Maybe

Saw my therapist last night after work. The session was much more difficult than usual, and I’m still upset and drained from it.

But she took good care of me while also pushing me to do the work, and didn’t let me pull back until the very end.

Like, I panicked a little when I saw there were only 2 minutes left (technically – she leaves space between sessions for occasions just like this one), and she noticed and said something like, “Just say it” because she knew I was breaking down and didn’t want to lose momentum. So I blurted out whatever it was and then she talked me back down so I wasn’t crying anymore by the time I left.

And even though I felt, like, beaten up, in a way, she told me it was good; that it was working.

I agreed.

But man – I am still really feeling it today.

The good thing – in addition to the bits of progress being made in the room – is that I’m consciously aware of my internal efforts to disengage from some of the things she repeated to me last night, which is what I usually do almost as a habit. If I don’t like something, I don’t accept it into my mind, and then instead dissolve into melodramatic despair and loneliness at how bad I am at expressing myself and how nobody “gets” me.

This time, so far, I’m managing to not accept, but also to not dissolve – I’m remaining still, in my mind. I’m allowing myself to believe that it’s at least possible that the things she said to me over and over are maybe somewhat accurate. And I’m trying to remember them, and what they actually mean, just in case.

I’m thus far preventing myself from deliberately misinterpreting certain things which would feed my pre-existing misinterpretations of myself.

If that makes sense…without having to go into detail.

Anyway. I’m exhausted in pretty much every way. But sometimes even small alterations in how one perceives themselves and the world around them are actually really huge steps.

I feel like – even though my heart hurts – this might be one of those times.

Dark Spaces

More quote talk from the book I’m reading:

They were the people you called with news: I met a guy. I’m engaged. I got a new job. To share the highs and the lows. But friends to call for the deep things, the things that live in the dark spaces of our hearts? Those people didn’t exist for me any longer. Not since I’d left Cooley Ridge.”

I think I’ve had the opposite experience. I’m not sure those people existed for me until more recently, and I think I’m still struggling with how to actually maintain those kinds of friendships, let alone allow them to exist at all. Yet, in all honesty, that’s all I’ve ever wanted, and definitely what I need now. Yet I fight them; push them back; keep them at a safe distance. Battle both for and against what I most want and need. And I do so in particular against the human beings I most want and need them with.

It’s no wonder that romantic relationships don’t progress past a certain point with me. I tend to keep those at an even safer distance. I’m not sure if it’s to protect others from me, or me from others, or some sad combination of both.

The things that live in the dark spaces of this heart don’t typically get shared. Sometimes not even really admitted to within any other spaces of my heart or mind. Or acknowledged. I think that’s more accurate than admitted.

I think speaking with my therapist helps. My first one, and my current one, anyway. There were others in between, but they were not the same at all. I don’t choose to whom I wish to reveal certain things, exactly. It’s more a matter of how safe and confident I feel with them. But I am definitely picky when it comes to who I actually open up those darker spaces to.

That was a terrible sentence, I realize. However…moving on.

It needs to be a perfect storm, pretty much. There are those I wish to be more open with, there are those who wish for me to be more open with them. But the rare combination of locating both qualities within the same individual is almost unheard of in my world. Even with therapists. I’ve been lucky, in that two of the four I’ve worked with so far have been those amazing rare people for me.

Now I just have to find one of those that don’t require me to pay them. The trick with those people, however, is that not only are they so difficult to find, but they’re also easier to lose.

Another Busy Weekend Ahead

Alright! Had a huge long bout of insomnia last night (as in, more than usual) so am feeling a tad rough and headache-y today, but have managed to be at least a little bit productive at the start of my day!

Cancelled both Guinness World Record attempts I’d been approved to make – Largest Online Photo Album of Animals (my plan was to highlight the Toronto Zoo’s residents to help raise awareness as well as give zoo-goers a place to showcase their photos), and Longest Chain of Paper Hearts. My plan for that one was to get a Mind Reels booth at Toronto Comicon in March, and coincide that event with a launch of my children’s book about hearts. I wanted to get visitors to our table to help cut out paper hearts all weekend, and assemble them into a huge chain together at the end. The attempt/book launch was to tie in with other ideas we have for a con table, rather than be a stand-alone event in and of itself.

Speaking of which, I really need to find an artist one of these days, to help flesh out a few things with me.

At any rate, neither attempt was ever likely to happen, at least not any time soon, so I’ve scratched them off my long and vague To Do list. As well, I cancelled a subscription, which will save me a bit of money, and declined this month’s feature title in the Disney movie club.

Another packed weekend is staring me in the face, but at least I’m feeling physically better than the past couple of weeks. Not much, mind you, because #nosleep, but better nonetheless.  Do not be surprised if I don’t post much or at all over the next few weekends, actually.  Maybe next month sometime my schedule will go back to something normal-ish (for me).  I’ll be glad when I’m not writing this anymore and have time to focus on different, more useful (for me) writing, I think!  But if it gets me into the habit of writing every day, regardless, then it will have not been a complete waste, at least!

Will be sending out invites to start casting the next radio play soon – probably early next week, if not later today. I want to do it before the end of the month, though I am frustrated with our inability to go live with anything.

I’m frustrated with a lot of things.

I’ve taken to envisioning shooting people lately. Just random people who piss me off. It feels a bit like a cathartic release to imagine it – firing little rage bullets at the guy wearing his backpack on a crowded subway, or strolling along on the wrong side of the sidewalk (walk on the right, pass on the left, people), or driving too fast on residential streets in particular. Not in a they-deserve-to-die kind of way, but in a releasing of anger from inside of me. I mean, we’re all going to die whether we deserve it or not, but my imagination is more along the lines of a mental slap in the face, but more violent, and thus more satisfying. I never picture it as a hail of bullets spraying everywhere, either. I’ve often maintained that a gun is the weapon of a coward, but at least in my mind each shot is deliberate, and focused and up close. It’s personal. Each individual knows they are my target, and sometimes I even tell them why, like that scene in Dogma when Matt Damon wanted to smite everyone in the boardroom because they didn’t bless him when he sneezed. Only in my case, because everything happens in my mind, I keep my mouth shut and move on with my day, but carry less anger around as I do so.

I’m so completely not a violent nor confrontational person in practice, but the scenarios which play out in my head are everything I’m not. Which I guess is a good way to be, really. Much better than the opposite, anyway.

I managed to fall asleep for 45 minutes or so this morning, I think, before my alarm went off. Naturally, I had a really stressful and emotional dream during that time, to ensure I awoke even more exhausted than necessary for a Friday. I was moving slow, left late, but still got to work on time. The rest of the week I’ve been leaving early and getting to work late, so even that much went better this morning than it has been the rest of the week.

I just…need to get through the weekend without being even more of a mess by Monday morning!

Another Off Day

What is it about vacant old buildings that maks me want to go inside and take pictures?

I saw a deer from the window of the GO train I was on earlier.  So freaking beautiful!

I think I need to try and figure out what I want, and then find a way to do those things mor often than just going along with what everyone else wants. And learn how not to feel guilty about it.

I have a lot on my mind today, but am also running on less than 4 hours of sleep, so having trouble focusing.

I’ll try again tomorrow.

A Question Of Memory

I’m still thinking back on parts of the conversation Tim and I had with the lovely ladies of Dark Matter the other day. This morning I found myself wondering more about the extent to which we are defined by our pasts, and what it would be like to suddenly forget it all; to have to define ourselves anew. Much of the show’s first season was spent with each character trying to get at the truth of who they were, of their own backstories. They woke up not even remembering their own names, let alone anything that had happened in their pasts and what led them to being where they were. Now, as the second season premiere grows ever closer (and they wrap shooting for the season on set today), I’m looking forward to watching them move forward to define who they are now.

I was wondering what that would be like, to not remember anything of my life before now. What kind of person would I be? What would I like, or dislike? How would I relate to the world around me, and how much would I understand? How would I define myself, what would be important to me, and how much of who I am is innate, as compared to the amount which has been shaped by my past experiences?

Would I still love bears?!

If I couldn’t remember meeting Hudson, would I still have some sense of familiarity when I saw him? Or would I just wonder why the f*ck I have a polar bear tattooed on my arm?

Memories are of course a huge part of who we are, even – in some cases – when past memories have been repressed. They fuel our passions, they propel our fears, they add colour new experiences even as new memories are being made. Our cells have memory, our bodies have memory, and of course our minds hold the most overt memories of all. I know why I don’t like being tickled – and am pretty sure I still wouldn’t like it even if I had no past memories of the experience. I remember eating chocolate ice cream pretty much every day when I was young, but would I realize I like it if I couldn’t remember eating it before? Would eating it without those memories be kind of like trying it for the first time all over again?

If I encountered people, places or things I loved but couldn’t remember loving them, would they still feel the same to me? Would they feel safe and warm and comfortable to me? Or would I pass them by without giving them a second glance? Would I have the same fears, or abilities? Would my dreams remember and give me clues to things I’d forgotten? Would my heart still know who I was at my core, even if my mind could not remember?

Are any of us actually anything in particular at our cores? I mean, I guess it’s the Nature vs Nurture debate, really. Just with part of a life lived with one set of experiences shaping it, and then another part of the same life with no real recollection of the first part. It’s interesting, though. There is already such a huge disconnect between how the world sees us and how we see ourselves. What if we couldn’t see the same selves we saw before, anymore? How much of our former selves would be retained, and how much would change?

How hard would we try to get back to our former selves? How much would we rely on others who knew us to tell us who we were? Would we eventually let that person go, and choose to define our new selves, at some point?

How much of our memory is real, reliable and accurate to begin with?

Lists and Wishes

I feel like I’m getting a lot done today, but at the same time, I feel like it’s all happening really slowly. Like I could do more if everything else could keep up with my brain, or something.

Which is silly, really, because my brain isn’t all that quick on the uptake or anything anymore. Keeping up with it shouldn’t be that difficult for, say, technology. Or dolphins. The rest of my body is, of course, another matter entirely, but still. I feel like everything has slowed down today, and yet there is a ton of work still to be done.

I actually have to make lists all the time, because I forget things. I’ve even started a list for my upcoming weekend, of everything I want and/or have to get done. I say “started” a list, because I’m not sure it’ll ever be complete. It’s already ridiculously long, but stuff keeps either coming up, or I remember to add it to the list because I’ve apparently already forgotten it at least once.

I even forgot to start making the list until last night.

Speaking of last night, I had a pretty excellent conversation with one of my closest friends via text before I went to bed. I wish we could talk in person like that, actually. And while there’s still much not said or discussed, it was closer to the kind of conversation we used to have, and I’ve missed it a lot. Even when I can’t find the words I want to express myself, I like the struggle to search for them. It means it matters to me that I get it right, or as close to right as I can. It means I’m trying because it’s important to me, and I don’t really do that very often. Not recently, anyway.

That conversation was probably the main reason why I didn’t even get up to pee in the night, which I always do. It made me tired in a good way, and I ended up sleeping right through. I don’t remember waking up at all, and at the moment I can’t remember anything I may or may not have dreamed. I was out.

Okay, those double chocolate chip cookies with peanut butter in the middle from Tim Horton’s are ridiculously delicious. I got one earlier to have after I ate my lunch today and daaaaamn! Distractingly good!

So much I want to do, guys. Things coming up that I’m not sure I can afford, several things I want to create in some form or another. I wish there was a way to take a kind of sabbatical from life, to work on other things and see what you can accomplish over even a few months away from your daily routine. Maybe I’d take a class. Maybe I’d start a side business. Or volunteer. Or sit at the zoo everyday and learn from the animals. Or go on a trip and learn from animals in the wild. I’d write more. I’d read more. I’d launch Mind Reels and SmitheeTV into the stratosphere. I’d spoil the critters who live with me just by being there with them. Maybe I’d even shoot my short film. I’d do everything right, if I had the time. And the money. Even if I didn’t have quite enough of either, I’d still be creative enough to do everything well.

It’s just so hard to stay on top of anything extra when I’m up for 2 hours before I have to leave for work, then need about as much time when I get home before I go to bed. And I go to bed crazy early now, if I can. Not because I’m no longer a night person, but I am really really not a morning person anymore. I need more sleep just to function, and the main reason I even got out of bed and moving as early as I did this morning was because I had to pee. Because I’d had a good text conversation with my friend before I fell asleep and it tired me out enough to sleep until my alarm went off. One little thing like that and the effect trickled down into today.

As tired as I am, though, the good effects from that convo also trickled down into today, which doesn’t often happen with trickle-down situations.

That means it was worth it.

Out of the Minds of Babes

I don’t really remember ever wondering where babies came from.

I mean, obviously they came from the mama’s belly. She grew them in there like potatoes, or something.

What I pondered over for some time, instead, was why a baby would look anything like its father. I couldn’t for the life of me figure out what the father had to do with any of it, yet people were constatly talking about how much some baby or other resembled their father. Once it had been alive for awhile, I could see how some would grow to take on certain traits or whatever, because people and pets start to look like each other all the time. But as a newborn baby? Why would the potato look like the father at all, let alone MORE like him than the mama who grew it? Made zero sense.

So I gave it some thought, and what I came up with (keep in mind my skull likely hadn’t fully formed yet) was that kissing must be how some of the dad could transfer over to the baby’s appearance. Clearly that was the only physical contact that moms and dads had with one another (actually, I briefly considered some sort of airborne transfer while they were sleeping next to one another every night, but disposed of that theory because it seemed too far-fetched, even to my young self). Pleased with my initial theory, I asked my mom about it. However, the way she said, “um…noooo” gave me the sense that she didn’t want to talk about it, so I dropped the subject and went back to my ponderings.

Eventually I did figure it out.

It’s funny how brains work, especially for children when they are learning everything about just existing in the world around them. I’m not sure, but I feel like I actually vocalized fewer questions than many kids seem to. I think I wanted to figure it all out on my own, if possible. I’m sure I pestered my parents for answers as much as the next kid, but on the inside it felt like I was working more inside my mind than I was speaking things out loud.

I remember thinking for the longest time that one of my great-grandmothers was actually named GRAPE-grandma, because that’s what it had sounded like when other people said it, and she often wore a purple dress. At least, my only memory of her is sitting in her chair wearing a purple dress when we arrived and went to hug her. Actually, she may have worn one to a family reunion, too. She may never have worn purple in real life, but that’s how she’s always existed in my memory. Grape-grandma. Whenever I got a glass of grape juice from the fridge I’d think of her.

One year I convinced myself that, while Santa Clause might not be real, the Easter Bunny most certainly was. See, I’d figured out the Santa thing, but while I was in – I want to say Georgia – over Easter one year, I was certain that I could hear everyone else asleep in their rooms while still hearing an extra “person” in the kitchen at one point during the night. Easter Eve, let’s call it. And naturally there was chocolate all over the place the next morning, so it must have been the Easter Bunny. Process of elimination, yo!

Even then, though, part of me wasn’t entirely sure I believed myself. I just wanted to believe. (cue X-Files theme).

What else? I had imaginary friends…I forget their names – Jody and…something? Both boys, a bit younger than me. And I think I pictured them as cartoons. I was also pretty confident in my invisible Smurf friends for awhile.

I wanted very badly to have some form of ESP, so I made myself some quiz cards with, like, the different shapes on them and such, but quickly learned that I could not, in fact, quiz myself very accurately. I’m too easy to fake out.

I think this card is…a triangle.”

(Turns over to see a circle)

I mean circle, I was actually thinking circle. What was I saying triangle for? Totally meant circle!”

I also was – and still am – quite skilled at mis-hearing song lyrics. Yet I dreamed of becoming a Mini Pop.

I was – and still am – a very big dork.

In other more current news, my #BowlForKidsSake team for BBBST has been registered! We are Esmer’s Lane-gels, and we’ll be rocking the lanes (with gutter balls, if you’re me) on Thursday March 3rd! Before then, however, we need to rasie as much as possible to help out the kiddos. If you have time, please consider a donation to the cause – no amount too small, trust me! – and even more importantly, please help spread the link around to everyone you know! There’s not a lot of time left, but I am confident in our communal super powers!

Here’s the link to my fundraising page: https://secure.e2rm.com/registrant/FundraisingPage.aspx?registrationID=3235990#.VrzBQHMc0ds.twitter&panel1-2

Please share!