Friday, January 31, 2020

Sitting in Starbucks

How do I sum up what I haven't been keeping this blog updated on for months...

...First I think I'm gonna go to the starbucks bathroom real quick because my fingernails are too long to type fast. Brb.

Okay. I'm done clipping.

Well, there is one thing. I got my first set of tattoos for my birthday last month.
Eating at a local pizza place afterwards!
A couple days afterwards, when they had healed a bit
That was really fun, and for anyone wondering, the font type was Bodoni Book. Just because it was close enough to the complex serif-fonts that I was looking at, but simple enough to show up in a tattoo that small (according to the artists at the shop, Moon Light Tattoos in Loveland).

Other than that, well, the job that I started back in September (just a few weeks after the Aug 31st wedding), it's coming to an end, as I put in my two-week's notice on Monday.

Makes me think of that Michael Jr. standup clip where he talks about how he was just gonna leave his job, and didn't care about waiting two weeks, saying something like, "Two weeks from now, you're gonna notice, I ain't been here for two weeks." I can identify with that. I've had a couple bad days since Monday when the combination of 1) the weather being too gloomy to feel like the sun would ever come back, 2) the way my sleep schedule and breakfast habits had gotten backed up and tangled up, and 3) the simple knowledge that all my work duties had been completed in advance and I wouldn't have anything pressing to keep me occupied during the day if I went in, was all so much weight pulling against any desire to get up and drive to work just to not be needed that I called off early in the morning.

...It's times like this that I look at a sentence I've just pieced together and edited a couple times and wonder, "will anybody actually understand that, even if grammatically I've not made any real mistakes?" Makes me kick myself and then think about how it would have come out even worse if I was just rambling in your ear trying to make sense without editing any of it first.

Whatever. If someone cares to understand it, they can read it again, and that's what I like about written communication. Sure, you can try to remember what someone said afterwards, but man, if they say a lot for a long time, how much of it will you actually be able to remember verbatim? There's also just the human capability to misinterpret a phrase, and then reiterate it in their own words as if quoting that person, which can seem like they're purposefully twisting their words if the original speaker heard their account. God knows I've seen that happen way too much at my job in the kitchen. Sure, none of it came from my boss who hired me and holds my utmost respect for being both a hard worker, a good leader, and a kind, understanding individual with an incredible amount of patience. He doesn't try to get into the details of whose fault it was, but just tells them to quit acting like kids. I mean, he doesn't phrase it that way, I don't think. I can't remember his exact words x) anyway.

So while I'm sitting here...what are some things I need to get off my chest, things that I've put off posting about, that I have the time and presence of mind to attempt a record of?

Then that makes me wonder, what is really worth writing? Is it to help me, to let people know how I am, or just to occupy my mind this morning as I try not to think about the fact that I don't have a job after this one and I just need to get in with a psychiatrist so I can start going to therapy again and also have more insight into the medicinal side of my treatment? I did look up the people on the list of psychologists that our insurance covers, and I found one that's also a psychiatrist. That's been something I've needed to do for over a year, it's what my doctor keeps saying that I'll need to do "if this next addition to my meds isn't working" because she won't have any other go-to's with her general practice's experience and training.

Okay so the thing with my sentences being so long and convoluted: there's two possibilities that I'm considering. One is the possibility that I've been away from school for too long, and I've just been in a working environment where being a wordsmith or even grammatically correct was nowhere on the radar of my coworkers; another is the possibility that I've always been kind of rambly with my speech and writing, but I used to have the attention span to re-read what I'd written and then change it, while now I instead just give up and leave with a sense of having lost my capacity for meaningful and succinct communication. I think it's a combination of both. But still, I don't think I'd fix the problem just by reading books more and conversing with people whose vocabulary and patterns of speech are richer and more "bookish" the way I want to be able to think and therefore write... Maybe I'm just going through a crisis of voice. What do I want my voice to be as a writer? How do I want to come across to readers, and do I really need to try to "be something I'm not" by using bigger words or better phrases? I don't know. I do know that I do want to be able to convey deeper messages than can generally be conveyed through casual, conversational language. I want to talk about life and death, aspirations and disappointments, and all the things I try to solve in my thoughts. I want to put it in writing so that I don't just keep turning it over and over in my mind, which, while my meds have helped with that "circular, non-stop jumping from one thought to another" feeling that was overwhelming back in 2016, isn't neurotypical quite yet, I can say. There's still some imbalances of serotonin and whatever else is missing up there. The obsessive compulsion to always write in full, non-fragmented sentences is a trait of one of those imbalances, I'm sure. Or it's a result of the imbalance having been part of my growing up for those developmental years, and has now made a permanent mark on my perception of myself and the world around me.

I also use passive voice a lot, and I remember that back in 2011 and before, my MS Word grammar correction would underline sentences with passive voice as if it were incorrect. It's not only a reflection of my "passive" nature of not wanting to attribute blame to anyone in particular when speaking about a problem, but it's an aspect of the Indonesian language that I was introduced to when my parents were recounting their language learning lessons during our first year in the country. I didn't really have my own lens to look at that world through, but I knew what my parents thought of all the cultural differences. Sometimes I sided with them in their first-world bias, and other times I rejected their aversion to the culture I lived in from age 8 to 16.... Did I just jump from the subject of my speech patterns, to my mental health, to my speech patterns, to my childhood and thoughts of my parents' influence on my perception of the world?

I think that this is exactly the type of thing I've needed to put into writing. I don't know if it will offend anyone reading, or if this instance of vulnerability will come back to haunt me. Not like many people read my blog. I did that on purpose. But hey... If that dream of becoming an author did come true, I think the kind of people who would be fans of my fiction or poetry would be the kinds of people who would read my old blog posts and discuss them in ways that might make me regret how open I'd been.

But maybe I could just get over it and not worry about how one future version of me might think I'd been too brave. I've heard that people regret the things that they didn't do more than the things they did. One of those deathbed revelation things, like "go for it while you're alive, because there's going to come a time where you'll wish you had taken that chance while you had it."

Or maybe I just have a bloated sense of self, and I should think of myself less, and instead figure out what to focus on.... But then I think, if I don't know myself, both in my strengths and my weaknesses, how will I make good decisions in situations where knowing if I would be a help or a hindrance by offering advice or assistance? One feeling that I hate is that of realizing that I made things worse by trying to insert myself into the situation, because I really didn't know the background of the issue and the root of the conflict. When I try to mediate an argument, I don't want to make it worse by interfering, of course! And I would know if I was going to be halting progress if I knew myself and my limitations. And solving arguments is just one example of things you need experience and knowledge of yourself in order to succeed....succeed, that's a prepositional....what's-it-called... Split prepositions? No, that's split imperatives that I'm thinking of. It's a rule that prepositions need to have their object coming after them, but is that a preposition?
Solving arguments is just one example (of things (that you need experience and knowledge of yourself) (in order) (to succeed in)). 
Prepositions that have that many words inside them are clauses, right?

In a way, I want to go back to school to brush up on my memorized knowledge of grammar. But man, thinking about going back to school just makes my bones shake. Some of the worst moments of frozen panic that I've ever experienced were brought on by the multitude of anxieties that being a student can produce. Do I really want to do that to myself again? Or, rather, have I really grown and healed enough from that point that I could do any better a second time around? I hate making the same mistake twice. I really don't want to make an expensive mistake like that twice, either, especially since so many people's expectations would be upon me. I almost want to secretly get an online degree and not bother to tell people who wouldn't need to know.

Do I really care that much about what people think of me?

Yes. Parents and in-laws want me to succeed, to be happy, and to have a good job and a chance to move up in life, and I don't want to make them wonder if I'm really happy when I fail out of college a second time. If I do. I don't know.

This is how my thoughts unfold...hard to follow, maybe, but probably just hard to understand the logic and reasoning in the leaps of conclusions. I have trouble getting to the root of why I think one thing about a way I feel. Like, there's so much history and cultural association and learned bias that goes into one's worldview and just general interpretation of the events of one's life. It's something that a therapist dives into and brings a fresh, structured perspective to in order to solve the barriers that their client has in front of them holding them back from a normal life. That's something I'll be really benefiting from as soon as I can get in with a psychologist/psychiatrist. I was seeing Neila last year, but things got busy and I was working almost full time and things seemed to be going pretty great every time I visited, so I came less often. Then I got married and things were wonderful and I had that extra boost to get me off of one dark thought and back to reality. But winter changes those things, and I need to get back in with a therapist so that I can regain the stability that I need.

I think this has been a pretty good summary of the contents of my thoughts. I should get some solid food in me so that all this coffee doesn't just throw me into a jittery, obsessive track that ends up dumping me into an exhausted heap on the couch in a few hours... It might already be on that track, seeing as I've been writing pretty obsessively for about an hour and 45 minutes, but eh. I'll work it out. Food.

I could make some pigs-in-a-blanket and clean up the kitchen while they're in the oven, that would be good. It would get me back home, too. I don't really want to run errands until I get worn out. I think this is a good plan. :) I should post more pictures of me and Lily, too. I have a cat! taken in from my cousin whose other two boy cats were harassing it into a paranoid behavior that wasn't going away no matter what she tried. She's completely changed, has a brand new personality, actually wants to be out and around people, and gives love and attention in a way she never did before. It's beautiful.

Lily curled up in this space beside me on the couch and fell asleep like that. This was exactly the comfort I needed.
Okay, I'll close this off and start packing up to go home. Thanks to anyone who read or skimmed any of this, and I hope your day is filled with uplifting thoughts and that you are able to spread joy to someone else during your interactions with people.

God bless,

—ACS 1.31.2020
(still haven't gone to social security offices to change my last name yet)

oh yeah, and coronavirus. we're worried it'll become a panicky thing. so we got shelf-stable foods and water bottles just in case nationwide panic ensues. I feel like it's a kind of "prepper" sort of action to take, but at least I'll use all this stuff anyway, even if we don't lose power or need to stop using the tap water. Just in case. :/ Okay. Bye!

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