Tag Archives: reflection

A Fresh Look on Things

As the semester comes to a close, there is a certain level of stress that comes with that.  Oh, but this is a special amount of super stress.

I just returned to my university to continue the program I stopped a few years ago, studying computer science. Boy are some of these classes making me take a beating. Sometimes it is nice to see that even years out of college, I am still occasionally having the highest scored test in the class.  I’m still getting mainly As and Bs, but there have been some Cs, Ds, and even Fs.

I have many classes that I don’t even stay awake in anymore. I had been trying to address my sleep issue before returning to school, but no such luck. And now I’m scraping and clawing to pass. I guess if I don’t I’ll handle that then.

But, behold a bright side! I had sleep study done a week ago.  My doctor indicated Friday that I have narcolepsy. I’m going in tomorrow to discuss option for treatment. It’s a bit late into the semester, but, hell I’m getting answers!

Oh and added to my stress, a week ago Thursday, I found a lump on one of my testicles. I rationally knew it was a cyst, but that fear crept in that it was cancer. I endured a week of being unable to focus on anything else. But I got my answer before the weekend confirmed it was a cyst.

I’m also trying to move into a new place with my fiance, there have been additional events precipitating the extra need to move in with her, not good things. But hell, again, some of this change is good, even if bad change walks along side it.

I have friends and family that won’t let me down and I will find my way, I’ve come out of far worse, and I’ve endured it all.

Here’s to the new things, the fresh perspective on which I will build my life.

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In the Greatest of Retrospect

In the greatest of hindsight, I fail at being a person I like.

It’s true, I frequently turn to a largely critical assessment of me when I don’t even put others to nearly so hard a scrutiny.  Right now it’s of a great desire to go back and read my past few posts because at the moment, I can’t recall in the slightest what I’ve actually posted about and am not sure if I am revisiting this so soon. I don’t like who I am. I tell me to change. I don’t. Then I don’t like who I am more for being indifferent. Then I don’t like who I am because I have this internal dialogue, yet remain unmotivated to keep the conviction of what I will change.

I lack conviction. Among other things. I say I will do one thing. I believe I will do one thing. I demand that I do one thing. Then I don’t.

When I’m merciful I blame it on circumstance. And to be fair, I don’t ever really make a conscious decision to do something else in lieu or against my goal. It just simply stops being something I remember. My girlfriend deserves more than that. She deserves a title better than “girlfriend” and certainly already has a status of such.

She’s taking a portion of my frustration and handling it better than me truth be told. She does deserve better.

Although, maybe I actually should cut myself some slack. I still retreat to some thoughts though ration and other’s ideas contradict them time and time again. Throughout high school I was convinced I wasn’t intelligent. I slept in class, avoided my homework and rarely did required readings. But usually aced tests. The joke became that I absorbed the knowledge by sleeping on the book as a pillow in the class.  I didn’t frequently study for the tests but would always play a manipulation game with my nearby classmates after getting a test grade back. I wouldn’t shove it in anyone’s face by any means nor draw any outward attention towards it, but subtle cues allow for one to get another to unwittingly shout you got a 103 on the exam. I feigned indifference, because I had this character built up, I wanted them telling me how smart I was, because I needed that confirmed.

In spite of this, I frequently chastised myself for not being smart. Odd considering I seemed to have an innate understanding for the material being processed. Especially odd considering the people around me scoring lower, I didn’t consider to be beneath my intellect.

I even went so far as to rationalize that I had no significant intelligence, but a very good method of deceit. A superb manipulation artist. Funny to go out of the way to believe I’m smart. Especially when you have a college giving you a full scholarship. When you’ve been to the Intel International Science and Engineering fair as a finalist, not once, but twice. When after getting a first place at state science fair and interacting with others who nabbed the first place and looking to you in decisions and thought for some things with robotics and other activities. Funny to go past all that and still say you’re just really good at being a charlatan.

And yet, I still come back to it from time to time. I have even tried to compromise. Maybe I am not intelligent, but my clever wit must be enough that I could fool faculty members at a university. Pitiful. I often reject things of positive in myself. And the more I see it, ironically, the more upset I get for a slew of reasons.

For me, hindsight is always the perfect sight, it’s just not the lasting one.

The Good Decision…

So much we think about how we got here. Or there. Or will be somewhere someday. I think when you’re someone with a lot of burdens in your life, or someone with a lot success, you may find yourself asking these kinds of questions more.

I had a hard time, still do, with people saying the homeless have made poor decisions and using that as some sort of argument why they are lesser people, why they don’t need love or care. I don’t think most people intentionally or considerably make what we would all regard as a poor decision.

Recently another novel idea occurs to me. Most of those, for one reason or another they thought it was a good decision. Their morals and philosophy led them to believe that, even if just for a moment. I feel that everybody in a position that would be considered less than enviable, abusive relationship, homeless, jobless, or maybe physically impaired. I think we could all consider there to be one decision that begun it all. Even if it’s far back.

I’d like us, as a species, to consider our “one decision” that got us here. Wherever that is.

I’ll go first. I’m Grant, I’m a drop out, who’s trying to get his act together to eventually develop a career. I have bipolar disorder, and some other health issues. I’ve got a pretty great girlfriend though, who helps me grow as a person and in my faith.

So. Not too bad right? I’m enviable to some at least I bet. That’s a summary of where I’m at. So what got me here? Now. We can consider this in means of comparison, how did I get from point A to point B. We can also consider a generalization. I feel either is fine as long as you are honest.

What got me here? Desperation.

Now for me, I’m seeing the large part is the last turning point was my suicide attempt. That’s when everything started changing for me. Interesting right? I got to a good place out of desperation. If you want to pin it on one decision, that’s to say my suicide attempt. And I don’t condone that one bit. I came out of it with a better mind set having survived, not because death was so close. I can’t even convey how important life is. But that was my personal turning point. It’s more complex than the one thing, I know, but it hinges on that.

Now here’s the lesson I want to really impart. A bad decision led to good things to come. Just as a good decision can lead to bad things to come. At the time my bad decision seemed like a good one, it certainly wasn’t. But I encourage people to think about their one decision. Is it good? Is it bad? What were the outcomes?

I see a homeless person, I don’t immediately jump to they did drugs and don’t deserve help. I embrace my empathy and hope. I think “Who did they trust or love that it ended up this way?”. It’s time we started loving one another regardless of difference and background and beliefs. There is time for anger. But it’s so tossed around eagerly in our society, I don’t think we even understand the difference between anger and hatred anymore, the two are hand and hand. And we justify it as being necessary. No.

Next time someone says they aren’t bad people, they just make bad decisions. You tell them, “Or maybe it was a good decision that got them into trouble”.

 

Back to the Old (In perhaps the best of ways)

I’m here. Doing well, time for some more introspective, doesn’t that sound delightful? I got my music blasting a mix of nerdcore and 8-bit sounds (chiptunes (also Anamanaguchi is great, look em up if you like the old arcade style music)). I am on solid ground if only for the moment, I’m not letting this abate easily, nor am I choosing to waste it.

Trying to write more on here since it feels it has been a great direction of my recent misgivings, thoughts, and ideas, and does wonders for my attitude. So I have a few things jotted down on a list to start tacking away about.

Tonight? How people live their lives. I’m of the opinion there are 5 major ways a person can live out their life. Not sure what I’m going to write about this beyond that, that’s all that’s on the list. The 5 ways? Well, let’s just jump into it.

There’s the Escapist. The escapist usually hates their current surroundings or situation, and does what he or she can to flee to another world. Sometimes this is represented in a slacker or bookworm who has nothing more than a astounding number of stories committed to memories to show for his life. Maybe the Escapist has formed an addiction of sort, whether it’s drugs, love, porn, or something else. The Escapist just dreams of a better place in whatever way he can find it.

There’s the Hedonist. She loves life and is willing to try anything once. After all, one’s all you got. She might be a daredevil or someone who doesn’t make heavy commitments and just tries to live in the moment. She also probably has traveled or tried lots of food and is definitely a good friend to have when you want to know if something is authentic enough. Essentially, she just lives life to live it believing that a life not lived is not a life at all.

There’s the Afterlifer. He might be a “bible thumper” or a legitimately good Samaritan. This person is likely to do his best to live his life in accordance with some set of principles, likely religious, that indicate his quality of being after he dies. He is likely to have a solemn life, but believes his riches will come later and that “this” life is rather fleeting and without reward on its own.

There’s the Legacy Author. She lives her life to leave something behind. She likely is a very idealistic person, and has some ultimate goal of accomplishing or setting the bits in place to accomplish. She may want to leave her family a vast fortune to not worry about the harsher side of life, or she might be very socially aware and be trying to manufacture solutions to problems that she felt needed to be overcome. She lives her life with a constant goal in mind, and though may deviate from this on occasion, it usually is still playing some role in her decisions and actions.

Then there’s the Ambitious. I would argue he is the same as the Legacy Author in his style of living, but is more motivated by personal glory, fame, or power. He can be very similar to the Legacy Author, but may approach problems differently if the interest in it does not impact his own coffers or ability to progress forward. He’s probably the one a lot of idealists will refer to as power hungry or greedy.

Really there is no one correct way to go through life and chances are you position yourselves differently between these five roles depending on your current situation. I can imagine a few more that should play an important role in the way someone decides to live, but I think I can squish them into one of those 5 roles above for the most part. I think it’s important to reflect that my goals and your goals or anyone’s goals and motivations are different and that’s not inherently contradictory. We can all live a better world if we better understand ourselves and others.

This was a light version of the mildly tumbling philosophies that roll around in my mind. I hope it’s a conversation starter for anyone who reads this and more importantly to me, this is a sign my head’s doing well enough to consider other problems or thoughts that aren’t related to me being bipolar, and that’s an awesome thing even if no one else finds this post interesting. I would like to end this with saying I believe I shift between a Legacy Author, Escapist and Afterlifer depending on what’s going on in my life, right now I’m wanting to leave the world a better place than when I came into it, so I’d argue it’s legacy author for the time being.

A Troubled Mind’s Manifesto

What I want to say, I still cannot recall. These beautiful words I was ready to spend, bleed away faster than I can get here to type.

This fog in my mind isn’t all too unfamiliar. Often I am pressed to decide, happiness or ingenious? Never can the two coincide it would seem. Even for all the unfiltered posts in the past full of errors and typos, I still can remember the beauty I had that produced those thoughts.

And now. Now I sit here riding my medication buzz, hoping to break free from the fog.
No. That’s not right.
I’m hoping to write my current ideas, the ones that plague me.

Even in this blurred state of affairs, my depression hunts me well. I was doing relatively phenomenal given the course and context of things. Maybe it’s attention I need. Or just I’m so accustomed to bitching about things. Whatever it is, it sits heavy, and I know not the release.

There was a time, full of ignorance I was, that I believed in the great things a person could do. Adulthood often means dispelling that, shedding off that cloak of ignorance and panning the phrase innocence, lest we lose our edge.

I miss innocence. Anyone who says they don’t, is a liar. Anyone who dedicates to clinging to it, is troubled. Enter me.

I’m in a strange place right now. I have one last story to tell to the item of my affection. She’s far from an item, but her heart shall never belong to me, and I would do well to remember that. Something marvelous, that lass…

Still, I have one more story to share with her. She knows all of my dark things, and she just shrugged them off, makes it hard to move on, even when one knows, it’s the best course for all. This story is a different type. It’s not the story of who I am. It’s the story of who I can be, who I was, and the gradient she already possesses the knowledge of. It is not a story I will reveal on here. It is not a story I will relay with the allowance of my fingers dancing to a strange rhythm. It is one I must speak of in person, though distant that event may be.

Though I am tempted to catalog why she is so marvelous, it would do me no good. She is aware of this public journal of sorts, though I doubt she will read this of her own volition. If she should read this, she should know that I will move on in good time, though, it will be a greatly laborious effort.

But, I digress for all that I can.

My purpose is not so clearly defined, though I know its origin lies with me.

Some people tell me to write and publish something. Some day, maybe, when I’ve achieved stable happiness. But, by then my writing will be left aside. Both upsetting and relieving a thought like that can be.

Some people point to my obelisk of achievement from high school and say, you did greater things than most. And I will nod and agree, but it matters not when I’m unable to finish a college education, NOT for lack of academic talent I might add.

Some people suggest God is the way. God and me got an understanding I think. I know he’s there, and I pray semi-regularly, but he’s not going to be my direct line to happy.

Some people (the smart ones) tell me that I’m looking for excuses to stay miserable. Now, that’s a bingo, please come to the front to collect your winnings ma’am.

I’m here. That’s not changing. I’m not planning to die. And best of all, suicidal ideas are at an all time distance for me. Still, I mope and am unable to collect myself, but I see improvement, which in turn generates little diminutive bits of hope. Forcibly reminding myself a depressive episode that contains these thoughts is remarkably better than the past ones, in turn generates a little more.

My brain, trudging through this fog, producing less beautiful objects, offers a structured factory of hope. And I cling to it. Even if some of the things it has paired itself with are toxic. I accept it, and must abstain from true despair, even in my most lonely of days.

My purpose? To be happy. Isn’t that just enough?

Time since the hospital trip

Since going to the hospital, things have mostly died down. I’ve felt at peace mostly. Tranquility in abundance.
My thoughts still danced with flames which should be put out, but they did not anger me or cause me a great deal of discomfort. A downside though. All of my thought is suppressed, as if it takes a great effort to summon words. I have a hard time thinking, like I have to start speaking or writing for the thought to manifest itself correctly. I’ve been tired, so tired that I’ve learned to sleep in some interesting and deeply painful positions. And I regularly get 12-15 hours of sleep a day when work allows for that.

Not quite the quality of life I desire, but, it’s also not the same pain I’ve been in prior.

My thoughts ache to be heard. But, my mind won’t create them until they are being spoken, sometimes leaving me unaware. This is not the beauty I once held in my mind, although it’s wonderfully structured. Chaos and structure are both beautiful in their own right. And now, I have more structure than chaos, sometimes I am pleased with this. Sometimes I yearn for the poetry I’d often speak throughout the day.

I should tread carefully. But, I know not why I return here today, I thought it was for another reason, and lost it was to my mind as my fingers play across these backlit letters.

Maybe another time.

Going Home

I can’t keep dealing with what’s going on here. Or won’t. Or couldn’t. Maybe it’s that I don’t want to. Or that there will be times ahead just as tough and I don’t want to end up in a smoking pile of wreckage.

Whatever it needs to be phrased as, I am going back home.

I’m going back home to get help. For my head, for my heart, my future, and anything that could ever possibly matter. I want no part of this world any longer. If I could plead for anything it would be the absence of my existence. Not death, I have grown attached to what small beauty I still find here. But the state of it, the state of me? I simply do not care for.

I complain about all the hatred people have, I’m no different from them though. I’d love to set me apart from them.

We’re all people, mustn’t forget. We don’t need to be set apart, just united, as much as I don’t believe that will ever happen. It doesn’t mean I should accept it I guess…

I suddenly don’t feel like iterating the folly of man right now. I’ve been sick lately. I just want rest. My damn brain won’t give it. My neighbors certainly won’t allow it. I feel that work demands I am there for my last week. I have a lot of shit to do before I move back home. I haven’t showered in 4 days now. Too exhausted after working and have plenty more where it comes from.

I’m full of grief. I’m full of anger. I’m full of hatred for myself. I’m full of anything that destroys my chance for happiness, and it seems I’ve recently discovered that I’m only “happy” in my efforts to make others happy.

In this regard it has been conveyed to me. “The world doesn’t deserve to have person like you Grant” or something of similar effect.

The world does deserve me. I’m no different. There should be a better or worse, there should just be people.  The times are never prosperous and the issues always the same. We are no different now as a people than thousands of years ago.

Now, we just have technology that makes that easier to show. Maybe there is some prolonged issues since our life expectancy for the most part increases. But all the core issues remain the same. There is nothing that will change that I fear.

I say I don’t want to write and I begin to. I say I’m unhappy with myself and then write about the despair of man.

I no longer wish for this vessel of mine to carry forward. But I don’t feel it is my choice to act upon that wish. When I die, I hope someone gives a great eulogy. I think I’d be ok with my life if someone at least felt moved to provide a great eulogy. The one reason I want a living funeral.

I grow anxious and my thoughts, scattered. I abandon this journal for the night to steady myself for tomorrow.