Because I will be the picture of discipline.

For one reason or another I seem to think that buying material things will make me happy, and they do. For a VERY short while. A new laptop, Blackberry, or purse is NOT going to fill the void in my heart. It’s like I’m justifying the purchases by being convinced that this next new item will do what the other item didn’t. It will make me happy and somehow fix whatever is wrong with me. NOPE. Not even close. Despite knowing that it won’t actually help, I still listen to that voice inside that tells me to buy these things. I think it is most likely because I still get that small rush of adrenaline when I purchase some new thing. Endorphin’s create a small bit of happiness that I keep clinging to. Honestly, that type of happiness is like the one-night-stand that tries to get away without waking you in the morning. Fleeting satisfaction.

Books though! Books are fantastic. New books bring me ACTUAL joy. They fill the void a lot more that anything else seems to. They wake me up. They pull me past the sludge of reality and into something wondrous. Until the book ends. Less one-night-stand; more summer-fling. I know they won’t actually help fix me, but it’s nice to pretend. Distractions help get me through.

 

Know what else helps get me through? Amanda Palmer.

And in my mind
I imagine so many things
Things that aren’t really happening
And when they put me in the ground
I’ll start pounding the lid
Saying I haven’t finished yet
I still have a tattoo to get
That says I’m living in the moment

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Once I get up I feel better and I pull myself together.

I remember those two letters; it will be O.K.

Everybody has their own dysfunctions; some have more than others, and some barely have any. I fit into the ‘more than others’ category. I have difficulty filtering what I think from what I say. I tend to fan-girl at the worst possible moments. I’m a bit socially awkward and meeting new people is synonymous with getting a tooth pulled. I also have extreme reclusive tendencies, to the point where just going outside can be a lot more difficult than it should. These are just a few examples of how much weirder I am than a good majority of the people I know.

I also know that I’m not alone.

It took me at least four-thirds of my life to realize this fact. Prior to the realization, I knew that people were accepting of ‘the jumpy girl running the cash register‘ or ‘I don’t know why my daughter is the way that she is, but I love her anyway‘ or ‘it’s weird when she hides herself but I like her, I guess‘. It got really messy in my head for a little while and I wasn’t entirely sure I’d make it out alive. Then the realization came. It was a few years ago when I witnessed a man actively avoid physical and verbal contact with everyone else in the cafe I was writing in – to the point where, when it got really crowded, he ran to the men’s room and I could see him peeking out from behind the door to see when the crowd dispersed. I have no idea why he was in the cafe that day, but I am very thankful that he was. It was like looking at a mirror image of what I did sometimes. I was a bit more subtle about it than he was, but it was exactly the same. It hit me in the face then, that I wasn’t alone in what I was going through. That there were other people who fought themselves over going out into the big bad world with all its humanity. It was an oddly wonderful feeling.

I would also like to say that I’ve gotten a lot better since then. Don’t get me wrong, there are still some very bad days, but they aren’t as frequent as they used to be. I still frequently get my ‘run and hide’ instinct when I’m around large crowds of people but I can control it somewhat, where I couldn’t before. Having a somewhat distant family and friends that didn’t push me helped a lot.

What I went through is something that I don’t talk about often, mostly because I don’t like the questions that come with it. The why’s and how’s and the confused looks when I’m trying to tell someone that sometimes the thought of stepping outside my front door used to crush the air out of my lungs. Or that sometimes I still need to meditate before I leave the house so the irrational fear doesn’t overwhelm me. There are quite a few people out there who are incapable of understanding, and I’ve accepted that too. It’s okay to not understand or relate to the crazy reclusive girl. I understand and that’s a good thing.

Dysfunctions and weirdness are apart of everyone. Whether you’re reclusive, fighting depression or another mental illness (possibly more than one), or you’re a giant socially awkward geek that nobody understands, an outcast, a victim, or you’ve just lost a very important person in your life.

You. Are. Not. Alone.

I’m not going to tell you that it gets easier or that it gets completely better, because those would be lies. I will however tell you, that there will be both good days and bad days, and to quote Doctor Who – life is just a pile of good things and bad things. Always remember the good things no matter how hard the bad things try to pull you down and if you can’t remember the good things, cling to those who care about you like a lifeline; they don’t have to understand you to care about you. It could be any one, including but not limited to your cat/dog/chinchilla. Just let them love you… it helps.

That took longer for me to get out than I thought it would. Now that my seriousness is over – get over here so I can internet hug you.

Even if the skies get rough.

One of the things I enjoy about writing is the feeling of being unleashed. Like, being set loose after a long time in confinement. The need to write and create. The feeling of the keys beneath my fingertips typing out every little thing that pops into my head. Every word, every descriptive paragraph and every scene. In a way, writing makes me feel alive. It gives me a reason to get through the day, so I can come home and type out two measly paragraphs. That might not seem like such an accomplishment, but after a long and exhausting day at work, I’m lucky to even make it past my couch to get to the computer chair. It’s an effort that I’m willing to make, at least, when I’m not partially unconscious.

The feeling of a pen in my hand, the slide of ink on paper, and the easy relaxation that comes from jotting down disjointed thoughts in the margins of notebooks. I can type faster than I can write, but one thing I’ve learned is that some things are better written out by hand. Letters to friends a few provinces over (even though I talk to them regularly over the phone) and little notes that I leave on my mothers fridge when I visit (they make her smile and I know she keeps them all).

Writing, whether by hand or by computer, helps me relax and unclog my mind. It’s the calm in my storm and I love it unconditionally. I’m sure everyone has something they cherish like I do writing. I also think that everyone should take the opportunity to acknowledge that ‘thing’ and hold onto it with all their might. It’s the thing that you do everyday because it keeps you sane. It’s the thing that you think about doing while you’re at work or stuck in traffic. It’s the thing that you gladly give all of your attention to without a second thought. For me… that thing is writing.

What’s yours?

There’s never a dull moment here in my heart.

I promise that I’m still alive and kicking, although ‘twitching’ might be marginally more accurate. Life has succeeded in chasing me up a tree (again), but it won’t keep me there. No sir. Not while there’s awesome music happening!

I’ve been a busy bee lately and this brilliant week is no exception. If you have no idea what I’m talking about please click the above picture and educate your-fantastic-selves.

I’ll be giving a full, and proper, update sometime after the weekend. Actually, it might just end up being a post full of pictures because I’ll be partially dead due to exhaustion and lack of actual food (strawberry flavored vodka counts as fruit right?).

And on that note – have some amazing music:

Luck o’ the Irish

The sneaky monster known as ‘Real Life’ had finally succeeded in eating me alive the past few weeks, but I managed to escape just in time for one of my favorite holidays.

HAPPY ST PATRICK’S DAY EVERYONE!

There is a running joke in my family that since I’m of half Scottish and of half Irish descent that I should be continuously intoxicated all the time. Sadly, because of responsibility (and lack of alcohol) I’m not, but I usually make up for it on St Paddy’s Day. This year, however, I’m stuck working, so I want all of you (of legal age) to go out there and have a green beer for me. I’m sending all my Irish Luck to all of you today, so make the best of it!

You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.

Lets talk about health.

I have an average body with a few extra pounds; I am not overweight but I’m not healthy. I don’t shy away from physical activity but I don’t exactly push myself either. I have a passionate relationship with junk food and crave take-out like a crack addict craves a hit. Essentially, what I’m trying to say is: I’ve decided to make a lifestyle change.

Last Monday I was talking to my mother and I can’t exactly remember how the conversation came up, but I found out that there are a lot of bad things running in my family genetics; cancer, diabetes and lung disease, to name a few. I won’t say that it scared me, but it did put a few things into perspective for me. If I were to change and become a healthier person; thirty years from now, if I develop a dangerous disease, I would have much better chances of fighting it off than I would if I stayed the same as I am now.

Changing my eating habits was the hard part. I cut junk food (ie: candy, ice cream, chips, pop, desserts, etc) out of my system. I will admit it was like overcoming a drug addiction for a while there. I also stopped eating after 8pm. These are apparently two very good steps towards living healthier, so I was happy to be heading in the right direction.

The next step was digging my (slightly old) exercise bike out of the closet, cleaning it off, and setting it up in my living room. Once that was done, I managed fifteen minutes of cardio before I felt like my legs were going to fall off, and then did ten minutes of muscle-building. I survived my first work-out and did it all inside the comfort of my own home. I’m also going to say that I’ve only been at this for a week and I can now do thirty minutes of heavy cardio and twenty minutes of muscle-building. Improvements are important and they’re going to be super small at first, I know, but they’re so nice to see.

Food is important. I love food, so I made a list of healthy things that I like and some healthy things that I should try. I found out that I DO like caesar salad, despite hating it for years, and that hard-boiled eggs are actually quite good. My fridge is now full of fruits and some veggies, as well as some soy milk that I haven’t tried yet.

Working out is something that’s coming easier to me than I thought it would. I feel really good after a work out, despite my aching muscles; I suppose that’s the endorphins talking. It’s the ‘not eating junk food’ bit that’s pushing my self-control, however, every time I get a craving for something sweet I eat an apple or drink a glass of water. It seems to be working very well so far.

Winning the little battles feels good. Like, turning down the cookie a co-worker offered me despite the fact that I was staring at it with open lust, and pushing myself to pedal that bike as hard and fast as I can for the last five minutes of my cardio despite the ache and heavy breathing. I may just be starting to change my life style and it’s sometimes so very difficult, but those little accomplishments keep me going because they mean I’m improving. That little voice in my head that says I can’t do this, is a liar.