Me — Having Something to Say

For the longest time, the MO of this blog had been “write for me, and anyone that reads it is a bonus”. That’s sort of translated to writing regularly about what I’m feeling about so that future me can look back at how very specific events have affected me over the years. For instance, I can look read the post about my cat that died November of 2017, or when I went to Portland, Oregon last July and how I felt during that time.

Most often, though, it just means that every week I commit myself to writing a “Me” post, but all I can think about is stuff I’ve written about in past weeks. At this specific moment, roughly three things come to mind: weather, and how I deal with the cold, getting up and being productive in very early mornings, or just general stress, and how the combination of an ever strengthening writer’s block and an omnipresent feeling of loneliness are working together to make insecurities more and more prevalent.

I’ve already talked about the former two, and the latter isn’t really something I feel is a good topic of conversation, even for a blog post. I’ll say this much, though: I’ve always imagined myself as having a bottle of emotions, and once every several months I rant to a friend about all my problems and then I feel nice and empty for a while. Recently, though, I haven’t managed to empty that bottle, and what worries me about that is that I’m starting to crack. In all honesty, I’m one serious tragedy away from a full mental breakdown. Not that I would wish it, but maybe that’s something I need—a traumatic yet cathartic release of emotion in order to reset my emotional balance.

But anyways, every week I’m struggling with finding a subject of conversation to go into. I really want to talk about my new D&D campaign, but that seems better for a Saturday post for arbitrary reasons. I don’t really like the idea of reviewing games or movies at the moment—the purpose of that was so that future me can look at my first impressions at all this media that may or may not end up being anything—but really I only go back at archived blog posts for references, and when I link them in new posts I don’t reread them. Part of that problem is that the current me isn’t far enough removed from any of those posts, so I know I haven’t changed, but still.

This is a long way of saying that Tuesday posts will no longer be restricted to “Me” posts, because I’m a boring individual and I don’t even have enough to say to interest my own writing muses, so nobody, not even future me, should be subjected to reading that sort of crap. (The preceding paragraphs that are only tangentially related to each other are a good example of this.)

That said: here’s something that doesn’t deserve a full post but I want to mention anyway. I got two pairs of nice cotton pajama pants for Christmas and they are so cozy I love them. One of them even has tea cups on them.

That is all.

Me — My Ideal Weather

I like the rain. I don’t particularly like the wet.

I like when it’s cold, but I don’t like feeling cold.

My feelings towards weather and temperature is very nuanced, and perhaps more than a little contradictory. They make sense to me, though, so maybe just consider this a weird love letter to the rain.

First of all, I really do not like the heat. As soon as it gets over 85°F I stop being able to function as a human. I can’t think straight, so I can’t be productive in any capacity. I just want to sit there and be hot and miserable. Given the fact that I live in Southern California, this means half the year can really suck.

I don’t know if it’s fair to say that that singular fact is why I love the cold and the rain, but it’s certainly part of it. But at the same time, my opinions require specificity in this case.

I don’t really know what cold weather is like. I’m not sure I’ve been outside when it was less than 30 or 40°F. Perhaps my opinions would change if I did know what that was like, as living in those conditions would definitely change my lifestyle significantly. What I do like is a slight chill. I like bundling up in three layers, feeling the brisk breeze on my hands and face while still feeling comfortable without a coat if I did need to go without. (It’s worth noting that I’ll wear a black coat on a sunny 80° day if I left when it was cooler that morning. Do with that information what you will.)

Being cold when you’re unprepared does suck, but I generally pride myself in my forward thinking, so that’s rarely an issue. Heat just tends to feel more oppressive than cold to me.

But I never get tired of rain, as Southern California never gets enough of it. I remember standing in the rain during lunch in high school and just letting myself get drenched. I’m sure the teachers in the next class weren’t too happy about that, though. I love the sound of rain and the feeling of the air when it’s lightly drizzling—right at the point where it’s not uncomfortable to walk in without an umbrella. When it’s pouring, that’s a different story. I’d go out in it if I’m wearing boots, but my normal shoes don’t have very high… what do you call those…  crests? Water gets into them easily if I step into a puddle, you get the idea.

Because of that, I don’t like actually being outside when it’s raining proper. I don’t like getting so wet that I’m inconvenienced once I’m out of the rain, so as long as that’s not an issue, I love it.

If you asked me what my ideal morning would be, the weather would be one of the first things that came to mind.

A slightly chilly overcast day. Possibly drizzling, or maybe it’s just a fog, but the day is painted with the muted grey of vibrancy without sunlight.

Accompanied by a hot cup of tea, as always.

Me — Being Independent

I love being independent. That isn’t to imply that I am completely independent. I’m a college student still living at home, after all, but even from high school at the latest, I never liked the feeling of needing others.

I lived relatively close to my high school (within a half hour’s walking distance), so whenever anyone was late to picking me up, I’d just walk home. I have no idea why this is. I would walk home with relative certainty that somebody is coming to pick me up just because I could. I hate asking for money or asking people to drive me places, because I like to hold onto as much agency of self as I can.

Psychoanalyzing this part of myself has never come easy, but if I had to guess as to the big reason this is, it would be that I’m the youngest of six, and have never had my own private bedroom. That simple fact restricts some life styles, and the fact that my roommate is so vastly different from me as far as lifestyle and preferences certainly doesn’t help. He likes artificial light, I like natural light. I’m a morning person, he’s much more nocturnal. That sort of thing.

Everyone says that “if my life wasn’t the way it is it would be much better”, but I do think there is some of that going on here. I don’t like recording audio narrations of my stuff because either he is asleep and I don’t want to wake him up or he is awake and making noise. I would probably be doing a bit of yoga, too, because I bought a mat for one of my college classes and I’ve found it to be relaxing, but the room is small, and I would rather it be a night activity than a morning thing. So if I were to do it I would be taking up all the space in the room.

I don’t like having any factors in my life dictated by those around me. I feel that when you have to rely on others they let you down (or the mere presence of other people makes things convoluted, assuming the task is a simple one).

As I said, I don’t really know the “why” for this line of reasoning. On one hand I don’t think it would be inaccurate to claim that I dislike needing help. (Boom triple negative, try to wrap your head around that sentence. I certainly won’t.) But I think that paints a picture that misrepresents the truth. I don’t mind help if it is for the purpose of my own betterment and growth. It’s actually pretty difficult for me to articulate, though.

It’s also a double standard, because I like helping people. If you put two of me in the same situation and explicitly put one in charge, the other one would hate it.

You know what? This post doesn’t even mean anything. I hate writing about myself and then just start talking about what it feels like to be a human with emotions. I’m sure most people like to feel independent. This just ended up being another ramble-y post that doesn’t stick to one topic or even have any relevance or novelty. So, you know, quality content. Here you go.

Me — Outside Perspective

I’m a very introspective person. I used to be really into the MBTI Personality Test, and back in high school and a year or two after that I considered myself INTJ, because it fit me so well. I never learned the “functions”, because it didn’t interest me and it seemed like a chore to understand it. A good friend of mine knows a good deal more about it, though, and has since told me that I’m probably an INTP.

Now, I won’t go into a lecture about what MBTI is or what all the different functions are, because I admittedly am not that fluent in them myself, (and I also don’t believe that categorizing a thing as complex as people into a few things will ever work all the time), but I will say this. INTP’s strongest function is Introverted Thinking. Here’s a summary of what that means (taken from personalitygrowth.com)

People with Introverted Thinking want the world to make sense in a logical manner. They form an internal framework of how the world works. It is constantly being modified and improved through life experience and experiments.

Introverted Thinking’s goal is to create a web of knowledge in which everything is interrelated.

For example, someone with introverted thinking can find out how a car and all its parts work by relating it to some other system, such as a computer.

They have the ability to find commonalities in seemingly unrelated things.

Introverted Thinking is also great at troubleshooting. Someone with Ti can analyze something, figure out where the problem areas are, and fix them rather quickly.

I am always in my head thinking and adapting. I would say that for any given big event in my life, such as getting a car, completing college, moving out, etc., I devote a good amount of thought to every day. I’m constantly framing, organizing, and planning my day in both the short term and the long term. But this is actually not what I wanted to talk about in this post. This is context.

Because what has really fascinated me lately is that even with how much I as a person think about myself and try to psychoanalyze myself in a myriad of different ways, people can still see me better than I can just be watching and listening. I find that this is true for everything in life.

I can read another’s writing and point out every tiny little flaw as well as the glaring issues. I can critique character motivations and promises to the reader as well as mark grammar mistakes and missing (or extraneous) commas. But I cannot do that with my own work.

This is both interesting and depressing, because often in my writer’s group, I might come up with amazing changes to somebody’s scene. I’ll say “Instead of the characters having this conversation at home, it should be at the bar, because it will increase the tension and it will also make more sense when Character Y stumbles into them and everything falls into chaos.”

I’ll watch as the writer’s eyes light up and they say “Whoa, yeah, that’s an awesome idea! Thanks!”

The reason I find this frustrating is because I wish I could do that while reading my own work. I get bored with my writing a lot of the time, and things stop working, but I can’t read it and see what I would imagine to be glaring issues that are as easy to solve as the issues in other’s writing. It would be incredibly pompous for me to say that I want another me to read my work from the outside, but really I think that’s something we can all work on. My problem is that I’m in my head so much that I can’t get myself out of it. I find it impossible to read my own work as an editor because I always read it as the writer.

And to pull away from writing, I’ve thought “Z fact” about myself for a year or two now, but have been struggling with the why. Why do I think this way? Why am I so attached to what is logically an insignificant problem? Well, I was explaining this to that same friend the other day and he said that the answer I had been telling myself was wrong. And that the real explanation was “W fact” (I can’t use X fact, because it makes me think of X Factor).

You know, that last paragraph is awful and ambiguous, but I’m not going to delete it. I think it needs to live in shame for how awful that was. Let me try again, with examples. Let’s say there’s this huge waterslide. We’re talking 60 feet high or more. I want to be the sort of person that goes on over and over again, because it looks like it should be fun. But I can’t, because I’m not a strong swimmer, or the slide looks unsafe, or whatever.

But when I’m explaining this story, a friend might say, “Wait, you said 60 feet high? Dude, you’re afraid of heights.”

And then I’ll think, “Oh, yeah, that makes way more sense.”

It’s amazing that it really doesn’t matter how much you think about something, because sometimes all you need is for somebody to look at it from the outside.

Rambling over. See you next Monday!

Me — Indulgences

This is going to be a rambling throwaway post because I’m tired and don’t have the energy for anything else. I still have to get my words in, though, so feel free to skip today’s post.

I found out today that, in general, being upset makes me tired. I got a solid amount of sleep today, and even relaxed for a good portion of it. I was pretty rested. But then something happened and it’s sort of consumed my thoughts for the rest of the day, and I didn’t like it.

Being in your early twenties means learning about yourself and what you like and where you fit in the world. As such, I’ve adopted a sort of laissez faire attitude as far as the things I do. Sometimes I’ll do things I’m apprehensive about because even if I know I won’t like it, I still might learn something about the world or myself out of that experience.

Today I seriously considered doing something that would require an apology, merely because I wanted to do it first. And I had to ask myself if I could honestly apologize even after having that thought. If you know something is wrong, and it doesn’t stop you from actively thinking about it, or even doing that thing, how do you not conclude that you’re a bad person? What does that say about your character if you think about the possible repercussions and it doesn’t dissuade you?

Obviously, life is about making mistakes. But when you’re a child, you don’t know any better. When things go bad you are told so, and after a slap on the wrist you go about your business.

I can only imagine what life was like back when the Church wrote out Indulgences. I thought it ridiculous that people would go to their place of worship to buy forgiveness for sins that they hadn’t committed yet. Sins they fully intended to commit. How genuine can the apology be if it was prepared before the crime happened?

Do I think I’m a bad person? No. But it brings me no peace to know that I’m more than capable of wrongdoing. Not just in the “lie by omission” or “not doing good enough” sort of way, but in an actual “This was bad and you should have known better” sort of way. Did know better, in fact.

Part of me knows that, really, this probably shouldn’t be public. That’s half the reason why I’m being vague. Obviously, I have to publish something, and I’m writing this, so why not? But I also want to put this as sort of a time stamp. I want this blog to serve as something of a chronicle as my journey as a writer, and that means putting in some personal stuff.  I doubt that I’ll be able to identify what event I’m referring to a year from now, because in the grand scheme of things it wasn’t that big. (No, I did not murder anyone. At least, not today.)

I’m not looking for a shoulder to cry on, or moral support, or anything. I just needed my five hundred words, and hey, here we are.

Expect a solid flash fiction piece Friday!