Thursday, March 31, 2016
A couple months ago I felt like I was going crazy. I was having trouble trusting my partner, and now in hindsight, I know it's because he was gas-lighting me. I was right to feel like something was wrong, but because he insisted that everything was fine and was still effectively hiding the problem, I turned inward for the resolution. And so, I turned to my trusty notebook to organize my thoughts and get them out of my head. Often in these situations it helps to intellectualize it rather than just sitting with a bunch of emotional garbage, and having it all out on paper can be really clarifying.
I think it was late January that I made a list of what I thought were damaging patterns on my part: making assumptions, fixating on undesirable possibilities, being distrustful, "Not believing that I'm worth change and therefore not believing that change is possible." Ugh, that one. I made a list of exercises and replacement thought habits, and a list of boundaries that I should be mindful of. Don't try to control or monitor, don't obsess, try to put yourself in their shoes. etc. And then, because I am always prepared, I made a note to myself under the header "Worst Case Scenarios."
It reads "If I get duped, lied to, betrayed. I will still be ok. I will have the strength to move on and honor myself. If my needs are too much trouble for someone to meet, I will still be ok. That's their prerogative and I do not need to shrink to accommodate someone else. Needs are just that. I will still be ok. I will thrive."
It's almost like I knew. Because.. I kind of did. And I am thriving.
Wednesday, March 30, 2016
So, officially, I am absolving myself of the stress that comes with this obligation. I do still intend to complete my hundred days. And I still intend to post every day. But, if circumstance or tiredness or forgetfulness prevents that now and again I will not be beating myself up about it. A friend pointed out today that the point is not the project itself but the things that surface when one is prompted to write daily.
I have been really busy lately with living life. Doing fun things with old friends, new friends, putting my new life together. Buying things I sort of need (more on that later). I started watching Sex and the City, which I'd only ever seen a couple episodes of, at the
At any rate, I'm still here. I'll still post. But I won't be guilt tripping myself over this damned thing. I've cut off human relationships for less, why would I do it to myself.
Monday, March 28, 2016
Sunday, March 27, 2016
Ah, the sweet smell of closure. It smells like new furniture, sounds like an empty spare room, and looks like needing to buy a tv.
I am fortunate to have a great group of friends who have my back. A couple of them took shifts keeping me company as I waited for the moving chaos to be complete and for my new bedroom furniture ro be delivered.
The transition was not unpleasant. Everyone was cordial and we even shared a round of mimosas. Perhaps the most amicable post-breakup move-out I've ever seen. Cheers to taking the high road.
Friday, March 25, 2016
"The answer is easy if you take it logically
I'd like to help you in your struggle to be free
There must be fifty ways to leave your lover"
Trouble is, when you own the house, they have to leave. Please do, drop off the key, Lee, and set me free. Tomorrow I get to have my house back. I have been overlooking the room full of his things and getting on with my days, not really thinking about it but today I realized it was all kind of coming to a head finally and tomorrow I get to have closure and can actually move forward with my life.
At an earlier point in my life I probably would have looked at the situation, stony-faced and jaw clenched insisting that I'm fine and that none of this really bothers me. And while I really am fine and it doesn't bother me as a thing that's happening, I have to acknowledge that standing by as a person I once loved moves his belongings from my home is going to result in my being affected. Nothing that might make me reconsider, of course, but it's like picking a scab that had the last 20 days to start healing.
Fortunately, this is it. No "I have nowhere to put the piano" or "there's this one thing I missed" because it's all packed and organized and ready to go. No foot in the door, loose ends or hangers on. I don't have to feel this anxiety over dealing with this situation at all after tomorrow. The day before Easter. Fitting, I think. Resurrecting something for the sake of bettering things in the long run. That's kind of a stretch, but I'm not religious anyway.
I have the broom ready for the dust bunnies, and the sage ready for the juju tumbleweeds.
Thursday, March 24, 2016
Wednesday, March 23, 2016
I'm not sure what to write about today. I feel like I'm too busy living to spend any energy on reflecting. I'm existing in a state of acceptable chaos. That's saying something, since I normally prefer to keep the chaos to a minimum.
I've been encountering women who've been through similar situations. It's surprising how common it is. I have been kind of regarding it as something to shy away from in conversations with new people, in a "tuck in the crazy" sort of maneuver.
I am usually an open book but have been trying to practice not baring all the deep dark secrets of my life to anyone who asks. It's not really anyone's business necessarily, and while my experience is my story to tell if I decide to, there's something to be said for leaving some things mysterious. It's an odd balance between being myself and metering information. Figure I might as well try a new approach.
There are very few things I do every single day. Hygienic things, sure, but aside from that.. my habits vary. I do really well with having a routine, however, my routine was disrupted and I'm still working on establishing a new one. Actually that's not entirely true. I'm not trying that hard to establish a new routine. I'm not accountable to anyone but myself right now and I'm kind of reveling in that, and enjoying the freedom and spontaneity it offers.
In fact, I have been actively seeking out opportunities for new experiences, new people, a break from the norm. It wasn't a conscious decision so much as a kneejerk reaction to chaos and discomfort. I'd rather lean into the chaos and find a way to make it mine instead of allowing it be be inflicted upon me. Bending so as not to break.. or something like that. Indulgences are entertained, sleep is shrugged off (until I need to be up in the morning for work.. *yawn*) and I become a more adventurous and less hyper-responsible version of myself.
I'm sure it'll even out. But, this time it needs to even out absent the influence of having a person to anchor to. I mentioned in a previous post that I go a little crazy when I'm single. The thing is, I historically have not stayed single long. I have been single for less than a year, cumulatively, in my entire adult life. A couple months when I was 18, three-ish months when I was 20, one month when I was 27.
And now here I am. Single again and tired of doing the same things over and over. Tired of going all-in with guys who didn't deserve that level of commitment from me, but got it anyway because I didn't know how else to be in a relationship. I'm a year and a half away from 30, I'm a homeowner, I have a good job and a semi-clear career path, and I know the tricks to opening a tough jar on my own. I don't need a man (or a parent, or a friend or benefactor) to cover my expenses, reach the tall shelves or make me feel valued. I value myself.
That said, companionship is fun, as are flirting and intimacy and all the components that go into dating and courtship. My goal is to approach these things in a way that allows them to be abundant in my life, but doesn't compromise what I deserve or my decision to live alone until I'm at least 30. I have been exercising my newly acquired skill of dismissing men who might be nice but aren't right for me. The long ingrained rule 'be polite, don't hurt anyone's feelings' was a detriment to standing up for what I want for a long while. It still doesn't come super easily, but I'm getting more comfortable with doing it. It's a necessary evil.
Anyway, this was a bit of a ramble, but it's a post, which is more than I managed yesterday. Cheers to doing it better.
Monday, March 21, 2016
Sunday, March 20, 2016
Friday, March 18, 2016
"I want to get into modeling so I can prove my parents wrong" she half yelled over the din of the crowded bar as she marked a tally indicating this was her 7th shot of tequila on her inner wrist, next to the daintily scripted "faith" tattoo. "They told me I'm not pretty enough to be a model." "Oh, wow, really?" I shook my head and continued sipping my first beer of the night. I shuffled around in the little footprint of real estate I'd carved for myself, occasionally nodding 90s R&B jams and shifting to avoid the contact of men with no regard for personal space or the inappropriateness of touching strangers.
What seemed a while but was probably really only about an hour and a half later, I bellied up to the bar and asked for 2 bottles of water. One for her now and one for the road. The fellow next to me was also not 22, as my new acquaintance is, and gave me a nod of respect for keeping things under control. We made it out in one piece aside from the comically domino-esque spill we all took on the way to our patiently waiting Uber (lesson learned: if they're going down, let them). She rode back to my house in the back seat with her face out the window in a not un-canine like fashion. I pulled out the sofabed and dressed it and while my friend helped her into the house. I observed with some combination of concern, disgust and mild amusement. My friend comforted her while she sobbed into the toilet, lamenting her various life choices and probably the disapproval of her parents. The last I checked her wrist tally had been at 9.
I don't usually go out on "amatuer nights" as I like to call them. The big drinking holidays: St. Patricks, Cinco de Mayo, etc. My dear old friend who's just not quite all the way finished holding on to her sorority girl days and eager to show her young new friend a good time talked me into it, and after watching the two of them in my kitchen take 4 shots of tequila in succession to pre-game, we were out on the town. I think the best part of my night was chatting with the one fellow who bought me a beer. I wasn't interested in him romantically at all, but he was in agriculture and had come up with some interesting sustainable way of managing food waste. It made for better conversation than the sea of green-clad dudebros nodding "sup."
Even when I was her age, if I went out with a group of girls, I have always acted a bit like a herding dog. Never really easing up and cutting loose because I am peripherally watching the friend of a friend in the group being cornered by a lecherous admirer, or this other member of the tribe is inconsolable after a cryptic text from this guy she's seeing, or someone's fallen off their stool and spilled her drink on herself. Oh, you'e gonna be sick? Let's get you to the bathroom.. or that potted plant will do. okay.
As I was writing this I remembered that she got sick on my front lawn. Must remember to hose that off when I get home. I'm really glad I'm not 22.
Wednesday, March 16, 2016
Fast forward to Jr. High and High School. I still wasn't picking great friends. I got involved with a group of girls who were mostly harmless but I was definitely the odd one out. They didn't outright shun me but I was certainly the butt of many abrasive jokes. No one had modeled good friendships for me before so I just thought this is how people are. In my freshman year of high school my best friend from early childhood and my best friend from junior high became friends after I introduced them. They bonded and decided that I'd "changed" and that they needed to give me a run down of all the ways I'd messed up or not met whatever their expectations were for.. existing I guess. In hindsight, maybe this was bullying. It was mild bullying though. At any rate, it was then that I decided: fuck these fake ass bitches. I'd rather eat lunch alone than put up with this bullshit.
Coincidentally, another friend from junior high had nearly the same experience with her two best friends and we found each other. She was my first example of a real, good, decent friend. We had each other's backs. We didn't judge each other or make each other feel shitty about.. whatever style of extra wide shoelaces we wore or whatever the thing was back then. From then on my bar was raised. I knew I could be fine without frenemies because I was ok being alone. Finding another decent human being in a sea of shitty teenagers, though, that was refreshing. I was a maid of honor in her wedding to my cousin a couple years ago.
As an adult, I have found it much easier to find and keep good people in my life, and as a result of all those childhood assholes, I found it easy to prune my life of people who don't fit. I know how to be a good friend, I love helping people out and I am always willing to lend and ear and give honest feedback. I'd just encountered a lot of people who either didn't appreciate that or who took advantage of it. In recent years, I have succeeded in surrounding myself with a rather sizeable group of great ladies (and gents, but I'm focusing on girlfriends here) who aren't catty, have each others' backs, are similarly interested in bettering themselves and pursuing varied interests and who are very real and genuine. I collect good people.
My girlfriends (and some guy friends, to be fair) have totally rallied for me this last week or so. I'm lucky to have each of them in my corner and I'm excited for fun times ahead. Sundresses and wine and painted toenails are all in the forecast.
I spent part of today being angry. I was frustrated at the limits my graciousness and consideration put on getting things taken care of and buttoning things up. I was upset that the very person who put me in this position required even more leeway and coddling in order to just be functional. I was angry remembering that he'd mentioned not wanting to take advantage of the kindness of the person he's staying with. Or that it would be inconvenient to move large pieces of furniture twice. Do you mean like how you took advantage of MY kindness over the last year and a half? And what about how my life is inconvenienced while my home is treated like a storage unit?
Addicts make it all about them. They require special treatment and walking on eggshells to not disrupt the perfectly sheltered environment they require in order to not succumb to the irresistible lure of their drug of choice. At least that's what they'd have you believe. Poor them. Life is hard and drugs are so enticing. Well, I've never had any trouble avoiding heroin, so... I'm gonna go ahead and step off the crazy train and say tough shit. There will be no sugar coating from my corner. You might not like what I have to say but by all rights you deserve to hear it and let it really sink in.
Anyway. I'd like to get on with putting my spare bedroom together. I've got the furniture picked out, but I'm not sure whether I'm going to go with a grey/purple/beiges restful spa feel color scheme or a sage/terra cotta/tan farmhouse feel. I guess I'll see how it looks once I get it.
Monday, March 14, 2016
I found an article on Pinterest about a community handmade goods swap somewhere on the east coast and decided to expand our parameters to anything homemade/handmade/homegrown. As the word got out it became popular pretty quickly; more friends wanted to learn how to can and get in on the swap. I started a Facebook group to accommodate it, named it Homespun and began hosting canning workshops for interested friends and acquaintances as well as planning bi-monthly or quarterly exchanges. Some of the exchanges I read about employ a barter system in which the exchange is like a market, and you'd have to have a desirable item to entice a trade for the item you covet. We decided as a group that as long as it isn't a huge number of people participating in any one exchange, we'd rather each bring one for everyone, and go home with one of everything. So far that has been a well-liked system.
Doing this has pushed me to explore food-crafts towards which I might otherwise not have ventured. I'm sure I'll miss something, but so far for Homespun I have made from scratch: sunflower seed butter, pickled garlic, pickled jalapenos, almond butter, mozzarella cheese, olive tapenade, barbecue sauce, grenadine, taco seasoning, strawberry lemonade concentrate, and just this last weekend, marshmallows. Some people make canned goods, some dried goods, textiles, or soap. It's really fun and inspiring to see what everyone else makes, and exciting to go home with a haul of surprise items that are quality and handmade goods made by people you've met. I especially love receiving homegrown vegetables or eggs from backyard chickens. Gathering for the trade also gives everyone the chance to discuss what went into making things or exchange recipes.
It has been suggested that I ought to turn this into a business, and while I love doing it and do plan to continue, I haven't found any way for it to generate revenue while preserving the core principles of what it is. I wouldn't want to charge anyone to participate. The price of admission is your handmade contribution. The canning workshops could potentially be a source of income, however, most of the people I've taught are friends and I was happy to spend the time with them. I think it boils down to the fact that I wouldn't be a very good entrepreneur, because I'd rather organize and host these for free than risk excluding someone. I'd rather have your presence and creativity than your money.
Last Saturday was one of many successful exchanges, and I look forward to the next. I just have to think of what I'll make. Hmm...
Sunday, March 13, 2016
Saturday, March 12, 2016
I hosted a handmade goods swap today for a fun group of folks. In preparation, I made homemade marshmallows. It was the first time I'd made anything besides adding milk to cereal in about a week. I love cooking and am actually rather good at it, but I have no motivation to cook when I'm not happy with life. It was nice to have an incentive to get in the kitchen and make something delicious. There's a certain delighted satisfaction to having something turn out perfectly.
Also, the drizzly morning light was perfect for a few photos of the marshmallow cutting process. I'm no photo editor and these dont reeeeaaally do it justice but it'll have to do.
And because I made marshmallows, it only made sense that we'd have s'mores with which to test them out. Popping them under the broiler for a few minutes did the trick. I watched them like a hawk though, don't stick them in there and then walk away and make a phone call.
I know I'm doing well because I'm getting tired of talking about what happened. I'd rather talk about making marshmallows, or what I might do with my spare room, or when I'm going to get the garden beds planted (soon, I hope! Maybe some tomorrow if it's not raining all day.) Onward and Upward.
Friday, March 11, 2016
The only and best thing I can do is take care of me and not enable anyone else. That means not keeping their secrets so they can continue to mislead the people in their lives into enabling them. Busting someone out might just be the kindest thing you can do for them. And... I prefer kindness. Even if you've fucked me over, or betrayed me, or whatever the case may be. I won't intentionally hurt you, because that's just not my style. Being an asshole makes me feel shitty, so, I don't do it. I think any time I've ever been a jerk to someone it has haunted me for far longer than it bothered the person I was a jerk to.
I bought myself flowers yesterday to brighten my space. I made homemade marshmallows this evening and I'll be getting dolled up and taking myself out for a cocktail later this evening. Tomorrow I'll be surrounding myself with interesting, creative women with shared interests. Yesterday I got the ball rolling on scheduling some long overdue counseling sessions. Earlier this week, feeding myself was a victory. So, I think I'm making pretty good progress in this whole.. taking care of ME thing.
I've always been pretty good about self-care, but this week was the first time I actually needed help (or maybe it's just the first time it's been available and therefore noticeably beneficial?) I got help packing up his things; to her it was effortless but I was moving in slow motion. I had friends remind me to eat, rescue me from the car shop and feed me, and had at least a couple people checking in on me each day. I am so thankful for the support and love and offers for help showered on me this week. I cannot express how appreciative I am, but to each of my dear friends, know that I would return the favor in a heartbeat. However, I do wish you never need it!
I'll do better than okay. I'll be thriving in no time. Watch me.
Thursday, March 10, 2016
Wednesday, March 9, 2016
You slimy insidious piece of shit. I never liked you. I knew you were trash immediately and I always resisted your presence in his life. I should have put my foot down and insisted on cutting you out when I learned of how you preyed on his greif before I ever knew him. I was naive.
You are a ruiner of lives. The world would be brighter without you in it. I'd tell you to go to hell but you're well on your way and you seem to relish in dragging good people along with you. How many lives have you ruined? How many families have you torn apart and souls have you destroyed?
I wish you all the pain and heartbreak you've brought to not only the souls you've collected, but to each of their lovers, mothers, friends and siblings. You are vile to a degree that I could not have imagined. Go rot in your filth.
A peripheral casualty of your boundless evil
I missed my midnight deadline again. This is hard. Life is hard. Separating all of your belongings from those of your heroin addict boyfriend is hard. Trying to get through the day when every few minutes your thoughts are invaded by the idea of him wasting away is hard.
Talking to his dad about it is hard. Knowing that he isn't grasping the reality or gravity of the situation is especially hard.
Feelings are complicated. Like how you can not want to be with someone but still care for them and want them to have a good, healthy fulfilling life. I never wanted it to be this way. I never in a million years would have guessed this. I would have preferred being cheated on to this.
Wherever you are, get clean. Take care of yourself. Be well. Know that people love you and want to help you. Put away your shame, your ego, your embarrassment and let people help you. Get the help you need because you can't do it alone.
If you can't do it for you, try to do it for everyone who might hurt to see you hurting yourself.
Monday, March 7, 2016
Turns out, I had no idea what was happening right under my nose. It's amazing how one intuitive moment clicking into place can catalyze a whole avalanche of chaos. "Go look in his car" something told me. I had no idea what I was looking for. I just knew I should check it out. Go look. See what's in the car.
Lots of lighters strewn about. Kinda wierd for someone who quit smoking cigarettes two months ago. I noticed it smelled smoky too. Not a lot like cigarettes, but smoky. A pile of maybe 25 king size Milkyway wrappers on the passenger floorboard. newspaper, jackets, a roadside emergency kit, random crap all over and a roll of aluminum foil in the back seat. Finally, in the center console where someone might toss a pack of gum, alongside a couple of keys, a gum wrapper and a glitter covered foam ball from my voodoo doll costume from Halloween before last, was the plastic sleeve of a pen, cut to about 3 and a half inches long, burnt on one end and coated inside with some kind of resin.
My heart pounded and I really wasn't sure what I was looking at. I picked it up, looked through it, smelled it. Just smelled like smoke.. kind of like wood smoke? Nothing distinctive to me, not that I would know how to identify any drug other than weed by what it smells like when smoked. I put it back and went inside. I went back outside to look at it probably another 3 or 4 times just to be sure I saw what I thought I saw. Finally I took a picture, and went inside and googled things like 'what kind of drug can be smoked with a plastic pen pipe,' 'what does a used crackpipe look like,' and 'what does crack resin smell like.'
I was already going to break up with him. I knew he'd lied about money and had been deleting texts, and in general had just been a lackluster boyfriend. It was over. But I was going to get a rent check and then give him until the end of the month to get out. I'd prorate the days he left early and refund any days necessary. That was the plan. And then I checked the car. I paced around for a few minutes trying to gather my thoughts. I looked at him sleeping in the bed, oblivious. "You idiot." I thought. I considered what I should do. Do shake him awake and tell him to get out right now? No. I need a better plan than that. I need backup.
I'll call his mom. I'll tell her everything and get her help. Maybe she'll force him into rehab and help escort him out of my house. I considered how hard it might be to hear on the phone. I went to her home. We sat sat down with a cup of tea after making small talk about the different paint samples patched along her bedroom wall. "He doesn't know I'm here. There have been some problems."
I started at the beginning, with the coke habit he had when I met him, that he allegedly swore off because I didn't want it in my life, and walked her through to the pipe. I showed her the picture. We settled accounts of how much money she'd lent him, versus what he gave me for bills, and what was missing. I called a friend of his to make sure he had a place to crash for a night or two. While I was talking to his mother, he texted me that he was going to go meet up with his dealer under the guise of baseball practice. Just gonna toss the ball around. right.
I told him to meet me at home in 20 minutes. When he arrived, I said "Hi. You need to pack your things and you need to leave. You don't live here anymore, and we're not together anymore." He played dumb at first and asked why. "So many reasons, but today the top of the list is that I found your crack pipe." More playing dumb. What are you talking about? My what? "Your crack pipe. In your car. Get your things and go."
It seemed as though he thought it would soften my stance and garner some sympathy to tell me about what he'd been struggling with. He was having a real hard time with something and had kept it from me (no shit). After dancing around it a moment, the word "Heroin" just hung in the air a few seconds. Smoking heroin for the last 3 months.
I gently ushered him out after double checking that he'd grabbed all the essentials. While he was in the bathroom once during the 2 hour conversation and packing process, I took the keys to my house off his key ring, and gathered all the other keys to the house and garage and stashed them out of sight. I am a compassionate person, but I am not a stupid person. I have seen all manner of outlandish behavior resulting from addiction. I know better than to mess around or waver in my stance.
This was all yesterday. I'm already road-weary and it's just the beginning.
I'm past my midnight deadline, but I had some coping to do.
I'm too exhausted to say anything about it but this is technically my post for today so as to complete the challenge of 1 per day.
Addiction sucks, drugs suck, and I'm looking forward to being alone for a while.
Saturday, March 5, 2016
Uncertainty does not suit me. I have a really hard time with not having at least a basic outline of a plan. I'm ok with the plan changing, but I always prefer if there is one. Spontaneity is cool and all, but a little forethought always makes things go more smoothly.
I am my best in a state of calm, decisive action. Once a decision is made, my mind does not rest until the contingencies and nuances are covered. Sometimes this results in me lying awake making a list or timeline into my head well into to early morning hours. There is no "sleep now, worry about it tomorrow."
If I'm being honest, I like the process.
It's exhilarating to create change. Change is necessarily for growth. Part of my goal for the year was to enjoy life without chaos, but that doesn't mean there's room for stagnation. Healthy, steady, forward motion is change without chaos. A happy medium.
One foot in front of the other. Onward.
Friday, March 4, 2016
It manifests in various ways...I tense up in my solar plexus, my ears ring, my head spins, my heart races and my hands get clammy. I am a habitual picker, I feel through my hair and skin for irregularities and try to get rid of them. I get irritable and impatient. Sometimes if I'm not mindful about what's happening I'll mentally latch on to the worries tumbling through my head and point my finger at each of them as a reason for what I'm feeling, whether it's accurate or not.
Being productive helps. So does yoga, mindfulness and talking it out with good friends. A drink usually helps too, however hangovers make it worse. So does PMS. I keep a stash of (prescribed) Xanax on hand for the rare occasion that all my go-tos don't have it covered. I find that I need them far less since I left my marriage, but I still like to have it available, just in case. I liken it to alleviating a medical issue with lifestyle choices. Like.. if you get migraines sometimes but more often when you eat chocolate, you stop eating chocolate. But not eating chocolate doesn't mean you NEVER get migraines, so you keep your medication on hand for when a you get one, chocolate or not.
I don't get migraines, so I can't really confidently make that analogy, but.. it'll have to do.
Thursday, March 3, 2016
Today is my half birthday. In exactly one and a half years I will be 30.
Most of the time I'm just cruising along in my consciousness, the same one I've had all my life perceiving the world through this lens as it evolved from the perspective of a child through adolescence, through the struggles and joys of adulthood. I think our self-concept, our egos, the way we want things to be, skews the accuracy of how we see things . Once in a while, though, I look in the mirror through the same consciousness I had when I was maybe 11, and I see myself for what I am now. A woman of 28 with a few gray hairs, some dark circles under my eyes, a mortgage and a divorce under my belt. It's refreshing and terrifying all at once.
I'm not really bothered by it, and I'm not plagued by a fear of getting older. I don't dye my hair, I acknowledge my fine lines, and I've bid my final farewell to the body I had at 17 some time ago. I'm content with my experience at this slice of my timeline.
Time stops for no one and I'm far less worried about it doing what it does to me physically and more concerned with what I do with myself in the meantime. I'm enjoying my life and I've worked hard to build a life I love. A dear friend passed along the message this evening that there is no finish line, (except for the final finish line, and I'm in no hurry to get there). Not every inevitability needs to be rushed.
Two months down in 2016 and my theme of slowing down and settling in to enjoy the fruits of my labor is an ever evolving challenge. Here's to finding finesse and grace in spite of (or in concert with) time's relentlessness.
Wednesday, March 2, 2016
This evening I was dressed down by a 24 year old girl who, as she said, "works in politics" for not being informed enough. Actually, that's not true. I readily admitted to not being informed enough to have an opinion on Sacramento's mayoral candidates. She went on a rant about how there should be more information available for voters. Just to play devil's advocate, and because I believe that she was naive about the matter, I suggested that perhaps there was plenty of information available, but that maybe voters weren't interested enough to seek it out, and that even if the information was plastered to someone's forehead, if they don't care to llearn or understand it, or if they have a bias against it, all the information in the world isn't going to make a lick of difference. She didn't seem to understand that I was posturing to make a point, and ran with the idea that I was staunchly planted in my ignorance, and arrogant to boot.
I was irritated at first, but I couldn't be mad long because I saw myself some years ago. The thing is, I've thought about politics and the world and how it all fits together for long before I was of voting age. I'm well past thinking that there is a fix all for the world's problems. I can see that things are far more complicated than any one candidate could ever begin to approach with a solution. People are complicated. Emotions are irrational and play a far larger role than anyone would like to admit. Prejudices are very real and exists in everyone's mind whether or not they acknowledge it or even realize it.
I don't buy into conspiracy theories, or that the government is out to get us. I think that rather than being malevolent, the worst thing the government can threaten is ineptitude. But, government is the natural manner in which humans organize themselves. That's all I can assume given that every grouping of humans across the world has some sort of social order. Call it government or culture, we organize ourselves in such a way that we deem to be most efficient and fair. Because none of us is perfect, and in fact all of us are quite flawed, any hope for a perfect system is doomed from the start.
I don't claim to have any answers, but I will say to start, why don't we look to nations that seem to be doing it right, put away the ego*, and see what we can learn.
* and the hatred, bigotry, fear etc.
No, I'm not the most informed voter. But I intend to do my research, I know right from wrong, and I will be voting.
Tuesday, March 1, 2016
I have a complicated relationship with drugs and alcohol. I myself have not been an addict, though I've done my share of experimentation and have drank heavily at times. I can be really comfortable around substances because it's familiar. Or, if the conditions are just so, just the presence of it can give me a panic attack.
My parents are both alcoholics and cigarette smokers who smoke in their home. I remember hearing tale of the debauchery of dad's youth; it was glamorized, even though it was punctuated by warnings not to do any of that myself. As a small child I was trained to retrieve beers. Once when I was in junior high, a friend's dad asked me if I smoked, he said because I smelled like it. Before I could drive myself places I knew I couldn't get a ride somewhere from my mom. In fact, they welcomed the idea of my friends picking me up to go hang out. I considered it lenient at the time, but in hindsight it just seems like a convenience for them. Wouldn't want to cut into the drinking hours with pesky extracurriculars. I cheered at football games to friends' parents and strangers.
I married an alcoholic. Instead of leaving when I saw how he drank, I tried to control it. I'd pour bottles of booze down the sink so he couldn't keep drinking. I rationalized it by saying better the devil you know. I understand what it's like to live with an alcoholic, I know how to deal with it. Better to have a problem that you're familiar with than something unknown. Or so I told myself, and whoever was listening.
I tolerated heavy cocaine use in a partner for a while. I tried to maintain the stance that it wasn't my place to tell anyone how to live their life. Over time though, it got to me, until eventually, just the mention of it sends my heart racing and makes my hands sweat, and I get angry.
Fuck coming second to anyone's drug abuse. I am worth more than a high. My needs as a daughter were more important than making sure there was at least 8 chilled beers within reach of the computer. Fuck allowing myself to tolerate bullshit that I am above. I grew up learning that my needs came second to vice, but I'll be damned if I ever let that happen again. I love myself too much.