it's really fucking stupid for someone in my position (white, able-bodied adult with a bachelors degree) to be bitching about disenfranchisement but i'm going to anyways. i recently lost a law enforcement position i thought i had in the bag because i was too honest about the last time i smoked weed, four months prior to my interview. i didn't really have any other option because i would have been polygraphed against my answers and for sure failed. the drug free workplace act requires that you have not used substances within 2 years of application. so, even though i passed a drug test and had an otherwise spotless record, i was out of a well paying job with terrific benefits. lesson learned.
in a bid for much needed cash, i picked up a cashiering job at an undisclosed retail chain. the pay is 16 dollars an hour and i have about every benefit under the sun. my coworkers and customers are sweet as pie. i have all the hours i could want or need. so why am i still unhappy?
probably because the college students and their parents coming in are dropping more cash on slave-produced dorm decorations than i make in a week, if i'm lucky. why couldn't it have just been me? why didn't the powers that be grant me the vessel of a tall, slim sorority girl with two parents and bottomless wallets? i don't want to live in the working class, it fucking sucks. i almost wish these kids were assholes to me so i felt justified resenting them.
on the bright side, the night time anxiety mentioned in the last post has subsided. not with the use of effexor, not with the use of lexapro, not with the use of vodka, not with the use of marijuana... with melatonin. because of course it would be the most obvious answer.
it's currently my only day off this week, and i'm spending it writing a script that generates cover letters so i can find a remote job as quickly as possible. i don't want to become a recluse again but i think it may be my destiny, at least until i pursue grad school again. i am thankful that i have skills in one of the few fields that offers many remote positions (IT and software engineering). it's just that it can't happen soon enough for me. the idea of physically showing up to this fucking store over and over again for hours on end is actually making me want to kill myself (just kidding!!!1!). my back hurts.
Not having an easy time right now. Nocturnal anxiety is absolutely killer. Every time I close my eyes I think about something that makes me cry and it gives me such whiplash after beginning to have such normal, well adjusted days. The only way I can get to sleep is by smoking weed but I don't want to use it for that because I'd build a tolerance for it and it wouldn't be awesome anymore.
On the bright side, I loooove smoking weed. I used to be one of those people that thought stoners were cringe and that I was above people who smoked weed. The reality is that I was just coping with being too socially inept to find a dealer or people to smoke with. In combination with therapy and lexapro, weed has made me the happiest and most clear headed I've been since I was a child. It knocks out all the intrusive thoughts and allows me to focus on things I love like programming and guitar. it also helped me stop binge drinking. i noticed my condensated old bottle of burnett's in my family's storage fridge and just looking at it made me nauseous. which makes me feel like a pussy kind of, but in a healthy way.
it will be a miracle if I post this, because I'm self conscious about sounding like one of the mentally ill who lacks self awareness. I know just a post or so earlier I was talking about how great I felt and now I'm bitching about crying myself to sleep more and more nights than not. im trying to be more honest. playing 4D chess with what is supposed to be an exercise in self expression is so, so exhausting. it defeats the purpose. im not sorry!

cool sac spider that was crawling on my boyfriend's car seat.

misha tucked in for the first big thunderstorm of the summer.
i'm updating this blog for the first time in over 3 years. wow!! it feels like a lifetime ago. being able to look back at my 19 year old self complaining about feeling too grown up. i didn't know what being grown up actually felt like. what i was feeling at that time was depression. my younger self had a habit of overanalyzing my negative emotions. after all, i was on medication. i wanted to feel things like other people. acknowledging my depression made me feel out of control. it's like there's a little monster piloting your brain, making you sad against your will. if there's a silver lining to being chronically depressed since i was 12, it's that i've had over a decade to figure out the patterns of depression. now, i am more aware of the directions my little monster tugs me in. i understand that sometimes i am sad because that's just how i'm wired. by no means did i figure this out alone; my therapist explaining the concept of cognitive distortions. suddenly, the angsty-as-all-get-out ramblings of a stressed out teenager became less profound. in a way, i've stopped taking myself so seriously. still respecting my ambitions and fears, but better understanding how they warp into things too big for me to manage by myself.

now, i'm a real adult! i have a useless degree, trust issues, and even had a stint as an alcoholic. and yet, i'm the happiest i've been in years. i'm not the same person i was even a year ago.
wellness as a spectrum, the end of the Mesozoic
Now, I'm warm-blooded and I have teeth and claws
a rat in the land of giants,
scrambling for my piece of the map.
screaming into the void about sustainability has taken its toll on me. i don't want to burden my friends and family with the weight of my theories about the collapse of humanity. i would feel too guilty if they became as anxious i am. i don't have the statistics, and i don't have the proof, but i am filled with such an intense sense of dread when i think about what life will be like by 2050. even if we can survive, i don't want to live in a world without forests or insects or four seasons. i had to leave my entomology major because i could not bear the constant exposure to dismal news about the fate of our planet. i feel guilty about it because the planet will not be saved by people like me running away from unpleasant truths instead of trying to fix them.
the day after i changed my major, monarch butterfly caterpillars colonized my milkweed plants. i brought them indoors to raise and they are currently pupating. once they are matured, i will release them into the wild. i carry concern because they will most likely die the night after they are released. it will be too cold for them to thrive. it is a brutal feeling.
ironically, my change to anthropology and criminology from entomology has been beneficial to my mental health. the usual story goes that a student or employee of criminology/CSI/law enforcement becomes jaded because of the morbid nature of the field and has to leave it. it has been my safe space.
the unbounded cruelty of the human race is my fascination and distraction. we are like no other creature on the planet. we have killed, raped, and tortured each other since the dawn of our existence, yet there are outliers among us that we define as literal monsters or demons.
i personally feel that we have made our largest social leap within the last 200 years: but our internal wiring hasn't caught up yet. we're labelling violent offenders 'monsters' without considering our own psychology. before i really dive into the point i'm trying to make, i want to point out that antisocial personality disorder is indeed a valid, diagnosable concept as listed in the DSM-5: more commonly known as psychopathy or sociopathy. but what about for the rest of us? what happens when 'normal' people kill, rape, or torture? you could argue that anyone partaking in these activities is indeed a psychopath, but the results of the stanford prison experiment would beg to differ. when granted an ounce of power over another human, a completely average person has the capacity to belittle and subjugate without a second thought. ring a bell? perhaps this is the inherent flaw in our police departments and military.
but even though we are well aware of how power dynamics can warp our minds, we refuse to take accountability for our dysfunctional institutions and instead cast out the most brutal offenders. after all, you're only guilty if you're caught. it would seem that "monster" and other words we use to express disgust with those who abuse their leverage are, in reality, a convenient way to distance ourselves from what we really are: feral fucking animals.
cruelty is a survival instinct and it's going to take centuries for that to be bred out of our genome. in the meantime, perhaps we should humble ourselves. though we're the most unique animal on the planet, we're still children of darwinism. the idea that we are currently capable of abandoning monstrous behavior is naive. i would love to have any idea on how we could alter our power structures to minimize the damage our monkey brains do, but i don't right now.

i turn 20 in 5 days. my mom keeps saying "you won't be a teen anymore!"
in all honesty, i feel like i've been 20 since i was 7. as far as i know, i don't have the emotional maturity of a 7-year-old, so i'm fairly certain i just grew up fast. there are a handful of reasons why, but i'm still spent from rewriting my sob stories twenty times over for college applications in 2018.
i believe the best part of this autumn has been befriending a murder of crows. i started by feeding them crumbled rice cakes, but the big hit so far has been cheerios. the birds will gather on my fence, in my yard, on the flagpole, on the tree branches, or on the powerlines; however they see fit to make themselves known by cawing into my window. it's been about 3 weeks since i started feeding them; at this point, they're pretty comfortable with me and will approach within about 3 feet of where i'm standing. sometimes they'll follow me down the street. there are 4 of them. i wish i had the cash to treat them to dried mealworms- i might just save that for holidays.

i recently (within the past few months) have taken an interest in mycology. i was raised in a way that was very nature-centric; i lived in a borderline-rural area. my house one of about 14 y2k cookie cutter homes in a subdivision built on cedar swampland. being the only kid in the neighborhood, i spent a lot of time feeding stale bread to turtles and fish, catching lizards and frogs, planting sunflowers, collecting feathers, braiding clovers, or generally exploring the woods and ponds behind my house. i also enjoyed poring over the different audubon field guides that had been in the family for the past few decades. my mom had multiple massive pitcher plants, which we would occasionally peek into to find dead cicadas and other insects. the house itself was infested with small scorpions and wolf spiders when we moved in, and snakes were not an uncommon sight on the porch.
despite the amount of time i spent immersed in nature as a kid, i never became familiar with mushrooms. no one in my family would admit to being familiar with them, thought i would wager a few of them have encountered Psilocybe mushrooms in their lifetimes. regardless, i never knew much about mushrooms beyond the fact i shouldn't touch or eat them. being the person people often turn to for identifications on plants and insects, i became unsatisfied (and admittedly, a little embarrassed) when i couldn't answer their questions about fungi. after spending a month and a half casually reading about local mushrooms and keeping up with a popular mycology forum, i began browsing the vacant lots and parks in my area for observations of my own. the umbrella shaped aliens suddenly had names like "bolete", "puffball", and my personal favorite: "destroying angel".