Eternal Recurrence of the Habit Former’s Soul


A few days ago I was bemoaning my lack of social connections in this city. I am, or used to be, a very social person, and I miss having a solid community after a few years of hopping around from place to place. Now that I’m in a city I love, it’s just not happening.

This wasn’t a normal frustration based simply on not having friends. It was about feeling behaviorally undercut - that I couldn’t develop those connections because I had so many other things to work on that should have been taken care of already.

Then I had a weird sense of deja vu, a sensation I’ve been experiencing more and more during the course of this project - I had felt that particular set of emotions before. When I was in Brazil, slowly and painfully developing my recording habit, I bemoaned the fact that working out and trying to get in shape just wasn’t happening.

Since summer has officially begun in Barcelona and the siren call of the outdoors is singing loudly to me, I recently bemoaned why I can’t already just be an outdoor person. I’ve sensed that feeling  - the undercutting - when waking up late, feeling rushed, and knowing that I should have already become a morning person. It’s a weird sense of guilt of not already doing something, like when I feel like I’m not being enough of a traveler here in Europe. I’m working on things, I know, but the guilt wells up when I see people coming for a week and really soaking up the culture in a way I’m not ready to do yet.

But when I set that feeling aside and work on nailing the small behaviors I get somewhere. When I run around from one pull to the next I make absolutely no progress.

Suddenly I felt really happy - I’m nailing my eating, which I bemoaned before. I’m nailing working out, which I also bemoaned before. I have no doubt I will get around to mastering the shift to becoming a morning person, and outdoors person, and eventually a social person again. 

But this time around, I will bring all my other habits to socializing - it won’t be staying up late nights, or eating whatever, and having friends with whoever happens to be nearby just because it’s convenient. It will be me becoming the specific type of social person I want to be. 

That’s a place I’ve never been before.

photocred: Stairwell by mark, chess pawn by Ahd Photography