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.

Life Goes By

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Halloween was my favourite holiday for a long time. Probably for the longest period of the time I’ve had favourite holidays.

Now I don’t think I do anymore; have a favourite. They all just kind of go by without me noticing. I mean, the ones that make a long weekend, I notice. But even then, it’s mostly in terms of what’s still open, store-wise, and occasionally seeing if I can do a thing or two for myself on one of my days off.

I experimented with giving myself additional long weekends from work this past summer, and pretty much failed completely at making them work in my favour. So even those aren’t as great as they used to be in that sense. Holidays that everyone gets are usually worse, somehow.

And even though it’s Halloween and not a day off kind of holiday, the fun seems to be gone from it, for me. I’m not even excited about cheap candy day tomorrow, because I can’t afford any even then.

However, did a pretty great interview with an actor from Star Trek that we’d never met before. He was very awesome, and friendly, and not at all difficult on the eyes! AND we scored new Star Trek mugs! What?! So much fun, and a nice break in an otherwise Monday-y morning!

I got to put my feet up for a bit yesterday. Not at all as much as I needed to, but still…it helped. Especially with Flynn, who is still sick today but seemed to be in a good mood yesterday, just because I was around more. I haven’t been home much lately, and it’s taken a toll on all of us, I think. Even Brody was bringing me his ball to play with last night, something he hasn’t done in months! It’s good to feel like my company is wanted and appreciated, and I try to make sure they know that I want and appreciate theirs, as well.

I even got a couple of important tasks done, though the laundry is piling up again, and I am not sure when I’ll have the chance to do that. But still, the things I did accomplish are good, and hopefully positive steps moving forward.

We’ll see. I’m going nowhere fast, but after Friday and Saturday were big enough that I haven’t had time to fully process them yet even now, I feel like I did still manage to get a bit of a break yesterday, and that’s the main thing, I guess. Sometimes even a little bit of something positive is better than nothing at all. Not enough to balance out the overwhelming-ness of everything else – not even close – but I’m halfway through today and still going, so that’s something.

Reading Problems and New Steps

I’m trying to read this one book, but I don’t really like how it’s written. I’m determined to get through it, though, before I move on to the ones I just ordered online. I know I’ll tear through at least one of those (Kelley Armstrong is my spirit animal some days), and so I’ll use that as incentive to get through this one.

It’s disappointing because the author is a woman, and I loved the sound of the plot premise so fully expected it to not be such a struggle for me to read. I still like the story itself thus far, but there are a couple of things that tear me out of it, and therein lies my disappointment.

One is that she chose to write her protagonist as a man, and for me, it’s just not working. It just doesn’t read male, to me. I can’t put my finger on it, whether it’s the language used to convey the character’s inner thoughts, or imagery described, or even just the fact that I knew the author was a woman going into it, so my mind just keeps going back to a female voice when it’s supposed to be a male. It’s fine, but having to continually remind myself that I’m reading from a guy’s perspective makes it difficult to remain enveloped in the story. I think if the character was female – as my brain keeps insisting – I’d have a much easier time of it. And she would be pretty kickass so far, too!

Another little quirk that’s just annoying to me is her constant use of italics. Like, every few sentences. Be it to accent something a character (any character, all characters) says, or just in the narration – I had thought at first that maybe it was some kind of code, because the words she chose to highlight didn’t always make sense and seemed kind of random on occasion, but I think maybe she just loves italics. Loves them. Overuses them to the extreme, in my opinion. I have started trying to train my mind to just not see them, because stressing that many words on a single page can be exhausting to read.

I’m not going to reveal which book it is, as I like to support authors, especially lady authors, but yeah…it’s a frustrating read thus far, which is really unfortunate.

Tim and I are hopefully getting started on a little something new, now, too. I am cautiously excited about it, even though my fail rate lately has been pretty complete! If by some chance it works out even remotely the way I hope it will, it would require very little extra effort on our part to maintain, but enrich The Mind Reels, our audience, and perhaps even some young lives by unimaginable volumes! As with many of my ideas, the possibilities are endless, but my ability to see them through to fruition is, more often than not, average on a stellar day. So we’ll see. I really hope it takes off, but I won’t hold my breath.

At least we are trying, though. There can be no measure of success without first putting in the effort to take the initial steps, so in that, at least, we are closer to succeeding today than we were yesterday.

And sometimes that makes all the difference.

Stagnating

Hot Docs (Toronto’s amazing documentary film festival) is getting underway tonight, and yesterday evening, Tim and I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing some of the ladies responsible for the opening night film, The League of Exotique Dancers – director Rama Rau, and Legends of Burlesque Camille 2000 and Judith Stein.

Now, let’s face it, as soon as we heard we’d gotten this interview, Tim and I both knew it would be a lot of fun. What we couldn’t have predicted was exactly how amazing it would be! You can see our ridiculous chat with those wonderful women here.

Our second interview of the evening was also fun and amazing, but in a different way. The thing is, though, it made both of us want more. We left the hotel last night on an absolute high, having just spent an hour or so doing something we both love, and meeting some incredible individuals in the meantime. You just can’t beat that – the energy, the laughter, the moments of connection, conversation and shared experiences.

The handshakes that turn to hugs.

I think I can say that, for both of us, the evening strengthened our resolve to get things moving forward with the Mind Reels again. Or even get them moving at all, at this point, as we’ve been pretty stagnant for much of 2016 so far. I mean, we’ve been doing things. Tim’s posting on the blog every day at least once, and we’ve done some on-location interviews, like the ones last night, but they are always for events – like Comicon, the CSA’s and now Hot Docs. We haven’t gotten back to doing regular studio interviews or anything like that for a long time, and we have yet to really strategize some of the other features we are hoping to add to our brand, let alone implement them.

In other words, every time I think it might be time to get off the pot, I realize that I still want to shit.

So, operating under the hope that this feeling of resolve lasts past, like, today, here are some of the things we have in the revised playbook:

  • regular weekly video content – at least once a week, and while not always interviews per se, the hope is to have as many guests as possible, and some different fun things rotated in once a month or so. The main goal, though, is to establish some sort of routine wherein we are posting video content at least once a week. We need to get that going and stabilize it a bit so that we can branch out more in the direction we want to go
  • build our reach and fanbase – we want to get our stuff out there more, and try to break out of our circle of friends to grab attention from strangers around the world. This all started in part because no one was really covering the things we liked in the way we would have liked, so we started doing it ourselves. For sure there are others out there who just don’t know about us yet, but who would appreciate some of the things we’re doing, and thee ways in which we are doing them
  • having gotten our feet wet moderating some celebrity panels at Hamilton Comic Con last year, we’re hoping to do the same this year, as well as branch out to other conventions in the area. The more we do it, the better we get at it, and having the addition of a live audience to interact with only heightens the fun, really! It definitely changes the dynamic each time, and that’s a challenge I want to keep taking on, for however long they let me!
  • If we can get some sort of regular show format going, and build our reach more, then the eventual goal is to launch a Patreon page and try to start bringing in a bit of cash each month, even if it’s just enough to cover some of our brand-related expenses which are currently all out-of-pocket. I mean, I’m not foolish enough to hope that we could be like the two teenaged boys on there who pull in over $10k per month by making silly YouTube videos of them eating various foods and rating them on a scale of sour-ness, for example. But at the same time, why couldn’t we create content that people want to see enough to throw $5 a month our way, in return for said content and some pretty excellent rewards? That being said, though, while it’d be wonderful to make a living wage doing something we enjoy (see my previous post about adulting), I certainly don’t expect to. But I would love to have a little help paying for some of the things we use regularly as it is, and upgrade some other things to make our passion project even better than it already is.

So we’ll see how things go. Once Hot Docs is over, I have a list of first steps to take, and we’re hoping to set up a meeting with our producer soon to go over a few ideas, as well. Once the flush of excitement from this week and next wears off, we might go back to stagnating again, I know.

But, then again, we might not.

Coming Up

Since I apparently shouldn’t talk about what I want to talk about, I’ll discuss something entirely different, instead.  I did, however, make a pretty big decision all by myself, and while it wasn’t what I’d thought it would be, I still say YAY ME!

Tim and I (aka The Mind Reels) are going into the studio tonight for the first time in 2016! The last time we were in there was with guest Robin Dunne, and while we shot the episode back in mid-December, it still has not been posted yet, because no one has the time to focus on the channel yet.

Which is unfortunate, and frustrating, because it feels like we can’t ever seem to get going. Even tonight, while we’ll get excited about it closer to the time, so far today it just feels like another thing we have to do before we can sleep! Haha

It’s as though the lack of team enthusiasm from everyone at the channel is making it seem more like work than fun. Actually, that’s not even it, I don’t think. I feel like every little step has been a struggle lately, and that we’re failing to capitalize on things that should have been driving us forward (Guinness World Record, panel moderations at conventions, etc). And maybe it’s just because it’s winter, or because there is so much else going on in everyone’s lives, but it also seems like, once we stop, it’s hella hard to get going again.

And yet, I’m still excited. I still have little thoughts and plans and ideas for things to do and try. Even aside from continuing to get the rest of the GWR event footage posted, there are ideas for a new and enormous attempt at re-breaking the thing again at some point in the not-too-distant future. If we could get a team on board, either via the channel or just a group of people we can work with. And it would of course depend on the guidelines as they stand now, because I’m not sure they are the same as they were when we first made our attempt.

I have an insanely huge list of people I want to have in as guests for The Mind Reels – a lot of people from our Guinness attempt whom we’d never spoken to before, and would love to have in again. Also several new and returning guests who have things on the go these days that we’d like to talk about.

In addition, we’re still applying for media accreditation for everything that we love – The Canadian Screen Awards, Toronto Comicon, The Screenwriting Conference, and a slew of other things coming up later in the year. There are even some new things I’d like to try covering, if we’re able. Branch out a little bit.

Basically, I still want to do more, not less, than we’ve done in the past. I want to keep growing our brand, and building a larger presence for ourselves.

On top of that, there are my own personal side projects that are also growing bit by bit. There’s just not enough time – or I haven’t been able to make enough time in recent months, is probably more like it.

I need a stay-cation. Maybe then I could get myself going on some of these things with more energy and enthusiasm that I am currently exhibiting.

Until then, though, I decided, like, yesterday, to treat everything else like this blog. Bit by bit, every day. I’ll try to do a little of something each day, and my suspicion is that it will snowball, and grow more and more as I go along.

I can not wait for that!