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."
"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
Kill that boredom!
Binder Paper Comics
Web Comics and Such
A Distant Soil (Some nudity)
The Adventures of Gyno-Star (Some explicit stuff)
Blue Milk Special
Cigarro & Cerveja
Cyanide and Happiness
dead winter (has some explicit stuff)
Devilbear: The Grimoires of Bearalzebub (PG-13?)
Eat That Toast!
The Fancy Adventures of Jack Cannon
For Lack of a Better Comic
Girls with Slingshots (some explicit stuff...?)
The Intrepid Girlbot
The Last Halloween
Last Train to Old Town
The League of Evil Genius
Legend of Bill
Living With Insanity (some nudity)
Love Me Nice
Married to the Sea
The Moon Prince
Moth (Some nudity)
The Non-Adventures of Wonderella
Political Cartoonists Index
Poorly Drawn Lines
The Property of Hate
Robbie and Bobby
Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal
Scenes from a Multiverse
The Secret Knots
Stand Still. Stay Silent
Strong Female Protagonist
The Super Fogeys
Tales of Pylea
Three Word Phrase (some nudity)
Tiny Kitten Teeth
Toothpaste for Dinner
Trying Human (Some nudity)
Two Guys and Guy
Yellow Peril (PG-13)
Infrequently/No Longer Updating Web Comics
The Abominable Charles Christopher
The Adventures of Dr. McNinja
The Adventures of Ellie Connelly
Bag of Toast
Bear in Mind
The Book of Biff
Chain Bear (Some explicit stuff)
Daisy is Dead
Ectopiary (Some nudity)
Edmund Finney's Quest to Find the Meaning of Life
A Fine Example
Finn and Charlie are HITCHED
Hark! A Vagrant
Head Doctor Productions
Hello with Cheese
Kyle & Atticus
Lesbian Pirates from Outer Space
Letters to a Wild Boar
Lovecraft is Missing
Meat and Plastic
The Nerds of Paradise
No Reason Comics
One Swoop Fell
Pictures for Sad Children
A Redtail's Dream
Roy's Boys (PG 13?)
Run Freak Run
The Super Gay Adventures of Ross Boston
YU + ME
Pure Flash Awesomeness
Die Anstalt : Toy Psychiatry
Clients from Hell
Creatures in My Head
Damn You Auto Correct!
Jhonen Vasquez's site
Overheard in New York
Passive Aggressive Notes
I exist on the internet again
Wednesday, August 16, 2017
The past week felt like a different lifetime. Now I'm back to what I guess is my "normal" life and I feel sort of odd, as if I were just created in this space with memories of a past life that I didn't really live through. Like... a Sim designed as an adult, with some assumed background context that doesn't really exist.
In a way, it feels like there's never been anything but this present moment, and there never will be anything more. Not that these feelings are anything to take literally.
I spent a lot of time with friends over the past few days. It was nice, but also a bit draining when it was groups of people. Maybe I'm just kind of recovering from that.
Also, I went with my friend to Fry's to find a universal adapter, and that particular location had a mattress department, so I sat on one of the beds, then decided to run and jump onto a different mattress... but it turned out to be a box spring, so now I have some big ol' bruises on my knees, and it kind of messed up my right hand for a couple days. Really giving some heft to that saying 'look before you leap,' I guess.
I don't know why, but I feel super tired. I think I slept enough last night, but I just keep wanting to go back to bed.
There were a lot of things I thought about writing here, but one of the exciting ones is that I opened Chrome dev tools on OKC and found a recruitment challenge that my friend from IRC is now solving, and he's giving a play by play of it in the channel. I don't understand what's involved but it's fun to follow along.
Monday, August 7, 2017
Alright, so in the last entry I said I might write about things I automatically do now that I think contribute to me having better interpersonal interactions. I'm actually gonna do it! Sometimes I say I'm going to write about something and then I don't revisit it until much later, but there's still a bit of inspiration lingering in me, so I'll speak more on this subject. I think this is more geared at friendships/interactions with the same people over time than at one-shot interactions with strangers, but hey, you never know what might come in handy.
Just a disclaimer: I've put basically no thought into how I might organize this, but I guess maybe a list would make things nice and readable? I thought about doing contrast examples using an old conversation where I had some kind of communication problem, but I don't know where I'd have to look to dig something like that up, or if I even have anything saved. Also, this isn't a how-to guide, it's just what I've found helpful for me, moving from the person I was to the person I am and the person I want to be.
Kind of wish I had been more careful to document changes as they were happening, as I think a lot of these were not as gradual transformations the way you might expect. In a number of cases I just decided that something I was doing wasn't what I wanted to be doing, so I changed it. Sort of like... how I went pescetarian. If I really believe in something then I just do it cold turkey, no long transition. I mean, yeah, stuff takes practice to get right, but generally I made some kind of conscious decision to change and just charged on from there. I think most of these are going to sound kind of obvious and cliché, because they get passed around a lot, but from what I can tell, often people don't do the work of defining the concepts for themselves and putting them into practice.
So, in no particular order, here are the things I can think of off the top of my head; they sort of blend together in some areas, so there might be repetition:
1. Constructing an outline of the conversation in my head (or trying to).
I don't have a great short term memory for conversations, and it's helpful to me to try and pick out the major points when I'm talking to someone so that I can keep track of what we're talking about and what we've covered already. Admittedly this is something that contributes more to debates, as there's usually some central theme in the argument that I need to hold onto in order to see where all the details fit in. I used to get pretty lost in arguments, and it was easy to feel overwhelmed. Feeling overwhelmed makes it easier to react emotionally and unnecessarily home in on statements that are more peripheral to the conversation than central to it, which distracts from the topic at hand and overall isn't productive. This is just something that helps me focus.
2. Giving people the benefit of the doubt.
I try to assume that people have good intentions and would not randomly do something to hurt me or others. A few years ago it was very easy for me to take someone's bad day personally and get highly anxious that they were angry with me in particular if they were short with me. Similarly, if someone didn't talk to me for awhile, I might think they didn't like me anymore or something was wrong with our friendship. Nowadays I often tell myself that if a friend isn't talking to me, the more likely scenario is that they're busy, and it's fine for people to be busy. This has helped reduce some of the friction between me and Kyle, I think. I used to feel extremely neglected when he didn't respond to me, but I'm more able to let it go now, and I recognize that he's got a lot going on in his life that keeps him from chatting with me as much as I might like. AT THE SAME TIME, I don't excuse bad behavior if it repeatedly shows up and that person has been made aware of it. People still have personal responsibility, and even if they're stressed out or life has been kicking them when they're down, that doesn't mean it's fine for them to treat me or other people without care or respect. I am forgiving when people don't know, but if they do know, then they should be acknowledging their behavior at the very least, and preferably doing something to improve.
3. Not immediately attributing people's actions to their character.
I mentioned the fundamental attribution error before, and this is related to that. Basically, I look for signs that someone's environment is affecting them before I assume things about their personality/character. This is another way of giving people the benefit of the doubt. I tend to assume that people will be fairly reasonable and not be dicks unprovoked if their needs are being met and they're not under too much stress. Whether or not that comes off as naive to some, it's helped me feel more compassionate towards people than I used to be (i.e. in high school), and has also helped to reduce my feelings of irritation, anger, and cynicism. It's a lot easier to live in a world where people seem like they're basically good and just making some mistakes or bad decisions than in a world where people are bad and they suck.
4. Taking a step back.
I think this ties in to cultivating more patience overall, in some way. A couple of my absolute favorite classes in community college were the astronomy classes I took, because they were held in the planetarium and we got to watch these really cool simulations of space. There were some that showed the scale of the galaxy, and zoomed out from Earth to show the other planets, and then the sun, and then other stars that were even bigger, and so on. I find it calming to think about this from time to time, because it reminds me that no matter how big something feels in the moment, in the grand scheme of things, everything that happens in my life is very small against the scale of the universe. I don't need to stubbornly hold onto positions in an argument I probably won't even remember in a couple weeks. I don't need to hold grudges (although I still do, sometimes; I'm not perfect, haha). This helps me feel less anxious about screwing up in social settings, too. Nobody's gonna remember it, and really, my whole life isn't even a blink in the timeline of existence. Also related to this but not quite the same thing: Trying to look at things from outside my own perspective. Taking a step back from myself to imagine how things look to the person I'm talking to (and not just some strawman version of the person I'm talking to, but actually them) helps me maintain some balance.
5. Not making assumptions about what things mean.
Pretty straightforward, although this is one of the things I think about a lot. After Kyle and I had our falling out following our breakup in 2010, I was thrown into a panic that we'd been misunderstanding each other all the time and any connection I'd felt with him had been a lie. That feeling still comes back from time to time, so I try my best to make sure I'm on the same page with people instead of assuming that we have the same definitions for things. Do I feel awkward and anxious asking for clarification so much? Yeah, sure, although significantly less than I used to. I find that people usually appreciate my efforts to understand them, though, except in certain cases where they get annoyed and just say "you know what I mean." Not everybody uses words and phrases in the same way, and I would rather be cautious and ask what someone means (either by putting things in my own words and checking for confirmation that I'm right or asking them to elaborate) and risk some embarrassment or redundancy than potentially run into miscommunication. I end up saying "How so?", "What do you mean?", "Sometimes I feel/think ___ in this situation, is it like that?" and so on a lot.
6. Expressing appreciation and positive observations.
Surprise surprise, people aren't gonna know how I feel unless I tell them. Anyway, I don't know how much of a problem this is for other people, but I wasn't really raised to compliment, and I've had to learn how to tell people positive things. I wasn't raised with a lot of praise or validation, so those are things I've been figuring out how to navigate as an adult. More than one of my exes has told me that I didn't appreciate them enough, and I credit those relationships with showing me that it was something I really needed to show more. I've been trying to increase my gratitude and appreciation for my life in general, and naturally that includes telling people when I appreciate something they say or do. Even though it's still excessively hard for me to tell people that I think highly of them in person (I get extremely anxious and choke up in person), I'm trying to make more positive comments (e.g. "Thank you for listening," "I thought it was really insightful when you said ___"). Especially trying to do this unprompted, as that is a scarier situation to do it in, and I have this sort of exposure-therapy mindset where the scary things are the most important ones to do, because after that, everything else will seem easy.
7. Giving context and definitions for things to reduce confusion.
In Lit classes one of the things the teachers frequently told us was to write for an audience that knew nothing about the subject we were discussing. I've tried to take this to heart for conversations too, because I think it's nicer that way. So for example, if I'm talking to a new person and I mention someone I know, I might say "I was talking to Kyle (my best male friend)" as opposed to "I was talking to Kyle," or worse, "I was talking to my friend," because... well... knowing some background details helps flesh things out a bit, and then the other person doesn't have to ask who Kyle is if they don't know. There are some people who regularly vent to me without actually telling me who any of the other people they're referencing are, and that makes it hard to follow the ongoing narrative of their lives if I have no idea who all the characters in their story are. I will sometimes just say "my friend" if who they are really has no relevance to the story, or if I'm talking to someone I'll probably never talk to again, but otherwise I try to make it more clear. When I catch myself, I also try to explain what assumptions I have going into something.
8. Checking in with the other person.
Knowing how the other person is feeling and where they're at makes it SOOOOOO much easier to have a smooth interaction. I don't mean that I say "how are you feeling?" every ten minutes or anything, but if anything seems off or they said something weird, then I try to ask what's on their mind. Basically, I don't know how they're doing unless I ask, and I don't want to assume. Checking in also helps set the ground for how I interpret their words.
9. Addressing problems as soon as possible.
If I can, I think it's better to address a problem as soon as it happens, but sometimes that's not the best approach, because if there's been an argument or a miscommunication of some kind, people (including me) might need a moment to calm down. Letting things go without addressing them just paves the way for buildup of resentment though, and stuff like that is toxic for relationships. Plus, it just feels good to resolve things!
10. Not taking things personally.
I previously posted a picture I used to have as my desktop background, of Borb saying "it's not about u." Basically, I just keep in mind that not everything that's said has to directly pertain to me, and I don't assume that things are related to me unless they're explicitly laid out that way. This one makes a world of difference in not feeling offended by things! It also helps with my shyness/social anxiety, because it's a lot harder to feel scared of interactions if it doesn't feel like people are actually focused on me. Subnormality did a really good job of illustrating this concept (first two panels). The world doesn't revolve around me. I am not a main character in most people's stories, and I don't have the relevance of one to them. More often than not, people are not thinking about me or directing their attention toward me, and knowing that helps take off some of the pressure to do things "right" all the time. I find it safer to assume people probably aren't thinking about me unless they say otherwise.
11. Being mindful of my own reactions, thoughts, and feelings.
I find it funny that this can be summed up in a sentence when it's such an immense undertaking and has taken me years upon years to get better at. When I was a teenager, I used to think "well, if I get PMS anger then I'll just notice that I'm angry and realize it's PMS and it won't affect me, how hard can that be?" As it turns out though, it's really damn hard to notice how you're feeling and how it's affecting you when you're enveloped in emotion. Noticing physiological signs is helpful to me. If my heart rate goes up, or I feel warmer than usual, or my body is tense, that can be a clue that I'm angry. I have some sense of what my baseline emotional state is like when I'm calm, so I try to check myself against that... Like, "would I normally get so worked up over this?" I also try to think about my reactions after an interaction has concluded, to analyze what happened and what I think I did well and what I could do better. As a teenager I fought a lot with my mom, but things are much more... chill now. There are definitely still situations that could turn into fights, but now I am more aware of when I'm starting to get riled up, and I can calm myself down instead of letting it escalate. In one of the interactions I had with her recently, she wasn't letting me finish what I was saying and was making negative character assumptions about me (i.e. I'm tactless and say socially inappropriate things), and this would have infuriated me as a teenager but I wouldn't have known why. In this instance, I noticed that I was starting to get irritated, but I asked her if she would let me finish telling her what happened, and afterwards she admitted that I hadn't actually acted the way she thought I had, and had patched up the situation I was talking about successfully. My mom has her flaws, but she's willing to admit fault if you can talk to her calmly and not get drawn into her emotional and irrational jumping-to-conclusions style of communication.
12. Staying aware of signs of miscommunication.
Do I suddenly feel angry? Does the other person suddenly seem angry? I'm using "angry" as a placeholder emotion for negative emotions here. If it seems like the tone of the conversation has suddenly changed, or I feel like I'm lost, then I pay attention to that and try to talk to the other person about it, or I wait and hold my emotions in abeyance, proceeding as if I were naturally feeling calm, to see where things are headed. This has saved me a lot of times when I've had a knee-jerk reaction but haven't known for sure what someone was saying until I asked for clarification.
13. Looking for patterns over time instead of drawing conclusions based on one incident.
I feel like this is kind of self-explanatory, but that might be overly assumptive of me, and like everything, it's easier in theory than in practice. Suspending judgement until a definitive pattern emerges can be hard, since so much of the time we make automatic judgements about things. There are very few conclusions you can for sure make based on a single instance of something (e.g. murdering someone once makes you a murderer; raping someone once makes you a rapist). A person stealing once doesn't make them a thief, and a person donating to charity once doesn't make them altruistic. Context matters. When I was younger I was less willing to wait things out and see how people acted over time, and I completely cut a few people out of my life because of some individual interaction I didn't like. While I wasn't obligated to keep talking to them or anything, I think my actions weren't particularly reasonable, and it's not something I would do now.
14. Taking people seriously, but not always literally.
I totally stole the wording for this one from a Donna Orange quote from a class lecture this past school year. Maybe it's from growing up in a generally pretty safe environment, but I'm pretty trusting, and in some cases gullible. Less gullible than I used to be, I hope, but I'm sure there are still traces of it. That aside, a lot of people explain events from their point of view. No duh, right? The problem is that I used to take their word as the absolute truth. It's not that people are trying to bend the truth or lie, but everyone interprets things differently, and that's something I have to keep in mind. There isn't necessarily an objective truth, either, but some things will be closer to "what actually happened" than others. In a previous period of my life I might get upset at people for telling me a story in a way other than it "actually happened" and feel like they were intentionally lying to me, but as I've mellowed out it's become more evident to me that people aren't trying to deceive me. The way people tell their stories might not align with objective facts, but it does tell you about them and their feelings, and that part of it is something to take seriously. When we were kids, my brother would constantly accuse me of doing things to trip him up or mess with him, such as spitting in his soup. I never once spat in his soup, and I repeatedly told him so, but that didn't make him stop the accusations. Looking back, I wonder more what made him so paranoid that he thought I would be trying to sabotage him all the time. How did he perceive me? What unspoken beliefs did he have that were influencing him to think I was out to get him? There was a lot of information in those interactions that I didn't know how to read yet.
Oof, this has taken me like three hours to write. Normally when I'm writing posts I'm kind of distracted and I just let it sit for several hours while I do other things, writing a sentence here and there, but I've actually been writing for three hours. Hoo boy. I'm sure there are other things I forgot or haven't elaborated enough, but this monster of a post is already over 3000 words and I think that's enough for now. If only writing academic papers was this easy, haha.
Avoiding landmines [DP]
Sunday, August 6, 2017
Obviousness disconnect [2P]
Saturday, August 5, 2017
Kind of a break day
Thursday, August 3, 2017
I attended my first gym class since last year. It felt good to be back, although I had a bit of a hard time getting back into the swing of things and following along with the routine for Turbo Kick. Was still fun, just felt a little awkward I guess. I have such terrible bodily awareness, haha. When I'm watching the instructor I get really confused about how to do what they're doing. >_>
Still ran a mile afterwards, so that I could feel like I wasn't just cheating today. It was a slow mile though, 6.8 mph/lvl 1 incline. I guess an 8:49 minute mile is a pretty easy pace, and I don't really get particularly tired from it... just bored.
I'm listening to Kings of Convenience and slipping into sort of a mild melancholy mood. Most of the time I think of this as "contemplative" but it has other connotations... sadness, quiet, tiredness, calm. Maybe a touch of wistfulness, or the kind of acceptance you feel when you remember something that didn't go the way you wanted it to, but it's been long enough now that any pain from it is now only a tiny twinge at the edge of your heart. The feeling you get when you're not fighting something anymore, but occasionally you still think about it and wish it was different.
This band writes the kind of songs that are perfect for this mood. They're relaxing as background music, but they're... thoughtful, I guess.
"The Girl From Back Then" by Kings of Convenience.
And I sat down and said
"I don't want to suffer"
But she told me
She had nothing to offer
"Singing Softly To Me" by Kings of Convenience.
Things seem so much better when
They're not part of your close surroundings
Like words in a letter sent,
Amplified by the distance
Possibilities and sweeter dreams
Sights and sounds calling from far away
Calling from far away
Thinking about my drive to find what I was responsible for in situations that went badly, and how people tell me not to beat myself up over things or not to blame myself for them. Again, one of those things I don't really like that much. I don't want to be told that things are just happening to me and I didn't have any control and am not at fault at all. Not because I think that I'm responsible for EVERYTHING, necessarily, but because through my actions, through my existence, I'm having some kind of impact on my surroundings. It's disempowering to be told that I somehow had no responsibility in a given situation. I'd like to think I'm not a control freak, but it is very important to me to acknowledge when I do have control over things, and I feel that I have some degree of control in almost everything I do (look at me, being all Existential, oh boy). Like the car accident I was in last year... everyone kept trying to comfort me by saying it wasn't my fault and there was nothing I could have done to avoid it... I know they were trying to make me feel better, presumably because they assumed I might be feeling guilty about causing the accident, but that was actually a pretty terrible thing to tell me, because now I'm afraid that it could happen again at any moment and there's nothing I can do to prevent it. Even if it sucked I think I would rather have been told that I did something wrong, because at least then I would know not to do that again.
I am okay with bearing the burden of freedom and responsibility, at least most of the time. The vast majority of the time. Being responsible means that I'm at fault for things that go wrong in my life, but it also means that I have the power to change things for the better, and that's what's important to me. When I realized that as a teenager, it changed a lot in my life. Responsibility is not just about guilt, and I am not a helpless victim being tossed around by the whims of the universe. I can direct my life to places I want it to be if I just know where I have control...
Something about support, digressions
Wednesday, August 2, 2017
0.1 mi at 3 mph, lvl 1 incline
1.25 mi at 7 mph, lvl 1 incline
0.4 mi at 3 mph, lvl 1 incline
0.5 mi at 7.2 mph, lvl 1 incline
0.5 mi at 3 mph, lvl 1 incline
0.25 mi at 6.8 mph, lvl 1 incline
= 3 mi total
Slightly less lame but still lame. I don't think I'm eating enough to have energy for running... I did eat today before I went to the gym, but... it's been hot here and I haven't felt hungry, so I kinda just eat like one meal a day and snack a little. >.> At least today I ate... more of a meal than yesterday. My dad bought fish jun from a Korean market, so I had a big bowl of that and rice. Yesterday all I ate for my meal was a little single serving spinach lasagna from Trader Joe's, haha. I feel kinda conflicted because I want to run more, but I don't want to make myself eat more. Bleh.
Browsing Craigslist and saw an eyelash extension model gig that looked fun, although it was posted two days ago, so they might not have any openings anymore. I emailed anyway, figured it couldn't hurt. Would be something to do Sunday/Monday if it works out.
I felt ah... a bit bummed out today, although I'll get over it. Just need some time for things to settle...
"SEE SPACES" by TEETH.
I've been thinking about this recently, and I don't like being... over-validated, I guess. Like I'm hard on myself, I know that, but I kind of... don't like it when people try to take responsibility away from me? Like I appreciate the support but I guess it bothers me the way they do it, sometimes. For instance, the grad school I just left... people were talking to me about it and I know I've been beating myself up over that decision, but everyone tries to validate me by saying "It's okay, you needed to leave," and that's... not true? I didn't "need" to leave. I chose to leave. I could have stayed, I just would have been unhappy. I wasn't failing. I wasn't even close to failing. I was stressed out, and I was anxious a lot, but I wasn't going to die if I stayed there. Maybe I just take the word "need" differently than most people though...
It's hard, because I want to just be able to accept people's support and encouragement, but it doesn't help me when I feel like it's baseless. Like they're just saying something because those are the prescribed phrases for the situation. For example, if I was like "I'm sad" and someone was like "aw, don't worry, things will get better"... That's just... meaningless. It's well-intentioned but it's meaningless. They don't know anything about why I'm sad, they don't know what's going on at all, so how can they know if things will get better? And yeah, yeah, okay, they're just trying to be comforting, I get that. There's nothing wrong with that, it just doesn't help me. In those cases, I think it helps that person more than it helps me, because at least they feel like they tried. I don't have anything against them for it, I just end up feeling a little more tired.
Like I wouldn't want to write a poem and tell someone I wrote a poem and have them just be like "it's great!" without even reading it... What's the point? Are they just saying that it's great because I wrote it? Because that's so blatantly not true. Or is the point that it is subjectively great to them because it came from me? I mean, there's some value in that I guess, but subjective worth only has so much weight, and it doesn't translate across all situations.
It makes me think of compliments... Once, when I was a senior in high school, this girl in my weight training class told me she liked my socks, and I was startled by the compliment (wasn't used to getting them at that point) and awkwardly replied that I liked her shoes. I didn't really like her shoes though, I just felt like I needed to compliment her back to reciprocate. I did think her hair was pretty cool, but that felt like something that wouldn't match up with a sock compliment. Anyway, it feels pretty empty when you just say it for the sake of saying it. I want to be authentic in my interactions.
I definitely digressed there. But um... back to the validation thing... I dunno, like, it's not that I want people to be hard on me necessarily, because I'm already hard on myself... Maybe I've just learned how to take criticism better than validation. Criticism gives me something to fix. Validation... uh... makes me feel like I'm just supposed to sit and do nothing? Feels like people being all "whoa whoa hey, it's alright, calm down, things are okay as they are." And maybe I do need that in some respect, and I've learned how to accept things more, but it doesn't give me anywhere to go.
So ultimately I think that when I talk to people about feeling guilty that I dropped out of grad school, maybe the response I wish I was hearing more was "Yeah, you didn't have to do that, and you could have stayed, but you were unhappy there, and you're here now, so how are you going to move forward?" Because I dissect all this stuff to learn from it, not to be patted on the back. That might be a distinction I'll have to make to my next therapist... Rumination is a pretty common depressive symptom, but I don't think I ruminate... I dissect... If we're taking the definition of rumination as it pertains to depression from Wikipedia...
"Rumination is the focused attention on the symptoms of one's distress, and on its possible causes and consequences, as opposed to its solutions."
I don't think this fits me, because I'm very solution-focused. Maybe overly so, sometimes. I'd like to avoid mistakes when I can, but if I make them, then I want to learn something from them so that I don't make the same mistakes again.
I feel bad for people who are trying to comfort me. Nobody ever really seems to know what to do, and I imagine it's quite a challenge to support me emotionally. Sometimes I get tired of trying to reach out and I just stop talking about certain things, because it feels like nobody is saying anything that has an impact, but I don't want to be cynical like that and not trust that other people can help. Still, I think I do kind of believe, on some deep level, that I have to find comfort within myself. Gotta be... self-soothing, haha. And if it's not already in me then it's research time... It's funny what an odd philosophical excerpt here and there can do, with the right wording. This book looks like it could be interesting... Logic Based Therapy and Everyday Emotions: A Case-Based Approach
Fro has been helpful in the past when she's suggested things I hadn't thought about-- mainly simple stuff like keeping track of good things. She also gave me a one-sentence journal that I try to write it every day, and I like that. Practical things. It feels good to have some kind of task or routine to maintain some structure in my life and keep me grounded. Getting practical support is a lot nicer than people trying to talk me through things most of the time, because I get the sense that it's hard to keep up with what I'm thinking, or hard to find the right things to say.
Hoo boy this post got long. So much of the time I'm just staring at my screen with no idea of what to write, but once I actually start on a topic like this, it's just endless. Gonna cut it off here, I've probably rambled enough.
Tuesday, August 1, 2017
I've been really digging this band for a few days. Some sexy beats here.
"Shelter" by TEETH.
I'm in the icebox, hypnotized
Dead in the eyes, spaced out
Hard to find
I'm in the icebox, hypnotized
Playing dead, hands tied
I did go to the gym today, buuuuuuuuuut I forgot to eat today before I went at like 5pm, so I didn't have a lot of energy and only ran a mile. >_> Whoopsadaisies.
0.15 mi at 3 mph, lvl 1.5 incline
1 mi at 6.9 mph, lvl 1.5 incline
0.85 mi at 3 mph, lvl 1.5 incline
Feel kind of lame about it, but next time I'll try to do more. Toward the end of my run I was looking longingly at the fitness class that was starting in the studio next to the treadmills... Didn't feel like I had enough energy for H.I.I.T. though. :(
Mood-wise, I've been feeling good today. Not depressed or anything. I'm looking through r/bayarea and saw this post about abandoned places to explore. I would actually looooooove to get into urban exploring, but I haven't thought about it much in a few years because I found out about it before I could drive, and I also have never had anybody I'd think to go with... but it seems like fun, and aside from travel costs, is free... so maybe someday... One of the comments in that Reddit thread mentioned Mare Island, which I'd never heard about but looks like it's roughly an hour and a half away without traffic. Since Esther and I were climbing stuff we weren't supposed to climb and going places we weren't supposed to go in Hawaii, I've felt a bit less hesitant to trespass, haha. Not that I'd go anywhere I thought was actually dangerous...
Finalized details to hang out next week with a guy from IRC today! That's exciting. Adding another person to my long list of peeps I've met online... We're just going to get Jamba Juice and chill for a bit before I go have a girls' night with Fro and Becka, but I think it's better that way. Just a short hangout to get a feel for things. We get along swimmingly online though, so I can't imagine it'd be that bad in person. The great thing about forcing myself to socialize and be in uncomfortable situations so much is that now I am able to feel almost completely at ease when meeting new people. Even if they're super awkward, I can just roll with it. Boy, what would my teenage self think of me now?
Didn't skip today
Sunday, July 30, 2017
Felt pretty depressed today and was just lying in bed feeling kind of paralyzed with sadness for a few hours, but I dragged myself to the gym and that improved my mood significantly.
0.1 mi at 3.0 mph, lvl 1 incline
1 mi at 6.9 mph, lvl 1 incline
0.4 mi at 3.0 mph, lvl 1 incline
0.5 mi at 7.2 mph, lvl 1 incline
= 2 miles total
Much shorter distance because I was tired, but I also did planks, squats, and burpees with a Bosu ball and did some bicep/tricep stuff with weights. I don't like only running, because it makes me feel like I'm not really working out, but at the same time I feel like I should be putting all of my energy into running so that the 15k I'm doing in January is bearable. If only running wasn't so boring. T_T
I've been listening to this song a lot in the past few days:
"Houdini Crush" by Buke and Gase.
You say you're dead and gone and you're moving on
Beyond the regular rectangular
Forced in burgeoning, come closing in
But still a serious experience
You stay out all night
It was a weapon you could use
To get through all the threads in sight
How you gonna wave hello or goodbye when your hands are tied?
How you gonna wave hello or goodbye when your hands are tied?
How you gonna wave when your hands are tied
To the end of the threads inside
When I got back from the gym, I sat on the couch for a bit because my brother was playing "Tristram" from Diablo on guitar, which is one of my favorite songs, and one of the only ones I like that he plays. I don't know if it's just the intense nostalgia hit or what, but that song always gives me a bit of a shiver, I love it so much.
My brother plays six instruments, going on eight, and has... a variety of other skills. When I think about myself in comparison, I don't feel like I have a lot going on. I mean, I don't think he's "better" than me for having all these hobbies and things he does, but I guess I kind of wish that I had more going on... externally? Because it feels like most of what I do is sort of just in my head, and I dunno, I feel like it comes off like there's just not much to me or something. I go to the gym and I browse the internet and I'm not doing anything else at the moment. :| Would like to start volunteering again, but I feel pressure to get a part time job or something so that I can refill my bank account, which took a big hit because of the Australia tickets. Also would be nice to have more money to invest... And have something to sort of prove to my mom that I'm not a useless leech... She hasn't exactly said anything to that effect but I keep getting vibes from her...
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