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Memores acti prudentes futuri

You're unsure if I am a loose end or a strand
that waits for you to mend or understand
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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Soon... sleep...
Monday, May 19, 2014
It's 12:36 AM, so I still feel like it's Sunday.

Today was so long. I want to go to bed but I have stupid homework. Ugh.

I just want to sleep for a week.

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Bad sleep habits
Saturday, May 17, 2014
I managed to go to bed before midnight last night! And by "before midnight" I mean something like 11:30 PM. But it's a start.

Getting more than four hours of sleep at a time is good. I actually started my homework early, too. We have a test coming up in Abnormal Psych, so I suggested to some of my friends that we each outline part of the material we're covering for the test so that we have an easier time studying. I just finished my part. Feels good to not be finishing at like, 2 AM... But I still have to do a paper. It's not long, at least.

I have been taking small study breaks to play Decision: Medieval on Newgrounds. I started playing it on Thursday, but then all my progress got erased overnight... I'm afraid to turn off my computer now, in case it happens again. It's kind of annoying though, you use space and shift to stay in place and speed up respectively, but they keep getting stuck, so I end up not being able to run away from monsters and stuff. >:C

I'm worried about my ex but I also don't think there's anything I can do. :\

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Subjectively stressful
Thursday, May 15, 2014
In one of my classes today, the professor discussed stress. Where does stress come from? The environment? No. The same event can cause different reactions in different people. So the origin of stress is ourselves, more or less. How we perceive and react to the world around us. Stress originates in the mind.

And this stress can, at sensitive periods in our lives, trigger genes to turn on or off. These changes can persist through generations. The events that happen in your life now have the potential to affect your offspring and their offspring and so on and so forth. Something to think about...

I'm feeling very stressed out at the moment. Not trauma-level stress, but I'm on edge. [Are you reading this? You know why I'm stressed out if you are.]

Withdrawing doesn't fix problems. Putting things on hold doesn't make them go away. Sometimes it just makes things worse.

I stayed up too late talking to a friend and only got maybe three hours of sleep last night. I'm surprised I didn't pass out during class. Maybe my body just treated it like a nap. Need to sleep now... so much to do tomorrow and tonight too actually. Busy busy busy...

The stuffed alligator has been on my bed the past few days. I was keeping it in a box under my desk before, but after cleaning my room a bit I moved it to the bed. I don't know what to do with it... It holds a lot of meaning and having it gives me mixed feelings. Mostly a small sadness over what it represented, though...

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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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