Journal

Just a place for me to vent or to ramble about anything.

2020 Entries


June 11, 2021

Speech may be silver, but silence is golden.

As the world slowly decays into collapse, I find myself having a hard time getting out of bed. Sure, this is in a sense nothing more than a privileged complaint; as anyone who has worked in a particularly intense job knows, when the going gets tough you don't even have the time to get depressed, much less wonder whether to get up or not. Not that that's a good thing. It's just, well, how things are.

I've been wondering why did I start this website. No, I don't intend to delete it. What really do I want to say in this place which I meticulously crafted, as if it were a reflection of my very soul? I'm tired of myself, as always. I'm not saying such things to garner pity and have people reassure that yes, they do like what I write; I'm now far too self-aware for that. I'm asking this because I've been feeling like this for quite a while, and I haven't managed to find any proper answer. There may not be such a thing.

Self-expression is, by definition, an indulgent habit. It's smearing one's feelings and thoughts all over other people's faces, hoping that they'll care, or at the very least they'll read them. What makes one so sure that their thoughts are of interest to the general public? Nothing but some manner of self-confidence, I suppose. As I said, I'm not looking for pity. What I'm looking for is a meaning.

I don't wish to go on and on about this. It has been proven, by countless authors and artists throughout history, that self-expression can be a very good thing, even something that is remembered long after they died. They said things, and other people listened. To listen invariably means not to speak, and to pay attention to what is being said. It's a very hard thing in these advertising days, where every single action is an excuse to talk about a product, or a brand—and aren't we all brands nowadays? Isn't this furnace's brand of depressive rambling? I hate this idea, but I can scarcely deny it.

I do not wish to discourage people who have journals and who like to express themselves, even merely to vent at times. That is a good thing. I'm just a bit tired, I suppose. Time seems to be shorter and shorter; there's too little of it left to talk. I'm going to try listening, then. If for no other reason than to have a little less noise around, to have this world of industrial drills and jackhammers be just a bit quieter.

As such, do not expect updates in any consistent manner. Maybe someday I'll find the meaning I'm looking for, but maybe I won't. What happens then remains to be seen, I suppose.

June 02, 2021

The limits of freedom

Some days I wake up and I think that this is hell (thanks mr. Mertz!) It seems like nothing will ever change, like all I do is simply the work of Sisyphus, the greek myth dude condemned to roll a boulder up a hill again and again forever. Ironically I really feel like this whenever I'm actually having some progress in whatever I'm doing currently—be it working on my thesis, or practicing guitar, or even just cooking. Somehow I'm "happier" if I'm hopelessly depressed to the point that I can't even get out of bed, because then I at the very least don't have to see the big picture. The big picture is scary. I don't like seeing it.

I think this is due to a bunch of reasons, some really personal (thanks psychoanalysis!) and some not. But lately I've been thinking particularly about one of those reasons. As it turns out, I think we oftentimes suffer a lot from a "limit of imagination". What do I mean by that? I mean that the more we stay in a particular place, in a particular relationship perhaps, or even in a particular state of mind, the more it seems like it is the only way possible to do things—to the point of literally becoming incapable of imagining the ways things could be different. Let me try to be a little bit clearer: in my particular case, the more time I spent in university, the more I felt like this is the only way possible to do things, this is the only place, I shall be buried together with all these books, just kill me already, which is dramatic to say the least. The point though is not to spit on academia (which is quite often a fine thing to do) but to point out that, if we're not careful, we tend to actually start believing too hard in the situations we're in.

By staying in a particular way, the more it starts seeming like nothing else is feasible. And to a certain degree it's true; the older we get, the our possibilities become less varied; a baby can be anything, even an astronaut! And, conversely, it would be a tall order for me to get even a few feet off the ground. This is, of course, not quite the entire story; a very poor baby from a minority group would have a rather more difficult time becoming an astronaut (if it were at all possible) than a white baby from a rich family in a first world country. While yes, money is power and a possibility-granting magical tool, it is not everything. (It is important, though.) Still, to return to the point I was trying to make, to a certain degree it is always possible to change; we always have at least a tiny bit of freedom, even if it is no more than the freedom to change our stance towards something or someone—say, forgiving someone who you feel you ought to forgive (this is more or less the subject of the previous journal).

Sometimes this is a big thing. Like, just by looking differently at someone who might have had a terrible effect on our lives when we were younger, we might get out of their grasp (this is kinda, a bit, sorta, the idea behind psychoanalysis, more or less); someone who was a powerful tyrant might, under a different light, just turn out to be a bit of an unlucky pathetic sad sack of a person. In traumatic cases, this can be liberatory (or not, it depends). Or it may serve to rethink your own stance towards others.

The world is a big place, after all. Even when it seems like you're totally stuck in a rut, that no change will ever again be possible, it helps to remember that there are a lot of people that do a lot of different things out there. One of the podcasts that I listen to, Attack and Dethrone God Cast (which consists of extremely depressing ecological topics talked in a fun way), has a dude who lives in a yurt. Y'know, like a big round tent. Which at the first glance seems quite preposterous, but when you stop and think about it a little bit, isn't it perfectly reasonable, and perhaps even a good idea? How many of the things you have you actually need? In my case I know there are very few objects that I would be truly sad without. People are, after all, very adaptable. It helps, or at the very least it has helped me, to stop and think a bit about which things you can do without, or in which ways you can look differently at your responsibilities, or people you know, or whatever, in order to rid of these needless weights on your spirit that are, despite being invisible and intangible, very heavy indeed.

Or, if all I said sounds like complete nonsense, I'd just say that it's a good idea to think a bit about your relation to things and people you care about. You may make some interesting new discoveries, after all.

May 16, 2021

Oh my, nearly a month has gone by!

Hello, once again! Or maybe this is the first time you're reading this journal; if so, then welcome! I've been a bit neglectful here... though I want to write, inspiration is not always forthcoming. Should I try writing uninspired? Sure, I could, but hey, the point of making a website like this is to express myself when I actually feel like it, after all. What would be the point of making it into a dreary old obligation, done out of a harsh sense of duty? That'd be no fun, after all.

Or would it? I've been thinking a bit about this dimension of obligation, of duty, of things done for an-other. For most of my life I've thought of such things as dull, miserable, unfun labor. And sometimes it is, of course. But this is an unfair picture. Say, as an example, that you want to learn an art for yourself, be it drawing or playing an instrument or whatever. The motive is indeed your own, but there is plenty of drudgery work to be done with studying, practicing scales, and the like. And, conversely, it can be extremely rewarding to see the appreciation in other people's faces when you do something which makes their day a bit better.

I know, I know, this isn't exactly high-brow literature here. Hey, give me a break, this is my journal, not Tolstoy's Anna Karenina. I think I'm allowed to ramble a bit! The point I was trying to get to, though, is that the notion of "fun" (or "enjoyment", to be a bit more general) is not necessarily related to for whom the work is being done, but above all it is related to your relation to the work. The good news, though, is that, barring rather harsh scenarios, you can more or less change your relation to a particular effort. This, thankfully, I've been learning (better late than never!), though slowly, as always. Making an effort to put the work "upside-down", so to speak, can be very rewarding. What do I mean by that? I mean, quite simply, putting your reasoning upside down. Or, to be less abstract, to finding in your motive (not motivation!) something which is agreeable. You can look towards a particular effort as merely something which you do because it must be done—say, because you need to feed yourself—(and oftentimes this is unavoidable), but it can help a lot to find something in it which actually speaks to you, which makes sense. Alienated work, of course, kinda precludes that; but I'm surprised by how much latitude I often find in efforts which I previously thought miserable. In short, if you must do something, it sure helps to find in it a part which speaks to you in a deeper, more satisfying way. This is not complicated, and I'm sure I'm a bit late to this discovery, but eh, this isn't bad either.

April 22, 2021

The days pass by like forgotten clouds.

So, I'm here. And yet I'm not. The desire to write a whole bunch of stuff about a whole bunch of things fights against my current state and the state of the world. Sometimes writing feels like squeezing water from a rock; sometimes the words flow like an unimpeded river. I have often despaired here about my inability to do simple things, to get out of a generalized inertia that day by day seems to devour my soul and leave me like a stringless puppet, fallen by the wayside. Oftentimes this despair has seemed incomprehensible, from out of nowhere, like a poltergeist flinging objects around the room, and I, confused and battered by all manner of events, could do little more than cower and hope for it to pass. It has passed many times, but in a sense it also has never truly passed—not even a single time.

I'm a man of strange behaviors and habits, particularly prone to rationalizing everything under the sun, to finding reasonable explanations to anything and everything. This, in a sense, has been an attempt to treat everyone and everything fairly, under the same "shining light of reason", so to speak; or so I have told myself oftentimes. Truth is, many phenomena are not really explainable by means of crude reasoning and simple syllogisms, and too much has its roots in unreasonable and contradictory matters.

Why am I writing about this? Because it's more pertinent than ever to me. I have attempted many things in order to overcome what can be called a depression, though this is a abbreviation. Like a mouse trapped in a labyrinth, I have again and again gone in circles, repeating actions nonstop, as if I had been cursed by ancient magicks or bored gods. There's only so much one is capable of withstanding, and the dread of seeing oneself repeat actions without seemingly being able to do anything to stop them seems like a cruel joke, funny only to particularly sadistic deities. There's something quite sobering about such an experience, and the depths of depravity and disgust it can produce are remarkable; not something to be proud of, though.

I find it hard to write about this without sounding too dramatic or too grandiose; the nature of such neuroses make them loom larger than immense mountains, and the shadow they cast over one's mind is nearly all-encompassing. And yet, for once in my life, I feel like I have finally found a way out of this predicament. I do intend to properly write about this in a future revision of the "despair" article, but it should suffice to say that I have been arrogant in my dealings with myself (and with others). One's mind is not nearly as reliable an instrument as I have believed, and though this is an obvious enough observation to point out, it's remarkably hard to actually feel it. True self-understanding, therefore, is a virtue rare and precious, and one I now am attempting to finally attain. This, though, will be a very long journey. I hope not to bore the readers of this blog too much in this process; though, perhaps, and this is my wish in actually writing this here (as opposed to merely writing them in a dusty old notebook), it will be of use to someone in a similar predicament to me. If this does seem to be relevant to you, then I hope my somewhat fumbling and naive efforts will resonate, if even just a little bit.

April 14, 2021

Looks like I'm back, once more.

Hey. Long time no see. How have you been? I've been pretty shit. Depressed, messy, confused and bothered, overall these have been some rather hellish months. And yet, I found myself wanting to have a place to write about all sorts of nonsense. Indeed, this place was here before, but I was tired of the somber tone it seemed to exude; it made me tired even before starting. So I committed myself, once more, to remake the layout. I'm quite pleased with how it turned out, a bit more modern than before, and now sporting actual accessibility resources, if a bit sparse.

I would indeed love to hear opinions about the layout and the functionality. Did you like it? Is it too difficult to read? Are the background images too distracting? Is the font good? If you are using the accessibility settings, what do you think of them? Did I forget something important there? Also, do check out my new "review", I'm kinda proud of it.

Overall, I'm here to stay. I won't say this website is completely finished, but for now it'll stay in this way.