We big-picture people rarely become philosophers.


Apparently I'm farsighted.

The eye doctor I saw this morning had a bit of a hard time determining that. Apparently my eyes are weird, and we had to perform the archetypal test ("Which looks better -- this, or this?") three times before he figured out that his initial guess (myopia) was in fact precisely backwards. Evidently, my frequent computer use and steady diet of books are causing me eyestrain, and I finally have an explanation for why my attention to distant details always seemed particularly acute.

The glasses will take about a month to arrive, courtesy of the state health plan. I'm almost tempted to shell out for some better frames, and just eat the cost. I learned that our state uses prison labor to manufacture these, which makes me rather uncomfortable (my personal alignment doesn't have much good to say about the current prison system, and this is a pretty tangible example of me benefiting from something I find squicky about the society in which I live). I also learned why diabetic conditions can cause eye problems -- I won't go into details, except to say it's nasty from a biological perspective, and has definitely helped my resolve wert eating well and taking care of myself.

Not long after, I had an intake appointment at Seattle Counseling Service (which focuses primarily on serving the LGBTQ-alphabet soup community's mental health needs), and the news is good. My insurance covers me for 33 free visits a year, and access to the psychiatrist on staff as well (diagnoses, medication monitoring, et cetera). I will also get a disabled citizen's bus pass, slashing my transit costs down to the point where they're negligible, even if I should lose my job for some reason.


My hair is black. I cannot decide whether this is an improvement or not. Ditto the "greying" effect of my now-dispersed stripes...I think I like it, but I look more like my mother than ever before. In my case, this is more an amusement than anything truly discomforting...but I'm always a bit worried when my lifepath resembles that of my parents too closely, and I am especially conscious of this as I begin to consider attending the university from which they both graduated.

It's frustrating, contemplating the future right now. I'm disabled, debt-ridden, impoverished and unlikely to ever experience the sort of existence I was more or less brought up to expect in my culture -- and while that's *just fine with me* on a personal level, I have a lot of cultural conditioning acquired in my childhood and adolescence telling me that people like me, who face the challenges I do and live the sort of life I do, are Failures. It's really difficult to rid myself of years of cumulative baggage telling me, in a thousand different ways, that people live their lives in *this* way and follow approximately this or that lifepath; they know whether or not they succeeded based on social signals they recieve from those around them. To some extent, it really is like that for some people -- the idea itself may be pure arbitraria, but just about everyone believes it, so it has a contextual truth behind it.

I've tried supplying different narratives for myself, and have even put some of it into practice in my own life (see: geeky, polyamorous, cultural-creative, queer, trans, kinkster, and my sort of "Renaissance woman" interests set). However, I haven't been able to overcome the narrative with which I was raised, because it underlies so much of the social structure in which I move (and I actually enjoy some parts of it). Nor have I been completely successful in blazing an alternate path for myself -- my inexperience, and the realities of doing such a thing, make it far more challenging than I could hope to accomplish simply by "putting my mind to it." Thus, whether I'm on the fringe or in the center, I never quite feel like I fit there. Going to school seems to relate to both ends of that for me -- it's both seen as an indicator of success and ability in the more normal circles, and it gives me some degree of freedom to explore career paths I wouldn't get to without it.

I don't know what I expect a university degree to do for me. However, I seem to be happier with the idea of completing school, than not doing so -- and I've started considering whether I should simply save up the money I was planning to spend on school this term and just throw it at my PSU debt, see if I can free up more transferable credits that way. The current debt would run about as much as an entire year's attendance at North...

Formidable? Yes. Doable?