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Memores acti prudentes futuri

It may get bad when you're lonely and cold
but say it to me anyway
A few words
"When we describe the Moon as dead, we are describing the deadness in ourselves. When we find space so hideously void, we are describing our own unbearable emptiness."
~ D.H. Lawrence

"Is the meaning of life defined by its duration? Or does life have a purpose so large that it doesn't have to be prolonged at any cost to preserve its meaning?"

"Living is not good, but living well. The wise man, therefore, lives as well as he should, not as long as he can... He will always think of life in terms of quality not quantity... Dying early or late is of no relevance, dying well or ill is... even if it is true that while there is life there is hope, life is not to be bought at any cost."
~ Seneca

"People will tell you nothing matters, the whole world's about to end soon anyway. Those people are looking at life the wrong way. I mean, things don't need to last forever to be perfect."
~ Daydream Nation

"All Bette's stories have happy endings. That's because she knows where to stop. She's realized the real problem with stories-- if you keep them going long enough, they always end in death."
~ The Sandman: Preludes & Nocturnes

"The road now stretched across open country, and it occurred to me - not by way of protest, not as a symbol, or anything like that, but merely as a novel experience - that since I had disregarded all laws of humanity, I might as well disregard the rules of traffic. So I crossed to the left side of the highway and checked the feeling, and the feeling was good. It was a pleasant diaphragmal melting, with elements of diffused tactility, all this enhanced by the thought that nothing could be nearer to the elimination of basic physical laws than deliberately driving on the wrong site of the road."
~ Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita

“It is easier to forgive an enemy than to forgive a friend.”
~ William Blake
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Chasing authenticity
Thursday, June 21, 2018
I had a meeting with a prof today, and we ended up talking about one of my past relationships. I commented that I seem to have conflated difference with authenticity in the past, and she agreed. I've had this repeated experience of thinking someone was authentic and real because they didn't conform, but it's possible to be different and still be putting on a persona. It's possible to not be in touch with yourself and just have a different mold you're fitting yourself into than that of most people.

Maybe I take my ego strength for granted. I have sought out painful feedback and criticism and tried to find the constructive threads in it. I was raised on criticism, not compliments. I've learned not to crumble when something threatens my self-image. All those years of not entirely trusting myself to be correct, I guess. Nowadays I sometimes feel like I've veered too much into trusting myself and I need to step back again. It's a constant battle between maintaining humility and openness and feeling too self-assured. Maybe I've gotten too many compliments, haha. All that positive feedback has put me up on a pedestal and I keep wanting to guard myself from falling off. I don't want to become overly confident and arrogant, nor to think I always know what's right. I don't want to be blind to my own flaws. I also don't want to talk the talk and not walk the walk. Virtue signaling is gross.

I could have done better in some of my interactions recently, and I've been thinking about that. I would give myself a B- I guess. Maybe a C+. I know I am capable of doing much more than I have, but it does require me to be mindful and take a step back and swallow my own defenses, which is hard when to do when it's not happening on both sides. It's not productive to have an exchange mindset like that, though. My code of behavior is for how I want to act in the world, and I am striving to uphold that even when it doesn't feel like it's deserved. Need to remind myself of that sometimes. Life covers itself over, as Heidegger said...

It's hard to connect all my thoughts in a linear readable way, but I'm thinking about Maslow's hierarchy at the moment. More specifically, the idea of self-transcendence which is often left out of the model taught in school. At this point in my life, I feel like that's what I'm most interested in. Self-actualization is idealized in American culture, and self-transcendence less emphasized. It's late and I'm tired, so I'm not going to bother defining everything here, but the gist of it is that self-actualization is about fulfilling your potential and higher needs (e.g. intellectual, aesthetic) as opposed to lower ones like food and safety. Self-transcendence is about going beyond yourself. I think I want to connect with someone who also values that, but it's harder to find when you're not religious or some kind of new age hippie.

Some people say they met the love of their life when they were in middle age, 40s or 50s or even beyond. I hope I don't have to wait that long, but it seems hard to meet people who can appreciate what I have to offer. Being liked for being pretty and smart is... dissatisfying. Those are parts of me but they're not what make me an individual. It feels more meaningful when people appreciate me for my perspectives, for my choices in life, for what I create and what I challenge myself to do. For my journey. I want to find someone about whom I can appreciate those things too. I hope we can encourage and hold each other's authentic selves, including all the unsavory shadowy parts and the frustrating parts and the ugly parts. I hope we can have fights where we yell and cry and still love each other after. I hope we can have misunderstandings that hurt us but which get resolved and leave us stronger than we were before. I hope we can have faith in each other.

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