Spare Change

dirty-old-truck-1475644-639x503Okay.  So.  The thing in the way of my happiness is me.  If I am to gauge that I would experience a noticeably larger amount of happiness were I to follow up with my plans and attempt to struggle towards my dreams.

So, weight loss.  Right now.

I hesitate to write this because I certainly wouldn’t want anyone writing about my status when I’m working on myself, but my sister is doing great with her low-carb.  I don’t know how much or how little she’s lost, but she’s feeling good, she’s doing it and I can see a difference and I hardly pay any attention to anything.   There is, not an insignificant amount of jealousy, in that I feel bloated and starving and exhausted all the time and she seems, from the outside, alright.

And I am making no money at all, (so it seems) and running out and buying fast food and eating out at places that aren’t really in my poor person budget, acting in old habits, airporting as I defined yesterday.  Just thinking about the

I think, okay, vegetables.  And my whole body gets pissed off.  I get pissed off about everything that’s out of my control or seemingly so…my job situation, the fact that you can have one of these lingering powerful romantic interactions with someone and be strung along for weeks, my mom being sick and having to suffer to do what we can to destroy the sickness and getting messages from my vacationing sister about how I need to be reacting and behaving right now.  And in that space, being able to have a sandwich or a piece of pizza or four or five peanut butter cups to quash hunger and everything else attached to hunger, is magic.

It feels like sidestepping the effects of time.

Yesterday’s truth: There is no day outside of the chain of days, time does not stop and restart, we don’t escape life to some other place.  We just live in or out of fear.

This is the story of the fat people of the world.  Sometimes.  Some of them.  Of me. The Brene Brown bonafide truth that you feel freaked out and vulnerable and you do whatever you feel is necessary to excise those feelings.  Eating, when you’re scared of your own power, is this magical shield that is also a sword.  It just shuts off the thoughts for a while.  I feel like if I am vulnerable to my thoughts, I’ll lose ground, not gain it. Start panicking about driving which I’ve mostly avoided for the past three or four months.  I’ll look around and see what I’m currently half-blind to – real unhappiness with the treatment I accept, real fear, real sense of time slipping out of my hands.  It’s all the mental surgery I don’t get anesthesia for.

I’ve put forth this diatribe before.  I’ve danced the dance, lit the candles, stood very still and waited for signs to emerge.

Yet. At the bottom line, it’s will I do it or won’t I do it?  Right now, I don’t have the strength of will to curb things slightly.  Right now, I want a big act or nothing.

Hmm.

London, London (Christmas in July)

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Here’s what I know:  I will enjoy the heck out of writing to you when and if you return.  If you don’t, well, it was a real pleasant learning experience about what I am emotionally capable of in a literary sense.  Here’s what I also know after Mr. Confusion, Mr. Rochester, and all the Misters in between…I have zero control over what you do.  Zilch.  No matter how I keen and sigh and refresh pages.  So.  Up it goes, into the boiling, hellish atmosphere to be as it must and shall.

Work has layers.  Sometimes and in some ways, utter chaos, complete implosion, infighting.  But I hear about these things, I never see them as everyone seems to laugh around me and this, in some ways as well, feels like gaslighting.  I never know what actually is beyond the fact that I freak out and end up assuaging the boss and talking about the future.  We just tramp right over the problems and say it will be fine and I think, more and more, that in and of itself is a big problem.   I throw myself over the fire and say I’m in it and then I get convinced for a while, but then, feel as though I have no idea where I stand.

So, I applied for a job.  Who knows.  I suppose that if I were, in the very unlikely event to get it, and if I were to take it, I would not find it possible to bitch here about it.  I said that before, though, and found my way.   Maybe that’s the only way to have success…to just keep throwing shit and see what sticks.  Not give two figs about the outcome.

Ah.

I am boiling over.  Broiling, cooking, squeaking, beeping.  Thinking.  Thinking about fear and how far I am willing to take things.  If the world opened up, where would I go.  What would I have?  There’s these instances of joy.  Of revelation, of overcoming obstacles.  Feeling sure I was going to panic while riding the elevator to the 28th floor, knowing the panic was because I hadn’t eaten and it was 3pm, knowing I was downtown where I always have panicky thoughts, not giving in.  Not turning around.  Handling it.  I’m quite proud of myself for that.

I sent my parents an email because I can’t seem to get over there at a time when they’re up so I just thought I’d make sure they knew that I wasn’t staying away out of some fearful reaction to the news.  That I feel disconnected, so I was re-connecting, regardless of what they’re likely not even momentarily questioning.  I was proud of that.

I needed gas in my car, and the agoraphobic tendency swelled around me, but I broke out into the much cooler and more pleasant out of doors and went and got it.  And a treat besides.  I needed to track down my college transcripts for this job application and I did.  A bear, a bother, but a point of pride that I didn’t give up even when I applied under the wrong listing and it said I was ineligible.  I pushed on this goofy, painful Monday and things will change a bit.

Until tomorrow, good friends.

 

 

 

Cet endroit chaud et lumineux

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I’m hopeful that I can carry this post over to MyFitnessPal.  I just need to be present there.  I am also hopeful that the internet will remain connected long enough for me to draft and post this.  I’ve written every day – however, internet blackouts have kept those posts as word docs so I’ll edit them in soon.

Some of this will be replicated in earlier posts, but I don’t think I’ve given much detail there – if at all, so I will not have to mind repeating myself.

Today was Sunday.  A day of not being on-call.  A day of not being anyone’s employee but my own.  In that regard, I did one thing of significance.  I left the house.

It is odd.  You build a thing up in your mind as difficult and it builds its own little wall around the idea.  What was once simple and easy and done every single day, for me, can become the sort of issue that I wake up and find myself panicking over.  I have, of course, been travelling on my own – particularly lately as I have had to take those long drives into the old stomping grounds to perch myself on the old stomping lane for my little part-time job.  In some ways, I have been doing precisely the opposite of what an agoraphobe desires.  I’ve been in public, talking with people, driving, active.   But in my head, I’ve been doing what I can to not think of anything.

My grandfather passing, dear little Peanut having to leave this mortal realm to wherever kitties play beyond this life, getting this new job and how much it pricks the heart of my body issues, visiting my friends and then realizing the depth of their absence in my life, feeling profound deja vu with issues related to the current job, feeling tired all the time.  That was May.

Food, through this, and soda, too, has been this coping mechanism.  The great cure-all to make time pass, to make time stop.  To shut out all the shaming voices that I hear about the failures and frustrations I am experiencing right now.  And the other good tactics I know about, in my head, feel impossible.  It’s those walls that exist around them after avoiding them for a month.  Exercise felt like digging through a brick wall with my fingernails.  Writing down the fact that I had ice cream for breakfast and a brownie for late breakfast today still feels like I’m spitting in the wind.  I feel embarrassed, but at the same time, like I’m not ready to take off the bandaid.  Even if I don’t have the money right now to keep eating out for every meal.  I have to start paying attention.

But I told my parents about the job situation.  They didn’t flip out.  They didn’t catastrophize the way I did for them.  They absorbed it and supported me.  They did, as they do, start to think of ideas what to do, but not as though I needed to do them…more of a group brainstorm.  It was okay.

Somehow, telling them what was going on took a load off of my mind. I didn’t need to go get some extra food after seeing them to take off the edge of having spent so long thinking about these painful things.  I didn’t go buy a bottle of soda just for the craving.

So I feel, somehow, like I’ve done something right.

And on another note, bonne matin!

Lego My Ego

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I am going to try and do double duty as some kind people on MFP have noted my absence there and I am trying to both rev myself back up to start tracking again and empty my brain of all of the resistance I have.

Confessions:

I obviously did not track while away for the funeral and vacation.  I didn’t want to.  I didn’t want to think at all.   I don’t know if I wanted to float as idly as I did, but that’s what happened.

So I’ve drunk soda.  Quite a bit.  That’s happened after more than a year of not drinking it.  I think I’m still capable of turning on a dime and not drinking it again, because the return is infinitely diminished, but I have to actually make that turn and stop.
I have eaten…not great things.  Cupcakes and lava cakes and tacos and random hamburgers and basically hardly even a green thing at all.  My body doesn’t like that at all.  We just sort of ate out constantly, first because of the stress of the funeral, then because we were vacationing and everyone had that mantra of food feels good and there was a lot of good tasting food to be had.  The idea of ordering a salad or having a smaller portion honestly did not occur to me.
I did drink less coffee, if there’s anything to be said for doing that.
I didn’t eat as much as was physically possible if I can get any points for that.

I think the deal is…the new you.  The new iteration.  I’m back in my house, back in my patterns, back in my thinky-thinky brain and you’re just a nice guy I get to think about who likes my facebook pictures and posts and whose pictures and posts I am daring now and again to like.  You live very far away.  You’re not a threat to my creepy little existence.  You, unless I really fuck up wonderful, can’t make much of an impact except in one important little way.  You can make me feel good, like I exist, like I have a draw and a pull on another human being even if that pull isn’t any stronger than a refrigerator magnet.

So I need to get back into the diet.  There’s this impulse, like hey, you’d be more willing to be confident about this if you were confident about you.  Then, the impulse that he seems to just like me and he’s very far away so I don’t have to race.  But he didn’t even exist before and I wanted to do this then so what’s the deal, yo?

Ego.

I am just going to spend the next three days tracking whatever goes into my mouth.  I can do that.  I have done it before.  Then, tracking and adding back in the exercise and getting myself rolling.  Get back on the scale.  It’s not so terrible.  It’s just a habit I have to make by repeating the motions.

 

 

It’s All That I Am

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So, when in doubt, when you’ve eaten dinner at 10:35p.m. because you suddenly thought you were ravenous for polenta and roast beef stacks with carrots and you realize that maybe your body is not happy with that choice at about 11:19p.m. when you’re due to be well on your way into your daily post, you should blog, as ever, about love.

This group is interesting.  It’s strange.  It is pulling me towards my best and shittiest behaviors and inner thoughts.  It’s this Mst3k group for people who are looking to date, and I don’t know if I’m looking to date, but I know that I’m looking, I have eyeballs and such and occasionally a twinge roundabout that reminds me that I am a lady with the parts of a lady that into, in generalities, the parts of a man.  If I may be so coarse.  So, there’s more gents than ladies in this group.  There’s a few people in the state, but it’s just starting so, there aren’t more than you could count on one hand for me, men and women included.  And this, I think, is good for me, because there isn’t that instant feeling of needing to progress yourself towards a meeting so quickly.  The men and women of the group are all, in some manner, geeks and nerds.  We’re all into some Venn diagram of genre literature/video games/comic books, you know the stuff.  We’re all at least on that level tangentially related to one another.  It does provide for an easy place to start with saying, oh, hey there.  You like x, I like x, isn’t x great?  Aren’t we great for liking x?  There aren’t strait-laced jocks who want to barge in and look you up and down and put a price on you.  Even that’s an awful…ah.

But that isn’t to say there isn’t some curious shit that goes down when you dump a pile of random geeks of varying ages in a “room” and say…all of y’all (with the exception of the gay and lesbian members who are a bit starved for choice at the moment) are open to the idea of “it” if they can just be convinced that you can provide them with “it”…so there’s a lot of unearned compliments (it could just be that I have zero comfort with anyone telling me I’m beautiful, particularly if I haven’t formed any level of attachment to them) and near-flounces and “nice guy” shit.  Ladies owing dudes time, messages, forgiveness of problems and defects.  But I can’t for a minute call anyone up on that if I am just as image-focused and projecting all my body issues out there wildly on everyone else so that a bit of fairly clever back and forth with a guy gets a bit deflated in my head, not by the epic distance of states upon states between us, but because I have an image of what I’d like to be happening.

Basically, there’s another guy in the group I like – a couple, really – but one I had a dream about, one who reminds me, I’m sure, on a distant level of Mr. Rochester.  I dunno if he likes me, only, that like a giddy teenybopper, I noticed he liked a picture of me.  Which feels like something, despite not being anything. All these behaviors that I’m messing around with…I know how childish they are.  I know that teenagers do them and recognize that they make people feel like shit and grow up and stop.  Game playing.

It’s just pushing me to get clear about my business.  That  I don’t have to feel mad at myself that I have a preference.  It’s nobody’s fault.

I’m just…ugh.

One more day until we enter the Twilight Zone.

The Sweet Consumptive

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HEY YOU.

You know what you need to stop doing?  You need to stop putting caffeine in your body in the afternoon.  Sugary caffeine in your body 3-4-5p.m. ain’t doing you no favors when it comes to this whole chilling the fuck out situation…

So, okay.  My plan was to write on the short story and get that all sewn up and then gleefully post the word count here and go on to my other projects.  That, I don’t think is going to happen.  Still gonna try to work as so often after I refuse or think that tonight is not the night for it, some vision will bubble up to the surface, but this girl is jumpy and panicky for no reason.

Well, the reasons are that I exercised and I ate below my calorie counts for today – mostly by having a big lunch (or a lunch that filled me up at Panera that was good but full of salt and sugar) and then added a tall skinny caramel macchiato – my weapon of choice these days – and I saw that damn, that’s the calories I need all used up.  So I stopped with the eating (save for a few pretzels).  And now I am bouncing off the walls, trying to focus and freaking out that I can’t.
So that’s why this post is happening.   Sorry, I want to say.  But it’s really borne out of something good which is giving a damn about doing this when I have had all sorts of terrible impulses and giving up the trick vibes and I haven’t.  I’ve lost 14 pounds so far.  I started higher than ever before, I have further to go than ever before, but I’m still going.  I’m definitely still learning and the lessons become clearer all the time.

I am also hanging out in a MST3K dating facebook page group.  I don’t know.  The whole premise makes me laugh – not the idea of the group, which is a fine and sensible idea and I like, pretty exclusively the guys who are intelligent enough to find MST3K funny, but the idea of me being there is laughable.  Because it’s me being an encouraging force for people to chill the fuck out about being so goddamned desperate about finding out of this relatively tiny pool of people spread out all over the country.  It’s me being this sage voice of reason.  There’s worries about the ratio of men to women, who messages who and when and I…for my part, feel as though there’s no rush in the slightest.  People – men – have been kind to me, but I realize how much I’m hung up on Mr. Confusion’s style.  A man who can write to me like he could and I’m not…it’s all a probably terrible idea, but I’m staying on that road, too.

In the interim of all this, I found the time to get obsessed as hell with this short film set to Ane Brun’s music which I think is such a beautiful work of art…did I mention this yesterday? Perhaps I did.   You should watch it, oh my word.

I love it so much that the young man in the film who becomes the old man, totally mentally cast him in my story.

Okay.  I feel very obnoxious, so off I go.  Till tomorrow.

The Red X

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I am sitting at my desk to type this post.  I am going to sit here and type the whole thing whilst on my less than comfortable chair.  I am not going to pull the laptop back to my lap and sit back on the bed.  I bought this desk for a reason.  I think I am becoming Quasimodo, hunchback-wise (his most salient descriptor, I suppose, aside from the ugliness we conflate with hunchbackery) and I think it’s unhealthy.   I know it is because it causes me pain in my shoulders as they wrap around me. I feel the straitjacket of my own ribcage, my own arms protectively surrounding me, squeezing my heart.   There are no breasts, there is no body, there is just a shape.  The shape that holds the phone up to the face and takes in cat videos and shimmies fingers to set timers that are inevitably ignored.  The inertia is profound and negligible.  When I can’t, I don’t.  There have been so many days when I don’t, though, that I stop asking whether or not I can.

I will stop when it hurts enough.

I am noticing today how much better my mind feels when I read, when I listen to intellectually provocative material, when I engage myself in an inquiry not just of self, but of the media I take in.  When I push.  Laying/sitting/reclining in the bed day in and day out has some sort of knock-on effect of relaxing my ability to coalesce thought.  I am not treating my writing as the honorable, necessary exercise that it is.  As the lover I love, who loves me so desperately that he calls to me at all hours, murmurs in my ear, pets my arm and says “Let’s just try, it’s only just for us.”  In response, I shift and turn my back and say, just one more video, just one more act of creative voyeurism, the release of looking at worlds made and projects lifted up to the light.   I know the muse feels the coldness, I know the muse feels regret.  We could be so good together if I could just let it in.

Every now and then, though, I sit up and I say.  Okay.  I say, if you’re sure we’re not going to make this a big deal.  If we’re just going to play.  The pilot light bursts forth in a shroud of heavenly blue, the shoulders release, the dancers stretch their legs.  The muse and I climb beyond the bay window and walk down to the water and watch this far-distant ship slowly turn and bring itself into the harbor.  After what feels like hours of waiting, it finally drops anchor and all of the pirates jump over the the hull and swing ropes onto shore.  The dancers emerge and guide them up off the beach and in the rough-hewn, thatched-roof cantina, we drink with them and listen to their adventures.  Their hungers, their thirsts, their old shanty songs and we take notes.  They don’t mind us eavesdropping, not so long as we let them dance with the dancers and drink all the mead.  Eventually, they drop, drunk, exhausted and drained of all their stories and we crawl away so as not to wake them.  There are only a few hours left until sunrise and they won’t be here in the morning.

Every now and then, the notes are readable, they make a sort of map.  And every now and then, the muse and I climb up over the bluff, and eastward, and south-south-eastward, and look for the stand of three threes that reach up as if in prayer.  We use branches and invented shovels, and sweat away just at dawn, just as the sky moves from its groves of oranges and violets to that first breath of heavenly blue and dig at the red x.  Deeper and deeper into the sandy soil, until there is a thump.  We’ve hit something.

Every now and then we open the chest and it is not empty.  It carries in it another map that the water and acid of the soil has not tainted.  And every now and then, though our arms are tired and we’re keen for a picnic, the muse and I will follow that map to the next.  We will go until once in a very great while, when we’ve forgotten the clever pirates’ great claims of riches and spoils and are only concerned over discovering the next Red X, and we’ll use our dirt-stuffed fingernails to claw open a chest that holds no map.

It will seem empty at first.  But we’ll sit still, blinking at it and at each other for a very long while.  It feels different, the muse will say.  It does, I will say. It feels like an ending.   Satisfied, aching, under a heavenly blue made dark save for its map of stars, we’ll head back to the shoreline and try to sleep.