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Memores acti prudentes futuri

Shown to the place you fold
there's nothing to be without it
A few words
"When we describe the Moon as dead, we are describing the deadness in ourselves. When we find space so hideously void, we are describing our own unbearable emptiness."
~ D.H. Lawrence

"Is the meaning of life defined by its duration? Or does life have a purpose so large that it doesn't have to be prolonged at any cost to preserve its meaning?"

"Living is not good, but living well. The wise man, therefore, lives as well as he should, not as long as he can... He will always think of life in terms of quality not quantity... Dying early or late is of no relevance, dying well or ill is... even if it is true that while there is life there is hope, life is not to be bought at any cost."
~ Seneca

"People will tell you nothing matters, the whole world's about to end soon anyway. Those people are looking at life the wrong way. I mean, things don't need to last forever to be perfect."
~ Daydream Nation

"All Bette's stories have happy endings. That's because she knows where to stop. She's realized the real problem with stories-- if you keep them going long enough, they always end in death."
~ The Sandman: Preludes & Nocturnes

"The road now stretched across open country, and it occurred to me - not by way of protest, not as a symbol, or anything like that, but merely as a novel experience - that since I had disregarded all laws of humanity, I might as well disregard the rules of traffic. So I crossed to the left side of the highway and checked the feeling, and the feeling was good. It was a pleasant diaphragmal melting, with elements of diffused tactility, all this enhanced by the thought that nothing could be nearer to the elimination of basic physical laws than deliberately driving on the wrong site of the road."
~ Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita

"It is easier to forgive an enemy than to forgive a friend."
~ William Blake
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Heat, frozen yogurt, conversation
Tuesday, May 13, 2014
So today was a decent day. School was uneventful I guess, but after class, Fro, Ben, Hali, Jenny and I went to get frozen yogurt at a place nearby. Originally Fro wanted to get Greek food, but nobody else was really hungry, and it was 95 degrees outside, so frozen yogurt sounded much better.

We talked a lot about different stuff. Some of it was kind of gossipy I guess. It was nice though. I got to eat some maraschino cherries and this interesting cinnamon dessert sauce on my frozen yogurt. It looked really gross but it kind of tasted like a liquefied cinnamon bun.

After awhile, Ben, Hali, and Jenny left, and Fro and I stayed to talk more. We talked about our respective experiences with depersonalization, and how we perceive other people. Not in an "I think this person is stupid" way, but like... the process of observing and judging and how we come to think what we do. Also talked about a bad first date she had. The guy sounded really rude and just... out of it. Hopefully her next one is better.

I feel like there's a secret spider nest in the corner of my room that my desk blocks or something. So far at least two have crawled out onto my desk. I smashed them with whatever was available. I really hope I'm not spending a lot of my time two feet away from a horde of spiders...

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The road to Hell is paved with good intentions
Tuesday, May 13, 2014
Intent is a tricky thing. You can have bad intent and good actions. You can also have good intent and bad actions. This much should be obvious. I mean, there's even a proverb about it.

I don't really subscribe to the "A for effort" mentality. No, it isn't enough to try hard. What good is effort without results? Let's be honest. Sometimes you can try your very best and still not make the cut. But does that mean you're a bad person, or worthless? No.

Telling kids that they can do anything they set their minds to is, as far as I'm concerned, an awful lie. Everybody has limits. That's just reality. There's nothing wrong with dreaming and testing your boundaries, but needlessly building up people's confidence in their potential is a recipe for disaster. And there are people who acknowledge this. Articles have been written, lectures have been given. Why isn't it sinking in? Are people just afraid to hurt their kids' feelings?

I don't believe in giving praise for not being terrible. I don't typically give compliments unless something stands out to me. An A is meaningless if you just get it for meeting the minimum requirements. I hear there was a time when teachers only gave As for exceptional work. I didn't live during that time, but I wonder what it was like. My grandma was a straight A student in an era when C really was average and normal, at least according to my dad. I wonder if I would have been at her level. I don't know. School has generally taught me just to meet certain requirements, not go above and beyond. At the same time, going above and beyond can feel really good. It feels good to put in a lot of effort and see returns for that.

But hard work isn't enough. You can put in hard work and be horribly disappointed. And it feels bad. Of course it feels bad. Nobody wants to know they wasted their time and energy. But you can get over it. We adjust, we adapt, we grow, we move on. It's okay to fail sometimes. It really is. And I'm not saying I'm comfortable with the idea of failing. Hell, I probably worry more about it than the average person. The goals I want to meet don't give me a lot of wiggle room. But if I fail... if it really does happen at some point, I know that won't be the end of my life. Maybe I won't get a second chance for the path I wanted, but there are other paths that are equally good.

(That little dramatic part of me wants to make it the end of my life. It wants me to never get over certain things, to be some sort of tragic romantic emotional figure. In reality I bounce back, and I don't suffer as much as would be romantic.)

So yeah, you can say "I tried" and you can say "I tried so hard" but it doesn't change the consequences. I'm not saying don't try, because that's not the right lesson to take from this. It's not black and white like that. You try and you fail, and you try harder, or you try something else. And failure can get you down, yeah, but the odds are you'll win at some point. Focus on the times you win, figure out what was different. Don't give up. That's just learned helplessness.

Learned helplessness can be broken out of though. Being more positive helps. Focusing on successes helps. Therapy helps.

Effort is important. It's what you can control. Luck is also important, though, and other external factors. Effort is necessary but not sufficient. I don't give participation trophies, and I'm not going to start to make people feel better about themselves. Compliments and praise can certainly help self esteem, and they can make it easier to feel good, but they aren't necessary for it. I am not responsible for your self esteem if you are an adult. Is it fair to ask me not to tear you down? Yes. But don't get on my case for not building you up enough.

Sometimes it doesn't matter what your intent was, or how much effort you put in. Sometimes all that matters is the results. SOMETIMES.

I think expecting recognition for doing good acts says something about the person doing them. It says that person isn't doing good just for the sake of helping. That person wants to feel good about themself, they want other people to know they're a good person. It's a selfish act, essentially. Some people would say there's no such thing as a selfless act, because anything we do, we want to gain something from. I don't know if that's true or not. What I do know is that there are people who do things they THINK are good, because it makes them feel good.

These are the people who listen to your problems so they can give you advice. They want to feel like they're helping you by solving your issues. They don't understand what your needs are.

These are the people who toss leftovers at homeless people because they assume the homeless person must be hungry and not care about what the food is. They think they're doing something good. They don't know what that person actually wants or needs. (And wants and needs are definitely separate. If you give money to an alcoholic who will just spend it on cheap wine instead of buying food, you are not helping that person.)

By doing acts that YOU think are good, without truly assessing the needs of the other person and the situation and taking the time to understand them, you take away the dignity of the person you're "helping." You're making them into some generic entity that you expect to be grateful for whatever you give them. ASK people what they want, ask them what they need. Those things don't always line up. You can't always know what people really need, but you can do your best to find out. But don't, don't, DO NOT, assume you know.

Let people have their dignity. Don't force your handouts on them. Don't force your gifts, your good intentions. Gather information, take a step back and think about it. Don't put them, or yourself, on the path to Hell.

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Not enough
Monday, May 12, 2014
I haven't been getting enough sleep, certainly, and I don't think I've been eating enough either.

Although I was 112 lbs today, so maybe I ate more yesterday than I have been eating. I'm not sure.

But I think it's likely that I had less than 1000 calories today. That's not healthy.

Sometimes I feel like I'm on the verge of developing an eating disorder. I don't have the need for control that typically characterizes those disorders, though. At least, I don't think I do. There are some thoughts that make me wonder. I don't count my calories obsessively or weigh myself more than once a day.

I had a dream last night that I was getting ready to go to the gala, and time was going by so fast, I was late, and then I was later, and then I was so late I wondered if it would be over by the time I got there. Oddly enough I didn't feel stressed though. The dream ended nicely, so that probably helped. I was disappointed to wake up.

I'm not sure when the last time my dream was so nice I didn't want to be awake was. I guess it's good that it doesn't happen more often or I'd do nothing but sleep.

For Mother's Day I cleaned up the house some. I also cleaned my room a bit. I've been... really bad about that. Usually I feel overwhelmed just thinking about trying to clean my room. I have too much stuff and I don't know what to do with it all. Some can be thrown away and some can be donated, but there's a lot I don't want to part with. Sentimental things, books, physical memories.

I've had an empty glass soda bottle on my desk for at least a year and recently I used it to smash a spider that was crawling into my keyboard. That almost makes me want to keep it around in case I ever need to smash another spider. I know that's a dumb reason though. I should have thrown this out ages ago. I have such a tendency to keep things around for longer than I should.

I don't want to become a hoarder. I hope I never do.

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That thing you didn't even know you thought was cool
Friday, May 9, 2014
I saw this guy on OKC who makes daguerreotypes. I had no idea people still made that kind of stuff. It's so awesome. That seems like something that would be really cool to get into, if I had money or maybe things to photograph that way. If I got into it I would love to make portraits of my friends as gifts...

My ex has offered to cover the other half of Romeo's vet bills, so I guess there's less of a chance I'll have to see my baby die this summer. Speaking of Romeo, here's a picture of him from April.

He was being fat and sleepy.

Even though I don't feel entirely comfortable accepting money from my ex, I'm grateful for the support.

Mother's Day is on Sunday and I don't know what to do. My mom said she'd like it if I just cleaned the house well, which I guess is good. It means I don't have to spend money. Still gotta make a card though... Maybe I should do that now.


I think a lot about different realities branching out from the decisions we make. I know there must be some universe in which I'm happy and things go the way I want. If I make the right decisions I can reach that universe. I just have to figure out which paths to take...

I can't conceal what I feel, what I know is real
No mistaking the faking, I care
With a prayer in the air I will leave it there
On a note full of hope not despair

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Summer funds...
Friday, May 9, 2014
My work doesn't run year round, it's a program that only lasts from September till May. I need to figure out how I'm going to make more money to cover Romeo's vet bills for the summer... I'm not sure if I can just get a job, because I'm going to be gone for three weeks in July and I doubt anywhere I could apply would be okay with that. Not to mention I can really only work at places that are within biking distance of where I live anyway...

Guess I'm going back on Craigslist...

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Hrmm :T
Thursday, May 8, 2014
I texted my ex earlier today and he never responded. Kind of worried about him... Maybe he didn't see the text... or maybe he doesn't want to talk to me again? I don't know. Are you reading this? Can you at least let me know if you're okay?

I keep feeling like I should be gaining weight, but I think I'm actually still losing weight slowly? I'm not sure why. I don't think I'm eating less than I normally do... or if I am, not that much less. This morning I stepped on the scale and it said 111.4 lbs... Which I'm not complaining about, but still, it's weird.

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Recent developments...
Wednesday, May 7, 2014
I guess we are talking again, then. I told my friends and they are very wary of the situation. Everyone is saying to be careful. I'm not really afraid though...

Last week in my abnormal psych class we took our first exam. I felt like I didn't know enough of the material on the test, so I kind of freaked out a little while taking it. On Monday the prof told us that some of us did very well and some... not so well, and that she would be giving back the test on Wednesday (today). Wasn't looking forward to that. I ended up getting an A+ though, because she curved it. It really bothers me that I wouldn't have gotten an A if not for that curve. I'll have to study harder next time.

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Got my hoodie back
Monday, May 5, 2014
Well, turns out that he did have my hoodie after all. He gave it back, along with another (much briefer) note saying he wasn't ready to talk and didn't know if he ever would be. Apparently he's starting a blog. I don't know if I want to look at it though. If it's anything like the letters/email he's sent me then it probably doesn't have much good to say about me. At the moment I'm not much interested in criticism from someone who remembers our shared history in a very skewed and frankly bizarre way at times. And anyway, Kyle thinks it's better if I don't check up on my ex.

I have thought a bit about some of the criticisms he had (has?) about me. For instance, in the email he sent he mentioned that I never appreciated anything he did. I honestly don't know if he actually believes that or if he's just exaggerating, but I did appreciate him. Not in all the ways he wanted me to, certainly, but to say I never appreciated anything is rather insulting. Although I have hidden the posts about him on my blog now, they were quite positive and appreciative. I guess if he'd bothered to read my blog more before we broke up he might have realized that. Too late now though.


I'm getting a little bored with OKC. I had a few regular conversations going on there, but I've moved those people to Skype, so there's not much for me to do on the site now. One of the people I moved to Skype is pretty interesting, though. I don't know if I'd quite say we connect on a deep level, but we seem to relate on certain things, which is nice. He reminds me a little of Max, an OKC friend I talked to a lot when I was at St. John's. We talked about the nature of communication and friendship and things like that. With my ex I always kind of felt like I couldn't talk to him about anything deep. I don't know if there was a good reason for that feeling, but the nature of our relationship just didn't make me feel comfortable discussing my views on things. I guess it goes back to trust. Why reveal the deep parts of yourself to someone you don't trust? Then again, why stay with someone you don't trust for 2.5 years?

Sometimes I think about what he did and I feel like he cut off one of my legs. Not literally, obviously, but it's a reasonable enough metaphor in some ways. He took something I couldn't get back, and I felt damaged and resigned to stay with him. I know this is a horrible attitude to have but it doesn't matter now, not really. Probably what made it worst was that if I tried to talk to him about it, he just cried and I had to comfort him. Imagine someone cutting off your leg and then being so upset about it that you have to pretend you're not in pain to make them feel better. And then they just go about their business as if they never did anything to you.

There are times when I wish I could go back and stop myself from ever getting into a relationship with him, so that I could keep my metaphorical leg. My biggest regret is not protecting myself better. At the same time though, the burden wasn't really on me to do that. I think now that we're separated I have more of a chance to get over what happened since I don't have to worry about keeping him from feeling bad.

I know that problems are separate, and just because someone did something worse to you doesn't mean that nothing you do to them matters, but it doesn't keep me from feeling incredulous that he would complain about some of the things he did. It felt like he cut off my leg and then complained that I made him fall down and skin his knee. And then, of course, I had to hug him and make him feel better about his skinned knee. And deal with him when he said I couldn't walk with him the way he wanted.

I feel like I'll never understand how what happened came to be. I told him I was vulnerable in that way and he pretty much dismissed it, even took advantage of it. More and more I'm reaching the conclusion that he just didn't take me seriously. He dismissed a lot of the things I knew as just academic theory because I don't have as much "real life" experience as him. He would tell me he respected me for being smart and doing well at school, and then disregard pretty much anything I've learned if I tried to apply it to our lives. Either we have very different ideas of what respect is, or he did not respect me.

Respect always was a problem between us.

Well here I am now, a girl missing a fundamental part of herself. A metaphorical amputee. All I can have is hope for the future. I know there must be someone out there who won't take parts of me away and then make me feel like I'm lucky to have them despite it. "I may have cut off your leg, but don't you think you should appreciate that you can use me as a crutch?"

I don't know. I feel angry and sad and confused. The same confusion I've had for nearly 2.5 years. It's almost 3 AM and that's probably not helping.

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