Growing Pains

Last night was pretty fun. Tim and I met up with a friend we haven’t seen in a few years, and were introduced to her girlfriend, and the four of us hung out for a drink and catch-up chat. Heard my name shortly after we sat down, and it turned out there was ANOTHER old friend – from University days – sitting at a table across from us with her son! So that was very cool, too. This week has manifested a few friends from days of yore, as it turns out.

It’s weird, though, because I actually feel thrown off when I’m around people I haven’t seen in a long time. I’m not the same as I was, and I’m not sure who I am, and I feel…scattered, or something. More outside of things than usual. Coupled with feeling like I can’t really be myself – even as much of me as I know – around certain people…it leaves a bunch of threads hanging. It ends up being too much time, as well as not enough. I don’t know how to breathe.

In other news, both Hudson and Humphrey are home safe and healthy now, which is good. I’m concerned I won’t recognize my bear anymore, which makes me sad, but I guess at the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter. We had our time, and we’ll have more time now; it’ll just be different. He’s not my bear, anymore.

The changes he created in me remain the same, however, so there’s that. It hurts – a lot – to keep losing the ones I love the most, but I guess that’s how we grow as individuals; by enduring growing pains of the heart.

Treading Water

I think I need to start focusing on other things a bit more, at least for now. Even some that are more for me than for others.

Still treading water, but closer to drowning than I’d like lately!

Past time I do something about it. Will be interesting to see if I actually do, though! Haha

A bystander to the story, watching other lives play out.”

A line which caught my attention in the book I’m currently reading. It’s pretty much how I feel most of the time, but that’s not always a bad thing. I’ve always been an observer more than anything else. A passenger. I feel like I sometimes see more than most people realize, which is helpful. But it’s also isolating; distancing. Watching instead of doing doesn’t get anyone very far. So there’s that.

Everett had never been a teenage girl – maybe there was some equivalent in the adolescent male, something that simmers under the surface of a friendship like that. But the simple truth was that when a girl like Corinne loves you, you don’t ask why. You just hope it doesn’t change.”

There’s a ton that could be discussed about this, and I love how even these few simple sentences dips below the surface to touch on the something a little extra special that happens between girl friends. It’s kind of surprising that it hasn’t been talked about nor portrayed very often in film/TV and books and the like. Well, not really surprising, I guess, given our penchant for largely ignoring the female experience in this journey through life (even I don’t talk or think about it except in terms of judging others), and even when it is highlighted, it’s often in a way that makes the girls look crazy, rebellious, lesbian, or just plain psychotic/vengeful/angry. It’s rarely just in terms of exploring the myriad of connections that female friends can make with one another, which is different from the ones they make with men, and often valued less as a result. But having mostly just observed, rather than experienced, such a thing, I feel ill-equipped to put in my two cents. Or…another two cents, as the case may be.

Plus, we don’t have pennies in Canada anymore, so I’d have to put in at least five cents, anyway.

I do know the feeling of not understanding why, nor asking why, and just hoping it doesn’t change, though. A handful of people have made me feel lucky; made me feel loved even though I’m just flawed old me. Not in a romantic way; that’s not what this is about at all. It’s a certain kind of friendship thing, one I always long for and watch for and occasionally think I’ve finally found…until it inevitably does change, and is gone. The friendship itself usually remains, in some form or other, but that something extra that made it special – that made me feel special – is lost.

Breaks my heart every time.

Gibberish

Man, if I had stayed up and delayed taking Brody out to pee only to watch the Jays lose last night, I would have been pissed!

Happily, that was not the case.

Sadly, I am just as exhausted again today. And out of pain meds so picked up some ibuprofen on my way home last night, along with a 4TB external drive to which my computer is currently being backed up. Hopefully everything is okay. I don’t like leaving stuff like that on when I leave the apartment for the day. :/

Anyway.

Once again, there’s nothing I really feel like talking about today. Just trying to get my life together, as always.

And mostly failing, as always, but at least the ideas haven’t dried up yet!

Last night I sent the opening excerpt from my first novel in to the current Writer In Residence at the Toronto Public Library. No idea if I will make it in, as she is taking the first 35 submissions, or something, and they’ve been open for the past couple of weeks. Still, it’ll be good to talk about it again with her if I do get the chance. I was thinking about what I wanted to do with the story, and last night I wasn’t sure that I wanted to go that route anymore.

Today I though maybe I still do, but just a little different from what I was initially thinking. So we’ll see. I’ve got some time yet before I’d talk to her, if I get to at all. Maybe that’ll be the kick in the pants I need to map it out a bit more clearly in my mind, if nothing else!

Some Changes On My Mind

I don’t know, man. Sometimes I feel like it might soon be time to abandon ship. I’m not sure how much longer I can stand to be around so many people all piled into one place, and keep thinking I might soon decide to just get out of the city once and for all. I probably won’t, because it’s been on my mind for years and I haven’t done much about it yet, but I guess we never really know what the future holds. I just know my past experience with success has been…I haven’t really had any. Haha

Sometimes life just happens and we do little more than hold on for the ride. I’m definitely a passenger, through and through.

Been able to slowly watch things off my PVR the past few days. Checked out Designated Survivor (of course) and liked it okay, but the premiere was definitely all about setting up the story and introducing the characters. Which is really all it can be, but I look forward to seeing where things go from here. Note that “look forward to seeing” could also be read as “impatient to see”. Haha

I really, really liked the series premiere of Pitch! I like the format of fluid movements between past and present, I love the characters so far, particularly the protagonist and the team’s catcher. I love that they found kids who could actually have been the lead actress at different stages of her life – like, they’ve time-travelled to the present so they could play her earlier years. I love that it came out swinging and set the tone and – for the premiere, at least – isn’t treating the series as a one-act play. Young black woman becomes the first female to play in major league baseball. I’d seen comments about how it should have been a movie because there aren’t legs for a series, but after having seen the first episode, I have to disagree. Well, I already disagreed, but now I disagree more. More than 2 decades went into the moment she stepped onto the field for the first time, and that moment wasn’t the beginning of her journey. There’s more to come, and there’s more that has passed, and that it’s engaging thus far bodes well, as far as I’m concerned. I’m on board.

Speaking of coming out swinging – holy returns for Quantico and How To Get Away With Murder! So so good! I’m right back in love with both shows, and actually a little afraid to find out who died at the end of the season premiere of HTGAWM. I suspect I’ll watch the next episode with a drink in hand. Or a few.

I was asked recently about what I want to do next; what my dream would be, to do with my life. I don’t have an answer for that yet. Some vague ideas, but nothing I can pin down. I used to think I would be a teacher. Sometimes I still do, but I’m not really meant for a public school classroom, I don’t think. Maybe something a little different, but still education-related.

I’ve also been enjoying some small event planning, media marketing, public relations and…I don’t know what to call it…pseudo producing? With respect to The Mind Reels and interviews and radio plays and breaking a Guinness World Record. I have so many ideas for taking even larger steps, and some seem to be coming to fruition, which is encouraging. I would need to narrow my focus to see if I could actually succeed in any of those environments, but there’s definitely something there worth considering, I think. I’m just not sure what yet.

And then there’s the non-human animals of the world. I need to find a way to stop feeling like I need to save everybody, but that doesn’t mean I can’t find a way to work with and/or for them. Even after a rather bad day at my volunteer shift this past weekend, getting to spend time with Marley the ring-tailed lemur before I left, and then taking Brody the Munchkin out for a long walk when I got home did a lot to heal my mood. As did talking about it a bit the next day – but that was like the final step I needed. Mostly it was the good animal interactions that brought me the balance I’d lost from the less desirable ones. My relationship to animals has changed in countless ways since meeting Hudson the polar bear, and as a result, I think they are actually becoming more of a daily focus for me than less of one. I imagine that can only be a good thing, really, but if I can figure out a way to pursue that environment more regularly in my life, I think that might feel like the most right path for my spirit. Maybe not for my pocketbook, nor always for my heart.

But I don’t own a pocketbook, anyway, so what have I got to lose?

Antidepression Quandry

For the past several months, I’ve been actively trying to wean myself off of my antidepressants. It’s been going quite well, which is why I’ve been keeping it up. Slow and steady, as I am in no rush. I just feel like it’s time to get off them, and since I know from previous experience how difficult that can be, I figured I would take my time, and just aim for an eventuality. I don’t really want to be taking them for the rest of my life, if I can help it.

I’d forgotten how physically sick I would feel when I changed the consistency of taking them, so I went back to super steady, and made incremental changes as I went along. I keep forgetting when I last took one, so sometimes I still don’t feel great, even though my weaning period has been going on for a long time.

As far as depression goes, however, I’m still feeling pretty balanced. That, for me, has been the main thing to keep an eye on. Even when PMS-ing, though, I’m thus far able to differentiate between when I’m legit upset by something versus weeping unnecessarily hard over a commercial on television.

I mean, I have a new TV now, so everything looks splendid, but still…I can tell when I’m being hormonally over-sensitive, most of the time. So that’s good.

I’m wondering now, though, if I should start taking them regularly again, even just at the lowest dose. I find my ability to focus on one thing at a time is suffering a lot lately, and it occurred to me this morning that it might actually be due to taking myself off antidepressants. It was easier for me to direct my focus when I had something to take the edge off. Is it something I can learn to do for myself, if I keep working my way off of them? I actually don’t know. I’m not entirely sure I ever could. It’s fine on the surface – things still get done, and some of them even get done well. I write everything down now, anyway, because I have trouble remembering things since I started on these MS meds. So keeping track in alternate ways helps me, and is a habit I’ve developed anyway. But it’s frustrating on the inside. I feel almost overwhelmed sometimes, and more often now than I used to. Again, maybe I can learn to focus better, anyway.

But maybe not.

The other point in favour of going back on them more regularly is how, like…not exactly over-sensitive, but I’m having a lot more anxiety now, and as such I am getting much less sleep. I’m constantly thinking about things, and going over things in my mind. That on top of the usual MS fatigue I’ve been experiencing the past few years is making it harder for me to NOT break down and cry about even the smallest things.

Again, maybe in time I’ll learn how to quiet my mind naturally and get better rest. But maybe I won’t. Maybe I never really could. I’m not actually sure.

For now, I’m not really going to make any decisions. I just started thinking about it this morning, and since I’m definitely PMS-ing (bring me salt!) right now, I may as well wait until I at least have whichever faculties I usually have about me again, and go from there!

General Thoughts From A Foggy Mind

Got an email last night for members from the Toronto Zoo. As predicted, Inukshuk, handsome papa polar bear to Hudson, Humphrey, Juno and two others, is heading up north to Cochrane sometime next week. I figured he’d be going up to the Polar Bear Habitat, because he usually does spend his winters there.

What I didn’t realize until I got the email was that he’s going indefinitely this time, and I won’t have a chance to say goodbye.

That hurts my heart, because I’ve come to love that sweet beautiful giant so much, and I always miss seeing him when he’s not here. The idea of never seeing him again is not okay with me, so I’m thinking a trip north next year sometime might be in order.

Regardless, I’m gonna miss that guy.

At least the Polar Bear Habitat will post lots of pictures and updates, though. They are GREAT for that! I’ve never even met Ganuk (Inukshuk’s son whose paw print painting is on my bedroom wall) or Henry (the new guy from Australia), but I kind of feel like I know them, just from the amazing updates I see online!

So it won’t be all bad, at least. I feel bad for Hollie because she has an extra soft spot for that particular bear, but I guess changes are afoot, and something exciting and new might come out of all this one day, too.

I’m out of it today and feeling like I can’t really figure out what I want to say. I’ll miss the bear, I’m excited for the WLU alumni homecoming event tomorrow, my weekend is super busy but hopefully I will get things done, my PVR is filling up with new fall shows and new seasons of returning series. Well…not really filling up, but definitely getting used more! And all to be watched on my shiny new TV.

It’s funny – I’m not used to it yet, but at the same time, I’ve settled into it so comfortably that I feel like it’s been here for longer than it actually has been. Still giddy, yet comfy. I like it.

So much to do; so much to doooo.

I think Brody and I will have popcorn for dinner tonight. I won’t be able to have any for a bit after my dental surgery thingy next week, because my gums will need time to heal before I introduce crunchier foods again. So stove-popped corn – probably with cheese – tonight, and hopefully some delicious movie theatre corn with one of my best friends on Sunday! That should realistically tide me over for a week or two while my mouth heals, but we’ll see.

I can always just focus on chewing on one side, right?

Thinking Back On The Backup Bash

Man I don’t know.

I got a little dizzy earlier and am just trying to get through the work day. Not sure what to write about. So much in my head that I can’t really focus on anything in particular!

And I slept like crap, which probably has everything to do with everything.

Memories of the Backup Bash are circulating on FB lately, as our 10 year anniversary approaches nearer the end of the year. SO CRAZY to think it’s been 10 years since I got on a plane to go to my first convention in the US – a Firefly-themed Flanvention that promised to be just as amazing as I’d heard the first one had been and my excitement was through the roof! I even had a t-shirt made for one of the many photo ops I’d purchased ahead of time. Ten years since my plane landed in Burbank California and I found out the convention had been cancelled. Ten years since the SoCal Browncoats and members of the Firefly cast and crew (aka REAL Big Damn Heroes) rose up and cobbled together one of the most unforgettable and life-changing weekends of my life, the Browncoats Backup Bash. Or B3, as we call it. Ten years since I found myself drinking in an exclusive bar, not yet open to the public, in downtown Hollywood with the cast of my favourite show, busloads of Browncoats and even a few surprise guests who felt like joining the party.

Ten years since I first learned to trust and follow The Hat.

That weekend was the sole reason I ended up on the Browncoat Cruise the following year, where I would shake hands with the love of my life. So when I say it changed me, I mean it in such a way as to express that the emotions and connections and pure experiences of that crazy random happenstance are still very much with me to this day. There’s never been anything like it, nor will there ever be again.

Though how tempted am I to jump on a plane and head to Burbank for the tenth anniversary reunion currently being planned?

If I could just toss all responsibility aside and go be with my people – including said love of life – I can’t even express…like, my mind works so differently now. I’ve been constantly stressed and anxious about keeping my life from falling apart again for most of the past 7 years, or so. Every decision is made carefully and with concern over whether or not I can get away with it; make it work out in the end. What would I give for the opportunity to throw such caution to the wind and just do it. Just go do something that makes me happy and freaking work it out later.

I can’t even remember what it was like to be that person. Yet part of me is still aware that I’ve always been able to make things work out. Definitely not always as I’d hoped or planned, but still – I’m here. Here I still am; carving out my life, and creating my world. Earlier today I likened it to swimming with water wings. I’m not getting very far, but I’ll still afloat.

Adulting is dumb. Why can’t I just take a weekend off from it once in awhile, really?