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On Feelings, As Of Late

First off, may I just make the conjecture that this blog template is grotesque and something should be done about it? Lookin' at you, Jessie...

Anyway, time for the real meat of this post. 

I've been feeling really lonely and depressed lately, so I'm just going to word vomit here. My options were to either journal about it or write a blog post about it, and I noticed that when I write in my journal I use words as if I'm writing for the public, or someone who might come across it in the future, so I figure I might as well just write to an imaginary albeit potential audience if I'm gonna, you know, be that way. 

Lately, I've felt like a massive hamster on a wheel: just endless redundancy and dearth of meaning to life. I get that I'm having some typical existential/identity crisis right now that pretty much every human experiences in life, but as I've come to slowly learn--commonality does not slash should not undermine the validity of one's feelings. Still trying to nail that one into my soul. I feel very much that my life is on repeat and that I'm living in my very own version of Groundhog Day, banal as that may sound. Nothing feels refreshing and everything has sort of lost its sheen. 

I think the key word here is "feels." There are definitely new things happening--like, I'm speaking on a panel at Google tomorrow, which should undoubtedly feel exciting, but it just doesn't. It doesn't feel new. Maybe it's chemical. Maybe it's Maybelline...

Well, in any case, it felt nice to word vomit and I definitely need to do this more often, if anything just to show myself that I haven't lost my writing abilities, although I do feel rusty.

Also, I found a cool website today called 9 Eyes. It's a super dope compilation of absurd and frankly disturbing photos that Google Street View has caught on camera. Perusing through it has raised a lot of ethical and philosophical questions for me. I'll write more about it in an upcoming post.

Thanks for reading! Sad times.

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The Insomnia Files: On Ambien I have Dreams

At My Wits’ End

I recently started taking Ambien as a last resort for my insomnia. I know the current literature, I know the potential harm it may cause, but at this point it’s worth the nights of artificial sleep relief it gives me, and even the groggy hangovers I experience if I don’t dose early enough.

Interestingly enough, the z-drug has a very peculiar effect on me: on Ambien, I have dreams.

No, not the sort of dreams that involve REM and what some people believe to be the subconscious, but dreams. Far out ambitions and aspirations that seem to arise out of my subconsciousness.

Not the sort of dreams that grown adults have either. For example, I have dreams of being able to freelance write and work remotely. Those are more “goals,” I’d say. But child-like, unadulterated dreams.

Shortly after ingesting Ambien, I become the 5-year-old me who wants to become everything: A magician! A world-renowned chef! Hot Sauce Maker! Book Flipper! Poker Player! Everything’s fair game when you’re 5 and haven’t been jaded by the Real World yet.

Side Note: When I take Ambien, I don’t go straight to bed. I like staying up to enjoy the nice effects I feel on the drug. Due to the amnesic nature of the compound, I rather enjoy waking up in the morning to have a laugh at whatever silly thing I was doing last night that I have barely any recollection of.

Supporting Evidence

The other night, I woke up from my Ambien-induced slumber to a couple emails confirming that I had purchased the following book:

 

Additionally, I had the following tabs open on my computer:

Also these:

Following le Dream

About four months ago I wrote an op-ed piece about Affirmative Action being widespread practiced in higher education and its untended consequences. I published the article first on Medium, but the piece gained very littler traction, despite it being — if I may toot my own horn — well researched and well written.

I had put in a lot of time and effort into writing the article, and have a personal stake in the issue, so I knew I wanted to do more with it. Way more.

I started forming a list of publications I’d love my Affirmative Action piece to be published on. And with that, the cold emailing commenced!

I immediately got straight to work. There’s an artform for sending out these cold emails. Keep it short and sweet, and don’t forget to toot their horn!

On the days where I had to take Ambien, I powered through and continued to send cold emails until I could no longer resist the effects of the drug and pass out.

It’s a unique and exciting experience checking your inbox in the morning and receiving several replies and inquiries to your emails, some of which I had no recollection of even writing or sending. Thanks, Ambien…

So did you like, get published or nah?

Huzzah! I did. Resonate was very interested in my article and said they’d like to feature it. Check it out below, yo! I’d be ever interested in hearing your thoughts.

Note: Heather Stiles recently wrote a great piece on the pitfalls of Affirmative Action and proposes an attention shift from race to socioeconomic status.

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Ich bin ein Prague-liner (Part One)

Last week 10/15-10/21, I took a rather impromptu trip to Europe with a couple of friends for some personal reasons (relationships are hard).  While my colleagues are amazing and securing coverage for work was easy, getting everything prepped to take leave was like taking on a whole 'nother half-role in and of itself. But it was well worth it. 

My friends C and J had already started the trip before me, as C had recently scored a new role and had time in between jobs. I caught up with them mid-trip and was able to explore Berlin and Prague with them. Some musings shall now ensue...

Berlin, Germany

Having studied German for 5 years of my life, I feel a certain fondness for the country. In high school, I had the #blessed opportunity to go on a class trip to Germany and visit 8 cities, of which I do not specifically recall save for Munich, Ulm, and Frankfurt. I've always wanted to visit Berlin, though, as I've heard it's very unlike the rest of the country. That scuttlebutt proved to be true for me.

Thoughts on Berlin

Berlin seemed to me to be a bit more cosmopolitan than the rest of Germany, but that may just be because I visited more than 6 years ago. Probably also because it's affordable, hip, and therefore attracts young people worldwide. 

Another thing I noticed--there's a certain sort of post-war angst and defiance in the air that's palpable but ineffable. The ubiquitous art that surrounds the city is both expressive and evocative in a genuine way, unlike some of the art in New York, which I find to be pretentious and vapid at times. It was pretty damn cool.

 Not the sort of art I'm really talking about. But I like this pic.

Not the sort of art I'm really talking about. But I like this pic.

Onto the matter of food: straight up, the food kind of sucks. Had to try the currywurst though. 5/10 would try again but would have to be drunk.

One of the highlights of my trip was being able to see (and touch!) the Berlin Wall. After learning so much about WWII in school and the fall of the Wall, it was really an experience to be able to see it up close and just imagine that such a structure could have separated such opposing governing ideologies. Sehr kuhl.

 This is the shittier one of my pictures, but me likey because it features the whole gang.

This is the shittier one of my pictures, but me likey because it features the whole gang.

All in all, though, I didn't really feel like I got to know the Real Berlin, as I arrived on a Sunday and the city was pretty dead. Clubs were also closing for the winter and it's no secret that clubs are a huge part of Berlin culture. 

I hope--nay, I will--visit again soon!

Coming soon in part two: naive musings of a girl on Prague.


Stay steezy, 

Jessie

 

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On Resistance, and A Brief Digression on Headspace

Something I've been contemplating and experiencing a lot recently has been Resistance--Resistance towards the behaviors, actions, modus operandi, etc. of my significant other, close friends, loved ones, et al. 

These moments of Resistance occurred to me and have started to become more blatant in my purview thanks to a handy dandy app called Headspace, which a friend of mine gifted me a free month of premium access to a couple weeks ago (thanks Lenny!). Said app is a hip and fun way to get yourself into and continue meditating. I first discovered Headspace a little over a year ago, and tried the free 10 day trial. It played a large part in spawning my subsequent meditative journeys, but I never went beyond the free trial and instead opted to continue my meditation practices using free apps like Insight Timer.

Now that I've gotten a taste of the premium version of Headspace, though, I quite enjoy it and see the value. It's much more focused on certain subject matters or issues one may want to home in on. There's a Relationships meditation series that I recently started on the topic of Resistance/Acceptance that has really gotten me thinking. I'm on Day 4 out of 10, and the exercises so far involve focusing on and noticing moments and feelings of Resistance during meditation and throughout the day (I'm boiling this down a lot for the sake of saving space). The idea is to ultimately accept the Resistance itself and therefore quell whatever feelings of Resistance keep arising--to also notice the Resistance but not to judge it or judge oneself for feeling it.

I struggle with the latter a lot: lately I've been experiencing feelings of Resistance related to close loved ones that I feel immense guilt over. And consequently I keep going through this endless inner turmoil loop of Resistance --> guilt --> worry --> noticing of said Resistance and guilt --> attempted acceptance and meditation --> semi-acceptance, until a new behavior or action triggers a new feeling of Resistance in me--and around and around we go. 

Which brings me to my question in question: at what point should one simply walk away from the cause of one's Resistance? Where is the line, or threshold, so to speak? Sure, Buddhism suggests that we should practice accepting and ridding ourselves of Resistance, but nowhere in its philosophy does it suggest that we should continue to put ourselves in situations and stay close to those who cause Resistance within us. The hard part, I think, is that oftentimes those who cause Resistance in us are ones that we care deeply about. This is the case for me at least. And so it becomes very hard to judge when to call it quits or start distancing oneself from Resistance's impetus. Because wouldn't that just be the healthy thing to do for my mind?

I don't know the answer to all this. Do you?

-Jessie

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On Frank Ocean

Frank Ocean always makes me feel. And I'm like, soul-less. :')

EDIT (as I'm no longer at work): Music has always seemed to have an antithetical effect on me than others. Barring being under the influence of drugs or with the exception of a uniquely small percentage of artists, I've never felt that strongly about music, as in the amusement is felt but the frisson is not. It's just sort of...there. All the time. At parties, at the gym, at friend's places, and so on.

At the frankest (ha) level, I find music to be sort of noisy, like I'd almost prefer silence to music. I think part of this is so I can better hear my thoughts, which I'm utterly obsessed with (I am me, after all), and also for the following reasons:

  1. I'm unable to work with music playing in the background.
  2. I'm unable to read with music playing in the background.
  3. I'm unable to write with music playing in the background.

To point 1, I spend the majority of my day working, so therefore, not playing music. Unless I'm doing a super mundane or tedious task, in which case, thank Jesus fucking Christ for the invention of music. To point 2, in my free time I spend the majority of my time reading and part of the rest watching things or taking part in point 3, so therefore, zero music. There are essentially very small amounts of opportunities during the day that I could be listening to music. At present, these opportunities usually present themselves while I'm at the gym or walking, and I do take advantage of them, but it's quite clear that I'm no body builder or professional dog walker. So I guess it's not so much that I don't enjoy music, it's that currently the ways in which I structure my days don't typically allow time for the enjoyment of music. 

I recently started playing guitar again so that's sort of like listening to music but not exactly entirely the same?

In any case, I plan to try picking up the following hobbies in the near future, which I think music will very much enhance:

  • Candle-making
  • Pottery
  • Maybe knitting? Haven't convinced myself either way yet.

Hopefully doing so will increase the amount of music in my life, and by virtue my overall contentment. Also, I really like making stuff with my hands. Until next time.

-Jessie

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Hello Whirl-d!

I have a lot of platforms that I write on, but none in which I feel I can just purge my thoughts on. Enter: this blog. Stay tuned for musings!

I think I'll also use this as a hub to post everything I post on other platforms as well, with appropriate links linking out and in.  We'll see how this goes.

-Jessie

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