“I hate men, but I’m not a lesbian!”

I’m in Colorado for the weekend.  We planted a few trees early this morning, and are getting ready for another round of digging in the dirt.  It felt awesome to sleep under the stars (kinda.)  I mean, technically it’s impossible not to, but I was in a tent.  Nature is an excellent sleep aid.  I didn’t sleep particularly long, but it’s the quality that counts.  My cellular reception is better here than at home.  M. is surprised I brought my laptop.  I’m a soldier to my core.  Before I move to an even more remote location, I’m going to test the shit out of my equipment and develop some reliable redundancy.  (Is that redundant?) 🤣

We’ve spent hours talking about the future.  We’re going to help build a community of people who refuse the grid.  We’ll communicate via the internet.  People from all over the world who choose to stop abusing the planet.  This will take a lot of effort to convert from idea to reality.  Good thing I’m a wee bit on the obsessive side, eh?  My goal is to make the conversion affordable.  (To me, that means free.)  So anyone from anywhere can participate.  Absolute inclusion.  Be alive to enter.  (So I guess the dead aren’t invited but bring your best memories.)

M. is focusing on the medical side.  Lots of people on earth are elderly, infirm, dependents, and/or disabled, which determines the (new) standards.  The abled adjust, (this time.)

The quality of life of the least able among us determines the level of humanity, civility, and righteousness of the people.

I think we all know this, deep down.  Many pseudo-adults in our cancerous, existing status quo resent this, like toddlers.  They’re humanities disease.  We must heal what we can heal, for the sake of all.  I’m excited, most of all, but lots of other feelings, too.  It’s going to take a lot of time and every resource I can muster.  It’s going to take the will of lots of humans.  Striving spirits.

My time here has brought a smidgen of clarity to my thoughts regarding spirituality.  I’ve finally managed to define what it is regarding people I find so loveable.  I’m attracted to striving spirits.  I don’t care if you call it Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, atheism, or something  I haven’t heard of yet.  I don’t care if you call yourself a Latter Day Saint or Catholic, or Muslim, etc.

It’s your striving spirit I see and love instantly.  Striving to be all you can be. (The irony never stops. 🤣)  You’re on the road;  I’m waving you in for an embrace.  Sophistication isn’t in the cards for me. (I just proved it by thinking, “Whatever.”)  The Muse is still dancing on the wind.  She’s like a smile that won’t go away.  I love her.  (She knows Stevie Nicks!)  I know, I know.  “Geez, Alison, when are you going to chill about Stevie Nicks?”  Right?  Welp.  You’ve had (as much as) decades to relax, knowing she exists.  I was under a fucking rock, and have only had months.  So… gimme a few decades, alright?  Glad we had this talk. 🙃

Here’s a song I remember from my childhood that reminds me of Stevie Nicks:

Be like the bird

Who halting in her flight

On a limb too slight

Feels it give way beneath her

Yet sings, sings

Knowing she hath wings

Yet sings, sings

Knowing she hath wings

 

I’d better get back to work.  In case someone is inadvertently stung by the (random-ish) Seinfeld quote in the title, here’s my truth:  I don’t hate men.  If I could choose my sexuality, I would pick lesbian in a heartbeat.  (Women are so easy to love.  I just lack the desire to have sex with them, which I understand is a disqualifier.)  Off to dig and discuss. 💜

 

What do you expect when your name rhymes with part of the female anatomy?

It finally stopped snowing.  I had an easy day today.  It allowed me to wrestle with religion internally for most of the day.  I mentioned I’m failing as an atheist, so I decided to try a different approach.  Since I’m indoctrinated as a Christian, I’m guilty of overlooking the rituals and doctrine of any other religions.  It’s because I never felt interested in other faiths.  In fact, I was conditioned to avoid learning about other religions.  I suspect this is true with non-Christians, too.  It’s practically taboo.  (I love that word.)  Unfortunately, it’s no excuse since I’m American.  We’re people of all faiths and none.  I realized it makes me an asshole not to lift a finger to educate myself about what is paramount to so many Americans.  My bad.

I’ll be studying Islam first.  I want to understand because it’s the shortest path to love.  I lived with a Muslim family for a year in Saudi, but my focus was on language.  I was also unable to be present when I socialized at that time.  When I’m on auto-pilot, I remember what goes on around me like it’s a dream.  Sometimes I can easily recall, and other times it’s just out of reach.  It was something I did unconsciously whenever my anxiety surged.  I’m better at controlling my anxiety in social situations now.  There’s still room for improvement, however.  Part of what I’m calling an improvement is my ability to dodge social situations when I’m not in the mood.  Recognizing I was allowed to say no was all that was holding me back.  (Embarrassing)

I looked into purchasing a gun earlier.  The laws are shockingly lax in South Dakota.  I discovered I can legally own an M-16 A2 (semi-automatic assault rifle!) without the hassle of a permit.  That’s the first weapon I ever fired.  I went from crying because it scared the shit out of me to acquiring sharpshooter status in a week.   Being afraid helped me aim well.  I never allowed my myself to overthink the ethical issues of killing as a soldier.  I wasn’t a conscientious objector exactly… I just decided if I found myself in a kill or be killed situation, it was game over for me.  It was too abstract to ponder much.  When I saw the racist senator from Iowa call for ethnic cleansing, I started thinking maybe a gun would be nice.  Then I lost my fury while researching options and reading an article about a bill to legalize silencers.  Are you fucking kidding me?  So… Yeah.  Fuck it.  If a racist piece of shit wants to shoot me, come at me.  Then rot in a cage, beast.

She had man hands

I have a migraine.  It’s ignorable.  I’m probably dehydrated.  I’ve been overly focused on my work, and haven’t paid attention to minor annoyances, like thirst.  My sister went through some of the furniture I bookmarked, and we decided on the Togo.  It’s low to the ground, and no hard legs to break toes upon.  It will keep me from sitting on the floor, and be comfortable enough for her when she visits.  I’m more interested in the TV and audio equipment.  I’ll be going to visit her in a few weeks in NYC.  It can be a sensory nightmare if I don’t plan ahead.

I’ve made lots of progress with my encryption work.  Sometimes it’s good that I don’t have an off switch when coding.  Productive, at least.  Some aspects of AI scare me.  It messes with my sense of object vs. being.  The finer that line gets, the more it scares me.  Humans develop an awareness of self over time.  Experiences factor largely into personality.  I’m starting to grasp why religion exists on a deeper level.  I never realized how much this project would effect me.  It’s broadened my view, and freed me from a lot of nonsense I wasn’t even aware I believed.  I suppose the act of creating something more intelligent than it’s creator is like looking into a mirror, and seeing an ape reflected back.  I don’t know whether I should laugh, cry, or hide.  It’s kind of like playing the ultimate game of chicken.  Only, the impact potential is greater than I can fathom.

Tired puppy.

I think I’ve recovered from my Denver vacation.  Well, almost.  Once I am able to sleep again, I’ll be there.  Anytime I break my schedule, it takes a toll on me.  I think I’m recovering faster, though.  Today has been surreal.  There’s a guy who lives down the hall from me.  He’s autistic, and lives with his Mom.  He’s always been kind to me when we’ve shared an elevator, or passed in the hall.  He invited me to come to his place once, but I declined.  He knocked on my door today after I came back from getting my mail.  I walk past his door, so he probably saw me.  I answered, and he asked if I wanted to visit again.  I said no.  Then I told him that I think he’s a nice person, but I wasn’t interested in going inside his apartment.  He didn’t respond for a bit, then asked if I wanted to go to the community room.

I thought about it, and said no.  Then I asked if he wanted to go to the theater room and watch a movie instead.  He said yes, and then ran down the hall to tell his Mom.  I grabbed my new Harry Potter collection, then put it back, and picked Howl’s Moving Castle instead.  I don’t want anyone to watch Harry Potter with me, because even if they say they won’t talk, they do.  He came back a few minutes later, and we went to the theater room to watch.  It was around 33 F, which is like a heat wave compared to the last 4 days.  He talked several times during the movie.  I didn’t mind because I’ve seen it several times.  Afterward, we walked back to our building, and I said goodbye, and started to walk to my door.  I got about 10 feet, then I heard him running to catch up.  He said he wanted to walk me to my door.  I think his Mom told him to do this.  When we got to my door, I unlocked it and opened it, and my cat was at the door like usual.  She ran away as soon as she realized I wasn’t alone.  I said bye and closed the door and locked it.  Then I thought about how it must have been obvious to his Mom that I’m autistic too.  I supposed parents of autistics can tell.  She’s always kind with me as well.

I have my annual shrink appointment next Friday. While I see it as only necessary to continue getting my Prozac, I have to admit, my shrink is a good one.  He has private practice, plus his VA position.  He’s open about being a Christian, even though it’s technically frowned upon for the VA staff to question me about my beliefs.  He asks me about my spiritual health, along with my mental and physical health each time we meet.  I talked to him about it a few times.  The first time, I told him I was an atheist.  I thought it was true at that time, plus I expected my response to end the topic.  The next time, I told him about encountering atheists online, and how I didn’t understand why so many were proud of being atheist, and thought their declaration meant they had superior intelligence to those who believed in God.

I went on to relate how I’d seen people who enjoyed baiting those who were proud of their religion by asking them to prove their God exists, and implying that anyone who believed was a fool.  I thought it was bizarre, and told him it reminded me of racism.  He asked me if I still thought I was an atheist.  I said no, that I was agnostic.  He asked me what that meant to me.  I remember feeling glad that he was basically saying I get to decide the definition.  I told him that I wasn’t sure yet, and that reading the bible is what led to my agnosticism in the first place.  I said I think agnosticism could be temporary.  It could be that I haven’t read or heard or experienced the something that will lead me to belief yet.  I added that I listen, and pay attention to people who show me their faith through their behaviors, choices, and lives.  I added that he’s one of the people I pay attention to in that respect.  My sister is another.  There are a few online, too.  It was a good appointment, and I left feeling understood.

I think a person’s beliefs are incredibly personal.  I don’t like extremists because they too often believe their faith is more important than the lives of other people.  I don’t like it when people use religion, or the lack thereof, to justify offending others.  I don’t think hurting people on purpose is funny, or cool, or indicative of superior intellect.  I think it’s being insecure loudly.  Most who believe are not extremists.  Most of the people I’ve encountered so far, whom I’ve known to be religious, were striving to be better people.  I think that’s awesome.  It’s not restricted to religion, of course.  I just can’t stomach hating on someone for being different than me, but harming no one.

Grow

I have a friend on Twitter who is young.  We met through hash tag games, and follow each other.  At the beginning of our friendship, she got into a debate about religion with a mutual follower.  The mutual follower felt she was being persecuted for being a Christian, and had no tolerance for atheism.  My friend saw that she wasn’t going to be reasonable about it, so she asked if they could agree to disagree.  But our mutual follower felt victimized, and went silent.

The next day, I was chatting with my friend about something unrelated to the previous issue.  The mutual friend saw me being kind and supportive of her, and became angry.  She blocked us both, and told me I had betrayed her by befriending someone who had abused her over her religion.  She didn’t allow me to say anything to that, not even goodbye.  For a moment, I felt upset that she would react in such a childish way.  Then I realized she probably felt triggered by the incident, and that it wasn’t really about anything but my failure to protect her as my friend.  That put her reaction in a different light, and it became easier to understand.

I don’t resent her for what she did.  I don’t think there is anything I could have done in that moment to assure her that I cared about both of them, regardless of whether they got along.  So I care about her without her knowledge now.  I won’t be the person she needed me to be in that moment.  I won’t reject my friend on her behalf.  I won’t reinforce the painful message she’s already deduced from her life so far.  It would be wrong.  I know this with everything I am.

This young friend is a beautiful person.  She doesn’t know this.  She’s intelligent, witty, kind, concerned, and aware.  She reminds me of myself when I was younger in that she wishes her mom would have elected to have an abortion, rather than birthing her, and struggling.  I remember feeling that way for a long time.  It’s something I outgrew as I’ve grown, and I’m confident she will too, in her own time.  What she is saying is that she loves her mom so much, and would do anything to make her life easier, even if it meant giving up her life.  She’s saying that she doesn’t believe she is worth the struggle her mom has endured.  She’s saying that she wishes she never existed sometimes.  Most of the time.

Feeling that way is like that ache in the back of your throat when you’re trying your hardest not to cry.  It’s that resentment you feel when the first tear edges it’s way down your cheek despite your willing it to cease.  It’s that lack of control you feel, when you realize your body reacts in a disobedient manner.  It’s a deep depression.  It’s scary and sad.  I know this because I’ve lived there before.  So of course I can’t turn my back on her.  I can’t let her go on thinking she’s worthless when I know it’s not true.  I can’t ignore the fact that she’s a bright light in this world.

So I try to gently remind her that she has value.  I know she disagrees now, but just reading my words sinks in a little, if only subconsciously.  She goes back and forth with religion, as many do at her age.  The desire to disbelieve in fairytales and declare yourself an adult is normal growing pains.  To throw religion away is a bold declaration that you have your own mind.  It’s not done to offend those who believe.  It’s not done to try and get others to disbelieve as well.  It’s a process of growing out of indoctrination, and questioning everything in order to have a full understanding of where you will eventually take your stance.  It’s finding the confidence in your beliefs and values.

It’s something I think most people do, although probably not as openly.  There are phases where arrogance and superior intellect are lies one tells oneself to compensate for the bitterness thrown at them by Christians who are insecure in their own beliefs.  The finger pointing when one who is identified as a Christian does or says something that is clearly not considered a proper action for the religion is another.  But these are part of the process.  She’ll outgrow all of this in her own time.

I just support her for being herself and finding her way.  I see the goodness in her.  It doesn’t make me feel old.  It makes me feel like some of the hard times I’ve already lived through were worth it, because now I can see past the mask and recognize the pain behind it.