Category Archives: Encountering Myself

On Falling

On Falling

One day I fell.  Hard.  I couldn’t get back up because as I laid there in complete and total confusion and despair, I had no way of knowing which way was up.    The world hadn’t spun, it simply twisted behind its facade.  On the surface all was as it always had been: people went to work and the store, they played outside with their pets and children, they ate laughed, drank, cried, and loved.  But as I finally stood, slowly so as to hide my wobbling knees, looking around attenuating myself to this new existence, it became clear that the shock waves had damaged the foundation of things.  All around was the sound of familiar voices hitting notes I had never heard before, people moving in much more ways to ponder, and most of all eyes lingering on me more puzzled than ever.

 

On what it all keeps coming down to

On what it all keeps coming down to

It isn’t what people say at the beginning of a conversation that is on their minds.  Wait for it.  The bread and butter will reveal itself.  I know this because I know my own mind.  It never stops living.  My life is a mere continuation of my dreams, but in my waking life I are often interrupted by simple things such as people talking to me, cars needing to be driven, work needing to be done, and bodies needing to be taken care of.  In my sleep there is no stopping the thoughts, they manifest to their fullest without remorse or guilt for any harm or discomfort they cause me.  But I don’t mind, I like to roam free.  In watching my thoughts, I am able to see through the layers by not getting stuck on one topic, so for a second, I get a glimpse of what is bothering me way underneath it all.  Under those layers are the things I wouldn’t say until I was deep into the conversation.  Under the layers are the situations that I wish never happened, the things I wish I could take back, and the things I wish would leave me alone.  I see those issues there, but seeing is all I can do.  If I pull out a topic from the roots and thus finally rid myself of its nagging existence, another topic will fill into that spot.  The process is endless because the spots are always there, grasping issues to apply its emotions to.  Seeing through the layers, clearing them off, and restructuring was just the beginning.  It is overwhelming to climb what you thought was the tallest peak only to finally see how many more mountains are ahead of you.  It is the space they layers fill that needs adjustment.  How to adjust them, I don’t yet know.  From here I cannot see how deep they go because the surface life covers them for most of my day.  When the surface life is very smooth and thick, it crates a nice trail to follow that makes me not think about the foundation built below.  Maybe this is because the deep layers really do not matter so long as life is in order.  So I guess this one comes down to this:  When life is good, don’t spoil the fun.

On Work

On Work

An interesting topic to be find myself writing about on a Saturday night, but writing about it seems to be the only way to get it off my mind.  Rework worries me.  I realize that rework is a fact of life and the power to completely eliminate it often is not mine, but It makes me lose confidence in myself.  Since I my current personal goal is to identify and work through all the situations that cause me yo lose confidence in myself, I must focus on rework.

Rework makes me feel like shit.  Like every time something is passed back it is because of some fault of my own and I know that is not true.  It isn’t always my fault and it doesn’t matter whether or not it is anyone’s fault.  But I often blame myself, not cognitively.  The emotional tidal wave hits first, leaving my mind to clean up the wreckage.  It is a mess.  When rework is presented to me I make all sorts of strange comments like, “I thought I checked that.”  I have internal fears that like to suck glory from rework.  Every question someone asks become so sort of validation of my fears.  Luckily I am able to beat my fears off with sticks and direct conversations with superiors (who always tell me I’m doing a good job), but it took years of being exposed to the work world to get this far in my social understanding of the workplace.

I want to be better, and I think the only way to be better is to really take inventory of how often I am given rework and note whether or not it was an error of my own or a defect in the task process.  Also it would help to note how often I procrastinate and subsequently forget what I put off.  Sigh… it never ends….

 

On Getting to Know Someone

On Getting to Know Someone

There is a certain point in the getting-to-know-people stage where they are becoming more and more predictable..and you are aware of this.  Suddenly that surprising phone call is no longer out of the blue, that invitation to hang out has a known end, and those mannerism speak for themselves.  Yep, you’ve just learned their personality.  You’ve got it down.  Now what?

In comes repetition and overlaying experiences.  You mix and mingle until, whoops!  You found out what you don’t like about them.  Oh dear, what a loss, you’re high has just fallen and suddenly all those fun memories have an hazy glow that keeps you from remembering that they were once considered cool.  Suddenly they aren’t cool at all.

Oh no! It isn’t that you realized what you don’t like about the person, you realized that you don’t like the person.  Oh a huge difference.  It is so big and potentially painful to the other party that you couldn’t bare to tell them.  So you keep going, keep answering the phone and hanging out.  After all you know you don’t like them, shouldn’t they too be figuring out that they don’t like you too?  Why is it taking so long?  How do I say no?  Why do they argue every time I say no?  How do I get out of this?  Oh god, I’m going to have to see the person soon and I have nothing to say, nothing I want to say and I don’t even feel like smiling.

Every time you are faced with the person, that first thing that you didn’t like about them becomes them.  It is there, walking by your desk, chatting in your ear, sending lines it text.  The person is no longer the person, they are everything that you do not like about them walking on two legs and they know it.  They must know that no one would ever like all of this.  How could they not know?  This is common sense to me, people don’t treat others so rudely and expect to be liked do they?  I learned this in preschool and they are still behaving this way?  Do people not know what a disgusted facial expression means?  Do they not know what it means to wear such an expression all the time?  They don’t. They don’t know.  Because they don’t know what you know.

But wait, sometimes things go the other way.  Sometimes you realize what you don’t like about someone and they never do it again.  Life just goes on and no one seems to notice.  You were waiting for them to do that annoying thing again and they didn’t.  You even held back to give them extra space to say that annoying word and nothing, there was silence.  or even better, they said something that you liked instead.  How wonderful this person is.

Then it continues for a long time and you realize that this person is stable.  They may do things that you don’t like but not every time and if it is a problem, they don’t hang their souls on the issue, they just do something else.  Ahhh, I see, this person is dynamic.  Those are my types of friends.  Shape shifters who don’t always operate on cue and enjoy having a deep pockets of happy social games to play.  You can still toss a nasty social pitch their way as a test, but you’ll notice that they deflect it with ease.  Instead of saying “you bitch!” they say, “I don’t play that game, but I like you so try another.”

Between the two extremes there ly the, well, inliers.  Those who stay in the gray.  You know enough about them that you know you don’t need to know any more about them.  They get a little annoying sometimes because you can never seem to get to know them enough to know whether you like them or not.  Which, in itself, is probably what you don’t like about them that they keep doing over and over so they really fall into the negative.  But give them a chance because sometimes it is just the situation that drives their behavior.

On feeling like I’ve done something wrong

On feeling like I’ve done something wrong

There are just so many rules in social life to follow… too many rules!  I know them all so well that I am aware of many many opportunities to to break them, but I don’t break them on the world stage.  Instead I break them in my mind.  I play out the entire scene for my own amusement and often detriment.  Generally the penalty for breaking social rules is embarrassment.  If perchance you happen to not get embarrassed then people go out of their way to explain why you should be embarrassed while giving you those looks meant to teach children to behave and conform.  Having broken many social rules, I am conditioned to be highly aware of rules, so aware that I automatically leave social gatherings with a feeling that I did something wrong.  It is an automatic response that typically lasts until I finish reviewing the event for validation of the feeling.  On a good day this feeling doesn’t bother me, but if I have been stressed, hungover, or not feel particularly well, my ability to deflect irrational thoughts decreases and I become unable to shake it off.  Dwelling in these irrational thoughts only makes me feel worse.  Awareness of what is going on helps but doesn’t fully cure my episode of despair.  All I can do is hope that my general sense of well-being returns to brighten my day.

On being allergic to people

On being allergic to people

As social beings, we are naturally inclined to react to other people.  Growing up, we are conditioned on how to behave towards people as well as how to read the basics of communication, yet there is still so much for which our vocabulary is heavily insufficient to explain.  Often people apply all the right rules and following all the social back and forths only to be further away from others than they were when they were strangers.  In all manner of capacity, the cultural social cues should have been enough, but more often than not, they fail us.  In all honesty, human connection is one of the least understood aspects of life, cognitively speaking.  There is no explanation for subtleties affecting why certain people are great friends yet others can’t stand the mere mention of one anothers’ names.  In reality it isn’t the social banter that it important, it is how others make you feel.  There are some of us who are quite sensitive to how other people affect us, meaning our internal reaction to someone’s presence drives whether or not we bother to make contact or continue on with mindless social exercises.  There are many different ways that people make me feel.  Some more pleasant than others.  One feeling in particular is horribly annoying: the allergic reaction.

Like any allergy, it take a few interactions with a person to realize that I am allergic to them.  Once the allergy is full blown, my immune system switches my brain into self preservation mode.  All energy goes into getting as far away from the person as possible.  My vision narrows so that my brain can focus solely on escape routes as well as be unable to make clear eye contact.  My vocal cords tighten to only allow out desperate cries for freedom.  My sinuses tighten so my nervous system can be ready to produce tears in case I really need to show someone how serious I am.  I instinctively want to curl up into a ball by hugging my knees to keep the individual from thinking that I am open to their presence.

I know this is an allergic reaction because once the allergen is gone, I feel relieved that I am able to act normal again.  Like any in any other allergy situation, the best thing for my health is to avoid the allergens, so I do…and guess what?!?!? I’ve been allergy symptom free! 🙂

I think I don’t want to get married

I think I don’t want to get married

I don’t think I want to get married.  It is odd how difficult it is to admit.  All paths on the map to get there are dead ends.  Thinking about it hits my nervous system and almost makes me want to cry.  But I don’t cry, maybe a slight sob will come out.  I’m mourning the loss of my dreams.  At one time I had thought that’s what I wanted.

The next thoughts is, “What am I going to do instead?” I think that’s where the lost cry comes from because I don’t know.  I guess I will just work, save money, travel, enjoy my freedom, continue to dabble in experience with men if I met one who is interesting enough.  That’s all.  It can be summed up that quickly.  Mourning the loss of my dreams because I have out grown them.  I always had difficulty accepting that I have to grow up.  I’m never fully ready for it, usually I’m way past the point when I realize what about me needs to be changed.

I still have some hope that the world with change and I will be able to see things differently, but as far as I can tell, the situation is out of my control.  The guys I like don’t like me, I don’t like the guys who like me, I’m broke, so are they… I don’t enjoy feeling obligated to socialize with people, it exhausts me.  I am happy the way I am with my day to day happenings.  I see dating as a form of prostitution and marriage as a prison where I am damned to be the bitch he cheats on and a surrogate mother he has to ask for permission to stay out late.

On status anxiety

On status anxiety

The world is apparently flattening yet all over I still sense a need in people to cling to old forms of social class structures.  Top schools, top jobs, top companies, top designers, top top top top top.  Are we working for money or recognition?  If someone pays you a salary, you are working class.  If you live paycheck to pay check, regardless of income amount, you are broke.  If your net worth is negative, you are broke.

The standard of living gives people a false sense of social standing.  The ability to talk and act “up” also give a false sense of where they stand.  People aren’t competing against each other, people are competing against what others claim to have or be doing.  There is a big difference, especially if you encounter a habitual exaggerator who defines themselves by their dreams not by their actual accomplishments.  But anyway, why the need to compete after the contest is over?  After the good school, good work experience, good standard of living, etc.  At what point does the competitive drive just allow everyone to kick back and simply enjoy the fruits?

i guess I just want the competitive people to shut up.  It is the noise coming out of their mouth, infecting my ears that irritates me.  For some reason my brain finds meaning in it, fearful meaning.  Perhaps my sensitivity to words is just flaring up again.  The words hit at my insecurity about no being smart enough or good enough.  So whenever I hear the competitive chatter, it gets to me.  I don’t like being taunted, teased, or put down.  Words have meaning and I respect them.  Therefore I don’t use them aggressively unless I mean to, but that doesn’t mean I should expect everyone else to follow my same doctrine.

Harnessing my own insecurity would help.  If I accepted that I am perfectly fine and capable, then I could move on.  I could fill in the empty space were my old insecurity sat with something better that doesn’t listen for fearful confirmation.  I could replace it with confidence and the ability to not need to second guess myself.

On the known world

On the known world

I knowingly bought a ticket to the known world.  The place where all the pieces are planned and mapped out.  Where life doesn’t just happen to you.  Where most attempts to find vibrant life end with a mediocre thought of “at least I tried”.  But I bought the ticket anyway because it is a place where I knew I could sit back, feel normal, and make sense of what I’d been through.  Now that I’ve recuperated internally I’m looking out and I can’t help but struggle with my decision.  I look back and wonder what could have been done differently in all the wildness.  I guess the unrealized sense of a piece of life being over has now become fully realized.  In efforts to create a new plan it makes sense to look back and list out all the dislikes in order to make better decisions for the next round.  This time around, part of me didn’t realize it was over.  Part of me is ready to go, part of me wants to stay, and most of me can’t afford to leave.  All in all, it is good that I stepped on the train, because the known world is good for people who don’t know what to do next yet.

Crush

Crush

Crush always likes to slam into me like a 30 foot tsunami.  I just don’t know what hit me and I don’t see him coming (no pun intended).  His desperation for a home is a result of my desperation for autonomy.  I say he is “desperate” because his fancy takes such a wide variation of forms, so wide that I couldn’t possibly choose just one.  I love them all (all meaning foreign ones, domestics are just pass times).  He makes me love the way they speak, the words they say, the tone they use, the stuff I would normally shun, the actions they so easily express without asking…I love it all.  I want to take it home with me.  Nurture it and live off it to the point where I am completely dependent on it.

Sadly crush doesn’t stay in one place for long.  His constant shifts sadden me.  But in my deepest, darkest despair over what I can’t have there is always a little light checking in.  He feeds me attention when I least expect it.  He actually gives me hope…. but I think it is just crush in friend’s clothing…