OK, reaching out again, to the world, one baby step at a time, and trying not to trip over my own d*mn feet. Literally and figuratively.
Learning how to walk again has been painful. And time consuming. And is still ongoing.
Learning how to love again, or still, or something… Well, it’s time to stop wishing and hoping, Dusty, and get back to feeling good. Or anything.
So starting small. This all-or-nothing gal is learning patience the hard way.
And if I’m going to see the big picture, I have to see myself as part of it.
OK, reaching out again, to the world, one baby step at a time, and trying not to trip over my own d*mn feet. Literally and figuratively.
So my fun health issues turned out to be life-changing. Hence the disappearing act. Not to worry, I’m fine. I’m not going anywhere any time soon. I just have had to pay closer attention to my diet and banish chairs from my world. But it raised up a whole host of fears and panic and issues with which I thought I had already dealt more effectively. Apparently, I’m still human, no matter what I try to pass off to the world.
Eventually, I hope to be able to discuss that time in greater detail, but for now, I’m going to leave it that I felt powerless, and then invisible, which naturally kept me silent for so long.
Also, I’ve discovered I write best (read: at all) in mornings and evenings – and since my mornings are taken up by ensuring I eat an appropriate and balanced breakfast, and literally hanging out in the pool at the local Y hoping for some passive traction to actively do something, and oh, yeah, work -that place where they keep my money and benefits… and since my evenings are taken up by resting my very tired self, ensuring I eat an appropriate and balanced supper, and taking the wall-of-exhaustion medication… the writing thing, became not so important. Which just adds to the voice-less invisibility, so I’m trying to bring it back. It will likely be sporadic, and that’s OK. I am human.
As for the rest of me… well, the chair banishment leaves me at a struggle to participate socially in the world at large, but I’m trying. Bars are at a higher esteem than they have been since I was an undergrad! Also, restaurants with tall tables, you are my friends and I will likely keep you in business.
I do feel on the whole that I am starting back at square one in my struggle to balance my life socially – it’s hard to get very busy on-the-go type people to visit their bed-ridden friend when they have multiple jobs etc. So… it’s been quiet, but I am trying. Again. Lather, rinse, repeat, right?
I have some fantastic medical professionals added to my team, so that’s nice.
And Dashing and I are… good. Apparently, he can find ways to visit the bed-ridden while working multiple jobs and going back to school. You see why I love him?
We struggle and fight, and are learning to better communicate and accept one-another for what we each have to offer. It’s hard. But we’re working on it. And it’s starting to feel like we might actually be working together on it. You know, as a team. Which is the whole point. Teams, communities, they’re hard to build and harder to maintain… but so very necessary.
I’m glad I have this community to return to. I hope you’re still out there waiting to join the discussion again.
From Black and White to Shades of “Grey”: Does being left at the altar mean the end of a relationship?
A certain popular television series got me thinking tonight. When do you know it’s right to join your life to another? To add him or her to your hub of your community? To allow him or her access to your other communities?
When do you know it’s right to become married?
I say “become married” rather than “get married” because I do not believe that marriage is something you acquire. Achieve, perhaps, grow into, most certainly, but pick up like eggs and milk from the corner store? No.
Also, I believe it is possible to become married without having a wedding. If you throw the law out of it (which it should be), and if you throw out definitions using variations of the same word (sloppy), then we see the third definition in Merriam-Webster as being:
Which is entirely possible to develop without celebrating it, without publicly stated vows, without rings or things or kitchen sinks…
Now, I am not discounting the importance of weddings. I do not believe that in general they are frivolous affairs which change nothing in any relationship. I believe they can be quite transformative, but that every wedding may not necessarily be so.
I’m simply questioning the all-encompassing significance our society places on the altar. Is it truly necessary to have a wedding in order to enter that state of intimate union with another?
And, as in the case of our fine characters who inspired this line of thought, can a relationship survive one of the two not making it to the altar? How devastating to the relationship must it be?
I can understand that to the individual left waiting it must be a tremendous blow to the ego, and to your faith and trust in the other person, and that latter part necessitates that it must affect the relationship – but must it be devastating?
An intimate or close union. Union. That requires two people, two wants, two needs, two schedules, and two perspectives to consider.
And I believe one can be entirely ready for a marriage, for an intimate union, for a partnership of that magnitude, and yet, not be ready for a wedding.
Obviously communication is key, but if you are planning a wedding (and hopefully the after-wedding) with a person, and you show up on the day, brimming with certainty and anticipation and a certain amount of trepidation… and that person simply doesn’t arrive… Does it change who he or she is? Does it change who he or she is to you? Does it change what you want from/with him or her? Do you stop loving him and wanting her and needing him or her?
Or can you accept that it happened and move on and still be with him or her?
Is that too much? Is it an act devoid of self-respect to stay on? To continue the relationship after inconsideration and perceived rejection and (typically) intimate public humiliation?
Obviously, one cannot know until one is in such a position, but I can tell you what I hope from myself, and my partners:
Perhaps I am too romantic. Perhaps I was raised by parents who demonstrated such unconditional love that I can’t imagine any singular act on it’s own changing that type of bond.
But that’s just it.
“I love you forever” doesn’t come with caveats. Unless you put them there.
Perhaps it’s the divorced child in me, but I’ve had enough of secrets and ifs and situational relationships. A marriage is not the place for them. Not for me, anyhow. By the time I’m looking down an aisle (or trail, or path, or ribbon, or slip’n'slide – whatever we set up), I would hope that I am already considering that person waiting for me to be my partner, and for I to be his or hers. We would already be family. Our marriage would already have begun, and would not be solely dependent on a wedding happening that hour, that day, or at all.
You shouldn’t have to say “I’ll have an intimate union with you, only after we sign documents/speak vows/party with family,” it should be a process. An ongoing ever-evolving process. I hope I wake up everyday from the moment I know that person to be part of my family and think to myself “Today, I marry you” whether there’s a wedding or not.
What do you hope for in such an experience? Please share your story below.
So what is a community? Why do we seek it out? Why do we spend all this energy cultivating it? Why do we need it?
Well, I believe a community is a collection of people or things with a relationship to one another; usually with the aspiration of being greater than the sum of its parts. Two people can form a community, a very intimate one, albeit. And one person alone can have a community of the mind or of passion or of achievement – by collecting and experiencing art, literature, and sport.
When we are born we rely on our family, our first community to provide for us, to keep us alive. We are dependent.
As we grow, our independence grows, too, and I think as adults we have a hard time balancing that desire and pride in providing for oneself, in achieving goals without the assistance of others and yet allowing ourselves to find those on whom we can depend. Why should we? Especially in this day and age of technology and superstores we ought to be self-sufficient, yes?
That need of others is still there, sometimes deep within. And the fact is, we are stronger in numbers. Emotionally, physically, and mentally we grow more in relation to our experiences, and the more people, activities, and geography we include in our communities, the more experience we cultivate, the stronger we become.
I say “more” but I mean it qualitatively as well as quantitatively. A man might visit all seven continents in a year while another has spent a lifetime studying in minute detail the 10 square miles surrounding his home – who has seen more of the world? I leave it to you to decide for yourself.
This begins to explain why we seek out and cultivate communities, and I’ve begun to speak of several definitions of what a community might include.
But what about you? Why do you seek out a community? Do you seek one out at all? How do you define it? What do you include in it? Please, let me know, I’m curious to hear what others think on this.
So I’m putting myself out there. Well, literally, through this blog, but also in my offline life. And I promised to keep y’all updated.
Well nothings happened lately – I’ve fallen off the wagon as it were, what with holidays and birthdays and whatnot. So I’ve decided to update you on my state of mind, and put together a post requested by the Smitten Immigrant. And to somehow combine the two…
So I’ve said before that I’m an ambivert, which means I identify as both introvert and extravert (literally, I took the test in guidance at my highschool a couple of times over the course of several months while choosing university programs, and bang, two different results). And I think everyone has a little of each inside. It’s all very situational and has to do with comfort level, I believe.
Now I’m not a psychologist or an expert in anything, so I can only speak from my personal experience and observation.
Our society values extraverts. As the Smitten Immigrant says in her comment – introverted women are seen as the oddest ducks. Everything from commercials to new television series to reality television focuses on ballsy, popular, sexually hungry, sassy women. They are portrayed as modern, ideal, and normal – whereas their quiet sidekicks are shown as sweet, and old-fashioned, and not worthy of centre stage.
I think this idea really stems from a misconception (one of many) that came out of the feminist movement. It’s this idea that extraverted behaviour is an indication of strength. Introversion and extraversion have nothing to do with strength. I have met many needy, weak, and clingy extraverts, and many strong, self-possessed introverts. It seems we as a society never got over Tennessee Williams’ Laura Wingfield as the example of introversion, and her extremes have faded from our collective consciousness until what was a crippling and obsessive character trait pales and mutates to become our new definition of the word.
So what is the difference then? Well, introverts prefer solitude or small groups, enjoying and thriving off the sound of their own thoughts without the stereo feedback of a crowd. Extraverts prefer the throng, the pulse and beat of a crowd, the gratification of feedback from a source external to themselves.
As an introvert, I enjoy the observation of crowds, the ability to chew over a thought before I say it, the fantasy and daydreaming that can only come with some uninterrupted conversation with me, myself, and I. Thinking more, and feeling more on a soulful level, feeling recharged in a quiet, wisdom-seeking mode. Enjoying me, and my books, and the feel of being an island.
As an extravert, I enjoy the solitude within a crowd, being a part of the whole, the freedom to not think before I speak, and riding the wild repercussions that can come from that. There is an instinct in interacting with people, and a wild high in feeding off their energy. I can get drunk without touching alcohol. And I make friends and connections like a match to flash paper, which is good, because no man is an island, right?
Finding the balance can be like, well, like these.
As a self-identified woman of extremes, I should probably look up my nearest Buddhist temple and start learning to walk the middle path, except I’m pretty sure I’d fail. A lot. (On second thought, that might be a good thing…)
At any rate, my experiment designed to help me create more balance is working, but I need to find the energy to maintain the momentum I’ve managed to create, because otherwise I go back to hermit-ville, and that’s not good for me all the time.
My extraversion really shows when I’m speaking with passion, when I’m performing, and when I’m with other creatives. I may need to find a show… Or go dancing… Except, I don’t know how to go dancing without getting hit on, and I’m really too old for that crap, I just want to dance and feel the beat and the lights and the shadows and the sweat and the smile – and not get pawed at and manhandled. Too much to ask?
Well, until I figure it out, I’m enjoying my books and figuring me out, and there’s nothing weak about that.
This is a start, I’ll be writing more on these subjects I’m sure, but what I’d really like to know now is what do you guys think? When are you introverted, when are you extraverted? Do you ever wish you were the other? When? Why? What do you value? Let me know, below!!
Alright, I took a week. I’m sorry, I’ve neglected you and didn’t tell you why or give you a heads up. We good?
If only it were that simple, right?
It comes back to this today. At work I am a Giver, with my friends, currently, I am a Giver, and with Dashing, I am equal parts Giver and Cleaner.
Even with family, especially this time of year, I am Giver/Cleaner.
I suppose we could say I use this blog to Take for myself, and it’s true, I do get something out of it (even more than this, although this was nice!). Or I wouldn’t keep doing it, right?
So when is it my turn in real life?
Well, if past experience serves, December? Not gonna be it.
See Christmas is in December, and my nearly Christian family thinks that means something…
Mini-rant: Why do we all have to celebrate holidays at the same time? I get that it makes things easier for employers and the government, but really? It’s so annoying when the shops all close down and when I was a shift-worker who didn’t get holidays with the rest of the country (hotels never close, yo. Service industry For The Win!) it was d*mn hard to keep track. Is this a holiday where I have to remember to buy groceries before the shops close, or is this a “holiday” where consumerism reigns and just the lucky government and school children stop working? I never knew until I was sitting in my car in an empty supermarket parking lot thinking “Wait… I know this… Crap, it’s that day!” And the reasoning behind specifically Christmas (which is my family’s argument every year) and that it’s not about taking the holiday with the rest of the country, it’s about that’s when it is, Baby Jesus couldn’t help being born on December 25th — EXCEPT THAT HE DID! Religious appropriation – puts Christmas right up there with Thanksgiving in my fake holiday book… End Rant. Continue: Mostly Thought Out Argument…
Add to that my birthday is in December, this past week actually. And from where I sit, birthdays rarely seem to be about the person growing older. Maybe it’s my div0rced-child roots showing but if the point is that it’s my daaaay and time for me to do whatever I want then couldn’t I forgo the party? Or by that logic, shouldn’t that be a mandated holiday every year (I had my first uni exam on my birthday, so holiday mandation could have been useful)? At the very least – could I go on a crime spree and have no repercussions? “Sorry officer, it’s my birthday and all I wanted to do today is race down the highway at 150 km/hr and invite myself inside some nice person’s home (side note: now that’s how to make friends!)… “
It just feels like this period is all about me but not actually for me.
And maybe that’s how it’s supposed to be.
I get that birthdays are on the surface about surviving another year, and presumably acknowledging one’s accomplishments, and celebrating one’s mistakes, self-reflection, finding enlightenment – but they seem to end up being about how your mother was very uncomfortable once upon a time or how your ex would really like to get drunk and lock himself in your bathroom (true story) or how your community really just wants an excuse to eat, drink and be merry – which means you smiling – a lot… I get that ultimately holidays are about celebrating family and togetherness and gratitude for our communities. I understand that is an easier feat to accomplish when it’s scheduled in the communities’ collective consciousness. I get that the date is not actually important so long as the intention is preserved.
Maybe I’m a Grinch. Maybe I just resent being told what to do and when to do it.
After all, if the point is to celebrate your community and show your gratitude for how they lift you up and preserve you from harm – isn’t making it easier kinda lazy? Wouldn’t it be more meaningful if you took time out and made a holiday happen instead of allowing a religious or governmental institution tell you when to do it?
Wouldn’t you appreciate one of your friends celebrating you on a day that isn’t your birthday more than having to say “It’s my birthday, let’s party, and you can buy me gifts/shots/lap dances?” If it’s not about the gift, if it’s about the thought behind the gift… then isn’t a gift “just because” better than a gift “because it’s [insert holiday]“?
One Last Mini-Rant On This Subject: And for the record, while I would really rather not get anything, if you must buy gifts, on behalf of anyone born in December or early January – Christmas themed gifts are not birthday presents! Buy some new wrapping paper – or use comic books, or newsprint, or fabric, or a dropcloth – stay away from red and green combos (unless the person you’re buying for actually likes that combination – which is cool if they do) and go for red OR green instead, and for goodness sake anything with snowflakes, Frosty, Santa, or reindeer are not welcome unless, you know, the recipient collects that stuff. I would rather you write me a poem, or make a card, or give a gift certificate, or put some thought into what I might like, versus, OK check, gift done. If you can’t find a mug/sweater/tchotchke that doesn’t have Christmas all over it for a winter birthday, you’re not really trying, and it’s kinda insulting. I’d rather not get anything at all. Seriously.
According to Hayleigh, the rules are: 1. Link back to the person who nominated you. Check. 2. Attach the icon to your site. See above. 3. Answer the questions. See below. 4. Nominate people whose blogs you love. And I might add they probably should be personal blogs, written by someone about whom you are curious??
At any rate, I have Hayleigh’s questions to answer first:
- Who is your favourite actor/actress?
Hmm… Growing up that would have been Judy Garland. Today, I have to go with Charlize Theron for her chameleon-like ability to change her appearance with nearly every role she takes on. Or Bernadette Peters – woman keeps getting more and more brilliant. It’s unreal.
- Your all time favourite book?
Really? Only one? Hmmm…. I’ve talked about some of my favourites here, and I’m currently reading (re-reading) the Inheritance series by Christopher Paolini… hmm. My most read book is probably The Perilous Guard by Elizabeth Marie Pope, my most comforting is the Anne Series culminating with Rilla of Ingleside as (in my humble opinion) the most provoking of the lot. My most challenging is either Lord of the Rings or Game of Thrones – as they are epics, complex and full of unspoken histories and barely whispered connections until the plot twists and lays bare one tiny aspect for viewing. I continue to think though, of books I read as a child, those which left an impression, but which I do not have the luxury of perusing over and over again - Good Bye Pink Pig by Carole S. Adler, Behind the Attic Wall by Sylvia Cassedy, and Summer of the Swans by Betsy Byars. My favourite book is undoubtedly the last one I have read, or the one I seek out next.
- If you could have one superpower for the day, what would it be and why? Hmmm, well, my current superpowers aside… I think I would like the ability to hear and understand thoughts. I’d like to know what others think of me, sure, but also how they form thoughts, how they perceive the things and events around them… It would be difficult to bear, no doubt, but ultimately I could gain much wisdom.
- Is there anything you’d change about the country you live in? The apathy of our citizens, the assumptions of power of our politicians, the petty discord of neighbours, and yet, I would not, because it is only by those things changing organically that we as a society would grow. It’s all about growing pains, right?
- Favourite restaurant/food? My food. I’m a good cook, and I know how I like it. See my feast of inspiration. I’d rather cook than eat out.
- Most inspirational person?
Dashing. My mother. My father. My stepmom. My sister. All those whom I do not understand, and yet wish I did. Those whom in growing to know them, I learn of myself.
- why do you like to blog? Who said I like it? I do, I just want to know who is spilling my secrets that isn’t me… It’s one part therapy, one part accountability, and one part social entertainment.
- Your earliest memory? I remember hanging out with my father and his friends as they relaxed with a couple of beers after having set up a swingset at the house of a family friend. They were hot and sweaty, and they removed their shirts and lounged in the shade. I was about three at the time, and I wanted to take off my shirt, too. My father laughed and told me I couldn’t because I was a girl. I was angry, and frustrated, because I did not understand his reasoning.
- Do you like cookies?
Umm, yes. Yes, I do. Quite a bit, actually.
- Best holiday you’ve ever been on?
Hmm… that depends on how you define ‘holiday.’ I would say the time I took a week, and told no one where I was going, drove to Dashing’s apartment and stayed there. I cooked, wandered the town while he worked, watched movies, napped, enjoyed solitude and then he would come home and we would pass the evening together. I had all I wanted for one week.
Alright, now for my questions and the list of those to whom I will pass this meme – I must admit it’s been a nice amount if introspection.
To Mr. Lady, Tanis, metamorphocity, Vanessa, and Smitten Immigrant – your mission, should you choose to accept it – and no one will be hurt if you don’t – is to answer the following, and ask your own questions in turn:
1. If you yourself could do anything right now, tonight, what would it be?
2. What was the last big ‘Aha!’ moment for you, what shaped it, and where did it go from there?
3. Do you have a favourite pair of socks?
4. What is your favourite smell?
5. What would you like to get for your next birthday/Christmas/gift giving event?
Thank you, all, good luck, and good night!
I want to waltz under the stars in Paris. I want to sing with a jazz band in New Orleans. I want to swim with dolphins. I want to eat at a really good restaurant in New York City. I want to photograph architecture in Quebec City. I want to make a feast at midnight in my own kitchen, in my own home…
I ‘d cook Cornish Game Hens, and asparagus with orange juice, and two kinds of potatoes, and lime soup, and chocolate pudding, and fruit salad with berries and mint and basil and a syrupy vinaigrette. I’d have a plain mixed greens salad with a simple lemon juice and mustard dressing, garlicky toasted baguette slices and possibly some kind of cheese fondue. Blueberry tarts and dinner rolls, and if someone was there to join me, I’d make them steak or ribs if they’d enjoy them…
I’d like to see a polar bear with my own eyes. In the wild, not in a zoo. And to sit around a campfire in the Serengeti.
I’d like to hear a story, older than written language, told by someone who knows it’s soul. Where are the storytellers today? I want to hold a child in my arms.
I want to sleep. Warm, and safe, and protected. In the wide open world, next to the surf of an ocean.
I want to buy furniture, rugs that don’t match the tapestries, tables without chairs, and make them all play nicely together.
I’d like to be joined.
I want to stand on a corner and hail a cab. I’d like to stop traffic as I crossed a street. I want to learn to whistle with my fingers…
I want to remember how to make castles in the air again, this time without the walls. To hope against hope…
I’d like to lead a revolution. I want to be a part of a change that I believe is good, and necessary, that will better the lives of those who come after, in the long run. I want to be part of the marathon, not a marathon, the marathon…
I’m not done yet.