When I was working 3 jobs, not that long ago, all I wanted was to have some downtime to read the books I had purchased and watch the films I have cued up on my Netflix. I am in the perfect environment right now to do these things; I have no responsibilities other than to pay my bills and be prepared for my workdays. Yet, somehow I cannot relax into the simplicity that is my life.
I have a tenancy to do absolutely nothing, literally stare at the wall, or just walk around my apartment, and feel like that is a better use of my time then reading a book, or watching a film that will educate me. I just sit and scroll endlessly through media feeds hoping for something amazing to show itself and relieve me of the guilt I experience from killing time. Obviously I know how great I will feel when I finish something that has spoken to me and allowed my work to go deeper. Yet, in the moment I can't work up the energy to close my laptop and open the book that I am genuinely excited about reading.
I was thinking yesterday about how I wished I could have grown up before society was so dependent on the Internet. Here is this miraculous tool that allows me to find the answer to any question I could have and when I think about what I actually use it for, it's mostly Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Tumblr; all platforms where the amount of likes, favourites or retweets speak to ones online popularity. I'm realizing that I crave these notifications to a severe fault. It's becoming my vice, and reducing my intelligence. It's the equivalent of watching endless bad TV, there is only so much I can take before I start to feel sick and bloated.
In an attempt to start weaning myself off of social media I have deleted the Facebook app off my phone, but now whenever I am on my computer I am constantly logged in and checking it. What I am looking to gain from this constant scrolling? Am I lonely? Am I expecting people to always be interested in my life? Do I think that I am sooooo important that people will always have something to say about my posts? It all sounds unhealthily vain to me, and that is what scares me. I find myself relying on online engagement to define how I feel about myself; a dangerous territory to be in...
I've noticed that even simple activities, like walking, are being supplemented by listening to music and checking my applications regularly incase a notification didn't actually make itself known; God forbid. There is nothing wrong with listening to music, I love it, but there is something to be said about not always having background noise and constant stimulation. I read the other day that Jason Bateman goes for a 5km run every morning WITHOUT music so that he can simply be with his thoughts and meditate. It clears his mind and prepares him for the day.
Since moving to Toronto, I have been procrastinating on actually committing myself to a schedule and budget. I have adhered for a few days and then something happens where I fall off the wagon. I am nearing the stage again where I can feel my body craving healthy stimulation and it wants to be energized, not always drained from eye-fatigue. There is no middle step, I just have to apply myself and get rid of these bad habits that I have been developing since graduation. I need to shift my idea of relaxation, and downtime. It is imperative to my well being to start giving things the time they deserve and pulling myself away from online engagement. There are obvious benefits to understanding and using social media effectively, especially as an actor, but not when it crossing into addiction territory.
Tracking, as I was speaking about in my last post, was helping for the week I did it. Then I forgot my book at home and got derailed. Where tomorrow is Monday, it's the perfect time to get back on the horse; I need to establish a routine and stick to it, I need to resume tracking how I use my days.
I have to stop making excuses and actually focus in on what my motivation is: If acting were an Olympic sport, I would be the Canadian representative at the games.
My mental and physical health HAS to take precedence again. My body NEEDS it, more so then the embarrassing amount of cookies I ate this week. I need to shift the negative rituals and habits I am forming into positive ones, it is so simple I just need to muster up the energy to begin incorporating them again. It's in these moments that I wish I had a personal trainer or a life coach who could keep me accountable to all this. It is difficult to keep myself aligned, but I have done it before and I shall do it again!