Sunday, July 21, 2013

Book 2, "No Oxygen"

When I was younger I used to make shirts. Well, draw on undershirts with sharpie. It looks like the first shirt I made was on the first of January in 2008. Maybe it was some resolution, or inspiration brought in by the expectation of new things, or maybe it was just a thing I happened to start doing then. I can't say that I remember. They were pretty well accepted in high school as far as I could tell, but I stopped wearing them regularly when I started work. Not dress code.

Admittedly it was probably an attempt to stand out, to be artsy, and to express myself, but I also remember just wanting some undershirts. A friend of mine would wear them (like you're supposed to, under shirts), and I thought, for some reason, that he was cooler for it. But I couldn't just up and buy undershirts, I had already been wearing polos without them for a while. So, drawing on them was my twisted solution. It made sense to me somehow.

I haven't made any new shirts in a while. I can't say why I haven't for certain, but I'd put money on a combination of not being able to wear them throughout the week, and thinking other people think they're a tad silly. I still like them, but I guess I have to admit that I feel pressured not to advertise this part of me. I wouldn't say that I deny that self, but like Superman, I hide it. Very literally, I still wear the shirts under my dress shirts sometimes, sort of reminding me of who I am.

This actually became one of my least favorite shirts over the years. To be honest I think the text on the back is kind of dumb. It's sort of an attempt at being deep, but falls short in my opinion. I guess it was my attempt at pointing out that the things we flip flop between are trivial in comparison to what's really going on around us.

We use the little things to distract us from the big. Being single has it's perks, but so does being in a relationship. When we focus so much on the other side of things we don't only lose sight of the nicer aspects of our current circumstances, but we block ourselves from being concerned with the bigger picture.

And it's not just relationships that I'm talking about here, they just seem to be something a lot of people deal with. Moving, changing jobs, changing schools, or basically anything that requires (or asks for, at least) commitment, these are all things that can distract us from what's going on in our lives, by providing a situation where we can dream of what it's like on the other side of the fence.

And don't get me wrong, I'm not saying change is bad, shifting from single to paired is often laced with pure elation, but the obsession with leaving where you are to get to where your not for the soul purpose of new scenery can be devastating. Make sure the change is more than ointment for itchy feet. You're often exactly where you're supposed to be.

I appreciate what I was trying to say when I made this shirt, but I don't think that I said it well. I think that's what bothers me about it. I feel like it could have been done better. Maybe something like, "Who cares how green the grass is? Let's play ball." I don't know.

My friend Jeremy is one of the people that's moving in with me currently. He saw my old journal sitting out, opened to this page, and decided that he'd deliver a response. What he wrote is classic Jeremy.

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Who Cares How Green The Grass Is If theirre Is No Oxeygen?

The greener the grass is increases the amount of solar radiation that the plant's chloroplast organelles can absorb thus increasing the frequency of succesful photosynthetic reactions thereby increasing the level of atmospheric oxygen.

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This is where I learned how to use there/their/they're. Also where I 'learned' to spell oxygen (I still initially spell it wrong sometimes). This entry grants Jeremy entrance to the elite group of people that have written in my journals. The total stands at three, if I can remember correctly. Maybe four. I appreciate the response he gave because it really defines him. Not what it says specifically, but that he said it, and in a way, how he said it too. My response to him in person was something along the lines of, "But what if you painted the grass green?"

He's a pretty great friend. I was working through some things earlier and he helped by listening and giving input. That's not the thing that defines the quality of his frienditude, but it's surely part of it.

Advice is a pretty gnarly thing. There's value to it, of course, but it's more useful as something for you to process, than something to direct you. Minding what exactly the advice is is important, and minding where it comes from is pretty vital as well. It's nice to be able to find advice from myself, but I'm not sure that younger Justin is the most reliant place to find wisdom. Anyway, this is sort of relevant to what I was dealing with earlier.

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Just because everyones doing it doesnt make it right

If standing alone means you might be the right doing the right thing then why dont we kill?

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I guess we do kill, but pointing out the potentiality of being wrong when you stand alone is important. Just because you stand alone doesn't mean you're doing the right thing. I can't say whether or not the lone ranger is right more or less often, but keeping in mind that he can be both sort of changes the way I look at the whole, "Stand alone and do the right thing" thing. It's important to be able to stand to your morals, even when no one supports you, especially when no one supports you, but I think when no one supports you, you might take a second to look at what you're doing.

Anyway, I finally saw The Great Gatsby this weekend, and found it a lot better than people had made it seem. I liked it a lot. I also saw Despicable Me 2, and I'll admit many smiles were had.

Thanks for reading this, by the way. It means a lot more than I think you realize.