The party’s crashing us

This week has been all over the place for me. I normally loathe the “life is a rollercoaster” cliche, but it’s pretty apt at current moment.  Nothing particularly terrible has happened, but I have had a lot of shitty realizations dawn upon me which, in tandem with a lot of professional stress, has led to some less than desirable emotions. Rather than rehash all of these stupid events and feelings in a public-facing space, I’ll just say I have been having a rough go at it emotionally lately.

That said, some good things have happened and some other good things are on the horizon:

1.) I re-installed Ubuntu earlier this week! I just got sort of bored/fed up with Windows and went for it on a complete and total whim and I couldn’t be happier with the decision (for now at least). I last attempted to become a “serious” Linux user about 5 or 6 years ago (dual boot of Windows and Ubuntu) and I just…wasnt into it. I’m not sure if Ubuntu has come a long way in the past decade or if I have. Either way, it’s been shiny and nice and new and I haven’t been so compelled to sit up all night in front of my computer tweaking shit that doesn’t matter in years. It’s like being in high school again!

2.) A small group of friends and I went to RennFest last Saturday and it was great. Hands down one of the best trips to the Faire I’ve had over the past fifteen years (!!)  that I’ve been going. The rain kept most of the crowds away, my outfit was adorable (pink gauzey dress, grey studded boots), the food was divine, and most importantly, it was great just wandering around with my friends,  and meeting some of one of my friend’s coworkers. It was a nice break from reality and I look forward to going back next month. 

3.) We have had some delicious low temperatures lately. Fall is less than a week away and the evenings certainly feel that way. Soon it will be the season for heavy sweaters and deep-scented candles. Short, cold days and long dark nights are what I live for. There are also potentially three Halloween parties on the horizon this year!

4.) Speaking of parties, one I’m planning and one I’m co-planning are on the horizon as well (early December and next weekend respectively). I am excited about the prospect of them both!

5.) I have been back in closer touch with one of my oldest, closest friends now that her crazy summer work hours are over. We’ve been friends so long that we can go stupidly long periods of time without talking and feel no negative impact in the long term, but it’s been nice to be back to talking on a regular basis.

6.) A warning light turned on in my car on Monday; what could have been aa very expensive repair turned out to just be low tire pressure.Hooray, easy fixes!

So yeah, some things have been going poorly, and maybe I will write about them at some point soon, but a lot of things are working out in my favor and for now, that’s enough for me right now.

What the Snowman [Remembered] About Love

Two entries in one day, what is this blasphemy!? It’s almost like the old Livejournal days when I pretty much blogged any and everything that ever happened to me.

Anyway, I just got back from eating/gaming/hanging out with friends, both old and new, close and casual, for almost seven hours and it was really nice. I admittedly I am not always the most social person on the planet: I am an introvert and value my down time immensely, but when I do socialize, it can be…nice. At one point tonight, a bunch of us were sitting around the table eating dinner and it felt like a family dinner in the best way possible. I am glad that I know so many amazing, nerdy people. There is serenity in solitude, but there is comfort in the midst of a tribe. Somehow I ended up in a position in life and in mind where, on the luckiest of days, I am able to move back and forth between both effortlessly.

I do not always do a great job of vocalizing my gratitude for (or to) the people in my life, but I would be entirely remiss if I didn’t, at least once in awhile, stop and think “holy shit, I am one lucky asshole.”

I misread your envy for dreams aloud

I am not good at this consistency thing, am I?

On the bright side, I have been doing a lot better, both physically and mentally, since I last wrote. A lot of the old habits I found myself wistfully lusting over have found their way back to me and I have started logging my food intake and measuring my physical activity again; I did this consistently for over a year and a half during my early 20s and it’s something I really missed so I am glad to have finally re-established the pattern. Overall, I feel like I simply make decisions that are better for my overall health when I’m actively holding myself accountable. Aside from being more engaged in my physical health, I have continued to indulge myself in reading with the same level of ferocity that I did during those halcyon college years and it has once again proved to be an amazing respite from the real world.

Rebuilding all of these old habits hasn’t been easy, but it has been worth it. I’m still not 100% of the way to where I would like to be, but I’m continually inching closer to matching my behavioral reality up to my behavioral ideal. Once I feel like I’m more stable in my effective use of my free time and my health habits, I think the next thing I’ll move onto tackling will be realigning myself financially: it’s been awhile since I’ve looked at my budget and savings/debt management habits in earnest, so I suppose it’s time to do that.

My little life optimization project aside, I am keenly awaiting falling temperatures. I am ready for long nights, short days and the feeling that of being safely ensconced in a world on the precipice of transforming into something with more beauty and promise than the sweat-soaked days of summer ever could.

Today keep your head and drop the gun

I am doing really poorly today.

Maybe indulging myself in this digital purge isn’t healthy, but I don’t know how else to process my feelings and move on; the narrow confines of my mind just aren’t roomy enough to spread these thoughts and feelings out to beging to sort through them.

I went up to The City yesterday for work which was mostly good. But today I am tired and over-socialized and desperately wishing I had a higher threshhold for human interaction and stress. I think I did a good job of faking it and getting things done, but I am paying the price. All I want to do is sleep and listen to depressing-ass music and read…obviously not all at once.

The bite of failure and the sting of self-hatred that used to permeate every minute of every day are back, but I know that they are transient liars. I am worth more than my lows and tomorrow will be better; every day can’t be an on day so I won’t begrudge myself these hours of weakness. Besides, if today is the price I am paying for those few unexpected hours of pure happiness last week, it is a trade off I can accept.

Alas, I must shake this off.

There are books to read and cats to cuddle and a hopeless crush to steal longing glances at and concerts to attend: I will not feel like this forever. I will sleep away this fog of disappointment in myself and tomorrow upon waking, the sparkle of life will have returned to my eyes in earnest and I will wake up glad to face the day.

This is real, but it isn’t permanent.

If there’s something you’d like to try, ask me, I won’t say no. How could I?

I have been…slacking, both in updating and in following my prescribed course of action for myself. I’d explain my reasons for lapsing, but I don’t think they’re important; progress isn’t made by standing explaining away shortcomings. I am going to do (yet another) reset and repeat of the week I planned out for myself a week or two ago.

The aforementioned failures aside, things have been going okay. I have been devouring books of varying levels of literary merit at a breakneck speed recently; last Sunday alone I polished off three whole books. It’s been really nice to escape into reading again. I remember why this was such a major part of my life during those wonderful years between 21 and 24. I’ve also ditched my once-prominent book snobbery and have consequently been allowing myself to read some YA fiction and I’ve actually really enjoyed it. (I am currently reading and loving Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard.) In retrospect, it was stupid to bar myself from reading books that sounded  interesting to me based on arbitrary, age-based categorizations.

In general, life news, I have been a little bolder lately: I’ve been giving myself permission to feel and do new and scary things without try to insert logic to shut things down that seem statisically likely to have the potential for negative consequences (within reason, obviously). It’s been nice to just fucking let myself be without worrying about disaster or rejection lurking around every corner.

Here’s to daydreams without regret and night-drives without GPS!

 

This is never going to go our way if I have to guess what’s on your mind.

It is…Wednesday.I, uh, sort of fell off the wagon last week. Between an ear infection (which I still have) and completely over-committing myself socially, I allowed myself to make a million excuses for not hitting the benchmarks I set for myself. I am going to rinse and repeat and make next week a fresh start at “week #2” while I try to make the best of the remainder of this week. While I am displeased with my slackerdom, I am proud of myself for not allowing one shitty week to completely derail my progress. Also, I did manage to eat a lot of fresh produce and read quite a few books during my illness, so there’s that.

Beyond that, I don’t have much of note to report. There are quite a few things I suppose I could write about, but the passage of time has dulled their edges and left me with less of a burning desire to dump things out onto paper (screen, whatever). Perhaps at some point soon I will write a more focused entry on some of the other stuff that’s going on in my life and in my head, but I’m too lazy to do so now.

 

The medicated state of mind you’ve found is overrated.

It is Saturday.

As I promised myself, I have returned to update on my quest to fall back into the best of my old habits. I rarely feel like writing in the morning, but I am going to a party tonight and I will likely return drunk, bathed in the glow of protracted socialization, and too lazy to write. Thus, here I am.

This week was by no means the triumphant resurrection of the best of me, but considering the circumstances, it was an okay start. Midweek ended up being pretty rough for me for a host of professional and personal reasons that I won’t go into (I have to preserve some of my privacy, after all), but thanks to the intellectual and social gifts of others, things worked out in the end (or are in the process of working out, whatever). I know some pretty smart, kind, funny, etc. people so I guess I can’t be doing too badly in life.

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Today’s breakfast. Shoutout to my awesome roommate for the groceries and making the horseradish mayo!

Back to the subject at hand, I did okay this week, given how loose my goals for myself were. I finished reading three books and ate slightly less shittier and consumed more fresh fruits and vegetables (For example, today’s breakfast was baked avocado with smoked salmon, egg, and homemade horseradish mayo!). I didn’t really do anything astounding (or anything I shouldn’t have been doing all along, obviously), but it feels good to be forcing myself out of this limbo I’ve been in forever and a day.

Next week, I want to focus more on spending time working on some of the programming projects I’ve started and abandoned over the past few months. In particular, I want to work on productizing something I hacked together for my own use at work late last year; I figure the rest of my team might be able to get some use out of it and it would challenge me to actually make a GUI for something, so win/win. That’ll probably take me longer than a week, but I want to throw two or three hours at it next week. I also want to redesign both of my domains, but that will probably wait until I have a few days off at the end of the month.

My only other new goal for next week is to stop being a lazy fuck and taking the elevator up a single floor; I used to judge the shit out of people for doing that and now I’m one of them. Not cool, self! I have fallen far from my days of walking 2 miles each way as part of my commute and then jogging a (slow, indoor) 5k, but I’ll get back there.

My ~*concrete*~ goals for next week will be to read at least one book, eat /something/ that’s not processed every day, spend three hours hacking away on something, and avoid elavators for single floor trips unless carrying something fucking ridiculous. I am tightening the reigns on myself a little bit, but my goals are still pathetically easy. Baby steps!

I will be back next week to hold myself accountable. Writing (both here and privately) has helped a lot and made me feel more in touch with myself. I missed this.

Knock Me down, I’ll get right back up again. I’ll come back stronge than a powered-up Pac-Man.

I had higher hopes for myself this year, but I also had lower expectations.

At the dawning of 2015, I really only had one “New Year’s Resolution” for myself: to pick back up all the habits and hobbies that I had in 2011/early-2012 that made me feel like the most authentic version of myself I could possibly be. At the time, I was a complete hedonist. I did what felt good and natural to me without giving a shadow of a fuck as to what I “should” have been doing with my life. I read voraciously, averaging a book a week, and gave myself up willingly to the allure of escapism; I maintained a diet and exercise routine that consisted primarily of counting calories and walking and jogging as much as physically possible, simply for the pursuit of my own health and aesthetic goals, eschewing society’s thoughts on both; my fashion sense was probably the most evolved it has ever been, as were my makeup skills; I expressed myself daily, both in code and prose, and as a consequence, felt more intellectually alive than I have since; and, perhaps most importantly, I felt like I was living authentically and not out of convenience or laziness.

So, as last year drew to a close and I reflected on who and what I would ideally be at the end of this year, my mind naturally drifted back to this time in my life when I felt like I had both my shit buttoned up and my hair down. I started the year with grandiose delusions of slipping back into the self-control and serenity that I wore so comfortably in years past only to discover, much to my dismay, that it didn’t quite fit. Rather than letting out the seams a bit to make it work for me, I tossed it back into my closet and continued walking around wearing my current outfit of haughty apathy and, gluttony, and indifferent cultural consumerism.

Here is where I feel the need to pause and defend myself a bit. It’s not that accomplished nothing in 2015 (also, there are four-and-a-half months left this year!) The energy and attention that I didn’t focus on reeling myself back in was instead tossed into other things, to some measure of success: I got promoted at work, did some dating and figured out a lot more about myself and what I want in a guy, spent more time with my friends than I have in a long time, saw a ton of great concerts, got on a combination of medications that’s helped me more than I could have imagined, and developed a new hobby in board gaming. I have grown and made strides in a lot of ways that I didn’t expect to this year and I proud of myself for that, but at the same time, I yearn for the…motivation?…self-control?…to go through with my initial plans for myself this year.

Thus, I am going to pull the wrinkled old garment which was once so magestically dawned by my 23-year-old self out of the back of my closet and wear it in whichever ever way it fits me best for one week, starting on Monday; a low-stakes, high-reward foray into making the best of the back half of this year. Maybe I will end up just avoiding reddit and Buzzfeed for a week in favor or actually reading books or maybe I will work on a small coding project or dust off my Arduino, or maybe I’ll just end up counting calories for a week, who knows?

All I know is that when it comes down to it, what I’m really committing myself to is proactively seeking happiness for a week and just accepting the path of least resistance. So, I will venture forth and live deliberately and return next Saturday with an update as to how that’s working out for me.

Here’s to better chances.

If this town’s your sinking ship then you know where to jump

Note: I wrote this entry nearly three weeks ago and never published it, apparently.

A conversation that I recently had with a friend made me realize that, to a certain extent, I have sort of lost sight of what is I want in the intermediate term future. It was pretty surreal coming to this realization as, once upon a time, I always had my eyes firmly fixed on the horizon. Perhaps I’ve been hyper-focus on pushing myself through this odd period of personal growth and maturation that I’m in right now or perhaps I haven’t really let myself imagine that there is a future quite as much as is once did. When I was in my teens, and even earlier in my twenties, life seemed pretty linear: finish undergrad, get a job, start grad school, save some cash, etc.

Now, sitting just over a month away from turning 26 with a Bachelor’s degree, a stable, well-paying job, and a graduate program set to begin in less than a month, I don’t know what’s left in longer, but not quite long, term. I really have wrapped up (or am in the process of wrapping up) what the majority of what once were my long-term goals, making now a pretty logical place in time to do some reflection.

Even though I’m not thrilled with every minute detail of my life (really, who is?), I am pretty happy with the direction in which I’m heading. There are definitely things which I want to do over the next few years (save more money, advance my career, travel, finish grad school), but save for that last one, they aren’t really markers in life. During the next three to four years while I’m in school, my life will realistically be quite static, but everything I do during that period will push me towards where I’ll end up once I’m done with school and staring 30 straight in the face.

I highly doubt that I’ll reach any super intense conclusions just from writing this one blog entry, but it’s a start, right?