Own it

Been wondering if the the things I’ve been blowing out of my nose get up out of the trash and walk around when I’m not looking. You know; like that Doctor Who adipose episode. Gross, but…I swear I’ve seen some fully developed things when I’ve built up enough courage to look after blowing.

Joking aside, I’m healing. Slowly.

Headaches are finally easing off, too. Seems to have been a combination of sinus pressure and eye strain. Had to stay off the computer all week, other than fast email checks. No gaming. Haven’t really missed it; the cough medicine I’m taking knocks me out.

With the latest ‘gods, am I gonna die this time?’ cold finally going away, I’m able to think again. And my thoughts are lovely, because I’m a real playwright. 🙂

That’s my new mantra. I’m a playwright. A real playwright. My work is finally being appreciated. Just letting that knowledge sit inside me. It’s very different to feel so good about myself and my work. It’s very difficult to take everything in and not discount it one way or another. I don’t want to jump around or draw a lot of attention to myself. I just want to own it.

I want to own that I’m attractive. Ditch all that ‘I’m so ugly’ bullshit that I’ve hid behind all my life. Ditch my complaints over my ‘huge ass’ which is really quite tight and appealing. I want to ditch the ‘I’m so stupid and dumb’ stuff, too. I’m neither. A bit naive, maybe…okay: more than a bit naive and it’s definitely not a maybe. Still. That doesn’t make me dumb or stupid. It just makes me innocent and trusting. So what if that’s an oddity in this world, especially at my age? Just one more thing that makes me unique. Own it, girl: you be smart. Take it in. Most of all: I can write a damned good story. Piles of rejections from every corner of the industry do NOT negate that fact. The truth lies in the eyes of my audience, those that read my work. I’m gonna stop dissing other people’s opinion of me and start saying ‘thanks’. Just ‘thanks’. No justification, no explanations. Acknowledge it. Own it.

Dreams have become fragmented. Neon colored, bright – memorable in pictures but not in content. All I can say for sure is: no, I’m still not dreaming in Dutch.

Auditions have finally been called. Not thrilled to find the first date is set for this Tuesday, only a couple of days away. Have another date set, a week off. Hoping my film posse can make that one; I asked the director for some lead time so they could make it and he didn’t give me much. As my bro keeps telling me: not my problem. I am the writer, not the director. Also not thrilled to find the notice difficult to spot on the FB page, an old photo from last year’s production used to promote it, and the title of simply ‘auditions’ with no word of the play or what to expect. Hm. Then again, as I mused to my bro, perhaps the director is set on the core group doing this. It’s a bit more challenging to the actors: give me fear, give me rage, let loose with it. Some of these ‘actors’ are really uptight (makes me wonder if that’s why they try their hands at acting). Happy to find the director wants me by his side during the selection process. Tee-hee!! I get to sit there and see everyone. Very jazzed about that. And honestly, I already know pretty much how it will go down. I wrote the damned thing just for this reason: I watched the group over two years, mapping their personalities and their work. I saw how newbies were reluctant to join the group due to their – erm, shall we say relaxed attitude towards productions. I know who’s gonna be in it from the core group: L and J, two core female members and decent actors; and M and E, two core male actors who can definitely do the job. I’ve already said I wrote a part for me, and I did. Add me in, and that leaves one female and three males to find. The director can always step into a role if needed. And yes, I even wrote a few roles that don’t need much from the actors so I feel confident taking on a few newbies. In my head, we’re looking for one female and two males. I’m interested to find out who comes to the auditions. Already heard the people who attended the reading were asking about it. Might we actually have more people than we generally do? Man! That would be uber cool!

And…*sigh* There’s this other theatre group. A bit of a break-away from our group. They’re based up in Den Haag, and run by a director/writer…A director/writer I don’t have much respect for. And they’re going to bleeding Italy with one of their productions. Italy. I mean… Okay, I’m jealous. Envious. Wanting similar for my work, because I know it’s better than his. The group I work with has already mentioned a few possibilities: festivals in other countries we could apply for grants to attend. This is the script I want to do that with. I want to to take it to these fests. At least one, please. Let’s really do this.

It’s a big ask. Coordinating 10 people on a trip like that. Wading thru all the Dutch paperwork. I can’t do it alone. I can’t do any of it, other than possible help on coordination (like finding accommodations). But I want us to try.

I gotta put it out there.

Own it.

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No more ow

Gout. Wanna know why they call it that? Because if you’ve got it, you gotta say OW really loud. OW FUCKING OW. That’s gout. My left big toe is affected. Not my right foot, not my other toes, just the one. Feels like someone’s got it in a nut cracker and is trying to crush it. The pain’s been getting worse for days; a combination of summer coming on, lack of regular exercise, and my dumb luck. I’ll say it again: OW.

Walking despite the toe problem: check. Tiding up the house and keeping my personal space neat: check. Doing those pesky things like brushing my teeth and hair, or trying to look a little better than I generally do when I leave the house: check.

The Universe seems to be on board with my whole celebration this weekend. The powers that be resurrected our dead hoover. Last we checked it, it just sat there all quiet in its corner doing nothing. Got some SUCK power going again (maybe I should be worried). But in my wisdom I wanted my weekend free, so I did the housework yesterday. Four loads of dishes, hoover the place while the machine works, water the plants, take out garbage and recycling. The place isn’t perfect, but it’s better. And I feel better for it.

Headed outside for a walk. A check with the weather forecast told me yesterday was the only day possible for a pleasant walk; heat is returning with a vengeance (my toe could have told me THAT). I looked up at the blue sky. At the trees, with their leaves almost fully out. I said hello to everyone I passed and was rewarded with smiles and greetings in return (this is the only city I’ve found where people actually DO that anymore). Had a bit of happy magic passed onto me by a child. He just said hello to me when I greeted him and his parents. But it was such a musical hello, such a happy hello, I felt like I got a real gift from that two year old. He made me smile.

Plans today to head off to another mall. There is one mall in Rotterdam that has a natural foods shop which carries the frozen yogurt I like. Tried to find it other places, closer places. Nope. That’s their specialty thing. So my bro gave me a fifty and suggested I take the cold pack and go get some. ‘And take a look around, if you feel like it,’ he said. In other words: here’s some money, go spend it on yourself if you find something you want. He’s also made sure to automatically transfer a bit of money into my back account every month from his, so I can use my bank card for transactions. I know it’s a small allowance, and I know doing all that isn’t too much in the grand scheme of things, but I’m very pleased. I get more opportunities to feel like a real Dutch person and just swipe my card to pay for something. And he’s given me everything I need (permission included) to have a really enjoyable day at the mall.

The only thing I’m trying to judge right now is if my foot will let me do the mall walking I’d like to do.

Cleaned out a lot of clutter in my brain. I was able to think clearly and coherently as I took my walk yesterday. Centered on my new piece. I like the idea, think it’s fun, but it’s too squishy and undefined to continue as is. Was bothered by building up the space crew so large – large casts are always a problem for the local group, and I’m using them as my example of what to look for when writing plays. Scheduling 10 or 12 people is just damned difficult. So I began cutting. Who’s necessary? What’s really driving it? Took the idea down to 6 people: 4 space crew and 2 others they can interact with. As I pruned the story in my head, new ideas came to me. Ah, yes! That’s what was sitting under that morass of loose ideas! Beginning to feel the pacing of the play, when everything happens. Good.

Still no word from the director. This is another holiday weekend, so that’s it. Cough it up, buddy. You put the deadline as ‘after the holidays’, and we’ve just a few short days left to go before that condition is reality. My bro hopes to get a new computer by July, so any thoughts of recordings need to just be stored away until then at the earliest. lol! And I’m not noting any of that because I’m nervous about it. I’m noting it because I’m telling myself I’ve still got a few months available to lose myself in a new story before real work on this year’s production begins.

…Realized, too, we just passed the anniversary of my mother’s birthday. Some part of me must have been mulling that over. Feels a little odd to think about C now. I feel like I’m seeing her for the very first time – and maybe I am. If she were here today, I could look her straight in the eye. Not as her daughter, just as a person. And I’d let her see my empathy and understanding: I get it. I feel that way, too. In my imagination, C hangs her head a bit after that look. She feels regret over the past. She is proud of me, too, but she’s a bit shy of her feelings because she’s not quite sure how I grew into the person I am.

I have never before in my life envisioned that sort of calm exchange between my mother and myself. Screaming, fighting, crying – yes. But one look and all those chains melt away like nothing? One look and the balance tips in my favor? That’s brand new.

Hm. The pain in my toe has vanished.

No more ow.

Are you learning?

Two days of walking and my back is almost pain free. At least I can get up out of a chair without moaning from agony. Thank you, Goddess, for giving me such an easy fix on this one! I swear I’ll do better from now on.

Had a long letter from J, my street bro and friend for decades. He’s had a major blow-out with his DNA sister, and I can tell he’s upset. Need to write back to him today on it. Give him some support and kindness.

Writing a bit. Playing a bit. Telling myself all I need to do now is walk and get my back into shape. Everything else comes second.

Been pondering from time to time my feelings of worthlessness. I keep watching tv and film and wondering how these jerks and idiots get jobs that pay enough for them to live in the manner they live in. Keep remembering how I never felt I was worth that much money, despite my knowledge or degrees. And I’m sorry, but no one’s worth that much money for anything. This person made 36 million last year. For what? Being a jerk? Acting like an asshole? They didn’t solve any crisis, they didn’t save anyone’s life, they just made money. Why do we have such inflated salaries? Who needs that much money to live on?

I don’t want to be – and will never be – that decadent. If tons of money come my way, I’ll use it differently. Invest differently. No stock market schemes, all straight personal investments in people I believe in. People are the only real resource, anyway. Why invest in cyber space or gold? It’s meaningless, worthless. Why invest in real estate or things? You can’t take any of it with you. The only thing worth investing in is people. Changing their lives for the better. Giving those that really struggle just to make ends meet a chance.

I don’t want things. I want people to remember me. My jokes, my advice, my help, my kindness. I want people to stop and ask themselves what I’d do before making any choice for themselves. I want people to think. I want to help people over those hard spots in life, point out the pitfalls so maybe they can do better than me. I want people to try harder to understand others and themselves. I want others to do better in life than I have, and I hope my experiences, advice, and help, are valuable to them.

That’s the only real kind of immortality any of us can ask for. A lot of people have kids to pass on their knowledge to, but after growing up with my older siblings I was all too aware of the idea of how far the apple can fall from the tree; biological children were never the answer for me. You are my children. Everyone and anyone reading this is my child. This is my experiment: to treat every human like my child, to see everyone on this planet as an opportunity to be a bit kinder, a bit better version of ME that leaves people pondering their own behavior and hoping to improve themselves. The only real way I know how to do that is be honest. Destroy the pedestals even as they’re erected: I am not perfect. I yell and scream. I can be petty and purposefully hurt others. I make a lot of mistakes. See me for what I really am, not that rose colored version of me. That version will be built in the future, not in my lifetime. That version will be the myth, the legend, the one that lives on in the tale told ’round the campfire. And hopefully that version will be inspiring, even if it’s not realistic. The problem is, of course, that we all build our our mythos. Our actions build it, day by day. And just like you can’t really see when your body drops a couple of pounds because you look at yourself every day, you don’t realize what kind of mythos you’re building until you get some feedback.

So no, I don’t really know what I project. No one does. I am heartened, tho, by those few who open up to me. Who come back to me when they’re hurting. My children, wanting a kiss on their boo-boo’s. That’s a bit condescending sounding, and I didn’t really mean it that way. Oftentimes all I feel like I can do is kiss it, remind them how important they are to me, how great I feel they are, how much I care about them. I can’t offer much concrete help. But there are people out there who return to me with their problems, offering them up to me in messages, hoping to get that inspirational letter in response. I know that, and do my best to be there for each and every one of them. I always say I’m not the ‘mothering’ type, but I do have a lot of ‘mothering’ characteristics.

And I guess the word ‘mother’ got a bad reputation in my head. Just like the word ‘lady’ got a bad reputation. Those words were brought out to shame me, to justify horrible behavior, or to constrain my impulses. I can not remember one day of wanting to be a ‘lady’ or a ‘mother’ in the sense C used the words.

But I do want to help people. Protect them, shelter them from the worst in life. Whether that’s lady-like or motherly, I can’t really say. It is a base impulse in me, tho.

…Sorry; I still can’t use the M word in association with myself. I can accept I’m a carer. That’s straight-forward, and clean.

I care.

And I always have.

I cared about my high school prom, even tho I loudly proclaimed I didn’t. I care about my current poverty, tho I do my best to not worry too much. I care about the world, and people, tho I shout and scream and tell everyone to go to hell from time to time.

I care so much I have to shout about how much I don’t care so when I get hurt it’s not as bad and no one thinks I’m as big a wreck as I am…

Are you listening, my children?

Are you learning?

The Goddess within

Girls’ Night. I find it much easier to be a girl when my brother isn’t around. That’s a truth. And last night, I wallowed.

Olive oil on my hair to condition it, moisturizing masque on my face, hot shower ready to clean everything off, and nail paraphernalia out and ready for use. I am clean, my hair is far less frizzy, my face is smooth and soft, and my nails are trimmed and brightly shining. I felt good doing all that for myself. I feel good with the results.

Heard about the long-awaited auditions. The director said he’ll be using this next week’s holiday time to choose text and set a date. I told him about my film co-star and asked for some lead time for her; she’ll need it if she’s going to make auditions. Cool. We’re on the same page. And I got a message out to my film posse, letting them know auditions will be called in a few weeks and I’d love to have them involved somehow or at least come to the production. Yea! Good on me for reaching out, even tho I know they’re all busy with their internships. Usually I just discount that type of stuff, figuring they’re too busy anyway so why ask. That’s a mistake; let people decide for themselves if they’re too busy or not. And the film director wants to read the script (I told him this was the the story I’d mentioned months back), so I’m hoping that my life will unfold gently in this order: theatre production, film brain storming, film work, marketing, larger theatre productions, screenings, awards. One can hope, right?

I am Dutch obsessed. Can’t stop with the language. After taking care of myself last night, I ended up in my chair with the tv on and my homework propped up on my lap. I find myself excited by the work. Made notes, outlined, looked up some words, and sat there pondering the correct perfect tense form of a few new verbs. The film I had on ended and I noticed it was almost 10 p.m., my traditional get ready for bed and go read before sleep time. Really? Off to feed my brain more Dutch via Roald Dahl. That voice that reads aloud in my head is picking up speed, discovering the natural phrase breaks. I am stumbling less and reading faster. Gobbling up the words.

Took yesterday off from the gym. Still in build up phase, and that means gentle, gentle, gentle – whether or not I like that approach. Building back strength is a slow and irritating process for me. But I’ve learned – the hard way. Just to remind myself: torn ligaments, torn cartilage in the knees, back injuries, wrist injuries, shoulder injuries. We want none of that.

…*sigh* I honestly don’t know if taking all this on is a good idea. “All this” being the theatre production, the film push, the language, the self care. I’m scared of what it might mean for me. I’ve run on that obsessed mania so many times! Telling myself I’ve got support in my bro (a constant) and my doc. It’s okay to try this. Everyone’s happy that I’m taking better care of myself. Everyone is excited about my script and the production. I just…I don’t want to burn out and let everyone down. Again. I don’t want to overload. It’s a real stressor for me. So I’m trying to let myself feel happy without that restless get up and do something mania. That’s difficult. I said a few days ago I find patience to be passive. I also find happiness to be active. How can people just sit around when they’re excited or happy? How can you, as adults, just drop that and go about your life without any repercussion? I am more child-like. The excitement hangs on me forever. I obsess about it, wind myself up, can’t stop thinking or moving because of it. Usually I just have to burn it out of me one way or the other. Which then leads to my overload and breakdown. Obviously, I’ve tried this before. I know my pattern.

Self-care is the answer. I know that. Valuing myself enough to really understand – fully – that I can do nothing for anyone if I’m not taking care of myself. Part of that is letting go. Accepting help from others. Part of that is saying no. Putting myself first. Two sides of the same coin, really.

Ach! Well, I also said a few days ago that beginnings were difficult. And here I am, right in the muck of it. I now have to look at this coin I hold – my self worth, something I’ve seen for decades as a plug nickel – as titanium. I hate gold, so forget that analogy. It is valuable. I am valuable. My skills, knowledge, and talents are valuable.

See the obvious, woman! This play production could not happen without your skills as a writer. The film group would not have grown so close without you there to be the rallying point on set. It is your warmth that draws people to you, your talent that people seek out. You have evidence of your value all around you. Look up and acknowledge it! See what you can do without even trying.

Trying doesn’t have to upset your apple cart. Trying means being a little more patient with your listening skills. Trying means making sure you’ve got enough time to loll about and do the nothing stuff you find so vital to your head. Trying means getting regular movement, taking your pills, seeing the doctors.

You don’t have to rebuild Rome in a day. Just…wander carefully thru the ruins. Watch your step.

And always, darling girl, respect the altar. You know where it lies and you know what it wants. You know what she wants.

The Goddess within.

I be so ignorant

Gentle and patient. That’s what I said, and that’s what I went with out into the world.

I took some time choosing my clothing. Brushed my hair and teeth. Washed my face and applied some moisturizing lotion. The weather’s cooled off and it feels like spring again rather than summer. I wrapped up warm, not caring that other people were walking around in hoodies or lighter clothing. Get sick if you want; I’m staying healthy.

Language class. …I know my teachers are babying me a bit. They used to be a bit tougher on me – right up to the point where I broke the tooth and told them it was from stress. Now, they emphasize the positive. Um…is it okay for me to say I like it? I like the support and the positivity. I like the assurances that I’m gaining ground and getting better. I like feeling like it’s okay for me to speak up and ask the definition of a word I don’t know, or to mess up and make mistakes or draw blanks on answers I really should have down. Doing those things more and more now, and my learning is improving because of it.

Remembered to take my book to class to read over the break, and I had the occasion to be damned happy about it. Total shut-out, and there were only 5 of us in class so it was pretty damned obvious. Once again, people were willing to speak to me before class but not during the break. Difference? One of those two women who seem to be spearheading this ‘ignore her during the break’ movement walked in a bit late to class. She wasn’t there before the lesson. But she was there for coffee. I hesitantly tried, choosing a seat next to their four person table that was full. I half turned my body towards them and dithered around, pretending to check my phone and sort thru my backpack. All things to give them a chance to turn their chairs slightly and include me, say ‘hey! come join us’. They didn’t. So I took out James and the Giant Peach and began reading. Only took two sentences to fall into the story. Then I was reading for real, at my regular pace. I smiled to myself, enjoying the language, the story, the jokes. It didn’t matter to me that I wasn’t talking. Let those people with their pidgin Dutch talk about homework or their husbands or children or the immigration process. I want more.

Ach! And one woman had the gall to complain to me that all the reading in class was ‘too childlike’ for her. This from the person who’s lived here twenty some years and can’t speak properly or read with any great comprehension. My response was simple and un-confrontational: Oh. I have noticed a great difference between myself and the other students: they are still grasping at the big words thinking they’ll have the language if they learn all the 36 letter long shit that stumps me, while I am concentrating on those pesky little words that pop up over and over in every sentence knowing that’s where the real communication lies. It’s not in the big words; it’s in the small words that color every sentence. I know I can look up a long word, or ask what the hell it means. But it’s the ‘just’, ‘only’, and ‘yet’ words that everything tips on. Even, maar, toch, al, nog… The words that seem, at first, easy to fly by in reading – yet when you get them, you realize it’s precisely what you need to fully understand the message.

Have the option of coming in next week, a scheduled holiday, for an extra lesson. Of course I said yes, and of course the teachers weren’t surprised. Three or four of us said we’ll come class. More one on one with two women I respect the hell out of! Oh, they intimidate me. I sweat in class, trying hard to do my best. But I know they hold the keys to learning, and I am so hungry for that. They see it.

I’ve finished the first viewing of the third Twin Peaks event. Wow. Got off into a discussion of alternate realities and time loops with my bro. He thinks Cooper and Laura have jumped into an alternate reality, one where Laura never existed. I think they’ve time travelled to earlier, before Laura’s family bought the house. I need another viewing. And another. But I recognize the tight loop Lynch created and hats off to him for it. It’s a great nut to crack.

Chop block today: wear in that new pair of shoes again. Back to the gym, more movement. Work on Dutch; I’ve a pile of homework. Work on tech notes. Find time to take care of me – something I’m doing without bitching and moaning. Been working on my cuticles, applying some moisturizer late at night while I watch tv and can I say they’ve never looked better! Nor felt better; those pesky fly away pieces of flesh that often bled and hurt seem to be a thing of the past. Didn’t realize with a little perseverance I could help myself so much.

And there we go, because I need to learn to persevere with being gentle and patient with myself. Somehow being gentle – and particularly being patient – seems to be at loggerheads with persevering. Patience seems passive to me. You patiently wait. You have patience with a tantrum throwing child. I am only aware of working on being patient when it becomes difficult to maintain, when I must persevere with patience in the face of whatever the hell is setting me off. …In other words, I feel I need to practice being patient. Is that even possible?

The gentlest and most patient answer I can give myself is: I don’t know.

…I can accept that. Admitting your ignorance is the first step to learning.

And I be so ignorant.

Light ’em up

Smoke ’em if you got ’em! Happy 420.

Got in one good pacing session. The weather’s been hot, and my bro has been hanging around a bit more to avoid the sun so I haven’t had many opportunities to get up and talk out everything pouring thru my head. Have one storyline roughed in, another half there with ideas and questions: very productive for one pacing session (granted, it lasted about 2 hours).

Ratta-tat-tat-brrrr-ratta-tat-tat. My brother had to come out from his room four times yesterday to comment on my tapping feet. Just…kept doing it. All afternoon. Please remember to tell your psychiatrist about this when you see him next. Yeah. He’ll probably say it’s depression. That’s what everyone says about everything I say: it’s depression. Depression. Fast feet? Depression. Sweating hands? Depression. Poor sleep? Depression. Repetitive thoughts? Depression. I’m beginning to wonder why I bother mentioning anything. They’ve pegged me, and until they see obvious shit in front of their own eyes they won’t change their minds.

Must. let. go. I’m obsessing over the production. Bless my bro’s heart, he recognized that yesterday and did his best to talk me down. He let me go thru my concerns, talk about the sound layering, the recordings needed, and my worry over time and overloading him. He replied (confidently; damn! I wish I could do that) that he could get all the sound done in one week if push came to shove. And he reminded me that I’ve passed the baton. He’s the sound director, and the director is the director. Let go. If they say they can do it within the time frame they’re setting, they can do it. That’s tough. Had a lot of people let me down. Drop things at the last minute, then look at me like ‘well, if you want it done, do it yourself’. The only thing I know for sure that works is immersing myself in a new story – which is why I took off all restrictions on myself and paced things out. I thought I’d want to be clear headed and focused on the production, but I find my laser beam concentration too much. I’ve got to distract myself.

Still cooking things up in my brain, so my body’s been allowed to be the slug. Sit. Go thru the motions of playing solitaire. Unfocused eyes on the tv. Uncomprehending hearing. My bro is indulging me. Encouraging me, even. He sees the obsession and the manic traits even if the doc doesn’t.

My phone rang about 10 minutes before my pizza was delivered. I knew before looking at it that it was S. She’s the only one who calls me. Bless her, she was trying to multi-task a bit; she called me while she was on the train. Unfortunately, the noise made for a difficult phone call. I hung in there, responding between bites on my pizza. I know that’s an instance I should probably say ‘could you call me back in half an hour? my pizza just came’, but I can’t. I have so few friends and people in my life, and I know how busy they all are. I’m grateful for whenever S’s calls come, whether it’s 10 minutes before my pizza or just after I’ve turned the light out in my room and I’m ready to sleep. Plus, I know it’s my schedule that’s weird and off. Sometimes I’m sleeping at 6 in the evening. Sometimes I eat dinner at 3 in the afternoon. So I do my best to accommodate those phone calls because…well…I don’t get many. And I know I’m the oddball.

Anyway, she’s fine. Busy. Happy at her internship. I’m so thrilled for her! A bit jealous, too. Or envious. Wishing I could be in her shoes – trained in what she loves, just heading out and beginning. If she doesn’t succumb to hating herself, she can go far. I find it interesting to hear her. We’ve talked deeply enough that I know a few of her issues, and she mine. We connect on several levels; our problems aren’t dissimilar. It is almost as if I’m talking to a younger version of myself. She’s half on the track and half lost. She knows she struggles with depression and self hate, but she thinks repeating those tried and true memes will get her thru her shit. Had a good laugh (internally) when she told me: It’s all in your head. Yes. Depression is all in your head. But she seems to want me to be able to talk things out and get to an ‘end’ (or perhaps she’s hoping to see that so it gives her hope that her own issues will, eventually, come to an ‘end’). I have not the heart to tell her there is no end to it. And I do not have the courage to let her see the hag in me: that older, wiser woman with keen perception. I allow her to tell me her youthful wisdom, full of hope and rainbows. I do not point out the deeper issues I see lurking behind her words or actions. To me, they are obvious. She is on the right track; she’s told me about the competitiveness between herself and her older sister. That was my first step, too. I recognize the overeating, the family issues behind the nice facade (no diss on her family; I’ve met her parents and they’re both very pleasant to strangers but it’s obvious to me she’s not getting what she needs from them).

Well. You’re the wordsmith. What would you have listened to when you were her age? You can’t tread her journey for her. You can’t put her feet down on the right path. She’s got to do that. The only thing you can do is try to illuminate her mind. Connect with her. Let her know she’s not alone.

Light ’em up.

I’m not stopping

Life just has to keep giving me evidence of the two opposites I orbit ’round. Up and down, high and low…it gets mimicked in my life so often I’m getting sick of it.

Language class. Definitely a mixed bag. Thirty minutes before I had to leave, I remembered the underlying cause of my reluctance to go: the stone wall of diss I’ve encountered during our class break. I have sat at small tables with people, nodding, trying to get into the chit-chat. But it always seems to devolve into the other students reverting to Farsi, or some other language, and/or totally ignoring me. I sit there, either trying to listen to just zoning out, while they talk back and forth faster and faster, not even making eye contact with me. This has become the norm, and I don’t like it. I’ve gone out for fresh air, headed to the bathroom to diddle around so I didn’t feel so awkward, gone back up to the class early, and sat reading or working on Dutch. One or two women seem to head this up: they’ll see me somewhere, come and join the table, then take over the conversation and monopolize it. Right. I get it; you don’t like me. I don’t think much of you, either. I’m just trying to use my language skills here, and when you don’t give me any opportunity to form a sentence, well…fuck you.

There is one exception to this behavior: the only man in class. He often seeks me out for conversation, at least before class when we’re the only two students in the cafe. Every time he’s done this (and yesterday was no exception), he ends up asking me out for coffee on the weekend. Every time he’s asked, I’ve said no politely, saying I’m too busy. And then…then one of the women walks in and joins us, and he drops it like he never even asked. I suspect that he’s looking for a little something on the side (he’s mentioned a wife and family in our lesson) AND that the other women are somewhat aware of his intentions. It explains his hot/cold potato behavior. Sad. Once again, I am given an example of men’s behavior that I just find repellent. Does the Universe want me to become a lesbian? Sure as hell feels that way. Why do men only talk to me if they want to get into my pants? Why are women so fucking catty to me when I’ve done nothing – nothing!! – to deserve it?

The answer is obvious, if I just ignore that fifty foot wall of self hate I’ve built up: I am drop dead gorgeous. …Feels good just to say that for once. I do not mean physical beauty; there are many women more beautiful than I am. But there’s a combination in me that’s hard to pin down: something between my intelligence and my sense of humor, that kid or big dog that comes out in me wanting to play…people find that attractive. Combine it with looks that aren’t hideous, maybe even a bit attractive on their own, and boom! You got me. I have always believed it is my soul people are attracted to, not really my body. Men…they react to the body. Anyone sexual reacts to the physical. I don’t truly believe for one second that’s what’s behind all this. And the physical reaction…I find it tiring. Good Goddess, can’t we get beyond your penis? So many can’t. Then they find they’ll never get what they want from me, so they leave because they have no idea how to be friends without being sexual. I’m am tired of that. I just blow them off before they even start.

*sigh* Still. I am uncomfortable with the reaction from the women. They’re pleasant enough in class, in front of the teachers. But on break, it’s a whole other ball of wax.

More separation. Our teachers talked to us a bit about another, higher level language class. They thought some of us might be ready for it, and they invited us to check out a class or two this spring to see if we liked it. The man popped up and said he thought he could go to the lesson. The teachers were quick to point out his problems with the simple prepositions and sentences we’re working on. You’ll be lost. I don’t think it’s a good idea for you to go. Then their eyes focused on me. You could do well in that lesson, but it’s up to you. Go to a few and see what you think. It’s your choice. A few other students were talked to, their progress discussed. No other student was told so boldly that yes, they were ready to move up if they wanted.

And if I have to choose between my fellow students or my teachers, I’ll choose my teachers every time. Hands down. One had done some spring cleaning, and came to the lesson with four hard cover children’s books for me. Three Roald Dahl even the big library downtown doesn’t have, and one JK Rowling I’ve not read. I am thrilled. Even when I have to puzzle over an idiom’s meaning, I’m thrilled to be able to read and understand at the level I’m at. Ha! to everyone who ever said to me that Dutch was a clunky, unexpressive language. It is rich and full and beautiful. You don’t read well, do you?

Give me more, please.

So. Super high on my teachers. Super low on my fellow students. It’s so like school during my childhood I feel like I’m on a continual, low level LSD flash-back.

And, like school during my childhood, I’m ignoring what I can from my fellow students and holding onto my hunger for learning. They can sit on their asses if that’s what they want. They can do the minimum if that’s what they want. They can even resent me for it, for whatever they perceive in me that trips their trigger.

I’m not stopping.

I need some help today

My computer screams the Golden Question at me. I made a meme for my desktop: bright green and yellow. Can’t miss it. Not sure how long I’ll keep it up, but for now it’s a good reminder. Always asking that question behind my browser, or the files I keep out on my desktop.

Got to the gym. Disappointed to find the CD I bought (and loaded into my iPod) was 20% rockin’ and 80% downtempo. I was hoping for the reverse. I have no need for downtempo music right now. I want tribal beats, and throbbing bass. I want my feet to move, I want to get up out of my chair and go, not sit there and sob, thinking about my past mistakes. Still. It’s new, and I enjoy the EQ of the band. Decided I am too flabby and gone to hit the cross trainer; went to the exercise bikes instead. Just get moving, woman! You’ll pick back up that enthusiasm for the gym if you can just break out of this inertia.

Practiced saying no. I’d told my bro about the Twin Peaks revival on sale, and he calculated and found enough money to purchase it. Yesterday morning he came out with a pre-paid credit card, slapped it down on the table, and proceeded to tell me there was enough cash on it to get the DVDs so I could just head downtown and buy it if I wanted. Although I was pleased and excited, it wasn’t what I was planning on. Suddenly, my day tipped: I felt my head scramble to rearrange all those ‘taking care of myself’ things in order to run downtown. I sighed, and thought. My brother said: You don’t have to go if you don’t want to. I can stop and pick it up. I thought some more, then tried something different: While I’m excited about getting the DVDs, and I want them, I don’t really like unexpected things to pop up in my schedule. I find it unsettling. That still wasn’t clear enough. Do you want me to just pick them up? Deep breath. Yes. Yes, I do.

That was difficult for me. My brother does a lot of the running around for the house: grocery shopping, errands, etc. There are many days I don’t step outside the door. When something like that comes up on a day I know he’s got other plans, I feel like I should go and do whatever he’s suggesting. But I stuck to my guns. Me, me, me. I needed the gym like I sometimes need a shower. I felt it right down to the most inner part of me. Good on me for that!

Watched the first four occurrences of the new Twin Peaks. One can hardly say ‘episodes’, can one? Episodes is an American term reserved for things like Dharma and Greg: simple set-up, repetitive plots, one basic set. David Lynch is an occurrence. It happens. You watch, because you can’t not watch. Lynch has a rare gift, in my opinion. He mixes the surreal with enough easy to understand reality based action to give you a sense that you kind of know what’s going on, but you’re left puzzling over many elements, wondering what symbolism the imagery held (because when Lynch wants you to see symbolism, he makes it bloody obvious that it’s symbolism, even if you don’t get the meaning behind it). Hm. I am not yet at the point where I could write some of the scenes I witnessed last night. Though there’s one thing I would have done differently, if I was Lynch. I would have had Cooper smash that white marble statue he keeps seeing in the red room. Cooper in the red room is very much a visitor, led by others, reacting. After 25 years, I’d think he’d try something different: take action, not just react. But, that’s me. My characters take action, even if that action isn’t the best choice for the moment. Cooper is very passive. I guess that tells me something about Lynch. …I don’t know what to think of the new series yet. I’m geeking out on everyone who’s in it. Thrilled that Lynch and Frost wanted to pick up the thread of the story again. Dyin’ to get further into the story. Happy to be watching such open ended imagery right now; it shuts my head up like nothing else. Huh. What the fuck -? 

…My question for myself today (and a little test I set up for myself) is: Can I ask for help? I left all the housework undone. The place needs a full top to bottom scrub, and it’s a big job. My brother is not scheduled to head off, so he should be here. Now…I want him to get off his ass and hoover the place. I’ll do dusting, and sink and toilet duty. I’d really like to clean my own room, and that’s the only way possible I’ll have enough energy to do it all: with help. Fu-u-uck. Will he just see it if I complain loudly enough? Hm… Maybe. Maybe not. And that’s not the point of the test. The point of the test is to speak up. Say it. You said ‘no’ yesterday, now say ‘please help me’. You can do it.

I’m prompting a very reluctant toddler in my brain. She is pouting and silent. Asking for help is bad. Weak. Something to be avoided. …You know who else did that, right? You know who you’re sounding like more and more, don’t you? And you said a long time ago that you don’t want to be anything like her. You see her flaws more than ever now. Learn from them. Don’t go down the same path.

I guess parents do teach their kids something, even if it’s just the stubborn refusal to end up like their elders.

I need some help today.

Screw the rules

Did you take your pills?

That’s one, I thought. Yes, I replied, two, two, twoExcellent verbal skills, no? Well, I was a little hyper, which is why the question was asked in the first place. But, Lordy Loo! We are at that point. The first go-to question will now be did you take your pills? *sigh*

It wasn’t so much that I felt hyper, I just did things yesterday. It didn’t start that way. I left off from my blog, still pondering my long ‘to do’ list, wondering where to start. Laid out my tasks to my bro, who asked me what was on my mind (a rarity). He got me to laugh at myself by pointing out how far ahead of everything I already am. I relaxed enough to ask myself the Golden Question: what would you do if you really cared about yourself? The answer was obvious.

First up: pick up my meds at the chemist. I had enough to get to Monday, but I didn’t want to add stress on a future day (that’s not caring about myself), so that was the biggie. Second: give myself that CD. No more delayed positive reinforcement. I need it when I need it. Third: get to the library, turn in my old book and find a new one. Before I left, I began my laundry – much needed, as I was down to ankle or heavy, wool ski socks.

I dressed in fresh clothes. Brushed my hair and teeth. Fussed a bit over how I looked, and headed out.

The chemist was far less busy than I thought. I took my number and waited. In walked a couple. The woman was there for something, her boyfriend (obviously, no husband quite hangs on a woman like a boyfriend) just stopping in with her. They paused at the machine, nudging each other the way lovers do, taking three times as long as needed. Then – the man looked at me over his girlfriend’s shoulder. Thought nothing of that first glance until it was followed by a second, and then a third. Took a while to dawn on me: he was checking me out. I judged him to be 10 years my junior at least. My thoughts were harsh and judgmental. That’s men for you, I thought to myself. They can be with any woman and they’ll still look and wonder about every other woman they come across. Then I checked to my left. A younger, 20 something darker skinned woman sat there four seats away, complete with four inch high spike heels. Was he looking at her, not me? I checked and judged the angles of our seats versus his stance. Nope. He didn’t see her at that angle, and his eyes met mine. Then I thought: Racist. There’s a much prettier woman sitting just to my left, and the only reason I can see that you won’t look at her is that she’s darker skinned.

It wasn’t until I was walking out that I considered the idea that maybe he just found me attractive enough to look at.

On the metro, downtown. It’s been a while since I’ve been downtown, in the heart of the shopping district. Things have changed. Shops are gone, closed down, replaced by shiny new markets called ‘market’ with all black interiors designed to show off their low, aluminum shelved products at their very best. The first record shop I stopped at was a victim of the Dutch online shopping obsession; it was gone, no sign of it ever having been there. Okay. I knew another record shop a few blocks away. Walked down, found it, searched – what a mess! There are NO OCD people working at that store, let me tell you! But everything was used, and old. Not what I wanted. I sighed, and headed off to the library – walking, for exercise and fresh air. On a whim, thinking it was the slimmest chance possible, I stopped at Media Markt and looked. Took a while, but I found it for 8 euro. Meandered thru the aisles, looking at all the goodies I couldn’t afford (DVD and book shops are the only two places I guarantee I’ll take my time and window shop). Saw the latest Twin Peaks revival for sale; excited about that, but didn’t have the money to pop for it. My purchase paid for, I headed to the library. Up the roltrap (escalator) to the one shelf I know in the entire six floor complex: the Roald Dahl shelf. Chose a shorter book, knowing I’ve been having trouble with concentration and reading lately. Got home at 3.

My brother was cooking, so the the moment I opened the door my nose was hit with a mass of delicious smells: hot sauce, onions and peppers, garlic. He was making his famous enchiladas. Sadly, he kept forgetting needed items. I just got back from the store myself. I forgot I needed tomatoes! And later: Um…I forgot sour creme. I’ll go and get some, if you could just start the rice… My game was closed before he could finish his sentence, and I was up and chopping onions before he left. Dinner was delicious. I finished first, and rinsed my plate off. Hm. The food was still in the pans. Without thinking too much, or dithering, or asking, I just quietly put everything away in containers, rinsed all the dishes, and put them to the side. My brother was watching tv. Later, when he rinsed his own plate off, he looked around in wonder. The food…it’s already put away? Yes, I replied, without snark or any hidden desire to be told what a good girl I am. And later, I sprang out of my chair and checked for hot water – good, we had some. Tackled the dishes.

That’s when I heard the question.

It didn’t bite at me, though I suspect it will in future. Or…it could. I had far too much of ‘are you on your period?’ shit when I was younger.

Meanwhile, I be da woman wit’ da bomb plan: keep asking myself the Golden Question.

Screw the rules.

High Noon

3:15. Some people feel noon is the day’s midpoint. I disagree. Midpoint sits at 3:15 (afternoon or early morning, doesn’t matter; it’s always midpoint of the day or night). I think it’s because of all those years of waking up precisely at 3:15 a.m. What was it? 10 years? More? As a kid, I was convinced it was because 3:15 a.m. would be my time of death. I still could be right.

Today’s 3:15 is p.m., which rarely gives me the kind of problem that its a.m. partner does. However, this 3:15 revolves around my appointment with Dr. T. I would prefer to see him in the morning. I prefer to do most everything in the mornings; my head is clearer and I’m far less tired. But I’ll deal. The day promises to be warm and pleasant, so I plan on taking my time and walking over there. I’d like to shower before I go, but alas! That decision lies on whether or not the building has hot water more than my mood.

Culled thru my own writing, made notes. Sleep issues, sweaty hands, upset tummy, performances, ups and downs. I’m clear, and won’t make the mistake of saying everything’s okay just because I slept decently last night or the majority of my immediate stressors are done with for now. I do that. How are you? I answer in the moment: Fine. Okay. Well. The better question would be: How have you been since I last saw you? That would prompt the correct response in me. But if I nitpick over such things, I’m told I’m being too literal. I’ve learned, through time, to just jump ahead and interpret what people say to me rather than listen to their actual words. But then that gets me into trouble, too. I didn’t mean that or You’re twisting my meaning is said, and once again I am wrong. Why am I the problem here? Aren’t I responding correctly, and it’s all you poor communicators who are lacking in this situation?

Geez Louise!

My bro had band practice last night, so I was left alone for the evening. Ran DVDs on the tv and watched YouTube vids at the same time. Had to; doing only one of those two things wasn’t enough to keep me settled. Both at the same time kept me occupied. Slowed myself down enough to go and read for an hour before sleep.

Mild headaches lately, but it’s Spring. Allergy season. I’m not shocked nor surprised. And my head’s been stuffed up.

I’ve given up on trying to control my food habits. I used to be very regimented: oatmeal every day, right after or with my coffee. Felt pretty self-righteous about that, knowing the health benefits. Now…I haven’t had oatmeal for months. Can’t stand the stuff. Even thinking about it makes my stomach clench. And I find I do not want breakfast food for breakfast. My body craves savory food first thing. I’ve taken to eating rice and Greek tomato sauce with feta and olives. It’s so much better on my stomach! Everything about it is better for me right now. It isn’t ’til around 8 p.m. that I crave breakfast cereal. Then I have a big bowl, watching tv, crunching away and drinking up the excess milk. Cannot get my dad out of my head, who noted this food behavior in me as a young woman (I did it throughout my 20s, flipping around breakfast and dinner meals). He, of course, complained about it. I’m just going with it, and the father in my head be damned. It is my control, my freedom, my body – and this is what it wants. My body knows what it needs; the first time I came down with shingles, I craved licorice – a natural healer.

…Not sure if the last few weeks have been a good test ground for this medication. I’ve had lots of excitement. Been wound up over the good things that have happened. On the other hand, it’s the good things that get me into trouble. I’m used to being dumped on. I’m used to hating myself. I’m used to all that negativity. I know how to handle it. Be nice to me, give me a compliment, and watch me fritz out. It’s my weakness, and it’s what I need to work on. So maybe, all in all, it’s not a bad thing. Here it is, and this is small! I’ll be in up mode all year long with the production. Yep. This is it, Dr. T. And I’m doing everything I can to keep a lid on it. Sleep problems. Sweaty hands. Headaches. Strung out feelings. Weird dreams. Anger. Circular, repetitive thoughts. Grandiose ideas. It’s all there, under wraps. I learned long ago to not talk about these things. I was cut to the carpet every time I did: you’re being overly dramatic, everyone feels like that, just stop thinking about it, you’re lying, you’re crazy, you have no idea what you’re talking about, you think you’re so special but you’re not! Now, that’s a list I should translate and give to Dr. T. Title it Things my Family Told Me.

*sigh* So much of what I’d like to say I can’t. My Dutch isn’t there, and I can only look up so much ahead of time.

I’m apprehensive about today. Nervous. Nervous about being misunderstood. Nervous about misunderstanding. Fuck. Not helping.

Fine. Walk in there with a page of translated material from Google. Hand it to him. Tell him my brain isn’t working well, and Dutch is difficult for me right now. Give him the physical notes. Make it as easy on myself to communicate what I feel I must.

For the world, it will just be ‘afternoon’.

For me: high noon.