What do I want in this life?

I want more self actualization and self knowledge than I think a lot of people expect of themselves. I would have run away to join a monastery as a teenager if I were AMAB (I didn’t want to be a “nun”). I’m pretty neurotic, but I’m finding ways to utilize it rather than turning it against myself and other people. I don’t think that it is inaccurate at this point in time to say that meditation (in concert with other changes in my life) has helped me salvage myself and start a new chapter in my life.

I ran multiple normal errands in succession a couple days ago by myself. I went to shops without anyone else. I interacted with strangers without a mask on and didn’t dither or freeze up. I didn’t have negative post event processing (rumination: negative self talk about how the interactions went: negative beliefs about myself and my ability to exist in physical space around others). I just...did things. Like I used to do a long time ago. Some of it was certainly awkward and/or uncomfortable in the moment, but it was bearable and quickly rolled off my back like water off a duck's back after the fact.

I’ve finally brought myself back down to this Earth. I have turned down the volume on my fight or flight response. So much of it was informed by being stalked many years ago: some of it was a natural inclination towards anxiety: some of it was excess caffeine and sugar consumption: a large amount of it was unprocessed trauma: a lot of it was turning my anger and frustration inward at myself: a lot of it was working in environments that were bad for my mental health. I recognize I can fall back into it again, of course, so I am trying really hard to build up mental fortitude and positive habits and behaviors now as a buffer while it is easy so that they are here for me when it is hard again. Because it will get hard again: life, it seems, is a series of waves, and I’m just trying to keep my boat above them as much as I can.

That’s something that the instructor for the original mindfulness course I took talked about: practice when it’s easy so that you have it when it’s hard. I think this can be applied to damn near everything in life. He was a combat veteran. He started practicing mindfulness meditation to work on chronic pain and PTSD. I wonder how he is and where he is. He had sworn off most forms of ownership when I knew him. I don’t really understand how people can find themselves in those kinds of positions today in the world, especially in the US.


I watched the high school anime His and Her Circumstances in its entirety over the past few weeks. I don’t remember how or where or why I watched the first portion of this anime as a kid. I had confused it with another show, that I will need to go spelunking online for, or maybe I also read the manga, and I created scenes in my mind from the manga that weren’t in the anime. Who knows? I don’t. Also, spoilers below! I highly recommend giving the show a watch before reading, even if shoujo isn’t your style. It’s legally available on youtube, perhaps depending on where you are in the world.

Spoilers for His and Her Circumstances here...

Anyway, I related a lot to the way Arima’s traumatic memories are represented as a younger version of himself that he’s locked away in his mind. I relate to love from others helping you feel safe enough to go into the darker areas of your subconscious, of your memories, and sooth the wounded part of you. I agree with what seems to be the show saying that it is ultimately something you must do alone, but it’s made much easier with support just outside the metaphorical door of your mind to resurface to for encouragement. There’s probably a better way to say that, but I’m tired and this probably isn’t going to be edited before I post it.

Something odd about His and Her Circumstances is that it was directed by the same person that directed Neon Genesis Evangelion: Hideaki Anno. There are similar themes of loneliness, neuroticism, trying to find connection, depression, and alienation. A lot of the imagery and soundscape (in both English dubs) are familiar as well: abundant stills of powerlines, roadways, scenery without people, and excessive recaps using existing footage; the sound of cicadas, the echoey inner monologues of the characters, and periods of silence.

I think I’ve already said it before, but I wouldn’t recommend watching Neon Genesis Evangelion unless you are in a healthy headspace, and to take breaks as necessary in-between the later episodes to let yourself come back to baseline. Depending on your life experiences and how sensitive you are, it can be profoundly depressing, disturbing, and can deepen feelings of hopelessness. I wouldn’t say the same for His and Her Circumstances. Despite the darker elements of exploring the effects of childhood trauma, familial strife, and social isolation, it’s still a predominantly hopeful and sweet story (although, parts of the relationship dynamic of the main pair are unhealthy, possessive, and manipulative). Either way, if you watch both or have already seen both, I’d be interested in hearing your opinions about them!


I want to make and enjoy food. It doesn’t have to be fancy or extravagant. It’s just important to me to cook from scratch as much as I can handle. It doesn’t take that long if I keep it simple, too. I’ve fallen into a habit of steaming a head of broccoli (or slowly steaming then frying kale or collard greens with some wine and seasonings), roasting a root vegetable or squash at 425 F for 40-50 minutes (with oil, onions. garlic, and seasonings), cooking a pot of some carb (like rice, noodles, or some other type of grain) and baking some form of chicken (with oil and seasonings) all at the same time. I like to cut the broccoli florets off with kitchen shears—it’s a lot faster and safer it seems than trying to cut them off with a knife.

I’ve started experimenting with grinding different combinations of whole spices to season everything. I’ve also been making Turkish eggs semi-frequently. I gently fry my eggs in butter and let them steam under the lid to set the whites on the top. It’s close enough to poaching for me, and tends to waste much less of the egg(s) because they release from the pan easily once they’re done steaming. Inflation has greatly limited what we can purchase at the store, but I don’t really mind that much. I think it invites creativity in dressing up the same cast of ingredients to play different parts each week. It’s how we ate when I was a kid. So many canned foods and simple carbs turned into something different depending on the preparation or seasoning.

I haven’t been baking much lately. I think I’ve been too busy and the apartment has been too much for me to keep up on. I’m trying to make a point of keeping the kitchen as clean as I can and everything else seems to follow if I can do that. I want to bake some more types of bread before the end of winter here. We’ll see if it happens. I definitely at least want to make soda bread for St Patrick’s Day. I suppose I better start a cabbage ferment soon in order to have it ready in time as well.


I want to live a more disciplined life around cleaning and keeping things tidy. Part of what that means is keeping things put away, and not having more things than I can stow away. I think it’s time to go through the items I have acquired recently and start making donations. I’ve been given more than I need since we moved by well-meaning family and friends. There’s only so much one person needs, only so much one person can do with their time.


I want to continue to express myself through writing, composing, drawing, crafting. It doesn’t have to be a job, it doesn’t have to be every day, but it’s a big part of how I feel alive and good about myself. I want to knit a couple of things right now, I just don’t have the patterns or the yarn or the time, really. I’m settling on some free patterns with some yarn that was close enough to what I need. I got a few notions a while ago—a needle threader, a set of tapestry needles in different sizes, and a set of double pointed needles in the size that most sock patterns follow. It’s all made things a lot easier for me.

I’ve massively stalled on writing my fanfiction. I sort of ran out of the initial steam I had after bingeing the show it is based off of. I can’t bring myself to binge it again right now. There’s too many other things I’m trying to accomplish and I want to do things that bring me a greater sense of accomplishment. Things I can hold in my hands and say “I made this!”

I started doodling again. I might add a “gallery” with limited functionality on here. I dunno. Html and CSS are kicking my butt lately.


I have a career plan set out in front of me now. I think I needed a mentor, or at least someone who even remotely cares about my professional development and is willing to gas me up when I need it or let me know how to keep working on my career if I make a misstep. I should be able to stay at my current location next year after my contract ends with my current employer, but as an actual staff member. And there is potential growth if I follow a particular degree program, which comes at a reduced cost for someone in my position. I went to an informational session about the opportunity yesterday. It looks like there is a fund available for me to pay for most of it if I become an actual part of the organization I already physically work at first.

Things get less scary the less power I give to them. I’ve heard this sentiment many times throughout my life, and it’s been said to me many times when I’m in a complete freeze due to some demand or requirement placed upon me that felt impossible to fulfill or to even begin to consider. I think it’s really important to not run away from fear. I don’t mean not running away if I am in literal danger—I more mean confronting imagined or manufactured fears in my mind. Or even fears that are based in reality—generally, I can’t change how the world is around me or how I am treated by it, I can only change my reactions to it and my level of acceptance for what it is. Avoidance helps no one, especially not me!

Which gets back to meditation, I suppose. I started using Jon Kabat-Zinn videos from youtube because I had started falling asleep during the audio I’ve grown accustom to. Part of that is I’ve been losing sleep and neglecting exercise, but I think the other part is getting too used to a particular set of instructions so that it becomes a routine rather than a practice (does that make sense?). There are a ton of Kabat-Zinn’s instructions on youtube without ads. I’ve stuck to body scan based videos, but I want to try some loving kindness based videos soon as well.

Anyway, that’s a lot of babbling for one post. I hope you’re doing alright, getting sleep, and eating well. Thanks for reading, seeya again sometime.