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first day of school

So I'm back from the first day of school.

It all went well. I've had this teacher before (I took my first college math class from her, and now I'm taking my last college math class from her.) Fun fact, it became very apparent to her that I am an English major, because when we were talking about "sets" (i.e. a well-defined group), she asked us to give examples of such things, and one person gave "numbers divisible by 2", one gave "worldwide population of people with April birthdays", and I gave, "poets whose works were first published in the 20th century". You know how sometimes, you hear something, and you just sort of have to process what you're hearing and figure out all the implications of why the person saying it could have possibly said it? Yeah, that's what happened with her. (Though this led to me discovering that my teacher likes e.e. cummings too so that was pretty great.)

And later, when she was giving the example of "a, e, i, o, u" as all the members of the set "vowels", she corrected herself and said, "Vowels in the English language, because there's Cyrillic and other stuff", and when I suggested "Latin character set" as the term she was looking for, she just kind of had the same moment as before when I said "20th century poets".
I also now have a reputation for being "smart", or at least "good at math", which is a gross misunderstanding of reality on my classmates' part but understandable given that I have a tendency to appear very intelligent on the first few days of class but then when stuff actually gets difficult, my lack of mathematical skills shows up. But I mean I've got people genuinely asking me to be in their study group in the optional math lab (which I'm not going to be in). Which is kind of amazing but hey, I'll take accusations of intelligence anytime.

So I only had my math class today but it went well and I trust tomorrow's three classes will go well. Yes.
Okay, so the new season of Doctor Who (and the new Doctor) are happening tomorrow, and I've made a conscious choice to be excited about Doctor Who. Despite the fact that I've experienced an insane amount of disillusionment with Doctor Who and that I don't want to watch anything produced by Steven Moffat, I am going to be excited about Doctor Who.

I know that it's very easy to get caught up in the excitement over the new Doctor, and...well, that's why I'm choosing to be excited. It's because excitement and enthusiasm aren't natural things to me and when the chance to be excited about something comes up (especially if it's easy to be excited about it??), I'd be an idiot not to take it.

Furthermore, it's something that's getting updates. Many of the things I like (Withnail and I, Joy Division, Look Around You, H2G2, etc.) are not getting updates, due to their being cancelled (Look Around You), not being part of a serial (Withnail and I), or the fact that people involved in said projects are dead (Joy Division). And some of them have a combination of these reasons at play (H2G2). These are the things that I don't have to choose to like because liking them (amazingly) comes naturally to me. But I'm never going to be able to get excited over new material pertaining to them. That's something that's never going to happen.

And what's more, Doctor Who is actually a popular thing. Both on Tumblr and in real life. I've met people in real life who know what Doctor Who is and like it. I mean, I was wearing a "Dr. Who and the Daleks" shirt the other day and a guy in a shop pointed it out and we talked about how we were both excited about Series 8 and the new Doctor. Being excited about Doctor Who means not only being excited alongside the people on my dashboard and on a very large part of this website, it means being excited alongside the people I encounter in real life. And that's amazing. While I wouldn't call my tastes "obscure", many of the things I like (even things that get updates) just do not have large real-life fanbases. So it's very very hard to get excited about them in IRL circumstances. Being excited about Doctor Who makes that possible for me.

I know the showrunner is a misogynist (among many other things, including a bigot against a particular demographic that I'm in that virtually nobody supports). I know he can't write worth shit so the storyline of Series 8 is going to be terrible. I know that the show's overall started to incline towards style over substance so even the writing on individual episodes is probably going to be terrible.

But fuck it.

I need to be excited over things.

I need to have some interest that matters to people I might encounter in the physical world.

I can't go on enjoying everything in isolation.

Fuck it, I need to be excited about Doctor Who.

I don't want to be. But I need to be. It'll make me happy. It'll give me an ability to interact with the people around me. Beggars can't be choosers, and I'm positively starved for those things.

bad decisions

I made a horrible decision.

I realize now that I made a STUNNINGLY horrible decision.

Like dear GOD this is the most horrible decision I've made all year, possibly the worst decision in the space of these past two years, and how was I supposed to know how horrible it was at the time but CHRIST it was horrible.

So you guys know that I'm very interested in upholding social mores and societal standards and all that, and what I really mean is that other people's (and to a slightly lesser extent society's) expectations are important and all I want to do is be a good little citizen who does everything I'm supposed to do. I genuinely cared about that.

Then at some point I realized, "Hey, that's messed up. I shouldn't care about that stuff so much. I know! I'll become apathetic towards those things and sort of not think about them so much and therefore stop valuing them so much!"

The reason this was a bad idea was that it assumed that, if I ditched those concerns, then better concerns would come to take their place. But they didn't. Now I just don't care about anything. Frankly, caring about crummy things is better than not caring at all.

Well, I guess the moral of this story is that just because you get rid of one thing doesn't mean another thing will come along to replace it. I guess that's the real message here. There's your cautionary tale for the week. Better appreciate it, kids, because the price for it was my ability to care about anything at all (either temporarily or permanently).

So this is why I've spent the whole damn summer being an empty wreck.

This makes all the sense now.

how it turned out

So I've...emotionally smoothed out since my last post.

I don't want to talk about everything that happened yesterday but let me tell you a few of them because yesterday was an interesting day and things happened.

My family and I were in our cabin in the mountains and it was very nice there. It rained. I love the rain and it seldom rains where I live, and when we came back down, it was overcast and muggy but not rainy, and I wish it could have properly rained here.

One my headmates was out for much of yesterday and he took over a few times (I let him, I wanted him to) and did things. No one around me knew it was someone who lived in my head doing things and not really me but I didn't mind. He made eggs. My family said thank you for it and when he was feeling a bit hard on himself earlier, he thought about the eggs and it made him happy to have done something like that, something for which he was thanked. He likes the mountains.

I was miserable for much of yesterday and I was so jealous that one of my headmates had a better day than I had.

A particular friend of mine sat through what was essentially an out-loud misery session with me. Another friend (well. The person described in my most recent post) told me that, of her, the aforementioned friend, another friend, and me, we're all fucked but none of us are as fucked as me. Like I'm off-the-charts fucked. It was really nice because I finally have someone acknowledging how fucked I am. Like I'm the fucked one. Yes. This is nice. I like that she's not trying to be like "we're all kind of fucked" or "you're not that fucked". No, she's like, "Yeah, you're fucked, and while we're ALL fucked, you're the fuckedest of us. Not even in a bad way per se, that's just facts. Of the fucked group that is us, you are the most fucked. You are off-the-charts fucked, that's precisely the level of fucked that you are. Congratulations. You're just that fucked." She did not say those exact words, but I have reflected the general sentiment she expressed.

It's become even clearer to me than usual that I am essentially the literary version of Withnail. That is, I'm somebody's Withnail AU only with writing and with self-destructive behaviors other than alcoholism.

-

I wrote most of this yesterday night (I changed descriptions of "today" to "yesterday"). I've emotionally smoothed out even more since then. Maybe it's just because I'm feeling kind of weird right now, or because I did some things to alleviate some of the feelings I was having last night (none of which I described in this entry) but I'm okay with all the things I mentioned. Even the bits about me being quote-unquote fucked. Even the bits about me being a literary Withnail (which isn't a thing anyone wants to be, not really, unless they have really strange ideas about what they should want in life). I'm just okay with all of this. I'm okay with it.
No, I'm still scared for the future of my relationship

i've determined i'm essentially a heartless bastard who doesn't love anybody and shouldn't be in any kind of interpersonal relationship with anybody

if i end this relationship though or even so much as change its nature. i mean if i so much as change its nature. that could threaten its end. and i can't do that. because she's my only irl friend. if i end this friendship, i will literally never see anybody in real life at all. no friends or anything.

that co-worker i had at my library volunteer job won't even be there. she's working at a different library now (different branch). i don't see her anymore. that was the closest thing to consistent companionship that i had other than the other person and i don't even have that anymore.

i will be literally alone

but that's the price i pay for entering into relationships without realizing that i am a bad, heartless person who can't love anybody else and who chokes on their words every time they say "i love you" because it's a lie that can never be true

ahead

I've accepted that the next few weeks are probably going to be emotionally better for me than the weeks before.

I've accepted that this means I'm not going to be anhedonic and miserable and instead just anhedonic without such a pronounced feeling of misery.

I've accepted that this means that I won't feel like self-harming all the time because I won't be feeling anything.

I've accepted that this means I'll still feel empty but it won't be the kind of empty where I want to die, it'll be the kind of empty where I don't care about being empty and thus don't even think to want to end this emptiness.

I'm not going to enjoy writing and I'm not going to force myself to do it but I won't feel upset about not doing it. That is, I won't punish myself for it. I'm not going to think good things about myself but I won't think bad ones either.

I've accepted this, and I've accepted that this is better than where I was before.

David Bowie tribute concert

So Sofya and I went to a David Bowie tribute concert last night.

It. Was. FANTASTIC. We came about thirty minutes late, but this was actually a good thing because they had an opening act for which we didn't much care, and we arrived for the last two or three songs and then the Bowie band came up.

The musicians were great, and one of the guitarists did some really cool stuff with his solos. And the Bowie impersonater looked quite a deal like Bowie. I really liked his stage mannerisms (he had a habit of giving the whole crowd a thumbs-up after each song, which I liked). Overall he was engaging and one could tell he was really enjoying himself.

There was an area sectioned off in front of the stage where people could go dance, and for the first few songs, not many people were there. But at the third song (I believe), Sofya and I decided we may as well go and dance, so we did. I forgot how much fun dancing is. I don't really know what I look like when I dance but apparently I look really cool, because I had a number of people tell me so. We attracted a lot of attention, mainly because we were really enthusiastic and knew all the words to the songs, which is not something most young people are in regards to David Bowie. Most of the audience were in their forties or fifties (understandable, since they would have been our age when Bowie was actually doing his music). Anyway, they loved us. Many of them danced with us (and by "danced with us", I mean "an arrangement occurred in which we would sort of dance in place and they would dance in place in front of us, with the understanding that we were doing this together").

To give you an impression of how much the older people appreciated us - these ladies (who had been near the stage before us - a lot of people came there shortly after Sofya and I did) went and started introducing us to all their friends. These friends thought we were great, and then they introduced us to their friends, and etc. (Among these friends was a man who had seen Elvis Presley, David Bowie, and Led Zeppelin in concert before - he told me these facts with the expectation that it would make me jealous, and I did.) I was told that my dancing was cool (which was the compliment I wanted to receive) and that Sofya's dancing was sexy (which was the compliment she wanted to receive, or so I understand.)

They did all the great Bowie songs, and most of the ones Sofya and I hoped they would do, they did. In particular, they did "Heroes", and for some reason or another, that was really important to me. I'm not sure why but…that song just is important to me. It was a good moment. And they ended with "Time Warp". Yes, the song from Rocky Horror. It was an awesome way to end, and I'd never done the Time Warp with a bunch of strangers in public before, but I have now, and it was an awesome experience.

Worth mentioning is the fact that Sofya's mother came to get us before the show actually ended (she let us stay) and she brought Sofya's little sister with her. The sister ended up dancing with us, and the people we'd befriended thought it was great that she was learning an early appreciation for good music. We thought it was great, too.

Sofya and I went to speak to the band members after the show, and while we waited in line with the other people (who mostly consisted of our older "friends" we'd made during the concert), we actually had a lot of people take pictures of and with us? Apparently we were just that cool. (Worth mentioning is the fact that, during the concert itself there were also people taking pictures of and with us.) Oh, and there was also this girl who said she liked how we dressed. Apparently it reminded her of old British punk style. (Actually, numerous people complimented me on my clothes. I guess I didn't need to worry about it so much after all). She asked if we dressed like this all the time, and I said yes. (True for me, not true for Sofya, though Sofya's now inspired to dress like this all the time.)

All the band members were so nice and they told us about other shows they were doing in the future, and the Bowie impersonator was especially great. He just seemed really pleased at how happy everyone was and how much fun we all had.

And you know what? That concert genuinely made me happy. I did not get sad or nervous or upset or anything at any point. I was actually happy. For the time we were there, none of the emotions that characterize me were present.

It was awesome.

Jun. 27th, 2014

A few days ago, it was the anniversary of a rather unpleasant event that I don't care to describe in much detail but that did leave me feeling intensely suicidal for about a week. I never actually tried anything but I felt really bad and it was one of my lowest points ever. Maybe not my Actual Lowest Points, but definitely on my top five, maybe even my top three.

I survived it, mostly because nothing similar to what had happened before happened now. I wish I could say I spent the day happy that I hadn't killed myself between then and now, but I'm never happy about that because I'm never happy about not being dead. But I will say that I felt like my existence was more acceptable than it was back then.

Unfortunately...in the days that followed (including last night/probably today), I had a series of breakdowns that left me feeling not so much suicidal but definitely not very happy about existence in general (particularly my existence and what I want in life and how I'll never achieve it). I haven't had a breakdown-free night since I think Sunday? Maybe Monday. I'm not entirely sure of the chronology. But it was something like that.

I talked to one of my co-workers yesterday about some trouble with my interpersonal relationships but I was frustratingly unable to talk about it in anything but the vaguest terms. She accepted that (good for her). I wish I'd been able to talk about it. I mean actually talk about it.
Today's been an interesting day for me because it's the anniversary of a rather personally unpleasant event that I don't wish to talk about in detail but that, as some of you may know, resulted in about a full week of me feeling more suicidal and more despairing than I had for a very long time.

I've gone through today not feeling much anything. In the good way.

I wondered whether or not today would find me wishing I had killed myself in the year between then and now. Tbh I was a little worried I might...well, actually do something, not necessarily try to kill myself but do something self-destructive.

In a perfect world, I'd make a post saying, “I'm so glad I didn't kill myself a year ago because I've come to realize what a great place the world is and how beautiful life is and my life has been so amazing between then and now!” But I can't. I never expected I could. Some good things have happened to me between then and now, but the thing that was upsetting me so much back then has yet to be solved and will most likely never be solved. (in fact, arguments could be made that it's gotten very slightly worse.) And I don't know that I've in general enjoyed life very much between then and now. But hey. Hey, I helped people, possibly, in between then and now, and I guess that's all that matters, huh?

I'm also afraid that I'm going to start listening to the Magnetic Fields a lot again because that's what I do when I'm having problems with my interpersonal relationships. And I'm having problems with a particular interpersonal relationship.

I can't talk to anyone about this. I've thought about it. Of all the people I regularly talk to, one of them is the person I'm having trouble with, one of them is really biased about my problems and will just say “it'll work out fine, just keep doing as you're doing” (not to mention that the one time they did try to figure out a solution to an issue regarding this relationship but it was…kind of a weird solution? in that it was directed towards an aspect of the problem that wasn't the more concerning issue, and it was the harder thing to fix, from a certain point of view?), one of them is also a little biased as far as this thing is concerned albeit in totally different ways (and they're also upset easily by a certain type of negativity into which I think this falls), one of them…might actually be of some help? but I don't know how good their advice will be and when I said they might actually be of some help, what I really meant is that none of the things that disqualify the other people are present in this person. Which still doesn't mean they're going to be helpful.

The main problem with asking people for help here is that I find myself predicting what they're going to say, and I find that what they would say isn't really going to help me, or it might make the situation worse. And maybe it's bad to base your decisions on whether or not to talk to people on what you THINK they;d say, but the thing is, I am actually extremely good at predicting what people would say if I know them well enough, and...sigh, I know these people well enough.

Happy news, though! Let's talk about happy news. Tomorrow, my sister leaves for Ireland. She's going to Ireland because she's in a choir, and they're going on tour in Ireland, and she's going to sing with them over there! So that's exciting! I was feeling a little resentful (as I am prone to do) because she (and my little cousins, and most likely another cousin of ours) are either going on trips or have gone on trips this summer, and I'm not going anyplace. (The fact that normally I'd be going on a trip with my grandparents but my grandpa's faulty knee is keeping us from doing that is kind of frustrating - like I'm not even just not going on a trip, I'm not going on a trip and I know exactly why and it's something that no one can do anything about.)

But you know what? I'm not upset. Not jealous. Not resentful. I'm happy. I'm glad for her. I have a tendency to get very caught up with whatever feeling is pervading the atmosphere around me (perhaps because I lack strong individualistic feelings of my own, so I am prone to take on whatever those around me have), so maybe that's the only reason I'm so glad, but...I'm happy for my sister. Legitimately happy. I'm glad she's going to Ireland, and I'm glad she's going with her best friend (her best friend, who is awesome, is in her choir as well and they're going to be sharing rooms all throughout the trip), and I'm going to miss her while she's gone (my sister and I get on really well and she'll be away for eleven days wow), but I'm glad for her, and she's excited for the time ahead and I'm excited, and she's gonna have an awesome time and I'm feeling good about all the awesome that's going to happen.

And now I'm sitting at my computer, and I have a glass full of various types of lemonades mixed together, and it's my second glass of this stuff that I've had all day, and while I had a bit of a breakdown earlier today, I got over it and I'm feeling better and I handled everything well today, and everything is okay at the moment.

A style of writing I do

I think I’ve identified a “genre” of writing I do.

For the time being, I’m calling it “Cecilwriting”. It’s characterized by a sense of surreal horror, occasionally laced with vague humor, that features existential dread as a backdrop rather than a theme (being something taken for granted in its setting or tone rather than something worth making the main focus of the theme), passing references to strange things or concepts that are never fully explained, themes of potential and speculation, mild body horror imagery whose horror is based less on gory or disgusting things done to human bodies and more on the abnormal and surreal, and a sense of horror derived from disturbing, restrictive, or confusing circumstances (think “I Have No Mouth, And I Must Scream” or anything comparable) going on indefinitely.

In other words, the sort of thing you might expect Cecil to talk about on Welcome to Night Vale, or at least on early episodes.

Yes, I'm aware this term isn't entirely serious, but the point is that I've identified it, and I have something I can call it, which allows me to 1. create a more legitimate term for it later, and 2. (and more importantly) identify it as a style with a set of parameters so I can create more of it on purpose.