Weeknote 48: Complaining About the French
I’ve now been working full-time for a month, and I increasingly have no energy or patience to sit down to write after a long day of work. If I don’t write these weeknotes on a weekend, I won’t be able to publish them at all, which is why I’m writing this one on a Sunday evening.
Another side-effect of going back to work is that I find it painful to look at screens after I get home in the evening. That means any writing or note-taking I do after hours needs to be analog. I’m trying to get used to writing a lot more with pen and paper, less out of a love for analog technology and more out of a need to protect my eyes. For example, this post was written in a cheap spiral-bound notebook using a Jinhao fountain pen I borrowed from my brother.
This has been a year of impulse purchases, and my latest one is a Steam Deck. After considering it for months, I saw a listing pop up on OLX and jumped on the opportunity. This thing can not only play all my favorite games, it can also run Firefox so I can panic about my dwindling bank balance on the couch, bus, train, or airplane.
I was completely wrong about Mastodon. So, so wrong. Yes, the name is dumb, and yes, the word “toot” will never be cool, but the network has managed to attract such a huge number of interesting people in the last few months that I barely look at my Twitter timeline anymore. Who thought building a social network that was actively hostile to pot-stirrers, clout-chasers, venture capitalists, and thought leaders would result in a vibrant, friendly, and welcoming community?
I’m not a competitive person at all, which is the main reason I don’t enjoy watching sports. I’ve had a lot of fun playing them, but I’ve never had much interest in watching them being played. However, this year I’ve been peer pressured into watching the men’s FIFA World Cup by a treasured friend, and now I’m invested. Yesterday I found myself complaining about the French to another friend who has been similarly peer pressured into watching this event, and we were horrified at what we have become.
I haven’t written about my mental health for a while, and that’s because there’s nothing to report. After years of therapy and medication, things are finally … normal. I have more good days than bad, and don’t actively think about how anxious I’m feeling on an hourly basis. I still have bad days—I don’t think they’ll ever completely go away—but I now understand how to deal with them on my own. I’m grateful to have had supportive friends, family members, and employers throughout this mental health slump, and I feel very lucky to have found a lovely therapist to help me through it all. I couldn’t have reached this point in life if it hadn’t been for all the wonderful people around me.
I’m so different today from who I was just two or three years ago that I sometimes don’t recognize myself. The mental health professionals I’ve worked with have helped me become a person I’m proud of. I’m able to feel compassion and love towards myself in a way that I never could before, and I have the confidence that I’ll be alright in the long-term.