Sometimes it’s easier to close a door than open a window.
~ Uncle Angelo
Heehee, if you know the Golden Girls, you know the quote. To Dorothy it is wise, to Uncle Angelo it’s just a fact. Sometimes I hear quotes that most people don’t really give a second thought that I feel like just sums up some things about life. For example, I have a cut out of a Dennis The Menace where he asks, “Why won’t my little toe every grow up to be as big as my big toe?” So many things are just summed up there. One of my favorite quotes though is:
So? I’ll be 90 anyway!
~ Sophia Petrillo
This is in response to when Sophia says that now she can attend law school. Dorothy says, “Ma! By the time you get out you’ll be 90.” That’s when Sophia dispenses this bit of wisdom. It’s not about doing things that make you eligible for something else, it’s about doing things for your own personal fulfillment. There’s a speech that went viral which now is a book where a professor said, “You are not special.” If you listen to his speech, like I did a couple days ago, it’s not really about not being special in as much as it is about fulfillment. Where I have to disagree that you’ll only find fulfillment in selflessness, I do agree that many individuals they only do things for their academic stature in order to qualify for something else. This is all well and good, as knowledge should be used, but learning can be fulfilling in itself. Gaining more understanding and more skills for yourself can be quite satisfying when paired with an outlook of creativity and discernment. Of course, his dissertation was speaking mostly about upper class high school students.
It is with this intent that I quit my self-made WordPress technician job, and now plan to explore what I can do auto-didactic or otherwise. I have no set goal, well that’s not entirely true, other than to figure out the world beyond the world of programming, like in math, arts, and engineering. I have always wanted to understand higher math, as all the truly great computer programming books such as Knuth or otherwise.
I put it in these terms for Maus. I’ve decided I want to be paid for my intelligence and creativity. Of course, that means employing my intelligence towards that goal, not just sitting around and being intelligent. I’ve sat around and been intelligent for too long. Working my WordPress job partially fulfilled that goal, but not fully. I don’t want to end up being 50 or 60 with no qualifications towards any other job. I’ve already felt that pain in my short 31 year old life. I want to be an information worker, a cultural creative.
I grew up not putting a lot of stock into ideas. Most of the work I did was geared towards something physical, whether it was a fence, or a sheep. It’s not that I didn’t recognize the importance and weight of ideas. I definitely understood the power of an idea. I loved abstract thinking. But I’ve never put a monetary value on ideas. I’ve never really considered ideas themselves to be a fruitful pursuit. I think that’s why I start so many things, but never finish them. The idea sounds great, but it lacks the staying power because it’s not really important enough. That’s what I want to stop. I want to make my ideas matter and in a way I have to play catch-up.
When I went to CU I had an extremely humbling experience. When I attended high school I was the top male of my class, a big fish in a little pond. When I went to CU suddenly I was a little fish in a big pond. For example, in high school I studied trigonometry based physics, but at CU physics was calculus based. Problem was I was studying calculus at the same time. At once the physics professor was talking about derivations and integrals in terms of displacement, velocity, acceleration, and momentum. I was befuddled and completely overwhelmed and stressed. One time I was in recitation and I showed how I solved a problem differently, and then one of the students said, “Ah yes, but that doesn’t account for such and such, which could be different.”
That was probably the worst feeling I ever had. I had tried my best with what I had learned up until then. I stood in front of these students, a whole room full of people, and felt like an idiot. I thoroughly felt deeply stupid, and that I was never going to learn everything I needed to know. Later, the stress got to me and I was hospitalized because of mental illness. That’s another story for another time.
That experience has stayed with me, and maybe that’s why I’m afraid of fulfilling my ideas. Maybe that’s why I’m afraid I won’t succeed, which oddly for me comes out more as a fear of success. Perhaps that is why I’ve never thought I could make money off my ideas, even though I constantly dream of making money off my ideas.
Another factor is that my brain can only fill itself up so fast. Mans is what I call a media whore. He constantly consumes media of various sorts, and at the same time pursues a lifelong love of learning. How else can you explain talking about confucianism before bed and getting turned on? My brain has problems switching tracks, I can watch a show, but then I have to spend 15 minutes decompressing what’s been put into my head. I want to make my brain more powerful, and in doing so make me more powerful. I have to learn to exercise the atrophied parts of my brain.
Two and a half years ago my brain was damaged. My limbic system was fucked up. I couldn’t control my emotions and I spent a LOT of time doing nothing. Nothing. My creativity atrophied, my ambition atrophied, my comprehension was blocked, my critical thinking skills suffered. It’s like speaking a language, and then not speaking it for a long time and forgetting it. Maybe I have to spend a period of time where I work my brain in overdrive to strengthen it back up. Maybe I have to stress my brain intellectually.
This is a tall order, because at the same time I need to NOT stress myself. That’s one reason I know I can’t be a full part-time student (and definitely not a full-time student) and also hold a job. Too many things at once. I can only do one thing at a time. So, maybe the answer is only to stress or push myself on my own terms. I can’t go and sign up for 12 credits to stress my brain, but I can decide I’m going to learn college level algebra on my own, as my own pursuit.
I’ve spend a lot of time working on a project that never headed anywhere. I got extremely close to getting it to work, but in reality, I don’t know if it will ever work. I don’t think now is the time anymore to expend energy on that. I feel like I’ve wasted a lot of time that I could have used to learn many more things. Now I think I’m going to learn those many more things.
In other news, I took a cute picture of my rat. Here it is:
I also took some awesome photographs of the sky in Fort Collins. One was taking on the corner outside the entrance to the Northern Hotel Starbucks (one of my favorite places). The other one was a sunset right outside of the FRCC Larimer Campus. Oh yes, enrolling into college, that’s a whole ‘nother subject for a future blog post.
Anyways, I hope you liked the photos!