mathemagicalschema: A blonde-haired boy asleep on an asteroid next to a flower. (Default)

So that last entry. Sounded kinda depressing, huh? I even tagged it "happier than my tone suggests".

I have been having a growing realization that while I do not struggle with experiencing happiness, I think, when my life is such that that's a reasonable way to be feeling about it, I am absolutely dreadful at remembering it, seeking it, and communicating it. This is far from the first time that I've written something, my global mood being pretty happy, maybe mentioning one or two less happy events - and come across as sad as hell, often not even recognizing it until someone points it out. More dramatically, Emily showed me a video she had taken of us during my last visit, and I could hardly remember being the person in it. I can reassemble what the experience must have been like, but watching it was like seeing someone else wearing my face and speaking with my voice.

How godawful would it be to have a happy life but only be able to remember the worst parts of it?

So I've started attempting to record the times when I'm happy, why I'm happy, and what that feels like. It's... hard. I keep putting in stylistic bullshit that turns my attempts at happy sentiment to bittersweetness, or making hilariously sad comments like "wow, this thing happened, and it so totally didn't replicate an anxiety-nightmare! My belief in my worthlessness was so unconfirmed!" Nice try, sad-brain, but we're aiming a little higher than that.

Today my brain had a hilarious little objection as I was examining my reasons for doing this. "Wait a minute," (it seemed to say) "I'm doing this to try to write happy things, but I don't actually like happy writing. As far as emotional content goes, I pretty much just like angst, or happiness-as-angst-counterpoint. I mean, I'll keep doing the journaling anyway, because I want to remember this stuff, but why should I have to write in a tone I don't even like? oh noes inauthenticity" I quickly realized that this sentiment is both absurd and false. Absurd, in that even if I don't want happiness to even be a thing in my tonal palette for creative writing, I of course want to be able to communicate my actual mood in my journalblogging in ways that sound sincere and descriptive. False, in that I very much value and enjoy reading my friends' description of their happiness. Writing is for communication and not just aesthetics, doncha know.

Other assorted things:

  • Guitar continues apace! Yesterday I watched a video of someone introduced as an "amazing musician", and realized the guitar part of the song was easy enough that I could probably play it without inaccuracies within a month. I quickly set about transcribing it - I'm pretty sure it's the same strumming pattern and three one- and two-finger chords the whole way through. It would probably be good for me to listen to less Leo Kottke and more regular people.
  • I am going to try to find myself a song that I really want to play that is well-outside my current abilities, but near enough that I can figure out how to approach it.
  • Herb garden continues to be an herb garden. The parsley and mint have been producing pretty well, though those are the ones I use the least of. The cilantro has just gotten over transplant shock, and is now exploding with feathery new leaves. The basil is the newest addition and seems to be in transplant shock still - which is odd, because it was in a biodegradable pot. Soon! Soon I shall nom all the tasty basil.
  • Started writing fanfiction that must never leave my hard drive. It's so reassuring, though, to be able to work on plot and prose without the pressure of original characters and worldbuilding. And if I do decide to post it (behind about fifty layers of security and obfuscation) I know I'm already above average just by having reasonable grammar most of the time. The certainty of non-ridicule is comforting, even if it stays private.
  • Burritos are delicious. Green habanero hot sauce is delicious. It is making me want to cook with hotter peppers than serranos. This is probably a bad idea.
mathemagicalschema: A blonde-haired boy asleep on an asteroid next to a flower. (Default)
Moving to Illinois is a thing that happened! I am living with my dad in the middle of nowhere. I don't get out much, what with not driving, but I'll try to describe what I'm up to these days.

I have lots of time alone in the house. This is good. I need time alone (or only with people I'm very, very close to) in mass quantities, and I haven't had nearly as much as I need for the past two years and especially the past year. I'm focusing a lot on just resting and establishing routines. I was genuinely surprised to discover that when I can establish routines and not have them broken down immediately, and when I'm not constantly faced with needing to do things I know I simply can't, I don't burst into tears all the time! That probably sounds sarcastic, but I was really expecting to have more baggage of some kind to work through.

I am an awful lot less anxious overall, but worry-fuel is never scarce. I've never had the greatest relationship with my dad, and things are getting better, but there's so much that I know I can't say to him. I hate lying, and I hate hiding, and I keep catching myself wanting to relate some anecdote about Emily, and stopping. Wanting to talk about some news in her life - and news in her life is news in my life - and stopping. Saying something about having been to Texas - and stopping. I don't know what he'd do or what I'd do if I let something slip. Plus, being able to work on the things I need to do to move and start school, for instance, really snaps all the anxiety about it into focus.

In indubitably happy news, I got a guitar! It's an Alvarez Artist Series AC65CE, a classical electric-acoustic. I have been practicing just about every day, and I can pretty well stumble through "Anyone Else But You" (moldy peaches, the song at the end of Juno) and twelve-bar blues, and do a couple classical strumming patterns? So that seems to be going well, though yesterday my hand was going "AUGH WHAT DID YOU DO TO ME".

I wanted to track habits like guitar practice, and some lovely person introduced me to HabitRPG, which is working really well for me. It essentially gamifies habit-formation and getting stuff done like an old-school RPG. Other gamification tools I've seen haven't really had any added value to me because they basically just use the words for game concepts, putting a game-like veneer over things. HabitRPG is an actual game - not a very deep one, but a game no less - that forces you to do real-life productive things to progress. You add different kinds of tasks (habits, to-dos, dailies), and whenever you check them off, you get gold and experience. When you do a bad habit or miss a daily, you lose health. Experience lets you level up, unlocking new features, and gold lets you buy new equipment to increase your stats. It's the first thing I've experienced that makes me want to go to bed early for more sweet loot. I'll probably write a post sometime on how and why I think it's so helpful. I highly recommend checking it out.

The plan is still to move to Bellingham in September. I'm figuring out what I need to do to make that happen. A lot of it depends on [personal profile] auxiliatrix. Some of it, I'm not sure how I'm going to do without my dad figuring out that we mean to live together. I largely couldn't care less how he reacts once I'm there and I have my stuff, but I'm rather concerned about how I'll be able to convince anyone to rent me a place without a cosigner (and I'm not sure who else to ask). Talking with my sister has been helpful.

I think that basically sums it up for now, but how are you?