Do You Call it Solitude? Do You Call it Liberty?

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For the past month and a half, I have been occupied with the return to school and my relationship with my girlfriend. It has been a tremendously positive experience for the both of us, which I will write more in detail about in upcoming posts. Today, however, I wanted to address a canard that I heard when I was in my “chronically single” days. I kept hearing from others that it was far better to be single than to be in a relationship.

I have no doubt that there are some people who legitimately are better off being single, people who are asexual, aromantic and have no interest. But these weren’t the people I was talking to. They were people who I could infer as, for whatever reason, being unsatisfied with their current status. Perhaps they were in a toxic relationship, or perhaps they wanted to reduce their own discomfort about being single through rationalization.

But as someone who has spent a long time being single and who has seen a lot of lonely singles, I want to dispel this idea that “things are just better when you’re single”.

Is It Freedom or Stagnation?

My particular issue with this notion is the idea that being single “gives you more freedom”. The logic is that, without another human being that you need to be responsible for, you have more options available to you.

But in practice, human beings are creatures of habit, and it doesn’t take long for a rut to set in. My nights alone were spent with activities that were more about killing time than meaningful experiences. It was an alleviation of discomfort as opposed to the introduction of joy, and these two aren’t the same thing.

Above all else, I remember saying “This would be so much better if I had someone else to share this with.” While I was able to engage in solo activities, I found myself quickly bumping up against the limits of those activities.

When I started seeing my girlfriend, by contrast, I gained freedom. Now, I could go places that I previously wouldn’t consider because going to those places alone wasn’t going to be nearly as fun. Suddenly, walking around the park in Columbia, the National Aquarium in Baltimore, and returning to Final Fantasy XIV were all viable options.

All of this has been great in terms of our bonding, and we’re practically inseparable now.

That being said, I would not advise anyone to stay in an unhealthy relationship for this reason. After all, it only works if you genuinely enjoy being around your partner. But to me, I have noticed a marked improvement in not only the activities I want to do but the enjoyable of activities that previously felt like chores. Cooking at home is no longer a menial, but necessary task, but a wondrous discovery of new dishes and ingredients.

Sometimes things are better when you have someone else to share them with. Don’t see anything wrong with that. Especially since my girlfriend is an amazing human being who is always fun to be around. I’m looking forward to all of the great times we’re going to be sharing together!

The Reality Of Millennial Life

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I have found, yet again, another anti-millennial video making the rounds on Facebook. It seems like an entire genre of op-eds somehow manages to sustain itself on boomer antipathy alone. This content is usually shared with a certain hubris, a “speaking truth to power” attitude which flies in the face of the actual power that millennials have in comparison to the economically entrenched boomers and Gen X.

I could, in theory, attract quite an audience by catering to this mindset. I could crib notes from op-eds all over the internet since they all blur together anyway. I could even sell it and say “just add ‘entitled'”. But, because I want to write articles that are informed and not merely masturbatory in nature, perhaps I can shed some light on the reality that underlies the life that millennials face in the United States.

Millennials are not dealing with an attitude problem, they are dealing with a wealth of sociocultural and economic factors that are making it difficult just to get started.

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Plato’s Digital Cave

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Admittedly, summer has been particularly slow in regards to blog content. Perhaps it’s the lazy days of the season that make writing out of reach for me, or possibly because I just didn’t have much going on that warranted a blog post. However, that has changed.

I’m going to talk about World of Warcraft and game addiction. More specifically, my own experiences with the game and what happened as a result.

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The Cost of Benefits

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This has been an article I wanted to write for quite a long time. I had to approach the subject matter with utmost care, because of the intimate nature inherent to this discussion. Naturally, this is going to discuss sexuality in a frank manner. I will mention some personal stuff, but I’ll try to keep it discrete enough so that the emphasis is more on learning from this than indulging in salacious details.

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Thoughts From an iPhone Screen Episode 1: Mom

I am trying a new format for short form blogging that focuses on word economy and capturing the mood of moment. It may read more like poetry than journalism, but that’s part of the beauty of such language… Anyways, on with it.
Mom- I didn’t plan to see you tonight,

Playing games with friends before vacation,

Nose is still stuffy from remnants of a cold,

Coughing because I gotta get home to take the NyQuil. Got lozenges though,

Things still suck,

Breakup blues, therapy droughts due to us going on vacation, wondering why I didn’t see it coming…

I talk to lots of people though,

Turns out I’ve come real,

But even though I know,

It’s still hard to see,
Sometimes I wonder,

Do I even know what I want?

I’ve been wrong about myself before,

And sometimes other people know more,

But that’s scary, no doubt,

Maybe that’s why no says it,

Sometimes you have no better explanation than “things are just shitty sometimes”

Old and big problems alike,

Don’t get fixed overnight,

Wishful thinking is fruitless,

Hinders real solutions, rea possibilities,

But coming to see you tonight, mom,

Made things just a little bit better,

It’s all I ever could have asked,

I’m so grateful,
I don’t talk about death a lot,

Who wants to talk about it,

But all sorts of ideas surround it,

By people far smarter than I.
But what was an end to your life was a beginning of mine,

Everything, and everyone, all changed,

For better or for worse,

I find to reductive to suggest death has one true feeling, one true emotion,

It can mean so many different things,

To so many different people,

All of it mixing together,

To create fucks knows what,
I’m not angry at you,

I do not blame you,

That changes nothing,

But I will say this,

I am in many ways grateful,

I knew someone so kind,

Someone who cared,

One with a unique touch,

But I am honest oh my approach,

I miss you so much,

I  am glad I saw you today,

A Moment of Darkness, or Perhaps Longer…

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I had hoped to return this summer with a triumphant amount of discussion about the relationship I cultivated this spring, maybe some interesting anecdotes and things that I learned. Alas, that can’t happen. While my ex and I had been broken up for a while now, we still talked until a couple of days ago.

This has been a very difficult period of time for me, and it has interacted with my depression in a largely predictable fashion. I have hinted at my depression in some posts, but I have never given it a real examination.

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