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I am trying to make more of an effort to be a person, an active participant in my own life (this is essentially how every LJ post I've ever typed over the last 10+ years has begun, so obviously this has not gone so well for me historically).  I think that moving to the city has been a big push for me, and riding my bike everywhere instead of driving has also made me feel more present and aware and connected.

I joined a Women's Article Club, which is fun, and the first meeting I went to was last Sunday.  We talked a lot about vulnerability and authenticity, and there was a girl there who spoke about having been treated poorly in her last job, and how eventually she hit her threshold and wound up telling off her boss and then quit, vowing that she would never be in a doormat position again.  I can relate to that a lot - probably most people can? - but after the vowing, how do you put that into action.  So then she gave a few examples of how she had been setting boundaries and making those boundaries clear to others, and I was really impressed!  I'm not good at setting boundaries, because other than obvious extremes, I can never tell when I'm being unreasonable, and tend to err on the side of conflict-avoiding.  I also don't think this is in any way unique to me, but I don't know how to grow out of it.  The girl sent an email to us this week, saying that she'd been noticing in herself a few times where she allowed others to cross boundaries without doing anything, and was becoming really resentful (towards hersef, seeing this as taking many steps back).  She attached an essay about the desire for Niceness, and it felt like reading a diary entry of my very own.

It was kind of good to hear she was still having issues with boundaries, because it can overwhelming for me to think I'm going to have to get all my issues sorted out in one fell swoop.  Like, one day I'll wake up and be like "That is the end of my hypersensitivity!" and I'll have to be hyper vigilant until I DIE that I'm not going to be all verklempt because of a car commercial, or whatever.  I guess I wish this girl could tell me that she went from doormat to person-who-mediates-issues-before-they-grow-into-suffocating-burdens with the flip of a switch, but that's not how things are.

Also I need this girl to be my friend outside of article club, because I love her and love her energy and want her to tell me all the things she thinks about.

I signed up to be a vegan coach with Open the Cages Alliance, and I'm pretty amped about it.  I'm going to meet my pledges this Saturday!  They are people who promise to give the vegan lifestyle a shot for the next six weeks, and each Saturday we have a big group activity.  Like, vegan food prep, or a visit to an animal sanctuary, or a discussion about animal agriculture's affects on the environment.  I got a call from one of the women organizing it, because one of the pledges I am going to be matched up with is FOURTEEN.  She wanted to make sure I was cool with that, and I am.  Mixed emotions, I guess.  I had kind of envisioned that I would grocery shop with my pledges and cook with them a few times, and I guess we still can.  I guess it's not that weird to hang out with a child in these circumstances.  I do know that feel of living in a house full of omnivores and going to school where they don't really have good options for you in the cafeteria, so I'll be able to relate to her and advise her as best as I can.  We're getting matched partially because this girl likes to work out and I also like to work out.  I always think it's weird when 14 year olds like to work out!  What are they even doing?  Bicep curls with a bunch of utensils they tied together?  (Sick Gummo reference, self.)

I'll find out Saturday if I have other pledges and who they are, I hope I have so many!  I hope I have a whole baseball team of pledges, and then some fluke occurs and we actually do have to play a baseball game against some kind of business man who is cartoonishly evil and the fate of Baltimore relies on this ragtag team of pledges.  Wait no!  I do not wish that I can't have that kind of pressure.  But I would like to have a lot of pledges and teach them what I know.  How crucial was having the support of my sister, of Matty and Jason when I went vegan?  How would I have done if I'd never known McWhirter and all the facets of vegan living, and how you don't have to be a pretentious weirdo, just a passionate person?  These people were so important to me!  I have a lot of paying it forward to do.

Bike party 2nite!  I am going to try and not get so drunk, like last time, just a reasonable amount of drunk, and I am also going to do my best to not fall into the many potholes this winter has gifted our fair city.  Lotta goals for just one evening.

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Yoooooo it's my golden birthday on Saturday.  Gonna be 28 on the 28th.  Don gave me a bunch of Moomin books early.  And a tofu press.  And a cookbook.

I signed up to be a vegan coach and be a guiding light during some poor omnivore's 5 week stint as one of us.  Can't wait.  I hope we get to cook together.  I hope we go shopping together for seitan.  I hope we become life long friends.  It's crazy how I keep meeting new people from my new neighborhood and I'm so excited for it to be above freezing so we can hang out.  Over the weekend we all got snowed in, and digging ourselves out is when we met a bunch of our neighbors.  Hey guys.   

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I've been off tumblr for Lent for less than 48 hours and already it's like I forgot how to be a person.

It's been under 20 degrees all this week, which makes a mockery of me because I don't know how to exist in this weather?  Whose fault is it?  What if I lived in Canada or something, what then?  This morning I drove to yoga and saw two girls who live in my neighborhood and generally commute everywhere by bike, and I was like "Ahhh if you guys did it then I should've done it!"  And they were like "No, it's 6 degees out and 5:30 AM there is ice everywhere we got a ride."  I remember some dumb conversation (one of what felt like infinitely many) amongst the Bikemore group where a huge fight broke out.  I guess the origins were that Bike to Work Day coincided with a torrential downpour, and it got rescheduled, and some of the cyclists were like "You should bike to work in all weather no matter what #10000milesayear" and I was not on that side.  Anyway I'm glad they were also okay with that.  I want to be car independent but I also don't want to be murdered by a vehicle while skidding on some ice, and as I die on the road my blood is the only thing keeping me warm at all.

Our house is so nice!  I was not amped about it, because Don wouldn't buy me my favorite house since he's too hung up on air conditioning and whether or not it "works", but now that we're moved in and the initial horror has worn off I love it.  The rabbits have so much space for their furry frolicks and the cats run up and down the steps and I have so much space in our kitchen.  And a gas stove.  It's fun and awful to shop at a new grocery store.  It's for sure more expensive for poorer quality, #citylife, and I have to buy produce basically every other day because it doesn't last very long.  Its always about to go.

It's my birthday soon!  Everyone should come over and we'll dance.

I just wanna reblog something.

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Haha I restored a draft and it was easily 20 paragraphs about Snowpiercer and how I feel about people who complain about the ending.  I'm the worst!  New entry.

We're moving into our new house in less than two weeks.  I keep having nightmares about things that aren't really even nightmarish - just that we get married and I wake up with a quickened pulse and blind from fear.  I guess I do fear lifelong committment, and getting married, but it's probably ~symbolic of not being ready for things and who cares.

Aside from that Don and I are actually doing very well!  We've been bickering about closing costs and movers and who will transfer insurance or whatever, but other than that we are maybe even better than ever.  We've been hanging out a lot and feel very close, laughing about dumb things.  I've been cooking a lot and playing with different recipes and there've been a lot of stressful things going on vis a vis Don's insulin and then lack thereof, but it's all working out fine.  It's almost fun to play with macros to the degree where I can find xyz recipe for under 10 dollars that has no carbs or sugar.  Jenny and I have also been making a lot of things with protein powder - donuts, pancakes, oatmeal, smoothies.  crushing it.

Other than that I feel almost guilty that I feel much less stressed than Don.  I mostly just lay around and work out and read books.  Don comes  in all tense from a phone call and I'm like naaaaah.  Just chillax.  We'll watch bad TV and I'll give you a massage.  I had a bad psychiatric bout that's kind of hard to talk about.  I've learned that I never want to really own up to the ugliest side of things, and I also don't want to worry anyone so I downplay everything.  Like, I was having auditory hallucinations, and would just act like it was a funny quirk that was NBD.  In reality it was mad stressful and I did a lot of crying and worrying and reading poetry that made me convinced it was time to self-immolate, how could I miss all these signs.  And then I read a lot of books that made me believe love wasn't real?  Books are dangerous and ought to be burned.

IDK I wanted to make an entry about where I am and want to be but I feel gross and self conscious or if there is too much to account for.  I hate my "voice".  Have I always sounded like this?

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One side of my face is all swollen and unhappy - I think something's UP with my 12 year molar (which was root canalled before I even was 12, poor little dude never stood a chance).  It has a crown on it, so whoooo knows what's gotten in there and lay enamel and nerve traps.  Probably those cavity creeps.  At any rate, I'm really wary of going to the emergency clinic, which I what I am "supposed" to do, because I'm worried they'll take emergency action, and possibly the tooth out.  No thanks!  I'm trying to finagle my way into a regular appointment, feign innocence when they call attention to how jacked up my mouth and face are, and then see where that leads us.

This morning was such a cluster.  Don's blood sugar was through the roof, even though it was normal at bedtime, and then Kali peed on the bed because she has cat problems, and then she hid because of embarrassment and I had to make kissey noises to trick her out into the open and force medicine into her small, meow-y mouth.  Don's also showing signs of early stages of pancreatic cancer - though I think they're still likely symptoms of an ulcer or ... tapeworm ... or ... something, we just think it's pancreatic cancer because we have been WAITING for pancreatic cancer.

I've been reading Moomin books a lot, and I can't put my finger on what, exactly, is so charming about them.  They are kind of frustrating!  Everyone has these intense feelings that go nowhere and are seldom expressed, the Moomins have these desires and worries and it's all very complex for a kid's book.  Maybe!  A lot of books I read as a kid were pretty complex.  (Sidebar: adult me is very likely to see some fucked up shit in a movie and be like "Whoa no way is this cool for children" even though as a child I watched/read things where fucked up shit happened ON THE REGULAR and barely registered that anything was weird.  I dunno what it's gonna be like when I'm a parent because I'll probably tell them they can't watch shows where people lie about themselves to fit in because is so fucking awkward and painful to witness, that is the trend.)  Anyway, I love those Moomins and their dashed dreams and their unfullfilled hopes and their seahorse friends.  "I sure hope someone, at some point, acknowledges their painful feelings to another person and we get some kind of resolution."  Nope!  So great.  So intense is my love for this universe that I'm even thinking about getting a half sleeve of Moomin tattoos.

Two of my friends have gotten divorced, which surprised/saddened me, since I honestly felt like they were this perfect couple.  I lived with them for two summers in a row in Annapolis, and they were all about getting up at six and going running together (this was a new health journey they'd cultivated together) and even though in May they could only run about a mile, a few years ago they started doing ultramarathons of 50 and 80 miles.  They would read together and study Ancient Greek and make margaritas that I would drink, that was my contribution to things, they just seemed very cute and sweet and I was crazy about them both.  I think there was kind of a mass "Oh no, you two were perfect together/love isn't real!" from the Annapolis campus in the wake of the news, which is probably hard to hear even in circumstances of amicale break ups.  But today she told me that he'd been abusive, he was check kiting, messing up their future, ugh ugh ugh.  It makes me feel so shitty how often I must've said to her "I just LOVE you two, you give me hope!"  Like, how messed up that must've been.  I know for sure I was not the only one blowing them up with that rhetoric, but still.  I know this is a freshman-year-in-college-on-the-quad revelation, but it just shocks me over and over again how little insight you can have into a thing when you think you actually have a good sense of what's going on.  Other people's relationships are so unfathomable!

Moomin taught me that.

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I just got an email with the subject line "How does your hospital handle mature nurses?" and I can't stop laughing.

I'm trying to compartmentalize and re-evaluation my priorities based on my upcoming life changes.  One of the reasons I was even motivated to seek a part-time job, other than Alex offering it to me, is when I work all the time and have a solid cushion of cash, I spend money really stupidly.  I think it's to try and balance out how dissatisfied I am with my life, but when I worked at Freddies I would drop $150 a night at the bar (me and my dudes, not just me) without blinking, and it's not like I am or was rolling.  Now I buy dumb trinkets, snacks when I'm not even hungry - I can't even tell you what I blow my paycheck on.  I'm not so un-indoctrinated that I don't put 25% of each paycheck into savings, but I am definitely not handling my money mindfully or even in a way that I feel like anything is happening.

This might be partially because I never pay for things in cash, so every business transaction feels like just 20 seconds when we agree to imaginary conditions, and then I walk away with soy yogurt.  I used to have really intense, psychosomatic episodes when I spent my-or-someone else's money, like I was mourning the deaths of those presidents when they left my hands and went to someone else's.  I would hold up my new beanie baby to eye level, all "you best be worth this, Blizzard."

It's not even like I'm spending money on dumb things that make me really happy, because I cannot tell you what I'm spending money on.  Other than bills, where is this all going?  Do I eat that much salad?  When I bought a new bike, it stretched me thin, but that all was fine because I could understand where my money went and I had a bike on which to ride away from all my problems.  

What I'm saying is that having more free-time and a smaller pay check might be very good for me.  My dad is already wanting to know what I've decided about school, where I'll be going and when I'll take my GREs, but I am not ready for that.  I'm sure this is just me being a whiny millenial, but I'm gonna manage on a 30% pay cut and that'll go to my quality of life.  This was probably the prime realization when I went to see Erin.  It'd be one thing if I were in a career that were meaningful to me, or even in any way challenging - waitressing was probably better for me in a lot of ways, because I'd have to constantly problem solved and memorize orders.  This isn't gonna bump me up as a contender for my graduating class's "Most Successful", but I'm tired of trying to measure myself up to the potential people always saw for me when I don't even know what I want.

This got so whiny!  Who knew.  I'm just happy right now.  And relieved.  We'll see how working part time goes.

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I've had my browser open to post for hours and hours but I don't know what to post.

We're going to be buying a house soon, which is exciting and scary and it's weird how I'm resistant to it now that it's more imminent.  I've spent 2+ years rolling around on the floor in a baby fit, asking when when when are we going to get a house, and now that we're looking I'm trying to pump the brakes.

I got a flat yesterday and obviously didn't have my spare kit with me.  I'm not honestly sure what - if any - damage was done to the wheel itself after I walked my bike back a few miles.  Is it okay?  Am I gonna have to go to the bike shop and stand there while they look at me, through slitted eyes, asking how I could have let this happen?  Don't I know how it's always important to have a spare tube?  Why is my chain like that?  Do I not grease it enough?  What have they told me about greasing my chain, especially if I've been riding in the rain?  And I'll have to just nod and apologize until the words part is done and the paying part starts.

Only boys look good in sleeveless bike jerseys, which is unfortunate.

I'm going to a Johnnie wedding this weekend and I'm not ready at all.  I need to buy a gift and then wrap it, unlike all those other times.  I need to find my dress and get laundry done and pack.  I need to clean my car and get my eyebrows done.  I need to clean my rabbits' room so they will be all set to have whatever kind of weekend they mean to have.  I don't fucking know what they get up to.

I've lost the will to care about most things, let's be honest.

I feel not great about my weight.  I remember when my hip bones would jut out, how much I loved running my fingers along the ridges.  Now I am not fit to be seen in public.  I am afraid of gaining more.  But I am also so hungry all the time, and tired.  It's hard to know what to do.

My intense dislike for certain people is gonna have to fuel me for the rest of my life.

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I am back from Big Sky country, back at work and back in old habits.  It's funny.  Not like "ha ha" funny but funny.

My heart feels so full like it might spill over, all on everything and I think that's when I'm the most "me".  It's bizarre to contrast this against my actions, how freely I let people go.  I love you and want the best from you, provided that the best is not anywhere near me and also I don't have to hear about it.

On vacation I went back to hardly sleeping and hardly eating, and I read a lot of books and biked a lot of miles.  That is also when I'm my most me.  Erin and I talked to each other nonstop.  I think I was worried we wouldn't have much to say, or would be like strangers after all these years, but pretty much from when she picked me up at Bert Mooney to when she dropped me back off we were talking and asking and storytelling.  Nothing had changed even though everything had changed and I loved her so much.  She showed me the robot she'd been working on, we saw Old Faithful, walked up hills.

I have been thinking a lot about the way absences are felt and I have a lot to say but will have to write later.

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today I am dizzy and it's hard to stand and look and be still.  this is a literal metaphor for my heart and being and i tap tap tap the words into google to see what i am dying of.

i am tired of the easy facile friendship of faux girlpower.  your revolt is revolting.  i am sick of being told i am a bad ass when i am at best regular and at worst terrified and i feel like no one's listening.  i was thinking yesterday of how horrible things were as a child and why things feel worse, now.  maybe they don't.  maybe they just feel more now.  when i was smaller and stupider and watching people ruin their lives or even die and i knew what the thing was was called "crack" or "smack" for my more affluent cousins, i felt sad and scared and helpless but also maybe like these big big problems were not mine to solve.  it was bad, very bad, i felt consumed and sad and BAD, but still nursed somewhere in my brain this dumb idea planted and sowed by the books i read that someone, somewhere, knew what to do and they would solve it.  bad and sad things would happen and i would feel bad and sad in turn, but there was a narrative somehow leading me to the point where someone would be a fixer and they would know the words to say.

i think the reason everyone hits their kids and their kids' friends is because they are also afraid, but i used to think this was comforting because it was a universal law at least.  kim's mom might smack me with a wooden spoon if i said a swear at the table, same as my mom, and this helped affirm it as a truth kind of.  now there are no truths.  i don't know anyone who hits their own kids.  that's probably better.

now i know that no one ever is going to be a fixer and least of all me.  i think this is called confronting your own failure but i'm too tired.  we are supposed to lift as we rise but we are just being disappeared, everyone is disappearing.  when jessup closed down it felt like the End, kind of, like prison wasn't going to be a throw you drape over the mess.  but now it still is and people are just very far.

maybe i am uppity after all.

how am i supposed to know what to do.  people are washing their hands of their people and their families.  are some people just bad and lost and gone?  how do you let someone hit rock bottom without letting them crash and burn forever?

i cannot deal with most people right now.  they have nothing to say.  what am i good for.

it's easy to blame addicts and it's easy to say the words 'product of their own environment' but.  what next.

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I miss Ky.

I also got drunk and agreed to go to Disneyland (or world or whatEVER) in September with my sister and her dudes.  It's during the Food and Wine festival, which is probably why drunk me thought it would be fun, but I guess I am kind of looking forward to it?  It doesn't feel very anarchist or class warrior tho!  Am I a hypocrite?  Look into this, future self.  Disney is obviously a heinous brand that I am against, just like I am against all things and am a buzzkill at all times, and also I'm a person who never gained the kind of maturity that makes you stop caring about being cool, and Disney is not very cool.  Disney is a place that people I hate go to.  They dress up like Alice in Wonderland, and, just are people that I can't stand.  I guess I can enjoy my at-all-times-unwarranted false sense of superiority (never 5get) and drink heavily.  Jenny and I already made it clear we're not gonna go to the Animal Kingdom, get fucked with that Disney, so I guess that's something.  Also I just got vivid flashbacks to when I went to Disneyland Paris in February and it was a nightmare.  The part that I did unironically enjoy was trying to explain in my weaksauce French what cotton candy was to all my friends who didn't speak English.  Then they just spent the day buying me different candy and being all "Is this it?"  The parts I did not enjoy - not very fun rides, it was February, people in fursuits, sobriety.

So that was not a very necessary detour in this entry, which I had meant to write about my new outlook on life (el oh el) and how I would be eschewing my more natural state of negativity and heck of judgmental vibes, but here we are.  It's important to be honest about my starting point.

Original plan of entry tbh was going to be talking about missing Ky > talking about the importance of bravery > wallowing vs. exploring and going from there!  Now it's basically evidence that I am a Krabby Patty forever and ever.  That's how life is, sometimes.

It was #Artscape this weekend, and honest-to-glob I spent hours beforehand wandering around all sad-eyed because of how nothing is fun and I am incapable of having new experiences because of my tendencies to over-analyze and cetera.  I picked up various cats and showed them to themselves in the mirror and said "Everything is an illusion there is no such thing as happiness."  But then I went to Artscape and it was actually very fun?  Matty and I walked around and looked at all the impromptu art galleries in the parking garages, and painted bricks for the new urban art park, and got into it with some anti-choicers who tried to take my picture, and won pizza party twister?!  I also feel like something about the day - maybe because we spent so much time looking at different art and different people trying very hard to sincere convey something with absolute honesty - made me and Matty very open with one another in a way that was really inspiring to me.  Sometimes I forget what it's like to really connect with someone and really be present to experiences.  This is because I am a negative person who worries a lot about objectivity and also is the worst.

I think I harbor incorrect notions that my depression is linked to my creativity or my...uniqueness?  That to stave off depression would reduce my ability to think in new ways or some such nonsense, who the fuck knows.  When I see clearly, I'm like, whoa that's really wrong.  But when I'm depressed I'm like "wow I have such access to the inner recesses of my mind, I am the true knower".  That's very non-conducive to getting better!  I think it also means I'm an insane narcissist?

After Artscape I came across some rando who'd gotten a flat on his bike and needed a ride back to Patterson Park, so we put his bike on my rack and I drove him home.  Something about driving at night through the city in the summer is so intimate, I feel like time is actually different and being alive just feels very raw.  The streets are all mostly empty and the rowhouses feel like people that grew up around you.  I was still kind of buzzing with that feeling when I got to the bar for Alex's birthday party.  I saw her and my instinct was to hug her and tell her something, something TBD about summer and birthdays and who knows what, but I contained myself and we had regular conversation.  I only stayed for a few hours before coming home, and walking back to my car on Eastern Ave again gave me that feeling.  Something about Baltimore gets into your skin, into your bones.  Probably everyone feels that way about a city that is Theirs, that the city is like a person and you feel like it holds the lives of the millions of people who walked those streets before.  Sometimes it's overwhelming, because an overwhelming majority of Baltimore's history has been bad.  But sometimes what you feel is the city's resilience.  Yeah this place got burned to the ground, more than once, but so what.  Yeah we were all almost crushed by an economic depression, a million times over, but now we're on an upswing.  I think Artscape is celebratory of that - all the self-taught artists who turned their pain and PTSD and poverty into something.  There is a bad section of Artscape with like, corporate sponsors and an inflatable Geico Gecko and it's all very weird, pretty sure that's not art although to be fair I am not an expert, but for the most part there's still this celebration of our city, of helping everyone and celebrating art and all the different ways you can make art.

This is STILL not where I wanted this entry to go, maybe I will write more later.