18.4.17

Diving back into what I've felt and written over the last several years is... a reminder that I have in fact changed, or at least that I'm always shifting focus. For a long time my depression and anxiety put my own emotional untrustworthiness foremost in my mind. In a (positive?) upheaval two years ago I ended up much more engaged on the level of person-to-person relationships, which I hadn't thought much about for the previous... seven years? Even before, I had never really questioned the effects my actions had on other people. Getting jolted out from that solipsistic bubble was tough/is tough. Interacting with more people means I get that many more reality checks... and have that many more opportunities to cause pain. Not knowing what I want feels even worse when someone else is affected too.

But that's not the primary focus right now, maybe because I couldn't pour any more emotional energy into questions of whose happiness matters most when and chose to put them on standby while I devoted myself to more "important" causes like trying to make my presence on earth a net positive.

I have somehow managed to remove myself from all the activities where I felt I was in competition with others, and the absence of all that self-doubt has freed me up to... think about other things? At the very least, it's freed me from the physical and mental pain of constant fear. This is big—I'm experiencing life differently day-to-day, and it's worlds away from how it was (less fear, more guilt?)

In more "substantive" news, I've doubled down on my ecological initiatives and have almost stopped driving entirely! I wish I could permanently turn off the computer, the other machine of constant use, but actually... no I don't. (But I am trying to have it on less.) I think some about the relative impact of digital vs. film photography, and that's one area where I'm conflicted. I like my film routine, it's an important part of my life, but I'm afraid that developing chemicals aren't great for the waterways and the process of creating film itself is unnecessarily resource-intensive, given the availability of digital formats that don't require materials besides the camera and space on some hard drives. The compromise I'm considering is to start buying my film in bulk and developing it myself at home, to save the energy costs of shipping to the lab and back, and all those wasted individual canisters. Of course if I start using individually packaged chemicals, the embedded energy in that packaging and its shipping might outweigh the negatives' trip to the lab. But it's something I want to do, so *shrug* the benefits may outweigh the drawbacks?


Trying hard in this arena helps distract me from the fear that I'm doing harm in my relationships.



So that's the update... check back in for further analysis.



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