Taking Control

My Facebook memory feed today is filled with basically two things – the announcement that Tim and I were official Guinness World Record holders, and video clips of the Conjoined Twins of Terror. Both of those things do my heart some good, to the point where I can’t even really remember what else was in my feed. It’s funny to me that I was already promoting and planning the GWR attempt 2 years ago, and was verified one year ago. Everything came full circle, and I’m still so proud and excited about everything I achieved within that space of time.

It does frustrate me some when I think about how little I have accomplished since then, but also motivates me to get my butt in gear now.

Well, hopefully motivates me. It’s one thing to plan things out while I am distracted by my day job, but a whole other thing to actually get stuff done when I am at home.

I think the key is to stay angry. Haha

Mark Hamill’s autograph and photo op prices are up on the Fan Expo site, and even though they are crazy high, I was actually expecting higher, so now I am hopeful that I can get one of both, AND my usual photo op with Morena Baccarin. She and I met almost exactly 10 years ago – Labour Day weekend 2006 – which was also the first time I met Carrie Fisher. Seems perfect that she would come back now – Labour Day weekend 2016 – when I will hopefully be meeting Mark Hamill for the first time. I’m pretty freaking excited. If I end up being able to afford a photo with John Cusack, as well, all the better!

Found out a friend’s film is having its world premiere at TIFF this year, so naturally I need to be there for it. Gotta support my ladies, after all! And speaking of my ladies, Tatiana Maslany also has at least one film coming to TIFF (of course she does – I’m pretty sure she’s actually a clone, or never sleeps, or both), so I’m hopeful that I’ll be able to snag a ticket to that one somehow, as well. Freaking September, man. Always so expensive! I’m trying to remain focused on the things I most want, though, and just letting everything else go. If I can make the few things that will most make me smile happen, then I can do without the rest. I just have to stay focused. On myself. Haha

Computer stuff at home is coming along quite well. I think I might start back into uploading clips from our GWR attempt very soon – perhaps over the weekend. It was becoming such a struggle with my old computer, but this one should have a far easier time of it, so I’ll hopefully finish getting all those things posted in the near future! The sound is a mess, because it’s all backup footage from one of the cameras, rather than the mics, but it’s better than nothing. It’ll be fun to revisit that stuff again!

I’m also trying to take Mind Reels stuff more into my own hands, because I am tired of waiting around for anyone else to do a damn thing. I just need more control in order to get things done myself. Freaking boys, man. I honestly do not understand sometimes. Geez.

In the end, I’m in the mood right now to take a more active approach in getting the things I want. There’s a lot on my list, but I feel like – if I focus and whittle it down into more manageable chunks – there’s nothing I can’t do.

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Adjust Accordingly

I saw this thing on FB that said to make a list of things that make you happy, and then a list of what you do everyday, and then compare the two and adjust accordingly.

That sort of fit in with some similar things I’ve been thinking about recently, so even though I know my lists won’t be even remotely the same, it occurred to me that I wasn’t immediately sure what would go on my happy list. And that’s a larger part of the problem than what constitutes my day job, so I figured I should start there.

Some things that make me happy, in no particular order:

  • getting people to talk about their passions (ie via The Mind Reels) and, more recently, doing reads of old timey radio plays
  • being around non-human animals, especially if I get to pet them
  • writing and other methods of creating – I have an amazing creative mind, but lack the talent to do any of it really well
  • planning things – events, trips, tattoos, etc – especially if it’s for me to partake in
  • learning – and usually challenging myself falls into that area, as well (I actually quite enjoy school and taking courses and the like – I think that’s part of what I thought I’d like about teaching, actually)
  • taking and sharing pictures (I love taking pictures, but I think sharing them with others makes me even happier)

That’s as much as I came up with on the subway. I pretty much kept it to activities, really. I guess I could include things like sunshine, mountains, the sound of waves, the smell of bread baking, ice cream, popcorn – food and salt in general, I guess, reading, listening to music…all that kind of wind down stuff I like to do. Collecting things. Watching TV.

I guess there are lots of changes I could make to ensure I am doing more of the things which make me happy during my day, but I was heading in to work, so work was on my mind. Not much there makes me happy, except when I figure something out – which falls into the learning/challenging category, but it rarely happens, so it’s not very happiness-sustaining.

It also takes up a vast percentage of my everyday life, so it’s harder for me to check things off the happy list when the majority of non-work time is spent sleeping. Which sometimes makes me happy, too. Sometimes not, though.

I’ve also been thinking about this whole notion of relationships and how everyone seems to think we all need to be in one. I was thinking about how I never imagined nor planned out my wedding. Not as a kid, nor as an adult – I was never really looking ahead to how my wedding day would be, or which song would be the soundtrack to our first dance, or where I’d want to go on my honeymoon or any of that stuff people supposedly do. Well, except to joke that I’d walk down the aisle to the Imperial March. Otherwise, though, I was never imagining my someday forever love, nor what our lives would look like together. To me, it was a little difficult when I had no one specific in mind. To me, that was a major factor in what the rest would look like. I wasn’t looking for a generic cake-topper, so much as an actual person.

I remember worrying that I wouldn’t be paying attention and miss them whenever they came into my life. I think that may have made me more open, though, because instead of trying to find someone who fit whatever vague notions I had in my head, I was watching; noticing when my initial reaction to meeting someone in particular was different from meeting everyone else.

Recognizing that one handshake could be all I needed to let me know that love was near.

I was getting angry and frustrated at not fitting the mold that others seem to fit into – like, not even understanding it, really. But then this morning I was thinking about those people who use vision boards, or whatever they’re called; wherein a person will place photos and other objects into a sort of collage and look at it regularly, imagining those things coming into their lives. A child, a relationship, a trip, money – anything they want. They kind of meditate on it every day, and it kind of focuses their attention on those specific things, as a way of sending their wishes out into the Universe and hoping for them to manifest sooner rather than later.

I wondered if I have been wrong this whole time (ie my life) in not picturing the specific way I want my life to look; what I want my future to hold. I wondered if maybe I had been doing that – picturing and focusing on what I wanted this entire time, if my life would be any different today. If my future would have been now.

I guess it’s never too late to start.

Though I wouldn’t have missed that handshake for all the world. Not for anything.

I’ll start with the happy list, as I have a feeling other things just fall into place when you’re happy with yourself, anyway. And part of that, of course, will include paying attention to anything else I might want to add to said list.

The sky’s the limit, as they say.

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Writing Prompts – Day 2 of 12

Day 2:  The One That Got Away

You bump into an ex-lover on Valentine’s Day—the one whom you often call “The One

That Got Away.” What happens?

 

I realize that I’m not quite doing these things right, but at the same time, they are writing prompts, and I am writing about them. So suck it. I’m doing it how I wanna. Haha

Anyway…I’m going to delve into the vault of my actual past relationships for this one, just out of curiosity alone.

I was trying to figure out who I would consider to be “The One That Got Away”. I mean, every one of them dumped me, not the other way around, so in that sense, they all got away. Most of them, I was eventually glad they got away for various reasons, but there are three in particular that I miss, and still sometimes wonder what life would have been like had we not broken up. Of those three, one was unlike any relationship I’ve ever had, and was only ever meant to be temporary. It was more of a glimpse into what I would like to have for myself in the future, rather than any kind of permanent long-term thing. It was always going to end, and it was never meant to be 100%, but I feel like she’d be proud of the person I’ve become, and into whom I am continuing to grow.

She wouldn’t be proud relationship-wise, obviously, because a) I haven’t been in one for a good 7 years or so, and b) I never did find the kind of pairing she’d shown me I’d want for myself. Almost, but not quite.

So that leaves me with the other two, and they are actually more alike than different, as far as our relationships went, so for the purpose of this exercise, I can pretty much use both, instead of one or the other. In this case, they are sort of interchangeable. They are both also the closest I’ve been to realizing the kind of relationship I want someday.

They are not interchangeable as people – at all – but as far as what would happen if I bumped into either one of them on Valentine’s Day. Or any day, for that matter. It would all go about the same.

For some reason, when I first pictured this encounter, it took place in a restaurant. Why I would be in a restaurant alone on Valentine’s Day is beyond me, though. Unless it was McDonald’s.

And neither woman lives in this city, so bumping into either of them would be a surprise, to say the least. However, in my first instinctive scenario, both would be with their families. The families they built on after dumping me. Both had a child or children when I met them, and one has more now. Both are married (to men, because neither was actually gay to begin with – I’m just that spectacular for short periods of time), and both love their families; families of which I’d wanted so badly to be a part. So naturally, if I’m going to run into The One That Got Away, she’s going to be happily living her life with someone else, and – more importantly – without me.

That is going to simultaneously hurt me to my core, and make me happy to see her smile.

Maybe she introduces me as an old friend. Maybe some of the people at the table already know me. Maybe she’ll tell me a little about the job she loves, and about where she’s living now. She’ll definitely share something about the kiddo(s) I know and how they’re doing now, all grown up.

She’ll ask how I am.

I’ll lie.

Even though she’s obviously happy and enjoying her life without me, I won’t want her to know how I’m actually doing. It doesn’t even necessarily have anything to do with her – or not as much as it might seem – but not having a job I love and not seeing anyone right now…just all the “nots” that she has now and I don’t. I’m jealous and sad and blaming myself for not being good enough to give her the happy life she deserves, and is now enjoying right in front of me.

I’ll tell her I’m at least okay, that things are going pretty well, I’ll brush off the relationship question and deflect everything with humour.

Then I’ll leave, because even though I’m in McDonald’s on Valentine’s Day, I suddenly don’t have an appetite anymore, and I just want to go home. I’ll flip through some old photos and memories, imagine what might have been, and allow myself to feel for a brief moment as though she’d just gotten away all over again.

After that, I’ll pour myself a drink, break open a bag of chips, and watch some TV, because no one needs to feel that much misery over someone else’s happiness.

Especially not when it’s someone you love.

When Angels Speak

So, when I first read my angel card last week, I have to admit I was kind of disappointed. It felt a little like a cheat, in a way. Probably more due to my mood than the actual card, though.

It was called Happy Surprise, and said that I’d be getting a surprise soon, and to not try to guess or it wouldn’t be a surprise; to just enjoy it. My first thought was that, of course – we can bend our perception of reality to be anything we want, so if I think it’s going to rain, and then it doesn’t – SURPRISE! The card came true!

However, I had said I was open to guidance, and that’s the guidance I received. Saying I’m open and then shutting down as an initial instinct is the opposite of being open, so I read it a few more times, and then kind of forgot about it.

Which, I guess, could kind of be the point of what it was telling me to do.

There was more to it, as well – about how happy surprises come in many different forms and that I just have to notice them, that my dreams are coming true but not in the way I’d expected, that all of the surprises are gifts of love, and that the world loves to see me happy. I was, like, “Well TOO BAD, World!” haha

Little things happened, which is what I’d predicted, so I didn’t really think about it. Then the lemurs happened, and that was definitely a happy surprise, so false view of reality or angel card guidance kicking in – either way, I’ll take it! Something more happened this morning, but I’ll talk all about it some other time, because the “what” isn’t as important as the fact that I noticed it, and flashed back to the guidance. Maybe I was managing to remain open to it, after all.

Maybe I still am.

It’s funny, the notion of having my dreams come true, because at the moment, I don’t think I really have any. Nothing that feels like a goal to shoot for, or anything like that. I’ve just been kind of floating in non-hope since 2009. I very deliberately stopped making plans, stopped having long-term goals, stopped hoping for anything in the future.

My last dream like that was that I’d become a teacher (check…kind of, in that I got my licence and degree), meet someone who was also a teacher (check – though it didn’t happen at all as I’d thought it would, the fact that we met means it counts), and that we’d start a quiet little happy life together, living and teaching and making a home together. Maybe we’d even adopt a kid at some point, or siblings. It was all simple, but perfectly happy and fulfilling.

That all actually started, I thought, until it all stopped. It felt kind of abrupt to me, but I guess that’s more because I kept trying not to see it as anything other than my dreams coming true. Stubbornness gets me into trouble sometimes. It was a full and complete stop, at least. No person, no home, no teaching. Now I don’t even like people, so I wonder how suited I was to teaching the next generation, anyway. Maybe things just go the way they are meant to go, so that I get pushed closer to being the person I’m meant to be.

The point is, however, that I have no idea what my dreams coming true would even mean to me now; no sense of what they would look like.

Maybe that’s part of the guidance I’m supposed to be open to accepting.

Maybe the angels want me to start figuring it out.

On Loss and Depression and Stuff

A combination of things that came up within a couple of days of one another reminded me of something I’d noticed about myself some time ago, but still haven’t fully come to terms with as of yet.

One was talking with my buddy and hearing him say how he used to love hanging out in his backyard, and how he should start doing more of that now that the weather is nice. His backyard, it turns out, is ridiculously amazing, and I can’t wait to hang out in it again, myself. Never give that up, dude! Haha

Another was a passage in the book I am currently reading, Wit’s End by Karen Joy Fowler. It mentioned something about how, when one experiences a loss of pretty much any sort, one ceases to be the same person they once were. Sometimes there are massive changes, and sometimes it’s just something little – something you used to enjoy that you don’t anymore. Or that you still do enjoy, but which you’ve forgotten in your attempt to deal with said loss.

I mean, people change as they grow older, anyway, of course, but I feel like this is something a bit different. Sometimes it happens because we equate at least some aspect of the thing with whoever was lost, and we no longer derive enjoyment from it as a result. Sometimes it’s more the depression that comes after a loss, or – in my case – that’s triggered by the loss. It’s hard to feign enthusiasm about something you used to love when you’re just not feeling it anymore.

And it’s confusing.

I can’t even count the number of times I’ve remembered loving something, yet been too detached inside to still feel like I love anything, let alone any particular thing. Usually I keep trying to do it, anyway, even if I no longer get much enjoyment out of it. Then the sense of emptiness and of disappointment that accompanies the attempt to enjoy something I remember loving before pushes me down even further. The sense of let-down; that I’ve let myself down, and that I’ve let others down. Especially with fandom-related things, where the sense of community was once so strong. Though, really, I think the fans pretty much ruined fandom for me, for the most part. I think that was more one of the losses, for me, realizing I didn’t feel like I had that anymore.

In most cases, though, the thing itself didn’t change; I just don’t feel the same about it anymore. I changed, while the thing remained the same. And if I can’t still feel like I love the same thing as I once did, then who’s to say I can love something else as much? What if I can’t find the next things I love?

What if I can’t love at all?

Well, that escalated quickly. #melodrama #pms

Anyway, there is a definite difference between realizing you don’t love something anymore – be it due to a particular loss, or depression, or just aging and personal growth – and realizing that you do still love it, but you’ve been letting life and circumstances keep you from doing it more and/or enjoying it to its full extent. It’s not always simply a case of “fake it ’til you make it”, or of just doing it and relying on whatever it is to turn your mood around.

Sometimes it’s not about a mood.

Actual depression isn’t something that can be fixed by pretending to be happy, or thinking happy thoughts. It’s not about being sad all the time. It’s more about not being happy, if you want to simplify it, but from what I can tell, even that’s not very accurate. In my experience, it’s usually more of a lack of feeling anything at all; a deadening of the senses, of emotion, of thought. Of course, I have also been on medication for it regularly since 2009, and off and on for years before that, so it’s quite likely that the meds are doing their job and I can no longer accurately remember what it was like before I started taking them again, when everything was still very raw.

I do remember a few occasions where I suddenly realized that some of the things which had previously made me happy were no longer doing so. I remember being confused by that sensation. I remember not being certain if I would ever really feel joy again, but being more concerned with getting out of the emotional hole I was stuck in for a time. The purpose of the meds was to take the edge off so that I could work more productively both with my therapist, and in my daily life. Not employment work, so much as just being able to express awareness of my own feelings and understand what I needed to do to take better care of myself. To even want to take better care of myself. It’s a delicate balance – it’s not like I don’t still feel; I just have more time in a middle ground instead of highs and lows – but it’s a balance nonetheless.

Sometimes that’s enough. And sometimes spending time in your sweet backyard is really all you need for now. 🙂