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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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Some good things recently [2P]
Sunday, July 22, 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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Thursday, July 19, 2018
I have scary dreams sometimes, but nothing so bad that it wakes me up, usually. At least not within my memory of the past few years. For some reason these past couple nights, I've had three different dreams that were sufficiently horrifying to wake me up. The odd thing is that they didn't really have too much in the way of plot, which contrasts with my usual dreams.

1. I walked into a McDonald's and looked to my right, down the hall towards the bathrooms. There was something blocking the hallway, and I realized it was a man who had hanged himself and felt nauseated. Right before I woke up, it struck me that he looked oddly disfigured on the right side of his face, and I felt afraid that he had actually been overtaken by some kind of alien or parasite that drove him to hang himself.

2. I was coming out of Mitsuwa, and there was an older man seated outside, facing away from the doors. He turned to look over his right shoulder and I saw that his right eye had been ripped from its socket, so there was only a hole. That side of his face was clawed and raw and bloody, and I woke up in a panic.

3. There was a bit more to this dream than the others, but at the end, I was with Becka and her baby, who she was letting crawl around on some kind of shelf that had a few magazines on it and a clear plastic wall at the front so you could see the publications. Her baby slipped and hit his head and we all looked towards him in concern. There were huge amounts of blood pooling around his head in the display case, and I was scared and wondered if he was going to die. The worst part was that he started off crying, and then just starting screaming. It was this shrill inhuman wail that flooded my ears and didn't stop until I woke up.

I hope my dreams go back to normal soon. I don't like waking up panicked in the middle of the night...

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Friday, July 6, 2018
For whatever reason, I seem to have developed some rather strong convictions about names and their usage. I don't think I have recorded these thoughts in any cohesive form before, so this seemed like as good a time as any to finally write them down.

I guess, first off, we have to define what a name is. A name is an identification, a way of being known to others. A name helps to specify and separate from the crowd. I don't have a problem with these things.

What I have an issue with is the idea of having a "real" name. I feel like it ties into the concept of having one true singular identity. There are many ways we can be in the world, and not all cultures have this idea of the One True Self. On top of this quibble, the "real name" people expect is almost universally one's given/legal name. I didn't choose my given name, it was picked for me before I was even born. I never had a say in it, but it's what I have to go by legally. Also, at this point in my life, it's so worn into me that trying to ask people to call me something different would be tremendously inconvenient. It has little or nothing to do with who I am as a person, though.

The names I choose for myself feel more meaningful. I've always had an affinity for nicknames, and I think that's part of why I like the internet so much. Here, I get to be known by the name I make for myself. There's none of the baggage that comes with my given name. My identity is malleable and free-flowing. The recent trend of social media sites forcing you to put your "real name" on your profile bothers me not just for privacy reasons, but for principle conflicts as well.

I don't want to have to condense multiple ways of being in the world under one header. I am different with different people, but I am always myself, and I don't want to box myself in with a single name. My various usernames are branches of me. There is also an underlying namelessness that I feel, which seems better addressed by having multiple names than by pretending there is only one name which can encompass everything. It is the difference between trying to represent a circle with many straight lines and trying to represent a circle with one line. I will not be reduced.

At the same time, there is a practicality that I understand in having one name across all dimensions of life. It simplifies things. It's easier, less of a hassle, less messy and uncontained. I know that my feelings on this subject could be framed as drama, "making a big deal out of nothing," and so on. There's always that tension between objective and subjective. Does it really matter? No, and yes at the same time. None of this is "real" in any objective sense. These things only matter because they are made real through thought and speech and sharing with others. As I get older, I find I don't run into as many people who don't understand this interaction, but it's still something to remember.

Anyway, yeah, names. That's a thing.

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Saints and blood
Tuesday, July 3, 2018
I donated blood today. The technician who attended to me was named Dymphna, and I commented that I'd never heard that name before. She told me that Dympnha was the patron saint of the mentally ill. The story goes that Dympnha was the daughter of a pagan Irish king and a beautiful Christian woman who died when Dympnha was young. In his grief, the king went mad. His advisers suggested he remarry, but he refused to marry anybody who was not as beautiful as his dead wife, and became fixated on his daughter. Dymphna fled to the town of Geel in what is now Belgium, but her father tracked her down and, when she refused his advances, he cut off her head.

After her death, the people of Geel started taking the mentally ill into their homes and caring for them, not as patients but as "boarders" who are integrated into normal life. They don't try to treat them or change them, they just live with them and accept them as people.

Anyway, I just thought that was interesting, as well as oddly appropriate.


I've been feeling sad lately, and my dad knocked on my door tonight and told me I got a package. I didn't remember buying anything, but I opened the box and found this:

Knew immediately it was from Kyle and felt cared for. It's hard to talk to any of my other friends about how I'm feeling in the moment. Even when he's not around to respond though, I feel like I can message him to say whatever and it's okay.


I've been listening to Vansire's Angel Youth album today. It's dreamy and sweet with little touches of sadness here and there.

"Moon Hits" by Vansire.

Oh we were standing there
When the moon broke through
And I wonder still
What it meant to you

Do the months roll by
When you're far from home
Are you doing fine
Have you grown wistful on your own?


I'm waiting on my therapist to give me a call so I can schedule an appointment and talk to him about the dreams I've been having.

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Friday, June 29, 2018
Trevor and I were talking about an idea he has for a startup, and I ended up looking at a bunch of bird pictures online for name inspiration. Found Glenn Bartley's website, which is full of beautiful bird photos from the Americas.

I'm so full of awe and grateful to be living in a day and age where I can see these gorgeous photos. Thinking about the work it took for this photographer to travel around and find all these birds, and everything that went into editing and the technology required to deliver these images to my screen here in my home... It's really just astounding, honestly. So much goes into it, and we take it for granted that we can search all these images on Google. Hardly give any photo more than a few seconds' glance. It's such a shame.

Still, I'm happy I can see these. It's important to be grateful for the good things in life.

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Having cake and eating it too
Wednesday, June 27, 2018
Thinking about money, and the way it's been valued in my family. We probably could have made a lot of money by investing in different things or focusing more on it. Sometimes I speculate on how much more financially well off I could have been if things were done differently. That's in the vein of counterfactual thinking and isn't productive, though.

I don't know that things would necessarily be better with more money. They could be worse... just with more money. My dad isn't focused on making as much money as he can or taking the largest share for himself he can get, and I think being more money-focused would be incongruent with traits in him that I value. He is kind and generous and considerate. He is unselfish and calm. Those don't seem like things worth giving up for more money.

Sometimes I feel like I can have everything I want if I just work hard enough, but maybe that's not true. Maybe I can't have a lot of money and also be the kind of person I aspire to be. Not everything is compatible or can be contained in the same person. I devote much of my mental energy to improving myself, and if I cared enough, maybe I could be using that to learn how to invest instead. Maybe I could only make a lot of money by sacrificing other valuable things. It's all tradeoffs. I have to think about what I really value and put my energy into that.

I need to remember not to expect too much from other people, too. Nobody can do everything. There are limits on what I can ask for from people without them having to take energy and resources away from what they care about. Have to keep reminding myself...

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Chasing authenticity
Thursday, June 21, 2018
I had a meeting with a prof today, and we ended up talking about one of my past relationships. I commented that I seem to have conflated difference with authenticity in the past, and she agreed. I've had this repeated experience of thinking someone was authentic and real because they didn't conform, but it's possible to be different and still be putting on a persona. It's possible to not be in touch with yourself and just have a different mold you're fitting yourself into than that of most people.

Maybe I take my ego strength for granted. I have sought out painful feedback and criticism and tried to find the constructive threads in it. I was raised on criticism, not compliments. I've learned not to crumble when something threatens my self-image. All those years of not entirely trusting myself to be correct, I guess. Nowadays I sometimes feel like I've veered too much into trusting myself and I need to step back again. It's a constant battle between maintaining humility and openness and feeling too self-assured. Maybe I've gotten too many compliments, haha. All that positive feedback has put me up on a pedestal and I keep wanting to guard myself from falling off. I don't want to become overly confident and arrogant, nor to think I always know what's right. I don't want to be blind to my own flaws. I also don't want to talk the talk and not walk the walk. Virtue signaling is gross.

I could have done better in some of my interactions recently, and I've been thinking about that. I would give myself a B- I guess. Maybe a C+. I know I am capable of doing much more than I have, but it does require me to be mindful and take a step back and swallow my own defenses, which is hard when to do when it's not happening on both sides. It's not productive to have an exchange mindset like that, though. My code of behavior is for how I want to act in the world, and I am striving to uphold that even when it doesn't feel like it's deserved. Need to remind myself of that sometimes. Life covers itself over, as Heidegger said...

It's hard to connect all my thoughts in a linear readable way, but I'm thinking about Maslow's hierarchy at the moment. More specifically, the idea of self-transcendence which is often left out of the model taught in school. At this point in my life, I feel like that's what I'm most interested in. Self-actualization is idealized in American culture, and self-transcendence less emphasized. It's late and I'm tired, so I'm not going to bother defining everything here, but the gist of it is that self-actualization is about fulfilling your potential and higher needs (e.g. intellectual, aesthetic) as opposed to lower ones like food and safety. Self-transcendence is about going beyond yourself. I think I want to connect with someone who also values that, but it's harder to find when you're not religious or some kind of new age hippie.

Some people say they met the love of their life when they were in middle age, 40s or 50s or even beyond. I hope I don't have to wait that long, but it seems hard to meet people who can appreciate what I have to offer. Being liked for being pretty and smart is... dissatisfying. Those are parts of me but they're not what make me an individual. It feels more meaningful when people appreciate me for my perspectives, for my choices in life, for what I create and what I challenge myself to do. For my journey. I want to find someone about whom I can appreciate those things too. I hope we can encourage and hold each other's authentic selves, including all the unsavory shadowy parts and the frustrating parts and the ugly parts. I hope we can have fights where we yell and cry and still love each other after. I hope we can have misunderstandings that hurt us but which get resolved and leave us stronger than we were before. I hope we can have faith in each other.

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Variation on a dream
Monday, June 18, 2018
Occasionally I have dreams that I'm trapped somewhere and monsters/zombies/aliens/diseased people are closing in on me. Last night I had one of those.

In the dream, I was in an abandoned kitchen with my family, and we were desperately trying to figure out if we could hide from the creatures who were coming to kill us. I think they were mutated humans or something, kind of like the monsters in I Am Legend. We couldn't stop them from coming in, and none of the cupboards were big enough to hide in. The creatures burst into the house and fell upon us, and I watched them kill my dad. For some reason I got the idea to try to be aggressively confident and yell at them, and that seemed to work as camouflage somehow. They thought I was one of them because of how I was acting. I kept it up and they didn't kill me. Later on, I led a group of other survivors through the new society that was built by these other humans, and protected us from detection by maintaining my aggressive and boisterous demeanor.

I guess this dream stood out to me because usually there's no escape in these kinds of dreams. The creatures are taking over the world and I have no chance against them. I'm not sure what the significance is of my new ability to blend in with them and plot to subvert their dominance, but it feels very different than how these dreams have been for me in the past. I didn't have the hopeless fear that's more typical of them.

Wish I could talk to my therapist about it, but nothing's going to happen until July. I have an intake appointment scheduled for Friday though, so the process is at least getting started.

Tonight I talked to someone I hadn't chatted with in six months and it was really nice. It was just banter, but I feel like it scratched an itch I wasn't fully aware I had. At the end, he said he needed to sleep, and added "It was good catching up don�t make me break the ice next time after 6 months," so I joked that I'd message him first in six months instead. Not sure when we'll next talk, but I enjoyed our conversation a lot and would like to talk more than once every six months, I think. Guess we'll see how things go.


In other news... I have gotten sucked back into incremental games. I have three different ones running right now. >_> They're easy to get into because they don't require my full attention and I can play them while I'm doing other things, but there aren't a lot of good ones. I feel like I'd appreciate this genre even more than I already do if I understood the math that goes into these things, but ah well. I can enjoy them on a surface level, anyway.

"Want To Believe" by Rich Aucoin.

Have I found what I needed?
Can you ever conceive it?
If I heard it in nothing, will I see it in something?

In times like this, I want to be a believer

Am I hardly existing?
Can I see what I�m missing?
When I die, is it ending?
Can I go on pretending?

In times like this, I want to be a believer

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