Let love win

I’d like to post the goofy piece I had written for today, but given recent news of the latest shootings (RIP Alton Sterling and Philando Castile) I don’t feel right posting it.

It would be so easy to give up, to go live under a rock in the middle of the woods where I don’t have to hear about the awful events of the planet I’m stuck living on. It would be so easy…. But it wouldn’t be right.

More than ever, we need people with hearts full of love and acceptance. We need those who will brave the storms that come upon us so suddenly, but still find light in those dark times. Those of us who aren’t so terrified of diversity and difference, we need to be the educators to those strangled by irrational fear and hatred.

I can’t tell anyone how to live their lives, or how to think/feel about guns; but I can tell you that time and time again, Love has proven itself the victor in times of strife. So let us all love, be loved, and show others the wondrous depth in which we can love.

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Text-shaming my elders

Facebook Conversation I had today with my friend, Doc.
Doc: I went shopping for a fourth of July bbq I’m throwing tonight.
Me: Nice! Kathryn is coming over and Alex is barbecuing steaks.
Doc: kewl. A manly tradition*
Me: I don’t think ‘kewl’ is necessarily unmanly, just incredibly preteen
Doc: HAHAHAHA
Me: Let’s be honest here, preteens learning how to text and IM are the only ones using ‘kewl’ when it is the EXACT SAME AMOUNT OF LETTERS as ‘cool’
Doc: ok fine, text-shamer
Me: I text-shame shame my mother too, you’re not alone 😊
Doc: I’m glad you’re so proud of yourself. For an encore, you can find an old man and kick him down a flight of stairs. 🙂
Me: Nah, I’m just going to find a small geriatric and punt them off the balcony 😊
Doc: I’d pay money to see that
*I’d like it noted that I was not wearing my glasses and misread this as “manly fashion” and thought he was gendering the word “kewl”, hence my spontaneous diatribe. But I stand by what I said, plus I had a cat in my lap at the time; and we all know when one has a cat in their lap, they must remain there until the cat let’s them go less they be murdered. So really my laziness saved my life and ergo this blog! You’re welcome planet!

 

Sorry syndrome

I can never apologize enough. Something rude I said a few days ago? I’m sorry. I accidentally tripped you two years ago? I’m sorry. Twenty miles away a small child sneezes loudly in church? I am so sorry.

I joke that it’s because I’m Canadian. There’s some truth there, the culture of Canada is very firm about consideration towards others. 90% of the tie I’m more concerned about how other people are enjoying their day than I care for my own comfort.

Really though? Sometimes I feel like I’m unintentionally apologizing for my existence. Someone goes out of their way to get me something special for me? I automatically say something along the lines of, “I’m sorry, you didn’t have to do that for me!” I don’t think I’m intentionally trying to make up for my existence or feel like a burden, I just do. I can’t put a finger on why though.

These are just some musings I’ve had as of late. I seem to be having more and more anxiety over asking people to do favors for me, or just people being kind in general. It’s not that I’m used to people being mean (quite the opposite, I have loving family and friends), but lately I’ve found myself feeling embarrassed when people go out of their way for myself.

It’s hard to explain fully without contradicting myself; basically my problem is that I go out of my way for other people without batting an eyelash, but when people do the same for me… I immediately internally curl into an uncomfortable ball of “Oh god I’m so difficult and inconvenient someone euthanize me with an arsenic cocktail before it’s too late!”

So yeah… this likely comes back to my issue of being in the spotlight (see my post ‘Spontaneous Spotlight’ for the further adventures of a socially anxious Canadian potato), I don’t deal with personal attention well AT ALL. So much for my dreams of being adopted by the Kardashians, a dynasty built by fostering personal attention/fame.

I read the signs, I hear the lectures, I watch stories of women overcoming oppression. I don’t think my ‘Sorrys’ come from being oppressed, nor from a place where I feel the world would be better without my existence (let’s be real, I’m named after a prime positive emotion, the world would suck without me personifying Joy). I think my sorry’s just sort of come from a general, “I hope you didn’t have to go really far out of your way or struggle to complete this special thing for me, I appreciate you for just trying.” I doubt the message comes through, but to myself I feel slightly better (wait, maybe this is a sign of OCD? That’s another rambling blog post for another night though).

This was really random and long and rambly, I will now sincerely not apologize. Because this is my fucking blog and you chose to read this, you only have yourself to blame for the time you wasted. If that makes you upset, well tough titties!

Tied to my self-worth

I’ve been thinking a lot about self-worth today. Not in a negative way, but just the things that I do to increase my self-worth. For some people, wearing certain clothing  and outfits increases their self-confidents, for others competing professionally in sporting events does it. I know some who believe their worth is only in their body and appearance, where others find it in education and learning.

For me? I find my self-worth in making people happy. Laughter is my favorite drug, anytime I can make people laugh I shoot that shit up fast. Growing up I never felt too self-conscious of my appearance, nor did I feel the need to be the smartest kid in the room. I didn’t want to be the most beautiful or popular girl in class, I just loved goofing off and making people laugh.

For a while I felt like there were two types of girls; Super smart girls and super pretty girls. Then there was the lucky third category where some girls were both pretty and smart. I fell in non of the above. I couldn’t pinpoint what it was that trapped my mind into only seeing three kinds of women, but for a while I felt pretty worthless for not being able to fit into any of the categories.

Now, at 24 years old and several years of therapy and life lessons, I can clearly see that I, as well as every single person on this planet, fit into oddly unique categories completely of their own. I look back at times when I really felt like I was worth something, even in my dark times, and found all of my self-worth has been tied to the joy and happiness of the world around me. I find complete satisfaction in being able to invoke positivity and happiness in others, especially in laughter and levity.

Thinking about what your self-worth is tied to is a good stepping stone to learning self-love/fulfillment. But learning about where other’s tie their self-worth could perhaps facilitate compassion and appreciation for how we all find ways to feel loved and worth the lives we are granted on this planet.

 

I am Art(ist)

“Some people are artists. Some, themselves, are art.”

This statement has had me lost for the last few days. I follow a page on FB called Word Porn, which often posts quotes and thought provoking statements. This quote was posted a couple days, and it’s twisted my mind into knots as of late.

I dream of being an artist. Of making a life out of just creating things that people can look at and engage with emotion. Be it theater, writing, or art pieces, it is my general goal to be an artist of some form (I can get super in-depth about everything being a form of art but I’m too lazy to do so).

With with my love and passion of make up, I feel confident in that I can turn myself into art. I blend a large variety of colored powders on my eyelids and paint bold shades on my lips to turn my appearance into something completely different. It makes me feel bold and eccentric, two things I feel no one should ever be afraid of displaying in abundance.

But then there are my dark periods, in which I find myself huddled in a ball in bed, immobile and deflated. In those moments I feel I am neither art nor artist. Rather than look into the darker meanings of that, I’m choosing to look at those periods as myself preparing to make the next great masterpiece. Whether I make the art or become it myself is always a toss-up, but something beautiful always seems to bloom big and loud.

Emotional balloon

You ever have a day where you can only describe the way you feel as deflated? It’s the only word I can think to describe how depression effects me. At one point, I had a (metaphorical) balloon; it was full and light and floated up towards the sky happily. Some people have never had their balloons deflate, they’ve remained afloat their entire lives. For me, depression makes mine deflate.

At some point, small holes were poked into my balloon that began slowly releasing air. About two years ago, my balloon was deflated completely and I had to carry it in my hands instead. Before you tell me to just throw out the deflated thing, you have to know that it is a part of me, it’s what holds my motivations, hopes, dreams. I can’t throw those away without losing a huge part of myself.

For months I had been performing CPR on my balloon, blowing it up futilely to only have it float sadly to the ground after a few hours. Fast forward two years, my balloon is patched up and covered in bandages, floating happily beside me most days. However, inevitably there are days were it springs a leak and deflates again.

Today was one of those days I was deflated, my balloon sprung a leak in the morning and by early afternoon I was lagging. I’m an expert at this point at reinflating my balloon at this point, I’ve cultivated an excellent set of tools to patch up the holes.

For starters, I visited my therapist. I’ve been in therapy weekly for the past 2 years. Therapy ROCKS!! I won’t go into details of what I say in therapy (That is my private time to struggle and work out mind traps I fall into) but I am always happy to encourage people to seek therapy when struggling with mental/emotional disorders.

Meeting with my therapist helped me work out my emotions and frustrations, but I still felt absolutely drained afterwards. So what did I do? I took a ‘me’ day. I cancelled my plans to go out in the evening and made myself comfortable in my apartment, relaxing and doing things that made me happy. Lately I’ve found watching the british show, Miranda, helps inflate my balloon so I’m at least floating off the ground. I watched the Ultimate Edition of Batman Vs. Superman (It’s three. fucking. hours.) and spent hours afterwards shouting, “I WANT MY LIFE BACK”, blowing a bit of hot air that lifted my balloon yet higher off the ground.

When I see people struggling with depression, I want to encourage them to seek help in order to patch the holes in their balloons. I know how easy it sounds to just cut the tie and throw the rubber away, but that wouldn’t do any good in the end. Get the tools you need to fix the balloon and learn what to do to keep it floating. Tools are going to be different for everyone, but in the end, they’ll get that balloon off the ground.

If you’re struggling with depression and/or other disorders, ask around for a referral for a psychotherapist who you feel comfortable working with. Comfort is the key, make sure you’re comfortable letting them handle your metaphorical balloon and help you learn to cover the holes.

For now I’ll enjoy The Lizzie Bennet Diaries with my buds, Ben and Jerry, and my patched up emotional balloon.

Spontaneous Spotlight

I am terrified of grand gestures. Not of the gesture in of itself, but rather receiving a grand gesture I never wanted from someone I was never interested in. You know what I mean? Like in the movies when the guy who never told the girl he likes about his feelings so instead does some HUGE gesture to proclaim his love.

Can you imagine you’re going about your day, it’s been relaxing and productive as you run errands. You step into the grocery store and all of a sudden there’s some stranger with a microphone dressed in a suit. You kind of freeze for a moment, wondering why the hell some person decided to break into song when you realize they’re coming right at you, with loads of swagger and confidence in his movements. The ice cold sinking feeling drops over you and you begin looking for exits and escapes and grow so distracted you don’t realize until it’s too late that he’s RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU. Your fight or flight instincts kick in and because you’re so dazed you shriek and punch him in the face. The evening ends with lights from the ambulance and police statements saying, “I swear I didn’t recognize my spouse, I was so concerned about this being a broadway burglary that I didn’t recognize them!”

Obviously that is the worst case scenario

A lot of my anxiety is rooted in being put on the spot. Back when I was an aspiring actress, I didn’t have to think twice about stepping out on stage and speaking in front of hundreds of people. But that wasn’t me on stage, like ‘me’ as in ‘Joy Pearson’, I was always a character in a story. I could hide myself beneath costume and makeup and communicate through words written by someone else. Nowadays, any time random attention is sprung on me, my hands shake for days afterwards.

I suppose the reason I’m afraid of grand gestures, but rather the pressure to suddenly perform on the spot in front of people. I’ve been in therapy dealing with this for what feels like forever. I’m much better about dealing with social anxiety in public, but the idea of grand romantic gestures is still uncomfortable (Not that I’m expecting any! This is all hypothetical ramblings that came about after rewatching Jerry O’Connell sing about his love in Scream 2 to Neve Campbell’s bashful surprise. Not my idea of fun, but it’s a cute scene amongst a veritable body count of Ghostface victims).

I’m curious, so I’m going to ask the void a question: What is your idea of a perfect gesture? Be it small or grand, write about it in the comments. Until then, I’m going to watch more Ghostface stabbings, because nothing says relaxation like mock-horror.