It has been a week of it. I got back from my bridal shower (which was lovely, by the way) to find out that my move-out situation from my old house has hit yet more financial snags, my mother is in the hospital again, and someone close to me is getting a divorce. I guess bad news really does travel in threes. Ugh.
In spite of all of that, I have endeavored to get into my writing some more, and I have succeeded in getting a solid twenty pages of revision done this evening. For more information on that, I suggest you check out my writing blog.
The reason for the late night is an ill-timed three hour nap I took with my fiance. In spite of the poor timing, it ended up working out in my favor. I have been needing and itching to get work done for a while.
Speaking of my fiance, he hunted around to find me some useful Gaelic learning material and downloaded it for me. I get warm fuzzies thinking about it. He also asked me about my desire to learn the language and listened when I prattled on about it for some time. I can’t wait to start working on it more.
The wedding is six weeks away. I cannot believe it is so close now. What a trip. Married. Me. John’s parents are coming into town next weekend to go over some more wedding stuff with us. We’re getting into crunch time now. I’m starting to get the calls about flight times and questions about sleeping arrangements and all of that. John and I definitely need to book some of our tickets for the honeymoon and secure our rental car. So much to do, and an ever-decreasing amount of time to do it in.
Okay. I think I am going to see if I can get a few hours of sleep before my double tomorrow. I still have a bit of a long weekend ahead of me.
I couldn’t help it.
I apologize in advance if this post makes even less sense than last night’s. I fail rather dramatically at putting together coherent paragraphs after days as long as this one. I did have some thoughts tonight during my cocktail shift at my restaurant. We were slow, and I was bored, and in between running food and drinks to my few piddling tables, I had a conversation with a coworker about love, specifically the kind that has longevity. We’re both engaged to be married.
One of the not-so-first things that comes to mind when I think of love is money. Strange, then that money and financial issues are one of the biggest reasons marriages end. Different views on what is a worthwhile use of assets, someone spending too much on the wrong things, not making enough to get by, etc. I can see why. It’s not easy to mesh two people’s finances together, even if you keep them mostly separate. And it’s not a topic most couples find romantic. You can talk to any die-hard romantic about …well, romance…and they might tell you that all you need is love. That love can fix any problem. I disagree. Love can help you forgive a lot of things, but there are many problems that can suck the life out of love, erode it away until all that exists is a fossil of a memory and some jagged edges.
Long lasting love (ooh, alliteration!) involves sacrifice on the part of both parties. It means putting someone else first, or giving up something to gain more. It means thinking of we instead of me (see what I did there?) and putting the needs of others at the top of a priority list. So let’s talk about needs for a minute. I have a strong theory that a relationship cannot succeed if the partners fail to meet each other’s needs the way they need them met. Needs are specific to each person, and they often require different things from each person. Let’s say two people need reassurance. For one, that might mean nothing more than a long huggle and a tender kiss. For another, it might mean hearing affirming words. If you’re someone who needs a long huggle to feel reassured, affirming words won’t do much for you, and vice versa. It might help a little, but you probably won’t feel completely reassured until the need is met the way you need it to be met.
The tricky part about meeting someone’s needs the way they need them met is that the golden rule really doesn’t apply. You can’t simply do unto your significant other as you would have him or her do unto you, because you might have a different way of having your needs met than they do. Love is being willing to crawl outside your thick skull and into theirs. Love is finding out what those needs of your partner are and how your partner needs you to meet them, then following through even when it’s supremely uncomfortable. Some people have a really hard time expressing themselves verbally. If you’re one of those people and your partner is someone who needs verbal affirmation, it could be potentially catastrophic trying to meet that need. But if you do it, even though it’s hard, your partner will take notice. The danger comes in when one partner says, “I’m just not wired that way. Deal with it.” Especially if that person expects their partner to meet their needs the way they need them met even when they refuse to do the same.
No one ever promised that love would be easy. In fact, if you get promises about love, it’s probably the opposite.
Then again, nothing worth having comes free and easy.
Okay, I gotta complain for a second. Sorry.
I am so tired of being tired all…the…time. I’m sure the long-term effects of sleep deprivation are somewhat as serious as alcoholism or drug abuse. Possibly zombification. Basically, I’ve been living on 2-4 hours of sleep a night every weekday for the past nine months, and my body is just shutting down. I am beginning to fall asleep pretty much anywhere, only to be startled awake half the time by pounding waves of anxiety and a bitter taste in my mouth. I get headaches every day. I’ve gotten three migraines in the last six weeks. This is not normal. This is not good.
I consider myself lucky if I manage to get six or seven hours of sleep in a night. Even on weekends it’s hard for me to sleep soundly and wake up rested because the anxiety is so bad. I can’t relax. It’s been like this for months. I only have three more weeks to make it through. I hope I can manage it. It’s to the point that I can’t sit down on my bed after work without falling asleep. I managed to make it three days this week without napping like that and got a little extra sleep, but then last night I tossed and turned until 4 again, and bam, I’m back in the pain cage.
I sincerely believe that some of us are not built for mornings. And the world is not built for us.
And then Friday!
My fingers are cramped up. If you know me, you know that my right pinky finger is crooked, forever prohibited from straightening by a wonky tendon that decided not to grow. I’ve just spent an hour and a half writing, and that little deformity of mine is in serious pain (I’m right handed). I had an idea last fall, something to do as a gift that never came to fruition. Now I’ve begun, and it really is beautiful so far. It’ll take quite a while to finish at this rate, but I do have a few months left before it needs to be done. The exciting thing about it is that it meshes rather perfectly with both a new development from today and also with another idea I had as well. I would be more specific, but that would be telling.
After being stuck somewhere in the space-time continuum where there were constantly 6 weeks left of school, suddenly we’ve gone through a wormhole and there are only three. Words cannot describe my joy at this. I have a lot to do by the end of the year, and I might get into some trouble because this injury has made me miss so much work, but at this point, I can’t do anything about that. It’s only been six weeks since the accident, and though I am feeling somewhat better now, by the time I’ve gone through half the day, I am a hot mess of ouch.
Well. Three more weeks, and it will be over forever. I just wish I could get rid of this horrible sense of trepidation that has plagued me all year. I never should have taken this job. Teaching is the perfect job for those who can give 110%. I can give that to my writing, but not to teaching. Maybe that’s selfish. I don’t think it really is, though, any more than I would think it is selfish for people not to join the volunteer fire department or become a police officer. Jobs like that require certain kinds of people who are willing to live and breathe their job. I think that most of us have something we’re willing to do that for, but it varies from person to person, and for me, teaching is not that something. Are musicians being selfish for making music? Artists? Accountants? My thoughts about careers: find what you love, and do it well.
That’s all I can ask of anyone. Work is a huge portion of life — if you’re miserable, that just plain sucks. And I’m miserable.
Sigh. Time to try and sleep.
Two more days.
Today I watched a movie. My boyfriend and I actually started it last night, but we were both sleepy and — let’s face it — a wee bit drunk, so we stopped. I finished it tonight, and I’m going to attempt to review it here, with some interspersed reflections based on the novel I’m reading by someone in one of my writing groups which has a similar theme.
The movie is called The Puffy Chair. My first assessment? It was remarkably painful to watch. First of all, the female lead’s name is Emily, and she proved in the first 15 minutes that she was exactly the kind of girlfriend I don’t want to be. Next, her boyfriend Josh proved to be the kind of boyfriend I don’t want. And Rhett, the other main character, proved to be the only redeeming person for me, even though in one particular scene (actually two) I sort of wanted to aim an Uzi at his head.
I think the film had several good qualities. It portrayed a somewhat believable relationship between an insecure woman who was looking for a commitment and a self-absorbed, passive-aggressive man who really wasn’t. Neither of them were able to successfully communicate anything without it turning into a snit or an argument, which I’ve seen in many relationships, so that part was believable. I couldn’t figure out if Emily was just really, really fed up with Josh’s indifference or if she was just really high-maintenance and moody, as one reviewer described her. Either way, I was ashamed when I saw myself reflected in her at all, which I’ll admit happened a couple of times, and I really never want to turn into what I saw there.
To her defense, Josh was entirely incapable of discussing anything serious with anyone, let alone his girlfriend, who he calls “dude” throughout the entire movie — a not so subtle insight into the depth of his emotion. When she asks why he loves her, he can’t think of a single reason outside of her sexy bits (literally — he changes the subject by grabbing her hoohah). Granted, her reaction to his silence is a bit melodramatic, but even so, it shows the dysfunction there. Later on when his brother Rhett calls him out on a pretty despicable action he took, he again gets defensive and nasty.
All in all, I found it really hard to sympathize with any of the characters. They were all completely wrapped up in themselves. They wanted what they wanted when they said they wanted it, and if they didn’t get it, the world ended. I’d give it a C. Maybe even a C-.
I don’t really like dwelling on dysfunctional relationships, but I volunteered to read a book penned by a fellow writer in which the protagonist is an adulterer, and I just read the first six chapters of her rationalizing her affair, which depressed me. Especially after watching that movie.
After watching the movie and reading that book, I got the overwhelming urge to be the best girlfriend ever. I also reflected on my own relationship and came to the conclusion that I am intensely fortunate to have found someone like John, and that despite the similarities between our names and that movie’s characters’ names, we are so not them.
I am so happy with him that it sometimes makes me bubble right off the ground. Which is glorious. So in regards to the title of this blog? I’m that first one. I’m not lorn — love, for, or otherwise — and I’m decidedly not a puffy chair. I’m loved by an extraordinary man.
Take that, cynical world.
Yes, I’m lazy. Yes, I am copying this title directly from my other blog. Am I okay with it? Yes, yes I am.
I’m okay with it because I have just spent literally ten hours doing virtually nothing but writing. I have written about 20 pages and well over 11,000 words in one sitting, and so I think that allows me to justify using the same title for two blogs. So there.
I’m feeling the fire, feeding the desire. To write, to create, to pursue this dream and follow my bliss.
And after this long night, as the sky brightens and I finish the last seventeen minutes before getting up to go to work on this Friday morning, that’s all I have to say about that.
…Actually, I prefer hypnopompic rebel. Simply said, I don’t think people should have to be confined to the sleep hours prescribed by the 9-5 grind. I have never been a morning person, I cannot adapt myself to that schedule despite years of trying, and I sincerely doubt that I ever will be a morning person. The only time I’m okay with seeing that godawful hour of 6 a.m. is when I’m looking at the back of its head. Its bright blue eyes staring me in the face are the absolute last things I want to see when I wake up. Ugh.
When I was a young’un, I used to stay up until 2 or so in the morning simply reading by my nightlight. Of course I got in trouble for it, but that never stopped me. Going to bed at 9 never worked for me. I clearly remember being in 4th or 5th grade and watching the lime green digits on my alarm clock keep on turning and turning as the hours would pass. I feel like I’ve been tired my whole life because the world simply is not built for people like me.
I’ve tried drugging myself. I’ve tried staying up all night and all the next day. I’ve tried getting up early even on weekends. It. Never. Works. Here it is, at ten till 2 on a Monday (technically Tuesday now) night, and I am bright eyed and bushy tailed. I would stay up all night again, but I have stuff to do tomorrow.
I read something a few months ago that talked about sleep habits being governed by genetics. My mother is the same as me. Her normal hours to sleep are somewhere between 5 a.m. and noon. I function just fine on 6 hours of sleep, sometimes as little as 3 or 4. However, that sleep is ultimately more beneficial to me if it falls between 3 and 11 rather than 12 and 8. I don’t know if that makes any sense at all to anyone but me, but there it is. My boyfriend is the same way.
My sleep schedule is one of the largest reasons I was hesitant to take my current job. And finding a job conducive to my schedule is going to be a prerequisite when I start hunting again. If you know anyone hiring in Rockville for shifts between 11 and 8, do let me know.
My schedule isn’t really that different from someone who works a 9-5. I still like to get up, go straight to work, come home, and have a nice evening. I just do it on a delay of several hours, in which breakfast (if there is one) is around noon, lunch is at 4 or 5, and dinner is at 9 or 10. I then go to bed at 3 or 4 and wake up again at 11. It works just fine for me. Normal. So why is the rest of the world so different? Sigh.
I’m not going to take any of my meds tonight. They leave me far too groggy when I wake up, and on Friday, I was so groggy I turned off my alarm clock. Hardly surprising when I only got 2 hours of sleep, but still. Not particularly endearing to the bosses.
Well. On that note, I’m off to see if sleep evades me or not. For me, going to bed at 2 is like the average person hitting the hay around 7:30 or 8. But we’ll see if I can make it work. Going to bed before midnight makes me feel like I’ve completely lost my evening. Night is such a peaceful time. It’s quiet and comfortable. I’ve always liked the night. It only makes sense that it’s my natural habitat.
i realized last night that i desperately need to write. i also succumbed to the very first glimmering flash of inspiration to grace my mind within the past several months. i thought my bulb had burnt out for good.
whenever i’ve gone for a good long while without allowing myself to write, or being too exhausted to even tap my little paws on keys, it always just sort of bubbles over into a badly written, stream-of-consciousness sort of protobabble. sound familiar? see current reading material for an example.
however, it is often the prelude to something else. last night for the most fleeting of moments, i had that flash of light. actually, that’s not right. for me, it’s not necessarily the lightbulb experience…if you will allow me to mix my metaphors up for a bit. for me, it tends to be a voice. before you call me a schizophrenic, try to remember that all artists are a wee bit on the loony side of things, and the voices in my head don’t really hurt anyone but each other. so fear not; they’re contained.
i have a pet story i have been working on for a year or so now. i love it–it’s fun, snarky, and occasionally campy. the best thing about it for me is that it has a truly distinct voice in my mind. sort of like a bulldozer might sound if it trundled happily over a field of broken dreams. that. that’s what it sounds like. rumbledy rumbledy, tra la la, crunch.
i like it.
and the kicker? it’s not the novel i finished. in fact, i’m barely two chapters into it. non sequitous chapters even. but it’s there, and it’s vibrant, and it is going to come out, whether i like it or not. which is quite a lovely feeling for a writer, especially a somewhat stunted one such as i.
we’ll see where it goes.
apart from that, i think my fingers and the thoughts they try to hammer out have been shackled by this mountain of stress. or not shackled; smashed. at the end of the day, all i want is to shed my skin, crawl into my soft, warm bed, cuddle up to my modal pillows, and snuggle with nothingness, toes wiggling outside the cocoon in the breeze of my fan. hardly a good vein of creative pursuit. i’ve found it exceedingly difficult to accomplish anything in that state of being, heavenly though it may be.
i’m trying to figure out what has breathed a little spark of life back into me. it’s certainly not my job–no, that is the wet blanket continuously determined to slosh and slop its way right over this little light of mine. so not that. i have a sneaking little suspicion that the responsible party is none other than my sewing class.
“whamph?” asks the sewing class through the pins in its teeth. “meh?”
yes, my friend. you.
you see, sewing is something i have always wanted to do. i used to make my grandma teach me little bits and pieces on those rare visits to florida in the summers of my youth. the only project i ever made was the tiniest little quilt with a lion in a jungle. i wonder whatever happened to that. so this year, i decided to fulfill that, along with my long-term desire to purchase a decent camera. check and check. as i drove home from my class last night pondering the intricacies of the olive green assless chaps i had managed to create with little to no guidance, i heard the familiar happy bulldozer in the distance. the moment i could open my catalog of ideas, i jotted down what it had mumbled in my ear and pondered what i had there. it was a missing piece in a story that already was pretty awesome. and i can’t wait to take it out for a spin.
to go back to a point i didn’t cover as well as i wanted, by doing something i genuinely enjoy (something no one–NO ONE!!!–is making me do) purely for the pleasure of doing it, it reminded me that there was more to me than i have been living. this little 6 week class is quite expensive…i can safely say this is the most pricey bag and pants combo i have ever before spent money on. however, in spite of the expense, i have learned a very valuable lesson: do what makes you happy.
for the love of pete–life is way too short to do anything else. i may have to work my ass off day in and day out at a thankless job that seems constantly poised with a microscope to point out my pitfalls. i may be in dubious health. i may be slightly schizophrenic. but by golly, i’m going to try and be happy while i’m here. i maybe have 60-70 years left on this rock, and i really don’t want to look back after 50 of them and wonder what i did with my youth, why i was killing myself for money.
so i may be broke for the next few years. i have a lot of bills, and hobbies, quite frankly, are incredibly expensive. the irish dance class i want to take next year? about $630. hello, good use of grad school loans (not kidding). that covers september through may, but still. that’s a lot. my sewing class ran about $300, all supplies included. at least for the next one, i will know to shop at joann for fabric (g-street, not so cheap), and i will already have the staples, like the $20 pair of shears i bought. (lessons, lessons, expensive little life lessons)
anyway, the bottom line is, i need to get back into the things i enjoy: writing, sewing, photography, dance, music. those are things that are near and dear to the ole ticker, and i think that if i am able to do them, i will have a better handle on this stressful commitment i signed up for. thankfully, most of these hobbies are “front end loaders,” which just goes to say that if you put money in on the front end, it will taper off later…unless i upgrade my camera to a flashy flashy bang bang sort of deal, which won’t happen for at least several years. writing, i’ve got my laptop, macasaurus rex. sewing has no machine yet, but this will come. photography, got me a nice camera that takes awesome pictures…as soon as i get a good low light lens with a solid aperture, i will be happy for a while. dance, i have my gillies, and when i get back into irish dance, i won’t have to get hardshoes for a while, though the class payments are a bit steep. music…i have my bodhran. so really, i am pretty much set for the time being.
i also realized that though it’s good to have some money put aside, i honestly don’t think it’s always the best thing to do. maybe it’s the fact that i’ve never had the sense that money would be there later, so i’ve always felt it’s good to spend on what makes you happy as long as your necessities are covered. i’m not sayin go buy ten thousand things you can’t afford, or even to go buy ten thousand things period. but if you have a hobby, i consider that somewhat as an investment. it may not have a monetary return, but peace of mind and a sense of accomplishment are worth more than money to me.
holidays. high holy days. whatever that happens to mean to you.
sorry i’ve been absent. i’ve been busy being in love.
yes, i meant to write that. it happens, i suppose. love is an easy thing to be caught up in. especially when you never expected to find it for real or be allowed to touch it. it all started a year and a half ago. to make a long story a wee bit shorter, i (and he) knew from the beginning where we should go when we met. but we couldn’t then, and we couldn’t for a very long time. i couldn’t help waiting though. i had to know what would happen.
so for the past six months, we’ve been finding out the “what next” after we got our chance. and for the past two months, we’ve been together, in the official sense of things.
i never thought i’d have this chance again…and i certainly didn’t expect to ever find love that wasn’t the unrequited variety. and yet. here i am. how lovely and odd.
needless to say, i’m really very happy. i wrote something a couple posts back about how it’s one thing to be tolerated and something else entirely to be enjoyed. appreciated. i’ve never had a relationship where my quirks and idiosyncrasies were valued rather than merely put up with. and it’s not as if we’re in the realm of rose colored glasses — this is also new territory for me because we’ve known each other for a year and a half. and i’m finding that i simply enjoy him.
i’m finding that after a year and a half of wondering, hoping, waiting, nail-biting, pacing, laughing, soaring, head-scratching — i’m finding that after all that, his cogs and my cogs fit together still and simply turn. clockwork.
when i’m with him, i’m more me than i’ve ever been able to be with anyone. no pretentiousness or hiding. and he’s who he is. and that’s what i love about us. that we’re two whole people building something more.
i was talking to a friend today who is also very happily ensconced in love. we decided that there are few better feelings than falling for a good, good man. especially when there have been so many bad ones before.
so this holiday season i am celebrating life. i’m celebrating the changes that have brought me to dc and teaching my children to the best of my ability. celebrating love and good friends and the changing of the seasons. being grateful for what i have and the ability to share. wishing i could do more for this world.
2009 is winding to a close. when it began, i looked it in the face and said, “you’re going to be a fantastic year to put 2008 to shame.” i wasn’t wrong. i’ve found so many things this year. a place in this country i can call home, which i never thought would happen. a job i can do well that makes a difference. one of my students called me on thanksgiving to say hello — made my night. said job also gives me approximately 3 months per year of time i can write and pursue those things close to my heart. by the end of this i will be financially stable for the first time ever. i’ve found love, in more ways than one. i may be busy and stressed, but i’m building a good life for myself here. and i cannot wait to see where it goes.
happy holidays, whatever you celebrate.
may your days this winter be full of warmth, joy, and peace.
…at least i’m pretty sure that’s what a stone would tell you. i mean, who wants to be bled? better to discourage people from trying.
i used the above as a beginning to a short story i’m writing…sort of a tragic farce sort of a deal–with zombies. you know. for that je ne sais quois…or just for the ambience. it’s still very much in vomit draft format, but i’m excited to see where it goes. gore galore. you know it. i thank r.l. stine for that; his descriptions of purple rotting flesh have stayed with me since i was a wee thing using fear street as my bedtime stories. always did like to be scared.
funny thing about that. gimme monsters, zombies, vampires, ghoulies, ghosties…long-leggedy beasties and all those who go bump in the night, and i’m fine. what really gets me quaking in my stylish, yet affordable boots is much more prosaic.
life is…really damn scary sometimes. there have been times in the last few years where i have found myself reeling, thrown from hand to grasping hand without a clue of where i might land. now is one of those times. i’m scared shitless.
joss whedon really had it right — life is the big bad. and i don’t know how to fight it. i think if you handed me a stake and said, “vampire. go, kill.” i’d be fine. that’s something you can fight — kill or be killed. life’s got a much bigger gray area, and i don’t know where i fall right now.
some days i think i’m floating. treading water, maybe. other days — like the majority lately — i’m fairly certain my lungs are half-full (i’m an optimist, even in the face of sudden death) and i’m starting to see spots.
i’m working a job where i feel…grossly underqualified. every day i walk through the doors of my high school and wonder who decided i had the right to teach these students. i don’t have a license. what makes me able to do this? add to that the fact that someone has a rather quirky sense of humor and has decided to bypass regular curveballs for heat-seeking missiles, and you get…a mess. i’m a mess.
i realized a few days ago that i needed to get back to myself. somewhere in the last few months, i lost me. not sure where. this weekend, i wanted to go to the renn faire to see albannach — they’re my go-to for me-ness. something about the drums, the kilts, the pipes…yes, the tattoos…it brings me home for a while. although unfortunately, my body decided to pick this weekend to crap out on me, and i almost passed out from a fever mid-set. probably didn’t help i was wearing a corset. nope, probably didn’t help.
on the way back to my car, a guy started hitting on me. being woozy, uncomfortable, and a little oblivious, i tried to politely tell him i was sick and needed to leave before i fainted. to that, he replied, “i could give you mouth to mouth.” i stared at him for a second, processing that. before i could get my fuddled brain to compute a suitable response, he went on, “i could give you penis to mouth.”
now, if i had all my wits about me, that guy would have found himself the recipient of fist to face. first of all, who the fuck says that? it’s almost funny in a way…but then i remember the way i felt, standing there, feeling awful and sick and weak as a kitten…and how absolutely dirty and…violated i felt by that. i turned and walked away as quickly as i could manage.
i spent this weekend home in bed, shooting shit on xbox. and i realized that i need to get back to myself. my life has been almost entirely taken over by work. when i get home, all i want to do is sleep. i never see my roommates; i have virtually no social life and very few good friends. so i did some thinking, and this is what i came up with.
i need to write. i need to get back to my stories and being creative. i think part of my problem is that i’m sort of…constipated. in a creative sense.
i need a social life. as usual, i’m stuck with the problem of most of my nearest and dearest being ever-so-far away. and frankly, i’m lonely. which may or may not be my own damn fault.
those are the biggies. which is funny, cos they’re more personal life than anything…mainly i think because my professional life is so out of balance with my personal life right now. some aspects of my personal life are in a healthy place and are good…but i feel so out of balance.
i’ve been listening to this band called hey rosetta!, and i’m loving it. specifically the following songs: new goodbye; i’ve been asleep for a long, long time; death is quick.
in congruence with my flustered state of mind…i’m gonna end this blog now.