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Semiformalishmaybe

Dragging Fingers

I am amazed at the flow of time. Another multiple of seasons where I've walked the earth is upon me, and I am still treading very lightly in the real world. That is, it seems, the world of time - while I continue to think and dream and such, all that feels highly atemporal, while I'm hardly living. This real world thing is too painful to touch, although the things that hurt me there are needs that don't seem to reach very strongly into the atemporal self. It really doesn't feel so long ago that there was a KGB circle of "friends", and before that a Zets circle of friends, and a few smaller islands and then SFF, which is about as far back as the fog easily permits me to see - these trailing notions of self - that's about as far back temporally as I can recognise something that thinks like me. Thirty-two seems to be another null point in my life - still very little keeping me here, ideals and dreams tied to the real world are battered to the point of hardly being recognisable.

State of the 「Improv」There still have been areas where my vision has become clearer - I've come to really understand my flaws, and while they're fairly nasty, I'm happy that very few of them are of the sort that lead to harm to others (except for others excessively empathic). In theory, they might be mitigated by a good relationship, in practice, they make finding that nearly impossible. It amuses that empathy is one of those self-justifying traits - not all character traits lead to such feedback.

I keep wishing for a chance to scoot back enough in time to start over, but it's really my own nature that led me here, and only some very good luck aligning an opportunity with rare alignments in my mood would've fixed this. Result is I either deal with what I have now or I don't. I've waited for years for my mood to stabilise and a life partner to show up to help inspire me to chase some of these dreams - these years have passed by very quickly without anyone showing up and that wait was probably a mistake - the metric of watching the endless stream of people moving on, getting married, and having children while I wait, friendless, lonely, and in stasis has proven most instructive. The temptation of blaming others for all of this keeps coming up - they never gave me a chance in friendship, love, etc, I did X nice things for them and they did X/6 nice things for me, etc. They were not obliged, another side answers back.

I think one of the hardest things about cutting anchor here, which I should've done a long time ago, is that when I was very young, my family seemed to move every time I started to settle down somewhere and make friends (every 2 years during my first 6ish years), and that idea of starting over has long been terrifying to me - somehow the rootlessness I feel here feels less stark, with the occasional nod from people I kinda knew, than the idea of being completely unknown elsewhere. If only my cats felt like roots, I could happily move as often as I wanted, from city to city, country to country. I really would like some adventure (how much I'm not sure), just with a root or two.

I'm at least stacking the deck to force myself to reenter the real world more wholly over the next year - dropped enough hints at work that they shouldn't expect me to stay another year, took the GREs, said so long to a few dreams, asked my landlord to go month-to-month and offered him a bit more for that (which he refused, which means I'll simply break the contract whenever I see fit), etc etc. It's funny how long I've been able to honestly say "I am tired of life but not quite ready to die yet" - maybe I'll find some things to make life worth living in the next year.

One happy story would be I get a university job somewhere that's nice (I keep getting advice to try Cali for awhile, Europe would be interesting, Oregon might be nice), meet someone who helps me forget my current attractions, do some nice trips around the world with them, have lots of nice conversations, hikes, games, etc, and then some long-term future in academia starts to fall together, hopefully leading to the kind of happily-ever-after where not everything becomes simple but living more in the real world isn't so bloody painful. There are a number of other happy stories (some of which others might not understand as happy) - maybe one of them will come true(ish).

My "new" hobbies (which I might consider slightly pilfered as being greatly diminished forms of life-consuming elements of the lives of former girlfriends), jogging and sketching, continue to amuse at rates where I don't need to get a lot of skill to enjoy them. Actually, I think they're also attributes of both of my parents (separately) in their youth. There's something very attractive about them as a pair - if I had to name ten hobbies I'd like to do with a future life partner, casual sketching and jogging would be reasonably high on the list. Maybe something like:

  • Philosophy
  • People-watching
  • Sketching
  • Jogging/Long Walks/Hiking/Camping
  • Games (Video, card, and otherwise)/Puzzles/Programming
  • Gardening
  • Cooking (unlike the rest, not really something I enjoy alone)
  • Museum-browsitude, attending lectures, etc
  • Going to Opera/Musicals/Theatre/Intellectually stimulating films
  • Occasional Travel to other cities/countries/continents/planets

I suspect if I found someone who liked most or all of those, that would almost fully cover the activities side of things .. hmm.

Anyhow, this seems a good time to get things moving again - yet more people are preparing to move away, I've introduced a time bomb of awkwardness, and if I can finish my two remaining projects at work before more responsibilities arrive, I can avoid leaving the professors I work with in too awkward a situation (I could probably remotely finish these up though).

I can't really pace this as reaching a finish line, because moving won't actually solve anything, it'll just remove a lot of context (existing frustrations, inertia, etc) and stagnancy. Still, it's a good way to reach a point where I can better appraise and possibly fix many of the problems. Tomorrow will be another entirely lonely birthday, but with any luck it will be the last one of those.

P.S. Seriously don't bother with the happy birthdays - I don't celebrate birthdays, and it's not like I see any of you regularly anyhow (my phone has been very very silent over the last many years). This is mostly self-reflection that I allow you to see, marked by an event.

Unrelated to the personal stuff there, I've recently been thinking a bit about:

  • Whether the increased rate of innovation has reached a point where generation gaps stop occurring as differences blend (or alternatively become much narrower and stronger)
  • The effects of "the people cannot be fooled because they are too awesome so cut it out MY OPPONENT IN POLITICS I AM RIGHT" style of dialogue, and how we might reverse the effects (if any) of such discourse. Ideas of cornering a politician, pointing out areas where the masses got things dead wrong in the past (over science, over artistic judgement, etc), and forcing the dialogue into a direct discussion on the matter. But then, given how idiotic political dialogue in the US is, from both the bottom-up and top-down direction, fresh air in any form would be nice. Trash the lies around people anointed heroes (from Lincoln to Mother Theresa), discuss the uncomfortable facts around how advertising and politics work, etc, all on a public stage. Almost everyone has some topics about which they've never been properly confronted, and these unchallenged ideas make them stupid.
  • How can Pesto be so awesome?!
  • How can astroturfing be shut out from public discourse
  • Bertrand Russell's ideas about Public Education (which I find to be very sensible in the most part)
  • How I might encourage my cats' occasional tendency to stand up on their hind legs to happen more often (they've shown the ability to walk a short ways in this state)
  • A project that would translate the rote/expected language in sermons (s/Baruch Atah Adonai/STDCHRISTIANINTRO/) from one faith to another to allow for substantive study of the content of prayers. Could people tell the difference between those written in the context of their faith and those written into another, without the markers? How integral is the practice and content to the standard elements?
  • How different permutations of actual cultures might be possible - are the antiscientific attitudes in hippie, yuppie, and other subcultures necessarily part of the worldviews engendered in them? Would being hardnosed about the sciences deeply transform them? (I am very interested in encouraging hardnosedness about science everywhere I can)
  • The paving-the-path versus pushing-to-win mentalities in politics, philosophy, science. This has come up a lot recently in many areas of the internet side of my life, although it being one of the great issues of minded existence, it's hardly a surprise.
Might ramble on for several hundred more paragraphs - lots of ideas that've been building up that this general quiet hasn't really helped me babble into the real ears of people - but hunger calls. Hopefully BrilleauxBox is open.

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