Light Painting

Tonight, for the third time this week, I did some light painting.  However, this time I had some upgraded light fun. I found an awesome resource for some guidance on getting started with light painting of a certain sort, and so combined that with what I was already doing, and got a friend to come do some painting and posing with me.  The point was mostly just to test out the materials and the “moves”, so to speak, but also to do something fun and satisfying together.  I feel like the friend wasn’t super into it, but he was a total sport about it all, and I think he enjoyed the experience as a whole, nonetheless, even if it wasn’t his favorite of activities.  At the very least, he specifically requested – more than once – for me to send him the photos we took, so I take that as a positive sign. 🙂  I think he liked it.

I personally could have stayed out there probably at least an hour longer than we stayed.  But I didn’t want to push him too far on the effort when somewhat exhausted front.  I am quite grateful that he came, as I was able to learn lots from this session of playing with light painting together.

Gratitude, man… Gratitude… 🙂

Post-a-day 2020

Lend a helping hand… from a distance, of course

On my way home tonight, tired, I pulled up to a stoplight and waved with a shake of my head to a young guy slightly shaking a small red gas can toward me in an almost greeting. As I come to a full stop, I hear him say aloud, “I’m not even asking for any money.”

I crack the passenger window – automatic in my just-picked-up new car!!! – a bit and ask him for what he is asking. He tells me he just needs a ride, his bike was towed, and he’s been trying to get help for hours.

I wasn’t sure about the scenario… I’ve always ridden with the tow truck when having a vehicle towed. Perhaps he parked illegally and had the bike towed.

“Where are you needing to go?” I ask him.

“Just 45 and the beltway,” he says, as though that isn’t a half-hour drive away by highway.

“North or south?”

“South.”

Yup. Half an hour. And in the opposite direction of my home.

I nyackered, and don’t want to be driving for another hour. He is also looking rather sweaty and I just picked up this brand new car. I don’t exactly want a sweaty person in it ever, but especially not at this moment. Not that that would be my reason to deny helping him, but it is a factor. Really, I don’t want to spend half an hour in any car with this unknown kid/guy. His desperation makes his space a little rough and hard to read.

“I’d even give you money like an Über… that’s really all I need.” He has kept talking, but I’ve not been paying full attention to his words.

“What kind of bike do you have?”

“A Suzuki,” he says.

“Yeah, but what kind?”

He tells me some numbers… perhaps a 300 something?… I drive a 300cc Vespa…, so that isn’t a very hefty bike, if that’s what he said… No, he didn’t say 300, but I don’t know what he said…

I didn’t really listen to his words – just that they were the right kind of words, naming an actual type of motorcycle, and hey had no hesitation to them. They were simply a statement in response to a question. And that’s what I wanted.

The light had turned green.

“Shit,” I say, and I pause just a moment before saying, “I’ll meet you at the gas station.” I point as I say this to the gas station on the corner, through the intersection where I was stopped. I wasn’t entirely sure what I was going to do, but I would figure it out without the pressure of a green light and cars waiting behind me.

Seconds later, as I pulled into the lot, I knew I would get him an Über. I didn’t really want to be alone with him – after all, I was then parking in a specifically lighted area next to the building of the gas station, because his vibe was just enough off that I wanted to stay in the light and visible with him around – and I had the added aspects of exhaustion and keeping the car clean.

When he made it over to me, I was leaning on the hood of my car, pulling up Über on my phone. I knew there was a reason I kept this app on my phone, and even logged it back in. Thank you, Universe, World, and God for that.

I pulled up where he wanted to go – and yes, it was 27 minutes away – and ordered a car for him. Why didn’t he just order one himself? He apparently left his phone in his bike. The bike whose carburetor had blown, requiring it to be towed. He had just grabbed his stuff out of the bike in a hurry and let it go, not realizing until afterward that his phone was still with it.

He looked disheveled enough and carried the right odd mixture of bags for this to be believable. Trust me, when I have unexpectedly had to stop somewhere while on my bike (Vespa), I have definitely walked inside with the oddest-looking set of “baggage”.

I didn’t see a helmet with him, but I didn’t want to find out that he rode without one, and a small part of me didn’t want to tear apart his story enough to disprove it. His desperation to get home was real, and that, apparently, was enough for me. Whether his story was true or not, I appreciated his effort in making it all up and having details enough to go with it. Though, in full frankness, he did not strike me as someone to come up with much backstory detail when trying to pull a fast one on somebody. I mean no offense by that statement. Most people wouldn’t come up with much backstory in a scenario ahead of time. So, I was hoping he was in the most people category, and so was just genuinely telling the truth (or, at least, his version of it). But, just in case, I didn’t want to find out that he wasn’t. So, I didn’t ask about the helmet, nor did I ask any further questions. I knew what I needed to know: He needed help, and he was grateful to have found it.

He said he had been there for hours, trying to get help from somebody. Obviously that was to no avail until I stopped for him. I didn’t mention to him that he was in the wrong neighborhood for looking as he did, and expecting someone to pick him up and drove him half an hour away… or anywhere at all. This was a Mercedes and Tesla and Range Rover neighborhood around us right now. They don’t give people rides off the side of the road. But they might give you a dollar or few just for standing there.

If I hadn’t picked up the new car, and had been in my old one, it would have made sense that I had stopped. I in my crappy-looking 2002 Hyundai, with duct tape and peeled paint all over the place, crank windows, and only three door handles that work… it would have been obvious that I didn’t belong in that neighborhood’s genre of people, had I been in that car. But I had just picked up the new one, the one I am leasing, and so I almost seemed to fit into the crowd of shiny expensive cars all around. Nonetheless, I was not one of them, and the fact that I stopped and invested my time (and money) into this kid showed as much (to me, anyway).

I was proud of the fact that I had grown up in that neighborhood, yet was the one who was willing to stop to help, to give my time to someone in need, in a sudden desperate situation. Even though I didn’t wasn’t to mess with it, I found myself doing it anyway, because it just felt necessary for this poor kid’s sake.

I think he was in college, at the University of Houston, because he was wearing a UofH mask and had something else I don’t specifically recall that made him seem like a student there. He also had the physical look and mental space of a college student, or someone very near that age, anyway. He spoke on the younger side of life, not as a college graduate. I think he thought I was the same age, and not over half as much more. But that was okay.

He shared of his concern that Coronavirus was keeping people away, scared to help him. Had my life changed much because of the virus? I told him an extremely brief version of my running incident the other week, and how the people were too afraid to help me as I lay in the road. But, otherwise, my life wasn’t all that different than pre-Coronavirus.

He told me about his name on Facebook while we waited for the car, and I smiled at the genuine sweetness. He was clearly grateful, and he was relieved beyond explanation. There was no denying that.

As he was getting into the Über, he reminded me to ‘”send that request”. I smiled and said comfortably that I probably wouldn’t. He smiled back and said, “Okay,” not so much disappointed as understanding of my honesty and my lack of desire to send him a friend request on Facebook.

Man sieht sich immer zweimal im Leben.

If it is meant to be, our paths will cross again at some point, at least once more.

Twenty-nine minutes later, after I’d gotten home and was already getting ready for bed, about to shower, I received the notification that my Über ride was completed. He had been dropped off right by a gas station that is at the entrance to a neighborhood, and not just at the mall, as he had told me to input for the ride. It was only a few streets from the mall, but on the other side of the highway. I think he probably lives in the neighborhood there, and the driver offered to take him more to where he was going than just the mall as a whole, and on the opposite side of the highway. I was glad to see that. And relieved.

What an adventure, eh? And all I did was go home, and be nice along the way. It cost me only a few minutes of my time and $29.93. Whatever the guy’s real story, I was glad to have been able to help him get where he needed to be. Yes, that is a lot more money to me than to most people. But it felt right and worth it to pay for this kid’s ride home. For whatever reason, he was desperate and needed it. And I had it, and wasn’t desperate.

“Just pay it forward, okay?” He seemed slightly confused, probably thinking I meant actual money for the Über driver. “Do something to help someone else now.” And he understood, both that I wasn’t expecting him to pay me or the driver anything, and that I wanted him to pay forward the kindness.

And that felt right.

So, I’ll see ya when I see ya, Alfred. I hope you get yourself more organized and at ease by then than you were tonight, and I wish you all the best going forward.

The Fall

So, here’s the short but sweet – well, you get the idea – version of what happened yesterday evening around 5:30.  I had a pretty bad fall at approximately .68 miles into my run.  I was supposed to do a little 5k to be in a sort of solidarity with a student I tutor, because we had to miss tutoring yesterday due to her mandatory participation in a 5k with her school.  (She is neither fan of outdoorsy things nor of running.)  I had already run just over that on Thursday, and I didn’t necessarily feel like getting out to run and do a whole workout (core upon return to the house, of course), but I’d told her I would do it on Friday, and I knew I always felt great after such a workout anyway.  So, I headed out.  It was an amazing start to the run, and the weather was great.

However, when my eye was caught by a mother doing a sort of super-protective stance between the road and her small child, possibly as a means of preventing his sprinting suddenly to the street when a truck was passing, that great feeling changed quickly.  Since I was caught off guard by her stance, and, of course, I had to process what I was seeing before moving on in life, I was mentally focused on the mother, even though I turned my head back to the road ahead of me.  And, though, I was looking at the road again, it was not quite enough time to process that one of the manhole covers a step and a half ahead of me, while it was supposed to be flush with the road around its rim, and concave for the actual cover, the indefinite-looking roadwork of the street turned that flush edge into a lip.

And yes, I did trip on that lip.

Put simply, I flew forward.  I got another step and a half-ish under me as I began to fall, but I was already turning Superman, and I knew I was not going to recover my feet.  I had a brief thought of not wanting to fall simply so as not to freak out the poor onlookers – it has to suck to witness someone fall hard or be part of some accident… I regularly think of how terribly frightening it must have been for that angel driving behind me when I went down on my scooter on the road that night last year.  Nonetheless, I saw before the thought even finished that, oh, well, they were just going to have to witness it, and I was just going not to worry about it, and to do what I needed to do for my own health and well-being.

And so, I went down, and I went down not just hard, but with a hard forward slide.  Man, it was like I were Speedy Gonzales or something, because there was no way I could have been running very slowly to slide that hard and that far, and so quickly.  And I always thought my longer running was slow.  Good thing I’ve been working on improving that for myself… it really paid off yesterday evening.  Not.

(Note: I’m not at all bashing improving one’s skills or athletic abilities – not at all.  I am merely having a fun thought and play at how, in this particular instance, being better at the sport actually made for a worse situation.  Think, I might not even have fallen, if I hadn’t been going so fast.  However, that changes nothing in my plans to continue to improve in my running.)

Anyway, so I went down, and I knew people saw, and I had slight concern for them, but also didn’t care and didn’t have the mental space for almost any thoughts aside from dealing with my own body’s safety and survival at present.

It really sucked.  I immediately rolled to my back.  I was just lying in the street then, tears pouring from down my temples and upper cheeks, as I quickly examined my hands.  They were a total mess.  Gashed terribly, tissue fluid and blood already everywhere, and grainy gravel bits of all sizes and dark colors everywhere on them, mixed in with the blood and peeling skin and tissue fluid.  My knee was stinging slightly, and I had a feeling it was much worse than it was letting on, hidden beneath my spectacular running pants – I could look at that more later, perhaps when I got home… it only would get worse once I let my attention turn to it.  The pants had held up, so I knew they would hold in most of the bleeding that likely was underneath.  Not that I spent more than a moment of thought on my knee… I just glanced and moved on mentally.

My hands… oh, my hands needed help.

While I was dong this self-evaluation and feeling growing intense pain, crying somewhat calmly yet entirely uncontrollably, the mother was talking to me from her spot back on the sidewalk.

Was I okay?  Did I want them to call an ambulance?  Did I want them to call somebody else for me?  I answer with obvious shaking of my head to all of them.  I was grateful to hear, when the husband was trying to move along, the wife (mother of the little kid) said pointedly, “No, she’s not okay. She’s really hurt.”  Though, I only slightly processed it, what with the pain and my own mental focus at the time.  When she asked if they could get me anything, I managed, after another several seconds of gasping-like breathing, to ask, “Do you have any water?”  After which I resumed the intense breathing.  The crying, of course, never paused.

I was still lying on my back in the road, and it had been at least a minute at this point.  Granted, I was to the side of the road, but I was definitely entirely in the road, at least a yard or two from the curb.  So, I ask again about the water, figuring out how to get water, if these folks don’t have any, and she answers to me that they do.  A few moments later, I hear someone begin to approach, and a hard plastic cup being set on the driveway next to me.  I say next to me, because it was perpendicular to the road, st the specific spot where I lay.  It was not, however, actually very near to me.  It was at least three yards away from me.

“Honey, just bring it to her, ” I hear the wife say, followed by the husband’s hushed, “No.”  Her response was borderline furious, and something within me felt like there would be a rage in their house tonight.

Alas, there was water, and I needed it for my hands.  There was no possibility of my getting up from my spot in the road, so, I stuck my hands above my head, Superman-y again, and rolled two-ish turns toward the driveway.  I then forced myself to sit up – though I’m really not sure how, seeing as my hands were no real use at that point.  But I grabbed the little blue sippy-type cup, and started carefully tipping the limited, precious water onto one hand at a time.  And it hurt.  And I knew it wouldn’t be enough – there was far too much blood and dirt that wasn’t going to come off by just dripping a single cup-full of water onto it with no real rubbing.

Not that I wanted to rub my hands…, but I needed to do it.

A truck driving past as I fell, – the one from which the mother had possibly been”protecting” her child – backed all the way up the block, and stopped even with me in the road (in which I am still sitting, of course, but I’m by the edge now).  It was, for lack of better descriptors, what I would call a Mexican work truck.  Likely, the guy had been working on building a house somewhere down the road – one of the new builds I had passed on my way there, perhaps.  The driver exited the truck and was doing something with the truck bed for a minute.  I was almost certain what would come next – it’s just a part of the culture, you know?

After a few moments, I finally comprehend that the guy is standing near me, setting down a bottle of water.  He then hands me a white piece of cloth and says, “Clean.  I’s clean.”  (That’s “it’s” without the t, by the way.).  I could barely form any words in any language, though I knew he spoke Spanish and possibly almost no English.  I believe I thanked him then.  I set down the sippy cup back on the driveway, and picked up the icy cold bottle of water.  This will hurt, I think, but I know I need to do it.

I struggle for a few moments in my efforts to open the bottle, but I cannot manage it – this simple task is impossible for me in this moment – and so I set the bottle back down on the ground.  Within seconds, the guy was back at my side, picking up and opening the bottle for me.  He then holds it out in a way that I know he is offering to hold it and pour for me, and so I extend my hands and allow him to pour.  I cough out some tears at the pain of it, but we can both see that it is helping clear away the mess.  When I’ve wiped away as much as I can tolerate, I nod and thank him a couple or few times, as I press the white cloth into my hands, absorbing what excess still remains, and shooting pains into my hands at every press.  I was barely able to see his upside down face through my tears.  But I saw him and thanked his face, even if I couldn’t see his eyes.

Meanwhile, the couple stood with their child on the sidewalk, watching, mumbling.  As the Mexican guy stepped back into his truck, a white Mercedes that had been briefly waiting, with the guy and me in full view on the side of the road, and his truck parked in the middle of it – keep in mind, this is a neighborhood road, not some throughway or anything – decides to squeeze between me and the truck, now that the guy isn’t standing next to me anymore.  When the mother on the sidewalk commented with fury at the fact that the woman had seen us and easily could have just gone around the block – and these are tiny blocks, by the way, in a traditional square arrangement – I genuinely agreed with her.  Though, I also felt sad at the driver of the Mercedes.  How miserable must one be to be such an a** during an obvious “situation” of someone sprawled in the road?

Anyway… I really liked the wife/mother.  Not so much the paranoia of the husband, though.  Which, by the way, he picked up that cup after I set it back down to give it back to them… Just saying.

Okay, so everyone moves on.  I have my keys and my phone again, and I roll myself the rest of the way fully onto the driveway.  I lay there a handful of minutes, still crying.  I hear a dog collar approaching on the sidewalk behind me, and am unconcerned.  Minus the tiny hope that the owner won’t be too distraught at the sight.

It turned out to be an older guy, out walking his dog.  He asked if I was okay, and I carefully told him that I wasn’t but that I would be – I could talk now.  Kind of.  He offered to bring me bandages, saying that he lived just right nearby, and I said that that actually would be really great.  His walk turned into a cautious jog of concern, as he raced around the corner, heading to his unseen home.  I hardly even knew how he looked.  I still couldn’t process such details.

And so, when her returned a couple minutes later, I sat myself up again, and got to work.  I poured the hydrogen peroxide on my knew first, then my left hand, and both were okay.  It hurt a bit, but it really just foamed and mostly was okay.  The guy was surprised at this.  He’d even said he would look away while I poured the peroxide, clearly indicating that he didn’t want me to be embarrassed at my likely reaction of intense pain.  An old man had approached at this point, and was asking questions.  I had already worked hard enough to answer them for the first guy – what happened; yeah, I’m definitely hurt; I’ll be okay, just not yet; I live about .62 miles that way – so I let him answer them for me.  He didn’t seem to mind, once he saw that I clearly wasn’t up to it.  Then, while they chatted, I poured the peroxide on my right hand.  And that, my friends, was the exact memory I had had of hydrogen peroxide from my childhood, and the reason I was terrified of it as an adult.  I had used it a couple times recently, and couldn’t understand why I’d been afraid of it.  My mom had given it to me last year (?), saying that alcohol burns, not hydrogen peroxide.  And it had been true so far in my adult life.  Until this moment, in a stranger’s driveway with two older guys chatting about me and my present situation.

My body took over control as I convulsed and wailed, and even more tears poured from my eyes, the rate increased significantly from the original fall’s.  I felt bad for this pour girl on the side of the road.  I couldn’t imagine how the onlookers felt.  (There was a secret onlooker across the street in the apartments, who had clearly been considering off and on whether to come help.  She, too, looked hispanic, and I fear her concern was one not only of COVID-19, but mostly of a fear of not being able to communicate.  I don’t exactly exude Spanish (or any language other than English, really), so I get it.

Anyway, so that really sucked, and I had to pour the painful cold water on it to make the pain go down at least somewhat – I couldn’t take it anymore.  Funny how that cold water was suddenly not so big a deal anymore, right?  Eventually, I blew my nose a bunch more with the rest of the paper towels the guy had brought, and I put a compress on my knee.  I had raised the pant leg while still in the street, and, aside from the clear layer of skin that was plastered to the fabric, my knee didn’t look like it needed too much immediate attention.  So, after the quick rinse of water and the peroxide, it was good to go, in terms of germ-prevention and safety until I made it home.

Now, all this time, I had been evaluating how I would be getting home.  No family lives anywhere near me, so that was out as an option, if I couldn’t walk it.  I considered a high school acquaintance who lived nearby.  I was rather sure he would come get me and drive me home, if I really needed, but I didn’t want to turn to that except as a last resort.  So, my options were really either to walk or to run home.  If I ended up being able to run, I knew I would end up finishing the 5k.  It was a slim chance, but it wouldn’t’ have surprised me.  However, walking was the most likely of the three options.  And, at this point in time, I noticed that I still had not felt that moment of, Okay, let’s get up, that we always get at some point after a fall.  And, so far as I could tell, it was nowhere nearby either.  I wasn’t going anywhere for a while.  I mean, I hadn’t even fully stopped crying at this point, and it had been ten minutes already.

I had started “chatting” with the younger of the two older guys, during the times that I could use my words, and, after I had finished all my dressings,  he offered yet again to drive me home – “We can put the windows down, be safe…” – I said, at last, “I think that would be a very good idea,” nodding and speaking with obvious effort, pinches of tears falling.  He hopped into action, and took his first aid kit and hydrogen peroxide and, even, the trash back to his home.  A couple minutes later, a Jeep came roaring around the corner, windows down.

I struggled to find the least painful way, and managed myself to my feet without too much disruption.  But, oh, did it hurt to use my right leg/knee…  The guy opened the passenger door for me, and I struggled my way into the seat.  I fumbled for a while, throwing in involuntary cries of pain, getting the seatbelt on myself and shutting the door… I just couldn’t use my hands almost at all: no pressure on them from the outside, and no muscle flexing within them.

We chatted on the brief drive back that almost-three-quarters-of-a-mile path, exchanged names, and wished one another well as we arrived and I struggled my way out of the Jeep.  I thanked him over and over again, both during the ride and at the end of it.  And also before it, too.  And then I slowly and painfully stumbled up the walkways and stairs, managed to unlock and open the door, and get myself inside.

I had sent my mom a couple photos after the first group had left, before I lay back down on the driveway, and then had called her when the guy had gone to get his Jeep.  I had known that she was driving before then, so I waited to call when I knew she would be able to see the photos.  At my first, “Hey,” she knew something had happened.  “What happened?” she asked, concerned, but not freaking out.  She probably had figured I’d had some terrible interaction with someone mean – that’s usually the answer to What happened?.  I told her to look at the photo I’d sent her.  She looked, and understood immediately.  I told her the present situation and that I thought I would be okay.  Now that I was home, I called her again, just to let her know that I was there, and also to see what she recommended I do to help myself at this point.

She prescribed me some time with an ice pack of sorts and an elevated leg, a shower, and then just before bed, rubbing gently hydrogen peroxide into my wounds with a Q-tip (cotton, you see), since I couldn’t get all the dirt off my hands.

The shower was long and hot and extremely painful at first, but it helped significantly by the end of it.  The hydrogen peroxide left me, yet again, wailing involuntarily in pain, pouring tears, and practically shouting half-comprehensible phrases and annoyances.  By the way, blowing your nose with a tissue and non-usable thumbs sucks.  That’s to say the least.

When I woke up in the middle of the night with a need to pee, I not only had to detach my palms from the sheets (painfully, of course), due to sticking tissue fluid, but hobble down the stairs, squat down to the toilet seat, and then attempt to wipe myself with a clumsy and burning left hand (the right was a solid no-go).  This repeated itself when my alarms went off at five forty-something to get me up for test proctoring today.

Today, my knee hurts. More like my upper shin than my kneecap, but it still hurts.  It’s kind of like a super bruise feeling, but the skin doesn’t really hurt.  My hands, however, have been bad. I still have no opposable thumbs for the time being… if I try to use them, I involuntarily wail from the instant pain in my lower palm. The right is the worst.  The left, starting this evening, has actually started to come around a bit.  They were both still producing tissue fluid 20 hours after the incident, but have since mostly ceased.  But any sharp movements or pressure, and they resume it.  They felt like fire last night period.  Tonight, they only get that feeling when they are either bumped or wet.  Or, of course, I attempt to use my thumb for any kind of grip, or clench my fingers in an attempt to grip anything.  (I almost couldn’t get out of my room this morning, because the doorknob is very thin and takes a lot of pressure to get open…)  In fact, it is extremely difficult even to type this right now.

All in all, that totally sucked, and it still sucks now, but I am mending safely, it seems.  And I am grateful for that.

On that note, I shall sleep.  But first, the photos:

This was yesterday, after rinsing off and rolling into the driveway.

This was the darned manhole cover with the “lip”.

This was after my shower last night.

I had to set the phone timer for this one.

And these were this evening, about 25 hours after the fall.  I had to set the timer on these, too, because I couldn’t both hold the phone and click the shutter button… no thumbs, remember.  (I tell you, it is one thing just not to have opposable thumbs.  It is something else entirely not to have them in a world designed for opposable thumbs.  I am having to learn drastic new ways of completing the formerly simplest of tasks[!!!].)

Post-a-day 2020

Ouch

Pieces of him in pieces of me. Pieces of him where they shouldn’t be.

That’s from the book After You by Jojo Moyes. The character is speaking of the rust-colored blood staining the edges around her fingernails, the cracks on her fingers. It is not her own blood, but the blood of the man she has come to love more dearly than she ever knew she could love another again in her life. He has been shot twice while attempting to save a person’s life. The gang members who had caused the injury he was attempting to remedy did not want him to succeed, and so had shot him.

This is all too real for me. People argue and complain about privilege. And it makes me sick. Why must we as a society constantly ignore the fact that education kind of is everything? We see it evidenced over and over again in society that a certain degree of poor education produces a significantly increased output of life-threatening, of disrespectful, and of dangerous behavior. And as a cycle that runs on a generational repeat.

There is no “us” and “them” in life, not really. We make that whole concept up. There are people and there are people and there are people – before all else, we are people. And yes, there are loads of other species out there, but they aren’t the ones running around hurting people each and every day. People are. In fact, it also happens to be people who run around hurting those other species on this planet, too. In a way, people kind of suck.

But that’s when we are at our worst. With proper education, which includes a certain level of true love, we get to be the best versions of ourselves. And those are the versions who heal the world.

But, sometimes, they’re the ones who just get shot by the worst versions who never learned to understand that there is no “us” and “them”, and who never learned honest love, who never learned how to function beyond their fears and their ego-centric view on life*. If we learn minimal emotional states, we live in minimal emotional states. If we learn only one, negative point of view, we live in that single negative point of view. If we are only ever taught struggle and stress and that the world is out to get us, then we will live our entire lives believing to our very cores that there is no other way in life…

*I don’t say that meanly. It’s a genuine psychological thing, where a person is not able to view the world but from one, ego-centric angle, due to a lack of emotional and psychological development… due to high stress throughout childhood and poor education.

Post-a-day 2020

Something’s wrong, and that’s perfect

Every so often – read “almost every day, especially when I’m not doing so well” – I have thoughts of concern around the idea that there might be or that there is something wrong with me.

As I thought about this today and last night, it started to wonder, Well, so what?  So what if something’s wrong with me?  What does that even mean, anyway?  It had me consider that the whole concept of ‘something’s wrong’ is, in a way, utterly and totally made-up.  I think about the whole moth scenario, where the white moths all thrive in the snowy place, until the factory opens up, and soot is abundant, turning most of the snow gray…. at which point, the moth population slowly but surely turns almost entirely gray – the genetic mutation allowed for improved survival in the altered times, when snow was no longer white but gray.  By our standards, we could say that something was wrong with the gray moths, back when everything was white…, but none of them has a problem with that wrongness now, with everything being gray around them.

Basically, so something about me works differently than other people, or even than most people…, and, so what?  Why must I feel inferior or inadequate or lesser of a being because of it?  If my hormonal system doesn’t understand how to function superbly, does that make me a terrible human being, or a lame one, or even a non-human?  No.

For one thing, it is 100% in our nature as living beings to have mutations – differences, changes, seemingly inexplicable alterations – in our DNA and resulting bodies.  My body not working like the rest of humanity’s bodies is totally normal, scientifically speaking.  Female hormonal systems work this way, and mine just doesn’t – it works differently than the average female hormonal system.  It is statistically abnormal…, but abnormal statistics don’t make me a lesser being.

For a second thing, perhaps this is just a way of my DNA, my body, preparing for those unexpected factories to move into town and turn all the snow gray… perhaps they are preparing me for the unknown contingencies in life.  I have no idea what those scenarios would be to have any of these alterations from the average in my body’s function make sense…, but it somehow wouldn’t surprise me if, someday, whether I’m still alive then or not, these alterations all do make sense.

I’m still a bit nervous about the fact that, well, part of my body kind of seems to be screwing the rest of my body over, by not taking care of itself…, however, I like this idea of considering that it is merely a natural genetic mutation, a gray moth among the whites.  Plus, I have found various ways to help those struggling parts of my body to function better, and, though I don’t know quite how it all will look down the line, at least for now, I know what works best so far, and I can stick with doing that.

I certainly have had many a struggle and even a good handful of breakdowns around the fact that ‘my body isn’t normal’…, so I hope that this shift in perspective proves to be a powerful one.  I want to feel and be okay and comfortable with my altered-from-average body.  Anyway, plenty of people who had altered-from-average bodies ended up being spectacular at things other people couldn’t be spectacular at doing.  A woman with no arms can use her legs and feet like most people do hands.  A blind person can hear things most people don’t even notice.  Several genius-types couldn’t function socially or in schools very well, and some not at all.  I don’t know – not yet, anyway – for what my alteration from average allows in my life, but I am going to keep an eye out for it now, now that I’m thinking about it this way.  Perhaps there is something to this idea, even with my hormonal system’s situation…  I shall observe and consider, and hopefully see.  🙂

So, going forward, I shall remember – do what I can as I get adjusted to the idea, anyway – that something is wrong with me, and that that is totally perfect.  Seriously: perfect.  🙂

Post-a-day 2020

Mental health and everyday love

Let’s talk briefly about a mental health oddity slash ironic circle of annoyance.

When I am struggling mentally, and I really just need some regular love from people, I start to reach out to people.

Say that I tell them that I am struggling, and could really use some love right now.

So, they start checking in, asking how I’m doing, and telling me they care about me…

Which is completely annoying and stressful, because 1) I only wanted some regular interaction and friendship love – nothing special or over-the-top emotional – and 2) it only reminds me of the fact that they weren’t interacting with me on the first place, showing me the regular love I so needed.

You see, when I feel the need to reach out for love, it usually doesn’t work to reach out… it, instead, only emphasizes the stress I was already feeling in my experience of being alone and unloved…, the experience that had me want to reach out for help.

And so, instead of asking for help when I am in need, I have, in a way, to trick people into interacting with me.

I’m not looking for any words of, ‘Hannah, you’re amazing,’ or anything of the sort… I’m just looking for those everyday expressions of love that we share with the people in our lives… the people with whom we interact on a regular basis… the kinds of relationships I tend not to find for myself very easily in adult life…

People just don’t with me… they don’t call me just to say hi, they don’t call me first for things, and they typically don’t reach out period… I am the one who reaches out, almost always in my life.

The only person who always checks in regularly with me is my mother.

I had one friend in town who did it, but she’s moved away now, so our lives don’t have our everyday hangout part anymore…, but I don’t blame anyone for that – we just don’t live in the same state anymore.

That one friend and my mom aside, though, I am the one who reaches out almost every single time in any relationship I have, friend or family.

And sometimes, it gets to me… when a whole bunch of other stuff kind of piles on top of one another all at once, the loneliness can hit me really hard… and I know that I need help…, yet asking for help in that case kind of defeats the whole purpose of asking for the help in the first place… thus the annoying circle of downward-spiraling irony…

Whenever someone calls attention to my need for love, be it be staying it directly or by saying how they wondered if I’m okay or if I needed anything, it just makes the whole things worse for me… it’s one area where talking about it doesn’t help, and actually makes things worse for me… it draws out my experience of being pathetic and unloved… it is embarrassing that I have to ask for signs of being loved…

So, I sometimes wonder if there’s a way to ask for help that says, ‘Hey, I need some love, but pretend I didn’t tell you this – pretend you just felt like talking with me, and so reached out to chat about nothing in particular…’

Does that all make sense?

Anyway, so that’s where I am tonight.

I could really use some love… love unsought, but nonetheless much needed.

Post-a-day 2020

So, it begins…

Today was the first day of writing for me.

I got myself signed up officially with a coach of sorts, and we began working together on Sunday.

By last night, I was ready to go for today with my first writing assignment on the topic that most called me.

Suffice it to say, I was surprised by what topic and book style called most to me.

See, it’s been really cool working with this coach, because she all sorts of coaching, including art coaching.

(Art coaching uses art to help sort out things in one’s life.)

Sunday, through the coaching, I got to write out a whole list of book style possibilities, and then I did an art coaching assignment with them all, in order to find which type of book most called to me… and I was blown away with how low on the list a novel was, and with what was way up at the top.

But, today and tomorrow and the next day, I have a specific writing task to go with this topic, and I will get to re-evaluate after the three-day assignment…, but I’m not sure I’ll want to change the selection – from the assignment today alone, I saw not only how much I have to say for this particular topic, but also how easily it all flows out of me… and almost in a flood of words being released, with style dropped out the window, and the information itself reaching for the page in front of me with an intensity I hadn’t realized was really there, waiting to come forth…

Anyway…, I’m enjoying it so far, and I am excited for the next to days especially, and the next few months as a whole. 🙂

Yay!, for getting things handled that matter to ourselves, right??

Right! 😀

Post-a-day 2020

So, pain…

What is it about pain that, when given to us, we so terribly want to give it back?

It is like when we purchase something from the store, but then we discover, upon arriving home, that it is actually spoilt… we take it back to the shop, saying, “Pardon me, but this is utter rubbish, and I want to return it, thanks.”

Except, at the shop, they’re likely to accept the return…

With pain, we do not do well receiving the dish without a strong desire to dish it back – perhaps not immediately, but, eventually, we always seem to want to throw it back into the server’s face: How dare you serve me such poison?!

Is it something about our experience of being so terribly unloved, that we feel we must somehow prove that we are worthy of being loved…?

Or that we are so afraid of being hurt even more, that we feel a need to put a hard shell forward and attack, showing strength that we hardly have… all just to cover up our degree of pain…?

Are we afraid to acknowledge what we might have done to be not true to our highest selves, such that someone was even able to cause us pain in the first place…, and so we avoid looking inward, and throw it all outward and back to its source instead…?

Are we embarrassed that we weren’t enough of something… to have the pain to have been avoided…?

Is it that we feel we are worth so much more than being treated as we were, but we don’t know how to show it…?

Do we really want someone else to experience the suffering we experience in life?

Plus, if we all seem to want to return pain for pain, would not the person who inflicted the pain on us in the first place have received his or her own dish of pain from somewhere else beforehand, thereby propelling him or her forward to continue the pain?

When we are angry at someone, it can seem impossible to ‘turn the other cheek’, as we were all told growing up…, to offer up yet another place for the person to inflict pain on us…

But, what if we consider someone we love dearly, perhaps more than we love ourselves…?

What if this person were hurting us…, and what if we knew this person’s extreme suffering that induced the outward actions of hurting us…?

In such a situation, I believe it would be somewhat easy to offer my other check… Go on, hit me – I know you need to do that right now…, and I am here for you, however you may need.

In Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, the monster says that his outward evil actions are the result of his intense suffering.

“I am malicious because I am miserable.”

My heart ached for the poor creature, as he told his tale of woe, and how humans had been so dreadful to him, simply because they were afraid of him, and how they gave him no chance… they gave him no love of any kind…

What could happen if we approached all of our own pains inflicted from the outside in this way?

Would we no longer be longing to throw it back at the giver, but, instead, be aching to help ease the giver’s intense wounds of the heart that had him or her do us harm in the first place?

When I think of my own desire to cause pain to those who have hurt me, it is intense pain that propels the desire… how must people be suffering, if they are dishing out pain so freely and actively?

How lonely they might be…

Funny… (and by funny, I mean something else, of course) I suddenly find myself wanting to go hold and hug and comfort the person who last hurt me, to apologize… for what?… for my desire to make him suffer…, for any role I played – that I believe I played – in hurting him some already, though very differently than I was hurt…, for every thought of ill will I have had toward him…, for all the pain he must be in to have hurt me as he did… and I want him to experience being loved truly and cared for, to experience that he is not only worth it, but absolutely enough just as he is…

Yes.

Wow.

And then, another comes to mind… I am not by any means at a point of actually wanting to do this myself, but I can see how much that person must have been lacking in love – how miserable that person must be, in some level within, whether aware of it or not – in order to cause such misery to others, to me… it is almost heartbreaking…

Just, wow…

Okay.

I think I have found my new mentality to practice in life right now… how to offer up my whole self and never be hurt, by bringing love to the table… patience and pure, true, and free love.

Like free hugs… only better.

Like Michael Jackson’s constant serenade to me as a child, we can heal the world, make it a better place for you and for me and the entire human race…

I’ll start with my little corner, and see what happens… hopefully, we light the world on fire with this love, it will be so profound, so powerful… so true.

Post-a-day 2020

Patience is a virtue

Two things:

1) I successfully, though unintentionally, convinced a room full of people tonight that I am 21/22 and fresh out of college… not sure how I feel about that exactly… I mean, sure, it’s funny to me, but I’m not sure if there isn’t anything else there, a concern, perhaps…

2) I looked into doing that scary but loving thing just now, and it is proving much more difficult than I had thought it would be… fortunately, I have someone who is likely to be a spectacular resource in the subject, and this is someone I can ask for this help… whatever the outcome, it is likely to create a whole new space to our relationship with one another, because the question I will be asking will lead necessarily to some intense and private information…, and, I think, show how 1) crazy I am and 2) loving I am… so, yeah… that’s likely to be really quite the unique experience when I get that opportunity… the struggle of it isn’t the matter of intimacy it could cause but the fact that I have to arrange myself to come into contact with the person in order to ask for the help in the first place, and that can be tough… and it will take patience, for sure…

::sigh

Life is nuts, and, though I totally love it, there’s a lot of nuts-ness in it, especially these days for me… :/

Oh, well… here goes, anyway(!).

Post-a-day 2020

Too early to rise

It’s 8:22pm, I feel like throwing up, I’m 3000+ steps short on my daily requirement, I haven’t finished my bedtime activities, I am utterly exhausted, and we have to be at the pick-up, ready to go at 3:15am.

And there is live music going on outside, various Christmas songs blasting across the property of this resort – my first resort, and probably one of the worst versions of resorts for me in particular (I don’t like dirty or muggy indoors) – like everyone is in a party mood.

Supposedly, Christmas is an all-over party mood for the islands here…, but it seems weird to have such a celebration happening at a resort that is filled mostly with Japanese people…

Anyway… 3:15am is too close for comfort right now, especially without our car/pickup booking details…

Ouch.

Goodnight, I hope.

Post-a-day 2019