garden variety genius

Just a garden variety genius,
so they say.

I do mean just.
Growing up felt average;
good average, but average
nonetheless.

A low bar was set:
survive.
But that’s not enough.

I want to fly,
I want to see the stars.
And I want to
be more than average
at something.

Maybe I am;
maybe I’m not.
I’m just a garden variety
genius, after all.

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what have i done? and other retrospective questions about long term life choices

When I was diagnosed with manic depression (now called bipolar disorder) our primary concern was just getting it under control so that I could function.  That’s a low bar, especially considering I was a high school student at the time.  I’m definitely not saying high school is easy in any way, least of all psychologically, but that’s all I had to worry about.  Once it was “under control” I was just expected to carry on like everyone else, like I was fine.  It’s accepted, even more now than it was in the 90s when I was diagnosed, that daily tasks can be more difficult with these issues, but in reality it is so much more than that.  Every single day is fucking exhausting.  And it’s only getting more so as I age.

At 15 I was diagnosed, treated, counseled, and then told to carry on as a “normal” teenager. Go to school, get good grades, go to college, get a degree, get a job, make it on your own.  Simple enough, right?  Well, now in my mid-thirties, having graduated college and been “on my own” for well over a decade, I’m actually starting to wonder if I made the right choices for my sanity.

My doctor, councilors over the years, family, basically everyone, says I am “high functioning”.  I’m not just succeeding for someone with bipolar disorder, but I’m considered successful for someone in general.  Everyone wonders sometimes if they chose the right career/life/path, that’s not new.  We all want to somehow love, or at least not hate, what we spend half of our waking hours doing, and to enjoy the rest of our time too.  But for those of us more deeply effected by external stimuli, is loving a job even a good idea?  Is aiming to succeed by everyone’s standards a reasonable goal?

I have a challenging existence, even more than it could be, because I made it that way.  Instead of choosing a stable, repetitive, low stress job, I chose the opposite. And I chose it because I love it!  I love math and science and engineering, rockets and space and technology, solving problems and learning, doing, experiencing everything I possibly can in my chosen field, and in life in general.  My up and down, risk taking, excitement seeking, manic depressive personality draws me to this career.  And yet the instability of work contracts, the intense deadlines, big decisions that affect other people, and consistently high demanding work performance is possibly the worst daily environment I could subject myself to.  And they expect me to be nice to other people while I’m at it!  This is not even considering being an adult with responsibilities, bills, chores, etc.

As a result, every 2-4 years I seem to destabilize and it becomes a race to unload whatever excess responsibilities I’ve taken on, fix my meds, and get me back on track before I fuck it all up.  I falter, and then I look around and hope no one noticed.  Yes there are “protections” in place to make sure these episodes don’t result in me losing my job or whatever, but I prefer not be reliant on people being made to overlook these issues.

So, my current existential bullshit is this: am I making life harder than it needs to be by wanting to succeed, have a career I love, and be a functioning adult to boot?  The answer is yes.  But I guess it’s too late to go another way now.

 

1000 views, you people need better things to do in your free time

Today my blog hit 1000 views. Not bad for a compilation of weird ramblings by a crazy girl who periodically takes the site down then puts it back up at some point later, and doesn’t even publish things in chronological or any other order.

But hopefully, dear readers, those who’ve actually been here more than once, you have come to expect a certain level of discontinuity from me and my writings.

I definitely feel that letting these thoughts escape me here allows me to pretend better in my real life. I pretend that I don’t have an almost constant monologue (or even conversation where I play multiple parts) going on in my head. I pretend that I’ve never been ill in any kind of way that most people I interact with on a daily basis would fine uncomfortable to talk about. And I pretend that I don’t write weird emo poetry, because what respectable engineer does that?! (I NEVER said I was respectable, I just let other people make their own assumptions.)

I’m not saying I pretend very well, but I try to lessen the blow to people that hope I’m just like them.

I’ve no point to this. Just celebrating another meaningless milestone. But even though it’s pointless, it can still make me smile.

the biggest mistake i ever made

I actually thought it was us against the world;
I even joked that maybe we were winning.
But caring about you was, by far,
the biggest mistake I ever made.
And I’d cry about it again,
but you just aren’t worth the effort anymore.

Just thinking about you,
and my naive dreams for a life with you,
makes me want to go to sleep because
I don’t want to be awake anymore.
It would be easier if I weren’t real;
it would be easier to stomach
if you weren’t real either.
Why don’t you go on and add that
to the list of things you wouldn’t be without me.

By the way, and I hate to spoil the ending,
but everything is going to be okay,
for me at least.

her fear of flying

She said she had a Fear of Flying.
But she wasn’t afraid of the trip;
she was afraid of the destination.

You thought you knew what she wanted,
but you can’t understand.
Even with the waves of feminism
you still can’t cure a deep seated
Electra Complex.
Every girl has Daddy issues;
get over it.

So why should I care about me
anymore than anyone else?
It’s still a world where
one person is always doing the taking
while the other is always doing the giving.
And we allow ourselves
to be held in place by mere paper chains.
Or maybe that was just me.
And what did it buy me?
Not every story gets to have a happy ending.

I met someone like me once,
but she gave her whole self away;
I don’t want to be like that.

in my head

I spend my life in my own head,
what’s so wrong with that?
Existentialism is as good a religion
as anything else.
Having to be present in your own life
is the worst part about existing.

Only loosely hanging onto reality,
I could let go at any time.
But heroes don’t die like that;
isn’t that what I’ve always said?

All at once these thoughts,
emotions, dreams, memories,
flood over me like an ocean tide
reclaiming a beach.
Maybe that’s how heroes die;
I always wondered.

How can you say my thoughts are tiny,
when you’ve never seen them for yourself?
The grand scheme of things
only matters to people who
believe in that sort of shit.
I don’t.

My life is my own
and I have every right
to care how it turns out,
how my story ends.
The final act remains to be seen,
but I know that you won’t be in it.

surviving life

Stop telling me I’m not perfect;
I can assure you, I already know.
But I’m too stubborn to fail,
making each day more exhausting
than the last.
Can’t keep it up forever.

“Are you sure?”
Am I sure that I’m crazy
or am I sure that I’m tired
of pretending I’m not?
“Everything works out for the best.”

Fuck you and your faith;
what good does it do me?
You pray to a god
that obviously doesn’t give a damn.
Does it make life
feel less shitty somehow?
Sorry Pascal,
but you can’t fabricate faith
no matter how hard you try.
So stop telling me I’m wrong.
I can survive a life without meaning,
can you?

Somedays its just easier
to laugh instead of cry.
Whatever makes everybody else
more comfortable.