Not only should…

Existentialists R Us

Not only should one achieve self-reliance by giving expression to his own creative thought, but he should show self-reliance also in the apparently disheartening circumstances of his life. If you fall into one of the pits that the road of life frequently offers, do not lie despondently in its depths, do not moan, do not give up. Very often such a fall is only a test of your manhood, that you may see for yourself how much there is left in you after you have lost everything that is outside of yourself. Your fate is not made by others, your destiny is your own creation — yours only. Your fall is but a temporary setback, do not mistake it for a mortal wound. As long as you have thought in your mind, and feeling in your heart, and iron in your blood, you are not wounded, you are only being…

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The kids are in danger, they’re all getting habits

Bad news, internet. After an agonizing month of waiting, I got word that my industry fellowship plans didn’t pan out. Nothing was guaranteed, and I guess the odds were just not in my favor. It’s a little sad. This was a Boston based company, and I was really looking forward to spending 2 years not only living in an awesome city, but also not having to worry about a big boy job. Life, however, decided to shit on my plans, and so here I am.

For the first time in my life, I’m somewhat directionless. I’ve always had concrete goals that I was moving towards. In high school, I knew I wanted to go to pharmacy school. 3 years of undergrad later, I got in. Once I got in, I knew I had to finish the first 3 years and get out on rotations to see what piqued my interest in the world of pharmacy. Once I was on rotation, I discovered that I really liked the idea of industry and so the next goal was to go to Florida to interview for fellowship positions. There, I interviewed with an exciting company that took an interest me and asked me to apply to be selected for a final interview. Now that that hasn’t panned out, I suddenly feel unsure what I should do with my life. I mean, I have a loose Plan B, but for the first time in my life, I have nothing tangible or concrete to work towards.

I don’t know where I want to work. I don’t know where I want to live. Things have never been quite so up in the air and unpredictable, which is unsettling for me because I’m the kind of person that likes to have as much under control as possible. I at least prefer to know the outcome, even if I can’t affect it.

All I can do is take things one day at a time now. I need a little bit of serendipity in my life.

Heart of fire, ashes everywhere*

alwayscoffee

Darling, sometimes love is a battle that you are fighting from both sides. Your heart is two hemispheres, reaching for separate outcomes. The world spins on the axis of your erratic pulse. Close your eyes, and it is all stardust – the burning out of a star from millions of years ago. Forget the armor. Forget crest you once wore. All honor changes with time, and what you love demands its own worth. Take a breath, and show yourself how you feel. Unclench your fists and fight that way: without weapons. It is a risk. It is one way to break your own heart. It is also the most beautiful way you can save it.

Tell the truth. Do not tell it slant. Peel it out of every word you’ve been too afraid to say. This is your story. This is proof that good people do terrible things. Sometimes, a…

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A former cop, undercover, just got shot, now recovered

I haven’t read The Hairpin in a long time, but I came across a very thought provoking response from a staff writer to a girl asking for advice.

Read the whole thing to get context if you like, but this is the bit that resonated with me most:

You have to work on giving other people space in your life, space to have their own experiences and responses to stress and to situations that make them uncomfortable. Your traumas, while HUGE, can’t blot out the sun so completely that they always, always take center stage and push everyone else’s needs to the side. If they do, then you should probably be alone until you’re strong enough and resilient enough to enter a relationship with a spirit of generosity, of give and take, where two very different people bring different qualities and passions and also injuries to the table.

In a relationship, two people should be on even ground. The way I interpret this excerpt is that one partner shouldn’t walk on egg shells for fear of upsetting the other, and thereby preventing themselves from expressing a response to a situation. Relationships aren’t just about you, even though they may feel like it sometimes. It’s important to remember that your partner is experiencing their own sensations, processing events and words in their own way, and interpreting them in ways that oftentimes will differ from yours. This is especially important to remember when the chips are down and shit hits the fan. Moving past your own anger and getting to the root of the issue and understanding your partner’s motives and feelings helps to dissolve the confusion, resentment and sense of betrayal. It helps put you both on the same page.  It can even save relationships. Communication, communication, communication.

Give me the strength to return the breath you’ve stolen

I shook hands with a killer the other day. I’m not sure how many people get to say they’ve done that.

So this guy came in to clean the windows for the place and I’m told the staff know him pretty well. After listening to him talk for all of 20 seconds, I could tell he was 5 kinds of nuts. He was just a weird dude with some clear psychiatric issues going on and there was absolutely medication he needed to be on that he wasn’t on. Today, I learned that he killed his father 30 some years ago.  There was a confrontation between the father and mother wherein he defended her and shot his abusive father with his own gun. For this, he served 3 years. Holy shit! That’s the kind of shit you see in movies and television. That kind of shit doesn’t happen in real life.

It kind of made me wonder how many of us have unwittingly shook hands with strangers who have killed somebody. Who knows what kind of dark shit people hide that you have no earthly idea about?

The rising sun will always speak your name

Week 1 of my Saratoga rotation is in the books. It’s going well so far. I’m compounding a lot of stuff including creams, suspensions, capsules, and chewable treats.

Yesterday, I met a cutie patootie intern from another school who came to spend just 6 hours at the pharmacy. So I showed her everything I learned since Monday, grabbed lunch with her and snagged her number before the end of the day.

I’m pretty happy about my living situation too. I’m living with an older couple and their cat, who is basically the chillest cat in the world.

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Get a load of this guy.

The family raises chickens, which really tells me I’m not in Kansas anymore. Still, I get free eggs for breakfast every morning and I won’t pass up that deal. Their house runs on (filtered) well water and has no actual heating system. Instead, they just have a big old pellet burning stove and a bunch of fucking space heaters strewn everywhere. As a result, it gets a bit chilly (read: freezing). This place is about as boonie as it gets.

With the weekend approaching, I’ll check out the downtown area and see what it has to offer.

Like violence, you kill me

The past few weeks, I’ve had an increasingly growing compulsion. So last night, I did what maybe wasn’t a good idea: I looked up my ex. No, not the last one. I broke up with this girl over a year ago. It seems like a lifetime and a half ago. Still, at the time, that breakup damn near tore me apart. (Listening ad nauseam to Seether’s “Broken” featuring Amy Lee didn’t help any.) The timeless film Office Space had a classic line from Peter about Lumbergh: “He represents all that is soulless and wrong!” This was much the same sentiment I had about my ex for a long time. Every thought of her felt like scalding my hand on a stove. I played the “no contact” game for a year after we broke up. Almost every trace of her was erased. What I kept, I hid away from sight. It was pretty fucking hard for a while. It got easier with time.

For a blessed few months while I was dating the last girl, thoughts of her came to a standstill and only occasionally peeked their stupid heads. Maybe this last breakup is what made me want to take a walk down that boulevard of memories.

I had to rationalize for myself that this was important. Enough time had gone by. All of the arbitrary dates had passed. The problem was that I saw her as this demon. She was taboo. I had to remember that she was just a human being. So, I looked at her face on the Book of Faces. And as I looked at her dumb stupid face after over a year, I felt…ok. I didn’t feel that awful pit I once felt, and it wasn’t like I felt nothing, but I felt ok. I could look at her and not feel like my world was crumbling. I understood that she was just a dumb flawed person, like me. And she looked happy, which is all I ever wanted for her anyway.

It’s cathartic, you guys. Exes that we wall off, no matter how much time passes, still hold power over us. They’re still on a pedestal, it’s just a pedestal of filth (sweet metal band name) and it’s only when you place them on the same playing field as you that they lose their hold. This isn’t easy. I had to do about a year’s worth of soul searching (and sleep with a super cool girl) to distance myself enough to the point where the first one stopped being the be all and end all. Do what you need to do, whatever it is, to let go and find emotional peace.

I’ve all but just forgotten what the color of her eyes were

2014 has wasted no time in testing me. After over a month of no contact, this last girl came out of the woodworks and Facebook messages me a video clip.

Uh.

Ignoring this would be the epitome of petulant childishness, so I was polite and replied, “Ha, that was a lot of fun to watch, thanks.” It was an episode of “Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee” with Louie C.K. and it actually was great to watch. She replies, “I’ll have to watch it tonight. Hope you’re well!”

With those last 3 words, I suddenly feel like I am 16 years old all over again. All of my worldly wisdom is gone and I am now a teenage girl picking apart words and looking for hidden meaning.

It’d be nice if I had experience in post-breakup communication, but sadly I don’t. The last breakup was easy in this regard because there was no post-breakup communication; it was as if she fell off the fucking planet.

So here we are. “Hope you’re well!”

This is: A) simply a nice gesture from a person I used to be close to or B) a way of her testing the waters.

I lean towards the latter. I don’t think girls just go, “OH! A VIDEO CLIP! I BETTER SEND IT TO THAT DUDE I WAS FUCKING A FEW MONTHS AGO!” They especially don’t think that in light of over a month of radio silence. (Do they? Prove me wrong, girls.) As far as I know, she’s still dating this dude. So why is she talking to me at all? I might be a little irritated if I was in that guy’s shoes.

I left it alone. “Hope you’re well” is not something that needs a reply. I don’t know what’s going on in her head. We haven’t been on the same page in a long time. With my upcoming rotation in NY, I won’t even be home until mid February, so it’s all moot anyway. 6 weeks is a long time for things to happen.

I really could do without these mental gymnastics. I miss the days when I was a kid, when life was simple. I played videogames and my biggest bother was finishing my homework or writing an essay. Speaking of videogames, I’ve been playing a lot of them since I came home for the holidays. My gaming desktop gathers dust at my parents’ house the majority of the year, but a few times a year it gets some use. Steam has had some awesome games on sale the past few days and I took full advantage. I got Quantum Conundrum, Deadlight, Unmechanical, and Slender: The Arrival. I’ve mostly been plugging through the former and it’s wonderful. I love physics games that make you think. Quantum Conundrum is reminiscent of Portal in many ways, but has enough unique elements to set itself apart. The writing is excellent as well. It just feels good to shut off my brain for a while and get lost in videogames again.