Making room

Today of all days I needed the ocean. With such bad news rolling in, I crave my daily beach walk more than I can even express. It’s like a gnawing hunger that never quite disappears, even though it recedes here and there – rather like the tides that are now achingly far away.

I totally messed up, as usual, and I can only hope that the wreckage my life is now, is just making room for something better. Lots of people are in similar or worse circumstances, with little to fall back on,  no margin for error, no one to really call for help.

How funny that I thought I was making the right decisions, doing the right things, but now nothing is right. Like paddling around on what looks like a calm blue sea, and realizing when you hit the shore, that it was actually a massive wave you were riding – as you slam into the sobering, unforgiving sand.

SOTD
In The Heat of the Moment – Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds
Somewhere On A Beach – Dierks Bentley
Buy Me A Boat – Chris Jansen
Beethoven’s 5th
Smalltown Boy – Bronski Beat
Craving You – Thomas Rhett feat Maren Morris
Broken – Lifehouse
Black Sheep – Gin Wigmore
Left Hand Free – alt-J
Kiss You Tonight – David Nail

 

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Blue dreams

I miss living closer to the water. Needed this today:

Lady Washington

SOTD
No Roots – Alice Merton
Bruises – Chairlift
All On Me – Devin Dawson
You Got It All – The Jets

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Creatures of habit

There’s something to be said for persistence, and keeping at something until you master it. We are absolutely creatures of habit, oh yes, and sometimes things take a lot of practice. And yet, that persistence doesn’t always pay off; sometimes it’s a thin line between innovation (the lightbulb after 10,000 failures), or disaster. What is the separation between working hard and hoping it will work out, and just insanity for still trying.

Sachet recipe for April:
Rosemary, mint, basil, and rose petals

Recipe for Matcha Energy Balls that I saw on FB:

1/2 cup raw cashews
1/4 cup raw walnuts
1 cup pitted dates
1 Tbsp honey or maple syrup
1 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa/cinnamon
1Tbsp matcha powder
pinch of salt

Basically mix it all up in a blender or food processor and make yummy balls out of it. There are a zillion ingredients variations, these are only suggestions. It’s the time of year for mixing things up and trying something new!

SOTD
Just Say Yes – Snow Patrol
My Type – Saint Motel

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A magic 8 ball

All day long, trembling at the edge of distress, and pulling back. That sensation of high sensitivity and sensory overload; and yet I did most everything I needed to, even though it was challenging. I’d almost prefer to have a panic attack and get it over with, instead of hovering on the edge all the time. Almost a month without weed now, and anxiety levels are back to running… high.

It was pouring rain and blowing hard today, and nothing feels right, I’m restless, bored, and ready to do something wild, I’m just not sure what. To address it I did some sewing, coloring, scrapbooks/photo albums, cleaning, laundry, a bike ride, gym class, and thought a lot about what I want to do next. I’m never sure if I enjoy or don’t, these moments of in between, not quite knowing what’s coming.

SOTD

Restless – Elton John
Abandon – Dare

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The fundamental interconnectedness of all things

I’ve been reading a book that makes some very interesting points about human connection. What’s fascinating is the concept of connection as they present it: Do we really feel lonely and craving an emotional or romantic connection, or is it just connection in general that we need?

Looking around, it makes perfect sense to me, especially in a broader, societal context. For so many, how different would their lives and trajectories be if they had great connections?

In our current political climate of egregious greed and violent divisiveness, connections are more important than ever. Reach out to a stranger, smile at someone who needs it – everything truly is connected, and your tiniest actions can have a mighty impact, with endless ripples. Make them good ones.

Much love always to Dirk Gently for the inspiration. XOXO

Book recommendation for today: Humans of New York

SOTD
Connected – Stereo MC’s
Always Love – Nada Surf

 

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Hurts so good

What in life is as satisfying as doing something you’ve wanted to do, but weren’t sure that you could? I checked the 5k run off my personal challenge list today, and had such fun doing it that I signed up for 4 more this summer. Remind me to stretch after the next ones, and maybe do some training first. I’m in pretty good shape that I can run the whole thing without ever doing it before, but I was slow AF.

This was a great one to start with, since people wore crazy costumes, and we got breakfast and mimosas afterwards. My friend didn’t show up, which was a bummer, but I powered through on my own, with a great playlist. What a great feeling to be able to run the entire distance without walking at all. I had a rush when I finished, and it was worth the getting up before dawn and getting all jacked on allergy medicine, and for the muscle soreness I feel now. I wish people weren’t so busy, and I weren’t so introverted – it would be wonderful to have company for these fun activities.

SOTD

Hurts So Good – John Cougar Mellencamp

 

 

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Solid illusion

I never thought I would be able to read the same way again after some of the drugs that were prescribed for me. What a relief to fully have my books back again, to be able to plow through 500 pages in a day, lost in another world. At one point, I started to make a list of all the books I could remember reading – a challenge at best, and more so when my brain felt so pharmaceutically shattered. I would go to the library and look for the familiar, check them out and add them to the list. As always though, some asshole had to attack what they didn’t understand and internally I retreated fast and far, before I could even vocalize what was happening. Old habits die hard, and mine were taught so deeply, so painfully, it’s no wonder.

My older 5 year old sister was surprised when I started reading before her, but it was a compulsion, a competition, and a fascination that became permanent. When life was unbearable, books were a haven and a blessed escape, and I would find hiding spots and just camp out with a stack. Even now, when I have rough days or tough times, I instinctively head to the library or book store, or to my own dependable stacks. Then to bed, with tea and a tottering pile of heaven from authors near and far – what magic the written word can create. Solid illusions that linger for days, years.

I just read a book that I couldn’t put down. I picked it up, it immediately felt right, like a kindred spirit I was waiting to meet all this time, and I read the whole 500+ pages in one fantastic day. I needed it badly, despite how well things are sort of going. When I feel alone, isolated, abandoned all over again, with bullies and aggressive men everywhere, books like this one are miraculous salvation. Would that I could create something half that wonderful.

This is some of the agony of a creative life; the struggle to find work that supports you financially, while leaving you some mental energy for the creative processes. It’s one reason I fantasize about a farm, as growing things and doing chores leaves ample room for the mind to wander, explore plot lines, characters. The writing class is helping immensely though, especially since it’s held in my favorite bookstore, the one I considered getting married in, to the sweet yuppie who never understood the poetic perfection of the idea. Glad I bailed on that idea, even if it has seemed to mean that I’m alone forever.

With books like these though, I feel a lot better, less stranded on an island of pain and confusion. It gives me hope that one day I could publish, see the thrill of my words printed on a page even if it’s only for me, or – gasp – actually make a living with writing, as so few are able to do. You never know.

Even if life is messy, I can always read, and then write the happy endings I want to see. That is magic, more than some ever get.

SOTD
The Radio – Vince Gill
Parachute – Chris Stapleton
Pilot of the Airwaves – Charlie Dore

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Moving at speed

The joy of vacation days; it’s divine to have paid time off, I’m so grateful. Even though I can’t use cannabis, I’m doing other things to get my stress level down; walking, biking in the sunshine, class at the gym, my writing class, going to a couple of museums (Portland Art Museum and World of Speed), and teaching myself to crochet. I even splurged a little on a new book and pinup/rockabilly dress, and then I made the tiny mistakes of: Checking my work phone, reading the news, and taking the ACE test or Adverse Childhood Experiences test. My score was only a 5, which is pretty good, but I didn’t really need that reminder of what my odds are.

For many reasons, I’m completely struggling with not having a car, it makes me super sad. First world problem, I know, but holy crap I work and work, and I’ve had at least one job since I was 11, often 2 or three, but life keeps getting more and more expensive and it’s hard not to panic or just give up and do something crazy like throw everything away. If I didn’t have this amazing living situation, I don’t know what I would do, and now my pay is going to go down with this new job – so will my stress, but – I don’t know how to actually get ahead. I could save every penny, not go out or do much, but what kind of life is that? I’m pretty frugal, for example, my new dress was $15 on Amazon, and I am good at finding the deals, but I’m just not sure where to go next, or what to do. At all. It’s unnerving, I’m tired but hyper, and my heart hurts.
Update: One of our staff called me at home since she didn’t know I was on vacation and she was worried. So much love.

SOTD
Blue on Black – Kenny Wayne Shepherd
Lie To Me – Jonny Lang
Blurry – Puddle of Mudd
Lay Low – Josh Turner
High – Sir Sly
Simple Song – The Shins
Believe – Mumford and Sons
Lonely Town – Brandon Flowers

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Don’t Wait Up

One of the best things about having such a wild CV, is that I can switch careers or jobs pretty much at will – and it’s well past time for a change. The sucky part is having to stop using cannabis due to drug testing – hello panic attacks and anxiety from hell – but how exciting to do something new. This job was only supposed to be temporary, but I got sucked in for longer than I expected. But now, oh yes, interesting things are coming.

In direct opposition to my intellectual family, I have turned out to love arts and trades; that’s pretty funny. I discovered also that working behind a computer¬† in an office full of bitchy women is a special kind of hell. I love the computer for writing, but since I have to work, I much prefer to be doing something tangible with my hands, especially if I can build or fix something. I’ve been talking to a super cool hiring manager about my trades experience, and I was tentatively offered a job (great work ethic = other departments see it, yay!). If that doesn’t work out, I see a school program or two that would help, and I have a backup job to tide me over and get me out of the high stress nonsense I am currently in. Wahooooo.

Not sure yet what to do about a car, but that’s one main reason I live in the city; it’s easy to get around without one. Mostly. Instead, I signed up for motorcycle training, and I think I’ll see what kind of bike I can afford. I learned on a Gold Wing, and rode a Ninja for a while, but never had an endorsement on my license, never was insured, and never transferred the Ninja to my name. Now I decided to do it the proper way, and we’ll see what happens.

In other good news, my writing class is rocking, the naturopathic, holistic treatments are slowly helping, even though the lavender pills make me burp lavender, but no one is close enough to care, lol. My new paintings are keeping me entertained, I think I’m losing weight, I’ve been reading a lot of great books and articles, my Gravity blanket is glorious, and I’m super excited for the job change so I can get some of my life back and not be so mentally exhausted all the time. Bonus is that my doctor ordered me to only work 40 hours a week instead of 50, so I start a little later, TG. And now that I paid the tuition, I’m in a constant state of what feels like foreplay-type excitement, waiting to get on a motorcycle again. It’s been way, way too long -outside of the brief ride with my roofing buddy last summer.

What a long, brutal battle it’s been. It’s not easy to get to the point where you want to kill yourself, but coming back from a serious attempt is even harder. It will be 8 years this summer, and god I just wish no one else would ever have to feel that agonizingly awful – it’s beyond words. Back then, I got the tarot tower and death cards right before my life imploded/exploded, and interestingly enough, I’m getting similar readings now, but with more warm and fuzzy energy. Fingers crossed.

SOTD
Don’t Wait Up – Robert DeLong
Here She Comes Again (DJ Antonio remix) – Royksopp
Kiss This – The Struts
Feel, feat. Sena Sener – Mahmut Orhan
Be Mine – Offenbach
Rebuild – Barenaked Ladies

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Woman on a bench

Late evening, walking through downtown after class on my way to the train. I could hear her from quite a ways away, so I was already prepared. Coming around the corner there she was, a disheveled homeless woman sitting on a bench in the park and loudly, verbally fighting some invisible demons. She was alternating between rage and tears, so I sat down on another bench near her and just waited. When she finally focused on me, I don’t know why I was compelled but all I said was “Hi Beautiful.” And she lit up like a Christmas tree.

I wasn’t there that long, maybe 15 minutes, but it was long enough to see a couple of police officers approaching, who turned around and walked away when they saw me give her a hug – her tears on my shoulder and my sadness for a society that considers people disposable nuisances. No matter what my feelings or possible judgement is about her situation, it doesn’t change anything, nor is it my place. I was merely present in a way that seemed to help at the time. Before I left, running to catch the inbound train, I took off the little charm necklace I was wearing and pressed it into her hand with a quick whispered message of hope. She covered her face and sobbed for a moment, blessed me as she accepted it. I could do without the religious blessing, but the sentiment was sweet, and omg, I do understand being crashed out and fighting to survive, even if my version is somewhat different.

It was the kind of moment I wished someone would have done for me when I was crashing hard up on the island. People can be unnecessarily shitty sometimes, especially in regards to mental health issues.

The song today has been stuck in my head, because really, we can all use moments of kindness and compassion, and the vulnerable in our society need those moments even more. Love to all

SOTD

Hold My Hand – Hootie and the Blowfish

 

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