Thinking back on my life in 2018

While 2017 was the game-changing year which brought first big grown-up decisions in my life, 2018 proved to be even more important. Accepting certain traits, while working on fixing those that don’t really work to my advantage – this has been my focus last year.
As expected, these haven’t been quick and smooth changes, but rather it is a gradual, and quite complicated process.

Getting a driving license was a goal which I hoped I could reach by the end of 2017. I struggled through the lessons and test drives with an instructor in November and December.

After a terrifying beginning, then a bit more calm period when I was finally getting the hang of it and I was almost liking it, down came the moment of the examination, along with the incredible pressure and stress. In the end I only managed to get this piece of plastic in April 2018 – and only after 6 attempts. I can’t tell if it took me so long because of my genuine lack of talent/ability when it comes to driving or maybe a certain mental barrier and negative thinking… Most likely it was the mixture of both 30/70%.

I simply couldn’t switch my thoughts to the mindset that I am doing this for myself, and there is no need to sweat over it. My friends could not convince me either. All I can say is that the driving lessons and then the several examination attempts took some psychological toll on me. From all that stress which was building up, I started overeating and feeling even more shit overall (I can’t understand people who would not eat at all due to stress – that’s double the pain).

I’ve passed the exam on my 6th try – the failed efforts mostly involved newbie mistakes resulting from my mind going blank and/or not enough practice. When I finally got out of the car and walked outside the training center I felt like the burden was lifted.
The driving license is something which could be useful and at the same time it’s not the end of the world to not get it… I’m a fucking moron because I could never get that message through to my head.

I still feel I achieved a lot – however I ended up driving twice since.

The question I get now is ‘so what was the point?!!’ However childish and stupid this may sound, the goal I had set for myself was to get the license, not to drive. Duh.

Now for something on the lighter note. Around the same time as the above, I started playing the guitar.

Now, if only my approach to driving was the same as to learning the instrument.

After a year and a bit, I still keep on practicing regularly, and that is something which usually does not come easy to me.

What’s more important it does make me very happy. While for a long time a fair amount of work was not producing much results, at certain point I began to notice some authentic improvement. The sounds have started to feel more pleasing to my ears, and the songs seem similar to the songs which I actually listen to. Every little new thing I learn brings lots of joy.

Naturally, last year wouldn’t be fulfilling without another ‘I am my own biggest enemy and threat’ story. While disposing of an old wooden ladder with an axe, I managed to lightly hit my head with the sharp part. There were no stitches involved, but the whole experience was not very pleasant.

Another thing which was more and more weighing on me was my job. Maybe not very demanding or stressful, a bit monotonous (which doesn’t necessarily mean something bad), but it was kind of poorly-paid and I had no real opportunity for growing – all in all everything being of my own volition.

I have to admit, I didn’t mind the situation I was in for quite a few years, so there is not much point in beating myself up over it, though there is a pinch of bitterness that I could have started making some changes 1-2 years ago.

I started looking for a new place of work in June and after sending out a few CVs, 2 companies came back to me. First phone calls, language tests, and then I was invited for a face-to-face meeting to one of these firms. I thought I had done alright, but then they actually called me on the same day with a job offer. I agreed on the spot to start in September 2018 in Cracow.

While as I’ve said, the need for a turnabout was growing in me for quite some time, the very decision had to be quick, just to avoid me overthinking stuff, which is something I tend to do.

Before starting out I spent a few days in Wroclaw, for a change of pace and to calm myself down.
Having heard a lot about the city before, it turned out to be much nicer than Cracow. I tested sushi as well – fancy and pretty tasty. By Polish standards.

It’s been half a year since then – in a somewhat deeper sense I feel I’m no longer stuck… Physically and literally I keep on commuting to Cracow from my village (+- 80 kilometers away) like a madman. Leaving home ain’t easy. Being around 30 I don’t want to lose money on renting anything (which is also something I will probably need to do at certain point).

The thing which is connected to that is the fact that my 29th birthday turned out to be kinda gloomy, especially considering what’s coming next. I’m still without a career, still thinking too much while not doing nearly enough. To be honest I’m not very envious of other people’s money or looks. However, I am jealous of people who have/had a plan in life – those who started families when they were around 20 years old. Those who opened their own businesses. All the while I was studying in college – the idea in itself is alright, but truth being said, it was a sort of an escape from getting your shit together now that I think of it.
Over the last few years I’ve met some people who try to convince me that I judge myself to harshly, needlessly bring myself down, and instead of focusing on what other people have achieved, I should concentrate far more on my own goals. I know they’re quite right, but as I mentioned in the beginning, working on your own mindset isn’t easy, especially after years of thinking differently.

Going back to Japan before turning 30 has become a main objective for 2019 – I want to go back there in September/October, I’m also considering a stopover in South Korea, as for quite some time I’m just as interested in the culture/history/music of theirs. I started learning alphabet which is much easier than Japanese, though the pronunciation is much harder. I do hope I keep on studying regularly. I already can’t wait for the trip, and I’m slowly coming up with the plan for the things I want to try/see.

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