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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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A few different things
Wednesday, January 28, 2015
I heard this on the radio today. I feel like the more I listen to it, the more I like it.

"I Just Threw Out The Love Of My Dreams" by Weezer.

So, here are a couple of pictures from when I was walking around the area Seattle University is in...

This sign amused me. If you can't read it, it says "Solar power works in Seattle."

I mean, I'm sure it's true that it works, but I highly doubt it works that well.

There was also an outdoor ping pong table in this nice little urban park there.

I honestly have no idea why this exists or if people even use it, but it was interesting to see.

I've been feeling kind of fatigued the past few days, but on the plus side, the acne problems I'd been having for awhile seem to be going away. It's not actually particularly severe, just worse than what's normal for me. Surprisingly it doesn't seem to be scarring much, if at all, so I'm happy about that.

My friend in Spain and I are planning to watch a movie together on Friday. It's a bit hard to manage with the timezone difference, but he's on break right now so he's been staying up late. I'm not sure what we're going to watch, or how we'll watch it exactly... he was talking about sharing his screen. He's kind of a film buff, and he's been recommending a lot of movies to me (I have yet to watch most of them, but I thought the ones I've seen have been decent). I'm definitely not as into movies as he is, but it's kind of interesting to talk about as an art form. He wants to make his own film someday too, and I guess he and a friend were going to try to make something, but his friend lost interest. It's too bad, because I would've liked to see what they made. Maybe in the future, though.

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Nature vs. effort
Tuesday, January 27, 2015
I've had an internal debate going for a number of years now about what makes a person good. Sometimes I've felt like I'm not "really" a good person because it's not necessarily my instinct to be as kind as I can possibly be, or to be as considerate and thoughtful as another person might be.

There are times when I'm tempted to be mean to people, or not make an effort to care (though this has become less and less of a problem over time). I don't give in to these urges much, if ever, but the fact that they pop up occasionally bothers me sometimes. I've had this idea of a "good person" who's... hm, I guess for lack of a better term, totally pure. Someone who would never even think of hurting someone else, and to whom consideration and care come without thought, without effort. Someone who doesn't ever face the temptation to do other things. I suspect this idea came from the fairy tales I read as a child.

In more recent times (within the past couple years, maybe) I guess I've been moving away from this sort of "naturally good" ideal. It made me feel guilty about myself, and sort of like a fake. I guess now I conceptualize it from more of a relative/strength perspective rather than an absolute/inborn perspective.

(I'm very tired, so I hope this is coming out coherently)

Constantly resisting the temptation to be bad connotes strength and motivation. To know that there are alternatives and that you are capable of carrying them out, but to choose to behave kindly and considerately and compassionately anyway, to put in the effort to deviate from your nature/instinct, all that's a sign of dedication, isn't it? A commitment to be good.

The "naturally good" person, by contrast, does not face these temptations, maybe has no concept of a different behavior, does not have to consciously be anything. That's not a bad thing, but it just requires no effort on their part. The same amount of work can be easy for a person who's naturally gifted and difficult for someone who isn't. I wonder, though, if the "naturally good" person (if they even exist-- this is of course an ideal that could be totally unrealistic) is motivated to improve, to be better than they already are.

I have often been motivated to improve myself because I feel deficient in some way, but now I feel that I'm at a point where I'm not significantly deficient. I'm not perfect at all, but I guess I'm content with where I'm at. Still, I think I could do better. Well, be better. A lot of things have become much easier with practice. It's strange to think I sort of started doing this years ago, when I was a teenager. Back when my self esteem was so low I felt like the only way I could redeem myself was to put all my energy into being the best person I could, to cancel out the innate terribleness of my being. I made that decision when I was 16, I think, and I'm 23 now, so it's been seven years. Seven years of ups and downs, but slowly treading towards healthiness and happiness.


At my last counseling session, my counselor remarked that he thought I was too young to be stoic. I thought that was sort of funny for some reason. I'm not really sure what I'm "supposed" to be at this age. Full of passion, energetic, unstable, dramatic? Swayed by fancies? I feel much calmer and more peaceful than I used to, and it seems nice enough.


This is so good.


It's not a game exactly, but it's an interactive experience. I recommend full screen. NSFW though, just to warn you.

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Sunday, January 25, 2015
Going out to lunch with a couple of my boyfriend's friends tomorrow.

I am stupidly excited about eating goat cheese mac and cheese.

Don't know what it is about goat cheese but man I am on the verge of obsessed with it. Goat cheese and olives. Nummmmmms.

Anyway, not much to write about. We're going to watch something before going to bed so I'll end the entry here.

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Patriotism and a life of glory
Thursday, January 22, 2015
[12:34:53 AM] Dan: Am I making you hungry
[12:36:03 AM] Me: I don't like trail mix, so no.
[12:36:33 AM] Dan: Whoa, I misread that as "I don't like America" and I almost threw my computer

{Talking about Breaking Bad}
[1:00:25 AM] Dan: My dad said he would never watch it because he thought it would glorify drug use
[1:00:51 AM] Dan: Same with my stepmom, but I was like oh dear god no it's the exact opposite
[1:00:55 AM] Me: I'm not sure I understand that argument.
[1:01:11 AM] Me: "It glorifies drug use and I don't want to be persuaded to use drugs"?
[1:01:14 AM] Dan: Hahhaha
[1:01:18 AM] Dan: I know, it's f****** stupid
[1:01:40 AM] Dan: "Hmm, you know what, I seem to have my life in line, but this show has convinced me that meth might be pretty cool"
[1:02:37 AM] Dan: I can imagine someone saying that and also being a big fan of action movies or something
[1:02:49 AM] Dan: Ones that actually glorify violence
[1:04:40 AM] Me: "My life is good, but wouldn't it be better with punches?"

I'm in this weird state between having an appetite and not having an appetite.

The past few days I didn't really have an appetite, and I didn't feel super hungry. Wednesday I felt hungry and wanted to eat but no food was appealing. I ate some things anyway just to feel less hungry but it was sort of a dissatisfying experience. I've been trying to think of foods I might want to eat but nothing is coming to mind. Even my favorite foods seem kind of unpleasant. Right now I'm fairly hungry and I can't think of a single thing that seems nice to eat. Hrm.

I'm glad I don't feel this way about my other needs.

[1:31:12 AM] Me: In 2009 I spent almost my whole Intro to Psych class just doing word searches on my laptop and every time I finished one I tweeted "Word search completed ___ minutes"
[1:31:43 AM] Dan: O_o
[1:31:46 AM] Me: Later I deleted all of those because I realized what a paragon of banality they were.
[1:31:58 AM] Dan: Paragon of banality...
[1:32:02 AM] Dan: Sounds like my life
[1:35:50 AM] Me: Sounds like an ironic hipster band.
[1:36:04 AM] Dan: Again, my life

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As in a dream [DP]
Tuesday, January 20, 2015
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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Something about this is really hilarious to me
Monday, January 19, 2015
Oh stock photos, you hold a special place in my heart.

"Young man proposing senior woman near swimming pool, side view"

"Young man with senior woman sitting in wheelchair near swimming pool"

"Man holding wheelchair looking at woman in swimming pool"

I just love how terse and straightforward the names of the images are. I mean, I guess I find terseness pretty amusing in general in these kinds of contexts, but yeah.

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On practice
Sunday, January 18, 2015
My friends say things about me, like I'm patient, or strong, or caring. They talk as if these qualities were some innate part of me. I tell them otherwise and they shrug it off as modesty.

But I really don't think that I naturally have many of these positive qualities I'm perceived to have. Most of the things I am now were developed through purposeful effort. It's no different than training for a sport, except that whatever progress I make is internal rather than external, and therefore hard for others to see.

I wanted to be someone patient, kind, caring, selfless, etc. and that's the kind of person I have worked toward becoming. I don't think I had any sort of natural affinity for those things, and it's not always been easy to pursue them as qualities. I guess if I had any sort of innate or at least strongly-rooted advantage it would be that if I truly want something I pretty much always find a way to get it. This aspect of me just doesn't come up that often because there aren't many things I truly want.

In a previous post I talked about the insignificance of the individual in the larger scale of the universe. The external world is absurd and unpredictable, unmoved by the self. The internal world is more controllable, though many people don't understand that. It seems to me only sensible to focus one's efforts on the parts of life that one can control-- the self. Of course there are ways to affect the external world, but it's much more difficult, I think, and much less flexible. We can't choose the system we're born into, but we can choose how we play our role within it. This thinking has factored heavily into how I plan to achieve my goals.

My goals, I think, are hard to explain though. I guess in a way I want to be a skeleton key that can open any door. I want to be in a position where I never have to worry about my options, rather than wanting a specific option. I think having money and a good education will help me get there, but money and education aren't ends in themselves... I don't want to know things for the sake of knowing them, I want to be able to flesh out my understanding of the world with the knowledge I gain.

I don't get depressed as often or as heavily as I used to, and I do think this is significantly related to my efforts to mentally restructure myself. Having friends helps a lot when I'm feeling down, but I wouldn't have as many friends if I hadn't put a lot of calculated effort into becoming more social and learning how to get past my shyness. Being outgoing used to be very forced for me but it's become much more natural with time. I still have a long ways to go though, I think. I'm always going to be in the process of becoming the person I want to be, but I don't think I'll ever be that person, in part at least because I think I will continue to find things I want to change.

Epictetus had some good things to say about how I feel.

"...None of these objects that men admire and set their hearts on is of any use to those who get them, though those who have never chanced to have them get the impression, that if only these things were theirs their cup of blessings would be full, and then, when they get them, the sun scorches them and the sea tosses them no less, and they feel the same boredom and the same desire for what they have not got. For freedom is secured not by the fulfilling of men's desires, but by the removal of desire. To learn the truth of what I say, you must spend your pains on these new studies instead of your studies in the past: sit up late that you may acquire a judgement that makes you free: pay your attentions not to a rich old man, but to a philosopher, and be seen about his doors: to be so seen will not do you discredit: you will not depart empty or without profit, if you approach in the right spirit. If you doubt my word, do but try: there is no disgrace in trying."

"Men are disturbed, not by things, but by the principles and notions which they form concerning things. Death, for instance, is not terrible, else it would have appeared so to Socrates. But the terror consists in our notion of death that it is terrible. When therefore we are hindered, or disturbed, or grieved, let us never attribute it to others, but to ourselves; that is, to our own principles. An uninstructed person will lay the fault of his own bad condition upon others. Someone just starting instruction will lay the fault on himself. Someone who is perfectly instructed will place blame neither on others nor on himself."

These late hours are not the best time to be pursuing Stoic ethics, but here's one last quote I should really keep in mind for my own sake:

"The will of nature may be learned from those things in which we don't distinguish from each other. For example, when our neighbor's boy breaks a cup, or the like, we are presently ready to say, 'These things will happen.' Be assured, then, that when your own cup likewise is broken, you ought to be affected just as when another's cup was broken. Apply this in like manner to greater things. Is the child or wife of another dead? There is no one who would not say, 'This is a human accident.' but if anyone's own child happens to die, it is presently, 'Alas how wretched am I!' But it should be remembered how we are affected in hearing the same thing concerning others."

I don't advocate for being resigned to everything one encounters in life, but to figure out which things can be controlled and to control them in a way advantageous to the self, I guess. No bad faith...

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Saturday, January 17, 2015
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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