Posted in !General Musings, !Memories

Just Me and My Rambles

I remember having a conversation with a former cellphone provider that, from his perspective, might’ve been a wee bit on the edge of crazy. It was the day I realized I couldn’t make calls back home, to PR, where my mother lives, whom I called on a daily basis because I had just recently left home and couldn’t adult properly. That poor agent (wherever you are, sir, I promise, startling you was not my intent) was not prepared for the adult having a near panic attack because she couldn’t call home. He most certainly was not.

I called, explained the situation (in my usual signature rambly way of, “Is there a reason why I can’t make calls to PR? Because I’m pretty sure I should be able to. I signed up for this because you guys provided me the thing. I don’t have the thing. I need to be able to call home. I need the thing.”) and bless, the agent (after stammering, possibly trying not to laugh) told me he’d check on that for me and see what he can do to get things going for me. Mind you, I didn’t yell at him, so he was good humored about the whole thing, but I was rambly.

When I go rambly, I resemble a five year old asking why there’s a Wa Ta in the kitchen of the Chinese restaurant.

Fun Fact: As a kid, there was this really good Chinese restaurant mom would take us to (oh, eggrolls, how I miss thee). I was a kid. I had recently watched a film involving a form of martial arts. Naturally, when I see someone that resembles an actor that does said fighting in said film, I don’t have the adult knowledge of, “Oh, hey, they look like they might be the same nationality, but this man is not a character in a film, he is the glorious cook that is going to serve me mah eggrolls.” Nope, instead, in the vocabulary of a child, I tug at my mom’s arm and say, “Mom, look, it’s a Wa Ta!” (No, I was not saying water, I was saying the sound they make when they fight. Snort.)

But all was right in the world, in the end, because they fixed what it was. Someone had accidentally removed the feature on my account. Why? Who knows. I didn’t fuss, though. Sometimes we fart and shit happens. I was just happy to have my feature back ’cause ET needs to phone home, thanksverymuch. And it’s for good reason. My mother is full of wisdom, funny moments and has an ability to prod your common sense that is absolutely epic. Granted, my common sense sometimes takes a vacation and then I get to hear the goold ol’, “I told ya so.”

I’ve stopped minding hearing the “I told you so”s, though. Masochistic as it may sound, I just smile, because it’s something I need to hear, it’s something I need to learn. I wouldn’t give that up for pride or whatever other reason people avoid being wrong. If I’m wrong, I’d rather know it, than live my life thinking I’m right, y’know? And who better to tell me than someone I care about?

There are some words of wisdom that I remember fondly, not from my mum this time, but a former boss who taught me a lot more than just her words of wisdom (…she also taught me about subject verb agreement because she was my English professor. Grammar is not easy, friends, but it is made simple when your professor is both brilliant and patient). She actually met my mother. They liked each other. I worried I was outnumbered considering they were both good at the “I told you so” trend (my common sense takes a vacation… a lot?)

My boss would often be witness to my hectic college schedule which involved: wake up, class, work, class, work, class again, homework, project, blogging, writing, sleep somewhere in there, rinse and repeat. There were times when she said, “Ani, take a break. Your boss is telling you to take a break.”

She’d ask me about my day, what I was doing (if it wasn’t something she already knew because she asked me to do it a few minutes ago) and how classes were going. One day she asked me about my out-of-work/out-of-school plans. I told her I had none. She asked when was the last time I went out (…in her book, trips to the bookstore did not count…she was my favorite boss and that’s why I didn’t shout blasphemer right then and there, mmm’kay?)

She then realized her employee didn’t have much of a social life. Sure, I had friends who, occasionally, could talk me into going somewhere, but they could only really bribe me with birthdays, which only come once a year, so, limited supply of bribes. Now, she understood that I was a bit of a hermit, understood I was perfectly content with a video game or a book, but what she didn’t fully applaud was the fact that I spent more time on work and school than any time I spent on myself.

I almost caught myself doing the math, years later (because you know I did it even after I stopped working under her. Sometimes “I told you so”s have a delayed reveal for me), thinking how much we spend working whatever job we have at the time versus getting the time to do what you enjoy, and that’s when I understood something my then boss told me (something she probably saw/read somewhere).

Work to live, don’t live to work.

Delayed “I told you so” indeed. I used to once work in an environment that, not only took over forty hours a week of my life that I couldn’t get back, but I’d stress about the job, I couldn’t eat lunch because I was so stressed. It was so toxic that even a raise and a promotion wrapped in a hug didn’t save the situation.

Sometimes, you have to ask yourself, is this really my only choice? Do I really have to make myself sit through misery with a smile stapled on my face because I have absolutely no other choice? And really think about it, clear the cobwebs of your mind and identify fear as what it is, an obstacle, but it’s not a wall. There’s no such thing as a room with no doors – well, there might be, if a person sits and waits as someone builds the walls around them.

I found another choice. It wasn’t easy. I was unemployed for some months, but I got lucky. I wasn’t alone. I had my sweetie, who was very supportive (and relieved when I stopped being so bitter and miserable at the end of every work day) throughout the whole ordeal. It’s been, possibly, close to three years since that time? I’m glad for it, though. It was a change I didn’t know I needed.

Things have improved a whole lot since then and I finally have the ability to work to live, rather than the other way around. Although I do work from home, I don’t take my work with me. The best thing I found that helps, my work computer is solely for work, and I have my Chromebook for writing, or my desktop, if I don’t mind being in the office. Where I do my writing helps me differentiate what I’m doing it for: for work or for me.

It’s a small thing, but it makes all the difference.

Posted in !General Musings, !Krista the Muse, !Memories

Why I’ll Always Love to Write

I love writing. I mostly write because if I didn’t, I’m pretty sure I’d go insane. Not “The Shining” insane, but generally insane. It’s the one method of communication that I can use and actually speak properly. One of my college friends used to call my emails “Emails of Doom” because I would write entire paragraphs to people and yet, when it came down to a table of people, I’d use short sentences.

I’ve tried to explain it before and I’ve noticed that the people who actually get it are mostly people who also write. Others tend to just smile at you and call you silly or weird (I’ve come to just befriend these words as pet names, at this point).

It’s almost like, when I’m writing, I’m able to hear myself a lot clearer and my hands just type the words, I’m thinking of what I’m writing as I’m writing it. When I talk, though, I’m trying to think of where my sentence is going while I’m trying to form the sentence and I mess up a syllable or skip a word. If I try to write by hand, same thing, one moment I’ll be writing a sentence, then I notice I’ve skipped a word or a letter.

It also helps that I write around 80WPM (on a good day).

I also write for enjoyment, because the ideas that crawl inside my head are interesting. Characters become real people, and in time, they get a voice and some of them get louder the more they take shape in my mind. I am also a mood writer. This can make writing complicated when there are so many things that affect my mood. I may be in a mood to travel the stars with my characters, the next night (depending on the mood) I might want them to get hit by a meteor.

It doesn’t stop me from writing, though. I doesn’t stop me from daydreaming, from planning, from thinking and just letting the words assemble in my head. Then there are times, my favorite time, when the words will just click – the sound of a lock finally giving in – and I just grab the nearest keyboard and type away.

I think the first thing I ever wrote was a silly little drabble, a dialogue-based story, and it was really as a joke during a chat conversation with a friend. It wasn’t meant to be a masterpiece, or anything important, really, but it was so much fun to type out and it gave me this giddy feeling that stuck with me. I get that feeling when I write. And let me tell you, once you find your thing – be it writing, singing, painting, drawing, riding a motorcycle, whatever the case may be, those butterflies, that electric feeling on your skin, that laugh that just happens, it’s worth pursuing.

I’ve been told my English is not fancy enough – well, fancy probably wasn’t the word they used (which may only prove their point further ~.~) but I know my vocabulary isn’t extremely extensive, I don’t take offense to something I know is a fact. It just means I have something to improve on. I read and I learn. Some words I don’t retain as well, some I retain based on use (topsy-turvy; one of the weirdest vocabulary words I was ever introduced to, in High School, rarely used, but my brain won’t forget it. Go figure) and some I learn from people who use words and prompt me to Google them.

I often get asked why I don’t write in my own language. Look, it’s not that simple. Just because Spanish is my native tongue does not mean writing it is easy. Grammar is difficult no matter the language, native or not. That’s why the universe gave us editors and proofreaders and such. People make mistakes, and when you’re writing with the idea of delivering a message, you don’t start to reread every word as you write it to check for errors (…that would take forever).

And English is the language I’ve always gravitated towards, writing-wise. The simplest (and silliest) way to explain it: my muse speaks English, I write English. Simple.

Whatever my writing challenges may be, I don’t think I’ll ever stop, regardless of where it takes or doesn’t take me. I’m stubborn that way. I don’t see a point in quitting something that makes me experience this kind of joy. There isn’t an opinion in the universe that can be worth giving up the simplest joys of writing, and my opinion is too busy being giddy.

And on a rare note, here’s the little silly drabble. Mind you, I think I wrote this in my early college years (2009. Possibly. Or earlier. Not really sure. No later than, though). Though to be fair, once I recovered from the giddiness of that chat conversation, I did take the story I typed into the chat so I could fix it so that it could flow like a story, but that was still a loooong time ago.

One-Shot: Little girl vs. Evil Toilet Paper [G]

An innocent little girl sits on a toilet seat, peacefully doing her business. On the wall in front of her, there is the evil toilet paper with a piece loose.

She looks at it intensely.

“Mooooooooooooooooom, the toilet paper is sticking its tongue at me!” She yells in a tiny whiny voice.

Her mother is busy talking on the phone, so she doesn’t respond.

The little girl frowns innocently and she decides to be brave. She reaches towards the evil toilet paper and rips off the loose piece, but the toilet paper persists as a piece remains sticking its tongue out at the little girl.

The little girl is angry now, and frustrated, she yells again, “MOOOOOOOOOOOOOM, IT WONT STOP STICKING ITS TONGUE AT ME!”

Again, she receives no response.

The little girl uses the piece she ripped out and stares at the toilet paper as she pulls up her small, pink pants. In her vivid imagination, the toilet paper actually blows its tongue at her.

She’s had it.

She launches herself towards the toilet paper and starts pulling it out. She wrestles with it, wraps it around her body unconsciously, all the while growling and struggling forcefully as she fights the evil toilet paper until there’s nothing left.

It is defeated.

Finally, her mom arrives with the phone on her ear. “What in the world? Jenny, what is wrong with you?” She asks, quickly blaming the poor child.

She frowns. “The toilet paper started it! It stuck its tongue out at me!” She exclaims, standing her ground as she breaks the toilet papers’ grip on her.

“Oh geez, you better clean that up,” the mother says as she leaves without a second glance.

Our little heroine smiles; she has won the battle.

She steps on the toilet paper, even does a little dance as she does this, and piles up the toilet paper into one big bundle.

She pushes it into the toilet and blows her own tongue at it before flushing.

A problem arises.

The paper won’t go down making the toilet water rise. The little girl imagines the toilet paper laughing as the water rises — its evil gurgling laughter echoing in her ears.

Our heroine tries to flush it again, but it only makes the water rise faster.

She decides there’s only one thing she can do.

She runs with her arms flailing in the air, “MOOOOOOOOM, IT’S GOING TO GET ME! IT’S GOING TO GET ME!”