Why Pluto’s Journal?

To be perfectly honest, the name just came to me one night, like most of my ideas do. I’m really not an astronomer, at all, but Pluto has another connotation for me. It orbits on the edge of our solar system, a spectator of greater planets and life itself; and like Pluto, we often feel like spectators of the great world around us, small and quiet people in an infinite and screaming universe. Pluto is not intrusive, not even a planet anymore, just a smallย rock in space along for the gravitational ride around our sun.

But maybe Pluto has a voice too. Maybe its journal is full of ideas and thoughts and feelings about everything under (or around?) the sun. At least, that’s the idea. Even a small planet, overwhelmed by the bigger and more evolved planets around it, has a whole lot to say. And maybe the only thing it can do with all the noise around it is write those thoughts down and hope silently for a reader.

Now, aside from the slightly pretentious but well-intentioned metaphor above, I’m Avery. Right now, I’m in the process of growing up (which, I guess, never really ends). For the most part, I spend my time being a student or creating Brainstorms, a podcast about neuroscience, at brainstorms.org.

When I’m not being a student or creating Brainstorms, I’m generally attempting to write a novel, writing self-help, or thinking about Buddhism, human rights, science, the teenage condition, and the beautiful, mysterious world we live in and my place in it. I have more than my fair share of opinions, which most people don’t want to hear every day, so instead I eternalize them here! I’ve also written for Tiny Buddha, Having Time, The Change Blog, and The Wealthy Gorilla. If you have any questions or comments about my work, have a hot topic, want to talk about my ideas, or just want to have a nice digital conversation with a friendly California native, you can contact me at averyr2@gmail.com. Thanks for reading!

26 thoughts on “About

    1. Hello there!

      I came across one of your post on TinyBuddha, I have a lot of posts to catch up and I look forward to reading your thoughts ^^


      Mathieu, 17 years of age from The Netherlands


      1. Thank you! Feel free to leave comments anywhere you have thoughts. I always love responses and discussion.


  1. Hey! I came upon one of your articles about finding your purpose by being a kind and compassionate human being. I found it thought provoking and could really relate to it…I’ve been no stranger to giving advice and appreciation to those I love and adore, and I cannot deny the personal satisfaction one feels from making someone’s day a little less bleak.

    But I’ve found my boundaries over the last year. I gave up so much of my own energy in helping to deal with other people’s problems. I neglected myself and took care of their problems too much, to the point my positive energy was just ‘leeched’ by them. These people were just so negative…they never put their own energy into fixing their lives or converting their emotions to something more productive and positive. Don’t get me wrong, I still love them dearly as my friends but the pressure of taking care of them, usual high school bullshit and drama had just drained me. I felt tired and apathetic, and I just needed help of my own.

    Anyways…I found your blog just today and was wondering if you had a similar experience to this. It’s just so difficult being positive to those around you, and you always need to be wary of that line of looking out for your well-being and that of others. What are your thoughts on this? I’d love to hear your views ๐Ÿ™‚

    Best wishes,



    1. Hi Ant,

      I completely know what you are talking about. In fact, my boyfriend is exactly as you described- one of those people who goes out of his way to help others to the point where he feels taken advantage or, drained, and no one reciprocates the favor. I do the same, but as an introvert, I do not stretch my help to as many acquaintances (as I can be shy) so I tend to be in this situation less, but it is still a valid issue I have come across.

      I have found for myself that helping others comes in two ways- helping friends and helping people purely for philanthropic purposes. The goal for me is to balance the two. I have my friends, boyfriend, and the people close to me who I help, and who I expect help from in return when I need emotional support. These people, if they truly are your friends, should step up to the task as part of the friend-job description. It’s critical to find these people in your life, and to make sure it’s a two-way, equal relationship. As you help them achieve their potential and grow, they should return the favor.

      The other kind of help occurs when you yourself are in a good mental and emotional place, and have people to turn to for help. If you still have love to spread, then you can turn to helping truly depressed/upset/angry people in your life, who you may not be in a symbiotic relationship with. This is emotionally taxing, and you may not get anything in return. In fact, I am working with a boy I know who has serious issues with self-esteem and his view of life, and so far I have received no affection or thanks for my efforts. I am simply doing it to show him that someone can care about him, because helping others is where I derive my sense of self worth. It’s something I have decided to do because I have the emotional reserves to handle it.

      I see that you are handling only help of the second kind, and it’s both not sustainable and awful! I am very sorry that you don’t feel that any of your relationships are mutually supportive. I think, in your position, that it truly is important to focus on yourself first. If you do not love yourself and reach emotional stability and happiness, you simply cannot help others achieve it in a healthy way. I would say that if your friends are not reciprocating the emotional help, then perhaps it’s time to talk to them about it or at least try to get some support. If they don’t reciprocate, then maybe you should begin to search for someone who can provide support for you. You can only help and touch so many people before your reserves run out. The only person in this life that you can truly, always depend on, is yourself. You are your own best friend, and it’s your duty to take care of yourself when no one else will. I hope you feel that you can help yourself, because while it can seem selfish, it’s a critical skill to learn.

      You seem like an exceedingly warm and caring person, and I hope you can find someone to reciprocate for you. I’m assuming you’re in high school (me too!), and sometimes literally everyone is just absorbed in themselves, not mature enough to watch out for others. If you ever have any other concerns or need anything, don’t hesitate to contact me. I may not know you, but I love to talk to everyone through this blog, as the community aspect is very important to me.

      I hope everything turns out wonderfully! I hope this answers your questions (I feel like I’m rambling quite a lot).


  2. You are an excellent writer that made me think a lot about different topics you have posted about. Keep up the great work, you are great at what you do!


  3. Like everyone else….found your article on depression on Tiny Buddha….which was so much my story for past 2 years. I have written a lot about depression on my blog. It’s a pleasure to discover you and follow your inspiring work… You have a great life ahead. Bless you !


  4. Hi Avery… Its a pleasure coming across your site through Tiny Buddha. I love the way you elucidate your emotions… I think there is some commonality between us, that’s the reason I just observed that I find your views and thoughts very much of my own… Long way to go girl… God bless.. ๐Ÿ™‚


  5. I felt so many things after reading your article, you know which one :), and I thought this person (didn’t know you were a girl) if he/she and I were friends then there wouldn’t be any word like depression in life (Excuse my English, always want people to extract the sense not the words or language). So I followed you here but then I found there are so many people here who feel the way you and I feel and the fact is many people have the same problem. Other people are those who got accepted by people who they call friends or are loner by nature. I had many friends, I still have friends but less. What I wanna discuss here or at-least write down here to relieve my pain is that why I started feeling unhappy. I don’t like the words like depression, mad etc with serious expression on face. People call it very loudly “Are you mad?” when I’m kidding with them or if someone tells me not to think so much about whats good or wrong or you’ll be depressed. . I find many people who I want to help and I will taste how helping them will feel (90% of the time it doesn’t taste so good) and I’ll live. I won’t be talking much to those who doesn’t fulfill my expectations in return that is a good attitude towards me. You know when I am saying anything here or anywhere there I have to use so many subtext to explain every line because everyone gets me wrong. Of course I don’t want to help someone for any return but something bad in return or meanness or rudeness when the time I could use their help is not very good thing is it? I don’t let anyone help me with anything I am very independent but seeing people run away when its time to help me feels really bad (I be like guys don’t be like this you know even if you come forth to help I would not bother you with it). I am emotionally shattered inside. I keep searching for someone who understands me. Everyone expects that I know. Anyway, I can’t explain how I feel completely and it doesn’t matter either.

    Lots of love Avery, Great Wishes!!


    1. I’m so sorry to hear that you’re struggling to maintain healthy relationships with others. It is hard for those of us who feel like we give more love and kindness than we receive- I can only say that you cannot give up on spreading kindness and doing your best to help others and make the world a better place. If people are unkind, remember that it isn’t personal and that you owe them nothing; at the same time, it doesn’t help to fight back or defend yourself in most circumstances, because it only hurts your own psyche. I know that you will go far in life because of how conscientious and caring you are, and I only hope that you can stay positive even in the face of unkindness. Thank you!


  6. Ever since I found your blog, I’ve been inspired by your grace of words and wisdom. I’m fourteen years old, and I wish to have an impact or do something just like you have to me. You’ve taught me so much through words and your experiences. I really want to start a blog and was hoping you can explain to me the process it took you to get out there and start writing. Although I haven’t experienced life at it’s greatest depths. I still want to share my ideas with people and channel my inner creativity. I guess what I really want if I do start a blog, is to experience a change. Whether it’s with crucial issues that I would write on or people that understand the material I share, I don’t know yet. I’m hoping you can fill me in! Thank you Avery!


  7. Hello Avery,

    I just came across your blog while reading the piece you contributed to Tiny Buddha. I find your blog truthfully insightful and thought provoking (which I love). Anyway, I just wanted to respond as a new subscriber; and I want to thank you for sharing your thoughts and ideas on the mysteriously, beautiful universe in which we find ourselves being a part of– I see this blog as a medium for change. Thank you and I hope you have a synergistic day!



  8. Hi Avery!โ˜บ I also found your blog through Tiny Buddha, and I love your perception on life and the world. I’m a very deep thinker too, so I love reading your thoughts on the various subjects you cover. Now following your blog.๐Ÿ˜‰


  9. Hey, just read what you wrote about “Bad people” and just wanted to say that I currently read the work of a psychologist called Arno Gruen. Among other things, he argues that hateful people have experienced in early childhood that their parents do not accept their personality like it is, but force them to behave in a certain way that pleases them. Thus, for the rest of their lives they try to destroy the “other” in other people, which is ultimately just them trying to destroy the remnants of what their parents did not accept. Or something along thise lines ๐Ÿ™‚ One of his books is called “The Insanity of Normality: Understanding Human Destructiveness”. So anyway, just thought you might find it interesting..

    All the best and greetings from Berlin


    1. Sorry for the reply delay, and thank you for reaching out!! His work sounds very interesting and I will have to read more about him and check out his book! Thanks so much and I really appreciate your comment. Have a wonderful holiday!


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