(This is an exceedingly gif heavy post. I apologize.)
Because spoons, I lack them.
Animazement is this weekend.
If my kitsuke isn’t completely awful, I’ll post some pictures. I haven’t had the energy to practice the new (to me) obi knot I’m planning to wear, plus it’s been a while since I’ve tied a nagoya obi, so I ought to practice that too.
Despite not being very talented at kimono coordination (aka kitsuke) I do enjoy wearing them a great deal. I don’t get stopped for photos as much as cosplayers, which is good, because being photographed is not my favorite thing.
I will readily admit, though, that people telling me my kimono is pretty makes me very, very happy.
In other news, my sleep schedule is completely fucked again. I ran out of allergy meds, and now I am back on them, but I think I should have gotten the 12 hour dose instead of the 24 hour dose- I’m not feeling so shitty when I wake up, but I’m still oversleeping by a solid 5 hours a night. I can’t fucking win.
After a miserable week of flu-ish symptoms (coinciding with uterine renovations) I backslid on all the progress I was making (which admittedly wasn’t that much, but.) I’m trying not to wallow in feelings of being a failure of a human being from not being able to think about the same thing for more than 3 minutes at a time, or moving without my joints screaming at me, or being constantly ready or a nap, or having essentially no motivation and very little enthusiasm for the things I enjoy, but it’s difficult.
I need to get health insurance again, but the task of researching and comparing is massively daunting and exhausting just thinking about it. And honestly, what is the likelihood that getting into a doctor is going to make any measurable difference in my daily life? It never has before.
In less depressing news, I’ve been doing some creative world-building again. I haven’t gotten to prose, yet, but the world(s)’s shaping up pretty nicely, I think. It’s something. I’ve got some plot pieces, but not a proper outline yet. I have trouble with them.
Three shows I watch regularly had their finales in the past week: Once Upon A Time, Elementary, and Doctor Who. Once Upon A Time has been frustrating the hell out of me for a while, with thin plots with lots of holes, but the finale was interesting enough that I’ll end up watching season 3 (or at least the beginning.)
(Incidentally, the Alice spin-off I expected to be skipping? The promo is actually promising. I expect to be as thoroughly frustrated with it as I am with OUAT by the end of the first season.)
Elementary! Oh my god, Elementary.
I can’t believe I have to wait all summer for the next season. I am so excited. No one remind me how long the summer hiatus is.
As for Doctor Who.
Basically, I’m going to watch the 50th anniversary, but if it is not an improvement on this past excuse of a season, I won’t be watching again until Moffat is replaced as showrunner.
And now that I’ve spent… entirely too long on this, and posted far more reaction gifs than a single post ever warranted, I am going to go to bed!
Shadowscapes deck. I’ve spent the past few weeks with my therapist trying to get to figure out what I want out of life outside of writing and motherhood. After last week’s session, and again in today’s, we’ve managed to hone in on working with adolescents in a counseling/guidance purview; Nykti (and Morag!) helped me do some digging on career options this afternoon, and after some link hopping I found School Counseling and felt like I’d been punched in the stomach. So I did some digging, and then dragged out the cards.
School Counseling as a career choice: 10 of Wands, Ace of Pentacles & 6 of Wands
What I’m getting here is that if I’m willing to put in the work, be patient, and accept the fact that it will be a significant emotional burden, I will bear it well and flourish. It bears the potential to bring me prosperity and security, but it’ll take work to keep my head on straight and not overextend myself. Likely, I will remain in therapy to help me deal with the emotional exhaustion and trauma of dealing with angsting, confused, and/or troubled adolescents on a daily basis.
First Step- Community College*: the Lovers, Knight of Wands & 3 of Wands
The two Wands are promising: advancement towards my goals, encouragement to seek, explore, and generally expand my horizons. The Knight reminds me to avoid overconfidence and impetuousness; I expect that translates into “don’t take too many credits at once and actually study for fuck’s sake.” The Lovers is… not what I expect to see? (Anywhere, ever, really. It’s just not a card that feels very Me, though that doesn’t make much sense out loud (as it were.)) The idea of balance is good, though.
Second Step- Transfer to University*: the Wheel, 3 of Cups & the Tower
Okay, so my stomach dropped when I saw the Tower. But. The first two cards are more blatantly positive: life’s threads coming together, interconnection; celebration, family, a sense of community. And while my reptile brain has a serious knee-jerk reaction to the Tower, I think it’s a good sign here, given my previous interactions with college: a clean break from the past, a necessary disruption to the status quo, and most importantly, fantasies shattered by reality. I still haven’t entirely lost my romanticized idea of what university is ‘supposed’ to be, and getting that out of my head so I can actually get through it would definitely be a good thing.
My overall card is the 7 of Cups, which… is not overly reassuring? Indulging in fantasies, too many options and desires; it makes me wonder if I’ve got my head in the clouds again, latching onto an idea because it gives me focus instead of it actually being a good plan. So I pulled more cards (and asked for a quick confirmation reading on TC.)
So…I do what then?: the Star, 3 of Swords & Ace of Wands
All of these are basically telling me the same thing: let go of the pain and fear of the past and my past experiences with higher education, muster up some damn courage and faith and move forward, already.
For the overall, I got the King of Swords, who is a pillar of strength, a leader, a person ready for and capable of action. Interestingly, the last work related reading I did also had the King of Swords in it, under the option of Doing Something Else. (Also interestingly, the Lovers popped up in my overall that time. I don’t know why I have such a disconnect with that card.)
So what I’m getting from this is a fairly positive message: this is not a bad path to pursue, and could be a really good one, if I can keep my shit together. Which is, y’know, a goal of mine, one way or another. So, pending response from TC, I’m going to keep digging here.
*I actually asked about specific schools which I have saved, but for some reason I don’t feel that comfortable posting which ones here at the moment? I don’t know, man.
It’s been almost a month since I last posted. Whoops.
What you’ve missed: not a whole lot, personally. There’s been plenty going on in the world, of course, and a great deal tangentially related to myself, but my actual day to day life? Not all that much happening here. Oh well.
Therapy has been going well. It’s kind of hard for me to talk about, really. Every session she asks me how I am- I respond with an automatic “fine, and you?” as one does- and every session she asks me what I want to focus on, to which I never have a reply except a shrug. But it doesn’t take much prodding to get me babbling over the things I’ve noticed that week, the things that stick in my head, and somehow my walk home goes by so much faster than my walk there, because the wheels in my head are still turning. I have a lot further to go, but.
One of the things we talked about today was employment. Specifically, had I gone to the library yet to ask questions about the associate’s degree I’m interested in, and inquire about a job as a page? (No.) Why not? (Cue list.) We also talked about my protective instincts with regard to my younger cousins, particularly on Mom’s side (as they’re the oldest) and how I’m okay with being the failure/black sheep of the family, as long as I can use it to help them from making the same mistakes. I don’t want them to wake up at 26 like I have and hate their lives and not know what to do about it. That led into a conversation about the specifics of me “giving up on my dream of being a teacher” (as my mother likes to phrase it) and figuring out what I really want out of life aside from independence and enough time and space to write.
All of that to say, I had a bit of a lightbulb on my walk home today. A really frustrating lightbulb.
My only marketable skill set is customer service; however, I am less and less inclined towards retail jobs because, at the end of the day, a retail job is not really about customer service. It’s about capitalism with a thin veneer of customer service, designed to lull the unsuspecting consumer into a false sense of Need. My interests lie in helping customers get what they are looking for- it could be filling a Need, or a Want, or one masquerading as the other- I don’t really care, honestly, it’s none of my business. But sometimes what the customer is looking for is not what my retail job wants them to Need, and so there’s a significant level of frustration for me.
Another frustration of retail is what frustrates me about the world in general: a pervasive seriousness, an appropriate ideal in dress, speech, mannerism, and taste set by a particular group of society and desperately conformed to by everyone else. I do not fit neatly into that box. I can, with effort, but I feel like a fraud, an imposter; I wait for my mask to crack, to slip, because it is a mask and they all slip, eventually.
This is what led me to sell porn, five years ago. And, moronic upper management aside, I enjoyed it quite thoroughly. A very large part of me would like to go back. I wouldn’t have to do a cashier job selling dildos and dvds; I would be happy in a lot of different jobs. I could do something off-camera on a porn set, or off-stage in burlesque; I could do something else, too, that my narrow exposure hasn’t shown me yet. But the sex industry, while catering to that cluster of appropriately ideal society, does not conform to it. And my sailor tongue and studded docs would fit just fine.
On the other hand.
I know I am not cut out to be a teacher. I learned that lesson very well in high school during my internship. While my mother likes to believe that I just “gave up” on my dream- likely because I could then just pick it back up to get my life back on track again- what really happened is I saw through the romanticized dream to the reality of the job. I have no patience for bureaucratic, administrative politics. Nor do I put any particular faith in the overly standardized tested public school system. It is not, quite frankly, the job for me and I am so very grateful that my teachers spared me that particular heartbreak before I spent the money on the degree.
And yet, working with teenagers appeals to me a great deal. Which is probably odd, because by and large I do not like teenagers as a whole; I like them in small groups, and one-on-one. I’ve considered pursuing therapy as a profession multiple times in the past, and working as a high school guidance counselor would hit both of those points- possibly. Even if it did, my (planned) tattoos, my stretched ears, my regular swearing and love of spikes, studs, chains and skin would not endear me to that sort of environment. I think my family would sigh and say “you have to grow up sometime” but I don’t think being outside the approved bubble makes me childish.
I don’t know where I’ll end up. But I don’t know what trajectory to aim for, either.
It seems I’m past due for an update here! Whoops. Today’s title comes from a song by Conor Maynard called ‘Animal’ which is very much club music and the lyrics are very Dionysian to me at the moment. This month has been very Dionysian, honestly, which is appropriate given that it’s his month.
Shit that’s happened since I posted last:
- I have successfully found a new therapist.
- I went to Paganicon, survived, and returned in one piece.
- I have acquired a number of light-bulbs that need examining at some point.
So, to dive in!
I’m now seeing the therapist I mentioned in my last post! I’ve had three sessions so far, and I like her. She is quirky and odd, which works out well for me. So far we have worked on some breathing and meditation exercises for anxiety, and reminding myself that even if a craft project doesn’t come out the way I wanted, it’s not a waste, because I’m learning and practicing. I’ve done a bit of the breathing stuff while crafting (as not being perfect/an automatic expert at things is one of my anxiety-triggers) but I haven’t done as much of the meditation as I’d intended. The crafting has been crocheting, thus far; at the con, Shad showed me that my single stitch was actually slip stitch (I got confused on US/UK terminology) so she taught me how to do single crochet, and Veggie taught me double crochet. I’ve made a scarf- well, a rectangle that was going to be a scarf, but turned out to be a little wider than I like (I like my scarves skinny) and too short, so it’s now decorating the mini Dionysian shrine on my hearth. (The yarn is some very pretty shades of purple.)
Paganicon! So much fun was had, man.
Thursday I got up at the ass crack of dawn for my flight. (Well, not really. 7am. But I am not accustomed to such hours!) I got cranky that my neighbors were having their lawn professionally mowed and mulched in March, and at seven in the goddamned morning, at that, but managed to get myself together and out the door for the airport on time. Unfortunately, the van decided not to shift out of park for no apparent reason, so there was a touch of anxious taxi-calling, but I made it just fine and had an uneventful flight to Minneapolis. (I froze my ass off, couldn’t sit comfortably, and felt very badly for the woman with unhappy twins, but nothing significant.) I then hung out at the airport for a while, waiting for my friends’ flights to get in, since mine was the earliest, and spent more than a little time trying not to panic at meeting TC friends in person oh dear christ what have I gotten myself into. But of course Veggie, Fier and Shad are all awesome, so the panic settled down to a manageable level in short order.
Friday we went to the Yarn Garage which was much larger than I was anticipating- they had a bin full of slippers to wear around the store instead of shoes, and the lady made us coffee. I spent entirely too much- I bought myself the aforementioned purple skein, which was lovely to work with (I love bamboo, it’s so forgiving!), a skein of Tosh called “stargazing” that’s a lovely combination of blue, green and purple hiding under a layer of black (that’s the only way I can think to describe it) that I am attempting to turn into a cowl, two skeins of fingering weight made primarily of milk (milk!) in natural and turquoise sea- I haven’t the foggiest what I’m going to do with them, honestly, but I got all “Star Cow!” when I saw milk and had to buy them, and then a massive skein of laceweight silk in purple, yellow and pink that went home with Shad, as she is going to knit it into something beautiful for me. I also picked up a curved crochet hook made out of abalone which was odd at first but I really adore. (I have already found the location of a nearby yarn store but I am not letting myself visit yet. There is no sense building up stash when I can only crochet two stitches and I can’t even read patterns to save my goddamned life yet.) Friday was also the beginning of the con, so we got our badges and set up the FlameKeeping con suite, and met other TC friends (Nykti, Net & Rhy!) and made other friends that are not on TC yet/lurk (Antonio and Becca!) and boozed a bit.
Saturday I crawled out of bed at 7am for the third day in a row (and didn’t want to murder anyone either!) and we all wandered through the Minneapolis snow to get breakfast at Panera before Kiya’s first presentation, Digging Up the Mysteries. (In which I got a small but significant lightbulb/dumbass moment.) One of the things we were doing in the suite was making bracelets that represented foundational stuff that we wanted to encourage in our lives- we picked three things/attributes, a color to represent them, and braided them into bracelets. Veggie, Melissa and I printed out instructions for some friendship-bracelet style bracelets, but I picked one that was too complex and got aggravated, so I just braided it normally. (I picked Piety, which I represented in white: my go-to for piety is the ancient Greek conception of observable action, and I do entirely too much thinking and not enough doing, so I want to encourage more action in my life. I also picked Compassion, which I represented in blue: I was raised with a “suck it up and push through it” attitude towards illness, which has absolutely never worked for me, so I spend a lot of time sitting with my guilt. I want to be more gentle with myself and remember that I am sick and just because other people can get through their illnesses in certain ways doesn’t mean I’m a failure because I can’t. Lastly I picked Dedication, which I represented in brown: being a perfectionist, I am very bad at follow-through; there is something wired backwards in my brain that says an unfinished project is better than an imperfect one, and I need to work on that. So I want to really dedicate myself to pushing through the anxiety and accomplishing things, and not being afraid to be imperfect or just outright failing.) There was also Jenett’s awesome panel on how to find information and how to evaluate it, which I need to dig out my notes on. We had some annoyance over the St. Paddy’s Day shenanigans going on the day before St. Paddy’s, but the food at Cooper’s was pretty good. There was also (very excited) acquisition of Girl Scout cookies on my part, from the poor Brownies standing outside the Rainbow across the road from our hotel. We also had the themed ball that night, which involved boozing in the con suite before closing up, boozing in the hotel room while getting ready, boozing between (and during) dancing in the ball, and periodic pit stops in the closed con suite for other boozing during the ball. And post-ball boozing in someone else’s con suite. There was much mutterings of “TEEEEEEETH” (context being Nut eating one’s head/Kiya’s presentation) (I suspect that context is not really useful, but it’s all I’ve got at the moment) and some really awesome outfits and a lot of fun.
Sunday I had a really fabulous hangover that may have coincided with, or immediately preceded, my traditional travel-plague. I spent a lot of time being a layabout in my hotel room feeling dizzy and nauseated, and sadly slept through Kiya’s second presentation on Household Paganism, which I had been looking forward to. I did manage that night to keep down most of a open pot roast sandwich and fries (and the intermittent vomiting finally stopped the day before yesterday.) Honestly, I hardly did anything all day except feel embarrassed about my hangover and worried that I’d still be puking on the plane on Monday. Veggie, Shad and I did have some really good conversation that night over dinner, though, and it was nice to just chill and not be in the suite with lots of people poking their heads in.
Monday it had snowed again, but we made it to the airport just in time for Veggie to get to her flight, and Shad’s was very soon after; mine wasn’t for a couple of hours, so I got comfortable at my terminal and actually made progress on the purple scarf (I spent most of the weekend ripping out and recrocheting the same first inch and a half to two inches over and over again.) The flight before mine came in late and left late, and so did mine; we sat on the tarmac for a solid hour after boarding late, and got into Raleigh an hour late. I spent the majority of the time being annoyed at the very loud women sitting directly behind me talking about Alaska, and later making myself feel old because the college student girl next to me blinked without recognition at the mention of Dave Grohl and the Foo Fighters (which came up because he had an interview in SkyMall) and only the vaguest sense of recognition at Nirvana. Nirvana. I am too young for this shit, man.
All in all, I had a fantastic fucking time at Paganicon, I got to meet a bunch of people I already knew were cool and some new cool people, and I am really looking forward to next year!
As for the lightbulbs, well- in all honesty, they’re less of the lightbulb variety and more of the “hey, dumbass!” variety. Kiya’s presentation reminded me of Hetharu and the forge, and to stop being a superficial jackass when it comes to her (and that yes, my Star Cow stuff is right for me so stop fucking second-guessing myself). “TEEEEETH” has put a new perspective on my former (and never entirely abandoned) interest in being a therapist, what with Hetharu-Nut and head eating and putting them back together afterwards. (Which has resulted in me spending a good portion of the afternoon lusting at UPenn again, because of their amazing language programs! Want. *grabby hands* Oh, and the psychology stuff, too! Hah.)
Other things on my mind at the moment: I’m wondering if I am mildly allergic to my cats. I was allergic as a child and apparently grew out of it, but I’ve noticed that I feel clear headed and fine when I travel, and then I get home and I’m congested and headachey and tired. This could be very simply due to the fact that my immune system is shit and traveling exposes me to a lot more germs than when I’m home, but I did not have my usual onset of travel-plague when I came home from visiting Aster and Finn in September, and Aster has cats. So there is potentially correlation there. To test the theory, I picked up some prescription strength Allegra at the store yesterday, and I’m going to get through the bottle and see how I feel (unless I have awful side effects before then, in which case I will stop much sooner!)
I have recently acquired an inexpensive (but highly praised) tablet to practice drawing with. I don’t know what the hell I’m doing but I’m enjoying it anyway. I will probably spend a lot of time doodling badly and wishing I had the talent to draw the characters from the webcomic in my head- which I may actually take the time to write, we’ll see, but I will almost certainly not draw it because I am utterly pants at drawing.
I’m trying to figure out what it means to be an adult with ADD, because between conversations in chat with Sunflower and talking with Shad at the con (and, y’know, my diagnosis of ADHD) I am growing more certain that I do in fact have it. I’m just not sure what it really means and how to deal with it. Sunflower’s given me a link- which I actually bookmarked this time- that I will peruse in more depth when I’m slightly less jittery (which I suspect is the allergy meds.)
Now that I’ve written a 2k wall o’text, I’m going to sign off and try to focus on cleaning something around here. Hopefully.
This may be a gif-heavy post, because I am low on spoons. Honestly, I think I am out of spoons entirely. I’ve been almost totally MIA on my online communities and chat; I just haven’t had the energy or the focus. I can barely handle my own problems without turning into a ball of anxiety, so I can’t really do anything for anyone else. It’s really frustrating. This is basically what my life has been as of late:
If I had a picture of Jack scrolling glassy-eyed through tumblr, it would be spot on.
I did some digging on psychologytoday.com again and found two potential therapists within a half-hour walk from the house. I emailed one to see if she’s accepting new clients; if she’s not, or I don’t hear from her by next week, I have a second one to contact. I am moderately anxious about the whole thing. It’s not that I’m afraid to be back in therapy- I’m not. I’ve been in therapy before and I know it helps. But the task of finding a therapist that makes me feel comfortable is not always an easy one. Also, all of my previous therapy experience has been of the sit and chat variety, generally about what’d been happening in my life since the last session, what was weighing on my mind. It has its merits, but I need something more in-depth than that at this point. I need to pinpoint the dissonance between the way I perceive the world and myself and the way it really is. I know that my childhood has skewed my perceptions, behaviors- it happens to everyone. But one- maybe more than one- of the lenses I look through is hurting me, and I need to know how to fix it.
Medication will likely play a role. I am more than moderately anxious about this. I adapt to medications quickly; their usefulness in managing my symptoms plummets over continued use, while the side-effects become more and more noticeable. I have also had some significantly negative reactions to medication in the past. Mucking about with my brain chemistry is one of my least favorite things in the goddamned world, and knowing that there is a likelihood that I will have to subject myself to that again just to move into basic functionality is distressing. (I do not consider a life where I require a checklist to make sure I remember to eat and drink water every day to be basic functionality. Which is where I am right now.)
So basically my state of mind boils down to:
In two weeks I will be on a plane to Minnesota for Paganicon, meeting a bunch of longtime friends from TC. Given that a few hours of errand running with Dad leaves me exhausted at the moment, I have no idea how I’m going to make it through the con. I expect I will be drinking copious amounts of tea, and sleeping for a week when I get home. I also haven’t made my dress yet for the ball, despite the fact that I’ve had all of the supplies for weeks now. I am a mix of:
I’ve been working on this post for three hours, now, and I’ve just received an email from the therapist I mentioned. She’s taking clients, and uninsured ones at that. She told me to call to discuss, so I’ll do that in the
morning afternoon, as that’s when I wake up these days. I guess this is really happening.