Confessions

I am always more than a little happy when I see bloggers saying something that I agree with but don’t want to be the one to say first; I agree with the sentiment but didn’t want to be the one to put it out there first.

But since I’m not first I’ll say it: I never liked the cupcake trend. Give me a pie or an actual, mature slice of cake. Cupcakes are great and all, give me food that’s not twee.

Speaking of twee, I am also quite over the hipster aesthetic. I’m burnt out on seeing it on blog headers, I’m tired of seeing children with weirdly overly abstract but not foxes and other woodland animals. Foxes are nice. Foxes with exaggerated features and diamonds are starting to grate on me.

My body and I are at war. I don’t do weight loss well, and I’m at the place where I am internalizing other people’s issues in a way where I’m frankly tired of hearing about them. Maybe that’s the point of this entry, I’m just tired of it all. Maybe I need a vacation somewhere with pretty leaves and a lot of sheep. But I’m tired of having to pat people’s hands and tell them that their bodies are fine. Mostly because I want someone to do the same for me but for a thousand social excuses it won’t happen. And in my head it’s always excuses I’m given, not actual solid social logic.

I suppose that’s my final confession, right now I’m grumpy.

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Abundance and Cold Brew Coffee

I use a lot of those savings apps for smart phones that WordPress gets weirdly angry about if you mention by name.

The ones where you buy something, scan your receipt and they give you points or credit towards rebates.

A lot of those apps pay out in gift cards-which at first set me back a little. What am I going to do with Starbucks gift cards? Gift them? Buy gallons of iced coffee? Then I remembered that they sell ground coffee, and I host a coffee night, so ground coffee is actually a bonus.

And yes, a lot of these gift cards will eventually be gifted (I might have come home with cold brewed iced coffee, it’s sort of my weakness).

I’ve been doing a lot of work with abundance this summer. I’m not really a ‘mantra’ person, at least I never used to be. And I admit that frankly I feel silly doing it. Really silly, actually. At least once a day I have a mantra that I go through about in relation to pulling abundance into my life, and being able to recognize it whatever form it takes.

Food, gifts of cash, bus passes, rides places, gift cards…it’s all abundance. I think a lot of people think ‘cash’ now when they think abundance, so when they ask for abundance and someone offers them garden produce, they wonder why the Universe isn’t listening to them. I did learn a long time ago that manifestation isn’t about getting what you think you want, it’s about learning to pay attention to what shows up (and being okay with an answer of no/not yet).

I started doing this work heavily during Sirius and the effect was pretty intense. Every day I was offered a free meal. A lot of time it was a complete stranger, who just walked up and gave me food and walked away again. This effect has been running since then, though it’s not always a daily thing.

A lot of it is on me, though, and I think that’s where mantras -do- have an observable, measurable effect-they start affecting though patterns and behaviors. I have started a savings jar (the best way to have money is to not spend it…). I make sure to use my apps. I pay attention to what I’m being offered.

I mean, free Starbucks is so much better than Starbucks I’m paying for.

Deep Cleaning…OF THE SOUL

I’m not going to go so far as to say that I feel blessed with this opportunity.

I’m not that far along yet. My back hurts too much, there’s too much still to be done (and probably will be left undone, my laundry pile has grown to epic proportions and it’s not going to be finished by the time Mid comes back tomorrow), I’m too exhausted and still too stressed.

But I am deeply satisfied with what I have accomplished.

I came home from work last night to a notice that said that there will be an insurance inspection on Tuesday, and the place needs to be as clean as possible before then.

That’s wonderful. I leave for Sirius tomorrow.

Between my frankly disinterest in cleaning, lack of time, depression, and did I mention my distaste for cleaning? This place was…bad. Not good. Embarrassing even. I cried a little inside because there was no way in hell this was getting done.

Nope. Not a chance in hell.

But I woke up at 6, and started working. You can now see the floors in all rooms. I own a new stick vacuum (which I kinda love, it’s bright red and light enough to be easily usable). I have purged something like 15 bags of…stuff. If I had a car, the stuff would have been donated but you work with the hand you’re dealt.

I have thrown out stuff out of the storage room that I’ve wanted to get rid of since it showed up in the apartment. I finally let go of clothes I’ve been moving around since college. I finally took down the table in the kitchen and realized that as much as I’ve been fighting it, it really can’t stay up if it’s not being used.

This apartment will still not be spotless when I leave, but it’s so much closer to it than when I started this morning. And while I still don’t believe that cleaning makes a person happy, the energy in this place is finally moving. Somewhere this evening I noticed that things started seeming lighter, that I wasn’t as worried about what was going to happen this week [I’m not really looking forward to this festival].

I still own way too many things, but I have a better feel for what’s in here.

Which is probably beneficial because I’m going to be up again tomorrow at or just after six to start all over again..

I Fear that I Owe You Nothing of My Appearance

I was reading a blog entry that I do actually agree with, that as larger women we often seek to make ourselves softer and smaller in other areas-as though our bodies take up the small amount of social space that we as women are allotted and we must compensate for being as gentle mannered as we can be to make up for it.

So sorry that I exist, the idea is, I’m so sorry that you don’t find me attractive enough to give me the space you give the small bodied.

Not me.

My nicknames in high school all reflected my body in some way but they all carried a certain social impression-Tiger, Panzer, or the actually vaguely masculinized usage of my last name. The languages used for my body were the same as the languages used for the football players and the other boys known for their taking up of space.

And man, I took that to heart and I ran with it.

I still do.

I do not owe you softness. I do not owe you prettiness. Hell, I don’t even owe you smallness. I grew up before the plus sized community started getting good and pissed about our shitty clothing standards, so once I started finding clothes that I liked and fit, I started wearing them.

I am the woman at festival in the -large- brown head wraps, the brown leather, and the maxi skirts. And I am the woman who has been complimented, repeatedly, for my refusal to turn down who I am and wear the mumus and other weapons of destruction that they market at my size range.

I had a discussion on Reddit once-how dare I not know that men don’t find me attractive? My response was along the line of, to be blunt, asshole-we don’t want you either. The men who drape themselves with ‘pretty’ women like fine linen, you’re not on my interest list. You really don’t exist in my world either.

I have found that this rhetoric, this playing of the same game by their own linguist rules, really fucks with ‘their’ heads. That I talk ‘like’ a man in this game, and actually rather proudly wear my own socially deemed ‘ugliness’ seems to be a mindfuck of the highest order.

I will own my space. I will wear my leathers, I will dance at the fires. I will be the one in the cami tanks even though I’m not small stomached. I will be the one wearing the black eyeshadow with the garished colored hair coverings. I will be the one you whisper about behind your hands, rolling your eyes and wondering when she will finally start playing by the ‘rules’.

Because I owe you, and your need for smallness of space and smallness of femininity, not a single, solitary, damnable thing.

The Winter of Our Disco Tent

Why yes, I’m resorting to ripping off Facebook memes for titles.

I had hoped when I got sick so badly last winter that it was a one shot, random experience. This winter is telling me that I am most likely going to spend Januaries from here on out blowing through sick time like it’s meaningless.

I mean, who doesn’t like going to the doctor and being asked if you’ve been to Africa lately?

It has sapped my energy, and my will do most anything-other than weird blips and glitches in the matrix. Today (Friday) was a very, very bizarre day-though I think at least one person I crossed paths with had a much odder day than myself.

Those people who tell you all the time how the universe or the deities love them, no one like those people but I feel the need to verge into that territory right now. I haven’t had the energy to do dishes lately, let alone blog, and most definitely do something like work ritual or work with my altar. I don’t even know who I’m going to center myself around this year (I’m leaning toward the norns or the zorya).

And yet, somehow I’m finding myself at the winning edge, the center of the storm, the insert cliche here for success.

I got a frantic phone call from Mid during lunch-the bathroom is flooded.

How the bathroom managed to flood in -just- the perfect location as to not actually destroy anything (including the ceiling) is beyond me. But all I’m out is a roll of paper towels, some tp, and some q-tips.

…Tomorrow’s conversation with the maintenance crew is going to be interesting.

Laundry

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Both blogs have been quiet lately because I’ve been taking a minor vacation while StumbleUpon has been doing its thing with my stats.

I’m still not used to opening my stats page and seeing quad digits. And as much as I want to tell myself that I’m not, I’m disappointed on the days when it’s not in the quad digits-even when I would be overjoyed with the numbers I am getting prior to my great StumbleUpon breakthrough.

I would love to tell you that I’ve been doing all sorts of great, though provoking things. In reality, it’s been laundry. And anxiety. And sometimes anxiety while I’m doing the laundry.

Seriously, I’m sitting here tonight, on a night I’m supposed to be using to take care of myself, wondering if I shouldn’t go do some laundry and really, really hoping that I sent an email to the right person. The answer to these questions is no, and most likely yes and it’s not a huge deal even if I didn’t.

I wish I could tell you that I liked doing laundry but by nature I’m actually one those people who would rather have an extended wardrobe and do laundry less often than actually do laundry more frequently. It’s one of the areas I will admit I’m not a minimalist-or I am, it’s just that I would rather do larger loads less frequently. I wish I could tell you that I didn’t have Mid take me to get more of his work clothes today so I didn’t have to spend every morning for the foreseeable future doing laundry.

Because, frankly, that sort of sounds like hell.

Those Promises You Don’t Intend on Keeping

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Early September in Buffalo is a terrible time to decide to start exercising.

I mean, we seriously have about 10 minutes of good weather left and then it’s back to the seventh level of hell for the next six months.

But if you happen to be in my section of the city lately, you’re going to find an oddly gaited overweight Polish woman with a head scarf limping her way through the city. Because Mid is back to work (which, really, is great) and I’m back to walking everywhere to get my day to day errands done. That’s me, the human pack horse, lugging way too many groceries home at once.

I was walking back from Sprint (Mid has gone from never loosing a phone to loosing one every three months. Everyone laughed at my old phone stash, until now) when it hit me: it doesn’t matter how much people tell me that exercise will help, it doesn’t matter how much better mentally I actually do feel this PMDD cycle, it doesn’t matter how much good it does my blood pressure-I really frakking hate to exercise.

I don’t like this. I don’t like the way my feet feel, because I really do have an odd gait. I don’t like the way my shoulders constantly feel like they’re borderline strained. I really hate being that fat person exercising in public, because there’s that one ass every time that in reality just doesn’t want fat people to exist in their space period-if you don’t exercise you’re disgusting, if you do exercise you’re disgusting, frak it, I’m Iron Man. I don’t like the concern trolls, the people that seem to think that exercise will save you from yourself and the ways that they assume that because you’re large bodied you can’t possibly be healthy.

I’m going to be honest with you: I only exercise to get my doctors to shut up. My medical team really wants to be able to blame my weight for the health problems that I have. Except that my major demon right now is PMDD and that’s only very, very marginally weight related.  Even my blood pressure is directly related to the hormones I’m on for my PMDD-that’s actually on the insert. I take a perverse joy in the way that they flail a little looking for something to blame on my weight-because again, in the States, you can’t be fat and healthy.

So out there I go, waddling along because of my bad foot and my boyfriend works weekends now and I’m trying to prevent getting yelled at by my medical team.

And I’m hating every minute of it. Stop promising me I’m going to love this, becaus this is right up there with getting my teeth cleaned.

Highlight Reels

I'm reusing this picture of penguins from HK because I think penguins are pretty damn awesome

I’m reusing this picture of penguins from HK because I think penguins are pretty damn awesome

I have to admit, I’m still rebounding on the whole self-esteem thing. I really don’t feel like I’m good for much of anything but at least now I can tell myself calmly and with something actually approaching conviction that it’s my depression talking.

There is something of a modern cliche that says to stop assuming that other people’s highlight reels are their everyday reality. What people choose to show you is the best of their best.

It’s part of the reason that I talk about the worst of my worst, because I want to shatter this illusion of bloggers as being awesome, perfect wonderful people who photograph amazingly well and nothing ever goes wrong for.

It does lead one to wonder though…or rather, it does make my depression wonder, what happens when their highlight reels are still better than anything that goes on in my own highlight reel? I’m not sure that thinking that just because these people are giving us the best of their best, that that somehow makes the best of our best as good in comparison. I know for a fact that there are things that it’s not going to be-do not ever under any circumstance ask me to do my own coding for my blogs. There’s a reason I’m still using a WordPress hosted box blog.

What I’m saying is, saying that just because the best bloggers are showing me their best does not somehow make my life good by extension. I’m not saying that my life is bad, I’m just saying that it’s an odd form of comfort you’re asking me to take from this cliche.

This is not some sort of long winded ploy for self validation, because I do think that this cliche could function in a manner, just not the one that people think it does. You have no idea what it is that people are taking from your highlight reel.

I know that I’m going to sound egotistical as fuck in saying this, but people have taken to telling me how much they admire me lately. I don’t understand it, because I’m flailing like a butterfly net in a hurricane right now. Sometimes the comments are, literally, about how graceful the flailing is.

What I’m saying is don’t assume that just because you think your highlight reel is crappy doesn’t mean it’s not pretty kick ass.

Oh, and maybe start telling people how awesome you think they are. Start a positivity revolution.

The Final Frontier

Photo credit to Life Magazine/blogger does not claim ownership of image

Photo credit to Life Magazine/blogger does not claim ownership of image

I do not understand the appeal of space.

I do not look up at the heavens and think that I want to go there.

I don’t mean this lightly, one of the movies that freaked me out the most of the child was Space Camp. It’s not that I lack an adventurous spirit.

This dislike of space takes on an almost spiritual level for me; if it is true that we all walk our own road, my road is solidly earthbound.

And yet I keep feeling this strange  pull into the cosmos. I don’t regret not going into aerospace, my science is and always will be entrenched in the intangible and the dense, archaic languages for me will always be the hyperreality, semiotics, the signified, the sign. In fact it almost angers me that we’ve swung from ‘no women in aerospace’ to ‘as a female, you must love aerospace’.

There is something though. My bloodline is forever entwined in that great black nothingness up there that I loathe so much. With enough careful Googling and a trip to Jupiter (as in, Florida), you’ll find one of my ancestors on the Space Walk of Fame. Go to Cape Carnival and he’s snarling in the background of the video like only the men in my family can.

My grandfather’s brother was a troubleshooter for NASA when space exploration was not quite a guaranteed one way flight, but it was heavily implied. I have moon dust and aerospace in my veins, along with a heavy dose of salt water, some fighter jets, and a potential trip to Antarctica. I really am the black sheep for going soft science in this family.

I’m not sure why but this year I’m feeling myself drawn to this one particular ancestor more than the rest. I’m not sure why this year I’m finding myself staring at the stars more than others. But I will say this much, whatever it was that he was seeing, I’m not finding the same thing in that void.

 

The Nature of Reality is This

One of the things you need to remember is that you will fail.

You will hurt.

Things will go badly.

This is the nature of reality.

But you, you are worthy.You are not simply a sum of  your failures. People do not simply stop existing because they do not achieve all their goals. And sometimes you will find that your goals were not where you should have been anyway. Or you might find that a dream you failed to achieve five years ago looks nothing like what you want today.

You will find your way again. It may take a very long time. You may not notice the change until you stop and look behind you. You might discover that home looks nothing like you thought it did. You might have to take an ax and go off-roading from your path for awhile. There will be shadows on your path, but the only thing that stopping does is leave you in those shadows. Moving forward is the only way to finding peace.

It may or may not be your fault-do not deny the influence of other people and timing. You do not live in a vacuum. Do not let other people force you to take responsibility for their actions, or the actions of society. There will be things, big things-weather events, recessions, wars-that you absolutely have no control over that will impact your life. Saying that everything is the sole result of your own choices is like saying it’s your fault it’s raining.

But take control of the things that you can do. You cannot fix the world, or fix the decisions you’ve already made-but you can make new ones. One of the choices you need to make is this: if people are blaming you for things you cannot control-the weather, recessions, wars-these are not the people you need in your life or you will constantly second guess why things are happening to you. The only thing you can do is try to make the best decisions for the here and now.

But just remember this moment will pass, same as any other. Whatever happens next, success, failure, or the grave-it’s going to happen regardless. Don’t spend that time wishing it was something else. This may be the only real secret to reality.