Tag Archives: failure

How Creativity Died

9 Mar

First off…. Watch this: TED Talks

We have engineered creativity out of ourselves and our children. Isn’t it sad? I did horribly in school. I was fantastic come test time… I had the highest test scores in my class, but I had a very low grade point average. I was also taken to several psychiatrists and by the time I was 10 years old I took 8 pills every morning. I can’t even tell you what they all were. ADHD, dyslexia, anxiety, over-active imagination, tendency to exaggerate, over-dramatic, too much energy, can’t sit still, doesn’t play well with others, not enough attention to academics, doesn’t know how to study, obviously doesn’t care, failing.

What could I have been if they had just let me be me and express myself in the ways my body was telling me to?

I came across this quote from a site called toxicdrums:

Boredom is actually a form of distress.  To get a perspective on this consider all those relaxed lions dozing in the mid day sun on the African plains.  You won’t see a bored one.  But in a zoo they can (unfortunately) sometimes be seen neurotically pacing backwards and forwards.  That is a bored lion.  When you are feeling bored it is usually because the natural activities that you want are not available as choices in your conscious mind.  You are in some sense caged.  The typical reason for this is that  you have been restricted in your past by figures of authority, your parents, your teachers, or other people looking after you.  See the educating children page for more about how we stifle our children.  It’s called oppression and you learn to comply to stay safe and survive.  Eventually you are doing it to yourself without being conscious of it.  So it seems a mystery why you feel unhappy and stuck.

Isn’t it bizarre? Trapped in our own minds. I just wonder how to begin trying to reclaim some of what may have been lost to me. They say getting outside and exercising is a good beginning. I wish it would stop raining.

This is a minor Skadi day for me. A little shaky, but surviving. We don’t have internet at the new place yet so it’s hard for me to post. I took lots of pictures to share, but the internet from the retirement home next door is very weak and it’d take too long to upload them right now.

Featured image is body art by Emma Hack  – She’s fantastic

Comics and Confessions

19 Feb

Have I ever told you guys that my husband is the most fantastic and awesome guy ever? He is. Seriously. Yesterday he came home from work with a bundle of flattened boxes all bound together by some masking tape. I love that he listens. I never even asked him for more boxes! And then today he took me to get coffee and then to the comic book shop where I got an issue of the Doctor Who comics (the 2010 annual) and an issue of The Doctor Who Companion magazine! I think my affection for DW may be getting out of hand, but as long as Shawn is enjoying it as much as I am then who cares?

I want to get a tattoo. I love tattoos! This one will probably be next, because sometimes if I think about a tattoo too long I’ll talk myself out of it and what fun is that? I want to get sort of a cameo with lace around the outside but in the middle instead of a silhouette I want a picture of the tardis with roses growing behind it. And somewhere in the lace, kind of hidden I want the words “Bad Wolf” stitched into the lines. And then underneath the whole thing, maybe overlapping the cameo a little, banner that says “Allons-y”. I need this. It will go on the outside of my right ankle/lower calf.

Confession: I had pizza today and yesterday. That is totally NOT diet friendly. I feel like I need the move. I need this total reset to be able to get my life back together. My apartment is a mess (today I took out 3 bags full of trash). I guess ever since my last episode… I didn’t clean at all during it and the house fell apart. Big time. I just haven’t had the motivation yet to get up take it all back. I really hate the fallout from it. I was watching the United States of Tara and she was talking about how much she hated cleaning up after her other personalities… I kind of knew pretty much how she felt. Obviously not entirely… but, by the time I’m feeling like myself again there’s usually mess and destruction all around me. Not always physical either. It puts a lot of stress on my personal relationships.

There is another side to bipolar… not just myself and Skadi… there’s also the manic side. When I feel so happy and energized I could just bounce off the walls. It’s also the reason I was first misdiagnosed as ADHD. But, it gets to the point where I’m obviously not acting like myself anymore (I usually get the “Are you ok?” and the “What are you on?” questions). I’m a fairly calm and down to earth person in general. I like to be happy, but quietly. I haven’t had a good flash of manic for a while now. I could use one with the move coming up. I tend to get so much done. Endless amounts of energy, and like this crazy super focus. It’s like I can hone in on one thing like a missile and ignore everything else.  I could really use that right now. I need to get a lot done.

So… best to start right now. I’m going to put on some indie-rock on Pandora (welcome back springtime!) and I’ll work on cleaning, laundry and packing.

TTYL

Ink and New Beginnings

1 Feb

I’m finally feeling more like myself again. And just in time too… yesterday we put down a deposit on a new apartment a few towns over. When we took our current apartment it was a convenience being closer to work for both hubs and myself. Now that we’ve both changed jobs in the past year it’s rather inconvenient being where we are. So we shall bid “Au Revoir” to this cramped 675 sq ft place we’ve called home and “Nihao” to our shiny new 1100 sq ft townhome. I shouldn’t necessarily say “shiny new” because we’re getting a cheaper rate on it because it’s one of the units that has yet to be renovated. However, I’m a big fan of wabi-sabi so it works just fine for me. There will be some decorating hurdles but I’ve decided to put all of those thoughts out of my mind until move-in time.

Today also marks the end of my first complete cycle while “trying”. Only one sad pink little line this month. I’m taking a few days to just relax and try to get my mind back in it’s happy place and ready for this coming month to be a disappointment. Of course, I’m hopeful… but, if I expect failure then it won’t come as a sad surprise… instead success would be an even happier surprise! So, this month we will try our best. But, I wholly expect it to be at least 6 months to a year before conception. Just being realistic.

I have also restarted my diet. With the fading of my most recent despairing episode I felt the time right to begin again. I get to have 4 milkshakes a day, multi-vitamins, and on days when I just gotta chew something – plain seafood. I can have 2 cheat meals a week. The shakes do make me feel full and they don’t taste awful. And if I get hungry I can have more shakes. I can have as many shakes as I want. Usually four is enough, though. Hubby is also semi-joining me in this diet endeavor. I told him I won’t hold him strictly to it like I will myself. It’s nice to be on the same track with him though.

Before my little fall apart time I had made a really nice batch of apple pancakes and had taken pictures to blog the recipe and process. I’ll get around to it in a day or so now that I’m feeling sane again.

Lately, I’ve been pondering tattoos. I already have a couple and wouldn’t be opposed to getting a few more. I wanted to get one on my left foot that said “Let other pens dwell on guilt and misery” with a pen and an open book as a sort of reminder to myself to purposefully write my own story and cut out things that I don’t want in that story. My life is always an ongoing project of mine as I try to mold it into the one I’ve always wanted. (I think I’m doing pretty well… most of the time.)

I had a few other tattoo ideas, I even like the white ink tattoos that are popular lately. Some people say they look like scars… I think they’re just subtle. I love tattoos, but I’m into subtle too.

Well, I should go make another shake (and then a cup of tea).

TODAY:

  1. Work
  2. Drink tea (Spring time is for tea and it might as well be Spring here)
  3. Watch more Dr. Who
  4. Clean house
  5. Have shakes
  6. Get some sleep

Introducing Skaði

29 Jan

I feel almost like I should make a separate blog for the part of me that’s not me. The bipolar part that comes out and takes over my thoughts and emotions. I’ve learned to think of myself as two separate people almost. One is me, the way I know me and like myself. The other is some monster that is out to ruin my life. I’m gonna call her “Skaði“. Skaði is a character from Norse mythology… what she did to Loki reminds me of what my other me does to the real me… She hung a venomous snake above Loki’s face and when the venom fell on him he writhed in such pain that the world was wracked with earthquakes. That’s kinda how I feel. I’m fine as long as the venom doesn’t touch me but as soon as it collects enough to drip down… my entire world starts crumbling.

This morning I yelled at Shawn for absolutely nothing. We had been in the car, I was driving, he had just taken me to breakfast for my birthday (25 now) and asked me if I wanted to go look at some antiques. I had thought he motioned at the flea market on the service road so I got off at the exit and turned down the service road. In the car we had been discussing some family issues that make us both rather angry and I was already fired up from talking about it. As I went around the corner I cut it too close and hit the curb (car’s fine just a good knock). I was so embarrassed and being embarrassed tends to raise the stress/anger level and then as I was pulling up to the flea market he asked me why we were there, he thought we were going to the antique stores in town. Apparently I had misread him and that made me even more embarrassed… enough to tip the scale I guess because before I even knew what was happening I was yelling at him something along the line of “Well tell me what you want then!”, slamming my fist on the steering wheel and my foot on the brake. Of course he got angry and asked me why the Hell I was getting angry at him and I had no good answer… it wasn’t the sort of thing you should get that angry over. I stopped to take a few breaths and tried to ask as calmly as possible what did he want to do. We ended up just going home and he went to lay down while I tried to deal with Skaði.

I don’t take any meds for bipolar… maybe I should? I don’t really know what to do. It really scares me that I have such little control over what Skaði says and does. I’ll always be the first to take full responsibility for my actions, but they really are episodes. I tend to not realize what I’ve said or done until halfway through the act. Sometimes not until someone tells me what just happened (only ever happened twice like that though).

What scares me the most is having children… I want to be a mom and I feel like I’d be really good at it and I’ve always known it was something I wanted to do… What about Skaði? Will I really be able to handle the baby who won’t stop crying or the rebellious teenager? It’s a concept that makes me really sad.

The worst part is, for the first time in years, today I wondered how much better off the world would be without me. I’m not trying to be dramatic or attention getting, please don’t take this the wrong way, I just think that if I say it somewhere instead of letting the thought just fester alone in the back of my mind… maybe I can reread this later and remind myself how ridiculous it is. I thought about how Shawn could find another girl who was a bit more reliable and a lot less crazy and how much better off his kids would be. I know he wouldn’t approve of the thought process, but it came on its own without invitation.

Honestly, I don’t know what to do. Skaði makes me feel so helpless. She plants awful thoughts in my head and tells me how unloved I am by everyone and how terrible my life is when I (the real me) know none of it is true. It makes me wonder how many people in my life I’ve estranged because of something Skaði whispered in my ear about them not liking me anyway. I’ve always had social anxiety… how much of that is her? How much of my life is truly controlled by her?

I don’t want to be crazy anymore. I want to be normal and not think these awful thoughts or want to cry at the drop of a hat or get angry enough to break something because of the smallest mistake. I guess I am my own worst enemy.

Some Seriousness Pt 2

22 Jan

Alright guys… let me lay some heaviness on you all. I haven’t blogged much the past couple days because I’ve been having some serious ups and downs and have been hoping they’ll just pass, but no luck so far. I was diagnosed as bipolar only last year having been told I was merely chronically depressive most of my life. I have swings like it’s no one’s business. I try my best not to put my negative moods into the world but sometimes it can lead to some serious thinking…

Today I’ve been reading news. Never a good thing. I think what bothers me the most is the lack of awareness out there. The lack of anger. The lack of panic. Why is no one else freaking out like I am? Why is no one else slightly terrified of bringing a new life into this world we live in considering the direction we’re headed? I’m not just talking about the degrading morals… I’m talking about the 1st world taking everything for granted and not realizing what deep shit we’re in (pardon mon français) .

Water. It is in everything we eat, everything we drink, most things we do involve this seemingly commonplace liquid. The average American uses roughly 176 gallons of it a day. We are running out. FAST. It has been predicted that by the year 2050 the world will be facing the largest scale water crisis in the history of recorded time. That’s what…. less than 40 years from now? Quite frankly… what are we doing, people?

Amount of water used, per day, to irrigate the world’s golf courses: 2.5 billion gallons

Amount of people in the world who lack access to safe and clean drinking water: 884 million people

And we’re watering golf courses.

Anyone else having a “wtf?” moment?

Have some music for this next section: Mizan Version David Bowie/Trent Reznor Version

The average American uses more clean drinkable water in a 5 minute shower than the average impoverished African family uses in a day. England uses about half what Americans do and Japan a third.

What I’m really getting at is that we have more in the news about Brad and Angelina than we do about this? Why? Because Brad and Angelina sell and this is the scary truth. Ostriches. No one wants to acknowledge the alarms going off around them so they bury their head in the sand.

It’s great for me to dream of having kids and moving into a house and progressing in my career, but the terrifying reality is that it may not go that way. A human being can go for almost a month without food… but only a week without water.

Did you know that there are large corporations buying up the water rights throughout the world and hoarding it? Imagine a world where bottled water is no longer a choice. Where you turn on the tap and nothing comes out. Imagine water being sold by the gallon at ever-rising prices as the supply erodes.

It’d be like gas prices… only if you can’t pay it it’s much worse than having to give up your precious car… it’s life or death.

It makes me very sad to think that I may tell my children about the days of having a pool in the backyards and playing in the yard with the hose knowing they’ll never experience the same.

But, there are children in the world right now who never got that luxury.

All I want is for people to take the time to face the truth about this and other things happening in the world around them. Don’t be distracted by the media’s shiny celebrities. Pay attention to what’s going on. Watch a documentary instead of a romantic comedy. Watch it with your kids. Learn something together. Grow the bonds of your family by knowing how much you rely on one another.

And please… save resources whenever you can and I will try to do the same. I’m not perfect. But, I am scared. I guess that’s something.

Tomorrow’s post will be much nicer, I promise.

Facts from Water Facts and Water.org

Some Seriousness

11 Jan

I grew up in a town where there was pretty much nothing to do between the ages of 12 and 18. So much so that the biggest teenage pastime was selecting the food-serving/entertainment venue of your choice and loitering… for hours. You selected where you would hang out based on your classification and/or popularity status. It broke down kind of like this:

  • Taco Bell – This is where the “cool” people were. I could never quite figure out why their love of tacos was so great but if you wanted to find all of the jocks, cheerleaders and their lackeys… they were here. Sitting on the trunk of a car or on the beds of trucks (only a select few would actually have vehicles) eating burritos and cinnamon twists until the wee hours of the morning.
  • The Bowling Alley – This is where the rich kids hung out. I went to a school that was weird in that the student parking lot had nicer cars in it than the teachers’ lot. We had some generally wealthy people at our school (compared to the area… a half a million for a home doesn’t seem like much in some places, I know. But, here that was pretty much the same as owning a solid gold toilet.). They liked the bowling alley for the parking lot and the arcade. They would all show off their cars to one another and eat pizza all night long, stealing unfinished beers off of empty tables.
  • The Gaming Shop – I did frequent this one from time to time when I needed to change it up. Especially since it was only a couple of parking lots and an intersection away from my usual haunt. Here there be geeks. Playing Magic: the Gathering, Dance Dance Revolution or getting a LAN game of CounterStrike going was what these guys lived for. I say guys because there were about 5 girls in total (including myself) that would actually hang out  there. The place had snacks and TONS of games along with the occasional comic book and movie nights on the weekend.
  • The Patio Coffee Shop –  Man alive. These kids were all headed straight for Burning Man the SECOND they turned 18. Bongos, guitars and cigarettes. The self-styled “bohemians” loved this place. It was right on the lake and had a big outdoor patio with a small stage where they would hold random performances, impromptu poetry… the whole sha-bang. I really only went there occasionally but I did put in a few appearances and knew the regulars well enough to hang out without any objection.
  • The Book Store – These quiet nerdy kids didn’t so much “hang out” as they did “individually congregate”. They were all there… but none of them were talking. They all had their faces stuck in a book and a cup of 3 hour old coffee that they were still sipping.
  • The Park – How much skateboarding can you get away with before you get run off by the cops? These “skaters” were out to find out. All evening they’d terrorize the local greenery and attempt to look cool while continually falling on their asses before heading to McDonald’s when it got dark.
  • The Waffle House – So once you’ve covered all of the other categories and sorted all the people into their little groups you’re always left with some oddballs who don’t exactly fit into any one category (or any at all). Also known as the bottom of the barrel. All those people hung out at Waffle House. Including myself. It cost exactly $1.10 for an endless cup of coffee (The price went up as the years went on) and you could smoke inside. And we did. We would sit for hours just drinking coffee, smoking cigarettes, talking and being generally bored. It was almost like a club. Whenever a whole bunch of “actual customers” would show up we’d migrate to the parking lot or (as we got older) someone’s apartment/house/parent’s house. There was a whole crowd of steady regulars that hung out there. You could show up on any day at pretty much any time and know someone. It was cool in that being a loner teenager in denial I could always feel accepted and like I wasn’t all alone. It was uncool in that as we got older we didn’t stop hanging out there… and the habits of the crowd only got worse.

By the time I was 18-ish a lot of the girls my age had kids, the boys had all seen the back of a cop car once or twice, a few of them had completely obliviated themselves with weed, and yet others had started down a road that would eventually lead to several bouts of rehab, AA, jail-time and the like. Not that everyone was bad or was getting into trouble. And a few people even began to break off from the group and move on with their lives to (usually) better things. It just amazes me that it went on for so long. They would all move into apartments together in groups of 4 or 5… the apartment would become a party-hub and eventually be torn apart by drama. I think the weirdest thing is to think that if I drove down there right now… there’s probably at least one of them still there.

The groups stayed pretty solid until I was around 20 (most of the people there were at least a few years older than I was). That’s when the big splits began to happen. When it fractured into smaller groups who didn’t get along with one another. We began to lose people to addictions and laziness… and the funerals began (car accidents, motorcycle accidents, etc.). As we got older it was no longer all fun and games and something to do on boring weeknights after school. I slowly began to realize that this was life now. This is what and who we were. And it was serious.

I ended up in a relationship that was, shall we say, less than healthy. I smoked 2 packs a day and he and I would rarely get along… eventually it came down to what has been termed by a couple of therapists I’d seen as “mentally abusive”.  After that I was broken, lost and had nothing to do but move back home and in with my mom and her new husband.

I settled back in to the Waffle House. Showing up every night, going out drinking on the weekends, and smoking myself into submission. It was so easy to not care when no else cared either. My friend, who I’d often thought of as probably the best friend I had, had begun his descent into serious and dangerous alcoholism starting with him causing an accident while driving drunk. Despite all my best efforts over the following couple years to encourage him to stop and try to get him to take care of himself in the end all it did was destroy what was left of our friendship. Luckily… when I had moved back home I began talking to Shawn on the internet. We talked on the same forum and had known about each other for a long while but had never really spoken. I was drawn to him immediately. He seemed to understand the way I think (a strange task in and of itself). He encouraged me to work to better myself instead of falling into the same “auto-piloted” rut of failure and apathy that I and all my friends had fallen into.

Eventually I flew out to California to help him move to Louisiana and about 6 months later he proposed to me and we were married a year after that. Since then with his help and support I’ve stopped smoking, I’m losing weight on a healthy diet, I’ve cut all contact with the negative influences that had driven my life for so long, I’ve held a job consistently and have worked to continue advancing in my life and career. He really is my knight in shining armor.

This started out as what was going to be a post about the quirky inner workings of the high school social system but it’s come down to this instead: You are never stuck. You are never defeated. You are never too old to make changes. You are in control of your own life. The system doesn’t own you. The “Man” doesn’t own you. Every day is what you make it. Take charge of yourself and realize that even old friends can be bad friends. Old habits can be bad habits. And both can be eradicated. Do what is best for yourself and you will be so much happier. I told this to so many of my friends as they faded into their addictions… It didn’t help. They just hated me for it.

Although, I miss some of my old friends, they’re not the people they used to be. They’re addicted hollow and burnt shadows of who they were. And in the end even though I’d give the world if I could save them, they wouldn’t do the same for me and they certainly wouldn’t do the same for themselves. Realizing this was the best thing I ever did. It set me free.

You may think that giving up on them was wrong of me. Sometimes I do too. But, they never wanted or accepted my help. I can throw out a life preserver to someone who’s drowning but if they refuse to grab it and keep gulping water instead to spite me… am I helping? Or making it worse?  I’m only human.

Sorry for the heaviness. I’ll skip the to-do list for today.