Friday, October 24, 2014

Is Original Thought Dead?

So I spend a lot of time reading opinion pieces. This isn't to say that I don't stay current in events that happen, just that when I want to expand my brain, I do it by comparing my thoughts to others. I firmly believe that if you don't ever challenge your own beliefs you don't really believe it, you're just regurgitating someone else's thoughts and ideas.

It's almost a year since I went from 2 player to 1 player and I'm constantly looking at past decisions and thought processes, deciding what's worth keeping around and what needs to be kicked to the mental curb.. So yesterday I came across an opinion piece written by a gal who is just as scatterbrained as me, but in her own unique way. Similar in age, trying to find her best fit in the world. She was writing about how she's sick of listicles about what people are looking for in relationships, and how they mostly consist of basic foundation pieces that Any ::Healthy:: relationship should have: Mutual Respect, Boundaries, Feeling Safe to Express Yourself, Honesty, Faithfulness, etc.. and if that's your list, you fail at life. (She was nicer. Kinda). She argued that when looking at the people that surround you, you should probably be more choosey than just "Treats me Like an Actual Person". Then in pure irony, she went to list some very specific to her things she looks for in the people she spends her time with.

Her article spoke to me, so I wrote a quick little sentence of appreciation in the comment section. One little sentence and apparently it angered someone enough to accuse me of not thinking for myself. I snarked back, but the accusation has stuck with me.

English has existed since about the 5th Century according to Wikipedia, and we are living in the 21st. That is a long time for a language to exist. And before that? Language has been around as long as people have, and each and every one of us have had thoughts to be expressed to others. (Traditionally referred to as conversation.) Are we really supposed to assume that no one has ever shared a thought with us? I remember being 19 or 20, and having this terrific idea for cats that would let them get petted, even when no one was home. I kept it close to the vest, because I was afraid someone would steal it and make it a reality before I could come up with the materials. Guess what... It exists. And I'm not the one who brought it to the market. Someone else had the same idea as me, and was able to make it a reality. Good on them!

So here's the rub. If I read a story, or hear a song that makes my lungs catch, is it wrong to want to share it? If someone else is able to perfect craft something that causes me to leap with appreciation that someone else out there has felt what I have felt, do I really need to try to come up with my own words? Why? I'm not talking about plagiarism here, because word theft is still theft, but if someone else has the words and has shared them, why is it such a crime to share them as well? I see my friends sending full or partial lyrics to the ones they're dating, and even recently I had a dear friend share with me the artist Meg Myers because Myers is intense and helped her through some shit. (Total side tangent, I love her. The first time I heard her song Monster I felt like I already knew the lyrics. Her song Desire ripped strips of my soul from me.) Besides wanting to roll our general eyes at the mooneyed couples being all goopy, no one thinks twice about this common practice.

Why is that more acceptable that saying "Hey! You put a lot of thought into this, I can relate to this."? I know. I know. Trolls are trolls, and you should never feed them, but this isn't just because of some one off. All the time, people are stuck with words in their throats, not sure quite how to form our thoughts and emotions, because they either sound too much or not enough so we stay silent. Instead of accusing others of being robots who can't think for themselves, why not appreciate that even if you personally might not agree with the thought being shared, be happy that someone found relief by someone else's words?

So here we are, at the end of my train of thought, and I think I was able to get it all out in a way that makes sense, but here's my big flaw. I do not know how to end this. Or really anything I write. Conclusions are my kryptonite. Maybe when I'm next feeling like pretending I'm deeper than I really am, I'll spin it into a positive, but for now, I'm going to say Until Next Time! and end with a smiley.

Until Next Time!! :)

Friday, October 17, 2014

Achievement Unlocked

My son is currently on a two week vacation with his father, visiting some family clear on the other side of the country. I'm glad that they have this time, and even though it's been borderline tough for me, it's also been really good. I wrote an article about things parents are sick of hearing about while he was gone, and it sparked an important conversation with my son's father. (You can read the article here if you want) My ex feels that I don't write about him, and that through his eyes, it looks like I try to act like he isn't involved.

That has NEVER been my intent, and just in case that is what it looks like to more than him, let me explain. My writing is about my life experiences, and how I interpret them. When our relationship was falling apart, I was writing about it, but not publicly, out of respect for him. When I first started writing again, he asked me not to write about him because it made him uncomfortable. For the majority of things, I have honored his wishes, and when I do write about our relationship, I focus on where I failed. Same when I talk about it with other people. Knowing where I failed is arguably more important than knowing where he failed, because if I ever am to grow as a person I have to look at myself under the microscope before placing anyone else there.

TL;DR: He's involved, we both love our son very much, but out of respect for his privacy, I don't talk about him a lot.


If someone was to say negative things about me, the least believable would be to call me selfish. One of my biggest faults is my need to justify my actions for almost anything. I attempt to please as many people as possible, while still maintaining my own sense of self. I'm kinda a walking contradiction here, because so many pieces of who I am at the core of my being makes others uncomfortable, but other than my core beliefs that are non-negotiable, I will totally go out of my way to make sure everyone else's needs are properly addressed before even acknowledging my own.

I've gotten to a point in my growth where I can say out loud: "I need/want ::insert need/want here::" which is pretty great, but I don't know how to go about going after said needs/wants. Usually, when I decide to do something I usually have a list of reasons why I am doing it, justifying that it is ok for me to be going after it. This is not the case right now.

At this very moment, I am sitting at an undisclosed location, where only 4 people know where I am. I decided to call this experience a Secret Spy Mission, because I don't want anyone to know where I am, because I may or may not be in a closer proximity than usual to certain things, and I would then feel obligated to interact. This weekend is not for obligations. I am having a selfish weekend. I am where I am for the weekend, and the only reason I am here is because I want to be. I closed up shop completely, gave my staff the weekend off and went ::poof::. I can't tell you the last time I did something just because I wanted to, and it feels good. Everything I have done/will do between yesterday and Sunday is because of the simple desire of me wanting to do it.

I'm not going to start being totally self-indulgent, and self centered in all that I do, because my genetic makeup will not allow me to do that, but I think it has to be ok to treat yourself to things with no other reason other than the desire to do so. Maybe not all the time, but it probably shouldn't be a once in a while thing either. Balance should exist.

So, now that I have this no longer rattling in my brain, I'm going to go enjoy some nicotine, and decide between working on my next article, watching S3 of VGHS, or something else entirely..... Until next time!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

The Debate I'm Having (With Myself) Over the Importance of Titles...

I pretty much have an opinion on everything. Well, everything I have even a partial story on at least. Usually, once my mind is made up it stays that way unless I either witness/experience something to change my mind, or have an intelligent conversation with someone that opens my eyes to a thought process I hadn't considered. Right now, the subject is titles, and the intelligent conversation is with myself. ;)

Titles have always been super meaningful to me. I am the Oldest of Nine, and that is a title that I use to partially define myself. Family titles are like the royalty of titles. Family is the one thing you are supposed to have no matter what else is thrown your way. It's supposed to be that unbreakable bond.

I remember when I had already left my mom's house as an "adult", coming over to celebrate one of my sisters' birthday. It was a bunch of her friends, my mom, our other sister, the lady that rents a room from my mom, and my sisters' grandparents. I watched as the birthday girl kept talking to her "Grandma" (the lady that rents a room from my mom) while her actual grandma sat in a chair, jumping to attention every time her title was used, and slumping each time she realized that not only was she being ignored, her title, her special name, was being used on a stranger with no actual ties to our family. Granted, the lady has now lived in my mom's house for over a decade, but when this had happened the lady had recently moved in. I vowed to never call someone by a title they didn't rightfully have.

Rewinding the clock a bit, when I was old enough to talk to my mom about the boys I was kissing, my mom gave me very clear guidelines to follow. Basically, going on a date with someone does not automatically mean you are in a committed relationship. Going on multiple dates does not equal boyfriend/girlfriend status. Conversations are required for either of those things to happen, and she told me that if I liked someone enough to make out with them, I should probably make sure we're only making out with each other. (I was 15 when I was given that advice, that's about as serious as she wanted me getting with anyone). That carried over to my dating life as an adult, where just because you asked me to dinner, that didn't mean we were a couple. I've always been pretty ambiguous when there's no titled attached, BUT you throw a title onto something, and I follow the title to a T.

So I bet at this point you're wondering what my point is.

One of my sisters temporarily lost custody of her children. One of my dearest friends and her husband became the foster parents of said children. They raised those children for about a year (sharing time with my sister while she went through the steps to get them back), while building bonds with the kids and their family members. These children are my son's cousins. My friend has nieces and nephews, which for simplicity purposes became the foster kids' cousins. My son is now calling my dear friend "Aunt" because that is the title you have for the person who is raising your cousins. I'm not going to lie, the first time I heard it, it made me uncomfortable.

Sunday, I had a family day with my son and his dad, AND my friend, her husband, and my niece and nephew. It got the wheels turning a bit. This woman has been there for me through some pretty heinous stuff over the past decade or so, and she went out of her way to keep my niece and nephew from being separated by the system, knowing fully that by taking on my sister's children, even in the best case scenario her heart would end up shattered. How is this woman not my family? Because we aren't blood related? I call bull. If there was a title I could give her stronger than aunt for my son, I would give it.

I guess I still stand in the corner of titles are important, but I think I've realized that just because you are born into a title doesn't mean you get to keep it.

Life is kinda like a cloud puzzle. Everyone is a different piece, shifting around, figuring out where they belong. A lot of the pieces sometimes look alike, and sometimes pieces even manage to sort of fit together, but when you find the right spot for the all the pieces, it looks pretty great, and you'll wonder how you ever thought it was supposed to look different than the end result.

And now, even though I really enjoy that last paragraph, I wonder if anyone else will find it relevant to this post. (I'm keeping it though, because I enjoy it.)

A Little Blasphemy as a Literal (and Figurative) Sign of Progress

 Hello there, it’s been a while, and in true returning from ghosting fashion, I am here to either share something vapid and meaningless, or ...