. She's divorced and I guess she's experimenting with younger men. The last young guy she dated for 2 years, and he ended it because he wanted to have children.
Each week she invited me over for 'group dinners', which consisted of cooking and eating dinner with her, her son and his girlfriend. The four of us cooked together, and either prepared a candle lit dinner in the dining room or a 'movie night' where we would eat dinner while watching a movie. I would sit across from Jane, and her son across from his girlfriend. We conversed all throughout dinner. I never experienced anything like this since I was a kid in a foster home. It felt incredible to share those dinners together. It was resembled family dinners, but this time I'm the adult. Jane continues to introduce new pleasures in my life. She is changing my life. Before her I would eat dinner alone within 15 minutes at the casino, then continue grinding, and then go home and fall asleep alone in my quiet apartment. She changed my entire life.
So to hell with the ~15 year difference. I gained so much from this relationship. She taught me to cook decent meals, open a bottle of wine, how to taste good wine, how to swing a golf club, the importance of shoes, how to dress better, table manners, how to appreciate country music, to laugh more, to be more confident in the bedroom and so much more. We were trying all sorts of things in the bedroom. I'm telling you: its been bliss.
With all this newfound pleasure I feel reliant on her for all of it. If she disappears then so does this better life. Knowing all of this, I suddenly became insecure and needy, because I realized that she is the gatekeeper to all these pleasures and without her I'm back to a life of pointlessness and solitude. Jane holds the key and she knows it.
As i write this I'm eating McDonald's alone in a quiet room for dinner. Life is not the same.
I am making a big batch of oatmeal downstairs in a rice cooker and it has 20 more min. to go. I don't want to lie down and read the Buddha's words because I might fall asleep and have oatmeal heating all night. I don't really feel like meditating either. My meditation teacher has me on a new walking meditation and I want to be more into it before I give it a go. So, here I am. Those last 3 sentences say a lot about what I have been up to. Trying to get the most out of cooked food, reading scriptures and discourse, and meditating are my life right now. Then, there is work too but I really don't like discussing work on my blog.
I am looking to move more towards this guy's direction:
The main goal being to continue simplifying my life and moving towards Nibbanna. I have really been into Southeast Asian food recently. Besides breakfast (Pumpkin oatmeal with walnuts and blueberries) I have been eating Thai, Vietnamese, Indian, Cambodian for just about every meal. I am really getting into it. Investigating everything. Experimenting with my own dishes. I bought a wok and some cookbooks and have been exploring. I can get out of the local Vietnamese place for less than $12 which is pretty good. It is tough to get out of the local Thai places for less than $25 it seems. The red curry I cooked up the other night was about $7/serving not including the time it took to go to the market and the labor to cook it up. I actually enjoyed doing both things so it is probably fair not to count that into the equation. I am looking forward to getting out to the proper Asian food market tomorrow to see what I will find. Considering I would like to not be eating dairy or meat for the rest of my life there is value in learning how to cook vegan curries and stir fries. I think with most dishes it doesn't even really matter what you put into it it matters what is available, fresh, ripe, etc. but it appears that a lot of the same stuff are showing up in the different curries and stir-fries.
I have also gotten really into candles. I would like to start making my own. My only consumption these days seem to be gifts for people, food, and offerings for the Buddha. That's not a bad way to go. I just think I could make the candles that I want better than overpaying these other companies.
I took a walk on the beach today which I feel like that is a worthwhile endeavor. Sometimes I get these thoughts on how great it will be to linger contemplatively but you know after doing so much meditation I realize that is more or less bullshit. I was better off being mindful. At any rate, it seemed to give me a bump in energy and mood and I didn't end up taking a nap today.
I was feeling a bit lonely tonight and didn't have anything planned so I ended up at an AA meeting. It was an interesting perspective since I haven't been to that one in such a long time. The word that comes to mind is cute. Mostly newcomers beings newcomers and the fact that nothing changes in the rooms of AA. My biggest hangup is the insistence that we need to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God. That if we pray to God he will have our backs. It's just delusion. Then again, I am the one that went to an AA meeting entirely on my own volition so I need to be prepared and put up with the dogma. I mostly sat and was bored or entertained or whatever. It was nice seeing some people and having some conversations although I noticed my tolerance for useless chatter has gone way down. I excused myself to take care of my cats and got out of there.
Refuge has been ok. It's really my sole avenue of being social outside of work. I have my gripes with it. Oh well.
It was only a month after my 30th birthday that I chose to finally enter the realm of dating. Tinder, online dating and bar music venues. I was matching with women on Tinder, but I couldn't get past the fact that it was all based on looks and I had no way of gauging anyone's personality. Online dating seemed equally pointless to me, though I did end up texting with a girl that I chatted with online and she showed heavy interest in me. She even sent me nudes. Then I met this older woman (from my last blog), let's call her Jane, at a bar on a Saturday night. She smiled, I approached, we talked, kissed and exchanged numbers. The following week she invited me to her home, but made a point that there wasn't going to be sex.
Before meeting Jane I stopped at a retail store to buy a new outfit. I explained to the girl working there that I needed help picking an outfit for my date. She was sweet. She even complimented me a few times and helped me find a good date outfit. After succeeding with Jane I felt unusually confident. So while she was ringing up my clothes at the cashier I asked her out on a date. I did this after explicitly telling her that I had a date planned with someone the following day. I still laugh about this. She blushed a lot and rejected me, but god did I feel good asking a 2nd girl out.
Saturday comes and I'm suppose to drive to Jane's house today for our first 'date'. Then suddenly the girl I met online (the one who sent me nudes) texted me saying that she's in town and wants to meet. For a moment I thought that I could meet with her first, then meet with Jane afterwards. But I decided against it, because I was more attracted to Jane. Just 1 month in the dating game and I already had more than I could handle.
The clock struck 10:00pm and I'm pulling into Jane's driveway. The first thing that struck me was the classy neighbourhood and her near 1 million dollar house. It's dark outside, but her back deck is lit up by an outdoor heater and 80s music is playing in the background. She opens the door wearing a little black summer dress and says hello. I don't know if I should kiss her or what - it was a classic Floofy moment, so I simply said hello and let myself in. Did I mention that I took a shot of whiskey and anxiety medication before coming here? I was still shaken to the bone with nerves.
So we're sitting across from each other outside under the starlight. Her neighbourhood is beautiful, there's a golf course just off her backyard. Music is playing, we're drinking martinis and conversing with ease. I remembered what my counselor told me before she terminated me "Let her do most of the talking", so I did just that. Each time I finished my drink she would offer me more. Grey goose martinis and good wine. Four hours go by with ease. We talked about childhood, work, values, and relationships. I learned a great deal about her, and that she works as a city planning director in my region. Very impressive woman. We kissed goodbye.
Nothing happened that night. But the following night she invited me over again. It was Canada day. We were sitting on her backyard deck at 10:00pm again drinking, conversing and watching fireworks in the sky. This time I was determined to make a move. This was my chance. As we're talking she scoots her chair closer to mine and rests her bare foot on my thigh, revealing her glorious legs and a glimpse up her summer dress. We walked to her kitchen for drink refills and this time I grabbed her by the hips and kissed her. As the kissing became more intense we began grinding against each other. For the first time in 10 years I was making-out. Everything was dream-like. Feeling bold and confident I picked her up and dropped her ass down on her counter-top. We kissed more and then went back outside for more talking and drinking. When it came time for drink refills we made-out again in her kitchen and I picked her up and dropped her ass down back on the counter-top. She tells me: "How many times are you going to pick me up and drop me down?" I inwardly cringe at myself, knowing that I'm having a hard time mustering up the courage to make the final move. She tells me that she would rather wait before having sex, but I saw the fire in her eyes. I saw that she wanted it just as badly. That's when my animal instinct took over. In spite of her protesting I forced her clenching legs open and pushed my hand up her dress. My instinct was right. The rest is history.
The sex was awkward and clumsy. Before chilling on her deck that night we went out to a fancy Greek restaurant (and she payed the bill). I'm lactose intolerant, but in spite of this I ate so much cheesy food. I was farting all throughout the blowjob and sex. I could not contain the endless farts. It must have been the most unsexy blowjob for her. I also had too much to drink, so there were some difficulties performing. Regardless, she comforted me that all was good. Remember, this is my first time getting laid in a decade. In the morning she had her head resting on my chest, and my heart was beating like I was slacklining across the opening of a fiery volcano. Suddenly, I hear someone walking downstairs and I tell her. She jokingly calls me 'neurotic' and tells me I'm hearing things. So I doubt myself and try to go back to sleep. Now I'm hearing footsteps up the stairs. I tell her again, and this time she rushes to the bedroom door to close it. It's her 22 year old son coming home. Did I mention that Jane is ~15 years older than me? I'm nearer to her son's age than I am to her. Though she is very attractive. We get dressed and walk outside her bedroom. My shirt is lying on the hallway floor, my jeans are at the top of the stairs, my shoes are on the stairs. A trail of clothes leads straight to her bed. It's like a scene straight out of teen sex comedy movie. Full of awkwardness and cliches. We settled downstairs and cooked a nice breakfast together.
Also I'm getting some Poker Merch from Aliexpress for the gym + stream
Maybe even to become an instagram pro? (I tried posting real life shit as I love taking pictures, but it's such a timewaster, deleted the app as I realized I don't need no likes from people to be happy, and followers weren't growing much)
Maybe one day when I'm tired of grinding and coaching online and switch to live and I want to build my brand + get side money that way it might be useful to maintain instagram.
I remember I saved these lines from LP many years ago. Time to put them right back in.
"I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours"
"Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful."
"You're basically killing each other to see who's got the better imaginary friend"
"Men never commit evil so fully and joyfully as when they do it for religious convictions"
"When I was a kid I used to pray every night for a new bicycle. Then I realised that the Lord doesn't work that way so I stole one and asked Him to forgive me."
"Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?"
"And if there were a God, I think it very unlikely that He would have such an uneasy vanity as to be offended by those who doubt His existence"
"The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one"
"I still say a church steeple with a lightning rod on top shows a lack of confidence"
"Philosophy is questions that may never be answered. Religion is answers that may never be questioned."
Poll: Do you believe in god?
(Vote): Yes I'm religious
(Vote): No, atheist
(Vote): Somewhere inbetween
(Vote): Don't know
Hello ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, yogis and gangstas, proletariat and bourgeois – we gather you all here today as fellow humans, to tell you a tale of life, a tale that we’ve each personally experienced, a tale about that moment when a human life is birthed from womb to world, water to air, and darkness to light.
Let me tell you about my experience, what it is like for a privileged white boy, who never wanted kids, to start a family. I’ve gone from drunkenly tipping porta potties for fun and angrily beating up strangers to vent, to tenderly holding this bundle of love in my arms and crying with joy as I look into my wife’s eyes. And am I ever glad that I made it here.
We’re both wounded kids, Penpa and I. Don’t get me wrong, everyone has childhood wounds, so I’m not saying we’re anything special. But I can’t talk about our first child without bringing up our root wounds. For us, this journey from pregnancy to birth has been a deep dive into the early traumas which have shaped us, and healing them so they aren’t passed on.
Our wounds were both around broken families. Hers while fleeing Tibet as a refugee and being left behind at a boarding school in India while her parents settled in Nepal to make a living. Mine after a drug bust sent my father to jail, which led to his deportation back to Guatemala and out of my life for 30 years.
So when we found out we were pregnant, we both felt a strong need to be an unbroken family, to be in love and raise the child together as a team, as lifetime teammates. That meant all the lingering bullshit we were still harboring inside us needed to be addressed, and the growth needed to happen now, no more procrastination. In that way, from the very start, this kid was cutting through our self deception and leading us into growth and transformation.
As first time parents, this entire experience has been a novel adventure delivering gorgeous views and regular challenges to step up and grow. As our baby developed in the womb, we both felt a powerful energy sweep over us, inspiring us to face what we’d been afraid to face. The spiritual power of bringing a new life into the world was unexpected, but greatly appreciated. While the pregnancy changed us, the birth was also a rebirth for us into the life of parents.
I’d hoped for a short labor, a “wake up in the morning with contractions starting, head to the birth center at midday, and get home by dinner to celebrate with the new arrival” type of labor.
What we got was contractions starting on Friday, which became intense enough that Penpa couldn’t sleep that night. The next morning they’d slowed a bit but were still coming regularly enough so that we knew it was no longer Braxton Hicks. We already had our 41 week appointment with the midwife set for that afternoon, so we went with our bags packed ready to stay and have the kid.
No such luck, as the midwife checked to find we were only 1 centimeter dilated and she said we were still only in latent (early) labor, which could last a while. She informed us that it was common for contractions to get accelerated at night due to melatonin and oxytocin levels rising, which was our experience that evening as contractions stayed spaced out till nightfall, when they got closer again, making it tough for Penpa to sleep.
Sunday repeated the previous days pattern, but contractions got more intense and we started thinking, “it’s gonna be a Monday baby!”
When we woke up Monday morning (more like I woke up and Penpa braved the day after another sleepless night) it felt like my vision was coming into fruition, as the contractions were stronger and more consistent, generally 6 to 3 minutes apart. By the afternoon we were getting long stretches of minute long contractions spaced 3 minutes apart, and by the evening we hit the magic number of 3-1-1; 3 minutes apart, 1 minute long, for 1 hour. That was our cue to head into the midwife, so we grabbed our bags and made the drive. Upon arrival to the birth center, we unpacked our bags, burned some incense and smudged each other, and got the water started in the tub. It was time to bring this baby into the world.
Or maybe not. The midwife did the cervical check and came back with some rattling news – it was only at 2 centimeters. While active labor is usually indicated by 3-1-1 contractions, the official measure is a cervical dilation of 5 to 6 centimeters. So we still had a bit of time to go, while these contractions were now no joke and happening all the time. It could be another 12 hours, or another couple days, before hitting enough dilation, no way to know for sure. What they did know was that we’re only supposed to be admitted at active labor, so they sent us to labor at home till we hit that mark.
We went home to another sleepless night of contractions spaced 3, or 2, or even 1 minute apart. By Tuesday morning Penpa was beat and saying things like “I think I’m gonna die”, but she kept riding the contraction waves out, switching positions from leaning on the birth ball, to laying in the tub, to child’s pose on the bed, and more. We weren’t sure how we’d know if she was dilated enough, but when the bloody show started increasing quickly and the contractions got so strong that she was beginning to feel urges to push, we decided it was time to go.
We got into the car for what turned out to be our last drive out to the midwife, arriving at 12:20pm. The cervical exam brought great news – she was 7.5 centimeters dilated!
By 1:40pm on October 16th our baby boy, Dorje GEM Khandro, arrived, birthed in the same tub where we’d started filling the water the night before. I caught him in my hands (with the guidance of the midwife) and we brought him up into Penpa’s arms. I cried with relief that our baby was safe and in our arms, relief that all my worries could now subside, our little Gem was here!
Penpa carried him to the bed where she laid down and held him on her chest as she delivered the placenta. The medical staff did their checkups while we laid on the bed with our beautiful baby boy and had our minds blown and hearts open wide from all the love pouring out.
It’s an experience of love that I don’t have words for, and which I’d been told about but never understood. There’s no understanding it till you have the experience for yourself, and I’m guessing any parent reading this knows exactly what I mean. I’ve continued to cry throughout the week since the birth from the overwhelming love and gratitude I feel. On an energetic level, I felt this blissful love blasting through my energy channels and transforming my energy body back to a flow I hadn’t felt since childhood.
After some initial breastfeeding I had the honor of cutting the cord. Then mama and baby Dorje took a well earned nap before we went home to eat dinner with grandma. She was blown away that we’d had the baby just 6 hours earlier, and were now home and eating instead of laid up in the hospital for several days like she’d been when I was born.
That night I couldn’t stop staring at our baby boy, rotating from awe, to tears of joy and gratitude, to relief, to love for my family – the amazing woman who brought my boy into the world, and this precious Gem which was already transforming me on every level of my being.
Since then I felt like I entered into season 2 of LOST and joined Desmond in the hatch, having to hit the button every 108 minutes. The midwifes told us to make sure we breastfed every 2 hours, which we tracked with our phones. Every time that alarm went off, the breastfeeding would start and we’d hit the button to reset the countdown again. We began our baby-moon and entered the world of sleep deprivation, the initiation ritual of all new parents.
After a week as parents Penpa said “Sleepless nights are worth it, when you have a treasure like this.” Oh, how right she is.
I'm now diving into my new life as a parent and an Innovative Yogi. I've been blessed to get to this place, and I feel like it's my duty to share what I've learned.
Meditation, breathing, yoga, mindfulness, and soul work have been the essential tools for my transformation, and through Innovative Yogis I'm offering training and coaching to anyone who wants to learn them.
Poker set me on the path of meditation thanks to a great CardRunners series called "The Eight Fold Path To Poker Enlightenment". While I'd been exposed to meditation all my life, I didn't actually try to get good at it till I realized how much it would help me improve my poker game (especially managing tilt and staying focused).
While my poker skills improved, so did my life overall, and it was the first step on my path of personal evolution to the person I am today. It makes me happy to be able to offer that back to the poker community, so hit me up if you want to my help as you travel your path
P.S. I'm still on the babymoon, spending lots of time with my newborn son, but will be available for online sessions starting next week
Four months ago I turned 30 and that's when it hit me: a decade of being single. Throughout most of my 20s I struggled with social anxiety and bouts of depression, so I never bothered chasing women. It was never a priority. I made attempts in the past to try to "put myself out there" by joining social groups in hopes of meeting women, but I never felt the urgency to actually approach any. Turning 30 made me realize that things are not going to get better unless I do something about it ASAP.
The only woman that I had in my life at the time was my counselor, who I was paying out of my pocket. Naturally, I began developing feelings for her. Long story short, my counselor ended therapy with me and I was left to fend for myself. She had encouraged me in the past to go to bars and music venues with the goal being to push myself out of my comfort zone and try to approach women. I followed her suggestions and started going to live music bars by myself, but I never had the guts to approach anyone. I continued going to this bar that played live music every Saturday, even if it meant taking anti-anxiety medication and a shot of whiskey before leaving. Women would smile at me, but I would do nothing about it. One night a woman even grinded against my lap, yet I did nothing.
When my counselor decided to terminate based on my attraction for her I felt infuriated. That night I went to the music venue again, but this time I was determined. As usual, I positioned myself near the bar and sipped by beer while watching the band. I'm sure that I looked miserable. And again, a woman smiled at me. She was significantly older, but man did her smile shine. She was blonde, petite and had a smile that lit the room. And what really caught my attention was that she looked as miserable about being there as I was. Naturally I hesitated; I even ordered another beer while trying to talk myself into approaching her. Twenty minutes passed and she smiled at me again. WTF? Go you coward! This is your chance! -- the voice inside of me screamed. I finished my beer and forced my body to move forward in her direction. This is it. I had no plan.
She's leaning against a stand-up table with a group of her friends. I position myself next to her and make sure to rub my arm against hers so she takes notice. She looks at me and shoots me that bright smile again. I hesitate for a moment and remember the question a guy at the bar asked me the other night: "So how's your night going?". I repeat those words, and follow that question by asking her if I could buy her a drink. She refuses and states that she's the sober driver for her group, but engages me back in conversation. We make an effort to get to know each other, all while the people behind us dance to the live music. I even told her I was a poker player and she took it positively! And surprisingly, non of her friends blocked me the entire time.
She tells me she's going to leave soon and suggests I follow her out. I enjoy the fact that she's leading. We walk to her car and stop. Now, what I do next is cringe worthy: I felt daring and asked her if I could come home with her. She tells me No, but I still sense positive energy. So I hold her hips and ask her for a kiss. She nods and I have my first kiss in 10 years. We exchanged numbers and she left on her own. Now I would usually go home frustrated with myself, but this time I felt good. I felt real good. (this was 4 months ago btw)
I'm feeling pretty depressed about stuff lately and I'm not sure what to do.
Dont have any friends and dating is hard for me. I dont have many avenues to meet new people.
I have a stupid job that I stay at because it pays ok around 72k. Currently have around 150k+ in savings. Living with parents at the moment cause I dont know what to do. Life is passing me by right now...
I kind of want to just quit my job and travel/live in cheap countries for a while. Maybe just the winter and then start working again. I could probably keep doing that every year. Still I'm not sure if that constitutes a real life. It's probably the most realistic plan I have now though.
I'd like to work remotely somehow while traveling but I dont know how to get this done. If I knew I could do the job I wouldn't mind getting some sort of IT or programming skills but I have heard alot of remote positions are for seasoned/high demand workers and I really dont think id have the chops for it.
My original plan was to just keep working, save up like 500k and just live off that forever(in cheap countries). I can't wait that long though. I think if I am very frugal I'm saving around 40k a year right now so that'd be 9 fucking years...
It seems like there are a fair amount of people on this site that have visited or lived in Thailand. I just keep having this nagging in me to get over there. It's funny in my previous life I wanted to ball it up on poker monies and do coke and cum on prostitute tittays (2 prostitutes, 4 tittays, or maybe a cum swap... but I digress). Now, I just want a nice spiritual trip. Check out some monasteries, check out some nice beaches, I am not even really sure yet. I may even want to go up North and hike the forests. I really would like to go to Myanmar (Yangon) as well but I think that might be unsafe at this point?
I am unsure on how to even go about it. In the past all my traveling has been pretty bourgeois. Hotels and vacation rentals. I would want to do it up pretty cheaply here. Straight up backpacking mode. I don't even know if I would want to bring a laptop. I want cheap shelter, cheap curries, fresh fruit, cheap transportation. Don't mind hiking long distances. Check out some monasteries. Check out the art. Visit some family. I may have to choose between forest and beach. I think it depends on what monasteries I want to check out.
What else is there to do in Thailand?
I want fresh mango and mango and sticky rice. I want to avoid partying and prostitutes. Stay away from big cities and sordidness. If anyone can help please do.
Here I sit on this Monday morning at around 9 am EST. Thankfully I am not scheduled to work today. It looks beautiful outside. I will probably take a walk on the beach and go for a swim. It's ok worker bees I unfortunately still have to work. Not as much as you all. I am typically at 30-35 hours/wk. I worked last night which is probably worse than working a 9-5 on a Monday. I was looking at my expenses for the next pay period. It is literally all food and gas. If I sold my car and started taking alms I would be ok. We've been through this before though. I can't be a monk and I am not going to go homeless in a city center. I would still need health insurance, dental insurance, etc. Working at a monastery or a meditation center makes sense but I would still need health insurance.
Nothing is stable. That truth is disconcerting. I can get a "steady" paycheck coming in and then what? Who knows? I can take measures to stay healthy but it's no guarantee. The thing about work is that you can not want to do something but you sort of have to do it. That causes stress, suffering, and dissatisfaction. I didn't want to make so many god damn pizzas yesterday but I did. At this point it's how I have to be useful. I have a friend who is retired that always harps on being at work is better than being at home. I want to point out the obvious "then why are you fucking retired? Being at home is clearly better than being at work." He says because at home I will be in my head and that's a dangerous place for me to be. I don't know. I get to hang out with my cats, I get to meditate, I get to go to the beach.
The problem is I am starting the cycle again. Work is quite a disruption to meditation. I could have pulled the bandaid off last night but I was so not into it. You would think a good night sleep has a good effect on meditation but I am not so sure. In a way I am starting over or simply maintaining. I made a lot of progress the last 2 days I want to keep it going. I guess the only way I can find out is by continuing to meditate when I can. That's all I can do.
I am writing a blog because when I gave up LP all I was doing was substituting with endlessly scrolling through Reddit: Girls gone wild. I mean I was doing useful stuff too but for me r/ggw is useless and unwholesome. I hadn't masturbated for a long time but I think sitting in a car scrolling through r:ggw led to more desire like a forest fire and I ended up lusting after Lana Rhoades. I satisfied that desire. I felt pleasure. Then what? I have kind of eased back from 8 precepts so does it matter? Not really. I don't feel guilty. I would go into it more but I wonder if this is all jibberish to everyone.
I meditated for a while before I left yesterday and was mindful for maybe an hour or two on the drive. I got to a state where I wanted nothing. I had no desires. No greed, no anger, maybe some delusion. It was really weird. I wanted to always be in that state. It didn't stay for too long maybe 20-30 min. Then I was scarfing down pizza and scrolling through r/ggw on my phone before it ran out of batteries. I think a part of it is on the trip it become so clear spending my days with ordinary folk that that is so not the life for me. It was nice seeing my family but I could just as easily detach and be ok. Even the setup of towns was jarring: Bank, McDonald's, grocery store. I don't even want to go into it too much here either as most people on this site are probably living an ordinary life with aspirations of getting married, owning a house, having children, work, and chores.
My point is I don't think it's all about satisfying desires. Being on call for every thought that arises is madness. It is about detaching from desires. Letting go of desires. Letting go of the habituated paths in our lives. I am not quite there with LP obviously (or pornography and masturbation) but that is ok. I got hooked again in both cases today. I am back home. I have desire for excitement and insight from LP and desire for escape and pleasure with pornography and masturbation. The only useful one is insight and I am not sure how much I actually get from here.
A few years ago I quit poker to enroll in a full-time 2 year web development program. I had to suck up a lot of pride to go back to college in my late 20s. The college then offered me a co-op, and my hopes for breaking into the web field was high. But once my time ended there I found myself back at the poker tables, again - this time live poker. It's easier to grind live poker than it is to hustle my way through an entry level position in an expensive city. Most of last year I played live with success, then I dedicated a few months to online until I realized that I no longer have the necessary skills to make a good living off it. To be honest, I never studied hard enough and I never put enough hours in. It's no wonder I failed. I forgot about the crippling loneliness and isolation of playing online poker, which made the challenge more difficult for me.
In hindsight, I should have stuck to live poker - I would have had more money. But live poker is excruciating boring and the variance is wild. The reason I keep coming back to poker is that it offers me FREEDOM, and there's a lot less freedom in live poker. I was basically grinding at the casino from 9 to 5. I might as well get a job that offers me more opportunity, growth, and freedom in the coming years.
So what do I do from here?..
Its been a year and a half since I did web development work, so I forgot a lot of the things I learned. And it doesn't help that it's a field that is constantly changing. So I have a lot to learn before I'm employable. I'm considering enrolling in a 'coding bootcamp'. The cost is 10k CAD, its full-time, lasts 3 months, and they help you get an entry level position. If I choose to do it I'll have to slum it in Toronto, because it's one hell of an expensive city to live in, and I won't be earning money during the program. Hell, I'll have to slum it even when I do earn money. The starting salary will be ~45-65k, which is dirt in Toronto. The cost alone for a 1 bedroom apartment is $1800 minimum in a decent location. The good news is that as long as I stay motivated my salary should rapidly increase over the years, but I have a long way to go until then.
The way I see it I have no other option. Sure, I'm able to go to university and work on a 4 year degree, but I'm not willing to spend 4 years living with roommates and eating ramen noodles.. No, I need money. I'll continue playing live for a month or two, then I'll likely enroll in the bootcamp program. The thought of living in a new city and the fact that I never worked a full time job in my life is causing me a lot of stress and anxiety. A few months ago I wrote somewhere on this site that "I would rather die than fail" (fail at poker). Apparently my instinct to survive is stronger than my false pride.
The freakshow is back in town. I listened to music for the first time today in quite a while. It got me dancing and then it left me somewhat dissatisfied. I wanted new, better, more interesting music and even that felt like a dud. It coincided with my caffeine iv this morning. I had comic books to sell! There was a lot of interesting things I found out about comic books this morning. Most pretty much just appreciate with inflation or not even but in fact they actually depreciate in my case as the comics books age (comic book grade decreases). So, I had a huge stack of comic books valued at anywhere from $1-$5 ON PAPER. The problem is shipping is $3.75 which kind of kills all of those books on eBay. I could take the stack in to a comic book shop and haggle but I didn't even want to bother so I threw them in the recycling bin. There were some diamonds in the rough however. I am first selling one at about no profit just to get the hang of it. An education/trial of sorts so I know what I am doing when I get to the heavier hitters.
It's so easy on a day off after a big lunch being a little bit dissatisfied to come on here and write stuff. It's a sneaky addiction. I have been trying to follow the 8 precepts of Buddhism. One is eating before noon. I didn't quite make it today. I got lost in the comic book project and then my mom wanted help in the garden. I ate at about 12:30pm. Some days go by pretty smoothly and then others are tough. I experimented with drinking juices at night which is allowable but that seems to just start the craving for food and then sometimes the lust overcomes in a big way. It's actually easier on days that I work nights. I don't even really think about food. Chips and salsa or dark chocolate is a killer for me though.
The Blessed One is the Buddha:
"I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was wandering on a tour of Kasi with a large community of monks. There he addressed the monks: "I abstain from the night-time meal.1 As I am abstaining from the night-time meal, I sense next-to-no illness, next-to-no affliction, lightness, strength, & a comfortable abiding. Come now. You too abstain from the night-time meal. As you are abstaining from the night-time meal, you, too, will sense next-to-no illness, next-to-no affliction, lightness, strength, & a comfortable abiding."
I actually cannot be a monk due to my mental illness. So, why live the 8 precepts? I think it's the right thing to do. I have noticed my life to be more content and peaceful even if I slip up at times. That is actually the hard part. I just had this romanticism in my mind of doing tedious tasks and loading up on caffeine and listening to music and I just decided to do it. Kind of like I am just deciding to write this blog. I can feel a craving for music pretty strongly now. A craving that hasn't been there for weeks. This is suffering. Almost on a micro level. I never thought about this kind of thing when I was engulfing myself in music. Nothing really that bad happened except I was suffering and craving unknowingly.
Nothing is permanent.
So, I can't be a monk. Not that it was like this slam dunk that I could be a monk but it was motivating for me. Now, I have visions of me just being this shithead guy that calls himself Buddhist. The 5 precepts are rather elementary for someone that is in recovery for substance addiction. I think I still gossip but usually I catch myself or leave the conversation or just don't say anything. I know I repeat myself but I want to be the guy that sells pots down by the river. I have to find my version of that. I have been working more lately. It is harder to find time to meditate and study. I say this while writing a blog and like I meditate 4+ hours a day. But, it is a bit more difficult even if I only meditate 30min - 1 hr a day. I don't know. It's weird though. Now, that I can "only" be a lay person it's like I don't have to care. But, I do have to care if I want to be free of suffering. Not even in a Nibbana (Enlightenment) but just the reduction of suffering, dissatisfaction, negative emotions. I think even my positive emotions get blunted a bit because I know where that leads me too as well but I would like to carry a certain cheerfulness and joie de vivre with me during my days.
So, that's really why I attempt the 8 precepts on a daily basis. Peace and contentment. No euphoria, not feeling happiness or pleasures but an inner freedom. It's really quite different to how I ever lived my life up to 4.5 years ago and it feels like I am only now starting to understand it. For a while, I thought I could just be a "clean" addict. Fashion is "clean." Being cool is "clean." Vagina is "clean." Listening to music really loud and speeding on the highway is "clean." I didn't quite get it or I never really understood renouncement. The more I get rid of the better I feel. Perhaps I am clinging to that feeling. It gets to a point though where it gets tough to give up more. Caffeine has been the toughest thing I've ever given up. Sexual activity also but I am abstinent. I still drink 1-2 Monsters every morning. I would be at 10 precepts except for not handling or using money is basically impossible if one isn't a monk. Monks have 227 rules though. I don't think I have any interest in getting involved with THAT. I've read through them. Many of them are very specific to monks. My goal is just a guy man. A practitioner. An explorer. My fellow sufferers, I just want to suffer less.