Risk Avoidance and Novelty
March 24, 2022
Today I was inside way longer than I wanted to be, alternating between despair and disgust and arousal, and by the time I got outside, during afternoon rush hour when the world turns to shit, I realized I was exhausted and went back to my bed to sleep.
I've been playing Apex tonight, like usual, and debating on going running or not even though it's nighttime and I feel like I screwed up and lost my day. Giving myself all these reasons not to and reasons I should. I had a kind of jarring realization, though, when it occurred to me that I don't have to know. Like I can go out, get in my car, get to the track, realize I don't really feel up to it, and turn around. This opposes how I typically think about choices. I normally think I have to make the right decision and have a lot of agonizing over "what if" it's not cool or I don't feel like it or it's too cold or what if I'm too tired and by the time I get there I realize how tired I am and what if i just end up being depressed anyway. Which has to contribute to a feeling of paralysis and being trapped. As it stands right now, I'm going to the track. I didn't want to write about it because that could delay it and make me decide not to, but I want to document the process, and also be able to refer to it in case I forget how to do think like that.
Sometimes I do really well in Apex and then wonder why the skill seems gone, why I do poorly for months. At first, when I started, I just tried brute force, not really trying to change anything or analyze habits, just doing it whenever I had free time, figuring you have to improve if you just do it a lot. But I've changed that a bit.
I recently realized I have trouble aiming because I have difficulty with fine motor control and need to learn some exercises, and when I employed those exercises, I realized that my hands being cold or barely used factors in when my nerves spike and heart's racing. I didn't necessarily need very lengthy exercises, just to keep my hands warmed and movable. Then I realized if I practice looking at the reticle instead of around it, I am able to actually see what I'm shooting at. I think I naturally look away from what I'm overwhelmed by, but staring at the reticle gives me a point on which to focus as opposed to looking around the entire environment and not knowing what matters the most, and gives me better aim when I'm looking for the moment when the target and reticle line up rather than looking around and at the target, ignoring the reticle, and not really processing when the two align. Today I realized I wasn't looking at the reticle and then realized I wasn't checking my hands. I just forget the things that help, basic things I forget for years. I also think that there's a placebo effect to novelty: if I try something new and it seems to change everything and makes everything better, part of that is that the novelty reengages me with the process rather engaging passively. So, while I was changing my reticle color to be more attention-grabbing, I figured that changing it regularly to less vibrant colors could also work because the color change would make me hone in on it if I begin to see the color passively.
It's late and I can feel the doubt climbing over me so I'm going to try to move before I can completely decide whether it's the optimal decision.