05 May 2012

lost myself in a familiar song.

so. this morning, i was sleeping. soundly. on my mother's couch. then, my mother decided it was prudent to wake me up. it was...10:30. i went to sleep around...4:30. i don't know about you, but unless there is an essay involved, my days of surviving on six or fewer hours of sleep are over.

so. this morning, as my mother was getting ready, i walked around the house belting "hey jude."

my mom dislikes the beatles.

she got upset.

i told her that if she doesn't want me to retaliate, she shouldn't wake me up by opening the blinds and letting the sun shine directly in my face before 11 in the morning. at the earliest.

so. word to the wise. firstly, don't wake me up before 11. it's actually wiser if you don't wake me up before 1, but i know that sometimes this sin't possible. secondly, don't make known your immense distaste for bands whose songs i may know. or, i will use that against you.

thirdly, have a pleasant weekend. :)

bye for now.

01 May 2012

four in the morning and the tears are pouring.

embarking upon a new phase of life...if only for a little while.

and it's slightly terrifying. i hate change.

and here i am, at four in the morning.

i can't sleep. the weather is acting up. i'm stuck in my head, thinking about how different the next four months of my life are going to be, compared to the last twenty.

and i shouldn't be crying. i'm not angry. i'm not upset. i'm a little frightened, but i will be okay.

i'm not losing anyone.

i had a dream, one night last week, that i was.

but i'm not.

so i should be fine.

i'm not, currently.

but i will be, i guess.

there aren't many other options to be had. pout. sulk. begrudge. get over it.

take the opportunity to explore a new phase. i think that's the direction i will be heading.

anyway. here goes another attempt to sleep.

bye for now.

30 April 2012

save me from the nothing i've become.

last thoughts, and then i will stop writing and go sleep. i recently posted about self-harm. and my relation to it. this post is sort of in conjunction with that one.

i don't know how many of you have ever had suicidal thoughts. i, personally, think that everyone wonders about what it'd be like to die, or finds themselves pondering the fragility of life. however, while some of us wonder and ponder because these are interesting philosophical questions, others of us wonder and ponder because we're considering.

i have been in that place. it is a dark, scary, lonely place. it hasn't been very long since i was last in that place, and i will probably find myself in that place once again, at some point.

there was a girl who goes to school with my brother that tried to commit suicide. while at school.

my mom's friend teaches at said school. she said that this girl is one of those types who 'does whatever to get attention. after all, if you really want to die, you're not going to kill yourself at a school.'

this statement upset me.

yes, oftentimes suicide attempts are cries for help. if people are completely sure about suicide, they can find ways to make sure their 'attempt' is successful. yes, sometimes people want attention. sometimes people want attention because they are in pain. because their world is in shambles, and they want someone to notice that everything is not okay.

my attempts have been such. cries for help. now, i tell other people when i'm having suicidal thoughts. yes, this is a cry for help. yes, this is because i want attention. but i want attention because i feel like i'm drowning. and it'd be great if someone would notice, and help me out of the water before it's too late. i get stuck inside my head, thinking about how the only escape is to end my life. sometimes, i can't get out of that place on my own.

this having been said. if someone talks to you and what they are saying sounds suspiciously like contemplating suicide, please. reach out to them. you don't have to know what to say. they don't always know what they want you to say. but, let them know they're not alone. let them know that you believe their life is worthwhile. that they mean something to someone. if someone threatens to commit suicide, please. tell someone else. preferably someone who can help. thirdly, don't dismiss talk of suicide as a 'cry for attention.' yes. yes, it probably is a cry for attention. but, it is a cry that should be recognized, and answered.

people need people. sometimes people decide they want to die because they feel like they are no longer needed, or noticed. sometimes people decide they want to die because they feel worthless. whatever the reason, reach out to these people.

bye for now.

yes, i'm a dreamer.

i apologize for the increased frequency of the blog posts. i have a lot on my mind. also, beware. this is a long post.

i just finished watching contagion. as a lover of dystopian fiction and conspiracy theory documentaries, films about epidemics and genetic engineering appeal to me as including a sort of hybrid of the two.  i'm always intrigued by the way these sorts of films depict human nature. greedy. violent.

i grew up listening to rhetoric, from the people who were supposed to be my protectors and teachers, that the world is a frightening place. evil, even. humans are, by nature, destructive and self-serving. don't trust them. trust god. (i have a suspicion that my frequent exposure to this rhetoric has contributed to my trust issues, as well as my paranoia and anxiety disorder. not caused them, per se, but exacerbated my predisposition toward them.) so, i attempted. i attempted to not trust the words of other human beings.

to be honest, i think that advice backfired, in the eyes of my mother. i learned to not take people at their word, but to make inquiries -- and to not stop until i was satisfied with the answers i received. this included those who claimed to speak for god. if i wasn't satisfied with answers, the inquiries weren't over. thus, here i am. always questioning the methods, motivations, necessity and, occasionally, existence of authority. in many forms.

through this process, i developed my own theories about the world. i became more paranoid and distrustful of authority. i became unwilling to accept "because i said so," or, "it just is," as satisfactory responses to my questions. the legitimacy of authority, both conceptual and incarnate, unraveled within my brain. whether it was religion, government, economics, or human nature, i began to believe that no system was absolute. some weren't even necessary. many systems of power and/or control became illusory, to me.

**there are people far smarter and more eloquent than myself who have thought a lot longer and deeper on these ideas. if you are interested, i recommend: foucault's essay, "panopticism," which can be found in his book discipline and punish: the birth of the prison. the whole book is great, as well; chomsky's manufacturing consent; freud's civilization and its discontents. for starters. i have all three. so, if you're ever in the neighborhood, let me know and i'll lend you my copy/copies. anywho.**

i talk about this all the time. money isn't real. 'human nature' is a social construct. and so on. these thoughts resurface when i watch apocalyptic-ish films. when things go wrong, the masses loot. they riot. they become violent and greedy. now, i have no doubt that this would be the result if the same circumstances that are depicted in the film were to arise in real life, right now. however, this is not because of 'human nature.' in my most humble opinion.

see. through my lifetime of inquiries, i've come to believe that people are comfortable with what they know. even if what they know is terrible. for example, i've been subjected to various forms of abuse throughout most of my life. it sucks, and it's unhealthy, and it's done some serious psychological damage. however, it is what i know. people feel as though they can handle what they know, even if it's awful, better than they can handle what they don't know, regardless of how good that unknown may turn out to be. i know how to handle being hurt. i don't know how to handle being treated like a human being.

the same goes for apocalyptic circumstances. in our -- okay, specifically my -- society, people are told that humans are greedy. that the person with the most stuff is either the best or the happiest or something similar, and therefore you, too, should do everything in your power to acquire the MOST of...something. seek out the american dream, even if it is at the expense of someone else. in my society, that 'something' is money. gotta love capitalism. people hear this, and they internalize it -- much the way i internalized that people are not to be trusted. (for further reading on the power of internalized ideas, read huxley's brave new world. or orwell's 1984. preferably both.) these are the ideas that they know. therefore, when something happens that poses a threat to the populous...say, a deadly illness infects the masses...people react the way in which they are comfortable. the way they know. capitalism -- god bless it -- breeds a populous that seeks out the satiation of its own needs and no one else's. you look out for yourself.

this thought makes me depressed. yes, i recognize that things happen in real life, not just the movies, which appear to be the result of human nature in its raw form. that is, uninhibited selfishness and protectiveness of oneself. 'survival mode,' we call it.

but, that can change. i do not believe for a second that all humans are innately greedy and violent. i don't pretend to know what humans are, innately. but i do believe that whatever is instinctive in the human race can be overridden, so to speak. that, even if humans are truly selfish by nature, they can learn to be otherwise.

BUT WAIT! you say. THIS SOUNDS LIKE COMMUNIST PROPAGANDA! YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT BRAINWASHING! perhaps. when it comes from communists, it's called brainwashing. when it comes from christians, it's called finding jesus. americans are fickle, that way. nevertheless, the principle remains. i believe people are capable of being kind. of looking out for one another, even under the most difficult of circumstances. i believe that people can come to realize that instead of a disparity within a community wherein each individual looks out for only him/herself, the needs of all can be met when all are looking out for the needs of one another. it may be an elephantine task to undertake. it isn't probable, and will be met with so much resistance that its efforts may be crushed -- forever labeling it as something to be feared and persecuted. (hello. let us look at the way the united stated views...oh...marxism. or, today's communist project, cuba.) still. i think humans are capable of love and compassion over hatred and greed. they just need some assistance in realizing that.

you may say i'm a dreamer. but i'm not the only one. i hope, someday, you will join us.

bye for now.

29 April 2012

must be funny in a rich man's world.

i am opinionated. i have this need to express my opinions on most any issue. i also have a need to express my disagreement when around people whose opinions differ from mine.

the typical venue for these instances is wednesday lunch with my grandparents. my dad's parents and brother go out to lunch once a week, and i get to join. we're the wednesday lunch bunch. adorable, i know. my grandparents claim to be libertarian, though they're definitely more socially conservative than the term 'libertarian' allows. my uncle is a venture capitalist, though more socially liberal. i'm an anarcho-communist. this makes for interesting discussion. whether we're discussing budget cuts, the occupy movement, or worldwide elections, there is always debate to be had. i love this, because it gives me a chance to show that i can intelligently express my opinions at the grown-up table. though i know there is no hope in persuading any of my relatives to hold the opinions i do, they can see my points, and i can make attempts to see theirs. all in all, it's a fairly civil affair.

i have 'adopted' family, as well. though i don't love them as family, my mother and my brothers do. i tag along, and try to play nice. this family is a fairly conservative bunch. today, we were discussing the measures (or lack thereof) being taken by congress in regard to the impending raise in interest rates for student loans. one individual made a comment about how people who live off of student loans deserve to have the higher interest rate. "i'm the one paying the money for those loans. i don't want people spending them on car payments and mortgages. go get a job."

i was floored by this comment. i'm a college student. i have a job. i don't work full time, because i cannot commit fully to my academic career while also having to commit to a full-time job. federal grants pay my tuition, but i still have to pay for living expenses. while some people manage to make things work via grants and a part-time job, i'm not. i could, i guess, if i cut back. but more than half of what i earn each month goes toward rent, utilities, and other charges from my apartment complex. the rest of the money is spent on food, school costs, gas, and medical bills. mostly food and medical bills. sometimes i eat less and buy myself new underwear.

my expenses are relatively small, compared to other people i know. i don't have a car payment. i don't have a mortgage. i don't have kids. i'm not paying tuition. also, i'm not the most savvy spender. frugality is not one of my virtues. but i think of the students i know, whose expenses exceed mine. i think about what they do with their student loan money. there is no way that, without student loans, these people could get by. i know very few students who do not have jobs. it just isn't feasible for students to pay all their expenses on student-friendly jobs alone. some people reconcile this by taking fewer credit hours, and working full-time while going to school part-time. some stop going to school in order to earn money and make ends meet, with the intention to some day return to school when they can pay tuition in cash. some take out student loans. you do what you need to, in order to make sure you have lodging, food, transportation, relatively clean clothing, and the materials/resources necessary to be a successful student.

i mean no disrespect to my 'adopted' family. its members manage to make things work, somehow. but, life isn't as easy as 'go get a job' and then BAM! you're able to make all your ends meet without going into debt. i began to express this opinion, when i was shushed by my mother, who later told me that "it isn't a big deal. it isn't important. you need to calm down." but it is. it IS a big deal. it IS important. disagreeing with my 'aunt's' opinion is not reason to tell me to calm down. let me say my peace. let me attempt to understand why this woman, who has three grown children, struggling to make ends meet, thinks that people should be punished financially for trying to obtain an education. that's really all i want. to try and understand her point of view.

and, suddenly, i became very grateful for my wednesday lunch bunch, and the opportunities they provide me to express my opinions, and engage in constructive conversation. that i'm speaking with people who take me and my ideals seriously, even if they don't agree with them.

bye for now.