"The growth of understanding follows an ascending spiral rather than a straight line." ~Joanna Field

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Precipitous Life Changes

I mentioned in one of my last posts that I have a track record of spur of the moment life changes.
I just thought I would go more in depth on that.

First, here is a list of the more major life changes I can recall making on spur of the moment:

1.The most recent, of course, is to do Positivity Journaling.
2. Becoming vegetarian (with a focus towards veganism)
3. Stopping cutting
4. Getting my ears pierced
5. Burning a bunch of writing

The main problem with spur of the moment change is that you are acting without considering the possible ramifications of the action.

How will you feel about the change?
How will it effect others?
Is it sound financially?

None of these things get considered when you just jump head first into a decision.

However, out of those five examples I can only point to one that turned out to be a majorly bad idea.
So considering the risks, how is it I manage to make spur of the moment changes with a high success rate, and little regret?

I'll let you in on a little secret...
They weren't really spur of the moment.
In fact, the only one that really was is the only one I regret.

You see, while I make changes "cold turkey" as the saying goes, they are not unconsidered.

Except for #5 (which I will go into in a bit), all of these decisions were considered extensively... sub and semiconciously.

Let's start with #1. As stated in the same post linked above, that idea had been rattling in my head for months. The idea that I do not write about positive things.
However, in none of the conscious thoughts was there the idea of changing my bent or starting a Positivity Journal. Until the very moment I wrote the last piece of this post the thought had not crossed my mind in any recognizable form.
The reason I am having success with this change is not because I considered it for hours (because I did not). Nor is it because I am held accountable by this blog (which I obviously don't feel).
The reason I am having success is that I am ready for the change.

Let's now apply this to point #2.
When I left school, I was in a bad place.
I had just attempted suicide. I was still under the influence of an overdose, and I had barely drank or eaten anything for many days up to that point.
And yet, under this clouded judgement, I made one of the best decisions I feel I've ever made in regards to diet.
My mother took me to a restaurant and I ordered a vegetarian meal, after making a point of looking for something without meat.
When questioned I told her I wanted to become a vegetarian.
Until the precise moment those words left my mouth, I had not thought them to be true.
But the moment I said them, I knew it was.

In the weeks previous I had been looking at vegan recipes in order to cook for a friend.
I knew the recipes seemed appealing, but I continued an omnivorous diet.
But somewhere in me the pieces slowly came together.

I don't like eating most animal products.
A lot of them make me feel a bit sick, even in small amounts.
All of these recipes look and sound delicious.
Cooking this way is cheaper, and more filling.
All of these things slotted together until put in place by my sleeping-pill-addled mind to make me realise that, duh, I want this.
I was ready for the change.

Brings us to point #3, which has a slight variation.
Almost a year ago I stopped cutting.
And somehow I know I never will again.
You see, one night as I was doing it I noticed... this doesn't feel good anymore.
This doesn't make me feel better, it doesn't fix the problem, it doesn't do anything.

Which, of course, seems obvious to people who have never had an addiction, or don't realise theirs.
For me, though, this was a startling realisation.
While I had expressed a desire to stop (on many occasions!), knew that it was bad, knew it didn't help, etc., etc., I always came back to it.
Why was this? What was it giving me?
I still do not really know.

All I know is that on that night I put my knives away and could not understand it. I could not by any means wrap my head around why I had just done what I did.
It was a major change, and I would not say it was unconsidered. I considered it every day for five or more years!
But at that moment, I became (yes) ready for the change.
And that is why it is succeeding.

Onto a lighter topic for a moment to defuse some of that depressing funky smell.
#4, getting my ears pierced.
I never wanted my ears pierced. I didn't see the point of jewelry.
Still have a hard time with more than the barest idea.
But one day while we prepared for my eighth grade graduation my mum and I were in the mall, and she asked if I wanted my ears pierced.
Deciding "What the hell, why not?", I did.
I still have my ears pierced, I have not let them grow over.
I actually quite like having the option of wearing something on occasion, though I mostly do not.
And looking back on it, I can say it had crossed my mind a bit in the time up until then. I just never had a good reason to do it.
It took grad to make me ready.

Now, back to a more depressing thing.
But also the exception to my list.

Early last summer I was cleaning out my basement room to bring my things up to the (much smaller) guest bedroom.
I was in a good emotional space, I think. I was off my medication, I felt happy enough. (I've since learned that I was probably still under effects of the drug, it can take months to fully stop effecting your system!)
So when I came across all the old things I had written in the heat of my depression, my suicide notes, my rambling letters, my pages of the word "sorry" written over and over in 3mm high letters... I collected it all up. Pulled out the most important and least depressing pieces. The artier ones.
The rest?

I dumped it in the fire pit and lit a match. (actually a lighter...) To really drive the point home? That was the only time I've ever played with gasoline. I dumped about 500ml onto the flames to make sure it all died.

And as I watched it burn?

I had to do everything in my power not to stick my hands into the fire and pull it out, save whatever I could.
And I honestly wish I had, no matter the burns I would have gotten.

You see I did not consider that decision. I was not ready to let those things go.
I erased a huge part of my history, and I can never get it back.
There are many things I do not remember about those five years that would be so helpful to know, would help me understand a lot of things.
Like why I cut. I know I explained it more than once in those writings. When and why and how I started.
Like what exactly happened in the sexual abuse I went through. Flash backs only give you part of the story.
Like descriptions of the hallucinations I saw and heard.
Like the blood I spilled to write in my language.
Like the drawings I did that show things I don't fully understand anymore.

All these memories, all these important pieces of me... five years of my life consumed to ashes.
I still feel pain when I think about having done that.


The point of this post was merely to point out the whole "ready for change" concept.
Change will happen when it is, if you let it. You just have to be open to where your heart leads you.
However, at the same time, making a decision overnight is a good recipe for disaster.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


What you may have noticed (probably not, why are you looking that hard?) is that I did a little work around here.
Dusted, vacuumed, finally disposed of the bodies. Y'know, the usual spring clean-y stuff.

I went through all the labels on this blog and got rid of the multitude of useless ones I had, and tried to streamline the more useful ones.
And the reason for this?

I dunno, mainly just felt like it.
But also, I've been wanting for a fair while now to put up a list of my taggies for easy searching of the blog. And with the vast number of pointless or confusing ones I had... ugh.

So, yes. You can now find topics listed by usage to the right hand side.
If you find something confusing, or have an idea for an improvement or addition, please tell me. I kinda suck at this.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Positive Thinking cont., Moving out, Shift Change, Downsizing, and Up Styling

Well hello again my lovelies~
I've got a number of things I feel inclined to write about today, all some what connected, but none too extensive at this point.
So let's delve in:

First thing I would like to address in this post is a brief check in on my last post.
While I still agree with what has been posted there, there are some developments in the last twelve or so days that I found intriguing.
One thing I would like to note is that while the idea for that post had been jostling in my head for months (at least since February), the decision to start a "Positivity Journal" was a spur of the moment thing as I wrote that post.
And while I do have a good track record for spur of the moment changes, they are generally poorly advised. But more on that in another post.

1. I have been keeping the journal, though I started on the 16th, not the 15th.
2. The entries are quite short, some days only one point, and maybe not the most magical of a point.
3. I feel more inclined to write right after I add to the journal.

And it is that last point that I am going to expand on in yet another post. I guess basically you can think of this post as a foreshadowing of the future of this blog. Neat, huh?

Another thing I feel like talking about today is my relatively imminent departure from this abode.
However that is a multifaceted topic.

Firstly, I have acquired employment! Yay me, yeah?
It is above minimum wage, however (and this leads to another point on my list) it is a night shift.
So I have flipped my sleeping schedule upside down basically. Which is kind of neat, and actually gives me more time to do things I enjoy.

Working this job will be giving me enough resources in order to, before the year is out, enter into a solitary living arrangement.

However, as many people know, entering into your first solo living experience often means small spaces and limited resources.
That's where the downsizing portion of the title comes in.

I am trying to determine exactly what I need and use, to help myself start a less cluttered lifestyle.

Which leads so nicely into what I like to call "Up Styling", based on the idea of "UpCycling". (I probably didn't come up with Up Styling as a term. But I have no idea if I picked it up from somewhere, or where I would have.)

Basically, Up Styling is in the realm of Lifehacks and similar. Tips and tricks to make life easier, but also (because of other factors in my life) more compact, reusable, clean and eco-friendly.

I guess I am becoming one of those yuppie hipster people? I don't know.

Whatevs, that's all for this post. Just a quick update on things, most of which I am going to expand upon in the next couple of posts.

Good luck, have fun, don't die, and I'll miss you!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Focus on the Positive~!

Something I've never quite understood about myself is my lack of desire to journal (or blog) during what may be called "up" times.
You see, I like to keep a diary.
At least, I think I do.
But I find that when things are going really well, when I am feeling really good, good things are happening, the depression is at bay... I don't feel that urge to write about what is going on.
If I'm lucky I will feel the urge to write fiction.
But not about reality.

And I can't quite put my finger on why this is.

Now, don't take that to mean that things are bad right now.
Quite the opposite, in fact.

I just noticed it (again) recently.

See, I had that depressive episode at the end of April.
Which kind of soured my May as well (and a bit of June).
And I was writing in my diary, and on here.
Then I met a (wondrous) girl, started hearing back from possible job people, seeing friends, going to Ottawa...
And suddenly I have no desire to write.
Then had a close encounter of the bitchy kind with my old... friend...y...person...thing, R, and suddenly wanted to journal again.

The reason this disturbs me is such:
By writing down my negative thoughts and feelings am I not giving them permanence that I do not then lend to the positive ones?

I can easily look back and say "Oh, yeah, I really felt shit that day."
But I can't easily point somewhere and say "Look how many good things happened then!"

And even when I do journal about good things, or things I think are good, I tend to end up pulling out the negatives-- my fears, worries, where I think I screwed up or will.

And perhaps the reason I do this is tied to the idea of secrecy that our society places on "negative" feelings.
People are "supposed" to be happy. So we are taught from a young age not to show when we are upset (if we don't have to).
It is socially acceptable to be joyous-- but looked far down upon to be in a rage.

So perhaps what happened is I started writing the negative feelings because there was nowhere else to safely  (in my head) release them. But there is no ingrained feeling of needing to write down positive thoughts, because I can let them show.

It could also lead back to my habit of (over)analysing things. I don't want to look too closely at the good feelings for fear I will turn them into bad feelings.

I guess what I am getting at is I am going to try journaling something good every day for the next month.
Try and describe only the good aspects of it, why it makes me feel good, etc.
And see if at the end of that, it becomes as habitual as my other journaling.

I think focusing on the positive is a great piece of advice, and one too hastily rejected. So I'll stop being a hypocrite and try it out.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Finally, some pictures!

I'm always saying I'll post some pictures of something or other, and I never do. 
But I am so pleased with this current craft project that I feel the need to gush about it. So you get pictures. 

 I have spun up approximately 1.5oz. of bamboo silk that I won through the awesome Phat Fiber Sampler  Box blog, from Silver Sun Alpacas some time last year (or maybe late 2010?).

 I wanted to be able to make something out of it on its own, so I knew I had to spin very thin or I wouldn't get the yardage to make anything worthwhile.
I spun this to a fine lace weight, about 25 wraps per inch.
I got approximately 225 yards out of it, enough to make a nice lacey scarf thing.

 I chose the pattern Wisp published on Knitty back in 2007. This pattern alternates fishnet lace with garter stitch segments. There is also supposed to be eyelet rows in order to add buttons or ribbon so it can be worn optionally as a cowl or hood. I left those out and made some other slight mods-- fudging numbers.

 A close up of both the stitch pattern (the thin, more compacted areas are the garter stitch) and the one drastic stripe of deep pink that lined up so perfectly with the fishnet segment.

And one beauty shot of how this thing drapes. It is just amazing, I can't describe it.
I just can't believe I am making something so awesome.
I've never knit lace before (honestly never though I would), and even though this isn't the hardest of patterns (only two rows to know, one of which is straight knit) it works up to an amazing lace-- so the shock that I can do it might be what is getting me. I can't stop touching it and scrunching it and waving it and and and...

I hate pink, and yet I still love this project. The subtle(and not so subtle!) variations in colour are amazing.  I may just be becoming a lace knitter... which is insane, but hey...
(And considering my natural predilection for spinning  really thinly, maybe it is for the best.)

Friday, May 25, 2012

Some thoughts on Gender

I don't know what I am.
People seem to expect me to. People seem to want me to.
Because that is one of the first things we learn in life.

We learn who our parents are, we learn what we look like. We learn that we are a girl. Or a boy.
And those are our two options.

We aren't expected to change that fact, but if we do we are expected to flip the switch and go the other way entirely.

And I thought I could deal with that, when this all started.
I was confused. I was scared. So I kept the switch on. I taped it that way.  Heck, tried to glue the damn thing in position. And I did pretty well. Nearly seven years I ignored the damn thing.
I was a girl. For every necessary idea, for every purpose, every extent.

Then this whole thing started up again.
So many things had started to settle down, so I guess my brain decided it was a good time to remind me.
I was settling so many lies within myself that I guess I had to settle this, a major one.

But the options available don't work for me.

I am not a girl. I do not like the social context that girls are given. I do not like being seen as a girl. I don't like girl clothes, girl talk, make up, the ideal "female image". I don't want to have breasts, or to have kids.

And I know I am not a boy.
I don't like boy hobbies. I don't want a penis, I don't want to to hide my feelings or to feel unable to cry.
But I know I don't have to be a macho-man. But I know I don't have to be a girly-girl.

I know I don't have to like dresses, or doing my hair. Nor do I have to want to have DD-cup breasts and an eighteen inch waist. I don't have to have seventeen kids, or marry a man.
I don't have to drive a motorcycle. I don't have to sleep with everything in sight. I don't have to bottle everything up inside.
I can ask for directions, I can keep a level head-- not go all emotional at the slightest provocation.

So I don't know what I am.
I know I am not a boy, I know I am not a girl.
But those are the options given.

So I try to pretend that I am okay with this middle ground. Genderqueer. Genderfluid. GenderFUCKED.
I try to pretend that it is okay.

But it isn't, not really.
It matters to me, no matter how much I want it not to. I need the labels. I don't want the labels, but I need them.

I can't be a female bodied man, even if that works for other people.
I can't be a male bodied woman, even if the surgeon people would allow that.
I can't be a MAN, I can't be a WOMAN.

The only thing that I can think I want is to be seen as a man-- male pronouns, male name, male expectations-- but to be a woman-- female body, female feelings, female hobbies.

All I can do is think of the things I want. Because anything more than that, I am incapable of.

Unfortunately the things I want are twisty inside, so I am still trying to figure them out.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Another response post...

Hey there. It's 4:30 on a Monday morning, and I haven't gone to bed yet. And I'm not entirely sure when I woke up. Oh well.

Another blog I read posted something interesting that I wanted to reply to. But once again, I am too verbose and would feel like I am stealing the comments with my big response.
The blog, Raptitude, posts some really thought provoking things reasonably frequently.
And I encourage you to check it out. Here, however, is the specific post I am replying to: It's another Monday morning, do you know where you are?

“Here” is on my bed, in my room in my mother’s house. My hide-y hole, the only place in this house I really feel any semblance of safe, free, true. The only place I can do what I want, say what I want, look at what I want… but I still have to be careful.
Even here I feel bound and constricted.
I am here, with the most bluntness, because I failed in a suicide attempt a bit more than a week ago.
On a more general level, I am here because I have no where better to be, nowhere else that wants me, because college ended a bit more than a week ago, because I don’t yet have a job.

How did I get to this point, of a recovering suicidal, depressive, lovesick, feel-for-nothing genderqueer? 
That is a very long story, and most of it is irrelevant to this specific post, but I think I am going to explore it after this.

Today feels unimpressive to me. 
It feels about the same as yesterday and only marginally better than a week ago. Worse than a year ago, okay enough compared to a month ago.
I have a girl on my mind, nearly constantly; and it is pissing me off. The things I feel for her are more than either of us want from our relationship, at this point.
At the same time my brain is being pulled about by the need to find a job, by the depressing facts of my past and a person I saw from it recently; by the seemingly quietly hostile environment I am in.

Returning to my thoughts? 
The nothingness of my existence. My lack of control in all things my life.
The fact that if I let myself, I would have an eating disorder. That I fuck with my sleep patterns in order to control something, the same way as an anorexic controls food.
That even that doesn’t offer me any real control over my life.
The fact I that I haven’t cut myself for exactly five months.
But if I could, I would.
The fact that I don’t want to be in love, at the very least ever again.
That I can’t let myself feel things, because it ends in pain.
The insanity and obvious depressive elements to how I think.

My life, at this precise moment, is heading nowhere. I have no prospects for change. All I keep thinking is “If you change nothing, nothing will change.”. And yet it feels like I have no choice in my inactivity. That I have no option but to do the same things “If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.” And that’s all I’ll ever get.

Coming up? 
Eventually I’ll have to find a job that’ll take me. I’ll probably hate it—majority of the world hates their job. Maybe I’ll actually find a girl who will look past how broken I am and try to love me—I’ll probably fuck it up, as I have told myself I am not allowed to love again. That, and I am never enough, or the right thing for anyone. And that cycle will continue. New girls, new jobs. Eventually I might come across some I don’t hate, and can allow myself to love. Then I mess with that until I time out. Until life finally f’ing ends, and I finally get what I want. For what will feel like the first time.
What seems to be exiting my life… Relationships, a whole lot of them. Some not so important, some so crucially important I felt like they were tearing me to pieces to leave them. But now I have killed that feeling. Put it away somewhere dark and quiet. Maybe I’ll take this box out again someday and actually feel the emotions. But until then, I am as close to happy as I am capable of. So I’ll keep shoving it aside because I have cried too many tears.

So in the end, right now I am coasting. I am doing whatever makes sense at the time with the hope that it’ll all turn out. Because in the most fucked up way possible, I am one of the most hopeful people in the world.
I wield my hope like a sharpened boomerang. 

Did I chose to be here?
No. On even the most basic level, no.
I chose death over everything that I currently have.
And if I thought I could pull it off, I'd still chose it. 
If I had anywhere better to be, I would be.
So everything just sort of settled this way.

I am waiting to hear back from a job that I am hoping against hope I will be called to an interview for. That I want more than nearly anything else at this point to get.
I am avoiding a great number of things.
I am not really excited for anything, because nothing really feels worth getting excited about.

And finally:
Do I feel like I am where I am supposed to be?

I feel like I am in the only place I can be. Which is very close, but not at all the same thing.

That feels like a good snapshot of where I am. Depressing, hopeful, apathetic, over emotional. 

That said I do like the exercise, because I am a big fan of self-reflection. I hope others will participate as well.