Friday, April 30, 2010

From: Courtney To: The Universe; A Request

Dear Universe,

Can you please make it so that my dad will never read this blog again ever ever ever in his long life?

I have a ton of adventurous crap I would like to share on this here internet, and it might send the poor man into Eternal Disapproving-Mixed-With-Small,-Compassionate-Understanding Dad Face.

Thank you for listening to me!,
Love,
Thank You,
Courtney

Monday, April 26, 2010

Figuring Something Out!

I'm sitting in the parking lot, getting ready to leave campus for the day, with my brain filled with thoughts and problems that I want to resolve and solve.

I have been off my medication for a little over a week, and today I have been feeling like things are taking a long time to accomplish. I haven't been feeling like myself. I have felt like this before when I have tried going off antidepressants, and this feeling has prompted me to resume the pills.

I don't really believe that there is any virtue in being on or off medication. (I do believe there is virtue, however, in letting each other decide what works best for ourselves.)

Anyway, good Christ--I have already forgotten my point! When I started this post I knew I had something figured out. Now I can't even remember what it was. Right now I keep thinking that I know I have obsessive, intrusive, and repetitive thoughts.

Certainly I don't want to exaggerate my experience. I just want to make a note here that I think my brain is causing me a lot of pain--even more so because it's slippery and wants to pretend that it's helping me! I think this is the nature of brains, but I've also been wondering, lately, if I just feel this more acutely than the average person.

I've noticed, too, that I've been gaining weight this past month, and that makes me feel dumb and unattractive. Last night I was compulsively eating, even though I wasn't hungry. I've done that quite a few times in my life, and this time I felt almost powerless against this urge while also feeling powerful for noticing what was happening.

My question was going to be: "Can we see the truth of our situation and still act the same way anyway?"

It's like I envisioned a movie scene where the future has been foretold and events unfold in an unlikely, but predictable manner.

So I answered my question by saying, why do I think the right way to act would be to not overeat and to not have obsessive thoughts?

That framework of right/wrong keeps tripping me up--it's its own obsession!

I guess when I feel, in general, pretty gross, I get scared that it's going to last forever. I get impatient with myself. I seek affirmation. And this was my original point--I seek affirmation for the very worst of my character. I want anyone, and especially those I'm closest to, to affirm all the negative judgements I have of the world around me: Isn't so-and-so annoying? Isn't this way of doing things stupid? Shouldn't this person have done that? Isn't it great that I didn't act as petty as I wanted to? Can you even believe how horrible I am for thinking all of this?

That's my interior dialogue and I want someone to think the same things I do without encouraging this part of myself. It's fascinating this way because then I will never trust myself to let my guard down and I won't trust what others say to me.

That's a tricky one, I think! That's a surefire way to feel horrible all the time, which is what Depression wants--consistency! I'm thinking this is why negativity/anger is a mind poison. It will feed into itself constantly; it is not a generative energy. Instead, it closes the mind off to larger possibilities; it sucks the mind into believing itself and ignoring everything else!

Mom's Visit

Well, I had a great time visiting with my mom this past weekend. I feel less alone now--more grounded!

We went to one of my favorite places in Oklahoma, the Tallgrass Prairie. Mom loves buffalo, and we did see some, but not very many. We saw plenty of cows, though, as we drove through the preserve. As we were driving, we weren't sure exactly where to go. I asked Mom if she thought we should turn around.

"No," she said, "we've already seen what's behind us."

I thought that was a great sentiment, and I've adopted that as my new motto.

We also played dominoes (Mom beat me), and talked. At one point I thought I had finally outwitted Mom and I tried to show her her issues:

"Maybe you don't control everything, Mom!"

She responded quickly, "That's just an illusion the rest of you live under."

A girl can't argue with that!

Her visit has made me realize how defensive I can act. I've tended to believe that I've been misunderstood by my parents (read: I've tended to have the same views of my parents that every child has), but now I see that Mom wants to help me reach my full potential.

Sitting in front of my list of wild dreams, Mom tells me that she thinks all the goals I've listed are manageable . . . all except becoming a lead singer of a rock band. "I just don't think you have a good singing voice."

I become indignant, even though I absolutely agree with her! Never mind the fact that she's just endorsed a dozen or so crazy dreams . . .

Is that how parent/child relationships work? Do others actually know us better than we know ourselves? What compels someone to believe in another's best potential? Is my mother God?!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

'90s Nostalgia

Well, it has happened. I have fallen in love with the prospect of a '90s resurgence. I know the '80s are back now, but soon we can have the '90s again, and won't that be nice?!

Last night I listened to Marilyn Manson's latest album, and today I read that Courtney Love and Hole have a new release--I can't help but be in love!

And I saw some flannel in the store the other day . . . slowly the styles are creeping back. It makes me want to sew some flannel dresses. I'll put that one on the ol' to-do list.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Unlikely Love Song

I had a completely pleasant reminder about how much I love NIN's "Only." I repeatedly listened to it when it came out and sang along with anger! Enter meditation, enter nice company, enter unlikely situations, and this becomes my new favorite love song.

Reznor sings: "I just made you up to hurt myself / And it worked. / Yes it did!"

Make up happier and lovelier images, silly man (whom I over-identify with)! Proposed revision: "I just made you up to love myself / And it worked. / Yes it did!"

Thursday, April 15, 2010

"All I got to be is be happy"

I am so thankful for the depressive funk of the past couple days . . . because today the clouds have lifted and I emerge with renewed vision and insight!

Now that I've written that, I feel so stupid! But I want to communicate, so here's everything (in no particular order).

My dreams for the past few months have carried recurring images; about a month ago things started feeling more hopeful and less dark, and then lately the dreams have scared me. Last night, though, I finally heard what I think I needed to hear!

I heard everyone's loneliness. I saw how my loneliness sends me out exploring, running around in places that are never mine (libraries, schools, ex-boyfriend's home, stadiums, parks, interstates, dirty and cramped cities, expansive and plastic cities). I saw how i can get the answers if I stay in my own place and set my own boundaries, which happens with the help of the people around me.

In my dream, the first boy I ever really loved came over and we were so happy together! Then, all of a sudden, I was replaying the high school drama wherein my best friend started crushing on the boy I loved! In my dream (and reality), he liked her back, and in my dream they were like, "We're going to go have sex on your bed in your bedroom, ok?"

And I was all: "Um. Ok. That's fair since we're here and I said you could come in and I like you both." And then I was thinking, "But the bed isn't made up; I don't want them to see that."

And then my love comes out and asks if I have a condom they can use. And I don't know what to say because yes, I do have condoms they could use, but they are in a personal drawer, and, further, they were meant to be used between me and someone else!

Dream drama ensues and I tell them both that they need to leave. I take time to process things, and determine that it's appropriate for me to have boundaries. (No sex in the champagne room!) Who knows what type of crazy these people are that they believe they can treat me this way?

The dream continues, and I tell the boy (who has morphed into someone else's true-life, great boyfriend) that he needs to move out by Friday. He's hurt and confused and he says, "But I love you. Do you think I'm going to give up know that things are difficult?"

I said yes, that's precisely what I believe! But he said it wasn't true and that he's concerned about the other girl and he's trying to figure out what is going on with her and how he can help her.

The dream continues, the three of us talk, fight, and feel connected. Blah, blah, blah. This dream took pages to write out in my notebook!

Anyway, I woke up realizing that everyone is fundamentally lonely. And that crazy people show up on my doorstep and that it's up to me to communicate with them in the best way I know. I realized some of my confusion when dealing with men is that they are lonely, like I am, and we just express our loneliness in different ways.

I realized that I can make a distinction between my loneliness (and just general existential angst) and what it says about me. Being lonely or depressed or uncertain doesn't mean that I've done something wrong in my life.

I realized, too, that I want to play with people who understand this. I want to play with people who can feel more comfortable with their negative feelings; I want to be around more people who have compassion for themselves. That's the hardest thing, I think, to try to communicate to someone. It's so hard to let people (friends, students, family members, former partners) know that you give them the ultimate support and encouragement to learn to deal with their own, messy, ugly, beautiful entanglements. It used to be so nice to believe that I could spare someone (anyone!) some sorrow.

Recently I heard someone say to a friend, "I don't want you to get hurt like I was, but I'm afraid you might." I thought that this was a nice sentiment, yet I wondered if it might be more courageous to say, "I'm afraid you are going to get hurt, and I am sad because I know that I cannot save you from that pain. But I hope you get hurt in the exact same way I did, so that I can help you out using the methods I used."

Of course no one is going to have the same life events--I know this! But I kind of wish we did because then we could tell each other exactly what to expect.

Good thing, though, that we have opportunities of connection wherein we can identify with various positions on the emotional web. And So-and-So and can see how Such-and-Such and What-and-What are related, which is good because maybe Such-and-Such didn't see the connection. And it's not So-and-So's responsibility to make sure Such-and-Such and What-and-What connect, but it's pretty cool that she saw it and made it known.

(That's all. If anyone in the history of the universe ever reads this, then I will be really surprised!)

It's Mom's Birthday!

Today my lovely mother turns another year older! In two weeks I turn another year old, so in one week, Mom will come visit, and we will mutually celebrate our birthdays!

I'm really excited to see my mom, who is one of the most persistently, consistently generous people I know.

Case in point: in this, the thirty days leading up to my thirtieth birthday, she has sent me a little gift each day that has thirty items of one thing. I am now the proud, humbled (and sometimes baffled--foam crosses, Mom?) owner of thirty beer stickers, feathers, feet of ribbon, beads, jingle bells, and other miscellaneous items (which will surely used . . . even those foam crosses (Mom?)).

She has exhibited this same generosity with each of her sons-in-law; the woman just keeps giving and thinking about others.

So on this day I want her to feel the same generosity she provides to others. And I want her to feel it in a way that she will understand, too. She is so intuitive and sensitive; I think it's difficult for her to understand what a gem she is in this world. So, enter her self-deprecating and razor-sharp sense of humor, a gift not everyone has, either.

To this woman, who's celebrating a milestone age herself, I would like to wish all the happiness and love that this universe has to offer!

(I love you, Mom! Happy birthday!)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Confusion

I am utterly unsure of myself, while also really sure of myself. Last night I was watching a recording of a lazy afternoon my friends and I had back in January. Plenty of funny things were recorded! And yet I also saw how annoying I can be. It really made me think that I could totally see why someone would think I'm a horrible person to be around. Usually if someone--I don't know, say a mate--didn't want to be around me, then I thought he was kind of dense. And if a student or colleague didn't like me, then I really thought that person was uptight.

But I can see how I can be utterly annoying.

And I mean, I can see it; like not only can I understand how something I said or did could be misinterpreted, but I can see how my very nature would grate on someone's nerves.

Fascinating.

Indeed.

(I get that one now.)

All of this is leading me to believe that I should not be allowed around words anymore! And it's helping me see how it doesn't do anyone any good to try to change. We all need to accept ourselves and others the way we are, and not the way we want to be.

It would probably hurt a lot less if that ol' acceptance thing would just kick in right now . . . growing pains, I suppose!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Time and Love

Somebody using the time machine is in love with me! I am intrigued and humbled!

Yesterday I got home from tutoring, and I was feeling a little bummed about life and very confused as to what my next action was going to be. As I got out of the car, though, I remembered that I am actually a lucky person, and so I can trust that something will turn up. I haven't always thought of myself as lucky, but there I was, actually believing it to be true! It felt refreshing!

When I got to my apartment door, I saw I had a slip of paper from the post office saying they had a certified letter for me. Mail! I love getting mail! I echo my little sister's sentiments who, when I asked her what her plans for the next day were, responded with some zeal, "I'm going to check the mail."

Anyway. I went to pick up the letter yesterday and it wasn't in, so I dropped by this morning. The man behind the desk looks at me and says, "Weren't you just in here a minute ago?!"

"No, but I was here yesterday."

"I swear you were just here. Must be one of those time warp things."

"Probably! I believe in that!"

"Oh, if we had time, I have some stories for you!"

He proceeded to find out what I wanted, and after much searching, it turns out that no one knows where my certified letter is. This is not really a big deal to me because I get to have a couple conversations with strangers and I notice that the post office is hiring for rural delivery routes (sounds great to me).

The man mentions again that we should talk about time travel, and I wholeheartedly agree. After it's confirmed that my letter isn't around, he tells me to leave my phone number so that someone can call me when it's found. I'm writing my number and he says, "And this isn't a ploy to get your number." I say, "Well if it is, it's pretty clever."

We say goodbye and I get in the car (by now I am totally late for school), and I realize: USING THE TIME MACHINE WOULD BE THE FASTEST WAY TO MY HEART!

I wondered: what if I just was at the post office and what if another me already has that letter and if I can go back and get the letter, then maybe I have already gone back and have made changes in my life so that I can always have what I need and want in life.

This ideas helps a lot because last night night I found myself on my knees crying and praying because I did not believe that I could be as strong and brave as I need to be right now. I told the Universe that I am only a little strong and a little brave, and that I do not want to be any more of either. I cried because I've been having scary dreams that I don't understand and I cried because I feel like I'm supposed to know something that I just don't know right now.

I cried, made a plan, had some wine, and read more of my Danielle Steele novel (not even joking about that last part; nor do I even care). Last night's dreams were more peaceful and I woke up happy this morning. Still scared and still confused, yet somehow assured--and the post office incident only confirms this--that everything I have is already here and everything I need will be around and whatever my next step is will be stepped.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Master's Tools

I believe I've written about this before; it's just such a powerful phrase and one that has fueled my own thinking for many many years. Audre Lorde wrote, "The master's tools will never dismantle the master's house." As I recall, she used this phrase to justify why we need poetry in our lives. I think the phrase can be applied to any number of situations. And maybe I'm being too black and white about this, but I think the master's tools will dismantle the master's house.

If the tools can build it, then the tools can unbuild it. I think the issue is with those who are using the tools. If you are the master and you aren't using your tools, then you really aren't the master. If you are the oppressed and you are using the master's tools, then you are the master.

I think we need to be careful about the house we want and how it will be built and who will build it. It's such a web, you know, because I want to build my own house and use my own tools. Every image of houses and tools I have, though, has been based upon what others before me have used. So we have a legacy of houses and tools and master/slaves--this is our history. It takes some work to create in the midst of others' creations; it takes some work to be accountable for your own house while learning about others'.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Break-Up Induced Stomach Ache

Bleh. I'm wearing my break-up glasses and they are shading everything right now. I can't really talk about anything without sounding a) angry or b) juvenile. And I can't pretend, here on my blog, that I am anything except self-absorbed! So, I'm just going to crawl into my shell, and write in my journal more frequently. Based on previous break-ups, I'm expecting the following types of entries:
1. I am so right and that poor guy is just dumb
2. I am so selfish
3. He's actually meaner than I thought
4. Am I a liar?
5. Why why why why why
6. Oh, just watch me now
7. New rules
8. I'll change
9. I have changed
10. Why do I have to change?
11. I can't change
12. Everything is my fault
13. Oh wait, I actually don't control your life
14. I think I want him back
15. I think he wants me back
16. We'll be together again in the future
17. We never should have been together
18. What was that?!

and my favorite category: I've only wanted the best for you, so why don't you curl up and die right now you dumb ass that I never really asked a lot of, only everything in the entire universe.