Cat Stevens has me pegged... It's a shame he only wrote one verse. The rest is a pretty half assed attempt. I really need to read some of his other stuff. Anyway, while I am here I guess I should bang out a status update for my own reflection later. I quit the meds a month ago and my mind is as swirling as ever, but I really did enjoy the perspective I was used to. I feel like I see my own weaknesses better now. I know how the world probably perceives me, so it gives me a chance to literally bite my lip and pause and reflect. I know how I need to caveat the way I express myself to give people a point of reference for who I am. Time feels like it is passing a little more quickly, but when I look back I feel like I am doing a ton more than I have would have on meds which makes me feel like I am making the most out of this little morning dewdrop of a life I have been given. In the end, I don't think it matters whether or not I take the drugs. It is a pragmatic decision and not a philosophical one. In which state do I enjoy myself, get the most done. I need to consider things like doctors appointments, potentially unknown health risks and the cost of the medication. I think I can manage without it. If not, I will adjust. I like my energy. I think people do too, but I can't decide for certain if this accurate or I am just egotistical or some mix of both. Yes I am still hyper, I talk to much, I am a little impatient with stupid people and mundane tasks - but I am aware of my limitations and can actively prepare myself and others for the likely outcome when I am placed in these types of situations. In other news, I also finally bought a DSLR, some good equipment and decided to put it to work. I am shooting for Carolina Nightlife (a web based promotional photography business - I basically get paid to go out and be a photographer at bars I would go to anyway - the pay is so so (about what I would make waiting tables) but it is more fun and gives me a chance to practice my skills and market my own business), planning to teach in the fall, and in the middle of starting my own photography business (maninly because I know I will need something to supplement my income as a teacher, because I really do enjoy it, and because I want something else to hang my image on besides an educator). I am currently posting my material here: I have a few free shoots lined up for the next few weeks with friends and have my first paid gig in two weeks. I am taking a much more interesting mix of classes this semester - bioinformatics, physical oceanography, geology, science and the environment and auditing a digital photography course and one on biostatistics. I like all of them with the exception of biostat which I will probably stop attending soon unless it gets much more interesting and the professor gets much more clearer. I particularly like my bioinformatics professor and spend about an hour after each class chatting with him about everything from the philosophy of science to economic policy to art. He is an interesting character and I see a lot of my own traits in him. Still busy with the UU (going to a conference this weekend for the youth), still teaching the high school group, taking a year long class based on this book, and doing my own group at hope. I have had a few odd situations with friends lately, but I can't tell if my recent study of Buddhism has helped me to not be concerned about them or if I simply have repressed them to deal with them later. I really do think I am much stronger emotionally than I was a year or two ago though. I think the time I have spent trying to cultivate these traits is finally producing benefits for my life. Just a small note: I saw a silly, but reasonably entertaining film called "Yes Man" with Jim Carey and want to be more aware of the effects of being closed off to situations. More broadly I want to be less critical, less judgmental, and more open to other peoples ideas. I have a tendency to be very stern which has the effect of shutting people down and making it harder for them to talk to me. I have a new friend who I usually just sort of watch with a mix of awe and wonder. When we go out he has the most warm ad welcoming demeanor with others. He just smiles, nods, tried to genuinely understand. It is amazing to see how quickly people open up under these situations. It is a new goal. No immediate romantic situations to speak of. I decided to brush away the distractions and be more deliberate. I guess it is working too! It is an odd place for me to be in though. I am usually in pursuit of one or two relationships, but now I am just focused on other things. I like it, it is nice to have the time for other things. I am also glad to be saving the money! :) I have also had some really strange dreams that I don't care to share publicly, but I am curious to see if they continue. I think that is enough for now. January was a success.