Creativity is the key, and the door does not exist

The thing is: At any given moment, there are an infinite number of possibilities as to what could happen next.

Our futures aren’t set in stone.

Sure, there are several paths that are the more likely and most likely and almost definite next moves, based on our past behaviors and ways of thinking and all…

But that doesn’t mean they are the only possibilities, the only options…

All the others are still out there, in every moment – any given moment still could go any direction, despite what came before it.

And we get to choose that next move…

No matter what, anything is possible.

And I think it is important to remember that.

Even if we fall into the deepest despair in life, we can still choose to make a different move from those “most likely” and “almost definite” moves… we can choose whatever we like.

Anything is possible, and the limit is only that of our imagination.

So, let’s get creative, and start expanding our move vocabulary. 🙂

Post-a-day 2020

What’s the name of the game?

I want it all to work out beautifully, but along the lines of my intentions… we shall see what life has in store, however.

Likely, I will discover something much better and rather different than I had ever expected, and for many, many reasons.

After all, is that not how much of life tends to work in the first place?

Anyway…

I’ve been struggling the past ten days, give or take a few on either side.

Getting myself to exercise, even to get out of the house and be specifically outdoors has been tough.

Part of me wonders if something is off in my hormones and diet, but most of me believes that I simply have gotten myself into a mental slough…

This whole “What’s Next” thing has really been getting to me, and I feel like I need a bit of a break from being where I am and have been, both mentally and physically.

The things I have been doing have ended or are ending, and I want a quick vacation to reset, and then to come back and take on all the new stuff full-force(!).

I got a small taste of what it feels I most need last Friday…, and it was amazing, but it also reinforced my draw to taking that real retreat from this daily circumstance in which I presently find myself (and have found myself for a very long while).

I was supposed to do a somewhat quick road trip with my mom, and go visit my brother in Wisconsin, because my mom has wanted to take a road trip with me in her new car for the past three years (though, I only just this year learned of this intention of hers).

Every time I’ve asked to arrange everything with my brother and her, she tells me her schedule won’t allow it.

Okay…

So, I aimed for a shorter trip to visit my cousin in Oklahoma.

It was to be during the workweek, so that I could still work remotely, and we wouldn’t interrupt my cousin’s weekend time with her husband, who had to be at work during the workweek.

But then, suddenly, days before we are about to go, my mom declares that she can’t take of time during the week like that – it must be a weekend…., even though she had already agreed, before I had even reached out to my cousin about visiting.

And then, we were going to go to Galveston for an overnight stay…, but my mom, yet again, decided she actually couldn’t take off when she said she could from work, so we would have to do it on a weekend… when everyone else is there…, which neither of us was interested in doing.

And now, two and a half road trips having been canceled, I’m about ready to burst… I already had my summer plans of spending six weeks in Italy and England (to work on my thesis and visit my best friend and her soon-to-be baby) canceled…, I don’t know how much more of being stuck here I can take.

If it goes much longer, we risk my getting a job elsewhere and just moving away, clear as day…

I was doing so well, back when I had things I was looking forward to doing…, and now, I’m what feels like such an oppressive state, I feel it harder to breathe, and I can’t even seem to get myself to exercise… which only adds to my misery, making me feel like I have a huge fat-girl complex, and all I seem to want to do is eat cookie dough and cry and sleep all day to avoid the world…

And it isn’t all day that I feel this way, but it is the underlying tone to almost every moment, and so is always with me.

I know that I’ll be okay at some point, but I’m really not okay right now, and it has kept regressing, little by little, lately… that’s why I couldn’t stand people asking how I was doing weeks ago… I wasn’t okay, but I didn’t want to talk about it with them.

And I still don’t.

But I’m still not okay.

However, I am finally starting to see clearly what all is in the way for me, and I know I can and will start clearing and cleaning it all up in the very near future.

For now, though, I am simply acknowledging it and letting it be.

I am pissed off and I want a retreat from all of this, and I keep being promised one, and then having it pulled away from me.

And it all comes down to money… if I had more of it, this wouldn’t be an issue right now.

But I won’t get into that.

Ugh…

Post-a-day 2020

Talk about crazy

I certainly feel it.

It suddenly occurred to me today that I am depressed.

I have done a wonderful job of convincing those around me that I am just tired of this or that, that I am ‘over it’ in regards to certain topics in my life…, but I was never fully convinced myself.

My lack of action, combined with my genuine interest and motivation, in regards to school is what caught me today.

The only other times I have behaved this way – wanting one thing, but being utterly inactive except under very specific, almost forced opportunity circumstances – were when I was depressed abroad, living in my own.

I hadn’t really ever experienced it here, in my hometown.

Perhaps that was why I ignored it, avoided it, for so long…

I am unreasonable, moody; I go from slightly bothered to extremely annoyed, angered, almost, at what traditionally would be something I easily brushed off.

I can’t stand being around people who bother my nerves – my emotional state genuinely can’t handle it… I grow angry and tearful just by being nearby…

I feel like I am crazy…

It is miserable…

At any rate, I am depressed.

And I don’t want to be anymore…

I am very functional, especially in certain areas of my life…, but I am depressed, nonetheless.

I am very good at flipping a switch to make it seem to the world – even to myself, for I had myself fooled for quite a while… to a degree, anyway – that I am totally fine, doing well, and am happy in my life, in my lot…

I think the best route of action at this point would be to get myself immediately an accountability partner – one who really understands my need for the accountability – for my school work.

And then I need to start conversing with myself on what’s going on for me.

I think I will converse with my cousin or best friend, too, because they will be able to help me move myself forward effectively, and without my building a dependence upon them.

My mom, to whom I reach out for many things in life, likely would make things only worse – she wouldn’t understand, couldn’t empathize, and would tell me to get over it all, unaware of my constantly saying that to myself he’s least several weeks already… to no avail, and to much crying, any time I consider what’s going on, what’s wrong with me.

Okay… now, to go first to yet another class where I have no idea what is going on, because I have not done an ounce of work in preparation for the class… yikes…

I can get myself out of this.

I can do this.

And it is okay to ask for support.

Post-a-day 2020

Fuji-San

It’s funny how the simplest of things can become the greatest of things in our lives. A passing comment from one individual can turn into a favorite of another. It makes me think of how little kids develop their favorites in life… Is it simply because their parents say something about that item, and they give it the right kind of encouragement that the child believes it is worth loving, and so the object becomes a child’s favorite of its kind?

What brought up the idea as a whole for me, though, is where I’m walking right now.

I’m on a path that goes alongside the river and the sports activities park in the town where I once lived in Japan.

As I walked up the stairs a few minutes ago, tears were burning my eyes, I was so elated.

A time in my life that I had simultaneously loved and hated with a passion, and here I am overflowing with joy at being able to come back and visit. Who I am now is nowhere near the person I was when I lived here, and that person is even different from the person who moved here.

I came to take a break. I didn’t want to be a teacher like I had been doing anymore.

I didn’t know what to do with myself.

But I had a feeling of wanting to get out… I wasn’t sure from what, if it was just the job, or the future of such a job, or the city, culture, or even, now that I can look back with different eyes, who I was and who I was being at the time.

Whatever the case, I decided to get out of the country. I came to Japan with a highly recommended, highly valued, highly honored, and very poorly paid job.

I struggled and I struggled and I struggled… I hit the lowest possible point I’ve ever had in my life regarding myself.

And, with that intense and slow yet fast break down, I set out to have a breakthrough. And I had the most intense overwhelming and invaluable breakthrough I have ever known, let alone in my own life personally experienced.

While I was here, living in Japan, I developed particular connections and attachments to different things. Onigiri, konbini, summer festival sake, kimono, yukata, onsen, train cards, and, last but far from least, Fuji-San… Mount Fuji.

I remember learning a long time ago that Fuji-San was a walkable mountain, as was Kilimanjaro. It never once occurred to me that I might have the opportunity in my life to climb either of these mountains. It simply wasn’t in the frame of possibility for me, and so I never considered its being a possibility.

And yet, the week I was leaving to move to Japan, one of the people who had interviewed me and whom I had greatly enjoyed getting to know, commented, “You should be able to see Fuji-San.”

It was at that moment that I remembered that Fuji San was even in Japan. And I had had no idea that it was going to be anywhere near somewhere I would be. (I still am pretty rough on Japanese geography.)

My first few weeks living in Japan, one of the other people with my same job, whom I had met at orientation and befriended, had photos of her hike up Fuji-San with a Japanese friend of hers. I then talked to her about it, and she told me how miserable it was, trekking through the rain, the miserable cold hurting her fingers and toes and entire body, yet she was extremely glad that she had done it. In the photos, pure joy was visible in her whole being.

It was then that I remembered the walkable fact, and I realized I could do that.

Naturally, it terrified me. But I asked about it, anyway. I learned that the season for climbing was very limited, and the person I had asked and who had offered to hike with me, was not going to be available this time. So, unwilling to go on my own – which, even with today’s eyes, I see as a good idea – I would have to wait until the next year. 11 months before I could do it. I didn’t have shoes right now anyway. And I quickly discovered that Japan doesn’t exactly have shoes in my size. So, I made it a point to buy hiking shoes when I went home for a wedding in November. I bought them for Fuji-San.

I was delighted, and terrified. I hiked a few mountains from then on to summer, and I loved every bit of it. I never knew I was such an outdoorsy person. I mean, I’ve always liked being outdoors, riding my bike, climbing trees, going on a walk… Whatever. But not a hiker. It turns out that I love hiking.

When I finally hiked Fuji-San, it was one of the most miserable nights of my life, even worse than that horrible time I had to stay outside the Montpelier airport, and I needed to pee from the very beginning, but had to wait five hours. (That really sucked, by the way, and it was really cold out, and I was not dressed appropriately for it.)

And it was lovely. The next morning was even worse, and we were all clear that we were never doing that again. But we wouldn’t have traded it for anything.

Now as I walk along the banks here, I look out in the direction of Fuji-San. The clouds cover everything in the sky, as it is a somewhat overcast day, with low hanging clouds. Yet, I can feel Fuji-San. I know it is there, and I remember going up the hill regularly to look at it on clear days and nights.

It feels like a part of me lives with it.

Multiple times I visited it and took photos with it while in kimono. I went more than once to the lakes.

I want to go again, but it doesn’t seem to make sense this time.

Yet, I might still find a way to go, anyway.

I have a relationship with this mountain, this unbelievable and massive being who resides in Japan… And I wonder if any of it would’ve happened, if this connection ever would’ve developed, if that one person I respected regarding Japan and Japanese culture hadn’t said to me, “You should be able to see Fuji-San,” from my town.

Whatever the case, I am grateful for his comment, and I am grateful for everything that has developed in this beautiful relationship between me and the earth of Japan, which really is just a piece of this earth where we have the honor of living and where I feel blessed to be every single day, night, and moment of my life.

ありがとうございます富士山さん🗻

Pity party

Some days, I think I’ve just got to go ahead and pity myself… not so much as a big deal or anything, saying how sad this and what a poor, poor dear I am…, but as a short and sweet, compact little pity party.

We talk about how part of facing our fears is being able first to name them… and I think my little spells of depression can relate much to that idea.

I always acknowledge that I feel I am sucking at life…, but I don’t ever really list it out, say it all out loud.

Tonight, I kind of did in a phone call to my mom… sure, she had some not-so-uplifting, but true things to say, and that didn’t help much in the moment, but it was a good reminder for now.

However, by stating all these things where I felt like I was totally sucking at life, it was like putting a name and face to my current sources of this panicky depressive state from this past week and weekend.

‘This sucks and this sucks, and I feel this way because of this, which totally sucks…., and I feel like a total crap woman because of this, and a total failure in this part of my life, because of this…, etc.’

And I cried a little as I said them, though not lots.

And, now, I feel significant improvement… almost good.

I think I was resisting feeling miserable, because I was ashamed of the circumstances in the first place, and disappointed in my being upset in the second…. and by declaring each upset, without getting all dramatic and angry or anything, by just stating what each piece was, I was able to being letting it all go, letting it all let go of me…

I didn’t tell everything to my mom, so not everything is freed, but everything I told her is mostly totally over for me now.

(There’s one final piece to my weekend stress, and I’m not quite ready to let it go, so I’ll reevaluate it in the morning, if I even still remember it, and I suspect things will go very well after that point.)

So, it seems to me* that this little miniature version of a pity party, in which I say out loud all of the sucky things going on for me in life at the moment, is actually a practical and beneficial means of letting it all go and moving forward with empowerment.

Who’da thunk that a pity party ever would be the answer to truly good things in life? 😛

Maybe that’s why we started them in the first place… we just tend to have a little (read ‘a lot of’) trouble with keeping our words simple and not intensely and immensely dramatic…

Post-a-day 2019

*Dagny would be furious, I know! 😛

Be better for myself

Those late nights when I’m desperate for a movie before bed, and I have an early morning the next day… when I don’t watch a movie, but do something else beautiful, like play uke or guitar before my bedtime reading, and then just go to sleep…, those nights are each a success.

Depression has this sneaky way of, well, sneaking up from normally-no-big-deal things, like watching a good film, and taking hold before I’m even fully conscious of it…

And so those nights when desperation longs for a film, and I do not give in, and I do do something good for myself, are key to my being the happy, healthy, holy person I want to be (and know that I truly am on the inside).

Post-a-day 2018

Delta your life, daily

I’ve begun brushing my hair again.  I started it a few days ago, and it has been long enough that I don’t remember what day was the start of it.  I just remember that I thought about it for at least a few days, if not weeks, and then finally went and pulled out a brush I’d found, cleaned it out, and used it.  I brushed my hair three times that day (meaning occasions, not strokes).  And I’ve done it at least once, if not two or three times each day since.

My old flatmate had a mirror-markered message on her bathroom mirror, and it has always stuck with me in my low times.  It read:

You’re never going to Δ your life
until you Δ something you do daily.

I originally had a secret affinity for it, and therefore for the not-yet-flatmate, because of her use of delta for the word change.  I love math and language, and I slightly nerded out at that casual use of delta.  Naturally, I liked the message, too, but it was really the deltas that had the image stick so well in my mind.  Not going to lie, here.  (lolz… as I sit on my bed, just before I go to sleep…)

Anyway, that message has been a sort of stick in my side, whenever I get down in life.  So, after probably a year of not really brushing my hair regularly (slash almost at all), I began brushing it daily.  And it looks great, of course, because I’m not in the drier Japanese climate in which I previously lived – it gave me curly-type wavy hair, if I didn’t brush it…, but I also stopped brushing it, because I couldn’t justify the effort… which I find sad, because it is extremely easy to brush my hair.  Anyway, I’m doing it again, now, and I’m glad for it.

Every little step along the way not only improves the outcome, but beautifies the journey, which is where we spend most of the time, anyway.  🙂

Post-a-day 2018

::Sigh…

Sometimes I wonder if it wouldn’t just be better to get a high-paying job in an office, and start saving up.  Then, after a couple or few years, start the process for adoption.  The only work so far that I have loved doing, without almost any question ever, is doing things with other people’s kids (nannying).  Maybe having a somewhat terrible corporate job in suits is worth it for having a kid…

I just don’t see myself happy each morning and each bedtime in a job like that, and that means bad sleep each night and a tough start to the day each morning.

I don’t know… sometimes I get depressive, and then desperate, and start calculating what ‘makes sense’ for life, as opposed to ‘listening to my heart’.  Come to think of it, I’m not sure I’ve even asked my heart what I/it want/wants to do with my life and time…

Now is as good a time as ever, I suppose.  🙂

 

P.S.  I’ve noticed that, whenever I get upset in the depressed, my life is going nowhere experience, I have an almost panicked desire to move to Europe, and it is most often France.  It’s not like I have any idea whatsoever what I would do there, or how that would solve any of my current issues.  Plus, it would create the issue of being away from almost everyone I know and love and who loves me, since most of them are in the US.  However, there’s just this feeling that arises that living in Europe somehow would just make everything okay, and in a good way (not just tolerable okay, but good okay).  Anyway, just something I noticed tonight.

Post-a-day 2018

The Lingering Effects of Culture?

I have noticed two behaviors of mine that linger still (and consistently), despite my having been in the USA and out of Japan for almost four months.  They are 1) constantly looking right first before crossing the road, naturally walking to the left, and casually beginning on the left side of the road when riding my bike; and 2) silence.

The first has been improving significantly, and is almost never present when I am driving a car (though those two-lane, small town style, empty roads do make me think twice before I pull out onto them).  It is mostly just my bicycle riding and walking that is still in the habit of Japan’s side.  Seeing as how I am aware of the road-crossing issue every time I approach a road, I feel confident that things will be fine there – even if I must continue constantly checking both directions over and over again, because I don’t trust myself as to from which way the cars actually will be coming on which side.  The second is a bit different.

I wonder if the silence is something about which I need to worry.  I feel like it is no big deal, however, when I look at it from an outside, USA perspective, I seem almost oppressed in the action.  The silence comes in the regular everyday passing of people at work.  I often only smile and nod when we make eye contact, and I regularly say little-to-nothing in group conversations.  Partly, I have no interest in discussing the present topic with the present company most of the time.  However, I wonder if part of that is because I am not accustomed to discussing things with people like I once was.

My distress tied to living in Japan significantly affected my desire and will to learn Japanese.  Therefore, I really didn’t put forth almost any effort in the language beyond the absolute necessary, until I was on the rise from all of the depression, only a few months before my departure.  This means that I was not able to participate in most conversation around me.  Yes, I could understand a good amount of it, and often all of it (though, occasionally almost nothing), but I usually was unable to respond.  It was my first experience with what I previously had only heard other people say they did, and the development of which I couldn’t understand: understanding a language, but not speaking it.

So, I grew incredibly accustomed to speaking very little and to listening a lot.  And this was not a conscious decision, necessarily, though I had intended to observe for the sake of learning all about the culture and language.  My goal was to learn, not to separate and somewhat exclude myself.  Transferring the same behavior over here to the USA, my native country, has the behavior occur quite differently.  As mentioned, I seem somewhat oppressed, like something is preventing me from speaking.  All I notice is a lack of desire to say anything most of the time.  But I also don’t even consider whether I want to speak or not – I just don’t speak…  So, I am wondering about this, whether there is something more there, something in the way for me, preventing me from full self-expression.

 

Post-a-day 2017

…holding out for a (anger) management position…

“The thing about giving yourself a pep talk is that secretly you know it’s all bullshit.”
That’s a quote from a Sophie Kinsella book (Remember Me?, I think).  Today has kind of been a day where I got to live it.  Though, since I already knew this, any effort to give myself a pep talk was dropped almost before I started.  It’s not that I actually think life as I know or want it is coming to an end – indeed, the good stuff has only just begun.  But knowing that has almost no effect on the feelings of total misery and hopelessness that arise when I hit places like my current one.  Sure, I accept then, thank the feelings for sharing, and then move on to what’s next, but they really do suck when they’re busy hanging around.

I have been experiencing another one of these odd feelings of waiting lately.  It is as though there is a set amount of time I must go before I find a job again, and then, after that time period, everything will fall into place perfectly, and the waiting will have been totally worth the misery.

However, when I get these feelings, I always have to take a first step, be proactive somehow, in order for things to fall into place.  As I see myself growing more angry and on-edge each day, I find it more and more difficult to do anything productive, anything that could help with that first step.  I even have some plans for that step, yet here I lie, miserable and without having taken any action for them today.  I guess I would have to give up the idea that this isn’t where I want to be right now, living at my mom’s.  I moved out years ago, intentionally, and had no intentions of returning for residency.  Not for desire to be independent or anything of the sort, but because I don’t want to live the lifestyle of this house… at all.  Nor do I want to be treated like a kid again, as my mother does automatically most of the time whenever I am here.  Any time she has visited me in my own home, or anywhere else when I’ve not been living with her, she has treated me differently.  Sure, she’s always still a mom, and fussed at me for this or that.  However, it is not like how a parent talks to a child, how it is now.

Anyway, I have some things to get started with doing.  I want to live elsewhere, and yet here I am – this is what is available to me currently.  I want a good job that I love, and here am I, without employment.  So, little by little, I guess I have some steps to take, including figuring out what they are.  I know I’ll be all right, I really do.  It has just been mentally rough lately, and I so want to be finished with this near-constant anger, annoyance, and sense of hopelessness.  Guess it’s well about time I chat with Jude, hmm?  (I’ll start there, and see what I can brainstorm in that mental conversation.)
P.S. Bonus points to you, if you know what movie helped to inspire the title of this post.  It’s a family favorite of ours.  My cat even watched it with me after I first got him.  And he really did watch it.  It was kind of weird that he did, really, but also totally cute.

Post-a-day 2017