Living With Rose Colored Lenses

When we think of assumptions we have made that were later proven wrong we usually think of the negative assumptions we have made. I don’t usually start with a negative assumptions, I tend to see the world through rose colored lenses and then am let down by the reality.

My family, and even my girlfriend, have told me throughout my life that I was just too trusting of other people. It’s hard for me to believe that anyone would want to hurt me, either physically or emotionally. I assume that everyone follows the same moral code that I do. I meet people all the time who seem to be good people, at first. I might even see them do good things for others. Some of those people have proven to me wrong. I have learned that people’s ideas about what’s right and wrong can change in a minute. I believe now that people who claim to love and care about you will only do so for as long as it is convenient for them to do so. One minute they are your friend, they are your family, the next, they are your enemy. I have learned this time and time again but I still have something in me that just can’t stop seeing the good in everyone.

When I was a young teenager, before I had admitted to myself that I was bi/lesbian*, I, like most young girls, went through a boy crazy faze. During that time I had many boys, and at one time a grown man, promise me the world in exchange for my time and affection. After they got what they wanted from me that changed. I know that this is a typical experience for teenage girls to go through but no one ever told me that it would be that way. Part of the blame lies with me I guess, I kept letting them do it to me. After I had had enough and I accepted that I liked girls too I dated a girl who claimed to love me. She was dating another boy at the time and she swore to me that she only stayed with him so that her mom would not suspect that she was gay. I allowed her to do that to me because I thought she loved me. I thought there was a glimmer of hope that we could live happily ever after. Later in our relation she also became abusive. One day she decided she didn’t want to be with me but didn’t tell me. She had her friends answer the phone and make excuses for why she couldn’t talk to me. One day one of her friends, frustrated that I wasn’t getting the hint, finally told me that that girl never wanted to talk to me again. I never called back and to this day I still feel a bit of heartache when I think of her.

A few years later, when I was just about homeless. I met a group of teenagers who were all living together in an apartment. The guy who was on the lease was a bit older than the rest of us and allowed me to live there with out having a job. He told me I could just pay him back when I started working. I got a job as soon as I could and began paying for what I could. None of the other 4 or 5 people living with us had a job and one day we decided to get another apartment, just the two of us. We gave the others sufficient notice and we went and signed a lease at another complex. After a few months I moved my girlfriend in and things quickly went downhill.

My roommate began paying his part of the rent late all the time. My girlfriend had to hound him every month just to get him to pay. He stopped buying groceries too but continued to eat our food. I couldn’t believe he was doing this when he had dealt with it from our other roommates in the previous apartment. One day I cornered him and asked him what was going on. He admitted to me that he had lost his job and had been paying the rent with money he made selling drugs. I remembered how he had helped me out when I didn’t have a job and offered to let him pay me back when he found a job again. He agreed and then…he left and never came back. He left all his stuff and never paid us another dime. He did however come back one day while me and my girlfriend were at work and he stole the lock box we kept our rent money in. After that money was gone me and my girlfriend could never catch up and we forced to pay our rent late every month until our lease was up. I never expected he would do something like that. He seemed so responsible up until that point, and he seemed to genuinely care about me.

And finally, the betrayal that hurt the most was the most recent. My own brother has cut me out of his life. For a couple of years my family family lived with me and my girlfriend. It was a tense time for all of us. Me and my girlfriend are quiet people who keep a regular work/sleep schedule and my family tend to be pretty chaotic people. They are loud and they like to stay up late. We all struggled to come to agreements on who should clean up what and my family did not pay us rent regularly. One of the areas we fought most about was the lack of responsibility my younger bother and sister had. They didn’t help clean up and they wouldn’t follow the rules. My mother made excuses for them and cleaned up after them and we felt that was wrong. One day, just before they were going to move out, we all got into a fight.

My girlfriend had asked my little sister to clean up her room because she had not gone to school, as she often didn’t. My girlfriend was a bit harsh to her but she didn’t do anything I wouldn’t have. My sister got upset and called my mother and brother. They got upset and accused my girlfriend of over stepping her boundaries. My own brother accused me of not protecting my little sister. My brother, in my opinion, took this as a good opportunity to tell me exactly how he felt about my girlfriend. I felt like all she had ever asked him to do was help out a little and clean up after himself. We got into a screaming match and he told me he never wanted to speak to me again and told me to “have a nice life”. I told him he should probably spend the night at our other sisters house and we could work it out later.

That was months and months ago and he still refuses to speak to me. The thing that hurts is I have done so much for him my whole life and loved him like he was my own son. I took care of him as a baby and helped him when he had trouble in school. I value our relationship and would do anything to work this out with him but he refuses. He has blocked me so that I can’t call his phone and he talks bad about me to the rest of my family. When my dog died and I was devastated he told my mom that he didn’t care. He talked bad about me on Facebook and tagged me in it so all of my family and friends could see it. When I go to my mother’s he ignores me. I don’t understand how he could do this to me. It seem selfish and pointless and I never would have expected it from him.

These are just a few examples of the ways I have been hurt by assuming other people would never hurt me. I assumed they cared about me as much as I cared about them. I assumed I meant something to them. I’m not perfect, and I have hurt people too, but I always try to admit when I am wrong and make things right the best that I can. I am always shocked when others are unwilling to do the same for me.

I am working on finding a happy medium. I want to be able to form meaningful relationships with other people but I need to be able to protect myself. Other people can be mean, they can be heartless, and they can be selfish. They can also be kind, caring, and loving. I once read that we teach others how to treat us. We show them by letting them know what we will accept. I want to be an example of a caring, loving person, but I also want to show people that treating me badly will not be tolerated.

Writer’s Block? Or Just Plain Fear?

I’m not sure I have ever experienced true writer’s block, but I do have a feeling of being stuck sometimes. I love to write and I have plenty of ideas. I write every day but just not here. I’m new to blogging, and writing for an audience, and it has turned out to be a bit more difficult then I had imagined. When I write for myself I just let go of whatever is in my head. I write about what I did that day or even what is going on in the moment. It’s easy but that is not always what other people might want to read. So I get stuck. Thinking about it now though, I realize the thing holding me back is not so much a lack of ideas, but rather a fear of failure.

Right now my main source of ideas comes from reading other people’s writing. I have drafts with titles that are either responses to other articles or are inspired by them. The problem is I collect drafts and ideas and never follow up and write about them. I read, and read, and read, and I hardly ever write. I guess I’m just afraid of sounding stupid or writing something no one cares about. I am afraid no one will read this, or if they do they will hate it. I am afraid of finding out I have no talent for the things I enjoy. Every time I sit down to type out a post, in the back of my head I hear a little voice telling me that this is pointless.

The more I try and, I admit, the more I see my stats go up, the fear fades and the voice gets quieter. I am sure the fear will never fully go away but my strength is growing and I can fight it. I can just DO IT an see where this takes me. In the end I feel good about this. I’m putting myself out there in a way that no one else I know is. I am facing my fear and expressing myself and that is something. I think to myself what is the worse that could happen? Maybe no one reads this? Maybe no one does care? Maybe someone does think I sound stupid? What do I care? I am doing something I love. A lot of my time is taken up by doing things I don’t want to do and this is my escape. I am here and every day I try a little harder to just write SOMETHING. Every day the feeling of being stuck goes away, little by little.

Slowly but Surely

So I know I haven’t been blogging like I should but I want you to know that doesn’t mean I haven’t been doing anything productive. Things have been a little hectic around here lately so I haven’t done everything I’ve wanted to. I am getting back into the swing of things though and so far it is going well. I am getting back into things slowly, building new habits as other parts of my life calm down. Little by little things are falling back into place. I try to do just a few, small things a day until I have built up a good habit of doing them, and then I build on it with another habit. The goal in the end is to get healthier, learn new things everyday, and become a more creative person.

I have been able to keep up with writing 750 words a day everyday for about 36 days now. I am very proud of this streak! In the few years I have been writing over on 750words.com I have only been able to complete a monthly challenge twice. This last month I decided I was going to write everyday NO MATTER WHAT! And with a little help, and a few gentle reminders from my girlfriend, I was able to do it.

I recommend everyone give 750words.com a try. When I first joined the site, it was free and I didn’t realize that it is now a paid membership with the first 30 days free. Anyone who joined in the early days has free membership but doesn’t have access to some of the features. I donated $5 this month so that I could use the “time off” feature so my streak wouldn’t be broken by an upcoming camping trip I will be on. I’m trying to earn the “100 days in a row” badge dammit!

I have also started up again with Khan Academy. I dropped out of school in the 10th grade due to emotional issues and I always felt like I missed out on learning so much. I loved learning and it’s a shame I left school but Khan Academy has given me another chance!

I first learned about Khan Academy years ago through an article in one of the popular science magazines. In the article it talked about how kids could learn math well beyond their years by through the video and problems. I signed up to learn some basic Geometry to tutor my little brother. Then I started using it for myself. At first just for math but I’m getting in to the science videos too. I have caught up and a lot that I missed out on and I look forward everyday to jumping on there and learning something new.

I also tried a couple of new “brain apps” recently. One of them is called Brain Bean. This one is pretty cool but you are only given four games to start out with. The others must be bought for $0.99 each. I really like Letter List game which is free so that’s nice. The game starts by giving you a random letter and you have to make as many words as you can within a certain amount of time. I like this because it forces me to dig deep and remember words I don’t use that often. Seems like a good thing considering I like to write!

I’m also giving Lumosity a try. I downloaded the app on my iPad a week or so ago and I’m not sure how I feel about it yet. The app works flawlessly but I hate that I only get 3 games a day. I would consider paying for it but the $15 monthly price is a bit much in my opinion. Especially when I feel like I can find other ways to work my brain everyday. They do have a website where more games are available but I would like to use my iPad as much as possible. They state more are coming soon though so I may stick it out and see where the app goes.

There are a few more good habits I would like to add over the next few months. For one I failed miserably with the “100 Days of Creativity” challenge. I’m not giving up though and that will probably be the next habit I incorporate. My main issue was coming up with things to draw everyday. I think next time I might try combining the idea of sketch notes with a visual journaling type of thing. I’ll use typography and doodles that pertain to what I do, think about, and feel everyday.

I’d also like to build on my writing by trying something new. I’ve decided to give poetry a try. I’ve never liked poetry much but recently I discovered the Spilled Ink tag over on Tumblr. The blog that started it states that the tag was implemented to separate old poetry from the new writers on Tumblr. I scrolled through and I found a lot of writers whose work was really interesting! So I have been thinking about learning a little bit about how to write poetry and giving it a try myself.

Lastly I have to finally admit that I also failed miserably to quit smoking so I am going to try to quit again by the end of September. Work is stressful right now and I have so much going on that if I tried to quit now I know I would just fail again. I need to get through a few VERY SPECIFIC things before I quit. I’m not making excuses here I swear, it’s more akin to setting a date, I’m just not sure exactly what that date is yet. On a related note I also need to find a way to work exercise into my weekly schedule. I work early in the morning so while that is my ideal time it just won’t work. I am thinking mornings on the weekends and a couple of evenings during the work week.

So please be patient with me while I slowly but surely work my way back to WordPress and blogging. As you can see I am trying to build good habits without overwhelming myself in the process.

Until next time, good vibes everyone!

I Quit, but I’m Starting Again Now!

At first I told myself I was just taking a break. I had family in town and I was working and trying to blog, and write, and draw everyday and it all just got to be too much. I didn’t take a break, I quit. By the time I was honest with myself and admitted that I had quit I was already carrying a heavy load of guilt and disappointment. I had gone weeks without writing or drawing anything and it felt like it was too late to try again.

Then I told myself I needed to figure out what went wrong so that I could get back on the horse and start again without getting overwhelmed. I didn’t do that either. I just kept on quitting. I knew I just needed to keep trying but everything felt so difficult. Every time I would sit down to write I would just browse Facebook or Pinterest instead. I read other blogs and thought about how I could never write as well as them. I looked at other people’s artwork and wished I was talented and motived too.

Then a few things changed.

The first thing was a more gradual change. Slowly, then all at once, I realized me and my girlfriend are happy. If you read my past post on the history of our relationship you know that we haven’t always been happy together. We were always in love, that never changed, but we didn’t know how to be in a relationship. I feel like in this past year, and more so in the past six months or so, we have really found our flow together. Communication has been wonderful, we have been closer and more intimate than ever, and we just feel this glow, this bubble, of love and acceptance around us. Basically everything has just felt….good! It’s like we are teenagers in love again but this time we are doing it right!

Then my girlfriend got a big promotion. She has worked so hard over the years and they finally recognized her for it. I am very proud of her and I know she will do great in her new position. It will be a lot of responsibility but I know she can do it! This also means we will have more money coming in and that could mean I might not have to work as hard. It could mean I could set aside more time for art and writing. Not that I want to work a whole lot less, just maybe I don’t have to sacrifice all of my time and energy for my job. Maybe I could have a bit more time for the things I love.

The last thing thing that changed were my goals. I started this blog with the intention of expressing myself but other than that I had no idea where I was going with this. Now I think I need to be more useful to the world. I need to be able to teach something. I’m not entirely sure what that is yet but I think the direction I’m heading for is more of a philosophical one with a bit of life hacking and self improvement thrown on top. I want to be a better person but I don’t know exactly what that better person looks like yet but instead of just sitting around and thinking about being a better person, I want to actually do some experimenting and figuring out what being a better person means.

I also want to make life easier and more enjoyable. I want to cut out all of the crap and actually really start being happier and healthier. I want to manage my money better. I want to stop procrastinating and being fearful. I want to get things done and go on adventures. I want to get involved with social issues and volunteer and protest. I want to leave something behind when I die. I really think that now is the time when me and my girlfriend can really start figuring out what we want out of life instead of just doing the same old work, home, sleep routine.

So I am back. I am writing and I am coming up with ways to make some big changes in my life. I feel good, I feel happy, and I feel hopeful. Good vibes everyone!

Just A Few of My Favorite Songs

Maroon 5 – Sunday Morning

This song was the only one I immediately knew should be included in the list. It’s not so much the song, although it is good, it is the fact that I heard it so much during the first years of me and my girlfriend’s relationship. We were about 16 or 17 at the time and we would spend HOURS up in her room listening to the Maroon 5 album “Songs About Jane”. This song was my favorite and it was often playing when we woke up on Sunday mornings after she had snuck me into her parents house to secretly spend the night. Now whenever I hear it I think of feel young and carefree, and I fall in love for the first time again too.

Lupe Fiasco – Lamborgini Angels/ITAL (Roses)/Audubon Ballroom

I have been a fan of Lupe Fiasco for a long time now. the first song I heard was “” and I was hooked instantly. Here was a rapper whom I felt was really trying to say something about the world. This wasn’t an artist who only wanted to make money from “club hits”, he wanted to raise the global consciousness, I can dig that. I also found that the things he was saying were things I thought about and could relate to too. He was rapping for black people who wanted to do better.

About a year ago he released a 13-minute, three part video for three songs off of his 4th album “Food & Liquor 2: The Great American Rap Album Pt. 1.” The video is chock full of stunning imagery and subliminal messages and….You know what, just watch the video, I can’t explain it all.

Jake Bugg – Two Fingers

So I kiss goodbye to every little ounce of pain
Light a cigarette and wish the world away
I got out, I got out, I’m alive and I’m here to stay
So I hold two fingers up to yesterday
Light a cigarette and smoke it all away
I got out, I got out, I’m alive and I’m here to stay

This song is one of my newer favorites. I heard it while browsing playlists and radio stations on Spotify. The song really spoke to me. I think it obviously is about someone who has escaped and overcome a hard life. Whenever I hear it I think of my past and how rough it was for me growing up and how I got out! I got out, I’m alive, and I’m here to stay! The song is encouraging but at the same time it’s honest. He talks about drinking and smoking and dark places in his own head, reminds me a lot of myself and my own thoughts and habits.

These are just a few of my favorite songs. I have A LOT! I’d love to hear what you think of them. Or maybe tell me the names of a few of your own favorites! I’d love to check them out. might find a few new ones to add to my list. :)

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Longing for a Place I Can Barely Remember

I read the Writing 101 prompt this morning and at first I thought it sounded very simple. The challenge is just to think about where you would go if you could go anywhere in the world. It could be a place you have been before or a place you want to visit. I’ve been asked this question before, I think we all have, but for some reason I can never really think of an answer. Not a typical one anyway.

There are plenty of places I want to go, plenty of things I around the world I want to see but none of them are anymore important than any of the others. The only thing that matters in my future travel plans is that my girlfriend is with me. Looking back into my past there aren’t many places I have been that I feel a strong desire to go back to either. In fact, the only place I can think of is a place I barely remember.

When I was very young, maybe around 3 or 4 years old, we lived in Virginia. I remember the weather was nice there. I remember we lived in a townhouse and it was nice too. So were the neighbors and she kids I played with. I don’t know much about what was going on in my family during that time but my parents used to fight a lot. I was still an only child then and maybe a bit spoiled or maybe just still in that perfectly innocent stage of childhood where you are only ever upset when your immediate needs aren’t met.

The last time I can remember ever feeling that perfect innocence was on a family trip to the beach. God, I barely remember that day. All I have are bits and pieces and a feeling, a knowledge, that that day was a good day! I bet my mom was smiling and her and my dad got along, no yelling, no name calling. I bet my mom played with me in the sand. I bet she hugged me and kissed me too. I remember we collected seashells in a plastic yellow bucket and I’ve always wondered whatever happened to that bucket. Man, I wish I had those seashells right now.

I don’t remember ever having another day like that again. We did fun things after that of course, but I was starting to realize that my parents fought more than other parents did. Then my mother was going to have another baby and suddenly I wasn’t an only child anymore. Then my father was leaving and I missed him and wanted him to come home. I wasn’t innocent anymore. Everything after that was clouded by all of the shit the adults around me would do and teach me, for good or bad.

So if I had to chose a place to go to, I would hope you would let me chose the time too, and I would chose that day, so many years ago, and on that beach in Virginia. The last time I felt like part of a real family, and the last day I remember before I had to start growing a thick skin and a strong back to carry the weight of the world.

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Beginning Writing 101

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Was excited to start this Writing 101 thing today but I’m not sure how i feel now. Today’s assigment is free writing. I am not good at free writing. You’d think I’d be good at by now considering i do it everyday but no, I still get stuck. When i do I usually just writing nonsense or hop from topic to topic saying whatever is in my mind. If there is nothing in my mind I write that there is nothing in my mind. I write things like “I can’t think of anything”, “my mind is empty”, “I never know what to write”, “what am I going to write?”, and so on, until something happens, something to write about.

Right now Chardonnay, my girlfriend, is getting ready for bed. She knew about the writing challenge and she asked me earlier if I had done it, I told her I would do it before bed and here I am sitting in bed writing hoping to get done in time to be able to kiss her and hold her before she falls asleep.

She is awesome though, for remembering that I had a writing challenge starting today. I know she has been busy at work and she was very tired and she managed to remember this small thing about me. Well, not small but something that I wanted to do and she wanted to make sure I remembered to do it. She know I worked hard today and she knows my memory is bad and even worse lately since I have been taking the Gabapentin. She knows she needs to remind of things, even the things that are important to me. Just now before I started writing I asked her how does she put up with me. She gave me a smart-alecky answer but really I don’t know how she does it. Everyday I feel like my body is falling apart more and more and she does her best to help me. She knows I do my best too.She knows I love her more than anything but still, I know I am exhausting. She does so much and I will never be able to give back what she has put in. I hope she knows I give her my best though.

I am supposed to write for 20 minutes and Chardonnay is laying in the bed now. I am sure she is still awake and I hope these last few minutes go by quickly because as much as she loves me I know she will not tolerate the clickity-click of this keyboard for too much longer. I imagine she is doing her best not to say anything because she knows I want to get this done, she knows it is important. I just told her I am almost done, I am sure she is glad about that. I don’t think i will be doing anymore writing before bed, at least not in the bed.