It's a week before my birthday, so the review process of the past year (really, the past 24 in general) is starting to accelerate a fair bit. Also, I have a cough and a headache and a fair amount of churning mental pensiveness tonight and can't sleep anyway and might as well do something useful with my time, so I am writing this as I update my records and whatnot. Also, sometimes when I talk with my parents, I feel like I am justifying the value of my life and the investments I have decided to make therein to a Board of Directors for the combined Lim-Chua corporation. (I am also pleased to report that I continue to be a majority shareholder in The Mel, Inc. - I bought that stock a couple years ago around May of '07. Best investment I ever made.)

It's actually not a bad thing to learn early on; diplomacy is valuable, and I am pretty sure my failure to acquire permission to homeschool/unschool in 4th grade taught me things that led to my (eventual and very narrow) success 4 years later in being allowed to go to IMSA for high school, which taught me things that, 3 years later, led to what I consider to be an outright triumph, with my parents not just allowing me to go to Olin, but absolutely adoring the school as well...

Operation: Education! was over some time ago. I think I only needed to fight that battle twice; once for IMSA and again for Olin. At this point, I'm going to whatever graduate school(s) I want to go to, can get into, and pay for - and everyone is either (1) supportive or at least (2) resigned in an amused manner to this idea, and I'm making absolutely sure it stays this way by keeping people in the loop. I suppose this would be a variant on "it's ok for people to be disappointed, but not ok for them to be surprised." My schooling is my decision, and I know what I have to work with, and I feel good about my ability to work my ass off towards the decisions that I make on goals I set here.

Operation: Finances! is - I think - about to reach its multi-year conclusion. Duration: either 3 years, 7 years, or 12 years, depending on what milestone you begin counting at. I'll have to do maintenance, of course - but if I work out two last things with my parents, it's all going to be my maintenance. I am very much hoping to reach that point before I turn 24. Independence with consent - on my terms, but with their blessing - is what I'm aiming for, and generally my target for all these things - and for this, I have patience. As much patience as it takes. I am so close to being clear to run here.

Next up is Operation: Healthcare! Not to be launched in full until Operation: Finances! has wrapped, which is why I'm hoping that will happen in the next week so I can actually kick this off on my 24th birthday. I suspect this will be both faster and far, far slower - because while the actual acquisition of medical records and finding of doctors/dentists/audiologists/etc. and scheduling of regular appointments and whatnot should be (one hopes) a relatively quick and straightforward process, the reshaping of my habits to be, er... more... sustainable? will take a while. This whole "sleeping and eating and resting" thing. This whole "being something or somebody other than an expendable, replaceable producer of work-units" thing - that's going to be hard.

I mean, it's 3am on a Sunday morning and I'm sick and I'm still working doggedly on Life Review Stuff because I want to finish this - the fight to actually be The Mel, without guilt, no matter where I am or who I'm with - although I know it's something that will go on (and on and on) for decades. Probably my whole life. Heck, I'm not entirely clear on who The Mel is yet; I also keep on changing, but it's always been in the "...oh wait, yeah, that is actually better" direction. So far. Doing my best to keep it that way. I want to like the person I'm growing up to become.

To some extent, I take care of myself poorly (and curb my recklessness poorly) because there's a part of my brain that doesnt actually think I am particularly worth preserving. I have no objections to continuing my bonus round (my term for the time I've lived past age 3, because whether I got another N years was an uncertain coin-flip for a while; so far N is almost 21 and counting) but I also have perhaps fewer objections than I should to the contrary option. In other words, I have no wish to die anytime soon - there are a lot of things I want to do - and I will fight for what I want to fight for, because... fighting is what I do, it's in my nature - and life is in general one of those things I want. I want to live. But when your time is up, it's up, and that's what happens. I dunno; I guess I am not used to the idea of having anything I couldn't ultimately let go of, because I know that someday (57 years from now, statistically speaking) I will have to.

I'm not sure why I'm thinking this way right now, writing this way right now - it's the voice of one part of my mind, and it's trying to persuade the rest of me of something, but I'm not sure what. Eh. It'll make sense eventually, I'm sure.

Geekiness: I am about to be a factorial (4!) for either the last or second-to-last time. I won't be a prime again for 5 years (29) and I will never again be a solution to the birthday paradox, or the default telnet port. And yes, I actually thought of those things before it occurred to me that Wikipedia might have some more ideas (and then went "d'oh! twin primes! aliquot sums! why did I not remember those? ooo, what are these other things? oooo, shiny!")

Although... it's past 3:30am now, and... I am starting to feel tired, and my wrists are getting sore, and... maybe I should read about Hilbert's list tomorrow and... sleep now. Yes. That would be a good idea. Sleeping.