The past few challenges, I was trying to recap all of my previous challenges in an attempt to wrap up the entire timeline since I've been here. But in actuality, there's only a few that I would consider to be life-altering and I'm revisiting one of them:
After that challenge, I made huge strides. It felt like I was finally free and was able to turn into a different person. I was losing weight, got my first piercing, my first tattoo, started MMA batman lessons, cut my hair (of 4 years), and more. I had met a bunch of people from NF in person where I was welcomed and unconditionally loved as Teros. I beat a Spartan race with them all and had a life-changing weekend that then sparked the ending of an emotionally abusive 12-year relationship. Nine months later and this Phoenix Challenge started, as my ex finally moved out and I purged my entire life.
However, I'm not a man to rest on my laurels. This was back in August of 2015, mere WEEKS before school started. And as school turned from weeks into months, my motivation waned. My passion started to fizzle. The past dozen (or maybe 2 dozen) challenges have royally sucked and it's because I wasn't able to put any time or effort in myself: instead just trying to survive work, going to classes, being at an internship, and banging out homework assignments. I also, went above and beyond in my internship and did extra hours. I suppose, what I should do right now, is recap what has happened from this Project Phoenix challenge back in '15 to today. Notable things:
-I started and completed my Master's in Social Work degree
-I fell in love with a woman who I felt was my soul mate: she got cancer, she disappeared from my life for years, then slowly started to come back. Now I harbor mixed feelings and uncertainty.
-I started going on a dating website to make friends and in the process had a slew of disasters. Some notables: Muse, Deanne, Jenny, Christine. I feel calloused and closed off between the above thing happening and these other women showing up, fucking with my mind, and then leaving.
-I had 5 family pets die.
-My mom died.
-My entire social circle was created and then destroyed.
-I gained back 120 pounds.
I, in essence, sacrificed all my progress through NF and weight loss in order to pursue this degree. So despite this being my 54th challenge, I'm also at a point where I'm starting back at square one, which is why I need to admit how much I gained back.
And I'm making a vow that I'm going to get rid of it again.
With my mom's death, years at school, casually dating, and my social circle being a clusterfuck, my entire environment has been what I can only describe as....been corrupted.
So it's time to burn it down again.
I was spending 12+ hours a week in classes, 16+ hours a week in internship, and 10+ hours a week with homework, meaning a grand total of at least 38+ hours was spent on something that I fucking hated but knew I needed to get through. That's a full-time job that I was doing n addition my *actual* job already. My eating slacked. I binged junk food. I got horrible sleep. My anxiety and depression were running wild. My energy was non-existent.
Part of me wants to beat myself up over this: that I shouldn't have let it happen. But you also factor in how goddamn lonely I was, the shitshows from dating, and the death, and you have a complete shitstorm that kept me away from where I should have been all along:
You, all of you. Anyone who reads this and has ever been here or will ever be here has imbued something in me that I refuse to lose, which is why although I barely said jack shit for these past couple of years for challenges, I never missed a single one. With this full-time job amount of time suddenly back in my life and the constant anxiety eating away at me, I can finally get back to what I was doing:
You see, I never finished it - I only started it. What I was writing about for that challenge and the next couple was a long-term plan that was supposed to take roughly 2 years but as I've stated, I fell off the bandwagon hardcore. It's time to dust myself off and start moving forward.
So what am I doing for this challenge? I've talked a bunch about the past but what is the next step to get my shit together once and for all?
1) Whole 30 - I feel like a broken record because this was my goal for literally years but the fact is, I haven't been able to stick to one the entire time I was in school so it's time to actually fucking finish one, and another, and another. Hardest part is the first week which is technically uh, today, so let's just say today, May 20th, is Day 1 of 30.
2) Workouts - 3x week. I am including various cleaning projects as counting towards a workout because....
3) Purge - My mom was a hoarder and with me living here and my sister still miserable and reminiscing about my mom (they had a good relationship....I didn't) so the bulk of getting shit done is falling on me. I will be uploading before and after photos as I go along. I have already started this for about a week so I have a ton to show as I make progress with this.
4) NF Consistency - My complete lack of regular posting on here has made me writing suffer. What would happen is the more I neglected it, the more I felt I needed to write the next time; meaning it become a constant stressor just to come on here and talk about what happened the past couple of days. With the other stressors I was dealing with, I couldn't really add another one but with a bunch of free hours; now I can. I don't know what metric I should give. Maybe posting 3x week on here? I have to force myself a few times until I get into a rhythm and then I can start checking in on other people as regular NF use becomes more ingrained in my life.
5) Art - After spending YEARS of
I need to have some sort of play. My default 'play' these couple of years have been fooling around with women, eating junk food, and binge-watching youtube, and that shit is about to get seriously curbed. I want to make time for myself to create something. I haven't decided if I want to start writing Bellmyst or if I want to paint, or do something with paper mache but those are the three that I'm leaning most towards.
6) NoTube - I'm cutting out youtube. This is extremely difficult for me. It's an addiction and it's one that also pairs with binge-eating so if I'm going to do whole30 and not eat piles of garbage, I also need to cut out the activity that is sort of co-dependent on it. I will use youtube for MUSIC and a FALL-ASLEEP MOVIE. Besides that, I might want to post a clip from youtube in one of my posts but guess what? Youtube recommends all sorts of other shit and one random search to find a clip from Fight Club turns into 4 hours of watching BrutalMoose or RedLetterMedia. I can't can't can't CAN'T fucking do that anymore so I think I need to cut it out cold-turkey. When I load music, it gives me music recommendations through youtube so I don't have to worry about being tempted. As for the fall-asleep movie, I'm thinking I'm going to post a list of possible movies to watch as embedding links in this post so all I need to do it come on NF to click a movie. Actually, let me do that right now:
1) The Phantom Planet
2) Merlin's Shop of Mystical Wonders
3) Space Mutiny
4) Girl in Gold Boots:
5) Legend of Boggy Creek 2: The Legend Continues
Give them a watch if you want. They're fucking great. That seems like enough for now. I tend to watch the same movie a few nights in a row and pass out within minutes because I know these movies by heart so it gives my brain something to focus on that I already know. It stops my mind from wandering. I can usually figure out when I fall asleep by what I remember happening in the movie. For instance, in the Legend of Boggy Creek 2, I might remember the bathroom flashback. Or I might not remember when the kid was told to do a pushup. If I don't remember them leaving to buy a box of shotgun shells, I know I passed out pretty quickly.
For those who have checked on me these past couple of years: thank you. It's been extremely rough and like I said before; I feel like I'm starting back at square one but I know what I'm worth and it's time to fucking prove it.