Sunday, December 14, 2014

Messy Mental Bookshelf

I'm just a little bit caught in the middle
Life is a maze and love is a riddle
I don't know where to go, can't do it alone
I've tried and I don't know why

I'm not an obsessed Sherlock fan, but I do ship Adlock (I think they're intellectual complements to each other). On Friday, I discovered an excellent Tumblr comic covering their interactions after the Karachi adventure, but was quite disappointed to see the artist on hiatus after about 3/4 of the comic.

The subject of mind palaces popped up again after reading it. The concept is something that has always fascinated me. But whether it's Sherlock's or Magnussen's Appledore, I can't seem to figure out how they did it. I would imagine that they would just sit down one day for a few hours and construct a mental structure to hold all of their knowledge, but it seems like so much intangible work. I can organize a room pretty easily, but even then it's hard to make sense of where everything needs to go. I can't figure out how to take intangible information in my head and put it in one place.

In contrast to a "mind palace" per se, my thoughts are all crammed in to a messy mental bookshelf, full of books and strings and statuettes. The image above really doesn't do it justice, there would have to be 12x as much stuff to really illustrate the intensity of all the information running around in my head. I say a messy mental bookshelf because if you've ever tried to pull one thing out of an overcrowded bookshelf, you've probably experienced an avalanche of things coming out with that one thing you wanted. It's a bit like that with my thoughts. When I stumble upon a subject, that one thing reminds me of a barrage of related topics, and it takes forever to work through each of them and put it away (otherwise it bothers me endlessly just laying there).

Speaking of avalanches (here we go, I mention avalanches once and it brings me to a whole bunch of tangents) I feel like I'm in the middle of three right now. I imagine my current journey in life as climbing up a large snowy mountain, but I have three rocky avalanches coming at me from three directions: college apps, finals/grades, and health.

In regards to college apps, some decisions have come back for acquaintances at school. I've heard about tons of deferrals and a few rejections and acceptances. I don't know how I feel about college anymore. I wish I was already in college and away from all these passive aggressive brats (I don't know how else to describe them without profanity) at school and at home. After discussing it with a few college freshmen, I don't know what kind of college I want anymore, but I do have a vague idea of who I want to be in college. All I really want is an environment, campus, and community that supports that idea of self. College is such a huge, looming, imminent thing that is exhilarating and terrifying all at once. I want to be at college already, but I don't know if I'm actually ready for it. And this is all very confusing to me.

At the moment what I need most is focus and dark chocolate. Diana went to England for an interview for Oxford; she bought all her Christmas gifts for her friends in London. I had asked for an advent calendar, but apparently they're all sold out. She did get me a Terry's chocolate orange, which was an excellent choice, but it's milk chocolate. While it is delicious, it's not as effective as dark chocolate for focusing and studying.

It all ends here. There is no satisfying, concluding ending. This semester will leave me hanging in all three aspects of life I am trying to deal with. I won't be getting admissions decisions on my college apps, I won't know what grades I end up with in certain classes, and I don't know what the state of my health will be. I'm the type of person who likes closure, everything wrapped up with a nice little bow or put back into its place, but it's just not happening and it's making me so anxious. This is the root of the frustration and paralyzation, and I'm so glad I have this blog to think on and talk it out. Even if I don't know how to solve this problem yet, at least I know what the problem is. Not knowing how to get somewhere is a solvable problem, but not knowing where to go is hanging in a limbo, with the urge to do something, but no idea what that something is. That is the rock that needs to be smashed, this is direction to go in, and once I get there, I know my options to find ways to deal with it. And that gives me a little bit of relief. ◊

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