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Old 04-11-2006, 05:25 PM   #1
aikigirl10
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Am i missing something??

Well, the past few months in my life have gone by with little to no aikido training in it at all. I think i may have been to the dojo once in the year 2006. And while sometimes, the atmosphere at my aikido dojo can be somewhat annoying, this dry spell seems to be more of my own will. Not only that, but also probably the longest "break" i've ever taken. I also don't feel guilty like i normally do after taking a while off. I dont know why. Usually i beat myself up over missing practice but not now. I don't know what to do really.

It's not that i'm even upset about the whole thing. I mostly am just curious. I'm curious about why i have no interest. I dont want to quit at all, but i just have no interest in going right now. I haven't even practiced at home any. I haven't studied my Aikido 3D, and i've rarely been thinking about Aikido. And, i have absolutely no one and nothing to blame for it, except my mind just isnt in it.

Anyway, My question is , has anyone here ever simply lost interest for a while? Or is it just me? Did you pick back up later? If so, how long did it take you to get back in it?

Any answers, suggestions, or stories would be very helpful. Thanks!!
*Paige*
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Old 04-11-2006, 06:35 PM   #2
Dennis Good
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Re: Am i missing something??

I've seen this many times and experienced it myself. Sometimes we get "burnt out" and need a break, sometimes our priorities simply change and sometimes we just stop getting what we need from where we are. For me, when my instructor left a while back and sold the school my options were very limited and not very desirable. After a while I had all but given up. Just recently circumstances have changed and I am now doing Aikido regularly again and will soon be teaching again. I've also gone through a burn out stage early on in my aikido career. What I've seen is those that make it back from something like that come back better and more focused. They remember the framework but have lost the bad habits. For those that don't make it back on the mat, there is nothing wrong with that either. But the worst thing is wanting to do Aikido and can't.
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Old 04-11-2006, 08:24 PM   #3
Derek Gaudet
 
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Re: Am i missing something??

I've also seen it happen to friends of mine. Actually you paraphrased quite well what they had told me. I too experienced it, but not quite to your extent. My former place of training became the "burn out" for me, the atmosphere that was projected, but never the Aikido itself. I now train with some friends on my own until I move to the area in which another dojo is located. Been doing it only 6 years, but never thought of giving up, and I don't believe you want to either judging from your post. I simply got rid of the source of my mal feelings to enhance my enjoyment of the art itself. I used to beat myself up over missing a single class too, but near the end of my stay at that dojo it didn't bother me anymore. You may just need a break, so take one, then go back and see if it changes. Good Luck Paige, in whatever you do.

Last edited by Derek Gaudet : 04-11-2006 at 08:25 PM. Reason: spelling

Kind Regards,
Derek Gaudet
Goshin Aikido
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Old 04-11-2006, 08:33 PM   #4
Perry Bell
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Re: Am i missing something??

Quote:
Paige Frazier wrote:
Well, the past few months in my life have gone by with little to no aikido training in it at all. I think i may have been to the dojo once in the year 2006. And while sometimes, the atmosphere at my aikido dojo can be somewhat annoying, this dry spell seems to be more of my own will. Not only that, but also probably the longest "break" i've ever taken. I also don't feel guilty like i normally do after taking a while off. I dont know why. Usually i beat myself up over missing practice but not now. I don't know what to do really.

It's not that i'm even upset about the whole thing. I mostly am just curious. I'm curious about why i have no interest. I dont want to quit at all, but i just have no interest in going right now. I haven't even practiced at home any. I haven't studied my Aikido 3D, and i've rarely been thinking about Aikido. And, i have absolutely no one and nothing to blame for it, except my mind just isnt in it.

Anyway, My question is , has anyone here ever simply lost interest for a while? Or is it just me? Did you pick back up later? If so, how long did it take you to get back in it?

Any answers, suggestions, or stories would be very helpful. Thanks!!
*Paige*
Hi Paige

What makes you think you have stopped training, you have come to the biggest dojo in the world here on Aikiweb to learn what to do about how you feel, so mmmm the training continues, just when you thought it was safe not to train you find out you never stopped wow how cool is that. Now get back on that mat and rest your mind

Take care, be happy

Perry

Deshido
The quest for excellence
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Old 04-12-2006, 06:56 AM   #5
ian
 
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Re: Am i missing something??

Yep - I've lost interest for a while. Don't beat yourself up about it! Do whatever you need to at the time.

---understanding aikido is understanding the training method---
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Old 04-12-2006, 07:57 AM   #6
Dirk Hanss
 
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Re: Am i missing something??

Hi Paige,
I 've been reading your post quite a while now, so I wonder, why you're really taking the break.

I had a break of nearly ten years and I had good reasons for all the time - I thought.

Yes I felt missing something during this time, but how much I missed it, I only realised, when I came back to practice, although I never felt not being an aikidoka.

Now I am active again, at least twice a week and everything is fine. Yes I missed some grading, my health/fitness could have been better and my weight a little bit lower, but whatever I missed all over the time is back.

Just my 2 cts.

Dirk
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Old 04-12-2006, 08:00 AM   #7
SeiserL
 
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Re: Am i missing something??

Learning plateaus, lost of interest, and burn out are very common in extended activities such as Aikido training. Usually its temporary if you train through it and get to the next level of training. read George Leonard's "Mastery".

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 04-12-2006, 09:52 AM   #8
Nick P.
 
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Re: Am i missing something??

8 years in for me, and I find myself in the same position; sure there have been several low spots along the way, but nothing as sustained (3 months) or as deep as this one. Perhaps it's my two children (2yrs, 3mths) + lack of sleep.

Are you asking about how to regain interest or how to get back to training? I used to think they were so closely related as to be almost the same thing, but now see them as separate; related, but separate.

I was included in the instructions given to my Sensei by his Sensei in Japan four years ago; "If it's Tuesday and there is class, go. If it's Friday and there is class, go. Just go and do Aikido when it is time, and when it is not, don't." ~ maybe this can help you. And when you figure it out you can tell me!

Go. Train. Enjoy.

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Old 04-12-2006, 10:16 AM   #9
James Davis
 
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Re: Am i missing something??

Quote:
Paige Frazier wrote:
I also don't feel guilty like i normally do after taking a while off. I dont know why. Usually i beat myself up over missing practice but not now. I don't know what to do really.
Hmmm, how can I say this as gently as possible?

You shouldn't feel guilty for missing your training, but you could feel a little guilty for the opportunities that you're denying people that want to train with you. While you're gone, nobody is benefitting from your experience.
Quote:
Paige Frazier wrote:
I'm curious about why i have no interest. I dont want to quit at all, but i just have no interest in going right now.
You're just burnt out a little. You have no interest in going to aikido class for the same reason that I have no interest in going to work. It's not that it's such an awful place, I'm just a little tired of it.
Quote:
Paige Frazier wrote:
And, i have absolutely no one and nothing to blame for it, except my mind just isnt in it.
I know you've had some minor problems at your dojo, so I'm glad you said that.
Quote:
Paige Frazier wrote:
Anyway, My question is , has anyone here ever simply lost interest for a while?
Yup.
Quote:
Paige Frazier wrote:
Or is it just me?
Nope.
Quote:
Paige Frazier wrote:
Did you pick back up later?
Yup.

Quote:
Paige Frazier wrote:
If so, how long did it take you to get back in it?
When I was a white belt, a week or so; now that I'm a black belt, I don't feel that I have a choice in the matter. Sempai should be there.
Quote:
Paige Frazier wrote:
Any answers, suggestions, or stories would be very helpful. Thanks!!
*Paige*
You're welcome, Paige. It was nice to hear from you again.

"The only difference between Congress and drunken sailors is that drunken sailors spend their own money." -Tom Feeney, representative from Florida
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Old 04-12-2006, 12:25 PM   #10
crbateman
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Re: Am i missing something??

It happens... Sometimes the motivation is misplaced if you don't feel like you're getting out of it those things you want. Often, one can rekindle the energy by taking the training to a different level, thereby giving rise to questions and issues not encountered in day-to-day physical practice. Is there more than this? Why can so-and-so do things easier than I? What did Jones Shihan or Smith Sensei mean when they said that? And how did they learn? What are the core philosophies in Aikido? How did they come to be? If you can ask yourself questions and challenge yourself, emotionally, philosophically and physically, you will naturally be motivated to respond to those challenges. Doesn't work for everybody, but it might work for you.
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Old 04-12-2006, 12:36 PM   #11
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Am i missing something??

I took two years off a few years ago for various reasons. Dojo change over in leadership, my son being born, and burn ou and job issue.. I missed it, but made a choice, free and clear. I helped restart our dojo right before I left, and one of the "new" guys at the new location was now higher rank than I was! (Hi to Jim Singleton!) Jim is now a Shodan (maybe Nidan???) and I am still Kyu!

Anyway, I hold no regrets and resentment and actually I feel like I grew some during that time in other ways.

I now am stationed in an area where there is little aikido within a practical commuting distance to train, and I practice BJJ and Army Combatives, because that is part of my job. That said, I do practice the principles of aikido and do work with guys in my classes with AIkido concepts when appropriate.

I may not be progressing along the normal aiki way, I have been "studying" for about 10 years now, and I am not Dan rank...but I also realize that this is not what is always important.

Aikido should be a life long study, it is not like training for the olympics where you only have a few prime years to excel. Take your time, listen to your heart, and body. Be honest with yourself and study (or don't study) for the right reasons!

Good luck in your pursuit of harmony and peace!
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Old 04-12-2006, 02:47 PM   #12
wmreed
 
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Re: Am i missing something??

Paige,

Aikido is part of my life, it is not "my life". As a result, there have been many times when I have stopped training due to other parts of my life becoming more important (birth of a child, new job, birth of a second child). I never completely left, as I have been teaching the children's classes throughout it all. For several years, that was ALL that motivated me to go to the dojo. The result was that my "advancement" stalled at second kyu many years (more than four).

However, in my case, that children's class taught me a lot about my aikido. In fact, my sensei observed me at a seminar and just promoted me to first kyu one weekend.

Obviously, if I'd stopped coming altogether that wouldn't have happened. But some time after that, my interest was renewed for training for my own sake. And it's still interesting. I still enjoy aikido more for the time I spend with my students, but I'm learning to enjoy it again for myself.

If you lose all your interest, it's not the end of the world. But don't be "afraid" to come back if you get interested again. I know some that worry to much about having to justify to the people still at the dojo about why they stopped coming. So now, they'd rather give up on the whole thing. That, to me, is sadder than someone dropping out, or taking a break.


Bill

William M. Reed
Columbus, OH USA
wmreed@columbus.rr.com
"I'm not the author William Reed -- yet."
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Old 04-13-2006, 10:54 AM   #13
Bronson
 
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Re: Am i missing something??

I wholeheartedly second the suggestion for the book "Mastery" by George Leonard. The ups and downs of the learning cylce are much easier to work through when you can recognize them for what they are.

I think most people who've been doing this for a while have experienced some sort of burnout... I did. I was out for almost six months. Eventually my desire to train came back but I had to adjust my training schedule to balance better with the rest of my life.

Good luck with it.

Bronson

"A pacifist is not really a pacifist if he is unable to make a choice between violence and non-violence. A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye, but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy he chooses non-violence."
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Old 04-13-2006, 09:30 PM   #14
aikigirl10
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Re: Am i missing something??

Oh gosh...

Sorry guys, i havent responded back to any of your posts. I totally forgot i even posted this thread lol. I told you I wasnt thinking about Aikido lately!!

Anyway, Everyones been very helpful , i'm just gonna try to wait it out i think and just see what happens. If after a while i still dont have interest, maybe i'll force myself back to one class to see if jogging my memory will also jog my desire to train.

Thanks guys, keep em coming.
*Paige*
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Old 04-13-2006, 09:33 PM   #15
aikigirl10
Dojo: Aikido of Ashland
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Re: Am i missing something??

Quote:
William M. Reed wrote:
Paige,

Aikido is part of my life, it is not "my life". As a result, there have been many times when I have stopped training due to other parts of my life becoming more important (birth of a child, new job, birth of a second child). I never completely left, as I have been teaching the children's classes throughout it all. For several years, that was ALL that motivated me to go to the dojo. The result was that my "advancement" stalled at second kyu many years (more than four).

However, in my case, that children's class taught me a lot about my aikido. In fact, my sensei observed me at a seminar and just promoted me to first kyu one weekend.

Obviously, if I'd stopped coming altogether that wouldn't have happened. But some time after that, my interest was renewed for training for my own sake. And it's still interesting. I still enjoy aikido more for the time I spend with my students, but I'm learning to enjoy it again for myself.

If you lose all your interest, it's not the end of the world. But don't be "afraid" to come back if you get interested again. I know some that worry to much about having to justify to the people still at the dojo about why they stopped coming. So now, they'd rather give up on the whole thing. That, to me, is sadder than someone dropping out, or taking a break.


Bill
That was very well said, i completely agree
Thanks
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Old 04-13-2006, 09:44 PM   #16
emma.mason15
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Re: Am i missing something??

If it helps im on an indefinate break too ..... my dojo closed ... and when he reopens i dont think i'll be able to pay the fees .... but im ok ./.. i do a little at home with a mate ... and we get by ...

Dance your cares away .... worry for another day ... let the music play .... down in fraggle rock!

when bored ... do as I do. Poke a patient!
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Old 04-13-2006, 09:44 PM   #17
aikigirl10
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Re: Am i missing something??

Quote:
James Davis, Jr. wrote:
Hmmm, how can I say this as gently as possible?

You shouldn't feel guilty for missing your training, but you could feel a little guilty for the opportunities that you're denying people that want to train with you. While you're gone, nobody is benefitting from your experience.
This is a very good point, (not to brag) But not only that but i *do* miss training with all the people there as well because it usually is a great experience and all of them are great aikidoka as i see it. And even more importantly, its not so much about the training but just seeing everyone again. Idk, i really do miss seeing my sensei, hes a great person and always motivating me, but i just can't see myself going back unless i'm going to train, and right now i dont want to train. Deep down maybe i do, but until those feelings towards aikido surface again, i think i may just have to relax for a while.

I'm still going to shaolin as often as possible so i know havent lost interest in MAs in general. Thank God.

*Paige*
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Old 04-14-2006, 10:24 AM   #18
James Davis
 
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Re: Am i missing something??

Quote:
Paige Frazier wrote:
I'm still going to shaolin as often as possible so i know havent lost interest in MAs in general. Thank God.

*Paige*
Glad to hear it, Paige. Happy Easter.

"The only difference between Congress and drunken sailors is that drunken sailors spend their own money." -Tom Feeney, representative from Florida
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Old 04-14-2006, 09:18 PM   #19
senshincenter
 
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Re: Am i missing something??

I say to learn to move beyond interest, motivation, want, and the such. This stuff is only there to get us in the door. They are like the tip of a spear - when all the thrusting power comes from what's backing it up. Figure out what backs up what. In my opinion, no practice can survive if it is based upon interest, entertainment, motivation, want, etc. These things are fleeting, they change with the wind and with the planet even, etc. If your practice is dependent upon these things, eventually your practice will halt. Why? Because eventually these things always halt themselves.

I say real training has nothing to do with wanting to train. It's about doing what needs to be done because it needs to be done - like breathing. You inhale, you exhale - or you don't, never again.

David M. Valadez
Visit our web site for articles and videos. Senshin Center - A Place for Traditional Martial Arts in Santa Barbara.
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Old 04-15-2006, 09:09 AM   #20
aikigirl10
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Re: Am i missing something??

Quote:
David Valadez wrote:
I say to learn to move beyond interest, motivation, want, and the such. This stuff is only there to get us in the door. They are like the tip of a spear - when all the thrusting power comes from what's backing it up. Figure out what backs up what. In my opinion, no practice can survive if it is based upon interest, entertainment, motivation, want, etc. These things are fleeting, they change with the wind and with the planet even, etc. If your practice is dependent upon these things, eventually your practice will halt. Why? Because eventually these things always halt themselves. .

Ok... so you're saying i should force myself to do something i don't want to do at the moment? Ok, thats fine when it comes to having a job, or getting school work done, or going to church, but hobbies, or sports?

No, see that never works. Been there, done that.


Quote:
David Valadez wrote:
I say real training has nothing to do with wanting to train. It's about doing what needs to be done because it needs to be done - like breathing. You inhale, you exhale - or you don't, never again.

Well, i can't help that i breathe. My body does it on its own. My body doesn't do Aikido on its own. My mind has to tell it that i want to do Aikido. And right now my mind doesn't want to tell my body that.

And like i said, It's not that i'm totally not motivated. If i had lost interest completely then i wouldn't be here doing this right now.
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Old 04-15-2006, 01:23 PM   #21
senshincenter
 
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Re: Am i missing something??

Quote:
Paige Frazier wrote:
Ok... so you're saying i should force myself to do something i don't want to do at the moment? Ok, thats fine when it comes to having a job, or getting school work done, or going to church, but hobbies, or sports?

No, see that never works. Been there, done that.

Well, i can't help that i breathe. My body does it on its own. My body doesn't do Aikido on its own. My mind has to tell it that i want to do Aikido. And right now my mind doesn't want to tell my body that.

And like i said, It's not that i'm totally not motivated. If i had lost interest completely then i wouldn't be here doing this right now.
Forcing is part of attaching want to training. I'm not talking about that. I'm talking about a totally different way of relating to training something beyond wanting, not wanting, forcing, etc.

If one can't move beyond that, then one knows very well why sometimes they quit and/or don't mind quitting, etc. - because desire is fleeting. If our training remains based in desire - even when we are stubborn enough to force ourselves against our desires - our training will be fleeting (just like our desires always are).

There are ways of relating to training - so that it becomes like breathing - so "our bodies do it on their own." Until we figure that out, until we realize that it's not about forcing ourselves into something, etc., then we should at least know why we quit, want to quit, think of quitting, etc., and we also know that we will eventually. Desire cannot ever support commitment. Desire supports only convenience.

my opinion,
d

David M. Valadez
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Old 04-15-2006, 01:40 PM   #22
giriasis
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Re: Am i missing something??

Paige, follow your own instinct on what is best for you for this time in your life. One or two things are going on. One, you're discovering that you enjoy Shaolin more than Aikido hence you are still going to Shaolin more. Or, two, you really want to go to aikido but you are feeling guilty about not going so you don't go. If you miss aikido and want to feel that feeling again that you got before then just go and go to enjoy yourself. Or, If you really prefer Shaolin over Aikido then practice Shaolin.

Anne Marie Giri
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Old 04-15-2006, 01:55 PM   #23
Mark Uttech
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Re: Am i missing something??

This is a typical situation where one tries to "kill two birds with one stone". Actually it is better to stay with one art alone for ten years. That is the art of killing one bird with one stone. You might get good at it.
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Old 04-15-2006, 08:44 PM   #24
aikigirl10
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Re: Am i missing something??

Quote:
Mark Uttech wrote:
This is a typical situation where one tries to "kill two birds with one stone". Actually it is better to stay with one art alone for ten years. That is the art of killing one bird with one stone. You might get good at it.
So after exactly 10 years, all of a sudden something will just trigger inside of me and i will miraculously be able to handle more than one art at once. Omg, i don't want to say thats ridiculous, but thats ridiculous.

There's absolutely nothing wrong with crosstraining as long as your body, and mind can handle it. Maybe you should reword that to " I choose to stay with one art for 10 years" What works for you may not work for everyone else.
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Old 04-15-2006, 08:52 PM   #25
aikigirl10
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Re: Am i missing something??

Quote:
David Valadez wrote:
I'm talking about a totally different way of relating to training something beyond wanting, not wanting, forcing, etc.
And what is that "way"/ "something" exactly?

Quote:
David Valadez wrote:
If one can't move beyond that, then one knows very well why sometimes they quit and/or don't mind quitting, etc. - because desire is fleeting. If our training remains based in desire - even when we are stubborn enough to force ourselves against our desires - our training will be fleeting (just like our desires always are).

..snip...

Desire cannot ever support commitment. Desire supports only convenience.

my opinion,
d
Omg, this makes no sense whatsoever. lol Why don't you talk more like a human being and less like a science book?
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