This Past Week Has Been Terrifying

Hayes_Hall_drawing_classroom,_The_Ohio_State_University_(2)

I have moved back into college and it already feels like I’ve been here for a long time–weeks, really. I am upset and antsy at the fact that things aren’t moving faster, that I’m still entering my syllabi into my calendar and I’m not feeling flooded with work yet or working late on an essay. I crave the thick of it all so badly–the waiting period is so lonely. Should I call this person? When will I see him or her again?–should I wait until class and there’s work to do and events to go to or just reach out? The idea of reaching out sucks, so I just want it to be in the middle.

And then I go feeling sorry for myself. Waaahhh, I’m so alone. No one wants to hang out with me. I just want someone to hang out with. Or to eat dinner with or laugh with or lay in silence with. But the thing is, there are people. There are. I can hang out with them if I want. It’s just that I came here with that mentality already engraved in me, and I’m surprised enough that there are people who are available that it weighs on me. All the work it will take. So I go on alone. I walk around alone. I work out alone. I eat lunch alone. I don’t text anyone. I go to the library alone. I lay out in the grass alone. I leave my apartment in silence and return that way. And I’ll feel lonely about it all, but I won’t do anything.

I miss Bo and that makes me seethingly angry. I don’t really miss him, I miss the idea of him. But that’s still vaguely related to him and so it makes me think of him and the fact that he is a human being that I shared experiences with and I want to share more experience with–despite the fact that this person I want to share experiences with not the one I’m imagining. Does that make any sense, Reader? I’ve referenced this novel before, but maybe the fact that I hated Paper Towns by John Green (or it was my least favorite Green book, to be more accurate), is because I relate to it too goddamn much. The thing is, the end sucked, because I know Q will still think of Margo. He’ll still think of her and daydream of her but it’s not her and it’s stupid as shit.

I have trouble sleeping at night and getting up and talking on the phone to my parents and just generally moving and thinking and eating but, if you were to look at a file of me in the past week, I’m doing just fine. it’s not liking I’m doing badly. I’m making it to work semi on time. I’ve only really missed two classes, and they weren’t because of blatant disregard. Okay, maybe it was, but it was because I’m fucking depressed, and when you’re fucking depressed, your mind blatantly disregards that which you want.  I’m eating. I’m even starting to exercise! I’m very kind and positive while at work and while in class. I don’t zone out and I’m diligent and I’ve gotten any work done ahead of time.

But what is most important is that I am thinking relatively positive. Well, maybe not thinking positive per say, but I’m able to work out positive spins on things, which before, was like trying to speak German–I just don’t know how. It’s okay that I was a few minutes late because I ate a bowl of cheerios and it’s more important that I eat and I feel a lot of energy for that. I saw a helicopter in the air today, and it went the direction of the hospital, and I thought “man, someone is sick or in urgent need probably and I’m sad that someone is sick and that people are sick and for their family members.” (NOTE: I don’t know why I just don’t see a helicopter, and think, hey, a helicopter. As harmful as my statistics teacher taught me it is, I am an adherent of extrapolation,  a devil who toys with correlation without causation) But then I thought, wow, how great it is that we have all this technology to transport people and if someone is in the helicopter on the edge of life, they have a good chance of surviving because that helicopter went overhead and has taken them to a place where they can get care.

I know there is no recipe to fixing depression, but I am learning these new skills and that is great. So, although the title of this post makes it sound bad, I’ll end it on this positive note of me showing some improvement or cause for improvement.

But, to be honest, that’s actually pretty terrifying too.

Essay: Ideals of 17th Century Writers

Here is an essay I wrote in the 12th grade. It is a comparison essay looking at different pieces of literature and the values they embody, and it is a very strong essay as far as understanding how to write this type of essay. There may be some historical mistakes. This essay was written for the AP English Literature class. Some of the authors/works referenced include: Macbeth, the Cavalier Poets, Petrach, Spenser, Jonson, Paradise Lost, John Donne. There is no citation page of these references because we read using an anthology, and were not required to do so because of this. I received an A on this essay.

17 September 2012

The Creation of Everlasting Values: Ideals of 17th Century Writers

            “Love is madness.” “The King is power.” “God is universal.” Today, these three statements sound familiar and common enough. However, it was only through the hard work of writers in the 17th century that such ideas were first introduced and pressed into the minds of the everyday people. Early writers of “English Renaissance” were living in changing, tumultuous times. Using the themes and ideals most important to them, these writers reflected their thoughts on such subjects in their poems, plays, essays, and more. As demonstrated in many prominent pieces of literature, writers of the 17th century most valued the prestige of the monarchy, the varying concept of love, and the importance of the church.

Queen Elizabeth I came to be one of the most able and prestigious rulers in English history. It was during her reign that the people of England began to highly value the righteous power of the monarchy once more, a theme reflected in much of the literature of the same period. In Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Macbeth is very hesitant to murder the King and lists his reasons for feeling that way. He states first that he is “his kinsman and subject” and praises Duncan’s rule as “so clear in his great office” (357). Macbeth is afraid to kill Duncan mostly because he is the rightful King and Macbeth would be betraying his role a loyal subject. As Shakespeare demonstrated through Macbeth’s values, loyalty to the throne was seen as an obvious quality of a good, renaissance man. Citizens and writers alike strove to be as full of class and prestige as the royals were. This is seen in Ben Jonson’s rules that governed his tribe of Ben, when he asks only for “learned, civil, and merry men b’invited” (Jonson). The importance of prestige and sophistication likened to that of Queen Elizabeth is demonstrated here and in other works of the Cavalier poets, who believed very much in class and loyalty to the throne. It is clear that many writers of the English Renaissance both valued and respected their country’s monarchy.

17th century writers, particularly poets, explored the complex topic of love. Edmund Spenser wrote about a painful but powerful love in “Sonnet 30”, saying “such is the pow’r of love in the gentle mind, that it can alter the course of kind” (Spenser 312). He used themes such as “fire” and “ice.” To these poets, love was seen as something as powerful and complex as that which God had made—nature. William Shakespeare also took use of nature in his sonnets when he discussed a blind love. In Sonnet 18, he compared his love to “a summer’s day” and said his love was “more lovely and more temperate” (318). However, it was likely Francesco Petrarch that wrote about the most breathtaking love. He described the beauty of his love as “a heavenly spirit, a living sun” (Petrarch 328). Although the love explored in the 17th century sonnets was diverse and varied, it was undeniably an important ideal of their literature.

Despite changing ideas and new philosophies concerning God, 17th century writers still emphasized the importance of the church. In John Milton’s “Paradise Lost,” the author sought to “justify the ways of God to men” (488). Milton spoke of the “infinite goodness, grace, and mercy” that can be brought forth by the followers of God and enemies of Satan (493). He pleaded that the church and its ideas were still important to every aspect of living. Milton’s famous piece was not the only to express this lament. In his Meditation 17, John Donne, a metaphysical poet, spoke of an all-encompassing church. He writes that “the church is catholic, universal, so are all her actions; all that she does belongs to all (514).” He goes on to say that all things are connected through the church, and that all actions the church does affects each one of its members. The idea of a dominant and essential church is a significant ideal in the writing of the English Renaissance.

The writers of the English Renaissance and 17th century looked at the world around themselves to find inspiration for their writing. They looked to their queen, their lovers, and their God and created not just pieces of literature but values and ideals. The ideas that the writers and poets first established are still discussed and debated in today’s time. It is through their writing that alluded so apparently to the prestige of their royals, the diverse and complex concept of love, and the ever powerful church that the 17th century writers laid the foundation for the values and topics that still affect people today.

Life is Like Riding a Bicycle

Things have been harsh these past few days. I had some low points and felt really alone. I ended up messaging Bo, and it was a waste of my time. I asked him why he cut me off and he said that he couldn’t handle being told all the time how awful he was. I told him he wasn’t awful, and that I was, but that’s a lie. He simply didn’t understand my condition and I simply acted that way because of it. I told him sometimes you try to throw things away and then they don’t go away, and you just end up breaking, and I had broken a bit just then. He said our relationship was over and that he was really happy right now, it was for the best “ya know?” (I hate that phrase.)

I told him that actually the “it” I threw away that I was talking about wasn’t the relationship, it was him. It was frustrating that I still cared about him as much as I’d tried to ignore him. Then he said “oh, I understand,” but he came out looking like an idiot for thinking I was talking about the relationship.

But he didn’t understand, so I said to him it was just that I sometimes saw him as this little boy, and I wanted to know how the little boy was doing.

So what do I mean by this? When I first met Bo he was such a secret, his real self was so hidden from everyone else and it was amazing. There’s this quote by Bob Marley that went

Only once in your life, I truly believe, you find someone who can completely turn your world around. You tell them things that you’ve never shared with another soul and they absorb everything you say and actually want to hear more. You share hopes for the future, dreams that will never come true, goals that were never achieved and the many disappointments life has thrown at you. When something wonderful happens, you can’t wait to tell them about it, knowing they will share in your excitement. They are not embarrassed to cry with you when you are hurting or laugh with you when you make a fool of yourself. Never do they hurt your feelings or make you feel like you are not good enough, but rather they build you up and show you the things about yourself that make you special and even beautiful. There is never any pressure, jealousy or competition but only a quiet calmness when they are around. You can be yourself and not worry about what they will think of you because they love you for who you are. The things that seem insignificant to most people such as a note, song or walk become invaluable treasures kept safe in your heart to cherish forever. Memories of your childhood come back and are so clear and vivid it’s like being young again. Colours seem brighter and more brilliant. Laughter seems part of daily life where before it was infrequent or didn’t exist at all. A phone call or two during the day helps to get you through a long day’s work and always brings a smile to your face. In their presence, there’s no need for continuous conversation, but you find you’re quite content in just having them nearby. Things that never interested you before become fascinating because you know they are important to this person who is so special to you. You think of this person on every occasion and in everything you do. Simple things bring them to mind like a pale blue sky, gentle wind or even a storm cloud on the horizon. You open your heart knowing that there’s a chance it may be broken one day and in opening your heart, you experience a love and joy that you never dreamed possible. You find that being vulnerable is the only way to allow your heart to feel true pleasure that’s so real it scares you. You find strength in knowing you have a true friend and possibly a soul mate who will remain loyal to the end. Life seems completely different, exciting and worthwhile. Your only hope and security is in knowing that they are a part of your life.”

And that’s how it felt to be with Bo, 100%. And I can never forget that. So that’s the person I think of.

There’s a lot of problems with this, especially in that 1) it would terrible if this only happened once 2) you end up idolizing a person, who is, in the end, just a person. If you have ever read Paper Towns by John Green you will understand the parlous nature of this.

The fundamental mistake I had always made – and that she had, in fairness, always led me to make – was this: Margo was not a miracle. She was not an adventure. She was not a fine and precious thing. She was a girl.”

And

What a treacherous thing to believe that a person is more than a person.”

Indeed it is. I told Bo it sucks because instead of the answer from the little boy on how he’s doing, I get the answer from him, and I hate him. Yes, I really told him that. I didn’t say all those things though, like how it is so immensely wrong for me to think of him as that little boy in the first place, and to hate him for not being that, and to treacherously consider even for a millisecond that he is anything more than just a boy.

I corrected myself quickly though and said I do love him too, and reminded him I’m here if he ever needs anything, and he said he knows. I said I may continue to check on him like this for years. And then I said I was sorry for messaging him so out of the blue, and that I have felt very alone and had no one to talk to. He said “no worries” which is a phrase he likes to text, and then asked me if I’m going back to school. I said yes soon, and he said “Same!” I shook my head to myself without actually shaking my head and relieved him by saying he doesn’t have to pretend to talk to me if he’s tired (what I meant was, he doesn’t have to pretend to talk to me because I just said I wanted someone to talk to), and we said take care and goodnight, and today, unfortunately, I still hate him.

I really have felt quite alone. Soon I will be moving into my new apartment for the semester and it terrifies me. I was supposed to meet up with a friends but was entirely stood up. No one else I talked to had replied to my messages. I think most of my friends are flaky, except maybe one or two, and then I think about why this is. It reminds me of the last episode in Sherlock BBC, where (SPOILERS) John Watson wonders why he just ends up with psychopaths, why everyone he loves, including his wife, has turned out to be a psychopath.

John Watson: (panting with rage against Mary) I’ve got a better question: is everyone I’ve ever met a psychopath?
Sherlock Holmes: Yes. Good that we’ve settled that. Now–
John Watson: SHUT UP!! And stay shut up, because this is not funny. Not this time.
Sherlock Holmes: I didn’t say it was funny.
John Watson: (turns to Mary) You. What have I ever done? Hmm? My whole life, to deserve you?
Sherlock Holmes: Everything.
John Watson: (steps towards Sherlock threateningly) Sherlock, I told you. Shut up.
Sherlock Holmes: No, I mean it. Seriously. Everything, everything you’ve ever done is what you did.
John Watson: Sherlock, one more word and you will not need morphine.
Sherlock Holmes: You were a doctor who went to war. You’re a man who couldn’t stay in the suburbs for more than a month without storming a crack den, beating up a junkie. Your best friend is a sociopath who solves crimes as an alternative to getting high. That’s me, by the way. (waves hand) Hello. Even the landlady used to run a drug cartel […] (losing patience) John, you’re addicted to a certain lifestyle! You’re abnormally attracted…to dangerous situations and people, so is it truly such a surprise that the woman you’ve fallen in love with conforms to that pattern?
John Watson: (voice breaking) But she wasn’t supposed to be like that. Why is she like that?
Sherlock Holmes: Because you chose her.
John Watson: Why is everything…always…MY FAULT!?!? 

So I guess I can understand where John is coming from. I’m just as flaky as my friends. But have I really gone so far as to totally not reply, not even make up an excuse for not showing up? Maybe I have. I didn’t realize how terrible it felt. This is something I should work on.

Things are getting better now. The low had passed. I feel better now. It’s going to be okay.

I gave in and decided to do that thing where you post image quotes at the end of your post.

________
Einstein print taken from this blog–though not sure who original creator is.
This Sherlock episode was called “His Last Vow.” You can find quotes from other episodes on Wikiquote, where I took it from.
What’s that you say? Who is John Green? What is Paper Towns? Isn’t it a movie now?

Tomorrow’s Make Everything Better

What am I What am I doing, What am I What am I Saying

Soon I will be leaving home and I feel like I need to finish all the projects I started but never finished within a week. I know this won’t happen because once I finish one I’ll think of another I hadn’t finished that I forgot about and I’ll do that too.

Lately I’ve been doing okay. I slept very well last night but tonight I am still awake–but that’s mostly my fault. I’m catching up on TV shows before I have to leave home. Don’t worry, I’m just waiting for this to buffer and I will be fully asleep by 1:45.

Today was one of those days that I couldn’t wait to end. I have this phrase–“Tomorrow make everything better.” If you just go to sleep and wake up in the morning often the fears and arguments will be washed away, or at least that’s how it’s been in my household. My parents argue a lot and so everyone will start arguing. The feelings that get hurt don’t necessarily never get brought up again, but the next day everything mellows, everything is better. I think that’s where I first came up with that thought. It was one of those bad days with my parents arguing and crying and shouting and I knew the next day they would go on as if it had never happened, and I just wanted so badly for it to be tomorrow. I wanted to sleep and wake up and move on.

In another way, those who are struggling know the phrase “time heals all wounds.” Often the problem I have with the time advice, which I’ve heard over and over and over and over and over and I tire of it, is that after a while of hearing it, I realized, but, what am I supposed to do in between? Time heals everything. But how much time? What should do I while I wait? I will wait, I will, but what should I do while I wait? It’s frustrating to wait, and I don’t try to speed it up if it can’t be, but what should I do? What should I do in between?

Eventually, after months of that thought, thinking that I am stuck in the “in between” I thought, when will I know? In our minds we can sometimes imagine ourselves recovering from things. Surely, in five years, I will have another dog, and I will have gotten over the death of Spot. But then the mourning keeps on going and you wonder, how will I know when it’s time to stop grieving, or when I will be able to stop grieving? When will I recover?

I think that’s what led me to start this whole thing of writing anyway–I realized I couldn’t handle this depression. It was eating me and I hate it and I want to get rid of it so bad so bad so bad and I am ready to get rid of it. I’m ready for it to go away and I want it to go away (sometimes, when you’re depressed, you’re not really sure whether or not you want it to go away, but I do at this point.). So I tried to ask, what am I looking for? And there was no answer. Yes, I understand the concept of gradual healing but when will I be able to say “I had depression.” or “I recovered from a mental illness.” ? If you have a broken arm, it heals, and they can do another X-ray or check it or whatever and your arm is obviously alright again. But how about people like us? When do we know?

That is the itching question I have on my mind.

So, tomorrows make everything better. I think I liked that phrase so much better because tomorrow is not time. Tomorrow is an increment. Something I can have control of reaching, a tomorrow, not so infinite and unrestrained as time. With tomorrows I am not in a waiting room, trapped. Tomorrows are tomorrows. They’ll be there and they will make it better. What an amazing concept, a tomorrow is.

Maybe I should just go to sleep

Essay: Two Thomas Jeffersons

Essay I wrote for an AP US History class in 11th grade. Written at mediocre high school level and may have some discrete plagiarism because of this. Cited in old MLA style, probably incorrectly.

13 October 2011

The Two Thomas Jeffersons: Anti-Federalist and President

“WE hold these Truths to be self evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness…”

Most are familiar with these words printed by Thomas Jefferson in the 1776 Declaration of Independence. Most are familiar with these words printed by Thomas Jefferson in the 1776 Declaration of Independence. This great American patriot made a simple statement establishing America’s hopes, but the author himself may not have been so simple. In reality, Thomas Jefferson was a walking contradiction. He held strong Anti-Federalist views at the start of America’s making that were soon contorted when he was elected President. Jefferson’s hypocrisies ran both political and personal, stemming out to views as sensitive as slavery. Although he is revered in history as a brilliant, untouchable superhero, analyzing Thomas Jefferson’s character shows that he was nothing more than a regular human being desperately wrestling with his own views.

As a patriot during America’s making, Thomas Jefferson had strong views for his future country. While the historic Constitution was being argued in favor for, Jefferson was still in favor of keeping the weak Articles of Confederation as the main legal code. The Articles ensured his dream of strong state governments rather than one strong central government. Self-sufficiency, self-government, and individual responsibility, were, in the Jeffersonian view, among the most important ideals that formed the basis of the American Revolution. He wanted a small, agrarian country that could not be subjugated to the “economic manipulation” of movements such as the Industrial Revolution. This ideal went in hand with Jefferson’s support of America’s isolation from other European countries. He deeply believed in avoiding “entangling alliances,” (as Washington had hoped) thought downsizing the military would make America the model for a more diplomatic approach to foreign policy. Within his personal views, Jefferson was deeply fascinated by the Native American culture. He knew deep down slavery was wrong and wrote statements against it, first in “Notes on the State of Virginia” and again repeated times. Overall, it is with these deep Anti-Federalist views that Jefferson aroused enough support to stir the first makings of political parties, pitting the Hamiltonians (Federalists) against his Democratic-Republican thoughts.

Although principles of Jeffersonian democracy are clearly outlined even to this day, the person who was most in conflict with these views was more often than not Jefferson himself. To use a contemporary phrase, Thomas Jefferson was quite a flip-flopper. His first case of disregarding old views came when Jefferson eventually supported the Constitution and advocated for strict interpretation of it. The original opponent to an Executive Branch, it was Jefferson who became president in 1801. Once in office, Jefferson found out the realities of President and the global world were far different than what he had plans for. It was in 1803 that Napoleon offered him the territory of Louisiana and a chance to double the size of America for a mere 15 million dollars. Jefferson was immediately at conflict. He had wanted a small society for America, but the offer was too grand to pass up. He eventually agreed to the purchase, and didn’t even wait for a Constitutional amendment to make the decision legal despite his adherence to follow the Constitution closely. But that was not the only time Jefferson was in argument with himself. At the start of his term, the president had greatly downsized the military—arguing that America didn’t need it. But it was attacks from Tripolian pirates that forced Jefferson to create the wimpy “mosquito fleet” and go after the North African states in the first Barbary War. In his second term, Jefferson became even more mixed up in the politics of the world. The biggest political contradiction to his original views and perhaps the president’s largest mistake was the unpopular Embargo Act of 1807. America had become a victim in Britain and France’s constant bickering. It’s ports were used by them to acquire supplies and food stuffs despite America’s neutrality in their wars. In response, Jefferson closed all the country’s exports from his country. He had single-handedly enlarged the federal power he condemned so much and intruded on state and capital rights. The embargo especially hurt the farmers he had been so found of, more so than Britain and France themselves. Under his sleeve, many were forced to open new factories to improve the failing economy, thus bringing the Industrial Revolution further into America. This final act of his presidency removed all of Jefferson’s hallmark views and posed him to be very separated from the original Anti-Federalist views.

Thomas Jefferson was constantly in argument with himself, but perhaps his greatest contradictions lie in personal issues. Jefferson supported the yeoman farmer but was a plantation owner himself. He wanted the common man to rule the country but argued that only truly educated people should be allowed to vote. He loved the culture of Native Americans and wanted peaceful integration with them but ended up taking over their land and identity. More famous than any, Jefferson, who was a staunch opponent of slavery, owned about 200 slaves in a typical year. All of his inherited slaves were of the Hemings’ family; Jefferson freed only two of them during his lifetime and five in his will. DNA evidence points toward the idea the Jefferson even had an affair with one of his slaves—Sally Hemings. It was clear he had a personal, conflicted view toward slavery. Morally, he knew it was wrong and described it to be an “abominable crime.” However, he did believe Africans to be racially insuperior and realized the vitality of slaves to the economy. More than any issue, Jefferson proved to be very confused on his standing with slavery, and eventually died still a slave-holder. Despite saying that “all men were created equal,” Jefferson was very confused as to who should apply to “all men.”

Thomas Jefferson is considered to be one of the greatest figures in America’s history. However, it is clear Jefferson is not the brilliant superhero so many have endowed him to be. Instead, Thomas Jefferson was a deeply conflicted man, in both his views and his personal life. As President, his stands changed dramatically than from when he was a simple patriot rooting for state’s rights and a small country. He was often conflicted by what he deep down thought was morally wrong and what society and personal issues needed. Although it is without a doubt true he did much for the country, Thomas Jefferson was nothing more than a regular man, constantly at war with himself and his doctrines. This character is common and one that will be seen much throughout history and even in today’s political sphere. Above his great accomplishments, Jefferson’s contradictory archetype will not make him forgotten any time soon.
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Works Cited

Alderton, Matt. “Thomas Jefferson: Hero or Hypocrite? .” National Underground Railroad Freedom Center [Cincinatti] 5 Aug. 1929: 3. Print.

Bailey, Thomas Andrew, David M. Kennedy, and Lizabeth Cohen. The American pageant. 11th ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1998. Print.

Bos, Carol D.. “A Man of Contradictions.” Thomas Jefferson. Online: AwesomeStories, 2008. 15. Print.

Patterson, Orlando. “Jefferson the Contradiction.” The New York Time [New York City] 2 Nov. 1998, sec. Opinion: Online. Print.

The Real Thomas Jefferson. Dir. Education Discovery. Perf. N.A.. Discovery Education, 1997. Film.

“Thomas Jefferson IS a hypocrite?.” Yahoo! Answers. Yahoo!, n.d. Web. 10 Nov. 2011. <answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20071211160719AAjkxhs>.

Wikipedia Contributors . “Jeffersonian democracy.” Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Nov. 2011. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeffersonian_democracy&gt;.

monticello.org . “Thomas Jefferson and Slavery.” Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello. Monticello and the University of Virginia, n.d. Web. 10 Nov. 2011. <http://www.monticello.org/site/plantation-and-slavery/thomas-jefferson-and-slavery&gt;.

monticello.org. “Brief Biography of Thomas Jefferson « Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello.” Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello. Monticello and the University of Virginia, n.d. Web. 10 Nov. 2011. <http://www.monticello.org/site/jefferson/brief-biography-thomas-jefferson&gt;.

University of California. “Jefferson’s Embargo.” HippoCampus. The Regents of the University of California, n.d. Web. 10 Nov. 2011. <http://www.hippocampus.org/course_locator?course=AP%20US%20History%20I&lesson=21&topic=1&width=800&height=684&topicTitle=Jefferson’s%20Embargo&skinPath=http://www.hippocampus.org/hippocampus.skins/default&gt;.

WTF Thomas Jeff?

In my head I consider characters from history as if they are characters from an old book. I have to say one of the weirdest characters ever is Thomas Jefferson, and I can spend a large portion of my day just thinking about WTF was up with this guy. What did you want, man? Slavery or not? Agrarian society or big one? French Revolution or none? Recognize Haiti or fuck em? Loyalty to Adams or not really? Enlightenment thought or just an idealist? What was up with this guy? Seriously no one has him figured out.

I can’t say whether or not Jefferson was an overall bad guy, even thought he did some bad stuff. He made such large contributions to America, in my opinion deserves more credit in shaping American thought and culture than any other “founding father.”

As I flew back home yesterday, I looked out the window and observed the Midwest farmland, and this is what I saw:

If you look at aerial views of other countries, you won’t see such a prominent grid. This system of land surveying was the brainchild of Jefferson. Of course, there are others that deserve credit: William Penn and Oglethorpe are two I can think of right away. But how weird is it that so much of our American landscape, the way our country looks, is due to the notes of one man?

Then again there’s the age old question: Jefferson, were you racist or not? This begs the questions if whether or not racism should have a different definition for that time period. I’m sure the slaves who lived through that would think there shouldn’t be–racist is racist. You own slaves, you aren’t fully supporting equality of “all men.” And then there’s Sally Hemmings. The answer to one yes or no question (was it totally consensual or not?) can completely change our view of Jefferson. Martha, why did you have to die so young?

I’ve decided on a new project for this site: posting some of my old academic essays. They can be from years ago and for many of them, the quality isn’t that great–but I think I’ll post them up someplace. We’ll be starting with junior year AP History, and of course, Jefferson. I’ll edit this one later for a link. EDIT: link to essay

“I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery.”

“A government is best which governs the least, because it’s people discipline itself.”

“It is always better to have no ideas than false ones; to believe nothing than to believe what is wrong.”

Thomas Jefferson

Mental Engineering–with friends!

Endless Repetition
Endless Repetition

I’ve been visiting family. I know my parents were worried about family politics beforehand—both of them talked to my sisters and me about it. They had different fears.

But without thinking every moment here has been a calculated hello, thank you, kiss on each cheek!, a hug there, a thank you there, a snarky comment to make everyone giggle. I know it so well. It’s like a machine—or maybe rather mechanics in my brain. Several mechanics, engineers really, working on what to say when, taking cues, copying others movements, and inputting and then outputting what is best. I am socializing. This is me socializing.

So, sometimes I guess it can be conscious doing, however around these relatives and around these people of this culture there’s a special way to talk that turns on like a motion sensor light switch, except these people are what is sensed and I am the motion. These people are gossips and can ruin our lives! But who cares? My parents do. And that’s it. Those are the only people through which I can care about caring about what I do, and my engineers are on their payroll now. Once upon a time it was just a thing I always did but I broke.

So here’s the question: Am I happy? It’s either yes, I am,  or at least I’m enjoying myself or too busy to contemplate on my sadness (hint, it’s the latter). Yeah, I can live like this. It’s not so much work, right? Right. I mean I’m sure the engineers need a break and I will give them those—in solitude. But why? Why do this? Why live letting your mind be controlled by the engineers created to please others or keep the peace or mind someone else’s thoughts?

So many people in my family just dislike each other for no real reason. They’ll use anything to dislike one another! Never does someone have an excuse or is allowed to do something wrong with forgiveness. Never can someone just have a bad day or have been through a lot or just be the way they are. Never can someone just want privacy every once in a while or do something embarrassing without being blamed. How are these people living?

Okay, that was just a diss on my family. Now, back to my own thoughts. I let socializing go. Now, I’m bad at people. This trip, I’ve worked really hard to be good at people and I have been, I can be, I just don’t want to. I’m okay with hating people. I’m okay with not being good at making friends. I’m okay with wanting to be alone and letting myself scream and get overwhelmed easily despite the fact that I can handle it if I tried. I don’t want to.

When I acknowledge the inherent toxicity of people, I feel healthier. This doesn’t mean that I can’t have friends or relationships. It’s just that I can learn to live knowing I can’t fully live using engineers. I can be  scared and childish and that’s okay, that’s who I really am. Frankly, if we all REALLY knew another person, it’s almost assured that we would hate them, because we all really suck (maybe that’s why families fight). Not entirely related to REALLY knowing another person but easily confused with, there’s also a beautiful power in expressing what you feel and allowing vulnerability.

I could never really last long in this web of taking cues and hellos and thank you’s at the right moment and goodbyes and I apologizes when needed and saying this and that at just the right moment. 

The toxicity of people is a factor for my depression.

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Endless Repetition by Michael Pardo | Flickr
The artist writes as a caption for this picture: Mathematically dividing the number 1 by the number 3 results in a number that cannot be written with a finite amount of digits (one would have to continue to write additional threes after the decimal place without ever stopping). However it is possible to divide the number 1 by the number 2 and finish writing digits very quickly (0.5). This is the reason that was provided by a high school physics teacher to prove the it was impossible to divide anything into equal thirds, but possible to divide things into equal halves. […]