Thursday, October 14, 2010

Let's Get Serious, or The Good Life (1/?)

Have you ever felt like the Universe is trying to tell you something?  Do you ever feel the hand and presence of Jehovah guiding every action of your life and whispering in your ear?  If so, click here.  Anyway, what I mean is that, sometimes coincidences happen and your brain fills in the gaps it needs to to make things come together in a meaningful way. 

A while ago I mentioned I had been thinking about death and the meaning of life.  There were some reasons for that which I will get to.  But yesterday I was driving happily to a friends house to do some of the nerdy things we enjoy.  I was about to drive through my green light, while traveling at the legal speed limit of 55 mph  when some jerk coming the other way decides he's going to try and make a left turn, he then slowed down and I think he even stopped right in front of me.  I slammed on my breaks and missed/stopped short of hitting him by maybe a foot.  I didn't think was going to stop in time, my life flashed before my eyes, and I faced my past in all it's "glory."

I remembered that I had promised to write about this kind of stuff, and I "felt" like it was divine inspiration.  Also, fuck you Manipulator...scared the piss out of me.  Please read on if you'd like to read my thoughts on life, working through depression and tragedy, and finding personal meaning.  There will be multiple parts so I can draw this well as elaborate on points I feel are helpful.  This is for you guys.  I came up with this idea because I was reading a bunch of blogs that seemed so sad and down, hopeless even.  Unfortunately what is to come will be painful, but ultimately uplifting and strengthening.  If you want to just get some quick tips and skip the back-story no worries, click the read more and go to the bottom of the post.

 Last week would have been my partner's birthday.  She and I had been together for nearly 3 years.  Earlier this year she decided that life was too much for her, and she left.  Even in all the time we spent together, talking about the most intimate things...I didn't know she was going to do anything.  I probably don't need to tell you that it really really messed me up inside.  I'm still not healed, and I probably never will be...but I can live through it.

Firstly I want to say.  If you, or anyone you know is in crisis then click this. Don't keep reading, click...NOW.  No matter how bad you think your life is there are people who do care about you, and maybe there are people out there you haven't met that are going to care about you someday.  Please, just try.

This post is an introduction, a mission statement if you will.  I want to let you know what keeps me going and what I plan to talk about more specifically.  As I've said, I've spent a lot of time thinking about this stuff.  My life circumstances, my education, my genes...they probably all conspired to make me this way.  I would consider myself a "seeker."  I'm probably a prime candidate for a cult, except I have a decent amount of scruples and a more-or-less logical way of thinking.

Growing up I liked machines.  I wanted to be an engineer before I realized I was bad at math.  I liked to tinker and visualize how things worked in my head.  I was always doing thought experiments, and liked to stretch my mind far beyond my limits.  I was also kind of lonely, so I had plenty of alone, quiet time to think about this stuff.  When I eventually got to high school, I got into a special program where one of the courses was a class in Ethics.  I started this class my junior year, just a few months after my mother had died.  The topic for the year was "What's it mean to lead a Good Life?"  We read a variety of works the summer before and during the year from authors like Nietzsche, Plato, Aristotle, John Stuart Mill, Confucius, and Marcus Aurelius (yeah the guy from Gladiator).

I sleep on a marble slab, doesn't it do wonders for my complexion?  I'm 59, but don't look a day under dead.

My young mind was ready and eager to be filled with meaning.  I wanted to know why the world was so cruel that it would give me a life like the one I had. I would spend all that time, and the time up to now thinking about the things I'd read and tie them into EVERYTHING in my life. Just like physicists want a grand unifying theory of Everything, I want a formula for life.  That's what philosophy is, and ethics are the rules you follow to lead The Good Life.

What I'm going to talk about coming up are some of my favorite elements of the works I've read, some things I've come up with on my own and trying to tie it up together in a neat package.  But since it's going to come in parts you may not want to wait, you may want to get started immediately on improving your life.  I'm not a guru, I'm not selling anything...yet...and I don't really want anyone to get hurt so check with a doctor, psychologist, whatever you need to before doing anything.  I'm sure your insurance has a free nursing line, or you can call your doctor.  But don't do anything to hurt yourself and these are just guidelines.

What can you do right now to feel better:
  • Go outside- Vitamin D is important.  You can get it from milk and sardines but not enough, also sunlight just makes you feel good.
  • Eat Healthier- Not a doctor, but I'll tell you that I've felt a hundred times better since I cut my calories in half and started eating a more balanced diet with lots of lean protein and fiber.
  • Express Yourself- Sounds kinda gay?  So what.  If you bottle up your feelings, they're just going to spill out at the wrong time.  Allowing yourself to feel in a constructive way feels rewarding and less shameful.  You can't control your immediate emotional responses but you can control how you act.  If you stand up for yourself when you're feeling upset or put-upon, you'll start to do it more automatically and build DAT ESTEEM.  I plan to talk a lot more about this, mostly because it's been a personal issue with me.  Journaling and art are also good ways to express yourself.  Even once in a while it's ok to bitch in your blog about your personal stuff if you'd like, though it's not necessary to air your feelings to a wide audience.
  • And lastly...remember....even if it all falls apart.  Kittens still love you.

It are can be hugs tiem now?


  1. Definitely agree on your 4 points. ;p Great advice/post!

  2. Wow, this post was annoying to make. I tried using jump breaks but...I don't think it looks right, and I wanted text to come after a break and I don't know how to do that, googling doesn't help. It only tells me how to put in a jump break. Oh well, as imperfect as it is, I hope it helps.

  3. But im allergic to kittens :'c

  4. I want a sink full of cats
    It is not fair

  5. that was a nice read. i think i somehow resembles you. the only difference we have is, you have a pattern in life and you're following it whereas i'm random and i like watching how people follow a routine.

  6. Good ideas. I'm going to go outside right now... and order a kebab.

  7. You post looks fine and works well within your page. Also its great advice and writing.

  8. I always thought suicide was an individual's "right." That no one should have to keep living just to please others who can't understand their pain (or futility). I thought that way right up until a friend from school killed himself. I hadn't talked to him after graduation and I had no idea anything was wrong. The emotions I went through, the searing, unbelievable pain I saw in his father at the funeral, the wish that I could have done something all stick with me a decade later.

    I still have problems with depression that ebbs and flows without ever really going away, but I know for a fact that I'd never kill myself. Not after I saw how final and horrible it is.

    And I do try to get my Vitamin D, bro. Gonna go for a walk right now in fact.