It’s the end of October. The water is 78 degrees. Since the human body runs at approximately 98 degrees, I should have turned into an ice cube. When it hit 82 degrees a couple of weeks ago, that felt so cold that I was out of the pool in 25 minutes. For whatever reason, I was hardcore today and pulled out a 40 minute session (I think. The lifeguard will allegedly be poking around Cyberista this weekend so if I’m wrong, I’ll hear about it.)

The water was definitely colder than 78. At first, I was going to stay close to the wall in case I started to freeze. That’s fear. Fuck fear. I swam towards the lanes on the other side, far away from walls, wheelchairs or people. That’s why I swim–to take a timeout from everything, including myself.

I hit a mental zone where nothing mattered. The cold water was apparently cold enough that it triggered a “second wind” and just keep going despite the water. Before I zoned, my last thought was something along the lines that cold water would be good for my head. Why? I don’t know. People cool their computers with water. Maybe that’s where it came from.

Of course, everything above could be complete nonsense and the truth boils down to expectations. Ideally, we don’t want to have any expectations at all. Expectations play havoc on the mind and make happiness an impossible goal. We hold on to fantasy and fear hoping that we can pull them toward us or push them away. When reality doesn’t give a shit what your fantasy or fear is, we usually end up disappointed.

Since abandoning expectations is an advanced skill, starting with fear is a much better place to start. This isn’t a how-to article so you’ll need to go elsewhere. If you want me to tell you how to do it, try the following: hold your head underwater. Observe your mind as your body demands air. Hold out to the last possible moment. When you want to learn about your mind as desperately as you wanted air, then you are ready.

Next, lose the fantasy. Forget about this person and that memory. Fantasy is more difficult to escape than fear because fantasy usually makes us feel happy for a moment but that feeling is fleeting and will never be permanent. There is a path to perpetual happiness and feeding fantasy isn’t it. Fantasy not only fails to match reality, it is a guaranteed ticket for a collision with reality that will always be painful.

Once you can eliminate fear and fantasy, expectations have no foundation to build themselves. Think about all the nonsense that floats through the mind. It’s a veritable crapflood of insecurity. Most people wouldn’t tolerate their homes as a warehouse of useless knickknacks but, for reasons completely beyond me, allow their minds to become riddled with garbage.

The simple example of expectations and reality is that I believed the water would put me into a cryogenic state. The reality wasn’t so bad. I also have interesting complex examples but they are really none of your business. Start with the basics and call me when you become a guru.

I’m not sure where this journal stuff is going. This “blog” is an experiment. I’ve never been into writing journals and I think that everyone who uses the term “blog” like it’s cool is an elitist poser prick. There. I can’t leave an article without insulting somebody so I guess this journal is complete.

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