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Saturday, December 13, 2014

ma ei saa aru

i want to know so many things. what you did to "work on" things, and which things, and what was wrong with them.. i want to know what makes you happy now, and what you're reading, and if it's any good. i want to know if work is much different in the holiday season, and what you were busy with the past few days.

but more than that, i want you to want to tell me. and it's hard to just accept that that desire is gone somewhere, somehow. it was so strong, and the smallest things gave me so much happiness, little conversations, sunset pictures, "come here"s, angry faces, recordings, even broken phone calls.

i want to know where the old you went, and why she left, and how it's possible that you can think of me daily, but not want to talk to me. i want to know whether any of the closeness we had was of any real substance; and, if it was, then how did it just evaporate like it was only a dream? i want to understand why our friendship is no longer important to you.

but more than that, i want you to actually be my friend. thinking of someone, even positively, doesn't make a friendship. despite finally having a 'good' conversation again, i still don't really know what you want. or why you want it.

you spoke to me first (i mean in the very beginning). and whenever i stopped talking, you re-kindled our conversation, even if years had passed. when you messaged me in 2012, you had to do so twice to get a real response from me, but you kept talking. i lacked anything good; my whole inner world was dark, and you still wanted a peek inside.

you broke through my apathy and exhaustion, and tangled your thoughts and feelings with mine, and the tangle grew dense and bright and started giving off its own heat, and i was enlivened, and i don't understand how that can all vanish so suddenly.



i don't understand how you can be okay with this happening to me, as if we never exchanged more than a few comments on each other's blogs. as if we never changed each other's lives.

and i don't know how to accept the way things are, without you

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

kryptonite

i've been thinking about the whole story, start to finish. seems like unexplained disappearances are part of a pattern, and i'm starting to put other pieces together, also... and i'm realizing what a horrible combination this is: my lust for understanding, and your lack of interest in explanations (even for your own sake).

"why?" - "because that's how things are."

it isn't actually an answer... or, if it is, then it's an obfuscation of "i don't know and i'm not willing to do what it would take to figure it out, if it's even possible to figure it out."

i don't see this changing any time soon, so (and now i'm taking the derivative, which is great because it means my own advice isn't completely useless) even if i were to find a few answers in the here and now, there would be more mysteries to come. there would be more inexplicable, painful situations. i suspect there always will be. (and, perhaps he is the only one who doesn't have to deal with those from you... if so, then he is even more fortunate than i'd thought, which is saying something.)

anyway: my point is that i have a decision to make. if you deign to come back around eventually, my response (as per default) will be to cry like a little girl and rejoice, and take whatever i can get in the way of friendship. but, if that does happen, i want it to be different this time: i want to go into it with my eyes open.

strong friendships need commitment like any other kind of relationship does. without it, yeah, it can still be fun or whatever... but it'll buckle under pressure. so, this is the choice i have to make: am i willing to tie myself to someone who skedaddles when things get too difficult? am i ready to deal with that pattern, possibly ad infinitum? or, in the wise words of her eminenceypoo the Lady Frost,
"will damaging yourself be worth it to her, you, or your values, even if shitty circumstances worsen or continue? ... I'm sure you know well enough the difference between sacrifice and allowance for damage or abuse."


and maybe others wouldn't consider this mistreatment. but i have been over and over it, big picture and minute details as well, and i can't find any other way to label it. it's true that i'm especially sensitive to it (because of recent events), but it's also true of me personality-wise: when i do decide to let someone in, especially as close as i let you, it's a really REALLY big deal. i'm basically making you my kryptonite.

in fact i should probably be thankful i'm so far away, because being near you would make these decisions and this distance fifty times as difficult.

~     ~     ~

so yeah, i thought it over, and i have re-realized there are ways to accept the distance without letting the coals cool completely. and that i can be left out in the cold without freezing to death (see "torpid"). there are ways for me to manage the pain and maybe even overcome the arational resentment. there are ways for me to wait for your possible return without bleeding out pointlessly.

and, more to the point of this post: there are ways for me to accept you the way you are. though, i am a little disappointed that loving someone and accepting all of their behaviours are, it turns out, two distinct things, both of which are needed in order for me to be the kind of friend i want to be. it means i have more responsibility than i thought (by my chosen standards i mean). it means i have to move on from what the less compassionate might call a pity party and actually do some hard work. i'm pretty lazy by nature... not sure if i've ever told you that about me, but it's true.

but i'm willing to work hard for the things that matter hard.

if you take in nothing else, hear me clearly here: i cannot claim to love someone (the way i think of that word) whilst in my heart holding them accountable for something they aren't sorry for doing, and don't plan to stop doing. i kind of dislike that; it makes me feel a little sick to realize that i've been somewhat hypocritical. it almost makes me want to believe [again] some of the better things you've said about me, and at the same time, reject them as ludicrous. i don't know. i can't decide.

i will do this dance as many times as i can take it. and apparently i can take it at least once more. so: when you decide what it is you want from me, please make that known to me. you can still have whatever you wish; just ask. it won't matter how hurt i am, i will still want to give you anything you request. that's how kryptonite works, i guess.



oh and in case you feel the need for a fresh start, or in case you don't feel free to approach me by the time you reach this point in the post...

hi, my name is loll välismaalane, and despite recent shit, i really want to be friends. sooo let's do that? no strings attached, no pressure to be or do anything except who and what you already are. no pressure to explain yourself, even. just be you, and let me experience that. that's what i want, and that's what i'll always want, more than understanding, more than lack of pain, more than anything.

(but, a hug would also be nice. longer is better. koos on parem.)

Monday, December 08, 2014

i wish ghosts and monsters weren't real



~     ~     ~

the last few days, it seems like all the progress i've made was ruined. i don't know what started that process, but the birthday video definitely brought it all to the fore, and i've been a complete wreck (internally) since then. that ripping-apart feeling, and at the same time a vacuum suddenly forming in my center. it's a good thing i'm good at hiding what i'm feeling, otherwise someone would've tried to intervene. as in, an intervention.

one good thing came of all the renewed pain: i had an important realization about why you haven't spoken to me in weeks, and one of the reasons you aren't really interested in making any effort. it's because you're waiting. you're waiting to see if maybe i'll just fade into the past and never cross your path again. you're hoping that i won't, because then you won't have to deal with anything.

i'm also realizing what a huge difference there's always been between you and me, and the way we've approached our friendship. you were always in it for the way i made you feel. i was too, but i was in it for selfless reasons as well. case in point: i'm still willing to bend over backwards for you, if it would somehow benefit you, but you don't even want a conversation. here, allow me:

"that's because i don't enjoy talking with you anymore."

right. which means there's no point in you talking with me... and that's the difference between us. i would do anything for you. i think this is one of the best kinds of love there is.

the kind where someone is fond of my memory, but doesn't want to interact with me? that kinds probly needs a new term, like maybe 'pointless torture' or 'lack of closure due to fear' or perhaps 'bullshit.'



anyway, i'm not really here to write to you. i just needed to vent my pain. it hurts... it hurts to be abandoned by someone i love.

again.

i think i would rather go through my divorce again.



on the other side of this coin is the 100% certainty that spending time with you again would be heavenly. in the past... i dunno, maybe 6 years, i was by far the happiest in Tallinn. and in Tallinn, i was by far the happiest in your company. memory like that is not cerebral; it's bone-deep, irrational, irrespective of realizations and blog entries and anger. assuming you don't freeze or feign apathy or go into lockdown, i don't know that i will be able to keep it together when our paths do cross again. and sometimes, when i'm alone, i still wish to be with nobody else but you.

long story short: i'm still fucked. no way to burn the bones, no holy oil, and no reason to expect anything except day after day this exquisite burning / pulling / collapsing / paralyzing whatever. even when i buy those next few plane tickets, and finally see my dreams at the end of the tunnel, i'll still be missing a limb, yet attempting to use it anyway. ghost kidney.

one last note on this topic... i can empathize, to a significant degree, with your side of things. but is there even a point to that anymore? does that even matter to you?

i remember when i used to like hard questions. good times.

hey look what i found while browsing instagram. that text is actually on the wall. don't know how i missed it in person... oh wait yes i do.



Tuesday, December 02, 2014

edges (iii of iii)

partial credit for this post goes to the rain. autumn lasted all through november; we're finally into the 60s F now, somewhat consistently, and the changing weather is wakening the blogger deep w'thin. also i'm grateful for light days at work, even though it costs me $$. maybe it's worth the cost. maybe i should just leave this job for a better one. 

maybe i should finish writing my own story.

~     ~     ~


it was dawn: pink, beryl, and misty. the moon was waxing crescent, one of its favourite forms. it felt like staying up late this day. so, rather than sinking into the sea, it cast a fragment of its presence down to earth, to the shore where the beautiful one-eyed jewelry-crafter lived, in her humble yet cozy cottage. as it drew close, the moon noticed something extra in the sound of the waves. where the waters met the sand, a hollow log rolled fitfully to and fro, bumping musically against an outcropping of rock. scattered nearby were several brightly coloured seashells, any of which would have sold quickly, and for a high price, in the markets where the old woman cried her wares every weekend.

this troubled the moon. the old jewelry-crafter was never away from home long enough to let prizes like these wash in and out with the tide. normally the beach was picked bare, and the lady would need to dive for such treasures. how long had it been? weeks? more? the moon was not the hasty type, but it decided immediately to investigate. of course, she can care for herself, no matter where she is, the moon thought, but it won't hurt to make certain she is well. but, in case she is angry with me for worrying, i will bring her a gift. the moon scooped up two of the finer shells and, as it leaned down close to the sand, was delighted to spot one of the rare coins used by denizens of the world beneath the waves. unbroken, and clean... this is even more rare! it snatched this up as well, and set out along the path through the old growth forest to find its friend.



the moon knew that she had set out seeking the lake which revealed truth. this seemed wise; the moon knew well the value of reflection. but the moon knew also that the lady had been injured by the ring's sharp edges, and that even if she found some way to resolve this, the fox still lurked, in the forest and in dreams. the moon kept watch over her cottage every night, but it could not always help with nightmares. perhaps there will be an opportunity to 'resolve' the fox situation, also. the moon's pale glow briefly pulsed with anger as it considered what scheme the fox might be hatching. what if the lady had already fallen into one of its traps?

the moon glided onward, faster, until the evergreens thinned and the dirt path became cobblestones. the sun was near its zenith when the moon halted, having caught a glimmer of light through the trees, off to the side of the road. it veered away and flew as fast as it could, emerging a few minutes later into a clearing.

the lake was many kilometers across, ringed by hills. though a gentle breeze had accompanied the moon all the way from the cottage, here the air stilled and seemed to be on the verge of speaking. the moon had thought to ask the wind whether it had seen any visitors here at the lake, but now it despaired, for the wind here was frozen, as was the lake.

a web of fog crawled in slow motion over the blue-white surface, heedless of the midday sun. nothing marred the ice, no twigs poked through, no cracks showed. even in this frozen state, it still showed the moon its own face, pockmarked and grinning (despite the moon's current mood). 

and in the center of the lake, frozen just below the surface, was the ring. tiny droplets of blood 'floated' around it, caught as if the lake had gone from liquid to solid in a single moment.

the moon did not see the bandage it had given the lady, so perhaps she was still wearing it. in any case, there seemed nothing more to investigate here, so the moon set back out for the road, its concern growing into fear.



for days the moon searched. when its eyes began to ache from the strain of examining the trail close-up, it ascended to its home in the firmament and beseeched the stars for wisdom, or for some word of the jewelry-crafter. when the sun was sleeping, the moon peeked through the windows of houses in the city. it rifled through the belongings of the merchants in the square and stopped random passers-by to ask where they had purchased the gems they wore. it overturned carts and haystacks, climbed to the tops of church steeples, walked back and forth through cafes and novelty shops, and followed every golden-haired girl it noticed until it could get a good look at her face... even those who walked without a cane or a limp.

it left the city and searched the woods. it flew through every stand of trees, forded every stream and dove into every pond, as the moon knew the woman was fond of swimming. it spoke with every squirrel and hedgehog it encountered, and even attempted a conversation with a swarm of mosquitoes. (they said they would certainly have remembered a girl whose hand was bleeding.)

after a month, the moon returned, desultory and nearly new, to its place above the cottage by the sea, and slept. it was a fitful rest, with dreams of deep wounds and a vulpinal visage that grinned and snapped at the moon as it fled. 

i will wait, thought the moon as it tried to drift away from the nightmares without fully waking. i will keep the light on. a single ray of moonshine streamed in through the window, keeping it fully opened against the occasional gust of wind, and illuminating the tiny bedroom. neither of the woman's pets had been here when the moon returned, and the moon liked to think they had succeeded where it had not.

the moon liked to think many things, and it strove against its worst fears to imagine the best possible outcome. it knew that how it felt mattered, even if its feelings resembled reality not at all. i will hope and wait

~     ~     ~

leagues away, perhaps even worlds away, the fox watched the beautiful old jewelry-crafter sleep. she wore a faint smile, and her arms were tucked underneath her. one hand peeked out a little from under the edge of the blanket, showing faint scars where she had wounded herself what seemed so long ago. 

not all her wounds had healed, but neither were they visible. the fox never marred anyone's skin when it attacked. it knew that the wounds which never showed were always the most damaging.

in the entryway of her new home, the woman's crutch hung on a hook. thick dust had gathered on it... which was good. the fox universally disapproved of crutches.

abruptly the woman woke, grin fading along with her pleasant dream. she tensed when she noticed the fox watching her, but as always, she proceeded to ignore it as she rose to begin her day. this brought the fox the most pleasure of all, for he knew that he would never be forced out of her home.

inhaling deeply through his nostrils, the fox held his breath for a long moment, consuming the tension that radiated from the old woman... then exhaled pure contentment. he had given her the secret of how to remove the ring, and even how to stop the bleeding... but the bite wounds on her soul would remain, partly because the woman could not afford to pay for that secret, but mostly just because the fox enjoyed that pain so much. letting those truly heal would render all his efforts thus far totally useless.

the fox leapt up onto the woman's bed, folded his paws one atop the other, and considered. the woman's story so far was a dramatic one, and many things had been left unresolved. the ring still bled (technically, though it lay in stasis), the woman's pets were nowhere to be found, even with the fox's excellent tracking skills, and the moon still illumined the woman's old home with patience and care. 

but tensions and hidden knowledge and blood flowing forever were sweet to the fox, and even kindness could be appreciated, as long as it was being wasted. therefore the fox adored loose ends, and as long as none challenged him, he would remain happy with the story exactly as it was.

"the end," he said to himself aloud, tongue lolling.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

defining moments

you invaded my dreams again. this time you came to visit me. there was some strange event happening over the weekend, but you weren't very interested in it, so instead of meeting up with my friends, we wandered around the outside of it. you decided to have some fun making me uncomfortable, like old times. then we went back to the place i was staying, and i discovered that you had brought Christmas presents for me, jesse, leah, and indrek (why you brought his present, i have no idea).

i wanted to open those gifts but i thought, "no, it isn't Christmas yet; she'll probably make me wait until then, and she'll be so angry if i even touch them before Christmas day." and then i woke up, and it felt nice because we had spent time together and you had bought a gift not only for me but for my siblings... but then i felt so angry, because now i'll never know what was inside those.  >:(

~     ~     ~

brandon asks me how i'm doing. he frequently offers to help me with stuff that he shouldn't have to worry about at all, and he's always paying attention, so he usually knows exactly when to offer help and has a good idea of how to do so. i don't always enjoy his company, but that's because there's something very wrong with me, and not because of anything to do with him.

elisa was born in the wrong year... or perhaps i was. she's that friend with whom i was meant to spend fifteen times as much time as i have so far, and i am waiting eagerly for some future time when she and i aren't hindered. we will drink things, eat things, listen to musicks, and talk for hours. there may not be many words per minute (relatively) but that's okay with us. when i think about elisa, i usually smile because how can anyone think about elisa and not smile??

mari-liis is positive, all the time. she is honest with herself and others about crappy circumstances, but she has a silver lining tattoo on each eye. i don't know why i trust her enough to encourage me, since we've spent only a few hours together, but i do somehow.

caleb and allison ask me when we're hanging out next. i don't know what to tell them because i honestly don't feel like being with anyone lately (except for a few people who don't live close enough to hang out), but they show friendship to me consistently. caleb can be an excellent listener in the right circumstances, and allison's sharp mind + good heart = excellent friend.

marika and i think on a similar wavelength. it's common for us to happen upon common ground multiple times during even the most casual conversation, and she also checks up on me like brandon does, once in awhile. she asks me excellent questions that make me think and help both of us understand me.

ollu... well he is very special. i love that he is so quick to share his thoughts with me, and to tell me he misses me. he has so much love for people it's kind of worrying. and so much ability that he underestimates in himself. i am very picky about friends but i knew halfway through my stay with him that i could easily room with him long-term.

lady frost is someone i can depend upon to truly know me. i can say anything to her at any time, knowing that she will pick it up as if we're in the middle of the conversation already. in a way i feel like she's always with me, even though she's farther from me than she's ever been. i am comforted by her words of encouragement throughout the time we've been friends, and she makes me feel like maybe i could even make more friends in the future. (it's not an easy feeling for me to feel.)



but you? you just make me hurt.

~     ~     ~

sometimes people hurt each other, especially people who are close to one another. given enough time, and closeness, two people will hurt each other, even if they try their hardest not to.

...but that is all you do to me. yet i continue hanging on. i still offer myself, still wait for late/early calls, still stand by, ready to be or do or say anything for you. i finally understand the truly dangerous side of what it means to be hooked, what it means to have a monster. i finally understand this: that while i may spend my entire life trying to define friendship and never complete that task, i do know how to rule it out. i know what it isn't.

you just make me hurt. why should i call that 'friendship'?

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

favourites

why is it that sometimes, when i need a hug, i want that hug only if it's from a specific person?

what about conversations? why is it that sometimes, even without needing to talk about any specific thing, i still only want to talk to a specific person? and how can this preference change from day to day, or even more than once in a day?

what causes me to want someone's friendship for a time, and then to stop wanting that person's friendship? aside from obvious things like consistent mistreatment, or a revelation of some undesirable trait, why do i stop? and why do i attach so strongly to some people, even to the point of giving them an allowance for crappy treatment (which is distinct from sacrificing something of myself for their benefit)?

why does my rationale desert me when i am most in need of it?



this is one of the answers to at least one of the questions above, but i'm so tired that i don't know which: i am tired of working hard for next to nothing. i am tired of taking responsibility for everything bad that happens in a relationship, tired of being the bigger person, tired of trying to be a mature adult, tired of working against anger and jealousy and selfishness. i am tired of trying to be a good influence, a positive presence, a blessing. i am so tired, and have been for so long, that i've already abandoned a dozen people for whom i once actively cared.

i'm tired of trying to be a good friend, especially when there are so few nearby. i know i'm not alone, but i'm tired of feeling alone.

part of me wants 2013 back. the rest of me knows better but doesn't have much hope for the future anyway, and all of me wishes that what i want and what i need didn't overlap so much.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

twilight

for a few moments it held the same calm colour as Tallinn's summer night, and i was transported again, against my will like always. 

i miss you painfully

uneffingconditional positive regard

there is nothing you can do to change the way i feel about you. i don't mean my emotions, and i don't mean my opinion of you either... although that is and has been quite high for a very very long time (since the beginning). what i mean is that, in my mind, no matter what i'm feeling about you or us or whatever, i will always think fondly and admiringly of you, and you cannot ever change that. pain doesn't change it, nor anger, frustration, or grief. i do feel those sometimes... but they don't remove the good feelings. nor do they trump them.

from the very first words you ever typed to me, i was excited to talk with you. i knew that we were going to have, at the very least, some interesting and valuable conversations. what you gave me after that was so much more... you exceeded my already-good expectations by several degrees of magnitude. i had no idea the amount of joy, love, warmth, life you would grant me.

all of the things that wise people spend their whole lives chasing after, wishing for, hoping for-- that's what you have been to me, even if it was only for a while. genuine laughter, and smiles that hurt my cheeks. trust. vulnerability. affection and kindness. generosity. hope.



lastly (for now): even though i'm so grateful for all of these things, remember that i don't love you for what you have done for me. also, i don't love you for what might happen in the future. i don't love for you any reason except for who you are and always will be to me. i love you no matter what the circumstances or the nature of our friendship, no matter what has happened or will happen or is happening as i type this.

that means i'm on your side, forever. you can't get rid of me by hurting me, or neglecting me, or wronging me. you can't make me dislike you. you can't make me have a negative attitude toward you.

basically the only thing you can do is accept it.

so... do that.

preferably daily. but i'll take whatever i can get.

Friday, September 19, 2014

logorrhea

it turns out 'brain tattoo' was not a strong enough phrase. it's more like a symbiont: a pulsing, voracious thing feeding me double doses of dopamine daily, and calling it 'rent.'

at first i examined its behaviours in hopes of finding a weakness to exploit, something that would give me the power to evict it. currently i'm in a phase of hopeless acceptance, so now my analysis continues only because i enjoy analysis and knowledge itself. my symbiont may be my enemy, but that makes it no less intriguing.

actually, i take that back. part of the reason i study it is to find new coping methods. if you can't beat what's joined you, find ways to function adequately despite it. and i am exaggerating only slightly when i say i've tried everything. with some effort (and a small sacrifice), i can wall away my awareness of it for a brief time; failing that, i can try facing it directly after a full night's good rest, or after a great workout. then my strength is greater.

otherwise my consciousness bows to it, and neither cursing aloud nor distracting myself availeth. (that's ye olde fancy Christianese for "they don't do shit.")

i admitted to Marika today that i have a tendency to emotionally constipate myself. i have a few friends who would listen well, were i to vent, but i hesitate to repeatedly burden or bother them with something so seemingly immature, so pathetic. i'm literally metaphorically wasting away endlessly because i'm perpetuating my own hunger by feeding it just enough to keep wanting more. not that it's artificial-- in fact it's quite natural-- but i know that if i stopped feeding it, it would die. i just can't do it.

even as an emaciated, tired old brute, Zzyzx has a certain appeal. it simultaneously lays claim and lays waste to my affections, and asserts its dominance as if by divine right: humbly, inexorably. it tortures me with false hopes and calls the torture 'sustenance.' it brings me worn out visions long gone, wishes it cannot grant, secrets it cannot tell; it gorges itself on the food i have already digested, polishes and enshrines even the vaguest of memories, and builds the same fucking sandcastle in the same fucking spot every day so that i can watch it wash out to sea over and over again.



and its reply to my invectives? it asks, quite calmly (and smugly), "do you regret your choices?"

i've gone back and forth with my answer so many times that, despite how necessary that question is, i've come to loathe it. life has thrown me many Gordians, but this one i tied myself... (with help, but that, too, was invited, so... fuck me, i guess.)

every wall i build against it crumbles, and every force i send against it, i myself recall. my mental painting of the young autokrator takes on three-dimensionality as my dreams, asleep and awake, take me up and down the ancient cobblestone roads; or along bright green paths through forests young and old; or from the uneven floor of the kitchen and into the superb window-light streaming läbi kardinate and pooling like silk garments on the ghost haunting the living room, the spare bedroom, the grassy knoll kohviku lähedal...

my dreams kill me slowly and sustain me. pointlessly.

hey, wait... i know what i can do!

complain about it to nobody.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

ghost in the shell

kejaro

many things have changed. i will describe as many as my mind finds potentially significant to you, not to justify or excuse or even to set your mind at ease, but simply to explain. the use of these explanations, i leave to your discretion.

steph asked me the other day why time spent in person seems more needed now than it did when we [three] were conversing regularly. i thought it interesting, because even though i did want to hang out IRL back then, i often felt satisfied with daily conversation. sometimes we spent hours chatting. i enjoyed much of it; i found almost all of it useful. i believe we shaped each other for the better.

we are not so malleable now. life is more routine, less dynamic. the future of that time was the next day or the next weekend, or at most, the next semester. the future now is our next job, our next big family event, our next vacation. our active friendships back then were greater in number, and more active than our active friendships now. there was so much happening.

also, we didn't know each other as well back then. that time was about learning who we were; now the phrases "remember when..." or "as you know, i..." are spoken almost as often (relatively) as the phrases "this is me" or "who are you??" were spoken back then.

there was more energy and speed to everything, more new or unique content to each day. that has changed.

romance has changed things as well. or, better: romances have changed things. i married, you married, i divorced, steph is dating a very different person now than she was at that time... these are big changes. you and i have spoken about this already. i tend to think that if we three were 100% romantically uninvested, we'd probably have arranged multiple road trips by now.



i tend to think that friendships are very much like any other living things: they have cycles throughout their lifetimes. they have beginnings and endings. the fact that i no longer spend dozens of hours per week with King Andrew, doesn't mean that i couldn't do so again if we suddenly lived in the same city again. but, it's also true that we sometimes spent many days apart, even when we did live near each other. that was never a big deal for us, and i think that's because we wanted the same things out of the friendship we shared.

when two people want two different things out of a shared friendship, then there is tension of some kind, on at least one side, and likely on both. i have written on this before, and i will probably write on it again.

if i ended this post now, i think it would give you enough to chew on. but i should describe what i believe to be the biggest change since the old days. i'll try to be brief. 

(yeah right).



the biggest change is me. i have in some cases almost completely reversed the motivations and beliefs that let me & others know who i was. if you haven't missed any posts, you know this already. and even if you hadn't read this blog at all, i think you would know how different i am, because of Facebook and Skype and a little time spent in person. you also know (with or without this blog) that i've been through some destructive experiences. that doesn't just mean i was in pain; i chose the word 'destructive' with deliberation. parts of me were destroyed.

even if my inspector doesn't arrive here until afternoon, i probably don't have time to fully explain why i have changed. but i can tell you that the biggest change i'm feeling recently is my growing aversion to people.

people are great. many of them are even better people than they were when i wanted to interact with them regularly. but my insides keep getting rewired by significant events and i cannot keep up. currently i am completely avoiding Facebook (notifications, chats, everything) and spending evenings reading and doing chores around the apartment. i've been inside a church twice since May 19th. i do not ask anyone to hang out unless i need Brandon's help figuring something out, and if i initiate a conversation, then it's either 1) with ghost, or 2) an offer of help/care for someone i know is going through something really traumatic.

so, with those exceptions, i don't initiate contact with people. is it lonely? yes; but initiating contact doesn't solve the loneliness problem.

you could point out that i might try solving someone else's loneliness problem, and not my own. but the truth is that even though i care about some people (you, of course, are one) and even though i enjoy some of those people (again, you are one), i don't really believe i can do anything for them, offer them anything in the way of companionship, or truly enjoy their company, electronically or otherwise. if a friend is having suicidal thoughts or feelings, then okay, i have something to offer. but if they're just wondering what happened to me and want to reconnect, my mind immediately responds with this:

"reconnect with what?? i'm an empty shell."



it is an exceedingly strange sensation, to laugh without feeling mirth; to feel cared for but still cold; to know that my food tastes delicious and even groan with gustatory pleasure, but still feel like i might as well be consuming ashes. 

it doesn't make sense to me. it's as though i'm not experiencing my own life, but rather watching it on HDTV. it's like i'm riding around inside a robot me, taking notes on everything that's happening but not truly feeling it.

that's who i am now. an empty shell waiting for its chance to be occupied by a soul again. maybe next year.

Monday, September 01, 2014

rasmus



could've used this song several times already... whatever. i'm sure i'll need it again

Sunday, August 31, 2014

exit INFerview

i don't want to write this post. i'm not afraid, just hesitant to evoke concern in others (and myself). i know that those most likely to worry, are also the most likely to accept me no matter who or what i [un]become. i don't want to write this post, but because i trust my readers, and because i am in need, i will write it anyway.

there is also a small concern that i will mislead others, not from lack of understanding or out of any intent to sway their opinions at all, but simply because (and i hate to admit this)... some people have at some times looked up to me somewhat, for some reason, somehow. at least that's what i perceived. and maybe a few people told me so a few times. whatever; the point is, that lends some additional gravitas to the familiar weight of responsibility which has been at my core for as long as i can remember.

like a sneeze that can only be delayed rather than vanqueeshed, the following questions must be asked, because their answers have already changed and will continue to change me. so, please welcome once again the un-lustrious, often-mocked, yet still-so-useful AA.

~     ~     ~

"isaiah, how come you aren't attending church anymore?"

i think and feel that i don't belong there anymore. i know there are many welcoming places nearby, including the home i left behind on 18.05 of this year, as well as the place where my parents worship. my last name is known by many people at many churches, as is my mostly glowing record. i know that i could fit right in, say the right things, make the correct motions... i could even work myself into a place of service and leadership (sec. "volunteer position") where i would be relied upon by people both above and below me in the inverted pyramid of Christian ministry.

but despite my capability and wide array of options, i am possessed of several ugly, principle-based disqualifiers, all of which fit more or less into this simple description: in thought and in practice, i have been replacing and will continue to replace my Christian worldview with a secular one.

"that's impossible. what do you mean?"

i mean that in many ways, i'm not exactly a Christian.

"that's nonsensical. explain yourself."

well, here's just one example: i believe prayer is meant to change the one praying, and that even if God does have His hand in real-time events (thereby circumventing or outright breaking the laws of physics which He is said to have implemented), the discerning of which events are of His effecting and which are not, is entirely subjective and devoid of any reasonable basis for analysis.

"once more, please, for those of us who like less words rather than more."

if God is doing anything today, we can't know that He is... and every time someone says "He did this thing," it is a beliefs-based choice that they make. one could just as logically conclude that He had not done that thing.

"but isjami, you've known for years that every worldview is circular."

indeed i have; but previously on the isaiah show, i chose to enter the Christian circle, allowing the centripetal force of my upbringing and my bibliocentric passions to maintain my orbit.

"..."

ugh. i believed what i believed because my heart and mind were already on that course. an object in motion tends to stay in motion; and, an isaiah in motion continues in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.



the following unbalanced forces are among the many which acted upon me:
  • horrific life-sized mistakes
    my marriage, and the wrongs i have committed against friends, and the self-ignorance which perpetuated my petty mistreatment of family members and mismanagement of relationships... the pain and the guilt which followed were devastating. i remember more than once feeling such heaviness that i sank to the floor and wept violently. i wish i could have sunk lower. i wish i could have wept more violently. my body hadn't the capacity for expressing what i felt, and it took (is taking?) many, many months to recover.

    yes, i learned things, and repented (sec. "had a wake-up call and got my act together")... but i was empty and vulnerable; therefore, the rest of the unbalanced forces influenced me even more.
     
  • intelligent, friendly non-Christians
    someday i'll have to write out my theory of how logic and intelligence work, especially with regard to worldviews and their circularity. for now i'll just have to summarize: everyone gets to choose what they believe about the hows and whys of life. there are multiple choices, all of which are more or less logical.

    many Christians will balk at this, and many atheists as well; in fact, anyone who believes what they believe "because they just know" will surely take serious umbrage. but if they study epistemology and philosophy and history and the data present in their very own experiences, they will see the truth of it. there are multiple ways of answering "the big questions" of life, and several of them make perfect logical sense.

    (for funsies, and to help make my point, and to prepare myself and my readers for some future posts concerning the nature of existence, i'll give two examples of things that no worldview has yet been able to answer in a logical, comprehensive manner: 1) what caused the first thing to exist? 2) what ultimately governs human choices?)

    so: as i spread my wings and began forming more and deeper friendships with non-believers (sec. "people who aren't Christian"), i was exposed to these other worldviews. and it made me wonder, "if i have only ever spent my energies on refining my Christian worldview, then what would happen if i tried to build for myself a highly customized secular worldview?"

    the answer to that question is a large part of who i am now, and who i am becoming.

    to be extra clear: i'm not incorporating the beliefs of others into my own, willy-nilly... instead i'm using the realization that there are other logically sound worldviews, as fuel for critiquing the way i form my own.

    this inevitably results in deconstruction, and is not dissimilar to what happened at VUSC circa 2005: i discarded the simplistic, outdated, insufficient Christian beliefs with which i was raised, for more sophisticated ones which i built myself using the tools given to me by my college experience (especially my professors, especially² Rybarczyk). that last parenthetical is quite ironic, because i consider Rybarczyk to be the smartest Christian i know, with a beautifully constructed worldview that's consistent with much of my interpretation of the Bible. his intelligence and wisdom gave me hope that one could come up with a genuine, credible faith which favored neither the heart nor the mind, but invited collaboration between the two (perichoresis?).
     
  • unanswered questions
    these have been my constant companion, firmly but gently challenging me in every chapter. the differences now: 1) my mentors cannot satisfactorily answer them, and 2) i'm old enough and experienced enough to answer them myself, with confidence. this gives me a terrible freedom: i no longer depend on others to tell me why and what and how. it is good because i am independent; i can move forward without delay. i can choose my destinations and arrive there without having to risk anything via blind trust in another. it is also terrible, because it is taking me down a road which has no other travelers.

    this has never been true before, and it exacerbates the problem in the next bullet point:
     
  • being alone
    this was becoming true as early as 2012, when for many reasons i started disconnecting from almost everyone who mattered most to me. in some cases i was disconnected; in others i myself disconnected. that distinction matters less than the event itself. being alone in my beliefs and being unable to relate on deep levels with others left me drifting, and of course, a drifting vessel is susceptible to whatever gale or current it encounters.
     
  • the realization that most of the Christian life, is lived based on feelings
    the question is not whether a life is based on feelings, but rather, on which feelings is it based? every Christian i know will argue me on this point, but i believe my reasoning sound.

    - Christians are taught to believe what they are taught, even when they feel it isn't true. succeeding at this eventually gives them good feelings.

    - Christians are taught to feel bad about doing wrong and good about doing right. even when they don't feel those things, they are still rewarded by their community, provided they aren't being exceptionally disruptive or intentionally malicious. those rewards feel good. it feels good to be supported, encouraged, forgiven, etc... and sometimes it even feels good to be rebuked (sec. "slapped upside the head by someone who cares about you enough to do so")! and of course, it feels exceedingly good to go through periods of unbelief (which are really just periods of emotional disconnection from their faith), only to have those good feelings (which Christians are taught to attribute to God) eventually return.

    and look! a great segue to the next one:

    - Christians are taught to attribute certain good feelings (about churchy things, for example) to God. this means that when they 'worship' (sec. "sing songs and participate in other traditions that evoke emotions"), they will interpret good feelings as spiritual experiences, a mental act which of course elevates those feelings to the valued level, and makes them immune to the "don't base your beliefs on feelings" rule.

    the truth is that every Christian has a limit to the amount of time and energy they can spend investing in their faith without receiving an emotional payoff... and when Christian Joe reaches that point, he will lose his faith (sec. "realize that Christianity just isn't for him"). the emotional payoff doesn't even have to be a pleasant experience! speaking of which:

    i believe it accidentally brilliant that even the much-lamented dark night of the soul (sec. "emotional funk"), which has stricken many a Christian many a time (enough that whole books have been written about it), is itself an intense emotional experience which the Christian is taught to value as a significant spiritual event.

    in fact, this rule is an integral part of the Christian life, across the board! Christians are taught to mistake feelings as faith. this can potentially include a great range of emotions, both pleasant and painful. if a Christian feels good while singing to God, this must be a result of God's particular presence that day. if a Christian feels bad while singing to God, this must be a result of God's prompting in their lives (sec. "a heavy conscience, part of the human instinct, which alerts one to the fact that something is off").

    Christians are of course open to purely logical, reasonable arguments which would lead them to act in accordance with (or stop acting out of accordance with!) the tenets of their religion... but who ever heard of a Christian who had an emotionless life-changing experience?!

    "but isaiah, the emotions came as a result of the life change!"

    the ones that came as a result of the life change did, yes. but the ones that prompted the life-change in the first place did not.

you get the picture. i hope. moving on now.

~     ~     ~

one of the things that makes Christianity so beautiful, is that almost everything in life can be explained by it, in a way that maintains internal consistency. this is what a scientist wants out of his own personal philosophy: internal consistency. if something feels right to a logically-minded person, and it cannot be disproven, he will devote himself to it for life.

thing is (and this is the ultimate irony), my realization of this is exactly what gave me the freedom to begin deconstructing my beliefs again. when i found that analyzing Christianity from the outside yielded a high degree of integrity, i said to myself, "hey... i just looked at Christianity from the outside. i didn't even realize i was capable of stepping outside of it! ...i wonder what it would look like if i tweaked a few things..."

so, i am doing some tweaking. one of the reasons that i'm no longer attending church, is that now that i'm no longer voluntarily entering that worldview's circularity, i no longer feel obligated to seek an emotional payoff. not that i was receiving much of one anyway, after 2012/2013... but now there's absolutely none.

and check this out: even if i stepped in again and experienced strong emotions, i would know that i myself was responsible for them. this makes those feelings manufactured, by my standards. the Christian church experience is designed (under the hood, and probably not intentionally) to encourage the seeking of emotional payoff, and to reward those who seek such.

that feels contrived to me.

when i attend, i feel like i'm watching an episode of Supernatural. the show generally takes the perspective of Sam & Dean, whose theology is... not super in-line with conventional interpretations of the Bible. this perspective shows itself clearly even in scenes where Sam & Dean are not present. if the episode begins with the camera panning across a church service, the viewer gets the impression that he/she is in some kind of cultural museum, or else perhaps watching some newly discovered people-group during one of their mysterious rituals. and yet, there's also the feeling that the participants (and their traditions) are parochial. provincial. backward.

the reason Christianity is often viewed in this light, is because Christians are taught to believe, before they are taught to think. the result is that many end up believing without thinking. this goes unnoticed by most. for those who continue believing without thinking: no one sees anything wrong with this, because all they care about is the belief itself. for those who eventually give up believing because they learn how to think... well, they can either push the questions until they reach the point where their mentors can no longer answer, or else they can give up questioning and resort to 'just believing.'

if they do continue pushing, then they eventually must make decisions and answer questions on their own. or, perhaps, find non-Christian mentors, and begin learning something entirely new. either way, the continued asking of questions will eventually reveal both the circularity and the degree of internal consistency of a worldview.



at that point of revelation, decisions must be made. i am making mine.
  • if tomorrow i became responsible for a child of my own, i would teach it these things in this chronological order: 1) what to do and not do. 2) why to do and not do those things. 3) how to decide what to believe.

    notice the lack of "what to believe."
  • i will carefully, responsibly choose how to believe, rather than (as i have in the past) simply choosing whether and why to do so.
  • i will continue to uphold those principles espoused by Christianity which, when followed, have yielded positive results. though my standard for determining the positivity or negativity of a result is changing, i suspect it doesn't have far to go before settling again.
  • i will encourage others to believe intelligently as well.


i usually put disclaimers at the beginnings of posts. this one belongs at the end: much of the emotional fuel for this post came from painful, disappointing experiences. although i believe this fact in and of itself is not sufficient reason to second-guess the post's content, i should point it out to those of my readers who are devoted to Christ, in case they desire a convenient way to mitigate the acidic queasiness that can result from reading about the transformation of a friend's faith from clearly Christian to... something else.

this morning, i attended church for purely selfish reasons. i knew it would make my parents happy to see me there, since they've been inviting me for weeks, but the real reason i went was because i'm lonely. it felt good to be welcomed (as first-time visitors almost always are, at a church). i also went because i miss the music, and the singing, and the feelings that come to me when i harmonize with others. it's clear to me that i will have to accelerate my plans for learning guitar. this will give me new opportunities to connect with people emotionally. Fresno might be a craphole, but there are good musicians here whose musical commitments are not to any religious organization. maybe i should go find them.

i hope for the sake of the few active friendships i now retain, that i will succeed in finding a new community in which i feel like i fit... because, even as feelings of freedom from my old faith flood through me, i sense other chains slithering close, and i would not want anyone whose life brushes against mine to feel that chill, or taste the rust in the air.

i still care about others. i just don't see that that makes much difference... not that that's going to stop me, but it certainly makes my life goals different from what they were a few years ago. i wish i could say that loving people made some kind of significant difference in their life. but i don't see it. i'll keep doing it, but not with the same passion and purpose i had before. i'll still enjoy it, but not because i feel i'm serving a higher power, and not with the delusion that my work matters long-term.

my most immediate new goal is to be healthy... so, as i've said before, i cannot remain here much longer if at all, philosophically or religiously or geographically or socially. i just won't.

good.

huh... i came to Starbucks feeling like blogging, but having no idea what i'd write. and now 2,856 words later, i still haven't even had a sip of coffee. #imweird

Sunday, August 24, 2014

window light

today i felt a familiar light on my skin, as i watched it shade and illuminate yours. certain movements and features seemed as if an artist had spent decades shaping th--- oh. i guess that's actually the case.

i was both disappointed and pleasantly surprised to experience gentle waves of reminiscence lapping at my ankles, instead of a tsunami. this tells me again (though i don't yet fully believe it) that time, while it doesn't necessarily heal all wounds, is very capable of covering them in callouses. i'm sure that these could be scraped away with the right tools, and that re-exposing myself to you would have effects similar to those i experienced when things were different. but this is my choice, and i'll stick with it for now.

the phrase about letting something go if you love it, isn't just about testing to see whether it returns. it's also about letting it be healthy. letting go is healthy... especially if there is something else of which to take hold.

there isn't, currently. but perhaps in the future.

i desperately hope that at the end of this journey, during which i have left most of me far behind, i will be me again. the me who didn't need anyone except himself. i hate needing people; i hate needing anything inaccessible. there are new things about me that work very well for me; but, i hate the core of me. i hate that these changes are such a mixed bag, and i hate that i will never know how things would have been different if not for you.



also: your hair looked really nice. new conditioner?

Friday, August 15, 2014

precious

i've lost several close friends in my lifetime, most of them in the past three years, and all of them in the past eight. every loss hurt me, and it would be very difficult to compare one loss to another. (complex things like relationships are not often quantifiable.) but, i am beginning to realize which loss damaged me the most.

lately i've been thinking a lot about who i used to be. there are so many things about my old self that i desperately need right now, but which will not return home no matter how i cry out for them, no matter where i search. so, this conclusion has been forming slowly but surely: that my current self would be considered a complete and miserable failure by the old me's standards...

...except that tonight, i found something old that has proven continuous, something unbroken. it's rusty and dusty perhaps, but it never left, and i feel i should grant it some blogful recognition for that.

it is supposed to be called determination.

others have called it stubbornness, hard-headed-ness, obsession, compulsiveness, and myriad other negatively connotated terms. i call it not giving up on close friends. i call it leaving the light on, for people i have come to truly trust. i call it Boromir syndrome. i call it keeping my phone un-muted at night.

every time i consider closing Viber, which is about four or five times a week recently, a tiny voice-- no. it's not even a voice. it's like a mirror. every time i think about giving up, i look me in the eye, and there's this perfectly silent moment in my head. it lasts up to a minute. and then i decide to leave the app open.



the first couple times it rang without warning, i thought, "oh good, i'm glad i decided to keep it open." but tonight, after i hung up, i had a new thought, "i'm glad i left it open, because that's who the fuck i am." it wasn't just that my decision proved to be a useful one; it's that i continue to make the same decision, regardless of how bleak things appear to be.

i leave the light on. that's who i am. and i like being me, not only when things turn out happily for me, but when i realize that i haven't entirely changed. true, i have decided to stop putting effort into certain relationships; but that is because the other person was only making things worse. i need only a faint glimmer in order to maintain hope. discouragement and i don't mix very well, and that's saying something after all i've been through.

in some few, small ways, i like who i am, and who i have been. and who i'll continue to be, even if it ruins me, even if i breathe my last with a death grip on what few treasures remain to me.

Monday, August 04, 2014

my evergreen



pine
pīn/
verb
gerund or present participle: pining
  1. suffer a mental and physical decline, especially because of a broken heart.
    "she thinks I am pining away from love"
    • miss and long for the return of.
      "I was pining for my girlfriend"





pine

2  [pahyn] 
verb (used without object), pined, pin·ing.
1.
to yearn deeply; suffer with longing; long painfully (often followed by for): to pine for one's home and family.
2.
to fail gradually in health or vitality from grief, regret, or longing (often followed by away  ): Separated by their families, the lovers pined away.





pine

 verb
: to become thin and weak because of sadness or loss
1
:  to lose vigor, health, or flesh (as through grief)
2
:  to yearn intensely and persistently especially for something unattainable

Friday, August 01, 2014

change is constant



it occurs to me that some of my friends might be or would be worried about me, because of my recent changes. i don't know if 'aberrant' is too strong a word to describe my behavior of late, but that's the kind of semantic precision that only i need worry about. lemme get that for you.

i want to reassure everyone who cares, that i am intact... and that i will recover from this current hell, and probably all hells after that. will there be scars? yes. missing limbs? perhaps even that. but experience well-processed covers a multitude of prostheses. (you may quote me on that if you wish, both in and out of context.)

as long as i have help from friends who can listen and speak wisely, i will have opportunities to become myself. if the 28-year-old me seems 7 years removed (or more) from the 24-year-old me, well, that's real world math for you. but seriously, it's not a horrible thing that i am changing. many would say that stasis would warrant far greater alarm. i suspect you are among those many.



it's bad luck to predict what i'll blog about next, but i'm pretty set on this one (at least somewhere in the next few): i now have both the need and the resources to begin describing what it is to be in love. this may seem #meh to you, but for me it's an astounding milestone, the peak of which i never thought i would reach. but life has a way of tossing you around, like the way a tornado would, for example... and sometimes you end up in places to which you could never have gotten by any other way.

i'm certainly one of those, the type that refuses to learn until he is battered and bruised within an inch of his inward life. fortunately i do learn, and it's usually super-apurpose, so i get plenty of mileage out of these tornadoes. ha... little do they know i'm not just surviving their torture, but actually hitchhiking.

i hate that i am going through this. i hate the constant pain and struggle to focus, the hauntings and flashbacks that i cannot control, and the lack of motivation toward anything but the past. it's wreaking fucking havoc on my sanity. but i'm not quite dead yet, and not all pain is useless.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

it's my bloggy and i'll whine if i want to

i've been using the company of good friends to take my mind off of you. (i actually dislike being in my own apartment even more now, because i associate it with you, because of all the recent Skyping.) so i'm with Brandon, Devin, and Uncle Greg... and it really isn't working at all.

memories of you struck me like lightning: you laughing at something dumb that i did, like tripping over a rise in the floor. you hugging me when you arrive at Oliver's or when i meet you for lunch. you suddenly proclaiming, "i want ice cream!" you smiling for no reason other than that you feel spontaneously happy. you baring your teeth and leaning a little too close for safety. you looking down because you're hesitating to say something. your Italian impression ("spaghetti and-a meat-a-balls!"). you bumping your shoulder against mine, like when lions bump heads. you enjoying a foot massage a little too much. you craning your neck and turning almost 180º in the front passenger seat, just to make eye contact. your "mhh" noise when something small irritates you. you taking that deep breath whenever you switch from the Estonian language to English. you sitting next to me on the bus. you working intently at your desk. you looking embarrassed when i did a cartwheel in public. you falling asleep early on the morning of 06/24. you talking to the frogling (lalludega).

all of these images and experiences flashed through my mind in 3 or 4 seconds, and i actually bent forward as if shouldering a great weight. i guess if i put things on the shelf too many times in a row, then the shelf can break.

if i could give you a well-fitting category for how i feel, i would; but all i know is that nothing ever deters me from my dreams of spending more time with you, getting to know you better, and being known better by you. when you vanish, i don't get bitter at that (at least not that in particular); i just ache. i hyper-reminisce. i blog, since i feel like i shouldn't message you any novels while you're away.

i worry about what conclusions you might come to on your own... conclusions like "this isn't worth it" or maybe "fate repeatedly shows me that we shouldn't try to maintain this friendship" ...or even worse, "isaiah really is an asshole." but i also remember all the times when you gave up at first, but then returned to say, "i don't know what to do, but i want to do it." this touched me, every time.

i've always been the more hopeful one between us; i've also always been the more attached. it puts me in quite a vulnerable position. but it also puts you at an advantage. and of course, if one of us has to be in a safer position... well, my preference should be obvious. when was i ever more important to me than you are?

i've been thinking lately that i might not want to try to hold on so tightly. not because attachment hurts, but because, if you really want to leave (or just be farther away) then maybe i don't want to be close. maybe that stupid saying about setting someone free to see if they love you is actually sort of true. maybe i should not invest more in someone than they have invested in me... because maybe it's foolish.

but then i think, my strong investment in a person is often what inspires them to reciprocate. it would be a big change, at my core, to always give only as much as i get.



...no. i can't do it. it isn't a business relationship. i may be greedy, but i'm not selfish enough to do this "eye for an eye" thing. it just isn't me. besides, i'm super into you.

i miss you and love you, quite fiercely. like, the kind of ferocity that makes people fight for stuff, instead of against. if you love me also, then do me this favor and tell me how i can make you happy, whatever that involves, or doesn't involve. 

"but zeizei, it's difficult to figure out what would make me happy."

tough. quit whining; handle that action. i want to know, so that i can contribute. i want many things... but i want this more than anything else, even more than closeness (no matter how inspiring and intoxicating and... elysian that is for me).

i will wait for you. and unlike you, i'm allowed to whine about it.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

heartstrong

i think i've experienced every emotion of which i am capable, in the past 22 hours... thrice each. i've screamed and wept, whispered and spat curses, and used every available distraction. i also went the opposite direction and read letters, held objects of mutual significance, stared at photos, and replayed every memory (good & bad). i've held imaginary conversations as well, and held hands with your ghost as i dragged my feet from place to place.

i've been skipping around between bargain to denial to depression, and then back through those again, never in the same order. it's exhausting. at some point today my whole being heaved a sigh and felt only gratitude for what was shared... but it lasted only a few minutes. i think i'm back in the denial stage, currently. it cannot be over. it seems backwards to think this, but it's as though, at my core, i really believe that nothing so good for me could just end. there's some alternate ending, a hidden chapter that remains to be written still.

i can't snap out of it. feels like there's a child in me insisting that he will eventually get his way no matter what.

simultaneously, the feeling of missing you combined with the fear that things really are over, is making want to vomit. i would have pulled over on the drive back from the job site today, but i really hate vomiting so i just held it in until the feeling passed about half an hour later. i don't remember the last time emotions made me want to vomit.

it's such a bizarre state of mind, to believe that the hell i'm experiencing is a result of our right decisions. i remember all the way back to Christmas 2012, when i first brought up my questions about our friendship and its ramifications. and all the times after that as well. each time, you somehow convinced me that things were fine, that they would work out, that it would end up the way it should... or at least that we shouldn't do anything drastic. and each time, i trusted you a little more, until eventually i brought it up with the expectation that nothing would ever break us.

so, it was too much to handle this time, not just because i felt like i was being slowly ripped in half but because deep down i had expected some kind of compromise. i had expected maybe a short time without much conversation, or something. but instead this. i don't even really know what we actually decided. i couldn't spell it out (not that i want to try). it's vague and queasy and roiling inside me and i don't think i can take it, and i don't know what it means that i can't take it.

what i know for sure is that you will have to really hold your ground on this one, because i can't be content with these blog posts forever. eventually i will have to speak more freely and directly. by then perhaps you'll have developed enough of a callous on your heart that i won't affect you much.



your words matter to me. your thoughts and feelings matter to me. i crave them no less than i ever have-- perhaps more, now. your care for me matters to me, even though you're just feeling it instead of acting on it. i...

i cannot move on. maybe in my daily routine i can find a way to function at full capacity (in a logistical sense). maybe i can find a way to convince people i'm okay, at some point. maybe i can learn how to keep my life moving along this new path i'm choosing.

but i can never let go of you. i just won't. don't expect me to do it, and don't ask me to do it. i won't let you go.

shit again-- or, what love is

the word love is like the word beauty, because even though everyone agrees that it exists, no one can write a complete and final definition that satisfies all. i have pursued it (love) for more than a decade, not only to figure out what it is, but to live it... to be it. originally, i believed that the best definition came from my spirituality, my Christianity.

i still think that definition is the most important one... but that's kind of like saying that a recipe has a most important ingredient. it still needs all the others. forgetting the flour when making cookies can be bad, but try to make cookies from only flour, and see how far that gets you.

so, i don't want to relegate patience and kindness and selflessness to a lower position, even in light of what i'm learning lately. but i do want to add some important ingredients, not just to my understanding of love, but to the way i live it. and since i've been changing so much lately, i feel i should document that change. i feel i should say what love is, to me.

"isaiah, you don't have to define something. you could just let it be."

i know that. but i'm not doing this for the satisfaction of analysis. and i'm not doing it just to grow as a person, either. i'm doing it for many reasons, and all of them are important. some of them are purely emotional, which itself is a big change. but it's growing on me somehow. some people make it look really appealing, i think.



love is many things, to me. here are some of the least biblical (yet still very true):

  • feeling self-conscious, but showing yourself to someone anyway, without hiding
  • doing the right thing for someone even when it really hurts
  • being brave for the sake of a friendship, like admitting a fault or flaw
  • inviting someone close, even when it's risky
  • showing kindness to someone's family members
  • staying up late to talk to someone, even on work nights
  • being late to work because you don't want to say goodbye to someone
  • making someone else hang up first because you can't bring yourself to do it
  • being honest about your opinion, even when it might hurt someone's feelings
  • speaking someone else's language, even though it's draining
  • showing & saying that you enjoy something specific about someone
  • being affectionate, even in public
  • following through with plans, even if you feel like cancelling
  • staying to work things out when you would rather run away
  • telling someone you want to be closer to them
  • messaging someone, though it's been days & they haven't replied to your last message
  • sharing your feelings even when they're scary
  • teaching someone a new skill, even though they suck at it
  • dancing with someone who can't dance
  • being possessive of someone, and not apologizing for it
  • distracting someone from other obligations, just because you want their attention
  • inspiring confidence in someone when they don't believe in themselves
  • teaching someone something important about themselves, even when they resist
  • making dinner for someone
  • changing your plans so someone else can enjoy your company instead of missing you
  • missing someone, especially missing someone so much that it physically hurts
  • telling someone you miss them so much that it hurts
  • hand-written letters; and fun gifts like butter knives, honey bears, & photos you took
  • talking to someone every day for weeks, or longer
  • making plans with someone... plans that are months or even years away
  • singing for someone over the phone / sending them a recording of you playing music
  • feeling lonely without someone, even when you're with other friends or loved ones
  • looking for fireflies
  • learning someone's facial expressions, and always paying attention to them
  • bandaging someone's wound, and re-bandaging as needed
  • getting hurt by someone really badly, but then rebuilding trust... more than once
  • making someone happy so that you can be happy that they're happy
  • hurting even when your own life is good, just because someone else is in pain
  • wanting someone all to yourself, and telling them this... more than once
  • not being able to stop thinking about how much you want to hug someone
  • saying goodbye to someone in such a way that they know you aren't happy to say it
  • forgiving someone when they do something that you know they know you hate
  • writing a poem for someone because you feel like it
  • giving someone permission to complain to you, and taking their complaints seriously
  • asking someone to do something for you even though you know they really dislike it
  • biting someone's arm, for fun
  • carefully avoiding someone's weak spots, to show you care
  • learning someone's weak spots so you can take advantage of them just a tiny
  • gently telling someone they hurt you, because you trust them to respond kindly
  • trusting someone before you've met them
  • loving someone before you've met them
  • depending on someone to brighten your day, or your night
  • making fun of someone's height, but then feeling bad and apologizing a lot
  • making fun of someone's height again after apologizing
  • synchronized TV watching
  • giving up your lunch breaks to be with someone
  • disliking something, but trying it again when someone asks you to give it a 2nd chance
  • telling someone to quit their job so they'll have more time for you
  • wearing someone's favorite anything
  • appreciating the hard work someone did, out loud
  • letting a huge smile show on your face just because you're happy to see someone
  • giving someone some of the credit for your own success, even if they didn't do much
  • encouraging someone to take risks because you believe in them so much
  • silencing your phone instead of answering it, so you can be with someone
  • taking off your watch, so you can be with someone
  • hugging someone even after they start to let go
  • hugging someone a second time because they didn't let go of the first hug
  • biting someone's arm really hard, and not releasing them even when they say 'ow!'
  • telling someone to stop doing something because you're enjoying it too much
  • staring at someone because you want to, even when they get weirded out
  • laughing not because something's funny but because someone made you happy
  • loving someone even when they're gone
  • telling someone you love them even when you're not sure what it means
  • loving someone even when you're not sure what it means
  • agreeing not to talk to someone for awhile, but talking to them anyway
  • trusting someone's critique of your work
  • taking someone's warmth
  • touching someone's face
  • feeling freedom to get angry at someone because you trust them
  • wanting to be close even when things with someone are shitty
  • moving closer even when things are shitty
  • taking selfies with someone
  • making someone try new things
  • reading someone's blog, every time they update it
  • using a picture someone took of you, as your profile picture
  • being proud of someone
  • accepting someone even when they make epically bad choices
  • letting someone sacrifice something for you even though you worry about them
  • flipping someone off, but only when you know they'll laugh at that
  • circling someone like a vulture because... uhm, not really sure. but it's love somehow
  • calling someone "asshole" because they are... and because you appreciate it a tiny
  • telling someone you adore them, and meaning it

  • crying because someone is gone
  • cursing and bawling with snot dripping from your nose because someone is gone
  • blogging just because someone is gone
  • not caring about anything anymore because someone is gone
  • expressing emotions that should probly be hidden instead, when someone leaves
  • missing someone so much that you get angry even though no one did anything wrong
  • missing someone so much that you wish you had some regrets, but having no regrets
  • punishing yourself to feel like it was your fault they left, just to have someone to blame
  • being bitter because you know your artificial anger can't last
  • feeling dumb because you know your bitterness is also kinda forced
  • not knowing what to do anymore, about anything, at all, because someone is gone
  • being impelled to move but only wandering because no path leads to someone
  • JUST FUCKING NEEDING SOMEONE

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

definitions

i'm'a pull a Sensei right now and quote myself, because this thing that just came to me is super useful.

"romance: all of the closenesses i want, which cannot be provided by a male." - the great IM



possibly i'll update this post repeatedly, adding definitions as i discover them. a slow but vital process. stupid word... i'm simultaneously relieved, and angry at it for hiding for so long. #TAKETHAT #winning

Saturday, June 28, 2014

shit

i don't think i can do this much longer. in the moment it's all exhilaration and a lust for life & fulfillment... but afterward it's confusion, anger, disappointment, frustration, hurt. i don't think i can do it much longer. but i also don't have the will to put an end to it.

i want. this is normal, healthy, and very much me.

i also cannot have. this is right, logical, ethical, and also me. 

something will give. i don't want it to be our friendship. but eventually i have to give up smth. i'm not strong enough. this dance over and over is too much.

:(  help me

Saturday, June 07, 2014

as usual: the importance of relationships

i wrote this on the morning of the tenth of may, in the year of our Lord two thousand fourteen. i wrote it because it's who i am, and also because i was re-defining myself. this letter proved helpful for that goal. as of now, i don't know if it accomplished anything relationally, but that was indeed my primary goal for it. i pray God Himself blessed my effort.

~     ~     ~

Robert,

my name is isaiah micu. i'm a friend of Reelika's since 29 december 2004, when she called me an idiot for believing in God. good start to a friendship!

i had just typed an entry in my public journal (i guess these are called blogs now) regarding how my spirituality has shaped my life so positively, and Reelika said (among other things) that God had never done anything to make her joyful, so she didn't believe in him. my reaction was relatively calm, considering that in 2004, most people thought of me as contentious and short-tempered. some stranger taking time to insult my beliefs should have sparked a much angrier, less constructive conversation. a heated argument certainly would've been typical for internet conversations at that time.

but, perhaps the anonymity (i.e. impersonal nature) of the internet actually helped us, in this case. we knew nothing about each other: gender, age, race, appearance, intelligence, education... nothing. all i knew was that someone disbelieved in God, had feelings about it, and was willing to talk about it. i was studying Religion at the university at that time, working through a disbelief of my own, so the timing was rather helpful, as well.

since then, there have been weeks, months and even years when we didn't speak at all. but with the advent of Facebook and other arguably wonderful communication technologies, and because of some challenging circumstances in my life recently, we rebuilt our friendship.

i don't know if any of this matters to you. the reason i'm writing you is, i don't like being friends with Reelika, but not friends with you. based on the very little she has told me, you would rather not be aware of my existence.

i cannot hold that against you. many people dislike me, and some have good reason! but even if you are one of those, i would rather know it from you, directly. also, i have specific reasons for wanting to know you. the most important logic behind my writing this letter, is this: you are one of the most important parts of Reelika's life, as she is one of the most important in yours. it seems as natural for me to get to know you (or try, at least) as it does for me to understand her family history, her likes & dislikes, her occupation, et cetera. only, i think you affect her (now and in the future) even more than those other things do. you are at the center of her life... yet, you are the part of her life that i know the least.

i won't expect anything from you. if you decide not to respond, i'll take that as your desire to remain complete strangers, and i won't bother you again. but, i am hoping for more than that. at the very least, i'd like you to know who i am, even if i never get to know who you are. whatever you tell me of yourself, i'll consider it a privilege to know you that much. obviously Reelika thinks very highly of you, and since i think very highly of her, i would be honoured to hear from you.



i'll start. this is who i am. since i know that long-windedness is one of my flaws, i'll do my best to be brief:

i am the oldest of seven children, and i've mostly enjoyed that. i think birth order changes one's personality, just like being an only child vs. having siblings. i grew up taking care of myself first (which i took as an opportunity to develop my stubbornly independent trait), and then my siblings also. my first complete spoken sentence was "i do it!" and that attitude has mostly persisted. that habit of caring for others continued also, and paired well with my religious upbringing.

i believe in the Christian God as much as i ever have, but the church has frustrated me since high-school, and as a result i am quite disillusioned. there is much room for improvement, even by the church's own standards. i've spent a great portion of my time & energies volunteering in various church programs ever since grade school, but starting this month i'll cease my attendance entirely, for the first time in my life. i don't know for how long. i just need time to redefine myself in light of what i'm learning. 

i'm far from optimistic (i'm more a glass-half-empty-plus-it's-leaking kind of guy), but i hope i turn out okay after abandoning something i've been so devoutly committed to for so long.

more specifically, i hope to continue being others-minded, outside the context of vocational ministry. i should rephrase: i hope i can continue caring for others who need it, without depending on the church to help me do that. empathy isn't one of my obvious character traits, and i'm not always good at it, but it is close to the core of my identity, and though i'm exhausted by it lately, i also suspect i can't be entirely myself unless i find meaningful expression for it.

art is almost as important to me as my faith. it's another thing i couldn't live without, and i've considered teaching it because it has shaped me so positively since i was very young. of course i don't mean just enjoying it; i believe that if humanity has any universal responsibilities, one of them is to find ways to create, not just consume. i hope i get to do that forever, especially with music & photography.

of course, as important as art and spirituality are, personal relationships trump them. most of my journaling has to do with specific friends, enemies, family members, and the joys and trials thereof. if i could be good at just one thing, i would choose to be good at friendship. nothing can fulfill me, challenge me, tear me down, or build me up like friendships can. i choose to be vulnerable to people, and i encourage them to be vulnerable to each other as well, because i think this is another fundamental truth of humanity: that we are meant to interact with each other on levels both casual and profound, as catalysts and antagonists and allies and counterparts. i see few exceptions to this, regardless of a person's religion or personality or upbringing: that we (humans in general) are each others' reasons for living.

on a less serious note: my goals for the immediate future have mostly to do with my career and my hobbies. i've worked in the photovoltaic industry since winter 2007, and while the company has treated me favorably, i have known the whole time that it wasn't exactly my destiny. so in 2016 i will probably enroll in a master's degree program here in CA, and come out with a very useful degree in computer science or information technology. my long-term goal is to work remotely, so that while i'm working i can also travel the world taking amazing photographs and expanding my perspective, which i am learning recently is very limited. (i was home-schooled in a conservative Christian household; i have a great deal to learn about almost everything.)

as i work toward these external goals, i hope to grow in character. i'd like it if people could accurately describe me as patient, kind, selfless, loyal, calm, trusting, hopeful, humble, grateful. it's a tall order, and i'm aware that i have many times fallen far below my own standards. fortunately i've been trained to (and have trained myself to) try again after failing.



enough about me for now. please consider replying, even if it's just a friend request on Facebook, instead of a long hand-written letter. it's entirely plausible that you & i could never get along with each other even if we tried our hardest; so, if you've actually read this entire thing, i should be thanking you already, for the privilege of someone listening to me blather, when he has no obligation to do so.

another thing i've already decided, is that even if we never interact, i will hold you in high esteem. Reelika's choice to love you & be loved by you speaks volumes, so although she's said very little about you to me, i still have great respect for who you must be.

if i don't hear from you in days, weeks, months, years... you should know that i am open to conversation anyway. and though i can't imagine you ever needing anything from me, i am at your service if i can be useful in any way. 

one last thing: if i'm completely honest, i really hate meeting people because i can be very awkward socially. so if we do meet in person and i seem a little off, it's only because i'm a dodo. don't take it personally. despite the certainty of awkwardness (my own fault), i still hope we meet.

thanks again for reading my novel. it means a lot to me, especially because of my terrible lettering. my hand started cramping after the first paragraph because i'm so unused to it. 

i