Assessing where I am, and looking forward:


I have made it through Wednesday and today! (I didn’t expect that.) It was especially difficult to get myself out of bed, today, because I knew I had to update an Entity-Relation diagram and had no idea how I would do it. (E-R diagrams are used to plan database architecture.)

I ended up resting for a bit (even though I felt guilty as I did so) and then evolving a plan for how to tackle this…and, unexpectedly, it worked out!

I’m not sure if I should write down how I did it here, or if that will be too arcane for everyone else who reads this blog…(I can write it down in my notes, before I forget). But for one thing: giant paper helps. Color-coding also helps, and 3″x5″ cards help! I also think that because the diagram forces one to think abstractly, it’s likely a good thing that I’m the one doing it.

There’s also the point that I’m not entirely certain how my brain works. I mean, apparently, it knew how to go through the process. I just needed to be open to it.

Back to essentials, though: I seriously need to wash my hair, and I seriously need to exercise. I also seriously need to clean up my office! There is so much paper trash in here. And my bedroom…needs to be dusted, so I can get back to using my desk.

Luckily, I don’t have to go back to work for two more weeks, unless I choose to, so I have some extra time that I can use to either study or take care of myself (including cleaning up weeks of entropy). I’m hoping to get ahead in my schoolwork, but I’m not betting on it.

A few days ago, I did see my prescribing doctor. I’m thinking that I’ll stay on the same medication I’ve been on. My doctor suggested bupropion (Wellbutrin) to lower my appetite, but every time I start a new medication, I have to adjust to my mind working differently.

I’m already on one medication to counteract the side effects of another medication (drowsiness); the bupropion would be to counteract another side effect, which is the tendency to eat constantly.

As far as I’m aware, I could go on treating side effects of medications that treat side effects forever and end up on way more drugs than are necessary. It’s possible that all I need to do is drink water first, when I find myself hovering around the refrigerator.

Anyhow. I know that the next three days will be a bit tight where it comes to academics, or at least, I’ll have things to do. It would be great to get some exercise in, in the early morning. Today, it was basically storming (which has been rare, this season), so I didn’t go out. Not to mention that what I had to work on, was a group project, and so I couldn’t let it slide.

And I also did finally see that most of my professors have their email addresses on their “Home” pages, not under “Contact”. I’m not sure if that does mean I’m supposed to contact them about accommodations? Hmm.

Well, that train of thought just died.

I suppose that I could also get back to reading. I have one class (Instructional Design) which I may have to do a lot of research for, depending on whether my proposal goes through or not. The way the project is set up, I have to have an Information Literacy basis…and I’m not too familiar with that (which might be surprising, as I’m in a Library & Information Science program).

Also…I’m not sure whether I really want to do MySQL this Summer, or hold off on that and use Web tutorials to learn MySQL, while taking Cybersecurity and Intro to Programming. My fear is that 5 units in Summer Session is going to be way too much, like I could barely handle 10 units this semester, while I had them (my 1-unit class ended yesterday).

Last night I was thinking of just doing Programming and Cybersecurity, and doing MySQL on my own…which still sounds like the balanced route. If I can commit to it.

The weird thing, though, is that I’m not too bad at database design; and I didn’t expect that to be the case. Though my professor did say that Entity-Relation diagramming was something of an “art”…

(sounds like me)

…I did end up using my art supplies to mark out rough drafts of my diagram. It would have been tougher without the materials.

Man, there are so many books I want to read…(I’m looking at my bookshelf, now)…particularly the Japanese language and Graphic Design ones. It’s funny that right now when I look at pages of my Japanese language writing in my photos, I can’t really distinguish them from my English language writing, unless I’m writing vertically. (It all merges into “text.”)

But it is such a big power-boost to be able to write in kanji.

Yes, it would be nice to clean up in here so I have the space to do whatever I want. (I briefly pondered practicing my sewing, today, but just didn’t do it.)

I could also get back on assembling my e-Portfolio, which has had to take a back seat for the past few weeks. The major issue there, is where to host it, and where will it be secure?

But that could be a fun project (especially if I code the pages myself)!

Hmm. I’d just have to keep them securely backed up…that actually does sound fun. And productive. I wonder if I should have a cloud backup, too, just in case…


Psychological changes due to medication

I did get some homework done at work, today, which is why I feel I can take some time and post here. It’s now the night of the 24th, meaning that I have three days left to complete all the work for Political Advocacy. That’s the nearest deadline I have, thankfully.

I am feeling some relief. I’m also feeling that maybe I am where I’m supposed to be. I do like art, but I didn’t like it enough to take the first giant leap in undergrad and do a BFA. And given no restrictions on my time or money (which, counter-intuitively, may not actually be the best thing for an artist), I tend to struggle with continuing to make art: especially now that I’m out of art classes and haven’t spoken to my artsy friends in a while.

M wanted me to get a degree in Library Science so that I would have the free time and extra money to be able to work on my own creative projects, on my own. It would be for support, until (and if) I became successful enough as an artist that I wouldn’t have to work in a Library setting. But we’ve always kept my being creative as part of the plan. This is, I think, partially because creativity is an emotional regulator for me.

The tough part about all of this is, I think, mental. Specifically, psychiatric. I feel like a different person when I’m on medication, as versus when I’m not. And so, for example, while I was viscerally driven to write or make art on a daily basis when I wasn’t being treated for psychosis (which involuntarily lights up the same areas of the brain as are used in creative activity), this isn’t as much the case, now. (By the way, “psychosis” just describes a state of disattachment from “reality.” It doesn’t mean wanting to harm or kill people or being a psychopath [which is an entirely different thing], but the general public doesn’t know the distinction.)

While I couldn’t control my creativity when I was not on proper medication, at this point — even though I’m trying to find a way to keep my life revolving around creativity, which was what kept me alive as a youth — I’m just finding there’s a lot more to life than just creation. And it’s hard to output creativity without taking in other peoples’ creativity.

I’m probably an easier person to deal with, now; but my strengths on medication aren’t the same as my strengths off of it. It changes the way my brain functions.

I’m probably 15 years into being treated with an antipsychotic drug. My early experience with it showed me that I was more likely to be spiritual and mystical without it, and at higher doses (though I’m still on a relatively low dose), I had more of a tendency to slide to an agnostic or materialist position. I don’t go all the way Scientific Materialist (or haven’t had to, yet), but I can see that what I think isn’t right just because I’m the one thinking it.

In turn, I’ve also pretty much stopped looking to religious authorities to give me comfort about the nature of the world and of myself. I’m not sure if it’s because I’ve absorbed enough, if it’s because I know I could study my entire life and still not grasp everything, or if it’s because I feel like I’m wasting my precious time dealing with people who don’t espouse truth.

Of course, there’s the question of whether truth is the point, and I would say it isn’t. But that then gives one an insight to the purpose of religion…and to whether one can value it even if it is not truthful. The latter is something that my American upbringing is probably interjecting: one of my parents was raised Catholic, and so I was raised with an intense valuation on truth (though I don’t particularly see any organized religion as necessarily true, and I’m not Catholic myself).

But back to the medication topic: I’ve reached the point where I can see that I probably am not the only person alive in this world, just because I only experience it from this position. You can see from the default in that example how far gone I was, though. I still don’t like the “fantasy/reality” duality, because things aren’t that clear-cut for me, and never have been. Things can be indistinguishable from reality for someone, and still not correspond with what’s happening objectively. Then we get into a question over whose subjective truth is closer to objectivity.

The thing is that it’s incredibly easier to be creative when you believe what you think, as versus when you’ve got a meta-cognitive layer acting on top of that which regulates what of your brain function actually gets translated into action. (This is called executive function and it’s associated with the forebrain…)

Being able to be an actually trustworthy person is the high point. It’s just difficult for me to deal with creative imaginings about the nature of spirit and life now, though, because I wonder if I’m wasting my time. Because nobody has the answers I’m looking for; and if they do, I’ve got to check my own bias to see if it matches theirs.

Anyhow…I have one more day of work before I’ll have to not go in, for a bit. I can do this.

I’m just not entirely certain why the creativity has fallen back so much, except that I am (now) mentally healthier and more stable than I used to be (at least when I’m on all my medications). Or, it’s possible that the creativity was part of my symptomatic profile.

I don’t know where that leaves me now, though, except in a Library Science program…and on my way to becoming some sort of Librarian…

I mean, do I make a mental shift where I focus all my energy on my Master’s program and my employment, or do I continue to (attempt to) split my time between creative production and becoming a Librarian? Noting, of course, that I went into Library Science in part because I wanted to work in Publishing and possibly as a writer?


Then there’s that whole psychological-thriller category that I still enjoy writing within… 🙂

A psychiatry post

I’m writing this now instead of trying to map out a diagram for homework, because I seriously doubt I have the cognitive function to do the latter, at the moment.

It’s become apparent to the people around me that I’m experiencing the beginning of symptom relapse (obsessive thoughts + paranoia), so I’m going to start taking the Prozac again, starting tomorrow. At this point I’m not sure what is worse, the anxiety and obsessive thoughts, or the cognitive distortions, or the mood distortions, or the withdrawal (or the oversleeping…but that’s minor, compared to everything else). The trouble is that I can’t tell what’s normal.

In any case, I see my prescribing doctor again, shortly. The idea is to go back on the Prozac until I complete my degree. Then I’ll have the opportunity to go off of it again, after the stress of school is over. I estimate that if I don’t exercise, I’ll likely only gain 10 lbs. by December (putting me at 175), but there are plans to start up a fitness regimen that I’ll be doing with family (as we all basically need to be exercising for health).

The biggest stressor I’m under is the grad-school workload, but there is also chaos going on in both sides of my family right now, and I’m apparently blowing things way out of proportion at my job (which I didn’t know, because I can’t tell what’s normal). D also saw that I was in a pattern of confiding in people and then not trusting them anymore.

And yeah, I didn’t notify Psych of the anger I was dealing with before because I was afraid they were going to tell me to restart the Prozac. What I know is that the abdominal fat will fall off next time I go off of this medication, but apparently the vast majority of drugs that I could take for my symptoms cause weight gain.

Anyhow, my mood’s down now that I know I’m back on the pills. I don’t like having a paunch, and I had just started to have a relatively flat belly and to go down in weight.

So I’m feeling depressed, right about now. I’m pretty sure the pain is just chemicals.

I’ve got to get through tomorrow, though, then through the 18th, though the teacher in my Instructional Design class (with the 2-18 due dates) says it’s better to turn in good late work than poor on-time work…and I think all of my professors know I’m technically disabled. I’ve only been able to find a private contact avenue with one of them.

I should get some rest. Staying up isn’t helping things. I can try doing the diagram in the morning.

I started this post freaking out over school, now it’s just over weight.

Yeah, there are things more important than classwork…

I suppose it wouldn’t be too much to admit that I am now somewhat seriously freakin’ out over the workload I’ve set out for myself.

It is, however, a good thing that I stayed home today to listen to the three hours (!) of lectures I had for one class, or else I’d really feel like I was drowning. Today, what I got done was that (yeh, I’m kinda changing up my writing voice, for now), and a good set of abdominal exercises (aiming for 60 reps balanced per exercise, 30 reps to either side per exercise) plus over a mile clocked on the Exercycle (where I actually surpassed [!] 9 MPH, tension level = 6 [that detail probably won’t matter to anyone else]).

So after I listened to the lectures for my database class, I then went through all four of them (the classes, that is) and noted everything due this next period. I’m kind of getting irritated (that’s not the word I’m thinking of) at being expected to schmooze for part of my grade. I just don’t do that, well. And I’ve got serious “stuff” to attend to, like analyzing freaking websites.

And…yeah, I’m kinda getting “dark” here, like not “dark” as in “lost” but “dark” as in “angry.” It’s likely due to stress and a reduced amount of medication (which would normally help me deal with the stress).

My weight is still going up, by the way, but I’m pretty sure that little bump on the scale means my muscles (particularly my thighs and abs) are building, not that I’m taking on a bunch more fat.

(My belly fat is continually shrinking, by the way. Yay for resetting metabolisms! I wouldn’t be concerned except for the fact that Prozac use is linked to Type 2 diabetes, which in turn is linked to abdominal fat. And I just lost someone from diabetes [ongoing kidney failure, necrotizing bacteria] and had a friend who also lost someone [if not two people] from diabetes, not to mention others I know who have to live with it.)

What I need to do, really, is likely just stop drinking juice like I restarted doing when I stopped the Prozac. That was the big thing that caused me to stop gaining weight when I was still taking it, and…realistically, I’ve got 35 pounds to drop before I’ll be at optimal weight (I did actually break the 170 barrier yesterday, though that was after food and drink, not first-thing-in-the-morning stuff; at minimum, I’m at 165, meaning 30 to drop).

Hey, if I could be stable at 165 and hourglass and strong and lose the fat from under my jaw, I’m not sure I’d have a problem with it.

Then there is the entire grad-school stress…thing. That also contributes to the weight gain.

Why am I in this? I am in this because it’s important to M that I get a Master’s degree. I don’t know why; it has something to do with some nightmare couched in the phrasing of not, “working at McDonald’s.” Which, you know, I never had to do, but the same can’t be said of others in my family. So, you know, maybe it’s something they “know” about that I don’t.

But also, how many other people do you know that go through grad-school horrors because their parents want them to?

Well, there you go. A’ight. Who wants to do this? (or be a doctor or lawyer [or banker or teacher]?)

Oh, right, the other people in my program…


I did have the option with Voc Rehab of choosing a blue-collar job for my “vocation,” (electrician!) but I just didn’t. I can’t even really remember why I chose this line of work anymore, except that I already had an English degree and wanted to monetize it — and, right — that I was considering work in Publishing. Library work keeps you around texts, at least for the present day. And I thought it would be quiet.


Well, that, and I didn’t (and don’t, still) feel entirely comfortable taking money from people. But in Capitalism, that’s what you’ve gotta do if you’re gonna survive; the money has to come from someplace, even if it’s going into your old coffee cup (which I’m sure we wish it wouldn’t). And even if it’s coming out of taxes.

I have dreams for Publishing, but they’re probably about 15 years in the future. Pearson is doing some work on it, last I checked (interactive books). Though I’m thinking interaction paired with social media, that (due to abuse of the system, which is fairly likely with college students) could become a Public Relations nightmare fairly quickly.

And, right: I didn’t want to enter a majority-male field and have to deal with the, “but you have the wrong ‘bits,'” for the rest of my life. HOW CAN I LOVE METAL IF I HAVE THE WRONG “BITS?”

Okay, I’m going to stop now.

Hey, at least I’ve still got a sense of humor. That’s something.

I should likely schedule some time (no, I mean really, schedule) to work on something creative. I’ve just got to determine what exactly that’s going to be, and when it is going to be. And when I’m going to do everything else.

Also, I’m a bit concerned about what kind of food my parents did bring back from the produce market…I sacrificed those hours to work on readings, today, so I wouldn’t be surprised if we’ve got a ton of apples and nothing else…

Yeah, I…I should get to bed…


So I’m entering the second week of classes, now. I’m not going to work as much as I was at the beginning of last semester…which is likely a good thing. A few things have come up.

Sleep hygiene.

Now that I’m entirely off the Prozac, at the very least I will need to be more diligent about when I take my medication. Last night I lay down at 9 PM because I was tired, and slept until about 1:15 AM, when I then remembered to take the medication I should have taken at 9.

Consequently, I was tired in the daytime again, today; and although I did initially get up (and ready to leave) at a reasonable time, I wasn’t active until around 5 PM again because of sedation. There is a date set out for me to see my prescribing doctor, as my case manager said that sleeping until 5 PM was overly excessive.

This is why I started the Prozac in the first place (to stay awake, because of the sedation from the earlier-prescribed medication), but if the Prozac is going to put me on a road that leads to obesity and diabetes unless I continuously go out of my way to take action against it, I’d rather cut the sedating medication and see what that gets me. I’ve been on it since high school, when I was with a prescribing doc I didn’t like, and who may not have cared if I was functional. It may be that it’s time to either reduce or change it.

Going down from 14g to 16g.

I had been having intermittent discomfort in my left ear piercing, which I think is related to going up in gauge too fast. I mentioned this in a backpost (though at this point I think the tearing sensation was likely from dried crust being pulled through the piercing: it may have bled or oozed and I wasn’t aware of it). The solution to this is generally noted as going down one size, staying there for 6 weeks, and then attempting to go back up again. I actually went down in gauge yesterday, to 16g. It’s much more comfortable.

Right now I’m wearing a curved set of barbells previously belonging to M (I did clean them), which have a nice combination of metal thickness and weight. Based on what I’ve seen, I’ll want to stay at 16g until March 14, when I can try 14g again. I have two sets of earrings at this size, so even if I lose a threaded ball from the barbells, I will have a backup set of captive-ball rings.

New interest in my appearance.

Right now I’m taking the step to start looking nice (to myself). I had been distinctly sabotaging my appearance because I get upset/angry when men try to hit on me (I am not a heterosexual woman, regardless of what I look like)…but there is a way to rebel against that, which is to look nice despite them and just not play their games. Outside of criminality, the worst they can do is call me a b****, and D says to take that as a badge of honor, more than anything.

And yeah, it helps that I can fight in the vast majority of shoes I have. It also helps that I’m willing to fight.

Exercise makes me feel better.

Last night, I went a mile on the Exercycle, which really doesn’t seem like much (to me), but after about 2/3 of a mile, I got bored of going at 6 MPH and cranked it up to 9 MPH (eventually).

I just reached the point where it was more tiring to go more slowly than it was to push myself. I don’t think I’ve ever had a time where I was going at 9 MPH for over 15 seconds, until last night. (Of course, going faster means that I’ll be done with a mile sooner, so that is also an incentive.)

After that, I did a bunch of thorough stretching (mostly legs and trunk), and most of the abdominal exercises I can remember (I just excluded leg lifts). I did feel better after having done that. D said that it might be because I was oxygenating muscles. I’ve got to remember that my Tae Kwon Do stretches (for kicking) were the only things that started to relax the tendons in my inner thigh (as I found in my Butterfly Stretch).

Today I’m sore, but only a little. Tomorrow, I’m hoping to get more exercise done. I try not to exercise the same muscle groups on consecutive days, because over the long term that can lead to muscle weakening, not strengthening — as in the case of my abs. They were probably shredded to **** by my high school Physical Education classes (which were in turn run by an ex-Army drill instructor, which doesn’t give me much security).

Shoes and clothes that fit, help.

As does, getting my hair trimmed. I suppose that it is the beginning of February, so the worst of the cold season is probably behind us (here). I think the big issue is going to be drought, for the rest of the year. We’ve basically got almost no snowpack, so it’s going to be tough (again). The bright side of this is that I probably won’t need to rely on my sweaters for much longer.

I did get a couple of new pairs of shoes, but the close-fitting ones I got are a bit large after having stretched out. M has taken them. I think I really needed a smaller size than the one I got (I normally wear a 9, but I think I needed an 8.5, in this case, and got a 9 on principle).

And…the sedation is kicking in again, so I’m going to sign off.

Stressing, a bit, but I know why:

We decided today that I’m going to try and just stop the Prozac. I’ve been on 1/3 of a normal dose for about a month, 1/2 dose prior to that…and my belly has appreciably gone down with each reduction.

Right now I’m mostly concerned about school starting, again. And that’s largely because I’m in a four-week, 1-unit class that I’m probably about to hate (it’s on politics)…but I have to take it to fulfill a graduation requirement. Avoiding working on the reading for that, early, has pretty much killed this last week of Winter Break.

It could also be a touch of the Prozac not protecting me as adequately from depression. My sleep schedule has been messed up since I went down to 1/3 of a dose, and that — plus work stress, plus procrastination — is likely why I’m feeling so down.

There’s that, and realizing that I don’t really have to become a (Public) Librarian…and that I’m not really getting compensated enough at my job for everything I’m doing.

I think if a potential employer asked me why I was exiting the Library field, my answer would be, “ideology.” But I’ve got to deal with the ideology if I want to finish this last year.

I’m also in a MySQL course, which looks interesting but difficult. Then there is a class on reference interviews (useful for employability…I’ll leave it at that), and a class on teaching (not looking forward to that, but also useful for employability).

Summer should be interesting, and Fall (my last semester, depending) will likely be a bit stressful, but I should have fulfilled all of my requirements, by then.

I think it would be different if work wasn’t being a pain and if I weren’t being undercompensated and pushed into work that a Clerk should be doing. But I guess that’s what you get when you have the option to only go in for 11 hours a week. It would probably also be different if I had the option to just go straight for an Information Science degree and not worry about the ALA graduation requirements.

On top of that…there should be some celebrations coming up, and I honestly don’t know if I’ll have the energy. The good thing is that by the end of February, I should be back down to only having to deal with 9 units (which was hard enough last semester! — though, again, that was due to one single class).

I suppose, also, I don’t have to work myself to the bone like I did last semester (and I shouldn’t be looking forward to a semester of no play…I just hate to end the creativity trip right when I start being able to do it well again). I ended up getting all three grades in the A range in Fall 2017, which should adequately balance out that C- I got in Beginning Cataloging in Spring 2017.

Then there’s the **** portfolio and making sure ALL of it is backed up (more than once)…and rebuilding the portfolio because I didn’t know what I was doing the last time…

Hey, I guess on the bright side, maybe I’ll have the time and opportunity to take a second Programming class in Fall…

Body issues — feeling better.

I have work to do, but I’m drawn to writing, again.

First, on the exercise and weight tangents: I’m feeling better. Recently I went through three days of (legitimately) forgetting to take the medication which is making me gain weight (I’m taking it every other day, now) and actually dropped a couple of pounds within those three days.

This is encouraging, because it means that when I get all the way off of this, I have a good chance of my body doing what it did before (where I mostly didn’t have to consider calories or fat or sugar, because I just didn’t gain weight [outside of highly stressful situations, like that first semester of grad school]).

I’m trying to tell myself, I only have 10 more days to go, and then I can consider fully stopping the Prozac — or calculate out when that should occur. In any case, everything will be done in two weeks, for better or worse.

Very recently, I did some exercise, outside of my regular routine. That could have also contributed to the weight loss, even though it was relatively simple and very gentle stuff. I also feel stronger, like my body is literally pulling itself together. I feel like my posture’s better, and everything’s better-contained, plus I’m not dragging myself around (I noticed myself picking my feet up lightly when moving at work, today).

I’ve also realized that I really was running myself ragged, before; but I hadn’t been sure if what I was feeling was normal. It wasn’t. After Thanksgiving, I gave myself time to recuperate, and it actually did help — a lot — to the point that I wasn’t dreading getting back to homework, anymore. I think a big part of the problem was the group project we assigned ourselves. That, on top of the constant work from my Digital Archives class…it wasn’t great.

And beyond that, I’ve realized that my textbook is again poorly-written, but I wouldn’t know that it was the book and not me, most likely, unless I was an English major (which I was, in undergrad). So it’s very possible to see when authors use the verb “to be” in their sentences, around 80-85% of the time (aiming for 30% of the time, isn’t bad). It’s not a crime to use the passive voice, but since I’ve been learning Japanese, I just see big “=” signs whenever some form of “to be” is used (which is basically what it means), and then I’m sitting there wondering how these people learned to write. That wouldn’t have flown in Creative Writing.

I’m trying not to be snarky. I’m learning that anonymity online isn’t really anonymity, and I’m learning it isn’t necessarily a bad thing to associate my thoughts with my (real-life) identity. But I don’t want to be insulting people out of callousness or poor word choice, and then have to go back and erase or hide it because suddenly my name is connected with the opinion.

Also…I’ve been writing about the gender tangent elsewhere, and I’m feeling a lot better, now. Essentially, I came out in one of my classes. Just being able to talk openly, and have people know I’m not a woman is a relief (I tend to slide back into being seen as one and then not correct others’ assumptions, which then often leads to hiding behind those assumptions).

I have…also, realized what my favored method of walking in the world is. (It’s not dresses, though those can be more physically comfortable when it’s hot.)

I’m not sure if I could explain it, but basically loose oversized shirts and jeans, help things. Long hair is good. Tight body is good. I want to, now (possibly), size up to 10g in my earrings — because I hardly ever wear the feminine earrings I’ve designed myself. I may have a lot of them, but I’m not strongly driven to wear them (or any jewelry, for that matter). In this case, it’s better to just keep the rings in my ears; that way, I don’t forget to put them in, and they make washing the piercings, easier.

It is nice to have the option of wearing a skirt, though. I just wouldn’t do it as a default.

And I want to get back into martial arts. I haven’t decided which, at this point, though I remember something coming over the radio which said that those who had the least fighting experience tended to overexaggerate their skills in a fight, the most. (I did think that was hilarious, though I have used my skills [observation and avoidance, aside] outside of the dojo very few times, to memory.)

I am actually thinking of something in the line of Tae Kwon Do…because I’m not scared of ruining my joints anymore. There’s a place I’ve found which teaches Kali, as well…but the students didn’t look very motivated. The major drawback to any of this is getting hit in the head while sparring, which will cause brain damage (something I’ve been told to avoid, with my condition). That doesn’t mean that I don’t want to spar, though. It looks fun, and more useful than what I learned in my first internal martial art.

Ah — now I remember the difference between soft and hard styles, and internal and external arts. I’m not sure I’m up to explaining it now, but at this point in my life, I’m after something practical (external) as versus spiritual (internal). Since I’m not that huge, a soft style (pins/joint locks & breaks/center-of-gravity manipulation) would be of more use to me than a hard style (brute force). So a soft, external martial art? Maybe I should run some searches on that…(Aikijutsu? Jujitsu?)

…though the high kicks in Tae Kwon Do…I miss that. At the time I left, I was just before the point at which I would have learned to do a roundhouse. There are intrinsic problems with depending on kicks, however.

It would also be great to get back into running. I miss the speed thrill I got when I was a kid, playing Tag. Though now I know I can severely damage myself doing it, it’s still awesome to accelerate from nothing to top speed (I just need to do it over a forgiving surface, like turf!). There’s just something that gets released, in sprinting (or in skating, for that matter) — as in martial arts, it requires total focus so you don’t mess yourself up.

I think I just want to be more physically capable than I currently am. It also wouldn’t hurt to tighten things up so my body is held properly, and my organs aren’t loose, and so that I’m more capable of defending myself. And it wouldn’t hurt to get buff again (in a functional way!) either.

This is a good start. It’s actually a really good start.

Gah, how many years has it been since I let out a full kiai?