Normal life, again

Reading the epilogue of a book tonight, I found myself smiling and marveling at one of the ideas presented by the man to his love. He is giving her money to live a life she never anticipated or even hoped to pursue, because he wants her “to live”. He doesn’t mean, he says, that she needs to be jumping off tall buildings or swimming with whales – though he very much likes the idea of imagining her doing just that – just that he wants her to live life fully, out in the world as a full participant in it.

I was truly marveling at how amazing that would be… her going out and bungee jumping off a tall building and swimming with whales. That any average girl (well, woman) would have done such things, and that it inevitably would be a surprise to anyone who found out about it, because she was just so normal a person – as opposed to an obvious thrill-seeker or adventure type, I mean. How amazing that would be if I could ever have my life be such that I could go do such things.

And then I had a thought that rather shocked me, and that I mentally sputtered over: I have.

My eyes wide, I searched my inner head for clarification on the thought that had just popped up. I already have done that…. both of those…

And then, clear as day, I saw how I truly had actually done both of those things… and I’d forgotten about them. I see myself and my life as so utterly normal, even I forgot that I had pursued such adventures. Now, to be fair, the bungee jumping was more like jumping off of a tall platform led structure than a downtown skyscraper or anything. Though, I’m not too sure it’s safe or possible to bungee off those buildings in the first place… anyway…. But that was in college. I helped a small group of folks go, and it was a total blast. And, for the whales, I have to check to verify that they count as whales. They were whale sharks, you see. One even ran right into me, and I got to feel he fellow, skin to skin, while we meandered together in the waters.

**Okay, I just verified: They are sharks. So, in a way, that part is even more shocking: I’ve swum with sharks. And not while in cages. Haha. Frightening, really. But perhaps it would be even more frightening to swim with something two, three, or four times the size… with perhaps several of them around. Hmm… how could I have that happen safely in my life? Goals… ūüėČ

Anyway… when did I turn into this person? This person who adventures so easily, she hardly even considers herself as someone who adventures at all? Perhaps that is exactly why I keep feeling like I’m not doing the right things with my life. I feel that I am being unproductive, slow, and not myself…, and it might just be because myself is accustomed to adventure as the casual, the regular, the “Let’s grab lunch next week,” kind of statement – it’s just plain normal. And that’s why pursuing any semblance of normal life never quite feels right.

… Wow…

And that’s why pursuing any semblance of normal life never quite feels right.

Remember that, Banana.

Post-a-day 2020

Hormones and brain cells aligning once more

I feel that I am very close to being back to normal again… almost there…

It was actually really cool and then funny when, earlier today, I had completely forgotten that I hadn’t been normal lately – I was just so normal, and didn’t even consider that this normal hadn’t been my normal until the past couple days.

When something a little odd happened, as I considered how I hadn’t yet done something on the mental list of today’s tasks, and whether I would do it at all, it suddenly occurred to me that, until that moment, I had been being completely normal for myself… and it was a fabulous realization.

Sure, I was noticing it because I was entering into a tiny state of my miserable not-normal from the past few weeks, but that didn’t even bother me… which shows how close to normal I have come as of today.

I voluntarily worked on and almost completed (I genuinely didn’t know three clues) a Tuesday crossword puzzle, I did the extra assignment before an online workshop, I helped multiple people over the phone, I exercised without prompting from my friend (and she apparently skipped her workout today), and I even went out walking for a bit, despite the rain.

As I mentioned, I certainly had some struggle points today, but most of the day was not struggle…, and that was and is an immense relief for me.

I’m a few more days, I am hoping, I will be completely comfortable in my skin and life again…, and I am comfortably looking forward to it.

As for now, gotta sleep ASAP, as I volunteered myself to drive my grandma around for errands… starting at seven AM… what’s with me, you wonder?

We all know I’m a late night person, a night owl more so than the early bird… Well…,

I am with me… at last.

Post-a-day 2020

Hanging out

Do most people only spend time with friends in the form of doing something together?

Growing up, we would sit on the phone together, talking for hours – or as long as our parents would allow us – or we would go over to one another’s houses with no specific plan in mind, and just sit around together, talking, exploring aspects of life, and then doing whatever struck our fancy within the realm of that house/yard/neighborhood, but mostly house.

We didn’t really arrange anything – we just said to come over, and the other person did.

Nowadays, I can tell if it is adulthood or changing culture, but it feels as though this is no longer an option, or, at least, and acceptable one.

There are people with whom I want to spend more time in my life, and yet it feels as though I must come up with something for us to go do together, not at anyone’s home…

And I kind of feel like this is because, if I invited the person to my home, I would be at extreme risk of sounding like I am sharing an invitation for sex, or something like it, be it male or female I invite over.

Do you ever get that feeling?

I make a really good long-distance friend, in large part because – okay, mostly because I remember to call and I make time for my friends, but also because of this – well, because I can hang out over the phone.

One of my good friends and I regularly call one another to talk while we go on walks, sometimes together and sometimes with only one of us walking… and we just talk about anything and nothing, as though we were walking side-by-side.

My mom and I set the phone on speaker, and then each continue doing whatever we were doing, working on projects at home, or running errands, or whatever…

I love just hanging out with the people in my life, no pretext; just simply a matter of wanting to know what he or she was up to then and for the rest of the day, and does he/she want to hang out for a while (via phone or in person)…

And I’m scared of doing that…

Is that a real concern worth having, or is it all in my head that this isn’t exactly normal behavior with adults these days, just to invite one another over to hang out and do nothing in particular but be around one another voluntarily?

I’m thinking it’s kind of a mix… perhaps only good friends do this, not people of varying degrees of acquaintance… you know what I mean?

Hmm… we’ll see what I manage about this… I’m curious to see what I’ll do and how…

::finger rolls/drumming

Post-a-day 2019

Film ties

Sometimes, I see films that have a person as the main focus who struggles with certain situations, specifically socially. ¬†(Current society likely would call them people with autism or asberger’s, or something of that sort.) ¬†When I see these films, follow these people’s lives, I find it all too easy to fall into a similar pattern in my own life immediately after the film. ¬†I think to myself, ‘But I am not like this.’ ¬†And yet the¬†feeling is that the behavior is rather easy for me, as though I am at home in the behavior, in the odd habits. ¬†I go back and forth between seeing how I am so comfortably ‘normal’ in the world and how I have intense emotions and ties within myself when I deal with certain OCD-related situations…, meaning I go back and forth between feeling like I am a ‘normal’, sane person and a crazy person.

And I always just end up being unconvinced of either one.

I’m a little bit of both, it seems. ¬†And I think I’m okay with that. ¬†I’m not sure that I¬†like how it is – the OCD stuff can be utterly ridiculous even to me, and those situations are the worst, because they not only are intense feelings of needing to do something specific, but also the anger and frustration and embarrassment that I even have that feeling of need. ¬†I think I might prefer having little “quirks”, instead… kind of like how most people likely think about my OCD stuff already, if they even notice any of it. ¬†Yeah…, because currently, whenever I’m in a low rut, like tonight, after this film, if I think about the future, the feelings worsen. ¬†I struggle to imagine ever finding a partner in life who possibly could accept, let alone embrace certain things that I do, certain things that currently feel as though I cannot¬†not do. ¬†But something in me has faith and trust, and drags me out of that rut… I¬†will be okay. ¬†I will be¬†wonderful. ¬†And I have no idea if this stuff will stay with me forever or not. ¬†But, if they do, then I have many a plan for how to organize my life to minimize the struggle situations.

Post-a-day 2018

Crazy messages galore

Just to add on to what I shared last night, I share this bit of text message conversation between that same cousin and me today, following a photo she sent me via her mother’s phone.

……………..

Cousin: ¬†Phone has decided to stop working. Using mom’s for the moment. What do these look like?
Hannah:  Almost like champagne glasses
Cousin:  Quite bosomy. I had to get them for you
Tis admittedly a more generous bust than most.
I thought you might appreciate a cup size closer to your own. Most glasses are an A at best.
Hannah: ¬†Haha… Totally… I accept that idea. Personal champagne glasses.

…………….

Just another day in the life. ¬†ūüėÄ

Post-a-day 2018

‚ÄúYou could tuck in the mullet part‚ÄĚ

The things we say in our family member text messages – things which, at the time, seem normal enough to us – never cease to amaze me… and today’s was no excuse.

We were looking for a reasonable Elvis wig in the costume shop, for a Catholic Life Insurance party this weekend, you see, and one wig was really rather good, minus the few mullet hairs in the back.

Simple, and totally normal, right?

ūüėõ

Post-a-day 2018

A brief step behind the ocd and normalcy

Occasionally, I being to wonder if I might actually be a little crazy, or if it is all just in my head… and then I wonder if the two options aren’t one in the same…

I first saw the film “Girl, Interrupted” when I was little. ¬†And I loved it. ¬†But I have no specific reasoning as to why I loved it. ¬†I just did, and so did one of my best friends at the time, Jennifer. ¬†I even gave her the movie for her birthday one year, and she was exceedingly delighted. ¬†We just loved the film. ¬†For whatever reason, it was on my mind this week, and so I watched it today – day seven-ish of my illness-induced infirmity. ¬†Today, possible over a decade after the last time I saw the film, I saw something new in it. ¬†I watched the extras section on the making of the film, and it had, as I suspected to have been the case, the woman on whose life the film was based. ¬†She had written a book about her time in a mental institution in the 1960s, and this director had found the book, turned it into a screenplay (over about two years), and then made the film.

The lead actress, Winona Ryder, spoke of how she wished she’d read the book while she was a teenager, because it had ideas that would have been extremely helpful for her at that time. ¬†Having experienced genuine anxiety attacks, she’d had a glimpse of the sort of life the book described (but without the stay in the mental institution). ¬†And that’s what really got me thinking today.

They mentioned how so much of what the main character suffered was normal for people, very common, even. ¬†And I could relate to her. ¬†For certain parts, not at all, but, for others… completely. ¬†There are times when I look at myself as a sort of outsider, and I can say, ‘Oh, goodness. ¬†Whatever. ¬†Get over it. ¬†It’s not actually anything real. ¬†You’re fine.’ ¬†Today, I allowed myself to question myself after that statement. ¬†Am I actually fine? Or are you just saying that? Is it because what feels to be wrong just doesn’t make sense? ¬†Because I am better than this problem? ¬†It kind of felt like a 50/50, really.

So, I forced myself into my 200-dollar vehicle. ¬†After a few moments, I started it, and I drove to the store. ¬†I drove the wrong way to get there, thinking it was the faster way. ¬†And then I couldn’t figure out how I’d gone that way, because I’d known how to get to the store since before I could drive. ¬†When I arrived, I drove at an elderly pace through the lot, and eventually halted in a spot. ¬†It was the first spot, but I didn’t care and still don’t. ¬†For minutes, I sat there, car off. ¬†I looked around a little bit, and wondered what was wrong with me. ¬†This wasn’t the first time I’d had such an experience. ¬†Just recently, my mom had called me as I sat in the Target parking lot, and I was then wondering the same thing. ¬†I couldn’t figure out why I was – was it¬†afraid? – afraid to get out and go into the store.

I had driven to the store with two purposes in mind today (as is often the case when in similar situations): to get out of the house and to get food to eat. ¬†But I couldn’t figure out what to buy, and I didn’t know how to get from where I was sitting to the successful completion of my errand. ¬†And so I sat. ¬†I wondered about getting out of my head, because I was clearly stuck in my head…, except that I didn’t have any specific thoughts going through my head at the time. ¬†The only thought was about how I should probably get out of my head… but I couldn’t figure out what I’d been doing there, if I¬†had been in my head, because there were no thoughts there. ¬†I was just sitting, and I could feel how I was nervous about getting out of the car, but I had no thoughts or words to go with the feeling. ¬†It was just a feeling. ¬†When it finally hit the point of bordering on tears, I gave a big inhale-exhale and got out.

I went slowly into the store and got myself a basket. ¬†I went to the Texas wines to distract myself. ¬†(Not like I’d be buying any. ¬†You see, the rodeo showcases wines, and I always like to check the Texas ones in the store afterward to compare the wine garden prices to grocery store prices.) ¬†It worked. ¬†I sent a photo of a 23-dollar bottle to a friend of mine, telling her how it had been $10 for a little cup of it in the wine garden. ¬†I’d remembered the wine bottle.

And then I continued onward, found the smoothie thing I’d wanted, along with the noodle things I didn’t really want but felt I needed, because I wasn’t eating enough food otherwise (also part of the weirdness that made it difficult to¬†go to the store in the first place). ¬†I even gave myself two bananas and a special water (It’s a fancy, flower-infused water… oooh.). ¬†(I worried about the bananas, but I got them anyway, because they are good for me. ¬†Even now I worry that I might not eat them.) ¬†By the time I passed the Easter candy and had sent various photos to some of my Japanese kids in Japan, I was doing rather well, feeling rather normal and not so shaky on the inside. ¬†I played my audiobook on the way home, and it was splendid. ¬†I felt very much normal by the time I was getting out of the car at home.

And it makes me wonder yet again if anything is actually wrong with me, or if it’s all in my head… or, of course, if it isn’t just both.

I’ve had this thing around going to the store for quite some time. ¬†I don’t remember when it started, but today’s adventure was similar to the others. ¬†Oftentimes, I don’t even go to the store if I’m doing it alone. ¬†I scrounge for scraps of food, and make the unhealthiest of meals for myself in my desperate attempt to avoid going shopping on my own. ¬†If, say, my mom is going, I’ll go along easily. ¬†I even enjoy going along most of the time. ¬†But going alone is a rarity. ¬†I practically beg my mother to stop at the store on her way home some days, just so that I don’t have to go. ¬†I¬†do beg her to go with me regularly, and, when she declines, as she is apt to do, I usually end up not going. ¬†This applies to restaurants, as well as the grocery store or almost any other store.

To me, this all just sounds like nonsense. ¬†Like I’m just being dramatic, and¬†Goodness, get over it. ¬†That’s what my brain says to myself all the time. ¬†Sometimes it works. ¬†Yet this isn’t something that was around for just a little while, and has now disappeared. ¬†It actually seems like a genuine problem at times. ¬†I’ve actually not eaten multiple meals, because of it. ¬†And I’m not talking about only a handful here… ¬†doesn’t it just seem, well, crazy?

It certainly seems crazy to me. ¬†But I’m not crazy. ¬†I know that. ¬†This is just exactly the kind of thing they were referencing about the struggles people have in life that, when viewed with a certain perspective, have us viewed as insane, or borderline. ¬†If this were all someone knew about me, that person would have a completely different perspective than someone who has met me outside of this little pocket of craziness. ¬†And, like the main character in the story, perhaps that first someone would want to put me in a mental facility ‘to rest’ for a while, and the second wouldn’t understand why I kind of agreed that it was okay for me to go.

Anyway… hope that didn’t freak anyone out too much…

Post-a-day 2018

My life in a novel

I feel like pieces of my life – almost every day – could be parts of a Sophie Kinsella novel. ¬†Perhaps that is how she writes her novels; she combines all the ridiculous bits of her own life, with the plot of a made-up person’s life. ¬†Even if she doesn’t do that, I think this is good enough validation for me to do that myself. ¬†I mean, let’s be real here: I’m wearing a would-be engagement ring around these days, as though it’s no big deal, and I’m about to start telling people about how amazing it actually is, and how I think it’s a great thing for women to try at some point when they aren’t actually engaged. ¬†How is that standard white bread normal? ¬†Plus, wouldn’t that be a great part of a book about smart yet silly, somewhat crazy girl in her mid-twenties? ¬†Exactly. ¬†I need to start writing my own Sophie Kinsella novels. ¬†She has inspired me and shown me that my life has just enough ridiculous for such a story.

Post-a-day 2018