The Aftertaste of Social Interaction

I’m so tired of doing this thing, where like – I don’t know if it’s like. Social anxiety or something maybe?

Where like. I don’t know if I quite have the energy to go out and deal with people, but I’m a bit on the fence about it, and I usually sort of feel like I *should* go deal with people, because apparently social interaction is good for you or something.

And I go out – and I think the weird thing is like. It’s never a bad time.

It’s not like it’s awful, or terrible, or like. Some kind of burning pain or anything.

It’s just. This slow seeping sour taste, that always seems to settle in just as I’m walking out the door. The slow shivers like when you don’t quite realize you’re cold until you notice that your teeth are chattering.

Then I’m home and I just get to pick at it, or let it sit in my joints.

Sometimes I can pick out the moment, but most of the time I can’t.

It’s just sort of this… looming, ominous shade that I can’t shake off.

I think maybe that’s the worst part of it. I feel like I should probably just stay in my corner, and keep to my own space. Because I never really feel like I’ve done that poorly?

I always seem to feel sort of like… I managed to not fuck up everything. I didn’t say anything horrifically wrong (…probably). I feel like I’ve done reasonably well, but… in the wrong direction.

I just hit a few too many missed steps and wound up in the wrong spot. It doesn’t matter if I’m still moving, because I’m not where everyone else is, and I don’t know how to *get* to where everyone else is.

So instead I kind of mostly just…coast along. I’m pretty good at smiling and nodding and pretending at the right beats (at least, I think I am?) but it’s just on the surface. It’s just skating, and there’s nothing underneath it.

Then the evening ends, and I get to go home, sit in my corner, and spend the entire night wishing than I had any kind of skill for shaking things off.

 

I think the worst part is that I can feel it whittling down at my social life. I have dinner with someone, and it doesn’t even go poorly, but I end up at home, tasting bitter and stuck in a cycle of obsessing and the absolute surety that I’ve somehow managed to make an utter fool of myself, and that really it would just be for the best if I don’t choose to make the same mistake again.

It builds up, and then I have this huge circle of people in my life that I feel like I probably should just never interact with, because it isn’t like it goes well, and maybe I used to be better at faking it? Or maybe I never noticed?

As it stands, I wish I could learn to just. *stop. talking*.

because it always seems clever and relevant at the time, until I realize that…it really isn’t. At all.

I’ve never been particularly good at not talking, but maybe if I could get better I wouldn’t have so many evenings, at home, in my corner, wishing that I never had to see any these people ever again.

It’s my own fault. I keep saying yes to things that I ought not be saying yes to.

I just keep thinking that I remember it not feeling like this. I used to be better at this shit.

Maybe it’s me. Maybe it’s this town.

It’s probably most definitely a symptom of my ongoing adventures with shitty brain chemistry.

 

I think maybe what I really miss is being alone.

Life Goals

I live in a strange town with really unique demographics, – which, is honestly really pretty fine for me, because I’m a weird kid and so oddities have a tendency to suit me fairly well.

I live in a Snowbird town, so most of the people who live here, are here for maybe about six months of the year, and most of them are solidly over the age of 60.

This is awesome for me, because it means that I’m meeting all of these incredible people who keep reminding me that like. – Everyone who ever says to a university student “These are the best years of your life” – like. They’re wrong.

About a million years ago, I wrote to my Wondertwin that I finally thought I understood what that meant. “These are the best years of your life” and she wrote back to me that no. It only stops being the best times of your life when you let it.

–  Now, to be sure, there are extenuating circumstances. This past year for me has…absolutely, most indefinitely not been the best times of my life. At all, by any definition. It sucked for many reasons, most stemming from troubles coping with brain chemistry.

And that happens. And that’s fine.

Because life isn’t always going to be wonderful. Sometimes it’s going to royally suck.

Even if you’re doing everything in your power to make your life better, sometimes it’s still going to suck.

The thing is…

I guess it’s really about hope?

One of my best friends in this town, she’s seventy-four, and last week, we made a plan to go to the cinema and sneak into a film. Because she hadn’t done it for decades, and I’ve never done it in my life.

I think on some level…that’s it, really. It’s just a constant process, reminding myself that I don’t need to be defined by nebulous limits somehow put in place by ****society at large*** or whatever.

I think… maybe it’s to do with the idea that…whoever you are, as a person, you can continue to be, no matter how old you are.

It’s not that desires and abilities don’t change – they do, and they *should*, but perhaps it’s just… living with people who embody the fact that you don’t ever have to outgrow anything.

It’s good to have that in my life. I deeply appreciate it.

Stay Afraid, But Do It Anyway

It’s a quote from Carrie Fisher.

“Stay afraid, but do it anyway.”

Last night I put in my two-weeks notice at my place of work.

I have plans – I *always* have plans – endless options, nebulous clouds of possibilities of things that I could do. Whether or not I actually manage to make any of them happen is always the issue though.

It’s not like I’ve ever been known for being particularly decisive in my life.

I remember a conversation that I had with my Driftpartner, when I first got back from Australia. I kept talking about things that I wanted to do, but I was using language like I didn’t think I could actually do it. I don’t remember what I said, but I remember that he looked at me and he asked ‘What happened? You used to be so foolhardy.’

I think perhaps it’s the nature of regret to be wistful.

It’s a pre-emptive decision to stop trying. It’s letting go of of hopes before ever attempting to bring them to fruition.

I think that I’ve spent a lot of time trying to reclaim something, and I think I’m learning to start looking forward more.

I can’t ever be what I was. Nothing can ever not change. That isn’t how the world works.

I think… for me it’s a matter of framing. It’s not about trying to be who I used to be, but it’s taking the things that I like about who I’ve been, it’s about figuring out what things have brought me to the places I want to go. It’s seeing those facets of my life, and bringing those forward.

Things will look different – as they should, because the only other option is pretending to be able to stay stagnant in a changing world – but it’s about remembering. I already have these tools. They might be a bit rusted or buried under layers of junk. It might take me a bit to remember how to use them properly.

That’s all okay.

The thing about “Stay afraid”… is that there are some things that don’t go away. Fear is one of them.

I have already lost things to fear.

I’m sure I will lose more.

That isn’t what matters. What matters is to do it anyway.

 

After all, there is no try.

Courage and Spontenaity

Today I was kidnapped by Punk Mentor and his cousin. We went to the Grand Canyon for New Years.

Because we fucking wanted to.

I have spent a great deal of time and energy on training myself to just fucking go when I want to.

I don’t need to have a ****reason****

– or more… it’s just that wanting to … that *is* a reason. That’s *enough* of a reason.

 

I remember when I was… probably around the age of 12? and I had this sort of… call-and-response thing with one of my best friends.

I would ask her “Why?”

and she would say “Because we want to!”

and I would say “Why?”

and she would say “Because we can!”

 

I have a friend – in my head, her name is Nike, the Greek goddess of Victory. I think maybe I was 20? and she was my FUCKING DO IT  friend. She had an amazing answering machine message. It was Isaiah Mustafa – the Old Spice Guy – and he said something like “The Intelligent slash gorgeous slash sophisticated lady you have called cannot answer the phone at the moment as she is currently on the moon surviving on the air in her lungs given to her in a passionate kiss!”

I remember driving all the way out to the coast to finish a certification that I was taking, and I parked my car, and I was just… so afraid. And was just…frozen, in my seat. It was this thing that I knew I had to do, and I didn’t know if I had the courage to do it.

I knew I could always call her, and she wouldn’t even ask questions. I could just say “I need to do this thing…”

and she would say “FUCK YEAH. GO DO THE THING.”

I didn’t even have to actually reach her. I just had to make the call, and hear this fantastically . ridiculous voice mail message, and I would remember… that I had people. That there were people out there who would stand by me and tell me to JUST FUCKING DO THE THING, because they knew that I could.

(I called her. Reached her voice message. Listened to the whole thing, then got out of my car and knocked on the fucking door and got my goddamned certification.)

 

Nike still does this for me. My Wondertwin does. My Driftpartner, and especially my friend Tawanda. More people than I can honestly name. The people who remind me to fucking take what I want, because no one else is going to fucking do it for me.

There’s something different about it though, when you live a million miles away.

Because phone calls work, but they can’t knock on your door and say “Hey. Do you want to drive to Oklahoma with me next week?”

Punk Mentor – he moves around even more than I do, (which, to be fair, has been much easier lately, now that I’m reasonably settled in one place for a bit), and I think that transience is part of it. We’re not going to be in the same place together for long. We’re not going to be making plans for hanging out in the summer. It’s entirely possible that one or both of us won’t be living here anymore.

It makes things more immediate. It’s impossible to put something off until next week if the people involved won’t *be there*.

So instead we do it now.

We say “I want to go here.”

and then “I’m not doing anything on Thursday?”

…and then we go.

Reflections and Nostalgia

I wasn’t really intending to start this post in this way, but I logged in (after being gone from this blog for a very long time) and I realized…

The last fucking thing that I posted was George Micheal.

I guess that it’s just that things change? – or maybe. It’s not so much that *things* change as that the perspective with which we view things changes.

Or I’m just being incredibly soppy and cliched at the moment. (But with a title like ‘Reflections and Nostalgia, I feel like everyone knows what they’re getting into, at the very least.)

This year has been… Well. Certainly not always the most enjoyable, but I think, also, a very necessary step for me to move forward with my life.

This time last year, I was in New Zealand. I was working at Steampunk Art Gallery, and I was doing every single thing I’ve ever wanted to do in my life, and I don’t know if I have ever been so desperately unhappy.

And this year… The holidays have come, (and I will forever and always HATE every single ANYTHING that has even the SLIGHTEST BIT OF A HINT of being about Christmas*) but… it feels like victory.

The people I have in my life now aren’t asking for things I can’t give.

I am doing better at not asking for more than people can give.

Part of being in a support network – I always imagine it as a spiderweb. It’s strongest when woven together, but every strand of it still has to be able to support itself.

I think…that’s where I’m at right now.

Balance has never particularly been a strength of mine, but I also don’t really think it was a *goal* of mine, either.

I think that it is now, and I think that – as with many things, “balance” is a nebulous, ever-changing goal. People aren’t static, what we want, who we are – it all changes, and so “balance” will change with that.

I think maybe that’s kind of beautiful.

I think that maybe I like the kinds of things – maybe “goals” is the wrong word.

Perhaps it would qualify more aptly under the heading of ‘More Guidelines Than Actual Rules’.

Which is good, because I have significant issues with authority and have never really been particularly good at following rules anyway.

 

All this is really to say:

Hi! I know it’s been a while, but I’m back, and I am so fucking happy to be here.

Happy fucking new year.

Fuck 2016.

 

Lack of Balance

I think that one thing I have never been accused of in my life would anything remotely in the direction of being particularly well-balanced in my lifestyle. I have very strong tendencies towards ‘all-or-nothing’ (Or perhaps, more like ‘EVERYTHING-UNTIL-YOU-BURN-OUT’ as I feel is probably a little bit more personally accurate.)

A lot of what I’ve been trying to do lately is seek balance.

(Obligatory Dinotopia reference: Breathe deep. Seek peace.)

I’ve gotten a new job, which is good.

Sort of.

sort of….hypothetically.

Really what’s happened is I feel like I’ve traded everything I was doing for an entirely new lifestyle, and that… was very much not my intention.

I need to figure out how to care for myself, and that involves having a job, and having that structure; that place in society, and filling that need of ‘being useful’.

I can’t do that at the expense of every other need though, and I feel like that’s most of what the work culture is in the U.S.A.

Just. Put the ‘work’ need in front of EVERY OTHER NEED, or even better, pretend those other needs don’t even exist!!!

I think it’s another one of those ‘life things’ that a person does forever, maybe. Because needs change, so balancing them changes too.

 

Right now, though, I definitely feel as though my pendulum has swung, and I am far, far away from where I was less than a fortnight ago.

I Am So Tired…

I am queer.

I try to be the best ally I can.

 

I am so, so tired.

The first Pride was a riot.

We lost an entire generation to AIDs.

The largest mass-shooting in U.S. history is a gay bar in Orlando.

 

We are people. Not fucking canon fodder.

This shouldn’t be that fucking hard to understand.

Stop kicking children out of their homes. Stop defining people by the gender *you* think they “should” be.

Stop denying the sheer *existence* of people.

THIS SHOULDN’T BE THAT FUCKING HARD TO UNDERSTAND.

A Note on American Media Coverage

I flew to England on November 14.

I got to the airport on the 13th, after turning in my keys to my apartment.

(I’m once again on the move. I have gotten *so much better* at packing, and how do I still have this much shit, but, whatever, not the point.)

 

I’m sitting at the airport, trying to stay up so I can check in at stupid o’clock in the morning to get on my early fucking flight.

But. All over the internet is news about shit going down in Paris.

And – I get most of my news from questionable sources (A.K.A., links my friends post on social media), so most of what I saw… was all of the incredible ways that people were supporting each other.

People opening their homes to those who couldn’t get out of the city. Taxi drivers who weren’t charging anything for people trying to get home.

 

It wasn’t until I was catching my connection in Chicago, and I realized just how fucked up American news coverage is.

I was sitting there, in the airport, about to catch a flight to London, and – I think it was CNN that was showing – and, of course it was 24 hour coverage of Paris, and the headline along the bottom of the screen, was ‘WORLD WAR III HAS BEEN DECLARED’.

That was the fucking line, scrolling, non-stop, along the bottom of the screen.

It took about fifteen minutes of watching to find out that it was actually a quote from a tweet by the pope.

Because that’s fucking responsible news reporting.

Quote the most sensational thing you fucking can, even if it’s a fucking *Tweet from the Pope*.

 

I had to get online and talk to my friends in the UK and Europe, like ‘what the fuck is actually happening out there?’

and they were all like ‘…you’re news is insane. It’s bad shit, but it’s fucking *fine*.’

 

It felt like a very good sign of why I was leaving the country.

To Allay Worry

 

 

 

 

Alright, so a confession about me:

 

I’m the type who likes to avoid things and procrastinate. (I feel like there are many who like to avoid things and procrastinate. I have a feeling I am probably in quite good company here, but that’s not really the point.)

I love this blog. I’ve said that many times.

This blog has been… amazingly helpful to me in tough times, and also something that I’ve been using as proof to myself that I *am*, actually capable of committing to something.

I’ve kept it going for over two years now, so I feel like that’s honestly really something.

There have been pauses and breaks, and some of that has been due to location, or lack of resources.

Some of it though, has also been because – I’m the type, who, when I get behind in things, I like to run away.

Because sometimes, it seems easier to run from a mess than to fix it. (Not that I think this blog has ever been a mess, really.)

 

It is, however, one of those things that becomes harder to get back to once I get behind.

 

Sometimes, when I lose the time or energy to keep up with posting, I feel this…looming thing.

It starts to feel bigger and scarier, and there’s this guilt attached to it, like, anything I can do I should have already done.

But I really do love this blog.

So, even when I get a bit trampled by things, I want to get back to it.

And, eventually, I’ll manage to scrounge up the courage to bite the bullet and get back on the horse – as it were.

 

I’m on the cusp of another adventure.

(I rather hope that… I hope that I sort of always feel that way.

Adventure is trying, and tiring, and magical and wonderful and usually at least a little bit painful. Sometimes, the best thing to do is to find a safe space out of the wind to rest for a while before settling back into the path ahead. But…if you choose to make a home forever in your place of refuge, you’ll never find out what’s over the next hill.)

Right now, I am… tired and terrified and utterly ecstatic. I feel a bit like I’ve gotten my fingers caught in the door, but also like a few bruises kept those same doors open.

 

I’ve never been afraid to admit that I make mistakes, but I also try to learn from them.

 

This past month, I feel like I have learned a lot.

I’m not always the best student, so sometimes my lessons are a bit unorthodox. I learn though, and these past weeks, I have learned a lot.

 

Perhaps one of the most important things that I have figured out – one of those things that is such a small detail; a tiny shift of angle, that, despite it’s inherent smallness, manages to somehow shift everything – is that… I don’t have to have the same type of life as everyone else.

 

This is something that I’ve probably said in many ways before, and, honestly, I will probably say in many ways again.

Because I try very hard to remember that my life is not anyone else’s, and what works for other people may not work for me, and that this is perfectly okay.

 

A thought that has often plagued me – was, in fact, a huge part of why I started this blog – was this reason, this idea of ‘commitment’.

 

I travel. I take short-term positions. I am not often in one place long enough to truly *settle*, as it were.

I have finally reached a place where… I think I’m starting to be okay with that.

 

I’ve finally realized that… having restless feet isn’t something that needs to be fought.

It’s okay if that’s what I want to do with my life.

 

If the things that make me happy are taking temp positions, that’s okay. If I never truly figure out how to put roots down – that is okay.

 

Like any life, there are benefits and disadvantages.

But that’s just it, really.

It’s like any life.

 

I guess that it doesn’t really matter how long I’ve been at it: I keep discovering new ways in which I am the only one living *my* life.

It doesn’t  matter what most people do.

All that matters is what works for me. What I can do that keeps me happy.

 

Even if it’s something I’ve never seen before, or something that I’ve never quite put together.

There are so many ways in which I’ve built my life around what I thought I was supposed to do.

I think I’ll keep discovering more of these, no matter how long I’ve been working at it.

I also think that’s okay.

Life is learning.

(If it wasn’t, it wouldn’t hardly be any fun…)

 

My life doesn’t need to make sense to anyone but me.

(And, honestly, I get confused by weird fucking shit, so, if it doesn’t make sense to me all the time, that’s okay. (Especially  because most of the time I get confused about how incredibly fucking amazing my life is, and I feel like it’s really okay if I get confused by how singularly magical my life is.))

So.

I guess this is me.

 

Getting back on the horse, and letting you all know that despite my occasional need to hide from things, this is one thing I will come back to.

 

 

So. Thanks for hanging in here with me. You’re all fucking wonderful.