Friday, September 06, 2013


Respecverb 1) To Re-specialize, 2) To reallocate one's resources in order to change one's tactic, particularly in the context on a role playing video game.

When I was 16 I think I was drinking about two liters of diet coke a day.   This continued into my early twenties and didn't really lay off until I was 24 or so.  It's interesting to me because I used to live off of caffeine.  In a story that is surprisingly common when I talk to my peers I was living a nocturnal life fueled by ubiquitous minor stimulants.  I remember being a teenager and my father asking me if I would be able to sleep as I drank a diet coke at seven or eight at night, and honestly back then it wasn't an issue.

It's interesting for the same reason I find a lot of things interesting these days.  I've been alive long enough now that I can measure an arc.  There is a version of myself that was very very different from who I am now, and it wasn't simply a matter of the growth that occurs all through childhood and adolescence.  It's a point where I can look at my record as an adult and really consider what I'm doing as an adult.

When I was sixteen my English teacher told me that your life doesn't really start until you're eighteen.  My knee jerk response was that if everything I had done already was nothing than I didn't think I could handle the actual thing, but these days I completely agree with him.  The rest was all just a big loading screen.  An opening cut scene.

Looking back on my adulthood now it really feels like a respec.  And not just because the way 26 year old me lives his life is so radically different from 20 year old me, but because the events of 18 and 19 year old me are now used differently.  The 20 year old build used them as the built up lifestyle of an obsessive video game player.  The weird kind of cred that comes from being a gametester and vague undefined college ambitions.  The 26 year old build uses them to understand what it means to really work in an academic setting . The value and necessity of a sense of drive and purpose.  The struggle and torment of living on minimum wage.  The consequences of stimulant addiction.  It's a completely different spec.

It's not all changed though.  Those experiences still echo with what they once were.  And I know that because it's past midnight, and I'm awake, because I had a diet coke at around 8, in what I always assured my father wouldn't be a big deal.

Monday, September 02, 2013


Neil Stephenson once wrote something.  The exact quote escapes me, but it was something like "Babies cry loudly because they think someone will come and fix everything for them, adults cry to themselves because they know no one will."

Tomorrow I'm going to pick up my TCSPP ID card, and talk to financial aid and career services and do all the things that I will have to do to start this process, and it terrifies me.  I don't know if I'll be able to pay for it and I have no idea what I'll do if I can't and I am absolutely resolutely going forward.  Sometimes I still think it was a mistake to move to Chicago, and having just got back from a trip to Washington I can feel all the things I'm missing. The foundation, the memories, the social ties and networks are gone, and sometimes I don't know what I'm doing and I am always certain that I'm going to do it.

I am going to become a therapist.  It is not a matter of if I can do it, the only question I ever have is how.  The task is daunting and I am exhausted and afraid and I am still going to do it.  I don't always know how, but I know that I will, and I know that in the end I'm the one who has do this, because I'm the only one who really can.