I love watching Project Runway (see Georgina Chapman Talks about Creative Breakdowns, 5 Self-Help Lessons I Learned from Reality TV) not just for the awesome clothes but also for the lessons about human behavior and human relationships. Recently, I caught up with season 14, and at first I thought the life lesson was along the lines of hell is other people, but then I realized something a little more inspirational. People who hate you will hate you, and people who like you will like you. That’s inspirational? Let me explain.
*Note: This came from a writing exercise from What Color is Your Parachute? by Richard Nelson Bolles. The instruction was to write about what kind of job you’d want if you could have any job in the world. Instead of one job, I thought of several. I realized that this was very much like my Life Plans series (My Life Plans As of Right Now (2012), Life Plans Progress Report (2014), My Life Plans as of Right Now (2015 version), My Life Plans as of Right Now (2016), Rereading My Diary For Year End Insights (2016)), but maybe it’s a little more ambitious, hence the title*
If I could have any job in the world, I would want to have a regular improv acting job. My group and I perform weekly at a small cafe with a friendly crowd. Each member is paid a fixed talent fee by the restaurant, given a percentage of the ticket sales, and are fed for free. We also go abroad to perform in international festivals and other venues. All expenses are paid (food, transportation, accommodations) , we are given pocket money, and are paid for our performance. During the trip abroad, there is at least one free day for us to shop and our hosts also gladly tour us around the sights in their city.
The other day I read this article I kicked my smartphone addiction by retraining my brain to enjoy being bored. I posted about it in my Reader Takes Notes Blog. Basically, the article talks about how important it is to experience boredom. If you always obliterate boredom by going online or playing games, you decrease your ability to think creativity. You never get to space out, let your mind wander, and discover original ideas. What the article doesn’t talk about is the how. How can we learn to get bored again? So here are a few things I came up with:
I would like to announce that I have successfully completed a no-Facebook weekend. This was my first attempt, and I was surprised that I was able to do it. I’ve always heard people saying that there are negative effects to doing too much Facebook, but I’ve always dismissed it (see In Defense of Facebook: 5 Reasons Why I Love Facebook). I thought that these warnings were mere gripes of old people who were being closed-minded about the advances of technology.
My opinion changed when I watched a Ted Talk by Simon Sinek (which I discussed in my post Nothing has changed since the last time you checked Facebook). I realized that as much as Facebook has been a useful tool to communicate with others and to share information, it can also be an addicting thing that can make you crave for constant social approval. So I decided to kick my Facebook addiction.
I began taking improv acting classes around January 2017. It started on a whim or more like a whimper. I was feeling sad and lost because I didn’t know what I was going to do with my life. Perfect timing for a Facebook ad offering improv classes by Third World Improv (a school by the improv group SPIT). Before seeing that ad, I actually took an improv class that SPIT did for the media, back when they weren’t offering classes yet. They were just doing that to promote their shows, and I was one of the lucky lifestyle reporters who got to experience it. I remember enjoying it, and wishing I could take more. I was crestfallen when they said they weren’t offering any. Years passed, and I forgot all about them, but when I saw that Facebook ad, it all came rushing back. I thought, maybe I’ll be less miserable if I took improv.
Looking back, I don’t know why that was enough for me to get from my savings and pay for those classes. Now it’s June 2017, and I’ve had four shows and took two levels of classes. The response towards me has been surprisingly positive. Yet, I’m like, what am I doing? Why am I acting? Am I an actress???? What the fuck? This wasn’t part of the plan.
Ever since I watched this video where Simon Sinek talked about Millenials and our relationship with social media, I realized that I’m addicted to Facebook and it’s bad. In the past, I really did not understand the criticisms against social media. I even eagerly professed my love for Facebook. When I watched this video though, I was convinced that excessive use of Facebook can be detrimental. Aside from the obvious reason that it’s a time-waster, it also makes people addicted and dependent on social praise. In the long run, this can degrade one’s resilience against failure. Before I discuss those points, you can watch the video here:
I love books, but I think I buy too many. Right now I have 52 unread books on my bookshelf. I actually have more than that, but the ones that have been unread for a year or more, I’ve already placed in my pile of books to sell. I did this because Marie Kondo’s The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up said: if you haven’t read that book in a year, you never will. When I read that, I was shocked, but at the same time, I realized, she was right. So I cleaned out my books.
Though I am pleased with my progress, I want to hit a better target. Gretchen Rubin’s Happiness Project said that she aims for five unread books at a time. Five? That sounds impossible! I’m trying though. I already banned myself from entering bookstores, but sometimes I just can’t resist. Sometimes I also worry that what if I can’t find a copy of that book anymore, so I have to buy it now, now, now! Ok, this is unhealthy.