joy of work, sorrow of loss

Did some math this morning, and it was wonderful. I’m going through my advisor’s intro book to probability, meant for a first year graduate level course. Much of this is known to me, but in grad school I didn’t have time to “do it properly,” according to my own definition of “properly.” So I’m going to go through it slowly now–read a chapter twice, do all the problems, then read it again. Then the next chapter. I’ve gone through math books like this before, and though it takes some time and work, when you’ve done it, you have the material. It is yours then.

It feels so good to be reading math again. Like Kvothe says in the Kingkiller trilogy, it’s like stretching muscles that haven’t been used in too long. This is the best thing about deciding to stay in the apartment for another year: I’ve bought myself the time to do some primary work while still working on the van for the remainder of the summer.

I want more of my summer back. I’m so terrible about wasting time when I’m using drugs. There’s always this blend of relief and loss when I get back to my self and my work. Fucking try, try again.

I’m going to give the first few hours of each work-day to math and writing. My work life is divided into tiers now: there’s the primary stuff that amounts to basic self maintenance–cooking, cleaning, exercising, meditating; there’s the main focus of my work, math and writing; then there’s the secondary work stuff, like paid employment and building my own environment (building the van for now, developing a piece of land later). The self-maintenance work potentiates everything else, and the primary work makes me feel like I’m not wasting my life. After those two, everything else has to be fit in.

There is an aspect of “avoiding the negative” in my primary work. Part of why I do math and write is so that I don’t feel regret. But that’s not the whole story. There is also a “seek the positive” aspect; I feel right and good when I’m doing these things. They make me feel powerful, and make everything feel more clear. I untangle emotionally. It is good.