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    Short fiction, technology, home cooking

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  1. Some people can initiate and still wind up lonely. Other than my family, I have no one.
  2. I think if anything it's a little of both, because even when things were truly good I often haven't felt quite right. For the most part, though, I just struggle with things like anxiety, loneliness, and a poor upbringing. Anxiety is decreasing for me and I'm no longer ashamed of the way I was treated as a child, because it was my parents' failing - not mine. No child deserves to be hit, left alone for a week, or left alone with people who have an unhealthy interest in children. But, I'm still lonely and that often leaves me unmotivated, isolated, and struggling to enjoy or feel at home in the things I do. I've spent many, many years trying to improve myself socially so that I could better get along with and understand others, with little success. I actually had more success when I was young and bratty than I'm having now when I feel bad because a client felt stupid because he had trouble understanding some papers, when really he was just very new to English. Younger me wouldn't have empathized or tried to defuse the situation. I can even do what many can't and deal with rejection gracefully, always picking myself up to try again and never hating, grudging, or obsessing. Once in awhile I don't react well, but for the most part I let it go and let people have their opinions. And I am still not good enough? Most people have to do zero self-improvement to be likable to at least a small selection of people who'll notice and be drawn to them, no matter their flaws.
  3. I've taken a liking to indie and electro pop, like Faded Paper Figures, Grand National, and Smile Smile. They're upbeat without being sappy.
  4. Sometimes a lack of response isn't personal. Sometimes when I'm responded to I just feel like, "What's the point in talking? I'm weird and distant. There won't be a connection, and it's so tiring to just keep talking about my feelings and being vulnerable when it always fails." I've even had topics on here that weren't responded to at all despite the fact that I post significantly more in response to others, which only adds to the feeling that I'm just not relevant to others. People in pain who've been hurt when they reached out in the past are shy about reaching out even in small ways, but I'm sorry people have taken their frustrations out on you directly.
  5. This is a phrase uttered by people who've never really experienced struggle... they can't imagine the source of someone's pain being anything more than a broken iPhone, an argument with a friend, or not getting the job they want. To them, it's easy to just "be happy" because there have never been any obstacles that couldn't be overcome by taking their mind off it or trying something new. Cultivating a better mindset is a thing, but it's not something you just do. It's a matter of things like learning to understand yourself better, challenging needless self-criticism, inspecting problems in a detached way, and being able to redirect your thoughts away from obsessive negativity.
  6. Anxiety, loneliness, and a difficult upbringing. Anxiety is mostly under control, but I still feel isolated and unable to reach out much of the time.
  7. Start small and aim for things you can actually do that move you in the right direction. Compose a few songs, learn to play a few songs, or pick up a couple new techniques. Some people know right away. Others learn as they go. In defense of this, I'm significantly happier and more confident since spending a chunk of my free time working on personal pursuits than I ever was when I used it for an extra couple hours of television and gaming. There needs to be downtime, but I think people overestimate the value of relaxing for people who don't come home tired at the end of the day. If you're not working or going to school full-time, there needs to be something with substance in your life or a way to use all your energy in a way that adds to your life long-term. Even if it's work, and even if it gives you identity and pride more than enjoyment. I think a big reason a lot of people are unhappy and self-medicate with material possessions, food, alcohol, sex, video games, Facebook updates, and more is because they don't do anything they actually value and need to imitate the highs gained from success with things like social, creative, family, spiritual, or career aspects. I want to have a solid side income as a writer. This is not fun, but it is better for me mentally and emotionally as I progress than playing video games or just relaxing. It means I have to do things which are not enjoyable to get to my rewards, like working even when I neither want nor have to or facing rejection from publishers. But having a good piece to show for it, extra money, and praise is all worth it.
  8. This is something that always plagues me: the natural downs. I suspect it may just have something to do with the seasons or the natural ups and downs, but every time I find myself questioning my recent life choices and wondering if I've made all the wrong ones. The wrong pastimes, the wrong company, the wrong home decor... Usually this comes after a high period, such as being infatuated with someone and then parting ways, but I'm so eager to keep my head above the water that I'm always looking for something. More time working, more time procrastinating, more meditation, more splurging, a change in outfit. Just trying to find that spot that doesn't have me worried about my ability to handle things and feeling a sense of dullness inside, holding on to feeling like things are okay. It was only this spring that I was considering myself lucky to have two days a week where I legitimately felt good at all, and it hasn't been that way all summer. I feel like this can sabotage friendships and new relationships, because eventually the scrutiny turns to them. Do I just not like them very much that I still feel this way around them? Should I be looking for someone who really ignites my passion, even knowing that passion is fleeting? Am I short-changing them by not being as enthusiastic?
  9. A forum is a start. Sometimes droughts just happen, and especially if you can't turn to your family it's a big burden to bear. One thing at a time.
  10. Sometimes I wonder if there's something about some people that just attracts problem people. I know in the past the problem was me, but no matter the changes I make my results don't change.
  11. I can only say that my father majored in philosophy, spent years just drifting through life trying to find something that stuck, and then hopped on the technology bandwagon in the late 80's with some training. He's still programming (mainly in database languages) at 61, and is the guy who gets a call when the younger generation employed at a company can't handle a job.
  12. I have enough trouble with people in general. I tend to attract those who care more about what I can do for them than about me, such as people who need stuff fixed or someone to vent to. Several times in my life I've made a new friend, started listening to them about some personal problems... and then wound up doing it for hours a day, with the friendship faltering when I finally put my foot down. I can't imagine most men I meet online would have much better intentions for me, perhaps just wanting some woman to pay attention and be nice to them - without the specific woman mattering very much. I feel like I'm the only person in my age group who doesn't like casual sex or casual dating, and who's waiting on someone who really fits into my life and can understand the things that are important to me. Thus, most people aren't really that compatible with me. People who "like reading", but don't make time for reading. People who are "nerds", but only care about video games and anime. People who "like writing", but haven't done any lately and don't know when they will again. I don't want one of those lukewarm relationships where people struggle to understand each other's vastly different perspectives, and eventually my friends understand my values and passions more than the person I'm living and raising children with. But... If I respond simply to tell someone I'm not interested, it's likely that I'll receive threats or insults in return and be argued with. If I don't respond, then I'm a stuck-up Biotch who's too good for everyone despite not being that pretty (as if that's what this is all about).
  13. I don't know... I've never viewed being sensitive towards others as a particularly positive trait for me to have. Great for others, bad for me. The only benefit it's brought me is being thoughtful about my writing and catching on quickly to the motivations of others when I can stand back and take a good look at them. Sensitivity has made me a free therapist. Sensitivity has made me that friend that you go to only to vent, without you needing to catch yourself if you openly trash talk groups they're part of. Sensitivity has made me that person who has to say "no" when friends say "yes" and be ostracized for it. Sensitivity has made me that person that broken people try to latch onto for stability, often becoming the target of their anger and dysfunction. Over 10 years of personal work, and I can stand up for myself but not repel it entirely. It just feels like a token pat on the back. "Hey, at least you're a nice, soft mat for when others walk all over you."
  14. You see, mum, this is why your children don’t talk to you much. You waste time, you’re dishonest, you’re tardy, you flake, you don’t communicate, and you don’t have ethics. I’m sorry – I know this is “disrespecting elders” – but it’s true. On dozens of occasions throughout my life we’ve made plans and I have set aside time in my day for it, and then the time passes – an hour passes – and I cannot get ahold of you. You have never put us first. Not when you were teaching us to lie to child services. Not when you were putting us in multiple dysfunctional homes with your drunk, angry men. Not even when we are simply arranging an event do we matter.
  15. The Well-Grounded Rubyist. I think it's a couple years old at this point, which is the downfall of all programming books, but it's still recommended.
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