A loner’s reasons


  1. People are generally boring.
  2. This is a consequence of people doing “socially acceptable” things in a social contexts, such as not experimenting.
  3. I am boring in a social context because of the same reason.
  4. I am much more interesting by myself.
  5. Other people are probably also interesting by themselves, but I have no access to them by themselves, so as far as I am concerned, they don’t really exist.
  6. I am better off by myself.

But: am I defecting in a prisoner’s dilemma I don’t understand?


I love to work at home because I can have the music on. When I take breaks I can dance around the house. When I’m stuck, I can walk around and talk to myself. I can randomly emit strange sounds if I feel like it.



You have to patiently learn to live together with your shadow. And carefully observe the darkness that resides within you. Sometimes in a dark tunnel you have to confront your own dark side…

If you don’t, before long your shadow will grow ever stronger and will return, some night, to knock at the door of your house. ‘I’m back,’ it’ll whisper to you.

Haruki Murakami


I don’t think I know my shadow well. It’s all these stray thoughts that stand between me and him (her?). Stray thoughts that I don’t dismiss because I feel they are part of me. Persistent bugs. Think of them as symptoms: things the shadow throws at me, and I see them, and struggle with them, but they are not the Shadow, they are between me and the Shadow. The Shadow is not a devil, a demon. The Shadow is just a part of myself, that isn’t visible to my mind’s eye unless I observe and introspect carefully. Think of the Shadow as the unconscious. Think of it as a negation of life – but then, don’t think of it that way. It isn’t evil or good, it just is. It’s a bundle of the things that I carry through life – baggage – that it’s hard to articulate consciously, hard to even see that they exist. Only in conversation with the shadow – sit down in the quiet, or stormy forest – forgetting the rest of the world exists – can I understand the shadow, and better, myself.

I feel like I have a shaky hand. I want the marble of my soul to find the valley, the natural point of rest*, but my hand keeps shaking, and the marble’s moving, but it goes around and around, it doesn’t find the bottom.


In a way, the Shadow is bedrock. Or it is the deep water. Consciousness and rational thought exists on top of it, tries to be separate from the Shadow – but its attention, its willpower is limited. It draws from the deep water, even if it may deny that it does. The convictions: they are in the Shadow. The Shadow is solid. The conscious mind may want, may try to change its convictions – but it must reach into the Shadow. A journal entry is like time spent with the Shadow, funneling its deepness into words, a whirlpool allowed in the conscious.

(from 11/5/16)

*Just today I saw the resting point of personality referred to as “settledom“. I like the word.

A Friend to talk about Thoughts with

I think the worst thing about growing up introverted is feeling like there isn’t a single person I can talk to about the deepest, darkest thoughts I have. All I need is one friend who I feel OK with being completely open about. When I was small, I didn’t have Thoughts. But after more life happened, and left me with Thoughts, I realized there was a gap in my life—I hadn’t cultivated a friend who I could talk to about these Thoughts. I had friends in various settings, whom I revealed different parts of myself to, but not a friend with whom I felt I could talk about Thoughts. And when the Thoughts left me desiring a Friend, it was hard to find one on demand.

A word of advice: find a Friend who you can talk to about Thoughts, before you grow up and it becomes harder. All you need is one.

Road to

A path spilling out the meadow to meet the clouds at a horizon blurred like a mirage.

The noontime blaze of a sun warming all those who do not warm themselves.

Letters pile up in a virtual mailbox, unread. Text never find its way to a phone, turned off.

Today I walk in the woods. 10AM to whenever: wander.

There are no goalposts; the land on the other side of the hill is unknown.

Twilight seagull cries. The ocean beckons with foam-crested fingers. Come with me and you too, will become sand. Break into small things. Small things last forever, because they do not try to be.

(from 3/20/16)


“Is this a date?” she asked with hint of smile.


“Depends on your definition of date,” he said. “How would you define a ‘date’?”


“A meeting held out of romantic interest,” she said. “Is this lunch out of romantic interest?”


“I don’t like that framing. The word ‘date’ gives me the tremors. It’s like an exam, adversarial, solemn. The two parties assess each other across the table, considering their suitability for lifetime partnership. If that’s what it’s going to be, please say no.”

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Emotional residue

Once in a while I have these really emotional dreams. One thought or feeling gets drawn from deep inside my brain and in the one minute, or the thirty seconds that the dream lasts for, the feeling permeates my entire mind. Usually there isn’t anything momentous in the dream; all that matters is that I had the thought in the dream. I wake up with the thought. Sometimes I don’t even remember the whole dream, just know that it left me with a strong feeling. It can have a lasting effect for the rest of the day.

It’s weird. A conscious, lucid thought or feeling I have in a dream does something to my psyche that it wouldn’t if it were a thought I had while awake. It’s like, the thought has direct access to the deep, subconscious parts of my brain, and it just stains it immediately, like dye.

Thursday morning I woke up at 4am after a dream. In the dream I was telling my mom about how I missed M. I woke up with a great sorrow weighing me down. I felt awake, 清醒, not the least bit sleepy at all. I felt a great loneliness. I missed her so much. I couldn’t imagine not missing her, not being lonely. It was like my brain was normally many threads, but only one of them was running this time of night, giving me this feeling of pure sorrow.

I couldn’t sleep, so I recorded myself on my tablet, talking. I talked about how people are like points on this infinite-dimensional space of possible minds, and how distant we all are from each other in this vast space. How was it that the one person who was closest to me in this space had gone?

Eventually I fell asleep again. In the morning all the threads in my brain were functioning again, and the feeling had gone.