Narrowing down my interests

I am no longer certain of what it is I should be doing. I have wide ranging interests, but a deep dissatisfaction with my present mastery (or complete lack of skill) in many many disciplines.

Ironically, the disciplines in which I am most adept (such as graphic design or marketing) are more of a means to an end, then an end unto themselves.

What is that end? What is it that I truly wish to pursue?

I want to grow my youtube channel, in fact, I started one, in secret. It was terrible, it focused on the arts, or at least, on the random things I create, but was very broad.

I have to really question whether documenting (vlogging) my hobbies and drawing practices really mean anything. Whether anyone really cared for that.

I don’t think they do.

When creating something, we need to ask whether that product serves a purpose. Whether my content serves anyone.

I was also nervous talking to the mic, being nervous when talking is uncharacteristic of me. Yet I was nervous nonetheless.

Regardless, I felt I needed to return to the drawing board and figure out what it was that I really wanted to do, and why.

Here are my interests. I need to cut some of these off as mere hobbies (because that’s what it is when you can’t muster the discipline to do them everyday), and which ones are what I really want to do. The things I actually need to make happen.

  • Humanities (Religion, Philosophy, History)
  • The Visual Arts (Drawing, Painting, Sculpting)
  • Board Game Design
  • Writing
  • Graphic Design
  • Marketing & Advertising
  • Business
  • Dancing
  • Music
  • Film Studies and Literature
  • Education
  • Politics
  • Science.

Right away, we cut away the things I don’t actually know enough or would ever know enough to be able to master. Those would probably be hobbies at best. So that list now look something like:

  • Humanities (Religion, Philosophy, History)
  • The Visual Arts (Drawing, Painting, Sculpting)
  • Board Game Design
  • Writing
  • Graphic Design
  • Marketing & Advertising
  • Business
  • Education

That’s still not good enough. Or rather at this point, I need to ask myself what I can combine together to make them into a single field I can practice with. I realized that Graphic Design, Marketing & Advertising, Business, and Education are all byproducts of the jobs I do, or supports for my own personal goals and projects. There’s no need to “master” them, until they become relevant to what it is I’m doing.

So now we’re left with the four things I probably truly want to do.

  • Humanities (Religion, Philosophy, History)
  • The Visual Arts (Drawing, Painting, Sculpting)
  • Board Game Design
  • Writing

But it is wise to focus on only one thing. So how do I make all of this relevant and practicable at the same time? And if not done together, what is it that is holding me back right now on each of these fields?

Humanities = I am always learning new things, through podcasts, books, other people, and personal spiritual cultivation.

Visual Arts = I am always learning about this. But I need to practice more, on a daily basis. Right now, I am trying to figure out anatomy. And I hope to get better at sculpting because of it, and making better art, fan-art, and even webcomics.

Boardgame Design = I am always working on one prototype or another. But I need to finish, instead of always second guessing myself.

Writing = I need to write everyday. I need to, as Seth Godin says, ship something everyday. Make something happen everyday. So this blog, I will try to post a blog post every single day, just as Seth Godin does. Now to be clear, I also write a lot on facebook and Discord. Perhaps I need cut down on what I write in those spaces, and focus on writing here on my blog. Perhaps I should consider whether I should migrate to Medium or some other platform to better serve my needs.

And of course, this hasn’t really helped me figure out what to do about my Youtube Channel. Perhaps I can combine my passion for the humanities with my art and storytelling. God knows it’s already part of my writing. Maybe it can become part of my boardgame designs too.

I need to think about it. But before I even know what I want to do, I need to start doing it. Start before you’re ready. Because you’ll never be ready. I am never ready, I never will be. So I just start.

Contrarian Connoisseur

Progress is paved by roads of rage,
progress is paved by spiteful hate.
I’ve been accosted by racists and felt not a thing.
I’ve been gently spoken to by kin and felt only rage.
I hate this, I hate that. I hate everything.
Above all, I hate having no agency,
Paradoxically I am ruled by regency
— a committee of emotions, voting twice.
Vetoed by hate and vice.
I am a rebel without a cause, truly without a cause,
A contrarian connoisseur masked by consistent faith.
Don’t tell me what to do, because I am tempted,
to do the opposite— why? What for?
Because I can.
Transgressions can destroy rigid social norms.
Worth destroying, these sick diseased norms.
Such noble causes are not for me,
for I am driven by contrarian changeling glee.
Yet, I am fed by backwards folks.
I am fed by tyranny and contradictions.
I love and hate, all these things.

Yet in the storm, I see clarity.
I see all things reflected clearly.
Self-reflection comes late you see,
for twenty-four hours you must wait,
before I deign to negotiate
— pending votes by the committee, of course.

©Justin C. Hsu