March 2019: Tets the Toolman Taylor Edition
Tetchi’s thoughts and ramblings for March, 2019. Getting stuff done around the house, blue belt blues, and The War on Normal People by Andrew Yang.
Stuff that happened
March involved a frigton of housework. We painted a bunch of walls, patched up holes left by screws and anchors, and moved furniture around to our liking.
A little known fact about me is that I used to work at College Pro Painters during my early university years. It was a low-paying job with a questionable boss but I learned how to paint pretty well. I put my old skills to use at our new home, where I painted countless walls and columns. For the first time I felt like a handyman, and it made me want to do more home improvement work with my own hands 🛠.
One of the things we did was completely re-arrange the living room. The previous owners had a lot of shelves and media storage bolted on to the wall, as seen below:
We took off the shelves, patched up the holes left by the screws, and re-painted the wall. We were super happy with the result! We found the living room felt way more spacious. All we have left to do is put up the artwork and mount the TV onto the wall. We’ll worry about those in April 😅.
I also started attending a new jiu-jitsu gym called Mizu that’s closer to our new home.
I was pretty nervous going into the new gym for a couple of reasons: first, I felt rusty from not training for a couple of months and second, it was intimidating to step into a new gym where I didn’t know anybody.
I’ve also been feeling the ‘blue belt blues’ as of late. This is a term coined by the jiu-jitsu community to describe how a lot of jiu-jitsu students quit soon after they earn their blue belt (more on blue belt blues here).
I received my blue belt not too long ago and often felt like I didn’t deserve it. Reflecting on why this was, I realized that I’ve encountered similar roadblocks in other aspects of my life. For example, at work I would feel a crash of imposter syndrome. In my music training, I would become frustrated when I wasn’t seeing any improvements. I don’t want to say that I’ve fully overcome these roadblocks (I still feel like I don’t know what the hell I’m doing at work sometimes) but I took comfort in knowing that these mental insecurities do eventually subside.
The best thing to do at the moment for me is to keep training and not get discouraged. I’m trying to cherish the little victories (ex: not getting submitted by better opponents, hitting sweeps and submissions, etc.) and using them as fuel to stay motivated.
What I read
This month I read The War on Normal People: The Truth About America’s Disappearing Jobs and Why Universal Basic Income Is Our Future by 2020 presidential candidate Andrew Yang. In it, Yang outlines his plans for fixing the many problems that plague America, including unemployment, healthcare, education, and more.
The biggest issue that Yang focused on was unemployment caused by artificial intelligence (AI), something which he argued is happening already. Yang talked about how automated vehicles will render millions of American truckers jobless and how that will have devastating effects. And that’s just one of many industries that will be overrun by AI! Thinking about how my job too could eventually be done by AI was definitely chilling.
I found myself agreeing with a lot of Yang’s arguments and found his proposed solutions both interesting and realistic; almost to the point where I thought maybe I’m being too optimistic and naive. I made a point to read up on any arguments and counterpoints to Yang’s ideas.