Well, it has certainly been a long time since I have last written a blog post, and here’s why: My reality was slowly overcome by the reality of another person, and in that reality I was a self-hating, selfish, obnoxious know-it-all with issues. Now, while this was partially true, I allowed myself and my identity – the part of me that was excited to experience the world and do exciting and amazing things abroad – shrivelled. This blog opening is my attempt to rediscover myself and allow the joy in my heart to blossom once more. In the archives of my previous travel blog, which you can find soon army new website: thelivedexperiment.com, the progression and change of the way I wrote and felt was clear. I arrived at the community The Hill in high spirits and full of love and excitement and readiness to face life, but in later posts all I wrote about was the internal self hatred and nastiness I felt about myself and the idea that I needed to heal something that was wrong with me. It’s clear to me now, looking back, that I was going down-hill (huehuehue). Self hatred was a feeling I had never experienced in the way I did after arriving at the hill, the violence that grew in my heart was new to me, there were so many new and confusing feelings, nasty feelings about myself and the world, and I explained them all as being some hidden or locked up feelings from long ago. Some were, but eventually all that was happening was that I was releasing what had been sent in my direction. I was in a place owned by someone whose dislike for me and whose nastiness, was pervasive. When my intuition told me to leave, I ignored it – or rather, I was told by him that actually, I didn’t want to leave, and that it was just my ego-fear. I don’t know how to interpret what he said anymore. So much of it hurt me and was a lie, but then became true because I believed it, so now saying it’s not true is a lie. So I’m pretty damn confused. I started to feel the nastiness and I thought it was coming from me. It was. But it was coming from the ideas I was being told about me, which wasn’t from me. I was around it so much that it changed the way I thought about who I am – I told myself that before the Hill I was so unhappy, but now – now I knew the true me, and that past me was some kind of secretly unhappy person. How could this have happened? Well, there was a grain of truth in it. I did have a lot of internal pain. Pain that I was dealing with through my meditation. Pain that I avoided, too, because I wasn’t really ready to face it, and pain that I was ready to face. Damn. I was so keen to fit in to this new place, this place of love and fun and hippie-happiness that I ignored the nastiness that was going on. That says something pretty interesting about me I suppose. I was willing to give up who I was just to fit in. Well, now I know. The only reason I’m going to give up on who I think I am is when I choose consciously to do so for the sake of something greater. God or enlightenment or human flourishing or something like that. Not to fit in. Not for any other reason than my own fulfillment – cause who else can I fulfil in this life but me? Nobody. Especially not if I don’t feel content and fulfilled myself.
Anyway, so I’m just going to vent it out, tell you what’s going on with me, as part of my process to develop my ability to be mentally stable and peaceful, and to learn how to be the Josh I used to be, and the Josh I am now, without judgement, just with hope and love and goodness, and to see clearly the negative thought patterns that now plague me. The negative self talk that I don’t know if it just appeared or was there before. The bitterness and resentment, and the truth. I want to see clearly again.
There are a lot of stories to write, and I don’t really know how to do it, but I’m going to be as honest and balanced as possible.
I left the Hill, and I’m really glad that I did. After 10 months there I’ve changed a lot, in a lot of good ways, and also in a lot of bad ways.
I don’t know how to really get it all out, but here goes: ahh damn it. Ding flab it. I’m a silly boy. Ahh well.
Writing all of this, I feel a sense of unease, like I’m breaking the rules. Or like I’m confused by even thinking about that time. But I can’t be hurt like I was, and I’m taking responsibility by sharing my experience to the world without shame or fear. Geez it was like I was caught in Scientology. I don’t know if you know about their psychological manipulation process they use to get people sucked in, but it’s basically using the truth to implant lies in someone’s mind, false beliefs, and then those beliefs start manifesting within a person. That’s what went down between me and the guy who owns the Hill. And I feel like a dumb idiot about the whole thing haha. It was fucked up, to be honest. I was abused and I’m still confused about whether or not I was abused because it was so subtle and confusing. I just wanted peace and happiness and fuck was I hurt badly instead. I still feel pretty strongly like it’s my fault, too. The most confusing part was how much awesome and lovely stuff happened there. Like, being there helped me get over so many fears and so much past trauma and I made so many lovely friends. It gave me the space to meditate and pray and go silent and everything. The mental manipulation part was one aspect, but one aspect that really took me over. I think somewhere deep down he knew that what he was doing and saying actually was hurting him and the people he tried to “help”. Sometimes he was a totally normal guy, and other times he was actually crazy. Like one time some of his special rum was missing and he told everyone that we had to leave that night if we didn’t find out who it was, and we were all anxious all day about it, he was really angry, and then that night he shared the rum with everyone super happily. Another time I was helping this girl set some hammocks up around her tent and he saw me and said something in a nasty way as though I was intruding on this girl who had asked me to help her and walked away all angry, and I was upset and confused but also felt a bit smug. It was like he thought I forced my way into people’s lives and they didn’t want me there – which might have been because he actually didn’t want me there. He apologized for it, though. Another time he slapped me in the face and told me to “wake up” and he was either totally delusional or actually in some state of deep wakefulness but I don’t know which. Other times he was just nasty to me and never apologised. One-time I was really lonely and feeling down and needed some love, and was telling people after dinner and I was crying and pretty upset and he told me I was a liar and I told him to fuck off and he said no, and said some other stuff until not only I felt alone but also pretty worthless and there was like 12 people there and nobody stood up for me because it all seemed so normal. That’s what I mean by crazy. The environment was super confusing. I repeat: ah well, sometimes life kicks you in the balls, all I can do is try be honest with myself and move on up. I’m only 23, after all.
I went to him for advice a lot. And the advice he gave was inconsistent and confusing. I think he’s living in quite a bit of confusion and it rubbed off on me, a lot. I never really directly challenged what he said, but that was because when I did I just got a brick wall. Literally “I’m not playing with you anymore.” When he didn’t like my Jiu jitsu style he told me he wouldn’t play with me anymore. When he didn’t like the fact that I gave up on chess when I was a couple of moves from losing, he called me out. When I cried in the community space because he told me to be honest with how I felt, he said I shouldn’t do that because it takes from other people. And then another day he was really kind and made me a cup of tea before I got up for breakfast, which actually touched my heart. Look man, one minute you tell me to be who I am or be “real” as though some part of me was fake, and the next you tell me off for being me. Totally inconsistent, like every day he switched between kind and loving and wanting to help, and telling me how everything I was doing was wrong, and telling me in a really angry and nasty way. Or just totally ignoring me, which was kind of a rough time for me. Fucking hell I got tired of it. And I had no idea that the ideals I had built up for myself, like my grit, my determination, and my ability to give up when the moment was right instead of wasting energy doing something useless, my hope, my honesty etc. was totally being knocked down. And I let it be knocked down because… well because I looked up to him. I looked up to someone who said he had something worth looking up to – or who said he did. Self love. Self love that he kept telling me he had but rarely acted like it. “I don’t have the energy for you, Josh” he would say “I do things mostly out of love, you do out of fear”. Perhaps he was confused about self love actually not meaning narcissism and egoism. I believed what he said and not what he did, like the fool I am. But we are all fools in this life in one way or another, I’ve just learned how to submit when people have tantrums (or not) as well as be a fool. I’m not saying this is who he is, but this is how he acted towards me, and it was pretty damn horrible. And I feel over it. Totally over it. Being reconditioned by someone else is not this chap’s game. Nopity nope nope. I’m into knowledge and religion and philosophy and Adventure and self help! And challenging myself and living life with pizazz and kindness and all of that. He was a smart guy, very strategic in the way he thought, and I get why he didn’t like me, when I first arrived I put on this veil of being bubbly and happy when really I was just anxious to fit in and people could feel it. But I mean… Still. That doesn’t mean it’s not messed up to offer people to live on your property for free for as long as they want, but also only of they live according to your exact personal rules. I have a suspicion that I wasn’t the first to experience this kind of stuff from this guy, but I was the one who hung around the longest – excluding his girlfriend. Anyway, that’s all in the past and each day I feel more and more pumped about this life that I have. I realised that forgiveness is important, so I’ve been forgiving myself and him whenever I can, and trying to send good vibes their way cause of the whole ~love your enemy~ Jesus life recommendations. Love them without “casting your pearls before swine” which is another Jesus thing that I think means don’t give up your valuables (like life purpose and ideals) to people who are just going to treat them like dirt. Not that this guy is swine, he’s a fully fledged human being with at least 1/2 of his heart still in tact. But you know. Jesus. Metaphors. It’s a thing.
I’ve found that recently there are points when I don’t like listening to podcasts, or learning, or really interacting with people much, or adventures, or challenging myself, or coming up with amazing future ideals. My mood is changing constantly and rapidly, feeling anxious and upset and everything. I’ve noticed the changes in my writing style – much more emotional. I feel pretty depressed a lot too, but also I’m kind of happy about it. Like. De-pressed. I’m not being squished up the way I was and so now I’m kind of like a deflated beach-ball trying to figure out how to blow myself up. It’s like these emotions are just some find of motions going on inside my body, so why let them control my mood and what I do? Well.
Whoever is reading this. Thanks. I’m going to try go on some more adventures and challenge myself and be kind and nice regardless of how I feel or think. These negative things matter less than just living a real life. And real life here I come! I feel blessed to have so much time to keep adventuring and living a real and good life. Also, keep posted for some pretty hectic stories. I’ve got a lot to share!
Josh-man, returning from hiatus.