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

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Saturday, August 1st, 2015
5:21 pm
Better days ahead?
I am still swinging between exhausted and buoyant. Its incredible how much shock and change there has been through July, and will continue to be through August.

On one hand, I have access to the Portland good life, to all the energy and beauty that the Portland area has to offer. On the other hand, I am out here in Orchards, often very tired, and still worried about money and employment. Thursday, I got a job offer for Monday. Friday, I took a bus to Mt. Hood. Today is Saturday. Things are happening at a rapid pace here, to say the least!

Here is Mt. Hood from Government Camp:

IMG_1492
Thursday, July 23rd, 2015
11:00 am
My new life
So here I am in my garret, and have been for...well, this is my fifth complete day here. Each day has been different. Ups and downs, as always. One thing that I am realizing now is that even though my new life presents me with potential...potential isn't reality. There are 1000 things I COULD do every day, but I still need the energy and wits to actually carry them out.

I also have to construct a social circle...kind of hard to do up here in Orchards. It's much closer than Montana on paper, but to people in Portland it might as well be the same distance!


Posted via m.livejournal.com.

Friday, July 17th, 2015
10:20 am
In The Dalles, waking up
I am in the Dalles, about 60 miles east of Portland. I slept pretty well last night, in a motel room that was too big and too hot.

When writing, its best to have a main point. As in, it would be a good idea for me to describe the main experience or main emotion I am having. Besides I don't know what that is. I've felt everything from tired to overwhelmed to relieved to curious to almost-exultant. I do have to admit, at this point, that overall, my main emotions are negative. I know there is promise ahead, but right now the apprehension and stress are winning out, and I feel more bad than good.

24 hours from now, I will be in my "own room", though, and that will help.
Wednesday, July 15th, 2015
12:05 pm
Now it can finally be told
So, leaving day is tomorrow. It could have been today, but after getting the van loaded, I wanted one more day to clean my room and kind of...chill out. (It was, for various reasons, hard to do the final clean when my room was still full of boxes)

Its been an emotional rollercoaster, some days I have been up, other days I have been down. but the idea that this will actually happen is certainly a relief.

Still haven't announced it on Facebook, although I did post a pretty obvious picture of a full moving van!
Sunday, July 12th, 2015
1:12 pm
So close, yet so far
My room is very messy, its been weeks that I've been living in-between these half-filled boxes, waiting for the van to come and carry me away. I am looking forward to going, although I am also afraid.

There was a few weeks back when I felt full of energy. Anxious energy, but energy nonetheless. There seemed to be so many possibilities in my future. But now, I just think about the energy for moving and doing daily stuff, and it seems that I will barely have the energy for that.

"Hustle as hard as you hate", but the thing is, hustling takes A LOT more energy than hating.

...more later, gotta shower.
Monday, July 6th, 2015
1:31 pm
Xeno's Paradox and Me
Its kind of hard to believe that I can actually defeat Xeno's Paradox, but it looks like it might happen.

There is kind of a wall in my mind, and its hard for me to believe that I will actually manage to win through, and to think about what is on the other side of that wall. Adventure! Opportunity! Meaning!

...but right now, all I see is piles of loose papers that don't make any sense to me.
Tuesday, June 30th, 2015
1:04 pm
Sitting in an empty room with too much to do, and not enough to do
The last day of June.

It was on the first day of May that I stopped moping and started going through my room in true earnest. It was on the last day of May that I took down my one bookshelf, my final concession to the fact that life in Hamilton was really and truly going away.

Since then, its been chipping away day by day. Something that I could do in 24 hours becomes endlessly complicated by the fact that it involves me admitting that the potentials of the past will never happen: this CD of a Windows game that I've had since 2005 but never actually played will have to be tossed, and while that takes two minutes, thinking about the years that didn't happen takes...years.

Also, as with any move, I am stuck with too much to do. Too much because there is always more stuff to be moved, too little because I really can't start anything, I am only half here, and all I have is an empty room full of boxes.

Soon enough, I guess, my situation will be transformed.
Friday, June 26th, 2015
1:47 pm
Hay bales, compressed
Haybalescompressed2

A compressed picture of some hay bales. Feels very summery, doesn't it?
Sunday, June 21st, 2015
7:41 pm
CDs
I have one CD I listen to, it is from my John Coltrane boxset.

Otherwise, I have not listened to a CD on my own for...years? And yet, next to my little computer desk, I have a shelf full of CDs, both commercial, burned, and data. They squat there, taking up space, with me tenderly trying to respect their need for room and quiet. Until today, in which I swooped down, and gathered them up for redistribution to anyone who is still using such a medium.

This is just part of the shaking free I am doing: I am working to remind myself that "my life" is...not a burden placed arbitrarily on me, not some strange foreign object I stumbled upon and must take care of out of a sense of duty, but something that I am actively creating.

Also, on a more prosaic level, every bit helps, but also I am getting a bit beyond the "take baby steps, be happy at progress" level. I am in the "have to be out in three weeks" level, which means that on a big empty Sunday like today, I should have done a bit more than just "going through" things, but...well, we'll see.
Wednesday, June 17th, 2015
12:58 am
I didn't get the job, but actually about my closet
One of the many feelers for a job I had (and one that I actually interviewed for and seemed to get along well with the interviewers for) turned out to be not happening. Which I learned via e-Mail today. Kind of disappointing, but not so much with my new attitude. Just got to keep trying.

Also, today, I spent a long time going through my closet, and washing/packing/discarding clothing.

mycloset

I get blind to the things around me, and I start assuming that the big unknown block of stuff that is my closet has some purpose that I can't fathom, before remembering that its purpose is what I say it is because I put it there. And then I go wading in and realize that yes, I am allowed to throw away hats with torn lining, that I am not a servant placed here to serve the ineffable purpose of these hats, that the hats are meant to serve me. And then this big mysterious hole in my wall just becomes something I can sort through in a matter of hours, sometimes in a matter of minutes. Certainly something that I can sort out in four weeks.

So, some of this, some of that.
Friday, June 12th, 2015
6:51 pm
Comment notifications?
I am not getting comment notifications.

Is anyone else having this problem? Could be my e-Mail filters.

...I am sure that it is distracting from what is otherwise a rollicking and active time on the LJs.
Wednesday, June 10th, 2015
12:18 am
I should put in some fanservice, even though it is not what is on my mind:
I haven't posted pictures of rocks and water for a while, so here is some:

IMG_1897

I took this picture two days ago, on Sunday, when I went up the Skalkaho Highway. It was hot, and the ride wasn't comfortable. Sometimes I overcome bad days and have great rides, but other times it is just "myeh". Such was Sunday. Perhaps because my mind is already on other things.
Tuesday, June 2nd, 2015
8:45 pm
The weather is strange and I am sick
The weather is strange and I am sick.

But lets get back to May 31st, when I woke up and decided to take down my bookshelf. It was the bookshelf that Katrina made for me the week I got here, made out of cinder blocks and pieces of wood (that, themselves, used to make a "real" bookshelf). Ever since I moved here, it had been "my" bookshelf, with the line of seldom-read graphic novels being the first thing I saw when I woke up. It over the years attracted a burgeoning assortment of books, as well as being my go-to place to drop my mail and sunglasses. I also kept, in the cubbyholes of the cinderblocks, I kept odds and ends and doodads. By the last day of May, the only thing was left was some of the stuff inside the cubbyholes, which I swept up into Tupperware containers. Then I took it down. Now I have an empty wall there. Still a lot of stuff to do, but emptying my room to that extent makes me feel...better. Or it should.

Yesterday, I got rained out of work. I came home, and feeling listless, fell asleep that afternoon/evening. I woke up feeling worse rather than better. I fell asleep for the night, and woke up, once again feeling worse rather than better. I've been listless all day, strangely sick, with a dull headache and a lack of energy, staring out at the grey sky with weird light, wondering how it got to be June.

This week, I have a dentist's appointment tomorrow, and a job interview the day after that. I hope that I am in somewhat sharp shape for these! And after that...more hurdles. Still have to move out of here and figure out a future. Hard to think of when I will have a resting point and feel fine. I've been good, the past few weeks, about just taking the future in stride, but I do wonder about running out of energy, and I am afraid of feeling lost, and trapped. Or both.
Saturday, May 30th, 2015
11:10 pm
But actually, this DOES count.
One thing I was hung up on for a while was that somehow my experiences didn't count, especially in regards to employment.
In the past five years, the jobs I have had include:

-Seasonal job working at the farmer's market (didn't count because it was just one day a week, and a seasonal job)
-Working doing yardwork for my neighbor (doesn't count because its UTT, and only a few hours a week)
-Worked teaching at a community college (that sounds real, but...it was an adjunct job and only lasted for six months)

I kept on wanting to have a "real" job and a "real" life. I discounted opportunities because I didn't think they "counted".

And then I decided to just...do whatever. And know that it counts, even if its hard to put on a job application. I have duties, I have responsibilities, I have learned skills. I am sticking with that.
Thursday, May 28th, 2015
1:11 am
I'm 36
I'm 36.

How did that happen?
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 normal...my 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
Thunderstorm
There was a thunderstorm and now I've been without power for an hour. Very dramatic!

(Posting via my phone, obviously)


Posted via m.livejournal.com.

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.
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