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

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…holding out for a (anger) management position…

“The thing about giving yourself a pep talk is that secretly you know it’s all bullshit.”
That’s a quote from a Sophie Kinsella book (Remember Me?, I think).  Today has kind of been a day where I got to live it.  Though, since I already knew this, any effort to give myself a pep talk was dropped almost before I started.  It’s not that I actually think life as I know or want it is coming to an end – indeed, the good stuff has only just begun.  But knowing that has almost no effect on the feelings of total misery and hopelessness that arise when I hit places like my current one.  Sure, I accept then, thank the feelings for sharing, and then move on to what’s next, but they really do suck when they’re busy hanging around.

I have been experiencing another one of these odd feelings of waiting lately.  It is as though there is a set amount of time I must go before I find a job again, and then, after that time period, everything will fall into place perfectly, and the waiting will have been totally worth the misery.

However, when I get these feelings, I always have to take a first step, be proactive somehow, in order for things to fall into place.  As I see myself growing more angry and on-edge each day, I find it more and more difficult to do anything productive, anything that could help with that first step.  I even have some plans for that step, yet here I lie, miserable and without having taken any action for them today.  I guess I would have to give up the idea that this isn’t where I want to be right now, living at my mom’s.  I moved out years ago, intentionally, and had no intentions of returning for residency.  Not for desire to be independent or anything of the sort, but because I don’t want to live the lifestyle of this house… at all.  Nor do I want to be treated like a kid again, as my mother does automatically most of the time whenever I am here.  Any time she has visited me in my own home, or anywhere else when I’ve not been living with her, she has treated me differently.  Sure, she’s always still a mom, and fussed at me for this or that.  However, it is not like how a parent talks to a child, how it is now.

Anyway, I have some things to get started with doing.  I want to live elsewhere, and yet here I am – this is what is available to me currently.  I want a good job that I love, and here am I, without employment.  So, little by little, I guess I have some steps to take, including figuring out what they are.  I know I’ll be all right, I really do.  It has just been mentally rough lately, and I so want to be finished with this near-constant anger, annoyance, and sense of hopelessness.  Guess it’s well about time I chat with Jude, hmm?  (I’ll start there, and see what I can brainstorm in that mental conversation.)
P.S. Bonus points to you, if you know what movie helped to inspire the title of this post.  It’s a family favorite of ours.  My cat even watched it with me after I first got him.  And he really did watch it.  It was kind of weird that he did, really, but also totally cute.

Post-a-day 2017

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

While everything is perfect

In this book I’m currently reading – okay, it’s an audiobook, and I’m listening to it, but you get the point – was a comment by the narrating character that rather struck me the other day.  She was talking about some date she’d had (or something like a date, anyway), and, though it seemed there was potential for another activity of some sort next, she had decided to leave.  She said, “I wanted to leave while everything was perfect.”

At first, I felt as though she was simply setting herself up for missing out by not going and for delusion by thinking that dates (or more of whatever it was) needed to be always perfect.  And then I considered my immediate responses, and discovered that I disagreed with both of them.

When I really began to consider her comment, it gave way to what felt like brilliance.  Yesterday, I was at a goodbye beach party.  There had been an option to rsvp for an overnight stay after the official party, and I had initially declined this option.  I wanted to sleep in my own bed, and several other factors helped me pick that easily.  However, once at the party, I found that I didn’t want to leave so soon.  I began exploring the logistics of staying the night, and found that there was possibility of enough space for my joining the party.

As I recalled my book’s character’s words, however, I began to think in a different manner.  Yes, I am loving spending time with everyone right now.  If I left now, I would be leaving while everything is perfect.  If I stay the night, what will happen?  And I instantly saw the probable, almost certain future of the situation.  I would stay, thinking I’d have enough energy to manage the night, and then eventually would hit a wall, want to sleep, not be able to get to sleep because of the partying people, get annoyed at the overly drunk partiers, and have a miserable end to the party.  Whom was I kidding here?  I would rather leave while everything is perfect, than stay until I’m furiously agitated and starting to hate the people I was currently loving.

And so I left a short while later, had a wonderful time riding home-ish (same train, different stops) with the group of girls who were leaving at that time, chatting and joking and having an overall wonderful time together (as I already mentioned).

And the party as a whole ended perfectly for me.  It was just plain cool to have had the party go so well.
Tonight, after another beach day with a different friend, we had planned to go to this awesome salsa party, with this Grammy-winning DJ and various salsa performances and live music for social dancing – it’s a big deal party celebrating the anniversary of some club, essentially.  And it was only like 20 bucks to attend, which is way cheap for such a thing here in Tokyo.

When we arrived back to my friend’s place, and I had showered from the beach, I began to consider that line again.  Could I “leave” while everything is perfect?  Could I just go to bed now and not go, and be happy with that?  The answer was a resounding “Yes.”  I had been exhausted all day already, and am far behind on sleep for this past week – I want sleep.  I love dancing, and I love cool opportunities like this, especially to attend with friends.  And the risk was incredibly high that I would grow to exhausted, smoking would be too intense for me in the club, music would be too loud for my already existent headache, and I would be crying (possibly literally) to go home and drink a bunch of cool water and just go to sleep.

So, I stayed home, and it was perfect.  Now, I am off to some much-needed and much-wanted sleep.  Goodnight, World.  I’ll see you when my head feels great again in the late AM.

Long story-ish short: I think it is a very valuable phrase, “I wanted to leave while everything was perfect.”

Post-a-day 2017