Posted in !General Musings

It’s Like a Whirlwind Inside of My Head

It’s been a month, I realize. I do that sometimes. I guess, one could say, I “hibernate”. I’ve been writing, for the most part, and research, because as a wise man once said:

The difference between fact and fiction, is that fiction has to make sense.

Or something akin to that. I’ve also been reading. I picked up a book that I hadn’t read in over 5 years and thought, it’s time to be delightfully amused again *.* and I was. It’s part of a series so, clearly not done with my reading ventures. If I’m not reading, I’m playing a video game with the sweetie (or D&D). And yes, of course, as an adult, I work for a living, so there will be days when I have little to say, or little time to say it in. Such is life.

But lately, I’ve been too sensitive and emotional to travel down any memory lanes. Things that have happened, things that continue to happen, even after donating to causes to aid those disasters…I still feel it. It’s not happening to me, I may be doing what I can to do something, but it still hits me. And I know the donations help, and they help move the hands that can do something, but I still worry. That’s me. The over-worrier (which explains why I texted my mom almost twice, every day, while Irma kept looming over the island. Panic is my middle name, it seems.)

I think that’s why I never liked watching the news, of any kind. But ignoring the news doesn’t erase the fact that things are going down into a spiral of scary. Or, as mom would say, beds are burning (link leads to a YouTube video, Beds are Burning – Midnight Oil. Hey, it was either that one, or We Didn’t Start the Fire – Billy Joel. I’ve inherited my mom’s taste in music, aaaand also her perspective on some things.)

Siiiigh. And that, folks, is why I’ve been avoiding a blog update. My mood, currently, is in a pffft setting which means the likelihood of rambles not only increases, but it also gets seasoned with morose blah-ness. And if that made any sense, kudos.

I’ve also been thinking a lot about Chester Bennington’s death. I remember a friend of mine telling me about it when I was at work and I felt goosebumps, not only because of the loss, but because I knew the meaning his voice, his songs, that band, held for me. Still does. Always will.

No, I didn’t know him. Nope, never went to a Linkin Park concert. But as someone who lives with the everyday issues of the mental health variety, Linkin Park released music that spoke to me in a time when I needed it most.

As a kid, I grew up thinking a lot of things were wrong with me because, lets face it, there were things wrong with me, I just hadn’t put a name to the disease at the time. No one is born knowing all their kinks and limits. We meet them as we live our lives and, sometimes, we’re lucky to recognize what it is and get help. Other times, we grow up hearing, “Oh, you’re just overreacting. There’s nothing there. It’s all in your head.”

Well, that’s partly true. It was in my head. But I didn’t put it there. It was there to begin with. I just fracking found it and its gnawing at my insides, refusing to communicate with me on any level except an emotional one, with sadness and fear and loneliness. These things happen. It is real.

I mean, come on, world, is it so easy to believe in the human soul, but not in the complexities of the human mind?

Linkin Park helped me stop the gnawing. It helped me take hold of that whirlwind of emotions because the words made sense to me. I read those lyrics time and time again, so that I wouldn’t just listen, I could also sing it (horribly, terribly, but it didn’t matter). Linkin Park was the beginning of finding solace in music. I can’t sing, can’t play an instrument, but music helps me in ways medication probably never will (and since music won’t give me weird/icky side effects, music wins. So much.)

I guess, once I heard about it, I felt the loss as someone who has also lost a loved one. Empathy should always come first.

Their music helped me see things better, to step away from self-blame and see things for what they are. It saved me, it still does, and has also kept me from telling a few people to go frack themselves with a kazoo (true story).

Siiigh. And again, pffft setting, morose blah. It’ll take time to turn it off. Amusingly enough, I can function as needed, but my writing, blog or story-wise, they’re the one place where my emotions are my paint brushes. I can’t staple a smile on my face and expect that to do my writing for me. Pffft, nope. Not how it works. I can make analytical observations based on the subject placed in front of me, but that’s work, that’s a whole ‘nother mindset, but this? This is my canvas, so I paint with my colors and, right now, my colors are what they are.

A bit messy, gloomy, pensive, but hopeful. There’s always room for hope.

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.