I’m a slacker and everyone is annoying…

Such is life, lately. I read something and was inspired to write my own “response”, not really a response but more like my take on an issue. But then I got halfway through my post and thought that maybe said person wouldn’t appreciate a response, even if it’s not directed AT them (had a similar problem before, upset an internet-friend.. and now I go back and forth on whether or not apologizing was the right thing to do… BUT I DIGRESS). So I saved it as a draft, so it exists on here somewhere, but I’m not sure where, and I’m not sure I want to finish it.

So here I am. I’m struggling a bit lately dealing with people in general. A couple of my coworkers are particularly annoying, and I’m not sure why. I don’t THINK they’re doing anything different than they normally do, and I do normally find them a bit irritating, but they’re running dangerously close into the stabbity realm. Similar stuff with fb friends. For the most part, I can usually just zoom by things and not give them a second thought, but some posts are getting under my skin more than usual.

I guess it boils down to that I am seeing people as much whinier than I normally do. Like, I just want to tell them all to shut the fuck up. Don’t like [x]? Don’t [verb] it. If [x] is a person, ignore said person, don’t yammer on about how much you don’t like [x]. If [x] is a food, don’t eat it, don’t tell me why it’s awful.

This is going to sound kind of doofy, but I feel like there is a lot of negative energy happening around me. Like I said before, I don’t really know why. I don’t know if it’s me, and/or my perspective, or if it is everybody else. I mean, Occam’s Razor dictates that it’s me, I get that. I just like to overanalyze things and think of the 87 billion different possibilities.

I would like to note that I’ve basically spent the past 3 days without social media as well as the normal, everyday interactions of my coworkers. So maybe I’m just hypersensitive to things now. If that’s the case… do I WANT to be dulled? Is that better for my interactions with people?

Or, as Fats from JK Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy might ask, is it more authentic to not be numbed?

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Writing progress

I first started writing when I was in elementary school. I can safely say I’ve been writing for over 20 years now, off and on. I’ve always enjoyed creative writing. I don’t mind writing essays, particularly if the topic interests me (see the entire rest of my blog…), but it’s always been especially hard if the topic is not interesting.

I remember when I was little, my dad worked for Alltel in the IT department, and we had two computers in the house for literally as long as I can remember. (I have vague memories of DOS, and Windows 3.1.) I believe it was after I got Windows 95 on my computer, that my dad also installed a word processor on it, Word Perfect. And I wrote a short story about a ghost in it.

Before that, I’d hand-written little stories, about a princess and a unicorn, about dinosaurs… I remember a school assignment, I think it was dealing with size and ranking words, like big, bigger, biggest, etc., where I took up wayyyyy more paper than I was supposed to writing about a cat that somehow got to be the size of the solar system. Yeah, I wish I could remember the detail on that one a little more.

I remember the very first dream I ever wrote down, or pieces of it anyway. I was probably pre-teen aged, so sometime in middle school. I was walking on the bike path near my dad’s house, and these giant playing cards, a la Alice in Wonderland, pulled me into the woods and told them I had to help them defeat the Yeerks, from the young adult book series Animorphs by K.A. Applegate. And I remember being in a department store, hiding from the Yeerks, and accidentally finding this wormhole, which was really how they were getting to Earth.

I’ve also always had vivid dreams. Some of them have just been dreams, but some of them have evolved into much bigger ideas for stories that desire telling. I had a dream in high school about a vortex that would come down out of a cloud, and suck people up into it, and then retreat into the cloud. And then it would do it again, but bigger, and get more people. And nobody could see that it was harmful except me. Another dream I had was much more dystopian. A group of evil scientists that specialized in genetic engineering were able to take over the world. Some of us were kept alive, possibly for future experimenting. I made friends with one of the elite guards, who had been genetically modified, and he helped me escape. (That one turned kind of weird, because I was sharing bits of it with friends at the time, and they were all, “oh oh put me in your story!”)

A few weeks ago, I had another vivid dream that I wrote down. It had a setting (that I have to flesh out a bit more), some interesting social dynamics (living in a commune-like place), conflict at a high level, and my favorite, magic. But most importantly, it had an ending. An ending that I absolutely love. So, I wrote my dream all out, and I can already tell there are parts that are going to get chopped, and of course tons of stuff needs to be added. But this idea would not leave my head after I originally wrote it down. I kept turning it over and over, thinking about how to approach [x] conflict, how to introduce [y] information, how the magic in the world works, etc.

So I sat down and started writing. I am currently at 4,926 words, and I only have the first two scenes done.

I’m not giving myself a length minimum or maximum. I don’t want to box myself in. I just want to see where this goes, and how long it takes to get there.

I brought the first scene to my writing group on Tuesday. I was pretty nervous about it. I haven’t brought a ton of stuff to read, mostly because I’m not convinced most of it is any good. But the second scene has the two protagonists discussing theoretical magic, and I get a bit science-nerdy. And there’s a bit of that in the first scene, so I really wanted to make sure that it wasn’t some totally boring blathering that people were going to gloss over.

Turns out, it wasn’t. I got some really positive responses to it as a whole! And lots of people saying they really wanted to see where this goes. So that’s very exciting 🙂

And without giving too much away, I’m going to leave you with the almost unanimously agreed upon favorite sentence, by, to my surprise, many people’s favorite character (I mean, I’m glad people like him already, he’s going to really throw a wrench in things later, so that’s going to be totally fun):

“This is exactly the kind of new-agey throw-you-in-the-deep-end kind of bullshit we argued against before letting him start teaching the Advanced track, and he thinks he can get away with it anyway?”

“Will I ever adjust to the fact that my mother is gone?”

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This is something that has been on my mind lately. I’m currently seeing a therapist, and we talk a lot about my emotions and how I handle them (or don’t). And we frequently end up at things that happened when I was young, and a lot of the time we end up back at my mother’s death.

My mom has been gone for so. long. 20 years. I’m 29.

The author’s fear of “nobody cares, why can’t I just get over it” is totally unfounded, I think. I’ve never felt the compulsion to say that to anybody about any loss, and I’ve never heard anybody say it. (In relation to death, at least.) Granted, my world is relatively small, and I’m well aware that there are plenty of assholes out there, so I’m not saying it doesn’t happen. But like a lot of things, what our brain thinks and what we know to be true don’t always coincide.

Way back, when I wrote The West Wing, “Holy Night”, I wrote about how I kind of hated Josh a little bit because he pushed Toby into a situation with his dad that Toby never wanted. And I still think about Josh’s line: “That I would give anything to have a living father who was a felon, or a sister with a past… That’s it.” And at that point I really do feel sympathy for him. I can’t imagine what it would be like to be a little kid and lose a sibling, or be an adult and lose a parent you are so close to. I still don’t like him pushing his feelings on Toby (oh Toby <3) but I understand the pain is there.

I just don’t get it.

Our pain and our grief is our own. It may be similar to another’s, but it is completely individual.

And with few exceptions, there is no wrong way to experience it.

There is no one right way to get over it. There may not even be a full recovery.

But that’s ok.

Because at the end of the day, it makes us who we are. It defines us. It is so completely a part of us, that we wouldn’t be the same person without it, for good or for ill.

Pain and suffering is a part of life. Learning how we deal with it, how we confront it or ignore it, how we live our lives before, during, and after it, that is what’s important.

I’m surrounded by Catholics

Well, not right this second. I’m on my couch now, and it’s just me & my hubby at home. But I realized I was today at work! It was weird.

So it’s, I dunno, half an hour, 20 minutes before the end of the day. And coworker B comes over to ask coworker D a question. They start talking about … Oh yeah, going to mass tonight since it’s Ash Wednesday. Coworker B just had a small human, so she’s thinking about baptizing and godparents and other weird things that I never experienced growing up. So B & D start talking about churches, and how to be a member, and who can be godparents… And then coworker M comes over and joins in! Coworker M had her own small human recently, and has apparently been going through similar struggles.

I learned that small humans ALMOST ALWAYS have both a godmother and a godfather. I still don’t know what they are supposed to do. You can have just one, but you can’t have two of the same.

To be a godparent, you have to be religious. Like, you have to be a member of a church. I dunno what that process entails. Or you can have someone write a letter for you? And there’s some variance on whether or not you were (a) baptized, and (b) (if applicable) married in a Catholic church. I don’t know if you can be a godparent and not be married, though?

There’s also something about priests not being able to refuse baptisms, even if you aren’t a member of the church.

I also don’t know if it’s “the church” or “the Church” or “a church” or what the proper grammar is here. Maybe for Catholics it’s the Church?

**

Moving here has really opened my eyes to a lot of things religious that I never knew before. Heck, even meeting my husband has been educational. While he isn’t religious (organized religion is a sham, more than atheism) he was raised Catholic, so he’s got all this holiday shit on lockdown. Me? I still don’t know why there are 12 days to Christmas, what the ashes are for, or where the Easter Bunny came from. (That last one may not actually have anything to do with religion, but the point is I don’t know.) I am certainly surrounded by a lot more openly religious people now than I ever have been at any previous point in my life.

Part of that was my family. I don’t actually know the first time I was in a church. My parents never attended. My grandparents didn’t attend a church either, that I know of. Religion wasn’t something I remember really being discussed at all among family. I don’t even know if either of my parents owned a bible, though I would have assumed if either of them did, it would have been my mom.

And then at some point I was smart enough to figure out that Santa meant more to me than god ever did, and if Santa wasn’t real, then god must not be either. Plus I started learning more history and thought the widespread corruption in the Church was absolute bullshit and they were all a bunch of hypocrits. So yeah, I have my own streak of “organized religion is a sham” but first and foremost I don’t believe in higher beings. Or rather, if they exist, they are of no consequence, so why be concerned with them.

Hey, maybe I’ll die and wake up at the pearly gates, or the flaming gates, or wherever, and be proven wrong. But I’m not going to try to live my life in such a way that I will get to this one idealized place that may or may not exist upon my death. I’d much rather live a good life because it’s the right thing to do. I’m not an asshole because I believe that would be a miserable existence, not because I’m afraid I’ll go to hell or get stuck in purgatory. And because I really don’t want to hurt people on purpose. Accidents happen, of course, and I’ll give people a second chance (usually) as I hope they would give me one. I have a much more Eastern-influenced belief set in this regard.

Whatever happens after we die is a complete unknown. So I’m not going to stress myself out by trying to keep score in the here and now when I don’t even know the rules. We’re moving chess pieces, but don’t even know if we’re playing chess, or what the pieces mean, or how they’re supposed to move.

Do good. Don’t hurt others. Help where you can. And be understanding and non-judgmental.