Value in being valued

On a walk the other day with my mom, we met these nice old people who live on her street, just after we picked up some ujukitsu off the ground in their backyard/the abandoned small golf course. Turns out that they met one another while teaching for a year in Japan on a military base (that is no longer in existence) near Tokyo. I am familiar with the train line that led to it, according to them. Before Japan, they each had taught a year or two in Hawai (he) and the Philippines (she), and then they met and married and moved to teach on a base in Germany together. They were part of the foreign service teaching for 14 years altogether, I believe they had said. Then they moved to Houston and taught in elementary schools here until they retired. It was adorable to hear.

Considering my frustrations in this part-time job I am now working, I have wondered if something in school teaching is still calling to me. I miss having classes of kids, and teaching something – and something valuable – each and every day I go to work, and being loved and trusted and valued by those around me, in immediate interaction with me every day. Though, perhaps it is less about the classroom and more about the respect and valuing and love that comes to me in a classroom, but that has seemed nearly nonexistent in this position. I have even felt disrespected and incredibly undervalued and unappreciated here.

I wonder what there is for me to do about that.

I know one thing for sure: I’m tired of relying on the way I am told things work. Word-of-mouth information is faulty, and it has proven itself to be so over and over again in this job. I am tired of it. I will do my research for all of my questions, and clock the hours and expect no pay for them, and I will be prepared for all the stuff at this job that will pop up at some time or other – the crazy situations all seem to be inevitable, and I prefer to be prepared and to know what on Earth is going on. So, I will prepare myself, and I will not rely any longer on anyone else to teach me what I need to know or what they all think I need to know – that has been terrible so far, and I am done with it.

In doing that, I will be prepared as I want to be prepared, and as I always prepare myself when I care about something. The system is faulty, and I do not have to follow it – I can do better than it, and I shall, especially in this part of it.

Separately, I am doing more photos tomorrow morning, and I am nervous. I have been doubting and stressed since that bad photo shoot where I didn’t trust myself the other week. I know I need to take photos to move past this, but that doesn’t make it less scary for me. Someone will be relying on me, and I will be relying on a camera… and myself. Now, I just need to trust myself, and do what is needed to be done. Even if that seems like a ridiculous something. You can do this, Banana. Trust yourself and have faith in yourself – Jishin to Kokoro.

Post-a-day 2020

Next Step

Okay, training on my own (with mandatory videos) is complete! Now to do some in-person training and some solo study (because I want to do the latter, not because I have to do it).

I’m actually excited about the solo study that I get to start doing tomorrow. I really hope I start with it tomorrow. Things really do transform when we are interested, invested, and enrolled in them – I was rarely so excited about studying on my own for things in school… or even learning the information in the first place, at least for most of school… wow.

Crazy, huh?

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

Perspective

Today, one of my best friends from college told me that, though it is a vague idea, she knows what kind of book she would want to read if I had written it. She told me that I am the only person she knows who lives for the journey, and not the destination. Most people plan out their lives based on where they want to be down the road…, But then, as she mentioned, I take a two-hour detour on a 14-hour drive, simply because I saw something that interested me…, And it doesn’t bother me one bit that it added so much time to the already long drive. She gave other examples, too, that illustrated her point quite well.

What stuck out the most for me, though, is that I have never considered my life with these words…, Yet they seemed absolutely true. In the past six months, I have been struggling with a regular question of whether I am living my life all wrongly, if I’m messing everything up by doing things the way I am doing them. And I see now: the whole reason I’ve been feeling that way lately, is because I have been comparing my life to everyone else’s lives… But that is like comparing bananas to chairs – they are not comparable, not in the least.

I am not playing the same game as everyone else, and when I compare where I am to where they are, I am certainly failing their game…, But, as I said, I am not playing their game.

Some might say that I take the road less traveled, but I really think that I often don’t take the road at all… I explore the detours, and end up somewhere completely unexpected.

(This point can be quite literally illustrated by a recent hike I took with a friend of mine… She wanted to stay on the main path, and I was curious as to what this possible detour path would show us… Where we ended up was spectacular, and completely unexpected… And then I found another semi-path back to the main road, way up ahead, while my friend went all the way back the way we had come…)

I’m beginning to think that this is a huge part of why, whenever I have been asked the question of where I see myself in five or ten or 15 or 50 years, I could never quite provide an answer… It’s not that my imagination isn’t great enough, but that I genuinely have no clue as to where I will end up and what I will be doing. I know the person I will be, I know that I will love and I will be loved. Beyond that, though, there’s a world of possibilities, and each one has an innumerable set of detours I might explore. It is likely that, in this moment, my wildest dreams couldn’t tell me where I will be in five or ten years… Or even in one…

When I considered jobs growing up and throughout college, and even now, I’ve always kind of had the feeling of, ‘Why pick one? Let’s give them all a try,’ though, without actually putting it into those words.

It’s funny to me how much sense this all makes, simply because of two sentences that a friend of mine said to me today… Let us remember that I words carry so much power – whether we realize it or not, whether we feel it or not, someone feels it more than we likely ever will know.

You know, for the first time in several months, I think I can breathe fully easily now… I was right that I am failing at this life…, But I had forgotten that that life was not the one I ever wanted to live…

Now, I am free to live my life…

And that is just about the most exciting thing I have ever considered or said… 😀

P.S. Early, early this morning, the world lost the physical presence of one of the greatest people I have ever known, and possibly ever will know… I haven’t talked about it with anyone, and I don’t want to yet – I’m not ready for that. However, I feel like she was with me today in this whole realization… She has been a huge part of almost every major moment in my life since I began college, and I swear she was here this evening. 🙂 I have a feeling she will continue to be here in my life.

Post-a-day 2020

I, phone

“You have too much on our mind,” he said…, “Hai troppi pensieri per la testa!!”

Is he right?

I haven’t felt like I’m thinking about loads and loads lately…, but am I worrying, having thoughts run silently in the background, like the pesky applications on my phone, secretly using the signal and draining down the battery power without my even realizing it until I’m suddenly at only 20%?

Mayhaps… perhaps… it may be… it might be so…

Yes, yes, I can see it… the money and the fitness and the job-related… those have the tell-tale arrows next to them in the settings section, declaring that they were recently using my location…, as well as a lot of “should”s… I don’t even support shoulds, yet, here they are, attacking my brain, eating up the battery life…

Ugh…

I don’t even want to think about it right now… that’s how tired I am – I don’t even want to put forth the slight effort of sorting it out… I just want to go to bed already…

So, I’ll do a run or two or few on the mala, and clear out my active mind, so I can fall asleep powerfully… hopefully it can and will last for longer than it has been doing, and I can wake up with energy tomorrow morning, ready to take on at least one of these pesky background apps in my mind… 😛

P.S. Happy End to WWII Day, and Happy Mothers’ Day!! 🙂

Post-a-day 2020

Get your a** off the floor ;P

The biggest mistake was sitting down.

If I hadn’t sat down in the first place, I wouldn’t be stuck here right now, battling mentally with what it will take to get me to get up, go put on some clothes, and finish my post-shower, pre-bed activities so that I can go to bed and sleep.

However, here I still sit, leaning against my bed, instead of in it, and just a towel wrapped around my hair… eyes drooping closed and slowly rising again to determine if I have made it into bed yet, only to be disappointed to the point of closing them once more… the cycle repeats.

Okay, fine, I’ll get up and finish things up… I just don’t have anything for tomorrow, though I have more than one thing I would love to do tomorrow (if only it weren’t all dependent upon another), so it is harder for me to want to go to sleep.:.

Well, perhaps I can develop something wonderful simply by waking earlier than needed, and taking the time to explore what I might like to do, and then do it…

We’ll see about that…, but it is enough to get me up, so, here I go…

P.S. I Really want to go somewhere next week – no school, no work, no events… let’s either get a cheap plane fair somewhere or drive somewhere, a state or national park, perhaps(!)… ye-he-hess (Mr. Burns style, fingers and all).

Talk about crazy

I certainly feel it.

It suddenly occurred to me today that I am depressed.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I feel like I am crazy…

It is miserable…

At any rate, I am depressed.

And I don’t want to be anymore…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I can get myself out of this.

I can do this.

And it is okay to ask for support.

Post-a-day 2020

¿Por qué no los dos?

We met a lovely and true-to-form German man at the opera the other night.  He was so practical, 6’7″, very kind, and totally straightforward.  He was very docile and calm, but he was definitely German to the core, and in the most delightful of ways for us – it felt like interacting with family, despite the obvious distance between us.

He asked me at one point what I had studied while in Europe – my mom had mentioned my having studied in Wien and Germany.  I replied, “Language and Culture.”

He considered it, gave a small smile, and replied, “Language and culture… It sounds like everything and nothing.”

I considered his words, and chuckled heartily.  It was, indeed, true.

Conversation went to a bit of something else, and then returned to my studies and what “language and culture” meant.  “Grammar, history, arts, religion, social change, music, poetry, writing, dialects, politics…,” I listed easily, trailing off slightly by the end, all of us understanding that there obviously were many more I could list.

“So, it sounds like you are qualified for just about everything, then,” declared honestly the German.

I smiled.  “Everything and nothing…”  And we all smiled, gave a bit of a chuckle, and felt the irony of it together, to varying degrees.

I understood the turn of phrase best of all, having experienced most acutely the struggles of the truth of this joint statement of ours… I am qualified for just about everything, then,… everything and nothing…

Thus, the question remains: What, of all of that everything and nothing, do I choose to pursue right now, for now?

I think my recent thoughts have been accurate: I need some more art in my life – self-made art.  🙂

So, let’s art… for now… and let’s be comfortable and secure in the fact that it is okay to have this be for now, and to have something else, something presently unknown, be the what’s next…  Yes, indeed.

Everything and nothing, my dear… you can do it, Banana.  🙂

Post-a-day 2020

Dreams

Last night, I dreamed that I was in a live-in minimester course at UT (Austin) with the temporary professor Johnny Depp.

The class began beautifully (though a couple people almost got hit by cars in the road), and was about learning to pinpoint pieces of perfection within one’s artistic expression in various aspects of art and life.

He was a very good teacher and quite a silly, introvert-esque guy who really didn’t seem to be too bothered by anything negative, and who was a good teacher naturally, without really trying or having to think things through too much.

It was a great class and very non-professional-like in terms of traditional school, but the activities and approaches were spectacular from a learning standpoint – he really got us getting in touch with everything within our inner core, and challenged us beautifully.

He commented multiple times about how he doesn’t really have many/any friends, and that it mostly because 1) he was weird and 2) he was busy working on stuff and being silly, and most people had normal jobs and weren’t interested enough in doing something like a paint swimming day with trampolines and dogs instead of going to the office.

They aren’t too interested in hooky…

Thus began my brief time of befriending Johnny Depp…

And then the dream ended, and I awoke wanting donuts…

I still want those donuts…

… hmm…

Post-a-day 2020