I do enjoy - and miss - the ritual of blogging just about every day. It feels a little pent up to not braindump as often, though I catch fragments in my notebook. It forces me to be okay with missing chances for introspection in exchange for more experiences to think about, which is a tradeoff I don't often make.

Lately quite a bit of stuff has happened, and I won't even make an attempt to make this an exhaustive account of all of them. The first one is that Olin's 4th class graduated, marking the end of an era - Ash, Bonnie, Leslie, Boris, and the others were "the freshmen," just as my class was "the juniors" - we composed the first full complement of students. It was good. 15-word passages (with so few students in each class, we have the time to have each senior give a short quote to be read as they walk across the stage, and still have a short Commencemet) included a rickroll, Jonathan Coulton lyrics, and a marriage proposal (congratulations, Jenn and Gui!)

A good number of my friends are married now, or will soon be. This month, Ben and Becky tie the knot. Over the summer, Amanda. Then in September (on Talk Like A Pirate Day), Bonnie and Matt. There are more engaged and married couples from Olin, and even some from high school; some of my friends have children, even. (Meanwhile, my grandmother calls me on my 23rd birthday and tries to convince me to start dating.) It's... odd. I'm not used to having friends get married; I'm used to knowing people who are married, or people who perhaps are dating, but watching friends make the transition into a relationship that's supposed to be for life and may eventually beget offspring is a total phase shift. How do you react, except with "congratulations!" and much happiness and a complete lack of knowledge of what this all is supposed to mean about what's going to happen?

Chris got me an IBM Model M keyboard as a birthday present! I opened the box, pressed down a single key, felt that lovely buckling click-clack spring, and exploded with glee.

I have been getting over my aversion to physical contact. (Mm, mental reprogramming.) I've realized I can't work on it unless I feel completely safe in the place and company I'm with. This is very difficult, and also very rare. (It also serves me as a good gauge of how much I trust the environment I'm in.) If I'm tired, nervous, suspicious, uncomfortable, uncertain, anything like that, I'll just hunch in and freeze up. It's amazing to be aware of that (occasionally), how much my slouch and tension may have been formed by habitual cringing, how much I still revert to that now, how I can actually sometimes work to counteract it, or at least parts of it.

It's also getting easier as I'm becoming more aware (I love massage therapy, even if it's marginally painful/sore at times) of where and how my muscles should work and run - the extent to which the shoulder joint ought to be mobile, the sensation of your collarbone and shoulders and sternum and throat being anything other than the fused mass you always assumed they were supposed to be - the discovery of how to articulate and isolate things, then move them in synchrony in ways you can't remember them moving before... RSI turned out to be an unexpectedly beneficial (and well-timed, really - better now than any other time I can imagine) blessing in opening up this world to me.

And you know what? Sometimes, physical touch feels good. Really, really good. Once/if that signal cuts through the "OH MY GOD SOMEONE IS HUGGING ME AAAAAAAAA" (etc.) noise, it is nice, and comforting, and warm, and safe, because if that cuts through the mental screaming (which I'm learning to treat as a judgment input rather than a direct control), then I really do feel safe around that person at that moment. Ah, brain reprogramming. It's really weird.

Other people have big dreams and go for them; other people have seen the world open to them and gone exploring in it, go out of their way to care, live an awesome life. I surround myself with folks I want to be with, want to be inspired by, want to be more like, widening the circle not in a way that shuts out others, but in a way that welcomes people in. It is a fascinating way to change the world.

Ginneh and Erin are my driving heroes. Yay! And Mark is coming for breakfast in 6 hours before he flies back out to Texas (we haven't seen each other since our graduation, and it's wonderful to catch up after 2 years), so I probably should actually sleep. Andrew is already out cold; a reasonable amount of beer was consumed at Sunset tonight, so I'm a touch groggier than usual myself. I've discovered that as I appreciate drinks even more, I want to drink smaller quantities of it - as I take more time and thought to figure out the taste, even a shotglass of ale goes an awfully long way; I don't need to down a pint. I don't like the feeling of being inebriated, anyway. It's a nice progression. And it means a lot more friends are going to be asked "hey, do you want to split a X?" or "can I just try a sip?" and so forth now.

It is extremely weird to have a past to look back on and think about and learn from now that seems substantial, instead of only a future to look forward to. There's that as well, of course; we're all still young. But more and more the future isn't all there is. Having a past brings me more fully into the present. It's kinda nice.