On Being Lost

So frustrated lately. With pretty much every facet of my life, really, if I think about it.

Therefore, I try not to.

Being lost is the only way to get found.”

That’s a line from a different book; not the one I am reading now. There was another about being trapped in hope and then set free, but this was the one which stood out most to me on a personal level.

I’ve always wanted to get found.

Wished for it, wondered if I might realize it if and when it ever happened.

I learned that I would have to make it happen, and that in order to do that, I would first have to find myself.

Sometimes, though, things just stay lost. And that’s okay, too. We adapt, but never really stop looking.

Just in case.

Imaginary

I remember back in the day, before online dating really took off and people were more still using personal ads and the like, my friend and I were joking about how dysfunctional lesbians seemed to be, and created what we felt would have been the perfect ad. We never posted it, of course, but I’ve often been curious about how the direct and honest approach would have actually gone.

We included buzz words like “functional alcoholic”, “mentally unstable”, and “emotionally unavailable”, then peppered in such desirable details like “basement bachelor”, “nine cats”, and/or “retail job”. From there, we added the piece de resistance in the form of generic likes, such as long walks on the beach, and finished it off with an offer no one could resist: “Coffee?”

I don’t even drink coffee, but whatever.

We laughed about how lesbians would be drawn to the broken yet brutally honest figure at the centre of our ad, and each time we phoned in to check for feedback, we’d no doubt be told by the automated recording lady that we had “one…million…new messages!”

Our voicemail-box and our dance cards would have always been full, we were certain.

I have no idea how to sell myself, but I also don’t really like sales. That makes my marketing and PR dream a bit unrealistic, but to me those things feel different – promotion and sales are similar but different in ways that I like.

I think.

Really, I should probably just open a giant wildlife preservation and call all the animals to me like Dr Doolittle.

Dr Suelittle?

Get to be in the studio twice this week, which should be fun. Tonight is our fifth radio play – an old Ellery Queen mystery is on the docket! And then tomorrow we get to chat some with Torri Higginson about the upcoming second season of This Life. My day job life is pretty chaotic right now, and my outside life is…what it is. Stressful. Disappointing. Not sure why it can’t ever be just quiet the way I like.

But then again, maybe that’s not really what I want at all. It’ll be interesting to see how things go from here, I guess.

Carrying Things

I’m one of those people who can usually be found carrying around a lot of things. Physically and, like, emotionally, too, I guess, but I was thinking more about the physical stuff I drag around with me every day. I’m not sure how long it’s been going on, nor when I turned it into part of my conscious decision-making process, but I often will dream about packing quickly while trying to leave wherever I am, and having a hard time remembering to bring everything I might need.

I’d rather have it and not need it, than need it and not have it.

Which has resulted in my having a lot that I don’t need.

I think I’ve pretty much always had a plan in my head; the “what would I do if” sort of running through possible scenarios over and over. A zombie escape plan, sure, but so much more than that, too. Knowing that I can’t prepare for any and every possibility doesn’t really stop me from trying, though. I’ve spent the majority of my life watching, trying to anticipate what might happen next.

That I’m generally wrong doesn’t stop me from trying, either.

I’d rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it.

That I probably wouldn’t even survive half of the things I come up with doesn’t stop me from trying, either, actually.

In that vein, I also carry around some guilt and indecision as to how I imagine I would spend my last days, if I knew they were numbered. I mean, they are numbered for all of us, of course, but if I knew the number that was left, I like to think I would do things differently from how I do things now. I have ideas as to those I would want to spend that last bit of time with, and of the things I would like to spend that time doing. Those ideas don’t mesh with reality, and they certainly don’t mesh with what’s expected of me. I’m always torn between those things – what I want versus what others want for me, and/or expect from me. I go back and forth between what I think I would choose to do. If it was just my days which were numbered, I think I would probably do what was expected or needed by those I’d be leaving behind. They are the ones who would have to live with my choices after I’m gone.

If it was an apocalyptic thing and we were pretty much all doomed, then maybe I would finally decide to do as much of what I want, with those I want to do it with, as possible. Maybe I would finally take care of my own needs, knowing that it was unlikely that any of us would have to live with my choices for very long after I make them. The sad thing is, those on my wishlist don’t really have me on theirs – or wouldn’t, in the event of apocalypse times. So it’s quite likely that, even if I tried to do things for me, I wouldn’t really be able to pull them off the way I’d want to, if at all. There’d still be an imbalance, only I would be the one making hopeful requests of those who’d rather be elsewhere. And for me there’s no balance in that, either.

I think I’d rather be the one who sacrifices what they most want than be the one someone else has to turn down in order to be where they most want. Or worse, be the one someone else sacrifices what they really want in order to give in to my needs. Not sure even the imminent end of times could assuage that level of guilt! Haha

Here’s the thing, though. None of us will live forever. Every day is one day closer to our own personal end. Yet so many of us are not living our lives in ways which fulfil us.

Maybe it’s time I start finding the balance between what I want and what is requested of me from others, and make my life more my own.

Maybe if I can do that, I’ll find it easier to dream-pack someday.

Taking Control

My Facebook memory feed today is filled with basically two things – the announcement that Tim and I were official Guinness World Record holders, and video clips of the Conjoined Twins of Terror. Both of those things do my heart some good, to the point where I can’t even really remember what else was in my feed. It’s funny to me that I was already promoting and planning the GWR attempt 2 years ago, and was verified one year ago. Everything came full circle, and I’m still so proud and excited about everything I achieved within that space of time.

It does frustrate me some when I think about how little I have accomplished since then, but also motivates me to get my butt in gear now.

Well, hopefully motivates me. It’s one thing to plan things out while I am distracted by my day job, but a whole other thing to actually get stuff done when I am at home.

I think the key is to stay angry. Haha

Mark Hamill’s autograph and photo op prices are up on the Fan Expo site, and even though they are crazy high, I was actually expecting higher, so now I am hopeful that I can get one of both, AND my usual photo op with Morena Baccarin. She and I met almost exactly 10 years ago – Labour Day weekend 2006 – which was also the first time I met Carrie Fisher. Seems perfect that she would come back now – Labour Day weekend 2016 – when I will hopefully be meeting Mark Hamill for the first time. I’m pretty freaking excited. If I end up being able to afford a photo with John Cusack, as well, all the better!

Found out a friend’s film is having its world premiere at TIFF this year, so naturally I need to be there for it. Gotta support my ladies, after all! And speaking of my ladies, Tatiana Maslany also has at least one film coming to TIFF (of course she does – I’m pretty sure she’s actually a clone, or never sleeps, or both), so I’m hopeful that I’ll be able to snag a ticket to that one somehow, as well. Freaking September, man. Always so expensive! I’m trying to remain focused on the things I most want, though, and just letting everything else go. If I can make the few things that will most make me smile happen, then I can do without the rest. I just have to stay focused. On myself. Haha

Computer stuff at home is coming along quite well. I think I might start back into uploading clips from our GWR attempt very soon – perhaps over the weekend. It was becoming such a struggle with my old computer, but this one should have a far easier time of it, so I’ll hopefully finish getting all those things posted in the near future! The sound is a mess, because it’s all backup footage from one of the cameras, rather than the mics, but it’s better than nothing. It’ll be fun to revisit that stuff again!

I’m also trying to take Mind Reels stuff more into my own hands, because I am tired of waiting around for anyone else to do a damn thing. I just need more control in order to get things done myself. Freaking boys, man. I honestly do not understand sometimes. Geez.

In the end, I’m in the mood right now to take a more active approach in getting the things I want. There’s a lot on my list, but I feel like – if I focus and whittle it down into more manageable chunks – there’s nothing I can’t do.

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Adjust Accordingly

I saw this thing on FB that said to make a list of things that make you happy, and then a list of what you do everyday, and then compare the two and adjust accordingly.

That sort of fit in with some similar things I’ve been thinking about recently, so even though I know my lists won’t be even remotely the same, it occurred to me that I wasn’t immediately sure what would go on my happy list. And that’s a larger part of the problem than what constitutes my day job, so I figured I should start there.

Some things that make me happy, in no particular order:

  • getting people to talk about their passions (ie via The Mind Reels) and, more recently, doing reads of old timey radio plays
  • being around non-human animals, especially if I get to pet them
  • writing and other methods of creating – I have an amazing creative mind, but lack the talent to do any of it really well
  • planning things – events, trips, tattoos, etc – especially if it’s for me to partake in
  • learning – and usually challenging myself falls into that area, as well (I actually quite enjoy school and taking courses and the like – I think that’s part of what I thought I’d like about teaching, actually)
  • taking and sharing pictures (I love taking pictures, but I think sharing them with others makes me even happier)

That’s as much as I came up with on the subway. I pretty much kept it to activities, really. I guess I could include things like sunshine, mountains, the sound of waves, the smell of bread baking, ice cream, popcorn – food and salt in general, I guess, reading, listening to music…all that kind of wind down stuff I like to do. Collecting things. Watching TV.

I guess there are lots of changes I could make to ensure I am doing more of the things which make me happy during my day, but I was heading in to work, so work was on my mind. Not much there makes me happy, except when I figure something out – which falls into the learning/challenging category, but it rarely happens, so it’s not very happiness-sustaining.

It also takes up a vast percentage of my everyday life, so it’s harder for me to check things off the happy list when the majority of non-work time is spent sleeping. Which sometimes makes me happy, too. Sometimes not, though.

I’ve also been thinking about this whole notion of relationships and how everyone seems to think we all need to be in one. I was thinking about how I never imagined nor planned out my wedding. Not as a kid, nor as an adult – I was never really looking ahead to how my wedding day would be, or which song would be the soundtrack to our first dance, or where I’d want to go on my honeymoon or any of that stuff people supposedly do. Well, except to joke that I’d walk down the aisle to the Imperial March. Otherwise, though, I was never imagining my someday forever love, nor what our lives would look like together. To me, it was a little difficult when I had no one specific in mind. To me, that was a major factor in what the rest would look like. I wasn’t looking for a generic cake-topper, so much as an actual person.

I remember worrying that I wouldn’t be paying attention and miss them whenever they came into my life. I think that may have made me more open, though, because instead of trying to find someone who fit whatever vague notions I had in my head, I was watching; noticing when my initial reaction to meeting someone in particular was different from meeting everyone else.

Recognizing that one handshake could be all I needed to let me know that love was near.

I was getting angry and frustrated at not fitting the mold that others seem to fit into – like, not even understanding it, really. But then this morning I was thinking about those people who use vision boards, or whatever they’re called; wherein a person will place photos and other objects into a sort of collage and look at it regularly, imagining those things coming into their lives. A child, a relationship, a trip, money – anything they want. They kind of meditate on it every day, and it kind of focuses their attention on those specific things, as a way of sending their wishes out into the Universe and hoping for them to manifest sooner rather than later.

I wondered if I have been wrong this whole time (ie my life) in not picturing the specific way I want my life to look; what I want my future to hold. I wondered if maybe I had been doing that – picturing and focusing on what I wanted this entire time, if my life would be any different today. If my future would have been now.

I guess it’s never too late to start.

Though I wouldn’t have missed that handshake for all the world. Not for anything.

I’ll start with the happy list, as I have a feeling other things just fall into place when you’re happy with yourself, anyway. And part of that, of course, will include paying attention to anything else I might want to add to said list.

The sky’s the limit, as they say.

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Writing Prompts – Day 2 of 12

Day 2:  The One That Got Away

You bump into an ex-lover on Valentine’s Day—the one whom you often call “The One

That Got Away.” What happens?

 

I realize that I’m not quite doing these things right, but at the same time, they are writing prompts, and I am writing about them. So suck it. I’m doing it how I wanna. Haha

Anyway…I’m going to delve into the vault of my actual past relationships for this one, just out of curiosity alone.

I was trying to figure out who I would consider to be “The One That Got Away”. I mean, every one of them dumped me, not the other way around, so in that sense, they all got away. Most of them, I was eventually glad they got away for various reasons, but there are three in particular that I miss, and still sometimes wonder what life would have been like had we not broken up. Of those three, one was unlike any relationship I’ve ever had, and was only ever meant to be temporary. It was more of a glimpse into what I would like to have for myself in the future, rather than any kind of permanent long-term thing. It was always going to end, and it was never meant to be 100%, but I feel like she’d be proud of the person I’ve become, and into whom I am continuing to grow.

She wouldn’t be proud relationship-wise, obviously, because a) I haven’t been in one for a good 7 years or so, and b) I never did find the kind of pairing she’d shown me I’d want for myself. Almost, but not quite.

So that leaves me with the other two, and they are actually more alike than different, as far as our relationships went, so for the purpose of this exercise, I can pretty much use both, instead of one or the other. In this case, they are sort of interchangeable. They are both also the closest I’ve been to realizing the kind of relationship I want someday.

They are not interchangeable as people – at all – but as far as what would happen if I bumped into either one of them on Valentine’s Day. Or any day, for that matter. It would all go about the same.

For some reason, when I first pictured this encounter, it took place in a restaurant. Why I would be in a restaurant alone on Valentine’s Day is beyond me, though. Unless it was McDonald’s.

And neither woman lives in this city, so bumping into either of them would be a surprise, to say the least. However, in my first instinctive scenario, both would be with their families. The families they built on after dumping me. Both had a child or children when I met them, and one has more now. Both are married (to men, because neither was actually gay to begin with – I’m just that spectacular for short periods of time), and both love their families; families of which I’d wanted so badly to be a part. So naturally, if I’m going to run into The One That Got Away, she’s going to be happily living her life with someone else, and – more importantly – without me.

That is going to simultaneously hurt me to my core, and make me happy to see her smile.

Maybe she introduces me as an old friend. Maybe some of the people at the table already know me. Maybe she’ll tell me a little about the job she loves, and about where she’s living now. She’ll definitely share something about the kiddo(s) I know and how they’re doing now, all grown up.

She’ll ask how I am.

I’ll lie.

Even though she’s obviously happy and enjoying her life without me, I won’t want her to know how I’m actually doing. It doesn’t even necessarily have anything to do with her – or not as much as it might seem – but not having a job I love and not seeing anyone right now…just all the “nots” that she has now and I don’t. I’m jealous and sad and blaming myself for not being good enough to give her the happy life she deserves, and is now enjoying right in front of me.

I’ll tell her I’m at least okay, that things are going pretty well, I’ll brush off the relationship question and deflect everything with humour.

Then I’ll leave, because even though I’m in McDonald’s on Valentine’s Day, I suddenly don’t have an appetite anymore, and I just want to go home. I’ll flip through some old photos and memories, imagine what might have been, and allow myself to feel for a brief moment as though she’d just gotten away all over again.

After that, I’ll pour myself a drink, break open a bag of chips, and watch some TV, because no one needs to feel that much misery over someone else’s happiness.

Especially not when it’s someone you love.

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.

 

Accept The Journey

Man, I am so distracted by something I can’t talk about that I’m having trouble thinking of something to talk about.

I allowed myself to be hypnotized once. Well, I guess twice, but I don’t really remember the second time very much.

It was at a convention of sorts, and one of the guests was a friend of mine (IS a friend of mine, but WAS a guest), and on the side he was getting his certificate, or whatever it’s called, to be a professional hypnotist. He needed to do some practice sessions on groups, and so the convention people put in a time slot for him on each of the event’s two days.

I started off in the audience with everyone else, but then somehow ended up on the stage as part of the volunteer group of test subjects.

Now, I was always pretty sure that hypnosis would not actually work on me. Not as an ego thing, but rather due to the impression I have of my mind always being so active. I’m not good at quieting it and focusing only on my own breathing, for example. Believe me, I try and fail every night before I fall asleep. I was pretty sure I wouldn’t be able to slow it down enough to think about only one thing at a time ever, and definitely not while sitting on a stage in front of a packed room full of strangers and friends.

Here’s the thing, though – I’d neglected to take my over-active imagination into account. My very creatively visual mind, coupled with the fact that I really like the sound of my friend’s voice made me a pretty perfect candidate for hypnosis, as it turned out! Enough so that I was even asked to be one of the volunteers for the next day’s session, as well. But that’s the one I don’t really remember. The first time, though, I remember – at least how it felt – very well even to this day.

I found the hypnotist’s voice to be soothing, and calming, and it made me want to please him. Not like THAT, guys. But I wanted to do the things he asked; wanted him to be proud of me. And after the heavy books and such, the main imagery was all stuff I really wanted to see – and could see, in vivid detail, in my mind. To the point where I was actually quite sad when it was over.

It’s definitely a trust thing, I think. For me, at least. I trusted him not to embarrass me, or have me do anything for which I’d be ridiculed after. In fact, it felt for the most part like the whole thing was about me – about calming me, and about giving me a nice visual and emotional experience aboard one of my favourite spaceships. It felt peaceful, like a brief respite from every day life, and that feeling lingered long after. Still kind of now, as I look back on it.

I think if I had fought against it, mentally, then it would not have worked. The difference was that I really wanted it to work; I wanted him to be proud and I wanted to take the journey he was offering me. I think as sad as I was when it was over, I’d have been even more sad had it never started in the first place.

Which, really, is probably something we should all keep in mind as we journey through this thing called life, isn’t it?

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.

Frustration, Money-Hating, and Coming Up

Feeling a tad over-stimulated today, on top of not having had enough sleep last night. Like, less sleep than usual. There’s, like, three different pieces of music playing nearby, and I can hear all three at once. The person whose sales I am supposed to be coordinating hasn’t come to work yet this week, so I am flying solo and trying to stay under the radar while just keeping afloat as much as possible. It’s frustrating because I don’t have access to all of the information I need to be effective, among other things, but I’m doing my best. Maybe next week will go better.

Found out Roseanne is coming to Toronto for Just For Laughs!!!

I can’t even begin to express how excited I am by this news, nor how much I would love to see her in person. I decided immediately to just buy a ticket and go by myself, just in case it’s not anyone else’s cup of tea. I totally get it, and I’m not even the hugest fan of her stand-up, nor of some of her politics/opinions, but I still adore her overall and her sitcom meant more to me than I know how to say. Man, I loved the Connor family! Damn.

Also found out there are lion cubs at Jungle Cat World right now, so naturally I want to go pet one, along with other critters available to interact with. But I’ve also had my eye on the Keeper For A Day program at the Toronto Zoo. I really want to do that…and in more than one area, so I want to do it more than once. More than twice, even. haha

And Jays games. I’ve only been to one so far this season…and it’s just occurred to me that I don’t think we ever sorted out the ticket price vs beer/food consumed after. Maybe I’ll just buy the next round of tickets and we’ll call it even again.

Anyway, I hate money. And having too much on my mind. And being tired.

There is a slight chance that we may get the Mind Reels going more consistently again. We’re talking with our producer today about meeting up for a strategy session next week to determine next steps and perhaps learn more about how we can get episodes posted ourselves more quickly and regularly. That would be a good thing. I really like doing the interview/chat thing. Since late last year, though, I’ve been feeling like everything has just ground to a halt, and getting it going again is a little like pulling teeth. I haven’t even been trying to line up interviews lately because I don’t feel I can guarantee it’ll happen without the rest of the team on board. Hopefully we’ll at least decide to do it or stop doing it, and then take it from there. But I think even just talking about it will get people excited again, and we’ll start moving forward once more.

The crazy thing is how we could probably be excelling at it, in some regard. Even during Hot Docs, some of the PR people who had never seen us interview folks before were so impressed with how we made the guests feel at ease right away, and how we could get everyone laughing and having a good time long before the “interview” was over. At the same time, we give them a space to talk about and promote their passion, and everyone gets to enjoy the end result. People usually end up enjoying their time as our guests, and viewers often end up liking to watch our guests, even the ones they know nothing about. Not every interview show has that kind of easy feel, I don’t think.

We’re easy. Haha

Anyway, we’ll see what happens. I’m sure we won’t decide to stop doing it at our meeting next week, but I do want us to stop talking at some point and actually start doing. That’s been a huge factor from the beginning…we talk about a lot of things, have a lot of ideas, and even start implementing some of them. But until we start committing to doing what needs to be done, we’re just going to keep resting on our laurels and nothing will ever change. It’s easy to get excited when talking about doing stuff, but actually settling into doing those things takes a whole different kind of excitement. It takes one that lasts, and the commitment to see tasks through.

Oh! I think I am going to become a volunteer at a local place that deals with animals soon! I have an orientation session at the end of the month, and that will help me decide if I want to do it regularly, or if I am even suited to it. It’s mostly just cleaning up poo and the like, but there’s animals!!! I received the Starter Handbook thingy last night and learned a few things about the place that I hadn’t known before, too, and that got me even more excited to give it all a try. I don’t know how much actual contact I’ll have with the animals themselves, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned from the zoo, it’s that just being around them is highly therapeutic. Also, NO PUBLIC. Being around animals, staff and other volunteers sounds pretty perfect to me, despite all the poo. We’ll see how the orientation session and my first shift goes, and take it from there. More details to follow later! 🙂