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    1. Are there any aspects of your mental life that you know/suspect to be idiosyncratic?

      As it is only possible to know what it is like to be yourself, it could be that you perceive the world in a completely different way than is typical and have no idea that that is the case. Hence...

      As it is only possible to know what it is like to be yourself, it could be that you perceive the world in a completely different way than is typical and have no idea that that is the case. Hence the existence of invisible disabilities such as face blindness or double vision, conditions such as synesthesia and aphantasia, etc. I am curious if anyone here experiences any such mental/perceptual phenomenon that could possibly be unique to you/atypical. Or if you experience one of the above it would be very interesting to hear about as well!

      Some examples of what I'm going for:

      • a YouTuber/blogger I follow claims their internal monologue takes the form of a humming or buzzing following the cadence and intonation, but not the sounds, of speech.
      • my personal inner monologue is usually more of a "dialogue", as in a discussion between me and 1+ imaginary participants (usually someone I know IRL or a character from a book). Although I don't perceive "them" as a separate entity I can't really predict what "they" will say. (feel free to comment if you experience this as well! I only suspect this is weird because mental vocalization is typically referred to as monologue but maybe this is totally normal?)
      • I'm pretty sure I experience emotions at a much shallower level than most. When I was very young I actually considered the possibility that I was a robot constructed by my parents, based on some Twilight Zone episode. I would say 95% of the time I don't really feel any emotion and when I do, it feels much less intense than it seems to be for most people judging by their behavior.
      • When I'm reading particularly dense text or have spent some time memorizing things, there is sometimes a certain sensation in my head, which, while I wouldn't really call it tiredness or exhaustion, does compel me to stop studying or whatever I'm doing. It's almost analogous to muscle soreness?
      22 votes
    2. No news 'til November

      I'm going on a news fast until after Samhain (that's Hallowe'en for you non-heathens). Still figuring out what, exactly, that means, but basically, I'm minimizing (ideally, eliminating) my...

      I'm going on a news fast until after Samhain (that's Hallowe'en for you non-heathens). Still figuring out what, exactly, that means, but basically, I'm minimizing (ideally, eliminating) my exposure to ... hmmm ... I guess "unnecessary stress and anxiety" is the best summary.

      Turned off my Feedly (ahem) feed. No more Mastodon, etc. I'll still be visiting Tildes, but less ... and I just finished tuning out the news from my postings list (unsubscribed from ~enviro, ~finance, ~health, ~lgbt, and of course, ~news ... added a bunch of tag filters — covid, Trump, politics, the FAANG corps, etc). That seems to have killed 95% of the stress-inducing headlines. Will add more tag filters, as they prove necessary.

      Thoughts? Anyone already try this? Anyone wanna join me?

      PS: I have no idea how to tag this post. Tildes ModGods, please have at it, but try not to add any tags that'll inadvertently hide my own post from me. Danke, y gracias.

      22 votes
    3. Help me think about the next step in my life

      Hello, I am a late 20s person from Europe who works part-time at a low-skilled job and is nearing completion of a masters in Financial Mathematics (FM). I also have an undergraduate degree in...

      Hello, I am a late 20s person from Europe who works part-time at a low-skilled job and is nearing completion of a masters in Financial Mathematics (FM). I also have an undergraduate degree in Economics and a post-graduate degree in Finance.

      Previously I’ve worked full-time as an IT consultant, in R&D at an asset management company and in operational risk at an investment bank. I stopped working full-time in early 2018 due to mental health issues such as depression, anxiety disorder and possible Asperger’s. But even before then it was obvious my health was deteriorating and I actually got fired from my second job partially due to these problems. Since then I’ve slowly working (or at least trying to) on my health, which has improved substantially but not as much as I would like. So in early 2018, with way too much time in my hands, I decided to get the part-time job to partially offset my expenses and also decided to go back to school to study FM.

      I took the latter decision for multiple reasons. I was tired of doing work that was not very technical or quantitative. While working on my health I realized that I don’t do well with work that is subjective, unstructured or involves little interaction (for example doing a lot of reading, specially with no clear goal). I did a little programming at previous jobs and more during the masters and I can say with some confidence that I enjoyed it. But going back to the FM masters: it is very technical, I was fascinated and curious about it plus it has an excellent track record with regards to employment prospects. I also considered “going back” and doing an undergraduate degree in computer science but decided that it was just too long (minimum 3 years).

      So with this “introduction” out of the way let’s get to the heart of this post. I don’t know what to do after I finish my masters. Of course I could just apply for jobs related with what I am studying. However, I think I really want to try working in the technical side of IT. I will admit I don’t know much about the different aspects and careers in IT but I find it interesting. Every time I was doing non-technical work I just wanted to understand and do the work of my technical colleagues. I think it both better suits my personality and aligns well with my long term goals of increased freedom and flexibility (IT generally pays well and you can do a lot of work remotely). I have this idea of maybe becoming a free-lancer but I can understand that is not realistic in the short-term so working in IT inside a company is probably my best bet. Regardless, another objective of mine is to be able to work less than 40h per week. I think it would be great for me, specially health-wise.

      I have to say I got more excited about my ideas when I saw this post here on Tildes: https://tildes.net/~comp/quj/would_any_tilderino_be_interested_in_tutoring_me_in_programming. I am willing to put in the work and it would be awesome to have some tutoring. Another point I took from that post is that IT is a very big field and I honestly don’t know specifically what I want to do inside that space. However, I do know I don’t like dealing with UI or graphical/design aspects.

      I guess I will finish by asking direct questions to help people structure their answers around (but if you want to talk about something else I wrote, be free to do so):

      • First of all, what technical areas within IT do you think would suit me? If it’s not much of a hassle, please provide a brief description of what people actually do in those areas.
      • Is it realistic to start working as a technical IT freelancer and learn as I go? Or are the odds very slim?
      • Alternatively, if I decide to take the safer route of nailing a technical IT job, what should I do to put myself in a better position to attain that goal?
      10 votes
    4. I’m moving across the country in a few days

      I’m moving from the Midwest to California on Tuesday to start graduate school (I’ve been in an post-baccalaureate research position for the last two years). I’ve been so busy packing and making...

      I’m moving from the Midwest to California on Tuesday to start graduate school (I’ve been in an post-baccalaureate research position for the last two years). I’ve been so busy packing and making sure I see friends that I think it hasn’t truly hit me yet. I’ve lived around Chicago my whole life, even during college, so I suppose I’m a bit nervous about the change of location and being so far from friends and family. I’m incredibly excited of course to begin this new phase, but nervous nonetheless.

      Have any of you all ever had big moves in the past? Any advice for settling in a new locale?

      14 votes
    5. I had to put my best friend to sleep today

      Olly never liked people very much. He was rescued at ~9 months old wandering around the streets in my hometown. Because of this, and perhaps his past, he had an aversion to lots of commotion,...

      Olly never liked people very much. He was rescued at ~9 months old wandering around the streets in my hometown. Because of this, and perhaps his past, he had an aversion to lots of commotion, people he didn't know, or unexpected noise. But between all of that, he came to trust me, and placed his faith in me—his twelve year old owner. He grew up with me, as I went through high school, then university, a few jobs, and more.

      My furry companion, who at night would sleep on my bed, curled up, paws covering his eyes (but only after licking my hand with his raspy tongue for minutes on end) and during the day would wander outside—safety assured, away from any main roads, with lots of high grass to wander through—or lounge under the sun in the front yard.

      He always had to be the boss—have things his way. A large, well-built 6.5kg ginger-tabby who was neutered much later than you'd normally neuter a kitten. This bossiness extended to the neighbourhood competition. He didn't like other cats much, either. This would lead to an occasional, emotionally painful (for both of us) trip to the vets to treat a scratch, or bite. A 20 minute drive in a cat box, as he meowed and sobbed his head off—telling us in no uncertain terms, "let me out!".

      And do you think he'd ever let you pick him up? Not a chance. Everything has to be on his terms! But in between his assertiveness, he shared his love for me, bumping his head into mine, gently touching my face with his paw on occasion, being a part of my life as I was a part of his.

      Unfortunately, none of us can escape the forever ticking of time. 13 good years pass. For the past week though, he started becoming more introverted, would sleep more—and eat less. Taking this kind of cat to the vet is a judgement call that you don't make lightly. Do you cause stress and anxiety, making him trust you less for weeks on end, make him spend more time outside, away from your watchful eye? Or do you visit the vet less frequently, but still proactively, if you know something is definitely wrong?

      I made the latter decision last night, taking him to afterhours. The triage indicated a heart murmur, and a blood panel indicated parameters that might be indicative of mild renal dysfunction—to be followed up at the proper vet tomorrow. So he was sent home, with some precautionary injections, and an appetite and hydration boost.

      Sadly, I never got that opportunity to take him for a follow up. He slept with me that night, but his condition deteriorated rapidly this morning. I rushed him to the proper vet, watching him helplessly tremble and vocalise his scaredness. I can't help but cry as I type this. The staff told me it was time. I knew it, and in some ways, I think he did too. I'm glad I got to give him the opportunity to fade away peacefully.

      I don't have many frames of reference to compare this part of my life to, but it seems to me this is the most pain I've ever felt over a single event. You might be able to get another cat, but you definitely can't get another Olly. A part of my heart is forever gone. I'm a believer that the pain doesn't really go away, you probably just learn to cope with it more, to focus on the years of good, and not the hours of bad. I really hope I can do that, because he was my best friend.

      I love you, buddy. I hope you're at rest now, and I'll miss you always. 🧡

      29 votes