cogitati·vitae


Things I find interesting,
stuff I love,
biased opinions,
and assorted reflections on
a thoughtful life.

"I don’t chase anyone anymore. Wanna walk out of my life? There’s the door. Hell, I’ll even hold it for you."

— (via fearlessknightsandfairytales)

(Source: justbetweenteens, via theperksofbeinglauren)

"You cannot protect yourself from sadness without protecting yourself from happiness."

— Jonathan Safran Foer

(Source: observando, via ariellewhispers)

[via nevver: What we’re reading]
I got a hard laugh out of this. These are the words that pass through my head daily.

[via nevverWhat we’re reading]

I got a hard laugh out of this. These are the words that pass through my head daily.

(Source: twitter.com, via ariellewhispers)

thenderson asked: What are your top 3 favorite cities that you've visited?

Quick answer without writing 100 paragraphs (as I am prone):

San Francisco, Vienna, Portsmouth (NH)

All for different reasons. Ironically enough, I actually really wasn’t a huge fan of SF as a city. I probably would hate living there, honestly. But I loved visiting, and I loved getting to try a city which was so different (west coast), but so similar (US). I love that feeling.

Vienna was the most comfortable I’ve been in a foreign city since I’ve been travelling. It’s so comfortable, even though I barely spoke any German.

Portsmouth: this is a weird one. I think it’s a result of (1) I miss the mountains so badly (I know this isn’t the mountains, but it had a chill in the air that I don’t feel around Charleston), (2) I had all of three hours in the place, and really enjoyed the whirlwind experience, and (3) I like being a stranger in a city. It appeals to my introverted side and my extroverted side at the same time. And Portsmouth was just familiar enough and just new enough that it hit a sweet spot.

"I no longer have the energy for meaningless friendships, forced interactions or unnecessary conversations."

— (via habitualbliss)

(Source: a--failure, via wherethewhiteroadruns)

"Crocodiles are easy. They try to kill and eat you. People are harder. Sometimes they pretend to be your friend first."

— Steve Irwin

(Source: nakedhipstercircus, via themessesofmen)

Alone.

Recently I have been dealing with what it means to be alone, have friends, and be happy. I wouldn’t say I’m necessarily introverted, but that’s only because the world has this idea that introverts are these people who literally sit in a corner and dread the prospect of having to interact with another human being, as if the very thought may cause them physical pain and never-ending agony. 

But I would say I’m relatively introverted. I enjoy social times, I feel energized around groups of people and strangers. But I 100% need that decompression time, that down time where I can just think, reflect, regroup, and sort of decompress from events. I’m lucky in that I happen to really enjoy driving around and listening to some music… so often my little trips in between places are enough to let me meditate.

Let’s get to the point. I moved to a new city a year ago and I’ve had to make new friends, have coworkers who aren’t students, and sort of try to find my place all on my own. And I did that relatively well for the first year. I found that group. Over the summer, however, that changed a bit. People started doing what people do, and they changed. They made some changes in their lives. I encourage change; I have no problems with change. I changed too. I picked up some hobbies I’d let fall by the wayside over the last few years. I found some sort of entertainment for myself which didn’t involve having to go out with these friends, not intentionally, it’s just what happens over the summer. People find new outlets.

So here’s what happened. These coworkers know that I’ve said before how much I move around, and how unwilling I am to fight for “friends.” Basically, I feel like friends are the de facto people who you hang around with, not the ones who I’m “supposed” to stay talking to. This is about 95% of the reason that I have a such a high turnover rate of people I talk to.

Anyway, coworker pulls me aside the other day and tells me that he wants to know why I haven’t been hanging out with them. I tell him, honestly, that I tried to hang out, but they were angry that I wasn’t going out of my way to maintain a friendship. He says that’s sad.

Sad? Let’s recall why I stopped spending time with you. You criticize, condescend, manipulate, and make fun, all while telling me to get my act together and quit being awkward. Hey thanks, but I’m been about 50 times happier without you around. You can think it’s sad all you want, but if I’m happier without you, you’re not just misguided, you’re wrong.

So yes, this is a bit of a personal rant. But alone is not a state of physical singularity. It’s a state of emotion. I left two friends and made 20 more. But you don’t know that because you’re too busy telling me how sad it is that I’m alone to listen to my story of how I’ve been meeting up with other friends, restarting hobbies, getting my work-life together, my personal life together, and just generally fixing the things in my life which have increased my happiness to a level I haven’t felt in over three years.

And you think it’s sad? Fuck you.

Someone cried from relief to me today. That was nice. I’ll have more days like that, please.

TED Talk: Ze Frank: Are you human?

This was an absolutely wonderful talk (which was presented in a way I did not expect.) He does a wonderful job of carrying through the human spectrum of funny, awkward, social, personal, happy, sad, hopeful, and tragic, all with just a few questions.

thenderson asked: If you could move to any place in United States to live for a year where would you move and why? Any place in the world?

As usual, I’ve put these questions off for a very long time.

My answer is going to be very temporally-locked, that is, it’s my answer for right now, but not necessarily my answer for two months ago, or my answer for a year from now.

Any place in the US: Right now it’s probably New Hampshire. I just got back from visiting the state on a conference for work, and it was beautiful. It doesn’t sound like it to anyone who has just been watching where I’ve been the last year (hint: I moved to the coast, and further south) but I really do love/prefer the mountains. Combine that with the whole different attitude of New Hampshire, and I could see myself really enjoying it there. I want to live somewhere that is totally different, a whole retreat from what I’ve been used to my entire life, maybe even do something that isn’t really a step “forward” professionally, but just something that would be helpful to me psychologically. I loved all the history and the way in which the world keeps turning in those areas, despite all the history there (or maybe because of all the history.) There are also some other reasons that New Hampshire as a geopolitical state appeals to me, but that’s beside the point. The only downside I can think of right now is that I really didn’t enjoy that regional accent (I’m from the South,) and I really would miss the friendliness (again, I’m from the South.)

Anywhere in the world? Honestly, and I have no good reason for this thought, but somewhere near Scandinavia (Finland, Norway, or Sweden) or even Estonia, Denmark, or Netherlands would just sit well with me right now. The culture is very different but lately there’s some kind of attraction I have to this whole area that doesn’t typically attract the Western World. It feels like it would be an entire escape from everything going on and everything I know in life. That appeals to me very much.

The First Americans to Observe the 4th Were Moravian Pacifists

[via kre-do:]

Fascinating history—a peace church was the first group to celebrate Independence Day:

At the nation’s first official Independence Day celebration, there were no fireworks, no sparklers, and no rowdy parties. The parade was solemn, with reverent music and the call-and-response singing of two choirs. Songs were sung in German.

Those marking the nation’s hard-won independence at that first celebration had not participated in the long and bloody war, and they were not celebrating the newly free nation’s victory over the British oppressors at Yorktown. They were thanking God for peace.

An Open Letter to Nationalism

A lot of people lately (especially in the workplace) ask why I don’t participate in Memorial Day, Independence Day, the pledge of allegiance, or support the troops initiatives. Anyway, just consider this.

[via laliberty:]

An appropriate piece to offer on July 4th … here’s Don Boudreaux, expanding:

I don’t care about America as such.  I care about freedom and human flourishing.  If America is a useful set of institutions to make humans more free than they would otherwise be, then I am all for “saving” it – but only because America is then a means to the end of a freer and more prosperous human civilization.  If America is not a useful set of institutions to make humans more free than otherwise, then I am, at best, indifferent to it.  If America is a set of institutions that makes humans less free than they would otherwise be, then I oppose it.

There is the question of what, exactly, is the “it” to which I refer above as “America.”  Using blogger’s license, it’s a question that I’ll not here explore, except to say that I emphatically reject the notion that the U.S. Government is synonymous with America.  I reject also the superstition that that particular political institution – Uncle Sam – is a faithful representative of that multitudinous and extraordinarily complex and diverse group of individuals commonly called “the American people.”  Indeed, I go further and reject even the possibility that such a group of people can possibly ever have anything reasonably called “a representative” or an agent or agency that carries out its ‘will.’  (Groups of people have no ‘will.’  It is mistaken anthropomorphism to imagine otherwise.)

I feel no, I owe no, and I will never give any allegiance to any nation or any government as such.  My allegiance is to whatever peoples and institutions promote human freedom, flourishing, and peace.  (And I hardly need to add that nationalism and governments have a damn poor record on this front.)

(via paleolibertarian)

[via pleatedjeans:death bulge]
thenderson asked: If you could only save Rachel Dawes or Harvey Dent who would you have chosen?

I haven’t answered enough of these lately.

Harvey Dent. Why? Ignoring the fact that he still suffered physically for his loss of Rachel Dawes (and his mental split represented physically in his appearance), I think Harvey was the chance to redeem the city through a legitimate means, someone who would know humanity and can be the savior.

Unfortunately, Rachel Dawes is a crutch holding me back. She’s what I want and need, but not the ONE I want and need. Similarly, I’m not the one she wants and needs. Saving Rachel Dawes means I have a weakness, and she’s forever stuck with the guilt that I sacrificed a greater good for a lesson I didn’t want to learn. Save Harvey Dent, and his loss becomes the lesson learned on which society begins to rebuild.

Rachel Dawes is the sacrificial lamb we have to let go. Harvey Dent is the savior. You don’t sacrifice the savior for the lamb.

The mind plays tricks.

I’ve been dealing a lot with the difference between reality and perceived reality lately. (of course this is all after the fact that I realized this).

For example: what one group of people sees as a moment of hesitation in me and a moment of weakness when I’m not being bold and outgoing and talking to strangers, another group sees as a moment of oddity in the fact that I’m somewhat talking to strangers though possibly with awkwardness or otherwise with social anxiety. In this situation, what is the reality and what is just perception of those around me seeing life through their own personal filters?

I’ve discovered in the past few years that I have anxiety and that my anxiety stems from one thing: I’m a perfectionist. But I don’t get anxiety about the dishes not being spotless, or finding a perfect job, or ruining relationships, or failing a test, or stumbling in front of a huge crowd. No. I get anxiety about things that cannot be changed or replaced once a mistake has been made. Things like paralysis, diseases, death, murder.. heavy stuff.. but I worry about these the most.

So it’s weird when I throw myself into a very social situation, and suddenly feel more outgoing, and surprise myself by the situations and life experiences I get back. There was a point that anxiety would have kept me at a debilitating distance from these places, but I’m starting to basically throw myself head first into the deep end and discovering that while I’m not exactly swimming the breast stroke, I’m not drowning either.

I think I’m learning, changing, and my mind is growing.

I was listening to an interview today and the guest said that all mental growth and all major changes in life come collaterally with interpersonal relations, that is, you will never overcome a fear, succeed greatly, or change your outlook on life without having someone there to talk to, to discuss things with, or to experience that trial with you.

I think that’s why my anxiety is going away in baby steps. The more I live and the more I talk and the more I just experience life, the less I’m concerned about things that I still (even now) consider very serious problems should they arise in my life.

That’s scary as hell.

But I hope I learn to love those little problems, and life’s curveballs (big or small).