In this episode Nicolas reviews their psychological history with a working Bipolar diagnosis and Autism Spectrum diagnosis (high functioning pre-DSM V Asperger’s Syndrome) and the highlights of their physical health history and how that impacts their path to wellness today. It’s going to take a lot to move those boulders in the road! But never give up. Keep trying
Nicnacjak Podcast: Is this Midlife?
Nicolas starts out Season 15 of The Nicnacjak Podcast noting the early physical symptoms of middle age despite being over 2 and a half years from the theoretical mid life point and trying to get their head around the concept. Nicolas notes their recent efforts at life improvement and a perceived lack of progress but reports being reasonably prepared for this phase of life given their current circumstances. They outline their hopes and ambitions for the “other side of the hill” noting the difficulty in trying to attain financial independence, romance, friendships and having enough needs met to comfortably engage in projects of passion designed to leave a legacy.
In The Nicnacjak Podcast Season 14 finale Nicolas reflects on their 15 years in podcasting and broadcasting. An unplanned career move that turned out reasonably well. Still, Nicolas expresses concern about the future of the medium as big tech tries to tighten their grip on content producers like themselves who have enjoyed relative freedom in an increasingly corporately controlled internet environment.
This episode finds Nicolas living in a very confused mixed reality surrounded by technology in an effort to obscure their own vulnerability to shelter issues. Still haunted by their brief experience with being shelterless half a decade ago, Nicolas attempts to process their feelings about the eviction of shelterless camps in Chico and Los Angeles and the limited paths to resolution. While taking the legal approach to challenging these evictions is the most viable it requires a massive amount of funding and is a long term approach. And, in the short term, direct action is unsustainable without mass. And, with a divided and desperate population mass appeal seems hard to come by.
A mistake in switching podcasts hosts has resulted in The Nicnac Podcast and FSRideAlong Podcasts being merged into one feed and Nicolas is seeking feedback on how listeners feel about potentially having one Podcast and Twitter feed again. Additionally, Nicolas got the stimulus and a tax return within a very short timespan. Having consumed “like a good American” Nicolas is now continuing to wrestle with their conscience and ensure their continued survival and comfort.
Recent experience has given Nicolas pause about the way they think about and try to contribute to building communities. Now with a more fully realized understanding of the failings of the democratic process (as traditionally implemented in the Magna Carta, US Constitution and similar documents) Nicolas thinks again of NVC, Consensus and other approaches to arriving at a communal sense of consent to the best extent possible. Nicolas also expresses distress over their continued social challenges and how CBT style interventions have proved not to be effective for them.
Some Truth (as I see it):
Recent times have been very hard on all compassionate sensitive humans.
Democratic Procedure is a crappy way of trying to address our current moment that tries to get at the social issue of consent but utterly fails leading to more divisiveness and resentment…Which, kind of undermines the whole thing…
I want to really delve into The Social Contract that modern demcoratic procedure is based on at some point in a future. For now, though, I think delving into some of the thinking behind The Serenity Prayer might be more useful. It has a decent notion that I’ve found most worthy of consideration in this moment. Quoted as follows:
“Father, give us courage to change what must be altered, serenity to accept what cannot be helped, and the insight to know the one from the other.”
I see the prayer, especially as it was originally written, as a request for wisdom in choosing how to utilize one’s resources. Be that time, money, space for relationships or political engagement. That is a very valid request that I feel we should all be making to whatever or whoever wields the power to grant it. Being agnostic, I’d like to believe that I can put that request out into the universe and that it might matter on some level to someone or something. But, ultimately, for me, I know I am the one that will have to grant that request for myself.
So what do I need the courage to alter? What do I need to realize must be let go? How do I tell? Therapists have been trying to guide me on this for years with no success. I stubbornly believe that despite my unending struggle with it, my connection to others will be my salvation while on Earth. I cannot change this. I don’t want to change this. So, I shall accept it as my Everest.
In this moment, the foothills of my Everest are working with my comrades. Maybe we can’t change the democratic process or capitalism or really work on finding a way to have consent in its truest sense. Only time will tell. But we are comrades because we don’t buy that changing the world for the better is impossible. We aren’t willing to settle for half measures and negotiations. We want better. The struggle for better becomes our source of esteem. Our ideas and visions for better are usually quite principled and well defined. A truly awesome thing relative to many who walk around with vague notions of an eventual betterment that may one day be reached.
But, in having such principled passionate knowledge wrapped up in our esteem we face a real challenge. Namly, others. So how do you hold space to talk, consent and take action? How do you organize. How do you do what every human group on Earth has failed to do thus far?
It starts with talking. Expressing desires. Expressing the limits of your consent. Informing others of your needs. Listening and respecting their needs.
It’s truly herculean. I don’t and have not done it well. I continue to try. Keeping in mind the notion of The Serenity Prayer.
I have a lot to learn. I have a lot of work to do. We have a lot to learn. We have a lot of work to do.
Let’s do it!