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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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Triangular bayonet [4P]
Tuesday, September 4, 2018
Be it extremely emotional, controversial, messed up, or whatever, this entry has been password protected.

If you know it, enter it; or, ask me for it.

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Imaginative conversation
Friday, August 31, 2018
One of the things that's hard to assess when you're getting to know someone is their ability to have an imaginative conversation. It's just banter I guess, but there's a certain quality to it that seems important to me to have in an ongoing friendship with someone.

I went to a rehearsal dinner last night, and one of the other members of the bridal party gave me a ride. On the way to the restaurant from the venue, we passed a wall someone had painted Chester the Cheetah on, and I remarked that Chester looked like he probably hung around the Marlboro camel and that they were the cool outsiders in high school. That comment launched us into a discussion about what various mascots would have been in high school and what their relationships with each other were like. For example, the Cocoa Puffs bird was friends with Chester and the camel in high school, but he got hooked on some hard stuff and they drifted apart as his life was overtaken by his addiction. Tony the Tiger was the star quarterback, but he was always too wholesome to hang with the cool outsiders. You're not gonna find Chester helping underprivileged kids with their reading comprehension at the local library, but Tony? Yeah, he's all about that.

Anyway, I don't know if there's a term for this kind of conversation. I guess it probably pops up a lot in podcasts, though I find podcasts fairly annoying and don't like them, haha. I want to participate in imaginative conversations, not listen to other people having them. I wonder how I can filter for people who are able to chat like this?

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Low energy
Tuesday, August 28, 2018
I guess I'm doing okay. Some bad nights that might have been exacerbated by recent stressors, but I haven't been taken out of commission by any of it.

Feeling tired of people. Or well, trying to meet people. I don't feel like I have the energy in me to make it work. Nothing is re-energizing me after all these things drain me.

It feels like I've lost touch with my reasons for doing things. My overarching sense of purpose is waning. It's distressing, to say the least. I think I'm suffering from a lack of things to care for. No pets, nobody who strongly needs my support at the moment. I wonder if I should try to find some kind of volunteer work... I'm back to babysitting, and the baby definitely needs me, at least. That's something...

This shift in me has been perplexing. I feel like I've become more open to spirituality (as in, more accepting of it and relaxed about it, not like I'm subscribing to any particular beliefs), but at the same time I've become... somewhat nihilistic? Or maybe that's just depression, sneaking back in an unfamiliar costume. I guess that's something that's been faithful to me, no matter how long we're separated.

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The fantasy of forgiveness
Monday, August 20, 2018
Sometimes I forgive people without feeling like anything is needed from their side. Sometimes I think there's just one thing holding me back from forgiving a person. Maybe that's just some kind of wishful thinking though, a desire for that magical closure bullet that doesn't really exist.

In theory I shouldn't need anything from the other side in order to forgive. I conceive of forgiveness as a way of letting go of the past and moving on. It doesn't have to be tied to what anybody else does.

I remember telling my therapist a few years ago that I was struggling with forgiving someone and I wondered why I was punishing myself like that. He saw it as less voluntary than I did, haha. I'm not sure how I feel about it now. My theoretical concept of forgiveness is the same, but my feelings aren't all there.

I would have forgiven a lot if I got a postcard. A general gesture of good will.

I think I've been willing to forgive anybody who wanted my forgiveness. Maybe not everybody thought they should have had to get forgiveness, though. I'm sure there are people from my past who don't think they did anything really wrong. I guess there's not much to be done with that. As much as I'd like to repair things with everybody and be on good terms, it might just not be feasible with every person.

Is it possible to move on without ever forgiving someone? To just forget them entirely? One wonders.


Very slowly, in bits and pieces, I have been reading Shannon Vallor's Technology and the Virtues. It's giving me some ways to articulate things I couldn't put words to before. I wish I had a friend who was reading it so I could talk about it with them...

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The isolated self
Sunday, August 19, 2018
The word "autism" comes from the Greek word "autos," which means "self." It describes conditions in which a person is removed from social interaction. In other words, he becomes an �isolated self.�

When I'm not in a relationship, I spend the majority of my time alone. I mean, I have passing interactions with family, and I do have to socialize to some extent at school, but a combination of shyness, anxiety, and introversion has nudged me towards a life with a lot of solitude. I think it's kind of been that way ever since middle school. Because I went to competitive schools, I didn't hang out with friends very much after elementary school. In 7th grade I spent most of my time during recess and lunch at school in the library, reading. I did have a friend group in 8th grade and through high school, but I started spending a lot of time online.

Before I ever had a blog of any sort, I went on chatrooms in the summer when I was at my uncle's house in Hawaii. He had DSL and we only had dial-up at home, so it just wasn't feasible for me to be on the internet that much during the normal school year. When I was 14 we finally got DSL at my house, not long after I joined Nutang.

I wasn't inducted into the online world as early as some people, but I became attached to it quickly. Socializing in person was difficult for me. I was afraid of talking to people I didn't know well, and to some extent I still am. Today I was considering my options for getting a dress tailored, and I read that it could easily cost $70. Given that I make very little money, that's a big sum to me, but the prospect of going to a tailor was still somewhat less terrifying than doing what my mom suggested, which was asking our neighbor (whom I don't know very well) for help sewing it. (I think I have resolved to use temporary hem tape though, which will probably require the least social interaction of any option)

On the internet, I'm not crippled by shyness the way I often have been in person. It's so much easier to talk to people through text, to express myself and receive the expressions of others. The lack of nonverbal communication changes the game, though. I spent my adolescence being more engaged in online communication than in-person communication, and I think I adapted to the former as a result.

Awhile ago I was linked an article about how blind children can exhibit autistic features that are actually caused by their visual impairment. I can't seem to find it now, but I thought it was a very interesting idea... that being cut off from certain experiences can mimic the presentation of autism. Blind kids, being unable to see body language and such, can't socialize the same way as kids who can see. You might be able to see where I'm going with this.

A few months ago, a friend asked me if I had ever considered that I might be autistic. I felt fairly offended at first, partially because of the context and partially because I really don't think I'm autistic, but I've been thinking about why she asked that and what about my mannerisms could raise that question. I wonder if my relative lack of experience in face-to-face social interactions compared to online interactions might be coming off as slightly autistic tendencies in certain cases. I'm doing a lot more socializing in person these days than I used to, and I'm learning better how to navigate such situations, but I think I'm still behind, and it's slow going.

Something else that I think has hindered my development of better in-person social skills is the way my mom intervenes in social situations when I'm out with her. Due to the aforementioned shyness/anxiety, for a lot of my life, outside of school or hanging out with friends (which I didn't do much for a long time), my mom was present in most of my social interactions. When I was younger my parents would try to get me to interact with people directly, but I was too shy and/or anxious, and eventually my mom just started talking to people for me instead. I would go shopping with her and route communication through her. If I had a question about something, she would ask an employee for me. If I wanted to buy something, she would pay and talk to the cashier for me. I'm not trying to make her responsible for the delayed development of my social skills, but I think this has factored in. I've been oddly successful in avoiding most in-person direct social interactions above the bare minimum for a long time. The fact that I didn't get my license until I was 23 and relied on my parents and friends to get around also kept me from gaining social experience.

So, yeah. I don't think I am naturally socially disabled, I think I've just had a variety of life factors that combined to reduce the level of social experience I've had relative to other people my age. In bygone eras I think they would have just labeled it as "awkwardness" and left it at that, but nowadays if you're socially awkward you can't escape suspicions of autism.

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Nostalgia in an unfamiliar place
Sunday, August 12, 2018
I left early for ECS today, but when I got there the building was locked and nobody was setting up, so I decided to walk around the nearby community center. I was sort of sleepy, and it was a bit warm, so I was feeling relaxed. Something about the aesthetic of the buildings reminded me of childhood. The open layout of the rooms was like that of my elementary school, albeit more shady, and with higher ceilings.

It was very quiet there, and almost nobody else was around, I guess because it's closed on weekends. They had a senior center there and some kind of children's center as well. There's something I love about wandering around places that are usually busy and full of life when nobody is there. I guess these spaces lend themselves to the imagination, and there's so much possibility in them. When I wander through them I can almost hear the echoes of footsteps and conversation and laughter.

At the same time, this place made me think of being in Hawaii in the summer, at my uncle's church. There was no air conditioning there, but with all the windows open, the breezes flowing in were more than enough to cool it down.

Sometimes it feels like I'll wake up and be back there, and all of my adolescence and adult life will just have been one long nap dream on a warm day.

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The socializing never ends
Saturday, August 11, 2018
"You're Somebody Else" by flora cash.

I saw the part of you that only when you're older you will see too

Feeling pretty exhausted right now. I was up until like... 5:30am last night. Hung out with my friend Matt and his friend pretty late, and got to talking with the friend until 4am. It was enjoyable conversation and I felt fairly wired after I got home, but I had an ECS hike at 8am and I took what was basically a 1.5 hour nap between hanging out at my friend's place and going hiking.

On Tuesday I went to a talk about the existential view of being alone. I thought it was quite interesting and was reassuring in the way that such things often are for me. The information itself wasn't necessarily all novel, but it put words to concepts I had never articulated before, and there was comfort in that. The speaker described different types of being alone and loneliness.

For example, there's morbid loneliness anxiety vs. existential loneliness. Morbid loneliness anxiety is a state of feeling separated from oneself as a feeling/knowing person. Existential loneliness, in contrast, is an awareness of the solitary and separate nature of being human. Subjectivity divides us from ever being truly with each other in our perceptions and experiences. I experience existential loneliness frequently, and have for almost the past eight years.

Solitude facilitates our inner work by encouraging autocommunication, which was defined in the talk as "communication with oneself based on the polyphony (multiple voices) of human consciousness." I think that autocommunication helped me when I was younger and struggling with my self-worth, and I had two voices in my head with opposing points of view about me. There was the main voice, the one that felt like my voice, saying negative things, and then there was a louder more aggressive voice that shot down everything "my" voice said. I don't have multiple distinct inner voices anymore, but I guess I might not need them anymore.

Too tired to write more right now. So tired lately, it feels like. Never any motivation to write. Not much motivation to do anything at all. It's strange, because my mood will seem okay, or at least not terrible, but I just... don't want to do things. Sometimes I go to sleep early because I feel like there's just nothing at all I want to do while conscious. It comes off like a depressive thing, but I don't feel anything otherwise. Maybe I have to determine it going from the outside in again though... Haven't had to do that in awhile, not since I used to deal with depersonalization, but I can dust off those skills...

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My sleep schedule is terrible
Tuesday, July 31, 2018
"Crane Song" by Toledo.

This song feels perfect for the quiet late at night. Or well, the first part, at least. The softness of it, and the way it turns round and round. Revolving slowly like a mobile hanging from the ceiling, casting shadows on the walls. The rocking picks up halfway through and gives it a different tone.

I started talking to someone new. Don't know much about him except that he's in SLO, but details are emerging as we go on. I don't really have expectations for where this will go, but it's nice to have someone to chat with regularly. He asked if anybody had ever told me I was a little bit intimidating tonight... I can't recall if anybody has ever said that to me directly, but it's been implied before. It's strange but sort of flattering I suppose.

School is almost over. I just have a few assignments left and I'll have a couple weeks before the next semester starts...

I socialized more than I could reasonably handle on Saturday and it's thrown my sleep schedule off pretty badly. Needed more time to recover my energy and I haven't gotten it yet. Thursday's gonna be rough...

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