Remember…

A reminder for myself…well, for anyone, really…

“Empathy isn’t just something that happens to us—a meteor shower of synapses firing across the brain—it’s also a choice we make: to pay attention, to extend ourselves. It’s made of exertion, that dowdier cousin of impulse. Sometimes we care for another because we know we should, or because it’s asked for, but this doesn’t make our caring hollow. The act of choosing simply means we’ve committed ourselves to a set of behaviors greater than the sum of our individual inclinations: I will listen to his sadness, even when I’m deep in my own. To say “going through the motions”—this isn’t reduction so much as acknowledgment of the effort—the labor, the motions, the dance—of getting inside another person’s state of heart or mind. This confession of effort chafes against the notion that empathy should always arise unbidden, that genuine means the same thing as unwilled, that intentionality is the enemy of love. But I believe in intention and I believe in work. I believe in waking up in the middle of the night and packing our bags and leaving our worst selves for our better ones.”

Leslie Jamison, The Empathy Exams
(via fyp-psychology)

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Thinking about things…

I can’t tell if I’ve been lazy about this blog…Ok, maybe that’s not entirely true. I feel like I’ve been lazy with my posts. I’ve set a goal of posting almost every day and I think I’ve mostly stuck to that. However, WHAT I post…I do think about anything I post but the regular things that I write are short and reactive. What I mean isn’t just that they’re easy, which they are, but that they reflect almost exactly what I think or feel at that moment or at any given day. The harder task would be to regularly post about topics that require thoughtful discussion and would need me to re-read and possibly edit what I write and how I’m expressing things…

I want to be more thoughtful. I want to improve my writing. I want to improve my thinking, my critical thinking, especially about topics that I don’t know much about. Those weren’t the primary goals of me starting a blog but those are things that I think about a lot because I am someone who is more articulate on paper than in conversation. I am someone who is very tentative about speaking…

One of the actual purposes of this blog for me is to archive things I think are cool (like the Dr. Who videos, the TED talks, science-y and space-y stuff…have I actually put up any space stuff? Space is cool.) and I’ve not done that in a while. I’m not sure why…

Some of what this blog consists of seems to be how suck-y I think everything is…a lot of the time…and I don’t like that. I feel like it becomes some sort of spiral. I definitely think a person should be honest about what they’re feeling and thinking. No repression, generally. It’s just when I dwell and obsess…and in doing so, forget the good things and blessings in my life…because there are so many. They don’t and shouldn’t be expected to lessen the effects of…fine, my depression. Honestly, I’m depressed. I can recognize that I have SO many good things in my life and at the same time, I shouldn’t feel so guilty when I’m in a really bad place mentally. It makes it harder to see the light at the end of the tunnel when I’m dealing with the guilt on top of the depression…

Anyways, hopefully, I can implement some changes here. Not immediately and not wholesale. Slow and steady, right? This is obviously mostly a promise to myself said into the void of the internet.

Remember…

I need to learn to concentrate on just being me. What other people think of me is really not my business because as long as I’m genuine, I shouldn’t have to go around compulsively (over-)explaining myself.

Trust people more. I feel like I’ve fallen into an attitude where I act like everyone is questioning me all the time. Just because someone asks me a question, I shouldn’t assume that they mean it in the worst way possible, that they think I’m stupid or childish. It’s really very stressful because then I’m just existing in this paranoid cloud of negativity and defensive-ness. I do question how much longer the people I know/love will have patience with me…

Notes to self…

  1. I love sleep. Is it possible to love sleep too much? My sleep schedule is all messed up. I often can’t sleep until 4 am and force myself awake at 9 am…which means I then pass out in the middle of the day sometimes…um, probably not good.

  2. I would like to read more. I’ve inventoried my own library and am setting a goal or re-reading everything I have. I never buy a book I haven’t read and liked but I’ve noticed that I keep getting books that people think I’d like…! And I still haven’t read most of them…!

  3. I have been slacking with my eating habits. I need to eat more consciously.

  4. I’ve also started doing about 20 minutes of yoga a day. Nothing too set in stone. Not time of day or a particular routine. I just think I need to get used to the idea of moving around before I try to actually get into it.

  5. And finally, remember: “Writing is not a serious business. It’s a joy and a celebration. You should be having fun with it…It’s not work. If it’s work, stop and do something else.”  – Ray Bradbury.

Two lists of things…

I am stressed:

  1. Two members of my family are seriously ill and a third may be headed in that direction because he’s not taking good care of himself.
  2. I have to write my dissertation and then graduate and then find a job…these are not simple things :-(.
  3. I found out an issue with my paycheck recently that I should have noticed earlier but see #1 and 2 :-(. I don’t know what to do yet.

I am grateful:

  1. Most of my family is healthy and well. I am also relatively healthy and becoming more conscious of taking care of myself.
  2. After way too many years, I can see the end of the dark, dank tunnel that is graduate school :-P.
  3. Slightly early to be too excited but a close family member is pregnant and I’m already too excited! 🙂