Clarity

I realized this morning that I no longer feel “tortured,” and I’m wondering if this is a good thing.

I think since I was a kid, I’ve bought into the BS idea that creativity and suffering are inextricably linked. Suffering from depression, along with having suicidal thoughts and swinging between a hopeless romantic and an ice fortress provided excellent fodder for my bulging notebooks.  As long as I was sad, miserable, and chasing after people who probably didn’t want me, I couldn’t stop writing. The couple of times when I was happy? The wells dried up. But those didn’t last long. Another emotionally unavailable guy would present himself. My tattered clothes would get on my nerves. And I’d be able to write yet again.

I actually shunned going to therapy for years because I seriously thought that if I ever got “better,” I wouldn’t be able to write or do anything else creativity.  Which, of course, is a lie. Yet it’s one of those things that you know on a conscious level, but deep down, you can’t bring yourself to believe it.

I was thinking earlier that to be tortured is to be constantly living in the past. Same with depression. It’s a constant replaying of horrible, traumatizing experiences. This idea that you aren’t better than those experiences. And it doesn’t matter that they’re not happening anymore, or right now. It’s like a bandage that keeps getting ripped off a fresh wound.  Over. And over.

So here’s to moving forward! Even though time isn’t linear, it sure feels that way. And I’d much rather move forward than to be mired in backwardness. 

Something interesting

Found this from The Adulting Blog a few minutes ago. Never mind the fact that it’s a Tumblr post (I totally forgot until after the fact, but I go on Tumblr maybe once a new moon, so it’s all good) :

Step 315: You will not be truly good at something worth doing until you have done it again and again and again and again, for years. Do not get discouraged. Let your discontent fuel you.

Ira Glass has already said this far more eloquently, but it’s true.

I just finished “Wild” by Cheryl Strayed. I felt, as I always do when reading something stupendous and heartbreaking, both exhilarated and insanely jealous. I would finish a sentence, stop and let it wash over me, and then feel small and inadequate and embarrassed about everything I’ve ever written.

I remember the first time I read something by her, an essay a mutual friend had posted it on Facebook, feeling empty but also changed. “You will never write like she does,” said an 8th grade mean-girl voice in my head. “Why bother, when there are people like her who can write things like this?”

But writing, or making art, or music, or any pursuit that begins inside you and then is proudly or quietly offered to the world, is more craft than divine inspiration. It is slogging through vast periods of mediocrity and frustration and slowly improving. It’s doing it whether you feel like it or not.

It is also — and this is the hard part, at least for me — not putting yourself up against anyone else. Instead of feeling sad that you can’t make the things someone else can make, spend that emotional energy writing more.

Uni- tasking

I’ve been reading quite a few articles on productivity lately. One of the key things I’ve seen is that multitasking is a farce. Our brains haven’t evolved to doing multiple things at the same time. Study after study shows that multitasking reduces your brain’s ability to do things. Instead of focusing on one thing at a time, giving it 100%, you’re doing 2 or 3 things at 75%, or even lower! Yet, we live in a culture that praises us for juggling so many things, being workaholics, and getting as little sleep as possible.

Since yesterday, I’ve been trying to do things one thing at a time. And it. Is. Hard. But I am also learning at the same time. So there’s that.

Also, I’ve been using this wonderful little app called Headspace. It’s for meditation. I’m always frazzled all the time, and I think for the few days that I’ve had it it’s helped me tremendously.

Um. Later for now.

Digital Detox and the Law of Synchronicity

It is now the day after my birthday, and I feel like I’ve done the impossible : i’ve deactivated/deleted all of my social media sites /apps. I’ve been planning this for a few weeks, and I can’t believe it’s already here. I already feel calmer.

This morning, I couldn’t log into my Facebook account. Apparently a screenshot that I had posted was considered a violation of their terms, and as such, I was thrown in “Facebook jail.” Which was perfect, considering I want planning on going back to the site anyway.

After a careful review of their community guidelines, I’ve determined that it was more about the other person being bitter than it was about me posting something that was considered abusive. The closest thing I can think of that I might have done was harassment, and even that’s a stretch.

There’s a person I follow on Facebook, someone I admire. Recently, he’s been doing daily Black Female Fitness Motivation posts, because as a whole, black women are delusional when it comes to their weight and body. We use terms like “thick” or “curvy” when it’s really just fat. We have some of the highest obesity rates in the country. And they try to drag down everyone who isn’t in their demographic. And then have the nerve to want a man who’s slim, but gets upset at men who don’t want to date overweight chicks. 

The vast majority of women on his page agree with him. The thing is, he’s not even trying to use the aesthetic angle. It really is a matter of health. How can we be active members in the Pro – black movement when we aren’t even healthy? And there are stories after stories after stories of people going to gyms or running tracks or taking all sorts of fitness classes, and they’ll see everyone else except black women. I don’t go to the gym myself (I work at home,) but when I’m on the bus passing a track, if I do see black women, they’re old.

So, one day he posted a picture of Stacy Dash. It was a recent photo of her, at age 46, probably looking better than most black women half her age. There was this one female who claimed it wasn’t “inspiring.” She was full of contradictions, but it all boiled down to she didn’t like the woman. The post mentioned nothing about her politics, who she was sleeping with, etc. But she really was “hating,” and I rarely use that term because it’s morphed into someone simply not agreeing.  She was deleted, and immediately afterwards, the picture mysteriously was reported for “nudity and pornography.” Why would she do that?

I think the same thing happened to me. There was a picture posted of a woman before doing squats and afterwards.  A female said she didn’t think squats could do all of that. Many people, including several fitness trainers, told her otherwise. She goes on her page and starts complaining about how “niggers never get stuff done.” I took a screenshot of that posted it on the thread. And it started there for HOURS. I posted it up there to show how bitter she was, because a LOT of females do that.

OK,  MAYBE it was an issue of privacy. But not really. Because if someone has an open page, then that information is freely available. I didn’t post about her whereabouts or what college she goes to or her work. They were just statuses. And for her (I’m presuming it was her) to report me just because people corrected her is very silly.

But I think it was in good timing. I don’t understand how people can have two separate identities, one in real life, and another on the Internet (there are some exceptions, of course). But I’ve noticed I had been coming increasingly belligerent. And even though I’m not AS belligerent in real life, it was definitely bleeding into my real life. To me, I cannot separate the two into neat little boxes. Just like you can’t separate all your little quirks and personality things into boxes. Changes you do in one part of your life will spill into another. That’s just how it is. I don’t know if my real life presence fed into the digital life or vice versa. But I think it’s good that I’m taking a step back. Because it’s not that serious. If people want to be bitter or hateful for no apparent reason, so be it. It’s not my job to educate them, or oust them.

Maybe it’s all this Scorpio energy everywhere? Or Pluto?

Digital Detox

I feel like a mess right now. And I’m totally fine with that.

One of my Facebook friends decided to get away from the digital world for awhile. And I felt inspired, after I’d gotten over the fact that I thought she had disappeared.

I don’t spend a terribly large amount of time on social media sites, but I want to get away from it. Just for a month. I don’t like being constantly plugged in like that. I’ve told a few people that I’ll be gone, but I don’t feel like telling everyone. Maybe it’ll be a little fun for people to think I’ve “disappeared.”

So, I’m giving up Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram. I’ll still blog here on occasion, because blogging isn’t “technically” social media. Or am I wrong?

I’m allowed to bend a few rules, n’est pas? I’m starting the day after my birthday. It’ll probably feel like being tucked away in your warm, cozy room all day, and then being thrown into cold air, naked and vulnerable.

Let’s do this!

Feminine Energy/Element

I have met the man of my dreams. He exists. But I cannot have him, and I’m totally fine with that.

I don’t believe in love at first sight, but I struggled with my biases the first time I laid eyes on his picture. His glasses. His hair. But most importantly, his words. Using verbs like “splashed” and “sprawling.” I remember my grandmother telling me she fell in love with my grandfather’s voice before she’d ever met him (he was a singer). Well,  I fell in love with his words.

We chatted on AIM, then we talked on the phone for a few hours because our thumbs were hurting. He’d moved from the South like moi. A kindred spirit. Feeling alone and in need of a friend (and maybe, a warm body to lay next to). He’d suggested meeting up in Chelsea… at three in the morning. Looking back, I should have, no matter how ridiculous it seemed.

I felt very tortured the few times we hung out. Against my better judgment I spent the night with him. Nothing happened. Maybe it should have. For Christmas, I bought him a “tattered” notebook, a bottle of Jack Daniels, and I wrote him a letter on parchment paper with a fountain pen. I think everything cost about $100. The most expensive gift I’d ever bought. Actually, maybe the only gift I’d ever given to someone out of love.

He thanked me. Months later, he was back South. Said NY was too desperate for him, and he loved the slower pace. He got a girlfriend. I stayed in NY, miserable and cold. I tried having phone sex on my birthday, in the wee hours in the morning, but I was thiking about other things in the back of my head.

It’s been three years. At first, I’d thought about moving down there to be with him. But that would have been silly. Why would I do that? And what would have happened if things didn’t work out? I seem to be in a constant conflict with being so willing to up heave my life just to be with someone. I don’t feel very grounded at all. I remember my therapist telling me she thought it might have to do with my father being in the military and always traveling. I often wished I could have been a gypsy like that. I’d like to think I’m a gypsy at heart 🙂

I still love this guy. But it’s contained. Not gushing and burning all over the place. It transcends romantic love. The only term I can think of to describe it is the “urge to merge.”

We chatted briefly today. I check on on him from time to time. It feels like I’m catching up with an old friend. Not OMG HE’S ONLINE LEMME TALK TO HIM.

I asked him how he was. Fighting and fucking, he said. He’d adopted it as his maxim, he said. That it was what kept the world going around. I said I wish there was less fighting, and he said no.

I think we have similar religious slash spiritual beliefs. I said even though I like to believe we live for thousands of years, it pains me to know people die and unnecessarily. I know it’s part of the “plan,” but it kills me to know people the world over get murdered. That women get raped. That children starve.

He said I was human, that i had a heart. I smiled. I told him that since getting older, I am slowly embracing my feminine element. But it never comes slowly. It’s like the floodgates. I’d explain how I’d seen a baby shoe on a fence and I started crying. He said it was a beautiful thing.

I don’t quite understand it, but I love the gray areas when it comes to intellect. But with emotions, it’s only black and white. I’m either hot or cold, not tepid. I become such a mess and I’m both repulsed and amazed by it. I have a hard time watching funeral scenes on TV or movies because it makes me think of my grandmother. I balled my eyes out but I tried to keep it together. I contorted my head weird because I tried turning the light out without my boyfriend knowing. I tried sliding some tissues underneath the pillow. I tried really hard not to sniffle.

And wouldn’t Ya know it, the bastard wasn’t asleep and he asked me what was wrong. I told him to leave me alone but ended up telling him that I was crying over my grandmother.

And I’m sure I’ll cry over seeing a baby wave at me this week.

Fucking Jenny Schecter

I’ve been watching “The L Word” for the past month and more or so. And I love it. I think 95% of the sex scenes are a bit too gratuitous and obviously done for the “male gaze.” Isn’t it kind of sad that straight men will only watch a film or TV show about women if they know there’s a girl on girl sex scene in there? What does it say about our culture? They don’t see it as objectifying or degrading, but it really is.

I’m not lesbian,  but I understand this kind of eye-rolling moment of men thinking that just because they see two women going at it,  that they’re somehow invited.  That they can barge in. I’m quite sure they learned that from porn. Just like I’m quite sure this “push” for females to experiment for the purpose of male attention is a modern “invention.” I don’t see the inverse happening, but then again, I don’t really see women all that psyched about men going at it. 

But anyways, that wasn’t the purpose of my writing today. A character who I used to absolutely love and adore is now someone I absolutely hate and I would love nothing more than for her to get killed off or something.

As a writer, I really enjoy watching people portray writers. Just like I Love movies based/set in New York. I like to see what they get right and what they get wrong (and sometimes, the wrong stuff is completely beyond their control.) Before I knew that Jenny was a writer, I felt like I could “relate” to her. She seemed innocent, naïve, pure. Yeah, she cheated on her boyfriend/fiancé /husband with a woman, but she seemed completely ashamed about it.

And then, ever since she decided that she was a lesbian, she just became this pretentious, highfalutin bitch. Every episode I just want to rip my hair out. And when she wrote her “novella” and was called out on how it wasn’t really fiction, but real life, she went on and on about how she draws from her real life experiences and creates stories. There’s such a thin line between reality and fiction. But changing names slightly and giving them slightly different occupations doesn’t absolve you from it being real life. And I know it’s a show, but if anyone were smart enough, they could totally sue for something. I would know ; I took a media law class!

Rant over.