Sunday, July 21, 2013

A Debt Of Happiness


I've been listening to my friends lately. A lot of them are having a lot of problems in life. What drives me crazy is how they complain about it, do nothing, and just make themselves more miserable in the complaining.

Now, I like to talk. So, I talk about my problems, too. I talk about my good days, I talk about my bad days, and I talk about the incredible days, whether those be incredibly bad or incredibly good. I especially talk about the things that make good stories. I complain, too. Boy, do I complain. But I laugh as I complain, find the humor and then do something. And I ALWAYS stay determined to be happy, regardless of what life throws at me.

I have moments where I can't find a way to make myself be happy, but they never last long. I perk back up, and I fight another day.

You see, a long time ago, I learned something. The world is not going to make me happy. Life is not going to make me happy. People are not going to make me happy. Any happiness I ever find in those things, will be short-lived and inter-spaced with so much pain, I might even forget it ever existed.

But I can make MYSELF happy, no matter what.

In the end, it's each and every one of us' job to ensure our own happiness. The world does not owe us that happiness. Life does not owe us happiness. Other people do not owe us happiness. It's nice if those things see fit to give it to us, but it certainly isn't owed. The only person meant to make you happy, is you.

If you can find an opportunity to be happy in every difficulty, you'll always be happy. And there is always an opportunity. You just have to look.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Motivation


It's hard to tell the difference between motivation and ability sometimes. So often, if I lose all motivation, I say I can't do it. And I can list a whole host of reasons why I can't do it, too.

But the truth is, I can. I just don't really want to.

Which sounds horrible. The truth often does, of course, but there you have it. I don't want to get back on track and do my routine again.

I have a lot of motivation to achieve what I want. Sometimes. But then something happens, and suddenly I don't care. Nothing really matters to me for a while, and I have to drag myself out of the depressing pit where nothing matters, and back to the motivated, want-to-succeed person I really am.

I got my motivation back a short while ago. I started my routine back up. I hadn't quite made it to the blogging stage when the boy who raped me came back to my place of work and asked me if I was pregnant.

And just like that, motivation dropped to nothing.

I hate to admit something like this has such power over me. I hate to think how just a single meeting can change the course of my life completely. I want to believe I have control over my emotions and thus control over my life.

And life likes to remind me otherwise. Frequently.

I've decided to stop trying to force motivation. I need to recognize it when I have it, and jump on my work like no one's business, but I don't think I'll ever be able to completely control my emotions or life. And I do believe I'm going to get this train wreck of a change back on track and start achieving things again. I promise.

Just watch me go.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Self Worth





We all have insecurities. We all feel less than what we think we should be. But do you value yourself?

Sometimes, I think I do. But there's always been this little voice inside of me that says I'm not good enough, says that I do everything wrong, and makes me believe I'm worthless. I've wrestled with it all of my life, and I don't think I'm alone in this particular fight. Most people seem to fight with their insecurities every day.

Through meditation, I learned to listen and then deny that voice and it's power. But since my routine has NOT been resurrected as I intended, I can honestly say that I've fallen back into the same insecurities.

Talking to a friend has helped me see why I don't want to be like this. He makes me feel crushingly insecure, but that isn't what opened my eyes.

It's his way of dealing with his own insecurities that showed me what's wrong with how I am now dealing with mine.

He once had people he confessed his problems to, but they shut him down and abandoned him when he needed them most. He once had people who made him hate himself. And then he finally kicked them out of his life.

But instead of dealing with the cuts in his soul that these people left behind, he let them fester. Now, he's become much like the people he refuses to think or talk about. Anyone mentions their problems, he shuts them down, because he believes everyone should deal with their own problems. Anyone makes him feel in the slightest inferior, he shuts them out, and turns that same feeling back on them.

I am the first to admit I have many scars upon my soul. But they are scars. Flaws in the framework of my inner self, but they have closed and healed. I haven't allowed infection to settle and infect the rest of my soul. And while more cuts continue to be added to the number, each one is carefully tended and given what it needs to heal.

This boy does not have that. His cuts have never healed, and if he doesn't change sometime soon, I'm afraid that he's going to die of them.

And trying to help him has shredded my self-worth like nothing I've done before. I'm finally to a point where I have to back off and tend my own wounds. I feel guilty, like I should keep on trying to save this guy from himself, but I know this isn't really my responsibility. But my emotions about myself are. And I need to help myself feel better again.

How can I help anyone else if I don't help myself?

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Working On Routine


Routine is the secret to success for me. I know it. I have proven it. I have lived it.

But it's so hard to put into practice.

I want to write every day again. I want to wake up and run most days. I want to feel limber and relaxed again. I want to remember calm, instead of trying to create it all the time. And I desperately want to see the progress I was making renewed.

So, my routine must return. But everytime I make a deadline for the day it has to be reenacted, I find some excuse to put it off another day. And another. And another.

Because tomorrow is a day that never comes. Saying "I'll do it tomorrow." is as good as saying "I don't want to do it at all."

The fact is, I want to see that beautiful progress I was making, but I don't want to put in the effort the routine costs. Which is funny, because it didn't feel like much effort while it was happening. At least, not until I added a whole bunch more to my routine.

But it's time to get off my butt and start this life change back up again. I'm tired of excuses and silly self-pity. I want to feel myself living again!

Here's hoping I can survive the ride.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Sorta Sane


So I disappeared after my nervous breakdown a bit. I know I'm not doing so well, because I can't write. I sit at the computer, pull the book up and just stare at it blankly for a long time. Not because I don't know where to go from here but because it just doesn't feel like the words are in me anymore.

Which is crazy. I know the words are there. I just can't seem to reach them.

But I have some good news. I read some pretty risque books on occasion, and since the rape I haven't been able to. But yesterday I made myself get a really rough one about a woman like me who was recovering from a severe rape who subsequently fell in love and found peace. Strangely, the book was better therapy than just about anything I've done so far.

My coworker and I are also getting along better. I had to go to our boss and report things, but we're dealing now. So that front looks better. 

And boys are still hitting on me and pressuring me to go out with them, which I'm just not ready for.

Beyond the recent trauma, I have a hard time finding men who I click with. I guess I'm a little picky. I need to feel passion with them, need to be able to hold intelligent conversations with them, and they need to be able to call me on my crap sometimes.

Looks are not required. Appreciated, but not required. Money is not required. A nice perk, but again, I don't really care. I just need to FEEL when I'm with them, instead of having that cold logic dominating my personality.

I wish I could write my book again. I feel the words inside me, wanting to be unleashed. It feels like something is in the way right now, though. And I'm not sure if it's my personal problems or a story problem.

Anyway, thought I'd get on here and let you all know that I am coping and dealing with things in my own way. I don't like how depressed I've been lately and I'll soon be dragging my butt back out of it. But right now, I just don't have the energy to.

Tomorrow will be a new day. Right?

Sunday, June 2, 2013

And Now For The Nervous Breakdown





I felt this nervous breakdown coming. After all that happened in my personal life, and how my family situation has been going, it was inevitable. So when someone at work started disappearing, lying to me, backtalking me when I'm trying to train her, talking bad about me to my coworkers, and not finishing her workload at the end of the day when I'm required to get EVERYTHING DONE at work before I leave, I'm not surprised it happened.

Remember my anger post? Yeah, I was considering using my usual tricks to get rid of this lady before she pushed me over the edge. But I didn't want to be that person, so I decided to just play nice and let each of us go our own way.

And then this weekend happened.

First, it was Friday. I find out she's bad-mouthing me. Wonderful. Like that isn't going to infuriate me. And then my (big) boss comes around and tells me I have to finish an impossible workload before leaving work that night, and to get two FULL 3-high (that means it has three shelves that tower over your head) carts gone through, prepped, and binned in the back.

On a Friday. After having already spent 3 hours on the registers up front. With no one covering my department but me from 5:30-10:00 (I work in Jewelry, where they call you for customers every few minutes).

Yeah. That was fun.

And on Saturday they tell me the same thing AGAIN. Only this time, I don't have any easy things to work through quickly and make disappear. I worked all of that stuff Friday. No, all that's left is the hard junk. I'm working my tail off, again, and work like a crazy person to get this stuff done.

But I did it. Four carts are gone from the bins and they look FANTASTIC.

Now, I didn't do it all alone. My coworker, who is causing the problems, is out on the floor covering jewelry and running freight in shoes while I'm in the back. But she disappears again after her last break (for 45 minutes), and I need her to do a few things in that time.

This makes me kind of mad. But I drop it. I don't want anyone accusing me of "not getting along" with my co-worker.

So I go in today. And I am joyfully greeted with the news that I'm working jewelry today while the new girl works shoe freight.

I'm so excited. Maybe today will go better? After all, I'm not stuck in the bins all day today. Just have to get rid of any shoe freight she works that doesn't go out.

My co-worker has about 4 hours to complete 1 1/2 carts of shoes. I have nothing to do with it, and I only tell her that my other co-worker left a note for her at jewelry. She tells me she knows, but never comes by to see. Doesn't come by jewelry to check in. Isn't in the shoe department 80% of the time I go to check on her.

9:00 swings around. I know it's time for her to be gone. So I go to check on what she has finished. She's left 2 boxes out of freight that she didn't get done, and at first I think, ahh, I can cover that. But then I go to the back. And find that she's left all the picks she was supposed to work and the other cart she was supposed to get still back there.

So those 2 boxes are from the 1/2 a cart she was supposed to work when I arrived in the department at 2:00.


Now, if you have never run freight for shoes, you should know: this is ridiculously easy work. You take out big shoe boxes from the bigger boxes they come in. You take said shoe boxes to their designated display. You hang/set shoe boxes on shelves. And then you get rid of cardboard. Anything that doesn't go out, gets stacked in a pile.

That's it.

1 1/2 carts of freight should have taken an experienced worker 1 1/2 to 2 hours. An inexperienced one would take 3 to MAYBE 4. But not to have finished even half a cart in 4 hours? While I'm covering jewelry? And someone else is picking up the floor?

So I find a whole crap-load of work to do 2 hours before it's time for me to close. And she's just gone. Haven't seen her for an hour. 

I lost it, folks. I had to cart back 1 and a half carts full of crap to the back and load them on the carts I have taken TWO DAYS to empty. TWO DAYS of climbing up and down ladders, scanning box after box, moving stacks of boxes around and over my head into uncomfortable places, hunting printers and making boxes for shoes to be put in, all done in sweltering heat because the back room doesn't air condition very well?

Did I mention our boss is coming back from vacation tomorrow and I'm responsible for making the bins look good? Or that I emptied one half of a 3 high jewelry cart while she did this (jewelry is difficult because you're near a cash register and people want you to check them out and it's a lot of small items packaged like nuclear weapons)? And served a whole bunch of customers who just wanted to check out? And did returns? And cleaned the jewelry department so that my boss doesn't come back to a COMPLETE mess?

Yeah, I know what I'm doing and she's only been here a month. Yeah, I expected to have to cover for her. Yeah, I know I'm supposed to have the heavier work-load because I'm actually experienced.

But what did she do for 4 hours?!? Shoes was a mess every time I came by to check on her. Only at the end did it look a little picked up.

So I rant and raved for a few hours. Cried. Stormed around the building like a crazy person. Complained about said co-worker at length. Left a note for my boss telling on her for what she did. I feel a little guilty for it, too. But only a very little. This whole thing has gotten way out of hand and I can't survive it just by sticking my head in the mud and ignoring it. I might lose my job over this, but if she wants to tell people I'm "just being mean to her", then I guess I'll have to take it. I can't believe people who know me so well would believe I'd actually bully someone like that. I can't even say a mean thing to my rapist. Why in the world would I waste my meanness on some random lady I hardly know???

This won't end pretty. I hope this is the only nervous breakdown I have to endure, but it really sucks that it happened at work. With people watching.

I usually like my nervous breakdowns a little more private than that.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

A Cold Kind of Anger


I am descended from two very messed up bloodlines. My father's side is what I call pure evil. And my mom's is crazy. Me, I'm a very nice person who is passionate and loving and good.

I'm also just a little bit crazy and a tad evil.


Not a lot. Not like the others in my family, that's for sure. I talk to myself, I live in imaginary worlds, and I tend to freak out in crowds. That's about as crazy as I get anymore. And I'm not very evil. I don't like to hurt other people and I don't plot to take over the world.

But I do have a very cold, calculating side to me. It usually only comes out if I sense a threat to myself or others, but it's always there, beneath the surface of my soul.

And it's always scared me.

This side of me adds up the universe in cold, uncaring sweeps, and looks at the world and sees logic and math, not people and lives. It sees probabilities, and how to use people to get what I want. It's never hot, never passionate, and it is achingly patient.

I recently commented on YeamieWaffles blog, and I said some things from that side of myself. I told him about how to destroy a person using social connections and how simple it was if you just did it subtly. And I used that side of myself when I was raped. I calculated how best to handle this potentially violent man and how to get away relatively unscathed. This side of me did not care that if I followed through on this plan, I'd lose all chance at prosecuting him for his rape. It only cared about survival.

Now he's free to go on raping other women. Nor does he realize what he did was even rape.

That is the consequence of my choice. But that side of me still doesn't care. Because it was the best way to survive, and that was all that really mattered.

The man I told everyone about yesterday has always scared me, too. Not because he's dangerous. But because he reminds me of this side of myself. That evil little piece inside my soul that can destroy a life. He revels in that side of himself. He's everything I am in that segment of my heart and that scares me.

Because I don't want to be like him. Or like the other evil people in my family.


I still care about others. I still hate hurting people. I will never be a violent person. But I do have a strong vindictive streak. And I hate that this side of me is so alive and active right now. I'm sure it has to do with the anger I'm feeling.

I wish anger was hot and terrible for me, like it is for other people. That it flamed as high as when my mom loses her temper, and then fizzles itself out when it runs out of fuel. My anger is cold. It feels like my emotions, usually so alive and active, just die inside me. Like all the heat of my soul is extinguished beneath a glacier of uncaring anger.

It releases from me in one of two ways. Either it builds until I explode and use words to tear a person into shreds. Or it slowly and systematically strips a person of everything they care about in the same social destruction I described to YeamieWaffles.

It scares me. And yet it has saved me many times. Rarely do I allow my anger to do what it wants. I've seen too many people do irreparable damage both to themselves and others by indulging in their anger. But I do allow it to save me when I need it. Like the rape. And when I was stalked by a guy at work. And when that girl followed me home from school and threatened to throw a knife in the back of my head. And when my mom and dad get a little too abusive.

I wonder if I'll ever learn to trust this side of me. Or at least accept it. That would be a change I'd like to see.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Inside the Mind





I went to a friend's birthday party the other night. And she was with a guy that I have been in love with since I was 15. The friend knew full well I've had feelings for this guy for all these years, yet she loves to rub him in my face, anyway.

I understand why she does it. I've always understood her.

People don't understand why I let her get away with those things. And I won't for long. I'll get sick of it again and cut her off, just as I have in the past. But the reason I put up with her, the reason I let her get away with it is that I understand.

She really does like me. But she also hates me.

As long as other people aren't in the picture, she and I get along fine. But as soon as another person enters the scene, suddenly we're competing to be the best and the center of attention. Only I don't fight. I just smile and be myself, and oh well if that doesn't make the other person see me more than her.

But it does hurt me. Both because she's supposed to be my friend, and because it damages my self-image. I feel for hours and sometimes days afterwards that I'm simply not good enough.

I also see the guy she's now dating for who he really is. He's a very complicated guy, and I have always had the ability to see right through him. Ever since we were kids, I've seen him for what he is. He can charm and fool all the rest of the world, but I always got him. He isn't a smarmy idiot. He isn't a charming, cool person. He isn't nice or friendly.

He's a jerk. He sees the world around him as a giant game of chess, and he's always 6 moves ahead of everyone else. He plays with people's minds and uses words to effect them in ways I've rarely seen anyone able to do. And he's got a strong cruel streak. He likes to hurt people, and he's always been a user. He'll use them up and then move onto the next victim in line.

And I've always refused to be a victim, no matter how I might love him.

He's always been fascinated with me, but also hated me. Because I really see him, while most people don't. They get controlled glimpses, but they don't understand that he only lets them peak in on the parts he knows he can play them into believing won't effect them. I get how he works and that scares him. But it also draws him, because he's never played chess with someone who knows the moves like he does.

Thinking about these two, and how I really see through them into who they really are beneath it all, got me to thinking about character. Characters are a huge part of writing fiction. There is no story if there is no one there to tell it.

Building characters has given me strange insight into how people tick. Because the key to character building (at least in my experience) is backstory. Who are they when the chips are down and the world is going to hell around them? What has happened in their life to shape and mold them into the person they are now? And how will that effect the story I'm telling now?

The same is true in life. If you can look at people, really look without letting emotion blind you, you can see how they tick. You can connect their actions into a much larger framework and see what they have done in the past and what they will do in the future.

It's a very useful skill. It's also a fun game, if you get the hang of it.

Unlike the boy I love, however, I can't just play with people and act like it has no consequences. Seeing how it all fits together has given me deep insight into how my actions effect others, too. What I do to this person will affect their future choices, and I don't want to make them more broken than they already are.

I want to make them better.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Upgrade Ready





So I was at work today and I decided to splurge for the first time in a VERY long time on some beauty products. For some reason, I felt this need to experiment and play with a whole new look.

In other words, I bought a whole lot of new make-up.

That got me back to thinking about my life change again. I don't want a superficial change, like some new make-up to make me look better. I want a real change, like writing every day and running and eating healthier. The superficial can make everything look and maybe seem a little better, but it's just a trick.

It's like putting a new paint job on a broken down Pinto. You're still stuck on the side of the road wondering where all your money went.

I'm not returning the make-up, because I like a nice paint job, thank you very much. But I can't stop there. I need to get this life change back to the center of my life. No matter what is going wrong, this change has been an extraordinary source of strength for me, and I'm not ready to lose that.

And I like where I was going when my engine was running.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Magic



Like most writers I've met, I believe that words are a form of magic. They weave a spell around our souls, capturing the world in a few seemingly simple words. They aren't an illusion or a trick. They are power beyond measure. They are true magic.

They have the power to do incredible good and terrible evil. They can twist into lies, or bring forth great truth. They can be emotional, logical, or a mixture of both. They can comfort and caress, or they can punish and slap. It all depends on the user.

I have studied their use for many years. My entire life, to be honest. And while I may only be a 23 year old girl, I've watched and learned far more than most my age.

Because the magic of words fascinates me.

How can such small things shape the world so much? How can one word change an entire experience? What is it about words that holds such power?

And how do I harness that power for myself?

Those questions have dominated my life. I have pursued a life dedicated to the study of words and their power. And writing has been one means I have found to study it. But social interaction has opened up previously unexplored territories for me.

I have been quite surprised to discover that interacting with people on a daily basis has increased my writing ability. You'd think it would be the opposite, right? After all, pursuing social interaction takes away from the time I have to write. So why does it increase my skill?


But, of course, social interaction is all about words. Every word you say is used both for and against you in every interaction you undertake. Effective communication is the only way you can guarantee people can see you for who you are. That means you have to learn to say things just right, or people will never learn to like you for you.

And thus, social interaction actually makes you a better writer.

It all boils down to the magic that words hold over us all. Can you weave the spell just right, or will it backfire on you?

Friday, May 24, 2013

Healthy Relationships.





Back when I was reading everything I could get my hands on about change, I remember I would cringe every time it got to the part about relationships. Each one said the same thing: You need to surround yourself with people who are supportive of your change and who emulate such an example in their own lives, if you really want to make an effective change in your life.

These are called healthy relationships.

And I encourage such relationships in my daily life. I'm quite good at finding and continuing them. I make friends with people on here and at work who help me stay on track with how I want my life to be like.

Unfortunately, I know that the 2 most influential people in my life DON'T support me. In fact, you could say they do everything in their power to stop me.

These people are known as my parents.

Not because they don't love me. It's not even envy. In part, I think it is a subconscious desire to keep me young and dependent on them for everything. Also, I've had a pretty rough life, and they've been along for that ride. They are terrified that I'm going to get hurt even worse and want to "protect" me from the world.

Getting raped did not help matters. I admit, I need to learn a lesson from what happened in how to handle men and dating in the future. I do not agree with the concept that I should give up on going out with my friends at night because (and here I quote) nothing good can come from being out late at night.

Allow me to insert the fact that I'm 23 years old in here.

I understand my parents' need to protect me. I understand that they want me to stay safe. But I refuse to quit living because someone decided to make me a victim again. I've allowed my fear of living to hold me back from too many things in life, and it's not going to happen again. I can't go back to that sad, little depressed soul who barely left the house. I just can't.

My mom and step-dad have fed into my depression for years. I don't think they are even aware of doing it. But they've kept me wrapped up in them and myself for as long as I can remember, encouraging self-destructive behavior that I now realize should have been stomped out long ago.

I can't let that continue. Even though it has harmed my relationship with my parents, I want to be a better person and I determined at the start of this that I would do whatever I had to to place my relationship with them on a more healthy footing. For all our sakes.

The current situation has set me back quite a bit, however. I don't know how I'm going to set my family life back on track, but I'm going to take a guess and say it will be a rough ride.

Here's hoping I can hold on.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Strength





Strength is such a complicated word. I find strength in words and power in the mind, where I explore a rich internal world. But other people find strength in brute force, money, beauty, and social connections.

Don't get me wrong; I can see where those things have their benefits. I just don't care about them as I do words and imagination. To me, those are the true strengths of humanity, the true powers that can beat any odds.

Each source of power and strength has a place in life, of course, but I think if words and imagination were the primary source of power in this world, it would be a much better place to live. And if you use the other sources of power in combination with these two, you'll be unstoppable.

I don't have incredible beauty, I wasn't born rich, I'm not a very social creature, and I'm definitely not a physically blessed person. But I was born with a rich imagination and a love of words. Capability to use those two gifts effectively came from much trial and error, but the fascination was inside of me from day 1. And it lives on inside of me to this day.

What do you think about strength? Is it a complex assortment, delved from multiple sources? Or is it much simpler than that? Does brute force mean more than intelligence? What is your source of strength?

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Holding On





So I have missed 2 blog posts in a row. I should feel bad, because this is basically me holding onto my life change by my fingernails. But I'm still holding onto it by my fingernails!

And that makes me feel pretty damn good.

I mean, I haven't given up. I could use what happened as an excuse to quit, to say it isn't going to work this time and move on, and who would blame me? But I'm not doing that. I want this too bad to give up. I won't let anyone steal this from me.

I can and I will get back up and make it work. I can be strong.

But I'm also going to have to be realistic. I can't go back to a strict regimen and routine and expect myself to just jump into it full-fledged ahead. I don't have it in me right now. And that's okay.

I just need to do something. Anything. I need to get back up and try again. I need to give this a chance to work, because I know it can. And I'm going to need all the help I can get to do that.

I want to thank everyone for their very supportive comments. And when I have a little more socialization in me again, I'm going to go back through and reply to them all. But I want you to know I've read them and truly appreciate your kindness. And that what you've said has meant something to me. I may be holding on by my fingernails, but I'm pretty sure you guys are what those fingernails are holding onto.

I apologize for the scratches.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

This Is Normal???

I was talking to some of the women at work about what had happened (which I covered in my previous post I Know I Said I Wouldn't Do This), and as I talked I found a very uncomfortable trend.

Almost every single woman I spoke to had had at least ONE experience with rape. Most had two or more.

I'm sorry, but am I the only person to find it disturbing to think that RAPE is NORMAL?!?! It happens so often in society (though rarely spoken of in reference to one's self) that most every woman I talked to today could describe a scenario in which she was raped or almost raped within her lifetime.

And they don't talk about it to other people! Which, on the one hand, I can understand. If I weren't such a blunt person, I wouldn't talk about it. Even with my blunt personality, I had to fight the urge to bury it all beneath a fake smile and camouflage the fact that everything had suddenly changed. For someone like me, that's amazing. I say almost everything. I love to communicate and I rarely miss an opportunity to exercise that ability.

So the urge to bury the shame of rape is pretty strong, if it could actually still my tongue for even a day.

This made me think even more. All these women are walking through life brushing up against other women, the vast majority of which have suffered this terrible hell called rape at one time or another. And instead of reaching out to one another and sharing that burden, talking about their experiences and their means of overcoming the emotional repercussions, they allow shame and fear to crush them into silence.

I can't help but wonder if that is part of the reason rape has become "normal".


On top of everything, by talking to all these women who had been through much the same as I had, I found myself feeling stronger and stronger. Because I looked at them and thought to myself: "They don't act terrified all the time. They've moved on with their lives and shaped relationships with other people despite what they went through. They aren't jumping at shadows or crying at the drop of a hat. And if they can manage to do something that amazing, so can I."

So by remaining silent about rape, we are actually denying other women and ourselves the opportunity to heal and find strength. We are crippling these victims from finding the support they need to grow back into confident young women.

Of course, it isn't acceptable to just talk about rape in society. At least, not if it isn't about the most recent news article or serial paperback featuring the subject. Isn't it sad that we have to distance ourselves from the subject to discuss it at all?

And why? From a fear of gossip? Of being blamed? Of being ridiculed?

After all, aren't our own minds doing a good enough job at ridiculing at blaming ourselves as it is?

I may be gossiped about and badmouthed behind my back for admitting to date rape at work. I may be blamed and ridiculed and speculated about. But I don't think I will be. Because I talked to real women today, one on one, about real things that had effected us both as human beings. Rare are the souls who will open themselves up to you in a private setting and then blab your secrets to all who come along. After all, they gave you some of your own ammo from which to fire back.

But even if I am gossiped about for discussing it, I'm glad I did it. I couldn't have collected more useful data from going through years of therapy (been there, done that), internet searches (lots of upbeat articles about how "This Isn't Your Fault"), or books (recommend therapy and not blaming yourself).

These were real women leading real lives every day. They got choked up when they thought about what happened, they nodded their heads when I described my thoughts and emotions, and they completely understood and commiserated with my actions and choices. And they had moved on. They weren't stuck in the past indefinitely. They weren't still wallowing in depression and fear. They had picked up the pieces their lives had become and put them back together to make something beautiful.

So I'd like to dedicate this post to all the women out there who have been through this before. You took a life that had been cracked beyond all seeming repair and somehow glued the pieces together into something amazing. 

I only hope I can be as strong as you.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

I Know I Said I Wouldn't Do This...





I told Mark I wouldn't talk about depression and I would keep things on this blog upbeat from now on. I tried to do that yesterday. I tried to forget and pretend like nothing had ever happened.

But some distractions can't be ignored.

I feel so drained and lifeless. I feel like everything I am has been sucked out of me. I eat like 1 meal a day and my sleep is filled with terrible dreams. What little sleep I can get, anyway.

You see, night before last, I was date raped. I've been raped before, so I knew the drill and I didn't think my mind could handle another violent rape, so I just went along with him in the end. And my cooperation in the whole thing makes it incapable of prosecution, basically. I mean, they can go through the trial, but nothing will come of it.

So my mind is stuck in that night. I can't seem to pull my thoughts or emotions away from it. I just want to forget the whole thing ever happened. I want to pretend it all was just one of my fantasy scenarios.

But it wasn't. It was real. And I don't WANT to forget, not really. Not rationally. I want to remember and learn and get better again. I can and will survive this. I've done it before and I'll do it again. I'm stronger than this, strong enough to deal with what has happened and move on with my life.

That's what I'm telling myself, anyway. But underneath that, I feel like everything is dead inside, like all my drive and ambition to achieve and succeed is just...gone. Everything that mattered feels empty and worthless. My life feels pointless. I feel pointless.

It drives me crazy when logic and emotions don't line up. If I had handled things on a purely logical front that night, none of this would have happened. If I had handled the situation AFTER on a purely logical front, everything would have been better. If I could just deal with the aftermath of the whole situation now with pure logic, I could move on and use it as a fuel to make me stronger.

I don't know if I can do that. Emotions are just so strong. How do you deal with the emotions of a date rape? How do you deal with the feelings of vulnerability it leaves? It had taken me years and years to get to the level I was before. Virtually my whole life. How can I do that again?

I say I'm strong enough, but inside I wonder if that's true.

I guess I'm about to find out.  

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Distractions





I remember when I first started this life change and people continuously told me that they had tried to change their lives, but "something" always got in the way. I decided that that "something" was always yourself.

Of course, I had to go and prove myself right.

So I've been distracted lately. I don't do my routine as much as I used to, and I miss it. And each day I choose to stop letting myself slide and get this change back on track, "something" always seems to happen. That "something" always varies, from boy problems to sickness, but it happens every time.

Which can only lead to one conclusion: "something" isn't getting in the way; I am.

It's so funny to me how each of us can be our own worst enemies. And how do you win a war against yourself? No matter what you do, you're going to lose.

Lately, my goals have been losing and my need for distraction has been winning.

Am I looking for something to distract me? Sometimes. Sometimes I just need to forget reality because it's getting too intense for me to handle. That's actually how I get some of the greatest ideas for my novels. I get lost in my head for days, weeks, even months on end, and come out with entire stories planned inside my mind.

It's also part of what makes me a better writer. Writing every day is all well and good, and I definitely want that to be a regular part of my routine, but living life is just as important. If you're experiencing life with friends and romantic relationships and adventures and problems, you're going to learn far more about writing and storytelling then reading a book or sitting at a computer all day could ever teach you.

So what's my point? Well, my point is pretty simple, actually. Distractions are bad, because they get you off track. But they can also be useful learning tools, if you view them correctly.

In light of those facts, I have to make some changes to my life change. I need to stop using excuses and get back to my routine again. But I need to accept that my routine needs room for distractions, too.

Not to plan for such things can only lead to failure.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

My Goals

Thank you very much, YeamieWaffles, for pointing out the fact that I haven't really discussed my goal plans with the new followers I've gained. I've left you all a little lost.

If you'd like to read my former posts on the subject, you can find my first post, Becoming Great, or read up on the list on my page entitled 2013 Goals.

But if you'd just like a quick recap, I can spell it out pretty quick. Basically, I've tried to be a writer and consistent in a lot of activities throughout my life, and I've failed at all of it, over and over again. This time, I dedicated myself to building a base for accomplishing my dreams, and determined I wouldn't give up until I had everything I had ever wanted.

To that end, this year's goals are about building habits and skills that will help me reach my future goals and get my writing career on track at last.

Very admirable sentiment, right? But it wasn't solid enough to be a real plan. I needed something big and easily understood to come back to again and again when I wanted to see where I needed to go and what I wanted to accomplish.

So I created a list of 16 things I wanted to add to my life by the end of the year. They are:

  1. Exercise, stretch, meditate, and work on my writing every morning & every evening
  2. Journal, stick to a budget, & write a poem daily
  3. Blog daily
  4. Clean & organize environment
  5. Set diet (list healthy choices, count calories consumed & calories burned)
  6. Learn to cook healthy alternatives
  7. Sketch something daily
  8. Write daily (x amount of words daily on main project)
  9. Improve posture (Alexander technique)
  10. Learn Spanish
  11. Learn belly dancing
  12. Improve my Walmart work performance
  13. Start composting
  14. Study anatomy
  15. Learn chess
  16. Study classical literature

I've reached number 7 and become a little stunted in my growth at the moment. Which is no wonder, when you realize that I've started this life change only 3 months ago and have already tried to cram half the list into my life.

I think I might have overdone it.

But my premise is still effective. I believe I can slowly integrate great change by adding small changes over time. And each addition to my life has proven incredibly enriching. I can't tell you how much I've enjoyed broadening my horizons. Of course, it's also a little scary.

But then, what's life without a little fear?  

Monday, May 13, 2013

Life Is Like A Camera


Life changes are hard. I expected that. I even expected a set-back or two. But somehow the reality has surpassed my expectations.

It has been even harder than I thought it would be. I have seen far more set-backs than I ever could have expected. But I also have seen more success and happiness than my little heart could have asked for.

The fact that I have dedicated myself to changing into a person I can be proud of is amazing. And today I took stock of what that change has done to my life.

I haven't won any awards for suddenly becoming an incredible, popular author. I haven't become a sensational artist overnight. I haven't reached enlightenment or physical perfection. Nor have I become as healthy or organized as I dreamed. But I've become so much more than I thought possible. I've learned how to keep a schedule. I've learned to love myself. I've learned how to deal with mistakes and failures. And I've become a more confident, more mentally healthy person because of it.

I think that's a success worth more than the rewards I started this journey for.

It amazes me to think that three months ago I sat down and decided to just change my life. I decided to take what my life had always been and had accepted as immutable, and turn everything I knew upside down and inside out. Where did such bravery come from?

Two months ago today, I started this blog in an effort to keep myself accountable for my life change. I wanted to talk to people about what I was doing and have them keep me accountable for keeping to my schedule. And I wanted to inspire people to change into the person they've dreamed of becoming, too.

If life is like a camera, then this blog has been my lens. Thanks to the posts I've made here each and every day and the comments they've received, I've been able to evaluate my progress and be encouraged to keep going in the face of what I considered impossible odds. This is why I made it thus far.

And this is why I'll make it to month four. Wonder what the picture will look like then...

Sunday, May 12, 2013

My Heart Belongs

I love my fantasy worlds. I love them so much that I live there about 90% of the time. As my mom has often said in my life, I live in my fantasy worlds and merely visit reality.

It makes me quite different than other people. And apparently that shows. But I don't want to change. I truly adore the fantasy work I do.

That's where I belong.

And I guess that's why I reacted a little crazy when I had someone send me a message of how words are not reality the other day. For some reason, that really upset me. I argued back that words ARE reality, because they are the way we interpret, interact with, and understand everything that is "real". Every thought, every emotion, can only be consciously understood if it is made into WORDS. Words hold the power of reality inside of them. They shape and flex it to create other dimensions, other universes, and they take us there to visit and see things we could never visit or see in real life.

That's why I love writing. That's what brings me back to this dream over and over and over again. I want to shape reality. I want to warp it into something that no one else has ever seen before.

I want to share my fantasy.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Flying Free


Have you ever dreamed about flying? Just soaring through the clouds with nothing but air holding you up. The kind of dream where you're no longer touching the ground, it's just you and the limitless sky.

It's amazing.

I've always wanted to fly in real life, too. Not with a parachute, not in a giant metal tube, but actually fly. Like the birds do.

Unfortunately, that's physically impossible. But I've taken that metaphor in my life's pursuit of becoming special and successful. Not only because its an apt metaphor, but because it has some significant personal meaning for me.

Until I read this quote, however, I forgot to think about how birds fly. It isn't just the wings that gives them that incredible ability to swing through the atmosphere; they also have hollow bones and tail feathers. The hollow bones make them light enough that the force of their beating wings can raise them off the ground, and the tail feathers guide their direction in flying and keep them balanced as they go.

And that is an apt metaphor for my life change, too. You have to get rid of the things that weigh you down, or hollow your bones, as it were. You have to let go of the old grief, the problems you've allowed to hold you back all of these years. You have to find balance and direction in your life, or what I like to call, shake your tail feathers. That's the only way you can get where you want to go without crashing and burning.

If you think about it, flying is the perfect metaphor for reaching for your dreams. Because it describes all the things you really have to do to get from here (ground-level) to there (the stars).

So I guess I'm going to have to lighten up and learn how to steer if I want to get anywhere. Maybe I can make my dream come true and really learn how to fly.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Going Forward

So, I failed. And today was just as hard as the days before. So what? I'm not doing those days over again, I'm starting a whole new day each and every morning I'm alive.

There's no point in staring at the past. The past is unchanging. We can glimpse back at it every once in a while and enjoy the stories, but we can't get lost in it. Because that's not the direction we're heading. We're going forward.

And forward means progress. Forward means change. Change of scenery, change of direction, change of heart. All of this is what lies ahead, not behind.

I guess I need to keep my eyes glued to the horizon, then. Because tomorrow is a whole new day of opportunity!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

My Own Worst Enemy

I've never understood what has held me back from being the person I wanted to be. I did a lot of research at the beginning of this life change and tried to find out what that was and make it work this time. And I discovered so many useful things. I found my way to what I needed.

And now it feels like I'm back where I started from. I don't understand it. It's like my own mind and body turned against me just as I got into the swing of things. And I'm not just talking about the emotional mind that sabotages all humans in their pursuits of doing what's best vs. what feels good. I'm talking about literally turning against me: I have a lupus flare and I can't physically do any of the things I need to. Plus, there's the little fact that I am bipolar (no manias, just depression), and I've been terribly depressed the last week or so. Add that in and you have a double whammy.

I'm weak as a kitten physically, my brain thinks nothing but bad thoughts no matter how many times I redirect it, and I feel exhausted, mentally and physically all of the time.

But I NEED this so badly. I have to make this life change happen. I have to make it work. This is that important to me.

Lately, I've been slipping a lot. I think it's because I lost the ability and time to do a lot of my pre-planning. Pre-planning is one of the most important things I've found in my arsenal of change. If I didn't plan ahead of time what will and won't happen, what I'll work on and what I'll ignore, I fail.


I haven't cleaned my room hardly at all. I've maintained it to a certain degree, but no real cleaning. I haven't cleaned the kitchen. I haven't cleaned out my car again. I haven't done my daily routines. I haven't done a lot of things of late.

And jumping right back in right now feels impossible. I tell myself to get up and do it, but my mind and body fight me the entire way. I end up feeling worse when I try than if I didn't.

Sometimes I wonder if I'm just too broken to succeed.

But then I think about all the people who have made it. Did their problems seem any less insurmountable? When they thought about all it would take to make them succeed, did they ever feel terrified and overwhelmed?

Were they their own worst enemies, too?

I know I spend a lot of my time on this blog complaining about the difficulties. So I'm going to try being more positive and upbeat on here again. I look back at my first posts, and I like what I was writing then. I was full of hope and determination and every word shone with that emotion behind it. Lately, my feelings of inadequacies have come out to play, and my writing has reflected that.

No more.

Complaining, while inevitable, is not what I want to waste my time on. I'm going to get this train back on track, even if it feels impossible. And I'm going to be more positive again. I like that version of me.

But I can't succeed if I'm fighting myself the whole way. I'm going to have to do more research and figure out a way to deal with the physical and mental problems I have. Because they aren't just going to go away and let me succeed. They are here to stay and I'm going to have to cope with them if I want to make this work.

I really want to make this work.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Meeting Expectations





I read a blog post today entitled You Can't Be Anything If You Put Your Mind To It today. At first, I hated it. The author tells you, straight up, you have to accept that you can't be the richest, most athletic person in the world. The only thing you can be...is you.

I found it very demoralizing. But I let it percolate in my mind anyway. All because of some advice I gave someone recently.

I told my friend this: You don't owe anyone an explanation for why you can't take their advice, but you do owe yourself a chance at taking it.

So I took my own advice and thought about what this author said. And I think I finally got his point, though I still disagree with how he delivered it.

Being a billionaire, being an Olympic athlete, being on the NFL, none of those things are really about being you. They are external, not internal. Those things are things people strive to attain because other people told them it was something desirable.

You can play football without being on the NFL, and love it. You can do any of the Olympic sports without competing in the Olympics, and love it. You can be financially stable and not be a billionaire, and love it. Those things are attached to a need to show the world that you have MADE IT. That you are accomplished and great and important.

When, if you truly were any of those things, you wouldn't need to show it to the world at all.

And, if I'm being perfectly honest, I have driven myself to succeed and show everyone I'm something incredible my entire life. Not because I need to be a famous writer or need money or things. But because I want to prove all the people who doubted me as a child wrong. I want to show the world I'm worth something, because there have been far too many people who have tried to tell me I'm worth nothing.

I'm also driven by an internal need to write and share my stories. And that internal need has driven me to succeed far more than my need to prove something to the world. By seeking to be myself, I have gone much further than if I'd concentrated on the need to prove others wrong.

Internal motivation works much better than external motivation, in other words. And it turns out the author of that blog post was quite right. I completely disagree with how he states it, but his point is valid. We should not strive to be what other people have told us is right. We should strive to be what we want to be, inside, the person that is the truest form of ourselves.

So, if anyone else out there is striving to meet expectations of others, even indirectly, maybe you should read that blog post, too. You never know, it might open your mind, just as it did mine.

Just Smile





At work, all of the night shift managers treat me like I'm an idiot. I can't figure out why, though. I mean, they haven't spent more than a few minutes with me at a time, never talk to me about anything meaningful, and they know next to nothing about me. But yet they assume I'm an idiot.

Is it the smile? The laugh? The blonde hair? The youth? I just don't get it.

Other people smile and laugh and have blonde hair and are young. They don't treat them like idiots. So what's the problem here?

I know it has to do with my reputation. I'm the girl who is always happy, always friendly, always nice. I'm the good girl everyone likes. I'm silly and loud and spacy.

So few people look beyond that to the keen intelligence beneath. Nor do they realize that the spaced out dreaming is my extreme creativity at work.

But even those who can't see what lies beneath the exterior don't just assume I'm an idiot. So why do the night shift managers??? Did one of them just not like me and spread that dislike like a plague through their ranks?

Grr. The worst part is none of them will just come out and say what they are thinking. Just once, I'd like to explain to a person that a friendly smile doesn't mean you don't understand what suffering is like; it means you decided to be strong enough to smile anyway. Just once, I wish someone would dare to tell me to my face that I don't know what it's like to suffer. That if life had been as hard for me as it has been for them, I wouldn't smile like that.

I know what suffering is. I have suffered more in my short life than most people will ever even imagine. But I also know there are many out there who have (and still do) suffered much worse than I.

But my suffering taught me something very important: Life doesn't make you happy. Other people won't make you happy. YOU are the only one who can make yourself happy. So screw those who made you suffer and be happy anyway.

And screw those who don't understand.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

So, So Tired





My store is doing inventory this Tuesday. And everything is just one giant mess. There is no possible way we can get everything ready for inventory by Tuesday, especially as busy as the store has been lately.

It seems to have come down to a matter of priorities: What has to get done and what should get done, but probably won't.

That's the attitude I feel everywhere I go in the store. It isn't just my departments feeling that way. And when I sat back and evaluated, I realized that this exact attitude has spilled over into my personal life as well.

I'm just so tired! I feel that way all of the time. I need sleep, I need rest, I need comfort food, I need to escape into pleasure novels and television shows. I may still be doing the bare minimum required to keep my goals moving forward, but I feel like I'm losing my grip on it all because of the exhaustion I feel.

So, it's come down to priorities: What in my daily schedule has to get done for me to keep going and what should get done, but probably won't.

I don't like that. But that's the reality of the situation.

When I realized what was happening, I wanted to crack the whip and get myself back on track immediately. But that only lead to more feelings of failure and ineptitude. So, I've decided on a new approach.

I'm going to allow myself a bit of a break. I'm going to do the bare minimum until Tuesday, and then I'm getting myself back on track.


I know I can do it, if I can just beat this exhaustion! I'm having a lupus flare, and this inventory madness is only making me feel more frazzled and weak. I genuinely do need all the rest I can get.

I hope all of you out there aren't ashamed of me. But I want to stay on track with my goals, and I believe that accepting (and learning) from failures is one of the key ways to do that. I haven't quit just because I'm tired, but I am going to lower my expectations until I have more room to address the problem.

This time, I won't quit until I'm done.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Socially Inept





I'm not a very social person. I never really have been. Looking through my life, I can say why I'm not a very social person, but I can't figure out how to change that, even just a little bit. And what good is knowing the why if you don't know the what?

It's not because I'm afraid of being alone. While I may get lonely, I enjoy being alone most of the time. And reaching out to others is a click, click, and a few typed words away wherever I am, anyway. The internet made sure of that.

It's because my past has made me very mistrustful of other people. It's because my life has set me up to view groups of people, or even a few select friends, as more pain than pleasure. That is the path I've woven and this is where it has taken me.

Socially awkward and inept.

There's been little doubt in my life that I'm just not socially graceful the way others are. Other people just seem to get it. They know what to say, what to do, to get other people's attention and keep it.

But I don't.

This doesn't really worry me, for the most part. I want to be a writer, and I don't need to be extremely social to make that work, right?

Except I do. I have to do my own marketing, I have to get out and spread the word, I have to talk to people, when I really don't like to. And I have to do all of those things well.

How do you become good at something that goes against your very nature? Against every ingrown belief you have ever had? How?

If anyone out there has any suggestions for this socially inept girl to learn a slightly easier way to become at least a bit more socially graceful, I'd desperately appreciate it. I need all the help I can get.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Being Different Than The Rest


They hired a new girl where I work, and my coworker decided to tell her that I'm "eccentric". I told my boss this, and she said, "Oh, I wouldn't term it quite that way. I'd call you unique. And special."

Which pretty much means she agrees.

And, yeah, I know I'm eccentric, unique, special, whatever you want to call it. I'm different than everyone else. I always have been. I haven't been different completely by choice, but I AM different.

Each of us is different, of course. We each have something that makes us unique and special. But, apparently, my uniqueness shines a little brighter than most. At first, I felt vaguely insulted by the fact that she called me eccentric. I acknowledged that she was right, but I felt as though she was saying there was something wrong with me because I'm not like everyone else.

But I've been thinking about it. I've wanted to be special, something different and unique and incredible, my entire life. But then I would seek a goal contrary to that desire: I tried to fit in.

Not very well, obviously, but I did try.


It turns out, in my life-long search of being special, I've been fighting myself. Because I also want to be accepted and loved by everyone else, and so I try to fit in with them.

So I think it's past time for me to stop viewing other people calling me different as an insult. It's a compliment. That means I'm actually headed in the right direction towards what I've always wanted: to be incredible.

What do you think? Do you think being different is a good thing?

Daily Stats:

 

  1. Exercised and stretched once today. Meditated and worked on my writing twice.
  2. Wrote in my journal, stayed on budget, and wrote a haiku.
  3. Posted on my blog.
  4. Made my bed.
  5. Did not stick to my diet.
  6. Cooked breakfast and dinner.
  7. Drew. 

Thursday, May 2, 2013

The Sweetest Little Commenter I've Ever Seen





Well, Mark might not even read this, as it is a Thursday, but I decided to do a blog post for him anyway!

Thank you so much, Mark, for all the encouragement, time, and kindness you've shown me. You have no idea how much it has meant to me. Whether I like it or not, I'm an over-sensitive soul (I've been told that comes with the territory of dealing with a creative mind) and I need all of the encouragement I can get.

You've been a great friend to me, and I want you to know that your efforts have been appreciated. Hopefully, you'll be reading this on Friday and realize it. ;)

Thanks again, especially for yesterday's comment. I really needed it. I hope the writing is going well! And good luck!

Daily Stats:



  1. Exercised, meditated and worked on my writing twice today. Only stretched once.
  2. Wrote in my journal, stayed on budget, and wrote my first ever haiku today.
  3. Posted on my blog.
  4. Made my bed and did a load of dishes.
  5. Stayed on my diet.
  6. Cooked breakfast and made my lunch.
  7. Drew.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Is Anybody Out There?





I feel very alone today. Partially my own fault, of course. Thoughts of that boy I fell for came up yesterday and I couldn't resist looking him up on facebook last night.

And, of course, I looked straight into the pictures of him with his new girlfriend, happy and living his dream.

On the one hand, I'm so glad he's happy. On the other, I hate that he couldn't be happy with me. Is there something wrong with me that I can't find that special someone?

And then I logged onto my new fictionpress account to see if anyone had read the 2 poems I posted yesterday. Only 1 of them had a review. It was a good review, but still. It felt as though my goal to become a better writer and get people to read my work was utterly unattainable.

Plus, no one commented on my blog recently. Mark usually does so, and I have to say, he's probably the only reason I've been able to keep a lot of this going. I need help from other people to stay strong, whether I like it or not.

I even put myself out yesterday and visited a whole bunch of other sites. I commented, I followed, and I spent time working on this whole blog follower thing.

Still no follows or comments. :( My picture looks so lonely and sad sitting on that list all by itself.

I apologize if I sound all whiny. But I feel like whining a little today. My ego took a real beating over the last 2 days, and now I just want to go to sleep and forget all about this life change thing. My life held less disappointment in it when I wasn't trying all new things all the time.

Of course, it also held far less success.

And I know that. Logically speaking, anyway. But my emotional brain is urging me to call it quits right now, because it doesn't like this pain I'm feeling. It sucks when 2 parts of your own mind are fighting against each other. And it's exhausting.

Well, I'm not calling it quits. But I am going to go to sleep and see if tomorrow could be a better day than today was. Good night, everybody, and I hope you're feeling far less lonely than I am tonight.