In 2016, I told myself I would write a book. Sadly, I did what I do every other year and I started three different ones without finishing any of them.
But I had a goal that I would publish something so I bought a pre-made covers from Go On Write (you really should check them out) for a short story that was previously published and planned on putting together an anthology of works that I had actually already previously published and was available on my DeviantArt page and I was going to throw in my previously published short story ‘Wings on Indi’s Pillow’ but as I started working on it I realised there was more of a story and I wanted the best version possible to exist in the world.
On 25th November 2016 I threw up a preorder on Amazon that you can find here. I did this without finishing my book (talk about pressure) but knowing that with an external deadline I would be more motivated to finish it than any other project and I was mostly right. What I didn’t count on was how much I needed to do to make it the best version of the story possible.
In my original version of the story, I had a woman dealing with an interracial relationship and a ‘difficult’ mother-daughter relationship. As I worked on the project, Indi turned out to be handling an unwanted pregnancy too and the tone of the story changed into something quirkier and less ‘serious’ than the original story. I’m not exactly a funny person but hopefully my quirkiness comes through in the pages.
My goal with the new version of the story was to publish on or by the time I turned 31 (12th January by the way) but I want to do more than simply fling something up online and call myself a ‘published author’. I want to build a career with this and I can’t do that if my first story is sub-par and readers get a negative experience. Why add more bad story telling to the world? There is a lot of competition not only on Amazon but in general for poeple’s time and I want people who give me their time to receive something that I believe is the best thing I can give them so I have put myself in pre-order purgatory and pushed my publication date back to 1st February instead.
I struggled with that decision because it feels like a fail and I am letting down the few people that took a chance on it but looking at the read-throughs and feedback I still need to feel content that the book is an actual good story in its best condition it needs more time.
My goal has changed from simply publish to build a foundation for a creative career. I may lose the few pre-orders I gained and I truly wish I could apologize to them personally but I can only wring my hands over but I believe this is the best thing for me to do to make sure its the strongest first block in my new creative career.
The title I really wanted to use was a question Tyrion Lannister asks himself after his father “sends away” Tyrion’s wife. I remember reading it and my heart had all the feels for poor Tyrion but I don’t know that its an appropriate question for a heading. Especially after such a long break.
How have y’all been? I have to be honest I’m not sure I’ve been entirely alright because it feels like I’m ‘not where I should be’? Yes, I know, this isn’t new and I apologise for being so self absorbed right now but I think I need to purge my brain of all the negatives its hoarding.
First off. Life is good. I really cant fault that I am blessed/lucky/privileged. In fact if I weren’t such a greedy sod I would probably be very content but I am a greedy sod and I want more than just ‘contentment’.
I’m stuck on what ‘happens next’ in my life because I want to be self sufficient and control my own time while determining its value. I hate the fact that I work for a single payment at the end of the month that I cant adjust or negotiate and yet I pour way more time than I signed up for to ‘earn it’. As much as I hate to admit it, it irks my soul. I don’t think I’m a perfectionist. I’m way too messy and comfortable with dirt in my life for that but I am ‘ambitious.’
What I’ve discovered is, my ambition is not traditional and I live in a generally traditional part of the world. That means you work hard in an organisation so you get promoted high enough that you no longer have to work hard but still get paid plenty (and no one messes with your parking).
The problem is, what I want is to faff about till 10 in the morning, work like a beast till 6 in the evening, play house until 10 that evening and still have enough energy to work like a beast till 2 in the morning. I cant do that in a traditional setting.
Recently an opportunity came upo at my previous work place that would have been a definite step up, twice the pay, additional perks. I brushed up my CV thinking, ‘yeah, I can definitely do the job’. Then I stared at a blank page that was my motivational letter. I wrote down a schpiel about how I both lead and participate in teams (true), I’m self motivated (true) and then I got stuck at trying to convince the reader that I would be the best person for the job. Not because I didn’t believe that I was. While I believe I can do the job I dont believe I can live and breathe it without feeling a whole bunch of negatives about it. I’d be a beast at acing things that matter to the bigger picture but make me feel even less of myself.
What I want is to commit to something that I can live and breathe without feeling shitty about the lil pieces of of me I lose to my work.
I never sent an application in and someone else got the job and they seem like a good fit. A few weeks later I met a woman who literally loves her job and doesn’t mind that she can spend 12 hour days at the office, go home and read more so she’s ahead of her curve and still think about her work on the weekends!
Normally I’d tear myself up with coulda woulda shoulda but I didn’t this time. The logical part of my brain would say ‘Of course she loves her job, she makes a truckload’, but that isnt it. Money is great. I want more of it. But I want a certain quality of life more.
Maybe I’m finally giving myself permission to be the version of myself that the little girl I once was has always wanted to be.
So… My take on why love doesn’t need to be proven by Valentine’s celebrations.
I’m not known for being emotional or affectionate. This may have something to do with me leaning the wrong way on a particular psychopath scale but I believe I’m still relatively ‘normal’, granted I’ve never officially been tested but I digress… VALENTINE’S! The day when love is declared in swirls of chocolate, hues of red and drowned in copious amounts of alcoholic beverages. Single or not.
My “problem” with Valentine’s isn’t anything ‘new’ or unique I don’t think. Its the fact that love can ‘only‘ be declared publicly and preferably expensively. A day may come when I will celebrate this day not for what it means to my heart but for what it means to my wallet.
Here’s the thing, I LOVE love. I love being able to sit in a living room with a laundry basket overflowing and it not mattering because the company I’m with makes it not matter that I haven’t achieved perfect cleanliness. I love the fact that because I am terrible in the morning, the person I share my bed with gets up to ‘start life’ and I join him.
Love (for me) isn’t about what other people see. Its about how you feel when no one is looking. So often, we idolize couples that lavishly brandish their affections and it hangs in the air like a cheap cologne choking the rest of us, and while we scramble for air, we forget that love isn’t about what people see, its about how we feel.
I could talk about how you can boost your romantic feelings with less than 5 steps in a specific order but there are way more expert resources on that than I can count. I’d like to talk about Valentine’s friends.
When you were younger, did you have a (totally platonic, possible even same sex) friend you shared Valentine’s with because they ‘got you’ and no one else did. I’ve had a pretty decent run of friends I’ve ‘gotten’ and ‘got’ me back but the older I get, I find I’m losing the ability to hold on to those with quite the same depth. I get more impatient and convinced that I’m just a filler in their lives.
I haven’t had a truck load of friends even though I’ve had the opportunity to amass an eye watering number of connections on any social platform. I normally have 3 – 5 really good friends and never enough drama to piss anyone off enough to actually make them an enemy but the problem is that small pool seems to have been contaminated by life somehow. Some of the people that I thought ‘got’ me seem to be speaking in a tongue I don’t have a dictionary for and they make me feel like I’m smaller than I believe myself to be. And friends who love you should never actually do that.
Which reminds me of Valentine’s when I wanted to receive those aforementioned chocolate, red stuff and pretty bubbly drinks but never did because well… my face just didn’t call for it.
Love comes in many forms but the feels remain the same. Those that love you should leave you feeling bigger or at least somehow better than you felt without them. Once they start to make you feel smaller, you need to evaluate whether having them around fits some kind of external validation but doesn’t feed your feels and whether its worth it.
I hope I make those that I love feel bigger and if I cant then better, in whatever form that comes in. But those that make me feel less. I’ve taken a step back and know I need to cull them from my life but still have brief flashes of ‘That’e the you I love and have missed’ but then we revert back to me somehow feeling smaller and that feeling sucks.
Here’s to catching and keeping those feels that build us up and obliterating the feels that diminish us.
Happy Valentine’s Day for those that celebrate it and for those that don’t. May the love still tickle your skirts.
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”?
There’s this couple on Season 27 of The Amazing Race that seems to rub everyone else the wrong way because of how much they argue. These people just aren’t “nice” to each other at all. At. All.
They are Chris and Logan. It doesn’t help that they are also The Paparazzi Couple so people don’t like what they do for a living and have to pretend not to hear their yelling fests. If you want to have a chance at winning a race, making it easy for people to leave your company may not be such a great strategy.
First up, there’s something about the way Logan talks that reminds me of an old friend of mine. They are nothing alike really (and far as I know, my friend is pleasant in her relationships) but there’s an underlying vibe there… and it really has nothing to do with my comparison so I’m hopping off this train now.
Anywho, the main problem for this couple is they generally can’t communicate to each other. Not effectively. They seem like pretty nice people on their own and I can even imagine them having quite pleasant down times together but throw in stress and they implode (with special effects).
Now, I’m not a relationship expert but I couldn’t help watching them to try and figure out why they were the way they are because like I said, they don’t seem like nasty people.
From what I gather, things start to go downhill when Chris tries to do things and they end up ‘wrong’. Logan then loses her mind over it and he joins in the self-bashing tirade. That’s a pretty dangerous mix of actions because one person can’t always be wrong. Chris isn’t a saint but when things blow up, that generally seemed to be the normal chain of events and whether there was a valid “wrong” initiating action or not is up for debate but for them: He messes up, she gets frustrated with him and he gets frustrated with himself and they yell at each other.
I’ve been in close proximity to one of these yelling type of relationships and I hated being around it. Hated. Then I found myself spiralling into the same pattern and had to take a step back. In my case, that meant Singles Ville but I don’t believe that needs to be the case for this couple. Should they get help, absolutely. With a professional. There’s a root here with both of them that makes their deficiencies compatible but they can move from that to positive compatibility. Or they can just stick to the same cycle coz it’s a fit they know.
If you’ve ever been part of That Couple (or currently are) what makes all the drama worth the non-dramatic times?
Lately I’ve been pondering the difference between right and good. When I was younger what I wanted to be was right. Left, right, up down. All the ways. RIGHT meant winning and who doesn’t want their version of victory.
The older I get more I want to be good as opposed to right.
Its not that I wasn’t being “good” when I was being right but if I am truly honest with myself, good just never felt as big as right did.
Some of the things that have me questioning that are “doing the right thing”. I’m not sure we live in a world where that is as clean a statement as it could have been in the past, it is also possible I’m romanticising the past too and I acknowledge that, however, when options were limited it was very easy to draw clear and established boundaries. When your only choices as a woman was to get a decent enough education to find a ‘good husband’ and then keep the home, the thought of pursuing a career in aviation is not really an option. The right thing in that situation is to make the best home you can.
Now, when you can go to university as a woman and decide to not only not get married if you like and also pick a career that means you never set roots anywhere that’s not an easy ‘right’ decision, as the more we move towards ‘selfish’ self fulfillment the more we stray from our own society’s version of ‘right’.
So our criteria needs to change, what is ‘right’ isn’t a sufficient measure for whether an action should be pursued or not.
What is ‘good’, assumes there is a ‘recipient’ and not the blanket ‘acceptance’ that ‘right’ promotes (does that make sense?). I have some friends that it would be right to maintain because it makes me a douchebag not to be friendly to them but it is not what is good because I feel that connection has broken, in fact I even question sometimes what it was built on in the first place. We no longer build each other or create a positive environment for each other to grow or even just mulch and I want to mulch in pleasant relationships.
The right thing is to maintain the people who have always been there, the good thing is to accept that they no longer as present as they used to be and we’ve grown into people that cant create a new definition that reflects that.
How do y’all treat the difference between right and good?
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…
I came across this article: Why Girls Cant Take a Compliment a while ago and it got me thinking about myself and my inability to take compliments in general (my brain refuses to accept “nice” things), perhaps I am not sure people actually mean “nice” things when they say them and there is some kind of hidden meaning but in this post I will mainly deal with “sexual” compliments. The other day someone I work with came up to me and used this phrase: “You have bulged!” while staring at my hips. I am sure in his mind, this should have flattered me but in my mind I felt: “If I could gouge the eyes out of your head and make you swallow them, I would.” but I just smiled, mumbled something, came back to my desk and took of my heels and spent the rest of the day in flat pumps. Here’s the thing, I wasn’t dressed remarkably and I definitely was not “fishing” for compliments. I knew I looked OK but I was not by any means “dressed up”. I’m on the pill and its added some weight in very “womanly” places that complement me even though I grimace every time I see my tummy and swear I will never eat bread again coz it bloats me but I digress… Being told I was “bulging” no matter how well meaning did not flatter me and reminded me of that article above.
Its not been easy for me to be comfortable in my body, the usual teenage issues that translated to adult inadequacies, very little new there but I want to talk about how much “weight” (see what I did there? no? never mind then) we give to female “virtues.” There is so much value placed on how the rest of the world sees you rather than on how you see yourself. I don’t think I can recall my mother or any formidable adult female (or male) telling me that what I thought of myself mattered (except when my older sister was trying to push a rebellion on me and I feared disciplinary measures way more than I yearned for “cool points”), so some of my earliest foundations were: you only matter by how much other people value you and as a girl that will be valued by how short your sexual history is and how long your skirts are. That’s it. Look nice, be nice and all will be good, in fact if you could play stupid and just grin all the time, that would be fabulous.
Other people’s perception of a female’s sexual prowess, whether validated or not is going to be the only thing that matters. For instance, the other day on the radio, a woman was seeking “advice” on her domestic situation. She’s been “married” to this guy for at least two years (I caught the show in the middle so I don’t know exactly how long) and he regularly beats her. In 2013, he beat her while she was pregnant so badly that she lost her baby… after that, BOTH her family and his believed they would still be better off together, she is pregnant again now and doesnt want to lose this baby. And you know what the majority of comments were, “are you sure you are married?” (and other variations on establishing that she was indeed “recognized” by him and his family), “you need him because you wont be able to support a baby by yourself,” and then chastising her on not following up with the police when the police failed to provide any remedy to her after she filed initial reports (I think three different policemen called in with procedures on what happens in such cases and it was her fault why no traction had been made on her case). The dude is on the run and boasts that beating his women is what he does and there is no way the police can ever catch him. Of all the callers I heard, only one (the only woman) actually provided her with concrete other parties she could consult with for options and a method to escalate her case. Only one man told her to leave this fella coz she could die and I am thinking, “wait… how is it that she comes on radio, says she is an abused wife, has even filed a police case and we now need to “analyse” her moral character by suggesting that she shouldn’t be making these accusations if she isn’t married and then by giving her flack for the police not doing their jobs?” I am sure there was a reason I started on this tirade… gimme a sec…oh right! So, this lady on the radio did not sound “dis-empowered” and by that I mean she did not play the victim card. What she wanted was another option on top of what she had already tried, she sounded reasonably educated and therefore the perception is she has “lived”… and that is why those calls were the way they were. Attacking (I use this word for visual effect of course) her for not “fitting” the prescribed perception of what a wife should be: obedient, agreeable and mostly “not know any better”.
A colleague of mine once said to me that men always go back to their wives no matter what they do “elsewhere” and suggested the wives will always take them back and this is partly why compliments are difficult to take in for a lot of women, because they are generally so shallow that they do not even cover a tenth of the person you are dealing with. A compliment of a sexual nature doesn’t take me, the person into account. Its only about what you THINK you see when you look at me, what values you think I have based on your perceptions of how I present myself. When you are looking at me in that way, you are seeing an idea of what I should be… and that kinda pisses me off.
Tell me when I actually DO something that is worth talking about, set me a bloody goal I can aim for and attain that doesn’t centre on external validation but internal motivation. Anywho… I’ve gone way longer than I intended to. Let me know what compliments piss you off or what you think doesn’t get seen about you because people tend to get stuck at face value. O&O
And yet, for all kinds of crazy reasons I have made up reasons to not be happy and not acknowledge my little victories.
Last month was a bit of a hard month emotionally for me, February generally is.
My sister died in February and the whole month turns into a countdown to that day and then after that I descend into “why the hell is nothing really different? Something should change!”. I don’t entirely have all the words for the feelings that her death gives me but hopefully one day I will.
In my last post I spoke about all the things I was working on and had this massive surge of positivity that was kind of the decline but I wanted to trap it before the well ran dry. And then things happened that I had no control over and I crashed. Everything just “stopped”. I couldn’t function other than to do the bare minimum and then you do that little bit extra to “show” that you’re all right. You know that extra ‘show’ that takes people off your back about how you are or what’s wrong? Aced that.
Disclaimer: Please not that I am not a psychologist and am in no way qualified to impart advice. I am merely expelling my thoughts but they have no scientific justification and are biased based on my own experiences.
This was especially strong in the final two weeks of November and I am still trying to shake it off. There is no need to go into what happened but I lost my faith in certain things (that I guess I have taken for granted), and it forced me into a negative space. Now negative spaces (by their very nature) are not fun, and people in them are not fun to be around in general but if you have smidges of “people pleasing tendencies” it is likely that then you will fight your own urges to obey what your mind and body are telling you so that other people can be happy. This is counter productive, highly counter-productive! Because all you do is make everyone (especially yourself) irritable and unhappy.
Now, you should not make any decisions when you are drowning in negativity (some may argue the same rule applies for positivity) but generally, you are not likely to be as informed as you should be if you’re about to do something that will “bind” you and your vision is obscured by feelings that taint the possible outcomes beyond what is actually feasible. Your quiet inner voice that whispers on the edges of your dreams, will often guide you on a certain path but you need to balance that with the loud one yelling in the heat of the afternoon sun. Those two need to, if not agree, then “balance”.
Usually the quiet voice directs your intent and the quiet one gives you actions (or inactions depending on your circumstances), and when those two are out of alignment your head can really screw with you and the longer you let it do that and that “divide” widen, the unhappier you will be, well, the unhappier I am because I try to ignore that inner dialogue… it always screws me in the end.
My selfish needs require me to spend quite a bit of time alone and I have not been able to do that nearly as much as I would like to and I understand that this is a pretty strong need yet, that people pleasing bit of me forces me not to and when you’re already aware that you’re not in a mental space you want to be and then you put yourself right in the path to cement that unhappiness where it can mulch and spawn other trampolines for mutated dissatisfaction… you end up with generally varying levels of unhappiness which clouds your whole perception of EVERYTHING. You pollute your own life.
Eventually, you will lose your ability to “spark” at anything because you are being “dimmed” by all this negative energy that just warps in on itself and multiplies and before you completely lose yourself you have to STOP.
And try and claw your way out. I’d love to hear what your methods are, some people need to do something physically strenuous and I think I belong in this camp, I need to sweat the feelings out then I can find the words I need to get back to being me.
So, I’m shortening my ambitions and goals list, getting more physical and spending more alone time.
Be honest with that you need for you to be content.
Live in the moment in the best way that allows you to see all the colours out there.
Then maybe, your reflection wont hate you so much.