The lonesome night with myself

What do you do when, at the end of the day, all you want to do is talk, chat, hang happily with someone you love and who loves you, and you have no one with you?  When you consider calling any of your beloved friends or family members with whom you usually chat on the phone, but recall that that is usually during the daytime on weekdays, when their own partners in life are off at work, and so they are actually home with their own beloved individual right now, and they really don’t have the time and space to talk with you, nor do they really want to chat with you right now, because, well, they want to spend the time with each of their special persons…, what do you do?

I suppose I could just feel sorry for myself, consider myself pathetic for having to feel sorry for myself in the first place, for not having a someone with whom to talk, for not having someone who wants to talk (at least, not yet).  I think that might even be my inclination at present and on most similar occasions.  As soon as I put the idea into words, of course, it sounds absurd and silly and totally not worth it (though still, somehow, enticing – at least that way, I get to be worth feeling sorry for, which would suggest that people would care about me, because I was suffering in some way).  However, that clearly does not serve my highest self, the best version of myself, but only the lowly sad, and pathetic version that exists mostly in my head from time to time.

Therefore comes the question of Well, what does serve my highest self?

Hmm… I’m not sure.  I’ve considered walking to the store to buy that gelato I want…, but then I feel almost guilty at wanting to get gelato when I want to be good to my body and to have good foods only on my list of intake… I mean, I know I ate that chocolate stuff earlier – which is silly, because I don’t even like chocolate all that much – and I’ll eat likely more tomorrow, but, by not getting the gelato, that is one thing fewer to add to the list of non-healthy things I consume.  Surprisingly, though, gelato gives me a sense of joy and happiness, which I think could be called positive.  And, my excuse about its being dairy and therefore worth avoiding, might as well go out the window, because I consume dairy almost every day anyway – it’s kind of like the candy thing all over again: one thing fewer on the non-healthy things (read dairy) I consume list.  Also, it is more money that I would be spending, and it would be for an ‘unnecessary luxury’, so to speak.

Those are my anti- arguments.

Now the pro arguments:

I like gelato and am happy eating a few bites of it in the evening.  I would have to walk to the store to get it – walking is good for me.  I need another few thousands steps for today, anyway.  It is only a few dollars, and it lasts days, if not weeks, sometimes.  I feel guilty considering having it.  While this one seems like it would be an anti- stance, it is a pro, because I have this feeling that guilt is not necessarily something beneficial for us (if ever)… on way of saying this that I have heard could be that guilt spawns from the devil…, though that isn’t quite how I think of it…  I mostly see it as something worth considering, whenever I feel guilt about something.  Oftentimes, I find that my feeling of guilt has to do with something that happened way back when in my life, when I was super young and super impressionable and didn’t know how to evaluate a specific situation on my own yet, and so took whatever it feels like I was told as though it were hard truth and the only way.  Kind of like how eating candy will rot your teeth out.  I heard it and believed it as a kid.  Now, I understand how sugars work on the teeth and mouth, and I actually have extremely good oral health, for which the dental hygienist always compliments me.  Yet, I still eat sweets.   Though, that isn’t the source of my feeling of guilt for tonight…

I think, actually, my feeling comes from the idea that ‘only fat people sit at home alone, eating ice cream.’  So, the little kid in me, who is terrified of being one of those people who don’t care about their own health, and how dare they be so mean to their bodies, and how could they possibly not play sports all the time?…… the emotions and thinking from that point in my life have me terrified to go get gelato – they peremptorily have me feel guilty about eating the gelato, because I’m not at my ideal fitness level right now.  All of this, just because I find myself wanting gelato… I hadn’t even really considered going to get it yet, when the feeling of guilt had already taken its hold…

Hmm… very interesting… very interesting, indeed.

Post-a-day 2019

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Fortunately, Not Quite Like Poe

It was a dark and stormy night…. I mean, it is a dark and stormy night, and it just so happens to be my first night in a new place…, which just so happens to be an old house that is very talkative in this wind tonight…

I feel so oddly exposed, though I am two floors up, because I am the only one here – no one is below to verify my safety, to verify that these sounds I hear are benign or, at least, fully outside and down the street…

However, life couldn’t have made it more clear that this is exactly the place for me to be right now, whatever the hardships that come with it.

So I’ll aim for rest, and possibly get it on this dark and stormy night.

Post-a-day 2018

Moving

I am moving again, and I have even less of an official deadline this time as I did last time… and that’s making it difficult to pack up and actually move.

I’m also ever so slightly terrified at living all alone (mostly because of the neighborhood, and the fact that, on the odd occasion, something goes wrong in it, but also a bit because I like the feeling of someone being in the house with me, and knowing that we can help to take care of one another).

But I deep cleaned the carpet today, and so can move in furniture Monday (Ah! So soon!), and even some more boxes tomorrow (to the wooden floors part).

I guess I am scared…, and I’m doing it anyway, because this is my next step forward on this path I’m pursuing… and I’m delighted about that.

Post-a-day 2018

The end of the day

At the end of each day, I have my alone time.  It is not an intentional act of mine, this alone time.  It just happens.  And I think it is necessary for me as a person… even though it isn’t intentional.

Whenever I am with people overnight somewhere, and we all head off to bed around the same time, everyone is usually surprised the next day to discover that I was awake close to an hour after we had all parted ways.  My mom, I think, is accustomed to my going to bed later than she does in the first place, and so she doesn’t really notice it until we travel together.  When we’re staying in the same room, she usually complains a good amount, until she finally goes to sleep and lets me finish my bedtime stuff.

Which brings me to my bedtime stuff.  I would call it my bedtime ritual, except that it isn’t actually a ritual.  And it isn’t exactly a routine either, because the order and timing change around, depending on the night.  It’s just what I do before going to sleep.  This includes, but is not limited to flossing and brushing my teeth, using the bathroom, washing my face, changing clothes, and reading.  Such has been the case for the past few, possibly even several, years.  This past year has added to it my showering, cleaning and irrigating my ears, and writing for my weblog (if I haven’t yet done it that day (which is most days)).  Sometimes, I stretch after my shower, too, but I usually forget that one.

These things don’t necessarily take all that long under normal circumstances.  Ask me to do them all in the middle of the day, and I’ll be finished quite quickly.  But having me so they all at night, just before bed, means having them take around an hour, possibly longer.  Like I mentioned, this time is my alone time.  Perhaps it is a subconscious act, taking so long to do it all, my mind giving me a chance to unwind after whatever the day brought me.  Some nights, I am utterly exhausted, and yet I still take around half an hour to get everything finished and actually turn out my light to sleep.  Sometimes, I just find myself standing or sitting somewhere around my apartment or room, waiting… I suppose I must be waiting for the unwind to finish, or something to that effect…

Whenever I travel to dance events, there is usually someone already asleep by the time I come in to go to bed, and definitely by the time I am finishing my bedtime stuff.  So, I usually find myself sitting on the bathroom floor (or next to a cracked-open bathroom door, if there isn’t really space to sit on the floor in the bathroom) in my pjs and with my hair wet, reading from my two books.  

The first book is always the same.  I began reading from it daily over three and a half years ago, as part of my desire to read the whole thing.  I have kept to my word on it (although there are two or three days where I honestly couldn’t remember the next day if I had done my reading or not, so I read extra to make up for what might have been missed) since I began, and have read at least a little bit every day.  I didn’t want to give myself a set amount that would burn me out, so I just said that I had to read something.  That could be as little as a sentence.  Some nights, it has been.  Some nights, it has been pages.  Usually, it is a few sentences or a little section within a section.  One day, I will finish it.  In the meantime, I am learning all sorts of outdated French words as I read through this Bible.

The second book is a different story. It isn’t even a requirement.  I began the requirement to read each day several years ago, before the Bible thing began.  Back then, I would find myself reading messages on envelopes or greeting cards as I was going to bed, because I needed to read at least a whole sentence in that day as part of my goal to read every day (which, in turn, was part of my goal to read lots and to read often).  Now that I have the Bible required for every day, the second book is just for pleasure.  For days when I’m at a particularly boring part in the Bible, I wanted to have something else to make the reading exciting and worth doing – extra encouragement, so to speak.  So, the only requirement of the second book is that it be something I like reading.  Right now, it is Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.  The last one was Catch 22, and the one before that was a Sophie Kinsella.  What exactly it is changes with each new book – just whatever’s next on the list, and also feels right for my nighttime book (gotta have something positive before bed, because those thoughts go with me into sleep).  Another rough requirement for my nighttime book (Bible included, actually), is that it be only my nighttime book – I don’t carry it around and read it during the day, too.  When I did in the past, I would rush through it so quickly, I’d be without a nighttime book again in only a couple or few days, and the whole purpose would be lost.  So I have daytime books now, in addition to my nighttime ones.  They’re usually on my Kindle (which is super cool), for easy transport.  My nighttime books are always real books, because I don’t really have to haul them around.  When I do take a trip, I usually just photograph the pages, if I’m limited on packing space/weight.

Anyway, I made it through the rest of my stuff too quickly tonight, so I had to spend more time on this than I had intended – I’m exhausted!  Going to read now (and we’ll see if it happens quickly, because I’m really liking where I am in Zen right now) ad get to sleep as soon as possible!  Sweet dreams, world.

Post-a-day 2017

Music creates life

You know, music really can make life feel worth living.

These past few weeks have been really odd for me, and this week, especially, has been quite filled (to partial explosion) with stress, and an odd kind at that.  This afternoon, as I had still two hours to fill, after what had felt like a day’s worth of work and several hours of painful efforts to sleep, I put on my jacket and rushed out into the hallways to get myself moving around, and in hopes of finding something to help pass the time, preferably involving movement (thus my vague plan of aiming for the gymnasium).

The music students are currently preparing solos (with piano accompaniment), and so I came across one of my lovelies (the Bass player) rehearsing in the hallway/student entrance area (there’s a piano there) with her accompanist.  They welcomed me joyfully, and so I watched and hopped around (it was filthy cold) with semi-frozen delight for a bit.

They finished after not quite ten minutes, and so I wandered on my way toward the gym again.  As I was making the final turn, I was caught by a trumpet and a couple clarinets (which was fine by me).  One of them had told me that she wants to play with me, but our scheduled time for today had to be canceled, because she had to go home after rehearsal.  But she was here now, and practicing…, so she dragged me in and got me to play a bit (though not together, since we only had one trumpet).

Then, when I thought they were all leaving, they told me to come with them upstairs to what turned out to be a brief a capella singing rehearsal.  They were sopranos, so I got to stand with them and learn the soprano part to a very pretty Japanese song.  It was almost spooky how cool it sounded and felt to be in the group, making such beautiful music.

Afterward, we established that one girl is crazy, and I declared my similar mental state.  She and I, and others off and on, proceeded to dance around to the music of others rehearsing… we high fived as I was about to leave, as a sign of joint craziness and joy, and I said my goodbyes to the room, with lots of love in reply.  I truly felt myself at home with this goofy group of musicians.

As I rushed out the door, and put back on my shoes, a flautist was in the hallway, next to my shoes.  He excused himself, and I said, “Play!”  Instantly, and with a smile and an “Okay,” he played part of his solo piece for me.  It was beautiful.

And it was standing there in that freeing hallway, listening to this boy play flute, that the thought crossed my mind, unbitten, “Music really can make life worth living.”

As I have struggled with life lately, – and no, I don’t mean in the sense of giving up on life as a whole, but just on giving up on this part of life, living here and doing this job and all of that – what has gotten me through every time has been music.  Sometimes it has been live music from these kids at school, or from the guitar I got as an early Christmas present last week.  Sometimes it has been from Spotify or my music collection.  And sometimes even just a single song that a friend sent me from YouTube.

Whatever the case, the source of my survival, my strength, my belief that this life is worth continuing and working at, despite its near-overwhelming hardships, has been music.  I finally understand a bit what a friend of mine meant, when she said she felt like she had died, when she lost her hearing and, thereby, music.  When I don’t have the music, I just get used to the solemn melancholy, the deafening silence of a lifestyle I don’t love – I grow accustomed to not living, and I despise the existence (but that all just becomes the norm).  And when I do have the music, I am excited for today, for right now, and for what tomorrow might bring – I feel the life inside me and all around me, and I yearn to spread myself around and live to the fullest.

Music really does give life and make life worth living, even when it feels like you have nothing else for you.

I'm part of Post A Day 2016