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The Amateur Everything
Half-Competent In Nearly Anything
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I deleted scarcely any entries over the years, and so I ended up with 1086 overall. I'll get around to some minor command prompt running to do a secondary backup that actually includes the comments, at some point.

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Conversations after a life expires have become only slightly less difficult, over the years and overall. More complicated still, when the conversation is with someone notably working through guilt processing issues, when they're stumbling through an unofficial hike of ego and awareness thereof. It's a series of corrective steps careening from an initial self-perceived misstep, and before too long I find myself comforting the other person, who has lost no one in particular, recently.

They entered the conversation out of some recognition that I might need to talk to someone, and I'm initially (and residually) grateful for the empathy. By the end of the discussion, randomly broke off because anxiety and divided attention prove more pressing than niceties in text communications, it becomes clear that there wasn't going to be a "break" in the first place, whatever that honestly could mean upon further cold examination.

I am an angry man. I was an angry young man, am still young, and still am angry, albeit not always at the exact same things.* My anger stems from passion, which gets renewed by an enthusiasm (and almost certainly anxiety) towards the complexities of living and all it entails within what we perceive as The Universe. My [develop(ed/ing)] ability to further focus and channel it has mostly clarified and intensified said anger, made it directional enough that I've managed to stay [mostly] safe in the last decade among other humans that expertly rationalize exactly why this is apparently an inauthentic or inherently "bad" way of living.

Still, indignation briefly surges up in the midst of the farce that certain elements of the exchange has taken on. The very ego that I was managing for the sake of the fact that this really did not happen to me comes up in a brief moment of feeling like I'm being cheated on a deal that I shook on with basically no one, regarding even exchange on egos and emotions. If I hadn't had to suppress so frequently during medical school so far, it wouldn't have been so sudden or unexpected, this much I know.

I take a deep breath, I bring my heart-rate down, I take a bit more time than I would be allotted in-person, where I have to compress the whole process internally in-between seconds. I comfort and reason with her. I allow myself the internal joke (for defusing with humor) of being glad that I had to move, that we didn't keep dating and wreck it due to a difference in personal priorities. I make a quiet note of how that process transpires, what I can take away from it, in terms of how it informs the vast (and widening) difference between what I want and what I need from friendship or committed romance. I put the thoughts against how to explain this to that particular listener/conversational partner in a way that would resonate and satisfy the basic needs, as it will do me no longitudinal good (in this human relationship, or overall) to turn this into more of an Invisible Filing Cabinet situation than what I already feel like I've been pushed into.

Guilt doesn't really manage to enter into it for a measurably significant time. It might help some people, but it would be noise, in this case. It's simply not required to work through the situation.

Of course I have an ego. Of course I don't suppress it all the time. Of course you realize, I don't believe myself a victim of the egos and subsequent anxiety of others.

Somewhere in-between all the lines and mess of abandoned paragraphs, what I'm writing about is part of the difference between some kinds of interactions with what it is to become a doctor.

If there is any anxiety exuding from this entry, it stems from two things:
-This is part of the mechanism by which I both wrestle with and sporadically still feel alienated.
-I am slowly becoming better at functioning after someone dies, let alone someone I know. One day, I won't be uncomfortable with that fact.

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*This is almost the entirety of some people's definition of "growth."

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There is a distinction among the utmost importance, as one grows older.

Not behaves older, nor dons the trappings of age like a costume, not even the act of accumulating injuries to mind and flesh.

As one grows older, as they mature, certain elements are demanded of individuals, by the very nature of existing long enough for things to happen to themselves, let alone to others.

Today was an okay day. There were mildly irritating parts, good parts, great parts, even. It was not a "bad day." It was not a bad day on Tuesday, even Wednesday or Thursday, although there were certainly temporary annoyances and even outright setbacks.

Well, I suppose I could have stood to have the Chicago Bulls win an additional game in their series against the Miami Heat.

But keeping score won't help, won't serve any purpose. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, today... they were days.

This has been a week, so far. I've had bad weeks and good weeks, but I mostly don't think of them that way.

This has been a week.

Losing a friend from a while back is a coincidence that took place in this week.

Chalking today, when I found out, up to being a "bad day" won't bring him back.

My classmate is dead, one of a fairly small number, from those college daya. It was clearly not a "good week" for him. So it goes.

If it only seems like we mainly lose the better among us too soon, it at least may mean that we place value where it should be due.

R.I.P., Phil Butler.

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It's not out of guilt stemming from neglect, when I stop back.

There's some sense of responsibility assumed, however.

¿Have you ever had to maintain an empty place, or even house sit?

Maybe it's a gallery that hasn't opened just yet, a warehouse space.

Perhaps it's a more useful, yet woefully under appreciated realm, like a park or even just a garden (Either way, living organisms, an ecosystem is involved. The variables alone could crush a vulnerable enough psyche, or bring it back from seeming desiccation.). This responsibility may never surpass that of sitting a house pet, for most.

But that's not what this is. The person is me, and while this is a slowly built and sporadically updated project, it hardly lives, breathes. To call what this does "growth" risks a level of ego that is a bit early in the process.

So, I instill what I think is a minimum effort, towards this "other" the "proper owner," which is flagrantly me, no matter how many layers of defense mechanisms I could consider deploying.

The storage space is hardly empty, either: It contains words, both overly explanatory and halfway hinting at goings-on in a dance assuredly maddening for anyone else that might want to read through it (and supposedly, such people exist [an absurd construction from a writer purported frequently to be a collective hallucination. Hardly protagonist material.]), and see maturation and development along the way, a sense of stride and purpose as goals crystallize.

But that's exactly what it feels like:

The whole mess amounting to swinging by the space, sliding open the cumbersome lock, muscling the heavy metal shutter up and (eventually) over, and taking a step inside. The whole entry just a build-up to flicking on the light switch to see if the grid still draws current, to see if the fuses are (roughly) good. Wincing at the sudden illumination, in spite of having prior knowledge that it would occur, and taking a look around with adjusted vision. Just enough, so that I get the impression that little has been disturbed.

The whole process in reverse, leaving a locked, static collection of clutter in boxes.

"All of this," I tell myself, "is what just transpired."

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I didn't even correct her when she said that she thought it was going to be tomorrow (because that's the damnable thing about solidifying plans through messages... I have proof).

I have the day off tomorrow as well though, so now I'm going to be unreasonably ahead and happy, I suppose.

I wasn't obsessive about such things before, but the fact that I didn't insist on correcting the matter right then and there for the sake of sheer accuracy is an important development, over the course of the time since I started this blog.

Normally, not doing so would suggest that I don't care about this person... honesty is the most blatant way that I show my respect for someone. The nuance that's crept in is a different priority: After so many relationships in which guilt was mismanaged by both parties (or even just one), I can safely say that I didn't raise a fuss because I'm interested in the person, rather than their guilt.

The key to some of my philosophies might be this: The title of this entry will be misleading, to some people. They will want to shove in their own interpretation, and it's fantastic that my audience is back to being limited, so that I can have a small break from this mixed benefit/hindrance. I'm not making that compromise for the sake of my current emotions, for the idea that she's... well, neat (but she is!), so much as the fact that I logically know that my near-future emotions are going to likely benefit disproportionate to any minor present relief that I could have gotten from gruffly correcting, "Um, no: Actually, your message said that we'll do Monday."

But, for the sheer sake of comedy, I exclaimed to the air just now,
"¿¡WHAT IS HAPPENING TO ME!?"
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  • The promise of seeing this woman again...
  • The idea that she legitimately had a good enough time that she wants to see me, again.

I could almost get used to this, to the idea that just being around her makes me feel better by the inherent approval, that her voice relaxes my muscles so much that I actually have trouble walking at the New Yorker pace that I've grown accustomed to, in order to keep up.

But that's a theme that's going to come up... I can't get used to this: I leave in a little over two weeks. A lot of damage was at risk of deepening over the last two years, and a large extent of it seems to have been undone. Not nearly enough, though, because I can't trust that.
There's a specific delusion that people tend to have, which I haven't allowed myself in years. I'm going to move, but I'm still going to be the same person. I may or may not have a different attitude, one that I have to hold onto or irresponsibly forget. Things won't be worse because I'm leaving, and they won't be better. Aruba was the exception, because the options were so profoundly clamped down that it tops any whining I've ever heard about this or that small town, particularly in the modern age. Even then, it was the exception because of med school, my medical school, and I bear no ill will towards the island itself, ultimately.

She's doing her work right now, and I'm doing mine. I'm excited, but I'm not only stay focused (except for this entry), but have become more focused. The best people I've met in this short time have had that effect on me, which is a marked improvement that is coincidentally tied to these people that I've met in-person.

¿Relevant to this manner of expressing myself? The fact that I've met a variety of people that all enjoy hearing me talk, that assume the best, rather than the worst, of me. I don't need much, but the latter is absolutely intrinsic to social interactions that actually benefit me.

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Current Location: The Lab, Long Island City, NYC
Disposition: excited excited

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To a significant (but certainly nowhere near total) extent, that part came about in order to make the best of it.

Luckily, I've learned a thing or two about exactly that, in the last 9 years. Fortunate, since it all comes down to me anyway.

Disposition: determined determined

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I wanted to pretend that I would come back here in some secure, perfected state.

In certain ways, I've made marked improvements, and every sense of me has grown sharper in the time away.

It's true that, in the midst of academics, even my other, more frequently used blog is being held in suspension, in spite of the sense of community that it gave me, at the time.

The proportions of that community, however, are at times illusory, and a multiple of that in my school.

In case you haven't been aware: That is a particularly abysmal quantity.

So, after continuous intentions, I've finally come back, and not just to delete the occasional spam comment.

Whether or not I end up ever getting back that sense of community online that I desired and still do (as in, not the poisoned kind), I am back, here.

There is something to be said, for the text equivalent of talking to the air, and that doesn't bother me as much as I originally became convinced it did.

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