Saturday, June 30, 2007

For James

I've been in a down cycle (this doesn't necessarily mean I'm depressed, but rather I'm in a state where I'm prone to becoming depressed) lately and one of the most frustrating things about this is it becomes harder for me to think. This doesn't actually mean I'm less creative, I still get random interesting thoughts, I still play with interesting stories, I still mess around with worlds in my head, but it becomes very difficult for me to access that creativity when it comes to crunch time, ie when I get to a place where I can sit down and write, like here. It's time like these, as well as all other times, I wish I could simply access my memories (as well as my dreams which are usually pretty cool but often easily forgotten), like a computer, just at will. There's so much of my life, so many of my memories and ideas that have been lost by the passage of time.

This brings me I think to an apology I've been meaning to make. One of the nice things about placing things on the public record is there is the off chance that someone with whom you've lost contact might read it, and so perhaps you can send them a message. This is to my buddy James, or Jim. If anyone read the corpus of my half-finished stories they might discover that I use the name James a lot, perhaps this is because in 2nd grade (maybe 3rd) me and my friend James were inseperable, we were the best of friends. Back then I had this sort of mental test for best friends. I used to be a crybaby and I hated that fact intensely, and furthermore I knew that everyone in the class would make fun of me, so the rule was if I cried in public and my friend stood by me and defended me, he was one of my best friends (perhaps my best friend in elementry school, Kyle, never actually encountered this test, but eventually I realized that it was very possible that the rare occassion where I cried in public might not happen in front of Kyle and yet he still was of the caliber of friend where he would have defended me if it had happened). James encountered this test; in class we had been given peanuts for something or other, and my teacher, who while she was a very good teacher had a short temper, warned us not to throw the peanut shells in the trash can. However I did and the teacher saw it and started yelling (well, not really yelling that much, just sort of yelling) at me and I was overcome with guilt and embarressment and fear of punishment and further embarressment and I started to cry and the class started (I think if my memory serves me right) to make fun of me or laugh and James stood by my side and defended and comforted me. He was most certainly a good friend.

However, after that 2nd (again or maybe 3rd) grade year, James moved away or something like that, and even in those years I had enough social anxiety that calling to invite someone over to my house seemed like an impossibility (or perhaps I was just so unused to it it just didn't seem like an option), and so we lost contact completely. It was sad, and this coupled with the later lost contact with my friend Matt, led me to conclude that for many years that lost contact with friends was a simple inevitability (a position I have since fiercely reversed, which I think will be the center of my Knights of Mars organization). I always wished that I could meet James again and resume our friendship.

And then, I got that lucky wish, in high school I was wandering around when I bumped into some guys I didn't really know, and one of them started insisting that I knew him. Apparently he was called Jim and while he insisted I knew him I could not recall the memory. And I could not remember his face. He eventually gave up on the attempt to remind me and I walked away. But suddenly it clicked. Jim was short for James. It was James, my childhood chum, this was great. I ran back over to him and greeted him enthusiastically. I couldn't spend that much time with him though, I think I had to go somewhere or he had to go somewhere, but I promised him that I would talk to him more the next day in school.

But at that time, I think it was freshman or sophmore year of high school, I was at the peak of my depression and anxiety. And I had this paralyzing fear that I was going to forget his face. I tried so hard to picture it exactly in my head but every time I tried I became afraid it wasn't right or that I wasn't going to be able to. I tried so hard that I had to try to remember the exact features on James' face, but I couldn't, and by the next day I couldn't for sure say what James' face looked like. I just couldn't remember. I think I saw him (although I wasn't sure if it was actually him) many times in school and I would glance at him and wish that I would overcome my fears and greet him and if I got the wrong person or if he called me on forgetting his face, well so be it, whatever embarressment I would have had would be a small price to pay for having a good friend back. But I was too afraid, too full of anxiety and too full of self-hatred to believe that I could overcome that anxiety. So I never talked to him again. And for that I am sorry.

If you ever read this James, this is John Thomas your buddy from 2nd (or maybe 3rd grade) in Littlebrook Elementry School, and I'm sorry for forgetting your face and not talking to you. I am so sorry.

But now I'm in college and the halls of high school where everyone would see everyone are gone. Sometimes I think I see someone who kind of looks like James around town but I'm so unsure of it that I usually just dismiss the thought. Or maybe it's just my cowardice acting up again. I don't know.

Similar things have happened to me with other friends and some of my relatives, especially one aunt of mine. But usually either the person will come up to me and remind me of themselves or they weren't that good of a friend to begin with. I don't think I ever had a memory-loss which affected me as much as this incident with James. But then again, in trying to remember an occasion bigger than this, I'm relying on my memory, which I find so flawed, so completely faulty sometimes, it tears at me, it fuels my self-hatred. I wish so much that there was some recorder you could install in your brain to remember everything. But there isn't. And all I am left with is memories, and those all tend to fade.

Friday, June 29, 2007

History drives her lovers mad

That phrase has been ringing in my ears for some time now. I'm actually working on a number of poems (not all of which will make it past the cutting block (but those that do will probably end up up here)) using that phrase, because it is a pretty nice one I like to think. And it is in a figurative sense somewhat accurate. Pondering history is an easy route to insanity. Trying to figure out a pattern, trying to work out a direction, trying to find the rhyme or reason, these things will drive a person mad very easily. Imposing a direction or a rhythm on history is easier but not much saner. And yet there must be some, because people are after all made up of fators, of what they started life with and what they accumulated along the way and history is made up of people, so it all should be able to be chopped into factors, then added up into history. Or better yet perhaps there is some macropattern that has just popped up, like the way weather takes millions of unknown factors and then finds a pattern, maybe history is like that. Maybe. That's a maybe that will drive you mad.

And those who embrace history most fully. Who wish to enter her, those who wish to become one with history, they are the maddest of all, because history is in the end, I think, a creature of nature, and a creature of dead nature, it in the end has no special life to itself, but the life we give it, and so yes it can be loved as an idea, but as a lover, that commitment, it will drive the lover mad because it is an illusion, and it is an illusion composed of the chaos of the combined comos of all the humans who have ever lived. There is the author of history, God, whom one can embrace, but history. History gives us nothing but what we take from it. If we ask it for love, it will give only madness.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Targets will re-appear; lost goodwill is harder to win back.

I don't have a history of simply putting up links to articles, although perhaps I should build one seeing as how often I run across interesting articles. But this article expresses very well what I have been thinking about some of our problems in winning the "hearts and minds." Well, maybe I'm not necessarily in favor of adding more troops, it depends on the overall effect in would have and I think in Iraq especially it would have an overall negative effect, but I definitely agree with the article that we are putting too much emphasis on bombing and not enough on protecting civilians. Even if less bombing puts our soldiers in more risk in the short-term it exposes them to less risk in the long term by building good will. And it saves innocent lives.

Never Fear Comikier is here

Gasp in amazement, Comikier #4 has arrived.

Check it out and all the Comikier comics!


Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Paranoia, never what you want it to be

I do believe I'm paranoid. Well, maybe paranoid is the wrong word, actually it almost certainly is the wrong word, but in my head it's been associated with my feelings for so long that I can't really think of describing these certain feelings in any other way really. Well these feelings are basically I imagine myself having the worst attributes I can think of, everything I'm afraid of in people I imagine myself having. Moreover, I imagine other people see these things in me. I'm always questioning what other people think of me when I'm talking to them, and I'm always tempted to interpret their actions as comfirmation of these feelings. Take for example a recent IM chat I had. Every time there was a delay in the person's reply I suspected in was because of their secretly hating me and becoming frustrated and deciding just to ignore me, and every reply I got even when prompt I suspected as just being an excuse to try to get rid of me. So I've got those feelings.

And yet, I can deal with them. Over time I've come to realize more and more that in the end I am the master of my mind. Even if I have these feelings and even if they are frustratingly annoying, I can ignore them and press on with my life. I just got to keep on truckin' and so that is what I intend to do.

A little bit of this

I sometimes wonder what the point of this webpost is. Does anyone read it? The statistics say yes, but at an odd and inconsistant rate. I dunno, hopefully people are reading this, and being exposed ot the glory that is Rand. At least it keeps me working.

Today is a bit of a disarray
So let me treat you to some random thoughts

There is no greater feeling of relaxation than flushing out your system
In the bathroom
It eases the mind and body
To remove all that requires number one or two
Often when I am dealing with a troubling assignment of a homework nature
I will stroll to the bathroom
And sit on the toliet
Empty my system
And think
In the utter privacy
Only the bathroom allows

How is that?
I thought I'd change things up a little. Just a treat for all you who are reading.
Comikier comics should be coming up this week, stay prepared.

Monday, June 25, 2007

The blues of the younger years

I read an article in the Star-Ledger today about some controversy over early diagnosis of bipolar disorder. It was not a great article, lacking the depth I would have liked but it was decently interesting. It brought up a case of this little girl who was killed by an overdose of bipolar medication, and raised the question of whether the psychiatrist who first brought up the idea of little kids having bipolar disorder was morally responsible for this. On the face of it, I would have to say no, since the parents gave their little girl an overdose, ignoring the recommended guidelines. If the psychiatrist made vague statements that could have been interpreted as encouraging above-recommended medication, maybe he's responsible, otherwise, no. But the broader question is whether bipolar disorder starts with adults or with kids. I'm not sure if my problems are exactly bipolar disorder, they do involve deep depressive phases and some manic phases, although the depressive phases tend to be longer. But if my mental illness is bipolar disorder, then I could say in my case at least, my problems started early. Well, maybe. It's hard to say exactly, I definitely know I can trace back my anxiety problems to when I was very young, with my depressive and manic phases, I probably can say they also go back to when I was young, although in both cases, the problems only got really, really bad when I hit puberty. But even before then I had problems with social interaction, not necessarily obvious problems, but I found it extremely nerve racking to call people over the phone, so I ended up with much fewer outside school play-dates than other kids my age. With depression, it's hard to remember exactly because it's harder to remember mood, especially given the tendancy to romanticize youth. But I think overall, yeah there were depressive periods, and probably some manic periods back then. Did these problems go back to younger than 6 as the pyschiatrist in the article speculates? That I really, really, really don't know, because remembering all my feelings that long ago is very difficult and very speculative. But my problems didn't just start with puberty, they just got worse then. However, I should qualify myself by pointing out that my case is just one story and should not be regarded as the case for all people with bipolar disorders, and my problems might not even be bipolar. But at least I can say mental problems sometimes start early in a kid's life.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

So cute girl, where does your mind lie

Good evening, fellows and females. Let me make a little description. I know this girl (this is not the girl who I mentioned in a previous session I had a crush on, while I would not be opposed to dating this girl, I don't really have those kind of feelings for her, she is simply a friend of mine, who stands out in my memory because of a particular attribute that I would assign to her) who can be and almost certainly often is described as cute. I want my description to be vague enough that no one, most especially the girl in question will suspect who I am describing (if I was asked by that girl if it was her I would tell her the truth, this is a matter I would like to remain secret, but not so much that I would lie about it). Anyways, she is cute. I do not mean that in the general beautiful way, but rather in cute as in, I dunno, pretty, darling, or lovely but not necessarily sexy. I mean she is attractive, and she is not not-sexy or manish but she is not particularly prominent in the respects where you usually would assign sexiness (well, I'm not really sure on that point, I haven't made a detailed lookover of her).

She has a pretty face, a small frame, a good natured and friendly spirit, amusing, sometimes silly, and well, cute habits, and an innocent way about her. There are also other matters that render her to most cute, including some which are probably unfair, but which I will refrain from getting into due to my desire to preserve her anonymity. Now in general I have no problem with cuteness, I often enjoy it in media, objects, animals and people. I do get annoyed when cuteness disguises a lack of substance or is overdone to the point of annoyance, excess, or obsession. I also get annoyed when an obession on cuteness is a limiting factor on someone, becoming a facade they must maintain or reducing their intelligence to that of an infant. I feel that is a problem among women's culture in many parts of the world and sub-cultures. None of these problems with over-cuteness plague the girl I am talking about (at least given how much I know about her, which is a decent amount but not that much, but how much can one ever really know about another person? (Even taking that limit into consideration I'd still have to stick with I know a decent amount about her but not that much)).

She is overall a nice girl, a good catch. While I am not especially given to dating her now, it would not seem strange to find out that somewhere down the road of life we got together. Now I don't know really how this hypothetical relationship would work, but if it was one where piercingly personal questions were the norm or at least could be asked in a direct manner, I would ask her what being cute was really like. Did she enjoy being cute? Did her cuteness ever feel like a burden? Did her cuteness, even when positive, get in the way of the image she wanted to project? These are serious questions that I wonder about, because when a person has an attribute that is exceptionally prominent, often it is difficult or impossible for that person to turn that attribute off. And sometimes an attribute, even one such as cuteness, can be annoying to be associated with, can overshadow a message you want to get across, or can carry with it its own responsibilities. If I could I might ask her if it was like being funny?
That's an attribute that I've had to deal with. It's a positive attribute, undoubtably, but I never really intended to have it. I always rather wanted to be cool or reliable, but perhaps much more than those two qualities I am funny. This attribute sometimes makes it difficult for me to make a serious point and sometimes it carries with it a responsibility to entertain. But overall I like being funny, the burden it carries, while at times considerable is never overwhelming, and it is counteracted by the joy I get at making other people happy. I would like to be serious, cool, and known for greatness and glory, but I suppose I'll simply try to be all that in addition to being funny. I wouldn't want to leave behind an ability to chase away worries or draw out smiles simply for glory, it's too precious to me. I wonder if cuteness is like that. Or perhaps it's a different beast all together. While at times I can act cute, I don't really have a cute appearance, and overall I'm more eccentric than cute, and I certainly am not as cute as the girl I have been describing. If I really wanted to have an idea about what being cute was like I'd probably have to ask her, but that's a question that does not lend itself to most conversations, so I may have to wait a long time for the right opportunity to occur for me to ask the question. And perhaps that opportunity will never occur. Alas, but there will always be the mysteries of the places other people's minds do tred, and perhaps this cute girl's mind's place of rest will never be known to me.

That's all I have to say about that, for now at least. So anyways, take it to your head, take it to your heart, and remember Rand rocks. Goodnight Folks!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

A contrite heart

I read the obituary on Kurt Waldheim struck me particuarly. It discussed a man who they accused, and probably rightly so, of being in denial of his guilt at being part of the Nazi war machine. While not a key part of it, he was an efficient cog, and while he most likely did not commit war crimes, he knew about them and did his work very well (according to his Wikipedia article he received an honor for his work) only miles away from the concentration camps. He hid this fact, misrepresented his past, and denied all guilt aggressively. As the Economist pointed out his position mimicked that of his home country of Austria.

People involved in the horrors of WWII like him in a side manner cannot be condemned for life for their association. But they can be sorry, they can ask for forgiveness. He did not, saying he was in no position to do anything about it. He said in his autobiography

"When death comes to you, all the distinctions in life disappear. Good and bad, dark and light, merits and mistakes, stand now in front of a judge who knows the truth. I can go there with trust, because I know His justice and His mercy."

but the mercy of God is not given without conditions. One must admit his guilt and repent. And this is not because God is obsessed with forcing painful admissions from people, but rather because the hidden guilt is a barrier that keeps a soul from God, and while God does I think expose this guilt to the soul after death, the soul must still accept its guilt if it is to be forgiven and the soul is to recieve mercy. I hope Mr.Waldheim might accept his guilt after death, even if it seems (although I could never really know, not seeing inside his head) that he did not in life.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

It's not the hand your dealt, it's folding to a 3-7

There are times I know I've been an idiot, there are times I'm afraid I'm being an idiot, and there are times I've got a weird feeling where I know I'm right but my brain's still telling me I'm being an idiot. Now, I've got a little bit of it all, largely because I'm trying to do something which should be done extremely smoothly with extreme akwardness, but it must be done, but, well, it's hard to get around the circumstances without telling you anything, and I don't feel like telling you, my devoted but bummy readers, anything, so that's about it.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Just like the movies

I have trouble watching movies at home alone nowadays. I have such a sense of urgency about my life that when I spend too much time doing one thing my mind becomes filled with a debate about what to do, and that debate interferes with my watching movies. With tv it's somewhat different, since I watch different things in 1/2 hour segments, but it has been a long time since I saw a movie that I liked was on and just sat down and watched it end to end (well, no it hasn't been a long time, I watched Spirited Away a week or two ago but that was the exception that proved the rule since I had my family as company when I was watching, when I'm with people the movie watching feels like a social experience and so I'm less reluctant about it). I think this is the same reason why I've been reading less lately. At some point I have to calm myself down and relax and teach myself that it's ok to spend a couple hours in a row unwinding every now and then, or that treating yourself to a good movie or book is a good deed as well, since you are a good person, but for right now I am more focused on getting things in my life done and so teaching myself to relax is in second gear right now, but it's still something I'm keeping in the back of my mind.

Friday, June 8, 2007

I call thee Jabberwocky

I could say that I'm calling the various difficulties and reasons that cause me to miss my sessions Jabberwocky, but that would be lame, and you know how I feel about being lame (and if you don't, then you're a bum). But it's strange. I'm not used to being really, actually busy. During the school year of course there are periods of huge activity, but I tend to be a semi-slacker when it comes to school work, I do the minimum I need to do to do great. This gives me a good amount of free time during the school year and during the summers I usually have a great deal of free time. Usually what sucks up this time is my depression and my exhaustion, etc. Now however, I actually might be becoming legitimately busy. I already have an internship where I work 2-3 days (sometimes 8 hr.s a day but usually a good deal less), and a part-time job that takes up 16 hours a week, all that seems incredibly busy to me, because well, I don't do lots of stuff usually. Past summers I have felt a day was busy if I hung out with a friend and went to the library in the same day. Wooo. But I realize most people work a whole lot more than this, so while it is busy for me, it wouldn't be a busy schedule for most people. Still, given, especially my limited energy, I have found this schedule pretty exhausting. And now, well, now I might be taking on an internship which would probably add another 21+ hours of work to my schedule. See with that I can legitimately call myself busy. However, calling myself busy doesn't write sessions, nor does it get any one of my many personal projects taken care of, so it really just means I've got to squeeze every moment until it gets absorbed into my skin. (Simpsons reference there) In that spirit, or rather contary to that spirit, I need to say I need to go, but I'll always be with you in spirit, or something like that. So anyways, take it to your head, take it to your heart and remember Rand rocks. Goodnight Folks!

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Princeton Review Redux

I am back in the Princeton Review building, four maybe five years after having left it with a relieved smile. That is not to say the Princeton Review was that bad, I simply regarded it as useless and a waste of my time, judgements that were unduly harsh in retrospect. The Princeton Review, maybe, maybe was useful, but I wouldn't pay for it again if I had to take another big test as I did those several years ago for the SATs. And now I'm back again on the teacher's side and now...well, now I'm in training, so basically things are pretty much the same. I'm being taught stuff about the SATs, and true I'm also getting the bonus of learning how to teach the SATs, but neither is terribly interesting. What's unfortunate now though, is that I can't zone out as I used to when things get particularly boring.

I suppose this is the difference between classes and job training, with classes, you mess up, you can make it up later, and you can study from the text book, and if you miss the nuances of the professor's lessons, well, that probably won't be on the test anyways, but with job training, well, you mess up you get fired. So I can't simply doodle while the trainer goes through his lesson, as much as I'd like to and in a four hour lesson, I'd really, really like to, so instead I have to listen, because I'm going to have to use this information to impress him so I can get a job, so I can get money. I suppose this is the ultimate state of education, in all education there's the promise that if you do well you can get a job and if you don't you lose a job, here that promise and threat are not something far away that might happen, they are right in front of your face. Of course, with real education there is also the value of the information your getting, which in the case of the Princeton Review teaching is somewhat low I have to say in my opinion, but even if it was high I'd probably still be bored. I'm often bored even in my more interesting classes, and I have to force myself to pay attention to get even the information that I want to learn, but here...well, here I don't really want this information but I have to take it. Oh well, I do need the money, because in the end I have grand ambitions and some annoying problems, and both while not solvable through money could be helped with a little application of power correctly used, and hey, money is simply liquid power. Such is the way of the world, heck it's not even such a bad way of the world. I got to get going, to sleep probably (I'll have to apologize, well to myself I guess for the recent shortness of sessions, but I'm tired and busy, but those aren't very good excuse but there's always still tommorow), but anyways, take it to your head, take it to your heart and remember Rand rocks. Goodnight Folks!

Monday, June 4, 2007

I know you want to hit that

I'm a devout Christian, so that undoubtably influences my thinking about sex. Like most things I try to start my thinking about an ethical topic from a trusted source, usually the Church, then analyze the topic and either agree with the trusted source or gradually move from that starting point through reason to a new perspective. So I approach most of my understanding of sex from that perspective. It shouldn't be surprising then that I think that sex should be in marriage. But lacking that it should at least be in a commited relationship. And I feel this ought be true for both men and women. There's this certain justification for women having sex outside a commited relationship by saying "well, when men have sex with lots of women they are called players and complimented, but when women do it they're called sluts, thus it is alright for women to have sex with lots of men," but you could also say that maybe, just maybe, it is wrong for men to be having sex with lots of women. I dunno, I just read something like that in the newspaper that prompted that reaction. Yeah, so that's about that. I hope that didn't sound too angry, while I don't like that saying, I don't want to imply that the people who do have lots of random sex are bad people, on the other hand I am holding it to be a sin, but there are lots of sins and we all commit them, so we don't get to judge, of course, just because you shouldn't judge people doesn't mean that people don't do bad things, it just means that doing a bad thing doesn't necessarily make them a bad person.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

The Call of the Primitive

I'm usually a pretty relaxed, easy-going kind of guy, but certain things annoy me. For example, I don't like it when cultures are labelled primitive. What does that mean really? Just that they use primitive technology, well, maybe, that could be acceptable if all of the people in the culture use primitive technology (which is not the case except for a few very isolated peoples, most cultures have integrated advanced technology into their society even if they are too poor to use it widespread, a few use it and the effects ripple throughout the culture). But usually what people imply with that is that the culture is not very developed and is closer to the cultures of hundreads or thousands of years ago. What those people are forgetting is that while culture is often changed by technology, culture also changes on its own. The very interaction of thousands of people with thousands of ideas and their interactions with the outside world can create massive cultural change. New religious movements, new songs and stories, new philosophies and ethics, none of these things require advanced technology (although perhaps advanced technology can help). Even when you encounter a culture whose tech level is equivalent to the stone age, that doesn't mean that their culture is the same as it was in the stone age, between then and now they might not have had any great technological leaps but they had thousands of years of cultural evolution changing deeply their ways of thinking and acting so that you can't simply observe the stone age in stone age tech people. Moreover, with people whose technology hasn't changed much in the last several thousand years you must assume that they are in their history, culture, resources or whatever are somewhat different than the other people who were in the stone age, because they stayed in the stone age (Most historians of pre-history simply assume that this is because of differences of resources but it could also be due to differences of culture or even differences of chance). So really any culture that has survived to the modern day is advanced. If one wants to label cultures primitive using tech as a criteria doesn't make much sense. Thus don't call those hunter-gathers primitive, because their culture might be a whole lot more developed through rituals, thoughts, ideas, traditions, and songs than yours, perhaps at least, I'm not claiming that low-tech people are necessarily more developed in culture I'm just saying they're not necessarily less developed. Anyways, that's about all I have time for for now. I know I haven't had a good chance to get a good full session in for a while now, but I can't do that right now. So anyways, take it to your head, take it to your heart, and remember Rand rocks. Goodnight Folks!

Saturday, June 2, 2007

One fine day of the week and I'll be up again

So I'm down. So what really, whatever. Anywho, things remain undone in my life and it's beginning to bug me, but I seem to have a distinct lack of time and motivation. So tough, whatever. Anyways, if I have time I'll write a real session later, for now, I've got nothing, but feel free to page through my archieves, I've got a lot of crap in there, and if you are so inclined (and you should be), check out The World of Rand, now with more awesomeness.

Friday, June 1, 2007

It just takes some time, little girl

Right now, things aren't bad, in fact things are pretty good, that scares me on several levels. First level is the whole, I think something catastrophic is going to go wrong feeling. I think this happens to a lot of depressed people, they are used to the whole depressed state of mind that when they get cheered up they feel that it must eventually collapse because happy is such an unusual state of mind for them. Or at least that is the way it is for me. But lately I've had a good way of dealing with my depressive moods, before they get too bad I simply force myself to face the truth that I am ultimately in charge of my brain and that even if I feel that I am too weak to take command of my feelings God can always give me the strength I need to overcome my disease. Also, I've realized that often I give in to my disease as a means of escaping my anxieties, fears and responsibilities, if I've already given up on life I no longer need to struggle against my problems. Realizing that, I simply remind myself that I can deal with my problems and so I don't need to give up. These realizations aren't new, but I've been getting better at utilizing them. So my depressive problems aren't as bad as they used to be, but still every now and then I look at my life and think, well, things are good now, but they've been good before, but then they collapsed, so inevitably they must collapse again. I remind myself that collapse is not really inevitable but the fear remains in the back of my head, but still it's not too bad, but on the other hand that's only one level of my fear about things being good.

Another level of that fear is now that things are good I worry about being complacent or settling into a routine. Some people like routines, like stability, like getting into a good pattern and staying still in a good place. Not me, at least not really. I think perhaps if I found the right place with the right person, maybe I could be satisfied with staying still. But I don't have that, so I'm filled with this need to move, to be active, to be in motion. I feel desperate to create, to advance, to change. Things are good now and I worry that I might just stay still, treading water, until I look around and find all my opportunities have gone away and I'm deeply dissatisfied with my life.

This leads me to a third level of fear. This would be my fear of the challenges attempting to move forward always bring. When things are good, I can take on new challenges like trying to ask girls out and trying to get a better internship. And I'm worried that I'll fail if I try, or even that I'll fail at trying if I try to try. And that fear gets to me and stops me, and delays me from doing important things, but ultimately I still have my faith, I still have my hope, I still have love in my heart and so I can still overcome these things. Things are good, and I think they're going to get better. Afterall I am Rand, the mighty and glorious, and Rand's awesome. So take it to your head, take it to your heart and remember Rand rocks. Goodnight Folks!