Who we really are

Who are we, really?

I watched an episode of ‘Once Upon a Time‘ last night, and there was a part that struck a chord with me. One of the characters is told that she will see something only when she accepts who she truly is. After some deep discussion with a friend, she admits that she is an orphan, even though she has met her family.

Once Upon a Time (TV series)

Once Upon a Time (TV series) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

She realizes that even though she isn’t the same person she was before, even though she is an adult with a respectable job and house, even though she has met the rest of her family, she is still the same lost little girl that she was long ago. She is still an orphan. Sometimes those big, defining things don’t just go away.

Even when we try to move past things, sometimes they linger. Even when we aren’t the same person we were before, that doesn’t change what happened before. No matter what we think we know about ourselves, there can still be scars or wounds from before.

It struck a chord with me because it pointed out something I’d been denying for a while. I never really dealt with the death of my Mother. I thought I did. I told people that I did. I wanted to be done with it. What I  never actually did was deal with it.

I covered the wound with bandages. I kept changing them until it stopped hurting. I told everyone it was better. I never stopped to check and see if the wound was infected. I just assumed it was fine.

As a child, I think that I never knew what to say, or who to say it to. I ‘got over it’ quickly, because I didn’t know how to be appropriately sad. I figured if I didn’t know how to grieve properly, I should just not do it. I should be a little sad that everything changed, (I mean everything,) and I should be sad that  I didn’t have my Mom that I loved very much anymore. I didn’t know how to process those huge feelings.

I’m sure there are things that this affects, but I don’t really know what they are yet. I’m just beginning to notice that there are things about that time in my life that never really got addressed or solved. I was 9, and I didn’t want to be sad about it all, so I just kind of stopped being sad. I’m only now, 19 years later, realizing how bad I screwed that up. I can’t say I should have known better, because I was a child, but I can say that I now realize that I didn’t do all the things I needed to to come to terms with all that happened.

The trouble for me now is, that I don’t really know what to do with this new information. I’m not sure what I’m supposed to do about how I handled things 19 years ago. Especially when it’s not as if I wronged someone, I just didn’t properly handle my own emotions. So at some point, I’ll need to figure out what to do about it all.

For now, I’ll just be content that I finally realized that I didn’t do it right. I’ll have to worry about the rest later.

Brains are Weird

Don’t deny it. Your brain is totally weird too.

Remember the other day, when I was talking about my creative slump? I mentioned that when I get busy is when I tend to be less creative and also less motivated. This has continued.

I sat down to write this morning, and I noticed that I’m not just out of ideas. It’s like my brain shuts down non-essential functions to save strength for the coming apocalypse of responsibility. When I am not actively thinking about something right now, my brain is an empty room. I’m not upset, or stressed, or bored. My brain is straight up empty.

storage unit

storage unit (Photo credit: hey skinny)

I’ve felt like I was empty of ideas or inspiration before, and this is different. When you are looking for a flash of inspiration, it’s like you’re digging through a box of junk in the attic/basement/garage. You know what you’re looking for is in there someplace, along with a bunch of crap you don’t need and never use but refuse to get rid of. You have a goal, and you’re reasonably certain about how to attain the aforementioned goal. Just keep looking through the box until you find it.

When I’m experiencing this level of low brain activity, it’s completely different. It’s like I don’t have an attic/basement/garage, a box or any stuff. I don’t know what I’m looking for, and I don’t have anything to look through anyway. So instead of mentally wandering into the storage space and taking some time to rummage around, I get tot the storage space and flip on the light, and there’s nothing. Then I forget why I went there in the first place. So I “Hmmph,” shut the light off and go sit down and wait for something to happen.

It’s an odd sensation to feel like you aren’t thinking anything. It results in a sort of detached feeling, similar to the time I talked about feeling like I was thinking at a different pace than I was existing. Not exactly the same though. It also can result in feeling anxious. When nothing is happening, and it’s like you’re preparing for something to happen, the waiting can cause some anxiety.

We’ll just have to see if it keeps up I suppose.

Creative Slump

I’m in a bit of a creative slump.

English: Modeling a volcano in Blender 3D.

English: Modeling a volcano in Blender 3D. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I haven’t had anything I’ve really been excited about working on in quite some time. Nothing has really been jumping out at me as anything that needs said/drawn/created. That tends to make me a little sad.

I kinda get in a funk about stuff. When I don’t have that interest in something or that drive to create, I feel like a sad kid sitting at the dinner table, staring at a plate full of vegetables.

Brain: It’s okay, I know you aren’t really hungry, but try your vegetables. I even cooked them with butter this time.

Non-Creative Self: I could I guess.(pokes at peas with fork. Rolls one from left to right and back again) I don’t really want them. Or anything else. I guess I’ll just sit here a while longer

Brain: Do you want me to make you other food?

Self: Don’t bother, I probably just won’t want to eat that either.

 

Okay, so the food analogy didn’t really work. Let’s just try again with creative stuff.

Brain: You maybe want to draw tonight?

Self: No. Not really. I don’t know what to draw. Besides, I’m not really that good a t drawing.

Brain: Okay, that’s cool. What about Photoshop? Or Blender! We could do some 3D modeling! That’s fun you like that!

Self: I guess. I need to relearn all the controls though. That would make the fun have to wait a while.

Brain: Um, alright. What about writing? Want to work on a story?

Self: Not really. I think I’ll just sit here and stare at the TV.

Brain: Are you sure? You usually don’t like to do that all the time.

Self: I guess I’m sure. I don’t know. I don’t care.

 

Yes these are things that happen inside my head. It just makes it more aggravating when I go to write a post here as well, because I know I’ll enjoy writing it, if I can just get moving on it.

Maybe I need to pick one thing, and make myself do that for a little bit everyday too. It’s been working really well for the writing, just not giving myself an option, and knowing that the act of writing is the reward at the moment. Now the question becomes: What do I focus on? What do I get the most personal satisfaction out of just doing?

I know these aren’t things I expect you guys to know. I’m not pushing the onus for answers on you guys. I get my best answers by thinking out loud, so I’m just kind of putting this all out there. Opinions are appreciated though.

Jeans Weather!

Yes!

Jeans weather is here! I can finally stop wearing those pants impostors that people call “shorts.” It’s about time.

Closeup of a copper rivet on blue jeans.

Closeup of a copper rivet on blue jeans. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve always preferred jeans to any other leg covering. They’re better than shorts, khakis, pajama pants, and slacks. The only thing that might be on par with jeans would be the pants from an excellent suit, but only when paired with the matching excellent jacket.

Knowing my love for jeans, allow me to also mention that my legs are not what most people would call “attractive.” They are moderately shapely(only in the calf area), pale and hairy.  I’m not really hurting anyone’s feelings going back into full-length leg coverings here.

I’m sorry, I got a little excited and had to gush. I know it kind of goes with some of my other recent fall posts, but overall was generally kind of pointless. I’m a little short on ideas right at the moment.

It stems from the fact that fall always seems to be the busiest part of my life no matter what happens. Work gets busy, The Wife starts teaching again, and pretty much everything happens to us in the fall. My brain has entered it’s yearly state of being on constant alert for…something.

It’s a little like an extension of my tendency to get overwhelmed with things. Everything seems to be getting busier and I have very little ability to extricate the busy items from one another. I can’t decide if discovering this particular quirk of my personality is helpful or not yet.

The quirk in question(say that 5 times fast!) is my major tendency to have to slowly ease into and out of things. I mean everything. Ideas, moods, energy levels, interests. The exception that proves the rule here is that when I’m very interested in something, I binge on it. Like my current obsession with Power Metal. I am eyeball deep in nothing but Heavy Metal at the moment(musically speaking, of course.) For everything else, I take much longer than is normal or reasonable to work up to or down from things. I take a long time to get in a frame of mind to, let’s say be busy all day at work.

It takes me a couple of weeks of increasing business before I am able to handle the increasing amount of separate projects without collapsing. When this isn’t a smooth increase in amount, I tend to get very frustrated very quickly. It also takes me a couple of weeks to ease down from the high level of work. I spend days thinking I’ve forgotten to do something, because I’d been so busy just the week prior.

I’m not sure if knowing about this is really any benefit. Life happens at it’s own pace, and I have very little input about what needs my attention/presence and when. People also don’t seem to care that I need a little extra time to gear myself up for certain things.

Oh well, I suppose since I’m not even 30 yet, things aren’t likely to get any easier or more understanding from here on out. Any suggestions on how to switch gears more easily would be appreciated.

Yet again, I’m weird

So yesterday was a little weird. Sorry about that. I started off talking about how I don’t want to only write sad stuff, or be too deep all the time and ended up talking about the scientific viability of certain Zombies.

The Thinking Man sculpture at Musée Rodin in Paris

The Thinking Man sculpture at Musée Rodin in Paris (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I got to thinking about that whole thing this morning. It led me down the path of wondering if I post too often. If I post something every day, do I run out of ideas? Is yesterday what happens when I’m out of ideas? Should I think about posting less often so that I can always be thoughtful about my posts?

As usual, I’m the weird one. I decided that writing less would actually result in less ideas for me. I know this seems counter-intuitive(let’s face it, I’m like a definition of counter-intuitive,) but I promise you that it isn’t. I really thought about this,m so stick with me.

I started writing here to process things. Lots of things. I tend to be an out loud thinker. I almost always get better results when I talk through something. Sometimes I have entire conversations talking at someone, come to a conclusion and they just nod and say “Yep, sounds good.”I imagine that makes for some frustrating interactions. Sorry about that. One of the ways I process all of these different things is by just coming here and typing. What happens happens.

I also realized that if I posted less frequently, I would find a way to procrastinate my posting in such a way that any schedule would be pointless. I would rationalize not posting on time. Telling myself I’m going to post every weekday gives me a little bit of leeway for exactly what time, but not for what days. I only skip when I literally run out of time and can’t get to it or forget, or if I’m out of town or otherwise unable to get to the computer. If I were to tell myself I was going to post 3 times a week, I’d probably end up slapping 3 crappy posts up on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday that none of you would be interested in.

Writing here is important to me, and a good way to make sure I keep it a priority is to have the posting schedule of one post every weekday. I’m going to stick with that. Will it occasionally result in zombie-talk? Probably. Will some posts be sad? Yep. Will I continue to be off-the-wall, mostly unpredictable and unabashedly strange? You bet.

If that’s your cup of tea, stick around. We like tea. Tell your friends. Invite them too. The more the merrier.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

Any specific timetables or routines with blogging that make you a better blogger?

I Think it’s Working, You Guys!

When I started this blog, I just thought it would be a fun thing to do. I managed to write a post a day for a month. Eventually I put it off.

Two tall metal file cabinets for work or home use

Two tall metal file cabinets for work or home use (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When I started writing here again, I promised that I wouldn’t let that happen again. I told myself ‘Not this time. No quitting this time. It’s important. This is for you. You can do it.’ So far I have.

I think it’s helping. I think the writing, fiction and nonfiction, the sharing and the regimen is working. Everything is getting a little easier. I mean everything. I’m making a difference in my own life! That’s a weird sentence.

Really, I’m happy with the way that things are progressing. I feel more relaxed than I have in a long time. I feel more connected than I have in a long time. I sometimes need a little help processing things, and I think having this little corner of the Interwebs as my own person file cabinet is really making a difference.

I’ve stayed on top of writing every weekday(excluding a few holidays) just like I wanted. I’ve written more fiction than ever before. I’ve WANTED to write and draw and create. I’ve connected with super cool people. Then I found some more! I’m noticing more things in the world. I even got my shit together and went to yoga class. The threats probably helped.(check out the comments)

My point is, I suppose, that I’m not just throwing word-shit against the wall and seeing what sticks anymore. I’m here, and I’m doing this, and I’m seeing some sort of result. Different kinds of results, but still.

So thanks for stopping by to listen to me ramble and rant. Thanks for the encouragement and the recommendations. Thanks for the tolerance and patience.

Most of all, thanks for listening.

Busy Bee

 

Bees in a Box

Bees in a Box (Photo credit: stewickie)

I’m too busy.

I was thinking about my post yesterday, and I am definitely too busy. I know what you’re thinking,(because I’m psychic!) because I thought it too when this post idea popped into my head: If you just said that you don’t have as much to do as you think, how can you really be that busy?

Well it’s all in my perception and attitude about everything. I make myself feel busy with the way I approach everything. It’s like when someone gives you ‘busywork’ because they feel better if you’re doing something rather than nothing. It doesn’t matter what it is, or even if it’s productive so long as it keeps you busy.

That seems to be how my brain has been handling and processing information. It feels better when it’s doing nothing, or everything. It seems to be one of the ways my brain expresses it’s all or nothing mentality. It makes itself feel busy when it’s a little occupied because it doesn’t know how to properly classify the in-between experiences.

I’ve never been particularly great at operating on a spectrum. It’s always been easier for me to think in absolutes. I think that’s what it’s all about, too. Easier. I’ve always taken the easy way out. It’s always been more difficult to think about things on an ever-moving, ever-evolving spectrum.

I can handle it sometimes. Certain issues and concepts I can separate the individual pieces out and think about them one at a time. That creates a crazy amalgam of concepts. The trouble is that I still think of the individual concepts in black and white terms.

I understand the problem with this, but like someone who knows eating hot wings will give them heartburn, I just make the decision. I can lay all the pieces out on the table, I can evaluate them, I can think logically and emotionally about each one. Then I just make a decision without regard to all those individual evaluations.

I just need to work at training myself to view activities for what they are. I am typically more able to do this once the activity has started, but I need to begin to do it all the time. I need to force myself not to feel busy when I’m not actually busy. Maybe it will help me slow down and view things in the proper perspective.

Shift

You know when you can feel a small change making other small ripple-changes(I just made that word up. Copyright me.) in your life?

Drips

Drips (Photo credit: Carlton Chong)

Maybe you don’t know what I mean. To be completely honest I think this is the first time that I’ve had a small change make lasting ripple-changes(Still mine.) It happens more than we think, but the opposite is a lot easier to observe. When a major life event out of our control creates an earthquake that changes everything and leaves fractures.

 

The major events are easier to notice. When something big happens, a birth or a death for instance, everything changes immediately, with little changes radiating out from the epicenter. Maybe we don’t notice these changes for years, but they already happened. Ripple-changes are harder. We make a decision, or something changes in our daily routine, and other small things begin to change a little more slowly. Little changes ripple out to be bigger changes.

 

I like those classifications; Earthquake-changes and Ripple changes.

 

Ripple changes can be harder to notice because the initiating event isn’t always obvious. It can be hard to track them back to their start, as opposed to just the smaller ripple. I think I’m noticing the beginning of a set of ripples. I’m very curious to see if they will continue, and what the current ripples will turn into.

 

I’ve had my share of Earthquakes. I don’t really want anymore unplanned ones. I’m sure I’ll have some. Why else would they be called unplanned? I won’t get in to it today, maybe soon though. I’d like to have some more Ripples. They’re a little more easily adjusted to and planned around. I’d like some minor changes.

 

How about you? Any Earthquakes or Ripples recently? Were they good or bad?

 

Elements

I love to stand on the earth, leaning on a railing, enjoying the weather. Especially on a dark and stormy night. Stand on the earth and just be.

I love the feeling of the water as it slowly drips down my face. The rain landing on me and running from my hair to my skin feels like it’s washing away the world.

I love the feeling of the wind as is slips by my skin. The dampness only enhances the touch of the wind as it slips by and blows away my thoughts.

I love the fire in my heart that slowly begins to burn. The feelings of peace that feed the my Heartfire and keep me moving.

I love the connection to the world I feel in the warm earth beneath my feet.

I love the steady rhythm of the water that the raindrops beat on my head and shoulders.

I love the tingling that the wind gives me while it frees my mind.

I love to feel the slow burn in my heart grow as the the fire flickers to life.

 

I love the elements.

Fate! Destiny!

So I was watching How I Met Your Mother again,(what? It’s a good show.) and the concept of destiny(and an amusing joke about a stripper named Destiny) or fate came up. The show was talking about these concepts as they relate to a relationship. Were 2 people being thrown together by the universe because they were somehow ‘meant to be together’? As usual, this sort of thing gets me thinking.

Man thinking on a train journey.

Man thinking on a train journey. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My pondering had less to do with the relationship version of it all. I’m a happily married guy. The Wife keeps me in line and takes care of me; in return I… well there’s something that I do and I’ll have to let you know if I figure it out. I was more thinking about how the concept of destiny/fate applies to my belief that everything happens for a reason. I know I mentioned this, briefly, before and I may have even indicated that I wasn’t specifically referring to fate.

I tend to think of ‘everything happens for a reason’ in a very broad, general, and non-specific fashion. It’s something I think about to try to keep from dwelling on bad things happening or good things not happening. I know that I am a blessed person. Things may not always go just the way I want, but I have very little to complain about. Things have gone alright for me. This is what I use as a sort of baseline to indicate to myself that ‘things will work out alright, everything happens for a reason.’

If I stop to think about all of it, I start to get to a place that I’m not sure if I want to be. Am I destined for anything? If I am, am I okay with that? Maybe it isn’t as specific as ‘you will end up a doctor.’ Even if it is as general as ‘you will have kids,’ am I okay with that being the course for my life no matter what? I am able to take solace in the fact that when something doesn’t go my way, I feel like there was a reason for that and it will work out eventually. Without knowledge of what that reason is, am I okay being steered in a direction without my input?

It also tend to lead me to thoughts of “The Universe” as some sort of entity with plans and something that uses signs as indicators. Is this something I should be thinking about when major changes happen? Should I look for signs and be less concerned with things not working out immediately? I would hate to hamstring myself because I was busy waiting and reacting to “The Universe” instead of being proactive.

That being said, I’m not always an exceptionally proactive person(insert joke about anything including the word’active’ here). I tend to be the kind of person who just continues along a path until a crossroad appears and I’m forced to make a decision. Rarely am I the type to pick the direction or destination and just set off through the woods to get there.

So at the end of the day, I being to wonder if I should be happy about everything happening for a reason. I wonder if destiny/fate plays a role in my life. If it does, how flexible are the steps and the results? Am I alright with this? Does it matter if I’m alright with it? Should I be paying attention for signs? Worry about ‘Putting things out into the Universe”?

I may never know, but I do know that telling myself ‘everything happens for a reason’ still makes me feel better when things aren’t going quite right.