Trivial Bliss.

I’m addicted to having mindless fun without any effort or concern. The more time I spent procrastinating working my novel, the less time I spend facing inadequacy, feeling frustrated, feeling like this is an exercise in futility.

Some people have their work time, then they go home and have leisure time. They watch TV, and spend time with their significant other or their kids, and it doesn’t require much self-discipline. At least not the same focus my novel demands. Sometimes I trick myself into thinking I want that life.

It scares me to have such a big dream — a published novel — and then grow old and have to admit to myself it went nowhere. Maybe because I lacked the ambition, but not because I lacked the time. Maybe because I lacked the talent, or the know-how to sell myself. But I can never say I’ve not had enough time.

I’ve placed the purpose of my days in a story. It might not be any good; it might turn out to be a car wreck. But maybe it’ll convey a message that I’ve always wanted to say to myself, and when I go back and read it in this story, it’ll finally make sense.

That’s my hope. Now I just need the drive to push myself a little more…

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I feel so conflicted.

I’m in love with missing you. Part of me was afraid I wouldn’t feel any pain, but now the pain feels refreshing. All the good memories glow with innocence and perfection. The future dares me to accept uncertainty, to let go of what we were and begin my own plan. Even you want that.

I confess: I feel a spontaneous, vibrant happiness around someone else. I feel like I’m back to my old boy-obsessing ways. But it’s not right for me — not now. I’m afraid that I’ve already started clinging too tightly to every subtlety of every interaction, analyzing the layers of meaning.

I’ve been like this before. I’ve obsessed over not knowing if my feelings are reciprocated. Knowing might not be better anyway; knowing is a whole other fear. I don’t want to transfer my feelings for you to another person. Sometimes I wonder if our separation was the right decision, but I just couldn’t make these doubts go away. There was uncertainty and doubt down every path.

I know that as much as this new person brings me joy, he could just as easily bring intense loneliness as well. Without even knowing it. So I need to be prepared to go without this attention from him, to be willing to step back and be alone with myself. To not panic, to not compare. The adventure continues…

You were a wonderful boyfriend.

I’m so proud to be loved by you and be able to love you.

Moving and New Transitions.

I never thought that I would be able to cross off one of last year’s resolutions so soon. I finally found a permanent position at a library!!! I was blown away when I got the news. My interview felt mediocre when I analyzed my answers afterwards.

I’ll be moving tomorrow to a smaller city, near the major city where some of my friends live. I’m anxious about this transition and the permanence of the job. Being in school and taking contract jobs allows for a lot of shifting around. It means trying to get comfortable with uncertainty, but having something permanent naturally means that other parts of my life become temporary or inaccessible as well.

More updates to come…

2017 New Year’s Resolutions

These are my resolutions for 2017. I’ll add more resolutions and descriptions as I think of them.

1.  Floss daily.
Pretty self-explanatory. The dentist told me I should floss not once a week, not every other day like I have been, but EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. Let’s see how this one goes.

2. Be more assertive.
‘Assertive’ includes things like:

  • not saying hello in such a soft voice that no one can hear,
  • kindly speaking up when I think my coworker is making a mistake or forgot to mention something
  • not worrying too much about saying/texting the right thing, getting back in touch with friends
  • not second-guessing myself all the time and try to trust that people will be friendly and polite if I strike up a conversation

3.  Finish the first draft of my novel.

4.  Exercise at least three times a week.

5. Read and watch more non-fiction. 
This also means not being intimidated by learning facts and history, not being afraid of confusion like I suspect I have been in the past.

6. Try to read or watch the news every day.

7. Take a refresher driving course. 

8. Do better at managing my temper.

9. Now that Trump is President-Elect, I’m going to try even harder to stay informed, to show kindness and generosity, to be an example of forgiveness and understanding. To not be complacent, to distinguish myself. 

 

A Review of Last Year’s Resolutions

Happy New Year! Here’s a review of my 2016 resolutions:

  1. Finish the first draft of my novel
    I am definitely not even close to finishing the first draft, but I am working toward finishing the chapter summaries/outline. If I’m reading my productivity report correctly, I wrote for 31 hours this year, which really isn’t a lot. I’m learning a lot more about the techniques of novel writing and I know the outline will be quite useful in giving my story the structure it needs. I hope to finish the outline within a few months, and then I’ll have a much clearer vision for the first draft.
  2. Make more time for working out (at least 3 times a week)
    My workout schedule was terrible (rarely once a week, if at all) until it started picking up in August, near the end of my job contract. I did go to the gym a few times with my boyfriend and tried to get used to working out that way (with mixed results). Who knows what I was doing the rest of those months. I know in the summer months I was definitely outside a lot more, going on walks, doing stuff that didn’t get recorded in my calendar. There was definitely a commitment issue, though.
    During my three-month period of unemployment, my workouts multiplied to at least once a week, sometimes as much as four times a week. I’m trying to stay consistent in December, but with a full-time job now, it’s definitely going to be more of a challenge.
  3. Get my left and right splits
    Nope. After completing the Pop Pilates #JourneytoSplits challenge, I realized that getting my splits requires so much daily effort and needs to be a constant commitment. I would rather use that time to work on total body fitness (which didn’t work out so well either! See above). The splits are cool to have, but it’s not really a range of motion I need (to that extent) in my everyday life. I did notice progress in the splits challenge, and by the end of it I almost had my left splits. But it turned out to be too much effort for not enough pay-off.
  4. Get a permanent position at the library
    This was the most challenging goal, because it didn’t rely solely on my will power to achieve it. The library job market is been particularly dismal right now, and ongoing, entry-level positions are scarce. I’ve broadened my job search to other provinces and I finally managed to acquire a short-term contract close to home. Hopefully diversifying my experience will help! This is the one resolution I’m quite motivated to achieve because I don’t have much choice.
  5. Find new strategies of coping with anxiety and moodiness
    I really should have kept better track of this, because I can’t recall all the strategies I’ve used (if I was consciously using any at all) and which ones were effective or ineffective. I still throw tantrums sometimes, but I try to make sure they’re private. I think I’m becoming more aware of whether my mood is caused by some internal hormonal shift or by external circumstances (such as stress or an argument). One thing that definitely heightens my anger is when I know I’m not being listened to, so part of handling this issue is making sure I’m understood by the person I’m fighting with.
    I’m more aware now that there are consequences when I don’t keep my mood in check. If I’m frustrated or upset, I have to be careful about how I release it. More often than not, people don’t mean to hurt me, and if it’s not a persistent issue, it’s easier in the long run to just let it go.
  6. Make more time for self-care
    I’m not completely sure what I meant by this, but being unemployed certainly left me with a lot of time to look after myself! I established a loose routine to keep up my good habits. I started volunteering so I could add purpose to my days and get to know the city. This year, I was overall in a good place emotionally and physically.
  7. Read at least one book every month
    I’m not 100% certain, but I’m pretty sure I didn’t achieve this pathetically easy goal. I wasn’t even keeping track. I’m trying to start reading before bed again, but that involves going to bed early, another good habit I’ve been struggling with. Now that I’ve got a job again, I’m getting a bit better at it, and being around books all the time gives me more incentive to read!
  8. Be a good neighbour to those around me (which means being patient, friendly, considerate, instead of shy and withdrawn)
    I’m trying my best to be more aware of how I come across to people and to reign in my emotions when necessary. I try to catch myself when I’m being anxious about something that’s not a big deal, such as replying to texts or making plans with someone I’m not close to. I’ve learned strategies to suspend judgement of people and expel negative thoughts from me, although I’m still working on becoming a more positive, accepting person.
  9. Set limits for my time on Facebook and find something more productive to do
    I didn’t set a limit for my time on Facebook, but I don’t think it’s as much of a problem as it used to be; I’m finding it less interesting. I go on news sites a lot more now; I hope to increase my political awareness.

2016 Resolutions

I’ll Feel For You – Semisonic

  1. Finish the first draft of my novel
  2. Make more time for working out (at least 3 times a week)
  3. Get my left and right splits
  4. Get a permanent position at the library
  5. Find new strategies of coping with anxiety and moodiness
  6. Make more time for self-care
  7. Read at least one book every month
  8. Be a good neighbour to those around me (which means being patient,  friendly, considerate, instead of shy and withdrawn)
  9. Set limits for my time on Facebook and find something more productive to do

Hello from the other side

I suppose I should write about this. It would feel wrong not to. So much has changed over the summer, with getting a job(!!), getting a boyfriend(!!!), becoming financially self-sufficient(!!!!) but I haven’t written about any of that. This blog was once a very intimate place, but now that I’ve been doing a lot more experiencing and a lot less reflecting, I  feel awfully disconnected from it. My goal is to work on my novel for at least an hour each day, which sometimes doesn’t happen (I’m striving to say ‘but usually it does’). So my musings and my songs and poems must be sacrificed for a while.

Anyway, what I came here to say is this: my grandmother passed away yesterday, after a week in the hospital. I can’t believe I can write that with such calmness. When I first heard the news, I was sobbing. When I came to visit and sat beside her hospital bed, I was dry-eyed and distant. I don’t know how I can be so out of touch. I still knew her as my grandma, even though she didn’t act like herself. Through it all, I felt her loving and sweet personality. I remember fondly the summer when I lived with her in her apartment. Sometimes she wouldn’t hear the alarm to wake up and I would go into her room and be a little nervous that something was wrong.

I’m predicting the loss will really strike me when I see her things again; the possessions always around her that she’ll never touch again.

I was worried that her hazy mind was going to cause her more suffering, to the point where we couldn’t communicate anymore. I think this way is better.

I have stitches in my scarf that I can’t get back again, and she isn’t here to fix them. Last time I saw her, I asked her if she could please fix it for me again, and she simply ripped out the rows until the mistakes were gone. I wonder if she still knew how to do it. I’m going to have to learn by myself now. It’s tough, even with all the books and videos showing me how.

Grandma, I love you so much. I was content when we spent time together. I’m glad you’re not in pain anymore. I’m glad you’re not worried.

-xoxoxo

Structure

Maybe I should tell you that I finally found your seam
Stitched along the heart line
Now you’re finally real to me

My body’s splitting at the tears
Threads still holding by the hairs
You don’t have to touch to care
You’ve brought me here to see

I was never meant to solve you
But you’re still pieces to me

I wonder what tomorrow this will be
The reality of you tints my untasted fantasies
I’ve been burning for a kiss
But in the space between I flinch
And I wish you knew how tightly,
and how rightly, and what for

It’s just me, my shadow and the wall
Staring at the open door

This infrastructure can’t support 
The cracks that we’ve ignored
And the tension buckles beams
Until the ceiling hits the floor
In this chaotic dream I flee toward
The foundation of our course
Of our course…

I don’t trust myself to perceive you exactly as you are
But the story’s so spellbinding
It’s a fiction I’ll believe when we’re apart

I close an eye, you shift the other way
I stutter, slip, and fail to say
I miss you more, the more I wait inside myself, so let me wake
My heart

Your voice keeps me steady and sane
Breaks up the static that drowns my brain

This infrastructure can’t support 
The cracks that we’ve ignored
And the tension buckles beams
Until the ceiling hits the floor
In this chaotic dream I flee toward
The foundation of our course
Of our course…

Bridge:

I still pretend that you’re holding my hand
But I know I’m just playing the game again
I’m the lover, you’re the Other
Stop me if you understand
I’m the lover, you’re the Other
Hold me if you comprehend
And let’s repair the tears [rips] again
Let’s prepare the tears [cry] again

I see your light on in the hall
And it tells me most of all

This infrastructure can’t support 
The cracks that we’ve ignored
And the tension buckles beams
Until the ceiling hits the floor
In this chaotic dream I flee toward
The foundation of our course
Of our course…

I’m the lover, you’re the Other
let’s repair the tears again
I’m the lover, you’re the Other
let’s prepare the tears again
Retreat back to the foundation

Love and Truth

Sex and religion have become really touchy subjects for me. I can’t entirely decide how I feel about either of them. This has me feeling really lost and alone. There have been times when I pushed the important questions away and other times when I’ve obsessed about them. I used to be so joyful with lesser knowledge. The only conclusion I’ve drawn is that I need to be by myself for the time being. How can I be in a loving, committed relationship when I don’t even know if we’re compatible in these basic areas? I worry that if I get a boyfriend, I’ll just base my opinions around his own, so we can get along and I’ll have my easy answers. It seems like people around my age are figuring this stuff out when they’re teens, and now they’re getting married and settling into the life they want. I’ve just been loving people and hurting myself for it. I put my guard up, I arm myself with assumptions and judgements, and I try my hardest to protect my heart. I’ve always been a very principled person, but it can be a real struggle to go against the crowd. I feel like the divide is widening between me and my friends who have found their soul mates.