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01 December 2014

When the little voice inside your head talks...

I'm crazy tired, so this post might not flow together very well.)

I ask myself, "How am I doing?" and usually answer somewhere between "meh" and "damn, I don't feel so hot right now." Life goes on, one day to the next, regardless of how I feel. Some days I'm engaged, some I'm not. Lately I've been seriously slacking on taking all of my medications. I'm staying up all night more often than not, which indirectly means I'm avoiding the world-- it's quiet at night, and I can do things like work in a lab where I won't have face to face human contact until someone comes in for morning office hours. I'm behind in classwork, which is fixable but I'm at that point in the semester where I realize I haven't done enough and now I'm in this insane race to catch up. This of course gets everything triggered and I can't actually get things accomplished for shit. My mind is always occupied, there's a little voice inside my head that's always talking.

California.

My trips to hackathons in California this year (HackTech in Santa Monica, CalHacks in Berkeley, and HackSC in LA) each made a huge impression on me. I really liked being on the west coast, even though it was only for a weekend at a time. Sunshine is a pretty nice thing, and as Wisconsin slides into winter I'm realizing that I really have no love for the snow or the cold, or grey bleak bleh that sets in once there's snow on the ground. There are lot of things to love about Wisconsin, and this will always be where I'm from, but it's really just another place. Take away college, and there's no particular reason for me to be here, while California has this thing called Silicon Valley where people like me get paid to do things like write code to make computers do cool things.

Madison is a good place, but for all the talk of being "progressive" here it's mostly just that-- talk. You think I'm kidding? Headline from Nov 30: Downtown Madison to see new public restroom. A committee is working on where to put the restroom and what it will look like, with a budget of $300,000 and a proposal due by March. The city hopes to break ground on the project sometime next year. IT'S A SHITTER. IT'S NOT THAT FUCKING COMPLICATED.  (Honestly, it's not. Google 'prefabricated public restroom' and you'll find a list of companies that specialize in building them to order, putting them on a truck, and installing them for you.)

There is also the fact that I moved here in 2004, so it's been past ten years that I've lived here. Two of those years I was homeless, five of those I've been busting my ass to get my bachelor's degree. I've had some success here, but there are a lot of memories attached to a lot of places here. I'm not sure I want to spend the rest of my life seeing street corners or doorways or parking structures and recalling that "Hey, that was one of the places I slept one night".

It's deeper than that, though. I have some latitude in where I want my life to go, probably more than I've ever had. I'm on disability, which isn't a lot of income but it's there in my account every month. I could, as my last Vet Center person suggested, consider myself retired. Take classes and complete my degree, yes. Keep attending hackathons and building things, yes. Other than that, chill. Let this be how life is for a while. Lean back, raft on a lazy river style. This is a choice I could make, but it's a finite one, and I don't think the therapists and the counselors quite get it when they suggest this as a good idea for me. Someday, college will end. Either I'll graduate or they'll tell me to just give the fuck up, and since I won't just give the fuck up, graduation is the only option. This, whatever life this is for me right now, has to end. Outside of UW, I don't have a life built in Madison and I don't particularly want one (even if the city actually figures out the public shitter issue). I've been here long enough, probably too long. It's too fucking cold here and I belong somewhere else.

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Earlier this summer, I had an informal phone interview with Google. A couple of weeks ago, Apple Inc. contacted me about an internship opportunity. I interviewed for the position, and some of the skills required are skills that I just don't have yet. I'm all right with that. I actually wasn't actively looking for an internship for 2015-- I'm trying to put together a year of stable living, working, and studying so I have something to build on-- but they called me. 

That's what's making it hard right now. It's frustrating, having to rebuild so much just to be able to build. I want to just put this PTSD shit in the past where it belongs, get busy and get graduated and get out of here and have a normal life getting paid to do what I love to do and not freezing my ass off. Am I running from my problems? No-- I'm not-- I'm sticking this out, staying the course, whatever you want to call it. It's just really time to start taking steps forward and I'm feeling frustrated because I can't take them all at once.


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