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Memores acti prudentes futuri

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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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Passive Aggressive Notes
Wednesday, March 18, 2015
At my crisis line shift, I talked to a 14 year old kid who had attempted suicide by cutting. Like, attempted literally right before calling, I guess. The kid was trying to stem the flow of blood with a towel while we were on the phone. Wouldn't give me an address or anything, only a phone number, so all I could do was pass the phone number on to the fire department and hope things worked out.

Right before my shift ended, the kid called me back and said my alias faintly. When I said "Hello? [Kid's name]?" the kid hung up.

I felt pretty shaken when I was driving home, and for awhile after getting home.

I feel better now though. I ate some Goldfish and listened to music and looked at pictures of my boyfriend because why not, sometimes that makes me feel better for some reason.

Of course, I hope the kid is okay, but the reality is that I'll probably never know. I guess I should just be grateful that I can bounce back so quickly. Something like this would probably stick with a lot of people. I'm taking the fact that it did impact me as a good thing. It means I'm not desensitized. So I still feel stuff, and things get to me, but they don't have a lasting negative effect.

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Reestablishing contact
Tuesday, March 17, 2015
In the IRC chat I've been going to, I ran into a guy I knew from a chatroom several years ago. It was a bit surreal catching up. He lives in San Francisco now, and just broke up with his girlfriend. They were together for two years and apparently she just decided she'd rather sleep with some random guy from a bar than continue their relationship. He's understandably hurt and bitter because of it, but he's doing his best to move on.

He said he will probably come back to the chat, so maybe we will get to talk again. I was feeling kind of bad myself before we talked about his situation, but my own bad feelings were kind of displaced by my sadness and shock about his situation.


After class today, I went to see a documentary about domestic violence. It was very heavy and kind of graphic and I cried a bit several times during it, but I tried very hard not to let anybody see. Sometimes I didn't even know why I wanted to cry. The whole thing was just really hard-hitting. I ended up drinking a ton of water, which seemed to help prevent me from going from "eyes watering a lot" to "straight up crying" during the movie. It made that feeling go away at least, the one where you feel like something is caught in your throat.

The second half of school today was kind of just hard in general. In my last class the lecture was about intimate partner violence and rape. Generally unpleasant stuff. Even though it was kind of dry and academic it was still not fun to hear about. And then the documentary afterward... well... I wasn't feeling great when I got home.

I'm really tired now, but I stayed up late talking to that guy from the chat. Even though I wanted to go to sleep, I didn't want to stop chatting. He went to sleep a bit ago though, so I guess I might as well sleep now too.

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Cure all
Monday, March 16, 2015
[7:15:25 PM] Dan: I'll just get a prostitute
[7:15:33 PM] Dan: Will that solve my problems
[7:15:49 PM] Me: Yes, all of them
[7:17:42 PM] Dan: Finally
[7:17:52 PM] Dan: I actually had a friend suggest it
[7:25:55 PM] Me: I feel like you might have mentioned that before.
[7:25:58 PM] Me: I honestly don't know what that would fix.
[7:37:16 PM] Me: Oh yeah, that's where all the sadness lives
[7:38:07 PM] Dan: duh
[7:44:05 PM] Me: I could see this as a news article
[7:48:37 PM] Dan: World changed

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Virtue ethics again
Saturday, March 14, 2015
Still thinking about virtue ethics.

Aristotle's proposed goal in virtue ethics is to achieve eudaimonia, which is a long term contentment with the course of one's life, but also a state of human flourishing. A eudaimon life is a life with few regrets, in which one reaches the full potential that could be expected for what one is.

My Ethics prof likes to use the example of a rosebush. A rosebush that is flourishing has green leaves, many blooms, and is healthy and vibrant etc. It is the best for what you could expect of a rosebush. It isn't, as he likes to say, "bionic"-- it isn't some sort of unnaturally enabled rosebush that can walk around and do stuff rosebushes don't normally do. The rosebush needs certain conditions to get it to a flourishing state-- it needs the right amount of water, the right kind of soil, the right amount of sunlight, and so on.

A rosebush cannot flourish if it gets the same amount of sunlight that would be best for a fern. It also cannot flourish if it gets the same amount of water as a cactus. In the former scenario there is excess, and in the latter there is deficiency. It is necessary to find the golden mean between the states of excess and deficiency. This golden mean is virtue.

Aristotle felt that humans were uniquely capable of reason. To reach our full potential we need to make use of that and reason well. Were reasoning well when we determine where the golden mean is for us-- when we figure out where virtue lies.

To become a virtuous person you need to practice virtue. Another example my prof used was someone who plays a musical instrument. There are good violin players and bad violin players. How do you become a good violin player? By practicing, yes, but not just by practicing. You have to practice playing well. You could play violin eight hours a day and still be a bad violin player if you practice badly.

I think when I first decided I wanted to be the best person I could be, I went a little overboard with some things, but I've been figuring out where a good middle ground is. Like, I realized some point along the way that trying to be 100% selfless wasn't going to work because if I didn't spend at least some time on myself, I wouldn't be healthy enough to effectively support other people. Just trying to make sure I don't slide back though...

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Thursday, March 12, 2015
It's weird, I almost feel like something was off in my mind for the past couple days (because of the random anger) and now it's been reset and I'm totally fine again.

Maybe it was PMS.

Part of me wants to think that killing dream cleared me out though. I felt extremely satisfied and kind of smug in the dream.

I don't think I consistently get PMS, if that's what it is, but it does seem like every now and then I just feel super angry and irritated a few days before my period starts. A long time ago when I first learned about PMS I thought I could just counter it by realizing it was probably just PMS and not getting angry. That awareness took awhile to cultivate though. It's easy to see it after it happens but significantly more difficult to do it in the moment. Still, it's not impossible. It's just a habit that had to be developed. Probably the hardest part is wanting the anger to go away. I find that when I'm angry it often comes with the feeling that I want to be angry. So really, the challenge is not to shift the mood, it's to shift the desire. And I guess that's where reasoning comes in.

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Wednesday, March 11, 2015
I slept a bit more last night than I have been the past few days, because my internship meeting got canceled today.

I don't remember all that I dreamt, but there at least three separate storylines going on. In one of them I abducted a bunch of people and had them all in a large room where I made them compete to see who I wouldn't kill. There were maybe six or seven women (including a trans woman who talked to the others about how she had been circumcised) and I was going to let two live. The first contest involved dancing and they were all terrible but to the point where it kind of amused me, so I decided I would pick the winners based on who amused me most. Then this guy showed up and apparently wanted to enter the competition by choice, because he felt confident that he could win. I saw no reason to stop him.

In another one I was talking to Sean on a crowded lawn while this grotesque girl hovered around him. Apparently they were friends from OKC and she had been interested in him before he met someone. I found her face disturbing and didn't want to look at her, but I couldn't avoid it because she was so close to him.

Today I don't feel particularly angry but I feel kind of mentally tired.


My therapist found my dream very interesting. He loves doing dream interpretation... I'm okay with that in a casual setting but I feel iffy about it in a counseling setting. His suggestions for what aspects of my dream might mean didn't really feel right to me.

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Tuesday, March 10, 2015

I was feeling very angry earlier, and my thoughts were unproductive, going in circles of negativity and reaching no true conclusions. I decided to play a game and felt much better afterwards. Calmer. More clear. Looking at pictures seemed to help too.

The quarter is ending in a couple weeks, and then I'll have Spring Break. Don't know what I'm doing for that yet...

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Ethics dj vu
Tuesday, March 10, 2015
We started on virtue ethics in my Ethics class today. It was kind of weird for me. I've never actually read anything about virtue ethics before that I can remember, but I feel like to some extent I've kind of been practicing it. >.> At least... from the overview we got today. So that's... strange to think about.

Or maybe I haven't actually been practicing it. My personal development wasn't motivated by the drive to be happy. I dunno. I'll probably have to think about it more as I learn more about it.

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