Hi all! My name is Evan and I am doing my own Thrive with Less challenge! I know Colin as we are in the same major. Reading the Thrive with Less posts and talking to Colin about it a few times I decided to try and do it myself. I always had a problem with the way we live our lives. One of my biggest pet peeves is when other people are texting while they are with somebody. Because of this I always try and ignore my phone when I am with others. I always will check a message to see if it’s important, if it is nothing urgent I will ignore it. I have noticed that when I began ignoring my phone more and more I pay more attention to people when they are talking to me. I remember everything they say and can bring it up later in conversation. Some people are actually shocked by this because they are amazed that I remember.
My second drop was Facebook. I am/was a Facebook junkie. Always on with my phone and on my computer. I would procrastinate so much, check every few minutes. I have 2 monitors and one would always have FB on it. I deactivated my account on March 11th. It has been amazing. I have gotten so much more work done. My homework is all done early in the day and not late at night right before it is due. It makes me really happy to not always have to worry about what other people are doing. This ties in a lot with the whole phone situation. I want to live in my world and enjoy the people I am with. I found myself really getting into March Madness this year. I used to not like basketball and now I do. I tried something new with all the time I had.
I also bought a notepad and carry a pen/pencil with me at all times now. I try to use my phone for less and less these days. I recommend everybody tries this.
This past week has probably been the most transcendental of the entire month of February. Just one week ago I felt like I had hit rock bottom with this project. I felt alone—isolated—angry—upset—so many emotions but none of them proud or strong or anything else that one should be feeling as a result of such intense life changes.
I should be proud of the changes I have made to my life. I should feel stronger as a result of the effort I have been making in order to produce a documentary worthwhile and moving. I should not be feeling anywhere near where I felt last week when I brought such a personal subject to light last Tuesday.
What I love about these challenges is that they all somehow bring you back to the same place. A place so natural and simple inside your own mind—reconnecting with yourself and the world around you. It seemed like I had been avoiding myself for a very long time, and last week I was reintroduced. It’s hard when you are face-to-face with your demons—when you are trapped inside your own mind and forced to think about things you have pushed away for so long. It is a struggle and sometimes it leads you to a dark place, but in the end you find that silver lining.
You have to let the wound bleed out. Only after all the poison has left can you begin to rebuild yourself.
This project has given me more time on my own to reflect on these dark moments of my life, that I am now dealing with them head-on, and I feel so much stronger than I have in years. I am rediscovering who I am and what I care about.
I have begun to thrive.
This past week I have begun to fill in the voids of my life with things that give me true joy. I have been doing yoga every morning, which is something I had put aside for the last six months. In the last week I have made three visits to some of my best friends whom I had neglected seeing for this entire year, and we have planned a road trip for next month in order to spend quality time together and free ourselves from the miniscule stresses of our every day lives. I have spent more time catching up on my music and have reconnected with my passion for photography. It has felt like such an eventful week, and I’m only getting started. I already feel like I am getting back to my roots, and I’m excited about feeling like.. this.. again.
I’ve always had a strong connection to Bob Dylan—he is an artist I relate to and care about. His transformation as a musician has inspired me and I find myself continually coming back to his music in order to find strength. Bob Dylan’s name derives from his inspiration by Dylan Thomas. There is a poem which I feel both Bob and I can relate to, and I feel it is fitting for the way I am feeling.
Read by a recording of Dylan Thomas, here is “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night.”