Category Archives: science

We Move In Infinite Space

Well, I looked out of my window this morning
And I saw the strangest thing
Oh, everyone was walking on water and dancing in the rain

While this blog is partially a way for me to keep you interested people up to date, it’s also definitely a way for me to keep track of myself.

Since I live in a solid state of transience, I get caught up in life and everything consistently feels like a mess with intermittent periods of “Ok… this is actually ok.”

Austin Kleon (I know, right?!) commented on my very first post and said this:

I’m flattered! Good luck on your blogging quest — I was your age when I started blogging, and it was just a place for me to figure stuff out and find myself. Stick with it.

Goddamn. That became the truest truth of all time, in terms of what my own blog became.

Without it, I wouldn’t be able to refer back to posts like this and this and reacquaint myself with the insight I stumbled upon previously.

Because honestly, I never remember shit about anything. Ask Desi. I would have forgotten basically every amazing/hilarious/embarrassing thing we ever did if she wasn’t around to remind me.

And since she can’t remind me about my personal thoughts/feelings/epiphanies, I’m happy that I take the time to sit down and crank this stuff out so that it can be saved for posterity. Because then those moments when I’m like “Good God, what the hell is going on?” are a little less traumatic.

I feel like I was born with equivocal wings but for some reason I’m always trying to make everything concrete/stable and have plans and long-term goals and just create a dependable sense of “future” for myself like most other people seem to have. But every time I try, it freaks me the fuck out. So, then I realize that I have to just let go and live because that’s the state in which I’m content. But for some reason, I forget about the resolve that I acquired and get freaked out again.

This blog kind of cuts that process down to something that requires minimal effort. Because I remember vaguely that I’ve already come to conclusions about a lot of this. So, I just re-read it, re-establish that baseline, and continue on with enough time/energy to come up with new insights because the building blocks are there. Maybe it’s two steps forward and one step back… but, whatever. I’ll take it.

Did I post about Letters to a Young Poet, yet? I’m thinking I mentioned it but didn’t comment as extensively as I wanted to. So, here’s a relevant quote:

People have already had to rethink so many concepts of motion; and they will also gradually come to realize that what we call fate does not come into us from the outside, but emerges from us. It is only because so many people have no absorbed and transformed their fates while they were living in them that they have no realized what was emerging from them; it was so alien to them that, in their confusion and fear, they thought it must have entered them at the very moment they became aware of it, for they swore they had never before found anything like that inside them. Just as people for a long time had a wrong idea about the sun’s motion, they are even now wrong about the motion of what is to come. The future stands still, dear Mr. Kappus, but we move in infinite space.

A reference to physics and the solar system during a discussion of self-awareness and fate? YES, PLEASE. I make science analogies all the time. Sometimes I feel like I can really only think in terms of science. My sophomore year of college was a mess of biology analogies for love situations. Rainer Maria Rilke is my homeboy.

Texas is totally fucking with my head. But I don’t have to make the Texas vs. Louisiana decision until like November, so why worry? Also, deep down in my heart, I know I’ll end up in Louisiana because it’s been the driving force of my life for so long. I think I make alternate plans because I’m afraid of the possibility of never actually making it to New Orleans. And/or because I’m afraid that it won’t actually be everything I’ve thought it will be.

Maybe I’m just over-thinking this. All of this.

The shitty thing about my brain is that every day I just want to turn it off. But I have actually turned it off with Adderall and I hated every single second of it.

Some days I’m so frustrated by the fact that my thoughts are incessantly all over the place. Like so frustrated that I could cry. But I’m so used to being like this that when it’s different, I don’t feel like myself. And I honestly think it’s better to be frustrated with yourself than to not feel like yourself.

Although, I really wish I could be studying for today’s OB simulation instead of writing this blog… Why can’t they make PRN medication for this?

I’ve seriously been sitting at a coffee shop since 5:48 and it’s now 8:01. And this simulation is at 11:00. But I’ve been more interested in watching and analyzing the flux of people and messing around on the internet and writing this blog than doing what I’m supposed to be doing.

Coffee shops in the morning are weird. There’s a certain type of person that comes in at 6:00 and a certain type of person that comes in at 7:00 and a certain type of person that comes in at 8:00. It’s so strange. And I never knew this until today… So now I’m blown away by the discovery and can’t focus.

I’m so screwed.

I need Drew to be here so he can hold my face with his hands, look at me straight in the eyes, and say “It’s time to pull yourself together, focus, and get shit done.”

In non-related news, here’s some Jeremy Messersmith just because it’s Wednesday and you probably need it. I sure as hell do.

Truth: Working For NASA Is Still My Dream

New Girl is my new favorite show. It was just ok when it started. But it keeps getting better. It’s full of little things that make me smile.

Jess: Why do we care about a crescent moon?
Winston: I don’t know, but I’m gonna live up there someday.

It’s more lovable if you watch it. That quote doesn’t really translate well to strict typage. Just watch the episode (SideReel now or Hulu next week).

Winston: “What Can Old People Do?”… “Does It Taste Better With Hot Sauce?”

With that one, you need context. So, go watch it. You’ll at least smile.

Back to space… this is the most epic space-inspired musical masterpiece of all time. Sorry, Gustav Holst. James Horner wins.

Physics is my #1 love. Anything having to do with mass and special relativity is my jam. When I need motivation, I think about space and elementary particles and listen to the Apollo 13 theme. It puts things in perspective somehow. And makes me feel joy from the inside out. Most happiness, even excess happiness, is just something you kind of feel on the outside. Physics and the universe make me feel happiness in the endiocardium of my heart and the ventricles of my brain. I kind of feel it in my spinal column, too. I just like physically connect with it. And I don’t know why. I guess it just makes everything I’m looking at come alive because I think of what’s going on at lower levels to make it that way? It’s trippy. Even if thinking about these things is entirely unrelated to what I’m trying to motivate myself for (and 99.999999% of the time, it is), I still hit like power mode and conquer all fears and tasks.

All I ever wanted as a kid was a NASA jumpsuit. And I just found out that you can go to Space Camp as an adult. SIGN ME UP. I thought that ship sailed years ago. After nursing school graduation, I’m going to Space Camp as a reward for my hard work. And/or Harry Potter Land.

“Why are you so happy being a nurse when it seems like you should be working towards becoming some kind of NASA badass?” you ask? Because I hate actually doing physics. The real work of physicists and engineers is doing math and computer programming and that kind of thing. And I truly love math with all my heart but I’d freak out if I had to do that all the time. I also need to interact with people. Basically, I’m not a physicist or engineer for the same reasons I wasn’t a lawyer.

Sophomore year of college I was powering through astrophysics and quantum physics books (because the Carnegie Library is AWESOME) and I decided that physics made me way way way happier than anything else so I signed up for Physics 1 and then dropped the class 3 weeks later because I was sick of doing problems about pulleys and balls rolling down hills. I didn’t take physics in high school and I guess I just expected it to be a lot cooler. I rocked that shit and was doing really well in the class, but it was just so boring I couldn’t take it anymore. I wanted lecture to be about how awesome stuff was and not 50 minutes of equations. Physics problems are not as fun as chemistry problems. And I talked to this physics major kid who was kind of sitting in on lecture because he was prepping for a TA gig or something and I was like “Is this what I’m going to be doing as a physicist or engineer?” and he was like “Yep, pretty much.” So, I went straight to Thaw Hall and dropped that shit like it was hot.

It just wasn’t gonna work out as a career.

But if we ever have a space colony or something and a staff of medical professionals is needed, I’M THERE. And more realistically, if we ever have space shuttle missions again, I’m gonna go be an astronaut nurse. I don’t even care if I have to live in Texas or Florida. Obviously, my kids will totally be ok with the abrupt relocation because they’ll love astronauts, too.

Here’s an awesome (although, old) article.

We don’t launch spacecraft, but they don’t launch them without us.
– Space Gateway Support motto

Moving on, anyone wanna tell me why the Discovery Channel is full of crappy reality TV shows now? I haven’t had cable for years, but every time I go to my parents house, I try to watch Discovery and get super bummed out. It should be more Human Planet and less All-Star Dealers. Although, I did kind of like the one episode of Moonshiners that I saw and everyone says Ragin Cajuns is interesting. Also, Deadliest Catch is sweet. And Cash Cab is always a good time. But I kind of feel like those things, even if they’re cool, are just not what Discovery used to be. I always have to switch to NatGeo, the Travel channel, the Science channel or sometimes Animal Planet. Even the History channel is exponentially better these days.

Here’s a list of awesome shows on the History channel that perhaps make more sense as Discovery channel programming:
– How The Earth Was Made
– Around The World In 80 Ways
– Underwater Universe
– Food Tech
– Mystery Quest
– Monster Quest
– The Universe
– Jurassic Fight Club (R.I.P.)

And Top Gear (US) doesn’t really make sense on either channel, but it’s awesome. And nearly as good as Top Gear (UK). I wish there was an Awesome channel that basically had all the cool shows I want to watch from all the channels I’ve mentioned (and HGTV… I love love love House Hunters). Everything else is personalized these days. Why can’t my TV viewing be personalized, too?

Get it together, 2012. You’re letting me down. This is the future.

And a message to 2015: My expectation is that this will be a reality by the time you arrive, so make it happen. Because I’ve had that expectation my whole life and will be absolutely disappointed if instant hydrated pizzas aren’t feasible yet. I also want these because, quite frankly, I’m tired of tying my shoes. Also, they’re fly as hell. Why am I not including hover boards on the list of things I want in 2015? Because I would fall off. Every time. Forever. I lack adequate balance for all activities that require even a shred of balance. My mom put me in ballet when I was little to correct this problem. It only partially corrected the problem. Even 100 years of ballet would not entirely correct the problem.

Destiny

noun ( pl. -nies)
the events that will necessarily happen to a particular person or thing in the future : she was unable to control her own destiny.

This was my favorite toy when I was a kid… hands down. I remember being obsessed with listening to hearts. It was mindblowing to a 4 year old.

Not as mindblowing as a real stethoscope though. I feel like I’m a 4 year old all over again.

I don’t really believe in destiny, per se. It’s not like this was written in the stars before I was born or something. But I do believe that what you’re interested in as a kid probably means more than you think in terms of where you end up as an adult. Had I just thought about that damn medical kit, I think the answers to my confusion would have be obvious all along. I loved diagnosing people (and stuffed animals) and then deciding what needed to be done to fix them and then providing them with the requisite care and compassion. On the inside, I’m 50% science and 50% nurturing and apparently have been since preschool. The Bill Nye the Science Guy episodes about the human body only fueled the fire.

As 90s kids, I really think we all owe a lot to that man. Here’s a list of episodes dealing specifically with the human body. Check them out if you ever get the chance. The memories will come flooding back.

#4: Skin
#7: Digestion
#23: Blood and Circulation
#20: Eyeballs
#28: Bones and Muscle
#34: Brain
#40: Respiration
#76: Heart
#91: Smell (includes stuff about other animals too, as I recall)

In general, our bodies are amazing. But it’s crazy when you listen to your own heart doing everything that you know hearts do and working in the way you know hearts work. It’s in you right now filling and pumping. I know I sound like I’m high. This is probably less than incredible to you. But one day it will hit you. Get a real stethoscope and listen to your heart. Then think about what a pumping heart looks like. If you’ve never seen one, I’m sure you can find something online. It’s like something is alive inside of you.

It’s like a whole new level of self-awareness. Babies look in mirrors. 20-somethings listen to their heart.

Our bodies are complex and beautiful. It’s like  everything is perfectly choreographed. I mean, just study the basics of homeostasis. So many things in your body have to be at just the right levels to keep you alive. And all the systems work as feedback mechanisms to other systems and somehow it all comes together to keep you breathing and conscious and capable of doing things.

Aside from the CNS, the musculoskeletal system is probably my favorite. I really think everyone should be required to take A&P. Once you know all the major muscles of the body and know what they do and how they work together to move you, life can never be the same.

And it’s weird to think that every single part of you is alive pretty much. Your cells are metabolizing and communicating with each other and fighting battles and all kinds of things. Aside from non-mitotic cells like neurons and cardiac muscle cells, your body is one big circle of life. Cells are born, they divide, and they die. Instead of feeling like one living person, sometimes I feel disjointed because what we really are is just an amalgamation of trillions of cells that are perfectly specialized weirdly work together somehow. The feeling that you’re alive as yourself but are also made entirely out of smaller things that are also alive is a strange one. There’s life in every part of you. Even your BONES are alive. And when you think about it like that, you hit some kind of super-awareness zenith where you feel like you’re bursting from being TOO alive. I don’t know. I definitely do sound high. It’s hard to explain this feeling though.

The human body isn’t exactly perfect because if it were, we wouldn’t die. However, there are some pretty perfect things about it that make me feel perfectly alive every day.

And in a lot of ways, I feel like I actually was unable to control my own destiny. Primarily because of what happened when I just let go. Destiny took over and now here I am where I was always meant to be, I guess.

Let’s Talk About Spaceships Or Anything Except You And Me, Ok?

That’s a sentiment I can get behind.

Sometimes unmemorably mediocre songs are redeemed by one line or the chorus. In this case, that one line is the chorus.

Also, drunk sleep. Why does it make you bionic? I came home at 5:41AM last night so I probably went to bed around 6. But then I woke up at 10 with enough energy to run a marathon. 4 hours of drunk sleep is like 12 hours of real sleep and I have no idea why. It’s true that after a few hours of being awake, the hangover starts and you become immediately exhausted though. That’s basically every Sunday of my life. Well, probably 15% of my Sundays. That doesn’t seem a lot but when you think about how many days per year that is, you realize the magnitude of the waste. We only get so many life hours. You gotta be careful with how you spend them.

Saturdays are usually ok because Friday nights never get that crazy. We don’t have the pent up energy from a work-free Saturday influencing our decisions.

Anyway, here’s the general Sunday “Last night got way too out of hand” progression:
– 10AM: Feeling great and not thinking you were that drunk or did/said anything crazy/stupid. Eat a solid breakfast of Doritos and chicken nuggets. Probably still a little drunk.
– 1PM: Twinge of a headache, vague memories of outrageous things
– 2:30PM: Brain swelling death headache, concrete memories of shameful things, realizing how much you actually did drink. Never wanting to see those strangers you met last night ever again. Leads to a hangover nap to escape the physical and psychological pain.
–  5PM: Try to make it to the kitchen to drink water and/or eat but can’t even sit up without wanting to die. Leads to a 2nd nap
– 6PM:  Give up on salvaging the day and watch Netflix for a few hours
– 8PM: Rally and do something productive like laundry
– 10PM: Wide awake and feeling awesome again right in time for bed where you will lay restlessly for hours until 3AM, cursing the fact that you ruined your sleep schedule and have to work the next day. Remembering that every drunk thing you did/said most likely was forgotten by everyone you interacted with because they were ridiculously tanked as well.

From August-February, football is the background noise all day. And most of the time, I pull myself together and make it out for the Steelers game so that general progression up there is a bit different during the entirety of the NFL season.

Anyway, the nights get crazier and I stay out later and later as the months go on and the older I get. I think I’m doing this backwards. You’re supposed to get less crazy as you age. I have a lot of missed opportunities to make up for though. I think that’s what’s happening here. Not having a boyfriend is awesome. Ideally, I would like to find a boyfriend who wants to stay out until 9AM with me but I understand that these people are hard to find.

Sometimes I do feel a little out of control and would just like to have a chill night with a boy. The crazy party girl in me loves life and loves the crazy party friends and all the insane/hilarious stuff that happens but the quiet sensitive girl in me just wants to take the army blanket to the middle of a field and stargaze/makeout for hours. Or make him dinner and watch stupid crap on TV. I also weirdly like just reading on a couch as the boyfriend reads on the other end of the couch and sometimes you talk to each other or smile at each other because you’re in love. Like the country/city thing, I’m 50% party, 50% chill. I’m pretty sure that’s how most people are though so I don’t even know why I’m thinking about this so much.

Last night, we were pounding long islands at Mario’s. Then we got a text about a post-Halloween party in Oakland. And within an hour, we were able to make it home, dig the costumes out of whatever godforsaken place they may have fallen into in the last week and put them on and show up to the party. Granted, we were like disaster versions of our previous Halloween selves because it’s hard to do things when you’re drunk. Also, after 2 nights of hard partying, your costumes just aren’t in good shape anymore. It really looked like we were living a wretched walk of shame scenario at 10:30PM, but whatever. We made it. Everyone else looked like a disaster too.

Moving on… people are dicks. I have no faith in them anymore. One minute, you’re forever best friends with someone you’ve known for a considerable amount of time in your short life. The next minute, he starts dating a crazy girl and cuts you out like you don’t mean anything to him. One minute, you’re putting everything you have into a romantic relationship with a person you love because you could see yourself being with him forever. The next minute, he’s calling you a whore when you’re just living life and moving on after you broke up with him because he consistently never put in anything and broke your heart over and over again. One minute, you’re dependably/continuously helping a friend work through an issue and being there for him/her 24/7 and not even caring about the energy you put into it because you love him/her. The next minute, you make one questionable choice that really has nothing to do with him/her and he/she judges you for it and that’s the end of the friendship. The third example is the most recent.

I feel so hopeless about human relationships. I think I need a paradigm shift here. Maybe I should stop thinking about them as solid long-term things and take a step back to see the bigger picture of life being 90 years of people coming and going with a few people who are there for spans of 10-20 years and most people who are there for spans of 1-5. It’s hard to do that though because I love too intensely. #1 downfall: I care too much. And when things inevitably go badly, I refuse to feel hurt for more than 2 seconds because I kind of have the “why waste my time?” mentality and believe that life should be lived happily. But the only way to not feel hurt when someone you care about does something shitty is to have hostility to fall back on and that’s kind of not ok. I’m working on it. It’s better to feel hurt sometimes then hide behind ridiculous walls that can’t be breached by anyone because what happens is you push away all but the fiercest individuals.

The weird thing is that I generally trust people completely and immediately until I have a reason not to. I’m not cautious about that part. But it turns out that not a lot of people are very trustworthy. The rational thing to do would be start being cautious about who I trust and how much I trust. I don’t even want to start being hesitant about trust though. Even if I’m upset every day for the rest of my life, being distrustful is no way to live. So I’m in this weird state of hesitancy to trust anyone but also absolute refusal to let my soul become that bitter and broken. Trust will prevail in the end. My best friends are patient with my freak outs. We fix each other.

I wish I could apply that to letting people in. It’s kind of related to trust but not really the same thing. Sometimes I feel like my heart is a one-way street all the time. Everything can get out but nothing can get in. Like I will try to make other people feel loved until I die but I consistently struggle so hard with allowing myself to feel loved or believing that people are genuine in their affection (it’s not a low self-esteem issue so what is it?… someone analyze this) or letting people have a concrete/solid spot in my heart that’s just for them. The first image that comes to my mind is a little virus sitting on top of my heart like it’s a cell and injecting it’s little virus bits into my heart then taking over the DNA  and ruining my heart’s ability to function as a heart. That’s what I’m afraid of. I still feel so destroyed from the breakup aftermath. Not that I’m sad or missing him or anything. But really, I’m so tentative and my heart feels like ice and I don’t know how to kick that or why I’m still this way three months later.

In August, I was a hostility monster and a crazy person and should not have been dating. In September, I finally felt real emotions again instead of just nothing. In October, I regrouped completely and made it back to the core of myself. In November, I hope to kick the whole hesitant thing. I’m still crazy impatient which is a trait that I picked up somewhere along the way. I’ve always been a little impatient naturally but it’s been really bad lately. Like annoyingly bad. My personal fix list is miles long right now. And I’m just engaging in self-indulgent blithering at this point.

I really am a hermit crab though. Super vulnerable but at least I have my shells to move in and out of as I grow and that’s how I survive. Someday (soon, hopefully) I’ll get to that point where I’m absolutely ok and normal again. Even looking at the progress since August, I think I’m happy with the results. There’s a decent amount of hope in my day-to-day thoughts/emotions. These things just take time.

And though spring, it did come slowly, I guess it did it’s part
My heart has thawed and continues to beat
– Bright Eyes, June on the West Coast

I still sometimes feel like I’ll be forever alone unless there’s a guy who’s patient enough to work with me on this and sees right through the hostility act. Maybe that’s just what love is and it’s not completely unreasonable to think that this is possible. People have baggage and you love them in spite of it. Or maybe I’ll just learn to be a human again with time on my own. I don’t need to be emotionally rescued and I kind of hate when guys try (because of my hostility/refusal to let people in thing) so the latter is probably the most likely scenario. Regardless, I’m pretty content with or without a relationship so I guess that doesn’t really matter.

There’s just something about being single that’s awesome that not a lot of hopelessly “I don’t want to be single anymore” people don’t recognize. Every place you go and every individual you meet offers limitless potential. You’re not bound to any person or situation. Your decisions are strictly yours and compromise is not a part of your life in any way, shape, or form. I mean, compromising is fine and I’m happy to do it most of the time but there’s truly something nice about not having to do it at all. Your plans are fluid and flexible. Your experiences are random and fulfilling. There’s nothing boring about being single. Things are always happening. And you can flirt with whoever you want or dance with whoever you want or go to dinner with whoever you want. And it’s an onslaught of attention 24/7. Even if 90% of it is guys trying to hook up with you, misguided/trivial attention is still worth something. It’s nice to feel like you’re the hottest girl in the room sometimes. Especially when your ex never made you feel like you were hot because he was a non-emotional negative hater type. Boyfriends: overrated. Random guys complimenting you because they want to sleep with you: awesome (as long as you take it with a grain of salt and don’t take them seriously).

Anyway, typical weekend morning text exchange with Desi:

– Desi: haha last night
– Me: it was so random. sometimes i wake up and think, “how is this our life?”
– Desi: right?  always crazy

And really, I know not ALL people are assholes. Just a few examples:

Drew and I will be friends forever and I know this because the worst shit has happened and none of that has come between us or shaken our friendship on any significant level. Desi (obviously) and I will be friends forever because we’ve both lived through amazing and terrible experiences in the last 6 years and there was never one time when we didn’t absolutely have each other’s backs and I’m pretty sure we haven’t judged each other for anything. If one day she was like “I killed a guy and now we have to go run away to Peru and hide there forever,” I would go in a heartbeat. We take care of each other. Kelsey and Greg will be my friends forever because  they’re absolutely decent people in every way. So down to earth and open and honest and laid-back and non-judgmental. Plus, amazingly funny to be around and honestly, some of the most generous people I’ve ever met.

So, the fact that last night ended with Desi, Greg, and Kelsey and then a phone call to Drew makes me realize that I actually kind of love my life in spite of the shittiness. I go back and forth on this all the time and I’m sorry if I sound like a broken record of narcissism where I’m whiny about how much I hate life/people then immediately come back to how much I love it/them.

I wonder if life will always feel like this or if it’s just a thing that happens in your 20s. I guess I won’t know until I’m 35. I guess it just seems like the whole 20s thing is a ridiculous transitional time where you’re starting to learn how to have adult relationships and sometimes failing and sometimes succeeding. Plus, you’re kind of transitioning in time and space on every level. It’s not like we’re all settled down with families in the same place with the same friends. People come and go as they go to move to different cities for school/work or just decide to pursue life in a different way/place.

I feel like we’re molecules in a gaseous state in a closed space and subjected to increasingly hot temperatures. Buzzing all over in crazy directions and reacting with each other sometimes in bad ways that are explosive and sometimes good ways where new molecules are formed but always changing in some way then eventually zooming off into a new direction we wouldn’t have gone if not for that interaction. Science is my religion in case you haven’t noticed. I’m going to write some kind of religious text where the human experience is explained via science analogies. I used to have this list of Biology concepts/processes that could be used as metaphors for love in its various forms. It kept me pretty grounded for a long time. I wish I could remember some of them or had that list. I’m sure if I read that textbook again, it would all come flooding back. I think I’m the only kid that read every page (because who’s an overachiever like that?)

I swear to God, life has this beautiful thing about it where everything that happens at our level mirrors something that happens at the lower levels and the higher levels. I mean, you could totally think of people as solar systems or stars or galaxies or anything like that. Maybe that seems like it’s not a good analogy because things in space seem to happen so slowly, but in the timeframe of eternity, it’s happening pretty damn fast. We used to be stars anyway. I’m relatively certain I blogged about that before but I always come back to it because it always blows my mind.

 We are bits of stellar matter that got cold by accident, bits of a star gone wrong.
– Sir Arthur Eddington

Sometimes, I just wanna be that chill kid with a handful of close friends and no drama or craziness in my life. But then, I think about how incredible it is to experience life in every way you possibly can and part of that means that you have to take the risk that sometimes things are going to go badly and you’re going to be unhappy. Bad choices and upsetting situations are the price of meeting both the good and bad people who are going to influence you to fulfill more potential than you could without running into them in life and also having those experiences that blow your mind and give meaning to your existence. I think fate has a way of working things out anyway. We just fall into the place where we’re supposed to be eventually. When that moment comes, it’s effortless because of everything you’ve already done to get there without even knowing that’s why you were doing it.

Life moves on, whether we act as cowards or heroes. Life has no other discipline to impose, if we would but realize it, than to accept life unquestioningly. Everything we shut our eyes to, everything we run away from, everything we deny, denigrate or despise, serves to defeat us in the end. What seems nasty, painful, evil, can become a source of beauty, joy, and strength, if faced with an open mind. Every moment is a golden one for him who has the vision to recognize it as such.
– Henry Miller

I ran a cost-benefit analysis. The expected return favors living.

So, this is my life. And I want you to know that I am both happy and sad and I’m still trying to figure out how that could be.
– Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower

We Tripped On The Urge To Feel Alive

I think about those days, and I think about a motto etched onto the sleeve of one of those Pavement singles: I AM MADE OF BLUE SKY AND HARD ROCK AND I WILL LIVE THIS WAY FOREVER.
– Rob Sheffield, Love is a Mix Tape

One of those ridiculously honest personal accounts that I read 3+ years ago.  Run to the library and pick it up. I think half the book was about Pavement. Amazing band. My 16 year old self would have died without them. Anyway, I’ve never encountered a sentence that described my soul so freaking well. And of course it’s in the sleeve of a Pavement single. How could a sentence of that magnitude be anywhere else?

Somehow, I got away from that for awhile. But I’m back. My old self/soul are being ripped from the depths and they’re flowing into the world at an outrageous pace. I’m healing and moving on so much faster than I ever thought possible. It feels crazy. I feel weird. It’s like the Big Bang. Even my bones feel alive. It’s psychological AND somatic, I swear.

I’m having a Henry Miller-esque spiritual awakening.

The aim of life is to live, and to live means to be aware, joyously, drunkenly, serenely, divinely aware.
– Henry Miller, Tropic of Capricorn

The weather was incredible. I painted. I got stuff done. I read on the porch swing. I went to Portuguese class. I started the process of becoming an ACLU volunteer. I listened to the Felice Brothers. Their self-titled album will kill you. It will make you too happy to live.

Please don’t you ever die
you ever die
you ever die
You moved me all of my life
all of my life
all of my life
Hum our radio songs
radio song
radio song
after every radio’s gone
radio’s gone
radio’s gone

One of the best choruses of all time.

And it makes me think of this quote (also from Love is a Mix Tape)…

…and sometimes I think, man, all the people I get to hear this song with, we’re going to miss each other when we die. When we die, we will turn into songs, and we will hear each other and remember each other.

That is absolutely true. Your soul turns into songs.

Your body breaks down to chemical elements though. Your atoms get taken up into something else and you spread out forever and ever through organisms and geology and time. Science is soothing. I like knowing that there’s nothing more than just the physical circle of life. And we used to be stars. I hope you know that. All of our atoms were formed inside stars. I like knowing that I’m a tremendously small little fraction of recycled star matter.

Anyway, that quote up there makes me think of this quote down here. Always. And it’s pertinent to yesterday’s post also.

I thought to myself that in the palm of my hand, there was this one tape that had all of these memories and feelings and great joy and sadness.  Right there in the palm of my hand.  And I thought about how many people have loved those songs.  And how many people got through a lot of bad times because of those songs.  And how many people enjoyed good times with those songs.  And how much those songs really mean.
– The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Stephen Chbosky

Not only are songs the primary medium for the safe keeping of souls, but they hang on to memories, feelings, joy, and sadness. Their like the Bank of Transcendence. Easier to deposit than withdraw though. Which is the opposite of a real bank.

And then that quote up there makes me think of this one down here. Which is also relevant to that post from two days ago.

“Yes,” Judith said. “Or destroy it. As you like. Read it if you like or don’t read it if you like. Because you make so little impression, you see. You get born and you try this and you don’t know why only you keep on trying it and you are born at the same time with a lot of other people, all mixed up with them, like trying to, having to, move your arms and legs with strings only the same strings are hitched to all the other arms and legs and the others all trying and they don’t know why either except that the strings are all in one another’s way like five or six people all trying to make a rug on the same loom only each one wants to weave his own pattern into the rug; and it cant matter, you know that, or the Ones that set up the loom would have arranged things a little better, and yet it must matter because you keep on trying or having to keep on trying and then all of a sudden it’s all over and all you have left is a block of stone with scratches on it provided there was someone to remember to have the marble scratched and set up or had time to, and it rains on it and the sun shines on it and after a while they don’t even remember the name and what the scratches were trying to tell, and it doesn’t matter. And so maybe if you could go to someone, the stranger the better, and give them something–a scrap of paper–something, anything, it not to mean anything in itself and them not even to read it or keep it, not even bother to throw it away or destroy it, at least it would be something just because it would have happened, be remembered even if only from passing from one hand to another, one mind to another, and it would be at least a scratch, something, something that might make a mark on something that was once for the reason that it can die someday, while the block of stone can’t be is because it never can become was because it cant ever die or perish…”
– William Faulkner, Absalom! Absalom!

Crap, I think I got off topic again. A one second snapshot of my brain would contain approximately one million different things. The original point of this whole thing is that it feels good to be alive. In every way. Not get sidetracked with depressing Faulkner stuff.

Today felt like the first day of my life. It’s weird when you start to grasp concrete parts of yourself. Like you really understand some things about yourself and who you need to be and what you need to be doing.

I guess I just assumed that everyone feels lost their whole lives. People really do grow up and grow into themselves. I wonder what it’s like to be 90. I kind of can’t wait to find out. Not that I want to rush to the end. But it will be awesome to look back at the ghosts/echoes of my previous selves. Maybe I’ll change a lot. I’m not sure.

What I know for certain is that I AM MADE OF BLUE SKY AND HARD ROCK AND I WILL LIVE THIS WAY FOREVER and that all the different shades of who I’ve been will share at least that one thing in common.