Thursday, April 20, 2017

Take Me Back to the Night We Met


Three years.

That's a bad number for me.
I can't ever seem to make a relationship last longer than three years. Three and a half at the most.

In about one month we'll have been together three years.

This past year has been rocky. Moving to Boston was a challenge by itself. Its been a long year of adjustment, but now we're comfortably settled in and life is progressing. Life is comfortable.

Only now that stability is threatened again. More change is in the future, and time will tell if we make it through. I may have the opportunity to move somewhere amazing. Somewhere further than I've ever been, and if I DO get this offer, its one I can't refuse. I wont refuse.

If I was a different person... if I was the person I was before my last relationship, I wouldn't take it. I would tell him: "Ask me to stay here and I will. I'll give up everything else just to stay with you."

But I can't now. I've spent my most of my life sacrificing my happiness and opportunities for others. I can't do it anymore, not for something this big. I feel bad that he missed out on being with that person, because that person would stay.

But I know, that despite that, he would never ask me to. But isn't that quality what makes him worth staying for?

I recently had a friend tell me:
"what you've done with your life since I've known you is impressive"

I love who I am. I love who I've become, and everything I've done with my life in the last three years. Most of the pent-up anger and regret that I have from the past isn't from the actions of other people - its at myself, for having put up with it for so long. For having allowed others to hurt me for so long, and not being stronger.

Well now I'm stronger. And that very strength might be what causes me to lose him.

Because like me, he'll do whats best for him.





I am not the only traveler
Who has not repaid his debt
I've been searching for a trail to follow again
Take me back to the night we met

And then I can tell myself
What the hell I'm supposed to do
And then I can tell myself
Not to ride along with you

I had all and then most of you
Some and now none of you
Take me back to the night we met
I don't know what I'm supposed to do

Haunted by the ghost of you
Oh, take me back to the night we met
When the night was full of terrors
And your eyes were filled with tears

When you had not touched me yet
Oh, take me back to the night we met
I had all and then most of you
Some and now none of you

Take me back to the night we met
I don't know what I'm supposed to do
Haunted by the ghost of you
Take me back to the night we met

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Ends of the Earth

Ends of the Earth 
 Lord Huron

Oh, there's a river that winds on forever
I'm gonna see where it leads
Oh, there's a mountain that no man has mounted
I'm gonna stand on the peak

Out there's a land that time don't command
Wanna be the first to arrive
No time for ponderin' why I'm-a wanderin'
Not while we're both still alive

To the ends of the earth, would you follow me
There's a world that was meant for our eyes to see
To the ends of the earth, would you follow me
If you will have a say my goodbyes to me

Oh, there's an island where all things are silent
I'm gonna whistle a tune
Oh, there's a desert that size can't be measured
I'm gonna count all the dunes

Out there's a a world that calls for me, girl
Headin' out into the unknown
Well if there are strangers, and all kinds of danger
Please…

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Perfect Moments

I've had several perfect moments in my life. In that respect I consider myself fortunate. Most of them have been alone. Once when I was reading a good book with my cat on my lap - it was raining outside and I had a fire going in the fireplace. A few times on my road trip across the U.S. On a day off during a slow morning with a delicious breakfast.

I had one last night too.

Christian and I went to the bar to try a new craft brew that supposedly paired well with butter cookies (spoiler: it did!). The hum of conversation got lower as we sank into our books, enjoying our drinks. No one bothered us. No one asked us what books we were reading or even commented on them. We started chatting about the "story behind the story" and what the authors are trying to convey. Is it best to know the reasoning of the author before reading the book? Should you know their history and lifestyle? Or should you just enjoy the story at face value and find your own interpretation?

I always favor the latter method, then read the author's story later. I can still enjoy the book as-is and benefit from analyzing it later.

The discussion moved on to reading books at different points in your life, and getting different meanings from it. Its fascinating how your perspective changes as you get older.

I found myself caught up in every detail, trying to memorize the moment. I always do my best to stay in the moment, but right then I couldn't. I was completely outside it; as if I was reminiscing about something that was currently taking place. I wanted to count every freckle on his face and measure every hair. I wanted to touch him and yet I couldn't bring myself to move. Everything was perfect, and I didn't want to let go of it, and moving felt like it would break the spell. The Kamakawiwo╩╗ole version of  "What a Wonderful World" was playing as the hum of the crowd died down. He was lovely; this whole moment was lovely. I could still taste the lingering beer on my tongue and feel the dryness of the paper of my book. I wanted to make sure I would never forget it.

In that moment I was just exquisitely happy.

And then it passed.

And everything continued being wonderful.

Monday, December 19, 2016

If a cat were an anxiety attack

Imagine, if you will, a cat lurking around the corner. You know its there, but it either doesn't know or doesn't care that you can see it. It crouches low, excited at your presence. Flattening itself to the ground, it briefly does its little butt wiggle, adjusting right before the pounce. You keep walking, amused, seeing it coming. Then it pounces! Dashing out from behind the corner, it runs straight at you. You take another step as it aims for your ankle. It grabs at you for less than a second before sprinting off, feeling successful in its attempt. You are thrown off balance for a moment, but let out a small chuckle and keep walking.

Thats what happened to me last night, minus the amusement and humor.

A full out anxiety attack is like being mauled by a tiger while chained to a wall. You can see it coming. but you can't do anything about it. Such it was in this case, except its was confusingly small and out of place. It had all the hallmarks of an anxiety attack (the illogical and uncontrollable tears, misplaced anger, fear, and hatred, plus breathing difficulty) but on a much smaller scale. I was crying, but quietly. Tears were flowing at a moderately heavy rate, but I wasn't sobbing or gasping. They were just there, and when I first noticed them I was confused at their appearance. Then the emotions set in - irrational anger, mostly. I became stuck in horrid memories, sitting in loop of anger produced by memories, then anger as a result from memories. Only, rather than building, it was maintaining at a regular pace. The emotions themselves would change around from shame, fear, hatred, and others (all negative) but all roughly at the same level.

It took me a moment to even realize it was an anxiety attack. It started after laying in bed for a while, trying to fall asleep. Then suddenly I was crying. I woke up Christian briefly to incoherently ramble that I was "feeling out of it" before moving to the livingroom. Now that I had the permission of solitude, I started feeling it more. The weight on my chest, the "locked in my brain" feeling. Still very small and subdued. I could breathe, but it felt like at any minute I would loose my breath. I never did, but that uncertainty was killing me.

I laid down on the floor and stretched out, breathing deep. It was hard to gauge the passage of time, but it wasn't too long before I started feeling better. I sat up and meditated for a time, regulating my breath and trying to focus on positive thoughts instead of hateful ones. That last part was the most difficult, and I beat myself up a little for not having kept a better meditation schedule over the past few months. Still, I came back around and hopped back in bed. It still took me a while to fall asleep, but the event was over.

Definitely a strange one.


Monday, November 14, 2016

Hallelujah

It's been a rough week.

That sounds like such a petty comment to encompass everything that's happened. I've never been that great with words.. I usually prefer visual expressions of my thoughts and feelings. That's actually part of why I started up this blog. I need a place to practice expressing my thoughts in a cohesive manner. Just don't put me on the spot if you want to have a discussion in person :) That's the best way to get me to clam up and go into introvert mode.

On Tuesday November 8th I felt tired. The last two years of discourse was coming to a head, and I was having a hard time being optimistic. I had already lost Bernie. I felt dirty for voting for Hilary. I can go into the nuances of this... but after two years of doing so I'm sort of done. Now that I live in Eastern Standard Time, I knew that I wasn't going to make it to the end of the election results. So around 11pm I laid down in bed, and tried to sleep.

When I woke before my alarm the next morning, I sat up and checked my phone for the results. I had a groggy and uncertain moment where I wasn't sure if I was still dreaming. I wasn't surprised, and yet I was at the same time. I was trying to hold out faith that most Americans were still good, decent people, who could spot a pandering fear-monger a mile away. And in a way, most people still are.

Unable to go back to sleep, I got up and went to my computer, browsing for more information. I found a new chrome app that points out biased news websites (as best as possible) and wished fervently that it had been developed sooner. I read articles trying to understand how we got here and articles that tried developing an empathy with rural culture.

I get it. People in rural America felt ignored and forgotten. But instead of doing something positive about it - like producing a positive movement to call attention to their plight - they bitched about the movements of others. They bitched about the BLM movement and the SJW community. They complained about how awful everything is and how no one loves them. They belittled anyone around them who tried to make their own worlds better, and pushed this "just suck it up" mentality, instead of working toward real improvements. If they weren't such patronizing assholes about it, they might have gotten people to listen.

They were entirely reactionary. When the BLM came about, they made "Blue lives matter" failing to see the irony in picking one color, as if other occupations don't matter. Luckily for those blue lives, an occupation is something you get to choose. When women talk about the problems they face every day, the Meninist movement started as a response. All I ever hear from these bitter, selfish people, is "what about me?"

Well what about you? If you were unhappy with the conditions of your existence, why didn't you start a movement to change it on your own, and NOT as a response to someone else trying to make their own situation better? Why do you have to deny and belittle the problems other people face, in order to make your own seem more valid? Do you go to breast cancer rallies and say "but what about prostate cancer?"

Another thing I don't understand, is why they think a 1%-er billionaire with multiple failed businesses actually cares about the working class. Why do they have any reason to believe he would do anything for them at all?

To quote a recent Cracked article: 

"With the morning came new rhetoric: Affluent liberals are over-dramatic spoiled children who finally get to know what it feels like to lose. The bubble we've all created around ourselves has burst, and now we are faced with the bleak, dying sections of unhappy rural America who'd rather burn the system to the ground than suffer through another four years of being ignored. 

But that rhetoric, like a lot of things in your life I'm now realizing, ignores a lingering and ruthlessly unfair problem: We would rather have an unqualified man who grabs, rapes, violates, bullies, and dehumanizes women as our leader than a uniquely qualified woman."

I was feeling all of the above on Wednesday morning, I just couldn't put it into words. When my partner woke and came to check on me, he held me tightly as I quietly sobbed. I was heartbroken, and I wasn't able to explain why. I wasn't able to explain what this meant for me. For the people I loved.

It seemed that the media was taking Trump literally, but not seriously. It seemed that his followers were taking him seriously but not literally. All of the arguments I hear defending his blatant fear-mongering, racism, xenophobia, religious bigotry, anti-equality messages, misogyny, and unashamed disrespect for our veterans never sound like enough of a reason to justify a vote. They were all shrugged off with comments like "he doesn't mean it" or "don't take him seriously." Don't take him seriously? This guy is now our president elect. Why would you vote for someone you don't take seriously? Or is it like the bible, in that you get to pick and choose what is "important" and ignore the rest? You can use specific passages to reinforce your homophobia, but we don't talk about the part where your daughter's rapist has to marry her and pay the father 30 silver for it. Who gets to decide what he really means when he's speaking? You?

How could the media take him seriously, anyway? A man who (allegedly - to be fair, this was unproven) has no idea why we can't use nukes suddenly wants to run the country. A man you can bait with a tweet, yet continues to claim he has a great temperament. A man whose inconsistency his followers continue to praise, because he "keeps the establishment on edge."

I'm not saying any of this in defense of Hillary. The DNC is shit and I was a registered Independent until Bernie ran in the primaries, when I changed to Democrat. I can't stand two party politics, and it needs to be abolished all together.

But a vote for Trump is a vote against so much that truly makes America great. Its a vote against women and minorities. Its a vote against the queer community and non-christian religions. Its a vote against diversity and education. Against safe birth control and health care of all forms. Its a selfish vote. Because even if Trump does something to make your life a little better - he's making it far worse for everyone else.

If he actually sticks to his word. If there is anything to be afraid of with Trumps rhetoric, its that he will either continue to act as he has during his campaign, or that he will suddenly shift.


***
That night we went into the city. Things were tense everywhere, and there was definitely a pal over people. Then again, I could have just been projecting all of that. Who knows?

We briefly joined a DAPL protest but it was difficult to make anything out. Mostly we had gone into the city to see Pentatonix. I had been listening to their version of Hallelujah  since the day it came out, and fervently hoped they would sing it live. I had been stalking their set-lists from previous shows, and it looked like it wasn't included.

Then against all hope, they paused and addressed the crowd. Making sure not to bring up politics specifically, they made a vague comment about staying strong during hard times, and to be positive even when things are at their worst. Then they sang it.

I started sobbing. I ugly cried as I sang along. It was moving and beautiful and dreadful. And cathartic.

After that they exited the stage, returning a moment later for the encore. They asked the entire audience to be silent, because they would be singing their next song without mics at all. It was deadly quite as they broke into a song of their own: Light in the Hallway. I've never seen a theater so quiet.

The next day, the death of Leonard Cohen hit the news. What timing.

Over the weekend I went easy on myself. I tried staying off social media for a bit, and got some rest in. I'm still not sleeping that well, but I'm trying to eat healthy. This was supposed to be my "hardcore" month, but I've been failing miserably. I'm trying to be kind to myself.

This week I feel a bit more ready. I made it to the gym this morning, and ate my healthy lunch. I switched languages from Italian to German this weekend too. With so many new game design companies popping up in Germany, I felt it might be worth my time. I'm not of the "bail America" mindset, but I want to keep my options open. One thing I definitely need to do is get an IUD before my healthcare changes... hopefully it wont change at all, but I've been on the pill for about half my life. I've been meaning to try something new for a while - this just gives me the kick in the butt to look into it.

Life keeps moving forward.








Monday, November 7, 2016

Good days and bad days

Ugh I ate like crap today.

I'm trying not to beat myself up over it. My health routine has been going so well, but this month was supposed to be hardcore. November is "stick to the plan" month. I only allow myself three meals per week where I don't stick to my eating habits. Friday night was a Burger King burger. Saturday was a sushi lunch at the mall, with a filler snack of a Taco Bell nacho cheese taco. Then on Sunday we skipped dinner and went straight to desert with a chocolate mousse. I was content and made all my healthy lunches for the week. I was prepped.

Then my boss brought in cupcakes from his wife's baby shower. Then a coworker had some jelly-filled cookie thing. I had my healthy breakfast and lunch, but felt awful when I got home. Being extra menstrual didn't help. My headaches and cramping have been rough today, and only amplified when I got home. Just the thought of practicing violin made my head pound.

Then my "fuck-it" attitude took over. I sat down at my computer with some popcorn and a soda, ready to watch a marathon of Skyrim videos I'd been saving. I made it through one before my belly was hurting from both cramps and my shitty diet.

Now I just want to relax and read.

Tomorrow being election day isn't helping me either. Thats a whole other headache.



Thursday, October 27, 2016

Oops I art-ed

Yay update!

Its been a pretty rough Inktober for me. I started out strong for the first 5-6 days.

Then suddenly my hard drive failed.

I fiddled with it for days, trying to recover anything. But it looks like I'll have to take it to a professional service... maybe in a few years when I can afford it.

Then I tried reinstalling Windows 7, just to have a clean start with a new hard drive. Days later, it was refusing to download any updates. Manually downloaded updates would refuse to install. I couldn't get my tablet drivers to work without the most current Windows updates, even with Service Pack 1.

I even took it to my IT team at work, and they couldn't do a thing.

So in the end I was forced to upgrade to Windows 10. I felt used and degraded. Microsoft had won.

At least now I'm functional again. My OS is on a solid state hard drive, and my new 2TB hard drive is depressingly empty. I wanted to set up a separate solid state hard drive as my backup drive, but it wasn't working with the dock I had. I was too tired to keep fiddling with it.

In the meantime, I was still manually inking my work, rather than digitally. I didn't miss a day...

...Until about ten days ago, when I threw up my hands with a "fuck it" and played video games for hours. I had burnt out. I was done.

I've been burning out more and more frequently the last few months. I LOVE having so many hobbies and projects to work on, but I set too many at once and I crash really fast. Between tracking my fitness, playing violin, learning Italian, and creating art, I had reached a wall. Instead of tapering off I had stopped doing all of that for three days and set up a new Minecraft server. It was the middle of October in beautiful New England, and I didn't want to leave the house for two weekends in a row. I wanted to watch Star Trek and game. I also started playing Fallout 3 :)

After my brain reset I started planning again. I'm not signing up for Violin again in the spring - I'll take a semester off and just play when I feel like it. I'll most likely sign up again in the fall of 2017. I'll art with less pressure, and take more time to read at the end of the night in order to wind down. I'll reduce my Italian time to Duolingo and save my Italianpod101 lessons for another time, or when I feel like casually listening during a workout or commute.

My diet has been great though! I've gone down about 10lbs in the past three months. I'm proceeding at a great pace and not stressing out about it. I stick to my three non-healthy meals each week in order to keep from going insane. I've switched from Nerd Fitness workouts to my physical therapy regime in order to focus on my back health, but I still follow NF principles and blog updates. My arms are getting pretty beefy :)

Moving into November my first priority will be fitness. I'm doing well, and I refuse to let myself go "fuck-it" about that. Not again. I want to improve my pushups. I want to DO a pullup. I want better endurance and smaller tits, so I can go running without dying. I hate running, but I think I only hate it because I barely ever make progress and I'm embarrassingly slow. With 20 fewer pounds on my chest I think I'll be able to breathe better, at least. I want to get back into boxing and have a use for my fitness. Put my body to a purpose.

I feel good now. I did my fitness routine this morning, and my duolingo at lunch. I'm in a great mental place, and look forward to creating more art when I get home.