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Oct. 10th, 2016

I've been staring at this LJ app on my phone for the last 10 minutes. My head is full of thoughts and yet I have this hesitance to write any of them down. None of them seem tangible or strong enough to follow through on. They may as well be whispers on the wind.

A part of me is restless. I feel like I'm not doing enough, yet I also don't know what I should be doing. No matter what I throw myself into, it doesn't feel satisfying.

Ironically, my life is fairly peaceful. I fall into the same motions everyday. I go to work, I eat, I play video games, I sleep. It's definitely not a bad sort of life, but I don't feel like I'm accomplishing anything that is intrinsically worthwhile to me. It's like I'm just waiting to die, because I'm at this point where I can't imagine life getting any better.... simply because I don't know how to make it better.

Bigger house? Nah. A new car? Nah. Yes, they would make life "better" in a way, but I think they won't give me satisfaction. It's not enough of a reason to push myself. The last time I felt super motivated was when Ann was in my life. I desperately wanted to catch up to her, this girl who seemed to live such a drastically different lifestyle than me. She told me that I long since passed her professionally, but I don't know. It was never really about the status or the job positions. It was her personality that drew me to her. She showed me a life that I never imagined could exist. She was unafraid to be strong, and this made me believe that I could be myself and not be scared of who I was.

With her gone, I lost that fire that once pushed me beyond what I thought I could never do. I'm way past the point where I'm stuck on her being out of my life, but nothing has replaced the passion of living that I once felt when she was around.

I don't know what I'm chasing after these days. That's the problem. Maybe it's time to figure that out.

Oct. 2nd, 2016

It's harder making friends past a certain age. Probably because we're a lot pickier on what we want in a friend, and because of time limitations. Almost everyone I know that's my age is busy working, and the only thing they have time for is to grab a coffee (what makes it worse is that I don't drink coffee). We have to make plans based around our jobs, responsibilities, and our level of energy. It's just.... sad.
I read an interesting article about how being an introvert over the past few years has become "cooler" in a way. A lot of people are now perfectly accepting about staying home in their pajamas while their friends go out and party. Or spending a week inside their home with their car and posting pictures all over Instagram.

The interesting thing about the article is that it suggests that this "coolness" may have overextended itself to the point that introverted tendencies are rude. Like.... putting on headphones in a situation that requires you to talk to people may seem like a good escape for an introvert, but it's also a douchey move. Basically, the article says it's ok to be introverted, but at the same time we have to be realistic about it.

I think I've pretty much accepted my introverted personality at this stage in my life, and I'm fine with that. I know the best places to hide and get away from people if I need to. However, I find that I'm actually socially competent enough to go out of my shell and reach out to people if I need to. Sometimes I am hit with a combination of shyness and asocial feelings that I just want to hide away, but for the most part, I'm surprised that I actually like connecting with people (in small spurts).

I guess what I liked about the article is that it said that we don't always know what makes us happy. It cited how most people say they would prefer to be alone during a commute, but people are often the happiest when are they are able to connect briefly with a stranger. This has happened to me a countless number of times, usually while waiting for a bus that is late. It's usually comforting to know that someone is there who is experiencing the same thing that I am.

For these past years, as I tried to define myself and make my life more concrete, I felt that I knew what made me happy. Now I'm beginning to rethink that. Maybe there's more to life that's hidden away that I don't see because I'm not actually looking at it at the right angle. There HAS to be a way to step out beyond myself, beyond this life that feels so mundane sometimes.

How do I reach that place?
Man, the US feels really paranoid and toxic these days. Shootings and riots and bombings are almost a weekly thing, and that doesn't even include the local occurrences like gang confrontations and drug-related incidences. Feelings of racial hate have resurfaced and an air of xenophobia is slowly creeping its way around.

I feel like all of this is beyond me. I can't help it if some radicalized person wants to target me just because I live in the US, or if someone is angry at me because of my status or the color of my skin, or because of the possessions that I own. You can't very well be yourself and be innocent anymore.

To someone else that you've never met, you'll be always be the enemy, the distasteful "other," because you are you. Is that really in the nature of humanity? To hate? Funny thing is that I think the opposite can be true too. We can also love unconditionally, but even that could be a dangerous thing.

All of this makes me tired. It's so easy to feel hopeless. All I can do is live my life and defiantly show that it is worth living, even if it sometimes doesn't feel like it is.

So is this a date or....

I've been going out to stuff with this girl, but I really don't know what to think of it. The first time I met her, we kind of flirted a bit and her friends did the "awwww you two are so cute together" shtick. At the time, I was interested in getting to know her and I thought she was cute. But I was also drunk and feeling lonely at the time.

I asked her out a few times after that, but it was more in a friendly way. It was like... "Hey, you like so and so? Me too! Let's go do that sometime." We did, and it was cool, but now I'm getting a little scared each time we go out. I like being friends, and I don't want the relationship to become more. Even though I am curious what would happen if I asked her out seriously, I don't want to mess anything up between us.

Because I know getting to know someone is messy. Falling in love is messy. I'd rather not deal with that. They say it's better to have loved and lost then to not have loved at all. But I'm not scared of losing. I'm scared that I'm the one who will be doing the leaving.

Or maybe I'm misreading the whole context and this really is just a friendly thing. I really hope it's just that.

She asked me out this weekend, and I said yes. She told me she would bake cookies for me.

I'm scared.

Sep. 22nd, 2016

Sitting here at the pier watching the helicopter tours take off.

This week has been harsh. One of my supervisors passed away unexpectedly two days ago, and my friend/client's grandmother passed away this morning.

It's been awhile since I've given myself this chance to just sit, stare off into space, and think. Funny thing is that I don't know what to think about. I'm just tired.

The tide has risen a few inches since I first sat here. I have a meeting to go to in half an hour. The music from my iPhone has been on repeat for the past hour. The tourists fall in line to get to their next destination. I try to prepare my thoughts for the upcoming meeting. The music stops and repeats.

I wonder why I'm here.
I feel tired of a lot of things in life. I think I'm at that point where I've seen enough things that I don't get as easily surprised anymore. This is something I don't like about myself though. I hate this, my slightly apathetic reaction to things. I want to be surprised and inspired again. I want to believe that there's more to life than what's inside this boxed outlook I've trapped myself into.
Back in college, I had a curious desire to be a journalist. I wanted to go out into the unknown and write truthful stories about what I saw. I didn't really consider anything else besides that. I guess it was a good thing I never got into that profession. Like everything else in life, there were deeper considerations to think about that I only realized with time. There are all sorts of politics that go with a job, and I would have hated what I would have gotten into.

It's hard to say that times have changed when I consider what media has become, because I feel like a lot of these changes are cyclical and have already occurred in the past. Certainly, things like the Internet have changed the way media is dealt with, but I think it's actually broken up media into something that's easier to consume.

Twitter, Facebook, snap chat, outlets with can require less than a minute of your time in spurts, but something which you can spend hours obsessively checking throughout the day. I feel like it's a culture of OCD and ADHD. Your news is given to you in snippets, and your attention is won by sensationalist headlines that provoke you in some way. I got burned out on news like this after going through buzzfeed a few years ago. "7 ways your Vagina is like a goddess in spring after sex with your boyfriend" or "Are you a racist? One look at this picture and we can tell!" Clickbait, they call it. I was guilty of clicking articles like these every so often because they're fast and fun to read, but after awhile I just had enough. I can't imagine writing for a world like this.

Of course, the news and media are so much more than that. I'm not saying that's all the news is today. However, I think my ire is more against the culture of how people consume news and how that shapes/reshapes how news is reported.

I started to notice that my family and friends would quote headlines rather than delving deeper into underlying motivations and problems behind a written piece. To some extent, I think that's ok. I don't think everyone has the time, desire, or need to look further. However, it felt like the only way to consume news was through what was given to you on paper. "Donald Trump is racist because we say so!" "Hilary Clinton should be in jail!" These are such definitive statements that aren't typically diligently scrutinized. Yes, they are -responded- to, but it is different from actually looking deeper into it. There needs to be...more? I'm not content with just that.

There's very little follow-up in news media. We don't have enough time to process what we hear before it is on to the next thing. Once something is reported, it's forgotten. Maybe later, on its one year anniversary, we'll see a memorial piece about the event, but there is never ever any on-going report about what is happening. Maybe because in reality, real events require periods of time to develop, but consumer-media culture can't wait that long. It needs more sensationalism, right now. More headlines. More words to fill the emptiness.

I don't have any counter-solutions to this culuture. I feel like this is just another era in an infinite cycle. Maybe one day I'll see things differently, or maybe something will shake things up. I don't think I'm the only one who feels this way in the US though, and I think the way this current election year was covered in the news will open the eyes of others. Or maybe I'm the one with my eyes closed, I don't know. It's hard to see beyond the scope of myself. Maybe, just like me, that's the way the news media is as well.

Re-examining stuff

"I'm still broken."

The last few months have been tough. I went through a slight back injury and an eye infection. I was stuck in bed for a few days and I couldn't move much without struggling in pain. One day I decided to get drunk to help me get through the day, but it just added to this intense feeling that my life sucked (even though I didn't think this was true).

I tried asking friends for help, but I didn't know how to ask, and I don't think they knew how to help me. All of them were far away, so all I could do was text or call them, and I was subconsciously angry at them for not being physically where I was. But I knew I couldn't expect more from them. Back in my mind, I knew I was angry at my life now, how I was back in the same position I was years ago without any friends who were physically present. It just added to my loneliness along with everything else that was going on in my life.

Now that my injury is gone, I'm feeling in better spirits. I haven't been drinking as much and I fixed up some other things in my life that needed fixing. I'm still sort of friendless, with the exception of one friend that I've made.

My work life is actually really good. I'm on good terms with my coworkers and supervisors. The program is going well and I'm getting good reviews. However, I think I realized I need a goal outside of work. Most of my energy has been focused on making my work goals succeed, but when I get home I'm exhausted. I don't have much to look forward to when I go home, and it literally feels like a place I stop at before I go back to work the next day. I -need- a life outside of work. When I was in school, that need was filled by going out with "A" and the rest of my friends. Now I need something else in my life, and this renewed lack of friends leaves an empty gap.

Funny thing is that I'm not alone. My phone is filled with text messages from friends far away. I just miss having a part of my life that's not restricted to a virtual world within my phone or computer..... or through the headset on my PS4.

It's the after-lunch crash and I'm exhausted. I still have 3 hours left for work, but it's sort of a dead moment right now. I'm fighting the urge to fall asleep as I stare into my phone pretending to be busy. I figure the best way to do this is to type -anything- into my phone, and LJ is the best place to do so. This is probably the worst part of my job, when there is literally nothing to do but you are still expected to look busy. I can't wait till the school semester starts again and I can get back into the regular program.
But maybe I need to stop thinking that someone will save me.