Friday, March 28, 2014

"me" questionaire (for you) (and me)

Here is a questionnaire from one of the self-exploration books I'm reading -- sometimes people in long-term relationships lose their sense of identity and this struck me. I spent 17 years making someone else more important so it has taken a while to tease out my own individuality. If this is your case too, here's
some questions to dive in:
  • I am _________
  • The main thing about me is _________
  • I always _________
  • I feel most like me when _________
  • What I like most about a person is _________
  • I will be _________
  • I get angry when _________
  • I feel happiest when _________
  • I believe in _________
  • One thing I want to accomplish is _________
  • What I like most about myself is _________
  • I hate it when _________
  • I was _________
  • I feel least like me when _________
  • I feel weakest when _________
  • I never _________
  • When I feel angry I _________
  • On a rainy day I like to _________
  • I feel good when I remember _________
  • When I'm alone I feel _________
  • Most of all I really want _________
  • I was the type of child who _________
  • One thing I'd like to change about myself is _________
  • I feel strongest when _________
  • On a beautiful day I like to _________
  • My favorite pastime is _________
  • When I feel happy I like to _________
  • If my relationship with ___ were to end _________
. . .
My answers:
  • I am often smiling  (believe it or not, I'm kindof a happy person, I'm maybe the happiest emo person you'll ever meet)
  • The main thing about me is that I feel things so deeply (sometimes this is awesome and sometimes it SUCKS) 
  • I always think of others first (it's 2nd nature and I'm actually trying to not do this so much)
  • I feel most like me when I am alone
    What I like most about a person is kindness and humor
  • I will be [??]
  • I get angry when I don't feel heard or feel harshly criticized
  • I feel happiest when I'm laughing at something funny
  • I believe in the good of people
  • One thing I want to accomplish is reaching/helping/mattering to others
  • What I like most about myself is that I am genuine
  • I hate it when I can only see my faults
  • I was always trying my best even when I failed
  • I feel least like me when I feel unworthy in someone else's eyes
  • I feel weakest when I'm exhausted and wrung out (physically or emotionally)
  • I never can hold a grudge (even when it would be good for me to)
  • When I feel angry I cry (I fucking hate this about myself! Why can't I just punch a wall like normal people?!!)
  • On a rainy day I like to read
  • I feel good when I remember the things I've accomplished (especially creative projects)
  • When I'm alone I feel content
  • Most of all I really want more time to be creative
  • I was the type of child who was content, sensitive, & observant
  • One thing I'd like to change about myself is caring less about what others think (it's so very uncool to admit this)
  • I feel strongest when I'm fully recharged with my downtime
  • On a beautiful day I like to be outside
  • My favorite pastime is reading & writing
  • When I feel happy I like to laugh, goof around and be silly
  • If my relationship with the Cyclist were to end, I'd be scared of not finding anyone like him & also of hurting someone. (The idea of hurting anyone has made me hesitant to get close to anyone but is not really the greatest excuse anymore.)
Your turn! (PS. *I* won't ignore you. :)

By Hugh McLeod

Thursday, March 27, 2014

On longing, and making peace (link to Carolyn Hax column for today) (article)

"Dear Carolyn: I get you are a strong believer of the be-content-with-yourself theory of singlehood. What I am not getting is when someone is longing for a baby, we “get” this and understand if they skip other people’s baby showers, etc. We can understand their pain. When someone is single and longing for a partner, we assume something is wrong with them for craving something outside themselves. Your advice has really followed these lines and I don’t see the longing as all that different. Please explain." Anonymous
"I’ll note that I don’t “assume something is wrong with” anyone who has such a fundamental longing; suggesting I do misrepresents my long-standing position on this. Which is indeed to seek contentment with oneself — not because only defective people do otherwise, but instead because doing otherwise is flat-out self-defeating. What else is there but self-contentment? To curse your bad luck (or good taste)? To blame past partners for not being marriage-worthy, or not regarding you as such? No life goes exactly as planned, and so our happiness with the one we have will depend largely on how productively we respond when it takes an unwanted turn." Carolyn Hax
Read the full answer:

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Meditation, mofos

This image is what made me sign up for an 8-week meditation course run by a university hospital. I was searching for information online about stress reduction, since I have been struggling and this cinched it. I'm taking the class with a friend and the two of us will see if there's any benefit. This should teach a deeper level than what I'm already doing now.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

All is right with the world

"He who is not contented with what he has, would not be contented with what he would like to have." Socrates

 I'm content to stay content for now.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

It's fatal (but that's okay), by Cary Tennis

From Cary Tennis: It's fatal (but that's okay):
Here is what happens when I think about the future. I am in a waiting room. The Big Doctor comes out shaking his head.

"It looks like you're going to die," he says.

"When?" I ask.

"Who knows?" he says. "Maybe 20 years, 30 years, 40 years. Maybe tomorrow."

"Tomorrow?" I say.

"There's no telling," the Big Doctor says. "But what you've got is fatal."

"What's it called, Doc? This fatal thing I have?"

"Life," he says. "It's called life."

"I didn't realize it was that serious," I say.

"Oh, it's serious," he says. "It's as serious as it gets. I suggest you make yourself comfortable and find things to occupy your mind while you wait."

There are many things you are going to have to do, but you can't do them right now....There are many things out in the world that you could think about and worry about, but they are not in the room with you right now. Right now, you are fine. You may not know it, but you are.

-Cary Tennis

Monday, March 17, 2014

I Love You — Now Change | Psych Central

Great article on how to communicate more effectively. (Later when I'm at a computer, will include some videos with examples.)

(Sent from my phone)

Friday, March 14, 2014

Finally, a post on REAL boobs

Having really only seen my own boobs and porn boobs, I am totally fascinated by the variety in boobage. This is a wonderful, real (and non-erotic) collection of nipple photos to answer any question with a health/medical slant that you ever may have had about your boobs. (My iPhone just wanted to autocorrect that to "noobs" which is almost as much fun!)

Without further ado, I bring you the Nipple Gallery:

(Sent from my phone)

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Things Jewish Moms Say

"It's sore because you are healing... but that DOESN'T mean to climb Mount Everest now, okay??"

"Should you get a pool? Sure. If you want to go to your kid's funeral."

"I'm glad you don't want to date anyone who rides a motorcycle, I don't want my daughter's brains splashed out all over the road."

"Sure, hiking is fun, if you like walking up a mountain with a sofa on your back."

"Make your hair blue if you want -- you're the one who has to walk around with it."

(Sent from my phone)

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Favorite funny (NSFW) Tweets

@JayFerris: 3 days of packing, lifting, and painful jerking. There's a joke in there somewhere, but I'm too tired to make it.

@FakeeEtiquette: It is rude to post a dating-site profile picture that actually looks like you.

@jstogdill: OH (On dating after divorce): it's nice to go out with someone who likes you.

@TeleEroticist: CBT Line. It doesn't stand for cognitive behavioral therapy.

@TeleEroticist: "I bite down on your nipple as hard as I can." "I smash your penis with the hammer of Thor." And he hung up. Pussy.

@TFLN (662): I just want to apologize for screaming when I saw you the other day. It's just that you looked really gross and I was high.

@flipflopsinrain: Most awkward auto correct ever: when 'well, fuck' becomes 'we'll fuck'. Sent by your brother.

@danecook: I'm so glad I'm not married to my work because I'd definitely bang other jobs behind it's back.

@Higgins_J: "Holy shit dude, running security at Pride sucked. Was like being a kindergarten teacher. 'Don't drink all that! Put your pants back on!'"

@jordanrubin: I wouldn't say I'm "married" to my work, but we're definitely f-ing the s*** out of each other.

(Sent from my phone)

Saturday, March 8, 2014

On attaching to other's views about me

I noticed myself becoming attached to how she viewed me.

It started with a simple comment.

"Writers are lonely. In fact, I read that you can't write UNLESS you are lonely."

She unleashed this comment with heat, hurling it in my direction accusingly.

She knows how much I love to write. It's my one true passion. I cannot stop myself from doing it, in fact, I get withdrawal symptoms when I cannot unfurl my thoughts onto a blank screen or page. But I am NOT lonely when I write.

Well, not usually.

I'm not a lonely person who writes. I'm a person who writes and sometimes feels lonely and these are two completely different things! How shitty it feels to have the sum total of your humanity with all the complex emotions and drives reduced to a single state of piteousness.

So I bristled when she said that. Words began to rise up in my mind like a tidal wave gathering strength to crush the incorrect stereotype.

"Everyone is different," I wanted to say. "Everyone has their own motivation; understanding one doesn't mean it explains another." Isn't this obvious?!!? I wanted to throw my hands up in the air and pace, citing varying examples of writers as if presenting my impassioned case to an unconvinced jury. I knew I would win.

But I didn't say anything. I didn't even move. All this happened behind a stony facade. And while I was cooking up an acceptable reply (one less excited than I imagined), I suddenly realized that I was getting this worked up simply because I was tightly tied to her ideas about me. I wanted to control what she thought. I was heavily invested in how she viewed me.

I wanted the adjectives to fit, to be "right" and she had it wrong. I wasn't that way at all.

It feels so terrible to be misunderstood. The urge to correct others about ourselves is so strong.

I want to think that I don't care what others think, but I do, and here is proof. (Granted, she's my mom, but still.) Bumping up against the friction of what she thinks of me versus what I think, what does it matter? Will she actually change her view?

In the history of fucking time, when has someone ever said accusingly, "You are XYZ!" and the reply, "I am not!" ever resulted in, "Oh I am sorry, I guess you were right."?


And so I let it go.

Let her think I am lonely.

It feels lonely to be misunderstood, anyway. Close enough.

(Sent from my phone)

Maybe fiction

"You're like a femme fatale," he was saying.

I swiveled my head around, looking behind the booth for whoever he was talking to.

"No," he said, pointing his chin at me. "You. You're dangerous."

I blinked, confused.

"Okay, nevermind. Tell me 10 things you've always wanted to do."

He picked up a pen to write it down and stared squarely at me, studying my face hard.

I blinked. My wishes are not so concrete.

"I would like to be stronger," I said.

"Stronger," he repeated, confused. He couldn't deliver strength. "No, something concrete."

I struggled to meet his demands.

"I'd like to do something someday to help people," I struggled, vaguely.

"No, no, no," he signed. "Okay, think about it and let me know."

In my head, I said, "I don't think someone can give me what I want anymore."

"You need to break up with him," he said wistfully, eyes filling with hunger.

"I love him," I replied plaintively.

"I know you like to write about stuff," he said. "Please don't write about this. But I think we could be really happy together."

(Sent from my phone)

Conflict link

This explains why the other day was okay after all:

"Conflict is a difference characterized by tension, emotionality, disagreement, and polarization. But that's true only where bonding is broken or lacking. You and I can have a big difference but if we keep the bond, it's not really a conflict. If we break the bond, a small difference can become a huge conflict."


He's tuned in more than I realized. I thought I'd been doing a bangup job of being "strong." But he could tell something was wrong. And it was okay because of our bond.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

As the Corpuscle Turns

Today I threw my back out hunching over with an upset stomach. I win at weird afflictions! Who the hell throws out their BACK (and not even the popular spots like the lower back) while attempting to curl into a fetal position in their office chair?

It started like this:
Unngggnhhhhhh I don't feel so good....

I TOLD you that you would pay for staying out late!*
(Late = 9:30pm on a work night)
Wha--? OUCH!! What the hell was that?
Am I so out of shape that I can't even collapse upon myself in misery?
Who throws their back out HERE??
Luckily, this doesn't actually translate to limitation of movement. You can do quite a lot with a small knife lodged next to your shoulder blade.

Last week's weird affliction was an angry tastebud. While heavily involved in my nightly toothbrushing/scraping ritual, I noticed my tongue was sore. Like a curious techno-ape, I shone a flashlight on my throat and saw huge lumps all over the back of my tongue. This alarmed me so I took immediate action: I googled. And I found my diagnosis: oral cancer!! This scared me enough to see my doctor the very next day.
Dr.: What brings you here today?

Me: I have NO other symptoms but, um, my tastebuds are huge. And they hurt. It's weird, I've never had this before. The internet said this could be one sign of oral cancer.

Dr.: Hmmm, let me see.

Dr.: (shining light into mouth) Say "aaaahhh."

Me: "Aaaaah."

Dr.:  HAHAHAHAHHA you're a hypochondriac!!
(Just kidding, the doctor didn't really say that.)
Dr.: So, this is common after a cold - if it was oral cancer, you'd have lesions all over your mouth. I mean, the tongue is an organ and can be affected like any other organ in the body by an infection. See me again if it doesn't clear up.
Of course, it cleared up a day later.

What will it be next?! Dun dun DUN!! Tune in next week for As the Corpuscle Turns!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

cycling through the 11 stages

The ride home from his house went like this:
  1. Shame at my sensitivity, which, despite my unique fucking snowflakeness, does not feel like a gift.
  2. Irritation: why am I this way?
  3. Realization: oh, right.
  4. Self-awareness: this hurts more because of my history than because of the actual thing.
  5. Irritation: fuck! Knowing that doesn't change the way I feel?!?
  6. Indignation: I don't find fault with shit he does even though there are things I don't like either.
  7. Rationalization: well, it's his house, he's entitled to wanting what he wants and expressing that. If he stayed at your house, it may be you in those shoes.
  8. Wandering: I wonder if that other dude who seems so sweet would treat me more gently.
  9. Wondering: how much of this is my history and how much is a basic incompatibility?
  10. Realization: consider that when he understood what was happening for you, he instantly responded with kindness. That's something, right?
  11. Conclusion: welp, it's a good thing I haven't decided I'm done with counseling. 
There was a little friction and it tugged on a long root inside me. I thought about this on the way home -- anytime there's a strong reaction to something, it's because the roots lie far below the immediate situation. It's up to me to decide how to take care of myself given my bazillion frailties and I don't know exactly what that will translate to but I'm trying to shift looking at "the way I am" with some compassion. I have been told by more than one person that I can be too hard on myself sometimes. Maybe it's time to start listening.