Another month is all but over as summer fades into autumn. The weather is turning cooler and the nights are now longer than the days. I get outside some everyday to enjoy the cooler weather but I still don’t socialize much, at least not in person. It just seems that everyone I come into contact with anymore is in such a foul and angry mood all the time. I hope it’s just the paranoia of my illness talking. But it seems I can’t have any kind of conversation without the other person going off on someone or something or just being irritable. I hate it. It makes me so glad I live alone and just hole up for days if need be. I have enough problems of my own. But I try not to dwell on them. I won’t have anyone else trying to drag me down when I feel decent. I have even resorted to not talking to even close friends sometimes because even they are in foul moods. It’s getting old and I don’t want to put up with it anymore.
Been staying close to home for the last few days. I still really don’t want to socialize much in person. Yet I still socialize online via facebook and youtube comments all the time. I have found that I’m having more pleasant and enriching conversations with people that have common interests than even people I see on a day to day basis. I’m beginning to think that connecting people from all over the world with similar interests but will never meet face to face is probably social media’s greatest contribution to humanity. I guess I find myself alienated from many people I’ve known for years, including some of my own family, simply because we don’t share similar interests. Kind of sad but at the same time I’m grateful that I can connect with people who share my enthusiasm for science, tech, and living overall. I can’t imagine how bad it must have been for future thinkers and optimists in previous eras or even when my grandparents were teenagers. I know that had I lived in Medieval times, I’d probably be under house arrest, burned at the stake, or just a serf farming someone else’s land. None of those seem worthy of my nostalgia.
I suppose as it is I will be happy that I have a means to connect with similar minded people even if they are on the other side of the world. I doubt I’ll live old enough to see a Virtual Reality setup where people with similar interests can form their own virtual towns or even virtual nations. But I guess I am honored to see in platforms like facebook, twitter, snap chat, etc. the crude beginnings of such virtual communities. Of course some will abuse it and get trapped in echo chambers. But if I’m going to be in an echo chamber, I just as well be in an optimistic one that either attempts to solve problems or even just serve as cheerleaders for those solving problems in the physical world. I never had the math scores to be an engineer nor the science scores to be a doctor, but I guess since I can’t be among those making the positives a reality, I’ll be among the ones who appreciate what they do and cheer them on.
Been trying my hand at being more social in person and online the last couple weeks. Turns out it’s causing me more frustrations than anything. I try to talk to people in my complex, all they want to do is complain. I try to talk to my friends and family online, all the want to do is complain about anything and everything. And I’m burned out on socializing after only a couple weeks. I’m going back to hiding out with my books and computers. At this point I don’t want visitors in my apartment at all. I don’t want to socialize in person anymore, at least until normal people stop complaining about anything and everything. Socializing is supposed to be fun, remember? Does anyone just take a night off from their troubles and have a few laughs? Certainly doesn’t seem like from my friends and family and friends of friends anymore. I have better conversations with several of the members of my science and futurism groups than I do with most people I’ve known my entire life anymore. And I’m never going to meet any of these people in person. It’s quite sad, at least I think it is. I’m not delusional enough to believe if I moved to a larger city that my social prospects would ever change. It’s not that I fear stupid and rude people in themselves. I am scared that eventually I will become stupid, rude, and jaded myself. I don’t want that to happen. I don’t want my heart and soul to die because most people around me allowed theirs to die long ago. If isolating from other people is going to keep me humane, than so be it. It has been said that men go insane in herds and only come to their senses one at a time. True, too painfully true. Too bad pessimism is the spirit of our age, at least it is for most people I deal with on a regular basis.
Change of subject for this post. The summer is all but over. And it doesn’t bother me much. Summers have been my toughest times of year since I started having problems with mental health in my late teens. I just don’t do well in hot and humid weather. I have no doubt that being overweight only makes this worse. But I have lost some weight this summer as I’m down a full shirt size. I have no delusions that I’ll ever be able to run a marathon but I would love to be in better health again. There is just so much cool and amazing things happening in science, technology, medicine, humanitarian efforts, and even geopolitics that I would love to hang around for quite awhile just to see what happens.
In spite of our problems and divisions there really are some cool things happening even right now. Just a few days ago I read an article that stated the two Koreas are talking about placing a joint bid to host the 2032 Summer Olympics. I would have not imagined that to be possible even five years ago. I saw another article about a Japanese businessman who’s going to literally fly to the moon and back via SpaceX in 2023, also a few days ago. And I have little doubt that the first people to set first on Mars have already been born, I wouldn’t be surprised if we do go there within 20 years. As bad as the hurricane has been to the East Coast, at least we can organize relief and rebuilding efforts more rapidly than we could even fifteen years ago. Pretty much every space agency in existence is making plans to set up bases on the moon. Cryptocurrencies have filled in the gaps in some nations where the traditional economy is falling apart. Kind of kicking myself for not buying into bitcoin when it was only a couple hundred dollars a shot. Another statistic I read a few days ago that gives me hope is that people that can read are reading three times as much as their predacessors in the early 1980s did. Granted most of this reading is online articles, tweets, and conversations with friends and colleagues.
Advances are coming in fast and often. And as connected we as a species and civilization are, they aren’t going to slow down anytime soon. Get used to it. Adapt or get left behind. I may find it frustrating to listen to people talk about the ‘good ol’ days’ but I am also amused when I hear griping about the present and talking how there’s no hope for the future on forums that didn’t even exist twenty years ago. I might take these types seriously if they were moving into Luddite communes or Amish villages. I for one say ‘screw the good ol’ days, they weren’t all that great’, especially if you were a racial, religious, or sexual minority, woman, or a child. And I hope we keep advancing so should I find myself in the 2050s as an old man pining for the 2010s, the youngsters will tell me where go with my nostalgia. And I hope some of these youngsters can tell me off from a lunar or Martian colony or via computer based telepathy or in full emersion vertical reality.
I am convinced some really cool things are going to happen within our lifetimes, especially if we don’t anything really stupid as a civilization that we can’t easily undo. As much attention as we pay to national politics, it isn’t the politician who’s going to make a cool reality possible. The best they can do is pass favorable laws and step aside. Science the %*&@ out of our problems, to quote ‘The Martian.’ Otherwise other peoples in other nations will bypass these nations and make advances possible. America and Western Europe are no longer the only shows on Earth, and no amount of whining, politicking, and trade wars are going to change this. And why not let everyone have a shot at some prosperity? The sooner we as a species realize that we share the same planet, breathe the same air, drink the same water, and that a species at war with itself is doomed, the better. At this point, we can achieve some cool stuff as long as we don’t seriously screw up. We don’t seriously mess up, it won’t be a matter of ‘if’ but ‘when.’ And I feel extremely privileged to be alive to witness these transitions even if the ride gets bumpy and irritating at times.
Spent some time outdoors enjoying one of the last few days of summer. Also doing some cleaning in my apartment and rearranging furniture. It’s now a little easier to maneuver around, especially in the living room. Previously I had my computer desk in the middle of the room so I could watch ballgames and work on my computers at the same time. I now have a better setup as I won’t be tripping over power cords and wires as much now that I’ve moved my desk to a corner. I have my computers set up so I can watch them like a television from my recliner. I moved my couch so I watch tv from the couch. Previously I had used my recliner for everything. I use my regular tv mainly for play station games and live ballgames. Playoff baseball starts in a couple weeks and my Rockies have a shot of making the playoffs again this fall. We lost out in the first round last year.
After three months of changed eating patterns I think I’m seeing some positive differences. I am actually wanting to be active now rather than just spend entire days reading online articles or books. I socialize more often. I make it a point to now chat with other tenants at least three times a week. I rarely stay awake all night anymore. I am not as paranoid and anxious about my neighbors as I was this spring. I have fewer aches and pains. I still get winded sometimes when moving heavy furniture but I recover faster now. I still sometimes get stiff after sleeping, but it usually takes only a couple minutes of sitting up to be back to normal. And my clothing fits better.
Previously, from spring 2014 to summer 2015 I had lost slightly over 70 pounds in that time. I stagnated for a few months and then I had my car accident in fall 2015. After that I gained it all back. Oddly it took over two years to gain it all back, so it took longer to gain it than it did to lose it in the first place. I don’t really have any set goals as of right now.
I still sleep more than I would like. But so far it has helped me from having relapses. This has been a more pleasant than usual summer. Now the leaves are beginning to change and the weather will start cooling off any day. In Nebraska we usually get our first frost in mid October, so in three to four weeks if the averages hold out. I really don’t want to change much of my routine as it seems to be working. Sure I would like to travel more, but I’ll leave that for another time.
I’m still sleeping more than normal. I usually sleep ten to twelve hours a night now. But when I’m not asleep I usually want to be outside and chatting with other residents and friends. I can say, at least for now, I’m not as annoyed by small talk and complaints as I have been in months past. I don’t know if it’s the healthier diet or getting more sleep that’s helping me feel less easily irritated.
I’m also finding I just don’t play computer games for a few hours at a time anymore. I’ve recently had entire days I don’t touch the gaming computer. That’s another positive change I’ve noticed. Sometimes I’d play games to escape from rude and irritable people. But I’ve been less irritated and less bothered by rude people lately.
I’m still not going to engage in political discussions or sports fan forums. I’m on too much of a winning streak to risk jeopardizing it or trivial nonsense and tripe. I mean, does anyone really change their minds on issues because of memes, being name called, being trolled, or even by statistics? Sounds like pointless posturing and mindless tribalism as far as I’m concerned. Besides, for as much as these things get reported on, they really don’t make as much of a difference as people would like you to believe. That’s why I focus on science, tech, and medical advances. It’s too easy to get discouraged from the news as they only report on a fraction of a fraction of what’s truly going on.
I still read a lot. Been kind of lazy about my audiobooks. I’ll pick those up again in time. Things like that come and go in cycles. But I have been socializing and reading more often. I let my mind wander more often and just let it go off on tangents and just see what ideas I can come up with. I’m looking for ideas for new poems or even ideas for novel drafts. As much as I love nonfiction, I really don’t have the credentials to get published as a nonfiction science or mental health writer. Besides, I’m having more fun and getting better audiences with this small blog than I ever did the traditional writing route. We are indeed living in some amazing times my friends. It’s sometimes too easy to forget this.
Getting out of the apartment several times a day now. Have been for the last several days. Catching up on the news of what’s been going on around the complex and meeting some of the new residents who moved in during the summer. Seems like we have a few really cool people move in lately, and some of them are even in my age bracket and younger. So I might be rebuilding some of my social safety nets that had fallen apart over the last few years.
I haven’t been as social over the last three years as I had been previously. I think some of it started when three of my friends in my apartment complex died within six months of each other. Then we had a few problem residents come in that gave problems to everyone. So I started isolating to avoid the drama. Then my grandmother died, which I think I took harder subconsciously than I realized at the time. My car accident in late 2015 left me scared to drive and not able to trust other drivers on the road for a long time. 2016 is a lost year as far as I’m concerned. The drama and emotions from the elections caused me so much grief and anxiety. I also lost some good friends and lost contact with some extended family because of those emotions running hot.
After months of hot emotions and people going insane over the pettiest things, 2017 was another tough year. I spent most of that year alone. I rarely visited friends or family. I went entire days without leaving my apartment. I more or less lost my ability to see anything decent in other humans, especially people in my immediate life. I devoted most of 2017 to my writing and self directed scholarly endeavors. Seeing some of the advances that were rapidly being developed was one of the few things that gave me hope in those dark years. Like a fool I tried to share this information with people, but almost no one took me seriously. I had some jerks tell me I was “fake news” and a liar. “Fake news” is another stupid phrase I despise. After a few episodes of this, I became real despondent. I lost myself in computer games and youtube videos and just became annoyed and irritated with people in general. The less I had to deal with flesh and bone people, the better as far as I was concerned.
But after almost three years of depression imposed exile and hermitage, I am slowly becoming more social. I actually want to socialize now. I truly believe that the type of people one surrounds themselves with can effect your mental and even physical health. I have believed this for years. But since most people I knew and ran into on a daily basis were in foul and angry moods, it just seemed better to just isolate, stay out of sight, and hope to God that people eventually came back to their senses. I’m thinking that people, at least the ones I associate with, are starting to come back to their senses. I certainly hope so. The last three years were lonely years. The only years I would rather relive less is my late teens and early twenties before I was being treated for mental illness.