Saturday, December 17, 2011

Thinking about Life

A coworker's father passed away this week, and I just got back from the service. I didn't particularly want to go because I am trying my best to avoid depression. I am trying my best, as my wellness coach advised me, to pamper myself! Life is so interesting, though, and even though I don't want to be around death, I do want to celebrate someone's life and show my support for those that person left behind. That doesn't have to be a depressing deal (some people can really turn it into one, though!). Since I'm thinking about it, it's probably just a boundary thing . . . having my own emotions while not taking on everyone else's. That's really hard, especially in settings where there is a strong convention and a belief that one should have certain feelings.

And since I'm really thinking about it, it's probably what prevents me from doing other supposedly sad things. I'm reading a book where a character is reading about Saint Theresa and her home for the dying. I have a friend who adopts seniors for the holidays and brings them meals. Such things I don't particularly want to do, and I think it's partly because I don't want to take on other's feelings around those things.

I've been experiencing a change in my beliefs and attitudes due to my job. I feel almost no pity for people, even while I can experience a strong sense of compassion for someone. I have become almost fully convinced of a philosophy of "God helps those who help themselves." And I mean it in almost every sense. I do think people have to come to some sense of self and ask for what they need before they are going to find what they need. I can tell people what they should do, I can give all kinds of options, but I can't save anyone who won't take their own step. It's weird. And not everyone has access to that kind of higher level self-awareness, whether due to great ignorance or mental incapacitation. And that's the part that I find so strange about life . . . some people probably can't help themselves.

The other day I was griping about work, and then griping about my griping. I told Bill that it does get frustrating answering the same questions day after day. It occurred to him that probably everyone feels that way, so it's best to get in a line of work where you're answering the question you don't mind being asked! I found it related to Elizabeth Gilbert's line that you should live in the city that has the same word as you have. I'm still unsure what my word is and I'm working on finding the question I wouldn't mind answering! I'm afraid, though, that it would be some shallow question; but, maybe it's something closer to "Can I do this?" Because all I want to say to people is, "Yes! You can do this!" And it occurs to me that the flipside to that response is something like, "Jesus Christ, you did this? This is a monstrosity and a mistake and you should do better." I guess I find myself as the critic and the encourager; someone enmeshed in other people's lives and finding how that role fits into her own life. It's weird like that!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

About the Cats

I would like to take this moment to write about my cats; it’s simply been too long since I have sang their praises. I hold many silly beliefs just because I like having them because they are fun to play with. I don’t so much care for the literal truth because it’s so obvious and once something is obvious, then there’s nothing much to play with. So I play with the belief that my sweet boy kitty, LZ, was once a prince in a past life. And now his karma brought him a life where he was a street cat rescued from the pound. He acts like a know-it-all and he does have a regal air. I think maybe he was a prince from Russia or something. I really don’t know anything about Russia, so I’m going to have to learn. Also I need to learn more about: (the usual things on this list), what soil looks like above coal deposits, Barry Goldwater, China’s power system. I think LZ and I have an almost erotic relationship, which is almost disturbing on two fronts: human-animal and mom-son. I swear the way he loves me is not the way an animal has loved me before. He will climb on my chest in bed at night and put his face in my mouth (or try at least, you know) and we will just expect a lot of love. He is almost always snuggling with me. He needs a lot of attention, but there is an undercurrent of charged energy—passion?—that comes with that cat. It makes me wonder: since all matter came from the Big Bang, did LZ and I (and the rest of the universe) just share a closer infinite closeness to each other than with other matter? That is, how have our molecules always interacted with each other and what are we playing out together now? I am on the record: cat and woman love is the most fulfilling love. Except for the fact that it does not require my trust or push my faith. Or does it?

I always wanted to be a princess, so it makes me laugh that this prince cat has come into my life. And just now I had a bad memory and I was indulging in it and was almost crying. I was on the floor and he jumped off the futon and came by me, saving me from a pity party. Reminding me that he’s around and there’s no need to be sad. How did he know to do that? Or, was he actually brushing by me and then standing suggestively near the food dish telling me he wants more dinner? What is there to gain from trying to interpret cat behavior through the human lens?

In early morning logic a few days ago it came to me that Queenie and I share the same karma. Wherever we’re at, we each came to it on our own. We’re working out the same things, and maybe those things include: being bossed around by boys, weight, being extremely loveable, and now (but only on Queenie’s part) biting other people. Such things might also include: knowing everything, but rarely speaking up.

I’ve never had sole custody of animals that I chose. It’s interesting to have such creatures around, to share a home, to feel like I have a home, precisely because of such creatures.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

One Writerly Mess

I am supposed to be meeting my writing partner this morning, and he is late! And we haven't meet in nearly forever, so whatever it is I said I'd be working on, I am not working on. What better time to post to this blog (which I enjoy, but haven't had the time to sit down and do)?

I have had a wave of anxiety and the accompanying insight that follows in its wake. It's interesting how that works. I'm getting better at voicing my discomfort to myself and figuring out what it is that I need. And trusting that I'll take care of myself . . . all those good things that sound wonderful in theory and can actually wiggle their way down my brain and into my body and everyday practice.

It turns out that I feel superanxious in my relationship. I invent hypothetical situations for the future and then wonder how/if Bill will respond to those situations. I voiced such a situation to the guy the other night, and he gave his standard response (he's nothing if not consistent), which was reassuring and so boring to the anxious mind. What anxiety can't embrace, however, doesn't feed it, so it must move on to another state, which is something that feels more like peace and calmness.

I realized that I am constantly expecting and putting people in place to tell me "no" to my biggest dreams and the best image I have of myself. Isn't that interesting? I want permission to be who I want to be, and I think I can get that from lovers, family members, and friends, when I can really only get it from myself. It's a strange position to be enmeshed in a relationship and to still work on myself. Probably all the energy I put in to making myself attractive to a romantic partner is the energy I need in order to make myself feel lovable to myself. And now there is this partnership that means so much to me, but I realize how inadequate I am as a lover because I can barely understand what it actually means to be open to love, to say yes to love.

I guess when a relationship starts, I wonder: am I worthy? Is this the real thing? All the images I have of myself and the other person come into play; there are always those two images: one of self and one of other. As time passes, you get to see the other person better (and we know how those illusions can fall away), and now I'm learning to see myself better (before a relationship breaks, for once). I no longer feel so stone-like; being fluid feels foreign in many senses. I am struggling to create my own life and to allow myself to drop images of what things could or should be like, and to trust that Bill and I can make our own decisions as we build our lives together. That's probably just the hardest thing: building a life with someone. I probably have always been too independent to do this before, even though that independence could manifest as reliance and dependence upon the other person. Who knows? I don't really care, actually.

Maybe if I had more concrete goals or more pedantic desires, this wouldn't be so difficult! It's hard to turn lofty goals into something tangible. That's a new thought and one I'll play with for a while.

In the meantime, it's time to get to the concrete work of going to work! xoxoxoxo