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Matthew Harris' Journal
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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Matthew Harris' LiveJournal:

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    Saturday, May 23rd, 2015
    1:20 am
    Not being exhausted:
    For the two or three weeks that I was in a "liminal state", I had a rare thing for me: being very tired, and waking up early.

    My life was inescapable, my focal length took in my entire future. I would wake up in anxiety, wondering how I was going to fix everything. I would work through the day, and go to bed exhausted, because I was still thinking of that big picture. This also involved me sleeping almost normally: going to bed at midnight and waking up at 8 AM. Even before 8 AM!

    But now that my mind is focal length is back to what is in front of me, and I can sit here, at 1 AM (a time that traditionally would be early), buzzing with energy and think "What do I need to do on the internet next?"

    So...back to normal?

    (Also, I know that this exact combination of experiences might be a bit unique to me, but I still wish to share it)
    Friday, May 22nd, 2015
    12:11 pm
    I am not the same person as I was at the beginning of the month
    When I look back at the past month, I am surprised at how many things have changed. Some of these are external, and some are internal. But overall, when I remember what I was thinking and feeling four short weeks ago, it doesn't even make sense to me. Which is a bit unusual, in that a lot of my plans were already underway in mid-April. But at the beginning of May, I just realized that everything that I thought was happening...was really going to happen. That I had to do it. It was a time of high anxiety for about two weeks, which has started to level off.

    There is still things that sometimes shock me a little: getting all my possessions in boxes, and being in an empty room...the idea is still jarring. But not as jarring as the thought of having to pass more of my life in this little room.

    Anyway, so that is May. Or some of it: I still have more to run. 10 more days and lets see how shipshape this all looks!
    Thursday, May 14th, 2015
    5:53 pm
    There was a thunderstorm and now I've been without power for an hour. Very dramatic!

    (Posting via my phone, obviously)

    Posted via

    2:01 am
    Pendulum Swings
    This is pretty much my thinking lately:

    "Yep, I can move to Taiwan, teach English, make good money, have adventures, and generally reinvent myself"

    the next day:

    "I just miss being where I grew up, the comfort and the familiarity, it would be easy to move there, volunteer, and just naturally find my way"

    the next day:

    "I can't imagine doing anything ever I just want to sit here and stare at the rain forever"

    Rinse, wash, repeat.
    Tuesday, May 12th, 2015
    9:03 am
    No plans, no back-ups
    I am half-way through May, and I think I can say that my speed run is going pretty well.

    It is only around the first of May that I realized that there wasn't a back-up plan, and I had to move forward. For a long time, I've taken having this house for granted: I've always had a safe place to retreat to. Even when I "knew" I had to leave, I was very reluctant to really consider moving out of this house, because...I felt at home here.

    Its hard to think about leaving here and not having a home. I don't mean that I won't have a roof over my head, but I won't have a home. I will always be on edge. And I've felt on edge, as my safe reality for the past six years has slowly dissolved around me. I have empty bookshelves scattered with papers. Parts of my room are empty, while other parts are messy.

    This world is fading away, and I don't know what is going to replace it.
    Saturday, May 9th, 2015
    11:23 pm
    So tired...
    Physically and mentally pretty tired, it looks like I am going to fall asleep before midnight and sleep through the night, which isn't the usual story.

    Speedrunning of May continues!
    Monday, May 4th, 2015
    9:27 pm
    So, May is not April, which is a good thing.

    One thing that I am accepting now is that my life is going to change. That is kind of scary but also promising.

    Yesterday, I went to Lake Como, and I had kind of the disappointing realization that I had been there last year at this time, and that in some ways, I was in the same place as I was then. Last year I was talking about moving on, but for some reason, it never got done. Not all of those reasons were trivial and me being stubborn: my father having a heart attack wasn't really something I could just ignore. But the truth is, that only took up one month, and for some of the rest of the time I was just spinning my gears. Part of me was just "waiting", I don't know for what? Its kind of odd in retrospect.

    Part of it was that this house really does feel like my home, and I got comfortable here. It was sad to think of not having a home. Even if I find places to live, it will be a while before I have a *home*, if that makes sense. I got into a groove here. And now I am finally getting out of that groove. I look at my room, the room I've lived in since 2009, and it feels strange. I am already moving out, mentally.

    The last time I felt this way was when I was moving here, moving out of Portland. That decision was...well, it is how I got here. I can't change the past, and it makes sense to put my effort into changing the future rather than the past.
    Saturday, April 25th, 2015
    1:12 am
    Endless hours floating away...
    This Tuesday, I bicycled to Florence. Florence is 30 miles from my house, and in all, I bicycled around 70 miles, which is tied for the third longest ride I've ever done, and in terms of linear distance from home, is tied for the second farthest from home I've ever been. I started riding, and after a while I just got in a groove where the miles flew by. It was warm, but I kept hydrated. I actually went as far as I did because I went somewhere over a stretch of busy road, and rather than turn around and go back over it, I continued on it, since it became less crowded past that point.

    It was a good ride. The thing about riding far is, every time I do it, my destination of "far" goes down. Stevensville, 25 miles from my house, used to seem like it was the fringe of where I could go. I've gone there twice in the past four weeks, and it has started to seem like a comfortable ride.

    Sunday, April 19th, 2015
    3:19 pm
    Up and down
    Its been up and down the last week or so.

    Sometimes I feel really optimistic about the future and am excited for my plans to go places and do things, and sometimes it seems just so impossible to do ANYTHING at all. Its like, I am sitting here staring at my dishes and thinking "How am I going to move to a new city and start a new job?"

    I guess this isn't that surprising.
    Saturday, April 11th, 2015
    2:08 am
    I didn't even get my complaining done today
    I didn't even get my complaining done today!

    ...I meant to do a lot more complaining than I managed to do!

    I guess I will have to make up for it tomorrow, where I will complete the fulfilling task of describing on various blogging platforms why life is unsatisfactory and has let me down.
    Monday, April 6th, 2015
    11:51 pm
    Explaining my identity.
    I've been having to fill out a lot of forms lately. Its one of the most soul-sucking things I do. Every once in a while, I come to a big, unforgiving blank space on a form that doesn't take "'s complicated, I'll explain later" as an excuse.

    It is times like that that I feel most sympathetic to people with non-binary genders, having to face that radio button between "male" and "female" and not being able to protest because it has that little asterisk.

    I am free of that particular complication in my identity: I am a straight male.

    But there are a number of things that I do find it hard to explain, questions that most people breeze through.

    1. "Where are you from?" Well, I was born in Washington state, and I lived there until I was 8, but I lived in a suburb of a suburb of Portland, and then around the age of 8, I moved to a town near Salem, well, to a farm, but we didn't grow anything, but we called it a farm, that was half-way between two towns outside of Salem, but when we lived there, we also rented two different houses in a suburb of Portland, and...
    Usually I just say "Portland area".

    2. "Do you have any brothers and sisters?" The answer on this one has changed recently. Usually it involved me having to explain a lot of cell biology.

    3. "Where did you go to High School?" I really didn't, I got my GED at 16 and went to community college. Most of the normal questions that people have about high school don't apply to me.
    12:22 pm
    I went on a trip!
    This Saturday I went on a trip, visiting Bannack State Park, the site of the ghost town of Bannack. It was the third visit I have made there over the years, which still gives me a chance to see new things. And of course, to take more pictures!

    I went with a woman that I've been talking to from OKCupid. We seemed to get along pretty well, and she was excited to get to visit Bannack for the first time. It is nice to have people to do things with, which is one reason this year is really looking up!

    Here is a picture I took in Bannack:

    Saturday, April 4th, 2015
    11:27 am
    I am going on a trip today
    I am going on a trip today...

    At least, that is the plan.
    Thursday, April 2nd, 2015
    12:04 am
    A picture from Tuesday's ride

    I rode a half-century, to Stevensville and back. I didn't wear all of my winter clothing, because its been pretty warm. Then, once I left there, the wind picked up, it started sleeting, and I was riding along in the cold. Luckily, that just made me ride harder.

    I think this picture worked out pretty well. That is what the day looked like.
    Wednesday, April 1st, 2015
    2:02 pm
    LJ Remember
    Did everyone get the e-Mail about LJ remembers?

    I don't really care about the paid membership thing, but it might be a good spur towards inviting people back on.
    Sunday, March 29th, 2015
    2:52 pm
    Considering leaving the country
    I have been thinking of leaving the country, to teach English.

    The reason for this is...well, you know about my struggles finding employment. "Entry level" seems to be a Master's Degree and two year's experience, minimum, in this country. So I am thinking of going overseas (Taiwan is my first choice). I would most likely be making enough money to save, getting experience, seeing things...all of this seems to be quite a difference from my prospects here, which are MAYBE to find some part-time work in Pocatello or something. (nothing against Pocatello).

    I don't want to talk about it too much now because I don't want to get people's hopes up. Its obviously a lot to think about, and sometimes it seems like a really fun idea, and at other times it just seems so daunting! It is quite a big difference between thinking about it and doing it. I don't want to talk big if it doesn't work out. Especially since right now I am just in the research phase.
    Thursday, March 26th, 2015
    12:59 am
    I know it is only Wednesday:
    I know it is only Wednesday, but...

    I've managed to not procrastinate at all this week. Everything I wrote down to do, I've been doing.

    How long can this last?
    Tuesday, March 24th, 2015
    1:39 am
    I feel old
    I feel old.
    And not is some world-weary weepy way my body just feels tired and heavy.

    Posted via

    Saturday, March 21st, 2015
    5:04 pm
    Okay, and after that last post
    Although that last post is kind of heavy, I am also just trying to...

    live day to day, and move on out.

    As I have explained, and I don't have to explain, I am still stuck in a Catch-22: need to move to get a job, need to get a job to move. And I need to clean my stuff away. Which I am behind on, really I wanted to be doing this last year at this time. I have done a lot of stuff this year, but with the year a quarter done, I want to do more than just "get started" with it.

    I am thinking that if I can't come up with a better idea by my birthday, I am going to have to plan to go back to Taiwan.
    4:58 pm
    I should say:
    Its kind of hard to write this down on LJ, because its kind of abrupt, but my brother died earlier this week.

    For those who don't know the context, my brother had a degenerative condition and was not expected to live even as long as he did. It had become especially clear in the past few months that this was going to happen. Obviously, the entire thing is sad, but it is not a surprise.
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