Thursday, April 30, 2015

Count Me Out

I am NOT willing to live up to anyone's expectations. I've been stuck on this path of high expectations and I fucking hate it! When I was in school and my parents or teachers or other people would refer to "the kids who don't want to be here," they would never count me as part of that group. I'd tell my parents a gazillion times, "Yeah, but *I* don't want to be here either!" And they'd just say, "That's different," or "Well, you know what I mean." So not only was I forced to be in school against my will, but I was not even able to identify and be recognized as one of the kids who didn't want to be there. "Those kids" were different because they didn't have their parents pushing them to behave and do well in spite of not wanting to. I never got to be one of them. Seriously, the most anti-education, anti-intellectual person you'll probably ever meet was 8th in her graduating class. I betcha most of those kids who didn't wanna be there gave more of a fuck about educational stuff than I did.

I miss my high school gang. I miss the too cool for school kids. I miss the too cool for anything kids. But they all grew up to become good productive citizens.

Sometimes I see things on Facebook or Twitter where people are surprised that all of their friends are only writing things about their personal lives and aren't sharing and commenting on links about important issues. I am so jealous when I read stuff like that. I'd give anything to be surrounded only by people who write about their own lives and never say anything about important issues, but I'm stuck on this college/hippie/liberal arts/intellectual path of life that I just have never been able to fully escape from since I went to Colby. So I just wanna say this once and for all: I only write about my personal life. I will never share or retweet anything even remotely educational, intelligent, or political. I'm saying this now so that no one will have unrealistic expectations of me. If everyone continues to have these expectations of me after I said no, that is not okay and we should probably not be friends.

So the next time you all are surprised that more people aren't talking about one thing or another, please count me out of your surprise. There is no reason to be surprised about something that you know for an absolute fact.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

I'm 8 Years Old and I'm Running the Show Here!

I hate milk. More than milk, I hate the Got Milk? people who force milk down the throats of innocent little kids who don't want it. I was forced to drink milk twice a day until I got to be 15. I forgive my mom for doing that - when I talked to her recently, she said that she hated having to force milk on me but there was such a cultural push back then about kids having to drink all this milk or else they'd have bone problems later on that she felt like she didn't have a choice. So I forgive my mom, but I will never forgive whoever started that cultural push about drinking milk. (I'm against Got Milk? PURELY because some kids don't like milk, NOT because of hormones in milk or any new evidence that all that milk isn't really necessary).

I had as much control over milk as I could. I ONLY drank skim milk with strawberry syrup, and I always either poured the syrup myself or let one of my parents do it, but never anyone outside of that. When we stayed with family, we packed strawberry syrup because I would not drink milk without it. And when I took my calcium-enriched vitamin that tasted gross like chalk dust, I had to wash it down with water or juice because I refused to wash down calcium with more calcium. I used to like my vitamins until my parents switched me to the calcium-enriched ones, so I learned from this experience that I did not like the taste of calcium. When I my parents wanted me to try a new food, I would often ask, "This doesn't have any calcium in it, right?" But I did still eat cheese and ice cream because I liked them.

Since I only drank two glasses of milk each day - one in the morning and one at dinner - I felt like I was getting away with something really big. The recommended amount of milk for kids back then was three glasses, and I was only drinking two! They talked a lot in school about drinking three glasses of milk a day, and I was proud to say that I only drank two glasses a day because I would NEVER let my parents force me to drink three. I flat-out refused to drink the milk at school during lunch time because I didn't like the school milk, and I also flat-out refused to have milk at every single meal.

What I've recently discovered, to my disappointment, is that I actually was drinking three glasses of milk. I mean, I was drinking the recommended quantity. When they said a "glass" of milk, it meant one measuring cup of milk, and when I picture the two tall glasses of milk that I drank each day, I think they each contained about a cup and a half of milk. I recently asked my mom about this and she said that yes, I was drinking the recommended amount of milk each day - I just drank it in two sittings instead of three.

I'm a little disappointed that I wasn't getting away with what I thought I was, but when I think about it, I did still have the pleasure of getting away with it at the time. My parents never lied to me and said that I was drinking less than the recommended amount. We actually talked about how high the glass would be filled up. I made a mental note of where that mark was to make sure that I was never drinking more than that. Outside of having to drink that much milk, I pretty much set the all the rules of *how* I would drink it - only skim milk with strawberry syrup mixed by me or my parents, only at breakfast or dinner, and I would only drink it out of a certain type of glass.

Most importantly though, I *told* everyone about these milk rules so they'd know how much control I had, and I told everyone that I only drank two glasses instead of three. Sometimes my aunts, uncles, or cousins would say, "Don't you have to drink three glasses of milk?" and I would reply that you are *supposed* to drink three glasses of milk, but I was only drinking two because I didn't want to drink three and my parents couldn't make me. I said this right in front of my parents and they never corrected me about the quantity that I was consuming. They let me have my glory of telling everyone that I only drank two glasses (I'm sure they knew that I'd stop drinking those two glasses if they messed with my sense of control).

And when I look back on it now, I feel like it doesn't matter how much milk I was actually drinking. It doesn't matter that those two glasses were equivalent to three. I grew up *believing* that I was only drinking two glasses of milk and I got to *feel* like I was in control and tell all my friends that I was in control and would never let my parents force three glasses of milk on me. I can look back and feel like I did control my situation the best that I could.

Things like this make me realize that I was never really a 90's kid. 90's kids obeyed their parents and accepted their place, but kids of today run the show. I'll always be a kid of today.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Wild

I just wanna behave like someone who always ran wild and was never punished, but I don't know where to begin.

All I know is that I will do whatever it takes to undo all the taming I've received. The greatest compliment I could ever get from anyone would be if someone told me that I behaved like a kid who had never been punished before, like a kid who ran wild, that I was truly untamable and it was beyond anyone's ability to make me behave. I can't bare the thought of leaving this earth without someone telling me that and truly meaning it.

The thing is, I *would* prefer to do not-so-horrible things in order to reach this goal, but if it doesn't work, if I find that I'm still acting like someone who was disciplined as a child...then I'll have to take it up a notch. If what I try to do is not good enough for me to be that kind of person, then I'll have to do something more extreme. And if the more extreme thing still doesn't work, I'll have to take it up yet again. This could get very ugly very fast, but I mean it when I say that I will stop at NOTHING to be untamable, no matter what it takes.

No matter what.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The Do's and Don'ts of Workout Buddies

Do:
-Find someone who wants a workout buddy.

Don't:
-Try to be workout buddies with someone who does not want a workout buddy.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Zoomed In

This is how I want my life to be:


I'm serious. I want zero perspective or proportionalism. I want to be 100% zoomed in on my own life and able to write super long blog posts about deciding what length to cut my hair. I want to assume that what's going on in my life is so important that I'll one day be asked to go on TV for it. I've never had an interest in the real world or gaining perspective. I was happiest when my world was the whole world, and I've been working to get back into that world for years.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Unschooling Post Algorithm

To follow up on this post, I used the Facebook app algorithm to calculate the likeness score between my current self and my unschooling self, and it is 63%. I'm only 63% like my unschooling self.

Now, 63% may seem pretty alike, and I would assume that 63% was pretty alike if a friend and I came out that way. But this is my own self. The baseline with another person would be 50%, but the baseline with myself is 100%, so 63% is extremely low. To put this in perspective, my ex boyfriend and I came out 58% alike on this test, and my other close friend and I came out to be 55% alike. Both of these people are very different from me. The likeness between my current self and my unschooling self is not very much greater than my likeness with other people, which shows just how far off my current self is from the person I would have been without school and structure in my life.

A 63% match wouldn't even be recommended on OkCupid!


If you're interested, here's how the likeness algorithm works:

Back when Facebook had the My Personality App, it used to calculate your likeness score with other friends who had taken the Big Five Personality Test. Facebook only calculated this likeness score based on 5 traits. There was an explanation of the formula used to calculate the likeness score. I did the formula using all 30 traits. This likeness score is more accurate than the scores generated by the Facebook app because it uses 30 specific traits instead of 5 broad categories. Here's the formula:

1. Line up both people's scores on each trait next each other, and take the difference of the two scores on each trait.

2. Square each of the differences. Once you have squared the differences, take the sum of the squared differences:


The idea behind this is that a large difference on one trait makes you more different from the other person than a bunch of smaller differences. For example, a 50-point difference on one trait would be a much greater personality difference than a 5-point difference on each of 10 traits, even though the quantity of the difference is the same. Squaring the differences before taking the sum makes one 50-point difference count for more than 10 5-point differences.

3. Take the square root of the sum. In this case, the square root of 40,850 is 202.11.

4. Divide this number by the square root of the number of traits. In this case there are 30 traits, so 202.11/ sqrt 30 = 36.90.

The purpose of taking the square root of the sum and then dividing by the square root of the number of traits is to convert the difference score back into a number from 1-100, since each of the traits are measured on a 1-100 scale. In this case, the 36.90 is the difference score.

5. Subtract the difference score from 100 to get your likeness score. In this case, 100-36.90 = 63.10.

I used the current and unschooling conditions in this example, but you can use this formula to see how alike you are with different people. The test I used is the IPIP-300 on this website: http://www.personalityassessor.com/tests/

Friday, April 17, 2015

Deleting

Tonight I am deleting ALL happy-looking pics of myself from the internet. ONLY people who like my current cover photo (with the written message) will be allowed to see pics of me smiling. I'm gonna download them all and then delete from from FB and anyplace else where people can see them.

A Very Big Goal

I have a very, very big goal that I'd like to share with all of you.

You know I'm a writer, so I have written a lot of stuff on my own. But I have also had to do a lot of writing that I did not want to do for school. My goal is to have my school word count be less than 1% of my total word count.

Yes, it is a HUGE goal. If you're a writer and you're familiar with word count, you understand just how huge this goal is. But someone once told me that big dreams are okay.

The hardest part right now is how to estimate the word count that I've done for school. I still have a folder with a lot of my grad school work saved. It's not everything, but it's enough to estimate what I did in grad school pretty well. I deleted most of my undergrad college stuff, but college was recent enough that I can estimate it pretty well. I have my transcripts and I can probably find my class syllabi to figure out what I did. The hard part is figuring out what I did before college. All those spelling words and worksheets and homework questions...and all of it was handwritten. Luckily my parents saved a lot of my school stuff. I don't know exactly what we have saved, but I'm planning to grab the boxes and bring them to my apartment so I can estimate a word count. Obviously every single worksheet and homework assignment will not be there, so this will require some estimating. Eli said they will help me estimate.

Getting the estimate of my pre-college schoolwork is going to be the hardest part. This is the part that I'm the most concerned about being able to do, so I'm not going to start estimating anything else until I've got a word count on my younger schoolwork. Once that's done, I'll feel safe to go ahead with estimating everything else.

I pretty much have all of my personal writing, so getting my personal word count is not an issue. A couple of issues are:

1.What writing counts as writing?

I'm still debating about whether I should count class notes that I took voluntarily. On the one hand, I didn't have to write them. On the other hand, I felt like I had to take notes in class and to remember the material, when I really didn't want to. I think I probably should count class notes since I'm counting *all* personal writing, not just finished products.

I am counting Facebook statuses as writing. Facebook is like an online journal. I've always used Facebook as a way to express myself through writing, so I have no reason not to count it.

Emails and messages are tricky. I don't think I should count texts and brief, "What time are we meeting?" emails as "writing." But I have written some very long, well thought-out emails to friends that could have very well been blog posts. I am going to count some of my emails as writing, based on the content.

2. What about writing that I did for school and also enjoyed?

This is a tricky one. I think the writing I did in K-8 school that was required but that I enjoyed will be eliminated from the word count. This includes my two autobiographies and the journal I kept with my 5th grade teacher. I am not counting fictional stories and poems in this category because I usually was not thrilled about writing stories or poems for school, and the number of stories and poems we wrote was very small compared to all our other assignments, so it is probably not significant. The autobiographies and the journal were projects that were very special to me and that I still have saved. They are actually on the bookshelf in my apartment rather than at my parents' house. The only thing is that I cannot rationalize counting these as personal projects when I never would have done them outside of school, which is why I am not going to count them for either school or personal writing.

The stories I wrote in my college fiction writing classes, I am counting as personal writing because I chose to take that class because I like to write stories. I know that I technically chose all of my college classes, but fiction writing is one of the few classes that I was genuinely interested in, and I did not need to take the class for any kind of requirement.

College poetry classes are tricky. I was much less interested in these classes than I was in fiction writing. While the poems definitely feel like personal writing, I did not really enjoy poetry class - by second semester, it was more of a least bad option than a good option. I'm still debating what to do with the poems.


The most important thing to me is that I do this word count honestly and don't cheat at it. When estimating my school word count, I'll lean more towards higher than lower estimates, just to be sure that I'm not cheating. I just don't want to look back and say, "Well, I'll never really know if I did it because the results were inflated." I want to know that I truly did it. I am a writer. If schoolwork is less than 1% of my writing, it's less than 1% of my life.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Profile Picture

I could post a nice picture of myself here, smiling from the top of a mountain or the middle of a big party. I could get 100 likes if I wanted to. But I don't want to. I don't want social approval for doing positive things. I don't want people to latch onto that smiling girl and think they can be friends with her and only her, while disregarding all of the not-so-desirable things. I act how I feel, and how I feel is entirely dependent on my situation. I do not want praise for being happy. I am happy due to external circumstances. If you praise me for being happy, I cannot trust you because I know that you will also look down on me for not being happy when my circumstances change. I will only share happy things with you if I can trust you to accept that they are circumstantial, to not give me approval for feeling good, and to give me the same validation when I'm not feeling happy.

My Plan

I have gotten zero validation on my unschooling post in terms of anyone actually saying, "Yeah, that was not okay that you were forced to go to school, you clearly would have been better off without it." So I'm not gonna tell anymore - I'm gonna *show* everyone that it was not okay by wreaking havoc on society and creating enough destruction that it counteracts whatever I've done to be a productice member of society so that my net effect is destructive. I'm going to become the lowest, meanest, most disgusting human being that has ever walked the planet, and I'm going to do it because I was forced to be educated and productive. I will keep being more and more destrucive as a result of what was forced on me until everyone in this fucking society agrees that it was wrong and offers me a sincere apology for forcing me into education and productiveness.

Earthlings

I'm not sure I want to date another Earthling. I'm only dating people from other planets, preferably Planet Bubblegum.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Important Study Tip That No One in Schools Will Teach You


Have you ever heard that writing a song is a great way to remember information? I read about that technique when I was younger, and several of my teachers mentioned it. It makes sense when you think about it - most of us pick up song lyrics more easily than information we read. I've heard from people who have tried making up songs - usually changing the words to songs they already know - and found that they could remember information better that way.

What no one tells you is to be careful about changing the lyrics to songs you know and like, because you may find the new lyrics sticking in your head when you're not studying, when you just want to listen to or sing the original song. There's an ABBA song that I learned from Mamma Mia called "Chiquitita." The chorus of the song is, "Let me hear you sing once more/ like you did before/ sing a new song chiquitita." When I was in high school and I was studying for a history test, I noticed that the city Chichen Itza reminded me of the word Chiquitita. So I started singing to myself, "In the Yucatan Peninsula is the Mayan city Chichen Itza," in preparation for the history test. I regret that I did that, because now, when I think of the song "Chiquitita," I can still hear the lyrics about Chichen Itza. I don't CARE about Chichen Itza. I don't give a fuck about history. But I do love the musical Mamma Mia and I never should have linked a song a liked to some useless information that I never wanted to keep in my brain after the test.

So, yes putting information into a song can help you memorize it, but this is ONLY a good technique to use if you care more about the information than you do about the song, or about music or singing in general. How embarrassing would it be to go on American Idol and start singing about physics formulas instead of being in love?

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Photo Essay (Sort of)

I don't want social approval for being socially desirable. I do not want any kind of relationship with people who like this Nikki:












But not this Nikki:












The undesirble things are WAY more reflective of my everyday life than the desirable things. The undesirable things ARE everyday life, while the desirable pictures cover a smaller portion of the time. It's just that if I post the "nice" pictures, people will latch onto that girl and think she's the person they're *really* dating. Everyone just projects what they want you to be onto you. They're not even looking at the whole picture of you - they're picking and choosing who they want you to be and only seeing the things they want to see.

If you think you can just be friends with or date the Nikki that you like and ignore the Nikki you don't like, it's not gonna work. I am a package deal, and all the stuff you don't want to see is just as much a part of me (and nowadays MORE a part of me) as all the pictures that you enjoy looking at.

I don't trust anyone who wants to date me to listen, which is why I will NOT share any nice aspects of myself until I know you're totally fine with everything else. I don't want to take a risk that you'll simply tolerate the bad stuff to get the good stuff, so I'm not gonna show anyone anything good at all.

The Name on the Radio

When I was 9 years old, I had a fantasy that my friends and I were sitting in the car together, scanning the radio stations, when all of a sudden, we heard our names. We listened to the news story and found out that someone was planning to make a movie about the story of how we became friends, and we would all get to star in the movie as ourselves. (I had the movie mapped out in my mind as well, and I had written a few songs for it).

Of course I know now that the story of how my friends and I became friends was not particularly newsworthy.  It wasn't different from other people's stories. It was nowhere near the most heartfelt or interesting story out there. And looking back on it now, I'm not even sure that there was a "story" to us becoming friends - we had a fight, then made up and ended up playing together. That was it.  None of us were celebrities. We didn't know any screenwriters, filmmakers, or talk show hosts who could have picked up our story. The odds of someone deciding to make a professional, feature-length movie about our story were extremely low. The odds that we would be selected to star in the movie with zero acting experience (at the time) just because the movie was about us were also extremely low. Even if I had written the screenplay myself and tried to pitch it, there was just not a strong enough story to sell.  But in my 9-year-old world, hearing our names on the radio and finding out that we were superstars because of a seemingly common experience was not a far-fetched fantasy at all.

Adults are always saying that the world doesn't revolve around you. They act like this is good information to have. They push you to get outside yourself and engage in the world around you. But the fact is, I don't want to engage with the world around me. I don't want to have all this knowledge of the outside world. I was happiest back when my world was small, back when I lived in my own imagination, back when I felt like the world did revolve around me. I was happiest when I envisioned myself being famous and selling books and going on talk shows to tell everyone about the amazing events in my life, like my first play and my favorite beach trip and the time we hosted a family reunion at our house. I felt good back when I felt SPECIAL for everything and had no sense that these were common experiences that weren't good enough to make entire movies about.

I don't want the all outside world knowledge that's in my brain now. I don't want this sense of the world being so huge and just being a small part of it. I don't want this sense of being just like everyone else and expected to work and function and behave just like everyone else. If there were any way for me to take these notions out of my head, I would. If there were any way to hold a magnifying glass over my own life and zoom in entirely, so that my own world felt like the whole world, I'd do it in an instant.

People try to tell you that being full of yourself is a bad thing and that you're actually empty inside and lack self-esteem. They claim that you won't really be happy until you get outside yourself and engage with the world. But I have never felt more deeply fulfilled inside than I did back when my life felt so special that I just knew one day I would hear my name on the radio. 

Carefully Calculated Destruction

I don't want to just be randomly destructive. I want to be destructive for a purpose. I want to be destructive enough to undo anything productive that I've done involuntarily to contribute to society. I don't want to be a productive member of society, so I'm going to do just enough destructive things (damaging property, hurting people I don't like, etc) to undo whatever constructive effect I've had on society as a result of having a job and getting a good education. I want my net effect on society to be destructive. I want to be destructive as a result of being forced to be constructive so that everyone will agree that it would have been better for the world if I had stayed uneducated and not gotten a job and just leeched off society and had fun. Because if I had done that, then I wouldn't have felt the need to be destructive. I want to be destructive enough that it really would have been better that way.

How to Play the Most Boring Game Ever Invented

When you see a yellow car, say, "Yellow car."

That's it.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Help with Goals

I am at a point where I could really use some help accomplishing my goals, and I'm going to start asking for help from my friends. I've got friends who are experts on human development and behavior, and I think I could use their help. If you know the right way to do something, you also know the wrong way. If you know how to work hard at something, you know how to undo that hard work by messing up what you've done. I need help undeveloping myself and messing up what other people have instilled in me, so I'm going to ask for it. I'm friends with at least 2 experts in this field (possibly more) so I know that with lots of help and training I can become the untamable kid I want to be. It is a big dream, and big dreams are okay.

Politeness 101

Pardon me, but would you be so kind as to stand a bit closer so that I can slap you? I can't quite reach from here.

Biting the Bullet

If you tell me to bite the bullet, I will bite your face.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

I Almost Failed my Senior Project

I very well could have failed my senior project if I had ended up with a different English teacher. I knew since I was a freshman in high school that I was extremely likely to fail my senior project. (Well, okay, maybe not fail it entirely, but I knew I had no chance of getting a good grade on it because I would have entire pieces of the project missing.)

Our senior project was a scrapbook-autobiography. Different English teachers had different requirements for what needed to be included. Most people's senior projects included photos and things like invitations and play programs and ticket stubs. I remember one time after a play was over, our director asked if any of us wanted the extra programs. Our director was also an English teacher, and when no one took the extra programs, he told us that we would "need" stuff like that for our senior projects. This is why I knew I would fail my senior project.

It was common knowledge that we all needed to collect things to put in our senior projects. By the time we were sophomores, some students talked about holding onto things for that purpose. I knew that when the time came to make make senior project, I would have absolutely nothing of value to put in it.

This is not because I didn't save things. I saved everything that mattered to me. I had a huge collage on my bedroom wall of cards, show programs, field trip permission slips, basically every souvenir I had collected since 6th grade that could be taped to a wall.  At some point in high school, I decided to make a theatre scrapbook that included the programs and photos from all of the plays I had been in. Basically, everything that mattered to me already had a place, and that place was not in a school project. Pulling things out of their rightful places in my personal projects in order to include them in a school project was out of the question, which is why I would have nothing to put in my senior project and I would most likely fail.

I got an A on my senior project by a pure stroke of luck. Every English teacher had different requirements for these projects, and I just happened to have an English teacher who didn't require any photos or souvenirs. She gave us a long list of things we could write for the project, and we picked 10 things that we wanted to include. I ended up including some photos of my friends that I went around and took specifically to put in the scrapbook, but the only requirements were the 10 things that I wrote. There were enough options that I could choose 10 things to create from scratch and not have to include anything I already had.

If my only option for getting a good grade on the project had been to pull things off my wall collage and out of my personal scrapbooks, I totally would have failed. I passed because I lucked out.

My Life Plan Inspired by "Cow Belles"

Step 1: Get a job at a dairy.
Step 2: Drop cell phone in yogurt.
Step 3: Be like, "Yeah, I dropped my cell phone in the yogurt.  What, you thought I wouldn't do that kind of thing? Do I look like the kinda responsible-type girl who wouldn't do that kinda thing? I don't think so!"

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Something Bloggers Will Understand

Do you ever share a post from someone else's blog that you really care about, then instinctively go check your own analytics to see if anyone has clicked on the link, and then you remember that it wasn't your post, but you cared so much about it that you felt like it was coming from your own blog and it's really annoying that you can't check who clicked on it?

Unschooling Results

I didn't get the response I was hoping for on my unschooling post. I got a lot of new hits from linking it on twitter, which is awesome (and I am so glad I discovered this advertising feature of twitter - I'm going to use it again very soon), but I never actually heard from anyone about it, even people who were initially interested in what I was doing. I've only gotten to discuss the post with one friend who helped me edit, and that's it. I don't have any way of knowing if people clicked on my resource links. This is the biggest, most important blog post I have written since The Unencrypted Truth. I don't mean to compete with The Unencrypted Truth - that post will always be special and will always be one of my best posts. I just really thought I could get the same level of response again. The unschooling post was much shorter (it's about 40 pages without the graphs, and The Unencrypted Truth was about 100 pages), and I thought the visual aid of the graphs would help lure people in, but I just did not get much of a response.

I think this is partially because I don't have shock value anymore. The Unencrypted Truth was really my first time telling most of my friends about what went on in college, so there was a huge amount of shock value in that post that I just can't recreate in a new post. I also wrote The Unencrypted Truth back when I was not sharing as much on Facebook or on my blog, so it really stood out from everything else.

A friend also pointed out me that most people react more strongly to stories than to graphs. The Unencrypted Truth was a story about something that happened to me, but the unschooling post was written more like a study, which just isn't going to generate the same emotional response in readers. I had thought that the graphs would be shocking (I mean, how does someone go from zero to 92 in self-efficacy?), but I guess it would never have the emotional response that a regular story would have, so I can understand that.

But the thing that's really bothering me is that I'm afraid no one believes me. Like, I don't know if people believe that I actually have the self-knowledge to do the study that I did honestly, even though I explained why I have that knowledge. I wish I had some way to prove the validity of that study, but I can't come up with anything. The only thing I can think of is having a friend witness me taking the quiz twice in order to prove that I actually did it and didn't just make up the numbers, but I don't think that's the issue. The issue is, how can I prove that I can make very educated, close-to-accurate guesses when I answer the questions in the unschooling condition? I don't know how to prove that I can actually do that, and I have a feeling that people don't believe that I can really do it.  I have a feeling I didn't get a strong reaction because it just seems too far-fetched or just not solid or true enough because it's all hypothetical. *Sigh*

I'm in the process of writing a supplement to the unschooling post using the Multiple Intelligence Test. I'm not done writing up the results yet, but what I found was that intrapersonal intelligence, which is self-awareness, was my highest intelligence in both conditions, and it's the only form of intelligence that remained extremely high in the current condition. It's a funny thing - lots of people wish that they knew what they wanted out of life. A lot of people are jealous of people like me who do know exactly what they want. But even with so many people wishing to have intrapersonal intelligence, there is just not much respect for those of us who already have it. Particularly children who have self-awareness. See, when I was kid, I was able to accurately predict how I would feel about things when I was older. Adults told me that I'd later thank them for pushing me into things I didn't want to do, and I KNEW that I would not feel that way when I was an adult. I KNEW that I would look back and be happy about things that made me happy at the time and that it would NOT be okay that I was forced to do things I didn't want to do at the time. I also knew from a very young age that I did not want to go away to college, and the reasons that I did not want to go ended up being true! At 6 years old, I may not have understand all of the details of why college was a bad idea, but I knew the basic reasons that I did not ever want to go, and they ended up being true. I have always had this kind of self knowledge, and no adult has ever respected it. When you're good at something like math or sports or music, everyone can see that you have that talent. But when you're good at knowing yourself and your desires and how you will feel about things later on in life, it's all internal. There's no way to prove that you have that talent until you're older. And even when you get older and can say, "See, I was right!" you STILL have no one believe you when you talk about your future.

Even though I'm out of the education system, I feel like I'm still trapped in this world where everyone thinks they know me better than I know myself!  A world where no one will believe that I could possibly know what I would have been like in another circumstance even though I explained why I know. Just because YOU can't guess at what you would have been like if you had been radically unschooled doesn't mean that I can't! Would you tell an athlete that they can't possibly run that fast because you can't imagine yourself running so fast? Would you tell a musician that they can't possibly play such a difficult piece of music because you can't imagine yourself ever learning how to play it? I do have this knowledge and just because it's not measured on a standardized test does not mean that it's not a skill!!!!!

On Family and In-Laws

A lot of people say that how you get along with a person's family is something important to consider when you're going to marry them because you're going to be a part of that family. I've always been sort of conflicted about that because I don't want to hold things against people that aren't their fault. If someone's parents are really horrible to them, that's not their fault and I would never want to say, "I can't date you unless you have nice parents." But I think in my past relationship, I tried to ignore that aspect a little too much. I tried to act like everything was fine when I knew that my boyfriend's family didn't accept me or my priorities or lifestyle. Here's what I've figured out about my relationship with potential in-laws:

First of all, I already have a family. I am not looking for a new one. I'm open to letting more people into my family circle if it feels right, but I am not specifically going into a relationship with the goal of making everyone in other person's family part of my family. 

That said, here is the important part, the piece of the puzzle that was missing from my last relationship and that I wish I had had the words to explain from the start:


This is a list of activities that I'm willing and not willing to do based on how I feel. Talking with very close friends or family is at the center, something I'm willing to do when I feel horrible (and something that I NEED to do when I feel horrible in order for there to be any chance that I'll feel good again). But socializing with people I don't know, or with people who I have to act happy around and I can't talk about how I'm really feeling with, is part of the outer circle. That's something I am only willing to do when I feel good. And being around people that I can't be myself around is just not something I'm willing to do a lot of. Since I already have to do that at work, I'm basically not willing to do that AT ALL in my life outside of work. Outside of work, I will not go to any events or hang around with anybody who I have to act polite and cheerful around.

I am okay with it if my significant other's family does not feel like my family or close friends and if I don't feel like I can go to them when something is wrong and talk about my feelings. But I am NOT willing to spend very much time with them if this is the case. Basically, the more open and honest that I can be with your family, the more time I'm willing to spend with them. The less open and honest I can be with your family, the less time I'm willing to spend with them. It's very simple. The problem with my last relationship was that I was pressured to spend more time with people than I was really willing to based on how much I could really be myself around them. It's okay with me if your family doesn't truly accept me. It's just not okay if you push me to be around them in spite of that.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Resolved

We've established boundaries, so I'm not going to get hurtful messages anymore. I'm not going to get good messages either, but I'll take it. At least for the first time in a year, I can be happy to see that I got a new email or message from a friend and not instinctively get a stomach ache in case it's going to be something that hurts me.

I Lied to Avoid Being Abusive

I just wanted to let everyone know that I am a liar. I lied about something very, very important. I did it so that I would not be abusive.

Towards the end of our relationship, my ex starting giving me hints that we were going to break up. He got me a really special Ipod for Christmas with engraving on it, and then he informed me that he purposely didn't get his own name engraved on it so that I wouldn't have to get rid of it when we broke up. It was considerate of him. But he did say "when," not "if." At some point I was talking to him about social capital and said that everyone would take his side if we broke up. They'd all see him as this nice normal guy who finally broke it off with his "crazy" girlfriend. He assured me that that was not the case and reminded me of who would take my side. We actually had a conversation where we divided up all of our mutual friends so that I'd see that I would have a team of friends on my side.

At some point in our last month together, my ex said that he felt worried about me. He felt like he couldn't break up with me in case I hurt myself as a result. Now, I knew that I could NOT honestly promise him that I wouldn't do that. I NEVER make promises to anyone about how I'm going to feel or react to things, and I especially never promise to be okay. My true answer to that question was that I didn't know how I would feel when it happened and that his concern was completely legitimate. But I've read so many times that it's abusive to tell someone that you are going to hurt yourself if they break up with you. Obviously it's abusive if you're lying about it just to manipulate the other person to stay with you, but apparently it's also abusive even if you mean it. So I lied. I assured him that this would not happen, that I had plenty of support, and that he didn't need to worry about what I wrote in my college essay or my college poetry because that was a totally different situation and I did not see myself reacting the same way to him breaking up with me. While it was true that college was a completely different situation, it was a lie to indicate that I would be okay. I told a flat-out lie when he asked me this question because I just didn't want to be abusive.

And if anyone else ever says that they are afraid to ditch me because of what I might do, I will assure them that I wouldn't do anything to hurt myself, in order to be non-abusive. But it will be a lie.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Oh Yeah, I'd Totally Date my Best Friend's Ex...NOT!!!

I cut my ex so much slack. I treated him like he was simply incapable of truly validating my feelings and being there for me so any sign of him being slightly like that or simply not being horrible, I grasped onto and told everyone including myself that my boyfriend was so awesome and supportive. The way I acted was a combination of two things:

First, there was the comparison to Colby. When you live in a place for 4 years where people are hurting you constantly, you'd settle for anyone who just doesn't actively hurt you. When you live in a place where almost everyone makes things worse for you when you're already hurt, for someone to just stand there while your house is burning down and not pour lighter fluid on it is amazing. (Not to say that my ex didn't hurt me, but he was much more subtle than Colby kids. He hurt me more through inaction than action).

I think I also just treated him like someone who was not capable of giving me the support I really needed. It almost feels like when you praise a child for doing their best at something that they aren't able to do very well yet. I know that's patronizing, and I don't want to treat people that way, but I think that's what I did with him. I acted like, well, there's no way he'll actually be there for me this way, so I'll settle for whatever support I can get.

When my ex read The Unencrypted Truth, he gave me lots of hugs and kisses and had some emotional response to the fact that all these bad things had happened to me, but then he said, "I wouldn't not go to the school based on your essay."

Now, we don't always have to reject everything and everyone that has hurt our friends. Sometimes a friend can be hurt be something or someone that you already have a connection with, like if one of your close friends hurts another close friend. I think most of us have experienced being friends with people who don't get along with each other, or even hate each other, and it's not a situation where you would just drop one of your friends for the other, unless they did something really horrible. In the case of a school, everyone has different experiences, and I wouldn't expect a close friend who had a positive experience at Colby to completely reject it because of my experience. If my ex already had some kind of positive connection with Colby, or knew someone who did, that would have been different. But for him, Colby was just some random school somewhere that he probably never would have thought twice about if it weren't for me.

Even if a person didn't have a personal connection with Colby, but they had specific reasons why they might have liked the school, I would understand. We're all different, and I could definitely see a close friend reading the essay, feeling bad about what happened to me, but also knowing, based on some of the factual information in the essay, that Colby would have been the right place for them. My my ex didn't have specific reasons. He didn't say, "Well, I could see myself liking the school because I like to be really involved and go to lots of events, but it's clearly not a welcoming place for people who aren't like that." That would have been perfectly legit and validating. But he never had any reasons. He just said that my experience wasn't good enough to make him not like the school.

You know what? That's not good enough for me! I was his girlfriend, this place was a living nightmare for me, and he didn't even give a fuck. It never meant anything to him at all. My best friends HATE Colby College because of my experience! My experience is ENOUGH for them to hate it because we are friends and when something hurts your friend then it hurts you too! Again, I would understand if he had a personal connection with the school already, but he didn't. My friends have told me about people who have really, really hurt them in the past and made their lives living nightmares.  And you know something? I could never become friends with those people! How on earth could I go up to someone and say, "Hi, all I know about you is that you've done really horrible things to my best friend, but what the heck? That doesn't bother me! Let's be friends!"

For him to say that about Colby, having no personal connection to it or reasons that he might like it, would be on the level of me saying to my best friend, "I know your ex treated you horribly and screwed up your life in a way that you're still deeply affected by, but that wouldn't stop me from dating them!"

Saturday, April 4, 2015

"But This Will Prepare You for Life!"

Would you buy a bathing suit if you never wanted to go swimming?

Would you buy a skateboard if you never planned to ride it?

Would you learn how to knit if you never wanted to make anything?

Would you apply for a fishing license if you never planned to fish?

Would you search for the best game console around if you weren't interested in gaming?

Would get the best-quality sneakers you could find if you would rarely go out and use them?

Apparently I would. Because I've spent most of my life being forced to do things I hated that would prepare me for other things that I also did not want to do.

So I ask all of the adult authorities from my life: Would YOU invest YOUR resources in preparing yourself for something that does not even remotely appeal to you?

Friday, April 3, 2015

The Myth of Suffering for Your Art

As I was writing the unschooling post and remembering back to a time when I ran wild and free for at least part of my life, I realized something important: I had things to write about back then. Back when my world was bright and sunny, when I couldn't even imagine what it was like to feel deeply depressed, I had plenty of things to write about. My mind was bursting with stories and songs and poems, and none of them came from conflict - they just came from me. My songs and poems were usually about sweet things. Some of my stories were about fun magical adventures. Some were realistic fiction about interpersonal conflicts that got resolved. The musical I wrote in second grade was sort of a classic children's good vs. evil story, and it was also really funny. I loved to write funny stories back then. I particularly loved to write silly mix-ups and misunderstandings. 

There's a common myth that artists have to suffer in order to create art. In the real world, there is a huge push to let bad things make you stronger. In the world of art, I've often heard people say things like, "But if this bad thing hadn't happened, you'd have nothing to write/paint/sing/etc. about." There's this idea that you need to have bad things in your life in order to inspire you to create art. I've seen people glamorize angst and depression as if they are creative tools.  If people want to say this about themselves and the bad things that have happened in their own lives, that's fine. After college, I actually tried to latch onto this belief that I had more things to write about because of what I had been through. There was just so much pressure to get over it and move on and just not think about the past anymore, that claiming that college had a positive effect on my writing was a good choice because it at least *didn't* involve getting over anything.  Channeling bad things into art was at least doing something about the bad things rather than accepting them and moving on, so I liked that. 

But deep down inside, I didn't really like it. I just wanted the bad things to have not happened, and I was not interested in deriving anything good out of my college experience. I didn't want to claim that I was creating better art from the experience because that just gave people the opportunity to say, "See, something good did come from the experience!" rather than just believing me when I say that it was a total wash. Even if I were creating better art from a bad experience, I would willingly give that up in order to have not had the bad experience in the first place. 


Writing the unschooling post and remembering how freely I used to write made me realize that nothing bad in my life has helped me to be a better writer. Bad things may have changed the topics I write about, but they do not make me a better writer. This blog is 484 pages long. Most of the blog is about stuff related to college. But that does not mean that I have a 484-page blog because of my college experience. I wrote that much because I'm a writer. If I hadn't had my college experience, I would still have a blog of the same length - it would just be focused on different things.


I have a one-track mind. When something big is going on with me, that's the only thing I think about. I am not willing to write stories about happy things when there are bad things going on in my life, so I write about the bad things. I write about whatever is important to me. I've never had writer's block. I've never felt like I had nothing to say. I had just as many things to write about when I was a free, happy kid on summer vacation as I do now, and those things made me feel much better.

I've heard the argument that something must be wrong in your real life for you to spend all that time in your head. That is just not true. Think about it: if a new amusement park opens in town and everyone goes flocking to it, does that mean that everything else in the town sucks? Or does it just mean that the amusement park is awesome? And conversely, if the only reason everyone goes to the amusement park is because the rest of the town sucks, then that doesn't say much for the actual quality of the amusement park. If you are drawn to a passion, you're drawn to it. It doesn't have to be the only option available to you because everything else is so horrible. I have always done the best creative work during the happiest times of my life. I'm way more likely to space out and start writing a fun story in my head at a fun event than I am when something really bad is happening. My brain just functions when I feel good. 

A couple months ago I had a very invalidating experience, and as a result, I stopped working on my validation book. I was about 70% finished, but haven't touched it for two months now. I do not think I will touch it until I have some external force that makes me feel really, really good about it. There are artists out there who would have used the invalidating experience as motivation, but I'm not one of them. I do things when I feel good, and I don't do things when I don't feel good. After writing the unschooling post, I can pretty much guarantee you that this blog and all of my writing would be much, much better if I hadn't had my college experience at all. Better because I function when I feel good. If you want to suffer for your art, that's fine, but I don't ever plan to suffer for mine.