Category Archives: Patterns

On Overcoming Rivals

On Overcoming Rivals

I never thought of myself as a competitive person because I saw how much more competitive many others were than me.  I never cared to win much at sports or other “see who is best” events.  Maybe it was because the effects of losing didn’t last long or I’d just rather not dive to the ground just to keep a ball in the air.  Regardless, I did engaged in my own competitions from time to time, but they weren’t always so sportly structured.

Often my rivals were simply my friends in school.  We were all trying our best to get good grades and we were all in the same boat when it came to intelligence, so it was often a close call.  I only had to win by a few inches, not cram for a whole mile.

Other rivals were family members of a similar age vying for attention or adoration from the adults, which we were never actually starved for.

These competitions were constant throughout childhood.  As I got older and became aware of these behaviors, I realized that the scars I was accumulating and causing were not longer a result of healthy competition.  It was down right mean.

Though all of this I always thought of myself as a nice person.  I was at heart a people pleaser to the point where I put other people’s wants above my own.  But I wasn’t fully a nice person.  I inflicted social pain on others when they didn’t even know there was a competition.  I felt triumphant when I finally felt better than a specific person.

Then I looked back and realized that they were just being themselves, reacting to the world, looking for a friend.  Here I was jealous of their natural advantages, needing to prove myself when my friend just stood there defeated by my behavior.

Its been over 10 years since I had this realization.  I’ve since made new friends who were so beyond my own situation in life that I felt no need to compete.  We are simply not comparable because we play life in completely different arenas with completely different rules.  We can simply talk about life and try to understand each other without one-upping.

I still encounter my old rivals, often with compassion and guilt over having “beat” them when they were already too far down to fight.  Others, I just avoid, having never settled the score.

When there is nothing insightful

When there is nothing insightful

When there is nothing insightful it is all just a stark and barren rain forest.  Emotions are there, they well up and sometimes explode like oil wells or even old faithful.  Urges to make human connections are fleeting.  One moment a person’s voice or advice sounds wonderful, the next I forget I even thought of them while I watch a TV show to study more multiple choice questions.  Life has lost its color despite the blooming fresh lilies along the train track alleyways.  One week the future is dark and grim the next I feel I have all the tools I need to handle anything that comes my way.  There is no real way to set a forecast and get on with life.  The transition point is this starkness that persists like my day job.  A place where everyone does things not because they actually want to, but because the place exists and needs cleaning.

When there is nothing insightful the arts simply look like that belong there as some natural excrement of the human condition.  Just pushed aside or into the background to add characterization to the flat tones of life.

When there is nothing insightful I miss my grandmothers and grandfathers.  I wonder what they would have had to tell me about being bored and still broke in my 30s.  I miss their quirks and rules of thumb.  Their funny ways of saying things replay in my head and I just want to hug them and rebuild a relationship with them.  But they are gone so my thoughts go on to everything else in life that is out of my reach.  The lack of skill needed to finish projects, lack of caring about helping fellow humans, lack of a need to progress to another stage of adulthood that I was conditioned to believe is the natural progression, lack lack lack.  It all comes down to what I don’t have then to what else I could lose.

It is the only bubble that I’ve ever known that is changing form.  Many things still look that same but the responsibility for it is more on my shoulders therefore I interact with it more.  I never even knew it was protecting me, I just thought that was life, but the world is much bigger now.  With my new view I am able to imagine myself outside of that protective bubble, though I am not scared, I am nostalgic and sad for a better time when there weren’t so many people out to take me for a fool.

 

The bad friend

The bad friend

I am a bad friend.

All her friends have always said so.

When she was nine, her best friend told her she was a bad friend because she wore glasses.

When she was 12, a friend told her she was bad because her braces and mouth retainer made her breath smell.

When she was 15, she was a bad friend for standing up for her boyfriend.

When she was 18, she was a bad friend for not being friends with a girl she hadn’t spoken to in two years.

When she was 21, she was a bad friend for not saying hello to a friend of a friend who really needed people to be nice to her.

When she was 24, she was a bad friend for not keeping in contact for the few weeks she went home to help her dad recover from heart surgery.

When she was 27, she wasn’t a bad friend because she had given up on having friends.

When she was 30 she was a bad friend for always calling another friend in the evening after a few drinks.

At least she’s got a few years before someone blames her for trying to be friends with them.

On Depression as a Matter of Belief

On Depression as a Matter of Belief

Depression is a matter of belief.  Belief that all your worst fears will come true and that you are powerless to do anything to stop the ship from sinking.  Your future is played in your mind-screen as a projection where all the negatives from your current situation are amplified.  No thought is given that things won’t get that bad.  It is a survival mechanism gone faulty.  True we need to know what seedlings will grow into something poisonous, but not everything is bad.  Depression lays with superstition in that it needs no evidence, not display of physical law to prove that the future is unpredictable.   It is evil in the sense that it relies on the great unknown as proof of one’s powerlessness.

“How could I, a single human, fight the great unknown?” I ask myself in despair.  My first response is to shine light on the unknown and then know it.  But the unknowns are infinite in number and strength.  The process of getting to know an unknown leads to the discovery of more and more unknowns.  The never ending chase leads to exhaustion and then more reliance on depression’s comfortable embrace for sustenance to one’s self feeling good enough again before plunging back down into its depths.

Only once depression subsides (or it lets me take a break) do I get to a point where I can reflect on it as if it were one single packet of time.  Seeing depression for what it is helps me to combat it every time, but each new spring leads eventually to a new winter.  Feeling better just makes me wonder what darkness I will have to combat with in the future.  So I scan my environment, on edge waiting for my next trigger.  Picking up signals and using my imagination, as I walk along the streets I project what an evil seed would look like if it were to grow into a full sized monster.  Then suddenly, I am there again, forecasting my future using my everyday routine as a mechanism to prove that my worst fears will one day come true.  Not only do I waste all my time worrying about all the things that will never happen to me, I feel my hopes and dream ly in that same category as fantasies that I can never achieve.

Depression inverts fears and dreams.  It makes me believe my fears will come true and my desires won’t, even though there is simply no way of knowing what will happen.

On shooting yourself in the foot

On shooting yourself in the foot

Yesterday I faced myself as a loser, today I’ve accepted that I’m actually not very smart.  When I go at my own pace and can sort through dilemmas and problems in my own logical order, I make good decisions.  Toss in time constraints and add some pressure and my decision making skills leave me flat on my ass.

The heat suddenly turned up and I started seeing a mirage.  The devil showed me an image of everything I ever wanted and by pointing myself toward his smoke and mirrors, I shot myself in the foot.

The devil is gone and with him went the perfectly good opportunity I tricked myself into not wanting.  So I sit here no further along in my search than when I started just more bored and pissed at my situation.

Yes there are things to do and ways to pass time and keep busy.  But after a few credentials I’ve realized that there is no golden ticket.  All my work has gotten me no where more than to a place where I still make bad decisions under pressure.

 

 

 

My Puppy

My Puppy

I cry for her before she’s gone, My puppy.

She’s not a puppy anymore.  I won’t have her forever.

Is she my favorite of the dogs of my lifetime?  Perhaps yes perhaps no.

I will never say, who could ever compare, they are all my favorites.

I love them all so so deeply.

Just one for a lifetime, that’s all I need, but I am blessed with many.

Only a very few so far.

I can do the math.

One day my puppy will be gone.

I will have a new puppy, of any age, that I will also fall in love with.

I will keep her also until her dying day.

I bare this burn of mourning, perhaps too young.

It is easy with humans, they often bring death upon themselves.

Through old age or stupidity or mismanagement of the body.

But puppies, oh if I could have them all back.

I’d keep them forever.

They don’t know any better and they are so loveable.

I cry for her in advance, not because I expect she’ll be gone soon, but because I miss all the rest of my little sisters.

Such sweetness and fun lost yet more born to find.

 

 

People who don’t like being told what to do

People who don’t like being told what to do

I have a never ending fondness for learning new and better ways of doing things.  It makes life continually fascinating to look back at what once made sense and think, “what was I thinking?”  I find it hilarious and entertaining.  Generally I accept advice for my problems positively if the advice really does solve a problem better.  Not everyone does.

I remember old friends pointing out, in a moment of complete frustration, that I am always telling them what to do.  I think there was a disconnect.  Obviously I didn’t always tell them what to do, but if I did it is because I notice that they are struggling with the output of some sort of task and they were constantly complaining that something wasn’t working right.  As a friend, I thought it natural to share a method that worked for me.

These individuals don’t see it that way.  They don’t see advice or opinion as friendly unless they directly asked for it.  Some have inferiority complexes where in they interpret the words “I know a better way” as “you are always doing everything wrong”.  This causes them to get defensive towards the good intention tossed their way.

Some, not all, dislike being “told what to do” so much that they will purposely not follow advice to their own detriment.  They value the liberty in their decision making above seeking the best methods of taking care of oneself.  It is a social disorder in the sense that they will eat unhealthy food because of who told them to eat healthy food instead.  There is no recourse to why they should eat healthy food in their brains.  Until they personally decide to make an effort to keep themselves healthy, they will not take any advice on the subject.  But once the decision is made, suddenly my advice is soaked up like a sponge.

Because of this strange internal switch, I find these people very difficult to be friends with, therefore I avoid them like the plague. This saves me the lecture because when I hear the words: “stop telling me what to do”, I really hear, “you’re a horrible friend.”

On Money

On Money

Greed.  That word, that sinful word.  It’s meaning is out of style, like the idea that college is the key to success.  Everyone knows it, yet people keep throwing money at it.  Appealing to a persons sense of greed is the best way to scam money out of them.  They know that greed is bad and their self flagulative instincts don’t want a lashing!

There is nothing wrong with wanting money.  It is the only tangible proof that I existed during all those hours of modern day slavery, modern day “show up and do what we tell you, or else!”  It is slavery, because I go through all of this in life to get by and then, at the end, I am faced with a green image of me in the mirror.   An image telling me that I shouldn’t have wanted this because now I am greedy.

It isn’t the afterlife that will haunt you.  Christians got it wrong, they want to ignore too much.  There is much more going on.  They want you to stay in the bubble of purity where you won’t feel the harshness since you will have done no so-called wrong.  Feel it, for is exists.  I have greed, I have hunger, I want more because I don’t have enough.  If I tried to hide it it would show up in some other way, probably on my hips.  If I had enough, and still wanted more, then the more negative connotation could apply, but, most people I know are not there, yet they are referred to as greedy.  This is a problem because they feel that they are asking for too much, yet they have not asked for enough because they fear being labeled as greedy.

Don’t be greedy, give!  Get our numbers high!

On feeling emotionally blocked

On feeling emotionally blocked

I’m blocked.  I can’t finish anything, I can’t hold on to excitement for anything for more than a few weeks (the new boyfriend as the only exception).  Maybe it is just him that I want to focus on and it just makes everything else seem so blah.

I have all these ideas in my free time but I keep getting interrupted by work, family, friends… my real life.  My dream world receives no steady fuel, just stark reality.  I have no hope for excitement arriving in the near future.  Real world goals are not easy.  They are not laid out on a neat syllabus with set milestones for results.  Moral causes are immediately rationalized away as life rolls over them.

I know too much.  I see the next step in everything I have enjoyed and I cannot get there in any of them:

Dancing – teach, make costumes, and travel

Fashion – have a clothing company

reading/writing – write stories

Education – PhD

Career – CPA

Music – learn more about it and put together good performance music

Photography/Videography – learn to put it all together

Travel – need a profitable plan

Yoga is the only place where I have no place else to move forward with.  I think that is the essence of Yoga though to move peacefully with it.  Knowing that in itself make me feel I am at a progressive pace with it.

There is something about the next step in all that I listed above that shuts me down and makes me feel lazy.  It is too hard and I don’t trust myself to have the stamina to follow through.  In some areas I feel I need more education, like a fashion degree, to get me immersed in the culture of things.  But I have taken so so many classes and have a hard time showing up to all of them.  I feel compelled to rebel against the system in place and must gather my freedom.

In many ways I would only be taking a next step for myself with my own money.  That was a down fall of the CPA exam part II failure.  I had no one to be accountable to except myself and I was willing to waste more money on the task just to test my ability to focus. Sigh.  Honestly I don’t even like accounting.  It drains me but pays my bills, so getting my CPA is a difficult task because the subject is just like work and I can’t focus on that stuff for so much of my day.

I need to play.  That need counters my need for goals and productive routines.  I need to play.  It comes down to productive play… Maybe I’ll just let it all go and keep playing for the sake of playing.  Eventually I’ll get over my need to be productive in my free time.  I just wish that work didn’t suck up so much of my productivity and drive.  It could go two ways: 1) just accept it and put more energy into work, or 2) Keep stressing myself out and battling myself in my free time.

I don’t see a clear way out while I’m enslaved to my bills.  6 more months of debt to go.  I just need to remember to make life as awesome as possible in the mean time. Which in itself is another difficult task to add to my list.