January 2: Can people change?

The short answer is yes and no.

We change as we pass through the world growing and evolving with experience. But there is a fuzzy place where we play with time and ask who could I have been if I had succeeded instead of tripped? If my courage sparked a second sooner? Or never questioned everything?

That last question. If we don’t question who we are, then are we really changing? Or is our growth just us rolling down the hill comfortably, without thought, acquiring more mud. It changes without purpose. And if there is no purpose in your change, if you are simply adapting without thought, then I see no importance in its relevance.

The other change is life-altering. Reveling in our own introspection, seeking different perspectives, absorbing information, questioning everything, and filtering out the bullshit leads to significant change.

So, people can change. But they have to want it, they have to look in the mirror and desire more.

I also didn’t go into any negative change. I can imagine traumatic events without proper steps could twist a relatively healthy mind into something worse.


January 3: What are you reading right now?

I currently have 212 books on my Goodreads.com’s to-read list. I currently am reading 5 books. This isn’t normal. I do not usually read more than one or max two books at a time. Not sure how I got to this point.

Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach

29 pages in. non-fiction.

So far, it’s okay, not blown away. I’m assuming it gets better.

Written on the Body by Jeanette Winterson

41 pages in.

It’s quite poetic in its prose. Hasn’t fully grabbed me yet, but I still have hope.

Foundation by Isaac Asimov

5 pages in.

I began this weeks ago, and it quickly put me to sleep. I really hope it will engage me in round two.

Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins

0 pages in.

I feel I need a book that I’m super into and absolutely adored Tom Robbin’s Still Life with Woodpecker. So, I’m hoping this one gives me more of the same.

Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

0 seconds in. (Audiobook)

A free book on Audible, so I picked it up for those times I’m out and about and don’t want to listen to one of my 100s of podcasts. I do own a physical copy that I acquired from Joseph. I’m excited to read/listen.


January 6: Today was tough because of Anna.

Things ended today with Anna from Vancouver, if that was even her real name. Anna is a woman from Vancouver I connected with on a dating site whom I was suspicious about right off the bat. I had strong reason to believe she was not the person she claimed to be. Yet, still, I engaged with her, for our interactions were always pleasant, fun, deep, and meaningful. And there was always a chance I might be mistaken. We had many phone calls and texts over the last couple of weeks, but she always avoided video chatting. Always coming up with a not-so-convincing excuse. One day, when pressed, she abruptly ended it. Said she was done and no longer interested. I questioned her about why. But she was amazingly good at being avoidant. So, I said goodbye. But she came back. But as quickly as she returned, she left again. She did this twice more.

And now, she has come back a third time. So, I wrote her back. We talked, from what she says, she likes me and wants to make it work, claims her life is complicated yet gives no details as to why. That said, we planned a video chat for Sunday. And then today she reneged, claiming she is no longer interested, for the fourth or fifth time. We had words via chat which she escalated. She was trying to get a rise out of me, get me to yell at her in order to feel less like an asshole for toying me around. I didn’t fall for it. But now it’s done, it’s over. And even though I felt this was going nowhere for some time, a bit of me held out some hope. I cannot help but ever be the optimist when approaching the tunnel of love. But it took a toll on me. I feel deflated. And I feel sorry for her, but also for me. I should know better than to play with my own emotions like this. It leaves me crushed.

There is a slight possibility I was wrong, that she is who she presented herself to be and was just mentally unstable. But I’m pretty confident she lied about being the girl in the photos, that she felt unattractive in some way, and hid behind those images to connect with strangers online. And when those strangers got too close, she usually vanished. But for whatever reason, I made it difficult. I believe she did not lie about being suicidal and seeking mental help. I believe she looks online for the attention she doesn’t get in real life. From our talks, she seems to not have many friends, at least ones her age, if I can even believe her age. In the many talks we had, she always seemed very lonely and relied heavily on the love of her dog.

The whole interaction has left me sad. That I couldn’t help this girl. That I connected, yet didn’t, with someone who needed it. However, I learned a lot about people, and how they think and communicate, and that includes me. I’m really looking forward to a real relationship and getting out of this abyss of brushing shoulders with strangers only to have them fade from my existence. It’s dark down here and my flame is beginning to sputter.


January 7: Are you lucky? Why or why not?

It was a busy day, so I’m writing a day late. Lucky. Lucky? I brought up the idea today of this idea of how many times I personally have won the cosmic lottery. The mere fact I, this consciousness I label Dean, was ever born at all, is astronomical. So many things in the past had to happen exactly the way they did for me to ever exist. That said, in this day and age, I was born in a time with the least amount of violence humanity has ever seen. I was lucky enough to be born in a country that has relative peace and freedoms, comparably. I was lucky to be born in one of the more progressive and desirable states in this union. Lucky to be born with mentally stable and supportive parents. I was lucky to be born with a non-violent personality and a relatively healthy mental state. Lucky to had creativity fostered within me at a young age. So yes, I am lucky.


January 10: What inspired you today?

“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.”

― Elisabeth Kübler-Ross


January 20: Are you holding a grudge? About?

My first instinct is no. Then I remember an old friend. Then I look up the definition of a grudge.



a persistent feeling of ill will or resentment resulting from a past insult or injury.

“she held a grudge against her former boss”

synonyms: grievance, resentment, bitterness, rancor, pique, umbrage, dissatisfaction, disgruntlement, bad feelings, hard feelings, ill feelings, ill will, animosity, antipathy, antagonism, enmity, animus; informal chip on one’s shoulder

“a former employee with a grudge”

I rarely think of my old friend. I have no ill will towards them, nor resentment. They are someone who I felt acted extremely inappropriately in one instance, but our friendship was rocky for a while before that. That instance was terribly impactful at the time and pulled back the veil on how they viewed us. As I waited for an apology that never came, it became the catalyst for ending our relationship. I do remember our friendship with fondness. I loved them. Perhaps the first person I truly loved. They were pretty, smart, strong, and fiercely independent. But also patronizing, judging, and a bit self-absorbed. Yet, we were also so young and naïve.

It’s been over 12 years since that night and I have not seen, nor talked to them since. I’m a different person, they probably are as well. I’m about as nostalgic as they come. So in ways, I’d love to reconnect, but then I recall them always making me feel like I was on the wrong path, somehow lesser. I spend many years of my youth feeling unjustly judged by her, misunderstood, and that’s one part of my past I’m just not keen on revisiting.

I rarely think of my old friend. And I have forgiven them long ago. Not all old paths need to be revisited and deciding this requires no grudges.


January 25: What makes “you” you?

Who am I? Who is this you that you are referring? I am made of 10 trillion human cells. And 100 trillion bacterial cells. I am a host for bacteria. Or am I just sentient bacteria. I am an animal, we need to eat and sleep. I am a human being, we are a social species, we (currently) need to obtain shelter and food through trade and earning currency. But what makes Dean, Dean? This is a contrast issue. My “how are you different” question. I’m tired, so I’ll just say I feel I’m more unbiased than most, I’m aware in ways that many around me are not. Mainly because I am alone without distractions. I have time most others do not. I have time to take in things slowly, ponder a question for hours, and not have to react to them immediately, or ever. The issues percolate and the important issues bubble to the top. And the ones that nag, make me write about them.


January 27: Which art movement best describes you?

It would probably be Bauhaus, the word means “construction house.” It was a German art school, founded by an architect, to bring together all of the arts. The movement was marked by the absence of ornamentation and by harmony between the function of an object and its design.

I feel my personality and the way I think is all about bringing everything together and making it harmonize. I also find I like the simplest way to do things, i.e. elimination any “ornamentation.”

I also took an online quiz and received this answer that I thought was well suited:

Abstract expressionism is a post-World War II art movement in American painting, developed in New York in the ’40s. It was the first American movement that achieved international influence. In this form of art, the artist expresses himself only through color and uses no objects to convey his message. Which can sometimes be misread and wrongly perceived as messy and random.

Just like that, you’re often misunderstood. You seem wild and outgoing to acquaintances, but you’re actually thoughtful, and much deeper than others think you are. You only open up to people you trust, who are few.

I find this on point because Abstract expressionism is exactly the type of paintings I wish to be producing right now.


January 28: How do you describe home?

Home is a sanctuary, where you let your guard down. It’s a place that brings solace and comfort. It can mirror your emotional state and personality. It’s a blank canvas to decorate. Home is a place where we rest and heal from engaging with society; It’s our bacta tank.


January 29: What was the last TV show you watched?

Star Wars Rebels. It’s a fun show and reminds me of the child inside of me. This last episode was all about training with a lightsaber. I mean really, how great is my life. I couldn’t have asked for more from a childhood toy (the Star Wars universe), to be presented with a story that will only grow and grow until I’m an old man, constantly bringing me joy. I’m pretty lucky.


January 30: What do you want to forget?

The irony of the question. I forget too much already. I’m scared to grow old, what will I become if my memory gets worse? Forget my family and friends? Lose who I am? No, that’s no life at all.

But yes, sometimes I wish I could forget how dumb I am. I mean in comparison. I feel I’m smart to a degree, but just insofar as to realize how much I truly do not know. It’s a cruel thing to glimpse into the palace of knowledge and understand that you can’t understand most of it and that you never will. It’s heart-breaking. And it fills me with immense sadness. I sometimes wish I could forget that. Embrace some lost ignorance, become a playful child again, whimsy, without worry. The world is yet to be explored. But then, I see how far I have come, reason washes over me, and I accept my ignorance. And yet, always strive to be a smarter, humbler, more compassionate, and loving person than I was yesterday.


January 31: Who do you want to be?

Could you be a little vaguer? I kid. This is a great question. Because I can make it my own. Let’s just start a list, whatever comes to mind. I want to be…

  • Understood
  • Understanding
  • An amazing friend
  • Empathetic
  • Sympathetic
  • A traveler
  • Impactful
  • Unbiased
  • A Husband
  • A Partner
  • Smarter
  • Careful
  • Adventurous
  • Skeptical
  • Wondrous
  • Correct
  • Less lonely
  • Loved
  • Respected
  • Creative
  • Self-sustaining
  • Remembered