Tag Archives: childhood

Vernal Reveries

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Vernal Reveries

And it’s only now, that I get it.

Naivety and overconfidence. What a combo. 

 What though the radiance which was once so bright

 Be now for ever taken from my sight,

 Though nothing can bring back the hour

 Of splendour in the grass,

 of glory in the flower,

 We will grieve not, rather find

 Strength in what remains behind;

 In the primal sympathy

 Which having been must ever be;

 In the soothing thoughts that spring

 Out of human suffering;

 In the faith that looks through death,

 In years that bring the philosophic mind.

~ William Wordsworth

When a part becomes apart…

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When a part becomes apart…

I have previously written about loneliness, here. It is interesting to me how loneliness changes and presents itself; and in what situations. I have often lamented in real life and all forms of my “virtual” life that communication is becoming less personal, like AI. No longer are skills like reading people, situations, exchanging energy, gazes that inspired poets, as valued…or learned. There is an entire generation growing up, (socially disadvantaged in my opinion) without making eye contact, without interacting, without the time or distance to be mindful about what they say or how they react to things. We cause ourselves anxiety over not getting likes, not getting responses back, etc. In our effort to feel a part of something, we make ourselves apart. We can be in the same room as someone and not even look at them. Cursory, rote greetings have become a standard. We sit at restaurants with our loved ones and don’t make eye contact… with our lovers, our parents, our kids.

We get some sort of a chemical addiction to the instant gratification… Our Pavlovian response encourages us continue the high… the goddamn blue bubbles of solace. But we may have someone LITERALLY right next to us. And yet, we seek communication from the ether…We have a cognitive dissonance about the links between loneliness and being alone. Because those of us, with the privilege to have technology, have created a culture of slumber parties consisting of a group of adolescents snapchatting each other from the same room, no one looking at the stars unless they can get a pic of them, instagram, pinterest, etc. We are past the point of sexual revolution gratuitous hook ups, online dating, facebooking, pornography, vines, vaguebooking, comparing ourselves to real and imagined foes, stalking, bullying, trolling, sexting, mentally checking out, gaming, hunting, shooting, racing, battling, flying, etc….

ALL WITHOUT BEING WITHIN THE PHYSICAL PRESENCE OF ANOTHER HUMAN BEING. 

It truly makes me very sad. For us all. Now granted, I know #noteveryperson whatever. BUT we are going that way and very fucking fast. I am guilty. You are too. You are reading a goddamn blog that was either in your email, on your twitter, on your facebook, googleplusokcupidpinterestKiKtindergrindrzoosk, whatever the fuck. You didn’t come looking for a blog by Jani B.

I am lonely a lot. And upon a lot of alone and lonely time countered with a lot of around people and still lonely time, I have realized it is not the being alone part that bothers me, it really is the loneliness. When you have an entire manic world in your head to talk to someone about and no one asks. When you spend all day giving and giving to people who are not in a position to give back, and you are spent, lonely. When you have an amazing day and want to share it with ANYONE but all that is available is social media..or yourself… When you are in an office full of people, all day, all week, and unless it is a client or someone needing something, no one talks to you. When you shut off your Facebook and the only people that contact you now are family members wanting to know if you blocked them specifically. I am lonely at times around friends because I am either so up in my own head that I am not really interacting with them or they are so engaged with someone else my introvertedness makes me wilt and seem disinterested.

I have always prided myself on my communication and intuitive skills. Technology however, has made me crazy, made me anxious. I am happy that I grew up in an era where real life communication skills were more important than properly formatted for office politic emails. Back in the good ol’ days when you didn’t abbreviate much and spelling counted, in love letters, gossip notes, poetry, cards, and invitations. When you used words, those oh so important words, combined with physical existence, body language, and observed emotion, not texted emoji.

I think that is why so many elderly couples die so close together or remarry so quickly. The loneliness. So many losses…having someone breathing next to you at night, someone that no matter what is going on out there, you know you have someone to share with here. The loss of that must wreck havoc on the soul, the heart, the immune system. I know what I experience after not having that for a much shorter time than the elderly couple I imagine. I cannot even fathom what it would be like after 30, 40, 50 years.

I fear for the current and future generations. Those with the skinniest thumbs and curviest necks will evolve via natural selection in an unnatural way. Homo Curva. That’s the next evolutionary leap.

We are all so much together, but we are all dying of loneliness. —Albert Schweitzer

 

oh the shame, the SHAME!

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oh the shame, the SHAME!

As this is the first year that I am independently purchasing my kid’s school supplies, clothes, and general new school year BS without the aid of my student loans, suffice it to say things are rather lean…. So I told them to go through the first week with minimal supplies and figure out what they actually need rather than me just spending asinine amounts of money on things the Manchild will lose and the Girlchild will not use and I will just purchase the needed stuff later…

The Girlchild apparently made an editorial comment about this at a friend’s house so the friend’s mom bought her some supplies. DOH!

Way to make me feel like shite. YAY!

So I texted the girl’s mom to tell her thank you and explain my thought process rather than letting her think I was just a poor muthatrucka…I don’t think she believed me.

Then, as I am now an indentured servant with $23478398475845 in student loan debt to Sallie Mae (and considering the fact that my beautiful paid off car was accidentally killed because I forgot about the &*^*^%^* timing belt which caused me to need to buy a new car and have a car payment)…. I have NO effing expendable cash…. So I am down to using credit cards to buy groceries. Yay.

I go to Winco to buy groceries, spend an hour shopping, unloading, ringing up, and DOH!

Winco doesn’t take credit cards.

The shame, the shame.

F**k me.

Someday I will have a really awesome job with a really awesome salary. Until then, I am a poor muthatrucka. White person poor, but poor all the same. Relativity boys and girls, relativity.

The people in the basement…

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The people in the basement…

Here is an OLD one!

See, in my own way I was always going to be a social worker. Look at that natural social justice insight! *oy vei*

There’s an imaginary dog downstairs,

I hear it barking.

A psycho has fantasies about me,

and thinks that they’re real.

I met a child yesterday,

she had one this morning.

Just a few pieces of paper,

what’s the damn deal?

A flying or ground attack,

trample and rampage of one.

Electromagnetic motor,

fucking up my reception.

Vegetarian vampires whisper,

“I’ve fast for too long…”

Tossing memories without sequence,

back when we were spun.

I heard her cry again,

this afternoon around two;

Swearing to leave

“You rapist bastard!”

A flower grew, bloomed, and died,

all in three weeks.

There was a kitten lost,

somewhere around Jefferson and 3rd.

A pill I call Alice

and her friend Maryjane.

The guy in my dreams,

versus my own mind’s eye.

I lined them all up,

they still fought over who gets first.

Didn’t they say it’d be fair?

I must have already been high.

I hear her calling him,

back home again.

Kathy needed a friend,

so I called her a slut.

It’s always purple here,

spring, summer, and fall.

What the hell?

I hate that fucking mutt.

© 7/6/1996

Complete with theme song…..

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Complete with theme song…..

I don’t know if I am grandiose or not,

When I first meet people I catch myself making up some sort of recipe;

A fictional psychosocial evaluation on them

which becomes their individual narrative in my mind,

*This is guided of course by what I think I know of people, think i know of social work, think I know of psychology, think that I read on their body language, or learned in life, learned reading a book, learned by being the one that could shut the fuck up; observe & mimic other people in order to blend in like a chameleon, in  new and/or uncomfortable situations for safety)

Meh, I digress…

Anyway, your narrative (and by “your” I mean you who are reading this had I met you or when I met you, not anyone person in particular) that I create in my head is how I related to you until I learn more and start replacing my humble conjecture with relayed facts;

But I admit, sometimes, I feel like a superhuman;

Like I must be psychic or an empath or Dr. Xavier;

e.g. Sookie Stackhouse trying to ignore the thoughts she really does NOT want to hear;

Sometimes, I find out that through many of the facts people share with me;

Actually align pretty well with the totally fictional made up backstory I spun them. It’s very unsocialworky of me.

I mean, what do I have to go on in talking to people for only a few minutes? I can see their eyes, their hands, their voice, their body language, their tone, etc….It’s totally inappropriate for me to create their whole backstory based on a few minutes interaction…

Do other people do that?? They must. I hope they do; otherwise, I probably sound a bit like a loon.

I am sure it is merely some sort of experienced/educated projection….some fancy defense mechanism that allowed observant and smart people to reproduce…skills that are not being passed down today because we are so distracted and looking down into a portable rabbit hole…WHOA, speaking of rabbit holes…

Sorry, I’ll spare you the self disparaging rant.

Anyhoo, like…maybe I have this social worker lens,

Seventies television show idea of each new person I meet’s whole life….

If I did, it could be something as follows:’

Complete with theme song *wink*

Baby of large family

The smallest Brady no one mentioned

Grew up wanting a family

Baby sister

Baby brother

Someone to take care of

Someone to have your back

 Just wanted to be someone’s hero

Wanted to be a soldier;

a fireman;

a teacher;

a doctor;

Found a family there

People to look up to you

Someone to share first memories with…

Your substitute hard drive

 Exhausted and rejuvenated finally fell in love

Family wasn’t there

Decided to go back there and then came home

Moved onto another

A Betty Crocker Readymade family to love

To replace the one you didn’t know yet to want

But it just didn’t fit

You internalized the blame 

 Then as you got older

You realized you needed more ways to go back,

So through trial and error,

Sex and beer,

Adrenalin, fighting, racing, speed

Went back in different ways to reestablish:

yourself, your worth

All the familiar roles

Pride and admiration

Understanding of experience

Validation for your work

Found your family

In more than one way.

Who knows.

Maybe I am grandiose and plain ol’ crazy.

I can spin a good back story though.

C’est la vie.

XOXO

Jani

If I only had a brain….

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If I only had a brain….

Oh the multitude of ponderings my brain has been chock full of as of late; contradictions and questions which appear to have no answers. I over-think things, it is true. But recently, I have been trying to get out of the habit of doing so when that over-thinking does not serve my better interests.

The questions I am asking are things like, can I change anything about this situation? Am I fixating on reality or possibility? Is what I am thinking about in the past? If so, I can’t change it…only my perception of it. Is it in the future? If so, I can’t change it, only my participation in it. Is this something I am feeling or is it an emotion, because they really are not the same thing.

I am also trying to keep myself in check by examining those feelings and making sure that they are not hijacked feelings from another experience; I have a terrible tendency to finally experience things at the wrong time…. Which is to say that I may dissociate from something at the time and apply those feelings to another situation which totally does not warrant it. I do not think I am unique in this, you do it too, if you are honest with yourself.

I have also been thinking about not being so hard on myself…I seem to make allowances for people who do not treat me in the same fashion as I treat them, be it in physical life or in the ethereal relationship; I make excuses for them because of their traumas and the effects that they have had upon their life and personality; yet I treat myself much more harshly and without forgiveness without taking into account my own traumas, mental health, struggles, etc.

I hold myself to much higher standards than many of the people I surround myself with. I have really been trying to look at this and decipher why… is it so I can feel better than them because I do not let things affect me? Because if that is my motivation, I am truly self deluded, because it isn’t true. I am human. I am fucked up. I am in love with the world and I hate the world all in one singular breath.

I don’t know what it is, really.

I know that I am honest.

I know that I am loyal, to a fault.

I know that I trust others more than I trust myself in situations wherein I should do the opposite.

I know I am attracted to misanthropic men and needy women.

I know that I want to be independent and taken care of and/or protected all at the same time.

I know that I am kind.

I know that I always think of how things will affect and are affecting others before myself; this causes me strife internally and externally.

I expend much more emotional energy into others expecting it will always be reciprocal and then I feign shock when it is not.

But I know that even when I am not surprised that I will do it again.

Because I believe in people.

I believe that no one is ever beyond needing others.

I know that I am not going to always be that other.

And I believe in love.

And I know that it will come back to me in one way or another.

Rinse and repeat.

“Why, anybody can have a brain. That’s a very mediocre commodity. Every pusillanimous creature that crawls on the Earth or slinks through slimy seas has a brain. Back where I come from, we have universities, seats of great learning, where men go to become great thinkers. And when they come out, they think deep thoughts and with no more brains than you have.”

What every teen girl should know about sex and the alleged men they are having it with….

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What every teen girl should know about sex and the alleged men they are having it with….

This is a first draft excerpt of something I am working on….

            As she walked down the sidewalk, barefoot and confused, she tried to put together the jumbled pieces of what the last few days had involved. Thoughts floated in and out of her consciousness, alternating between internal processing of the previous night and external concentration to avoid stepping on glass and goat heads in the gutter. Her feet were leathery tough from years of being barefoot, but it still took effort.

            Self-conscious, she tried to smooth down her long strawberry blond hair which probably hadn’t been brushed in a few of days. She was certain that the people in passing cars were staring at her, knowing all her deepest secrets simply by looking at her. Frustrated by her inability to recall simple details, she knew she had started out the day before with Laynie’s sunflower sandals. She was positive that she remembered taking them off in his mom’s room, but when she went back in there this morning to get them, they were no longer there.

            It was all pretty overwhelming; trying to put memories in sequence after having only just slept a few hours after not sleeping in several days. The first thing she could remember definitively from this last episode was Laynie taking her to the mall to lift some new Mossimo clothes, then flagging down two boys named Shawn and Brody in the parking lot…..but it started much longer ago than that; it had really started the morning she began working at the Western Inn.  That was the first time that she met Katie Kizer.

            Katie Kizer was a pretty girl with a chip on her shoulder you couldn’t see because of her beautiful and thick black hair. She had moved to Belnesse from Portland, Oregon and Lila was immediately taken with her. Katie had stories that made fifteen year old Lila’s small town adventures of sex and drug use seem very pedestrian…. 

To be continued….

Shifting sands and altered plans…

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Shifting sands and altered plans…

Since about April, I have been really evaluating my life and my potential choices; juxtaposing them with the decisions I have made to satiate other people; from parents to romantic partners to my own children. I guess it actually probably started in December;  once the sadness of that failure became more externalized.

But April is really when I started really looking at myself and what I wanted from my life. It was the beginning of the last quarter of my “academic life,” the beginning of really putting energy into getting a “professional” job and realizing what I wanted and needed and accepting what was coming my way.

It was a very humbling and difficult time, but I found the fire again.

Throughout it all, I was able to realize what I wanted; I have looked back through 20 years worth of  journals full of my wants and dreams and thoughts and relationships…and realized that I have often adopted the dreams of my partners…I can do anything and be anyone…It’s a coping skill I suppose…it’s been my resilience, my survival tool set. My gerber…my tweeker toy…ha.

Meh, I digressed into my own head. Anyhow…

Where was I….

Oh yeah…what I want as compared to what I was willing to accept in return for mediocre bootleg versions of love….

Anyway…I am back to knowing what I want. My plans are further inline with what I have wanted since I was 16; minus the inputs of other people’s ideas of what I should be and do. I am going to start this process now, bits by bits…with an eventual time frame of 2-5 years…

I have 28,378,573,850,347,850,375,041,218 books. I am going to read them all again and sell them or give them away. Even the first editions. Even the 1852 “Life among the lowly”. Yep. As much as I love my books, they do nothing but take up room. I have read them all. I will read them again and pay them forward; perhaps someone else can find solace and distraction in them as I have for 28 years.

I am going to pay down my debt until it’s gone so that eventually, in 2-5 years, all I will have is student loans (which hopefully can be paid off and/or forgiven within ten years…).

I have a list of things that scare(d) the fuck out of me from when I was 18 that I wanted to do before I was 21. I am going to start doing them…from swimming  in the ocean to skydiving to going to South America. I am doing them.

I am learning French. Why? I don’t fucking know. But I have always wanted to, so I am going to finish learning it!

I am writing again. Not just this blog. Not just my poems and songs (which I am even playing my guitar again…crazy) but actually working on my stories. Whoa. That’s been a long time coming and I have finally gotten to the point in my life that most of the people I worried about judging me or being angry at me for writing them are no longer people I give a fuck about.

It’s my truth. If you don’t like it, don’t read it. If you think it’s about you, that’s your shit…not mine.

I am going to finish my tattoos; or at least the ones I know I want now. 😉 Bare skin is precious….I am saving room for the rest of my life….

Anyway, one kid will be on his own in 2 years. The other will be on her own in 4ish years and indicates occasionally she may want to finish that with her other parents. I have been really resistant to that but who knows. Maybe she will change her mind later, maybe not. either way, I will no longer feel the need to provide for anyone but myself, it’s been 18 years since I felt that and it will have been 20 at least by the time I am there again.

I have let go of nostalgic friends that I merely kept to remind me of who I was and kept the ones that still fulfill me…the reciprocal relationships that don’t drain me…I have made new friends and established pretty deep relationships with people who have totally surprised me.

I am finally comfortable in my own skin.

Not the skin I wanted them all to see, but my own ACTUAL skin.

The funny thing is the “me” I am finding, is the “me” people have always described; which is ironic…I always thought I had them fooled! I mean, c’mon, Billy? How could you know and I didn’t? Send me a memo next time, I mean shit.

I started out my wanderlusting adolescence with a guitar, a book of poems and a backpack of clothes that weren’t always mine.

I think I might start my neo-wanderlusting midlife that way too.

Huzzah.

xoxo

P.S. Hey Lisa, thanks for reminding me of who I am. ❤

Being a slave to my fear

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Being a slave to my fear

Recently a friend and I were talking about fear and things that people regret; how someone had said that people don’t lie in their death beds and regret the things that they did, but the things that they didn’t. While I know that I am not necessarily unique in this regard, I (and those that know me for any length of time in real life) realize that more often than not, it is not what I “do not DO” per se, it is what I do not say that I regret. Doing things is easy. I am prone to bouts of monomania and once I decide to do something, I pretty much do not stop until I do it. This has both hindered and helped me in my life. It has gotten me out of shitty relationships, shitty situations, kept me from being an addict, kept me from having a criminal record, etc.

On the other side, it probably contributed to me being in those relationships/situations and it also provided me with a less than stellar job history in my early 20’s. Now that I appear to be a responsible adult on paper, it leads to some really interesting conversations about why my unique name and social security number come up in at least ten states connected to lots of different things. It’s also why I could never change my name again (not that I would want to, Jesus.) My wanderlust may be considered maladaptive, but I think it is the ultimate adaptive strategy; I either become what I need to be to fit into the situation or I leave the situation. It has definitely been a key piece to my resilience. It’s how I cope. What else can I say?

The things that I look back on my life and wish I had done differently are always things that I wish I had said; opportunities I passed up to say something and just see where the chips lie. When I was younger and didn’t really give a fuck about what people thought because my temporal lobe and prefrontal cortex had not finished developing, it was no big thing. I could say something and mean it for a half hour and then change my mind immediately.

As I got older, and more experience with how people received the things that I said, I became afraid of seeming needy or sounding weird or maybe I was afraid people would think that I wanted something from them, even if I didn’t want anything except the shared experience.

It really has become a “white men can’t jump” situation and I am Rosie Perez. Don’t get me a glass of water, motherfucker. Tell me you know how it feels to be thirsty. Or better yet, tell me you are thirsty, too.

I very rarely tell people how I really feel about people or situations these days. And I regret that. I regret not allowing myself to not have control of a situation or not being able to control what people think of me when I say something so I don’t say it.

And I know, oh I know, control is an illusion.

But I still feel like I must be my best PR agent.

If I tell you what I really think and feel, you are going to think I am a fucking loon.

Or, in the alternative, you will reciprocate. We will have a laugh. We will share a moment that no one else has experienced with either of us and feel freedom in the genuine exchange of energy and sincere emotion, regardless of the influence of chemicals either internally created or externally consumed.

But fear does not let me see that reality when I am calculating the potential outcomes.

Living in a choose your own adventure book has it’s negatives as well. The end is always evolving based on every choice, every word.

So today, I am letting go of that need for control.

I have put into motion certain things that will free me from this illusion of control over actions and feelings.

No more will I reflect upon a situation and wish I had been totally fucking honest in my words as well as my actions.

Actions are easy.

Ironically for me, words are hard.

If they like what I have to say, awesome.

If not, fuck em.