It used to be, in the finer stages of youth, the world was a bright, magical place.
It’s still very magical, but in a different light, I think.
Like many people, I’m disturbed today by injustice, by incivility, by disrespect, by the pain we cause each other and the struggles we can’t get help for. I’m disturbed by the county welfare office and how discontent they are; I’m disturbed how they run us around in circles. I’m disturbed that I’ve had physicians laugh plainly in my face about my mental health.
I’m disturbed that we, as a human race, can claim the theoretical possibility of a simple algorithm describing human intelligence (N=2^i-1) and yet indigenous people across the globe are buried beneath bigotry, stupidity, and greed. I’m disturbed that we can put intelligence into math terms and yet never use that intelligence to better ourselves as a whole.
I think it’s wonderful when a single person gets the drive and determination to volunteer, to help out their elderly parents, to pull over to the side of the road to help someone who they’ve never met before. I think it’s even more wonderful when a group of people do that.
If one person performing one act of kindness makes one other person perform one act of kindness, what do you think a group performing several acts of kindness could do?
The magic I find in the world is dictated by my imagination. It’s dictated by hours spend reading about futurism and Elon Musk’s goals. It’s dictated by days of neuroscience articles and reading about the potentiality of a new Cancer vaccine. It’s dictated by the stories scribbled by my pens and the character’s voices in my head.
While I have the drive and the insight, I would like to contribute things to this world. After watching days upon days of videos of people in comas and recovering from a Traumatic Brain Injury, after reading article after article about pictures of neurons and the future implications of implanting memory chips into people’s heads, and after dissecting paper after paper about some new early (and un-reviewed) idea that gravity isn’t a fundamental force, but rather an “emergent phenomenon”, I’ve rekindled my love of neuroscience and theoretical neurophysics and the merging of physics and biology.
There are so many things to think about, and this is why I never get things done. If my mind isn’t caught up in worries that will never happen, then it’s caught up in conspiracies against me that I shouldn’t care about. If I don’t feel like people are planning an attack, then demons are–somewhere, somehow. I feel them and I see the signs. If the demons leave me alone, then I dive into a rabbit hole of articles and videos and when I wake up from it all, in the brief period of silence I get, I realize I’ve lost track of time, of my school work, and of life itself.
So when I say I’m tired, and you give me a strange look because I’ve been laying in bed all day, think about it this way:
Your computer sits on a desk for three weeks in sleep mode. When you open it, the battery is dead. You get frustrated ravaging your room for the charger and you ask yourself: why did the battery die when it wasn’t doing anything?
You left the system running on its only power source.
My brain is my only power source. I dream about math and philosophy and violence. I wake up and am bombarded by thought after thought after thought, anxiety related or not. My battery runs dry even in sleep mode, even when there’s a screen saver on, even nothing is being done on the computer, but the screen is on.
Meanwhile, my kitten sleeps in a wonderfully peaceful exorcist position:
Now I understand Oscar more. Oscar is the cat at my place of work. He was beside me last night as I worked an overnight shift. He had this wild stare in his eyes and this calm demeanor. But nothing about him felt calm. His eyes were always elsewhere. He was always focused on something else, somewhere else, with such a great intensity I got worried he saw some paranormal forces behind me that I couldn’t. It was difficult to get any rest last night.
This is Oscar. He has a stare worth a thousand words. Vacant but very much present. Focused, intensely. He felt tense and he couldn’t sleep either. His disconcerting vibe made me wonder if this is how people felt when they saw me staring into space, un-moving, monotone.
He’s gained weight again: he was larger when I first started working here. He slimmed down a lot, was running around like crazy, and now he’s gained some weight back again. I don’t know if that influences his stare, but it might.
Either way, Oscar and I spent a night of staring into each other’s eyes. He understood me and I understood him. He saw into my soul a bit, I think.
He wouldn’t show his though, that’s why he wouldn’t let me take a picture of him when he stared directly at me. He wanted those moments private, and I respect that.