Friday, December 23, 2011

principles that i live by

1. do no harm.
this is pretty self-explanatory. i'm not a vengeful person, i would never egg someone's house, or break someone's toys, etc. i try to set my actions by a trajectory that won't hurt people unnecessarily. when someone texts me, i text back; when someone talks to me, i engage with them fully and don't look around the room waiting for them to stop talking, because the fact that someone is talking to me is a gift.

2. be honest in being and in action.
i used to think that lying was the worst, that i should never lie. now i feel that lying is okay, but most of the time unnecessary. i should live my life in a way that doesn't necessitate lying. the important thing is that i'm honest with myself, honest with the people who have a stake in my truth - i wouldn't string along someone if there was no future, and i would never lie about who i am. if there is something that makes me feel like i'm acting untrue, i stop doing that thing.

3. don't let others get in the way of your happiness.
this one is possibly the hardest to follow through with. there is always a balancing act between an individual and the community they are a part of. sometimes one of them calls trump. sometimes you desperately don't want to show that something is upsetting you because you don't want to cause conflict. but if something is really important, i will be 'that person' who complains when something is wrong. i will be that person that calls someone out on their shit, and i'm proud of it.
another facet of this that is less hard to live by is acting in a way that makes me happy even when other people let me down. continuing to be happy in myself is the only way i can really cope with those things.

4. be happy in yourself. (preachy mostly because i don't feel comfortable using I pronouns).
you should be able to spend a day alone and be perfectly content. not all the time, no one is all the time. but you should be okay with being alone, you should feel pleased by what you do in your self-time. you should be able to spend a day recounting your own personal triumphs and feeling happy that you take up a small portion of the world with your own thoughts and mind, and that in itself -- is good.
and in interactions with others, you should be able to hold your own, because you have a unique personhood, and you have thoughts that are worthy of note.

5. treat others with respect.
i treat others as equals. it's basically the golden rule. do unto others as you would have them do unto you. don't treat someone like shit and expect not to get it back in return. be polite and civil, and expect others to uphold those same standards.
i feel that respect is what keeps us from being animals. in a sense i'm also talking about one-to-one respect, which includes hearing someone out, giving someone's thoughts and experience their due importance, and actually giving their point of view some thought. i can disagree with someone completely, i can disrespect all of their viewpoints, but i will still level with them.

6. surround yourself with people who are good.
it matters to me if my friends are assholes. i won't be friends with someone who doesn't treat others with respect, even if they treat me with respect. it is offensive to me if a person disrespects someone else in front of me.

7. on what being a good friend means to me.
i will come to your gigs, recitals, art shows, parties, fundraisers, whatever, as often as my schedule permits, which should be often. i will also get other people to come as much as i can.
i will talk to you about things you are sad about but don't want to act like you're sad about if you want to talk about them.
i will make you mix CDs that hold the songs i think you will like, and think you need to hear.
i will not flake on you, unless there's some kind of emergency, in which case i will always text or call you to inform you that the flaking is happening with as much advance notice as humanly possible.
i will always think you are attractive, but not because i like you, but because you are very attractive and i would be friends with you just because of your looks if i were that kind of person anyway.
i might not always be on time, but i will keep you in the loop about where i am in the getting there process.
i will stick up for you.
i will go with you to something DOA just so we can talk to each other and not feel awkward.
i will tell you what i think about the guys you like, but give you the freedom to make your own judgment calls about what you want to do.
i will post funny things to your wall like once a month at least.
you can always text me when you're bored, and i will text back as soon as possible.
you can tell me any secret and i'll never tell anyone.
i will always wake up and talk to you if you are crying.

8. don't be jealous of other people.
this goes with being happy in yourself, i guess. everyone's different, and jealousy is just counting someone else's blessings instead of your own. i don't remember who said that, but it's very true.

9. approach your problems independently, but seek help as necessary.
i attempt to fix something before i ask for help. i rarely find that anything is impossible, so i try not to be overwhelmed before i even attempt to fix the problem. most problems can be sorted out by:
a. turning it off and then turning it back on
b. a Google search
c. a thorough analysis of the system and what went wrong in the first place
d. reading directions and making sure everything is set up properly
if none of these work, then i ask for help. it's annoying when people ask for my help without attempting something first. it's like, what would you do if i wasn't here? would you hunt me down? or would you try figuring it out by yourself?
this is something i encounter with my students a lot. i feel like it stems from a lack of academic self-confidence. when you don't feel confident, you feel like you have to ask someone before doing anything, but often just turning off the freak-out button is enough to fuel you toward an answer.

10. listen/observe, remember, then judge.
i always feel that it's best to analyze all of the facts before making a judgment. our emotions and thin-slicing tell us a lot in a short amount of time, it's true. but we must be careful to also remember the facts rather than our emotions and quick judgments, because these can be wrong. our facts are what we actually have to go on.
i find that when people don't do this, they actually come away from a situation not understanding what the true outcome of the situation was, because they were too busy thought-commentating instead of listening to what went on.

i don't really know why i did this. i guess i felt like i had to write some of these things down, at this point in my life. hopefully i won't have to amend this too much, and i didn't leave out anything important.
anyhow, happy holidays yo. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

breaking up

it's no walk in the park. i am usually the master of distracting myself from shit by using my really resilient memory and my ability to pretend that putting nice things on my wall and play songs with myself on the guitar are roughly equivalent to always having a willing dance and songwriting partner. 

something about now is getting to me. i just listen to the wrong song, and get all lost in my thoughts. suddenly i get flashes of things like seattle streets and kosher bagel places that look eerily like einstein bagels but make better, spicier, tomatoey-er bagels. suddenly i feel like i ruined everything good i ever knew. i can't listen to music anymore. the songs i used to love and connect with now describe the pain of a lost love and a feeling that is now only a memory. i know i'm not saying anything new. 

it's like that awful feeling you get when the only person who can truly make you feel better is the person you can't talk to. it's also awful to feel like you don't have control over when you're going to get some intense emotional reaction to something stupid that's going to stop you from being able to study. it's also sucky that they're replacing that bagel place with just einstein's because then they will get rid of that other, better bagel. it sucks that you will talk to other people about your feelings but they won't be able to wrap their arms around you and make you feel like you're 100% again. they do what they can, and i love them for it. so much. 

i knew it had to happen. we both did. 

one day all this pain will make sense

Sunday, December 11, 2011

but wouldn't you know i ended up having a wonderful day

everything was a mess and i was a wreck. 

i pattered and preened and quibbled and driveled all while wearing a smile and pretending everything was dandy. i don't really deal with things as much as i ring them out and hang them up to dry. i will always have the shape of some people etched into my heart. 

i will never value anyone more than i value the people that make the time to see me face to face, the people that tell me what i need to hear without me asking for it, and the people who know me well enough to tell me the truth but not hurt me with it. i value you those people who see the good in me when i don't see it, and the people who dream for me what i haven't yet dreamed. 

it's easy for me to let people in, it's easy for me to make friends. what's hard for me is knowing if i can be myself completely around people. i just want to know people i can be myself completely around at some moment. i think we all crave that. there are some people who can make you better just by being around you and just by talking to you.  those are the people you want in your life. 

this will all make perfect sense some day. a john mayer lyric, but true nonetheless. a better quote to end on is this: 

“[...] the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes 'Awww!' What did they call such young people in Goethe's Germany?” 
― Jack KerouacOn the Road

I guess I just think all of my friends are crazy insane, but I can't like people who aren't crazy anyway.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

you're a peach

best compliment i've ever gotten, hands down.

Monday, December 05, 2011

tell me something i don't know

a certain population of my friends (i have so many friends, don't even bother guessing,) is obsessed with google analytics. they use them to track who is looking at their web-posted information, like blogs or whatever, to figure out WHO is viewing their content.

like with crossword puzzles, i kind of missed the analytics boat. i mean, yeah, it's a good use of time when you've got nothing else to do, and there is something intrinsically valuable about them, but at most points in time, it's just time that could be spent thinking about something else. there is something nice about people checking in on you without talking to you about it. you can't really put a price-tag on that, i suppose, but there is also something to be said for the fact that they haven't said anything to you about it. as a somewhat empirical person, i try to set more by what people say and do with me that proves they were listening to what i was saying.

i'll admit there is something insidiously interesting about analytics, of course. they are interesting when tracking how many plays my band gets on its bandcamp, but become boring when confirming obvious facts like the fact that no one besides perhaps 3 people who are close to me (and my parents and brother when they google me) read my blog. (also some random spam people and indian people who google my name) and yeah, it would be a little more awesome if you could google analytics your facebook page and find out who was looking at you.

i think i would prefer analytics if it measured things i participate in say if there were analytic data about my conversations with people in person. it would measure useful things, like
% of eye contact
average interpersonal distance
frequency of interaction
duration of average interaction
amount of self-related pronouns used in conversation
amount of times they used my name in conversation
amount of times i used theirs
amount of times i used the word "like"
posture, position

you know, useful shit like that. i think that would be the holy grail of analytics, because i'm pretty sure people are kind of obvious if you pay attention to those types of things. there should be a rule that everyone has to tell you if they're reading your blog anyway. 

Saturday, December 03, 2011

There is nothing for me here anymore.

That has been the resounding cry permeating my life as of late. I have this thing where I self-isolate and I don't include myself even in the what I am included in. My passions are far-reaching, but somehow remote. I have somehow compartmentalized every part of my life to the point where I am only somewhat included within them and not immersed in anything fully. I feel like I'm playing hard-to-get in everything I do, whether it be making my room a temple, or making plans with the people I care about, for example.

It confuses me that everything goes on without me. Coming to this realization has catapulted me into even greater withdrawal, and self-isolation. I have a headache, I can't write this anymore