I’ve been percolating on things that “matter”. I had a health scare that I didn’t want to admit but it freaked me more than I let on (turned out to be a bag of nothing so yippee for that!). Technically I still haven’t admitted it it but life is looking a lot shorter with each passing day and when I lie in bed willing my eyes to shut I wonder “What have I done today that matters?” and honestly, I find that its sadly not a long list.
I’m not a psychologist but often I think I’d like to be. Then I listen to my friends who are experiencing therapy and wonder, could I be in your doctor/counselor/therapist and actually listen to you? You matter to me because you are my friend, but would I feel the same way if you were my client? And I don’t have an answer for that yet. I even found a lovely program that could put me on the path to becoming a behavioral analyst and got so excited but realised I was falling into an old habit of running away from “the thing that matters”.
Sure, I love figuring out why people do what they do and then try to help them do what they WANT to do instead of only what they HAVE done (that is not my most graceful sentence), but I gain infinitely more joy in making up reasons why imaginary people cant do anything other than what they are doing in my head. After all, is it not more exciting to try figure out if the human flesh portion of a mermaid would be clammy and grey or would the white alabaster skin be like a snake? What about their hair? What would that “really” be like?
In another life, I could become that behavioral analyst and be perfectly content but where I live, its really not something I can pursue to live off, either mentally or financially… well not yet, or I haven’t researched deeply enough…
Thing is I’m a “Whats the Plan B?” kinda girl. Even if I know with 95% certainty something will work, I need a plan for that 5%. There are times when this works well for me but its not working anymore and I’m finding that I’m my own worst villain in my pursuit to my name in print.
The behavioral analyst thing is my 5% and I can spend HOURS looking into how it will work for me and completely ignore my 95% goal. That’s kinda sad… tragic even.
On that note… I’m off to tighten an arc about an enchanted artifact that needs to get to my editor soon and ignore all open tabs related to any form of psychology that hasn’t got mythical undertones.
Tell me what you villains are and in what form they “manifest”?
I’ve been on a few interview panels and one question I find myself asking is “Where do you see yourself in five years if you got the job here?” Personally, I hate the question but it’s a good feeler of the type of person sitting in front of you, even if they are lying through their teeth… in which case, maybe not that good a feeler. Oh, and there is no “right” answer to this question but depending on the person asking there are plenty of wrong ones .
At an interview you are selling the best version of yourself. Like on a first date, you don’t share that your poop leaves skid marks in the toilet and touching the toilet brush creeps you out so you leave them and never have anyone over and therefore this potential relationship is over coz you have no intention of sharing your skid marks with anyone.
When it comes to work though, people generally want to appear more ambitious than they actually are. Maybe it’s because they think that if you think they lack ambition then you’ll write them off. No one ever says “I want to be wherever you think I should be” because that may make the interviewer think you are lazy and being seen as lazy is a fast way to not get the job. So we sell ourselves as “hungry for more” even when we would be perfectly comfortable earning a wage that ensures we never have to worry about school fees or having three square meals a day and be perfectly content.
Oh, for the record, I don’t (yet) interview people for senior positions but it does cause happy “tingles” when a young graduate (haven’t dealt with old graduates so I’m unsure how I will find that experience) sits in front of you and says they want your job in five years but when they are part of “the system” they turn into furniture those tingles turn into lack of faith in humanity as a whole.
Here’s what I find generally happens:
PERSON A: Gets the job because he sold himself as a go getter who wants to climb the corporate ladder and continues to sell this image until he is confirmed. After being confirmed this guy’s ideas suddenly run out and he slowly turns into last person in the office in the morning and first person out at night. This guy happens to get along with his team so they carry his flack when he doesn’t deliver but you still occasionally have to remind him not to just skate by and he humours you for a bit before slipping back into being that “nice guy” that people don’t mind helping out as long as they don’t think about how often they are helping him out.
PERSON B: Gets the job because while she isn’t the best candidate you have ever seen she doesn’t seem like a “lost cause” and you don’t have time or budget to look for the “best person” anymore. So you take a chance with minimal expectations and find that not only is she actually quick on the draw with most things she is capable of more but keeps pulling herself back and is cagey when you ask her why but you can sense that she is actively fighting her grain to be more by doing less and it usually has to do with fitting in with the group.
PERSON C: This lady blew you away during interviews, you held on to her for all of two weeks before another company with better resources snatches her from your bosom and in five years she actually holds a senior position to you. You try not to hate her success.
PERSON D: Is exactly what he said he would be and while it may have taken him 7-10 years to get to where you are he got there in the end and is generally well regarded and is an efficient deliverer.
We all chase our version of happiness but sadly we are generally full of shit when it comes to what truly makes us happy because we aren’t honest about what happiness actually is to us. We sell faces that we think other people want to see to chase goals other people set and then mope about wondering why we feel dissatisfied with our lives when we have “everything we want”.
So you have to ask, how well do you actually know yourself? Most people are able to pants their way through most social interactions and be the person the situation requires. I, my dears, am not one of them, unless I have practiced what I am going to say my voice trembles if I have to project it to more than five people I dont know. I fear being seen as stupid so I don’t often speak and look like the silent idiot plotting nefarious intentions with your clothing coz that’s all I will look at while you speak or I will lick my lips nervously and make you think I’m up for some naked rendevouz when I am not (really, why does lip licking have to be a sex thing. Sometimes my lip balm is too far away and I have to use my saliva for moisture!).
I have gone so far off course here, what was this supposed to be about again? Oh yes, faces.
My question for today is what face do you find yourself wearing and do you like how it feels? How often does it feel like a weight? If you can’t remember when it last felt to be “light” around those you are nearest and dearest, ask yourself why you are wearing a mask for them in addition to the masks you have to wear in order to be politically correct.
I cant tell you to be who you really are because I don’t know what that means but it is awfully liberating being able to not pretend you are feeling things that you are.
I think in a past life I was a magpie, I am easily distracted with shiny new things and need a focus for me to stick to something. But I am an industrious magpie so I wouldn’t be a Chief Magpie if magpie colonies existed… I’d be more like Second in Command Magpie or maybe third. Close enough to the action without getting that glare from all the lights
Anywho, Wanderers. I’m off to indulge in more self discovery. Join me if you can and tell me all about your own forays into mental oblivion…
Death is hard enough for the living when they can blame someone else for taking away someone important from them. It’s even harder when within their grief they blame you. Death is easy for dead people because well, they don’t have to deal with anything anymore (probably not my smartest line). I am Catholic (by birth, I inherited it like I did my creepy long, skinny toes), I don’t really have a problem with the Catholic faith but no religion is perfect, I think half the test is picking something to believe in and sticking to it… but I digress, death sucks for the people left behind to death with the gap caused by you no longer being there.
I haven’t had a suicide that was that close to me really. In high school I had a friend who had made a suicide pact with another friend of hers but he decided to go it alone and she was left behind to deal with not wanting to do it without him, they weren’t dating and she had a lovely sweet boyfriend who seemed there for her and for the life of me I can’t remember why she wanted to commit suicide because her life was well… pretty damn perfect. She had the ‘normal’ issues a teenage girl would have with a Dad… she was well liked, she was so damn pretty I wanted to wear her skin for a while…yeah, I may have been slightly creepy in school.
When I was, I think, in the tenth grade, a cousin came to stay with us for a week or so, to do some school shopping before going back home. I remember hanging out with him like any other cousin but we weren’t that close really, “cousin” is used very loosely in my family… most terms for any relative is randomly chucked about, you never can be sure there is actual familial attachment when you refer to someone as an aunt or uncle, again I digress. So this cousin of mine, a few weeks after going back home had a disagreement with his father and decided to make him ‘pay’ by killing himself. He succeeded. His dad was not the same man after his son killed himself and even though there were other factors that led to his Dad’s eventual death, his suicide did not help.
In both these cases, I saw what happened after, the pieces those left behind had to put back together. For one it was the broken promise, the other it was the constant internal back and forth over what could have prevented the suicide, both different forms of betrayal.
Suicide is selfish, it is a self centred escape from whatever you think is caging you in or what you are running away from. I fear the nothing of death more than I do the misery of life because as much as I want to believe that there is a heaven waiting and a room with my name on it, I don’t believe I have earned passage into paradise. I understand the forgiving nature of God as I understand him can wash away my sin but that just makes me a clean slate, no different from that slave in the parable of the talents who didn’t multiply what his master left. We have to “do” to “earn”, that’s what I believe. And when what you do is leave behind holes in people’s hearts because you feel your internal hole is too heavy to bare… you need to reach out to someone, anyone. Allow other people in to reel you in from drowning in yourself.
What am I trying to say… when you choose to end your life, people get hurt. If you are thinking of ending it all, chances are damnation from God isn’t going to deter you, but surely the pain and devastation you leave behind cannot be worth the empty sleep you are rushing for.
Talk to someone, try and find something that can ease the pain of what you are going through instead of passing it onto loved ones who will have no way of washing out the stain of blame that festers within their grief.
Please just watch the video and get help if you feel there’s a chance you may need it.
There’s always someone who can help, even if you can’t see them yet..
I have a story to share. It’s a less than charming tale of a peach and an apple that grew in orchard and somehow got entwined.
Shall I tell you about the peach first? He is and will always be the only entity that has the power to bring her to less than she is and she has willingly given that power to him. I cannot say whether she had a choice or not but that’s often the way life works, isn’t it?
I‘m not sure if it’s the way his mouth moves when he isn’t speaking or the way the air around him moves to accommodate his less than natural ego. Its all of these and none. It’s the way he makes her feel together when he is around and bits and pieces when he leaves. Yet too many nights she has woken up in an empty bed because he couldn’t bring himself to spend the night with her. Too many nights she hasn’t cried because crying is beneath her but the tears have always needed to be shed. They both are what they are. They’re one and yet less then that. How can one be so powerful and yet seem so powerless?
Today will be different. She knows it will. It has to be. She knows she cannot let him put her whole self in a wringer simply by walking through the door. She wonders why she ever gave him her spare key. They pass each other in the corridors as though they were nothing more than two walls coated in different paint not seeing each other from opposite views of the same courtyard; and they might as well be. They have different paint and different textures underneath it all. He will be more than she ever can and they both know that, peaches don’t grow on apple trees and my dears, he is a peach. Apples aren’t necessarily less than peaches but they cant grow on the same branch. Late at night before she nods off she will tell herself that its still all right for them to grow in the same orchard though. There are no laws against peaches and apples in the same orchard.
‘Jon. This bed isn’t big enough for us anymore,’ she whispers. She whispers because she knows he is almost asleep. She can also tell from the line of his back that he is now wide awake. He fakes a moan and she cant resist a smile. Her smile lights her up from within yet she doesn’t know. He’s never told her. She thinks she knows him better than he even knows himself but what can an apple know of being a peach? She places a hand on his back, her fingers are always cold but he’s never flinched to her touch. The warmth coming off him makes her feel she has been living a solitary winter and that there may be a summer at the end of it after all. He makes her heart smile as only he can, when he is being himself without trying. She doesn’t see the beauty in that simple vision, her hand on his back that is. She knows not the warmth of her cocoa essence on his paler than pale torso. He’s never told her that he’s never felt the cold in her fingers. He feels only the heat that her earth tones capsized his sails with long before he knew her name. He’s never told him he would stop being a peach for her and her being an apple, has never thought to ask.
She sees nail marks and a frown creases her flawless face before she can stop it. He has told her she should frown less but all she can think is she shouldn’t have gotten carried away this much. The marks on his back will leave an unsightly mass in the morning, she stares at her nails. Yes. There’s skin under there. A final testament to why she should learn to tone herself down. She kisses the marks even though she knows her lips wont take them away. It’s a beautiful yet less than beautiful sight to behold and there’s a magic in the path she lays on his marked back. He doesn’t yet know that those welts have blessed him but he will when he has a shower and he wont feel their pain though. He’ll feel agony caused by the fact that she isn’t in the shower with him.
You see, while peaches and apples aren’t able to grow on the same branch, sometimes, when they are in the same orchard they reach out to each other and even though neither can know what it is to be the other, they understand what it is to not fully be what they are meant to. But as I said in the beginning, this isn’t a happy love story, it’s a tale of apples and peaches and how they can reach out to each other and yet still hold back and not completely give into to making an altogether new fruit salad. These two have and they both know that they have gone beyond where they should have allowed it to go but they don’t know they words to say to each other to make the transgression survivable. Peaches and apples don’t speak the same language but they can sometimes hear the same voices.
He turns to her now and her heart leaps in her less than fleshy prison. He takes her less than freezing fingers and hold them to his lips. ‘I can buy you a new one.’ he whispers into her hand and she looks at his eyes. He means it and she knows. He is trying to speak apple and that doesn’t make her happy.It makes her eternally sad because she knows that he could never really be one. ‘No bed will be big enough for us.’ she murmurs into his face as she nudges closer to him and he blinks. Twice. Quickly. He does that when he’s thinking of what to say to her. She takes her free hand and tries to print his face on to it. He has warm brown Asian eyes; eyes that speak when his mouth doesn’t know the words to say. His nose is strong but unassuming; his mouth is wide but doesn’t swallow his face. When he lets himself laugh it’s a magical sight and one she has burned onto her mind. He isn’t smiling now though. His lips are moving but words aren’t coming from them and that’s ok too.
She pulls her now more than warm hand away and he gazes into her more than Godly face. No, there are no known Goddesses’ who have come close to the vision that shares her less than large bed. She has eyes that are lighter than his, in a face with a mouth that often twinges in an attempt to smile. Its almost as though her eyes and her lips were constantly engaged in some form of mythical warfare. To see her eyes on their own you would see dancing tales told in wisps of vibrant colour and they would draw you in before you had a chance to save yourself. He is a bit deluded to think that his eyes could have been saved from the insanity of hers. He had no hope that first day when she sat at his table. Their branches crossed then and became entwined. Yet now, it seems time has come to release the vines from the more than healthy hold.
They lay there wrapped in their world of impure madness. Their lips touch one last time as they both know it is that final embrace before they have to let go. His fingers lace around her more than slender neck and her hands wrap around his back. They have already forgotten not to cause too much damage. Bruising is the least of their concerns. One last time the peach and apple dance in the wind and then let go. There’s some lingering. He wants her to ask him to stay, he will if only she will ask. She never will though. She’s never asked a man to share her bed and she never will. It just can never cross her mind.
He clothes himself as she lays in her now too large a bed. Her burnt mahogany skin looks like a dessert against the white cotton sheets; a sweet indulgence you’ll soon wish you could forget. Her hair is a tussled mess and her face shows the love it has just been subjected to. He leaves his key on his pillow; for it will always be his even though he will no longer lay there. The door closes behind him without a hint of restraint. The peach has left the apple alone on her branch, or so it seems.
She lays back, the cold has returned to her fingers as she places them on her belly.
‘Daddy was a peach
Mummy was an apple.
Before they had a chance to rot
The apple told the peach to go
They both wanted him to stay
But he had to leave.
You can never be either
Fully a peach
Or fully an apple
If I could wish and pray I will
I’d ask you not
To become an apple like your mother
And instead to
Be a peach like your father’
She chants lyrically to herself as she rolls over. She will tell her little one about her peach of a father but the peach himself will never know that he planted a peach seed in an apple and it had begun to grow.