reality is weirder than you think

Category: Growing the Future (page 1 of 3)

The 300th Post

It’s been 300 posts here on Batfort but there are still 85 days to go before we hit the anniversary of my one-year resolution. Publish something every day, no exceptions.

The home stretch. Don’t mess up.

I’m not really worried about messing up at this point, though. I’ve kept up daily posting through moving to a different state, starting a new job, through holidays and internet blackouts. There’s a confidence in the doing of it.

Of course, some of my posts are less good than others, but that’s to be expected as a newbie blogger who’s only just starting to crystallize what she’s about as a person, let alone an abstract online entity. Part of my personal challenge with this blog was to be imperfect in public, to make a fool of myself if necessary, and put my half-formed thoughts out there.

Maybe all this writing is part of what has helped me to crystallize as a person. I feel now, even more than just a year ago, much more sure of myself and who I am and what I think. It could be the result of successfully moving, or of being in my 30s, or of being far less stressed than I was before, but somehow I think that all this writing–as shaky as it is–has helped.

Recently I’ve implemented a morning routine that’s gone much better than my disastrous experiment with breakfast: “morning papers.” When I wake up, I attend to my toilette, but then–before I do or read anything else–I sit down and write for 20-30 minutes. Three pages, give or take. Longhand, in a journal.

It’s nice to write before I’ve ingested any media for the day because it’s easier to tell my own thoughts apart from the thoughts of people who are influential on me. There’s still the influence, to be sure, but it’s easier to see that some are there because I’ve sought them out, because I already had the seed of desire in me.

I’m talking about working for myself and making money online, for those of you who want concrete details. 😉

Then I read a chapter out of the Bible–currently the book of John–and then I go about my day. It’s a great way to start the morning, especially in my window-filled dining nook.

Anyway, one of the themes that has been coming out lately in those morning writings is my surprise and delight that this blog is getting traffic. Not much, to be sure, but now it is a rare day that my blog doesn’t get any hits, rather than when I was just starting out, when no hits was normal and a visitor was a rare occurrence.

It’s halfway through March, for instance, and already there are more hits this month than there were in February. I am grateful!

That’s you, dear reader, so thank you for coming to my unfocused little blog and giving my thoughts some of your attention.

One of those days

It’s always hard to go back to real life after “one of those days.”

Or if we want to get really twisty about it, I always seem to have “one of those days” after having “one of those days.”

Or if we want to get concrete but cryptic, I really should add “being outside” to my list of my ideal work environment. Not doing outdoor work, per se, but just being outside. A porch is fine, no need to get fancy about it.

What really happened is this: over the weekend my car broke down while I was on a trip for the weekend. As such, I couldn’t get back to work on Monday, but instead spent a bunch of time cleaning said car and arranging for repairs and talking with my brother about various things. The weather just so happened to be freeking gorgeous, as well, so I spent some quality time in the sunshine.

After days like these, days when I can taste freedom, coming back to reality oops there goes gravity* is absolutely excruciating.

Workplace politics. Beige boxes. Pointless meetings. Staring at a computer screen all day, and a computer screen that has to be somewhat professional which means that photos of k-pop groups or stupid memes are OUT as desktop backgrounds and even an Edward Gorey illustration is probably verging on too edgy.

I want to do work with the option of going outside, with the option of wearing shorts, with the option of blasting music as loud as I want to.

This is motivation. This is what I want to run toward, and leave the office life behind. This is where I want to steer my life, toward sunlight and freedom and the terrible arbitrary choices that we must make in the world when we aren’t beholden to a cultural superstructure.

Those days remind me how much I don’t get out of these days. I am capable of more and I will do more.

We’ve all heard that story a million times, but the good thing about stories is that they never run out and everybody’s got one.


*I really shouldn’t quote Eminem in the current year but sometimes I can’t help myself.

To get what you want, you have to do the opposite

It is completely counterintuitive, yes.

Whether it’s because life is actually a series of paradoxes, or if it’s because we live in upside-down world, it is true that in order to get something that you truly want, you have to do the exact opposite for a period of time.

That probably doesn’t make any sense, so here are some examples.

Digestive problems: to eventually be able to eat whatever I wanted, for now, I have to eat only what is approved.

Dating/marriage: if I eventually want to have a relationship with a man in which I have no inhibitions, for now, I have to create strict boundaries.

Health: if I eventually want good health to the point where I don’t have to think about it, for now, I have to think about it all the time.

Time/work: if I eventually want to have the freedom to do whatever I want with my days, for now, I have to be extremely strict with my time.

Let me break it down even more. Take the time/work example, which I’ve been contemplating a lot recently.

In the future, I will work for myself. I will have a business that runs primarily online that does not depend on a 1:1 time expenditure on my part. Yes, that means that I will have things to tend to for my business each day, but it also means that I can choose when, where, and in what capacity I do those things. Because I will build a business that revolves around things that I already like and want to do, the phrase “freedom to do whatever I want” automatically includes doing the work.

Obviously “whatever I want” is subject to God’s law, and natural law, and US law, but it’s not subject to an employer’s rules and my boss’s expectations and the consequences of having to survive in a highly political environment.

Fun fact: my major criteria for an ideal working environment are: 1. I can wear shorts, 2. an entire wall of speakers so I can blast music as loud as I like, and 3. lots of light.

None of those things could exist at my current workplace. Maybe the light, but I have about 0% control over the location of my office.

However, none of this will happen by itself.

I cannot simply quit my day job now and expect to be able to support myself off the internet with no prior preparation. I could probably support myself off the internet if necessary, but certainly not in the “what I want to do” category.

To get to that point, where I work for myself, I need to build my skills and knowledge on the side, during my non-employed time. This means, that if I also want to eat and tend to my relationships and relax, I need to be disciplined about how I spend my time.

There are a finite number of useable hours in a day, and if I want to accomplish something more than the 9-5 grind, I have to use them to my advantage.

I could do what I want to do now, and pretend that I have the ability to do whatever I want whenever I want. That might make me happy for a time, but then my employer would start getting irritated at me leaving the office to work out every day at 11:30 am, or my taking naps every afternoon.

After a while, I’d probably be unemployed.

Then, if I kept doing whatever my immediate desires told me to do, I wouldn’t have a job and I wouldn’t be building any online business infrastructure. I’d be watching YouTube videos and eating pork rinds.

To get where I truly want to go, I have to do the opposite of my impulsive desires, of my ingrained habits, of the actions that I’ve done so far in the past to get myself to this point.

For the future, I cultivate in myself actions and habits that align with my long-term goals.

I believe that is what they call “discipline.”

It is basically wanting what is truly good for us instead of what is expediently and easily fun.

Winning that battle is just as much mental readjustments as it is physical habits.

(Trust me on this one: it took me YEARS to learn in the food arena. As of a few years ago the pastry case in Starbucks no longer registers in my brain as food. That’s a huge shift.)

This is all totally possible, too. I’ve done it before, in the arena of health. Did I ever think I would realign my life to live the most anti-bacterial lifestyle that I could? No, of course not! But I did, and by doing the opposite of what I wanted to do, I no longer have to think about it as much. Partly, this is because I have some new habits that are ingrained in me, and partly because the problem isn’t nearly as big. And hopefully it’ll be even less big after the surgery next month.

Anyway, what I’m trying to say is, the road to whatever you truly want is probably its exact opposite.

Don’t fight it, just start walking the path.

Player ME has entered the game

In my old job, I worked for the boss.

Wait, let me back up. Of course I worked for my boss.

But my boss was the one who had the final say, the one that everyone else had to bend around. THE BOSS.

And I knew that my boss backed me up 100%. Within reason, of course, but my boss wouldn’t throw me under the bus.

With this convenient arrangement, I could throw myself into the fray of academic politics without much regard for my safety. I had no political designs myself (although my boss may have), and merely had to position myself and my projects in such a way that I could get the rest of my faculty stakeholders on board.

I didn’t have to worry about myself.


In this new job, though, I don’t work for the boss anymore.

My boss is just another face in a long line of middle managers (they don’t call them that in my industry, but that’s what they are).

Maybe he has the ear of certain people, but those people can make whatever decisions they want.

Those people don’t have my back. It remains to be seen if my own boss has my back.

(I’m not going to count on it.)

As I settle into this position and start to take on more responsibility–and talk to new people–it’s becoming clear that the political landscape is a bit more vicious. The pieces are out on the board, and they’ve already drawn blood. (Bit of a mixed metaphor, but it works to describe the slow-moving bloodsport that is academic politics.)

This time, I can’t enjoy my protected little vantage point and focus on getting things done..

This time, I have to play for myself.

The reality of this situation finally hit home this afternoon. I’m no longer a politically neutral entity that operates more or less in tandem with my boss-like entity.

If I am going to be effective, it is imperative that I acquire a reputation and political capital (is that what they’re calling it these days?) on my own. It must be as separate from my boss as I can make it.

Which will be a challenge, since he’s a micromanager.

I now have skin in the game.


Today is a day when I tend to self-reflect, so I’m diving back into my Future Authoring account.

I’m sad that there isn’t a date on it, because I would have LOVED to have known when I wrote this, but I think it was sometime in the summer of 2017. About six months ago, actually.

In six months, I want to be out of [my old job]. No more. This place is a shithole. In two years, I want to be making enough online that I could be considering cutting the cord and supporting myself only on my earnings. In five years, i want to have a comfortable routine writing and editing and publishing books

This makes me laugh (both in the “it’s funny” way and the “tell for cognitive dissonance” way), and I’m so very glad that I opened this back up at this moment in time.

First, the shithole comment. I love synchronicity like that. Sometimes I wonder if I wait too long to do a thing, but then when I do do the thing, it will reference something that I just learned about which would have been completely lost on me had I done the thing earlier. I can never figure out if it’s confirmation bias or if it’s evidence that I have a guardian angel or something. The prominence of the word shithole in my self-assessment and in the media today indicates, to me, that I’m still somehow on the right track.

Second, my five-year vision/goal/whatever scares the spit out of me. Which is funny, considering that the six-month goal is already accomplished and I didn’t even realize I was doing it. Looking back on what I wrote, it all rings true, but I don’t remember writing it. I never once thought about my FutureAuthoring profile as I interviewed for the job and moved to a completely different state. Not once.

Yet I accomplished my goal. And it was easier–once the time was right–than I thought it would be.

It astonishes me how much we can accomplish when we work toward something, even if that something is completely unconscious. When I quit my autoimmune medications, I never consciously made a decision to quit. I just started acting as if I had quit, with the option to reschedule my next infusion if we got to that point.

(Spoiler: we never got to that point.)

You have to do the work, there’s no getting around that, but if you do the work eventually you will look up and you’ll be out of the swamp into the mountains.

This is way too much fun

Cross stitch + data visualizations. They go together like steak and a ripping hot cast-iron pan.

Counted cross stitch requires intense scrutiny of detail, much like attending to a dataset*. You might as well combine the two!

After my Bitcoin debut–which I need to frame–I decided to tackle something a little more personal.

This one is a map of my income over the past several years vs doses of a super-high-powered drug that I thought I’d be dependent on forever.

I thought I would per permanently scraping-dry poor, tethered to corporate-level health insurance, at the mercy of the modern medical system.

Thank GOD that by small steps I managed to escape most of it.

I have corporate-level health insurance by nature of working with a huge employer, but I’m not dependent on it anymore. If I lost my job tomorrow…whatever.

Anyway, I wanted to make a motivational chart to remind myself that I have done not one but TWO things I previously thought were impossible.

I did it before. I can do it again.

This one is a work in progress, as I got a little overexcited with the x-axis and need to redo the end of it.

I’d start another, but I need to make a supply run for more aida cloth.

*I say this like I’m some sort of data expert. I’m not. But I’d like to learn more about statistics.

MAGA or ‘zines, amirite?

It’s funny, in that #NOCOINCIDENCES kind of way, how conspiracy theories from different parts of the internet are starting to collide.

From the Chans, there’s all the evidence of a child trafficking and money laundering ring based out of Haiti.

From the Hollywood blind item camp, there are the rumors that all your favorite celebrities are involved in shady business, everything from snorting coke to murder with a stop through for…wait for it…child trafficking and money laundering rings that just happen to run through Haiti.

Think they might have something to do with each other?

I remember sometime in the last 18 months, I forget when exactly, when yet another story broke about Human Abedin and Anthony Wiener. There was a video circulating on Twitter of somebody shouting uncomfortable questions as she ducked into a townhouse. The person holding the door for her was Anna Wintour.

It’s always been obvious that Anna Wintour is a shill for the democrats, especially democrats named Hillary Clinton. Stories about Hillary abound in Vogue-related publications (she’s on the cover of a special issue of Teen Vogue at the moment), and

(Fun fact: before she was picked for McCain’s running mate, I first heard of Sarah Palin through a story in Vogue on women politicians, and couldn’t believe my eyes that a republican governor had been featured in a mildly positive light.)

Magazines, especially fashion magazines, have always been problematic. The promote celebrity culture and degeneracy. They foster shallow thinking. Their advertiser/funding model has turned them into catalogs for product rather than being a trusted filter for products.

I didn’t realize until recently, when I fell back into the blind-item timesink, that tabloids are basically another arm of PR for celebrities. People is the New York Times of the theater that is celebrity personal life.

You know what that makes all those “high end” magazines that put celebrities on their covers?


I feel so dumb for taking this long to figure it out. It’s long been known that celebrities end up on magazine covers when they have something to promote, but I never connected the dots that what they have to say in those articles is promoting an agenda (mostly their own image and fame) just as much as its promoting their product.

Some of them are sincere, I’m sure. Others, not so much. The craft a public image that fits some sort of narrative, and then do despicable things behind the scenes.

At this point, with the amount of people that “knew” about people like Wienstein and Lauer and who did absolutely nothing about it for years, I have a hard time believing that someone like Anna Wintour knows nothing, who is close enough with Human Abedin that Huma appeared hiding from the media at her house.

I banned myself from buying magazines on the regular sometime around 2012. They weren’t providing enough ROI in my life.

I’m glad I did, though, because I don’t want to support the type of people who lie (excuse me, “do PR”) and provide cover for the horrible people of this world.

I still read some fashion blogs–I like the content. As much as I pretend I’m not sometimes, I’m still a girl who likes reading about girly things and who likes to fantasize about impractical fashion from time to time.

We need a ladies’ magazine for the MAGA agenda.

Unexpected gains

You know how awesome it feels to find a$20 bill randomly in the pocket of a jacket?

Or the rush of endorphins in your head when you remember, again, that Donald J Trump is in fact the President of the United States of America?

Earlier today I had one of those moments: my income is now more than double what I made five years ago.

Funny what is factually true but you don’t really appreciate until you’re doing a mental rundown of your budget.

One paycheck now was my entire month’s budget then.

Back then, it was hard to fathom the possibility of making more money.

But what gets me is what the money has to say about my ambitions and abilities and how quickly I’ve risen in an industry that does not allow for bonuses or commissions.

Looking back, I’ve worked hard and made the best of my circumstances and I’m ridiculously more ambitious than I ever thought.

It’s nice to not have to worry about money anymore.

It’s even nicer to think about how far I’ve come. I can look back, and see a track record of (mostly) success.

I don’t have to bluff or pretend or fake it until I make it.

I’ve by no means made it, but now I’m extra motivated to absolutely kill it.


What has boosted your confidence lately?

Last New Year’s reflexion post of 2018 (for now)

I go a little overboard at New Year’s, reflecting and planning and all that. Because so many changes happened in my life (and the world) this year, I think my need to reflect went into overdrive.

This year I started extra early, back in November.

Here’s a note from my bullet journal:

On a micro scale, 2017 was…not great.

On a macro scale, it has been AMAZING. Trump, carnivory, new job, moving, etc.

2018: year of micro?

In my years of working, I’ve come to realize that the most useful vantage points are either on the ground, the front-lines staff who works directly with the data or the people or digging in the dirt–where you have an opportunity to make decisions on a personal and behavior level and impact the world in that way– or high up, the decision-bearing leadership who has responsibility and a clear view of the landscape–where you have the opportunity to craft a coherent strategy.

In other words, strategy and tactics.

But in a bureaucracy, there are a lot of other layers in between. Those tend to get muddy and lost and don’t add much value. The top and the bottom are where things get done. (Ideally. I realize politics is like fifty shades of grey.)

Looking at my micro/macro observations through this lens, it’s clear that 2017 positioned me in a different place strategically. I’m in a different town with a different job and a different way of eating with better health. That’s great.

What I didn’t do in 2017 was a lot of the projects that I had planned. Writing a novel. Working on art. Learning something new and useful. Making new friends. Improving my style. Focusing on fitness.

My macro changed, but my micro didn’t.

However, now that my macro is better, I feel like I can focus more on the micro.

Not the grand, sweeping decisions, but the small moments of my life, the things I do to propel myself through my day.

I’m trying to focus on the incredible gift it is to have the consciousness to be able to plan strategically, but the blessing to be only in one moment of time at once. Focus my consciousness on the task at hand.

(She writes as she pulls up a YouTube video in the background. SAD!) (I put it away.)

Habits, actions, and the doing of it. That’s what 2018 is going to be about–and has been so far.

I’ll check back at the end of March–my first self-imposed deadline.



The sweet feeling of being tired

You know that tired feeling you get after binge-watching a show all day?

It feels hollow–unearned–because at the back of your mind you know you didn’t do anything to deserve it.

On days like this, I almost feel disgusted with myself. I’m tired, because I want to sleep, because I want a reset.

Contrast that with the tired feeling born of a long day of work.

The right kind of tired.

Your body is tired. Your brain is tired. Sleep pulls at you–but in a satisfying, tantalizing way.

Nothing like a good night’s sleep after a job well done.

Like “hunger is the best sauce,” a productive day makes any bed more comfy.

Older posts

© 2018 Batfort

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑