Good night; goodnight

Watching the film “Pretty Woman” tonight with my mom and uncle – one of my favorite films – I found myself saying, either aloud or merely within my thoughts, “This is one of my favorite lines,” an absurd* number of times.

I knew what was coming up next, and my brain grew extremely excited – I was even giddy – at the prospect of the upcoming line or exchange in the film… it just has so many good lines in it, my list of favorites comprises half the film!

Anyway, it was a lovely night together with my mom and uncle, despite his annoying what felt like pestering about managing yet another file transfer for him, simply because he refuses to move himself into the digital age…, so we have to handle things for him… (He wants to give files and photos to my grandparents, his parents, for them to put on their iPad… they are 89 and 90 years old and have and successfully use an iPad…, yet their child, my uncle, will not get himself an e-mail account or computer or an answering machine/voicemail, or use a cell phone of any kind…. and it isn’t about money…. If you don’t want to do that, I get it – I didn’t have internet at home on purpose…, but live life in agreement with that determination… don’t constantly burden other people for the use of their digital tools, because you won’t get your own… if you don’t want it, don’t make other people do it all on your behalf… it would be different if we were wanting to give him digital photos or something of the sort…., but he’s the one wanting to do these transfers and such all the time… do it yourself, man…. stop bringing us into it.

Anyway, that’s my stress express for tonight… haha

We had an interesting yet entertaining time doing a Monday crossword puzzle on my laptop before watching the film tonight… they both were intrigued and surprised at the opportunity, and it was a cool little mental activity for us all… usually, a puzzle is too small for three people to huddle around it and complete it together, and my mom always complains about my handwriting or the darkness of my letters…, but, on the computer, it was practically full-screen, and each clue was lit up while we were on it, and it simultaneously lit up the relevant squares on the board at the same time, so it was even easier than a regular paper puzzle is visually…, and the three of us got to do it together, all at once…

It was cool.

Annoying at times, but cool overall. πŸ™‚

So, yeah… it was a good night together. πŸ™‚

*I notice that I use the word absurd rather often when describing things within my life… I wonder if I am being overly dramatic, or if my life, in fact, is rather full of absurdities… at the very least, we know it is not normal, as made clear my cousin those several years ago during the acrobats conversation over dinner. πŸ˜›

Post-a-day 2020

Oklahoma, OK

And so the adventure has begun…

I had a bit of a cry fest this morning, on the phone with my mom, after I asked her to help me clear my mental space, and prepare myself fully for this whole trip.

I couldn’t handle the packing and all, and hadn’t yet started almost any of it, because the sheer volume of what all needed to be done to be gone for three plus weeks was really starting to stress me out… and I had only determined this the day beforehand, and gotten home late that night, after sitting and waiting for hours at one place, and then sitting in absurd traffic that supported the unfortunate and extreme unconsciousness on which our country tends to run, for another couple hours.

And I needs to leave home by 1pm.

So, I was stressed in terms of packing, to say the least.

Add to that my intense stress that has had me feel such an urge and almost-need to take this road trip ok the first place…, and we have some rather intense and almost incomprehensible levels and quantities of stress… it’s no wonder I was asking for help.

But, I used a lot of tissues, and I cleaned out my sinuses really well, and, though my mom went on tangents at times, the clearing really helped me to clear the space for myself, and get to work… and not just get to work, but get to work excited about it all.

And I left well after one… more like 2:35pm…

But I am here.

And I am happy to be here.

And my cousin is happy to have me here.

And I am going to sleep now.

Goodnight. πŸ™‚

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

Singing Sunday

Well, I accomplished a lot today, I believe.

I lay in bed, exhausted, for an extra hour and a half, after already having woken up almost two hours later than usual (!) (and I went to bed earlier than most nights); danced around my living room to the test recording of my song, to grow accustomed to it before recording it properly; stood in my open doorway, enjoying the weather, and watching people pass without even noticing me; I walked in the sun and shade on my own; I heard French(!) from some neighbors; I practiced, finalized, and recorded my song (only a video and simple audio version [versus with a good microphone, as for a CD or something], but still a finalized one!); played it for my mom (she almost teared up a bit, and really complimented it with her words along the way and afterward); painted a whole painting (from a fun and loosely-guided tutorial) on the porch, with my mom painting alongside me for a good while; I made another mala; I ate a lot of home-cooked food; I shared my song online (eek!), carefully excluding certain relevant individuals from seeing the post (okay, well, it was really just one person, but that’s beside the point); I listened to a lot of music from musicals that I hadn’t known until this weekend (Hadestown [stellar music!], 36 Questions, Heathers, Co-Op, and one whose name I am not currently recalling [only got one song so far from it and Co-Op and Heathers, but I’m liking them all so far!]); and I started to figure out the chords to a set of songs I want to learn to play on guitar.

Suffice it to say, today was a good day… emotions are very real and honest, yet very light… it is a beautiful feeling.

So, yeah… this was one of the best standard Sundays of my life… and I also stuck to my regular goal of having Sundays include painting, without even originally realizing that I was planning this particular paining event for Sunday.

With that, I go to sleep, exhausted on the other end of the day, and deeply satiated… for now. πŸ˜›

Post-a-day 2020

I said I’m sorry, Momma…

I never meant to hurt you-ou-ou…. I never meant to make you cry, but tonight, I’m cleanin’ out my closet.

So, as usual, when with my mother today, though we agreed that we always get into a struggle whenever I have to cook in her kitchen, and that it was best that my mom do the cooking (she was already planning to do) alone, and that I wanted to leave by 7pm…, she did not even finish cooking until after 7pm, and she fussed at me briefly for not helping her cook.

::face palm

Instead of struggling in the kitchen, however, I ventured to the attic.

It is a tiny space for storage, for whatever reason, but I had verified a few years back with my mom that it was okay for me to leave just a few boxes-o-stuff until further notice, and without it being any kind of struggle or strain on her in any way, so I had a few things up there.

Of course, creatures had wandered through the cardboard boxes, and humidity or rain(?) had touched one of them, but the contents were all still okay.

(All except that one doll, that is, whose long, curly hair had started to disintegrate, first falling off in chucks, and then all eventually falling out when I went ahead and rubbed it just to see what the result would be…)

I went through two of the boxes, threw away unwanted, unusable stuff, washed some clothes and towels that had been keeping things safe, put various items into the donation box, and saved the handful of items I intend to bring to my house next week (assuming I am allowed by society, of course), placing the box itself, folded up, into the recycling bin.

Knowing what is in the final box and a half, I have a feeling I will be taking a few quick photos and then tossing most of the remaining contents… I have simply reached an entirely new place regarding having things – having so much actually stresses me out… it felt so good to go through those guys today, and to handle them already… they have been a pressure on me ever since I stuck them up there, years ago… I can hardly wait to finish them up, and to move forward comfortably and confidently with what I own.

By the time we were ready to eat, I had not only gone through most of the boxes and handled the contents, but I had vacuumed the hall (for what had fallen from the attic upon opening it), and I had raided my favorites of my mom’s old cocktail dresses, tried them on, and requested to take one of them and to have another re-made for me, both due to my desire to have it fit a bit more comfortably (especially considering that my legs are a lot longer than hers) and to have it not be falling apart (sad, I know).

I also had raided my mom’s record albums, and taken the majority of them off her hands… I originally was just checking to see if she had had one of my own albums that I can’t seem to find, post-Japan, but it turned into, ‘Hey, you aren’t using these… can I take them potentially indefinitely?’… and she has no record player anymore, so she agreed easily.

So, basically, I went to hang out with my mom, pick up something important from her that I need for work Monday, – I know, kind of crazy that we even have work Monday, but we still do, as of this moment(!) – and to eat food together.

As usual, things didn’t quite go as intended… however, I cleaned out the attic, and gained a bunch of record albums… thus my quick reference to one of my beloved childhood crushes at the top of this… it was an attic, not a closet, but oh, well… πŸ˜›

Post-a-day 2020

What a day(!!!)

Today was my cousin’s birthday, March 8th.

I spent it in one of my favorite places in life: inside a theatre during one of their final rehearsals.

I absolutely loved where I was.

I trusted myself to be myself, and I was myself.

And then(!) (And Thennnn, and, gentlemen, and Theeennnnnn!!!), I asked out one of the actors.

Yep.

I actually did that, asked someone to go out with me.

I met him over a year ago, and wanted to date him instantly, but he was unavailable.

I placed the desire and the somewhat intense, actually, longing way off to the back and side of my mind, and I moved onward in life, only just slightly and occasionally wondering a version of, ‘What if…?’ around him.

And then, this Friday, I learned that he was not in that committed relationship from over a year ago anymore.

And my heart and lungs did a sort of flex and surge simultaneously, and I suddenly couldn’t stop wondering if he were seeing anyone at all now…, if he might not be available…, if he might have the potential of being interested in me…

For I was clear that I was still interested in him.

I’m pretty sure I wrote about him on here, even, and I still would say the same points of interest again now – if not even more. (Yep, I totally did, though only briefly.)

And so, after rehearsal, I called him to the side, away from anyone else – because I was not having this conversation with anyone else around, but I could not let myself go another two days without knowing, without doing something about this possibly spectacular opportunity that had just presented itself to me – and I asked him if he was seeing anyone right now (β€œNope”), and then asked him out (β€œYeah. Definitely.”), and it was terrifying and relieving and totally lovely.

When my mom came walking past shortly afterward – I had been on-task for her, helping with props, when I had talked to him, and I still was working (not terribly distractedly) when she came by – I said to her only, “I asked him out,” and she chuckled slightly.

“And?” She knew whom I meant.

“Yeah. Definitely.” I couldn’t even try to hide the smile on my face, if I had wanted, it was so big. πŸ˜›

After we’d finished all of our tasks for the night, and my mom was accompanying me as I unlocked and readied the Vespa, she looked him up OnLine(!), and started telling me facts all about him… as if it weren’t already going to be hard enough for me not to think about him constantly for the next 48 hours until I see him again (and then, who knows how long after that, too), now she was feeding me all the stalker girl information I could want (and would have barred myself from researching myself, because I never research a person I actually like)!

So, that was nuts but delightful.

All of it, actually.

What’s more, I’m pretty sure he’s younger than I am (though not by much), so I’m kind of rocking the cougar train, I guess… makes it all the more fun, I dare say…, because it truly is fun…

For the first time, I feel like I am truly trusting and being myself fully in such a situation with a man – I have spent so much time being worried around men, for all sorts of reasons, and tonight, at last, I was comfortable with myself and confident in myself FULLY…, and I acted accordingly, and asked out what seems to me to be an amazing man.

At the very least, he keeps eye contact in conversation, and it melts your heart every time (well, mine, anyway).

Eat your heart out… πŸ˜›

(I mean that as an endearing phrase from a beloved film, and not as anything else, just so we’re clear.)

Man…, I am so freed for myself, and joyed at my being myself – go you, Banana.

I love you, and I am so proud of you for taking care of you today.

My kakizome for this year are θ‡ͺ俑と心 jishin to kokoro Self-trust/Self-confidence and Heart… they are my intentions, my goals, my points of practice for the year, and I really experienced and emulated them today and tonight.

No matter what specifically happens with him, this is all going to be great, and it is definitely a beautiful step for me in being the person, the woman, I want to be. πŸ˜‰

Bravery and Beauty, Banana… bravery and beauty… πŸ™‚

Wow… what a day.

Happy Birthday to my Cousin, and Happy Day to Me!(!!!!!!!!!!!) ❀

Post-a-day 2020

We hiked!

Yay!

We hiked today, my mom and I (and a small group of dance people I don’t know very well, and my mom didn’t know at all).

It was faster than my mom and I wanted to be hiking, leaving us almost no time to look at anything other than the be-knotted ground at our feet (to keep from falling), so we didn’t exactly like that part.

But it was still a nice activity, and the few times that we did purposefully stop to look around were great.

We found the cave where Ayla must have stayed when she visited the continent…

(And a closer view… I didn’t want to get too close and bother the spirits guarding it…)

… and Rafiki’s tree(!)…

… and lots of other great bits of water and wild-life.

Totally great, right?

Right.

And then, to finish out the day, we all converged from our various activities – not everyone is up for hiking, as we all know, so there were other outdoor activities for the afternoon – to watch the sun set from a balcony at a fancy brewery that overlooks a lake.

It was beautiful.

It all was great, and it was especially lovely that this was part of a dance event – doing something outside of the dance hall / hotel / ballroom for once, and enjoying the fabulous weather together, and just being people who share a passion yet are not overtaken by it (that is, we can go do something else from time to time, and enjoy the something else together, too).

So, yeah… good day today… good weekend overall…

Despite that panicked anger that sprung up on me when I thought the beginner dancers were supposed to be considered to be of my level. πŸ˜›

(I admit that I grew very judgy and angry in those moments of misinformation…)

But, yeah, it was a good weekend, and the first time my mom tied in to a dance event’s events with me – and that was really cool. πŸ™‚

P.S. Ayla is from the Earth’s Children books, and Rafiki is from “The Lion King”.

Post-a-day 2020

Wow

Today, I wanted to ask out a guy at the gym.

But then, I noticed, too, that I was potentially interested in going out with this other guy at the gym.

And then there was the one with whom I’d always been in teenager love…, though I was kind of over it due to his utter lack of availability and interest…

And, on that note, there’s this other guy who has some shared background but a totally different occurrence in the world than the first guy, and I kind of would be interested in going out with this guy…

So, I had had it in my head that I might ask out this one guy, if the opportunity presented itself – I even had the conversation ready.

I was ready, and over embarrassment.

But then, I got distracted in my other distractions.

If I want to date all of these guys, I just don’t see its being a good idea… when is it ever a good idea to make the rounds of dating guys in any place we go regularly?

I don’t need to be dating everyone at the gym.

And then, what’s more, there is the chance – slight but there, nonetheless – of the first guy becoming available and interested… I fear I would drop this guy I was planning to ask out immediately, if the huge crush guy were suddenly available…

if that is the case, then is it fair for me to date him at all, when I already know I would choose someone else, when given the opportunity?

It’s kind of like offering a cute guy, and then offering Brad Pitt… kind of hard to resist…, though this one is much more likely to happen than Brad Pitt to show up… anyway…

It just doesn’t seem fair, to me… it would be unfair to both guys, I think.

And so, I was relieved a bit when the opportunity did not present itself – i.e. I did not have the easy chance of speaking to him alone today – and I did not ask this guy out.

Tonight, telling my mom about the silliness of it, she mentioned something simple yet somewhat profound for me.

She said that, before, I was not complete about things with myself – physically, emotionally, mentally, psychologically, and also in terms of comfort and what I might want in a relationship – nor was I complete about things that had happened to me… Now that I am complete about all of that, I am open to dating – emotionally, psychologically, physically, and mentally – and am interested in dating… that is I want to date.

Not just anyone, of course, but I am not opposed to it for some under-layered, hidden, or absurd reason anymore… Before, I think I probably couldn’t date… Now, I can.

And I want to do so.

And I’m okay with it not going anywhere long-term… which, by the way, is a huge deal for me to be thinking.

I’m happy to learn about one another by spending time together, and thereby evaluating if we want to pursue a relationship of some sort, be it friendship or a dating relationship.

I want to spend time with people, with men, even, one-on-one.

And I’m not afraid of admitting that – and it doesn’t feel like admitting anything, actually, because nothing is out of place in the want… all is well. πŸ™‚

So, perhaps, I will end up on a date (or million) in the near future…

Yes… maybe, let’s date, y’all. πŸ˜‰

Post-a-day 2020

Snuggle bug

The final night has arrived: I return to Texas tomorrow.

It is weird; I don’t feel like saying, “I’m going home…” it just doesn’t feel quite right.

For at least part of me, this is home – I am at home in Japan… in a way.

No, I do not want to stay permanently.

In dinner conversation, the idea came up of my working at an international school or special private school in Japan… and I almost felt a need to quell a rising panic…

But I reminded myself that I am safe and okay, and that I am perfect as I am, and I was able to remain calm easily and communicate nicely – aka I didn’t shout like a five-year-old, “Dame!” (No way!), but instead moved the conversation forward with a different route, so as not to offend.

(Because who wants to be told, “I kind of hate living full-time in your culture, thanks,”?)

Japan is a place for me to visit, that is for sure.

I even could see myself coming for slightly-extended-stays in the future, maybe for photography or something of the sort.

But not living here again.

I am sad to leave, but I am relieved to be going home to Houston, a place that always will hold a spirit of home for me.

I am nervous to go back to my low-budget life as a graduate student slash tutor slash up-and-coming photographer.

However, I actually am quite excited at the terror of what is to come next with all of it – classes and thesis, lots of graduation announcement photos, developing my editing skills, creating my kimono art show, teaching art & yoga (bilingually at that!), tutoring and teaching French and Spanish And Japanese, studying Japanese… maybe even watching some Olympic Games (I did buy some temporary tattoos and nail art to be a Japan fan during them…)…

Yes, I am looking forward to the next steps.

Especially getting even more fit… the gym has been something crazy for me this past month.

I have been totally fine without it, and even eating anything and everything delicious-tasting… and I have grown accustomed to being comfortable with myself more fully…

I am excited to return to the gym as my more-developed self that I now am… more true to myself than before (which was already purty darn good and true).

I am excited to see and to interact with my semi-crush-ish guy, and to be totally comfortable and okay with our being friends forever…

And to have that place be cleared up for something new and a bagillion times better to come into my life… I am ready to take on this life…

Thank you, Japan.

Thank you, Sara, my once-again snuggle buddy (now aged nine years).

Thank you, God.

Thank you, Texas – here I come. πŸ˜‰

Post-a-day 2020

Where is home?

I have been thinking lately more and more frequently about my upcoming trip to Japan.

It is now only two weeks away (not even, actually), and I am nervous but excited, and somewhat stressed.

But the stress isn’t about typical things, so much… not typical for most people, anyway.

It is about feeling a need to make plans for my trip.

Have you ever been busy and away from home for so long, that all you want to do is just go home and do nothing in particular other than be home?

Well, this is kind of how I am feeling about this trip to Japan.

I don’t really want to have to plan anything, because I feel like I am just going home and want to be home for a while before I start making any plans… plus, when we are home, we have time to figure out when to do things, because we live there…’we aren’t going anyway anytime soon.

But I am only visiting for a couple weeks…, about three weeks all together, I suppose… I don’t have all the time to schedule later.

Or do I?

I think I might just…

Anyway, I find it odd that going back to Japan feels like going home… like I’ve been off at college for the semester, and am finally returning home for the winter break…

But my semester has been two and a half years this time.

I wonder if it has to do with the fact that this was the first place where I was entirely on my own, as an adult.

I couldn’t go have lunch or tea with my mom, or ask her to help me do something or other, or go to her house for dinner and a movie… or anyone else who had become part of my staple people in life… I was on my own in my day-to-day.

And I built a home for myself, even though it became all too clear that the culture was not one in which I wanted to stay living and working long-term… I had said that I wouldn’t have to be paid a lot of money to go back to working in and living in Japan…, and that still stands.

However, a visit to Japan, as I always said, is a great idea.

And I am delighted.

I will test this idea of not scheduling anymore for now… I think it might help significantly for me… mhmm…

Post-a-day 2019