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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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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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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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