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How often should we think about our past selves?

All day, I am fine living in the ‘present.’ Sort of.  At night, the past floods into my head. If I fall asleep at night, and wake up, the past is right there, demanding some attention.

WHY??

I don’t want to think about the winter track meets in the year 2000. I always think about this time I fell down a snowy hill in front of a bunch of school buses full of track kids. And this time a kid brought a camcorder to the meet and started filming people. He said to me, ‘you look happy’ sarcastically. I always thought about whether I am on some random person’s dusty VHS tape in some basement somewhere. Or maybe the tape has been sitting in a landfill for years, next to the camcorder.

Why do I think about high school? I hated that place! Sometimes I compare my experience to modern day kids’ experiences. I am a ‘digital native’ but we had desktop computers, not handheld computers at all times. Would I give my imaginary kid a smart phone? It seems so weird to me to hand a child such a powerful, addictive device. Why do they need that? Is it just because society and marketing demand/command that your child needs the latest and greatest  handheld computer?

I don’t even want to call cell phones ‘phones’ anymore. Only scammers call me!

Why can’t I think about the old timey prank calls we used to do? I only conjure up the memories that make me anxious. The human mind can be quite a pain.

Sometimes I try to switch to thinking about sheep jumping over a fence. Does this actually work for anyone? My sheep are blurry, and the fence is really low to the ground. The background is really dark (uh…like night time? LOL) and the sheep is all alone. Is it the same sheep over and over, like a GIF image repeating over and over, or am I picturing a hoard of sheep, leaping over a fence, never to be seen again by my brain?

The sheep(s) seem to distract my head from the onslaught of Past Memories, but is that good enough?

Must it be so hard to be a humanoid?

Ok, time for work. The sheep need a break from jumping over a fence post all night.

 

 

Increase your blog traffic in zero easy steps

A kind visitor (?) to my blog said they could increase the traffic to my blog. How kind. I am utterly dubious.

This blog is now a symbol of my dying love for writing. Or is it?

This blog is a symbol of my inability to write.

I used to think I would become a writer. Now I don’t know what the hell to write about. A lot has changed since I aspired to write for the local paper. Look, it was 2003, keep your ‘omg does anyone even READ newspapers anymore?!’ jokes to yourself. Mostly because jokes making fun of the recent past are the easiest jokes to make.

Ipod? Okay, grandpa!

You want me to VIDEOTAPE you? Okay…grandma!

You want me to help you find your way back to your time machine, because you are a traveler from 1850 and you just spend some time on reddit and now you want to get the fuck back to your time, scurvy and all? Okay…..great great great grandpa!

Anyway, I think I made my point. Uh….Oh. Right. That I can’t write anymore.

I suspect that, perhaps, we just change over time, and there’s nothing we can do about it- Except complain incessantly to anyone who will listen.

Well, reader, that ‘anyone’ is you. Thank you kindly. Let me continue my whine.

I accepted that I won’t write anything groundbreaking or anything even ungroundbreaking. (i can invent words if I want)

But I haven’t fully accepted that sometimes I just don’t know what the hell to say anymore. How do you even poke fun at the world, like I used to? Everything is a parody now. Or is that a damn COP OUT? PERHAPS.

Or maybe I just haven’t found the THING to write about.

As you know, Julia Roberts Ate, Prayed, and Loved (she totes had sex with some guy) her way across India, Italy, and…..somewhere else. I dont have google.com, so I cant look it up for ya. Well, Julia Roberts is rich as fuck, unlike most broke ass Americans, so we simply do not have the luxury of quitting our jobs and eating copious pasta. I suppose we could quit our jobs and eat copious pasta in our homes, but that doesn’t sound like the good premise for a FEEL GOOD hollywood movie aimed at 25-45 year old women such as myself.

Perhaps I can write about my inability to write. My lack of imagination. My feeling that I just don’t have enough time anymore, except, really, I do. I found time to learn Spanish, to learn gardening, to run road races back in the day (and burn off my knee caps in the process, but that’s another story)

But this feeling of having nothing to write is a new feeling. I dont think it stems from depression, or sadness, or even from heartburn. Although, heartburn sure is annoying.

I suppose I am in a phase. Once, I had a low carb phase. I mean, low carb seems the way to go, but I sure as hell didn’t stick with it. The siren call of pizza was too much to resist. I do, however, have a delightful low carb book.

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beaming with pride whilst holding a low carb book. bread is the devil!

 

Another time, I had a pizza phase. And now, it is my ‘What the HELL do I write in my blog?’ phase!

It’s ok, my elders tell me, ‘it’s just a phase. You just haven’t met the right blog topic yet. ‘

 

 

Paper

In 2011, my mom bought me a Kindle. She was pretty excited and thought I’d love it, since I love to read. Well, I barely used it. I did read 2 books on that thing- two comedies. Are they still in my Kindle library? hm. Well, anyway. It turned out I just don’t like reading books on a screen. It’s not a terrible experience, clearly.

  1. you don’t create paper waste. duh.
  2. the books are cheaper. Or you can be a jerkwad and just torrent the books.
  3. Amazon gets to track everything you read, and we all love having our lives tracked by big tech companies, obviously.
  4. uhh..idk

But what about the CONS?

  1. The experience of being connected to the book isn’t the same- it’s not a book. It’s a flat computer with 500000 gigabytes, 5000 other apps on it, and no pages to flip through, nothing to touch, really.
  2. The screens are bad for our eyes. Especially at night. Your brain is tricked into thinking you’re still awake. Our brains just didn’t have time to catch up with all the change of the past 100 years..give it another 1 million years or so, then our monkey brains will be highly evolved and able to read a smartphone in pitch darkness without disrupting their sleep patterns!
  3. Sharing the book is not …..wait, can you? Idk. But I like being able to just hand a book to someone. I read a whole book on a plane once, and a woman said, ‘I want to read that book! How is it?’ And I said, ‘you can read this one’ and gave it to her. How would I have done that with a Kindle?!

    ‘Oh! I want to read that book. Sorry, I just glanced down at your computer screen and saw the book title! But sorry, I see you are now checking your email. Oh, sorry, I see it is your cell phone company and your bill is late. Oh, I’m sorry, I see your friend just facetimed you and the Kindle is pointed to me, so your friend saw my face! Oh, I’m sorry, I see that you accidentally deleted your book from your Kindle because you were trying to facetime while trying to read your email while trying to ignore me-‘

‘Oh, it’s fine. Want to borrow this book? I just redownloaded it!’

‘Well….yes, but how? It’s an ebook!’

‘Oh, here! catch!’ :lunges Kindle at passenger:

‘WOW, thanks! A free computer! I’ll make sure to respond to all of your emails too!’

 

Crapola is nothing new

My dad liked to save crap. So, I have a crappy newspaper from 1958. There is an actual HEADLINE titled ‘Molested’ and it’s about a girl who got..molested.And it includes her picture…WHAT THE HELL.

Another headline is all about Bing Crosby’s son getting hitched to a woman that Bing Crosby also dated….YEP….

There’s also a page devoted to Social Security Lottery. Is it your lucky day?! Maybe your social security number was entered into the lottery and uhhh…now you won!

Imagine that contest today, in the era of our personal information being sold everywhere at all times.  I’ve been told my whole life to not disclose my social security number all willy nilly. (Is that the expression? I’m pretending it is 1958 and I don’t have google..’

So, upon reading this paper, I realized…

People were probably not super duper classy in 1958.

,If you dont believe me, here are the photos.

 

These days, it would be more like, ‘I  didn’t tell dad I married, because he isn’t on Snapchat.’

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Is your social security number gonna win ya a bucket of cash?!

 

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UMM…what?

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‘You’ll regret having worked so much’

Lately, I’ve been thinking about something called the deathbed fallacy- The idea that you will have all these regrets whilst you’re dying, so you better act NOW, to avoid the regrets.

It’s fallacious because the person you will be when you’re dying isn’t the person you are today. I’ll use myself for an example.

Let’s pretend I am dying today. I COULD die today, but it’s pretty unlikely.. I left the house this morning, so I could’ve been creamed by a stupid ass Massachusetts driver, but that didn’t happen. Anyway, so, I’m dying…

I regret soooo much! Oh gawd! I better go back to 2013 and tell 27 year old me to NOT move to Boston because that failed miserably! I didn’t even finish college like I planned to! Oh, if only I had done things differently. Who knows what wonderful things could’ve happened if only I hadn’t cared so much what people thought of me back then?

And, today is father’s day. Oh, I should’ve told my dad how I felt about him. That night in 2001, when my mom asked me if I wanted to stay up late and watch The Simpsons with him, I should’ve. But I didn’t, I was scared to be around a dying person. Now, here I am, years later…Oh, the regrets..

 

Ok, here’s the deal. I can’t regret any of that malarky because I was a different person back then, so what the hell is the point of me sitting here judging the past me? In 2001, I was a young goober with no life experience. Am I to sit here, all wise ‘n old, and judge that teenager? Why? That teen did what they felt was right at the time. They shouldn’t be judged by some judgy person on their death bed.

When I moved to Boston in 2013 to start a fresh new life, I really thought it was the best thing I was doing for myself. Now, I think it was ridiculous, a waste of money, and pointless. I really used to get warped by TVs, movies, and my peers, who tell you that the only way to ‘find yourself’ is to go live in some overpriced city and be hip and cool. The truth is that you can find yourself basically anywhere. You bring your head with you wherever you go. But in 2013 I was riddled with anxiety and I just wanted to get away.

It’s easy to be on my death bed and judge those actions, but I’m judging them as a different person. And what’s the point of that?

We judge workaholics. They should’ve not worked so much. Oh, they wasted their lives…

But it is quite easy to wish you hadnt worked so hard, when you have no time left. It is the only reasonable response..Because you have no time left anyway. but with a ‘life’ ahead of you, working hard makes ‘sense.’ So, it makes no sense to judge ourselves in this manner, if you ask me.

Well, anyway. I no longer live my life thinking about my damn deathbed. My idea of the ‘self’ has morphed over time, anyway, since I’ve had a few rather big life changing events. My dad passing away, and my failed move to the city, changed me pretty profoundly. I have a lot of respect for people who try new things even if they wind up failing. And I hope they don’t think, on their death beds, ‘oh, if only I didn’t do this or that thing.’ We’re all doing the best we can in this moment.

I guess this sort of ties into some meditation and buddhist thought- that all you really have is this moment. The person you are today isn’t the person you were even last month, or two months from now. Like, if I get some horrible disease next year, it’s going to change how I view life. Well, anyway.  Here’s me smiling, not thinking about some future version of myself…(Just kidding, I think about the future A LOT. Hypocrite alert!!!)

 

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blah de blah de bloop

Sometimes I think about how weird it is that we’re inundated with other people’s personal information now. Imagine if, in 1992, you had piles of Status Updates waiting in your mailbox from a bunch of people you haven’t talked to since that time you all graduated high school and decided to never speak again..

 

OH, GOD DAMNIT, did you empty the mailbox like I asked, Agnes?!

No, I thought WEdnesday night was YOUR night to clear out the Status Updates! I did it Tuesday!

Really, my gym instructor from Planet Fitness, you know, the place in Kingston I used to go to in 2014 for 4 months? She sent FIVE updates today! One of them is just a picture of herself with some sort of dog face mask on?! What is THIS?!

That’s it, we’re chopping down our mailbox! ENOUGH!

WHAT? Agnes, we can’t NOT receive and give status updates–Those people without mailboxes, they’re just a bit odd, they don’t accept modern society! WE NEED A MAILBOX…oh God, here comes the mailman! It is 6 PM, prime retweet time, ugh! Let’s close the mailbox door and check this crap tomorrow. I hear mailbox checking makes us all depressed anyway……Okay, one more peek. Just one….just one more…one….

:five hours later:

Agnes Blertude, age 30, crushed to death by a barrage of status updates and retweets that flooded her mailbox and fell on her head.

So sad. What an age we live in.

 

 

 

 

BLAH BLAH BLAH

I’ve been walking on this nice trail.

Every 1/2 mile, I’ll look down and see a bunch of rocks with inspirational messages written on them.

ACCEPTANCE- Accept yourself, and your life will be beautiful

ACCEPT…

ACCEPT ACCEPT ACCEPTANCE.

I would like to leave a retort rock.

ACCEPT…..even if you’re, say, a serial killer? Or what if you like to throw inspirational rocks into the ocean? Should I ACCEPT this character flaw?!

I’m too sarcastic I guess. I don’t find inspirational rocks very inspiring. I just want to lunge them into the ocean. Who is this person that thinks they have all the damn answers, anyway?!

Speaking of inspirational rocks, I hear the suicide rate is rising in America. Even inspirational rocks cannot keep the despair from clouding over the general population.

I wondered why the suicide rate is up. Are we getting more unhappy, or are we more open about how we’re dying. I remember when my dad died, the newspaper said he ‘died of a disability’ which was a really sugar coated way of saying ‘he died of a tumor in his head.’ We shouldn’t be afraid to talk about death, but we are afraid of it. And I don’t think inspirational rocks help deal with the real crap in life. Like, we’re supposedly living in the BEST TIME EVAR but we’re all sad and anxious. There has to be some actual discussion about where we are going wrong. And were we are going right.

Inspirational platitudes just don’t do shit. They aren’t based in reality. How about rocks that say..

I know your job sucks sometimes, but doesn’t it feel nice to walk on this trail? (PS lunge this rock into the ocean after you read it)

or…

Pizza is pretty good. But ya know, maybe don’t eat it for dinner every night whilst you frantically upvote Reddit comments.

or…

Look, it’s okay to do nothing sometimes. American culture tells you to go go go go go and be a special snowflake 24/7 but sometimes it’s ok to just fucking sit and be incredibly average…(but once you’re done, would you mind getting off your ass and responding to the 200 work emails you received since you left the office?!)

Well, anyway. It’s almost 1 PM and I’d really like another coffee. Or should I continue sitting and doing nothing? Ah, the world of choice.

sincerely

julie

I had written

I had written something down at work today. I thought, oh! I can write about THIS…Let me write it down, so I’ll remember, and blog tonight!!

 

I forgot what I wrote down.

I am reading a book, well, I just finished it. I’ve read so many freaking books this year. As you know, I deleted my Facebook. It changed my life. but it took a long time for me to get over my addiction, and when you delete something that is so ‘ingrained’ in the culture, it can be a bit of a pain in the ass to explain to people. But my life hasn’t really changed…I just don’t really find out when some rando from high school had a baby until I hear it through the grapevine like the old days LOL. Anyway, I barely mention my no-facebookness IRL, I just discuss it in my blog with my WordPress pals. We’re pals, right? Good.

I dont discuss it because it’s just part of me and I dont feel like I need to go around and discuss it. I dont really discuss my lack of belief in God, unless someone asks. So I won’t discuss my no facebook life unless…well, no one asks LOL. A coworker asked once, I said, nah, I don’t use it….and that was it.

I wonder sometimes if I will ever go back on there. I am sort of hoping I don’t. If it never made me happy, I was addicted, and all my personal data gets mined so rich silicon valley dudes can get richer, what is the point of returning? Maybe in a few more years, if they fix their ‘kinks’…..or maybe never again. It doesn’t matter. I am not ready to go back. I’ve read so many books this year because my anxiety levels are down, and I know a lot of that is due to ditching FB.

Now, what the HELL was I going to write about today? It was a fun..OH! I remember! But do my dear readers want to stroll down memory lane with me?! Sit back, and let me take you to the year 2003. I had just graduated high school, and it was time for my first day of college. I went to a community college….4 miles from my house. Did I ever tell you that I didn’t drive on the highway until I was 19? So, just trying to paint a nice mental image of myself for ya…anyway..

The first day of college included a BBQ in the parking lot. I was horrified. I walked out to my car to leave for the day and sit online for hours, (cherished hobby back then) and saw my car BLOCKED by a TABLE! with HOT DOGS on it!! and…people! everywhere! Not ON the table, but NEAR it! Instead of thinking, hey, I could chat and make some friends! I thought…fuck! I still gotta leave. How!

I got in my car and inched slowly backwards. People watched. I got nervous. I ended up lightly hitting the table, some dudes said ‘ohhh!’ and I drove away. As I drove away, I was so frazzled and embarrassed by my experience of lightly hitting a table of hot dogs that I ran a ‘do not turn on red’ light and got pulled over.

The cop was mad. Like, MAD

DID YOU READ THE SIGN?

no answer

YOU CANT TURN ON RED. DID YOU READ IT?

no answer.

DONT DO IT AGAIN.

No answer. drives away, with thoughts of cops, hot dogs, and do not turn red signs in my head.

Why did I think about this today? I was thinking about how my social awkwardness got in the way of life. And I think I am a lot better now, but damn! Oh, and I also thought about that story because that college is in big trouble. I guess their nursing program is being shut down….It’s the butterfly effect. IF I had had just STAYED at that BBQ and ate a hot dog, that nursing program would be the best in massachusetts.

tomorrow

Well, tomorrow I’ll be 33. I don’t mind turning 33, it’s all so random.. Age isn’t just a number. I mean, the number 33 is just a number, but the aging process is a real thing. I am a lot different now than I was even 5 years ago. I was basically a different person. I guess the thing I think about more, as I get old, is the whole concept of a ‘self.’ Even my body has changed over the years. But I wonder if I am the same person as I was 10 years ago. In some ways, I am. I feel like a more ‘mature’ version of 22 year old me, but will 42 year old me say the same thing about 2018 me? Probably…But life experiences change us, our brains, our wiring, so what if something seismic happens to me tomorrow, and I shift dramatically….

Or an even lamer example.. I used to be a selfie posting, Facebook obsessed smart phone swiping lunatic. I tweeted my way across Italy. I felt ‘off’ if I didn’t post a status update on social media for a day. I was one of the first of my group to use myspace, facebook, snapchat, all that stuff….

Now I don’t even have those apps on my phone. I dont even use those apps at all. I honestly feel like I was a different person back when I was so obsessed with that stuff. Now I am completely over my addiction and the only time I want to go use facebook is when I want to go see what some rando from my past is up to- and i know it will make me feel BAD, so  I dont do it…but of course, human curiosity…It’s a normal feeling. But anyway. Am I just a different version of myself, or a different person? Did I rewire myself? And if I did, does that mean I changed my ‘self’ or is the ‘self’ fixed and you just change those little quirks that round you out? We are not static objects, but if I think that I am not static at all, it does feel a bit unsettling.

I have always feared the future a bit, the rapid progress of tech. I used to worry about what it meant for humanity.. I guess it especially started in 2009, when I saw a play in NYC on Broadway. I dressed nice, I put my phone away, paid attention…and the woman next to me texted the entire time. This was even before smart phones, so she fuckng texted on a flip phone the whole time. I felt like that was a sign of the end of times LOL. I always wished I said something to her, like, these people are putting on a show for you. They worked hard. They are doing art, and here you are, texting, TEXTING! Why did you even come to this show?! You can stay home and text!

But I said nothing. I just decided to fume inside and declare that moment the moment that we as humans jumped the shark.

Of course, it wasn’t. I mean, humans did not become ‘horrible’ in this decade. We have a history of being terrible, rude, careless…but also kind, respectful, etc. I just can’t believe when I see how people use cell phones. Like, how can you text and drive, how? it’s selfish and I am tired of making excuses for people. yea, cell phones are addictive, but so are cookies. And if you learned how to not sit and eat a bag of cookies every day, you can learn how to not TEXT WHILE DRIVING A 2,000 POUND METAL DEATH ROCKET!

that’s right,  I called your car a death rocket!

ahem.

Anyway, dear reader(s)

I must go. Time to binge tiny house hunters.