changes of the Self

in August 2015, Brian and I moved from southern Louisiana, very near to the Gulf Coast, to the “great” white tundra of the Minneapolis, Minnesota — which is over 1,000mi (1,600+km) as the bird flies, or ~1,1200mi (~1,800km) as the car drives.

there were many reasons for this move: Brian found and earned a job that would at least incorporate his academic focus (very slightly so, we later fully learn) for a reasonable pay; I wanted to get away from my family drama; I wanted to get away from my paternal drama; I wanted to escape many of the acquaintances I had; I wanted to break free of previous obligations and social contracts I had; I want to explore the world/nation; I legitimately wanted culture shock; and … I wanted to try to recreate myself.

I managed to do so somewhat within the nearly four years I have been up here. I gained better habits and lost some worse ones — some instances of each by choice, and others by force or requirement. so with us discussing the potential success of Brian’s job hunts elsewhere in the nation, it’s time to review these changes and reflect on them.


Who I Was in Louisiana

  • sociable, person enthusiast: I was social butterfly, and often the center of attention.
  • responsible, in charge: I was constantly organizing events or hosting, rarely delegating and actually really being just a participant.
  • empathetic: I pretended to be very kind and compassionate, almost as if I was genuinely interested in other people.
  • adventurous: I sought out wild opportunities and places (granted, I was restricted to the local) in hopes of an absurd escapade.
  • inquisitive, curious: I always wanted to know more about everything, was often researching random facts or topics, and was always asking questions.
  • pillar of strength: The backbone or glue or a group or the unflinching emotional support of a given person — it was more often than not me. Though, naturally, I relied on one (or at least, very very few).
  • energetic, loud, hyper: I had boundless energy, and could go from one activity or event to another with no break necessary.
  • alcohol lush, drunkard: I was the group’s (usually) happy drunk. Any unfinished drinks?– everyone knew I would empty them.
  • giving 110%: if I did anything, I did it to my full capacity — including my faults. moderation was not a concept I understood.

Who I Was in Minnesota

  • sociable, person enthusiast: I still embodied this, but to a lesser degree. I was at several parties wherein I actively avoided calling the group’s attention to myself.
  • responsible, in charge: I let up on this a lot too. I was, in fact, tagging along more often than note with the already created plans of others. Brian has said I take on more of an “okay guys, I’ll join in on your thing” approach than I did back home.
  • empathetic: I did this still too, but I lessened it. if I had too few Spoons on a given day, I didn’t listen to all the bullshit others spouted, but instead scurried away quickly.
  • adventurous: I lost this drastically. part of the limitation on this was winter exists up here from October to now (April) — by which I mean, it is so cold outside it is physically painful.
  • inquisitive, curious: I still had my curiosity, but I didn’t really act on it much. I was too tired all the time to put forth the effort to research anything.
  • pillar of strength: I became a Pillar of some sort for several people up here. but I made to have them understand I was not on-call for them figuratively or literally. even when hanging out IRL, I would sometimes be distance.
  • energetic, loud, hyper: this depleted greatly too. I took breaks when I needed them (even while volunteering), I actively scheduled “Recovery” time in my Google calendar, etc.
  • general lush: I still drank way my than I should. and my first social connections up here were made via a kink community, I was none for my input and presence there (not so much actual physical involvement, granted, due to Brian’s requests).
  • 90-100%: I gave less of myself to other people and things. sure I still “did my best”; but I help back when necessary, so as not to over-extend or exhaust myself.
  • open about my Crazies: I was much more open about my struggles here than I was back home — which is saying something, because I was a major advocate back home. by embracing my faults in an early meeting of someone (other than of employers, lol!), I set the stage such that if I fuck up in one way or another (my bad memory, my low Spoon, etc.), no one is surprised or offended.
  • patience for bullshit: normally, I would just let people say shit no matter how dumb. but now, depending on the person, I either address the fallacies I see or I just walk away. I’m not paid to give you my attention, and in most cases, I don’t even care — so fuck off.

Who I Hope to Be in the Future

this is where we are now. I’ve already begun some of these changes (as you will see below), though I have not been in many situations wherein I can challenge or test the adjusted approach or reaction. so we’ll see how it goes.

  • sociable, person enthusiast: I think this is a skill set I still want to maintain and occasionally practice, as it is very useful for making connections for future social or occupational concerns. however, I do not need to make it the core of my identity any longer.
  • responsible, in charge: again, this is useful if I maintain it as a skill and not as a personality trait.
  • empathetic: I think this is at a fairly good level currently. I am empathetic to gain the favour and affection of others, but I don’t drain my resources on pretending to care.
  • adventurous: Brian has mentioned to me multiple times recently how this is obviously incredibly important to me. and he’s right. I do need to incorporate this into my life more.
  • inquisitive, curious: I’ve started getting this back already. I’m getting my Productivity Projects going again, so that’s nice.
  • pillar of strength: I need to be careful who I befriend. granted, you can’t tell right away — but up here, most of my early friends, I have learned, were exceptional needy. and I just can’t do that anymore. not for everyone all of the time.
  • energetic, loud, hyper: I need to balance this. I don’t like how low-key I’ve become, but I like that I’m learning self-care.
  • sober: another one I’m already well started into. as Brian says, he likes being in full control of his faculties — I’ll adopt that saying as I’m so all over the place already, I can’t risk giving up anything.
  • 90-100%: I think I’m at a healthy point for this one. I try harder than most anyone there, but I’m going to break my back for you. I just have to continue this when we move.
  • open about my Crazies: again, setting up my faults and being open about my issues early one makes it less difficult and more accepted in the long-run.
  • patience for bullshit: I’m still learning the balance on this one. I’m ignoring my father’s stupid political comments, literally not even acknowledging that he said them sometimes. so I like that. but avoidance can only work on some people; I need to figure out my approach for the other folk.
  • solo fun: branching from “adventurous”, I need to learn to have fun by myself. I spent so much time in Louisiana organising collections of people, I never learned how to go out on my own. I want to grow into that before we relocate again so that I can better explore the city and learn about it on my own time, instead of waiting for someone else.
  • us vs them: I have always had an inclination to the “not our kind” mindset, as much as I hate it. working in the political landscape recently, I developed a quicker reaction to it. I also developed a stronger sense of unity, conversely, in my internal effort to fight the aforementioned propensity. but wherever we go, I want to continue getting this out of my system.
  • volunteering: I stopped volunteering as much here as I did back home. in part due to my parents not being here with scout trouble in which I grew up, and in part to my constant transportation issues (RE weather or no license). but wherever we go, I need to start doing that more.

you may be noticing I didn’t include a terrible number of “bad” character traits. that’s because I like to think I am quite aware of those and am already working on fixing them — trust issues, self-hatred, anhedonia, anger issues, superiority complex, a general impatience, misanthropy, etc. I mean, that list I can make in a hot second!

but this was just a very quick, light assessment of my recent growths and how I want to be as positives, a side of myself on which I’m rarely focused.

if you know me IRL and have insight or comments on anything, I’d love to hear them. I’m trying to ensure my self-perception includes at least the consideration of others’ perceptions of me. so it would be beneficial for me to hear — both the good and the bad.

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Amanda Fucking Palmer – “Another Year”

I tried to Fall in it again.
my Friends took bets and disappeared;
they mime their sighing violins,
I think I’ll wait another year.

I want my chest pressed to Your chest.
my nervous systems interfere.
ten or eleven months have passed;
I think I’ll wait another year.

this weather turns my tricks to rust.
I am a lousy engineer.
the Winter makes things hard enough.
I think I’ll wait another year.

plus I’m only twenty-six [thirty-two] years old;
my grandma died at eighty-three.
that’s lots of time if I don’t smoke.
I think I’ll wait another year.

I’m not as callous as you think.
I barely breath when You are near.
it’s not as bad when I don’t Drink.
I think I’ll wait another year.

I have my new Bill Hicks CD.
I have my Friends and my career.
I’m getting smaller by degrees.
You said you’d help me Disappear;
but that could take forever .


I think I’ll wait another year.
it’ll be the best year ever.
I think I’ll wait another year.
can’t we just wait together?
You bring the smokes, I’ll bring the beer.
I think I’ll wait another year.

alive-ish

hello, hello.  I’m still up and running — albeit, barely.  so here’s an update on my life recently.

Employment

work at the law firm is going the same as usual.  I feel like I should be doing a better job at everything.  but then I don’t have the energy to go above-and-beyond as I normally do.  so I just sit and mope.

the fun story about my recent employment is how I worked security for the Super Bowl this past weekend.  I was outside for over 17 hours in the freezing cold with minimal breaks.  I did get to go into the stadium at one point and see both the very end of the halftime show plus the start of the third quarter.  it was cool.  I was stationed at a Talent Entrance, so I saw people like Kelly Clarkson.

my favourite part, however, was when everyone was exiting the stadium campus and SEAN PAYTON (Saints head coach) CROSSED RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME.  he was so close, I could have kissed him on the cheek.  I seriously, legit swooned for a moment, lol.

oh yeah, and I get paid for all of it.  😀

Other (Mis-)Adventures

I want to do the Polar Plunge this year.  it’s in March, so it will have warmed up some.  I have a friend who may be willing to do it with me.  and Brian said he would be there to watch and support.

School

no, I haven’t started back into grad school.  I have decided, however, that I need to start looking into strictly online schools.  so that even if I move, maybe I can still stay enrolled and such.  so that’s a new project soon to be started.

Table-Top Campaigns

Brian is still running Scion.  I am supposed to start a Silver Age Sentinels campaign soon — wherein the players are villains instead of heroes.

My Writing

I’m active in the Twin Cities NaNo group on Discord.  hopefully, I will start writing again soon.

Addictions

so as of sometime at the end of Jan, my probation from my DUI ended.  I can technically go into bars and the like again.  I’m allowed to drink and be a normal adult.  Brian pointed this out to me —  I’m not sure why; I guess just because he likes sharing information and facts, not matter the consequences?

but it doesn’t matter to me.  my behaviour won’t change much.  I will still have a few drinks here or there.  I just have to keep it in check.

I’ve wanted to cut a lot lately.  it’s due to my Mind being utter chaos.  cutting always straightened me out; put my head back on in the correct direction, allowing me to get shit done.  but without cutting, I just sit in the windfall of disaster and panic in my Head and I drown.

I’ve been not eating again.  a lot.  but I’ve been losing weight, so that’s nice.

Physical Health

…despite not doing my kickboxing.  I mean, I have not been to a gym in over a month.  wtf?  I keep having panic attacks everytime I try.

but I’m going to try again tomorrow morning, I think.  and I may allow myself to pinch or something if I have to.  nothing serious, of course.  but something just enough to pull me out of whatever Fit I may end up falling into.  sometimes, even just knowing that’s an option helps….

Mental/Emotional Health

as was previously expressed, I’m not doing well in the Head.  between the depression-side of my bipolar and my S.A.D., I’m really falling apart.  I’m hopeless, goalless, aimless, and careless.  I have no suspicion that anything will improve, and I hate existence in its entirety.

Brian

things are pretty good between us.  he’s been doing a good job of taking care of me.  I can see it’s wearing on him, though.  I need to get better — if for nothing else than his sake.

Staying in Minnesota

rumour has it Brian is making other plans than the original “stay here for five years”.  but I’m not getting my hopes.  we’ve already been here 2.5 years.  so I’m expecting another three or four, just to be on the safe side.

though Brian and I both understand that I may not last here that long….

soaking

in the tub. with my cell. with bubbles and epsom salt. with hot and hoefully healing waters.

in my self-hatred and concern. about my skills set and capabilities. about if my creativity is even alive anymore. about my cage called “a body”.

in my longing. for the sun. to be outside. to have a group of friends. to host shindigs. to have a home again.

in my fear. of my personal future. of what this president is doing to the whole world. of my career. of never being happy again. of being stuck in this state.

in hopelessness. because nothing will  change soon enough. because I will never like, much less love, myself. because I will never truly write again.

in the tub. with cold water now. without anymore bubbles or full grains of salt. without any sense of peace that this was supposed to give me.

soaking.

it’s been a crazy few weeks

so it’s been a while since I last updated y’all on everything.

my family came in on Monday 6/12 and left Sat 6/17. in the party was my mother, my father, my little bro (he’s 27), and my brother’s friend. overall, we had lots of fun! Monday was just them recovering from the two-day drive. Tuesday, Brian joined the whole lot of us in walking around the Mall of America for 10 hours. that’s right, I typed 10. hours. but in those hours, we flung balls around during putt-putt, went cut up at the aquarium, got lost in a mirror maze, and cut up with strangers the whole time. Wednesday, Brian and I both worked. each Thursday and Friday, I worked only in the morning; Brian still worked all day. Thursday, I took the family and bro’s friend through the skyway. I had never walked it, so it was new to me too. then Friday, I took them out to St Paul to see the cathedral. (St Paul is one of the patron saints of my family’s catholic church back home.) then they departed around noon on Saturday when I had to leave for a volunteer work function.

OH! but while I was at work one day, guess what happened…… THE BEAST WAS EVICTED FROM THE OFFICE!! I mean, it took all four of my guests to capture the creature. but they did so, and Contact came to pick it up. it’s gone!! oh, what glorious days are these!!

last week, much time was spent repairing the apartment from all our guests. see, the four visitors slept in the living room. so we had no office and no living room for a week. it was exhausting. as was the clean-up.

then last Tuesday, my car overheats and never sufficiently cools enough for me to drive it. had to replace the entire radiator. not fun at all. so I was back to bussing to work for about a week. got it back Friday, right before the weekend. for which I was thankful, as I had a busy weekend planned.

Saturday was a workout day (more on that in another post); then I had a therapy appointment. I’m wondering why I’m going anymore. I want to ask her at the next session wtf exactly are we doing, what are we working on? she said at one point that she wanted to work on my negative talk. sure, that’s great. but when are we to start it??

anyway, after that, I went to the store to get hair dye and bleach. OMG, the colour did not turn out as it was supposed to. everyone during the weekend commented positively on it. but still. I’m having to re-dye it so I can keep my job. it’s way too bright. I’ll see about trying to upload a photo later. in the meantime, just imagine hot pink with a hint of pastel pink in it. eek!

Saturday night, Brian and I went to see the play “Booty and the Beast”. it was comedy skits influenced by social media, online dating, and Disney flicks. XD it was hilarious.

Sunday was the famous Minneapolis Pride Parade & Festival. and it was AWESOME. so much love and acceptance. and some of my kink friends were there, so I go to meet them IRL finally. and my hair was a hit there, of course. 😀

so yeah. it’s been an eventful few weeks. sorry for my absence. but I’m back, and I’m looking forward to catching up on what YOU’ve been doing. ❤

reblogged: “Justify”

this echoes my thoughts about leaving Louisiana….

Eyes + Words

Written by Jacob Ibrag

‘How do we know if what we’re doing is right?’

As we drove along the coastline sky, I couldn’t help but

think of the life we left behind. ‘It isn’t anything except a

story we tell ourselves to justify our flight. Maybe we ran

away because we could, maybe we ran away to survive.’


Photographer Unknown

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rain

it’s raining.  it’s not snowing ; it’s raining.  because it’s getting warmer, and water is no longer freezing.

we had neither the funds nor knowledge last year to really enjoy the winter.  we had no friends, didn’t know where anything is, and didn’t even know what all one could do to play in the snow.

this year, however, we should have done something.  we didn’t even make a fucking snowman this year.

yeah, I should’ve just gone and did something without him.  I should have made all the arrangements and told him I’m going, offering him to join me if he cares to.  but that’s all for another post.

there may be snow this Friday. but everything’s already melted so much, whatever comes down won’t make much of a difference.  he mentioned going up to somewhere like Duluth where they may still have snow.  I just shrugged, because I doubt there will be enough in which to really do anything.

but at least Rain is back.  and at least Spring is coming soon enough.  and hopefully, with it the Sun.

the days are obviously longer here in the summer than back home, just as they are shorter in the winter.  maybe the return of the Sun will help with my SAD.  though I suspect the Sun will rise, and I will still be horribly depressed, and we still won’t know how to fix it.