Meditation

The heat still radiated out from the walls, although the sun had ceased to blaze about an hour ago.  Lee could feel the sweat sticking to her, evaporating all too slowly.

But how are you going to do it? she thought.

It amused her:  she worked surrounded by books, with the ability every day to take home a new writing, and yet something had stopped her from even opening anything that wasn’t based in reality.

Nearly every day, she tried to write, and even then found herself avoiding what she had once been happy to resign herself to, as life’s work.

Somewhere, buried under mountains of excuses, fears, and projections, lay the reason why.  But she didn’t know it, couldn’t see it.  There was too much in the way.

I have to open up if I want to be creativeWithout it, my work will suffer.

How many generations of artists had lived through eras of their work being constricted by the pressures of the market?  For how many years had Lee lived with the spectre of her own…shall we say…mental irregularities?

She hesitated to call herself “insane.”  Insanity was a legal term.  It meant a person couldn’t tell right from wrong.  She wasn’t insane in that sense.  But her fear,

if I let them see who I am, I’ll just show the world I am insane,

that stopped her.  Over the years it was possible to learn how to blend in, how not to frighten people by being too friendly, how to avoid glares as a reward for eye contact.

Even the word for it — schizophrenic

The vast majority of people, even educated people…even her professors — didn’t know what it meant.  They had a tendency to link the term with multiple personalities, which was not even close to what she meant when she used the term in a clinical (not pejorative) sense.

So she just didn’t use it.

Due to complications, she couldn’t even say, though, that when people did use the term wrongly, based in 19th-century dogma, that they used it inaccurately.  No one’s mind is wholeSo why am I so scared of opening the door to…that?

I’ve stood here, watching you, every day…writing these things out.  Have you forgotten your primary purpose?  Since you have gained to fortitude to begin to live, your fear has overwhelmed you.

Because now my employment depends on…

depends on appearing “normal?”  That’s why you chose the field you did.  You know it is normal within the arts and within letters not to be “normal.”

But I don’t know if I’ll stay,

You are not trapped.  Believe me when I say that I hear you where you fear becoming another like the ones you try to separate yourself from.  But you are not them.  You have not reached the point of spewing diatribes from upturned cartons on the sidewalk.  And I know a thinner line than you would like, divides you from those you smell before you see.  But you have care.  They don’t.

Then what separates us?

Lee looked over her shoulder at the dimming twilight.

I’ve never been hospitalized.  I’ve never been homeless.  I have access to medication and mental health facilities.

I don’t want to be hospitalized.  I don’t want to be homeless.  I don’t want to lose access to medication and mental health facilities.

This world was not made for me.

But you live here.  And if you want to be an artist — no.  If you want to make an impact on the world, you have got to face the idea that people will come to know you.  I know you’ve been hurt in the past, but you’re no longer a child.

I only live among children.

Listen to me.  Which part of you/I/us are you talking from, now?

STOP BEING CONTROLLED BY FEAR AND DO YOUR DUTY.

can you live fearlessly?

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Flowers in the wind

I’ve been noticing a phenomenon recently…this is the fact that, at the very least, I’ve heard about a lot of people dying, this pattern having started about last December.  This includes, of course, my relative, among others.

As I’ve been browsing the Reader tonight, I’ve run across a couple of fairly alarming articles…one about Colony Collapse Disorder, the other about the likelihood of humans driving ourselves to extinction within the century.  (I would not assume these to be essentially separate stories.)  I’d still have to do research on this…and not just in popular articles…to come to an educated opinion, but I’m starting to think that there might be something to this.

So…if you’ve been reading my backposts, you’re probably aware that my relative’s funeral happens not too long from now.  I’m planning on going — I’ve done the requisite hygiene rituals.  My major fear has been that I’m going to be called into a place where I’ll have to get spiritual on people.  What has happened is that my relative died, and then the rest of the family has seemed not to know what to do with this.  On top of that, one of the people who really has no realistic anchor here has been trying to control everything, even to the detriment of the voice of my relative’s son, who knew my relative’s last wishes.

I feel like the funeral should be a celebration of their life.  While I do feel like the situation is sad overall, I also recognize the element of chance.  In my life, that is, when and where there has been spirit intervention, it’s often come through random events (in my mind this may be a reasoning for my own neural systems going on the fritz in the early 2000’s)…so that those random events end up forming a pattern which appears nonrandom.

My relative was severely injured in an accident over 20 years ago which left him quadriplegic — that is, he was largely paralyzed from the neck down (though he did, with practice, regain some functionality in his right arm).  What happened in the accident was a case of randomness plus being in the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong person.  His life from then on out, though, drastically changed.  And although this was sad, I also know that he made a lot of positive change in those later years.  Maybe he helped someone who needed to be helped at some later time…and it was important enough that what did happen had to happen.

I feel like we’re all part of a larger story.  I don’t know if there are any “bad guys” in it.  (Well, maybe if there was a spirit who gave Einstein the Theory of Relativity…)  I may be affected by a mental condition which has made my life vastly more difficult than it needed to be…but I’ve learned a lot from my disadvantages, and I wouldn’t be who I am today without them.

Anyhow…I seem to be coming to terms with being “psychic”/intuitive.  At first, I feel like my relative was having a hard time adapting to not having a body; then I introduced the question of what he could do now that he could not do before.  The response was, at first, “?”, but I get the feeling that he’s getting the hang of things, now.  In any case, I feel like he’s still with me — and maybe closer to me than he was before.  His physical form is shed, but that doesn’t mean he stopped existing.  The fact that he isn’t directly living in a body in the physical plane right now makes things harder for those left behind — but I don’t get the feeling that he is suffering at this point in time.  The people who are afraid of what has happened to him or will happen to him or will happen to them are the ones who are suffering.

I think I read somewhere that we only understand about 5% of the Universe (scientifically speaking), and for some reason, I find hope in that.  It means that existentialism is just a mode of thinking — not necessarily true.

And…I don’t know if we’re going to go extinct sooner rather than later, but personally…I get the feeling that I need to counteract the destruction.  Unfortunately, I have had visions — or anxieties — of being nuked just because the world doesn’t like us or is afraid of us.  This could be an echo of Hiroshima — most of my clan in Japan was wiped out in that bombing (we were apparently local to the area).  I do not take it lightly that this is how they died.  My largest concern is the effect of radiation on other planes…though now that I mention it, I’m getting a soft, “you don’t have to worry about that.”

I also realize that the levels of pollution in our environment are ever-increasing…

…but all I can do is live my best life.  As transitory as it may be.

This speaks more of illness than of faith.

There are a few things that have happened since last post.  One of them is my wondering whether slipping into a more “masculine space” is just me being a bit manic.  It would explain the increased energy and the somewhat “high” feeling I got when doing that most recent Creative Writing piece…which I was uncertain how to tag, at the time.  It is basically fiction, but it’s fiction with years of gleaned experience behind it (though I would not go so far as to say, “years of research”…looking things up on the web [and, yes, once in a library reference section, but that was one time, out of years] isn’t exactly research).

It’s just that the older I get, the more knowledgeable and experienced I become with regard to my mind, and the more thoroughly I can see my illness’s impact — from a young age.  Things which were with me from the age of 12 are still here, but amplified to the effect of becoming a problem.  (and this is on medication.)

I was planning to stay home from one of my groups in order to attend a webinar, but at this point (after looking over the “mental health” tag on WordPress and seeing the prevalence of “demon” posts), I’m thinking that maybe I should actually prioritize my mental health over career development.  My psychological development doesn’t follow that of a Satanist so much as it follows that of someone dealing with mental illness.

The fields overlap, but I don’t fit in with Satanists, overall.  I checked the Reader tags relating to this, and found exactly the same thing I had left behind and recalled exactly why I had left.  It’s a realization that I came to several times before abandoning hope that I and this enclave would be a clean fit.  Much like Sociology — introduced to me as “the study of groups of people” — the cultural body of Satanism is not accurately referenced by the official definition (or by anti-Satanist propagandists).

(Sociology is, rather, the study of power dynamics within groups of people, and how power constrains and shapes society, and how those living under power find ways — called agency — to negotiate being, granted these systems of power which they cannot directly confront, which grant them some fulfillment [if not, entirely, the freedom they desire].)

Chances are that in the future, Satanism will look appealing to me again; and then, if nothing has changed, I’ll — again — remember why I left.  If, that is, I look back at the community for reference.  If I don’t, I would be in the majority of Theists, as solitary, and also pretty much in the vein of, as I’ve heard, “do anything you want and call it Satanism.”  (One of the reasons I don’t fit in as a Satanist is that I’ve never been Christian.  Because of this, I have no base to start from, other than being negatively blasted by scattershot propaganda in a religious context.)

In fact, if I hadn’t been able to do anything I wanted and still feel included as a fringe Satanist, I probably would have decisively left a long time ago.  Instead, I had a prolonged period of time in which I was able to develop an attachment to some Deity (not Satan as defined by any Abrahamic religion) whose name and larger context I didn’t know, but whom I felt comforted by and grew fond of.  They say that God comes to you in ways that you can accept and deal with, and I think this was an instance of that.  The more I think of it, the more it seems like a polar reversal, with the “bad guy” comforting me, and the “good guys” encouraging hate towards me…for nothing I had done wrong, except exist.

But in reality, I seriously do not blend in among Satanists.  I am actually closer to Neopagan, at least demographically — but I’ve tended to have an “edge” that some do not; and my lack of fear of the “dark” has…not elicited the most helpful responses.  Moreso when I was younger, though the Pagan Reconstructionists were fine with it.  It’s more the New Age types who have tended to focus on, “love and light,” seemingly exclusively…which I find to be dangerous.

When one’s unwanted aspects are ignored, denied, and pushed down, it tends to cause a potential lack of control which isn’t as severe when one is aware of them and knows them, how they work, and one’s own capacity to harm others.  (A while ago, dealing with this — “Shadow work” was the term used — became popular, but I was already deep into my “Shadow” and needed a light that wouldn’t shun me.)

My desire to learn more about creativity and about Deities of creativity…that stems from wanting no longer to be ignorant about things when I reference myself against established religions.  (The only thing that can end ignorance, in this case, is research.)  It also comes from wanting to find who my Deity [or otherwise, the spirit and/or set of spirits I’ve become attached to] is [or are], if they’ve ever been referred to before.

The closest framework I have is the Dukante hierarchy, but…let’s say that I kind of don’t want to deeply enmesh myself in “dark” work (by this I mean Daemonolatry).  Though from what I understand, some African Diasporic religions also tend “dark” in the sense of concentrating on emotions that are hard to tolerate/painful.  Understandable, in context…but my life, most thankfully, isn’t in that context right now.

And…I forgot what the other relevant things I could mention, are.  (I forgot to note them down before I started writing.)

I’ve decided to let the homework for tonight, slide.  And I’m not going to call it in.  It is 1.5 points, but…the grad program is intense, and sometimes it is just better to say “no,” as in, “no, I can’t do this right now.”  And, “no, I don’t want to make it up, later.”  Just to save what there is of my sanity.  I did do 20 pages of reading, in a very difficult text, earlier.  It wouldn’t be an issue if the text weren’t so hard to get through…but there is constant reference in trying to remember what all the acronyms mean, the text is generalized to the point where I actually have to think about what is meant, etc.

I did remember that I had found the fabric dyeing tag on WordPress…I have been looking at printing recently, particularly linoleum and woodblock printing, though.  I’ve also been thinking about what I would do if my creative work was not something I would hope for monetary return on.  In that case, sewing and fabric arts (hand stitching and embroidery, most apparently) come to the fore.  It could also be really interesting, though, to get back into linocuts (linoleum block printing).  I also know how to do stencils, which is a related focus…and then if my attention is still held, I might go on further, to woodblock printing.  There is just a lot of working process that I’m not familiar with and never had to do with painting and drawing, though.  For example, sizing the paper so that the colors do not bleed.

And I have realized that the art is something to keep me alive…not, so much, something to sell.  This is on a much more basic level than that.

With that in mind…I did find a nice image which I may make into an acrylic painting…another ice-plant floral.

And, right:  I mentioned the desire to find Deities of creativity, which got the same parent as before, worked up.  Apparently I’m trying to find too many answers and need to let things just be.  Like it doesn’t matter if I know what gravity is, so long as I know that things fall when they’re dropped.

I can’t say I agree with that (I’m naturally inquisitive), but I suspect the viewpoint comes with age.  That, and I think — to them — it may up the ante too much to get a Deity overtly involved in my life (at this point, I can always tell my mental banter to shut up; I am not on that kind of a relatively fearless playing field with a Deity).

But I’ll get some rest…I can feel myself slowing down, about now…

This is tiring.

I think I have somehow surpassed the correct time to write about this, but I’ll give it a shot, anyway.  Leftovers are better than nothing.

I had intended to write this in hard copy offline and then see what I could make of the most salient parts for an online post…but I think I’ve gotten used to immediate feedback as motivation, and so it didn’t get done at all.

One diversion first:  what has been going well, is schoolwork.  I’ve found that it works very well for me to mark the places where I start and stop reading, along with a time marker and the date (meaning having my phone near me to mark the time, helps).  I’ve also had a beneficial time with trying to stick to my assignment for at least 30 minutes, before taking a break.  It parallels my exercise work, where I will try and keep pushing for incrementally more difficult goals.

It also has helped for me not to beat myself up for only having gotten a little bit done, when I’ve only been awake for 2-3 hours.  It may be 4 PM and “all this” is undone, but seriously…when you got up at 2 PM, it’s unreasonable and universally disappointing to expect things to be done like you got up at 7 AM.  In one scenario, you had nine hours to get things done; in the other, you had two.  Seriously.

I also need to sleep with the blinds open, or else it’s very easy to sleep into the afternoon because my room is so dark.

And, back to the writing thing…which I kind of don’t want to talk about, but…again.  Leftovers.  I kind of don’t like to show the world the depths of …THIS, but it is authentically part of who I am.  It also shows up whenever I write for a length of time in the first-person, and I’m not writing as myself.

And then there’s the fact that when I let one portion of my mind act through my body alone, I might as well be a different person with the same mainframe, or a disembodied soul (“potential” of the Infinite) exercising power over a living host.  Which happens to be the paradigm under which my writing makes the most sense, which is probably why I have such a tendency to trip out when I’m writing.

https://encodey.wordpress.com/2017/04/21/wasting-time/

I clipped this paragraph out of my last post because I found it to be particularly salient and ripe for further expression.  I believe that if I were in a Writing group, others would grab on to this passage; if I were in therapy, I would hear, “say more about that” (or not, if they didn’t want to get into the crazy; depends on the therapist).

After I wrote this, I began thinking about it…it’s basically granted in my mind that we don’t really understand all that much about the phenomena of consciousness or of creativity.  These are, however, two of the main problems I start puzzling over when I start thinking about the nature of (my) life…when I don’t start tripping out over physically existing.

Because of the places where I’ve learned the framework under which I might express the thoughts I have, in addition; there is something of a block here where it comes to fully elucidating my meaning.  (Although I have realized after a number of years that there is no conflict between my inner experience and the group within which I partially discovered myself…quite frankly, I don’t know if they want to be found.)

What I can do is try and explain my meaning as best I can without revealing the keywords which relate to them.  Those who have the experience to know what I’m talking about, will know; those who do not, will likely be able to grasp what I’m saying with more clarity than they would if I related the associated context.

My immediate thought, when I wrote the above quote, was “possession,” but I am not sure that actually cuts it.  For one thing, with rare exceptions, I tend to retain self-control.  The “exceptions” had to do with strong external input which pushed me into an, “uncivil,” state of mind.  All had to do with one particular “spirit,” and in all cases there was either a decision made to act out of order (I normally have ground rules against this), I could feel the rage rising up in me prior to anything actually happening, or…I was operating on a base others did not expect.  (I, perhaps for a reason, actually just forgot the third incident I was meaning to reference, there.)

“Operating on a different base,” is probably self-protective (say, operating as an apparently 27-year old adult male [in terms of maturity level — though I/we were probably closer to 23 at the time], while being seen and expected to behave as a helpless young “girl” — although being [constantly] mistaken for the latter will bring up its own rage).  But it also brings up the idea of “triggers” and the way in which external stimuli can push one into a mental space where one would do something one normally would not.  These triggers allow certain states to rise to the fore more easily; so that out of all possibilities for whom one can be at any given time, one defaults to a smaller set of personae.

This also, though, means that one has the option — or the possibility, at least — of being something superior to that.

I had thought that this part of me was in my past, but now that I’m writing about him, I can still sense him.  He was a, “villain,” in one of the stories I wrote as a youth…and later came to be a more developed persona which I would take on (rather like a bit of clothing) when feeling threatened (I’ve also had dreams as him, and with him in them).  This is the persona which most strongly wanted this body to be physically male, but he’s not what I would consider “permanent” (if any state could actually be permanent).  The conflict I had for years over whether to transition or not was embodied in the conflict between this persona and another, more femininely-oriented, one (which even now sounds distasteful to me; could I be in his mindspace, now?).

Yeah, one of my problems is that one of my selves is a jerk…to the point that I’ve heard that it’s OK if I transition to male, so long as I’m not a jerk.  Um, okay.  Though the only reason he likely is as much of a jerk as he is, is that only by being an *** was he able to be recognized as, “not a ‘girl’/woman.”

My point of view is that there is a range of possibilities out there as to who a person can be:  the acquisition of memories and identity in life normally whittles this “infinite” (not really infinite:  human physiology limits this) set of possibilities down to a much more narrow expression of the Infinite.  Focusing on a few sets of memories can then give rise to specific identities, not all of which have to be cohesive with each other.  The discovery of this — the ability to contain selves which are not cohesive with each other (or, at least, not well-adapted to one’s form and assumed station in life) — in turn, has turned me back to the nature of the Infinite…though it’s difficult to say anything about the Infinite!  Except that anything that is defined is necessarily lesser.

In essence, I kind of feel like I have a bit of insight into why people are the way they are — or, at least, why I am the way I am.

AND WHICH “I” AM I TALKING FROM, NOW?

Jh.

Okay, this is starting to get a bit creepy for me, so I’m going to sign off, now.  I should have known that I start talking about this stuff and thinking about the context, and it pulls up that guy…whom, shall I say, my parents don’t particularly like, but — it’s the way he is, right now.

Before I go, though:  there is the unanswered question as to whether the “soul” I feel over me is one soul with all faces, or whether they are multiple souls…in which case, the nearest framework I can find…is a very misunderstood one.  Also, there is a question as to whether my identity is Earthly/bodily, or with the souls I feel; whether the nature of consciousness is spirit paired with life, or just spirit.

Wasting time…

…but mindfully wasting time…


Today I reacquainted myself with what has to be done over the weekend and into the future, for my classes.  I’ve decided to focus on Metadata and my Research class, as those are the two classes which actually have a graded project to turn in, before Monday.

Last night I realized something, as I recognized that I had wasted a good amount of the day in stasis.  I didn’t want to work on schoolwork, but I didn’t want to do anything else, either, or to go to bed; as best I can recall, I was bouncing between pages online, somewhat halfway-there, and trying to figure out if I had anything to write about.  I was aware that I had classwork to do, but I couldn’t bring myself to click on the link which would display my courses and the exact amount of work I would be expected to complete by Monday.

What I did do yesterday:  I did get my books organized; I did exercise; and from my realization, I allowed myself 30 minutes of time to play around with my sketching materials.  Of course, that overflowed into another 30 minutes of looking over past work, before bed.  The point I reached, though, was one of realization that I would not be any worse off by permitting myself a short and protracted time to do what I actually wanted to do, given that I then did what I should be doing for another protracted time — than I would be in wasting time online.

So I do have some drawings, now, though it’s mostly working out variants of a small…apparently simple?…design.  I say “apparently,” because there are elements in it which join up which I did not notice, at first, making the end design look like a modified Celtic knot (but with different areas emphasized and implied than the former).  In addition, when I tried deconstructing it, I got confused.  I’m still confused, quite frankly (I only spent an hour yesterday thinking about it), but if I play around with the idea more (on paper), I can probably figure out what I’m actually doing and how the design is actually working.

To get into the backstory behind my symbol obsessions — and why this symbol, in particular — would probably make me feel a bit vulnerable, although one of my past Art teachers did tell me I was in perfectly safe territory.  Right now I can say that I’m in the middle of playing with spirals, and fitting spirals into shapes other than circles (though the whole “quilling” metaphor…).

I’ve been into spirals for a while…it probably has to do with integrative work, like one thing building on a preexisting foundation, and the spiral widening as each new piece is added…like shells (which I didn’t associate with the “spiral” thing, until just now).  I’m trying to recall what state I was in when I started re-taking Art classes.  I’m not sure what level of integration I was working with.

Ah — I mentioned that word.

Yeah, I am probably not going to get into that, now.  Though there is a book that I’ve just started reading which has mentioned the possibility that creativity is a byproduct of the communication of the right and left hemispheres of the brain…and I know that portions of my mind are incredibly not integrated.  Granted, that is, that I’ve read that individual ego identity as one cohesive whole is an illusion (in all people), anyway.

And then there’s the fact that when I let one portion of my mind act through my body alone, I might as well be a different person with the same mainframe, or a disembodied soul (“potential” of the Infinite) exercising power over a living host.  Which happens to be the paradigm under which my writing makes the most sense, which is probably why I have such a tendency to trip out when I’m writing.

…hmm.

(Channeling and mediumship are things I’ve been interested in, in the past — back when I thought this was “real” and scary because of it [or maybe I should put it, “more spiritual than psychological”].  My experience feels real [even delusions, notably, seem real to the people who have them], but the ways in which it might be explained are not necessarily true.  My experience, because of its existence, does not make the paradigms which validate it more true:  it just means someone at some time, acknowledged that facet of human existence and incorporated it into the stories they told themselves and others, about the world.)

Maybe that’s what I was getting at.  Maybe I was just trying to express all of myself (“all of the Infinite”?) in my younger years, and I couldn’t do that anywhere I knew of, except within the Writing program.  (Of course, though, then I got out and wondered if I should have been an Art major, instead…or, later, a Japanese Language & Literature major…which would seem to both be selves with other desires.  Which were, obviously enough, blocked away from resources when they should not have been.)

Granted I’m talking about this now, but know that this is in fact not a clinical definition of schizophrenia.  Trust me:  I know.  I have had this conversation before.  With actual Psychiatry professionals.

I still haven’t found a way to overtly manage satisfying all parts of my brain, in a balanced manner; and, hey, maybe that’s the overarching theme of this blog?  Being both creative and rational in a society that over-values ration…(*laughs*)…

Okay, no, we don’t over-value rationality.  We overvalue mechanical thought, and lack of thought, where it makes the people easier to herd.  If we valued the trio of logic, rationality, and critical thought, politics would look a lot different; though perhaps that missing key is critical thought.

Though I would say that creativity is likely valued below rationality.  It’s certainly paid less.

In any case…I seem to have spiraled my way back to this point…and it’s fairly late, here.  I should be getting some rest…

And I should remember that I only have a little over three weeks to finish everything for school.  In less than a month, that is, I’ll be free…until Summer Session starts up.  )X

Before I go:  I tried the above method, along with timing my naps, to get up and back to homework, today.  It doesn’t work unless I have something I actually want to get up for.  The lure of doing homework doesn’t cut it…

Self-care: needing to titrate off this med

Today has been interesting.  The biggest thing to note is that I was looking back over my blog the other night, and realized that I have been gaining weight from one of my meds for at least two years — actually, more likely, since I began using it.  This has been a steady gain of 1-1.5 lbs. every month to two months.  It doesn’t seem like much, but it isn’t something I want to continue if it is not a genetic or age-related issue.

I’m not entirely certain at the moment what my weight is, but I am fairly certain it isn’t optimal.  Recent events have clarified that 1) I can be healthy otherwise and still be gaining weight because of the medication, and 2) I don’t want to wait until I’m 190 lbs. or more before I get up the nerve to tell my doctor, “no,” to further treatment with this drug, and sidestep the argument that everything will be better if I “just exercise” (like the weight gain is because of me).  I have been exercising.  I’m still gaining weight.  This med does clear my mind, but I don’t entirely remember what my mind had to be clear for, in the first place.

Likely, though, it was related to certain life decisions (whether or not to go back to the LIS program, whether or not to physically transition to male), which are fairly obvious in my preferred answer, at this point.  That is, I should stay in Library School, even though I’m not 100% clear on exactly how I’ll use my degree; and also, I’m pretty certain I don’t want to transition to male.  Three years ago, I might have been — actually, likely was, considering it; but there’s a difference between admiration and mimicry.  I was also strongly considering dropping out of Library School because of social anxiety (even though it was online — one of my friends was seriously paranoid, and this was influencing me).

Right now, I’m pretty clear that ideally, I would be helping with the manufacture and hosting of websites.  I don’t know what that position (or vague interest) is called, at the moment, but I think that’s where I want to be.  Web Design is something that I am interested in; but I think this may be because I don’t know much more about employment in the information sector which goes beyond this.  In particular, I’m not too hot on the interaction with clients that I’ll have to undertake in Web Design, and I know that the job entails more than just “making things look pretty.”  It’s actually a service position.  (Speaking of which, I found a page which I remembered last night:  this is from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, stating that 80% of jobs in the U.S. were service jobs, in 2014.  Staggering, isn’t it?)

I don’t have a background in Computer Science; however, I do have a strong background and interest in Arts, Information Access, and the Humanities.  Ideally, though:  I lean towards employment that keeps me out of the public eye and shields me from contact that is so direct that I can be physically harmed.  I’ve had to deal with so much hostility over the years that I think I’ve just been conditioned not to want to deal with people.  Online, it’s different…I’m not entirely sure why, however.

Ah, right:  I remember the major reason I started this medication.  It was because my anti-anxiety/anti-depressant medication was sedating me to the point that it was difficult to avoid sleeping during the daytime.  The solution seems to be to lower the dosage of that drug…not to add a stimulating drug to counteract its effects (and add the effect of steadily putting on weight).

I have a couple of ways to avoid going to bed now:

  1. When I get tired during the daytime, I should go exercise, rather than go to sleep.  This wakes me up and makes it so that I don’t want to sleep, after working out.
  2. Caffeine, in the form of green or oolong tea, does seriously help.  Things like cola are something to avoid (they cause bizarre dreams when I do sleep), but green and oolong tea, I can handle.  Chocolate is also useful in Finals, or high-stress periods where it comes to schoolwork.  Because I’m on the sedating medication, as well, the caffeine does not prevent me from falling asleep.
  3. When I want to go to sleep just because I don’t want to do my homework, it is preferable to give myself permission to do something non-school-related (INCLUDING PRODUCE SHOPPING), as versus thinking that the only thing permissible to do besides work or schoolwork is sleeping, eating, hygiene, or chores.
  4. And, I almost forgot.  When my mind gets blank and I can’t think, it is okay to go and exercise (or eat and get some fluids if I reasonably need to), instead of doing homework.
  5. Given the above, I should note that I’m not immune to blood-sugar lows or crashes just because I’m at home; and this may be the reason I feel blank.  It’s OK to eat fruit when I feel this way, and apparently it is likely OK to eat as much fruit as I need to, as there is a lot of bulk to sate my hunger, and gentle sugars to feed my neural system.
  6. On top of that, I probably don’t want to put up any rules against drinking pure teas, as they don’t have calories, they do have stimulants and antioxidants, and it’s much better than drinking soda or juice (unless I really need the sugar).
  7. Also, I will probably want to go back on vitamins.  I have some mild B-Complex (I didn’t buy them), but I’ll probably want to get the megadose type…because what we have is for someone who doesn’t have mood issues.  I can use up most of a megadose, so getting a piddly “100% RDA” isn’t ****.

(yes, I did bleep myself again.)

I’ve got to go for now, but I wanted to note this decision.  I’ve got to take care of it this week.

Trigger warning: mention of past (not present) suicidality

I thought that now would be a good time for me to explore, philosophically and spiritually, at least, barriers toward utilizing the skill I have, artistically.  As many of you know, I’m currently in a Master’s program in Library Science which enables me to use the analytic, text- and logic-driven side of my mind; but this is largely because I am not sure that something like Graphic Design is my best bet, when it comes to choice of occupation.

Behind that, lies a complex web of inhibitions, motivations, and just general lack of understanding as to why I have the abilities I do and what my responsibilities are as a wielder of my skills.  (That, and:  Graphic Design and Web Design don’t pay as much as I’d like, and as a person with a disability, I need a stable job both for health benefits and to give me the structure I internally lack.)

In comparison to this, Library work…does partake of the same ethics and values, but also…would seem to drastically reduce my options.  At this point, I find myself wondering whether my ethics and values — the ones relating to money and economics, primarily, but also relating to social-conservative norms which I fear being judged by — are unduly limiting me from work I might actually enjoy.  The reason I began to question this was, oddly enough, considering going into business, and realizing that if I might consider doing it for myself, maybe not all private businesses are as evil as I have seen them characterized.

I’ve made some notes to myself here which I’ll be referring back to regularly over the course of this writing:  chances are that I’ll delete them before I post this, but I need something to remind me of what I actually wanted to write about.

In any case, I do have a good sense of aesthetics, apparently.  I can draw, I can work in three dimensions with things like ceramics and metal; I am beginning to see that I can paint, as my drawing works its way out into the desire to use large blocks and swaths of mixable color, in addition to the freedom of markmaking enabled by multiple brushes (as versus the small points of contact, relatively limited color blendability, and graininess I experience with things like colored pencils or crayons).  I haven’t gotten deeply into painting yet, however…and I’m not entirely sure what’s behind it.  I think it may be the deeper question of “what to paint?” or, “why paint?”  It does require some funds to start with, to be sure:  but I have a good deal of this material and equipment already.

Maybe I need to go back to drawing:  something that can be smaller, more contained, and more structured; and then when it feels appropriate, move into larger format and color work.

Maybe the problem is found more along the lines of not knowing why I’m doing what I’m doing.  This is the same thing which stopped me from weight training to the point of appearing to be a lightweight bodybuilder…I asked myself why I was doing it.  I actually still don’t know why I like to be buff; I just do.

But this question, on both counts, didn’t bother me for years — then, maybe, I got…sentient?

I was able to reflect on why I was doing what I was doing, but I wasn’t able to answer the question, either through lack of sufficient information, or through lack of processing capability.  I would lean against the latter, except for the fact that, looking back upon myself in my twenties, I realize in my mid-thirties that I had substantial cognitive impairments on top of my other troubles, which I was unaware of until about ten years into treatment.

And yes, it is possible that I’m attracted to art because neurodiversity is not looked down upon in the field.  As, with Librarianship, being female is not looked down upon (by one’s peers, at least).  I’ve tried to strategically orient myself towards places where I won’t have to worry about certain of my most vulnerable statuses.

As well:  art, writing, and librarianship are all spaces which (ideally, at least) value, and to some degree depend upon, freedom of expression.  This is important to me for more than one reason.  Having run across some people who are more militarily Leftist than myself, I can see that it actually is important to be able to speak one’s mind without fear of emotional or physical or economic harm befalling oneself just because one dared to speak something someone else didn’t agree with.  (This maxim is not true of all Leftist enclaves.)

However, there is a difference between saying something someone else doesn’t like, and encouraging prejudice and harm towards members of groups which one (usually) does not belong to, or from which one separates oneself.  This is called hate speech; which, in my opinion, does not deserve a platform in an egalitarian, democratic society, or in a society which aspires to the same.  But that’s my opinion.  You don’t have to agree with me.  Nor am I speaking from a position of authority because of my professional aspirations.  I’m just speaking as a human.

In any case…

I started learning to draw at about 14 years of age.  Why?  I can no longer remember, but I know it had to do with art books coming out of Japan, in relation to manga and anime.  I probably just thought it was “cool,” (whatever that means?) and wanted to do it, too.  I probably didn’t think in-depth about it, at the time, though now I know that my motivations probably related:

  1. to pride in cultural heritage;
  2. to being awed by work which came out of a society different than my own; and,
  3. to an acknowledgment of gender variation, at the time, condemned in my own society.

On top of this was my first exposure to a language very different from English, which to me was fascinating, both in its beauty and encoding.

It became apparent that I was picking up skills in drawing fairly quickly, and I was encouraged on in this, whenever I created something which advanced visibly from my last work.

For a fourteen-year-old, this is great; but what it does is lay a foundation for future work.  It’s hard to continue on in fourteen-year-old mode, indefinitely — at least in my case, I eventually stopped growing, and became bored.  This is when I stopped drawing.  Sometime later — recorded on this blog, in fact — I became re-interested in creating a graphic novel (see the link there between sequential art initially inspiring my own work, and it coming up again so many years post-graduation with my Creative Writing degree?), but I didn’t know if I even still liked to draw.

I am leaving out some information here, I just realized:  I had tried to create sequential art (that is, a comic) as a youth, including many pages (multiple pads) of artwork.  This eventually led me to start working with word-processing, as I could write by hand faster than I could draw, but I could type faster than I could write by hand — and at the time, I was having racing thoughts (though I didn’t recognize them as such).

I’m fairly certain that my obsession over my first “novel” project was what encouraged me to learn to touch-type, and to gain in speed at it.  At this point, if I already have the content written out, I can type around 74 words per minute — if I’m recalling right.  Of course, though, word-processing from handwritten copy doesn’t happen that often:  more often, my written work is born-digital, though I have been seeing the benefits of working in hard copy, recently.

But even this:  this doesn’t carry the same weight for me that my artistic and aesthetic skills, do.  I don’t look at my wpm speed and say, “wow, I really have a gift with my typing speed, and because of my speed and accuracy which comes from an unknown source, I have a responsibility to use my gift for the betterment of the world.”  It’s just not mystified in the sense that my skill at art, is.

Maybe it’s because I don’t understand how or why I even have any skill at art.

And, I mean, I know it isn’t rational…I’m very aware of that.  But parts of human life, aren’t rational; and that doesn’t mean that the irrational is worthless.  It just means that it doesn’t make sense, and the more we can acknowledge that it doesn’t make sense and that it still has some kind of value (because we are not wholly rational beings to begin with, nor do we ever have enough information to draw satisfactory conclusions about anything)…it seems we would make some headway, then.  (The problems seem to come in when one group’s irrational value system overpowers another’s, in lack of individual consent…but that’s politics.)

Of course, it probably doesn’t help that in my last severe bout of illness, I gave myself a life position of “Creator” (I had been reading Nietzsche…probably anyone who has read Nietzsche knows what I’m talking about) in order to give some meaning and direction to my life, and that to the end of keeping myself alive.

I haven’t always kept a record of my bouts, so I really can’t remember how many I’ve had, or at what time in my life they struck.  What I do know is that I’m lucky not to have ever given in to the urge to end my own life.  Up against the wall like that, I can utilize my creativity to invent reasons to survive, even if they don’t make sense…and I don’t think any person who would matter to me would think less of me for it.

This “job position” was taken up in light of the fact that at the time, I was in a very spiritual mindset.  My problem is that I can get so far into the spirituality that I lose contact with this world, and any desire to keep going, in this world.  Over the years, I’ve had at least several…I suppose they can best be called “muses”.

This set of circumstances — particularly, living at times on the edge of death, and also perceiving beings around me who are trying to help me and keep me alive — lends an ethereal flavor to my work, both in writing and in art.  I don’t suggest anyone try this method of inspiration — it’s too dangerous to keep up when you don’t know what you’re doing (I have 20 years of outside assistance, from multiple sources, helping me keep a foot in this world).  And then, there is the fact that when this is the way you have worked, it can be more difficult to write, or draw, or create, when you’re in a period of relative health.

I’ve heard that my position is not an unusual one to be in:  that is, it’s common for people who have my illness and who are on medications like mine, to lose contact with their creativity while medicated.  (I don’t think this was a side effect I was warned about, either.)  However, I can do things now — particularly, where it comes to functioning in the world — which were more difficult for me previously.  In light of this, it’s hard to think of going back off of the medications to regain the other kind of easy functionality I had, where it comes to creativity.

So we have a set of circumstances, as such:

  • I have artistic skills (that is, I’m apparently “gifted”)
  • I want to utilize my artistic skills (my “gift”)
    • in order to give myself a reason to survive
  • I have created a requirement for myself to utilize my artistic skills for “good,” in light of the spiritual nature I have encountered them within
  • This narrows the acceptable range of expression I can perform
  • (Which runs against the idea of freedom of expression)
  • Therefore I become blocked
    • because of my self-requirement of creating “good”
    • when neither the world nor experience are all good
  • And I wonder if this requirement is a cop-out because I’m scared to utilize my skills because I don’t understand them, they show up most vibrantly when I am ill, and they become severely more important when I am closer to death.

I could utilize my skills for something like Industrial Design or Graphic Design, but putting money first goes against my ethics.

I could utilize my skills to produce Fine Jewelry, but the gold industry is particularly harmful to the Earth.

I could illustrate graphic novels, but I fear the emotional depths I would need to tap as an illustrator of drama.

I could write novels, but I fear tapping what is inside me right now (I do not control it, and I have had a longstanding question as to whether what is in there actually is “good,” when I want to put out “good” — an issue that I haven’t seen many others face).

What is “good?”  A question for another time, perhaps?

A…good…question for another time…