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Love Language

Total Read Time: 6 Minutes

“I thought they were another Buzzfeed quiz. You know? Those clickbait type quizzes to learn what kind of Pokémon you are?”


Don’t touch

See yourself in your Lover’s eyes
Painted holy and still tacky

Who am I then?

A museum piece
Preserved in a state of fallacy
For you’ll never again be
Who you were a minute ago

What if I stay really still?

And dry?
No, I’m Andrey.

I’ve been cleaning my suit of armor
Thinking with every passing day
How safe am I?

If I stare at this chest plate
Do I look away, Like I do reflections elsewhere?

Do I give this one another coat of polish?
Or
Languish and pray I never have to wear it.

-A


Welcome

I’ve been doing a lot of reading lately.
Mostly introspective type philosophy, designed to bring forward a self actualizing being out of me.

It appears both kinds of fiction are capable of reaching deeper.

Mostly, I rely on these readings to habituate writing for me.
Like surrounding myself with instruments to promote music.

I want to share two moments of inspiration with you

The first is a story from Richard Power’s, The Overstory.

This is my summary:

A man commits himself to a Stanford prison experiment to earn $15 day because he had nothing better to do with 14 days.

He realizes purposelessness when he doesn’t give his blanket to save a man in solitary confinement.

He sends his previous selfishness aside by chasing purpose in Vietnam, where he loads carpet bombs and clears forests of life.

When he falls out of a shot plane, he is saved by a tree’s lush foliage and leaves the war.

He tends to horses and reads them Nietzsche through the winter, burning pages as he reads them.

When winter is over he digs up his savings and leaves Idaho, toward Oregon.

On the way he realizes how barren the forests are becoming thanks to loggers.

He commits the rest of this story to planting Douglass fir seeds in the ground by hand.

Reapplying a symbolic blanket to the earth.


When the purpose for which you act expands, as in the desired audience grows unfathomable, the act you do becomes more finite and yet incalculable. As simple as planting seeds. As infinite as the amount of seeds it takes to grow a national forest.

This thought process has helped me become a more disciplined writer.

Expand your desired audience

Simplify your daily ritual

Replicate until the end of time


The second piece I’d like to share with you is a quote shared with me by a dear friend.

“Don’t forget to practice your love language on yourself.”

Gary Chapman

5 Love Languages

Words of affirmation
Quality time
Gifts
Physical touch
Acts of service

Feel free to take the quiz and patronize Chapman for his fine work.
My lack of references are not out of disrespect.
I believe they would take away more than they provide here.

The point here, is we are all innately predisposed to be skilled in giving and receiving a unique combination of these languages.

What I’ve found is, most of the time they are different.

For example, I am least receptive to acts of service.
However I am very good at performing said acts.

They can change over time,
They sure have for me,
or maybe I’ve become more honest with myself.

Self examination

This part is quite interesting.

BUT

You have to be honest.

I’m sure you’ve already given some thought to which of the languages you’re great at; I do mean innately.

Now take a moment to think about which one (or two, but no more than two) you are uniquely horrible at doing

For Yourself

I consistently find it easy to perform acts of service and give myself gifts.

Physical touch is a much more serious topic that I aim to one day cover at length.
To summarize staunchly, I adamantly believe physical touch is a love language that solely deserves to be shared.

However, words of affirmation and quality time have always been a struggle for me.

I think it’s a self esteem thing, saying kind things to myself.

I don’t think the quality time is a loneliness issue, although that is how I’ve framed it for myself in the past.

For me, both of the love languages are a struggle born out of fear.

Recently, the best gift I’ve given myself is alone time and words of affirmation. It’s meditative and honest, creating a ripple effect of confidence throughout the week.

Fear is more present than I’ve ever believed.
And facing that fear by being alone with myself, listening to all the negativity, and realizing it’s all bullshit has been a beautiful shedding of armor.

I feel most things have to come naturally to someone.
So I can’t just say, you need to follow your fears and all of your questions will be answered.

I do think you can follow your fears and you’ll learn they’re not so bad.
You’ll learn you’re not alone.
You really find your true self down there.
I picked myself up down there.

Before you call me a stoic, I do think there’s validity in the cold shower. You can teach yourself, by exposing yourself to homelessness that it would be okay to take the big investment risk and have to shower in a puddle.

While it didn’t get quite as extreme for me as sleeping under the Fullerton bridge, it was as scary for me to make no plans with anyone and sit at home alone.

And yes, it was as simple as giving myself a pat on the back when no one was around to see.



For questions, and so I don’t feel so alone…

Email
(Yes, I respond and read every one)
Andrey@andreystarostin.com

Instagram
a.o.starostin

Thank you for reading this far.
You mean the world to me.
I write for you.

How to Put On Socks Pain Free: Microwave Edition

Total Read Time: 4 Minutes

LIFE HAPPENS. YOU GET FAT. What now?

I’ve been there…
I realized something 35lbs ago, in 2014: Feeling unhealthy sucks.

I woke up while I was getting ready for work. My eyes were opened at the same time as the nerves in my back squealed, “HELP” I would have said it myself if I wasn’t holding my breath on the left sock.

I got fat.

No one knows it’s happening until it’s too late. I got fat. Nothing like a pair of socks to put the fear of God into a man first thing in the morning.

I’m not here to sell you a workout tape for the same reason You’re not here to do sit-ups. I want You to smile every time you put on your socks. Just like I do.


Step One: Break up with your Microwave

You’d be amazed how little of a limitation the microwave is, once you stop buying microwave purposed food. Processed, par-cooked food is not always bad for you, but forcing yourself to use your stove top will reconnect you to your food. 

The point here is to get you thinking about what you’re eating. All while making it harder to eat the foods that are admittedly too accessible right now. 

Yes, cook your own food. Besides, Restaurants are expensive. Your 401K is hungrier than you are, I guarantee it. 

I heard great advice early in my cooking education: “If you’re going to eat anything you want, make it yourself, from scratch.”

You heard that correctly. Cut your own potatoes for French fries. Mould your own burger. Bake your own pizza. Carbonate your own soft drinks. I’m serious, I brewed my own beer. 🍻

Odds are, you won’t be putting in the unpronounceable preservatives into your meals that you see in pre-made microwave meals.   

Also, don’t take this too seriously… everyone inherently knows what’s good for them. There’s a reason ripe fruit looks and smells so damn good. Dark leafy greens are the epitome of healthy to me; especially the veiny ones. 

Step Two: Sweat Purposefully

Forget the word exercise. This isn’t about getting jacked. This is about waking up feeling good as hell and putting on socks without pain. 

Sweat does not mean run, it does not imply gym, and it does not equal pain.

Stay within your skill level and don’t get overzealous. Play. You should feel great. Throw a frisbee. Go for a bike ride. Move your body. 

Step Three: Set Stakes 

Put money down, whatever amount means something to you, that you will lose if you do not reach your reasonable goal. You’d be surprised how much motivation you have when some money is on the line. 

For me, what works better is a Kantian enlightenment I had. (See favorite quotes) I repeated a process of letting myself down.

I realized it’s easier to get over my laziness than getting over a depressive guilt streak. 

Let’s emphasize reasonable: make sure your goal is not impossible nor too easy. Start small, stay consistent. 

Step Four: Most Important Step: Reward

You did it you beautiful human, now give yourself a reward. 

Set this celebration up on your calendar 

A week in a row of sweating and eating well

Make the reward worth it

Salmon works really well for me. It’s just luxurious enough that I don’t get to eat it every day. So after an agreed upon consistency in sweating,

“…winner winner salmon dinner.” 

If you spend all week eating like a pig, but only had one good day, you’ll still feel like a pig. Same goes for the reward.

Don’t feel guilty if your reward takes you to a Chinese buffet. It’s your cake. Make it worth it. Stay on task all week, pig out one day, you’ll still feel great. 

Step five: start today, start right now

What are you waiting for? 

Email
(Yes, I respond and read every one)
Andrey@andreystarostin.com

Instagram
a.o.starostin