Wednesday, January 25, 2012

I'm a Scanner...?

I'm not really sure where to begin. I've been struggling with finding a career for myself for a myriad of reasons. Challenges keep building the way life often does, but it's happened to the degree that I feel like the universe sabotages paths that aren't meant for me. I haven't been very receptive in school, even though I possess the traditional qualities that would make me an ideal candidate. I'm intelligent, ambitious, passionate, curious, and love to learn. But I haven't found a field that satisfies my desires.

I'm not willing to commit and put the amount of effort into a field I'm only half-hearted about. I find myself quickly losing interest and focus on a subject that was at one point alluring and appealing. I sound like once actual work and focus became required that I quickly retracted. It's made me feel inadequate and frustrated, but mostly I avoided addressing these insecurities that have been building in me for years. I'm curious about learning about all sorts of things. I begin projects until I'm intellectually satisfied and then I proceed onto another subject. It's a great way to become a walking encyclopedia, which what many of my friends describe me as. And yet my job experience reflects an absence of promotions or direction.

I've spent so much time feeling poorly about myself but without even giving those feelings attention that it's taken me years to dispute them. I may lose interest in pursuing something professionally, but it isn't because I'm against hard work. I put a lot of effort, energy, and time into things. But when it comes to jobs, I stick to the basics.

Over time I've realized that my field of interests if I were to narrow it down to a single field is actually dynamic and versatile. I'm passionate about food, cooking, container garden, holistic health, and nutrition. I want to find ways to incorporate them within each other. I'm not sure how to get it all started when a friend of mine posted on facebook details of a scanner. Scanners are people who scan a variety of interests and passion, never satisfied with settling on one subject. That's me! I think.....

My friend is undeniably a scanner. You can talk to her once and identify her with all the characteristics of a scanner. I, on the other hand, have learned to suppress and control my scanning tendencies. I hear multiple conversations and have a million thoughts running through my head when I'm talking to a friend, but I'm focused on the task at hand. I have difficulty doing multiple things at once outside of my element, and yet my tendency is to multi-task.

I find that I fill my mind with ideas and projects I want to do only to never complete them because I get distracted by other projects I want to pursue. It sounds ADD, but I know I'm not because when I have to focus, I can and I do. Of course, people with ADD have also demonstrated the same. But with me ever since I've embraced what satisfies me, I'm no longer forcing a disciplined incentive to complete a task simply for the act. When I do this, I'm not enjoying it. So now I scatter around whatever I desire. I'm happier, but it results in very little completion and productivity.

Now I'm excited to learn about scanners and an author named Barbara Sher who explains it in depth. I'm going to pick up her book in hopes to find some sort of direction. What she seems to describe and convey in concrete detail is what I've been conceptually trying to formulate. I believe that if there's something we want that we have to put in the time and effort to obtain it. If it's a career, it could be discouraging, it could take years, but if you want it, you have to look for it. If it doesn't exist, then you have to create it.

I truly believe that. But I've been racking my mind on exactly how I'm supposed to go about that because I feel like I've explored all the other popular, mainstream, and accessible avenues without success. I kept having this feeling that my path isn't readily available, and yet I don't want to give up. So I invest my time testing out methods and opportunities I can feel won't work out just so I know I'm at least trying. This book can hopefully offer me some insights and guidance becuase this floatlessness is becoming frustrating.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Work Health

Unless you're wealthy, financially dependent on someone else, or one of the rare individuals who find ways to sustain a living independent of making an income, work is a requirement for most adults. And unfortunately most of us are unhappy about where we work, who we work for, our co-workers, the mistreatment, how much we get paid, etc. Being unsatisfied in the workplace is such a normality, and yet complaints are viewed as if they have no place in an environment where many people are miserable. Why is that? Listening to complaints can become intolerable, but for people to act like it's inappropriate confuses me. People complaining about complaint worthy topics is logical and a human reaction.

Yet because unpleasant work places are the normality, complaints can be shocking. People consider it to be too ordinary to complain about. Unless it's shocking or unbelievable in some way, complaints are seen as forms of ingratitude. While that's always a possibility, what I dislike is how dismissive many of us are to unfair and unhappy work environments. Obviously we can't just resign because there's something we don't like, but too much of us fail to realize what an impact work has on our emotional well-being. And that jeopardizes our health and that can effect us physically, too.

Keep in mind that most of us work 8 hour day shifts. That's 40 hours a week. Some people are too exhausted and go to sleep when they get home. Activities are limited to requirements such as eating and running errands. Some people spend their remaining time complaining about how horrible work was, so time is still being stolen even during after hours because of work. Of course if we choose to spend time complaining about it, that's on us. Whether we choose to occupy our time in that way or not doesn't change the fact that some people are tempted to do just that. For parents, work might be the only place where they get to be themselves. They talk to their co-workers, have lunch, and it's their world. Not everyone is fortunate enough to have jobs they absolutely love, but it certainly shouldn't be a source of stress so extreme that it harms your health.

I've been exposed to unbelievable work environments and experiences. I've been working since I was twelve. I worked as a maid for a crack motel. I was picking up stray needles, witnessing attacks on some days gave me insight on what time it was, and trashy and shady activities were expected. It was alarming when it wasn't going on. I worked at a Walgreens where I've had a gun pointed at my head, cops arrived after a fight broke out between a customer and me after she tipped the ladder I was on, I've been attacked and rescued by the pharmacist who also happened to be a bounty hunter. I was sixteen working for a foster care agency where a baby was thrown on my lap. I was so traumatized by that, even more so than the other experiences I've listed. I've dealt with emotionally-challenged individuals where part of my responsibilities included managing and maintaining a civil environment if I were to ever get my work done. When someone was unhappy about a five minute tardiness, the cops would be summoned. Food products contained ingredients that could be harmful for diabetics and were scheduled to be on the market at Whole Foods under false pretenses. Money was being mishandled. Employees were being exploited. Even mainstream businesses worked in harmful environments at call centers where emloyees were coughing so severely that broken ribs were taking place and yet not going to work or being late by as little as a minute three times led to termination. I've worked in the food business. I've done catering, bartending, and party promos. So being hit on, violent circumstances, and hostile customers occurred regularly enough that it was no longer shocking for me. All true stories.

Of course, I've never worked at sweat shops and been paid less than a dollar an hour. There are always worse circumstances. But my point is that I've had insanely intolerable experiences, and yet people found my complaints to be unfounded because others put up with it. How I handled these work conditions were dependent largely on my perception and emotional state.

I worked at a call center where I'd clock in later than I was scheduled for because my computer wouldn't boot up properly. I was advised to arrive to work 15-20 minutes before my assigned time. I was uncooperative and refused to make such a compromise. It's unfair to expect me to arrive to work early when I'm not being paid for it due to the company's fault. So instead I complained, complained, complained. I let the IT department know every morning that I couldn't get my computer up long before I even got to my desk. I vocalized this to several managers and senior accounts to make terminating my employment into a discouraging course of action despite their policy.

My main objection wasn't the arrival time but the principal behind it. I was difficult from the beginning and although my position warranted some validity, the extent I took to at that time wasn't. Over time, though, it became evident that this company did deserve some expression of disapproval. The ceiling above my desk was so dirty that people were coughing like crazy. One of my co-workers had a chronic cough so severe that he couldn't sleep lying down. Others had to have surgery for their carpal tunnel. The company had no ethics and we were employed to lie to customers about matters we knew wouldn't be resolved. So we essentially were getting paid to be mistreated on both sides and experienced injuries as a result of it. Our job security became compromised when someone declines to pay for a co-workers birthday when we've never even met the person if this co-worker was well liked by a supervisor.

Although these things aren't fair, it's also very common. So many people tolerate it. I believe in the power of manifestation, and I'm actually really good at it. I believe everything has energy and when I really want something, I get it. However the instant gratifications aren't nearly as rewarding as waiting for something more valuable based on a set of high standards.

I've been trying to manifest a job that suits my needs and desires better. I refer to it as employment with purpose. Over time each job I've held has less and less of the drama. I'm not be reprimanded for wearing an outfit considered to be too revealing (a long skirt with a slit slightly above my knee) by a supervisor who's dress was so low that when she was talking to me I could see the color of her nipples... I don't have a manager who squeezes in between me and my co-worker because we're talking with disruptions from her like she's my best friend in a baby voice only to be told that I need to return to work when she knows I just started my lunch break.

Sometimes I could sense that if I developed a relationship outside of a professional one with my supervisors that my job would be secure, but I find myself unable to fabricate such bonds. If anything it strengthens my professional personality. I believe that if I do my job well and I'm not disruptive, my job should be secure. When I'm able to connect with my co-workers and supervisors on a personal level it's because I can sense the fairness they possess.

This current assignment I'm on surrounds me with people who are professional and mature. They aren't monitoring my performance, so they can scrutinize it. They're focused on themselves and prioritize fairly. I don't have to worry that small talk with a co-worker will lead to a manager accusing me of being selfish for occupying someone's time when I was the one being approached. There's none of that bullshit.

It's a temp to hire position. I'm assigned here until April. If they're happy with my performance, I'll be asked to stay indefinitely. I do my job well, but I'm not spectacular at it. As a reception I do exactly what I'm asked and demonstrate intelligence and observation when necessary. But I'm certainly not being talked about because my phone voice is out of this world. I don't know if I'm being too critical or not, but maybe I won't be asked to stay beyond tax season. I do believe it's possible. I can do my job well and I don't cost an arm and leg to employ. However they don't seem to need anyone outside of the busy season. I guess time will reveal my place here.

Working in this environment has made me realize how conditioned I've become to a toxic mentality. If I staple papers too soon and all I need to do is remove it, I sense an involuntary panic that I'm getting fired. Dramatic much? I'm finally getting a taste of what it's like to be in a breathable work environment.

It's opening my eyes to how damaging my train of that is. I experiened a shooting pain down my spine when I panicked about the most asinine detail. That sort of thing was so common that I used to never give it atention. It no longer shocked my body. Now I feel like my body's screaming at me every time I unnecessarily stress it out. It's refreshing and an educational experience.

This job is easy to do, and it gives me a lot of free time. I feel like I need to take advantage of it. If I don't, the universe might sabotage my place here because when I get too comfortable and it becomes a liability, the universe tries to set me back on track. I love to write, so I have to create a system where I can write at work. I already have projects I started, so I need to send myself copies of them. That way I can continue them here.

For so long I've wanted to find work in an office that was slow paced enough to allow me to focus on my writing and other priorities. But now that I have that chance, I have no idea how to take advantage of the time I have since it's all new for me. So I better figure it out because if this job does turn out to be temporary, I want to make it count by making progress on some of my writing projects. This still remains true even if it becomes long-term.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Learn to Play the Game

I was recommended by a really good friend of mine to learn how to play the game, the chase, how to manipulate someone you're involved with and things of that nature. While it's honest, it may sound distasteful. But this wasn't coming from a manipulat perspective where she wants me to serve a selfish agenda. As with most of my friends, she's much older than me. She's in her sixties and she hated giving me this advice. The idea of being a part of it puts me off, but I see her point.

Knowledge is power. I still don't know how this all works. I'll never know, but what I mean is it's fairly new to me at this time. The truth is we all manipulate. Anyone who says otherwise is either stupid or in denial. Seriously because it's a conscious, subconscious, AND unconscious act. There's no way we can control it. That isn't to say we should channel it and utilize it to our benefit because exploiting others is certainly not on my agenda (unless I want to borrow cute kids on Halloween to score free candy... What? I'm being honest! LOL)

With that said...the best way to protect ourselves from being a victim of manipulation (albeit a futile effort but we gotta try) is to familiarize ourselves with the very thing we want to protect ourselves from. Makes sense, right? I don't think it's possible to know the game without playing the game. Participation's required. Even just hearing about it makes us witnessing participants. The truth is when I withhold from playing the game all I'm doing is withdrawaling from active participation, but I'm still mentally engaged because an uncontrollable reflex thought, an awareness registers and informs me if I do this, I know he'll respond this way but if I do that, he'll act like this. Playing the game is essentially knowing the cause and effects and contributing to its outcome. What's twisted is refusing to "participate" is still an involvement in the game. That's like playing a board game and saying "pass". You skipped your turn, but you're still in it because every action (even an absence of an action) is still contributing to the outcome.

I find it respectable to minimize your participation, but I don't think it's realistic or even possible to disengage fully from it because manipulation is encoded in our DNA. The truth is I don't think it's all bad. I manipulate my friends in that I act in specific ways to cause specific reactions in them such as expressing something more gentle if I find that they'll be more receptive. I had a co-worker who I became very good friends with, and our boss was honestly a con man. I wanted my friend to not fall victim to his deceit and deal with the financial repercussions because he has student loans and other debts he's responsible for. I did directly warn him, but I knew our boss for over five years at that point. I could travel his mind and predict exactly how he'll be deceptive and the consequences it'll have on us. But I knew my friend would completely reject the details despite its accuracy. So instead I slowly provided details to keep him aware and focused on our boss' tendencies and habits. I essentially influenced and managed his reaction.

The truth is I'm intelligent and socially aware enough to take that skill and apply it in morally-compromising circumstances, but I choose not to. I can't separate myself from my misdeeds. So no matter how much I want something, I won't enjoy it if I obtained it deceptively and I want to enjoy my rewards. Feeling so connected to everything, I hate playing the game because I feel what I orchestrated, what I caused artificially and externally, knowing that without my "play", he would've acted very differently.

The more I play, the more I see. I've become desensitized by my frustrations probably as a defense mechanism. I don't have the energy to get upset every single time. I've discovered that people say dishonest things all the time as a way to be safely indirect and discreet, while obtaining the knowledge they desire. It's harmless, but it's unnecessary. What's worse is the more I recognize it, the heavier the dishonesty becomes. A hundred small lies will begin to weigh on me like one big lie because deception has energy. I don't like being exposed to it, but the truth is I am whether I'm aware of it or not. Knowledge is power.

A guy at my local Sprint store was checking me out. I can sense it. I went in there with a friend of mine, and it was evident that he and I were involved. We weren't showing displays of affecion, but you can tell by the way we interacted and talked to each other. The representative was perceptive and intelligent enough to know this. When I returned for a different reason alone, he asked if I just got off the phone with my ex after I talked to my dad... Then he said, "Oh that's right, you said you and your boyfriend broke up right?" Uhhhhhh no. I didn't have a boyfriend to break up with, and I certainly never divulged such details to someone I only met twice. Or at least that's what I'm thinking. I gave him a simple no. To test out my suspicion that it was a strategic tactic, I elaborated that I didn't have a boyfriend to break up with. After all everything has energy. So if he got the answer he wanted out of me, I'd sense it which I did because I was playing the game. He apologized and said it must've been someone else. Yeah right....

People do small shit like that all the fucking time! There are bigger things to be concerned with, but I'm a Pisces. I feel a lot and even small things burden me. So it frustrates me.

My friend said that most guys don't admit what they actually feel, say what they mean, and it's a rare guy who's honest and direct about them. I think that's a human trait. But for all intense and purposes, I'm relating this to guys because that's what's relevant in my situation. So her statement applies and I agree on general terms. I was both blessed and cursed to be exposed to someone honest, and we remain friends. It's gratifying to know that that kind of honesty does exist, but it also makes it frustrating because that's far more likely to be an isolated incident.

When people lie to us and we blindly trust them, we get hurt. We're defenseless against the truth and deceit. That's why it's imperative to develop our intuition because it's meant to protect and guide us. It sucks to question someone's honesty especially when you're intimate, romantic, and sexual with that person. But never disregard those suspicions. Explore them. It could be baseless paranoid or it could be that your intuition is trying t warn you, but take the time to discover where it's coming from. It's so important. With people lying left and right, learning to play the game and recognizing the signs makes sense. The more exposed you are, the better armed you are against it.

Of course it's ideal to find a guy who doesn't do that. But I really think it's not realistic. If we disposed of every guy who demonstrated some form of dishonesty or playing the game, nothing menaingful could develop. Guys like the chase, the drama, the ups and downs. Society creates this perception that it's exclusive to women, but guys like adventure and conquership. It's boring once a guy's obtained you that he needs the excitement of playing the game even after he's in it.

This reminds me of something a friend of mine posted on facebook. We bonded a lot over matters of honesty, life, love, all those types of things. She and I share a very similar perspective. What she posted I agree with so deeply, but it came with a saddening epiphany. Because we feel the way we do and since it's such an unpopular and incompatible perspective, I believe it'll be harder for us to find someone than others. Not that it'd be impossible, but we'll experience more challenges and difficulties. She said it didn't make sense to her to play the game, manipulate, and chase because that means she's running away from the one person she wants to be near. I absolutely agree with her! But again guys like the chase. Since we find it disigenuous and illogical, we're less likely to do it and most guys will probably dislike it. Lucky us... It's inconvenient, but we can either do something we dislike or be genuine.

I'm choosing to not to define a permanent decision. Sometimes I'll resist or refuse to actively participate in playing the game. Other times I'll engage. Right, wrong, immoral, compromising, who knows. That's too subjective to make such a generalized statement because every situation is different.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

My Subconscious Speaks to Me

I have quite a few thoughts I'd like to express, but I find myself rather unmotivated to elaborate on them. The danger of withholding these information is that these thoughts take up space when my mind should be freer. So I decided out of all the topics I want to address this is an appropriate selection. My subconscious thoughts. My subconscious speaks to me through my dreams, which must mean that I'm not dealing with them properly or at all in my waking life.

I used to remember most of my dreams and they were rather vivid, so vivid that some people doubted my honesty. But as you get older, people become more receptive and open-minded to things. We may become more hardened and distrustful with the added layers of betrayal that unfortunately comes with time, but we stop being so narrow-minded, too. Things begin to have dimensions and complexities. But I digress....

My point is that for a long while I've forgotten my dreams until lately. Now I don't recall any recurring dreams, but the same person keeps surfacing within my dreams. It was a guy I was involved with but we were never together. We spent three years as somewhat distant friends.

Let me elaborate. We worked together and saw each other only once a week. We fully immersed ourselves in extensive emails when we did communicate, but we didn't talk to each other regularly. We had our own separate lives and aside from our professional connection, our lives didn't intertwine except for the email interactions which were actually really deep. It's interesting because it was clear we liked each other and put a lot of effort into each other but only when we did. We did that for three years before we finally got involved.

It was discussed thoroughly and we had an understanding that it wasn't a relationship. Later I discovered it's because although he wanted to be with me, he didn't have the time. Next thing you know he moved. I know there were reasons beyond his control, but I felt like he was able to make those decisions effortlessly as though I were never a factor. And if what we had was a casual encounter that makes sense. His residence fluctuates. Currently he's local but that'll change shortly until he returns here again.

With all this going on, I made the decision to end things. As much as I liked him, it felt like we were just floating and suspended in midair, never really going anywhere. I'm not really sure what I had in mind. All I knew before anything got started was that I clearly liked him and couldn't see those feelings go away. Three years! So I, we, felt that they should be explored and we did. Not that I was ever completely satiated romantically anyways, but for a while it worked. Eventually I realized I wasn't getting what I wanted out of it, and that's why I ended things. It was never because I stopped liking him.

In fact, I've had premonitions of our unborn children. As receptive as he's always been and despite the fact that he was the one who was always there for me as I struggled with premonitions, I felt burdened by what I saw and kept them from him only to discover that he's sensed the spirit of our children. I vaguely sensed our son but I suppressed him. He didn't. Life is full of surprises.

I really want to meet our daughter, but I can't base on my present choices on future possibilities. I want more from someone I'm intimate with than he can offer me. I also met someone else I really like, and I don't want anyone to think that he's rebound because he's so much more than that. Also, the fact that I was able to like someone else shows how amazing he is. But all of this is so complicated.

Anyways I've had dreams with this guy where we're in a car and he's going down on me, but it isn't a regular car. Instead of there being seats, we actually knee down and there's something in front of us that goes up to our chest that keeps us from moving forward. He went under me. I also had other people in my dreams. In fact, every dream involved other people, too.

In another dream, I saw him with a huge Afro. It was indoors. The space looked gray and huge. There was a granite counter between us and he just walked passed it and me.

In the most recent dream, I was sleeping on the beach. I had a whole thing to sleep on and everything. I woke up to the police crew which was actually his co-workers. Apparently to the left of me was a dead body buried. I didn't sense anything and didn't realize it until I was well past that area. But when I realized what happened and turned around, I screamed. He immediately went down on his knees. It was almost ritualistic, but he could've known the deceased. I actually might have an idea what that could be about.

These dreams are so obscure that dream dictionary's aren't of much insight. Some obscurities might be revealed. But most of my dreams are interpreted with more depth and clarity. I don't usually need dreams to be aware of what's going on, but that extra echo makes me focus on it more. This is something else. It's unusual. And I'm not sure what to do with it. Lately I haven't been sleeping well, either, unless someone's lying next to me. But I'm not sure how healthy it is or if it's fair to any guy.

Undocumented Thoughts

Hello readers! For a while I was diligent in my posts, but unfortunately I left my laptop at my friend's place and my habit began to slip through me. In fact, I began writing this entry by hand. I have several titles and topic ideas floating around in my mind. I got done encouraging my mom to write by hand since all her many laptops and computers are unable to operate. I have no reason to not do the same.

Things are progressing, deepening, and lightening simultaneously with my friend I have feelings for. I'm really beginning to like him, but our incompatibility is becoming more apparent. On the other hand, I'm learning to overcome my insecurities which is a real progress that I'm proud of. And no matter what happens I'm so grateful for the experience. The last time we were together it was amazing, intimate, beautiful, affectionate, and the kind of experience I'll always remember. When we were together and intimate, I felt closer to him. He said I was beautiful and I feel like he was fully immersed in not just the sexual experience but that experience with me.

Life offers no guarantees, but I want more encounters like that. I'd be lying if I said I didn't have insecurities that things might be coming to a close because we're spending less time with each other, and I find him less affectionate. So much so that when he does something small like stroke my hair and put his hand on mine, I feel a quiet glow growing inside of me whereas before it was an ordinary experience. What I do know is that I'm going to enjoy this experience for what it is.

I have more I want to express, but I'm not sure how appropriate it is to do it where I am. I'm currently on assignment at a temp position. Although I have nothing negative to report. Quite the opposite actually. I think I'm just paranoid from every other place I've worked at. While I haven't been here long and my exposure is too brief to be able to make an informed decision, everyone seems professional, friendly, and mature. I don't feel an absence of office politics out of extreme desperation to conceal it to a fault where anything and everything said can be interpreted as offensive.

I don't feel like this job is interfering, suppressing, or derailing me from my path in life, whatever that is. In theory, an office job has always sounded ideal. A place where my responsibilities are fairly minimal and manageable so that I can read and catch up writing. But it's often frowned upon to go online even when there's absolutely nothing to do. I've even worked at places where I was forbidden to read. So I can't write, read, go online, or do anything that risks temporarily taking my attention away from the infrequent visitors. It really made no sense.

I tend to be cautious when I first begin working somewhere, but a co-worker assured me that I can go online and my boss seems to not have a problem with it. She even lent me her book, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I like that although everyone is professional, they're also personable. I feel like I sometimes lose my identity at an office position, and I want to guard against that. So I created a password that identifies me as a person, not an employee.

I usually hesitate in divulging information about jobs because lately it feels like it doesn't work out, and I'm not proud of how I appear to have a retention problem. I feel like I'm doing well at this job, though. :) I seem to be fitting in well, too. I haven't forgotten what a friend of mine who was originally my manager told me. He recommended that I open up more and not limit how I connect with people by projecting my one-dimensional work personality. With many things I manifest, it takes time especially when it isn't a quick fix sort of situation.

If I want a job, I can manifest that easily. But if I want one that's conducive to me or to eliminate a certain type of energy, that takes a more extensive amount of focus and discipline to manifest. But I feel like I'm making progress. I believe I'll be able to work on writing projects here, which is great because I'm here 8 hours out of the day. Interesting enough, it's a sedentary job that doesn't take much out of me physically or mentally but such an intellectually understimulated environment leaves me dead at the end of the day. I'd rather be productive here and take advantage of the time I have. My mind is clear and receptive.

I work for a CPA firm and it's a temp to hire position. The temporary arrangement is extended until April. Even if I don't stay beyond April, I can take advantage of this opportunity while it's presented. Part of me wants to stay past April because it'd be nice to document a long-term job on my resume for a change. But I'm already experiencing sciatic pain here. Then again, I may have found a remedy. All I have to do is purchase it. It's a homeopathetic remedy that I'm hoping will help me.

I have some concerns about the pain I'm experiencing. It's located on my lower left back below my kidneys. It feels like a pinched nerve. Sometimes the pain spreads to my left buttocks or spreads to the other side of my back. Sitting down really aggravates it. My period seems to trigger it and it lingers. I experience momentary relief until my cycle comes around again. For the past couple cycles, I felt fine. I also experience some discomfort on my lower left stomach area. I feel like the texture changes and feels stiffer during my cycle. I'm not sure what could be the cause. I hear sciatic pain can go away on its own in about 6 weeks. Although I wonder if sitting down is going to prolong the pain. I figure if the pain persists past my birthday, I'll schedule an appointment. Would I visit my primary care physician or gynecologist, though? I wonder...

I also have thoughts about dreams I keep having about someone from my past/present, a conversation I had with my friend about my cultural background, my potential insensitivity that I'll be discreet about, my recent reconnecting with my family, memories of who I was, a conversation I had with my mom, and about my uniqueness I associate with snowflakes. I might just write individual entries about it, though. I also feel like I should take the time to express my insecurities when I'm in a level-headed mood and about the other guy I've been pushing to the back of my mind.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Lessons for the Future

I began texting with a friend who wished me a Happy New Year…..Eve and asked him if he was doing anything special. He responded with it’s all pretty special but I know what you mean. He’s not much for the glamour of things, which I appreciate. I expressed how to me it’s just another year. New Year’s symbolizes something meaningful because of the power we give it, and although it’s beneficial to dedicate a time where we focus and prioritize on our future, it doesn’t mean much to me. It’s true and yet facebook has a way of expanding my train of thought.

For some people, it’s more than just another year to knock off the list and appreciate it as an annual tradition, but it’s truly a meaningful event in their lives. I have friends that have survived divorces and been stronger for it, attended their children’s funeral, and went through some of the most devastating experiences. But they’re changed by it and they’re left feeling empowered and grateful because after a long tedious, struggle, they’ve come out on the other end. They’re finally beginning to feel and understand the value of the pain they had to endure to be where they are today. I’m moved by their experiences just by reading it on their statuses. It’s heartwarming to know that they’ve evolved and grown into more conducive individuals.

My life hasn’t been quite the rollercoaster. I went through a Hellish experience at age 24. Then at age 25, I was recovering from it. At 26, I began processing it. At 27 is when I became receptive and understanding to the lessons. But somewhere along the line, I also became stagnant and under stimulated, which I suppose is understandable considering how intense the past few years have been for me.

I’m now ready to approach 28. I feel like I’ve spent enough time in hiding, contemplation, and recovery. I have no idea what’s in store for me, but I want to take this time to chronicle what I’ve learned. Those things are important to give attention to.

1. Don’t feel bad cutting people out of your life.

This has something I thought I was relatively comfortable with because I haven no problem being honest or direct. But when things aren’t black and white, I find myself floating around and waiting until things become irrefutably unacceptable. During this process I’m making myself vulnerable to it. I try to give people chances and not everyone is blatant in their disrespect. Some people are subtle and cowardly about it.

One of my biggest pet peeves is when people make plans with me and not cancel but just don’t show up at all. It puts me an uncomfortable predicament where I find myself feeling guilty, whiny, and self-entitled because it disrupts my entire schedule. I live in LA, and I don’t drive. I can’t just occupy my time doing something else until you give me a ring and then meet up with you when you call by hopping on the freeway. I don’t have that luxury. But it’s not anyone else’s fault that I don’t drive. So emphasizing it makes me feel bad, but it doesn’t take away from the truth. It’s definitely a factor. Then again, it’s not even a factor that should be brought up.

In the world of texting, you can’t let me know you won’t be able to make it? Sometimes technology goes haywire. So I give the benefit of the doubt and I’ll call, assuming the text didn’t go through. There are times there’s no reception, but calls don’t go straight to voicemail. I yet again make allowances. Then perhaps I’ll try fbing them, but don’t I sound stalkerish at this point? Of course I do!

I’m frustrated with the efforts I have to put in and feeling insecure about my actions. If someone were to describe my behavior, I might understand why this person is being avoided, which of course leads me down a spiraling emotion of inadequacy. The direction I take it is on me, but being put in this position was unfair and I wasn’t alone in it. We all get faced with things we don’t necessarily want to do, and we all indulge in escapism at some point. But we’re adults now.

We’re responsible for our actions. If we don’t want to spend time with certain people, we should be honest and direct about it. What’s worse is I’m not always the one initiating the hang out, making people vulnerable to not telling the truth. These same people who ditch me are the ones that not only talk about making plans, but select the dates themselves. So then I feel guilty when my intuition tells me my friends are lying because I don’t want to think negatively of my friends, and honestly their behaviors are unintelligent. I consider most of them to be bright people.

I basically invest a lot of energy running in circles and not accepting my intuition. I may care about certain people, and I may even miss them. But that doesn’t mean I should continue to make allowances for them. As great as it would be to catch up and have a great time, I’d rather surround myself with genuine and honest people. So it’s okay to stop putting effort into people like this. It’s okay.

2. Things always become more difficult with resistance.

Why is it that we complain about how things are so complicated and difficult, but we, ourselves, behave in a way that sustains it? It’s illogical, but we do it anyways. It’s so innate in us that I don’t think many of us realize how our actions are, at times, the very source of difficulty. We subconsciously do things we aren’t aware of. That can leave us helpless and vulnerable, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to understand it because it’s only through awareness will we be able to correct it.

3. Without effort, there will be no progress.

As an adolescent, I was full of energy that poured out of me in different ways. I was stubborn, resilient, difficult, and persistent. I prided myself on not surrendering or weakening when surrounded by people who only believed in my failure. I was ruthless in my pursuit to prove them wrong. I wasted so much energy into something that I should’ve never given attention to because people who are going to be singleminded and judgmental about me aren’t going to become open-minded because I did what they doubted I could do. In my experience, they become insulted that I proved them wrong. Do I really want the approval of people like that anyways? Not really.

When I finally had that epiphany and I decided to do what I wanted to do, I found myself at a loss. Without others doubting me and being presented with obstacles to overcome, I wasn’t motivated to do much. There was no passion or desire in my actions. I’ve spent so much time trying to find what I want to invest my time that I’m becoming discouraged.

I may be interested in something conceptually, but there aren’t enough details for me to make an informed decision. So then I’m not inclined to put in the extensive amount of effort to explore it. It’s a vicious cycle. What’s a girl to do?

I certainly don’t like it, and I find myself often discouraged. But never have I considered giving up. I take more breaks than I’m proud of to regroup when I feel like I haven’t done much, but I won’t give up, which means I have to keep going. So I have to constantly remind myself that I do all of this because I want to find purpose and meaningful in my life and in my actions. “Without effort, there will be no progress.” However discouraging and put off I am about putting in the effort, it must be done to reach my destination. End of story. No matter how much I despise it and complain about it, it must be done!

4. Make decisions based on my intuition.

First I had to accept that I was experiencing intuition and recognize it for what it is. Then I had to be receptive to it because if I wasn’t, I didn’t know what I was experiencing. I felt this dull, un-definable sense of feeling that plagued me and felt out of place. I couldn’t shake the feeling, either. It became disruptive until it became almost background noise that I got used to.

Now I know what it is. I trust it enough to guide my friends with it. I trust in my ability to be intuitive and accurate. But I still hesitate in executing decisions based on it. It isn’t because I have doubts in my ability; it’s that I take comfort in the familiar. However, my intuition is there to guide me in the right direction. If I ignore it, there are consequences that occur. They keep trying to instill the same lesson in me. Next time listen to avoid this. And that’s what I have to do.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Breathing and Crying Makes Us Human

It’s amazing how we develop habits that are damaging for us. With our superior intelligence, we continue to fail ourselves by neglecting what makes us human. As we get older and become more educated, rather than becoming wiser, sometimes we manage to forget what children naturally know. No matter how hard times get, we should never forget that we’ve been put on this world to experience life as people – as people with feelings and desires.

Fear gets a bad rep because of the damage it causes in people, but that’s only because we damage the function fear’s supposed to serve. Fear is an innate trait in us because it can protect us and keep us alive. Yet we abuse it. We’re fortunate in the animal kingdom to possess higher intelligence AND intuition. But it’s like we’ve extracted all of the negative consequences we can get out of them and wear that and continue to attract and mirror other people who do the same. What kind of shit is that? I mean, really, think about it for a moment.

Crying is seen as weak when really it’s caused by intense emotional experiences. But not every emotional experience is negative. And yet even the good tears are generally responded with people rolling their eyes. Most of us have an involuntary response of resisting or suppressing the act of crying. Crying is a natural reaction, and we’ve developed an unnatural, involuntary defense against it.

I know I have. And lately I’ve been doing it more than I have in a really long while. I usually feel better afterwards, too, but I can’t shake my desperation to keep it all in. Today I came across an article that gave “7 Good Reasons to Cry: The Healing Properties of Tears”. I’ll attach the details at the end of this entry, but I want to get my point across first.

I realized I’m making the same mistake with crying as I did with breathing. I’m about to start sounding special real soon, but it is what it is. I don’t have the best breathing habits, and it does have to do with my past and upbringing. I was exposed to a lot of stress, but I’m an adult now. Aside from the fact that my past is a part of me, I’m no longer in that kind of an environment. But I’ve carried over my negative habits of negligent breathing.

As an adult, I attempted my first breathing exercise. It left me hyperventilating and my pupils became dilated. Apparently my body wasn’t used to that much oxygen that it had the adverse effect much in the same way people who are used to drinking dirt water die from drinking fresh water because extreme changes in exposure has a way of shocking us. Breathing is necessary and beneficial. It’s what keeps us alive. But it’s understandable to deduce that I should eliminate anything from my life that leaves me debilitated.

Obviously, I didn’t give up breathing all together. But it was six or seven years later that I explored breathing meditation again. It was after a good friend of mine found me impressing for being able to reach an altered state of mind through breathing because most people take drugs to get that affect. I guess it was evident in my dilated pupils. I’m not suggesting everyone tries to get a high.

My point is that I single-mindedly eliminated something positive from my life because of one isolated negative experience. I imagine we all do that, and we shouldn’t. When bad things contaminate something good, which is sometimes inevitable, I have to learn to navigate within that stew of emotions. I shouldn’t just avoid it all together.

I do breathing meditations now, but I don’t do it as often as others do. I’m careful and I go slowly. I take breaks. Yes, breaks from breathing. It sounds ridiculous, but it’s better than feeling uneasy, high, and on the verge of passing out. Over time I’ve learned to breathe regularly without experiencing any problems.

Much in the same way, I must learn how to cry and break down the barriers that are keeping me from being human. It’s an uncomfortable feeling and I hate admitting that I’m sad when I can distract and delay the effects as much as possible. But that’s another short-sighted perspective I have to abandon if I want to grow and evolve as a person. When I need a reminder, I have the picture attached to this entry. I was crying and when I got up, I saw that my tears made a heart shape. It's beautiful and it reminds me of what makes me human. It also symbolizes to me that there's beauty in sadness.

7 Good Reasons to Cry: The Healing Properties of Tears

1. Tears help us see.

Starting with the most basic function of tears, they enable us to see. Literally. Tears not only lubricate our eyeballs and eyelids, they also prevent dehydration of our various mucous membranes. No lubrication, no eyesight. Writes Bergman: “Without tears, life would be drastically different for humans — in the short run enormously uncomfortable, and in the long run eyesight would be blocked out altogether.”

2. Tears kill bacteria.

No need for Clorox wipes. We’ve got tears! Our own antibacterial and antiviral agent working for us, fighting off all the germs we pick up on community computers, shopping carts, public sinks, and all those places the nasty little guys make their homes and procreate. Tears contain lysozyme, a fluid that the germ-a-phobic dreams about in her sleep, because it can kill 90 to 95 percent of all bacteria in just five to 10 minutes! Which translates, I’m guessing, to three months’ worth of colds and stomach viruses.

3. Tears remove toxins.

Biochemist William Frey, who has been researching tears for as long as I’ve been searching for sanity, found in one study that emotional tears–those formed in distress or grief–contained more toxic byproducts than tears of irritation (think onion peeling). Are tears toxic then? No! They actually remove toxins from our body that build up courtesy of stress. They are like a natural therapy or massage session, but they cost a lot less!

4. Crying can elevate mood.

Do you know what your manganese level is? No, neither do I. But chances are that you will feel better if it’s lower because overexposure to manganese can cause bad stuff: anxiety, nervousness, irritability, fatigue, aggression, emotional disturbance and the rest of the feelings that live inside my happy head rent-free. The act of crying can lower a person’s manganese level. And just like with the toxins I mentioned in my last point, emotional tears contain 24 percent higher albumin protein concentration — responsible for transporting many small molecules (which has to be a good thing, right?) — than irritation tears.

5. Crying lowers stress.

Tears really are like perspiration in that exercising and crying both relieve stress. For real. In his article, Bergman explains that tears remove some of the chemicals built up in the body from stress, like the endorphin leucine-enkaphalin and prolactin, the hormone I overproduce because of my pituitary tumor that affects my mood and stress tolerance. The opposite is true too. Bergman writes, “Suppressing tears increases stress levels, and contributes to diseases aggravated by stress, such as high blood pressure, heart problems, and peptic ulcers.

6. Tears build community.

In her “Science Digest” article, writer Ashley Montagu argued that crying not only contributes to good health, but it also builds community. I know what you’re thinking: “Well, yeah, but not the right kind of community. I mean, I might ask the woman bawling her eyes out behind me in church what’s wrong or if I can help her, but I’m certainly not going to invite her to dinner.”

I beg to differ. As a prolific crier, especially on video, I always come away astounded by the comments … the resounding support of people I know all that well, and the level of intimacy exchanged among them. Read for yourselves some of the comments on both my self-esteem video and my recent death and dying video and you’ll appreciate my point. Tears help communication and foster community.

7. Tears release feelings.

Even if you haven’t just been through something traumatic or are severely depressed, the average Jo goes through his day accumulating conflicts and resentments. Sometimes they gather inside the limbic system of the brain and in certain corners of the heart. Crying is cathartic. It lets the devils out. Before they wreak all kind of havoc with the nervous and cardiovascular systems. Writes John Bradshaw in his bestseller Home Coming: “All these feelings need to be felt. We need to stomp and storm; to sob and cry; to perspire and tremble.” Amen, Brother Bradford!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Things to Improve

After making it a point to address that I’m not going to emphasize the New Year, I find myself focusing on it more and more with time. But I believe I’m being productive and conducive, so I encourage this process. Unlike New Year’s Resolutions that are too vague to maintain and quickly forgotten, I’m going to create a list of qualities I’d like to improve on. By concentrating on certain habits and how I should correct them, as well as the benefits of improving them, I’m more likely to work on them. I’ll be taking an objective look and incorporating constructive ways to improve them. I’ll not only be productive but by expressing how it’ll improve my quality of life, I’m benefiting from the rewards effect. It’s like a teaser of what’s to come, that feeling of being proud and wanting to keep up the momentum.

1. Stop procrastinating.

Problem: I’ve adopted procrastination at the mature age of 26. With my OCD and absence of procrastination for most of my life, I believed I escaped this plague. How wrong I was! As I began to work on how I manage my stress, I became less tense about ordinary tasks like paying rent and other expenses. Although it’s good to be on time, it’s unhealthy to panic at the idea that I might not make rent. I eventually discovered after having to face those fears that the world doesn’t end when I don’t pay my rent on the first of the month or I’m a little late on my credit bills. I now find myself procrastinating in many areas of my life because I’m able to sustain myself in my current condition.

Solutions: Break the habit! The key to procrastination is to get started. Even if I retreat to my procrastinating habits, I have to transition towards my goal. It’s emotionally liberating and I’ll realize my laziness is unfounded, which over time will reduce my laziness greatly. I began adding positive things I’d like to do on my to-do list, so I’m more likely to reference it and knock down the list. As much as possible, I’ll combine both an enjoyable task with a less pleasant one such as doing the laundry while talking on the phone with a loved one. Things like that. J

2. Stop being so insecure.

Problem: Being insecure is damaging to my self-esteem and I see no benefit in it. It doesn’t motivate me, and I find myself desperate to avoid people who might reveal to me how amazing I truly am. That’s irrational and unfair.

Solution: We’re susceptible to the things we tell ourselves, even and especially through subconscious communication. Our conscious thoughts are echoes of our subconscious minds. So I’m going to take the time to express and appreciate my positive qualities. I spend an unreasonable amount of time denigrating myself, I can and more than deserve a brief amount of praise early in the morning when I rise and right before I retire. When I find myself with free time, it’s also a good opportunity to remind myself of my positive qualities.

3. Don’t look at the worst in others.

Problem: For various reasons, I find myself seeing the worst in others. Sometimes it’s to protect myself emotionally. I’m more guarded if I think negatively of people. I also think the worst in others when I take something out of context to support my beliefs in my adequacies.

Solution: In combination to acknowledging MY positive traits, which include being a good judge of character and surrounding myself with positive people, I’m going to give the same courtesy and remind myself of other peoples’ positive qualities. We all have negative qualities, and I sincerely believe it’s important to be aware of them. However, I become intimately familiar with the negative stuff. It’s now time to know the positive traits. By focusing on their positive qualities, I’ll appreciate them more and get a balanced perspective. It’ll make me realize how silly it is to highlight a small, insignificant detail. And we’ll all be happier for it.

4. Make allowances for peoples’ mistakes.

Problem: I tend to be unforgiving of peoples’ mistakes, as though we aren’t human. I can be unhappy or disappointed by them, but I MUST let it go. I should hold hostage of it, so I have something to scrutinize. It isn’t fair and it does no one any good but cause insurmountable frustration.

Solution: It’s all about incorporating balance. I certainly don’t make excuses for people, but I can afford to make allowances for peoples’ mistakes. Sometimes when we’re moody, we say something that’s inconsiderate and even disrespectable. One statement shouldn’t overpower months’ consistent behavior. Keep that in mind when you’re tempted to emphasize displeasure. The truth is if I stay silent, I gain perspective and realize that it really isn’t that big of a deal. Sometimes I have to remind myself more firmly because I’d prefer disparaging someone and finding relief in it, rather than disciplining myself. But this is about self-improvement. So I MUST overcome my challenges.

5. Develop discipline.

Problem: I dislike authority. But I find that without supervision and no one to monitor me, I procrastinate. The truth is I could’ve made far more progress in the books I want published. In fact it wasn’t until late last year that I gave them considerable thought. And even then, I’ve come up with concepts and titles. Really beginning to write about it is a different story. I don’t want to rely on external sources to complete tasks I, as an adult, should be able to accomplish independently. I MUST develop discipline.

Solution: Get started. No matter how little I actually produce, I MUST put in the time and effort because even a little bit everyday is better than nothing everyday. Eventually the amount of progress developed will increase. I can’t wait around until I’m able to create an adequate amount of results in a short amount of time or else I’ll never get started. My goal is to take the time and write 2 hours everyday.

6. Not exercising.

Problem: It’s so easy to be sedentary. Without motivation or drive to make a change, I find myself immobile. The idea of breaking a sweat is more daunting than the actual result.

Solution: The only way for me to overcome my hesitation of exercising is to get started and prove to myself that the workout isn’t unbearable. Place sneakers and workout clothes by the bed and slip into them every morning. Go outside for a walk. Even something low impact is better than nothing. Once I develop the routine, I can increase the actual amount of exercise I engage in.

7. Stay connected.

Problem: Life has a way of shifting us away from the people we want to stay connected to. Sometimes I lose track of time until I notice a huge gap from the last time I spoke with friends.

Solution: Try to dedicate time to reconnect with friends. Maybe I can reach out over the weekend and weekdays during lunch hour. Wednesdays might be a good day to make contact with people. Or in the beginning of the week, I can plan on reaching people on specific days and follow through with it. I have certain friends I really want to reconnect with. I told them I’d like to see them at least once a month if possible. That would mean the world to me!

I’m sure there are more things I can improve on, but I’m satisfied with my current list.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

A Lil About Me


*I’ve decided (if I remember) to incorporate this “A Lil About Me” entry once a month. I think it’d be fun!

1. If I can have only three things in this world, it’d be food, water, and happiness. J As complicated as I can get, when it comes down to it, I’m a minimalist. I can live off of the requirements for survival and the requirements for wanting to sustain survival. I imagine happiness will also include things like passion, ambition, friendship, altruism, discoveries, etc.

2. Here’s a child oddity I experienced. When I was younger, I wasn’t allowed to have friends over and my family aren’t the most social people, whereas I’m described as so social I’d die if I couldn’t be around people. My grandmother from Japan used to visit by flying first class, and she’d always arrive with many slippers. One day I grabbed all the slippers and placed them throughout my room, blasted the music, and pretended I was having a party…

3. I’ve been told I can be a hand model and would love to try that out!

4. I have an amethyst crystal that’s absolutely stunning and unique. It deep like a cave or a cone and large enough to fit your head into. I’m serious! I have a fb photo album labeled “The Coolest People Ever” with their heads inside the crystal. A gorgeous, vivid purple and what a beauty it is!

5. My favorite charity organizations are Habitat for Humanity, Haitian Foundation, and Heifer Foundation.

6. I prefer books to movies because I’m incredibly strategic and analytical that I can usually predict a movie accurately. Since I’m not that mentally stimulated and provided with all the details, I’m able to focus on my thoughts and formulate the outcome. With a book, even if I can predict the outcome, it’s more dynamic and it keeps me interested. I appreciate the vocabulary used, the simple but beautiful way words strung together, surprised by how a simple statement is expressed unusually, and I use my own imagination to create the reality a book portrays. I can be exceptionally imaginative and vivid. I’m also able to follow things at my speed. If I’m temporarily distracted from a movie, I can usually catch up by a movie version of skimming books and stringing plots together. But a detachment definitely forms. No matter how many times I put a book down, it never seems so abrupt because my imagination tethers everything together more concretely than a movie where I wasn’t involved in its creation.

7. I really want to decorate my bath tub with the word “Be-YOU-tiful”. I read that quote somewhere and find it to be incredibly inspiring and empowering. Over time I wouldn’t consciously acknowledge its presence, but it’ll have such a positive impact on me. I think it’s great for every woman to have.

8. I’ve never been much of a beauty whore. I’ve experimented with being a makeup junkie in high school but found myself quickly losing interest. As an adult, I find myself enjoying clothes that flatter my figure such as skinny jeans, pencil and tulip skirts, tops that cinch to enhance my curve, coats that flare out, tops that are long to create length, etc. But most of my money goes towards food! No, I’m not fat. That isn’t why I don’t make beauty a priority. I appreciate feeling attractive, but I believe it should be natural. Waking up early to make myself up doesn’t seem natural, but I have to wear clothes. So I’m selective in what I wrap around my body.

9. I’ve never really enjoyed shopping. I like online shopping. No long lines or fitting rooms. People are surprised by how my clothes seem to be made for me. There are websites that indicate the measurements for bust, waist, hip, all of it. That kind of precision can be more valuable than trying on clothes that may or may not fit. Although lately I’ve come to appreciate thrift stores like Goodwill cuz they’re unbelievably cheap and impressively organized. Rather than paying fines, people do community service by organizing the store. And a lot of people get parking and speeding tickets, so these stores are often impeccable. I can quickly find my size or determine if I’m wasting my time. And there’s rarely a line for the fitting room. It isn’t at all a dirty trashy place I feared it to be when I was younger. And if you go to the ones near rich areas, you’ll find many clothes with the original tag still on!

10. Everyone seems to have found that one song they complete relate to. I haven’t found mine. A Mexican friend of mine said there’s a type of music called baracha which is sort of like romantic, emo type songs, and one particular song reminds him of me. But he refuses to share the details! It’s about a woman who gets premonitions and sings something along the lines of if only you knew how I felt for you, if you only knew what I saw….

11. I’d like to paint a “bed frame” on my way. I want it to be an Arabian door with inspirational words written in Braille. I think it’d be cool.

12. I’ve always been more drawn to go to Asia than Europe because I felt like I’d experience more in Asia. Not because I’m Asian, so I believed to relate with it more. Quite the opposite, in fact. I feel that the more foreign an experience is, the more intense it is. I thought I’d learn more in Asia. I have a lot of European friends who have told me that I have a lot of European philosophies, so I should travel to Europe. Ever since I’ve been told that, I feel like maybe Europe can be a place where I can identify myself with others. I know I’m not the only person who feels the way I do, but that’s how it seems sometimes and it makes me feel lonely.

13. I think it’s dumb to spend so much money on a wedding ring because if you lose it, you’re screwed! And why pour so much money into a single material possession? If I marry someone it’ll be because I want to spend my life with him. What better way to build our future than use that money to buy a house or travel and share meaningful experiences? Isn’t that what life is all about? Or at least that’s what I think.

14. I really want to make my own chakra wand. J

15. I fall into food love with guys! But it lasts as long as Kim Kardashian’s marriages. A guy gives me free food at the farmer’s market or hooks me up with a free appetizer, and it immediately goes on fb! Something along the lines of “I’m going to marry the Luigi’s boy for always giving me extra chips!” or “I’m in love with that guy who makes greens and ham hocks.” You can’t exploit that in hopes I’ll fall for you. It doesn’t work! Sorry dudes…

16. My current random thought: I think canning jars are seriously undervalued. People pour so much money into cups, glasses, Tupperware, and other dishes that canning jars can adequately fulfill. You can use it to drink beverages, store food since it’s healthier than plastic or metal, is great cuz it’s more space efficient than Tupperware, less issues with lids, can be used to pickle, and even to store dried goods or function as a vase. They’re so often overlooked. You can use it to store all sorts of things. Flours, sugar, buttons, sewing supplies, pencils, or even homemade beauty products like bath oils and bath salts. You can make homemade gifts in it, too. There are so many possibilities. They’re affordable and durable! It’s also easy to heat up, too.

17. I think one of the best things I’ve heard recently was from a friend of mine who said she has three sisters, but I fulfill that sisterly feeling in her. That meant the world to me!

18. I was a spelling bee champ, but my vocabulary doesn’t reflect how advanced my knowledge of spelling is. Quite a bit of people have expressed frustration over my “advanced” vocabulary which frankly depresses me because I’ve been tested, and sadly it was revealed that I have the vocabulary level of a sixth grader… I’m sure if I retake the test, my performance wouldn’t change much. I read a lot more and put an effort into learning new vocabulary. But the truth is I don’t remember them, so I recycle the same words I’ve always used.

19. The two most effective ways to keep me hostage is with food and books. When I go to a person’s house, I immediately like to see what kind of food and spices are in their kitchen and their book collections.

20. I procrastinate when it comes to craft projects. I think it’s rooted from my sense of creative inadequacy. There are a lot of things I think I’m terrible at – snowboarding, for instance. I should never be allowed to go. Every time I go, I either bruise or break my tailbone. Most people develop a sense of balance, but I never mastered it and I experience severe injuries. It’s never stopped me from doing it. I’m an intelligent person, but I’m unskilled at a lot of things – rock climbing, bowling, playing pool, many forms of exercise, ballet, zumba, karaoke, video games, chess….but it’s never prevented me from participating. Crafts, on the other hand, I avoid. I’ll let an entire day pass as I feel physical pain from boredom and still refuse to start the many, many craft projects I’m interested in trying.

I Don't Know When I'll See You

Here’s an example of my insecurities running rampant. I spend most of my time with this guy I’m seeing. It’s also become routine. I don’t mean that in a boring, predictable way but seeing each other is no longer something we plan; it’s something we do naturally. When he has to leave for work, he confirms if I’m staying at his place and asks me if I want him to pick something up. He’s comfortable with me at his place. He calls me everyday and we keep in touch.

Not much has suggested that we’ll part ways any time soon, and yet the simple sentence “I don’t know when I’ll see you,” has filled me with insecurities. He wanted to give me some food, but I wanted to go to the library and didn’t feel like lugging it around. So he offered to hold onto it for me.

I texted him when the library was closed simply to share. I wasn’t trying to hunt for a ride or anything especially since he was probably long gone from my area, but he immediately calls me back to let me know he’ll come and pick me up. That way I can take the food with me. He says, “I don’t know when I’ll see you.” Is it that much of a mystery? We see each other so often that I would’ve assumed I’d get the food not long after.

Usually I’ll make it a point to address questionable statements like this, but after a considerable amount of time, I FINALLY learned that it doesn’t go over very well. No one likes being presented with that. If I’m looking too into it, the recipient takes offense. If there’s truth to it and I recognize it immediately, the recipient becomes unnerved which makes perfect sense. When you’re trying to eliminate someone out of your life, it’s probably because you want to create some sort of distance. An extensive conversation is unwelcomed. And more than likely, it won’t appease me.

I did notice that statement right away, but I didn’t investigate it. I wonder if it’s because deep down inside I knew I didn’t want to know the answer, that I’m not ready to hear the truth. Could it be that I’m finally learning to not indulge in my insecurities? As much as I wish that were true, it seems unrealistic. Whatever the truth may be, only time will tell. No amount of obsessing over a mere seven words will reveal the truth only time can present.

I can be incredibly single-minded. It’s the end of the year. Instead of partying, he works and makes loads of money. He usually calls me after he gets off work, but I’ve practically been living at his place now. And a few times we fell asleep on his incredibly tiny couch, both of us. The next evening he said that he wants to go to sleep but if I want to watch TV that he’ll chill with me. We’ve only spent a couple hours resting on the bed. I imagine work was more brutal than normal, too.

Those reasons make it more than understandable why he may not have called. On the opposite end of the argument, it’s never kept him from calling before. Then again, these reasons don’t have to exist for him to not call. Things happen. It’s a waste of time and energy for me to get this worked up. I tried to ignore my concerns, but it just made it worse. I tend to tell people to address their insecurities, in order to eliminate them. That’s what I’m trying to do here. I want to put it into perspective.

It could’ve been a pre-meditative statement or it could’ve simply meant he genuinely doesn’t know when he’ll be able to see me. He doesn’t want it to take up room at his place. The truth is if it was pre-meditative, then it’s over. The last thing I should be doing is giving attention to something that’s been terminated. If I’m making a big deal out of nothing, that’s even worse because there’s no validity behind my obsession.

Instead of feeling better, I’m actually getting that nervous feeling. That weird, unpleasant sensation below my skin. Last time I felt that way I thought a guy wasn’t interested in being a relationship with me, which was untrue. Obviously that situation is different, but I want to remind myself that things aren’t always what I think they are. Thinking of it gave me a sense of relief.

The message I want to leave myself with is that I can’t change my train of thought over night. It takes time, but I want to change them. So when these negative thought patterns develop, I shouldn’t ignore them because then they’ll never leave. But addressing them shouldn’t become a tactic to engage! It should be to rid myself of them. And sometimes that means accepting that I won’t know no matter how desperate I am to uncover the truth, and no amount of obsessing will change this reality. Also, obsessing won’t bring me closer to the truth. I really should be more productive with my thoughts, time, and efforts.

What Do I Want Most of All?

Something dawned on me. I have a lot of thoughts, epiphanies, opinions, desires, ambitions, opportunities I don’t care about, missed opportunities, regrets, laughs, friends, clothes, etc etc. You get the idea. I’m plagued with excess, and it leaves me unfocused and cluttered. It’s taking its series of tolls on me. It used to make me feel overwhelmed until I adapted and became numb to them. Nowadays I feel empty because all this excess gives an illusion of abundance, as though it’s fulfilling in some way when it really isn’t.

For someone who’s so good at attention to detail, I’m not too great at focusing on the right attention. And sometimes the way to find the details is in stepping back. If something isn’t natural to me, it may take me decades before I become receptive to it, let alone be able to understand or execute it. Fortunately for me, I’m inquisitive by nature and passivity, if I do ever incorporate it, is temporary.

Lately I’ve been asking myself this specific question, “What do I want most of all?” My first and most important answer is to have emotional security, a sense of confidence in myself. I’m such a paradox. When I was younger, people would tell me they thought at first glance I’m a self-absorbed, egotistical, confident bitch. I’m so far from that, but I suppose it’s a façade I created. I began to emulate what I wanted and to an extreme.

Few people know how truly insecure I am and how much I doubt myself. I guess readers of this blog have a greater insight than some of my closest friends. It’s easy to pretend I’m confident. I get attention, and I have such an influential energy about me that few people ever oppose me. Any basic psych textbook can tell you the signs of a confident person is someone who walks tall and proud, back arched, head high up, smile, interact, make your presence known, and talk with a tone that’s firm, rather than quiet, meek, or indecisive.

A lot of people know this, but most people aren’t in control of their subconscious acts. I’m not saying that I have a greater sense of awareness. Not only would that be incredibly arrogant but also unintelligent. How can I measure my subconscious behavior? It’s subconscious! But I have consciously put in A LOT of effort portraying the signs of confidence. I used to look at girls who appeared confident and tried to copy their walk. I discovered the best way for my body to elongate, make my back sit so to speak where my back was properly arched and I consciously practiced the other traits. I have OCD, so it was easy to stay on track. I would tell myself, “smile, smile, smile, smile, God damn it, SMILE!!!” Things like that until it became natural.

I never let anyone in on my insecurities, so relationships were always the ones that suffered because in situations like that, you’re always exposed. I’m unable to expertly conceal myself by masquerading to be the exact opposite. It’s not fair to the person I’m involved with. It’s always been a problem but one that hardly arises as I rarely met anyone I was interested in getting involved with. My circumstance now just highlights this problem I’ve been ignoring for years. I don’t want to fix this for external reasons; I want it for myself.

The truth is I don’t think I realized how severe it was until now. It’s always been important to me to be a good friend who someone can open up to and trust. The energy I give off is the energy I attract and vice versa. I want to be aware of this, so I can exude positive energy. And there’s nothing positive about suppressing paralyzing insecurity and doubt that eats away at me like a poison I camouflage from the rest of the world. Energy is subliminal. It doesn’t pick up on my behavior but what’s inside of me, and this isn’t what I want to release into the universe.

When something can be interpreted positively or negatively, I reject any positive possibilities and always resort to the negative outcome. Sometimes I’m completely blinded to positive signs or will go as far as discarding it to maintain the consistency that the negative perspective carries. My mind is so strategic and processes information so quickly that it took me years to catch up to it and a lot of people pointing to my error of thought. The problem is not many people can navigate in my mind, so I ignored the statements that came my way as false input. I use negative statements people say out of error or anger, which we all do and use it as an anchor to keep me from being swept away in the moment.

I want to change. I want to just smile back without being suspicious. I want to be able to accept a compliment about my looks without my mind jumping to criticizing someone’s taste or inability to multi-task because there’s another girl more pretty right next to me. I want to apply for that job I know I can do well without experiencing feelings of inadequacies or feeling like I’m being deceptive and manipulative when I convince myself to give me that job because I’m convinced I’ll fail epically. I want to pursue something and move to the next stage, rather than staying where I am out of fear that I won’t perform well in a new environment. I want to be able to do things on my own for the experience, rather than hiding away from the idea of being rejected if I ask others and they have better things to do. I want to focus on my strengths, rather than my weaknesses. I want to embrace my strengths and practice them without guilt because I have weaknesses. I want to know my flaws and weaknesses, so I can strengthen them or know how to overcompensate with my stronger qualities.

Sometimes I’m shocked by the confidence and credit people give themselves. I think to myself, “No way you’re good enough for that!” Sometimes I’m right, sometimes I’m wrong. But does it really matter? It’s a toxic thought process. I’ve always been a firm believer that mistakes teach us more than always doing things right and offers us more meaningful experiences.

Yet I’m terrified of taking a chance because of the possibility that I’ll make a mistake. Rarely do I ever initiate things on my terms where a mistake occurs. Mistakes just happen around me and I’m effected by it. A lot of times it may not even be entirely my fault, but I accept the blame because I feel I deserve it since my contributions led to it, despite my objections or my intuition that indicate I’m wiser than how I’m being portrayed.

I could never understand girls who used to stare in front of the mirror for hours giving attention to their flaws. Just knowing I had them was so unbearable that I didn’t have the strength to face them or give them my time. Instead I immersed myself in such an effective distraction that I was sufficiently occupied. What I didn’t know then is how the feelings were still there and without removing them, they’d become systemic and contaminate me immeasurably.

It’s becoming harder to conceal my insecurities. I’m losing interest in maintaining my façade, but I have no desire to surrender to these beliefs, either. So I exist in this perpetual state of conflict that overwhelms me as life passes me by. I want to stop being so insecure because for me that’s my key to happiness. Insecurity is the brake that prevents me from truly enjoying life.