Does it feel right to know that I can live without you?

It’s funny how the days when I feel most free to write are the days when I feel the most lonely and blue. I can’t get in the proper headspace for it, so I procrastinate.

I understand that the people I want to be friends with all have their own lives and priorities, their own relationships they need to nourish and give time to. I understand that I could make the first move — all I have to do is ask.

I know that.

And if they don’t want to hang out, they’ll just give a vague answer like, “Oh yeah, we should totally get together and do [insert activity here] sometime”,  and I’ll be left wondering if I should continue trying to make plans with them or just accept it as a rejection and move on.

I know that my anxiety and reluctance is part of the problem. I know I have a hang-up about not wanting people to pity me, but I really need to just swallow my pride and put myself out there.

I’m especially aware that I’m not alone in feeling alone, that feeling lonely and disconnected is not a unique problem in the least. I feel like my ability to be sad about this and not stressed about other life things is really a sort of luxury.

Most of the time I need to put this situation in perspective. I have upcoming plans with friends — however tenuous those connections may be, they’re still attempts to reach out.

I just don’t feel connected to people or to this community in the way that I used to feel with other faces and places.

It doesn’t help that I’ve lost someone who was my boyfriend and best friend for two years, who would text or call me every day, even after our separation. It’s been a month since I’ve heard from him — my former sweetheart, trusted confidante and headstrong adviser, who once told me that all the little problems in our relationship were really (when it came down to it) all my fault.

Who’d make fun of my friends in front of me, until I had to get mad at him so he’d stop.
Who liked to say I was being dramatic when I disagreed with him.
Who couldn’t really bring himself to care about my interests.

I could go on and on about his flaws, as I’ve often played them back to myself in my head like a worn-out cassette. But I’m also starting to recollect how much I loved him. How it felt somewhat miraculous to really belong with someone. To be a team with someone.

Now he’s found a new teammate and I’m solo again. Which shouldn’t be a big deal. I’ve been single for most of my life.

I just feel like I’m on the sidelines again.

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Magic Trick

I’m starting to realize you just don’t feel the same way
as I do
when I catch you off-guard

There is still something I don’t understand about you
maybe it’s why
you would be curious of me
ask questions about my life
that no one else would

To invest in someone else like that
To step over the barriers we raise for acquiantances
To risk emotional safety
Scares me
But not you

And I know now
I’ve maxed out your investment in me
Like my best horse
I rode it up to the borderline
Then dismounted and walked home

I wish you knew how to stop
Making me happy
But I’m forever caught

Whenever I see you
It’s the same old magic trick
A blissful illusion
Masking a cold deceit.

 

2018 Resolutions.

   1. Manage my time more effectively.

This includes: 10:45 bedtime!!
Floss in the morning instead of at night.
Stick to my daily writing time.
Plan my weekends and leisure time in advance and get the
important stuff done beforehand.
Schedule time for reading books.
Overall, be more focused and mindful of my time!

 

   2. Read (at least) two books a month. Try to read more children’s fiction. Track reading on Goodreads!

   3. Make more of an effort to hang out with people and be open to making new friends.

   4. Cut back on Facebook/all social media (yes, this includes Youtube).

   5. Exercise at least three times/week (surpassing 21 weeks). Focus on arms, as well as leg strength and flexibility.

   6. Try to walk/ride my bike to work more often instead of driving.

   7. Finish first draft of manuscript (you can do it!!!).

   8. When life gets tough, be tougher. Don’t give up right away! When you feel lonely and lost, work on changing your mindset.

   9. Put more money into savings and keep better track of expenses. Have goals for what to spend the money on (pet cat? Dance class?).

  10. Stay motivated at work and always focus on improvement. Cut back on the negative self-talk and always remember the positive. This may mean having to accept that not everyone will get along with you.

  11. Figure out what I believe in and don’t believe in, both politically and religiously. Use this blog if it helps!

2017 was a bit of a tough year for me, especially socially, but I also made a lot of progress by venturing out of my comfort zone and starting my career. I’m excited/nervous for 2018 and I wish for safety and happiness for everyone as we go forth into this New Year!

Good luck! 😀 ❤

2017 Year in Review.

Hello! It’s me again! Another year has passed in which I’ve been terrible at blogging, but I’ve still been writing, and this blog is mainly for myself anyway. 🙂

Anyway, I’ve found that blogging annual resolutions has actually been a helpful guide for me going into the upcoming year. This is something I’m going to continue doing, since it also allows me the headspace for self-reflection, which I’m trying to do more of.

With that in mind, here’s a recap of my 2017 resolutions:

1.  Floss daily.
DONE. It’s often been a pain, and means I’ve gone to bed a lot later than I could’ve, but there have only been a handful of days when I haven’t flossed. I think that was because I had run out of floss. The dentist told me that not flossing led to the development of cavities between my teeth that required fillings, so that’s reason enough for me to continue with it. I really wish flossing made my teeth look better, but having healthy gums is cool too, I guess. Next year’s resolution: STILL FLOSS EVERY DAY.

2. Be more assertive.
This goal took a lot of effort, in terms of self-awareness and venturing outside my comfort zone. I added some suggestions in my original resolution about ways I could tackle this, and I discovered that they’re still quite relevant in terms of habits I have to break.

Starting a new job in a new community was a difficult transition, and I felt very isolated. I even had my probation extended because I was so unconfident in myself and uncertain about whether the job was something I could handle. However, over the last couple months, I’ve found myself becoming a lot more comfortable with my coworkers, and I’ve noticed that they’ve been chatting a bit more with me beyond the usual small talk. I’ve had to push myself to be friendly and social, to trust myself rather than constantly ask for reassurance.

Although I’ve been improving, I know I’ll continually struggle to express myself  confidently and have to push myself to be more social. I think the key is to maintain a positive attitude, be grateful for the friends I have, and never give up trying to connect with people.

3.  Finish the first draft of my novel.
Haha ha.

Ha.

Nope.

So, obviously this didn’t happen this year (again). Working a full-time job has made me quite time-poor, and even though I built in an hour for writing during my 9-5 weekday, more often than not, I didn’t meet this target.

According to my work timer, I worked for 185 intervals, for a total of 92 hours and 30 minutes. May was my most productive month; I wrote for 10 hours and 30 minutes. My lowest month (unsurprisingly) is this December; I’ve been making cards, shopping, and generally doing fun/stressful Christmas-related things. Generally, when I do write, I’ve been quite productive, not worrying so much about writing beautifully, but concentrating more on building a solid structure. I would say I’m almost halfway through the first draft, with a clearer plan in place regarding how it’s going to end. Here’s a full breakdown:

March 7 hours
April 7 h 30 min
May 10 h 30 min
June 9 h
July 8 h 30 min
August 9 h
September 10 h
October 7 h
November 9 h
December 4 h 30 min.

4.  Exercise at least three times a week.
I accomplished this goal (3 days/week) for 21 weeks out of the year. I know that is far from adequate, but I have made other strides in terms of exercise. Towards the end of the year, I bought 8 pound dumbbells and have been using them for some strength exercises. I’ve been aiming to do an arm workout every Sunday and have mostly been sticking to that. The back exercises and leg exercises (back bows, swimmers, etc.) have also been getting easier. Some routines I’ve struggled through before are now a breeze for me. It’s tough to balance the need to exercise with the need to write — often exercise wins out, because I feel the need to move around/calm down/ be healthy. I think I’m still going to aim for 3 times a week next year, and hopefully I’ll be able to manage my time better.

5. Read and watch more non-fiction.
I’ve made some small strides: I’ve read Thanks for the Money (Joel MacHale memoir), Looks Like Daylight (interviews with indigenous youth), I’m also partway through Sapiens and Seneca’s Letters from a Stoic. In terms of TV, I’ve continued watching Cosmos and added a few documentaries to my list. Nothing super educational, though. I’ll have to work on finding where my interests lie.

6. Try to read or watch the news every day.
I’ve done my best. It’s certainly been a more…….interesting year for news, although sometimes I have to check out of the continuous catastrophe in the United States and focus more on what’s going on here, or stay updated on the crises happening around the world. I did try to get informed enough to vote in the local election, so I’m pleased that it’s become more of a habit (for better or worse).

7. Take a refresher driving course.
DONE! I was scared and somewhat embarrassed to take (another) driving course, and although my final score wasn’t as high as I would’ve liked, it gave me the skills and confidence to practice driving more often — even venture into the busy city! Not being limited to the town I work in has given me so much freedom and peace of mind, so I am quite proud of myself. I’ve had to trust myself to see improvement, but the risk paid off. Driving is sometimes essential for my job, so I needed to improve anyway.

8. Do better at managing my temper.
Headspace, the meditation app, has helped make me more mindful of myself. My sudden flares in temper may also be related to low blood sugar, so I’m going to the naturopath tomorrow to get this all sorted out. In January, I’m going to get officially tested for hypoglycemia. Hopefully, the results will better explain my mood swings!

9. 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.
I’ve donated to charities throughout the year, close to home and abroad. I also donated winter gear to the youth shelter in the city. I keep coming back to this Metric lyric that goes, “Have I ever really helped / Anybody but myself?”. Part of my job is to help people, and it’s important work, but I don’t just want to do it when I’m getting paid for it. I want to be part of something for the greater good, not merely live my life only helping people when it’s convenient for me.

There have been a few situations this year when I’ve struggled to show forgiveness, mainly because my pride was hurt and I felt people were being unfair to me. It’s easy for me to wind myself up in frustration or annoyance and question whether or not it’s rational for me to be upset. It’s a difficult realization to discover that you can’t trust certain people as much as you thought you could. I know, in the end, it’s better to let things go and either start fresh or move forward without them. I’ve grown a lot this year, but I always want to be a better person.

That’s it for now! Hope you’re having a safe and happy holiday! 😀

Signs and Symptoms of Unannounced Admiration.

One of my favourite films is about two close friends – a man and a woman – who both fall for the same guy. Since his sexuality isn’t entirely clear, they’re in tense competition for his affections, and any sort of attention paid to one of them is a setback for the other. In the end, they must surrender their feelings to the man of their desire, only for both to be met with harsh rejection. The competition was fruitless; it was all for nought.

I can relate so much to the feelings of ectasy and subsequent stress that accompany really, really admiring someone. Anything – any word, action or gesture, any look or period of silence – can be interpreted as a sign. A good sign, a bad sign – depending on my mood, depending on the day. The signs are constantly shifting, and I roll them over and over in my head, analyzing and reanalyzing, until it becomes a nebulous mass eating away at my brain.

Even that is a more appealing option than the silent dread of confessing how I feel, giving him the power to end the speculation quite abruptly. In an instant, every fantasy of us together, potentially swept away into the doldrums with the sudden shock of rejection.

And yet, even that would be more pleasant than having never met him at all. Having daydreams of people who don’t exist, or yearning for people who have long since moved on without me.

For now, I don’t have the choice of when and where I see him. I can only choose how I react and how I aim to move forward, running toward or away from this happiness, with the ever-looming threat of disappointment. Telling him would transfer the weight of my feelings onto him, and I don’t want to bring that stress into his life. Not telling him leaves me with the ever-changing, anxiety-inducing signs.

None of my options right now seem particularly easy or viable. But there’s one thing I’m counting on to show me what to do next: Time.

I’ve already spent quite a lot of Time and Energy on thinking about and reacting to this person, but I’ll spend some more, in hopes that he’ll make the signs more obvious.

Someday I may look back on this post and think of what a fool I’ve been. Well, those are the rules of the game. I’m never too old to be embarrassed, but I hope to become less self-conscious.

For now, I’m truly grateful for how happy and relaxed he makes me, putting a little more sunshine into my day. I hope one day he realizes this, and if that’s all that he can give me – it’s enough. More than enough.

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…

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.