Treading Water

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Breaks my heart every time.

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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.

Expanding On My Happy List

As always, I have a lot on my mind, and today I’m not entirely sure what I feel like talking about here, so I was thinking I’d expound upon some of my happy list from yesterday.

  • getting people to talk about their passions
      • The Mind Reels was initially started because we realized that no one was really talking about the things we loved (as far as TV and movies and the like), so we decided to talk about them ourselves. That quickly turned to podcasting, because talking is faster than writing, sometimes. And within weeks we were conducting our first actual interview with a film director! I think that was the start of things changing for us, because that director (Jeremy Lalonde) hooked us up with interviews for some of his cast, and one of them (the wonderful Mary Krohnert) put us in touch with Lost Girl cast member, Rick Howland. From there, we spent much of our time pursuing interviews with people we wanted to talk to, who were creating the content we love.
      • I’m not sure when it happened, exactly, but at some point, interviews started coming to us. This was different in that it was often for projects and/or people that we might never had been made aware of otherwise. That new aspect added an additional level of excitement to each interview, because not only did it expand on our awareness of content we might enjoy, but it also gave us the opportunity to create a casual, comfortable and fun atmosphere for our guests, which allowed them to open up more about their passions in general. Instead of just asking the same rote questions that go hand-in-hand with every industry interview, we started getting people to talk about themselves, as well as their projects, and that’s made all the difference, I find.
      • I love the way a person will light up when they talk about the things they love, things that interest them, and things that challenge them to be more. It brings out a side of a person that is among the best of human qualities (and we really don’t have very many, so I treasure the ones I find), and that I play a part in bringing that part of them to light makes me feel kinda special, too.
  • being around non-human animals
      • I mean, there is just something so pure about non-humans. Not always “good”, I guess, but it’s like they are on a whole different level from us. They aren’t calculating which foot to put forward, which face to wear, nor do they edit what they communicate in the hopes of not offending anyone’s delicate sensibilities. If my cat, Kate, didn’t like you, she had no qualms about peeing on your shoe. There’s no fake-ness with animals – if you are paying attention and taking the time to know and understand them, you know exactly where you stand. You also learn not to put what you think they are thinking ahead of what they are actually thinking; you learn to admit that you don’t know. At least I do. I admit I don’t know much at all, but I feel like that leaves me more open to learning, as compared to some people who think they know more than they actually do.
      • Anyway, for me, one of the things I love about being around animals – aside from all the love itself that they sometimes give out – is that I don’t have to pretend, either. I just have to show up and be present, and they expect very little from me beyond that. Actually, some don’t even expect that much. Some just want to be fed, and some just want to be left alone. To be able to inhabit a space with another individual who asks you for nothing is really quite liberating. I get to be in their presence, I get to be myself, and things can just be quiet for a while. That they usually don’t care whether I am there or not is also quite humbling. It’s a good reminder that we are not always the shit. We go through our lives looking for validation and attention and for others to just see us and recognize that we are there – we want to be seen. Other animals, for the most part, really don’t give a crap about such seemingly superficial needs. They just are, and the idea that there are times when I can just be, as well, is incredibly appealing to me.

That’s it for now, as I have to get back to work. Maybe I’ll cover some of the other stuff tomorrow.

Oh, and just because it’s still cool to me (and falls nicely into my own personal quest for attention and validation), it was one year ago today that my status as a Guinness World Record holder was posted on the GWR website, and we went public with the announcement of our success!