Saturday, June 30, 2012

Dealing with frustration

I had so many plans for this blog post and all of them are disappointing me. It's horribly frustrating, so before I go insane I am going to go with the flow and talk about frustration and how I deal with it.

The short answer is I don't. I bottle it up until I'm afraid that if I express even a small sliver of it I'll explode and then I go some place and hide. While hiding I cry and scream and do whatever works until the level of frustration drops below the point where I worry I'll hurt someone.

Adam tried to point out to me that, at least in BJJ, I really ought to try to convert this anger into some kind of energy to apply to my technique. My problem is that when I get frustrated in BJJ, say, for example, because I've escaped from mount just to find myself in side-control (and on and on), my first thought is not "well, I'll just escape from this too, and this time I'll get on top". That might be productive. No... my frustrated thoughts tend to wander towards breaking fingers, biting, and poking eyes. Civilized people just don't do this, ok, maybe in the mythical "street fight" but never to one's training partner. So now I'm in the awkward position of trying to fight against one person to get out of side-control and fighting against myself to get my thoughts back to proper jiujitsu.

On top of this, I really don't think people perceive my reactions to being frustrated correctly. People seem to tell me things like "It's ok, everyone starts out a little claustrophobic." or "You'll figure out how to position yourself so you know you won't get hurt." Maybe I'm wrong; maybe I am dealing with a secret fear of being crushed. I think what actually scares me is how desperate I am in that moment to inflict as much pain as possible. It probably doesn't matter - either way I need to deal with it and get past it. I just feel like the advice for dealing with claustrophobia is "just breathe and realize you're safe" and breathing, though helpful, does not diminish my desire to destroy fragile appendages. 

This is not just feelings either. When I get this frustrated and angry I will self-destruct rather than hurt another person. If my lip is bleeding, odds are its because I bit it until it did.

Don't think I limit my bizarre overreactions to BJJ. Other parts of my life are more frustrating than jiujitsu ever is. I miss my bird. I can't seem to get pregnant. I have motivation problems. Normal jobs bore me to tears. I take my frustrated rage and I hit the gym until I'm too tired to think about it anymore. 

As far as jiujitsu goes, I'm trying two things. First, I need a better handle on what frustrates me. The worst, I think, is being caught in one position too long. Second, I'm starting to deal with frustration by not letting it get to the sadistic stage. Say I am caught in one position too long. I'm trying to count roughly to 10 as I am trying to escape. If I haven't managed to escape and my training partner is, for whatever reason, just not moving, I'll just tap out anyway. I need to protect my mental stability as much as my neck, arms, whatever. 

If anyone has some better ideas, please, let me know.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The soulless intern

I read this article today: 32 Idiotic Mistakes Wall Street Interns Make Every Summer and it bothered me. No, it completely pissed me off and made me so glad I have a finance internship in the laid back city of Denver. The article isn't all of it, there's a forum that started the madness... It's epic. Anyway...

Here's why I'm so GRRR about this:
  1. Elitism at its best: It's ridiculous to tell interns that the Rolex watch or [insert fancy suit brand here] makes them look spoiled while also telling them that they can't wear Hermes ties until they are full time employees.
  2. Dehumanizing perspective: People are more than just their work. If Wall Street wants faceless drones to produce analyst reports, I hear machine learning is getting very sophisticated. I prefer to work with people and that starts with really seeing them.
  3. Conformity rules: Lip service is paid to diversity but the real truth is that no one cares what color your skin is (or if you're male or female) as long as your suit is navy, your shirt is pressed, your shoes are leather, and you work way harder than your internship salary pays you to do. Also true (in my experience) is that the subset of people willing to put up with this shit with smiles on their faces are not a diverse subset of the population - not even of the ones interested in finance.

It's a high stress world and 99.9% of the people who succeed can put up with all this. I wouldn't last a week with my purple suit, cheap shoes and complete lack of regard for all things conformist.

But that's ok. I have my own plan.