27 May 2002

I have decided that being moody is far superior to being depressed. I say this because of the variety, which I think is a good thing. Sure, itís disconcerting to be completely unprepared for the roller-coaster of your emotions and not know how youíll be feeling in an hour. But itís certainly better to be unexpectedly depressed for a couple hours a day than to know for sure that youíll be depressed all day for many days to come. Itís really quite striking how many happy and pleasant moments Iíve had in the last few days, interspersed with these intermittent times when Iím absolutely miserable. I donít understand it, but hey, whatever works.

If you canít tell, Iím in one of my happier moods as I write this, as compared to the previous journal entry which was written in a very unhappy one. (Note to self: writing directly into the web editor leads to less coherent and well-written entries; for the sake of readers, write in Word first and then post, as normal.) Itís odd, because much of the last couple days, whether in good mood or bad, Iíve spent in my room by myself. So itís basically a state of mind. My happiness and unhappiness waxes and wanes; so does, interestingly enough, my selfishness and selflessness, Iíve noticed. This results in me becoming absolutely aghast at selfish things Iíve just done once I switch into ďselflessĒ mode, and that guilt leads to the distressed mood I was in as I wrote my last entry.

One thing Iíve discovered is that in my state of emotional impressionability, music means a whole lot. Iíve had my music going all weekend, as I usually do, because I canít study or work without it (not that Iíve necessarily been getting things done with it!). And Iíve been busy downloading lots of new songs, which of course I want to listen to and try out. But itís really amazing what effects the combinations Iíve been compiling for playlists have on me. A lot of my new REM songs have the power to get me singing and smiling when Iím feeling down if I force myself to hit play while in a low mood. And Iíve had to impose an outright ban on starting any Nine Inch Nails music unless Iím already depressed, and even then, itís one time through and then I have to switch to something happier.

I have enjoyed digging through these songs for lyrics, though, since Iíve had to start replenishing my away messages on this new computer. In fact, most of my new REM songs were selected completely based on lyrics, since after getting a couple of recommendations from Colleen, I had nothing else to go on. Theyíve mostly worked out well musically, although I listened to a couple and decided they didnít do anything for me. But Iíve always loved finding my own meanings in song lyrics, encapsulating in them my feelings and thoughts. And thereís something about the full package of the lyrics, the tune, the singerís voice, and the background music that does much more than a particularly meaningful poem could ever do on its own. So thereís something about coming up with an away message of lyrics that say something eloquently but also invoke the emotions that come with the song.

(Parenthetically, I sometimes wonder how much significance others attach to their away messages. I often spend a good deal of timeówell, 30 seconds is a long time when it comes to selecting away messagesótrying to pick a set of lyrics that accurately conveys my mood or expresses something I want to say. If Iím in a rush, Iíll just pick something that sounds good, but a sizable percentage of the time my away message says something about my state of mind. I wonder if other people are like me, or if they just choose away messages at near-random. Probably somewhere inbetween.)

I wish I could be a songwriter. I can handle the lyrics, but Iím really awful about coming up with melody to go along with it. I made several rather atrocious attempts a few years back, but gave up, not wanting to inflict that upon the world at large. Part of me thinks it would be marvelous to team up with someone whoíd provide the music to my lyrics. But it really makes more sense to recognize my limitations and accept that my words are meant to stay trapped on paper, instead of living in songs.

But in any event, I suppose my current state of emotional affairs isnít too bad. If this is the worst that Iím going to have to deal withóand some sort of ďrelapseĒ was inevitableóI know I can handle it. Misery is infinitely more tolerable when itís well-spaced.

Goodness knows whatís to come when the summer starts, though. But thatís another discussion for another day. Nineteen more days of this, first.

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