Rant

 

Came to work this morning to find someone had taken the Coke I left in the fridge, so I had to drink the less-cold one I brought with me. I usually keep one in the fridge and swap it out with one I bring in, so I can always drink the colder one. But apparently I’m not deserving of enough respect for someone else to NOT take my stuff, so yeah.

Always good to know where I stand.

It has actually never occurred to me to take something from a common area that I didn’t put there. If it’s offered to me, that’s different. If I ask for it, also different. But otherwise, if I didn’t put it there, it’s obviously not mine, so I don’t take it. That’s the second time this week that’s happened – and keep in mind, today is Wednesday – but the first time there was a can of Coke in a different part of the fridge, so I figured whoever it was just got confused. Turns out there’s no confusion, just a complete lack of respect for other people’s things.

So now I have officially learned my lesson. I’ll just drink the less-cold Coke from now on. I guess I should have learned from last time, when the can even had my NAME on it and someone took it, but that person later replaced it for me, at least. This time my name wasn’t on it, so apparently that makes it fair game. Even though no one else puts their names on things, either. Apparently when it’s my stuff, it doesn’t matter if I label it as mine or not. I don’t get to be treated the same as the rest of them, regardless.

Anyway.

Seeing my therapist tonight. Which is good, though I am having trouble focusing on what I actually need to talk about. I’m distracted by an inclination towards complaining and whining and rage.

I’ve made a few notes to remind me and hopefully help me focus better once I’m in the room.

My goal is to become less needy so that I don’t feel like I have to talk to my friends at all, or at least not about anything important. Things I could and should be dealing with myself. If I can keep friendly conversation more surface level without getting frustrated and upset every time we hang out, I’ll be better able to listen when they talk, and therefore become a more valuable friend.

Right now, when I accidentally speak about myself and things that are on my mind, I feel like I am interrupting; like I’m an irritant. And if alcohol is involved, I can’t seem to stop myself once I get going.

Ironically, I don’t drink prior to therapy, even though it apparently makes it easier to get things off my chest. I think the value of doing so is greater when I can manage it sober, though, so there’s that.

So yeah. I have to learn to speak less and listen more, or I’ll continue to lose the ones who mean the most to me.

And I’m not sure just how much more of that I can take.

Now for a few more moon shots, this time from last night:

 

And, of course, Hudson the polar bear I love:

hudson-and-sticks

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Resenting Reality

I have these notions in my head of what home is to me, and friendship, and good relationships. Among other things. Just ideas as to what I look for in my journey through life.

I keep getting glimpses of them – enough to make me think my sense of things could be possible for me, rather than something I just got from television while growing up – but my inability to manifest any of them in reality is frustrating, and causes me to doubt those possibilities, after all.

I’m torn now between wondering if I should settle for something more viable in my real life, rather than struggling for the notion, and ultimately being disappointed when it’s not how I think it should be. How I want it to be.

Do I strive to create the home I desire? Or the friendship I long for? Or the relationship I envision? Or do I accept each for whatever it already is, and if I fit into it at all, be grateful for that much. But if not, move on until I fit somewhere else better?

I’m so angry at myself for so many things, but I’m not sure how many of them I can change – how much -I- can change, since none of us has control over anything but ourselves at most, anyway. There’s nothing wrong with striving to be better, to be constantly learning and growing and evolving. There’s nothing wrong with not fitting anywhere. It can be lonely sometimes, of course, but not as much as being surrounded by vague or non-connections entirely. Lonely in a crowd. My inability to open up, or my disinterest in doing so minus with a few select people?

I don’t know.

I need to learn to speak better, especially in front of a camera.

Can a private vlog be far behind?

Mundane Inspiration

So freaking tired guys!

It’s been building for over a week now, really, and each night I seem to get less and less sleep, so struggle more and more the next day. I’m pretty sure I’m approaching the giggly delusion stage, though, so I ought to be fun to hang out with any time now!

If all goes according to plan, however, I should be able to go back to bed tomorrow morning, after I take care of the critters who live with me. That should help some, I think.

A co-worker mentioned something earlier that caught my attention a little bit. Something about respecting people who “tell it like it is” (and I was thinking, “only if they’re right”), and then he said he was a Sagittarius, and that they are generally quite blunt about expressing what they think. I was thinking I’m a Virgo, and am generally consumed with a myriad of unspoken thoughts. I wonder if other Virgos are, too, or if it’s just a shy person kind of thing.

I hate conflict, so am the first to back down when one arises – at least in terms of expressing my true opinion, thought, or emotion. Most often, though, I keep it all to myself, and have entire conversations which remain largely just in my head. I don’t know why, exactly. I probably appear ambivalent or un-invested, but there’s a full on storm raging inside, more often than not. I don’t feel like the expression of it would do any good, however, so that’s one reason why I keep it to myself. I also suck at expressing myself in idle conversation, let alone when stronger emotions are involved, and usually need to take time to think about what I want to say before I say it. Like…a couple of days or so.

That’s why Tim does most of the talking when we interview people. I can’t often think of anything to say and tend to just listen instead. Which isn’t a bad thing. It does keep me on the periphery a lot, though. And denies the world access to my bone-chilling brilliance, of course.

Can intelligence chill bones?

I actually had a cool conversation with some co-workers yesterday, near the end of the work day. I can’t even remember why, but I ended up talking about how much I like the sky, and how I don’t think I’m meant to live in cities with concrete where there should be trees, and how near the top of my bucket list is that I want to spend time in each province and territory in Canada before I die. Like, not live there, but not just drive through, either. I’ve only ever been in Ontario and parts of Quebec.  I haven’t even been to either coast in my own country.  I think a week or two for each province/territory would be ideal – travelling around, seeing sights, sometimes just sitting still and allowing myself to become immersed in the space around me. I want to take a billion pictures in each area – mostly landscape and nature and wildlife, of course. I want to try foods that are new to me, but local to the area. Experience things that locals do, rather than typical tourist draws, even though I want to see those, too.

Tourism is a funny thing, really. Like, it’s a way of presenting the area in which you live – what makes it unique, what will draw people to the area and maybe even make them want to come back. What will grab a stranger’s attention? What do we want someone to think of where we live, after they’ve gone? What can we highlight, which will give them the best of us and what we have to offer?

And yet, no one who actually lives there really does any of that stuff. It’s taken for granted, because it’s your life, your home, and when you live there, you can see and do all of those things all the time. It’s no longer special or unique, and often you find yourself annoyed at the very tourists you were highlighting things to bring in. You mock their eagerness to take pictures of things that you pass every day on the way to work. As a kid, I used to get so excited to go to the CNE each year for my birthday, because part of that trip meant riding the SUBWAY! And then a STREETCAR! All before we even got to the exhibition grounds!

These days, though, I want to murder people on public transit with my bear hands, and I think my silent homicidal thoughts in their general directions. The subway and streetcar no longer hold that giddy, child-like joy for me. Rather, I am sick of them both, most days.

To be fair, though, I do get excited the first time I get to ride on a NEW transit vehicle, so I guess there is still a glimmer of that original shine, on occasion, after all.

The point is, I want to see some of the things that make other parts of Canada unique; the things that a given area is proud to show off about itself, even as the locals are over them for their normalcy. But I also want to glimpse, where possible, a bit of what the locals DO get excited about. Like, if you get the chance to treat yourself to dinner out, where do you most like to go? What’s your favourite meal to order there? Which alcoholic beverage is your go-to when you are out with friends? Just kind of get an idea of how people live in other parts of this vast country, of which I’ve only ever seen a tiny percentage. That kind of thing fascinates me, even as I allow myself to get caught up in their mundane.

Because no matter how over something we are ourselves, there’s always someone for whom it is brand new and special.

I want more of that.

Wednesday Thoughts

Before I woke up this morning, I was dreaming something mundane – I think I was just getting ready to go to work, actually. I’d found a new pair of jeans, which I’d forgotten I even owned (because in real life I actually don’t). They still had those plastic sizing strips on them, but an abundance of them, which I had to peel off first, because it’s just embarrassing to find out you’ve been walking around with tags and the like still on your clothes.

Whoa – I just typed “clothes” as “close” and had to correct it. Sleepy much?

Anyway, it was taking me longer and longer to get ready to leave, and I kept checking the time and getting more and more stressed about how late it was getting. I was excited to wear my new surprise jeans, though. They were still going to be a bit big, but better than most, and not full of holes like my real jeans are. I remember trying to decide which belt I should wear, too. As in, which one is falling apart the least. It’s a real-life dilemma found in even the barest wisp of a dream.

Anyway, the thing is, when I actually woke up, I remained confused about what I had to do with my day in real waking life. That sense of disorientation continued on far too long for my liking. It was actually a struggle to remain focused on getting ready for work without thinking about the new pair of jeans I didn’t really have, if that makes sense. My brain kept going back to the dream life and I’d have to consciously force it back to real life. Weird.

In other news, there was an impromptu puppy party on my street last night! Brody and I were out after work, as usual, and it was not only a nice evening, but also the time of day pretty much everyone is out with their dogs. We ran into one of his treats ladies, and she was already talking to another lady with her dog, and then more people and dogs just kept coming by to join in! We had a good 6 or 7 dogs on the go at one point, all greeting each other and each other’s people and Brody could often be found in the middle, gazing longingly at the treats lady in case more treats came his way! He’s taken to pre-sitting in anticipation of possibly getting a treat now, instead of waiting to be asked to sit for one. Silly puppy. Silly clever puppy. ❤

Tonight is The Mind Reels’ almost-all-girl rendition of a Flash Gordon episode from 1935! And the Reelie award winners announcement! So excited! One girl had to back out, unfortunately, but since it’s because she booked a gig on a new show, it’s not really that unfortunate! We’ll just have to get her back when she’s able! There are still three lovely ladies joining us, however, and I think it’s still going to be pretty epic. Or hilarious. Or both. I’m really looking forward to it!

I’ve been thinking about something Gord said during the Hip concert on Saturday night; about how we’ve been trained our whole lives to ignore Canada’s northern Aboriginal people, and how we’ve learned not to listen to anything that’s happening up there. He said he thinks it’s maybe even worse now than it’s ever been. I got this idea suddenly to maybe do something with The Mind Reels blog page about it, specifically with high school kids, perhaps. It’s a vague notion, and I don’t know if it would really work or be beneficial to anyone in any way, but there’s a seed of a thought I want to talk to Tim about. If it doesn’t work out with Mind Reels, then maybe I could still reach out and make something happen with this blog, or set up something else entirely. I was reminded of a simple exercise I’d done in teacher’s college with the kids in the Grade 7-8 classes I was teaching during my practicum. I hadn’t really expected it to go as well as it did. Not that I thought it would go badly. I just hadn’t anticipated how willingly some of the kids would open up about themselves and their home lives once they knew someone was listening. Not even that, really – I think it’s more that someone asked them. I’m learning that we all generally do like to talk about ourselves and things we are passionate about and the dreams we have for ourselves. Not in an ego way, but rather in a someone-is-interested way. Even the quietest kid in our Grade 8 homeroom – the kid who opted out of pretty much every assignment because he wasn’t feeling the participation vibe ever. That kid filled out a sheet of questions about himself…told a whole story about something that happened when he was living on a reservation up north before coming to the city. Then he actually spoke at length about some of it – out loud – with the whole class listening. We had to listen hard because he was speaking so quietly from his desk at the back of the room, but still. He was talking, and we all were listening. It was probably the only time all year that you could hear a pin drop in that room, because every kid in there knew what a rare occasion it was, and for once no one felt the need to spoil it.

So we’ll see. Maybe there’s a way I can help give kids an outlet; a space in which to discover and share their own voices.

I’ll just, you know, add it to my To Do list.

Relationships And Stuff

Had a lovely, much-needed brunch with one of the people closest to me.  I managed to get some things off my mind; maybe not in as much detail as I needed to in some cases, but better than nothing, which is how I usually roll.  Plus, friends are not therapists.  I have to learn to save my selfishness for the one who’s being paid to listen to my shit.

I do feel less nervous about my first volunteer shift to tomorrow, so that’s good.  I just really need to figure out a better balance between showing up and completely  monopolizing a conversation just so I can unload my own crap.  I’m not good at friendshipping.

I’m not good at relationshipping of any kind, really.  And I’m not looking for anything new, but I still feel like I lost something, and I think part of me is still trying to find that.  I don’t know how to go back to who I was before, but I also don’t know who I am now in terms of relating to other people, nor who I want to be.  If I can even grow more, at this point.  I think in general, most of us just stop.

I’ve never really been a fan of change, after all.

My last romantic relationship was my most epic life fail (even though on an emotional level it’s still kind of a thing for me – does that make me more pathetic or less, I wonder) but the one before that was the one that damaged my belief in myself, and thus took a larger, longer-lasting toll.  That was the one that confirmed some things for me; whether they are true or not doesn’t matter.  Chicken or egg, some things just are.  Reality is subjective most of the time, anyway.  Maybe all the time.

Most relationships of any sort happen when I am not looking for them, of course, though now I feel like I’m…more lost.  Unsure of myself, who I am, what I want.  What will I be when I grow up?  Too late.  I grew up a long time ago, and turns out I’d be nothing of note.

But great at it, don’t get me wrong.  Sometimes I just wonder what else I am too late for; what else I missed out on while I was trying (and failing) to figure out how to human.

Tomorrow is a big day.

 

My Opinion…On Opinions

Opinions.

Everybody’s got them. Everyone is entitled to them.

Lately it feels as though more and more people are voicing them and/or sharing them on the internet, too. About everything. Even if someone doesn’t know a single fact about the subject upon which they are speaking, they are allowed – we all are allowed – to go ahead and spew forth whatever opinion we have on said matter. It’s pretty much our God-given right, and we’re going to exercise it every chance we get, dammit.

The thing is – and this is just my opinion (see what I did there?) – I’m not certain that a) any of our opinions actually matter to anyone but us, especially the uninformed ones, because b) we’re so busy screaming our opinions from the rooftops that we’re not bothering to listen to nor consider the opinion of another, but rather how to respond to them so that they’ll know they are wrong, and c) we’re basically all contributing to the rapid decline of intelligence and critical thinking in our own species.

You know…that thing that sets us apart from and above all the lowly non-human beasts of the planet.

Like, can opinions even be wrong? They can be formed upon misinformation, but can the actual opinion itself be incorrect? By definition, isn’t it really just how we feel about something based on what we believe we know about it? Wouldn’t something more concrete be more like a fact? Opinions can even change (on the rare occasion anyone bothers to inform theirs on something of a continuous basis), so can something so fluid really be considered wrong? Why are we all so eager to prove ourselves and those who agree with us to be correct in something we only feel rather than know?

If I say I feel light-headed one day, can someone else tell me that’s not how I feel? I would think that we should at least be able to agree to disagree, and yet, in most cases, the vast majority of what I see in the world – the public world – is that people can’t even do that.

I think this.”

You’re wrong, because I think this!”

We can both be right, from a certain point of view, and we can both be wrong. So sayeth Obi-Wan, kinda.

But I’m not sure opinion can be measured in a pissing contest, which is basically all we’re doing now. We’re all just peeing and then arguing about who’s pee is correct.

The funny thing is, none of our opinions even matter anymore, if they ever did. Instead of opening a discourse, all we are doing is peeing our pee, and letting others judge our pee – usually while they are also peeing and we are judging theirs – and no one is listening. I’m not listening to you, you’re not listening to me, no one else is listening to either of us.

Unless we already agree. Then we both pee and pat one another on the back for a job well done.

I was actually just thinking about this the other day. I was wondering if I should try to pass on to whoever will listen some of the things that I have learned in life thus far? Or should I focus on continued learning? Because I am fairly certain that I can not do both, at least not with any degree of success. I feel like I can focus on finding the right words to convey bits of knowledge-like gems gleaned over the past almost 44 years, or I can focus on paying attention to the world around me, and struggling to understand it better; to perhaps even understand another being’s experience with this planet, if only a tiny morsel of it.

In the latter pursuit, someone’s well-expressed opinion can help in learning a great deal, though probably the best teacher is experience – paired with mistakes – and finished off with a healthy dose of connections made in between. But it is imperative to good learning for a person to remain focused; to pay attention. To watch in silence more than speaking.

In the former quest, it’s vital to express thoughts and opinions well, and to re-frame words in different ways, in order to not only get them across, but to also confirm that you are doing so. Questions need to be asked to make sure the listener is on the same page before moving on, lest you leave them behind and with nothing to take away from the conversation at all.

Don’t be so busy talking that you forget to check in. If no one is listening at all, then you’ve failed on both counts – learning and sharing.

Neither are easy, but both are – or should be – necessary to some degree. I just feel like I personally need to focus more on one or the other for a little while. I keep thinking about trying to teach and share, but in the end, it’s my own somewhat selfish thirst for understanding that pushes me to keep watching.

And judging the rest of you. I mean, let’s be real – nobody’s perfect. At least I can admit it, though. Sometimes to my detriment, but still. I understand that I have much more to learn than I have already learned, and that even my perceived knowledge or understanding is deeply flawed, so that there is always room to grow. I am also really not good at confrontation. I find I can’t express myself very well when I am upset or passionate about whatever subject is being “discussed”. You know what, though? I don’t think the rest of you are, either. I don’t think anyone is. I’m not sure it’s even possible to have a personal, emotional stake in something and yet remain removed enough for logic and reason to overcome emotion. It’s just that most of you don’t care to give voice to your opinions so that others may come to understand them. You just think that peeing louder makes your pee more right.

And the thing is, for the most part, you don’t really know. You feel like you do, but you don’t. None of us do. But we say it, anyway, because it’s our opinion and we are entitled to it.

Maybe that’s why I prefer to just stay home with the dog and cats who live with me. I don’t have to remind myself to not read their comments.

The word ‘opinion’ looks like ‘onion’ when you type it enough.

Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

Last night, I finally finished reading my friend’s book, The Summer Of Letting Go. Okay, so maybe Gae Polisner aren’t friends in the traditional sense. I mean, we’ve never met in person. But we met as writers, which is almost as good. And I actually would like to meet her in person someday, especially if such a meeting included her little doggie. Charlie pics and videos have gotten me through many a bad day, after all!

But I digress. I’d already been ugly crying over a particularly powerful episode of Chicago Fire, and then decided to read a bit before trying to sleep. I was closer to the end of the book than I’d thought, though, so I ended up staying up a bit late to finish it. And ugly cry some more.

Dammit Gae!

So, first off, it’s a really good book. I’m not about to write a review of it here, or anything, though (I will, however, try to remember to do it on Amazon and the like), because that’s not quite what this post is about. It’s more about the emotions it brought up in me.

I can’t claim any kinship with the protagonist – my little brother is alive, I don’t feel like my parents hate me, and I’m not a teenager. I don’t have a Lisette, nor a Bradley. Nor a Frankie Sky (though…maybe Brody would fit that bill, a bit). But there is definitely something in the way she blames herself for her brother’s death, and understands and accepts that everyone else must, as well. It’s not even something that needs to be discussed. It just is. She understands it as simply her reality, and the way she interacts with everyone else in her world is a result of believing that they understand reality the same way she does.

There is something innately relateable in that to me. Something powerful that goes deeper than circumstance, and brings up some pretty powerful emotions. That everything comes to a head at the end of the book, and that I chose to read it last night when similar emotions have already been building up inside of me, as well, made it a kind of perfect storm for ugly crying.

It actually still affected me this morning, too.

This sense that someone I love beyond reason, of whom I think very highly, could think far less of me, and in some cases actually hate me, is a feeling I fully understand. I don’t even have to know specifically why. Just that I am inherently detestable to those whose opinions matter most to me. That even if they love me back, at first, that will change soon enough. I don’t even try to fight it anymore. I just expect it, and accept it when it happens.

Even as I type this, I know how it sounds, and I’m sure there are people who think that telling me that’s not the case will impact my understanding of my own inner world in some positive way. It won’t. I know it’s rubbish, on a logic level. But further inside on a level even I can’t see, lurks something else. And writing any of it down isn’t a request for someone to try and argue it. It’s more an exercise in locating words to adequately describe a particular sensation; something which has always been there, and just never spoken about. Until now. See, that’s the thing with writing stuff down sometimes. Having someone else tell me something that lies inside of me isn’t true, or isn’t real, doesn’t actually change anything. Be me giving voice to it takes away its power; like shining a light into a dark corner and seeing for myself that there’s actually nothing there to worry about. Someone else telling me they turned on a light and didn’t see anything means nothing to me. I have to see for myself. That’s how one grows, really. Do the work yourself; don’t expect anyone else to do it for you. And trying to do it for someone else takes away their own voice; their own power.

This isn’t intended to be me saying, “I am unloveable and will never know happiness” or whatever it sounds/reads like. It’s about me admitting to myself that I sometimes feel that way, that it affects how I relate to other people – particularly the ones I want to feel closest to – and that if I can recognize it, put words to it, maybe I can diffuse it.

There is an enormous difference between thinking things in your head when you are alone, and actually trying to say them out loud, or write them down, or what have you. The transfer from vague thought and emotion into something more concrete…it loses something; some of its power. That holds true to really great thoughts and emotions, too, of course. There’s just no perfect way to convey our most powerful inner realities to anyone else, even though we all feel a lot of the same things.

We just don’t all feel them quite the same way.

Which can be frustrating. But when you do get something out; when you see the lightbulb come on in someone else’s eyes and know without a doubt that they get it; that they understand. A crazy kind of connection gets established in that moment, and even if the shared understanding is of something horrible, you know at least that you are no longer alone in it. And that’s worth all the frustration and effort, I think.

As for me…I’m not great at liking myself, usually, so it’s easy for me to believe that those I hold in highest regard wouldn’t, either. Part of me is always waiting for the other shoe to drop, and when it does, I claim that I knew it would happen, because that’s how things go for me. FML and all that.

It was pointed out to me long ago that it’s kind of a self-fulfilling prophecy to hold back for fear of being hurt if and when the other person stops being such a large part of your life. And I get that, so I try (sometimes) to curb the machinations of the dark beast within and force myself to aim for the lightbulb moments as much as I can. It’s not easy, and I fail more often than I’d like to admit, even to myself. I do get confused about what actually is true sometimes, though, and that’s where I fall into my own trap.

I guess, at least for now, I need to try harder to enjoy the time I do have, and spend less time trying to predict when it will end.

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