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Monday, March 22, 2021

Good friends and Mental Health

 Friendship is a funny thing at times.  All of us through our lives have met hundreds or more people.  Sometimes they develop into friendships, other times that don't.  I definitely have more people that I have fallen out of touch with who were friends at one period of time of my life and I am sure this is very common.

Some things like social media are there to help you "reconnect" with these people should you ever choose to.  My personal opinion is that social media is toxic but I can't deny there is still some semblance of good about it.

Platonic friendship is defined as a type of love that is not sexual. It is named after the Greek philosopher Plato though he never actually used the word himself.  Platonic love as devised by Plato concerns rising through levels of closeness to wisdom and true beauty from carnal attraction to individual bodies to attraction to souls, and eventually, union with the truth.  (I may or may not have ripped those last sentences from Wikipedia lol)

Anyways, I feel platonic love like sisterhood and brotherhood is becoming more and more rare these days.  Drama usually ensues where 1 or sometimes both parties are at fault and they just cut ties and move on.  I'm very fortunate that I still have close friends that I have kept in contact with for decades.  Even though disagreements arise from time to time over things, the bottom line is that because our friendship has been going on for so long, we both realize that these are just trivial things.  We don't just stop talking to each other. Or if we do, maybe just a day or so.

This isn't meant to be a brag.  I feel extremely fortunate to be in this situation.  In fact, the opposite side of this is by far more common.  I feel like most people maybe have 1 or 2 really close friends that they discuss their life with, excluding family of course.

The crazy thing about all of this is the depression has robbed me of this before for a period of time.  I would isolate myself and by doing so, friends most likely either assume I am busy or they are busy themselves.  At those low moments, I feel like I am too much of a bother to contact them.  Let them live their lives, I'm insignificant.  This is clearly wrong and I recognize this now but there are several times where I did not see so clearly.

A snowball effect would emerge.  I would increasingly become more and more lonely the longer I would isolate.  Honestly if it wasn't for my parents, who knows how bad it would have got because they would be the only contact I would have with anyone other than limited stuff at work with co-workers.

One particular person has greatly helped me see this more clear. Jordan Peterson.  He's been maligned as an alt-right whack job by some but honestly, he is one of the more brilliant minds around today.  Taking out the political side and focusing on the human side of things, he is absolutely amazing.  

I know many people don't read books these days, some listen to them.  But his book the "12 rules for life" and his new sequel "Beyond Order" (Which I still haven't read yet) describe stuff like the human experience and the quest to find self worth.  I highly recommend to anyone out there interested to pick up a copy of either.  

Anyways, that's the gist of the point that I am trying to get across.  Friendship should be cherished. Take care fam.


Thursday, March 4, 2021

Goals and projects

     So a lot has happened since my last post.  I may be moving soon.  Back to my childhood home in Sugar Land.  My dad has offered to gift me the house that he is currently renting out.  I have mixed feelings about it.  I do like the freedom of a house compared to an apartment.  Having my own driveway and yard.  Not worrying about loud neighbors above or next to me.  These are all good things.  But it is an older house, my commute to work will be much longer, and oddly enough it feels like kind of a step back.  When I look at this house, it reminds me of my childhood obviously.  I feel I'm at the point of my life where I want to forge my own future and start my life elsewhere.  What I probably will end up doing is staying in the house for a year or 2, and then renting or selling it and moving to my own house somewhere.  I am tired of apartment life though so I think overall I am excited for the move.  My lease doesn't expire until November at my place now so I won't me moving until end of the year or beginning of next year if I extend month to month at my apartment.

        I'm down 22 pounds since I started my diet in December.  But lately I have plateaued and even feel like I may have gained slightly.  I've gotten lazy in logging my daily calories on the app I use.  I've also had some cheat days and weekends that probably haven't helped either.  I'm hoping with the spring coming, I'll be able to add exercise and walk or jog at the park near my place.  I don't want to lose all the progress I have made.  I need to remain strong.

        I've also started a podcast with some friends of mine.  I've toyed with the idea in the past and now that its off the ground, I am very excited.  Even if no one listens, I think it will be fun just to hang out and discuss different topics.  

        My guitar playing has improved a little I think.  Currently I am focusing on power chords and switching between them easily.  Trying to learn some Nirvana songs.  It's also rekindled my interest in Kurt Cobain.  I remember watching MTV as a kid and seeing his funeral procession but not really knowing who he was.  I really didn't start listening to Nirvana until late high school like 98 or 99.  The longer its been the more interest I have in the band and in Kurt.  I got a book on my kindle written by one of his old managers that I have started reading and its pretty enlightening.

        I hope that this year will be better than 2020 with the pandemic seeming to improve slowly.  I'm cautiously optimistic.  Take care guys.

Thursday, January 21, 2021

New leadership

    It's been a minute since I last updated. Thought I would just give a few thoughts I have on the inauguration and swearing in of our new president. 

    I'll start off by saying I did not vote for Biden. Some would say that makes me a racist. I think Joe is a decent family man and person. Definitely a better person than Trump. But I'm not voting for who I think is the better person. This is probably the first election where I am voting on policy instead of whether or not I would want to have a beer with them. I've voted Obama twice also so I'm not a strict republican. I consider myself a moderate that leans right, or more of a libertarian. I do hope for the sake of the country and my family and friends, that Biden leads well. I just have many questions. For instance, the slew of executive orders he signed on his first day. Stopping the Keystone pipeline. Stopping ICE enforcement. Lifting the ban on immigration from a few countries (aka the Muslim ban). First and foremost, the immigration stuff will probably increase the spread of the pandemic. I'm all for people starting a better life but not at the expense of increasing COVID deaths here. Second, I worry about the oil and gas industry. I have many friends in the industry and Houston is known as the energy capital of the world. I worry that their industry might suffer in the short term which would potentially affect their employment. Biden also joined the Paris Climate accords again. I think its largely a symbolic move. I think Climate Change is real first of all, I just don't know how much of an effect CO2 emissions plays into it. Do we damage and restrict our industry to help the planet? If we do, what about other countries that don't? 

    Trump was far from perfect. I have many friends who loved him almost to the point of worship which I thought was ridiculous. Politicians should not be worshipped. Only God should be worshipped. Trump was also not a true politician. I still think the only reason he won was because Hillary was so corrupt and flawed. 

    I'm hoping that wasn't too political and gets me cancelled. That's another worry I have. Big tech censorship. For those who cheered Trump being suspended from Twitter, what will you do when your voice becomes censored? I'm not saying it was a bad mood necessarily, but I think it opens Pandora's box in that these big Tech companies (Apple, Google, Facebook, Twitter) have so much control over the free exchange of thoughts and ideas on their platforms. They essentially control the narrative of the country. Media I think already has a general narrative that they promote so social media has become a popular counter to it. But now even that is being restricted. I just hope Congress passes some kind of first amendment protection clause on these platforms so that speech is protected. As far as hate speech goes, I don't believe it will ever truly go away. Ban it from platforms is fine but it will just recede to the dark web and other forums. You can't completely eradicate hate speech, its a losing battle. 
    
    Here's to a new year and hopefully a better one than the dumpster fire that 2020 was. God bless ya'll and God bless America. 
             -Rob