Not mine

I am growing increasingly fond of my own home. I say this cautiously, as I have a tendency to avoid the world outside, so to speak, when I reach that intense panic point of my OCD. However, that is not the same experience as what I am currently discovering and referencing. This current experience is one of noticing that I enjoy being in my own home, and that I prefer it to staying in other people’s homes (like my mother’s or my aunt’s house). I am not afraid of staying elsewhere or going elsewhere – there is no fear or overall stress involved in this experience. It is ease and delight that guide this experience for me, instead of agoraphobia or any other phobia. I just enjoy being in my own home.

I like tidying at home, or rearranging furniture, or just plain lying on my floor. I like having a space where I am surrounded by intentionally selected items, all of which, to some degree or other, bring me joy. And not, I have not yet completed the KonMari method. But, just from what I have done already, I can feel the space as one in which I like to spend my time. The only reasons I really even go to the common areas downstairs are because 1)that’s where the bathroom is, 2)that’s where the kitchen is, 3)my barbell just wouldn’t work on the third floor of an old house, and 4)the daytime lighting is spectacular down there. Otherwise, I’m not sure I ever would bother. And, on many days where I get to stay home, I don’t. I’ll spend almost the entire day up in my space. I supposed the only down side to this is that it is a lot harder to get myself outdoors when outdoors is neither very visible nor very accessible, three floors below. But I have been working on that lately.

Anyway, that’s just something I’ve been noticing tonight. I think there is an important balance between loving what I have around me and being attached to what I have around me. I have actively pursued appreciating the convenience of my own things while allowing other things to be what I use, and I feel that this has benefitted me greatly (as opposed to being upset at not having my own something or other, I make it work with what is available to me where I am, and acknowledge that, while my stuff would have been great, the current stuff will suffice for now).

At that, I’m off to bed in not my bed in not my house. I hope I sleep amazingly tonight and awaken rested and blessed with health, vitality, and energy for the day.

Post-a-day 2020

Home is where we are at ease

I guess one of the measures of knowing we feel truly at home somewhere is when we feel any sense of annoyance at having to stay the night away from that somewhere. My mom and I have to go out of town for the day tomorrow, and we are leaving around seven AM, so she convinced me to come stay at her house to get. It felt absurd to drive separately, and I didn’t want to deal with her constant complaints at ha but to drive an extra fifteen minutes to pick me up and drop me off on the way. (So, instead, I drove half an hour out here, to ride with her tomorrow an extra fifteen to twenty minutes each way, and then to drive myself the half hour home afterward… right?! And I’m the one who lives in the “inconvenient” place in town… closer to everything…)

Anyway, so I’m at my mom’s house… and I really just wish I were at home, in my own space and my own bed with my own decorations and systems and energy. I had a time this summer where I was very uncomfortable being alone at my place. This is the first time since then that I have noticed a distinct feeling of annoyance and disdain for having to stay at my mom’s instead of my place. Her house was my safe refuge before. Now, my space is my safe space, my oasis of calm, where I feel I belong.

And that is a very beautiful thing to discover for myself. I am extremely grateful.

Post-a-day 2020

Sleepy but tidy

I folded and put away some laundry, and tidied up some other little things today. My room already feels immensely different…, better. I still have lots more to do for things that already have homes or semi-homes, as well as more to do for establishing effective homes for others. And I am okay with that. I am glad and grateful and proud that I have tidied today despite having been exhausted and having desired to lie in bed all day, watching movies. (… which, by the way, I did not do.)

So, yeah, tidying makes a world of a difference. I am looking happily and gratefully forward to the world that awaits me with tidying all that I have here… avec impatience. 😉

Post-a-day 2020

Goodnight, goodnight

I am back home, and boy, does it feel good to be home.

Truly.

Thank you, God and World and Universe, for all of the love in my life, especially for the love in the form of my finding a home here, and especially tonight. Thank you all. 🙂

Now, to conch out and wake up super early for my (possibly) last test proctoring for the semester… to be followed by work training… for four plus hours on the computer… times two. Ugh… haha

Anyway, goodnight!

Post-a-day 2020

Cleanliness

It’s amazing how a clean (or not clean) space makes a world of a difference. I am staying st my aunt and uncle’s house for a few days right now, and so have been somewhat stressed because of the lack of cleanliness left by the last person who stayed here while they were gone. I have been wanting to leave since the day I got here, in a way… I want to be in my own, clean home setting, not here where almost every surface has something icky on it, floors included, and chairs, too… something I have to clean just to be able to use the surface… Of course, the necessary cleaning supplies are in short supply right now, so I had to use them with extreme discretion and rationing, not allowing me to clean all surfaces and floors… ugh…

The last time I stayed here a month without hesitation, and I only left because I had to leave for something back in Houston. Very different experiences here.

I feel like a Sophie Kinsella main character right now, wishing that cleanliness were part of the law. 😛

Anyway… so, there’s that, and it has been bugging me and I am ready to go home tomorrow as soon as I can (after my tutoring, which will go possibly all the way to 2pm).

Ugh… irony can be really annoying sometimes. Haha 😛

Post-a-day 2020

Unprepared

I don’t really want to write about this right now, but here we are and here I write.

I am taking care of myself like a mother to myself, because my mom is on the other side of town, likely long asleep for the night, and I am up here, house-sitting on my own. Even the dog is wiped out asleep.

But I am sitting on this bed, preparing to go to sleep – for as long as my menstruating will allow at once, or course – with eyes burning from the tears shed during my shower… my throat just a little sore from the sobs released… my brain struggling to see straight with this potential upturn of its outlook world. I have myself a glass of ice water, and it has already helped with my burning eyes and shaky throat and hands, soothing everything like a balm…

You see, I watched the film Remember Me tonight, the one with Robert Pattinson wearing the same bracelet watch he wore in Twilight. I didn’t know anything about it but that it had him in it, it was some sort of romance, and, due to the title, this romance clearly was going to end before the film did. Usually, it is death of some sort, but this film was giving vibes that it potentially could be just that death brought them together and they helped each other heal and move on in life, though now without one another.

…. Yeah…

(*****Spoilers coming up here, so stop reading the post, if you want to watch the film without a super major spoiler.*****)

Okay, so, the moment they showed the date on the board, I was stressed. I was already stressed-annoyed at the film in various ways at this point, how there just wasn’t enough of anything. But, at the date, I was beginning really to stress. I was extremely grateful there was no footage or re-enactment or anything of the sort of the buildings or the smoke-dust-rubble clouds. There is that. However, I was actually angry at the turn of events. At the obvious phone call. At how it no longer felt like a poorly done feature film I had just been watching, but like a small glimpse into what could have been someone real’s real life. And that that was how it actually might have gone for someone real.

And it just felt so real, I couldn’t let myself face anything other than anger at such an ending being sprung upon me like that – how dare they? This was supposed to be a film, not a sop story about our misery that day… and forward…

I was only a kid at the time. I didn’t remember that it was a Tuesday, but I remember that we were coming back to our classroom from gym class, and Kristen and Trish-Anne and I stopped to look at the television that was on in the ESL classroom – the televisions were almost never on, except for a rare film. But it wasn’t a movie.

What is it?? we all wondered and asked each other and no one in particular. Kristen had seen the longest view of the television. “Someone bombed the twin towers,” she said as she turned back to me. I quickly reviewed what I had glimpsed on the television: tall buildings, smoke and fire somewhere in the middle near the top. Her words make sense in such a way that they do not. She was wearing overalls that day. With her words, I didn’t understand how to feel, nor how I felt anyway. But I knew none of it was good.

Our teacher sat us down and explained what had happened. So far.

The buildings still stood at that point in time. That’s why it had looked just like a bomb had gone off. Not what had really happened.

I only remember near the end of the school day onward, now. There is nothing after the beginning of our teacher telling us what had happened. I don’t remember if we had the live news coverage on or not, but I know I saw it somehow… it is brandished in my brain, so I know I saw it eventually.

(**** Another warning: Graphic references coming, so be careful.*****)

While it was difficult to see such beauty disappear so suddenly, like a game of Godzilla at home with our massive cardboard building bricks, although more effectively, as they even went to ash instead of merely falling down everywhere, what probably hit me the most was – and this is difficult for me even to write right now – the people…. It was seeing those people, desperate in their last hope for physical salvation, jumping, as the building shrank toward gravity’s command. That and knowing how so many people had been able to phone their families and friends to share their verbal love one final time while living on this planet… knowing one’s impending doom, and having to say goodbye while still so seemingly whole and safe and well.

……

We have a few major incidents in our lives, ones that give us a kind of foundation to our ways of being going forward. Something happens, and it is mentally significant for us – we are usually extremely disturbed by it – such that we decide then and there that we never want to have to feel that way again, and so determine never to be such-and-such again. Therefore, to avoid such-and-such, we will do this or be this going forward. I have never been able to figure mine out. Not ones that really stand out above the rest. Not ones that show me the source incident for my desperate need to be right, or, at least, to know, whatever it happens to be.

But, in my shower tonight, as I gave in to the rising emotions within myself, and allowed them to surface and release, I began to wonder if one of my incidents just might have been somehow around September eleventh. Around that footage of those people, falling…. falling… hopelessly falling. It wasn’t exactly anything that happened directly to me, but seeing that footage happened to me. For days and weeks, and possibly months and years afterward – actually, yes, years, because I still do it today, both in the original way and in other ways – I would have these visions and thoughts of how people could have survived, what they would have had to do to get out okay, to make everything okay again in so many ways…. to make it just buildings and lost architecture. I had so many plans, mentally tested to every degree. Not everyone would make it out, I knew, but I would. Even if I had been on the upper floors, I would have. Because, perhaps in that moment, I became a sort of MacGyver. I had to have a way out of there. I had to…

I even had one idea – and this is big for such a little kid, I think – that involved rappelling myself down after Spider-Manning it to some nearby buildings and careening down a makeshift zip line… possibly even making several back and forth between the two towers, having people work together to get more of us out of there, and fast.

But why did I have to do this brainstorming? I didn’t lose anyone directly in the event, so I had an odd connection to it all to be so strongly enveloped by this idea. For me, though, it made life suddenly real, the danger of it real. I had recently been in New York City. We had gone into those buildings. But it was raining that day, and hard, so the observation decks were closed. So, we didn’t go up all the way. But we could have. And we could have gone later.

Why did those people die? Why didn’t they find ways out, or ways out in time? My answer back then, whether I ever said it aloud or not, was, “They weren’t prepared.” And, so, I would be. This was my wake up call and the beginning of my own preparations.

Preparations for what, you ask? For life. I was saying today how I kind of have a rough ten backup plans for any specific thing. And, though I was slightly joking, I know that I could start listing and probably reach ten rather easily. And that’s for anything I do or intend to do. And, also, for things I have done. I have evaluated them, too, and determined how I could have done them better… in myriad ways.

What’s more, to this day I take any scary scenario I see in a film or show, or just hear about, and end up going through, in the side of my mind, the best ways to get out of it safely… even though it has nothing much to do with me and my life. I cannot face a scary scenario in anything without automatically doing it. I just have to figure out how to get out of it, get out of there, and survive, stay alive, be safe again.

Anyway, my stomach is hurting in an achy, sleep-needing type of way, so I’m going to close this out and get to sleep already. All of this has been just some brainstorming on my part. I have always held a weird space with this event, especially in that whole reliving the crashes and shrinkings of the buildings and how to get out of them safely and effectively… in my fear to accept that there might be nothing that can be done when it is truly one’s time… in my desperation to make sure I am ready to face whatever comes my way. There is a shaking terror within me at the idea of being unprepared, caught off-guard… a life-threatening terror. And seeing this in this new light has shaken me somewhat tonight (and also a lot quite physically).

We didn’t go up all the way that day. I had figured and intended to go back and go up another time, on a clear day. I would be like in the Godspell film.

Except, now, I never would be. And neither would anyone else be…

Instead of crying myself to sleep, though, I determined that I wanted to be held and taken care of and loved and accepted. So, I am doing that for myself, instead.

At that, goodnight. 🙂 ❤

Post-a-day 2020

Here, and now

I am back home now.  It feels simultaneously very weird and very regular and okay.  I don’t quite know what to make of that.  I’m partly worried that I’ll go all paranoid and panicky at some point, be it suddenly or slowly and surely…  I hope that I remain calm and loving to myself – that will make everything okay for me with all of this.  My fears, though founded, can turn minor now.  And, though I was afraid even to come back here, I know it is the right place for me to be. I am scared, but I am facing my fears, little by little, but head-on…, and I can do it. I can do this. I can bloom and blossom right here, right now, and each day and night going forward. I can be true to myself, and take care of myself, and love myself. And I can do it right here, in this place that, for now, is – still – my home.

Post-a-day 2020

Vroom Vroom

Today, I went to my mom’s house to bring some salmon for dinner for my grandparents (who are still there due to hurricane damage at their home in farther-east Texas), and to hang out with them and with my mom. Where I am house-sitting is about an hour away from my mom’s house. I have express permission to drive the Vespa (which was, essentially, a copy of mine only a few weeks after I bought mine) and the Porsche, because, “It’s the cheapest car we own.”

Take that in for a second, will you?

Anyway, it’s a 1999 Porsche 911, a little car made for speed and spectacular performance. I drove it (with the owner in the passenger seat) once years ago when he first bought this particular one, and he had me go up in the highway and experience the sheer speed the engine can produce. I remember noticing that we were going 96 miles per hour despite my having had no idea we were much above even 60mph – I had told him at the time that the car just felt comfortable there, like it was made to go that speed more so than any other speed. He agreed with me, and then gave me a breakdown on why that felt to be the case. It was a really cool experience for me.

Today, I own a 2002 Hyundai Accent GL with crank windows and a 2013 Vespa 300GTS (that’s 300cc). The Hyundai is mostly a rainy day and grocery store car, as the engine can really only handle light use and short distances. The Vespa is, well, a Vespa. It can go 88mph with me driving it, but it isn’t made to do that very often or on the regular – it is really made to go 50-ish on the regular, possibly a bit more. Neither of these vehicles is anything like a Porsche. Nor was the 2011 Toyota Prius I recently drove for a while while a friend was out of the country – that one even less so, really.

And so, fast-forward back to today, when I fired up – and I use those words on purpose, because, boy, does it sound like someone just lit a massive fire when that engine roars to life! – this Porsche 911. It kind of made me nervous just to get the thing out of the one-car garage door (of a four-car garage, of course), I felt like I might blast a hole in something every time I even touched the gas. (Plus, with the age, the gear shifter was a little wonky to figure out at first, having to pull it way to the side for first gear, and even more way to the side for reverse, I was nervous of going the wrong direction straight into the concrete in front of me!) I had to run a quick errand first, and so experienced the world of growling beasts that are the low speeds of such a vehicle… I felt like I was going to break down just about everything that I passed, that engine was so strong and rough with its constant dull roar and slight explosion at every press of the gas pedal.

But I got over it after that short errand, and I took the dog for a quick little neighborhood ride before I headed out. I was told she absolutely loves it, and she even snuck out the gate while I was checking things over before leaving, and she climbed halfway in the driver door, despite my telling her to come back inside the yard. It was actually quite comical, so I couldn’t resist. I had considered doing it, anyway, but didn’t want to be running any later in my plans than I already was. When she so pathetically tried to crawl into the car, I had to go ahead with the original plan to take her for a ride.

Thus, the following… and no, I have no real explanation but that I imagine she might have been escaping the sunlight… the top and the windows were all down, and she knew it…

So, there’s that…

After I dropped her back off at the house, and gave her a treat as my departing gift, I headed out to my mom’s house. To start the trip, there is a quick stint of about six or so exits on the highway, before exiting for a ground-level Highway with a million stoplights and a surprisingly low speed limit for something called a state highway… anyway…

As I turned onto the feeder and headed the long road to the ramp onto the highway, I began really to feel the car’s power. I used to drive a new Volkswagen Jetta, manual, and was in love with the German engineering and the smoothness and classic-ness of the engine and steering and everything-to-do-with-driving of it. When I rented a new Volkswagen Beetle a few years ago, I was reminded of that fabulous engineering. Today, climbing up onto that highway ramp and overpass, my whole body reacted with memory and nostalgia at this experience of yet another classic case of stellar engineering. When the car felt like it was in its ‘chill space’, as I call the average vehicle’s 45mph feeling, we were going 85.

I might have gone a bit faster than that for a while, but I wasn’t paying attention to the speed anymore. I was feeling throughout my whole body the tingling sensation of memory combined with satisfaction and fulfillment. This is how a car should feel, I found myself thinking. This is a car.

And I meant it.

The top was down, the wind was blowing in just that way around, and I couldn’t stop smiling and giggling and laughing aloud, hard. I actually thought for a second, Wouldn’t it be silly if I cried right now? And then I noticed how my thoughts spoke without analyzing fully the situation… within seconds of having the thought, I noticed tears in my eyes. And not from the wind. I agreed with my thought, that it was silly, but I allowed the expression to be true and easy, and dove into my experience.

Driving this little car just felt right for me. It surprised me, but I could see that, now that I was trying on the idea, I truly want to make having one of these in my life happen – I want to have one of these 911s one day, to drive on the regular, wherever I may want to go in it. She is calling me, and I can finally hear it…

Vroom Vroom…

Post-a-day 2020

Swirlytop

I don’t have much to say right now, tonight. Except that I feel a lot of that old hurricane season waiting for the next 24-48 hours. It could be disaster, and it could be simply some winds and rain and no biggie whatsoever. It could not even do that much – the storm could turn elsewhere entirely, or dissipate immediately upon landfall. They all have happened in my lifetime, and more than once. I guess that, in a way, growing up in such a place, I find myself calmly in the middle of the total and extreme fear and concern, and of, its polar opposite, utter chill and calm and unconcern – it shall pass. Because they always do pass. Like final exams, next week, they will be over and done with, but there is a huge hurdle to get through them to next week. And all we can do is just prepare and then wait.

As I was saying recently to someone, having grown up in southeast Texas, hurricane season, somehow, always gives me a sense of at-home-ness. I guess it is kind of how I felt so comfortable with all of the earthquakes in Japan, because they happened so often (weekly, was the average where I lived). In a way, they were representative of my home there. So, I have this odd sort of affinity for earthquakes now. (In fact, when still living in Japan, it am earthquake didn’t happen for a couple weeks, I would feel so out of sorts, it seemed nuts. When finally one happened again, I felt like I could breathe more easily, more freely again.) And I think the link between hurricanes and my childhood, being with my family through them (and through their aftermaths), has me feel this sense of homeyness and comfort around hurricane season now.

Also, I am rather fascinated with the powerful display of this planet’s abilities of power. Air and water, two things we need to be alive, are the exact things that can take away this life via a hurricane. Yet there is beauty in their power, both figuratively and literally.

Funny: I just realized that I even felt incredibly at-home when we had typhoons in Japan. Just like home, I suppose was the feeling. Haha. How odd this all is…, but that doesn’t make it so any less.

Over the next couple or few days, there is a potential of two hurricanes to pass this way. We shall see what happens, I pray.

P.S. While this has never happened in my lifetime, I think there has never in known history been two such storms developing in the Gulf of Mexico at the same time. She’s kind of a one-storm-at-a-time kind of Gulf. ;P

Post-a-day 2020

I love my city

I really do love my city. I spent most of the day today out riding my bicycle around it, and taking photos of things I like, so that I could send them to my buddy in Italy, so that he could see some of the everyday and the beloved that are part of my life in Houston.

(What a sentence!)

What’s funny to me right now, though, is that, though I did that and I exercised and I made delicious food and healthy and delicious juices afterward, and I sent the photos on, and I chatted a long while with a good friend while winding down just now…, though I did all of these things, and I was incredibly satisfied by and fulfilled by my day…., I suddenly am filled – in my intense sleepiness, as I prep as quickly as is possible for bed – with an experience of loss regarding that guy… I almost want to cry, yet I couldn’t say why specifically… but it has to do with him, I know.

It is much like the song I wrote the other day about loving my city, yet not wanting to be in it right now…, because I wanted to be with him, instead… I was just going through all of these awesome photos, and it was on my mind how much I love my city…, and then, bam… some utterly unknown tangent busts in this old topic.

I know it was a tiny affair on paper, but it wasn’t tiny for me, for many reasons… and I understand that it isn’t just going to go away – it is going in small steps, with every day involving less and less brainpower and attention occupied by thoughts of him and that whole situation, and also less intense emotions connected to all of it… but, even still, it doesn’t feel good when, after a whole day of being in great spirits about it, my guards of logic and consciousness begin to close down for the night, and I am whooshed by a sudden sad reminder of something I really wanted – something I expressed wanting – didn’t work out, despite my going for it.

I’m just going to sit with that for now… perhaps it is what will do me best, not to resist it or disappear it right away… perhaps it still just needs to be felt at times…

So, I’ll feel it…

Post-a-day 2020