Harmonious boats

I felt the urge to write letters to specific people today, to tell them things I want them to know. It’s probably more like things I want to express, or things I want myself to know, because there are reasons why I’m not actually sending these letters :). But regardless, letters below :). (Postscript update: one letter, because tangents, always tangents.)

Dear X:

I’m pretty much obsessing about you right now. I even looked through your Facebook history, which, heaven forbid. It seems a lot of people think Facebook-stalking is fine, but I get worried about the fact that I’ll know information about you that you didn’t tell me, so you’ll think I’m too interested in you. Other people seem to get around this dilemma but simply not sharing the extra information they’ve accumulated, but I don’t like that, because I’ve got this fear of being “caught out” and I like to report what I know, especially if asked a direct question.

Your facebook feed is interesting. I got onto Facebook relatively late, was offbeat, and didn’t really hang out with friends outside of school in high school, so I’ve mostly got the occasional weird-item picture and lots of photos from athletic events. You have photos with friends. The same friends, actually—a few sets of them, but there’s a set of people that repeat over and over for a while, and then you move somewhere else and a new set of people start to appear and repeat over and over. I infer from this that you have small numbers of friends that you stick close together with. (As much as anything can be inferred from Facebook timelines; a very small selection and definitely not randomly selected data, there.) I’m augmenting this assumption with the fact that you currently have a small number of friends you seem to be quite close with, though you have a large number of acquaintances, of course, and good social skills. I place quite a lot of emphasis on social skills, mainly because I’m so obsessed with them myself. As I write this, I worry that people may worry that I will judge them for not having them. I probably will. I don’t think I’m right—well, I think I’m probably right in my estimate of whether they have conventional social skills, but I don’t think that they should take my judging them as anything other than a data point, probably and hopefully a subtly expressed one if visible at all, and they should not take it as any statement of their worth as a human being. Which is a pretty strong presumption on my part, that someone thinking I’m judging them on whatever, including their execution of conventional social skills, would think that they are not a good human being. It’d seem more absurd if I didn’t observe it in myself over and over and over and over, and also through reports from other people. What an odd species, humans are. I guess the evolutionary reason why we might have this response is that assimilation leads to survival of the tribe. I feel like I’m now being unduly academic and intimidating people again. But I’m on a tangent on a tangent—to close the previous, I wish it were all right to make judgments and have it not mean things to people beyond the fact that I made a judgment. That would make me feel freer in making judgments, if they weren’t terrible things that were going to hurt someone. Maybe that’s how they can be… maybe that’s how they can be. Maybe I am allowed to make judgments in my own mind, and then can shape how they’re taken by the world. Because I do mean them—I do feel some distaste—but I don’t want them to mean someone is hurt. I mean, I do, a little, so that I can feel superior, but most of me doesn’t want that. I want to tell it to them, and for them to take it in, change it if they like, and view me as a data point. When people do this it makes me feel like my opinion doesn’t matter all that much, that I’m a little worthless, and that I don’t need to freak out about what I think as much as I do. I don’t think the worthless bit is necessary, but I kind of like the thrown-off feeling, actually, because it reminds me that I’m not the center of the world, really, my thoughts aren’t these enormous things that are going to crash into everyone and knock them down. We’re all thinking beings, wandering around, and I’ve noticed something and had some emotional response to it, and if I tell them they’re going to have some emotional response to it, and maybe change a thing if they want to, and then we’ll all move on with our lives.

(I don’t tell people, though. I feel it’s not safe for me and it’s not safe for them. Sometimes if I trust that people won’t take it personally I will tell them, because then I can get the thrown-off feeling that I like, and more often because they’re encouraging me to tell them. I want to be one of these people who can take observations as data points. I’ve gotten much, much better since the Landmark Forum (personal development workshop) that I went to recently, and also I’d been getting a lot better in general. I think this is a super important skill and that it should be trained. It would be… well, I wouldn’t get to feel superior, again, but it’d be good if everyone had it. Everyone would feel safer going about the world, and I think feeling safer is generally good. It’s also much more pleasant-feeling :).)

(Tagged: I note I’ve talked about superiority twice now. This reminds me that I often feel like I have to prove myself to be better or correct or acknowledged as an equal or important. Recently someone who I admire told me I was “pretty awesome”, quote. I don’t understand and know I should, which means my self-perception is off. I’m frequently told I’m interesting, which I buy. They calling me awesome was strange, though, because they’re better than me at some dimensions I care about and think they care a lot about. How can I be awesome if I’m not as good at the thing I’m stereotyping them as caring most about? …Speaking of, I had the exact same reaction to someone telling me something very similar last night. I was very grateful for their time and was acting deferential to portray this (since they’re better along the dimension I perceive they care most about, and I also care about this dimension). Then they told me something like they thought of me as someone like an equal. …Does it make sense for me to think I’m not awesome or an equal if people are better at some dimension of life that I perceive they care most about? …I mean, if they weren’t better than me at the thing they cared most about (which is not the thing I care most about, though I do care), I, uh, probably wouldn’t admire them in the first place. …Huh. Okay. Just as I have a belief that I should definitely know everything that people care about or is important so that they don’t have to go to the work of telling me because I don’t want them to have to do that effort or think I’m uneducated or slow (…yep, this is another one of my beliefs), I also think I should be pretty much just as good as everyone in all of their skills that I care somewhat about. …Uh huh, interesting. Why do I have these expectations, exactly? I mean… I seem to think I’m capable of it, which is also interesting… I don’t seem to think I’m capable of pre-emptively knowing, but I do seem to use that unreasonable expectation to motivate getting as close as possible to pre-emptively knowing. Like, learning very quickly, seeking out sources of information that might be necessary for conversation in the future, internally and sometimes externally scolding myself for things to signal that I apologize for having them explain. …Okay, so I’m pretty good at this, which is why it’s been allowed to go on for so long without dying in a “yeah, that’s not how the world works” rock shower, because some of my expectations die out like that when I’m really quite bad at executing. But it does seem kind of constraining, this belief, that I absolutely have to know all of the relevant information in advance, and also have to be as good at anything I care about which is also the thing that another person cares more about. Let me check in with some of my mental parts to see how they feel about this…

“It’s unrealistic, but it doesn’t hurt enough to drop [as a concept from our mind].”

“…Okay, it may not hurt us enough to drop, but I suspect it’s having external consequences as well.”

“ Like what…?”

“You know. You generate.”

“Being mad at myself for not being omniscient and also not being the best at any given skill is… it gives me drive, focus, intensity, anger, determination. It gives me insecurity, anguish, lack of power, lack of movement, a desire to be very small and hide, tiredness, sadness, desperation, loss, excitement, a need to prove myself, a sense of worth for trying and artificial worthlessness to signal to others.”

“What’s the other option? For how we could be.”

“Okay, so, it’s actually impossible to be omniscient and also being the best at any given skill is arrogant—”

“’Arrogant’ is a social judgment and external commentary that uses shame, I don’t want more shame on this one try again—”

“Look, I don’t want to lose the belief that I can be omniscient and very good at everything because I don’t want to not achieve things. Achieving things is really, really, really important. Also maintaining social standing. That’s really important. We maintain social standing by achieving things, and I don’t want me not being mad at myself to stop us for achieving those two goals. The goals being achieving things and maintaining and improving social standing.”

“Point 1: tagged—I notice we say “we maintain social standing by achieving things”, and while this feels partly true, I’d add “we maintain social standing by doing the proper things to be nice to be people” also, and then something like “we maintain social standing by who the hell knows but if I strain enough and am perfect in every way then we’ll maybe get it somehow?” which is more what it feels like. Meta-tag because I’m the part tagging things, but that whole concept space seems a bit fraught :P. Point 2: Are we going to stop achieving things if we’re not mad at ourselves for being omniscient and very good at everything. Rephrased: are we gonna stop trying if we’re not mad at ourselves for not being perfect.”

“…Who the hell knows that?”

“Engage with it.”

“…Okay. When I’m not being mad at myself because others are good at shit and that makes me feel inferior. Also when other people have interests that I feel that I should also have and that makes me feel kind of sick and dumb and stuff. If we stopped feeling like that would we still do stuff.”

“Urrrgggg gross, yep, that’s the [self-]disgust feeling right there, that’s indeed what it feels like.”

“So the new scenario is that other people are good at shit, and that says nothing about me—oh, come on, that totally says something about me—ug, but it actually doesn’t, it mostly says stuff about them—but me in comparison to them, everything’s from my reference frame—shut up about our reference frame, we’re not allowed to say that—”

“Hold up. Deep breath.”

“…”

“You’re okay.”

“…”

“You’re okay. You’re all right. It’s going to be okay.”

“… Okay. Let’s come back to it. What if… hm. I know where some of our parts want to end up: with less internal conflict around this when we know we’re going to take actions anyway, and we don’t need all of this self-recrimination. I know we want this because we want to feel a sense of lifelong satisfaction, and being mad at something impossible is not working towards that and is in fact actively working against it. Another part that wants calmness here is the one that monitors social anxiety and social guilt because I always dump way too much on that part—on that collection of parts, really, they’re one of my strongest sets—and they get tired sometimes. It’d be good if they were less tired. Though they are very strong, thank you. Another part doesn’t like feeling dumb because we’re trying to do something impossible, and that’s the loudest one right now for fixing it, but I think it’s good to listen to the stiller, lower voices as well. The part that doesn’t want to do something impossible is also mainly the social-monitoring voice because people around me don’t like when people are trying to do silly things, and I personally emotionally-believe that people around me dislike this much more than they actually do and get mad at myself for that. Actually, being mad at myself for not being as good at everything compared to the people around me might be one of my defining motivations / character traits, at least through this perspective. It does seem long-lasting.”

“Are there any other parts that want to be heard, here, on the pro- or con- side.”

“Pro-: not being mad just seems better overall, for a lot of reasons. Aiming for the goal of lifelong satisfaction and alignment of parts seems a nice even thing to steer towards, though the stridenness of the short term “stop being mad because otherwise you’ll be dumb for believing a possible” is on the pro- side also, but it also kind of is demonstrating the mindset we’re trying to change or smooth over rather than being a good motivating direction of shift. On the con- side we’re mainly worried about losing ourself. Who are we without this anger? Without the self-blame? Do we do anything at all? This is an important part of us… we’re known for rapid shifts, for growth, for sharpness, for attention, for intensity and drive. If we lose the anger… do we keep that? What’s the replacement… growth in the direction of lifelong fulfilment, of achieving those goals harmoniously and in the most efficient way possible, knowing that life is actually very quite unpredictable and we’re like a boat in the water with really large standard deviations on the course we’re setting. That seems like a safe thing to slip into. We think we could try it.”

“All right, what are we missing, this is in metaphor now, but what are we missing, what does this feel like in real life.”

“Notice anger at self for comparisons—well, comparisons is more like the sinking feeling. Notice when I’m being deferential and the other person does not want me to be. That’s a signal that I’m not considering myself an equal because I think I should be perfect and they do consider me an equal or close to one. Wait—what if they want to be superior to me?”

“Hahaha—like how we want to feel superior to others and want them to know their place?”

“Haha—yep, that’s right.”

“…Well, it could be that us wanting to feel superior is just us feeling inferior, and being insecure and stuff, (and actually just being inferior) and that the best way to handle that is just to step up to the plate and act as an equal. It’ll probably go better in general, in all measurable markers, if the other person doesn’t feel insecure.”

“And if the other person is insecure?”

“Oh, well, we know how to be deferential and be mad at ourselves so that we feel inferior anyway, we can just switch back to that if we think it’s socially necessary.”

“True that. …Okay, so we have: notice when we’re making ourselves inferior when we don’t need to be. Notice when we get the sinking feeling of not having known a thing, or not being as good as someone. Notice disgust in general. Self-disgust is a pretty common feeling for us, actually, and is strong enough that we should be able to pick it up before some of our parts force it underground. Maybe we can stop forcing it underground if we’re just using it as a signal instead of a disasterous unresolvable thing. And then the idea to replace it with is:… we’re aiming towards the lifelong satisfaction goal, and harmonious collaboration of us both feels nice and is how we’re going to achieve it. And all sorts of other things like respect towards others and kindness and other things I haven’t come up with yet. And we want to commit to it. We’d absolutely like to be perfect, and omniscient, and especially perfect given that other people have achieved skills that we would like to achieve, but it is not the current way of the world, and we have faith that we can try, and we are going to be harmonious lifelong-satisfactioning until we arrive there with my stereotype of the Buddha’s face floating peacefully down the water towards the green.”

“…I’m kind of worried we’re going to be offending some readers with that image, I’m not sure how one’s allowed to use “Buddha”. But that is indeed what the mental image is.”

“Yeah.”

“Mmm :).”

“Okay so can we go back to talking about X now, I’m totally obsessed with them.”)

[Interlude: just so we all know, X is good at some shit that I’m interested in. They fit in nicely with the pattern that I think I should also be just as good as them even though it’s more of their main interest than mine, also they’re just like talented in the area. I think this means I’ve been not treating them as an equal LOL I HAVE TOTALLY NOT BEEN TREATING THEM AS AN EQUAL LOLLLLL. Okay, so I’ve not been treating them as an equal. Well, I sort of was doing this thing where I actually think of them as equal-ish, because I have collected a bunch of traits that I’m better at than them, and a whole bunch of traits that they’re better at than me, and so if you compare the relative spikes then my perception of them is that we’re sorta equalish, but that’s quite different than thinking of us an equals as, like, people. What would happen if I thought of them as an equal as a person… [fear] [fear] [uncertainty] [space] [petulant reluctance]… apparently I don’t want to. Apparently I want them somewhat to take care of me, and me to somewhat take care of them, and “equal” doesn’t mean that? Tagged, but probably not as something I’ll remember to come back to.]

[Oh, second interruption from the part that’s covering our backs socially: no promises on remembering to implement the content from the long dialogue above! If you call me on it warning that I might not remember! But you can totally try calling me on it.]

[Other part chiming in on the dialogue above: wow, but I really liked the part where benevolent-dictator part told us to calm down. That was amazing. And it totally worked. I wonder if that’s a good way to comfort me in general. I think if someone else tried it I’d get even more wound up because then I’d feel like they’re being superior over me and that’s bad but I’m not allowed to have that thought and now they want a response and now they want me to be calm but they just made me less calm but I’m not allowed to think it’s their fault and [spiral spiral spiral]. I am damn good at the spiraling, whatever parts are in charge of that have lots of kudos. The thing is that I’ve got a ton of “allowed to” walls up all over the place about where I’m allowed to go and think, to make sure I don’t let anything emerge in the world that could hurt someone or do social status damage or be /wrong/ (like, morally) (…those three do seem to pretty much cover what I’m scared of)… and this is aggravated by the fact that I: a) have a stronger thought->words channel than most people in some ways (I filter like hell, but once I have a thought that’s made it through the filters it’s more likely to come out of my mouth than most people’s thoughts, due to my sense of… obligation to share?), b) I think people are terrible at not taking things personally, because I historically have been horrible at not taking things personally and I model everyone being like me. I recently have some evidence that people do, indeed, take things personally, though happily not as much as I have been projecting they do. BUT… what if, what if I were allowed to have all of the horrible thoughts and I didn’t have to do anything with them. What if they were just data. What if, even if people knew, they were just data. Okay, I totally believe the last one because I do it all the time. But what if to me they were just data, and didn’t mean anything was horribly wrong with me and needed to be changed right this moment except I didn’t know how. What if all of the thoughts were data. In my harmonious boat-floating thing. (Oh look at me, using humor. If I did not have an audience, would I? Probably not, but I want to have an audience. I like it, also this is going better than my previous introspective bout, though the one before that was super productive.) And the disgust feeling… okay but I’m totally going to run into problematic spaces, where everything just feels super responsive and I’m side-eyeing that and saying: whoo, that’s a problem that I need to resolve. I don’t have time right now, but whooo-ee. …You know, I will always have those space. Tag ‘em, I guess. And have the thoughts anyway. Just let ‘em be. It’ll make them easier to untangle later, and we’re on our harmonious boat to the greeeennnnnn…]

WOW guys way to stay on topic. I mean, we weren’t actually supposed to be on the topic of X anyway, I just got distracted. And I’ve decided distraction is what I’m accepting onto my harmonious boat (…this is going to be a mental meme and concept, isn’t it. I’m totally going to reference this as my harmonious boat. Yesterday someone helped me do an exercise that had me come up with the words of “lifelong satisfaction” for the thing I’m striving for in life, where “satisfaction” is incredibly overloaded and had a whole bunch of concepts not evident in the word that include things like “following the narrative”, “being most efficient”, “doing something that has a positive impact on a large number of people, preferably a distributed population”, and has a lot of “doing something that will attain social praise and is also actually good”. And earlier today I came up with my “benevolent dictator”, which is a really cool part, otherwise known as “sort of the green thing” and previously as “core Monica”, though there are other core parts too. I just benevolent dictator in charge today, usually a different part is in charge–  I recently starting referring to as “enneagram one” (“perfection” isn’t a bad slapdash term for it? Though there’s much more to it, and “enneagram one” only sort of captures it as a name). “enneagram 3”—or really my “social monitoring” parts are also often in charge, though they’re running a little more underground, since they’re in charge of all my “should / not allowed to” wall maintenance. I’ve got two of those, one for general social monitoring, and one for meta-social monitoring. (The meta-one knows we’re not allowed to social monitor, so it’s also helping with the wall construction.) I actually feel fairly fond about my walls because they’re doing something, which is, like, managing all of the fear and sadness and anger and stuff, but I’m still down with the harmonious boat approach. (…That name… (sigh)). Back to the letter though!

What does it mean, that you stick close to a friend group and are loyal to them, and they to you, for long periods of time? What does it mean that I don’t quite have that, at least not documented so consistently in pictures taken over time? I noticed jealousy, over your small group of friends. I don’t even know if I’d want a small group of people who I was loyal to and them to me—I don’t know if this is even what you have, but by my actions I haven’t sought this out. And if I’m not jealous of this circumstances of these groups, what am I jealous of… I notice annoyance at myself for a simulated response of readers for me being self-centered, and me thinking that’s not a good way to be, when I could be singing your praises and observing you, instead of me observing me. I notice that feeling, and breath with it. I am okay. This is also not a real letter to you, and so it can be about me, and it is, no matter what it can be, about me. (And all of us, really, who choose to read it, and see themselves or friends somewhere in the words.)

Well, obviously I want to be in that small group of friends, so I am jealous of them. But there’s something else to it… something about the coziness to it, the nostalgia, the old-time high-school old-memories aura to it—my associations are pictures in sepia, groups of the same people grinning into the camera, apart from me, alive in your memories, but that won’t be shared with me probably at all and definitely won’t be shared the same way you lived them or I experienced them this first time, scrolling through. Like you did something then, you kept those friends, you lived and breathed and played with those friends, you grew up with them, you were shaped by them, those people were so important to you, and I will never know them or how you were or how they are or why they mattered, why they matter, why you picked them in the first place, why you pick them now. They may fly into where you are now, where we are, and you will pick up with them, and I will not know any of the history and emotional shape and pattern of the connection between you. That makes me feel loss, I think. Not knowing that texture, the sepia threads. Not knowing you and not ever expecting to know.

I don’t often feel this curiosity, you know. That’s partly why I find you, and my response to you, so interesting. I usually want to feel curiosity about getting to know people, as a general trait, because many people like this trait and it seems a good one to feel, given that I want other people to feel it about me. (Fair is fair is fair.) (I notice self-recrimination, again, for not generally feeling it. If I don’t feel it enough I will not be loved and accepted, and people will call me selfish and leave me alone. They will not want to explore my world and the world with me, and will not want to reach out and provide connection. Breath. What if this were true? This is currently the world I perceive myself to be in, and it is less true in the real world than it is in mine. Connection is not a zero-sum game. I don’t know what it is yet, but it is not that. People choose how they explore the world, whatever topic it is, and we respect their choice, how we choose to explore it together. How we choose to share. Respect their choice, and don’t make yourself less of an equal, or more than an equal, if people do not want you to… and if there’s no opposition to getting yourself on your harmonious boat, then get the hell onto it :).)

I feel guilt at the fact that one of the reasons I want to know more is that you don’t freely give it. Some people I feel suffused with information, most people I am not interested in more, you I feel there is not enough and I want. I feel guilt because this feels like a cheap trick that I’m falling into, like withholding information shouldn’t drawn me in because it’s so cliché, and especially guilt because I don’t want to encourage this trait in others because I want people to share, I don’t want to feel intrigued when people don’t, I don’t want to live in a world where not sharing is the thing that everyone does. I feel like my preferences are wrong and that they are against what other parts of me believe in how I think the world should be. So I feel intrigued, and I want this intrigue to be generalized and match “I am curious about all people”—it instead matches a more impure “withheld information makes me curious” motivation, where purity is defined here by social acceptability and recrimination, and also a general desire for people to be more open. These intuitions are describing something complicated, and have moral edges to them and social patterns and inferences…. Breath. This complicatedness is how I feel right now, it feels like a lot to hold in one place, it feels unpleasant to hold all in one place. I shall drop the thoughts one my own. I want to be curious about all people, but I am not. I am curious about X. I am curious about X partly because they have information that I want to know that is not easily accessible. I am making an assumption that X is purposely withholding information for the purpose of making themself seem more interesting to others. I did not know I was making that assumption, this assumption feels partly true, and also like there’s a whole bunch of other far more complicated emotional layers going on in your mind that that. I am actually mostly interested in the more complicated emotional layers that cause you to withhold the information, rather than the information itself. Must we always do a little meta. Note humor use there, I think I was partially looking away from the fact that I actually endorse being interested in the more complicated emotional layers, think that this is true, and also that this is a valid thing to be curious about that places neither you or I at fault. I generally want people to be open. I want you to be more free. I am making an assumption that you are not free, based on what I perceive as a tendency to not answer questions directly and some other traits not listed here. I want people to be free, and I want you to be free.

I like you. You’re kind. I like when people are kind. I often feel like I am very lucky in that people are so willing to help me. I think that people are generally good, and with the demographic profile that I have and the personality I portray, people are very kind and willing to help if I ask. I often feel aloneness and a feeling that is not but is in the direction of despair in that I don’t feel like people “look out” for me. Meaning something like, I think, taking care of me when I don’t ask. Or rather, more accurately… taking care of me when I’m hiding what I’m feeling for the purpose of an obligation to “take care” of others. The problem being that I’ve gotten better at hiding emotions over the years so that it’s basically like being sad when people don’t read my mind :). There’s still a sadness in it, though. When I’m not displaying I want help, but I want it, and I don’t get it. Sometimes I’m not displaying I want help, I want it, and you’ve given it, almost by chance, and always without making a show out of it. I think you do this for many, many people in your life. It makes me worried, a little, since I have an assumption that the feeling motivating it might be making you feel obligated, but it also makes me feel grateful (I notice self-recrimination for a feeling of selfishness. Breath. I feel selfish for appreciating an action that I think may have caused you harm. Breath. I think this because I sometimes take actions that are for the sole purpose of smoothing over what I perceive are hurt feelings, when I don’t want to be taking the action except for that purpose, and I actually want the other person to notice and not be upset so I don’t feel obligated. Breath. It is a choice though. Breath. It feels nice to take the action sometimes, and even if it doesn’t, I chose it over the alternative. Breath. Should I then react very positively to the action, to reinforce its goodness? I feel like this is making it too complicated. There is a chosen action. I respond how I feel, or if I want to elevate or decrease a response based on whatever I’m feeling is appropriate, that is also a choice. They are also making a choice when they act. Act however I feel appropriate, but respect that choice, and the care that went into it. They are an equal.) …Those types of kindness actions, and the acuity and skill with which you do them, make me respect you for who you’ve shaped yourself to be.

You’re also very skilled at some talents I wish I had and won’t mention here for identifiability purpose. I just checked over this document to make sure you’re probably not identifiable; the facts I’ve stated are that I want to know more about you, you have a facebook profile that has at least some small groups of friends in it, I perceive that you withhold information sometimes, I think you are kind, you have acted towards me in ways I’ve perceived positively, and I think you are good at some specific unnamed things. These are things I feel comfortable with you knowing, I think, and I expect you know many of the already. I want to state that “obsession” for me is milder than the term suggests, and that there is a time-recency effect happening here and that there are a few other people who I have similar feelings about. I think that’s my bases covered :P.

Hey readers :).

What up? I’m finally back to blogging—again, who knows how frequent it’ll be, but I’m happy to be back. (Industriously checking the date—two months ago?? I last wrote two months ago??)

Recently I’ve started up some new projects that I’m enthusiastic about, and that means that some people have been sent to my blog, which is super great, and also (fear face) because I have NOT been putting the posts I’d want to represent myself up first and visible. This fact, along with the fact that I promised someone I’d write up some introspective musings by the end of the week, means I’ll probably be updating again this week, maybe even with something public-facing. (Which is amusing, because this whole thing is public-facing, but there’s clean public-facing and messy public-facing. Knowing me though I’ll probably just leave it messy because I can’t figure out the format I want. My main worry here is something like: I think people will get a fuller picture of me if they have some of history of my writing (i.e. have read some of the posts with at least slightly different styles) than if they just read the first one off the deck. Then again, the first one off the deck is currently representative…)

Anyway, social angsting notwithstanding (…said Monica never. The post above, man, this whole “noticing when I’m being mad at myself for something” is like constant), these past two months have been super good. I’ve been doing some research, doing some social, doing some introspecting and not documenting it, went on a camping trip recently and went to a personal development workshop called Landmark which was cool. I starting doing some more volunteering in the community, which has been good. More documentation of my non-mental life is possible but not currently planned, definitely feel free to message me if you want me to write more of something. (But especially if you want me to write more about specific areas of my mental life, I’m into that :P).

I also learned how to role play last week when I was discussing it with a friend—apparently it’s really not that hard, you just role play yourself with one part of yourself front and center. I noticed when I was writing the letter-text above I was doing more role-playing than usual, since that voice is one of my take-itself-seriously ones, is very happy in its formality, and also gets to use more overwrought-evocative language (though I was still trying to restrain it :P).

All for now, folks. Best wishes to you all, and thank you, as always, for reading :).

Monica

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