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11/30/2023 / 10:30 PM

Please be good, December. Please let December be good. Please let me let December be good. I'm going to go to bed soon. I'll shower & I'll feel clean & it'll be good & I'll wake up & it'll be a new month & I can start over.

11/30/2023 / 7:00 AM

I slept for four hours & can't fall back asleep. I got so frustrated staring at the ceiling in the dark that I began to cry.

11/30/2023 / 12:14 AM

I wish I felt happy. I wish I knew what to do. I guess I just have to try to be happy anyways? Maybe I'm avoiding it, because I don't want my efforts to be in vain, or rather, I don't want to try & fail. Or maybe I don't want to think that I can feel happy & be wrong about it.

11/29/2023 / 8:10 PM

What is there to say? All signs of life are slowing down. I can’t remember things very well. I think whatever I don’t write vanishes from my memory. Time keeps passing & I’m not really doing anything. I keep finding myself laying around, sitting around, doing nothing. I don’t mean this as in I’m playing video games or watching TV or something. I mean I’m really just doing nothing. Well that’s not entirely true. You can’t just do nothing, even when you just sit still, you’re spending your time, only you’re spending it poorly. I’m going to die one day, and I’m more conscious than ever of the fact that I keep losing time & losing time & losing time, but somehow I still can’t get out of bed.

I drank this iced matcha today & it was really good. Nothing really tastes that good anymore. Or really I’m just not tasting it. Today I drank that matcha & it was so bitter. It tasted like dirt to me, the way dirt smells after it rains, but it was really good. It felt clean even though it tasted like dirt.

I don’t know if I’ve felt happy even once within the past couple of weeks. I just keep going.

11/28/2023 / 10:52 AM

I need to shower. I just realized it's been days since I've showered. I'm wearing the same pants I slept in last night, and wore yesterday, and slept in that night, and maybe wore the day before... I don't like typing that because it sounds gross, but sometimes, oftentimes, the truth is gross.

My chest hurts for some reason. The right half of it. I don't know how to describe it. I'm probably just nervous about tonight. It's another presentation thing, but it's fifteen minutes long & 20% of my grade. I haven't finished it yet. The class is at 6:00 PM, so I want to finish it by 3:00 PM or so & run through it a few times.

Everything is so hard lately. Or maybe I am so soft.

11/27/2023 / 9:13 PM

I need to feel things, but not self centered, self directed things. All I can feel lately is sadness, self disgust, self consciousness, & these feelings are all coming from within. There’s no reason for them. It’s like those self contained ecosystems, the self sustaining ones in jars. Someone needs to open the lid. The air is getting stale & there’s only so many times that I can recycle the same thoughts. I need to feel something new. I need to feel something as a reaction. I want to go out into the world & I want it to make me happy or sad. Right now everything seems closed off. Or I feel closed in. Someone needs to open the lid. When I say “someone,” who am I talking about? I can’t tell if this is a plea directed towards myself or towards God. I think I’ll have better luck with myself, but somehow even I’m not hearing the words that I’m saying. Everything’s real, but it seems so distant. It’s like my own voice is muffled somehow.

11/27/2023 / 10:31 AM

Went to bed at 3:00 last night & I woke up feeling sick to my stomach. I can't miss school because I have to give my speech for speech class. It's a big part of my grade. I feel nauseous. I'm not doing alright.

11/27/2023 / 12:31 AM

I am in a lot of emotional pain. I'm very sad. It's like an ache without relief.

11/26/2023 / 1:52 AM

I feel like I’m becoming the person I used to be, & I don’t like it. I say “becoming,” but what I really mean is “regressing.” I feel like I’m becoming smaller & less capable & everything’s beginning to atrophy & if I don’t move now, then I’ll never be able to. The days pass & my movement & capabilities become more & more limited. I keep saying “become,” when I mean something much worse.

I know that at the very least, I’m not becoming the Vashti that I used to be all of that time ago, because that Vashti thought happiness was impossible for someone like me, that I was condemned to be wretched & that I deserved it, but this Vashti, the one writing this, knows this isn’t true, because I’ve felt happiness for myself. I’ve even held it for a while. It’s given me enough warmth to keep going through the winter, even in its absence. I can feel the ghost of its warmth & it guides me, even as it gets impossibly faint, even if I’m really walking toward a memory & not a ghost. I’m not who I was. I’ll never be who I was. And enough time will pass & I’ll never be this Vashti again. I can only go forward. Even if I wanted to go back, I can’t. I used to think this fact was impossibly cruel, to be forced to only move forward with time, but right now, time is holding my hand & is one of the last things I have to lead me.

11/25/2023 / 12:53 AM

Nothing really seems to matter, so I’ve decided as of now that I’ll just do things indiscriminately. I’ll write about my days that are becoming indistinguishable from each other & I’ll write about my family that never changes & I’ll do my schoolwork & I’ll shower even though I’m just going to get dirty again & I’ll eat & I’ll sleep, maybe too much, maybe too little & I’ll just keep going. What else is there to do?

I don’t really see the point right now, but I’ll recount what I did for Thanksgiving: My parents are divorced, so I had two Thanksgivings. On Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, I was with my dad & we ate Korean BBQ at one of those places where you have a grill at your table. My dad & stepmom were fighting a lot of the time. As we were driving to the restaurant, there was this hole in the clouds, like a thief with a glass knife cut a circle through a window in a movie, & light was leaking through. After we arrived at the restaurant, my dad told my sister & I to leave the car so he & my stepmom could talk & we stood in the cold while they argued with each other. There was no wait for a table & the food was good. I like bulgogi. I’d never tried it before. After the meal, we said goodbye to my uncle who had work & my stepbrother & the four of us, my dad & stepmom & sister & I went to H-Mart & picked up some snacks. My dad & stepmom continued to argue in the store.

On the day after Thanksgiving, today, Friday, I spent it with my mom. I wasn’t looking forward to it, so I didn’t go to bed until late last night, because I didn’t want it to be today. I think I got six hours of sleep. She came by at 11:00 AM or so & we went to our step-grandmother’s house. Before my sister & I left my dad’s house, my dad & stepmom left for a daytrip, probably in an attempt to fix their fighting. I wish I could’ve just stayed in the empty house… We went with our mom & stepfamily & she told us three times in the car that we couldn’t wear our headphones at our step-grandmother’s house, & we couldn’t use our phones, & we couldn’t bring our bags in, & we weren’t allowed to draw, & we had to be “social.” When she says social, what she really means is that we’re all going to play house & I’m going to be a happy daughter with a smile on my face, because dolls don’t frown & dolls don’t get overwhelmed by noises & need headphones & dolls don’t get bored & dolls just do what Mom says even though this doll is twenty one & doesn’t need Mom anymore & is only visiting Mom because this will be one of our very last Thanksgivings together.

During the car ride there, I thought about how my little brother wasn’t even going to be there, because he’s my half brother actually, & he was with his dad & I thought about how instead of two Thanksgivings, I wish that I had one Thanksgiving, or no Thanksgivings. Then I was thinking about how my Mom really doesn’t care what I think or feel if it deviates from her image of family. Then I was thinking that this is such a chore & I’m really indulging my mother because my dad guilted me into it. Then I was thinking about how the main feelings I have towards my parents are obligation & guilt. Maybe I’m just thinking that right now.

After arriving at my step-grandmother’s house, they all call her “Nana” by the way, & insist that I do so, but I’m not going to do that because I’m not close with her & Vashti already has a Nana who’s dead & I don’t need one who doesn’t know anything about me. I’m content with my dead grandma, my real grandma. I wonder what she would think of this if she were still alive. I can’t remember her voice anymore. I barely remember her face. I don’t really remember her before or after cancer. I wish that I could’ve remembered how she was when she was healthy. I wonder if I can forget her completely. After her voice leaves, what do I forget next?

We came inside while my mom walked her stupid dog & apparently we arrived early, very early, for no reason & my step-grandmother had us set up the kitchen. We made meaningless conversation. I can’t remember what we did & in what order. I didn’t feel like myself. I felt really resentful the entire time. I guess there’s no real reason that I have to write about the visit chronologically.

Step-grandmother asked us about school, because that’s the only thing anyone knows about me apparently, & said it must be nice to have a break & no work, to which my sister & I quickly replied that we each actually have a lot of work, we’re just not allowed to do it in her house & need to sit at the couch at attention according to Mom’s orders.

My boss texted me asking my hours next week & naturally I picked up the phone so I could be put on the schedule next week & step-grandmother told me to put my phone down, to which I just looked at her incredulously & my step-sister started laughing. Then I said I’m texting my boss & step-grandmother told me “one minute,” as if I need her permission to use my phone. After that, my step-sister started laughing even harder.

There was music playing the entire time. Loud music. & they never left the song on. It’s one of those voice operated speakers & the middle of each song was interjected with a command to change it. They played country music & tried to make me dance. My family tried to make me do the two step with my step-grandmother & I refused, because it was loud & I didn’t want to be touched by someone I don’t know very well & they kept pestering me until I uncharacteristically snapped & asked why I need to do what they want to do? Why do I need to do what they want to do? Why do I have to do it? Why does every interaction I share with them need to be forced? But fine, let’s do it! I’ll do it! & then they told me no, no, no, no it’s fine & the rest of the dancing scraped by like metal on metal as they tried to recover from the deviation in expectation.

We played board games & it was not enjoyable. My step-family always cheats when they play games, with the exception of my step-grandmother. It’s not a secret either. They openly cheat because they think that it’s funny & why would I want to play with people who cheat. They had the audacity to accuse me of cheating & then I got pissed off because I don’t like being accused of being someone who lies.

I won the majority of the games we played & whenever I won everyone would tell me to smile, I need to smile, because that’s normal & when you spend time with people you tell them how much to smile, but I’m the one who isn’t good with socializing, right? Not the people who have a smiling quota. Give me a break. Then I finally smiled, just so they’d stop it, & I felt like a clown. I’m a clown. I’m smiling for other people’s amusement. & I felt so absolutely severed from how I was acting, and I mean acting like pretending, like performing, & how I feel. It’s really funny because they know that I’m bipolar. They know that I experience depression. They all know that. They know it. But I’m not smiling enough. Vashti needs to smile more. It’s not fitting our image when you look sad, so smile! How you feel doesn’t matter. That’s what they mean. That’s really what they mean. How I feel doesn’t matter. I feel so horribly depressed. It’s good to know that I’m not good enough, that I’m inconvenient.

Is it normal for your family to tell you to smile when you’re upset? Constantly. Every time you see them. Is it normal to be told you need to smile under threat of an argument or “trouble?” I’m being serious. I think I’m going to see E tomorrow, so maybe I’ll ask her. Is it normal to not be allowed to do anything for hours whenever you visit your family? Does my family not think that maybe this is the reason I don’t like visiting them? Did my family forget that I’m an adult? Did my family forget that Vashti isn’t a clown? Did I forget?

When we ate, we had to say grace, but it took so long for everyone to sit down at the table & say grace & say what they were thankful for that by the time they were finished, my food was cold. The food wasn’t very good. They were meatball subs for Thanksgiving dinner. And they weren’t good & now mine was room temperature.

When we were playing games, the music was so loud that I covered my ears & started rocking back & forth without thinking about it. Mom asked me why I was doing that & I said the music was loud & she asked them to turn the music down, which they did for about five minutes. This wasn’t playing from the speakers, this was playing from my step-father’s phone that was a couple of feet from my head at full volume.

While I was sitting inside doing nothing with my sister & mom & step-grandmother, my step-grandmother said our stepsister was a “sexualized twelve year old” that needs help & that we need to help her. Considering that I didn’t even know she was twelve because we are so distant from each other, I don’t think that I’m the one who needs to do that. Also she’s “sexualized” because she dyed her hair black & started wearing eyeliner. That’s our fault though. Then my step-grandmother got confrontational with my sister about it after my sister asked what that possibly has to do with us & my sister stormed off & looked like she wanted to smash something. She was gone for about thirty minutes after that.

After hours & hours & hours of this, we went to town to watch them light a Christmas tree, but it was a small tree & took thirty minutes of standing around in addition to the hour or so we spent in the area to see it get lit up. It was underwhelming & it took us half an hour or so just to drive out of the area.

Today was horrible. Outside of this, I feel so bad. I barely feel like my body is my body. I'm sleeping too much or sleeping too little. Everything feels like it's closing. I feel trapped.

I saw deer today. I saw a buck. I keep trying to find signs in things, but I'm beginning to think that they don't mean anything. This was the first time I've seen a deer & felt nothing about it. Maybe that's not completely true. I chose to mention it here, after all.

11/24/2023 / 1:48 AM

I’m not sure what to write. I have no real inclination to write anything. I feel like I have nothing worth saying.

I think I need help. I need help. I need someone to help me. I need me to help me. I need to help myself.

11/22/2023 / 11:33 PM

Tired. Went to a coffee shop today. Bought manga. Ouran High School Host Club volumes 1-9 ($5 each) & Mob Psycho 1-2 ($7 each). I want to start reading manga again. I want to start doing things in general. I want to do them wrong. Went on a walk, on walks actually. Played a board game, board games actually. I feel rotten, like a fruit past its ripeness I’m getting soft & too tired to do things. It’s like Gregor Samsa & that rotting apple. If you touch me, I’ll weep like a wound or like mushy fruit. No flies yet.

I don't feel like I have anything worth saying.

11/22/2023 / 1:22 AM / Driving test II

I went on a walk & the sky seemed endless. That’s how most things seem to me lately, like they just keep going, they keep dragging their weight forward, & they carry their weights better than I carry mine.

I thought more about my driving test, & I think I understand why failing it had upset me so much. I really wanted change, tangible change, a piece of paper change, change that gives me permission, but I didn’t get that. I left the exact same, I left worse, I left crying. I want things to change so badly. I want to change so badly. I want to grow up & I want to leave this place. I perpetually feel as though I’ve overstayed my welcome. It’s this constant feeling of guilt. Even if it’s just a slight gnawing at times, it paints over everything. My parents always complain about the fact that I don’t have my license, that I’m so burdensome to drive around, and so I was crying because I felt guilty. & then my dad told me that it didn’t matter at all, that driving me to school isn’t a problem for him, and he seems to really think that, but that’s not what he says on any other day, so I think he’s just saying it out of a sense of obligation, even if he doesn’t realize it.

I don’t really know what my parents want from me. I think I’m a source of shame to them, because they point out the fact that I haven’t graduated, that I can’t drive, that I live at home, and they do it all the time. Well, if they did it all the time it would be simple. Really they oscillate between hating me & telling me that they’re proud of me & I can’t tell which one is true. It seems to just be contingent on their mood. I don’t even know if it has anything to do with me. Our relationship is inconsistent and I don’t know what it is. When my dad told me a couple of months ago that he was going to kick me out, that’s what I mean. He screamed at me, made me think that I was going to have to drop out of school for the semester, that I’d need to go find someone to stay with, watched me sob, & then after an hour, less than an hour, he took it back & said that he’d never do that, that he loves me, and then he asked me why I was crying. I have no idea what he actually thinks. I think if my parents were to be lying about something, then it would have to be that they’re proud of me, right? They have no inclination to lie about the fact that they see me as an inconvenience & a nuisance & a disappointment, so then if they’re lying, it’s about the fact that they don’t mind any of this. Maybe that’s an oversimplification.

I’m not even sure if I was just crying out of guilt. I think that it’s more than that. When I was saying that I want to grow up, I meant that I don’t want to rely on my parents, because I never know what they’re going to do. When I live with them, even though they told me that I can live with them while I finish school, there’s this feeling that it’s temporary, that they’ll rescind their offer. I mean, they’ve both threatened to kick me out before. It’s actually one of their only consistencies. When I was a child, I don’t know if I was even in grade school yet, my dad got mad at me one day & made me pack my bags. He told me that he was getting rid of me & I believed him. & he watched me sob as I packed child sized luggage & thought that I’d never see my family again. It’s always reminded me of digging your own grave, making me participate in my own punishment. & then after watching me sob for who knows how long, he told me that he wasn’t really getting rid of me & I think that I thanked him. I think I thanked him for it. I asked him about it one day a year or so ago, & he doesn’t remember doing that. It’s one of my earliest memories. The feeling of being disposable. The idea that love, or even just being home with my family, is conditional & I don’t even know what the conditions really are. & when my dad threatened, well he told me, he told me that he was kicking me out & he watched me cry about it, when he did that back in September, that was the same thing, only I was twenty one this time. Things haven’t changed. I think he sees it as this mistake on his part that’s been forgotten about, or forgiven, but even if I’ve forgiven him, it's done irrevocable damage to our relationship. I can’t trust what he says. So I don’t know if he really means that it’s not a big deal that I failed my driving test. Even if he says that, even if my mom says that, I’m sure there’s resentment there that they’re waiting to unleash when I step out of the lines that I can’t see.

I think that in other words, I was crying because I’m scared of my parents & what they’ll say & what they’ll do, even at the age of twenty one. That’s why I want to just graduate and move out already.

11/21/2023 / Driving test

I failed my driving test & cried about it for about an hour and now I’m over it. I cried in the car on the way home. You know, the one that my dad was driving, because I can’t drive. I have to take it again in January.

11/21/2023 / 2:19 AM

I was laying down to sleep & had my eyes closed & as I was drifting off, I started to grit my teeth & clench my jaw without thinking about it, & then I began to hear a pipe organ. But I was imagining it. It was from my head, but it was so vivid, like I imagined the pipe organist in the room with me, playing in the dark. It was like it was real, but not, like I was dreaming & awake at the same time.

Good night.

11/21/2023 / 12:12 AM

I was on a walk today & was thinking about how I can really do anything I want. I could leave tomorrow & not come back. It felt good. I like thinking that way.

I have my driving test tomorrow. I was worried about it, but then I figured either I pass or I fail & I’ll be fine regardless. It’ll feel like the end & it won’t be the end & things will just keep going. That’s how it always goes, till one day it won’t. Well, they’ll still go, they’ll just go without me.

I think I’m feeling better. Not better as in healed, but better as in things have improved.

11/20/2023 / 11:45 AM

I have a math test in fifteen minutes. I’m just sitting on a couch, waiting. I feel more alive than usual today. I feel like a person. I don’t know if I’m feeling good or bad, maybe both, but the feeling is intense. I feel like a living, breathing person. I feel conscious of that fact. It’s hard to explain. I feel sad at the same time, but I’m not sure about what, & it’s not entirely unpleasant. I’d describe the feeling like a soreness, but a nice kind. It’s like when your legs and feet hurt from walking for a while. It feels necessary. I don’t normally have a problem with sadness itself. In fact, sometimes it feels good to be sad, but I have a problem with unnecessary sadness. Sadness that has overstayed its welcome, or sadness as stagnation. This doesn’t feel like that though. This feels like the sadness of being alive, and that’s not a bad thing. It feels novel. It feels refreshing to feel something so sharp.

11/20/2023 / 12:47 AM

I spent my day doing nothing important. I haunted the neighborhood a few times in my nightgown. The drizzle on my face felt good. It was more like a mist or a haze.

I feel really detached from everything. It feels like the days are moving & I’m separate from it. It’s like getting sick on the train as you face backward & it goes forward. I feel disoriented, and when I say I feel detached, I mean I literally feel detached. I feel separate in a physical sense from everything around me, like there's this veil or film, and even if it's imperceptible, it's there & it's keeping me from making contact with the world. I don’t really have the language to describe it. It’s like the past month or so has been one really long dream that I can’t wake up from. It’s just going and going and going and going.

I feel like something needs to change.

11/18/2023 / 11:50 PM

I spent the day with E! We went thrift shopping, then got Starbucks, then took the train, then went to Kinokuniya & I bought three more Sonny Angels, then went to the revolving sushi place & got udon & miso soup & dessert, & then we went to H-Mart, & then she took me home. It’s like how people take their dogs out to do something fun before they get put down, the perfect day, only hopefully I’m not getting put down.

Talking to E was really fun. That was the most fun part of everything that we did. When we were on the train, she was showing me all of these old family pictures, some of her mom & uncle & grandparents, some were in black and white. She apologized for talking too much, but it didn’t feel that way. Seeing all of her family pictures felt kind of weird, but really nice. My family doesn’t really have that. They seem so happy. It was like she was a fire & she was keeping me warm. That’s how it felt while she was talking.

When we were waiting for the train back & I was talking about how I was feeling lately, I felt like I was going to start crying. I wanted to cover my face, so I did it with my phone & snapped a picture of the sky.

In spite of this, I think I had a good day. I'm realizing that I can have good days & feel bad at the same time, almost like a constant hum in the background. Maybe if I try to spend my days happily, I can ignore the humming. Maybe it'll be like cicadas- I'll hear them chirp & buzz & cry every day for a while till enough time has passed & they're gone without me even realizing it.

It's hard to explain. I'm having trouble articulating my feelings lately. I couldn't really explain to E how I was feeling. Being with her was comforting though.

11/18/2023 / 12:13 AM / Insight & clarity

I think I just reached an understanding. Insight is a better word for it. This unpleasant feeling, I think it’s detachment. I haven’t been noticing the passing of days. I’m forgetting to look at the sky as I walk. I’m eating food, but I’m not tasting it. & most of all, I’m viewing everything as temporary. I keep thinking to myself how I’ll get through the days, and that’s true, I will get through them, but I’m also living them & I’m not acknowledging it. My life is now. It’s right now. It’s not a vague possibility. It’s not contingent on me getting my degree, quitting my job; Life is right now. Right now is the only thing that’s real, isn’t it? The past goes nowhere & the future doesn't exist yet.

I’ve been treating my life these past few weeks, maybe months, as just a path, just a way to get somewhere future and distant. I think life has been a bit too heavy to bear, and that’s what I’ve needed to tell myself to keep going. I’ve been telling myself that I’ll get to put this weight away soon. Maybe there’s nothing wrong with that, but it’s the only thing that I’ve been telling myself. My thoughts have just been consumed with getting through things, getting away from things, getting to live the life I want, soon, one day, but my life is now. I can live right now. Maybe I’ll do it imperfectly and unpleasantly, but I think I’m really grateful to be alive. I’m tearing up as I write this. I really mean it. I’m so happy to be alive. I’m happy to feel, to feel anything. This capacity for feeling & possibility that comes with each new day is a blessing. I don’t care if my days are bad, because they’re mine & they’re all I have, so they're precious to me.

Writing this made me feel like I remembered something really important.

I'm going to live, & I'm going to do it day by day by day, because days are all I have. I used to describe myself as someone who lives one day at a time, who treasures the mundane parts of my life, but I'd forgotten that part of myself without even realizing. I'm going to try to make each day special, rather, I'm going to remember that it's special. Everything I need is already there & it's already with me. This feeling may not last, it may not even last the night, but that in and of itself makes it, & makes today, even more precious. If I don't pay attention, it'll disappear without me even realizing it.

11/16/2023 / 9:21 PM

I don’t know how I feel right now. I don’t even know what I’m thinking. Clarity feels just slightly out of reach, like trying to remember a dream. Normally there are words for what I’m thinking & feeling & I can take these words and arrange them & reach an understanding. I can’t find the words right now. It’s like I’m blindfolded & can just feel their texture with my hands, no identification beyond that. I am definitely feeling something, but I don’t know what it is.

I don’t think that the way that I’ve described this is adequate, either. Normally I can go back & reread what I’ve written & it’ll be like I’m reliving the exact sensation & moment that I wrote about. I think when I go back to reread this, it will be just as vague to me then as now. I don’t even know what I’m saying. I feel like I’m just saying things.

I got back from school & it was pitch dark. I’d forgotten that I cleaned my room at this house a week or so ago, so it was a nice surprise. I’m drinking a coffee. I think that I’m going to shower, then read my tarot cards, then draw. I don’t know. There’s not really anything that I really want to do. I’m just doing things to fill time. I think I’ve been sleeping too much.

I have work tomorrow, then I’m off for over a week. I’m not working at all next week. I paid for my classes & won’t have to pay anything until February, so I don’t really need the money. I normally work Saturdays but took off work this Saturday. Me & E are going to hang out. I think I really need someone to talk to. I think it’ll be good for me.

11/16/2023 / 9:51 AM

I have to go to work in an hour. I feel filthy & disgusting & I woke up feeling kind of sick to my stomach. I don’t feel like I’m going to vomit, but my stomach feels weirdly full, even though I didn’t eat dinner last night.

I’m going to go on a walk, brush my teeth, & then pack my things. I’m going back to my dad’s house, so I’m going to have to haul a giant backpack full of my clothes into work with me, & if I open that bag even once, they’ll reek like grease. When I bring a change of clothes for school to work with me, I actually have to put all of the clothes that I’m going to wear that night into a zipped baggie, otherwise I’ll smell like a grease trap, even though I don’t work in the kitchen.

All of my favorite coworkers are working today though. I’ll probably read my book when it’s slow. I read last night before bed. I don’t have a book light, so I used my phone’s flashlight. When I was a young girl, I’d sleep with my book underneath my pillow. What happened to those days? When did I stop?

I want to feel different again. I want renewal. How can I renew myself?

11/15/2023 / 6:53 PM

I think I’m becoming depressed again. Or maybe I already am. I’m always reluctant to put a label like depression on how I’m feeling, because my moods are normally so unenduring. I can reach despair & elation & make it all the way back to despair again in the course of a week, a day, but right now I feel like something is really wrong with me… I think part of it is that normally when I feel depressed I feel acute guilt & worthlessness & self loathing, but I’m not feeling that way necessarily. Really, I’ve just felt a pervasive sense of sadness that’s washing over everything. That’s sometimes normal for me, but I’m also feeling apathetic. Rather, I’m feeling unmotivated. It’s hard for me to do things right now, even enjoyable things. I feel like I’m losing control of myself, like I want to get it together. What’s it? I don’t know. I want to enjoy myself maybe. Maybe I want to feel less introspective. Maybe I want to wake up & get out of bed immediately. I can’t really point to anything that’s wrong, but I think that’s the problem. Maybe I’m doing everything right & I just want to tell myself that I’m wrong.

I feel like everything I’ve written is vague, but these are vague feelings. I feel a bit dissatisfied with my writing too. That’s unusual for me. I’m going to persist anyways. I don’t just write because it’s fun, I write because I have to.

I want to be able to write about how I’m going to fix this, how I’m going to get out of it, how there’s still something to look forward to, & I know that all of these things are true & inevitable, but it would be disingenuous to say that I truly believe them right now. I know that things will be alright, but I do not feel that way.

I think I’m going to fall back on list making. I’m going to make a to-do list every day again. I’m going to make a new planner. It’ll feel new & clean. I’ll fill it with stickers. Maybe I’ll take some pride in it. I’m thinking of turning towards distractions, too. Normally when I feel this way, I become more introspective, but I don’t think that’s the solution. Sometimes examining things makes them less clear. It’s like when you stare at a painting for long enough & it dissolves from a picture to just brush strokes, or when you say a word so much that it doesn’t seem real anymore. That’s what I mean. So I think I’m going to try some lighthearted distractions instead, because the truth is even if I avoid introspection, I’ll do it anyways, so I’ll just try not to do it too much. I think I should start on my backlog of video games & books. I’m going to try drawing again too. Maybe I can express something in a way that isn’t words.

11/14/2023 / 10:15 PM

My brother came home from school wearing a Naruto hoodie that I gave him yesterday & the neighbor boy came over & it was nice. I don’t think my brother has ever had a friend visit the house & the neighbor boy is a latchkey kid, so he ended up staying until it got dark. They played ball outside & traded Pokemon cards & played Fortnite. I gave the kid pizza rolls & chicken nuggets. I told him he could come over again. I feel bad for him. He’s always left in that house by himself until his mom gets off of work. It’s been like that for years & he’s only my brother’s age. I hope he had fun today.

I wonder when the last time my childhood best friend came over was? I don’t even remember it. It was something that happened all the time & then something that never happened again.

I’m going to bring my Pokemon collection over to my mom’s house & give my brother all of my doubles. He has a small collection & I have a huge, swollen binder sized collection. He’s like me; He described himself as a “collector.” He treats his cards like a personal art gallery. It’s very endearing.

I let him stay up an hour past his bedtime. He played video games & we watched a Jerma Resident Evil stream. We talked about furries. He said he doesn't get why people dont like them, because he thinks they're "cute." I said that I want to make a fursona. We packed his lunch, he brushed his teeth, & he said that he had fun today.

11/14/2023 / 5:57 PM

I'm feeling really melancholic today. Maybe that's not the word. I'm feeling really emotional, but I'm not sure which emotion. I'm feeling a lot of different feelings at once, so they've muddied together into a brown, like paint. Like my brain doesn't know not to mix complementary colors.

It's my friend's birthday today. I didn't remember until an hour or so ago. We're just not very close anymore. She texted last night out of the blue asking me how my semester was going. She said she's having trouble getting through classes & making friends. I'm not sure what to say to her, because we hardly talk anymore, so I didn't message back until an hour or so ago when I remembered that it was her birthday. It feels weird. A year or two ago I would've thought about it at the very start of the month, would've made a card. I guess it's natural to grow apart over time. I'm not sure how to feel about it. I feel like I should feel more strongly, but this feels natural.

No clouds today... I feel like it's part of this weird mood.

11/14/2023 / 11:35 AM
Woke up feeling kind of gross. I think I need to take a shower. Can’t decide what to do today. I have the day off of school because my teacher cancelled class tonight. I’m at my mom’s house & she’s taking a day trip & won’t be back till 1:00 AM or so, so I’m going to be watching my brother after he gets done with school. Kind of annoyed, because our step-grandmother is coming over. The one that was weirdly passive aggressive with me last time. Originally, she was going to watch my brother, but I just so happened to be off of school tonight so I’m doing it instead. She’s still coming over though, which is annoying, because he’ll get off the bus at 3:30 or so, but she’s coming here at 2:30, which means I’m apparently supposed to babysit her too. It’s weird too, because she’s going to be taking my step-siblings to their sports practice stuff & they’re in another town over & haven’t been here, so there’s really no reason for her to come. She’s driving all the way over here, (she doesn’t live in town), to hang out with my brother for thirty minutes. & to give me unsolicited advice. Before I said I’d watch him, she kept trying to get my mom to let her take my little brother to our step-siblings’ practices & bring him home at 9:30 PM. His bedtime is 8:30 for one, and for two, I think they’re in track & I don’t think that the nine year old wants to watch people run back & forth for several hours after dark. Luckily for him, his amazing sister Vashti is here & we’re going to stay home & play video games & eat McDonald’s or something. My mom won’t let me take him out though & I don’t understand why. We wanted to go see a movie. I’d normally just do it anyways, but with our step-grandmother here, we won’t be able to leave for the bus quickly enough. Everyone’s just getting in the way.

Not sure what to do while I’m home alone till my little brother gets here. I just ordered myself some food. Indian. I really like Indian food. If I could cook any type of food, it’d be that or Japanese food. Third place would be… I’m not sure. There’s not a type of food that I dislike now that I think of it. I’m the type of person who’ll try any food.

I’d go out for coffee, but my mom told me to stay home & watch the dog, which is stupid, because she was originally going to keep the dog in the kennel during their trip, but now that I’m here, that’s not an option. See, even though I’m not the one who suggested they get a fucking puppy even though they each work twelve hours shifts, the dog is my responsibility. She does this shit all the time. First it was just watch your brother when he gets home from school at 3:30. Then it was be here at 2:30, because apparently our step-grandmother can’t be at the house alone, even though that was the original plan. Then it was we’re leaving at 1:00, so be here at 1:00. Then it was don’t leave the house, because as I woke up this morning, they were leaving. This is why I don’t do things for her. She just tries to take more from me the moment that I agree to something. If you can’t tell, I’m really annoyed. Especially because the plan was for us to go out & do something together this morning, because I mentioned wanting to get out of the house yesterday. So she knows that I feel antsy & want to leave, she just doesn’t care. She doesn’t care about other people. She’s like my sister. There’s something wrong with them. I should’ve just left anyways, but by the time I knew our plans were ruined because of her, it was too late in the day to spend any real time out. I would’ve had to pick a bus to take out & back the night before, because they come hourly. I don’t want to do things for her anymore. What’s the point?

I'm going to shower. There's no need to let her ruin my day alone. My day that I was going to spend out, but am now spending watching my brother. My day that I'm now spending at home, even though my teacher cancelled class tonight, which is something that never happens. My day where I can't take my brother to see a movie. My day where I get to spend a couple of hours with a woman I hate because my mom happened to marry a guy that I don't care about & that means these people who I don't know & don't care to know are my family now.

I'm going to take a shower, my food is going to get here, & by that time I will be clean, my stomach will be full, & I will be over this. I'll let all of this inconvenience wash over me like a breeze. My brother will get home & I'll see his face & I'll feel happy. Maybe I'll lie & take my brother to the movies anyway.

11/14/2023 / 12:16 AM
Today was a good day. I slept in, woke up groggy, took the bus. It was all a normal school day, but everyone was so nice to me. People are normally nice to me, today was just nicer than normal. I was chatting with lots of people from my classes & then I realized something… These people like me. They’re going out of their way to talk to me outside of class. I don’t know. I normally operate under the assumption that I’m despised by all, unless they’re complimenting my appearance, which is somehow genuine. It sounds stupid when I write it out. I suppose I thought that I was more forgettable, maybe. I thought that no one in class noticed my presence, that I was a body without a face. I don’t know why I think like that. No one’s really given me a reason to, no strangers at least. I think it’s a reflection of how I view myself.

Anyways, today was nice. I got out of class early, my night class is cancelled tomorrow, I’m very free. & liked apparently. Noticeable. I feel vain just writing that. I find it hard to say good things about myself, even if I believe them. People tell me I’m interesting & I agree, but can’t bring myself to say it. People say they like my writing & I agree, but I can’t bring myself to say it. I am aware of it, but don’t know how to overcome it. Should I say the nice things about myself anyways..? I think that I’m smart & that the things I say are interesting or important or that they matter. I think that my life has value. I think I look nice, my outfits are interesting & I'm pretty. I think that I’m good at writing. I think that others like talking to me… That wasn’t so bad. It’ll be an entirely different thing to say that out loud. Maybe I’ll practice saying them in front of E this Saturday. It’s strange, because it’s normal to like yourself, right? But it makes me feel so uncomfortable to acknowledge it. I feel like a fraud. I feel like if we acknowledge what is good about me, that someone’s going to grab me & they’re going to expose me like it’s an episode of Scooby Doo. They’re going to tie me up & pull a mask off of me that I was unaware of & they’re going to tell me, tell everyone, You know Vashti, you thought you could pull the wool over our eyes, but I was onto you! It was only a matter of time! You were spinning that wool & you didn't even notice, that's how much of a natural you are. I knew you were lying. I knew you were fake! Liar! You’re a liar! & I’ll be such a liar that I’ll have been unaware that I was even lying. That’s how it feels. Even though it’s ridiculous, this feeling is pervasive & unshakable.

11/13/2023 / An entry for yesterday
I had such a fun day yesterday, but didn’t write about it. I try to avoid writing any diary entries in retrospect, because I am very forgetful for one, and I just feel they end up less feelings based & more just an effort to recount information. All of this being said, it bothers me that I haven’t written about yesterday, so here I go.

After my Saturday out was ruined by the company of my family, I decided on Sunday that I’d go out by myself & have some fun. Then my dad said that I should take my sister with me. It wasn’t the biggest deal, because I was going thrift shopping & she doesn’t enjoy doing that, so I dropped her off at this nearby Barnes and Noble & went shopping by myself. Well actually, she came in with me to look at the stuffed animals & found me a Rover plushie, a cat from Animal Crossing. Then she walked over to Barnes & Noble & I shopped quietly by myself.

I found quite a few clothes! When I go thrifting, I’m happy no matter what happens: Either I find a lot of cool clothes or I don’t & I get to save money. Either way is a win to me. In this case, I found a lot of cute clothes. I think I ended up spending about fifty dollars. I found this purse that I’m really happy about. It’s this denim purse that is probably on some sort of objective level, as objective as aesthetics get, ugly. I don’t care, because I like it anyways. I was just drawn to it. It’s hard to explain. I did a double take & examined it further & it had these two little patches on it: The first read, “Life is that dance we do in the space between making it happen and letting it happen.” The other read, “Love is not a feeling- Love is an action.” Both resonated with me. I actually really gravitate towards, well what’s the word? I gravitate towards happy things, purposely happy things. I like when things don’t try to be cool. I like when they’re genuine & maybe a bit saccharine & have nice phrases like the patches on my bag. There’s enough pain in the world, so I don’t want to surround myself with it more than necessary. I’m the type of person who likes those posters with the kittens that read Hang in there! One of my favorite shirts is one that says, “LOVE LIFE ♡” I want to be happy & I want to do it on purpose, I want to cultivate it & for me, that means having this bag with those little reminders. So after rationalizing to myself why I need this ugly, cute bag & coming to the conclusion that I really will wear it, I slung it over my shoulder. This is the most important test. If a bag doesn’t fall comfortably on me, I don’t buy it. This one was perfect though. It was a Goldilocks scenario. It fit over my shoulder & snuggly in my armpit where a purse belongs. It felt like a denim extension of my body. I’ve been in between bags for the past few weeks, so finding this purse was nothing short of serendipitous.

Beyond that, I found some nice clothes. I found a brown turtleneck that I’m wearing as I write this actually. Last time E & I went thrifting together, we were talking about turtlenecks & she was asking why I liked them so much. I used to not really like them, but if you go thrift shopping enough, you realize concessions have to be made & by refusing to wear a turtleneck, you’re swearing off half of the sweaters in the store. That’s just how it works. Also they happen to look nice on me. Speaking of “nice on me,” I found this lovely dress. She’s plaid, predominantly dark green & teal with hints of red. Vashti is a sucker for plaid, if you didn’t know. I just always gravitate towards it for some reason. It’s not really something I was conscious of for a while, but an examination of my closet showed me how much I like plaid. It buttons from the very top to the very bottom, which I like in my dresses & skirts & it’s cinched at the waist, so it looks really nice on me. I’m really happy with it. I think it’s one of my new favorite dresses.

I also got a crimson red, near ankle length skirt. It is very school-teacher-y, but I like it. It’s another one that buttons from the waist to the end of the skirt. I’ll be able to wear it when I’m a teacher’s aid next semester, too. Other than that, I got a couple of sweater vests (navy & deep green), this really funky brown cropped sweater (with these pink, wavy line details, very cool & unique & my style), a tiny heart purse (smaller than clutch sized), & a brown scarf. I feel like I wear a lot more browns & earth tones during this time of year, the colder months. I wonder if it’s a reflection of my environment- dead grass & rotting leaves, slimy detritus. I’m really happy with what I found & it all fit in my reusable Keroppi Baggu, just enough.

After about an hour or so of thrift shopping, I walked to the Barnes & Noble to meet up with my sister. She was studying in the Starbucks & I got myself an iced chai with soy milk. It was a dollar off because she had a coupon. We sat there for fifteen minutes or so. We made a deal & I told her that if she held my thrift store bag, then I’d get her food at the nearby mall food court & she said yes. We looked at the Calico Critters before we left & I got myself a blind bag & a set of baby penguins with goggles & a car, which are so cute! The blind bag was a bummer, because I wanted one of the babies in a crab outfit, but didn’t get one. Oh well. The baby I got was cute anyways, a little bunny. There was a giraffe family, but I held off on them.

After that, we walked to the mall. The weather was nice & my sister complained that the bag was heavy. I told her I know, that’s why I’m having you carry it. We got to the mall & I stopped at Build-A-Bear, to look for some clothes for my beloved frog & what did I find there? Kuromi! They had Kuromi! They never have Kuromi! Kuromi’s always sold out. If you don’t know, Kuromi’s one of my favorites & the Sanrio character that most people associate with me. So I finally, finally got a Kuromi Build-A-Bear, pure serendipity. & what’s more, I had a reward, fifteen dollars off, so it was only twenty something dollars. (Yeah, I go to Build-A-Bear so much that I have an account there.) Kuromi is so soft & cute & I’m so happy. I’ll be happy about finding her for a while.

After that, we stopped by this one shop that has a bunch of Japanese stuff & I got a new Iwako puzzle eraser for my collection, an octopus. My sister got this cute looking turtle-dragon figurine that’s supposed to attract wealth. It actually came in a pair, so I have one too. Hopefully it makes me rich.

Then we went to the food court & we got pretzel dogs, because the chicken place closed & they don’t sell sour cream & onion pretzels anymore. (Still not over that by the way). I got a Frappuccino from Starbucks after we ate & then we stopped by this nearby store that was a bit of a walk. It’s one of those stores where everything’s $10 or less. My sister was looking for some markers for an assignment. I ended up getting a very cute My Melody Squishmallow & a Pompompurin figure from a blind bag. Then we went home.

I took a bath, went on a couple of brief walks, & cleaned my room really well. Washed my thrift store clothes, did all of my laundry, cleaned out the closet, cleaned under my bed, rearranged shelves- I did everything. I enjoyed it too. I got so carried away with cleaning that I didn’t notice the hours of the night passing me by. It felt really good. I felt proud of myself. I put my pins on my newly washed jean bag, packed my things for class, & went to bed.

Oh! & I got a fortune cookie at the mall for twenty five cents. I’m a sucker for fortune cookies. This one read, “Time heals all wounds. Keep your chin up.” I put it in my wallet so I can see it all the time now.

11/13/2023 / Pictures of the stuff I bought over the weekend
Patch reading Life is that dance we do in the space between making it happen and letting it happenPatch reading Love is not a feeling- Love is an action
(My purse patches).

keychains, a planner, a notebook, a figurine, and an octopus eraserKuromi Build-A-Bear, My Melody Squishmallow, and Rover plush
(The things in the left picture are all from Daiso on Saturday, except for the Purin figure & eraser).

Penguin babies Calico CrittersBaby bunny Calico Critter with fish purse
(My Calico Critters).

11/12/2023 / 1:15 AM
Going out for sushi, or in my case udon, with my family was... unfun. They're stressful to be around & mean. My dad yelled at me while we were out. I got overstimulated. Everyone got upset with me because the fact that I stopped at Daiso made them miss our train, but that's not even true. We didn't decide on when we were going to leave or which train we'd take home, so my ten minutes at Daiso didn't do anything. It's also funny to me, by which I mean stupid, that the fact that they stopped for Taiyaki or at a bakery didn't affect when we reached our train, it was just Vashti's ten minutes at Daiso. It was less than that, too. They all just want someone to blame for their problems & they put me in charge of checking when the trains come & they didn't like what I told them, so they got mad at me. I pointed out that when I take the train, I choose which train at which time I'm going to take home, that way I won't be late for it & they just didn't really acknowledge what I was saying to them. Kinokuniya didn't have my Sonny Angels either. They won't have any until tomorrow. Disappointing. I would've rather just gone alone, like I'd planned on doing last Saturday. I really don't like spending time with my family. I feel bad because they bought my food, but the truth is that I'd rather pay twenty or so dollars for my own meal & have a peaceful evening where no one yells at me in a parking lot. He was really yelling too. All because I wasn't leading them to the train correctly. They started walking the wrong way & so my dad yelled at me & told me to walk in front of them. & I didn't do it quickly enough, so he yelled at me some more in front of everyone. I almost started crying. It was degrading. I don't understand what it is about me that makes people treat me this way. Am I just that easy to talk down to? They don't do this to my sister.

11/11/2023 / 8:50 AM
I woke up at 8:00 AM, went on a walk, amd was having a pretty nice day until my dad came in to give me a talking to. He's mad because I accidentally left shredded cheese on the counter last night. Not a bag, just stray pieces of cheese. He gets mad over anything. Then he asked me why I didn't clean the kitchen, but it's because he told me not to leave my room, not to go in the living room, that he didn't want to see me out of my room. So I told him that I was trying to leave the kicthen quickly, because I was. That's why. Then he said that wasn't an excuse. I don't really care. I don't. He's always right & I'm always wrong, so who cares? He doesn't even know what he's like to be around. We're going to take the train to visit my sister & get lunch today. E was originally going to come, but isn't anymore because my dad has a cough. Do you know what my sister asked me on the phone? If E isn't coming, should I bring a friend so Dad's nice to us? That's what he's like & he doesn't even realize it.

My stomach has this intense buring sensation. It feels like I slathered Icy Hot in the walls of my abdomen.

11/11/2023 / 12:29 AM
Tired... today when I went to the used game shop for some games for the 3DS I'm getting for Christmas, they told me they don't really have "retro games." Retro. The things I grew up with are retro now. You have to be kidding me. Ended up going to this other place right by my work after my shift was over. They didn't have very many games either, but they had Harvest Moon: A Tale of Two Towns. I've always wanted to play a Harvest Moon game. I played a bit tonight to test out my 3DS & make sure that I don't need to return it. It was really fun.

I'm halfway done with my essay. It took me what? Forty five minutes? Why did I put this off for so long if it's so easy? I knew that it would be easy too. I keep putting things off. Sometimes I put them off for so long that I forget about them. How many plans with myself have I broken? I keep procrastinating. I need to do things when I say I'm going to do them. When I don't, it feels like I'm lying to myself. I want to be able to believe myself when I say that I'm going to do something. I want to feel proud of myself. I want to be able to say that I'm doing the right thing, that I'm doing what's best for myself. I think I'm falling back into who I used to be. I don't know. This time of year is always really difficult for me. Maybe I'm being too harsh on myself, but why shouldn't I say it? When I put things off like this, when I avoid doing things that matter, I feel bad about myself. Maybe that's okay.

For now, I'm tired. I'll go to sleep & I'll wake up tomorrow & I'll do it differently this time. I'll do it right. When I wake up I won't go back to sleep & I'll sit down & I'll write my essay & I'll be different. I'll be different this time. That's what I want. I want to be different. I don't want to keep doing this. I want to be able to look at myself & say good job. I want to change. It's what I want more than anything. I can change.

Normally the things I want seem out of reach somehow, but this is completely up to me. It's only up to me. No one else can do this for me. I want to live differently. I'm serious. I'm serious about it. I think I love myself, but right now I don't like myself & I don't feel pity for myself. All I have to do is wake up & do things differently. It's that simple & it's that difficult. & it's completely up to me. I can't spend my life like this. If I don't change now, when will I change. I need to do it now or do it never. I'm twenty one. I've had this conversation with myself for years. I tell myself to change & then I fall back into myself & it makes anything I've done up to that point feel insignificant. I say "fall back," but I have more control over it than that. It's a retreat. I'm retreating back into myself. I'm running away from things that are unpleasant, but everything is unpleasant. Change is unpleasant, but staying the way that I am is worse.

I'm going to wake up tomorrow & I'm going to do everything that I say I'm going to do, otherwise I never will. I'm being serious this time, I say as though I wasn't serious every other time I made this proclamation. Before it was just a rallying cry, one where I was begging myself to listen to me & to do what I say. I'm sick of begging. I'm just going to do what I want. I can do it. It feels different this time. It doesn't feel good. Normally I say these things & it makes me feel better, but right now it feels grave.

11/09/2023 / 10:09 PM
The movie was good & class was lame. Double checked with my prof that if I miss our last two days of class that I won't get dropped. He said yeah, but it's rude to my classmates who are presenting. Uh, who cares? Why should I make multiple commutes for absolutely no benefit because my classmates are doing their required school assignment? Literally who cares? I don't even know their names & I don't like this class. Also, I just can't fathom how that would be rude. If everyone skipped the day that I was presenting, I wouldn't care. That wouldn't matter to me, because I know that what other people do, what people who aren't even my aquaintances do, doesn't have anything to do with me. I'm not crazy right? There's no grade deduction for missing these days & I was smart & saved my days up, so good for me. I've had this planned since the first month of school. I signed up to do my presentation the very first day, that way I can miss our last week of classes. Yeah, so rude. Maybe I'm fixated on this, but that was just such a stupid comment to me... Does he think that we're all friends? Does he think that I care if my nameless classmate is upset that I'm absent? Does he think that I like his class? The only reason I'm in his class next semester is because I saw his name, saw a slot for an unannounced professor & went out of my way to choose that one, & he just so happened to end up being that professor. His class is just such a waste of time. He said our lesson today was to show us that what we've been learning isn't a waste of time. If you have to dedicate a lesson to why two thirds of our semester hasn't been a waste of time, it was a waste of time. The only good thing about his class is that it's an easy A. He asked if I was going to do this extra credit assignment, which by the way I'm really annoyed about. This assignment will replace any quiz or paper grade, so I could've just skipped one of our papers. And so I said Wow, I wish you mentioned this earlier, before I did my paper. And he had the fucking gall to say that he announced it in class on Tuesday, so if I'd shown up to class, I would've known. That would've done nothing for me, because I'd already written my paper by then. So what he really means to say is, Yeah, you did your work ahead of time, but let me shame you in front of the class for having an abscence earlier this week. Fuck you! The reason I'm annoyed too is that this is my teaching teacher, this is a teacher who is supposed to teach me how to be a teacher, so if my teacher who is teaching the subject of teaching is a shitty teacher, you can see why I'd be annoyed, right? All of the things he advises are so outlandish & impractical too. Today he taught us about having a teaching portfolio & taking college classes while we're teaching so we can ~expand our skils~ Let me just tell you- no one does that. No one actually makes a "teaching portfolio." I asked my father, the school teacher, and he rolled his eyes. He said my professor should finally leave his ivory college professor tower, which I agree with. Yeah, my dad hates this guy by the way. I hate him too. It's a bonding moment. I just hate this guy. I hate the idiotic things he says. I hate the way he rants about socialism & the Hamas, as if that's what I'm paying him for. I hate how he always bitches about his ex-wife. (Also side note: This guy is so not over his ex wife. For every time he's talked about his current wife, he's talked about his ex wife, at minimum, probably fifteen times. I didn't even know he was remarried for a while. I heard about his ex wife before his current wife. He talks about he constantly. If you can't tell, I find it annoying). He's just stupid & he feigns expertise about things he's not an expert about. Just because you have a master's degree in teaching, not even an actual PhD like my other professors, doesn't mean that your political views are correct & that you can lecture me about them.

Anyways, I'm done wasting my time writing about this guy. Who even cares, right? I took an Uber home & it was one of the ones that you share with other people & it was kind of nice. I don't know, the car just had a nice ambiance. We drove in the rain. Well, the driver drove in the rain. Poorly. It was weird though, after I got in they were telling me to move my seat, move my seat, so I thought they meant move it forward, which I couldn't do, it was as forward as it gets, but they meant backwards. These were the other passengers saying this. & I didn't really give a shit, but I started adjusting the seat to make them stop talking to me, but it was dark & I couldn't see the buttons so then the driver was getting out to help me & I told him no, no, no, it's fine. Let's just leave. & then everyone- the driver & the two passengers- were asking me Are you sure? Are you sure it's alright? I get that they were probably trying to be polite, but I just wanted to go home, & why would I say it's alright if it weren't actually alright? Who would do that? It was weird. It was harmless, but annoying. I can't imagine telling an absolute stranger to adjust their seat if it weren't even bothering me. Why would I do that?

I feel like nothing I've written in this entry matters & I have work tomorrow & a paper to finish & I'm tired, so good night.

11/09/2023 / 11:02 AM
I feel like a weird little girl. Not in a bad way. I'm going to write some of my paper, go to the movie theatre, & then go to my night class. I don't feel bad, but I feel kind of tired. I wish that I were in my bed & that I didn't get up at 5:15 AM today.

11/08/2023 / Sky like a painting

11/08/2023 / On the smell of bleach
Sometimes the world is a cruel place that kills pigeons & sometimes you're cleaning the kicthen at night & it's all a bit lighter, a bit easier than usual, and you're content with the feeling of hot water & the smell of bleach.

11/08/2023 / 8:11 PM
My sleep schedule is really off. For some reason I keep waking up at 8:35 AM, but there's no reason for that, because that's never a time that I need to get up. I listened to L'Univers de la Mer by Dominque Guiot as I fell asleep last night. I was pretending to be a fish. Normally I pretend to be a jellyfish or whale fall. I never remember what I'm thinking about as I fall asleep. Well, I take that back. If I'm actually giving something a lot of thought, I remember it after I wake up in the morning, but if I'm doing my typical pretend to be a fish mental exercise, then I forget it. I've been finding it hard to sleep when I lay with my own thoughts, so I've been listening to music to help me sleep. It works really well. I didn't realize that I could actually fall asleep so quickly. I thought it was just a simple fact of life that every time I lay my head down I need to think with my eyes shut for half an hour before I drift off. I guess not.

I took the bus to school today. I thought I was leaving late, but I actually managed to leave ten minutes early. Don't know how that happened. I found my sketchbook, my colored pencils, my DSi charger, & the book E lent me before I left. It was in my Keroppi Baggu underneath a heap of my clean laundry. I feel like I just got some crucial inventory back. It's like in Fable II when you come back from the Spire. I've never met anyone who's actually played that video game, but it was a huge part of my childhood. I wore a pretty simple outfit today: my black rave pants, my Ed Hardy shirt, & my favorite sneakers. I brought a jacket in case I needed it, but I didn't. As I was walking I saw a pigeon laying on the ground with its head off of its usual axis. It was dead. I stopped by the convenience store & took my time looking around because I was early. I settled on an iced coffee & a package of Hello Panda. I tried this mango lemonade, but didn't end up getting it. I began to regret it as I sat at the bus stop though, 'cause it tasted better & better the more the flavor lingered on my tongue.

Classes were typical. We have this math project & I'm in charge of the poster, but this girl in my group kept trying to nab my job for some reason. She wanted me to make all of the images & diagrams for the poster, but wanted to take the poster home with her. How the hell is that supposed to work? I can't trust her to do the diagram either, because she sits next to me & I know she wouldn't do it right. I watched her try to do the diagram & she did it totally wrong & I want a good grade, so I'm just going to do it. It's not like I appointed myself, either. We all decided that I'd do it & then she kept trying to change it. It was weird. It felt weird. Then we were doing these mental math exercises, they were about twelve questions, & she asked me about like ten of the twelve fucking questions. Just back to back to back as I was trying to write my answers. It was really grating. Also, any time I explained it to her she didn't get it. For example: .25 times 60 is 15. I knew this because half of 60 is 30, & half of that is 15. I explained this & it didn't make sense to her. Or 48 times .5 is 24, because half of 48 is 24. How else can I possibly explain that?

After that I went to my speech class & it was more fun than usual. We spent almost the whole class talking to each other. One girl told me I seemed really smart, that I seemed really knowledgable, that she could just tell. I didn't know how to respond, so I just said thank you. We were supposed to ask each other what the other person knew about our speech topic, & I chose the Black Death. Apparently no one knows what the Black Death is, which is cool , because that means my speech can just be abou the basics. I mentioned to someone that as a kid I was super into readong about the plague & they thought it was weird. I guess it is, but oh well. Then I talked to this other guy about The Witcher. He's going to get a Witcher themed tattoo. Apparently it's a book, so I'm going to check it out. It seems cool.

After that, I came home, took a walk & played Minecraft. Well actually, before I came home I ate a delicious bacon cheeseburger. And before I went on my walk, I pet my dog. Anyways I played Minecraft & listened to a Jerma stream for a couple of hours, ate some sourdough & butter toast, & now I'm here. It feels like I haven't done much today, but I think that's just because of the time change. It feels like it should be later than it is, because it got dark so early. I'm probably going to take a shower, draw in my sketchbook, & then play some more Minecraft. I'm going to do my essay tomorrow, because I have this span of about five or six hours between my teaching observation & when I head to my evening class, so for tonight, I'm just going to focus on enjoying myself.

11/07/2023 / 11:54 PM
Threw up so much this morning that I began to choke on my own vomit. I was alone in the bathroom, but grabbed my throat instinctively. Got an iced coffee. Had that vomit taste in my mouth all day. I think it's just in my head at this point. Took the bus. Bought my dad a Dr. Pepper. Wasted time. Went on a walk & didn't notice the sky. Wrote an essay. Played Minecraft. Did math homework then gave up because I can feel my hair & my clothes & nothing else. I feel overwhelmed. I feel like everything's caving in on me, starting with my stomach crunching in on itself this morning & now my clothes & my hair. And my missing sketchbook & pencils. They're all out to get me. When I feel like this, I close my eyes & pretend that I'm whale fall, just decomposing.

11/06/2023 / 10:10 PM
Have a lot to write, but no time because I have to wake up at 5:20 AM tomorrow. I was just going to stay up until 12 AM or so, do my teaching observation stuff, then go home & take a nap, but my dad's really insistent that I don't do that for some reason. He asked me two or three times when I was going to bed. It's annoying. Everyone loves telling me to be more independent until being independent means making my own decisions. Last week, my mom was yelling at me because I don't work enough & "don't contribute enough." I work more than I even should. I'm taking enough credit hours that I should just be going to school, but I also work 15-20 hours a week to pay for my classes, but apparently that's not enough. My sister is also going to school, but she's not working & she's taking out student loans instead of going to a community college, but I'm the one who isn't doing enough. Then she got annoyed when she asked me Sunday if I could watch my brother this Friday & I told her no, because I'm working. And because she told me last minute as if I don't have a work schedule that I adhere to. Stupid. But I'm not working enough though! I need to have kids & work sixty hours a week like her! I need to match her self inflicted suffering, then I'll finally be good & virtuous & I'll be able to whine & go poor me & I'll be able to tsk-tsk people who do less than me. That's the ideal! Also just the idea that I'm not contributing enough... as if I should contribute anything. Who even knows what she meant by that? Bills? Does she want me to pay bills for the house that I visit less than a week out of each month? Does she want me to pay her gas bill for the car that she has while I take the bus? I'm sick of oweing people. I don't owe my parents just because they decided to have me. That decision had nothing to do with me. I'm not indebted to them & my mom's attempts at a guilt trip don't even get me out of bed, let alone on a trip. The things she says are so transparently manipulative. When I told my dad that she texted me, he asked what she wanted from me. That's who she is.

Enough about her. I had a pretty good day today. I woke up before my alarm, woke up happy, went straight to school & drank a lychee Ramune & ate some vending machine chips & had a generic school day. My dad got upset because he had to wait thirty or so seconds while I looked for his car. I don't get people who aren't patient... What difference does getting angry make? It doesn't speed things along. It does the exact opposite; It's just a waste of time. Then I came home & ate & went on a walk. For some reason even though we were eating the exact same thing, my stepmom prepared my dad food & didn't heat my food up. She's done this before & my dad's pointed it out. All she would've needed to do was pour some extra soup in a pot, soup I already made yesterday. It wouldn't be any extra work. She also took my clothes out of the dryer, but didn't put any laundry in the washer or dryer. She just did it. for some reason, only she didn't put it in a hamper, she just stuck it in a heap on the couch? What did that accomplish? All it did was strike me as inconsiderate. I was washing a bunch of socks & underwear, so as I was carrying them from the couch to my room, they kept falling from my arms. What was the point of sticking them on the couch? She always asks to wear my clothes too, like that's just a normal thing. It's really annoying. But everyone also simultaneously makes fun of my clothes, her included. I always just avoid saying anything. Surely it's normal to not want to share my clothes, right? Anything I have, she wants. If I buy myself some sort of snack & she sees it, she wants it, but that would never work the other way around. She can ask me for things & I can't ask her for things. Anyways, after I moved my laundry, some time passed & she somewhat aggressively called my name & told me that I need to move my laundry, but again, I already did. So I asked her if she even checked before asking me this, 'cause I did it pretty soon after I came home, but she said she just got confused. I'm sure she did, but that's why you should speak kindly. Who knows when you're going to be wrong?

Enough about her. I went for a walk & I forgot to mention this earlier, but the sky was so incredible to watch on the drive home. The clouds were just so commanding of my attention. They were beautiful. They were beautiful on my walk, too. My dad sent me an angry text on my walk, accusing me of treating the house as a "dumping ground" or some overly dramatic turn of phrase. What was I guilty of? I left my empty bowl on the table after I ate, & I took my shoes off when I came in, but didn't bring them to my room. He was mad about a pair of shoes & a bowl. He wastes so much of his life feeling angry about such insignificant things. He wasn't always like this, but for the past few years a lot of what's defined him in my mind has been his anger. He's always angry, like my sister, like my mom. I feel bad for them. It's not good anger that they feel, either. It's not righteous anger or anger that moves them, it's just anger that sits & rots in their stomachs, so they try & expel it from their throats through yelling. They don't even see what they're doing either.

Enough about him & enough about them. After my walk, I watched a movie & then what else? I don't know. I feel like I didn't do a lot. I don't know if I'd mentioned this, but I was cleaning my room last night, so my dad told me that I need to finish it today, as if I wasn't already going to do that. & I told him that I was already planning on it & he started waxing on about promises & how I needed to do what I was going to say, as if I wasn't already planning on doing these things. He does this any time I clean or when I'm doing schoolwork or something. He tells me things that I'm already doing as though he's making me do them. It's always bothered me & I've told him that it bothers me, but he thinks that it's silly so he disregards what I think. In my family, it doesn't matter what Vashti thinks or feels unless there's a justification, but the catch is that Vashti can't justify herself. So in essence, nothing I really think or feel matters until someone external has decided that it matters, as is the case with the cleaning & whatnot. So I was clenaing my room & then my dad came in & asked me when I was going to bed, but also said that my room "needed to be spotless" before I went to sleep... I don't get what he wants. He kept telling me how it's really important I do a good job tomorrow & have the right demeanor, but he hasn't showed this concern once. My task is also just sitting in a room & taking notes for two hours. It's really hard to mess that up. Also I had a panic attack before three or four of these observations, so I don't want someone telling me that it's really crucial & important that I don't mess anything up & that I be good & perfect & look good & do a good job & be good, good, good, but also not tell me how to do so. He kust kept telling me not to be tired. I have to wake up at 5:20 tomorrow. I'm going to be tired no matter what.

Despite all of this, I've been doing really well today. I just feel like everyone's conspiring against that feeling for some reason, but it's not working.

This is what the sky looked like from the car window on the way home from school today.

11/05/2023 / Glass Cup
This glass illuminated by the hallway light & the fridge light looked like a painting to me. I spent an hour or so today clearing out old photos because my phone storage is full. For every photo I get rid of, I take three more. It's like a hydra.

11/05/2023 / 1:15 AM
Woke up to my dog jumping on top of me while I was asleep in bed. Work was lame, but it's okay because I don't work again until next Friday! I was planning on taking the train into the city to get some udon after work, but now we're going to make it a family trip next Saturday (I'm off) & E's going to come with. So instead of going twice, after work I went to H-MArt & got some udon. It tasted even better than usual. Not sure why. I've been a lot hungrier these past few days. I normally skip breakfast & sometimes lunch because I'm not very hungry, but for the past week or so I've been having breakfast, lunch, dinner & snacks (& my nightly chocolate milk). Everything tastes better. I didn't realize how bad I had been feeling until I started feeling better these past few days. I think that I'm happy again. I finished my miso soup & then my udon & then my dad wasn't very hungry so I ate his mozza dog. There was a band playing some groovy music while we ate. We were close to the stage, so it was hard to talk. I really liked their music but my dad didn't. He agreed that it was good music for studying though. I drank a coke. At H Mart I bought myself some snacks, too, but kept it cheap. I think I only spent $14, which isn't bad considering the amount of things I got: two drinks & some choco snacks & dried seaweed & something else... Can't remember. Everything I'd bought was something I hadn't tried. Maybe it was justa brand or specific flavor that I hadn't tried, but I tried to only buy things that were brand new. I remember now! I got a custard bun. Anyways, I loaded up on snacks & already ate my seaweed snacks during a movie earlier. It was so good. Easily one of my new favorite snacks. The texture was indescribably perfect.

After getting home, I took a walk & then fell asleep. Woke up with my arms around my dog & it was dark out. The only reason I actually got up was because I set an alarm. I could've slept for hours. Then I went on another quick walk, did my work on a book that I didn't read, & watched a movie, Throne of Blood directed by Akira Kurosawa. Feeling sleepy again. & kind of hungry.

11/04/2023 / 2:23 AM
Can't write much because I'm so sleepy. I'm the sleepiest girl in the world. Well maybe not the world, but at least the neighborhood. Just drank some choco milk. I've had chocolate milk or hot cocoa every night for the past week or so. I don't know why, but I've really been craving it. Got ingredients to make a potato & leek soup. Leeks are bigger than I thought. As I was holding them in my hands to wash them in the sink, it reminded me of Hastune Miku. I can't wait for the soup. Maybe I'll make it tomorrow after work. I have next Saturday off, yippee! I just finished watching Everything Everywhere All at Once. Love is real & kindness is what matters. It made me cry. Multiple times. It's one of my favorite movies now.

11/02/2023 / November to-do
  • dry clean my winter coat
  • clean sheets on bed
  • clean closet
  • driver's test
  • planner (?)
  • watch lots of movies
  • read lots of books
  • learn some recipes
  • eat more
  • get passport
  • finish the semester (so close)
  • only ten days of work until December
  • don't have any panic attacks

  • 11/02/2023 / 12:37 AM
    I slept in today & had strange dreams. I woke up & my mom made my brother & I breakfast sandwiches which was nice. I didn't finish mine because she put Miracle Whip on it & it was really gross. I ate it until she went outside to smoke, then peeled the eggs off, ate the eggs, & tossed the bread. I don't like wasting food, but I'm not going to eat something I hate.

    I played Animal Crossing for a while after breakfast, repeatedly asked my brother to quit running into the chair that I'm sitting in while he plays indoor hockey, explained that the entire reason that I moved to the room I was in was so I didn't have to hear him scrape a hockey stick on the wooden floor nonstop, then he went upstairs to play & the sound of scraping was replaced by the sound of heavy footsteps as he ran around upstairs. After that I went for a walk, but the way my coat was hanging on my bosy was bothering me, so I went home after only fifteen minutes or so. Before I left, I saw a couple of herons & a small falcon of some sort. It was a cold day. I came home, brushed my teeth, changed into something more comfortable (baggy), & switched bags, by which I mean I migrated all of my pins & most of my keychains from my orange messenger bag to this colorful (plaid?) white messenger bag. It's smaller, but still large enough to hold my laptop. It's easier on my shoulder, less heavy, & the orange one is almost completely ripped through on the strap, so I need to sew it shut. I also think that I just wanted some sort of change.

    After putzing around for a bit, I took my brother to the movies. My mom never lets him have soda, but this time she said it was alright so we each got a bottle of Dr. Pepper to sneak in. It's cheaper than buying drinks at the theatre, even one drink actually. We brought some candy that he got while trick or treating last night & we bought popcorn, didn't butter it. I don't like the way that buttered popcorn feels on my hands. It was my first time watching The Nightmare Before Christmas. I mean, I'm sure that it's been on in the background before, but I've never watched it. It was alright, but my brother really liked it & that's what matters. We finished an entire small sized thing of small popcorn together, which is actually more than it sounds. We were the only ones in the theatre, too. I mean, it was 1:00 PM on a Wednesday afternoon. After the movie we got burgers. Well, my mom met up with us so we could go bowling with E & surprised us with burgers. I finished about two-thirds of mine before I was full. Too bad, because it was a really delicious cheeseburger.

    Bowling was fun. I haven't gone bowling in quite literally a decade, so I wasn't very good. I did manage to knock all of the pins down once, but it was a spare & not a strike. I didn't really want to play, but my mom glared at me whenever I said that my arm hurt so my brother could go instead of me. I don't know why it matters to her. I think I've told her probably at least half a dozen times before going that I didn't want to bowl. Anyways, it was fun. None of us talked very much, so it went well. My brother was gloating the entire time, which is hard to take seriously from a nine year old wearing a Sonic onesie, so it came across as cute instead of poor sportsmanship. E ended up winning.

    After an hour of bowling, I kissed my brother goodbye & E & I went off to hang out before our 7:00 PM showing of Spirited Away. We ended up sitting in a coffee shop as E did a school assignment. It was about two hours, but the time passed quickly. I brought my computer, did a quiz, & we talked most of the time. We talked about Japanese food for a while. because I want to learn to cook. I did an online quiz & got a 92. I could retake it for a higher score, but I don't feel like it. After this, we went to the theatre.

    E had never seen Spirited Away before & ended up really liking it. It's my favorite Studio Ghibli movie personally. She'd never seen a Studio Ghibli movie before aside from part of Ponyo, but says that she'd like to see more. She really wants to see Howl's Moving Castle. It's probably towards the bottom of my personal list, but I still really like it. I think if I were to choose one to show her, I'd pick Kiki's Delivery Service. I like Ponyo more, but I think it would be comforting to E.

    After the movie, we stopped at this convenience store that had just recently opened up. It was huge & smelled like cleaner. We stopped because gas was cheap & went in because I've passed by it for the past year or so any time I take the bus & now it's finally open. I got a slushie because the place was new so their slushi machine wasn't out of order yet & they sell Ramune, and for cheaper than what the grocery store sells them for. I got lychee, my favorite flavor, but if I'd realized how cheap they were, I'd have gotten at least a melon & original. E got some type of drink that was 5% alcohol in this giant can. I don't know what it was. I thought it was peach tea at first. E & I agreed that we should go back. I reminded her to fill up her tank before leaving & she dropped me off at home. I mentioned that I felt like I didn't think all day today. She didn't seem to get what I'd meant & then I explained that I didn't stop to think about things because I was too busy having fun & she said that's a good thing. We said our I love yous & I walked into the quiet house.

    The slurpee made me think of Heathers, so I watched Heathers after making myself some rice for dinner. The movie was a bit longer than I'd thought, but it doesn't really matter because I just have to be up by 9:00 AM tomorrow, though I'm probably going to get up at 8:30 AM to shower & get my things sorted. (I have another teaching observation). I'd originally planned to put Heathers on in the background, but I got too engrossed in the movie & watched it start to finish. I've been trying to watch more movies lately.

    I feel like I don't have much to say because like I said, I spent the day not thinking. If I go to bed now, I'll get eight hours of sleep. I feel like I've been sleeping more lately.

    11/01/2023 / 12:28 AM
    I don't even remember what I was writing about. Sad Halloween. It was a sad Halloween. I really struggle with holidays, because I'm never as happy as anyone else, as I chould be, as I could be. My birthday's definitely the worst of it, bt each holiday feels like this marker where I realize that I'm not as happy as anyone else.

    I just cleaned the kitchen. My brother fell asleep on the couch watching Spongebob & playing Roblox as I was typing earlier, so I decided to just clean while he was asleep. My mom told us earlier to clean the kitchen, & all I could think was Come on, it's Halloween... and I guess she could tell, because she told us to do it as soon as we wake up tomorrow morning. My brother is skipping school so we can have a fun day together, so I'm not going to let cleaning get in the way of that. Things like cleaning are so easy when they're for someone else, it's when it's for myself that I find it difficult. I wonder why. Maybe I feel undeserving of any kindness. I know I'm not, but there's a difference between knowing & feeling & they can be contradictory but simultaneous.

    My brother managed to stay asleep amidst the clattering of a sink full of dishes & the washer & dryer & my footsteps up & down the stairs a few times. I used to be a heavy sleeper. Ever since my manic episode I've had trouble with waking up at the slightest provocation. It's nt unusual for me to wake up repeatedly throughout the night. Maybe it's just because I'm older. What woke my brother up was when I turned on the bathroom light so he'd have a night light. Then since he was awake, I asked if he wanted to sleep on the bed or the couch & he said the couch. If I were strong enough, I'd just carry him to bed. I wonder when the last time I was carried to bed was? I wonder when the last time I pretended to be asleep so someone would carry me was? I don't remember it, & no one else does either. That moment is just gone. I offered to get him a pillow & when I came back downstairs he was already asleep again. I nudged him & gave him his pillow & "bankie," which is this (now) off white, holey (& maybe holy), threadbare rag that he loves. As I sat back down in the recliner next to the couch to write this, he poked his head up from his sleep & said he loved me & thank you for getting me my pillow & my bankie. He said it in this really soft voice that I rarely hear from him. Maybe it was the sleep, but he sounded much younger than he really is.

    10/31/2023 / 10:38 PM
    Feeling melancholic. I was on a bit of an upswing this morning, but what goes up must come down- It's just simple science. I wish it could have lasted a bit longer.

    The plan was for me & my little brother to go trick or treating, but my mom & stepdad & brother's friend & brother's friend's mom & brother's friend's mom's boyfriend came & it was annoying. They were all so slow, and my mom brought her dog in this stupid stroller. They all felt like a hindrance. My brother & I kept outpacing them really easily. & my mom kept telling them to go up to houses with no decorations, so obviously no one answered their door. My brother's friend's mom('s boyfriend) kept getting on him about properly wearing his mask & his costume & blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. They kept nagging the kid & all I could think was Who gives a shit? His costume was very obviously bothering him, so why should he have to wear it for hours? The mom also made a comment that really annoyed me. She's our next door neighbor & mentioned how she just recently brought her cat inside because it killed "sixteen birds." Sixteen birds. It took sixteen dead birds for her to keep the cat inside. This speaks for itself. I wonder if that dead rabbit on our drivewaywas from that cat? It was killed & uneaten, which fits that cat's M.O.

    I'm writing about all of these meaningless things because this Halloween was meaningless to me. It was like any other night. I didn't dress up & had the accute feeling that this would be more fun if I went out instead of all of this nonsense. If I'd known we were going to form an entire expedition for candy, I don't think that I would've taken my brother. I think he thought the same thing too. I've already mentioned this, but for the past month or so, he & I were planning on skipping school tomorrow, seeing FNAF, & going bowling. My mom had us see FNAF as a family which interfered with our already established plans, & now she's coming with us while we go bowling tomorrow. My brother was telling me how he doesn't want her to come & that he wants it to be just us & E. And he really wanted to see a movie with me the day after Halloween, so now we're going to an afternoon showing of The Nightmare Before Christmas, and my mom made some comment about how she didn't want to do that, or how it was a bad idea, or how my brother wouldn't want to do something like that. I didn't say this because it would sound rude, but all I could think was that No one asked you! This is about my brother, & he wants to see a movie, so we're going to see a movie. She was also annoyed that the plan is to go bowling at 3 PM, & asked me why & I told her it's because E is coming like we'd planned weeks ago & she has class tomorrow. I just don't get why she's interfering with all of our plans. She always does this. My brother mentioned that every time I try to take him with me to see one of my friends our mom somehow gets involved. Last time my mom, a friend, & myself were together she interrogated me about my college plans in front of my friend. It was embarassing. E's Asian too & I'm sure my mom is going to make some stupid fucking comment, so I really don't want them to meet one another. Any time my mom meets one of my friends, it's like she goes out of my way to humiliate me. It's not just me either, my brother & dad have mentioned it. & then there's also the fact that E knowns way more about me than my parents do, so I basically told her anything important about me? Don't bring it up. I don't really think that my parents know much about me at all... I'm someone else when I talk to them, & that person is not myself. I feel like they don't know anything about me.

    I'm also hesitant to spend tomorrow with our mom because she just totally flips. For example, we're watching our movie last Sunday as a family, all is well. We stop to get burgers & my mom starts getting annoyed; She starts acting blatantly rude & I ask her what her problem is. I go inside with my brother to buy the burgers & he asks me what her problem is, I tell him that I have no idea. I get back in the car & she starts yelling at me about sales tax & how I don't contribute. She says that I don't get it, because I don't understand what it's like to have 1/3 of my paycheck taken away. I tell her that I do understand because I have a job & when I get paid it shows me how much is deducted for taxes & whatnot & it's actually a little more than 1/3. She tells me that I'm wrong or that I'm lying & I'm really insitent that I'm not, because I know I'm not. She always does this. She always tries to tell me I'm wrong about things that I know are true. Then she starts yelling about Narcan & junkies & asks me if I'm okay with the fact that some of my money I earned is paying for that. I say yeah, because I am. Then she asks if people who make bad choices deserve to be taken care of & deserve to live & I say yeah? Why wouldn't they? & then she just keeps yelling the entire ride home. Then she flips out at my stepbrother because he parked in her spot. Then she leaves to take my sister back to her dorm, comes back with ice cream for us & acts like nothing happened. & she's always like this. I have no idea what to expect when I'm with her & I don't like it, because when I say I don't know what to expect what I really mean is I don't know if she's going to act nice or at the very least in a proportionate manner to the things going on around her or if she's going to be hyper aggressive & mean to me & not explain why. So yeah, I don't really feel inclined to spend tomorrow with her.

    10/31/2023 / Trying to reflect
    Trying to reflect on this past month, but my head's doing that thing where every surface is a mirror so you end up seeing nothing. Or should I say mind instead of head? Head seems too biological, but it's not incorrect. I guess it's like conflating the heart & the soul. I wonder why people do that? It seems we always have. The ancient Egyptians thought the heart was the seat of the soul, & that it made all of your decisions, so that's like saying the heart & soul & mind are one. I asked my dad a week or two ago if he believed that people have souls, and he gave me an emphatic yes which surprised me, because I'm the religious one of the family, and I'm only barely religious. He said "It might just be a subset of your circulatory system or something, but it's there." When he said it, it seemed like the most natural thing in the world to me. People used to think our hearts held our souls, so it would make sense that it's somewhere in the circulatory system. It seemed random at first, but it made perfect sense.

    10/30/2023 / 11:28 PM
    Quick entry, because I have a teaching observation early in the morning & need to go to bed by midnight. Feeling like a dog that needs to be put down. Feeling nervous about tomorrow, nervous about being nervous. I had a panic attack during one of my earlier observtaions. I feel scared of nothing. I feel scared of the warm & lingering ghost of earlier fears. My back & shoulder are feeling a lot better, but my little brother fell & grabbed my arm while I was helping him with his homework & now it's back to hurting. I overheard him telling my mom that he loves when I teach him & that I'll be a good teacher when I'm older.

    I went on a night walk & thought my mom would tell my little brother that he couldn't tag along, but she did, which is unfortunate, because when he went to go ask her I texted her telling her to say no. Then a few hours after we got back, she texted saying that she just saw my message. I wanted to go on a walk & sulk, but it's very hard to sulk when you have a bubbly nine year old bouncing around next to you. When we passed particularly scary Halloween decorations, he scurried along a little bit faster. It was endearing.

    Head was in the clouds today. The sky has been very cloudy. I find myself getting lost in it.

    10/29/2023 / 4:28 PM
    Wow, it's been three whole days since I've written here. I suppose I'm just not doing well. I've felt really exhuasted, really tired. Physically tired, but tired of what's going on. I don't want to hurt anymore. I want to feel better. I worked Friday & Saturday & both shifts were difficult. I will say that my pain has eased up quite a bit though. It doesn't really hurt to sit or stand anymore, now it only hurts when I make use of my arms, which is a lot of the time, but now it's not constant. I've felt really down, but not sad, just low.

    It makes me sad when I think about what high hopes I had for the month & what's actually happened. I'm finding that a lot of my disppointments come from expectation of how things should be, but it's okay. Even if hope leads to disappontment over & over & over again, I will still feel hopeful. It's the only thing that can sustain me, & I don't think I'd be myself if I didn't feel hope. I'm saying feel hope like it's a feeling, but really it's a verb, an action. I am hoping for things.

    This cold front came in & it was making me feel funny as I went on a walk. It dropped almost 40 degrees overnight. It feels like winter now. Part of me feels scared, but as I was walking, I felt really connected to myself somehow, my old selves from earlier winters. I don't know what it was. The feeling of the cold, the feelig of the wind, it felt really familiar. It didn't feel bad, but I still felt kind of melancholic. Normally I look at who I used to be & feel so different, but earlier I felt the same. It was like nostalgia, but it didn't feel good, & it didn't feel particularly bad actually. I don't have a word to describe how it felt. I feel like I'm going to get through winter & that the end is in sight. My future & all of the plans I've made feel real, even though they don't exist yet.

    10/26/2023 / My younger self
    I have a paper due tomorrow night that I was going to work on, but I was thinking about my younger self, my younger selves. I wonder if she'd like me? I'm really not sure. I've never had high hopes for myself, but I think she'd be disappointed. I like myself as I am now though. I wonder if that means I've learned forgiveness or if I've become permissive with myself. Well, my eighteen & nineteen & twenty year old selves would be impressed with me, I think. Maybe it's a sign of maturity? I've forgiven all of my past selves for not doing what they're supposed to, for not washing their hair, for not passing their classes, for letting people speak to them or touch them, for not doing the things that would make my life easier right now. I think that any time I feel down about myself, in the end, my future self will forgive me completely. I will always have her.

    10/26/2023 / 4:40 PM
    After my doctor's visit & after my mom made me go shopping with her as I stood around in a lot of pain, there was a dead rabbit in our driveway. We've had heavy rains these past few days & it was so soaked that I thought it was a bird at first. I thought it was a bird because one of its organs were hanging out, milky white, and I thought it was an egg from afar. I don't know what it was for certain. I don't know what killed the small rabbit. It wasn't eaten at all & was mostly intact aside from the fact that its internal organs were now external. If a person were found to be dead that way, it would appear to be some sort of violent serial murder, with its surgical precision.

    10/26/2023 / 4:07 PM
    Had such an illuminating doctor's visit: Oh, you're expereincing shoulder pain? I diagnose you with "right shoulder pain." Yeah, don't go lifting things at work, but I also can't write you a note, you know? Paper work & all that. I'm sure your boss will just take your word for it that you saw me. Oh, and laying in bed is no good. But it hurts to move? As long as you're less than a 3/10 on the pain scale then you can just go about your day anyways. What do you mean you're in 3/10 pain just sitting? Anyways, ignoring that, you have to go to physical therapy. Yeah, when you set up your appointment, don't give them a real diagnosis, just say "right shoulder pain," they'll know what to do. And you lost two pounds! Congratulations! Anyways, give me money now.

    10/25/2023 / 11:31 PM
    Another painful day. I'm learning that prolonged pain isn't even just pain, it's monotony. Every day for the past week has had the same painful veil over it. Hurts to sleep: fell asleep at 2 AM, woke up at 5:30 AM, went back to sleep at 7 AM, woke up at 7:30 AM, went back to sleep at 9:30 AM, woke up at 11:20 AM. Tried & failed to go to the doctor. The doctor I set up an appointment with failed to mention that they won't take my insurance unless I switch to them as my PCP. Wow. If not for that failed doctor's visit, I could've slept from 7 AM to 11:20 AM, but no. Now I have an appointment somewhere else for tomorrow instead, with my regular doctor, because apparently I need to shell over twenty bucks for him to send me somewhere else. I shouldn't think of it like that; twenty bucks for a doctor's note is what it is. Twenty bucks for peace of mind.

    I went to my classes, my math prof gave me an extension on our work till next week because it hurts me so badly to hold a pencil & write. Then I had a small speech project that I got a 100 on... Then I met up with E, we drove to the grocery store to buy movie snacks, I bought myself a cheeseburger, we watched Killers of the Flower Moon, I came home to tuck my brother in, I played Animal Crossing for a few minutes, our sister called & thought that when I mentioned sharing an appartment with her after I graduate that I meant she wouldn't contribute to rent (which is insane), drank water, & that's it. Oh & I rubbed my back with a liniment a few times. I don't know. A lot happened today, but I don't know what to write. Maybe I'm just tired. I wonder how long I slept last night? Not a lot. My back hurts. I'm in pain.

    10/24/2023 / 12:15 AM
    I had a nothing day, by which I mean I did nothing but lay around in pain for the majority of the day. I have a doctor's appointment for Wednesday now. I couldn't wait any longer. I need relief.

    I walked to the bus & it hurt. Then I waited for the bus & it hurt. Then I sat on the bus & it actually felt quite nice, because even though the bus was bumpy & whatnot, the vibrations felt good on my back. It was like a knockoff massage. I got to class & found that it hurt too much to lift my arm up to my desk & write, by which I mean I couldn't make myself do it, so I propped up my work on my lap & wrote in a hunched over & considerably more comfortable manner. After class, I took the bus to the library, because I only had one class today, & today my library got Blood on the Tracks volumes 13 & 14, which I'm really excited to read. Our library also has a small area where you can buy books for really cheap, so I bought The Virgin Suicides & a 50th anniversary volume of Peanuts. Having more time in which I needed to wait around till I could head home with my dad, I sat myself in the nearby coffee shop. I don't know what I did with my time there. All I know is that I was in a lot of pain & that it started pouring rain. My dad said he'd pick me up so I didn't have to walk, but it stopped raining & he told me to walk to meet him. I almost started crying while I was walking. Not out of pain, but out of the lack of consideration. He'd only have to drive a few minutes to get me, but instead he made me walk when it hurt badly to do so. Then he saw me & I guess it finally clicked that I'm actually hurt, because he asked how I was & I told him that I'm in a lot of pain. Then he made a joke, well a half joke, that I could shower when I got home, because he paid a plumber to fix our shower to which I laughed. Then he said that's not funny & I told him that I can't possibly take a shower right now, because I wouldn't be able to stand & also lift my arm up to wash my hair. Then I guess this is the point where he though oh, Vashti is hurt, because he became concerned & said I needed to go to the doctor, which I already knew. We spent most of the car ride in silence, until he made a comment saying that this is how he feels most days after work, alluding to the fact that I wasn't talking to him. I said your back hurts terribly & you can't move your arm? & he said the equivalent of that, & then I understood that never mind, he still doesn't get the severity of things, or he refuses to, or he does, but needs to make it about himself. And you know, the only reason I wasn't talking to him in the car is because last Friday when we were in the car together, he said that what I have to say is "mundane" & "boring" & not worth saying, so why should I talk to him?

    I got home & laid down on my bed. I did a lot of nothing, played Animal Crossing, watched Lady Bird. I took a short walk in the evening, because laying in bed for several hours was making me lose it, & that's about all I did. I took a bath, because again, I don't think that I can manage a shower. I wouldn't mind forgetting today. I feel sad & I feel like no one really cares about me.

    I'm going to try & get some sleep.

    10/23/2023 / Rain
    The sky went from this blue to a complete downpour in less than an hour. I'm watching it through the window.

    10/23/2023 / A few sky photos from earlier

    10/23/2023 / 12:00 AM
    I'm in a lot of pain still. It's becoming monotonous. I did very little today: I did no chores, I went for two very short walks, I sat up to eat dinner at the table, & then I spent the rest of my day lying on either the couch or my bed or the bathtub. I'm in so much pain. Maybe 'discomfort' is more apt. It's physical discomfort, pain in moving, pain in breathing, pain in sitting, but it's also mental. Everything in this room is a mess because it hurts too much to clean it. It hurts so much to lift my arm that I'm actually dressed in my clothes for school tomorrow, because I don't want to have to change into pajammas & then into these clothes tomorrow. It's too much to manage. It just hurts too much. I just picked something comfortable enough to sleep in, even though my sleep won't be comfortable.

    As much as I don't want to admit it, I think I want someone to care that I'm hurt. I want someone to tell me poor Vashti, you should just stay in bed these next few days or here, let me handle that for you or I'm sorry that you're hurting or let me kiss your shoulder or I'll pay for your doctor's visit. I'm not even an inconvenience to anyone, because no one is trying to help me. I'm just a wailing thing to be ignored. Well, I'm not wailing. I'm just repeating in a mantra, This hurts. I hurt. I can't help you. This hurts. I can't get up. This hurts. I need to lay down. And like I'd mentioned, my sister is home & visiting & her lack of empathy is just incomprehensible to me. She told me that it's funny that I'm hurt & that she doesn't see why she should clean instead of me, because that's not fair & she tried to get me to carry a bag of ice into the house, as if that is something that I can possibly do. I really think that something is just wrong with her. She's always been this way. When she told me that she wanted to be a surgeon a few years ago, it made absolute sense to me, because I can't think of anyone more well equipped to cut into a sick person & feel nothing. I think I'm feeling some resentment bubbling up in my throat. I think I kind of hate her. I think she's a bad person. I think I wish that I had a different sister.

    I think that I need to stop writing soon, because laying in bed propped up against a pillow like this hurts. I think that I want someone to say that they feel bad for me. I think I want pity, because compassion isn't feasible.

    10/21/2023 / 11:34 PM
    I suffered a million agonies during my shift today. Really, my back just hurt so I was miserable. I can't lift my arm without my back feeling like it's going to rip into meaty shreds. I think if I don't feel better during these next few days that I have off, that I need to see a doctor. I think I might've really messed something up. I now think, almost for certain, that that something is my shoulder (blade) because 1) If I leave my right arm down & don't lift it, it really doesn't aggravate things very much and 2) When I first hurt my back & heard that noise that sounded like I curb stomped a bag of chips & glass, it was my right arm that was yanked downwards. What do I know though? I know that I'm in pain. I know that medicine hasn't fixed it. I know that it's getting worse. I know that even just standing up for long periods makes it hurt. I know pain & I know hurting. I know that there's no goodness in pain.

    Right after my shift, we went to pick up my sister from her dorm in the city & she told me she needed help & I told her as long as I didn't have to carry anything, it would be fine. My dad told me not to get out of the car & that she could move her things herself. I didn't protest. After my shift, just sitting up in the car hurt. It hurt with each inhalation. After a couple of trips that could have been one with my help, my sister got in the car & we went straight home. After I got home, I laid in the tub. Hot water. It was nice. Almost as nice as not being in pain to begin with. After my bath, I didn't have it in me to get dressed right away, so I just laid naked on the bed, flat on my back. I don't know how long I spent just laying there, but eventually I felt a bit cold & put on a long skirt & sweater & migrated to the couch, where I continued to lay flat on my back, trying to ignore the sensation of my breathing. It's funny that I say that, because normally it's the other way around for me. I propped myself up just enough to play on my DSi & played Animal Crossing for a bit, maybe a while. I don't know how long. I had no need for clocks today. The only way I really could feel time's passing was as my pain waxed & waned.

    After several hours of laying inside, in the tub, on my bed, on the couch, my back was feeling almost completely better & I decided to go for a walk before it got dark. On my walk, I saw one vulture fly overhead, then two, then four, then who knows how many? Something must have died by the train tracks. I stood in the empty field, making sure that I wouldn't miss any vultures in flight, and once I was satisfied, I walked home again to lay down.

    Took a pause from writing there to go listen to K.K. for a moment; I requested Steep Hill on a whim. It was a really nice song & I listened to it twice.

    I didn't really do much of note. I spent the majority of my day (oustide of work) hoizontally, only sitting up to type this & to do a school assignment. I read Gustave Flaubert's "A Simple Heart," amazing. I understand deeply the idea of birds as the divine, as worshipping birds in an idolatrous but innocent manner. We ate McDonald's for dinner for some reason. I ate a cheeseburger that had far too much ketchup on it. I drank a small frappe. Before that, I went on another short walk actually. Too late in the day to see any birds, so I watched the moon & the darkening sky.

    I don't really have much else to write. All of my thoughts right now are repetitive: I'm in pain. I'm in pain. I'm in pain. I'm in pain. What else is there to say? A lot, but nothing important enough for me to put myself through the pain of typing it.

    10/21/2023 / 12:09 AM
    I got a 103 on my math exam! Let's goooooooo! That brought my math grade from a 91 to a 97. Another Vashti win! I just finished eating some veggie chicken pho too, another Vashti win! And when I was playing Animal Crossing after work, I found that I finally have some orange cosmos! And my dad took me to get Starbucks, and paid for it! And he paid for the pho too! And E & I are going to the movies this Wednesday, lalala~ Even though my back hurts, life is good right now. I feel really happy from really small things. I'm looking forward to the coming days. Even my dreams have been sweet. I was worried that the earlier & earlier nights would gnaw away at my psyche, but I think that I'll be okay this time, and if I'm not, I have a lot of winters ahead to practice being okay.

    10/20/2023 / 10:54 PM
    Vashti had work today. It was alright. When I stepped outside of the building, I heard this mechanical howling, like a thing with metal lungs or gills was howling or gasping through them. It came from above, from the sky. It was loud & I have no language available to me to describe it. It sounded alive & inanimate at the same time. I looked around & couldn't see where it was coming from. When people say that God's nature or whatever is unknowable to people, I think that's what they mean. All words from God could be replaced by that awful howling. My reaction now is to try to conjure up some sort of explanation for it, to hypothesize, but I can't do that. There's no explanation for what I heard, & that's fine. The closest that I will get to understanding it is to accept that I never will. My reaction at the time of hearing it was to look around in bewilderment & then scurry inside & hope that I wouldn't be able to hear that noise through glass & doors. I really thought that maybe I was just imagining it, because it's not a noise that exists, not one that I've heard, it sounded imaginary, but the sound was muffled & then gone as I shut the door behind me, so maybe it really was real.

    I was really eager to get off of work, because my back hurt so badly. I'm beginning to think that it's not really my back; I think it's my shoulder, because it hurts whenever I move my right arm, especially when I carry things or even when I just lift my empty right hand above my head. My boss is pregnant, so normally I go out of my way to lift boxes & things for her, but by the time I had an hour or so left of my shift, I just called it. I told her you can grab stuff, or you can call someone from the kitchen to grab stuff for you, but Vashti's done, I can't do it anymore. She didn't argue with me.

    10/19/2023 / 4:38 PM
    I'm done with work today & I'm waiting for my night class to start; A small breath between the two. Normally Thursdays really wear me down, 'cause they're the only day of the week I have work & school on the same day, but today it's not too bad. I have real plans for my future now & this is temporary. One day I'll miss it.

    Completely unrelated, but I think I hurt my back. As I bent to grab my heavy purse & backpack, my back made this crunching sound as I lifted them. It was a mix between the crunch of chips & cartilage. It did not sound right at all. The fact that it came from my young & healthy body & not a broken window made it sound even more wrong. I tried to think nothing of it, tried because thoughts of back pain brought about thoughts of mortality. I didn't think about it for most of the day, until a few hours into my shift, I realized that I could still feel it. It's this pain, this pressure, the size of someone's fist in the middle of my back, slightly right of my spine. Then I thought of Ivan Ilyich. Then I thought I should stop thinking for a while. Then I thought that you know, twenty one years without hurting my back once, that's a pretty good run. None of these things change the reality of the fact that even sitting completely still my back is humming in pain. It's not horrible pain by any means, not agonizing, but it feels as though someone is stepping on my back. I could point exactly to the spot their invisible heel is right now.

    10/19/2023 / 12:38 AM
    My life is actually right now & there's no amount of waiting or preparing that will change that. This is my life whether or not I am ready for it. These days right now, I'm going to miss them one day. I'm going to look back at pictures of this one day & I'll think to myself how I miss it & I'll never have it back, all the while I'll be living days that I'll miss even later on. It never ends. These days are precious whether I realize it or not. Time is passing & it's the time for me to live my life, to really think about it, to do it consciously. I keep thinking to myself that my future, it doesn't exist yet. I think of the future as this inevitability I'm hurtling towards, but I can change it. I can change my life. To change my life, I just need to leave each day completely differently. I need to do things on purpose. I can change my life. I can give myself whatever life I want. I can.

    The world is so beautiful & we can live however we want. Our futures aren't here yet & what we do now can & will change them drastically. A lot to think about. I think I knew this before, but I'm only now understanding the weight of it. Only the weight isn't burdensome, it's really freeing. It doesn't feel like a weight at all, it feels like the most natural thing in the world. It feels like a thing that frees. It's like having a bird on your shoulder.

    10/17/2023 / Feeling good again; Feeling not new, but different
    I feel better. Everything that was bothering me is no longer bothering me. Feels weightless, or rather, I feel nothing but the weight of my own two feet firmly on the ground- nothing more than that & nothing less. I'm alive & can do what I want & am confident in my decisions. I cannot choose wrong, because there is no right answer. It's not a matter of whether or not I deserve things or if they're frightening, it's a matter of what I want & I know what I want now.

    10/16/2023 / 11:17 PM
    I had a nice day again & still feel melancholic. Went to school & did my math homework & then saw E. I surprised her with a drink, 'cause she brought me Starbucks a few years ago & Vashti like reciprocity. So does E. So I told her, Do not Venmo me money for this, or we will be in an eternal Starbucks limbo where we ambush one another with drinks for the rest of our lives. E seems sick, well she said she wasn't feeling one hundred percent & was wearing a mask again, but I mean she seems sick in the spiritual sense, in the way that working at a fast food place makes you sick. Only she's not working at a fast food place, she's actually not allowed to work at all 'cause of the type of visa she has, she's becoming a CNA. We couldn't talk for long before class, only fifteen minutes or so. The only reason I realized that the time had passed was 'cause my prof & one of my classmates walked by & my prof called out to me Better not be late to class Vashti! I can see that you're here today! E asked if I was normally late & I have actually never been late to that class, but in this instance class was starting in three minutes & was in a different building on another floor, so the reminder was much appreciated. I made it on time, actually before my prof somehow, which is weird because I took the elevator, but hey, I made it. Class was fine & then E texted saying that she has the book taht she wants to lend me, when does my class end & I told her the time & the ten minute window I had between classes, but she didn't respond, so I just went to class as usual. I brought one of my Sonny Angels with me to school today. I have two, a giraffe & an anteater, & I brought the anteater. There's this girl in class that I was talking to that had one glued onto her phone, actually two girls, and so I brought mine like it was show & tell. Class was fine again. E texted in the middle of class saying that she can't believe that she texted me & didn't check her phone for a response & that she could bring me my book when class ended. I waited a few minutes, but my mom was picking me up from school today & she'd get pissed if she had to wait at all. She even texted me the moment that class ended asking where I was... I was in class. So I told E sorry, but I couldn't wait today & as I'd gotten into the car she asked where I was & I said that I was already leaving. I felt bad, but E said she understood. I was going to ask if she was mad at me, but then I thought that would be pathetic & if she were upset with me that would be alright, because people can't be happy with me all the time. I mean, I knew she wasn't. She texted later about Sunday plans, but I'll be over at my dad's house, thirty or so minutes away, so I told her maybe next Sunday.

    I came home & my brother wasn't home yet for some reason, and it took him about fifteen or twenty so minutes to get home after me. He has a new bus route, which is annoying. I went on a brief walk, then I came home expecting him & found no one. He finally came home, we ate dinner, well lunch, & I asked him what he did in school. He showed me a packet of the schoolwork that he's done & I asked him about each page, because it's interesting to me & it pertains to what I'm learning in school. He was showing me how he was adding fractions & subtracting decimals, which is literally what my test on Wednesday is on, how grade schoolers add & subtract fractions, decimals, & integers. Well, he's not doing negative numbers yet, but I wasn't expecting him to. We actually became so engrossed in talking about his schoolwork that my mom had to come in & remind us that we were eating, that there was food in front of us.

    After our lunch came what my brother was really waiting for: Ramune. The kid loves Ramune. Every time he sees me, he asks for Ramune, so I bought some last time I was at the grocery store. I got our favorite melon one, and a new (to us) flavor, yuzu. The yuzu tasted exactly like ginger ale to me, he said it tasted like Sprite. Same thing basically. I also got us some chocolate Hello Panda to share, which he's fond of. I am too, but I think he likes it more than I do. As we snacked, we sat in the living room. I played Animal Crossing on my DSi, he played Roblox or something. We watcehd Jerma, because the kid loves Jerma, one of his House Flipper streams. We spent a while in childlike contentment till he started playing with my mom's dog & got too noisy for me, so I went on a walk. He asked me to take him with me, but I told him I'd take him later. I walked & felt gut wrenchingly sad, passed an ice cream truck several times, & somehow the truck & I ended up on our street together as I came back home, so I called my brother out to flag the truck down while I grabbed my wallet. He picked a Spongebob popsicle & I picked a coconut one. He said we should eat the popsicles on our walk later, & I said that was fine, & so he put them in the freezer. I laid on the couch for a while till he asked when we were leaving, several times, & finally I told him to go get his popsicle & his shoes on. Normally I try to make an effort to be fully present in our walks together, or at the very least to have my music off, but that wasn't an option for me this time & so my headphones stayed on. I didn't want my popsicle yet, so we set out & he offered me a taste of his popsicle. He tore off the wrapper & somehow he had the most beautiful, most perfect, most flawless Spongebob popsicle known to man in his hand. It looked like the picture on the wrapper; It looked better than the picture on the wrapper. We both hesitated to eat it for a few minutes. He insited that I take a photo to document the beauty of the popsicle & only after I'd taken a reel of photos were we satisfied & able to give it a taste. I can't remember the last time that I'd eaten one, it must have been several years, but it was surprisingly tasty, yet not at all nostalgic to me. It tasted familiar & it tasted like childhood, but it left no longing in me. My childhood seemed too out of reach, but not far enough back, for me to have any feelings about it. Instead it was just a popsicle.

    We walked & paused under a tree to watch a chickadee for a few minutes & he finished his popsicle & said biting it made his teeth feel weird & once he was done, I got him started on the swingset & went to walk around. Normally he asks me to stay when I'm ready to leave, not the other way around, but today he called out to me & asked if we could go home yet. I didn't want to, but said yes. I took him home & went back outside actually. He'd asked before we left the park if I wanted to go home & play video games with him, but I came home & found that he unplugged my Nintendo Switch as it was charging so he could charge his tablet, to which I asked How am I supposed to play a game with you if it isn't charged? He said that he thought I had my own charger, which does not change the fact that he didn't plug it back into something. He unplugs my things a lot, so I wasn't surprised, or even annoyed, because I really didn't want to play with him, I wanted to be outside. I walked until it was dusk & then until it was dark & I felt so sad that I thought I was going to cry & then I brought myself home. He & I sat on the couch together for about an hour until I tucked him in. Then I heard his door open & went to check on him after about ten or so minutes had passed & he said that he had a bloody nose, but that it was over now, so I tucked him back in again & started a new game of Stardew Valley. I played three in-game days until I gave up.

    I'm going to shower & set an early alarm for my fourth teaching observation tomorrow. I feel horrible. I haven't even said what I wanted to say, but I've been writing for too long. What I wanted to say was that it's cold out & it feels nice & then it feels sad because the seasons are changing & that time keeps moving & it's frightening because I'm making steps to make my life better, but when things go well for me it feels uncomfortable & unpleasant & that I'm undeserving & all I want is to change & yet it's the most horrifying thing in the world to me, behind staying the same, not changing.

    10/15/2023 / 9:21 PM
    I had a nice day but still spent a lot of it feeling agitated. I woke up & was surprised with Starbucks & breakfast & then I went on a walk & played some Animal Crossing & despite the fact that I was having a really nice day, because I was, I just wanted to be left alone. I don't know why. I was happy & annoyed at the same time. I slept in past 9 AM & feel as though I did nothing today. We went to Spirit Halloween which was overwhelming. & then we stopped by World Market to get this chai powder that we really like, but they were out. I picked up some Ramune for myself & a few chocolates & my dad paid for it for some reason. He's the one who got me Starbucks this morning too. & he made breakfast & did the dishes so I didn't have to. & he asked if I wanted to take a bath even though they normally get annoyed if we shower for more than ten minutes. It felt weird & off-putting & so I was annoyed. It's inconsistent & whenever I interact with him I have no idea what to expect. I practiced driving & then it brought me back to about a month ago when he screamed at me & said that he was kicking me out & I almost crashed the car. Today we just drove together like nothing had happened, but I still haven't forgotten about it. I can't forget about it. I literally can't. It can't be unsaid or undone. I drove him & my sister to Spirit Halloween & then World Market & then on the way back they were eating in the car & the noise was horrible. It was horrible. I'll just give a list of what I did today: math homework, more Animal Crossing, a few other walks, drawing, ate a steak, ate some chocolate, drank some soda, I don't know what else. I spent the entire day just doing things, little things. It was a fun Sunday, as nice as a Sunday could be, but it feels wrong somehow. I feel like I don't deserve it & that someone or something is going to come & take it away from me; I feel like there's some sort of catch. I said I felt agitated, but really I meant that I felt suspicious. My dad kept asking me what I was up to throughout the day & he told me he did the dishes for me & he told me that it was amazing that I was trying to graduate a year early & it just felt off, so I wanted it to end, even if it was nice. We ate dinner as a family even. It's all too saccharine for me. It's sweet in the way dogs drink antifreeze thinking it's sweet & then poison themselves. It's wrong. I'm happy & everything feels wrong. It's like giving the dog one last day of steak & chocolate & antifreeze before it has to be euthanized. There's a catch.

    I think I feel more comfortable being spoken down to or ignored or somehow mistreated. I shouldn't, but I do. Being treated nicely is spending your life somewhere dark & secluded & then your eyes hurting as they adjust to sunlight for the first time.

    I flinch at outsretched hands.

    10/14/2023 / 6:49 PM
    Today was pretty standard & routine & plain & I am in considerably higher spirits. I went to work & it was slow & I made not a lot of money in tips, but oh well. I ended up making about $18.50 an hour with tips & I guess that's not that bad. An eclipse happened while I was at work & it got strangely dark outside, but also ot as dark as you would expect. It just seemed unnatural. I went outside to look at it & even though I know you're not supposed to Vashti is hubristic & looked up at the sun anyways... it made my eyes hurt. Then I looked at the eclipse with this viewing box I made out of tinfoil & tape & paper & a shoebox & then I guess everyone was wondering why the hell I went oustide 'cause they asked what I was doing & I let everyone look at the eclipse with my box. Well, a reflection of the eclipse, I think. Everyone got really excited about it, like kids. There was something really sweet about it.

    After my pretty short shift we ended up stopping at the grocery store again, so I picked up a Ramune & some Pocky & a couple of other little snacks. Then I got home, took a walk, played Animal Crossing, and took another walk. Oh, and I tried to find a jacket to lend to my little sister, but she didn't like any of them. As we were perusing my jacket collection she asked why I have so many windbreakers, when I feel like the answer is really obvious: Vashti likes windbreakers & they're really cool. Then she said the one she liked was my My Melody & Kuromi jacket & I said hahahaha, no way in Hell you're getting that. Or on Earth. Maybe in Heaven. Hm, it's kind of weird to me that we can be in Heaven & in Hell but on Earth. I wonder why. I guess Heaven & Hell are seen as states of being & Earth as an actual place?

    I really don't have much to write about. I did very little so far & have spent my day in contentment.

    10/13/2023 / 9:55 PM
    I got home at 5 PM or so after grocery shopping & after being up for twelve hours on five hours or so of sleep (again) I took a nap till it was dark out. I feel... gross. My chest is fluttering a bit. I wonder what I should do..? I want some sort of distraction. Maybe I'll watch Friday the 13th, on account of it being Friday the 13th. I don't know. Everything's stupid.

    10/13/2023 / 1:00 PM
    Okay, well I actually managed to puke again while I was doing my teaching shindig. I mean, I did it in the bathroom, but still. I didn't calm down at all once I was there. I had some trouble, barely any trouble really, getting in & getting my visitor's badge etc. because no one had told the receptionist to expect me & then that just amped everything up to a ten in my mind. I just had to wait in this school office & try not to vomit as she was sorting things out. & all I could think was that why now of all times? Can't someone just make things easy for me?

    Anyways after that was sorted I'd gone to my classroom & there was actually a really sweet kid who told me where to go. I was a few minutes late due to the check-in shenanigans & the teacher was really nice about it. He smiled & shook my hand & was genuinely happy to see me it seemed. He let me sit at his desk as he taught so I could see the entire room & he even gave me copies of the lesson; The other teachers I've seen haven't done that for me & it was much appreciated. This man was amazing. He's just an incredible teacher, no other way to spin it. The impact that he had on his students, both in teaching them & in caring for their well being was inspirational. I've been having ganwing doubts about becoming a teacher & seeing all of these well, not very good lessons from other teachers was really disheartening. This tecaher completely changed that. I'm so serious. When I teach, I want to teach like him. He did everything right & genuinely cared for his students & his job. There was no apathy in that classroom. I want to be like him. Those few hours watching him teach made my entire day's suffering worth all the trouble. I feel inspired again.

    & those kids were so sweet too. To him, to each other, and to me. There was that kid who gave me directions & then three separate times I had a young girl tell me I looked beautiful. I was kind of taken aback, especially when two other kids did it. I just smiled & thanked them very much. On the way out, a teacher who saw me joked & asked if I really wanted to do this & for the first time in a while I knew my answer & it was an emphatic yes.

    I guess it was just anxiety, because I started to feel better after being absorbed in watching the teacher & then completely better when I left the school. I met E at the coffee shop & we just talked & talked & talked for a few hours. I didn't even notice that the time had gone by. I lent her my book, Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead. She forgot to bring Till We Have Faces, but oh well. I'm by the library, so I'll pick up something else to read. I'd like to say that I'm fine & that everything is fine & that I'm okay again, but I'm thinking that I'm really not. I think something is really wrong with me, even if I feel okay right now. Normally I say no dichotomies, that I can feel bad but still be okay, & I think that the reverse is also true: I can feel okay & still be bad.

    10/13/2023 / 7:44 AM
    I lied; I do not feel better. I sipped on some water & drank maybe an inch or two of it from the cup & immediately puked it back up. Whenever I puke I think of when my mom had this boyfriend that made fun of me for being bulimic. I wasn't really bulimic, but that's not what matters. Being with my mom made me so anxious that I couldn't hold my food down when we were having dinner together. I got up from the table, I think after some sort of argument, because I felt sick & he said "Hey Vashti" & then mimed himself gagging himself with his finger. He had the most cruel & smug grin on his face, one that came from having domination over a child. My mom just let him. I was eleven or twelve.

    My stomach feels like it's burning.

    10/13/2023 / 7:21 AM
    I don't normally give a heads up or warning about whatever I'm writing about, but I think it might be prudent to do so this time, so here's a heads up: I'm going to write about vomit & how I vomited my guts out & how my mouth tastes like vomit & how I gargled it with water & how it makes my teeth feel weird & how there's this piece of vomited up food stuck in my throat & I can taste it. Well, I guess I said everything there is to say... Maybe I'm actually sick this time. I think I felt sick before I felt anxious. & even after I calmed myself down I still felt sick. & all of that vomit was full of actual food. I'm no stranger to throwing up in the mornings & normally it's just stomach acid & other frothy stuff. I think that whatever I just threw up was the absolute most mashed up partially digested food that my stomach could contain, because it was a lot. But maybe it's just in my head. I mean, I threw up & humiliated myself in front of God & the coffee shop toilet & myself & now I feel better. I just have this little piece of whatever in the bottom of my throat taunting me & reminding me what everything had tasted like. I was about to say that I hate myself, but that's not really true. I hate that this is happening to me. I hate this scourge, this thing that's infiltrated my mind & makes me feel things that I don't want to feel. I think what I really hate is feeling out of control. It's hard to think of my body as mine when it's doing & feeling these involuntary things.

    10/12/2023 / 10:39 AM
    It was fine. I did feel nervous & have felt slight unease since this morning, but it was fine. I talked to myself nicely & didn't get sick. I feel maybe a bit nervous now, but I was able to stomach a drink from the Starbucks that my sister & I met at. While we were talking for that hour or two I even forgot about how nervous I was for a while. I want to beat myself up for getting nervous over nothing, but I still did what I said & that's what matters. I did it anyways. As long as I do what I say I'm going to do there's nothing more that I can ask of myself. Oftentimes I find myself feeling afraid at the prospect of being afraid; It's anticipatory. I tell myself oh, well I had a panic attack the last time I was here, so I need to be extra cautious this time, & then I feel anxious about it & it's this self-fulfilling cycle. Today i just told myself that whatever happens happens, & just because I had a panic attack here last time doesn't mean I'll have one this time. I have to tell myself very often that I don't know the future. And I told myself that I'd be fine this time, but I actually meant it. A lot of it was just managing my own thoughts. I started thinking about that dog from last week & felt horrible & I just had to make myself quit thinking about it. Sometimes I can & sometimes I can't & this time I could. It's all really fine & I really mean it.

    I have basically another two hours to kill till my teaching shindig. Well, not a shindig. I meant to say my sitting in the back of the room with a notepad & a serious look on my face as someone else teaches for a couple of hours-dig, but 'shindig' is shorter. I'm in this somber outfit too. I wore my glasses today with this depressing grey knit dress (long sleeved), black tights, black loafers. I really have dressed for my part. I hate wearing these clothes. I don't feel like myself. I told E that last night & she said she doesn't think I could lose my individuality, that it's not possible & that this is just a season-long "stepping stone." We're going to see each other after the teaching shindig that I have tomorrow. That one is early in the morning & I'll be finished by 10:30 or so. My one today is not so early. I'll finish up by 3:30, try to catch the next train, go back to where I came from & then go to class & then go home. I'll get home at about 7:45 PM. It will be dark already & I will have been out of the house for a little bit more than twelve hours. I wonder if I'll fall asleep soon after getting home? I think I slept less than six hours last night, which is annoying. The entire reason I left so early was because my stepmother said she'd give me a ride to the station, & that she'd prefer to take me a little after 7:00 AM, so Vashti woke up at 6:45 AM & where was her stepmother? Asleep in bed. My uncle ended up dropping me at the station, which he did last time, because she said she would take me last time & didn't. She is so unreliable & is always my absolute last resort. She says that she loves us equally, well she tells that trite joke parents do that she hates us all the same, but if my stepbrother needed to get to the station, she would wake up. She wouldn't forget twice. Not even forget, just wake up late. She remembered, she just didn't care. I hate the way he's the favorite & the way they gush about him, the almost high school drop out. They're paying ~$2000 for some private school whatever that he's going to flunk. Everyone knows it. They're just delusional. $2000 would easily be enough to pay for an entire year of school for me, schooling that I would pass with A's, but they're paying $2000 so he doesn't have to attend high school like a regular kid. I think he's doing something with cars? I don't even know. They talk about how it's so amazing that he has this money at such a young age, but that's because he's a kid & should be in school. He shouldn't have a job. If they cared about his future even a bit, he would be in school. I say they, but I mean her. That's not my father's son & he has no say in what happens with him. I'm sure that some of that $2000 is my dad's though. I'm just annoyed. My little sister who I was visiting was telling me how they keep telling my stepbrother how he'll be more successful than her, will make more money than her, etc. It's idiotic & pandering. My sister is very success driven & plans on getting a doctorate & becoming a professor; Her grades were so good that she received automatic admission into her school of choice. To say that the high schooler, (well not really a high schooler, a high schooler who is in the limbo of dropping out), with no prospects will be more successful than my sister who has toiled away in the name of academics & her future is ludicrous & insulting. I'm only immune to these comparisons because it's a given that anyone will be more successful than Vashti. No one likes to be like Vashti. The only person who wants to be like Vashti is my nine year old brother, because his idea of success is someone who is nice to children & can buy McDonald's & go to movies & I am those things. His idea of success grows & shrinks to accomodate me.

    10/12/2023 / 7:36 AM
    On the train again. This time I will conquer it; I will not have a panic attack; I will not vomit for hours after the fact; It will be fine.

    10/11/2023 / 9:05 AM
    A bird just flew into my window, but lightly enough that they flew away & back into their tree immediately after. I'm not sure what I would have done if the bird had died. I know that I'm just biased, but every time I see a dead bird it seems like the most horrific thing in the world to me; I see a dead bird & my first thoughts are how cruel & unfair the world is, a world where birds can get killed.

    Back in high school, (this is my high school bedroom), I swear that birds were flying themselves into my window constantly. There's this thump of the live bird becoming a dead bird & coming into contact with the glass that is distinct & indescribable. You hear it & you know that there is no way that bird is still alive. It is the sound of death. Today our bird friend flying into my window really startled me, because I didn't even register the sound of it as a bird, because it was so gentle. I can't remember the last time a bird flew into my window... I made it a point to paste little drawings & whatnot onto the glass so they could tell that it really is glass, & I guess it's worked, because this is the first time a bird's done this in years.

    10/11/2023 / 8:56 AM
    Vashti woke up before her alarm today, is there anything better? And Vashti's skipping school today, is there anything better? I feel a little sleepy, but alright. I have an entire day ahead of me. I can do whatever I want.

    10/10/2023 / 4:32 PM
    I realized that I didn't write anything here yet, which is weird, because I really thought I did. I feel like I didn't do anything today, even though I know that I did... I slept in, talked to my sister on the phone, worked on the site, ate some hummus toast & drank some coffee that reminded me of being in a diner, went on two walks, read my tarot cards, showered even though I didn't need to. I feel really severed from everything around me & from myself. I am okay though. I will endure & I will set things right.

    I have class tonight. I would've skipped today the way that I'm skiiping my classes tomorrow, but I missed our last class because of my Thursday panic attack. I felt really ashamed after the fact, really disappointed in myself. Maybe I still do, just a bit, but I understand that my feelings are not warranted. It just made me feel that I went back to who I used to be. But I'm not who I used to be. I'm completely different. And I'm okay.

    I'm taking this week & dedicating it to myself. I actually decided to get out of the house & sit in a coffee shop for a couple of hours before class & I think that it was a good choice. I've been sleeping in, but I think that it would be kinder to myself to try my hand at a consistent sleep schedule. I think that part of the reason I feel as though I've done nothing is because I've only been up for six or seven hours. It seems like these past few days I've just been speculating as to what's wrong with me, the why of it, but maybe it doesn't matter as much. Maybe I should just try to deal with it. I've been enduring, but now I want to take a more active approach to correct things.

    10/09/2023 / 11:48 PM
    Feeling... I don't actually know. I came home from school & ate some fried eggs & they were the best fried eggs of my entire life. Their texture was just so amazing. I savoured every bite, really focusing on the taste & on how the eggs felt. The whites were silky & a bit slimey & the yolk was somewhat cooked, but they were delicious anyways. (Also completely unrelated, but I went on a walk & am really craving chalk. My math teacher writes on a chalkboard & I want to eat one of her sticks of chalk. I bet it would be amazing). After my eggs, I sat outside & filled the bird feeder. I took my headphones off & just sat & listened to them chirp for a while. If I had to choose between never hearing a bird again or never seeing a bird again, I'm not sure which one I'd pick.

    E texted & asked how I was & I said I didn't know. I still don't. I'm trying to relax & to take it easy this week, easier than normal. I'm only working Saturday, because I happen to have teaching observations on my other usual work days. I have only my night class tomorrow & then I think I'm going to skip school Wednesday. No particular reason, other than the fact that I'm trying to take it easy this week & set myself right & I have no interest in listening to my classmates give speeches for two hours. My goal this week is to be as present & indulgent with my free time as possible. I don't really feel like leaving the house.

    I've been having trouble fully relaxing lately, even when I have nothing to do, no obligations. I keep finding myself thinking about the future & how it's pressing in on me. This week I'm going to relearn how to enjoy myself again. I was already feeling off for the past couple of weeks & then that panic attack last Thursday really messed me up mentally, more than I'd like to admit. I feel wrong & want to feel right again.

    10/09/2023 / 11:29 AM
    I'm feeling really, really good today. I feel intense. I was trying to listen to Sufjan Steven's new album Javelin on the bus today, but started to tear up a bit only a few songs in. I feel like I can't quit moving & can't contain my happiness & that everything is going to go really, prefectly well today. I think I'm going to give my speech & get an ovation. I think when I read my cards that I'll pull the Ten of Cups or the Knight of Swords or of Wands. I think I'm going to buy myself another snack, maybe some chips, some yummy chips. I think I'm going to read through The Metamorphosis & draw some amazing pictures & stay up late & wake up late tomorrow, because all I have is my night class tomorrow night, devoid of any other obligations. I'm think I'm going to zoom through my homeowrk & drink some soda & have a coffee & that when people see me they'll smile & high five me & pat my head & clap. I'm feeling good.

    10/09/2023 / 11:04 AM
    Vashti is drinking a slightly below room temperature White Peach flavored Calpico. It was fridge temperature, but after holding it in my hands as I ran to the bus, it warmed up a bit. I finally have that overly clean toothpaste flavor out of my mouth & it really tastes good. The first couple of swigs felt slighlty wrong & reminiscent of being in a dentist's office. This is the first time in... ever that Vashti has ever come close to missing the bus. If I hadn't run, it would've taken off without me. It's a good thing that master athlete Vashti ran for a few minutes before deciding if the bus leaves without me, then it leaves without me, whatever. Yeah, I know. But that short amount of time spent running was the perfect amount, maybe a little extra, because I made it about a minute or two before the bus. Another Vashti win for the books. I'm normally pretty neurotic about being on time, but today I couldn't be bothered with it. I don't know. I woke up & just laid in bed for a while, not because I was depressed or apathetic or anything, just because I felt really comfortable & wanted it to last just a bit longer. Sometimes you can't hold on to the nice things in your life, but this morning I could. I talk about how I couldn't be bothered with being on time, but I got on the bus an hour earlier than I had to, so I'm fibbing a bit, juts a bit. The cold AC of the bus greeted me & I went to sit in the back, by the window, where I always sit. I was going to look over my speech cards, but didn't; I'm just going to wing it later. & I'll go after someone who totally sucks so I look even better. It's the Vashti Plan. Vashti's Plan A for everything used to be to kill myself before it happened, but I decided a while ago not to kill myself, so now I need a new Plan A for things, which normally involves just doing them. It's boring, but better than being dead.

    Another thing that is better than being dead is eating snacks, so I brought my aforementioned Calpico & these choco GGE baked rice snacks, which are so yummy. I've had them before & their texture is perfect. It just melts in your mouth. I finished my math homework way earlier than I'd anticipated, so now I have about an hour before class. Maybe I'll read my tarot cards. I brought them with me. Maybe I'll actually look over my speech, but I don't feel like it. I feel like I'll sound worse if I practice, 'cause I'll sound way more natural.

    10/08/2023 / 11:43 PM
    Goodbye my sweet Sunday. I didn't finish my to-do list, but I spent my entire day doing something & that is all I can hope for. I cleaned my room & my desk, so I feel clean. I did my laundry, so I feel clean. I'm going to brush my teeth, so I feel clean. There used to be a time where I'd go days without brushing my teeth or showering. I found it too difficult, because I didn't think that I was worth the effort. Now I can do these things with ease, even when in pain. I'm proud of myself.

    10/08/2023 / Sunday to-do
  • write paper & speech notecards
  • fill in planner, plan next week
  • The Metamorphosis
  • Wild World
  • tarot reading
  • new site page: about the site
  • The Death of Ivan Ilyich book review
  • listen to Sufjan Steven's new album Javelin
  • take another walk or two or three
  • draw in new sketchbook
  • French flashcards
  • laundry
  • pack school bag for tomorrow, bring Calpico! & don't forget your wallet this time! & don't forget speech cards!
  • clean room
  • clean desk
  • sticker book

  • 10/08/2023 / 12:42 PM
    I talked to E for a short while over text last night. I told her that she seemed unwell & she told me that I was correct. She apologized for not taking the time to talk to me for a few days, but something like that doesn't necessitate an apology to me. She has a lot of trouble relaxing, so if anything, I'm glad that she didn't mess with her phone for a few days. It's probably good for her. In light of how horrible she was feeling, I didn't want to talk about how I was feeling, but she asked me twice, or maybe three times, so it was unavoidable. What was there to tell her? I am not alright. I didn't really get into everything that happened Thursday yet, even though she asked. It's just a lot to get into. I guess my thought process is that if I'm burdened by my thoughts & feelings, why would I give them to someone else too? I think I'm going to give it a little time; I find things easier to speak about in retrospect. We didn't finish our conversation though, so I'm sure that she'll text me sometime later. It was around 12 AM or so, maybe a little before, when we were speaking, & she's never up that late, so I'm guessing that she just fell asleep or something. Not to sound overly concerned, but she's mentioned a few times, actually pretty often recently, that she's stayed up late to finish assignments, so I'm glad she fell asleep early; I don't want her to be up late. It's not good for her. I may see her tomorrow before school, but I don't know. I'm dealing with a lot, mentally, so I think I'd like to be left alone to sort through my feelings. That makes me sound more wise & self aware than I really am. I think the reality of it is that if I talk about how I'm doing I will cry, & I don't want to cry, so I don't want to talk. For now, I am just enduring.

    I had strange dreams again. I had a dream with a lotus flower. And with lots of gore and viscera. But it wasn't a nightmare. It felt menaingful & important, even though I don't know what it means. I've only been up for a few hours & haven't done very much of anything, but it feels as though I've been up for a while. I slept in past 10 AM or so. More tired lately. I'm not actually sure how much sleep is 'healthy.' The only time I really feel well rested is when I get five or six hours, but I'm supposed to get more sleep than that to avoid another manic episode. I think I've been sleeping a lot in the face of mental and emotional exhaustion. All of this being said, today has treated me well. I lounged around languidly for a short while after waking up, looked for some reference images of various pigeons, went for a walk, but the sky was cloudless. I made myself breakfast, fried eggs that weren't very good with jalapeno toast. The meal was okay though, it was different than what i usually eat, so I was happy to eat it despite its display of my lack of cooking ability. I have a school assignment, a paper & speech, that is due tomorrow that I haven't even looked at. I'm just going to ad lib the speech, it's encouraged & Vashti is a good enough public speaker. I speak with confidence & speak from the diaphragm & make a few jokes here & there & everyone is always impressed. I think it's just because this way of speaking stands in contrast with my normally quiet monotone. Normally what happens is that I speak or give my presentation & whoever is after me says that they don't want to go after someone who spoke so well. I don't really speak well, though. I speak casually with a lack of care & this is seen as speaking well. I can't even muster up the energy to feel nervous about things like this. It's just so... unimportant. Who cares if my classmates think I'm terrible or an embrassment? Not me. Besides, in this class I already apparently have the reputation of someone who is studious & put together & who knows what she is talking about. All of this being said, I need to do well on my paper & subsequent speech because I'm only sitting at a 95.4 in the class, & I'd like a high A with points to spare. I have math work to do too, but that's kind of a joke. It's really not hard at all. I mean, it's elementary school math & how to teach math to young children, so the math itself is something that anyone can do.

    Outside of these obligations, I'm not sure what I'd like to do. I think that I'd like to read Kafka's The Metamorphosis, becauseI was intending to read it anyways & I see that it's an upcoming reading for my world literature class. Otherwise, I'm not sure what I'll read, maybe Tokyo Ueno Station. The book is short & I am not in the mood for anything long; I want to read some novellas. I think my sister has a copy of The Metamorphosis; I'll call her & ask where it is. Not now though, because I have my phone hooked up to a speaker, listening to Stereolab as I write. I need to turn in my library books, too. One of them belongs to my school, the rest belong to the public library. I got an email saying that I had a hold that was barring me from registration, but then I realized it's just because of my overdue book. I'll probably bring it Tuesday, because Monday I have to take the bus & don't want to carry it around. I'm talking about obligations again; I need to cut it out. I'm going to do a tarot reading too, and I'll draw, & I'll play Wild World. & I have some writing that I'd like to do on here.

    I've reached a new idea about art & whatnot. Rather than focusing on making things that are good, I will just focus on making things. What I mean is that I want to draw great pictures, but I think I will focus on output instead. That sounds somewhat empty & capitalistic & clinical, but this is what I mean: I consider myself someone who writes because I write a lot. So to become an artist, I just need to be someone who makes art a lot. It's that simple. I will not focus on good or bad. Here is another example of what I mean: Who would you consider to be more of an artist, someone who has drawn one amazing piece or someone who draws constantly & indiscriminantly? I would consider the latter to be an artist, & I said nothing about talent or skill. Skill comes later. For now, I just need to draw.

    10/07/2023 / 11:13 PM
    I went to work today, but that fact is unimportant. Today I decided that because happiness is currently out of reach for me, I'll resolve to do meaningful or difficult things instead. Upon deciding this, I immediately felt lighter. Or rather, my heart was just as heavy, but it was a bit easier to carry now; It no longer felt that it was so heavy it would tear through my ribs & skin & fall out of my chest onto the floor in front of me.

    Today I read Leo Tolstoy's The Death of Ivan Ilyich. I'll write a review for it sometime later, for now I am gathering my thoughts. It's an amazing book, & I read it at the perfect time. I think that it's one of my new favorites. I'm not sure that I've ever had something outside of myself articulate & reflect my anxieties regarding death so well. The story reminded me a bit of Death of a Salesman, another work that I'm fond of.

    I've been thinking about death & I've reached this conclusion, well a temporary conclusion, I haven't written anything over it yet. I think that I can either ignore the reality of my eventual death & be happy, or I can acknowledge it, know the truth or at least graze it, and feel afraid or unhappy. Every time I'm stricken with thoughts of death, like I have been lately, I get this feeling that everyone around me is just ignoring our collective reality, that we're all going to die, & that's the only reason that they're not worried about it. If they thought about it & accepted its gravity, constantly pulling at them, I think they'd be just as afraid as me. I can't decide if I should think more about death & what it means to live or if I should just try to ignore these thoughts & feel happy. I think I want the former & everyone else wants Vashti to want the latter. I think the latter is more acceptable. I'm just not sure that agonizing about death is going to get me any sort of answer, let alone one that I want. I don't know. I've been thinking about these things for my entire life really, I've always been a fearful girl, scared to die, but I've been thinking about things more consciously within the past few months, weeks, & it's been amplified by this book that I've read. I feel like everything I'm saying is too vague to really express what I mean. I can't find the language for these thoughts.

    I'm wanting to do a tarot reading & to draw in that new sketchbook. & to pick up another book, not sure which one yet.

    10/07/2023 / The sky over the course of several walks & a day

    10/07/2023 / 8:04 AM
    I woke up half an hour ago & went for a walk & found that it was so cold that I had to put on a jacket. This fact made me inexplicably sad. It's getting cold & it gets dark before 8:00 PM. I'm halfway through my semester & it still doesn't feel like I'm doing things right. Things aren't routine, but they aren't novel, either. They're just cold.

    I have a couple of hours before I have to get ready for work. What to do with the time?

    10/06/2023 / 8:46 PM
    Work really was something... that something being aggravating. Vashti has a new boss, but Vashti has new bosses all the time, & I've outlasted them all. I already don't like this one, told me I had to tuck in my shirt. It's [Redacted Fast Food Place], I don't need to tuck in my fucking shirt. She asked me what my name was "again" & I told her we'd never met & I said this like I was fine with the fact & told her my name & didn't ask her for hers. Look, Vashti's going to give you guys some advice, because this is the internet & it's very possible that someone reading this is some kid who's never had a job before. When someone, a coworker or whoever meets you for the first time, act aloof, act absolutely disinterested in them, almost as if just speaking to them is an inconvenience. Don't force yourself to make small talk either. When I do this, what happens is that they, in this case my carousel of bosses, want approval from Vashti, not the other way around. It works, let me tell you. It establishes everyone's place, by which I mean they think that they're above Vashti & Vashti needs them & they find out very quickly this isn't the case. Here's how the day with my new boss went. 1) Vashti didn't know this woman was her new boss, because she didn't ask. 2) Vashti makes no effort to talk to boss & boss says You don't really like new people, do you. Vashti makes no effort at reassurance & shrugs her shoulders & says she just got her flu shot. 3) Boss comes to me much later to introduce herself, because I didn't ask for their name the first time. 4) Boss tries to make small talk & asks that You've worked here a year, right? & Vashti tells her that we've never had a conversation about how long I've worked here but no, that's incorrect. 5) Boss continues to try to make small talk & I look at her blankly as I do my work 6) Boss comes to ask me what I would change around here, & I say that I like my job, because I get whatever schedule I want while I'm in school & that if this wasn't the case, I'd quit immediately. 7) She nods & we've reached the understanding that if I don't get the days off I want, I'll quit. I always address this somehow on the very first day, that way there's never a circumstance where I'm asking them for permission to take off of work; They need to know that when I say I'm not coming in, I'm not coming in. All of these things may seem kind of rude, and maybe they are, but I know how fast food managers are, I've met a lot of them, & this is just what you have to do. It's like breaking a horse, only they're realizing that they won't break you. 8) Later on, towards the end of the shift, when the boss makes small talk I engage minimally & she seems relieved. That's how you know you did it right. If they're asking you questions, trying to keep the conversation going, you've done well. I'll loosen up later, but for now, this is how our shifts are going to go. I also make it a point to never be rude, just uninterested in them, making no effort to feign a desire to talk to them. Whenever they talk to me, I just focus on my work, it's not like they can tell me to quit working so hard. I see all of this social nonsense as a game that I normally opt out of, but sometimes you have to play, and if you're going to play, you'd better win, right?

    After my shift, where I left fifteen or so minutes early because they got my schedule incorrect, we went home. I went for a walk that I can't rememeber at all now that I think about it, showered, played around on my laptop for a few minutes, & then we went to hot pot. 'We' being myself & my father. In his words, he took me because everyone went without me last weekend & because he ruined my weekend before that one, you know, when he said he was kicking me out. Yeah. He said he was really sorry & trying to give me space & I didn't say anything, because what's there to say? I don't think that I will ever fully get over the things he said to me. He also talked to me about my plans after college, which strangely my mom was too, because apparently neither of them really know what I want to do with my life. We don't normally talk about serious things. I don't see how asking me a bunch of questions about my future is "giving me space," but I digress. I told him that I was just doing things. Really, I figured I'd kill myself before I graduated, so who knows what I'm going to do. I should probably know, but I don't. For now, I'm just doing things.

    The hot pot was much better this time & it was actually relatively calm. It's amazing how calm a meal can be without your sister yelling at you, isn't it? I had udon, beef tongue, mushrooms, & crab. Then I had my coconut shaved ice again. & then a matcha boba, & this matcha boba is the best matcha that I think I've ever had. I chose it on a whim, too.

    After that, we went grocery shopping. We saw a lot of birds during the drive to the grocery store & a roadkill bunny. I saw this roadkill after work today that was so gruesome hat I couldn't tell what animal it was. My dad didn't even register it as roadkill at first, because it was so maimed, but he noticed & said Oh God, or something along those lines & I said Yeah, that's a creature. I just didn't want to mention it. I keep thinking about that dog on the side of the road, too. Maybe I'm a horrible person. I should've done something, but what should i have done? I wonder if that dog is still alive. I hope that dog is still alive. I hope someone grabbed it & put it in their car & fed it & wrapped a blanket around it the way they do in the movies when someone's house burns down.

    I wanted to go for a walk before it got dark, but couldn't. Instead my evening walk was substituted with pushing a cart around under fluorescent lights. I got Cheeto Puffs & a carton of iced coffee & jalapeno bread & mint Oreos, but my dad bought it all for some reason. Maybe it's 'cause I mentioned that I've lost ten pounds recently.

    I put up the groceries & did my math homework. I feel nothing, other than maybe slight irritation, just a hum.

    10/05/2023 / 10:06 PM
    The whole teaching observation thing was really uneventful, actually, but that's a good thing. & I dressed the part well, because as I was leaving the school, this girl pulled her friend out of the way of the door & said to "let the teacher pass." The actual observation itself was pretty boring. Imagine being in a high school class, okay? Now imagine watching a high school class taking place for a couple of hours. I wasn't acknowledged at all, either, which was good. I sat in the back of the room & scribbled notes like a ghost. I was supposed to write about what the students were up to, though, & found that if I stared for more than a few seconds that they'd quit what they were doing. It was strange to be treated like an adult. Not bad, but strange. I actually got scheduled with a teacher during their off period, but they were gracious & let me sit in on another class. They didn't have to do that. I spoke with an administrator as I was walking to my classroom & he was really kind. Everyone was just really respectful & welcoming. It was surprising. I mean, I didn't expect them to be blatantly rude, but I figured that they'd view me as an inconvenience. That wasn't the case, though. & the whole process was less strict than I'd imagined; They were pretty casual about the whole thing. It's made me feel better about my two observations next week. The only unfortunate thing is that I had to send an email & leave a message with our education program-specialist-director; I'm not really sure what their official title is. In light of the fact that I was assigned to a teacher with no class, I think that my next observation at the school might have to be moved. I don't know. I'm just sure there'll be a lot of emails involved. I got my observation hours, though, and that's what matters.

    After that, I made it to the train station to see that I'd missed my train by only a couple of minutes. In light of this, I decided I'd try to correct my mood, even if it took a little forcing. I visited Daiso & picked up a keychain, a few snacks, a couple of Calpico, some stickers, a planner, & a small sketchbook. The sketchbook I resolved to fill. Not by a certain date, but I don't think I've ever filled up a sketchbook before. After I went to get udon & found that they didn't have my favorite beef udon, so I had to settle for tofu udon, because the only other option was shrimp. It was somewhat disappointing, but it was a cheap meal, so no huge loss there. Then I stopped to get a coffee nearby, which costed about half as much as my bowl of udon & was nowhere near as good. That was thoroughly disappointing. Maybe it's just me & not the food. I don't know. By the time I'd grabbed my drink, I made it back to the train station with several minutes to spare.

    I didn't feel sick at all on the train this time around. The train was full & we were rather squished together, me especially with my drink & Daiso bag & laptop bag & umbrella. It was uncomfortable, but I was not overwhelmed. I tried to listen to music, but found myself skipping each song once I got thirty or so seconds in. Then I just gave it up & listened to nothing. The train was quiet, so I really do mean nothing. The only noise came from the train's horn, but I can hear that through my headphones anyways. I didn't get a window seat until I was two stops away from my destination, but I got my seat at the right time: I saw two more deer on the way home. Amazing.

    My dad picked me up from the station & I guess he thought I was ill from the flu shot & not my own mind, because he seemed shock when I said all of the day's suffering was mental & self inflicted. Then he said that I seemed depressed lately, but if he was shocked that I said I wasn't doing well I don't see how he could actually mean that. Anyways, I guess I looked so thoroughly miserable that he feels the need to do something nice for me, because we're getting hot pot together after work, just the two of us. & I guess that I was very obviously miserable when we got hot pot the last time around, because he said it would be "relaxing" this time. I feel nervous about sharing a meal with him one-on-one, but I couldn't say no.

    10/05/2023 / On hope
    At the beginning of this October, I procalimed what a beautiful & breezy month that it would be, & my first instinct after enduring today was to think of how silly I was, but I thought about it some more, & I think that hope is never silly. Hope can be messy & scary, because you can tell the world your hopes & watch them not come true. You can be wrong, but hope itself is never wrong. I would rather be wrong & disappointed & hopeful than pessimistic & right about everything. It's kind of funny, because we see hope & disappointment as opposites, when really they come in pairs. To call them opposites is an oversimplification, isn't it. To be hopeful is submit yourself to disappointment & to not let it defeat you.

    10/05/2023 / I need
    I need to feel better. I need to loosen up. I need to take things more seriously. I need to not take things too seriously. I need cold water. I need it splashed on my face. I need a sweater because I feel cold & I need to take it off because I feel hot. I need everything to go well. I need someone to make it go well. I need God to make it go well. I need Vashti to make it go well. I need Vashti to not throw up. I need Vashti to say the right things. I need my sister's roommate to stay away a little longer. I need to eat something, but can't stomach anything. I need to stomach things. I need to stomach hard things & difficult things & unpalatable things. I need someone to talk to. I need to call my friend. I need the train ride home to go okay. I need to be someone else in another place & I need to be myself, because that's all I can be. I need to learn to type. I need to go to work tomorrow. I need to get my passport. I need to do my homework. I need to skip class tonight, because I can't handle going. I need to be able to handle things. I need to relax, but I don't know how to relax. I need someone to find that dog on the side of the road & I need no one to hurt those deer.

    10/05/2023 / The second worst day of 2023
    The train ride was really bad. It started off alright. I was thinking to myself how last time I was on the train I saw a deer, but that probably wouldn't happen again, & right as I'd thought that to myself, I saw two of them, staring right at me. And then this nervous feeling began to creep up on me, and I began to feel really anxious. I tried to take my mind off of things & just stare at the window, but it wasn't working. I saw this abandoned dog on the side of the highway & almost started crying, & I was on the precipice of vomiting for that entire hour. It got worse as more people boarded the train & I became surrounded. I just told myself for the last half hour or so, Vashti don't puke. Don't puke. Don't puke, Vashti. Vashti don't puke. I felt anxious which made me want to vomit, and then I felt anxious at the prospect of vomiting. After I got off of the train, I was met with some cold air & immediately got on my bus. The bus was so full that I had to stand & I almost got thrown to the floor. I've never had to stand on the bus before, so it struck me as kind of funny that the one & only time it had happened was when I felt nauseous & like I wanted to die.

    After wanting to die on the train & then wanting to die on the bus, I reached a stop, not sure if it was exactly my stop, but I decided to just walk the rest of the way. The walk was fine, I guess. I don't even actually remember it. I met my sister at the coffee shop & asked if I was going to buy a coffee & I told her no way was I going to do that & so we went to her dorm. Then when we got to her dorm, I threw up in their bathroom multiple times. I guess she tattled on me to my dad, because he texted me asking if I was alright & I said of course and then he asked if I was puking & I said yes & then he asked if I was alright again & I said of course.

    Then I spent the past hour and a half or so going to the bathroom, sitting in my sister's dorm, going back to the bathroom. Then I realized that I really didn't want to keep standing over a toilet & decided if I were to puke, I'd just use my sister's trash can, because that beats their public bathroom. & then she told me no, because it would waste a trash bag & I told her that I couldn't keep standing in a bathroom stall until 12:30 & that I really didn't feel good & then she looked at my face & said I "looked like a cat that's about to vomit" & I said that's funny, because I feel like a cat that's about to vomit & then she kept grumbling about trashbags & I asked her for some bags I can stuff into my purse in case I need to puke later. & she said since I'm so sick that I should go home & do my teaching thing another day & I said I couldn't do that, because then I'd just have to go through this an extra time. & she said well you can come back when you're not sick & I said that the only reason I felt sick was because I was here & she said Oh, so you're just nervous? You're not actually sick? & then the conversation ended there. Well actually, it didn't, she asked me what I was so nervous about since I'm not even teaching & I said it wasn't that, I was just nervous because I was away from home, because I took the train. & then she asked why I'd be scared of a train & I realized that I guess I've never talked with her about this before, because the whole train hang up is basically common knowledge. She asked me what I was going to do when she left her dorm & went to class & I said that I suppose I'll just go back to that coffee shop, order a water, & puke there. & then she said that she'd just leave her dorm unlocked so I could stay. & now I am alone in her dorm & hoping that her roommate doesn't come. She knows I'm here, but I don't really want to say Hiiiii, I'm [Redacted]'s big sister! I'm hanging out in your dorm because something is deeply wrong with me & I'm having a panic attack for no reason. Don't mind me!

    My chest hurts. A lot. I can't believe I have to this entire thing again a week from now.

    10/05/2023 / 8:01 AM
    I'm sitting on the train & we haven't quite left yet. I got a seat with a table by the window, & I think I'm facing the front of the train. I brought an umbrella because it's rainy today. It actually feels really nice. It feels like autumn, almost.

    I didn't sleep well at all. I laid down at 12 or so but was still awake at 2. I had a series of nightmares once I actually did fall asleep, too. I only remember one of them: I got attacked by a dog. I woke up with my chest fluttering & my jaw really tight. It shouldn't have been such a scary dream, but it really was. Even after I woke up, I had this intense feeling of dread & wanted to talk to someone. I'd even considered texting E, but I guess I decided against it. That dream wasn't the only one, either. I woke up multiple times & as I was laying their awake, I remember deciding that I wouldn't write any of this down, that way I could maybe forget it. It sort of worked. I only remember the one dream.

    10/04/2023 / 11:33 PM
    Well, I got my flu shot & it was not that bad. I mean, the shot itself was not that bad. I'm not scared of needles or anything, but felt really anxious leading up to it anyways; I couldn't even stomach breakfast. It could be that I'm anxious about something else, I don't know. I mentioned that my eye's been twitching for the past couple of days & my mom said that it was probably stress. I'm having a lot of jaw pain, too, because whenever something's bothering me I clench my jaw in my sleep. (& sometimes when I'm awake, actually). I don't understand what's wrong though. I don't know why I feel this way. Something is obviously really upsetting me, but I can't say what. & I mean I literally couldn't say what's bothering me if I wanted to. I can't identify my emotions right now, or I can't see them clearly. Normally I can point to an emotion, examine it, & have enough self awarenes to understand where it's come from. Right now though, all of my emotions feel really broad & all encompassing: self disgust, anxiety, the feeling of something being wrong, the sensation of being detached from everything. I don't understand it. & the only reason I say that I feel anxious is because I literally feel it, in my body, I feel sick & tense & sore. I'm not even sure if it's really anxiety or not, because my mind doesn't feel particularly anxious, it feels heavy.

    Anyways, I was talking about the shot. I made flashcards for today's exam that I intended to bring with me & review as I waited, but I forgot them. I've been really forgetful these past few days. My head feels like it's kind of hazy. So instead, I just listened to other people getting their shot. They had us all in the same area & my seat was right by the counter, so I heard everything. I think the lady ahead of me in line knew that I heard everything because when they asked her what her age was, she whispered it like it was some horrible, scandalous secret. Didn't work though; I heard that she's my mom's age. Maybe I should've gotten up, but I was in the only chair left, so I didn't move. I got my shot & went to school right after. I did all of my math work in the hour and a half or so leading up to class. E joined me partway through. Normally I really want to see her & talk before class, but today I could've gone either way. Not to say that I wasn't happy to see her, but that I was fine with my solitude. We didn't really talk much, because I had a lot of work to get done. She doesn't seem to be doing well though, so I texted her tonight to check on her. When we were talking, she looked like she was going to cry. I didn't really know what to do. I was going to get up & hug her, but then the conversation kind of moved on & she seemed alright again. Maybe I should apologize for not being comforting enough. Or rather, I'll let her know that I just wasn't sure what to do, but that I do very much care. I think it's because we were out in public in the school library. If she seemed like she was going to start crying when we were hanging out at her house or something, I wouldn't really hesistate to hug her or anything, but we were in public so I thought that she might prefer me not drawing attention to anything. I think it's also because I'm a leasbian & she's not, so I don't want her to get the wrong idea. & also because at home my family & I don't really hug much. She did say last time we talked though that she wanted to be hugged more. I'm probably overthinking this a lot. I'll just ask her. I mean, we're really close friends & we tell each other I love you & everything, I just don't want to overstep anything. Again, I'm probably overthinking this. Just look at it from my perspective though: I never hug people & have no type of script for when to do so. I was saying to one of my coworkers how I normally have a script for how social thing should go & then when things deviate from that mental script that I don't know what to do. & she laughed & said that I was so funny, but I was being serious. People laugh when I'm being serious a lot. I get described as 'funny' pretty regularly, but I don't try to be. They don't mean it maliciously or anything, but it can get a little disheartening. I'm not sure what to think of it.

    So I had math class & then I took my exam. It was fine. I was talking with my classmates about the test before we took it & I said that I really hoped that I passed & the guy I was talking to patted my head & smiled & said You'll be fine, you braniac. It just kind of struck me that this guy who I talk to before class every once in a while could be so casual & familiar with me while I couldn't decide whether or not to hug my friend. Maybe I should try to loosen up a bit. Maybe I could stand to be more affectionate. I don't normally have trouble saying what I think, it's more so everything outside of that. When I said that "I don't want to overstep anything," I think what I really meant is that I don't want to be rejected. I'm just realizing this as I write this. Something to think about, I guess. A moment of clarity. The test was easy-ish. I think I passed, though I should say that Vashti's version of passing is an 85 & I only consider my score to be good if I get a 95 or above. I think that it's important to set high standards for myself. I'm almost certain that I got at least an A, but I'll be somewhat dissappointed if it's a low A, but if it is, I probably deserve it. I didn't even read the book chapters & it was a test over our readings.

    My mom offered to drive me to the library so I didn't have to take the bus & walk after getting my shot, but then she started complaining about it in the car. It got to the point where I offered to just get out of the car & walk the rest of the way, because it was only a few blocks & if driving a few more minutes bothered her so much, I'd just do that. Then she told me no, no I'll drive you, so I didn't really know what she wanted from me. I think she just wanted to complain. After she dropped me off she actually texted later to apologize, which is really out of character for her, not to say that it was unwelcome. I met my dad at his school & we went to his house, because I have to take the train by his house into the city to do one of my teaching observations. he told me I looked terrible & I agreed. I really did not feel very well at that point. When he stopped at the convenience store, I asked him what he wanted me to grab for him & he told me to just wait in the car, unusual. Then he got me a drink & a snack, slightly less unusual, but still unusual. Then when we got home, he carried my bag into the house for me, very unusual. I guess I really looked as bad as I'd felt. When I caught a glimpse of myself, I could see what he meant: My cheeks were bright red & my eyes looked sunken like a corpse. I sat down on the couch to play Animal Crossing, but I was too tired. I kind of just laid there, not really doing anything for a while. Then I moved into my room & accidentally fell asleep. I woke up hours later, dazed, & was scared that I'd overslept, that it was tomorrow, that I missed my teaching observation, but no; I was met with a pitch black night outside of my window. I think I slept for four or five hours, but I felt a lot better. This is actually the first day in months that I didn't go for any sort of walk oustide. It feels strange. Then I migrated back to the couch & I watched the live action One Piece with my dad. He's the one who suggested it actually, & he really likes it for whatever reason. He said it was better than the anime, well he said cartoon actually, which is totally whack, but oh well. He made me promise not to watch any without him, which I wasn't really planning to.

    I did the dishes, planned tomorrow's escapade into the city, planned my "business attire" teaching outfit (an A line skirt, turtleneck, & Doc Marten loafers that are very out of place with the purple hair & nose ring), & packed my bag for tomorrow. I'm not bringing my usual messenger bag, I'm sure I'd get bitched at because the pins aren't professional enough, what with them proclaiming my lesbianism & whatnot. & there's the one that says "well hung." That one probably wouldn't go over well either. I was trying to find my glasses, but I think I forgot them somewhere, maybe at my mom's house. I keep forgetting things. It's really bothering me. It makes me feel like I'm going a little crazy.

    I think that I'm going to visit my sister tomorrow. There's a coffee shop by her dorm, which is very close to the school that I'm observing at. I need somewhere to wait around at till I head off to the school, because my observation is scheduled for the afternoon, towards the end of the school day. I figure that I'll bring my laptop with me & do my literature classwork, maybe work on the site if I feel inspired. I don't know, I'll have a few hours.

    10/04/2023 / 8:25 AM
    I woke up feeling filthy, disgusting. Something's really bothering me & I don't know what it is. It feels like it's just out of reach of my consciousness; It's there, right outside the window, but it's so hazy. I feel so disgusting. I can't believe I'm getting my flu shot after this & before my test today. I feel disgusting. I feel disgusting.

    10/03/2023 / 9:19 PM
    I feel kind of detached from everything, and the only time I feel 'reattached' is whenever there's too much noise & when I'm annoyed. I haven't really felt like this before. Well, I've felt this lack of attachment to everything, I mean I haven't felt this in conjunction with annoyance or anger. I feel like things are moving around me & I'm completely still. Or I feel like I'm being acted upon.

    10/03/2023 / 7:55 PM
    Just went for a long walk; Normally my walks are twenty minutes at the most this time of year because the weather is so inhospitable, but I stepped oustide today & it genuinely felt nice. The sky was really soft & the clouds seemed to be peaceful. I left before sunset & came back after sunset. There was this breeze brushing everything around softly the entire time, but not gently. It was enough of a breeze to rustle my pant legs. It felt so nice that I wished I could just take my shirt off, but I think the shirtless purple haired girl in rave pants at the local park would get in trouble, you know? But it really did feel lovely. When things feel really nice, I normally have trouble describing them beyond how nice they are. If you've ever heard me describe good food, the only word I can normally conjure up is 'delicious' & the only word I can use to describe the weather today is 'really nice.' Oh, I saw this owl, too, in the middle of the afternoon, before I went on this last walk. It was flying close to the ground, gliding. I was hoping to see my owl friend again when I went out later, but I didn't. I recognized this owl too, because I was by his tree. There were swarms of bugs too that were nearly forming a mist around my head. It was the same thing while I was studying in the house, but flies. I felt like a corpse.

    As I walked, I put my music on & these are the songs that came on: Chicago (Demo) by Sufjan Stevens, Heart It Races (Cover) by Dr. Dog, Hyper Ventilation by Radwimps, 我愛你 by Cody Lee, Postcards from Italy by Beirut, I'm So Tired by Fugazi, Don't Panic by Coldplay, No Surprises by Radiohead, Sea, Swallow Me by Cocteau Twins, & Oats We Sow by Gregory & the Hawk. Oats We Sow was playing as I walked into the house & it was just as my brother came in from his practice. He had to shower & asked me to turn the light on for him because he was scared of the dark & it bothered me because it made me remember something terrible from when I was young & I told him it's alright, because I'm scared of the dark too. & then he said Really? & I said Of course. & then he said he was scared of mom's closet especially & I agreed. All of these thoughts of the past that I'm finding hard to avoid are making me feel like a ghost.

    10/02/2023 / 11:16 PM
    Today went by really quickly & I think it's because I don't think I really paused to think or to feel; I just kind of got swept away by time. Normally I spend my time reminiscing or contemplating or thinking in circles or talking to myself, but I didn't really do much of that today. I didn't live in my head, but I didn't live in the present either. I felt somewhere else today. It feels strange, but not bad. Well, it feels a little bad, but only because it's strange, not by any other merit. It was bad because I didn't feel like myself. I felt like my self went away & came back to me later.

    Because I had relatively little thoughts about things, I guess I'll just record my day's activities: Slept in & got a ride to school. My mom originally told me she wouldn't drive me which was really annoying, because it would take her less than ten minutes to take me & would save me a mile walk to the bus in ninety degree heat being smothered by the sun's rays & an asphalt assault & also because I rearranged my entire weekend for the express purpose of watching my brother Sunday & for some reason it seems that Vashti should be available whenever someone needs her & if Vashti needs someone things only work if they're extremely convenient for them. That was a run-on sentence, but it was also a run-on thought, so oh well. She did take me to school though & when I got there, I ran into E. In the car, E had texted asking if I wanted Starbucks & I said hell yeah & then because I ran into her, we just went together. Her friend from class came too, which I didn't mind, because I was annoyed & it kept the conversation light. I think English isn't her first language, because when we were talking about who would ride in the front seat, I offered to rock-paper-scissors her, no real reason, except a fun fact is that Vashti is a perpetual rock-paper-scissors loser. I don't know how it's possible, but it is. Anyways, she referred to claiming the front seat as calling "gunshot" which I thought was cute. She told me I could ride in the front seat & I asked if she was sure, because I really didn't care either way & she said yeah. & E apologized for her driving but I joked that her driving was in top form today. Well, half joked. When E texted asking what I wanted I asked for a surprise & I still hadn't picked what I wanted when her friend talked about how the mocha cookie one was the best, so I got that. I've had that one before; I used to get it whenever E & I had English class a couple of semesters ago. E remembered when I mentioned it. It made me feel nostalgic. Her friend, I'm not sure what her name, sorry, got an iced white mocha or something. It think it's what my dad drinks. Vashti isn't a fan of the white chocolate, not sure why. When we got back to the school, (we went through the drive through & didn't stay), E parked the car & said sorry for how far it was & see, I'd thought she normally parked in the staff parking lot, so I said that & E gasped & said she would never. That made sense, because I always thought that it would be uncharacteristic for her to steal a teacher's parking spot, but I had that in my head for whatever reason. I don't want to say that E is a goody two shoes, because that comes with the implication that she expects others to act as good as her, and she's not like that, not disapproving. The way she acts reminds me of that Marcus Aurelius quote, "Be tolerant with others and strict with yourself," that's how E is. Her friend isn't though, she parks in the staff parking lot every time apparently, says they can walk, haha. I don't know her well, but I like her.

    We walked back to the campus & E said she wanted to walk a certain way & half asked if we could & what did I care? I didn't even know exactly where we were going, because Vashti is carless & has never walked from the parking lot to school before; The bus stops way close up by the buildings. I understood why she wanted to go the way we did; We walked under these trees that almost made a tunnel, it was really beautiful in a mundane, parking lot way. It was really nice... Then we got to the building & her friend left & E & I sat & talked for a little while before my class began. I wanted something from the vending machine, but I forgot my wallet, something I've never done withing recent memory. E couldn't believe it either; It's really unlike me. Like I said, I didn't feel completely like myself today. She asked if I'd be alright without my wallet, but I was going straight home after classes so it was no big deal. We talked about classes & about my math test, which I got a 90 on. A 90! I turned that test in thinking I'd aced it. I feel humbled & crestfallen, especially since I got it back & saw what I missed: most of the points I missed were for not explaining myself & three of those points I missed were because I divided 75 by 3 wrong. Jesus Christ. I felt like a dunce till I said goodbye to E & went to class & everyone was talking about the test & apparently my score was really good. Vashti's measly 90 was the top score out of everyone I'd talked to. I felt like a bitch too, 'cause the moment I walked up to class, these girls were talking about their scores & asked what I'd gotten & I'd sighed & they went Oh, the test was rough for you too, huh & they asked what I got & I said a 90 & one of the girls deadpanned that she got a 78. Ouch. The other girl didn't say her score, so I'm guessing she didn't do too well. That conversation got repeated a few more times, just with other people & then I realized that wow, it sounds like I'm bragging so maybe I should just not mention my score, but they were asking & I didn't know what to say & I didn't want to lie. Oh well. I should've known my grade was good relatively speaking, because after she graded our tests this morning, she sent out an email saying a lot of the class needed to see her before or after class for extra help & that there'd be an opportunity to earn back some points at the beginning of class today. I was actually planning on just skipping class till I read that email; Maybe I can get a high A or something. Doubtful, but hey. The thing we did to earn the points back was really easy, too. It was just a fraction problem, but in a base five system. When I did the problem myself, I just converted everything to base ten & did the problem like normal, but she said that "wasn't in the spirit of the problem," but she gave me full credit anyways, so no loss there. I did the problem a second time though, because everyone else was doing it & even though I didn't get it wrong on the first swing, I wanted my extra credit. I kept trying to explain it tothe two girls next to me & it was really difficult. This is a class of future teachers, so I worry for the future youth a bit if their future teachers are going to Vashti, mediocre at math Vashti, for help in math, you know?

    After that I went to my speech class & oh boy, I lucked out there! We got an email this morning saying our exam had been moved to next class to give us extra time; The thing is, Vashti didn't know there was an exam this week! I could've shown up to class & just flunked a test I'd forgotten about. I mean, I haven't even read the book for it yet. I didn't read the book last time though, & I think I got the top score. I only missed one question, but that's 'cause it's a multiple choice exam & those suck. They require almost no higher order thinking. Trust me, I've learned about this in my education classes. & believe me anecdotally: I did not read that book, I only memorized some of the vocabulary, and I missed only one question out of fifty during our last speech communications exam. Do you know why? It's because multiple choice exams are lazy & are just too easy. If you guys were to take education classes from people who have actually studied teaching, you'd notice that none of them use multiple choice tests, because they suck, they've been proven to suck! Especially when the questions are structured as just recognition/vocabulary questions! This is a bit of a rant, but anyways, Vashti has to make flashcards for this forgotten exam tomorrow. Oh & our class for tomorrow night was cancelled, Lady Luck strikes again! If Vashti has a guardian angel, I think it's just Lady Luck & the only reason I always lose at rock-paper-scissors is because she thinks it's funny.

    After class, we surprised my little brother with McDonald's & took him on a picnic. 'We' being my mother & myself, with her stupid new dog in tow. The dog isn't stupid, it's the fact that she has this dog that's stupid. I'm not even going to get into that right now, because we'd be here paragraphs later & nothing will have changed, not even my emotions. I can bitch about it another time. Anyways she put the dog on my lap in the car, which I did not like, because I don't want a dog on me because it is stressful & frightening & there was no actual reason; She said she "just wanted to see [the dog]." She genuinely treats it & talks about it like it's a baby. I'm not even sure she gushed over my little human brother this much when he was a baby. I'm not being hyperbolic either; It's fucking weird. Anyways, picnic, we took my brother on a picnic. Sat in the shade on a blanket eating McDonald's, with the dog. And then we couldn't go walk at the park because "the dog is too little for that." I'm too annoyed about it, I know, but this whole dog thing really reminds me of this awful thing that happened during my childhood & the whole situation just keeps bringing it back up to me. It's like having a song stuck in your head but the song is one of your worst memories that you thought you buried already. There's that & also the fact that it really shows me how little my mom values my thoughts, feelings, & opinions. She keeps forcing this dog on me & even if it didn't bother me for that other terrible reason, I just can't handle being around a puppy; It freaks me out. I'm scared of the dog on the base level of it being an animal, but also it's just a sensory thing, I guess you could say. The fur & the noises & the unpredictability, it's terrible. & my mom keeps basically half forcing me to hold the dog & play with the dog & it's just making me hate it even more, because she won't listen! It's not alright that Vashti just thinks & feels differently, she needs to love this dog! And this sounds so trivial, I know. Oh, poor you, you're bothered by a puppy? Well I am & I'm not going to justify myself. I don't think I'm being unreasonable because I told E about it & she understood & even if I am, I am scared of animals. I have spent my entire life being afraid of animals. My sister has a dog that we've had for five or six years & I'm still wary of the dog. I can pet her & we can lay around together, but the moment she gets playful or rambunctious, I'm scared. I can't help it.

    I'm just annoyed. I've been annoyed since I've come home & had this dog, this ghost from the terrible parts of my past, shoved down my fucking throat. And I already can tell that my mom is trying to pawn off the responsibility of the dog on me. She keeps telling me that I should take her out or watch her because she "likes me so much." I can't keep talking about this, I'm going to say something regrettable. I am so annnoyed by this. & I'm annoyed with myself for being annoyed by this. I just want to get over it. I'm actually, genuinely angry as I'm writing this. I never feel angry. I'm gritting my teeth at no one. I'm so mad. I'm am so mad. What is wrong with me? I want to tell myself to grow up & get over it, but if I could, I would, so I'm just going to let myself feel angry. No forbidden thoughts, no forbidden emotions, even unpleasant, accusatory ones like anger. And I mean accusatory in the sense that I know the exact experience, exact place in time that this feeling has come from, it's pointing right at it & it's hideous & I'd rather it be covered up but it's not. Maybe this is good though. Normally I tell myself to just be grateful that people put up with me & I never let myself become angry & if I do become angry, I waver quickly because I want approval & how will I get approval or acceptance if I'm angry.

    Talking about dogs, if you've ever read Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead by Olga Tokarczuk, the narrator frees this dog from its abusive owner & the dog goes right back to his owner & she doesn't understand it. & I didn't understand it either. Come on dog, you should be upset, you should run away! But then something shifted in my thoughts, shifted in a way that gave my vision more clarity & I realized I was just that dog. And Vashti would rather be loved like a person than loved like a dog. & Vashti would rather be hated like a person than loved like a dog. So it's okay for me to feel angry. I'm okay with it.

    10/02/2023 / 12:06 AM
    I spent my day exactly how I wanted, alone & quiet. I played Wild World, I ate curry, I drank matcha, I went for a couple of walks, I finished my book (Moshi Moshi), spent a lot of time in bed without a shirt, took a bath, & I did absolutely no schoolwork. It felt good & I felt untethered. My little brother came home & we played video games & watched TV. We watched Spongebob & I have to mention the cutest thing, he wanted to watch YouTube, said he wanted to watch "hamster mazes." I figured this was just some YouTuber's name, but no, apparently my little brother likes watching little hamsters go through mazes that their owners have designed. It was a small look into my little brother's life, the part that has no overlap with mine. It was so cute, so endearing; I love him so much. We ate ice cream, mine was coffee & his was cotton candy, & I let him stay up an hour past his bed time. I tucked him in & he was wearing Sonic pajammas, a onesie. One day, he'll probably never wear a little onesie again. One day, I'll no longer tuck him in. It'll happen for the last time & neither of us will even know it- There'll be no ceremony, so I have to cherish it each & every time I do it. Even if it's taking me away from something else, even if it's 'inconvenient' at times, I still love it. I'm so happy to have him in my life. I'm not close at all with our other sister, the one that I grew up with who is a few years younger than me, so I never knew what it meant to have a close sibling relationship. Even if it took years & years, I am happy to understand it now.

    10/01/2023 / 4:01 PM
    I was about to go for a walk, but as I got up I felt really lightheaded, so I'm going to give myself a few minutes. I slept in this morning. I set my alarm for late in the morning & didn't expect that I'd actually sleep in that long, but I did. It felt nice. I played some Wild World after waking up & got some Indian food delivered. I felt bad about spending the money, even though I had the money for it. I don't know exactly why. Then I saw that the last time I had food delivered was in July, & it wasn't even for me, it was for my mom, so I figured getting food delivered every few months, even in my shakey & extreme mindset, can't possibly be a bad thing. The food was delicious & I made sure to order enough that I'd have enough for lunch or dinner too. My little brother is coming home tonight & I'm going to be watching over him until my mom comes back from her trip tomorrow. I'm going to let him stay up late playing video games, & as long as he hasn't eaten before he gets dropped off later, I'll surprise him with McDonald's or something. No real reason; he's just my little brother & I love him. I haven't seen him in weeks either, which is out of the ordinary for the both of us. My mom half begged me to stay at her house & watch him, but she didn't have to. I don't mind it at all & don't see him as an obligation or inconvenience; I see him as my little brother.

    The cusp of 09/30 & 10/01/2023 / A new month is here, & I am welcoming it with arms & eyes wide open II
    Today, finally bringing in the trash cans that I'd left outside for days, I felt this cool breeze. It was hot out, but the breeze was cool, and it felt so nice. I felt good & clean & perhaps a bit heavy. As I thought about it, it felt so familiar, and I thought about a diary entry from the first of this month:

    It's September & I was standing there at work today, & suddenly I just felt different. I felt new. It felt like a cool breeze swept over my mind or my soul, (whichever one of those concepts you personally subscribe to). I felt new & clean & lighter.

    In this instance, my cool breeze was literal; A reward for doing what I didn't feel like doing. & this idea of breeze being purifying, I gave it some more thought & it now has a deeper meaning to me. I live in a place that is constantly, horribly hot & oftentimes, the best weather that I can hope for is a cool breeze. A rainy day may be better, but a cool breeze is all I can normally get, but there's something to be said about a nice breeze on a hot day: You consciously feel how good it is; It's a feeling of relief. Even if it's only for a few moments, it brings you into the present moment. This is an idea that I'd like to carry forward, that I've been trying to carry with me, maybe a bit awkwardly, maybe I don't quite know how to do it with ease yet, the idea of being present. No more feeling detached. I am my body. And no more being swept away by my thoughts; I'm not just my thoughts, I'm my body too.

    I've been thinking for a while, & in my culture, there's always this division between body, mind, & spirit, & they're never allowed to be equals- one always takes precendence. For example, if people were to be starved, if no one could get food, there would be riots, but it's completely normal to be starved spiritually or intellectually; It's seen as an unfortunate reality that not everyone can be happy & not everyone can realize their dreams & that's just how it is. No one would ever accept that as reality on a physiolgical level though. If everyone were told no food for you, that's just how it is, no one would accept that. In this way, body takes precedence over mind and spirit. At the same time though, it's really common for us to view ourselves as minds or personalities, ones that just happen to control our bodies. & this idea of control, it implies a divide. I think this idea comes from our collective fear of death. It's easier for us to see ourselves as a mind whose ideas can persist after death, can exist in the world in some form, and not bodies that rot into nothing. I think the same can be said in regards to the concept of a soul. In these instances, mind and spirit take precedence over the body. I've just been thinking that maybe it doesn't have to be this way, maybe it's really bad for us to see ourselves as divided, you know? I think it can lead to neglect. For me, I think it's led to this type of spiritual or emotional decay. Decay is a strong word, but it's the only word to express what I'm thinking. I came to the realization that my thoughts often overtake my emotions, and I try to rationalize & dispose of my emotions, especially the ones that I deem improper & I'm not going to do that anymore. Like I'd said some time ago, No forbidden thoughts, no forbidden emotions. My body is my body, every part of it, even the things I feel. It was only just now that I realized all of these ideas really meant the same thing, that I am entitled to myself, all of myself, and no one else is, because I am as much my body as my thoughts & my emotions.

    Normally a month transitions into the next & I don't notice it, but this month is different. & this new month, I will be different, the same but different. I'll still be myself, but I'll change myself. This was another idea that I had difficulty grappling with. I thought by changing, by becoming happier, that I was becoming less of myself, but that's not possible. No matter what I do, just by virtue of existing, I am myself. It's unavoidable. The only thing I can do is become more authentically, more radically myself. I can accept myself.

    This month had its neat breezey bookends, but I also think that I can feel that cool, life affirming, clean breeze again just by breathing deeply. That brings me back to myself too. Sometimes it's that simple.