Wednesday, June 26, 2013


So I'm gonna wax moody for a bit, because that's what's going on right now, and hey... this isn't a specialty blog, this is just my Internet Brain Dump, so welcome back to it! It's not like I'm off topic since I'm pretty good about not specifying topics to begin with.
Friends, though.
Let's talk about that.
And about how Tumblr has mounds of posts about how hard it is to make, keep, or be calm about having them.
And about how Facebook has all of these inspiration black and white professional photos with pretty fonts talking about how they're so valuable and they make your life better and....
And basically it seems there's only slight less effort put in to worrying about friends as being worried about staying alive. Or perhaps getting laid, depending on the demographic.
I am not good with friends. I try very hard to talk to them and keep in touch, but I get forgetful or sidetracked or into this REALLY FREAKIN' COOL PROJECT and sometimes they don't hear from me for a while. And then comes a "Hey, are you mad?" text or IM out of nowhere (because I don't actually live near any of my friends, further awesome complication) and I'm baffled as to why they would think I would ever be mad. I'm not mad, I'm just forgetful.
But even despite this, I have noted that there is literally not a single person who has been my friend for longer than perhaps 10 years. I don't have a single high school, childhood or college friend that I am close to. Even adult friends don't tend to stick around for more than a few years before Some General Weirdness kicks up.
It happens so often, in fact, that I pretty much just talk to people, try to be nice to everybody, and don't really look for friends. It usually goes that people decide they are MY friend first, and then I chat them up a lot more often.
I guess because, at some point, I am expecting them to disappear on me. Which is probably sad, and probably affects how I interact with people on a basic level. I'm just not sure how much.
At the same time, I'm deathly afraid that I'm hyper-aware of that possibility, so I go waaaay overboard in interacting with people and come across as seeming needy, or just generally in peoples' grills. I also want to help, I want people to NOT feel alone, or sad, or upset, or like they have no help, so I throw a lot of stuff at them to try and keep that from happening to them; it makes me wonder if I seem like I'm invalidating their feelings, or acting like a Know-it-All. So the very act of talking with people and sharing info and hanging out... it can become pretty stressful pretty fast.
What brought this entire mental revisit to the forefront was a strangeness trifecta with some friends I talk to every week on a regular basis. They are people that I actually take my problems to, and feel like maybe it's not a huge sin to ask their thoughts on things. Not like they should feel special for it, I don't mean it that way. They're people that I've talked to long enough that I know they've got a good head on their shoulders and would be rational, not resorting to "Oh, it'll pass" sort of platitudes. They're good people. I would seriously contemplate taking a bullet for them.
But for some reason, they all went weird at the same time, and in entirely different ways. One I knew would probably end up upset by the end of the weekend. Another was very stressed and felt like they had the entire world on them in the hour they told me about everything going on. Yet another.... just... stopped talking.
None of this actually calls in the necessity of ego. I know it was just a perfect storm of People Doing Life. But in the middle of it I was at a loss to help anybody, and with one of them I just had to watch the car wreck happen and be there for the aftermath. Which blows, and I'm sure a lot of you have been there.
As far as the silent one... I have no idea. Eventually they might say something and give me a clue as to what's going on. They might not. I'm struggling really hard to be at peace and just roll with things, because we can never know exactly what's going on in the head of another even if they explain it to us. We shade our words with meanings too deeply to ever really convey what's happening in our skulls.
This resulted in dragging up everything, though, about me wondering if I'm a horrible friend, or generally clueless about things. And people. Fun stuff.
*** STORY TIME! ***
In my mind I rocketed back to when I lived in Seattle. I had become really close friends with a gal who seemed neat (albeit very opinionated). We were friends for perhaps 2 years. At one point I even slept on her sofa to get away from a bad relationship.
Then for some reason she started to slowly grow sour and more negative. Right about the time she found out she was pregnant, in fact, although really I think a lot of stuff was under the surface and she was using it as an excuse to be rude and selfish.
At the time I was trying to plan my wedding, and she had agreed to be my matron of honor. But every time we got together she would start out by telling me what she had done for her wedding, belittle everything I had picked out for mine, then took over the conversation and started talking about her baby. Non-fucking-stop. It got to the point where I would go home and do all the work myself because nobody else in the area volunteered and my parents were 3,000 miles away. The groom, also, was not particularly helpful (a sign of things to come).
At one point I was attempting to discuss locations with her, and she kept interrupting with more shit about her baby, telling me stuff she'd already told me before.
~PLEEEEEASE be assured this also makes me hyper-aware that I'm babbling about my pregnancy and boring the shit out of people who don't give a damn that I've managed to not keep my legs shut, btw.~
When I finally turned to her and said "Hey, could we NOT talk about your baby for a bit? I'm trying to get stuff done."
There. I was finally honest with her, I asked for her help directly. I thought I was being an adult, in fact.
Except that apparently you didn't Question Her, because she got REALLY pissed off and snapped back "Having a baby is a huge life event."
"So is getting married," I shot back, surprised at her lack of ability to realize that fact.
And then she actually completely refused to talk to me the rest of the car ride. Being that we were going somewhere SHE had suggested, that made things awkward as hell. And to further be passive aggressive so she didn't have to stop talking about what SHE wanted and help me out, she refused to talk on the way back either. As if we could only talk about her baby or nothing at all.
Should've been a huuuuge warning sign, honestly, but I wrote it off to her being an only child and her first pregnancy.
Then suddenly I get an email saying she can't be my matron of honor because she won't be able to stand for the duration of the ceremony. Because she would be a whopping 3 months pregnant and couldn't stand for 15 minutes or some bullshit. Whatever. It was obviously an excuse.
I offered to let her have a chair, stating people would understand. She never responded to that offer.
Then she was 15 minutes late for the ceremony. And made a point of stating she couldn't have the alcohol being served because she was pregnant. And then hugged me and left.
I only saw her once more after that, and that was at her baby shower. She was right where she needed to be, center of attention. I left early after talking with a few mutual semi-friends and smiling at her while dropping my gift on the gift mountain near the front door. We maintained email contact infrequently, and all conversations were pretty much always dominated by how her business and her baby was doing. I asked her for advice on a few things going weird on my end and was basically ignored in favor of what she wanted to talk about.
When the marriage fell apart and I needed help packing up all of my belongings, I did the entire job by myself. Including guarding the luggage after I discovered my soon-to-be-ex-husband going through it to pull out things that I owned prior to us even being married that he thought were valuable and wanted to sell after I left. I moved it to my car and locked it every evening for lack of a safe place in my own home. I cried by myself, I packed by myself, I put up with him importing his mistress and letting her sleep in the bedroom while I enjoyed my college futon in the spare bedroom... by myself. And during this time I was completely abandoned and ignored by this person who had been more close to me than anybody else had been in the past 8 or so years.
She did give me one parting shot, advising me that I was "too obsessed with money and very self-centered" in a final email before I left the state, as if she had to get the last word in. Which is amusing, because I had actually thought that described HER very well, especially the self-centered part. But then again, what's that quote? We despise in others what we hate most in ourselves?
The worst part is that when I read that, because I was in such a miserable space mentally, it shot straight through all of my logic centers and lodged in my brain. To this day I am constantly checking to see if I am, in fact, being selfish and unempathetic. Because my two greatest fears are of letting people down, and being alone. And that hit both of them squarely.
If you've read this far, I'm impressed. Beyond impressed. And grateful, because time and attention are valuable things.
I am hoping this leads people to see why having all of my friends go odd on the same weekend would be incredibly stressful. I was afraid I would let them down. I was afraid I would come from a place of ego and not truly help them. I was worried that I was so stuck in my own crap that I couldn't intuit what was going on with them.... and I had to do that figuring for multiple factors and multiple vectors. It was a pretty lonely place. And probably not even a necessary mental state to be stuck in. I do this shit to myself.
I've talked with some of them since then and they're doing better, thankfully. I was able to be an ear when they needed it, and I was happy to be able to help even beyond my own satisfaction.
As far as the one who has gone silent... I'm just hoping everything is okay, and if I've done something they'll mention it eventually. Hopefully not as a parting email shot that ends things, as I'd like a chance to make amends ("Are you mad at me?") I am also way too familiar with that method these days and it grows quite old. If it happens again, I think I'll just consider people to be generally neat... but not advisable for approaching on a deeper level.
Thanks for listening again, vast void of the internet.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Pulling it out afterall.

So I was right about June 22nd being a better day.
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I totally managed
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To find ways
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To keep myself busy
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And creative.
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I feel much more human for it.

Enjoy that awesome Supermoon in the sky! If anybody develops powers as a direct result of exposure, let me know!

Friday, June 21, 2013


It is the Summer Solstice, and I used to be a pagan so I used to celebrate this as a holiday. Even sitting here now it makes more sense to celebrate a regular, mathematically calculable point in time based on what the planet is doing over some arbitrary religious or cultural day because, well, science. The sun is out a loooong time, just seems like a good thing to me. Being warm is awesome. Celebrating things is awesome. The earth staying in its regular orbit around the sun? Awesome. And necessary for the continuance of life.
Except today I didn't celebrate, like, at all. When I was at work I would bring in oranges or clementines for everybody and it was a cute little thing. I maybe lit candles or something. I haven't been pagan in at least a decade at this point, so any specific rituals are completely gone from my memory. And being Buddhist, there's just really not much of a call for it.
But still, it feels... sad. Empty. Like I was the only one slightly excited about today even though it's just a measure of time in the earth's rotation around the planet. And then I didn't do anything. Like I have no personal holidays, or if I do I forget to celebrate. Or I don't have the energy to celebrate.
I keep going back to "Maybe it's the baby, she's taking the energy out of me." because that is really a pretty damned good explanation. I just remember reading articles saying the second trimester is the one you're full of energy and running around, so it feels like maybe it's not the kiddo... maybe it's me. Maybe I'm just being an energetic slug and if I'd gotten out and about more I would have this 2nd trimester energy everybody's talking about...?
Or maybe I'm still recovering from 2 years of being in a dark cave under stressful conditions. It's only been 20 days. There's not a big chance that I've reversed it in that amount of time.
Anyway, getting back on track I just feel right now like life is spluh, and I'm not accomplishing anything, and at this particular moment I don't even have the mental energy to be excited about and come up with a way to celebrate the solstice. I got excited seeing some fireflies flipping around in the sky earlier, because I adore fireflies. But that's all I could muster.
I think, to quote a comic I saw recently, that my fish may be dead.Or dying. Or at least, the unholy ghost has swung by and is gearing up for a good sit on my chest. I get this way sometimes, where I just have a dip in everything and can't be bothered to care or have much energy. If I were honest with myself I would say it probably happens once a month and lasts for a day or two. I'm not a fan of them, but I've lived with it long enough to know that it does eventually go away and I'm okay again.
I just wish it weren't happening when I'm trying to create a new rhythm to my life. And I'm honestly surprised it hasn't gotten worse with all the hormones and mood swings I'm supposed to be going through.
The funny thing is, I realized my spouse saw it coming. He's been asking me if I'm okay this morning, saying that I just seemed like I was off, or upset, or frustrated. I wasn't. In fact, the first time he asked me I was enjoying a short story I found online and it caught me off guard. So maybe it affects the physiology first and then worms its way in to my brain and makes me want to wear sweatpants and sleep forever and not do anything.
I do know one thing... people being utterly awesome helps drag me out of it faster, and when I find that someone has been incredibly clever, or mind-blowingly creative, it makes me realize that things are okay, there is air to breathe, and the hole isn't so deep to climb out of.
I'm just having a very hard time finding my People-Being-Awesome ladder out of this stuff tonight, and I'd like to not worry my spouse if possible. Maybe a solstice is just a solstice and it can pass no harm done. Maybe June 22nd will be an awesome day for me instead. In fact, I think I'll be totally arbitrary and have fun on the 22nd instead and that will fix things.
Thanks for putting up with me emptying my head.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

When You Don't Miss It Afterall.

I would like to say that having been out of my job for the larger part of 3 full weeks now that I find myself restless and in need of constant stimulation, the likes of which one can only get with a job that requires constant thought and coworkers to interact with.
But if I said that, I would be a big damn liar.
Like I keep sleeping in and hitting "snooze" on the alarm I set to wake me up for that time of morning I've found I'm most productive. And I nap in the middle of the afternoon. And I drink lots of soda even though I haven't really touched soda in the last 3 years. And I watch pointless TV and forget my To-Do list that I've been rolling over and re-writing every week.
And honestly I don't think of work or taking phone calls or teching anything at all. I think of busting in to some new project that involves me using my brain or my art skills and I leap at that, causing me to do things like create really awesome networks over LAN of computers with different operating systems, and deciding to renew my education in Arduino and Unity that I dropped initially because I couldn't get a big enough block of time to really settle down and practice concepts on.
I learn about awesome things like hitori kakurenbo and Kay Nielsen and red-tailed black cockatoos. I find plans on how to make a Solar USB charger from an Altoids tin and $25 worth of parts.
I keep in touch with friends via text or Facebook, I hug my cats a lot, and in general I am the happiest I have been in recent memory, minus the fantastic lower back pain that creeps up on me from time to time lately.
I don't miss being in tech support, and having spent an entire day down in the art den churning out sketches to be colored later, and taking on challenges from friends for art content, I am in love with being creative and learning constantly once more. The only thing keeping me from getting down there more often is the constant power outages as of late courtesy of daily thunderstorms (the art den has no windows) and the poor choice of chair. That shall soon be replaced, however.
A lot fewer people followed up on contacting me after I left than I had planned, and surprisingly many of them were not ones I'd anticipated. I guess as always I misjudge the ebb and flow of peopledom. One on one I'm pretty good, but in large groups they're an annoying and confusing amalgam of "barely paying attention past 5 seconds before an aft."
It's probably for the best that I am now safely ensconced within my happy house churning out everything I've been missing out on for the past 2 (3? I keep thinking 3 years but the math may not bear out) years. I don't do "people" well. "Person", though, well, I'm getting better at.
I also certainly don't miss doctors advising me that not being able to view their stock portfolios from their work PCs is somehow magically "patient affecting". I don't miss being talked to as if I've been a victim of head trauma all my life, either.
I'm listening to lots of music, and sharing it with my little girl via a splitter and a second set of DJ headphones that go up against my belly. I'm watching horrible B movies, and I'm knitting up many baby items. It's fun. It's restful. It's what I needed to help my brain heal and start behaving in a mostly linear fashion again.
There is a part of my brain waiting for the other shoe to drop, like there's going to be some horrible consequence for deciding to take care of myself over Getting Money. I'm not to the point of looking over my shoulder yet waiting for the boogieman to steal all the happy away and bring back All The Stress. Maybe I get to postpone that until fall, maybe until after Eve is born and I get a chance to get in a rhythm with feeding her and taking care of her and the house and finding ways to get the artz done during nap times.
For now, though, this is awesome. I could live this summer forever.