Stubborn Not Strong

Through the mirror Nicola looked into Angie’s eyes. “You know, you’re very strong,” Nicola said.

“Thank you.”

“That’s no compliment. It’s your weakness. If you weren’t so strong you wouldn’t have to take it and so you wouldn’t.”

That’s not from the book I am reading now, but I believe from the one I read before it. There were many little lines and moments in it which captured my attention, and this was one.

I wouldn’t consider myself strong by any stretch – not by any measure, either. Not physically, emotionally, mentally…any of the “ally’s”, really. (See what I did there?)

But I have still had moments in life wherein I’ve wished I was just a little more fragile – just enough so that I could break and whatever broke me could become someone else’s problem to deal with. Or no one’s. Just so long as it would no longer have to be mine.

I think in my case it’s more a combination of stubborness mixed with an almost overwhelming fear of embarrassing myself. I don’t like making a scene, or drawing attention to myself. Most of my reactions to things and situations happen on the inside, and I keep them as hidden from the public eye as possible. I may jump a bit when something startles me, but I don’t scream and carry on. I’ve actually been trying to force myself to admit when something scared me, rather than focus on hiding it. Keeping myself closed off is the product of decades of practice, and so now it is a very difficult habit to break.

It’s hard to learn to express things when you’ve spent so long doing the opposite.

On the other hand, though, appearing to not have a reaction sometimes still comes in handy. Bit of a catch-22, now, I guess.

I’m super easy to take advantage of, too, because I never cause a stink or stand up for myself. I don’t return things to where I purchased them. I don’t send food back to the kitchen. I don’t rasie my voice when someone’s being an asshat on the subway.

I just take it.

Not because I am particularly strong, but because of some backwards fear of how I feel if I do things any other way. So in that much, at least, the strong and I have something in common.

We all feel like we have to take it.

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I Need A Nap

Not feeling very great today, and not sure what to write about. I didn’t get much sleep and now I’m a bit dizzy on top of being tired, so it’s more difficult to focus. How is it only Tuesday? Haha

Over the weekend, I sold the wee felted Falkor I’d made, and so it shipped out yesterday after work. There is now enough money in my Paypal account to purchase something special I found on Etsy that I need, but I’m so paranoid about the buyer of my wee felted Falkor deciding she doesn’t want it, or something, that I’m going to wait a while longer before purchasing it. To make sure everything goes through smoothly. I paid a bit extra to ship with a tracking number, so hopefully it will get to its destination safe and sound. Hopefully the recipient will love it and not want to send it back. He’s really cute, wee felted Falkor. I almost didn’t want to sell him. But if all goes well, I’ll have something unique and perfect for what I need it for.

Sorry to be so vague, but whatever. I’ll talk about it in more detail if and when I am finally able to purchase the item.

Man, I really don’t know what I feel like talking about. I feel like napping, not talking. My mouth aches and my mind spins and my heart feels…not numb, but just…cautiously present. Haha

Maybe it’s napping, while the rest of me cannot.

Jealous.

Last night I was watching TV and texting with a friend and rubbing Brody’s belly when I realized that I wasn’t paying attention to the TV at all; so wrapped up in conversation was I. So I turned it off to watch from the beginning some other time (ah PVR). I actually can’t remember the last time I talked with anyone like that, let alone this person in particular. I feel like most of the conversations we have take place in my head, so I’m glad of glad it was in text form this time, because having it written down is a good way of proving it happened at all. It’s not even so much what was said or discussed, so much as how completely focused I was on it. I just sat and typed and thought and read and responded. I wasn’t doing other stuff, or talking to anyone else or thinking about other things. Brody reminded me when it was time to go back outside, and I managed to look up from my phone long enough to notice the skunk sniffing about in the next yard over, so Brody and I headed back home again. But otherwise, I was just in a string of moments with a friend I love, and it was nice. Some of the subject matter wasn’t nice, per se, but the sense of both of us being present in the same moments at the same time was really nice, to me. It was the first time in a very long time that I haven’t felt the need to carry on the conversation in my mind due to my holding so much back from the real one. There are a couple of things I meant to say, of course, but for the first time I felt like they could keep – in exchange for time to sleep – and that the chance to say them will present itself again soon.

In the meantime, maybe that’s partly why I’m so tired today, too. Emotions can be exhausting.

Monday

Left home earlier than usual this morning so that I could stand on the platform and wait for a train that I could fit onto. Well, I could have fit on any of them, if the people in front of me would move INTO the train instead of just crowding themselves into the doorway. Eventually I was the one boarding first so pushed my way into the area between two cars, where there would have been tons of room were it not for the pieces of shite wearing their backpacks, oblivious to the notion that there might be other people nearby.

Wrestled with a decision all the way in. Still undecided but possibly resigned to feeling like I don’t really have a choice, and that it’s my own fault if that’s the case.

Growing weary of the bullshit and lies, yet allow them to go unchallenged because I just can’t invoke my righteous rage if it’s in defence of my own well-being.

Arrived to find more angry emails about things that aren’t my fault, yet come down on me, anyway, because life.

Forgot to mention another little thing from my volunteer shift yesterday. It involved simply drying the feet of two birds (no idea what they are called) after they’d been in the sink getting a bit cleaned up. Neither liked it, and both of them kicked a lot as soon as they were lifted out, which is why it was a two woman job. I had to grab one foot at a time, but gently enough that I didn’t hurt the little ones, and luckily for me they both stopped kicking once I’d gotten a light grip on one foot, so I could pat them dry, and leave them to kick again once I’d let go.

I talked to them the whole time (not that it helped them, but I think it helped me), and it ended up feeling like this intimate little moment between us. Not an entirely good moment, but not an entirely bad one, either.

My family’s going through some stuff, my buddy’s going through some stuff, I’m going through some stuff. I learned at a young age that people will usually stop being cruel if they don’t get a reaction out of you, as the reaction is ultimately what they/we want. Same goes for other actions, of course, but usually we don’t want the good ones to stop. I learned to hide what I was feeling – hide my reactions – and I learned it so well that I have a much more difficult time expressing them now than I do keeping them closed. It can be frustrating.

I am angry today.

Last Day of Vacay

Hot day, cold beer.

Uploading photos to my poor old computer, which will then be backed up into an external drive, then deleted from said computer, because poor and old.

Once I’ve posted some of the better ones online, I’ll reformat my card and begin anew.

Lately, I find many of my dreams involve trying to capture moments on film.  Or…digitally, but same feeling driving the intent.  I like taking pictures.

Day drunkenness means I won’t likely get anything else constructive done today, but so be it.  Maybe I’ll at least stop all the hatred and anger and hurt.

Except physical hurt.  That’ll just have to heal up in its own time.

Made a new playlist for a new (to me) MP3 player, but can’t get my poor old computer to recognize the device, so just listening to it on speakers while pics upload.  I haven’t done that in a long time, just put music on and veg.  I used to do it all the time.  Every day.

It was like a wind down for me.  A chance to be alone with my thoughts, my rhythm, and my eclectic musical tastes.

Music and I go way back; probably to when I was still in the womb.  I grew up with it because I had good parents, and can’t remember a time when I didn’t have some song or other in my head.  It’s part of the reason I have a hard time falling asleep, so I’ve trained myself to switch to a particular song, which helps regulate my breathing, settle my mind, and like a bell to Pavlov’s dogs, condition my response to be one of sleepiness once I get the song going on repeat in my mind.

I have a hard time falling asleep TO music, but have adopted a couple of background noises which help.  I remember sleeping next to one person in particular and I was so attuned to her breathing that I would wake up at the slightest change in its rhythm.  Yet going back to NOT sleeping next to her didn’t really take after.  Maybe that’s why I need the background noise now.

Even living in the city so long means I can’t sleep when it’s quiet.

It’s annoying…I sort of had plans for today, but while I wasn’t committed to them, I also didn’t make an alternate plans in the event that the main ones didn’t pan out.  Which, I’m thinking, they probably aren’t, at this point.  That comes with a whole batch of different feelings, but none stronger than the other.  In the back, though, is an old distrust of myself.  Mistrust?  Whatever.  I have a habit of hurting myself, sometime intentionally, and sometimes – like this weekend, actually – more of a lack of caution to avoid hurting myself.  Which is usually just a matter of semantics, really.  It annoys me.  I annoy me.

Anyway – music.

I was tempted to fill my Facebook feed with lyrics from the WIDE variety of songs that are in today’s playlist.  I know everyone likes to think they have the furthest ranging taste in music, but I actually do.  Haha  See what I did there?  Okay, so maybe it’s not the literal furthest, but it’s pretty huge.  I love music.  Most days, my very cells are listening and singing along.  There are memories, emotions, fantasies…everything I am can be tied to a song or a melody.  Sometimes I listen to fuel my mood; other times to change it, or create one anew.

I should open a bar that has alternating karaoke and lip synch nights.  I’d be all over that shit  – in theory.  In reality, I would only be all over it alone in my living room, like right now.  Minus the non-humans who live with me, except they were a bit disturbed when I was dancing with myself earlier.

Fuck…how is THAT song not in this playlist?!

(Edit:  False alarm – it totally is)

Holy crap – the photos are done uploading!  All 8000-something of them!

I think I had more to say, but screw it.  Tomorrow is another day.

Even if it is a back-to-work day after this abysmal failure of a vacation.  At least day drunk is a good thing!

 

 

Being Mean For Honesty’s Sake

I often think about honesty, and truth, and the price of putting it out into the world. Like, I almost never speak or write what I actually think or feel. Even on here, I know it will be read, and for sure some among you will take whatever it is personally. That’s what we do; we assume everything is directed at us, whether it is, or not. I mean, the internet makes that much easier, because everything posted online has a degree of, if not anonymity, then at least distance and separation between the author/speaker and the individual reader/audience member. We can say and write whatever we want – promote our truth – and for sure someone out there will read it and think, “Fuck…is she talking about me?!” Whereas, if someone speaks to you directly, via letter, email, telephone or in person, there’s really no denying that you are the one to whom they are referring.

So I, for one, self-edit pretty much all of my actual self away. Or, not away, but hidden inside. I don’t express at least 90% of what I actually think or feel – at least. Probably more. Because it’s mean. There are compliments and such that are nice, so I try to say those, at least when they are true. Usually, though, truth and honesty is pretty mean, and it hurts people. I don’t like to hurt people, even people I don’t like, so I keep it to myself. To spare them. To spare you.

But what is that doing to me, I wonder? Keeping it all in? Surely it’s not the healthiest way to live. (And don’t call me Shirley)

I see and hear people purging what seems to be everything that comes into their heads, regardless of how it may make another person feel. Which I guess is great for them, but they’re mean. Many don’t even appear to try finding a way to express themselves without being hurtful. Either they don’t notice how their voices are being received, or they don’t care. Neither is a quality I want to nurture in myself, and I don’t even like people. But that doesn’t mean I don’t want to be a better version of this inherently evil species. The best version I can be. Or, you know, just better than I could be, if I cared less.

This post went so differently in my head while I was riding to work on transit this morning! It was less vague, yet more stream of consciousness-y.

I think we get ruder and meaner as we get older. Older people will say stuff to your face and not give a crap about your precious feelings. They don’t need to hide behind the interwebs. They’ve got stuff to say and not enough time in which to say it all, so they get out as much as they can, while they can. There’s definitely no time for beating around the bush, or re-phrasing, and no point in keeping it all bottled up inside. Each new day is an opportunity to speak your mind. And now, with the internet, we can be different parts of ourselves depending on our communication method of choice in any given moment. We can show one semblance of truth on Facebook, another in an email, and something quite different to those in our immediate vicinity. It would be interesting to watch the internet generation get older – see how many selves they have when all of the feel like expressing their truth all the time.

I wonder what I’ll be like as I get older? Will I still try to remain quiet, or will I just start expressing my anger and hurt and whatever else I think and feel to whoever will listen? Will I even care if anyone is listening? Maybe I’ll just talk, anyway. To animals, to the air around me. I already apologize to inanimate objects on occasion, so it’s not a far leap to raging my way loudly down the sidewalk, really.

Would I feel better, expressing all these thoughts and feelings? Would it be a relief to just get it all out? Or would I see how my words affect people and just end up wallowing in guilt and regret all the more? (Though, I’d probably get lots of space to myself on public transit if I was speaking my thoughts aloud…food for yet more thought)

It’s so easy to say, “I want you to be honest with me”. But trust me – you really don’t.  Or to say, “Tell me how you really feel.”  Yet truly, you don’t really want to know.  I am not mean or rude enough to make my thoughts and feelings known – yet – but I am absolutely mean and rude enough to have them. I watch you and hear you express yourself, and sometimes it even hurts me, but so far I’ve resisted the temptation to reciprocate or follow your example. It’s not always easy, but I’d rather that than than have to live with the consequences of the effect my words would have on you. Also, I’ve been keeping it all to myself for so long that it’s not only a habit, but I’m also not entirely sure which ones are real overall, versus which are just momentary or reactionary “real”. Which will still be true tomorrow, and which are just lashing out in hurt or anger. When I think about it, it’s difficult to tell for certain. I’m emotional, just like everyone else, but I recognize that emotions fluctuate and change and come with varying degrees of intensity. What I think or feel in a given moment may just be a knee-jerk reaction that winds up not being accurate once I’ve taken a moment to breathe through it. So the idea of doing permanent damage to a relationship, friendship, and even a stranger’s day – all to satisfy a temporary need that may or may not make me feel better – is just not something I’m willing to do yet. It thus far does not seem worth it.

Besides, I’m also aware of how I hurt and insult and upset and anger people on a daily basis without even realizing it. That sentence doesn’t make logical sense, I suppose, but there it is. I know it’s happening, I just can’t usually tell when or why. When I do realize something specific I’ve done, some line I’ve crossed, it’s too late. The damage, however unintentional, has been done. That realization alone is enough for me to carry the guilt and regret inside me for likely the rest of my life. Having that person or people telling me how I’ve made them feel, or highlighting my error in being, makes the burden 100 times heavier. Maybe it makes them feel better to point out my shame, so I let them have their moment, or moments; whatever they need. That’s the only way I feel like I can even partially make up for what I’ve done; allowing them – allowing you – to express how it’s made you feel. But I know how that makes me feel, so I won’t reciprocate.

Usually.

Truth hurts. That’s what they say. It hurts because it’s often mean. It hurts because something we are afraid is true has just been confirmed by another. While part of me wants to be honest with you, and tell you what I think and what I feel, so far, I just can’t. Because even though it’s not my intention to do so, the truth – my version of it – would hurt you. Or anger you. Or confuse you. Or any number of other adverse ways in which it would affect you. Therein lies my frustration. I want to be open and express myself, but I hold back because of how it’ll affect you. Because of how affecting you in a negative way would feel to me.

So far, it’s just not worth it.

Though, at the same time, sometimes I’m drowning in unexpressed and unvented emotions. Yet I see you appearing to have no qualms about putting your thoughts and feelings out there, regardless of how it might make me or anyone else feel. Regardless of how it makes me feel. More and more I wonder to myself – if I am showing you more regard than you are showing me, and if I am showing you more regard than I am showing myself – how can I ever hope to find any sort of balance in my own life? It’s not my job to coddle you, and yet that’s exactly what I do. All the time. Every day. By my own choice. Not because I am a nice person. Not because I wish only to spread peace and love across the land. I’m not a unicorn.

I do it because, above all else, I fear a life without you in it.

Sometimes I just wish you felt the same about me.

Who Would Play Me In A Movie Of My Life?

I think the idea of writing one’s autobiography has always come up, in one way or another, over the course of one’s life. Most of us don’t actually do it, of course, but I think most of us have considered it on a hypothetical level at some point in our lives. Maybe it was a school assignment, to divide your life (to that point) into more easily-digested chapters of moments and memories. Maybe it was a silly Facebook meme, asking what your autobiography would be titled, or who would play you in the movie of your life.

Mine would be called “Great idea, Poor Execution”. As to who would play me, though, I’m not sure. Someone with little to no talent, probably. Haha

Whether it gets written down, or not, the idea of chronicling one’s life is kind of excitting to think about, isn’t it? My great-grandmother wrote down a bunch of things she remembered from over the course of her life, and a team of relatives typed it all up into book form, then copied and bound it all together with photos and newspaper clippings and the like, to go along with things she was talking about. The woman lived to just over 100 years old, and the things she remembered and related were all pretty incredible. Trust me, guys, it’s quite a fantastic read! With little to no editing, a whole different world – from a time long passed – was brought to life in her words. I couldn’t be more grateful to have one of the very few copies of that wonderful piece of literature, and it makes me wonder if I, too, should be writing more things down as I go along. Not only so that I won’t forget, but maybe so the world won’t, either.

Not that I expect the world to read my book. That’s not what I mean. I just keep feeling like I want to leave behind some relic, some sample of life – even an unremarkable one – in another time, for others in a future time to read, if they so desire. So that they understand a tiny bit more of what came before. And, of course, to leave more of a mark; more proof that I was ever here at all.  

I can’t remember when I started to obsess a bit about that – leaving a mark on the world which would remain once I am gone. Definitely by high school, possibly sooner. I even made a list at one point, in a notebook. Ways to leave something behind, create a legacy, and essentially achieve a form of immortality. Writing a book was in there. Planting a tree (which I’ve done, but I fear they may now all have been cut down. Blah). Having a child. Other things I can’t remember right now.

See?! I’m already forgetting stuff!

I remember being glad that my name was on some plaques in my high school, because things engraved usually last a long time. And now, of course, I have my Guinness World Record – though I’d be much happier if it were to turn up in one of the books before it gets beaten by someone else!

And the claim is that, once something is on the internet, it’s there forever, but I’m not sure I buy that just yet. The internet isn’t really that old, after all. Maybe if we’re broadcasting it all out into space to travel at the speed of light and/or sound to other galaxies, then I’d get behind the whole forever idea, but at the same time, that does nothing for the Earthlings who’ll never see it.

Anyway. Capturing moments and archiving memories has been kind of my thing for a very long time. I’m afraid of losing my memories from my life, and I am afraid of being lost and forgotten once I’m gone. Let alone while I’m still here. Haha

So the notion of writing more things down has long been on my mind, and every so often I revisit the idea of trying to write something autobiographical-ish. It’s a huge undertaking that I may never have time for, but I was thinking just this morning – what about doing it here, on this blog, in little bits, and whenever the mood strikes? I’m thinking I might make a Memories category, or something, and then I don’t even have to worry about writing in chronological order or anything. I’ll just capture life in pieces, for myself, and for anyone who wants to read it. Readers wouldn’t even have to commit to a whole book or even a whole chapter. Just a page or two about a specific thing. Then, if the day comes when I feel like doing something more official and on a grander scale, I’d already have a bunch of notes to build on.

It would also count as a post for the day, so I wouldn’t have to concern myself with whether or not I had any time left over to do it! 😉

Definitely an idea.

Clever girl. 🙂