Poem #793

when you’re suicidal,
you’re supposed to tell someone
but, thing is, you know it’s crazy
and you know you won’t do it
no reason to worry people.
the insidious thing is the longer you don’t speak
the more the urge to die wins
because it lives in isolation
a bacteria that blooms in your dark-dense agar

Poem #792

sweep me up at the dark beach
I can’t stop smiling
the palpable touch of air heavy with salt
your arms bunching up the folds of my sweater
the feeling that I’m special

I think of you always after dusk
when the breeze is soft
and the light is softer

you remind me of dancing
in my grandma’s yard
on desert nights with wind chimes
and a lovingly watered willow tree

you’d watch me dance
smiling as big as I am

History Today – July 12, 2018

This History Today series aims to document what life is like in this period of history. I update whenever I feel like it.

Aspects of daily life:

  • Last Wednesday was 4th of July, and the sentiment I noticed being echoed throughout social media was that it’s odd to be celebrating America’s independence and freedom while illegal immigrant children are imprisoned and lost. But celebrations continued — it’s hard to resist a tide. I went to a park and sat so close to the show that a firework that was still sparkling hit the ground five feet away from me. I believe it hit someone, but he was fine. I heard the event planner after the fireworks show saying they would change how close people could sit the next year.
  • I can’t imagine working a 40 hour or more a week job for 20-40 more years.  But that’s a well-accepted reality for some reason.
  • At home, we’re trying to eat out less by buying groceries. It’s been moderately successful. The weekends are harder, but we are spending less.
  • I’ve been on my computer more in the last few weeks, as opposed to my phone. I don’t understand why. I am watching more tv shows online.
  • I’ve been listening to podcasts on my daily commute to and from work. I cycle through different types of podcasts: Up First, This American Life, The Mad Fientist, Lore, Terrible Thanks for Asking, Feminist Current, Feminist Killjoy PhD, and more. I don’t always listen to people I agree with (if it’s political or advice-based), but I’ve noticed that I can usually always find some common ground with the podcasters. I think it’s a wonderful method for sharing information. I learn a lot.
  • I’ve been trying to use my MoviePass as much as possible, but my fiancée has been too busy to go with me.

I just am feeling stressed a lot lately, and I’ve been getting tension headaches. This is just a mood I get in sometimes.

Pushing through the uncomfortable times seems to be a thing that our culture prizes highly. But is it worth it? Could I be contributing to society more effectively by seeking my happiness and contentment first and then contributing.

Doing the Things I Dream Of Before Financial Independence

I’m obsessed with personal finance. Yes, this is a writer’s blog, but I’ve been craving writing about financial independence, so write I must.

For the past five years since graduating from college, I’ve been working full-time — the first two years I even worked a lot of overtime though that lifestyle wasn’t ultimately sustainable for me — and dreaming of not having to work anymore.

There’s something soul-crushing about commuting large distances and spending the most energetic years of my life being productive for someone else. I don’t mind being productive, not in the least — I come home and write and blog and learn Python. I’m not lazy — as much as my capitalist brain wants me to believe when I constantly dream of freedom from paid labor.

As a result, I’ve strived to invest 50%+ of my earnings in the pursuit of retiring in my early fifties.

Honestly, I don’t think I can wait; that’s a quarter of a century from now. So I looked up an early retirement calculator on Networthify.com and plugged in my numbers. It said I have 7.4 years until retirement, assuming my expenses stay the same (though that is super unlikely with inflation unless the calculator compensated for inflation). That made me heart calm. This calculator seemed a bit lean, and I definitely think I need more money than it calculated I would need, but the encouragement was exactly what I needed.

Even with the horizon closer than I had thought, last year, I started this blog, I decided to self-publish my YA novella The Friendship Ruse, and I just put out my debut chapbook you think I’m serious, but I’m joking. I’m pursuing my retirement goals now.

I’m extremely future-focused, but the only guaranteed time is right now. Imagine if I got to retirement and died the next day? I need to enjoy the destination, in addition to the destination.

In The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, a great computer answered the question of the meaning of life with “‘Forty-two,’ said Deep Thought, with infinite majesty and calm.” The author, Douglas Adams, apparently had just meant for it to an ordinary number, but the explanation I liked was that it was a reference to the 42th ASCII code for an asterisk, which in programming language is sort of a wildcard and ultimately means whatever you want it to mean.

As a result, here I am! Pursuing all my dreams right now, because even waiting 7-8 years is too long for your passions.

*Fun sidenote: I was once in a writing class in which I had to write my own obituary. I wrote that I would die at age 42 — before ever reading Hitchhiker’s Guide.