Sunday, June 10, 2012

This book is eerie

(In regards to utopia and brotherhood) "Suffering is a misunderstanding. It exists," Shevek said. "It's real. I can call it a misunderstanding, but I can't pretend that it doesn't exist. Suffering is the condition on which we all live. And when it comes, you know it. You know it as the truth. Of course it's right to cure diseases, to prevent hunger and injustice, as the social organism does. But no society can change the nature of existence. We can't prevent suffering. This pain and that pain, yes, but not Pain. A society can only relieve social suffering, unnecessary suffering. The rest remains. The root, the reality. All of us here are going to know grief; if we live to fifty years, we'll have known pain for fifty years. And in the end we'll die. That's the condition we're born on. I'm afraid of life! There are times I - I am very frightened. Any happiness seems trivial. And yet I wonder if it isn't all a misunderstanding - this grasping after happiness, this fear of pain...If instead of fearing in and running from it, one could...get through it, go beyond it. It's the self that suffers, and there's a place where self - ceases. I don't know how to say it. But I believe that the reality - the truth I recognize in suffering as I don't in happiness - that the reality of pain is not pain. If you can get through it. If you can endure it all the way." ...

He goes on to conclude that the brotherhood (friendship, companionship, relationships in general I suppose) in their utopia is not built from a lack of suffering, but that brotherhood begins with shared pain.

Not the cleanest argument, but coincidental that this discussion showed up in a book someone randomly picked for me, and use the same language I've been turning over in my head recently. Or perhaps not coincidence at all, but support for Shevek here's argument that we all suffer, and my pain is not solely my own.

I was going to send this to you in an e-mail. I feel like I' Not over-stepping my boundaries, but leaning too far over the line, taking more resources than I am returning. It's also weird that I spend a considerable amount of mental energy thinking about the debates and questions I chose to discuss with you. Not that I have a back-log of thought processes that are stronger than others - I am what I am. But what reason do you have to continue exhausting so much of your limited resources on me, for me to then turn around and send hordes of poorly constructed thoughts and arguments for you to entertain? So perhaps you will find this and respond. And if not, I will perhaps find some solace in the fact that even without discussion, I am not alone in my suffering, and that you know that truth too.

It's a new experience for me to censor my thoughts thus. I guess the difference between a friendship and a partnership? I've lost so much of myself, it's weird to redraw the line of what is "me" and what was "us". I can't be "us" again, not without Simon, but am I now more than "me"? Even if I feel like so much less.... 

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Next steps?

I have been thinking about myself. How do I want to be spending my time? What things are valuable to me, and what traits do I want to nurture, and which do I feel need improving? I do not feel adequately challenged or stimulated by my job. I felt that I was hired on (in fact, offered the position) because the team saw the potential in me to make serious headway and do real work. And yet, my days consist of nothing but tasking. And perhaps that is my challenge now - to not only deal with the mundane tasks that organizations expect of you, but to excel in them as well. But it's so hard to be motivated by such boring and menial work. Perhaps I should accept the break from challenging work, and focus my mental process more internally while I have the opportunity to. Although, I've always been able to do both in the past.

I used to value my intellect. My ability to learn quickly, make connections, process information and develop conclusions. In my business courses, I loved doing strategic planning - projects that required research, team work, analysis, processing. I miss thinking. I miss learning. I miss growing. I miss having the confidence to do what is asked of me.

I used to have such confidence in my brain and my skills. I know that I have the ability to learn much faster than many people, and the curiosity to seek out new information and to continue to learn. I also have the capacity to be creative, not necessarily in an artistic way, but in such a way that, when paired with my intellect, can lead to great ideas. And all of this is buffered by the fact that I try to think and behave very ethically. I think I can do great things. I used to know I could. But I've lost my motivation. It's hard to think about making positive changes to the world when it's a struggle to get out of bed in the morning, or get off the couch after work. When I spend 8 hours a day doing nothing but menial tasks, and then come home to an empty house, there is nothing to empower me to achieve more.

Given my poor performance at the beginning of my college career, I've always been a bit worried about my intrinsic motivation. Can I do anything I put my mind to? Sure. Can I do it with out an external motivator? I'm not sure. Simon and I struggled with this together - he with flexing his creative muscles, and I with expanding my overall knowledge. We tried to help motivate each other to spend the time needed to complete the things we value, and sometimes it worked. But sometimes we just sat on the couch and watched movies and played on facebook. Not good things. It pains me to think that I wasn't successful in motivating Simon to be more creative and spend more time making and playing music. That in his final days (unbeknownst to us), he wasn't dedicating his time to his passions. Although, he was spending time with me, and I with him, and that's pretty much as good as it gets. But still - would he have felt more fulfilled if he had spent more time creating? Perhaps.

And so now, how do I proceed? How do I begin to shake everything out and rediscover the things that I value? How do I build the confidence in myself that I am capable of more?  Am I actually capable of achieving greatness alone? Do I have the capacity to grow and motivate myself, and to continue to seek knowledge and be passionate about making a difference in the world?

I've been starting this whole new journey of the new life I have by trying to take care of myself. Eating well, exercising, making active choices to do things that make me happy instead of sitting at home, which usually leads me into an anxiety pit. And I've been doing ok with that, not counting my stupid pain issues (which seem to be going away ever-so-slowly, but going away none the less). But is that enough for me? As it turns out, no. There is obviously a HUGE hole in my life with Simon gone, and that will never change. I have to build a bigger life around it. But eating well, doing yoga, and hanging with friends is not enough. It's not enough to make me feel like I'm striving for the potential that I once knew I had. So. How do I get that back?

I've begun by doing some value work. Last week, I sat down and wrote out things that are important to me. I didn't make any plans, or next actions, or prioritize any of the things on my list, but just wrote them down. It was good to see them all there, like a shadow of a skeleton. A glimpse back to the person I used to want to become. I owe it to myself, but more importantly I owe it to Simon, to find that ideal self again and work like hell to achieve it. Just getting by isn't enough. In writing this, I feel a little stronger. I feel like I've taken a step. I want to be the best person I can be to honor Simon and to be someone he would be proud of. I guess I've taken the first step in this direction just by thinking about it. But what's the next step? And, once I've made a plan, or at least a "next action", how do I keep myself on track, and be accountable to myself?

I want to do more. I want to be more. I don't know where to start.

(This following section was originally at the beginning of my post, but because I am indeed so embarrassed, I've chosen to stick it at the end in the hopes at 1. no one reads this blog anyways and 2. if anyone does read this post, they will be so nauseated by the post above that they will never make it this far. I've chosen to post it anyways though, because it's real and honest and as embarrassed as I am, I really seek comfort. So, there.)

Over the past few weeks, I've felt some changes happening in me. I've been dealing with this continuing pain, which while it appears to be slowly going away, has been affecting me in a serious way. I'm embarrassed and ashamed about it for no legitimate reason, fearful that I will never be right again, that I will always have embarrassing pain and that intimacy will never again be as enjoyable as I know it can be. I worry that I will always be distracted by pain and discomfort, and that my relationships and job performance will suffer for it. I fear living for years, decades, with chronic physical discomfort that I cannot speak freely about. There's nothing wrong with me. There shouldn't be. I should be healthy. And yet, still it hurts. The only time I feel anywhere close to normal is when I have hope that it will go away for good, but that doesn't happen often. I should not be so consumed with this fear and anxiety, which is worse than the discomfort itself. And now I have the additional fear that I am going to be poisoned by Tea Tree Oil, which apparently can seriously fuck you up. I'm also concerned that the birth control I started in order to have enjoyable sex is negatively affecting my sex drive, which is so, so stupid. But it may just be that my body is acclimating to the pain it's been experiencing, and protecting itself by not getting aroused as easily. I suppose I don't have to worry about that for too much longer, as my FWB will be gone in a few months. I hope that the issues I have will continue to improve, and that I can get all of the enjoyment I can out of my current situation. 


Monday, April 23, 2012

Whale Eyes

I've spent most of the day crying today. The comfort of the sunshine seemed to melt the shell that was keeping me together, and let some of the pain ooze out. It still hurts so much. It's still so not fair, it still fills me with rage and makes me want to drive my car off a cliff. Simon should be here - everyday he should be here, and it hurts every day that he's not. There is so much he's missing, and my life just doesn't work without him.

It's late right now. Who knows if what I'm writing makes any sense, now or ever. I suppose I don't much care. I was flipping through photos of Simon on Facebook - as I find myself doing. Wishing that I could post new ones of him and of us. But his time line has stopped.

There's one picture where the smile he's giving is the same loving smile reserved for me - the smile and the face that assured me that I would always have my best friend by my side to care for me. The smile that reminded me how lucky I was to have found someone so special and so perfect. The smile that made his warm eyes shine with light and life, happiness.

Sometimes when I looked in his eyes, it reminded me of what it must be like to look a whale in the eye. There was so much power and depth behind those eyes - so many stories and so much wisdom. Blue Whales dive down deep, deep to the bottom of the ocean, and resurface with cuts and gashes from creatures we don't even know exist. They travel to a world we've never experienced, and I imagine when you look in their eyes, it takes your breath away. Simon was like this - once, before we even started "dating", I found myself avoiding his gaze at dinner. It was just too powerful, there was too much knowledge and understanding that I couldn't even connect to him at that moment. But later, I could. I wish I could again. I wish I could tell him again how special he is (was), and learn more about the life he had before he met me. Learn about the experiences only he knows, and try to understand the wisdom he had that made him so remarkable.

I once told him that his eyes reminded me of a whale's, but I lacked the ability to explain why in the moment. He was a bit taken aback, as perhaps he should have been - it's not often that one gets compared to a whale. I wish I could tell him, again, that I know how special he was.

Simon was my everything. What do I have left? I miss him so much.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Peanut Butter Milkshake

I remembered yesterday the time that Simon went to the emergency room for a kidney stone. I was at work, and he called there to tell me he was going to the hospital. I was in the middle of making salads for a 20-top, but instead of stopping what I was doing, I made the salads and then left. I still wish I hadn't waited, but you can't change the past. I don't remember how Simon had gotten home from the hospital - maybe someone from work drove him. But went to get him a milkshake at Coldstone. They have a peanut butter one, so I ordered that because he loved peanut butter. The woman at the store asked if I wanted to lick the peanut butter off the spoon, to which I responded, "Oh no thank you, I don't like peanut butter." She was really confused because the only thing I had ordered was a peanut butter milkshake.

Sunday, February 5, 2012


I miss tiny hairs from your razor in the sink.
I miss your toothbrush in the cup.
I miss two dirty towels at the end of the day.
I miss holding your hand.
I miss going on adventures with you.
I miss laughing at goofy TV shows with you. Sometimes I start to make a joke and then start crying because you'll never be able to hear it.
I miss you checking in on me.
I miss your smile that just kept getting bigger.
I miss your determination and inspiration to be better every day.
I miss curling up with you when I have nightmares.
I miss having a full fridge.
I miss buying you peanut butter treats.
I miss planning adventures with you.
I miss making crazy popcorn concoctions.
I miss hearing you talk to Nico and Kessa.
I miss holding your hand in the car.
I miss you.
I miss you so much.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Who am I?

Who am I now? Who do I want to be? How do I want to spend my time? What things are important to me now that my life has been decimated?

It feels like the bottom of my reality, of my knowledge of myself, of the world, of happiness, of truth has been ripped out from under me. I free fall into infinite blackness. Sometimes I hit a platform traveling a thousand miles an hour. Fractures race through my bones, cells rupture, impact waves turn to tsunamis that resonate through my soul, wreaking havoc on what order I've managed to create while falling. And then I start to slip from the platform into the infinite abyss. The hold is flat and slippery, and I claw with every ounce of strength to hang on, to keep from falling further. But to what end? I'm a million miles from normal, a lifetime from home. What life can I live on a dark platform in the center of nothingness? What happens if I let myself fall?

I have the instinct to claw, to fight, but I don't know for what yet. Someone unaware of Simon and his death, a new acquaintance, innocently asked me the other day what I wanted to do with my life. I had no answer. I used to have an answer, but now I don't. I know that what I wanted before was to live in Seattle with Simon and work planning events for an animal welfare organization. It was perfect. And now... I know that I DID want these things, but all I want now is Simon. I'm glad I'm in Seattle, so I guess there is that. And I like my job, and I know it's what I WANTED to do, but I don't have any passion or enthusiasm for anything now. How can I have dreams and goals if I don't have hope and passion? I don't know the answer to that.

I guess I just have to keep making an effort to fill my time with meaningful things. Make an effort to keep from slouching in front of the TV or computer and just mindlessly passing the time. That's what I have been doing, and I can tell you it is not satisfying. Even though I haven't a clue who I want to be, or even who I am, I know that a lazy sit-at-home, do-nothing grump does not reflect who I was nor who I want to be. So I have to keep pushing myself to do more, even though I don't want to. Keep fighting, even though I have no cause.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Snow Days

It's been snowing. Not really, but the questionable weather combined with crappy drivers and crazy roads has resulted in me working from home for the most part for the past 2 days, in addition to one day last week. I also spent all weekend at home.

I did go into the office today to pick some things up, and I was talking about getting cabin fever. I've never spent this much time alone. Without a friend, without a confidant, without Simon. Work - being around other people and having a task to complete - is important to keep me from pulling all my hair out and crumbling to pieces. It's been a hard few days. But while the few of us dropped into the office to pick up some things, others were talking of their cabin fever, and how they got sick of spending time with their spouses, and how they wanted to come back to work too to get some distance.

Please excuse me if I'm not sympathetic to your situation. I would fucking murder someone to spend a snowday trapped in the house with Simon. So don't come to me to bemoan time spent with your love. Lucky bastards.