Searching for Some Positivity

It’s Monday again and while I am happy to be at work and out of the house I find that my mood is a little down. Lately the problems of other people have gotten to me. My friends and family are going through hard times and the national news has been especially depressing. For a sensitive person like me this means an easy trip straight into depression.

Already today I can see how I am being affected. I don’t care about much because the tedious, day-to-day tasks my boss expects me to complete seem so small and pointless compared to what is going on around the world. The growing problems of race-relations in this country, the police brutality, the shootings, the wars, all of this seems so much bigger and more important.

Closer to home I have friends who’s parents are dealing with cancer and knee surgeries and even my own family is dealing with ongoing health and financial problems.

The hardest part is feeling like there is nothing you can do to help any of it. You want to go out and fix all of the worlds ills but where do you start? How can you, just one lonely person, expect to do anything about these problems that are so much bigger than you. Then again, even if you could find a way to help you can’t because you are stuck working a day job that doesn’t even pay you well enough to give you the option of throwing money at the problems.

So I guess there isn’t much to do except let those close to me, and all over the world know I am here. I see you and I am thinking of you. If there is anything I can do, let me know. I promise to do my best.

Beyond that I think I better try to take care of myself. So this week I am taking the advice of some of my readers and removing myself (temporarily) from all the bad news and looking for some positivity in the world.There has to be some good things happening out there too. Things the news doesn’t report. I have to believe the world isn’t all bad. It’s the only way to cope.

To start I want to share with you a website I have been following for a while that brings to light some of the good people are doing all over the world. It’s called GOOD. You can subscribe to their magazine which is a “beautiful and expansive publication that sets out to discover what it means to pursue a meaningful life — to live well and do good in the 21st century”. Or they have a neat YouTube channel that does episodes called “Fuck Yeah Humanity” which are little snippets of news about the good things people are doing.

I watch them whenever my faith in our species starts waning.

If you have any other sources of good news to share, please let me know in the comments.

I could really use it this week.

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Writer’s Quote Wednesday – Charlotte Perkins Gilman

This weeks Writer’s Quote Wednesday is dedicated to Charlotte Perkins Gilman. I read her (very) short story, The Yellow Wallpaper, earlier this week, and man, was that a good story! It’s written as a series of journal entries from a woman who’s husband, a physician, confines her to a house in the country. He believes she suffers from a bit of depression (read: hysteria) and prescribes a quiet life for her with lots of rest and absolutely no stimulation.

She tries to tell him she wants to write, and see family members, and, eventually, to leave the house all together but he assures her that if she would only rest and learn to control herself she would get better. Instead of getting better she slowly becomes obsessed with the ugly yellow wallpaper in their bedroom and loses her mind.

The work is considered a great piece of feminist literature. It highlights the views and treatment of woman’s mental health issues in the 19th century. I also think it reads as an amazing horror story. I mean it really gave me the creeps!* I highly recommend it for EVERYONE but especially for woman and especially, especially for women suffering from any sort of mental illness. I think we all could relate to it on some level and if not it is just plain entertaining. After you read it look up the writer too. This story was an exaggeration of her own experiences with mental illness.

“But I MUST say what I feel and think in some way—it is such a relief!
But the effort is getting to be greater than the relief.”

― Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Yellow Wallpaper

I picked the quote from the part of the story when the main character is really starting to lose it. She has been secretly keeping a journal because her husband forbids her to write. It seems to me that she has a great need to say something but the isolation and the lack of stimulation are making something that she once found enjoyable quite tiring. Still though, she keeps on writing. It seems that nothing could take that away from her in the end.

I liked the quote because I have had my own struggles with mental illness in the past. There were times when things were getting really bad and I felt like I was going crazy. Writing helped me work out my feelings and get a better perspective. I will occasionally read over these old journal entries and I have the same tone of “I have to write, I have to say something, but oh the writing is hard”.

Or maybe it wasn’t writing that was hard. Maybe it is the way writing forces you to face your illness and move either out of it or further into it. Maybe it is only what the writing does to a mind already strained that tires us…But still we MUST say what we feel and think in some way right? Even when the effort has become greater than the relief, we must continue on.

*Pun intended but you won’t get it unless you read the book :)

Just An Update

Nothing to write about tonight. It was a long day and I am sick. I have to do it all again tomorrow and the weather is only getting worse. This was the worst time to get a tattoo and stretch my ears. My chest feels horrible and my ears are driving me mad. They aren’t bleeding or pussing up, not yet anyway. My hair rubbing hurts. Wearing a beanie hurts. On top of all that I am sick. My throat hurts and so do my sinuses. I bought some Emergen-c today but it tastes crappy and it’s not magic so I am getting worse. I worry that I might not make it through the week without missing some work.

The air was frigid cold today. I think the high was 28 degress. Tomorrow it’s not going to get higher than 18 degress. I expect to suffer the whole day. I expect to be nothing but miserable. I don’t know how to get through it and stay positive. The weather just affects me so much and in a way I feel I can’t fight. I can get up in the morning though and I can put one foot in front of the other for a few hours but that’s about all. It will have to be enough. When you are tired and sick and sad just making it through the day is an accomplishment.

If We Were Having Coffee #2

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If we were having coffee I would tell you that today, I feel good. Me and Chardonnay have had a great weekend. Friday we started watching last season of True Blood, we also had margaritas. Saturday we went to brunch with Chardonnay’s parents. We tried out a new place we’ve been wanting to go to called Punch Bowl Social. We were actually thinking about having our wedding reception there and this was a good excuse to go look at the place. We liked it a lot. The food was good and the place looked nice. It’s got the industrial look we love and with the arcade games and bowling lanes would make it perfect. After brunch we went shopping. We were already off of Broadway which means I had to go to my favorite store, Ironwood. We checked out a couple of other stores and bought us each new shirts.

Then we went home and got lazy. We watched more True Blood and I took a nap. I got up and around 7 started getting ready. We went to new a new movie theater that I had heard so many great things about, the Alamo Drafthouse. We watched an old vampire movie called Near Death and we liked it. They gave us free fangs and gooey blood candy and we ordered cocktails and loaded fries and hot wings. It really was a lot of fun. So much so that I think we will make brunch and shopping and movies at the Alamo Drafthouse a monthly thing.

If we were having coffee I would also tell you that I haven’t seen my father for his birthday yet and I feel bad about it. His birthday was on the 15th of August and I told him we would get together but I just haven’t gotten around to it. I have done other things but seeing him I have to admit is not yet a priority for me. I want it to be but doing the work is more than I guess I am willing to do. I feel bad about that but I am just being honest.

I would also tell you that I am enjoying blogging but I have found I have less time for it than I thought I did. I am trying my best to make the time. I even signed up for NaBloPoMo AKA National Blog Posting Month for the month of September. I hope to do it again in November too! This month’s theme is healing and I think I need that. I have a feeling this blog is going to turn out to be a lot more personal than I originally thought and I think healing is a good place to start.

I am taking social media a lot more seriously too now. Twitter is now the first place I go to find out whats going on in the world. The events going on in Ferguson have affected me deeply and Twitter is the only place to get up to the minute news on what is happening there. I wish I could have been there to protest with those brave people. I hope the nation doesn’t forget.

The events in Ferguson have also brought up a lot of complicated feeling I have about race and racism. I am biracial and in my family everything has to do with the fact that I am mixed. I am always too white or too black. I don’t fit in anywhere, accept for with my siblings, all of whom are mixed too. Both on the internet and in the real world though I feel excluded from talks about race. I am told that because I am light-skinned I have privilege and I don’t understand what it is like to be black. I admit in a way they are right, but they are also wrong. Maybe I will write about it some other time, about how my whole life has revolved around being biracial.

If we were having coffee I would also tell you that I am still feeling a little bit down. I would tell you not to worry about me though. I would tell you that I am going to be ok, I just get down sometimes. Depression is just a part of who I am and I fear it always will be but I have learned to cope with it. I know that I have so much to be grateful for and I am luckier than most. I know that I have people who care about me and love me and that is something to keep fighting for. I won’t give up or give in. I will keep pushing toward living a happier and healthier life, and I hope that you are doing the same.

If We Were Having Coffee

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If we were having coffee I would tell you that this week has been long and I am tired. I would tell you that things aren’t going so well for me at work. Nothing seems to be going right and I am feeling a bit burned out on it all. I didn’t get the driver I wanted, I didn’t get the route I wanted, the route I did get has changed for the worst. I am working long hours, much longer than I am getting paid for. I am bored and sad a lot of the time and now that Chardonnay is busy all day I have been feeling a bit alone. I would tell you that I hate that I feel like that.

I think I am making her feel bad about her new position. I don’t mean to and I never thought I would be one of those women who makes their partner feel bad for working hard. She is stressed and she misses me as much as I miss her and making her feel bad about it doesn’t fix anything. We need to make sure the time we are spending together is quality time. We need more communication and we both have to be patient and understanding of the other. We are having a rough time right now but nothing we can’t handle. We just need to get used to a new schedule and a bit less time spent together.

I would tell you that there is a bit of a silver lining to all of this. With Chardonnay busy all the time and me in no mood to interact with people around me I have found a lot of time to get other things done. I am reading more and teaching myself math and science. I missed so much in school and it has been both very exciting and very frustrating to teach myself all the things I missed out on. The stuff I have finished so far are things I already knew, or once knew and forgot. This week I move on to learn things I was never taught.

I would probably refill my coffee at this point, lots of sugar, lots of creamer. I would tell you I am also trying to find some philosophy lectures to watch. I am pushing myself to learn more and more about as many subjects as I can. I’m not sure exactly what the end game is. I’m not why I am doing all this but I just have this drive to learn everything I can. I want to have a basic (or better) knowledge of all subjects. I think this way I can find out what my passion really is and I can start thinking about what kind of career I want. I am unhappy at my current job and I want to leave but I won’t unless I find a job I love and I think that means going back to school and getting a degree.

I would tell you that for the most part I am doing ok. I am worried about getting depressed but I am holding on. I would ask you for advice but I bet you wouldn’t have any to give. This is something I have to figure out for myself. I have to learn how to be alone and how to cope with my feelings again without Chardonnay around to help me. I have to figure out how to be happy on my own and I have to move forward. I have to find my own happiness too. I would say all of this and still not know what to do though. That is the hard part, we all know what we should do but we don’t know exactly how to do it.

I would ask you how you were doing. I would say I hope everything is going well and that if things weren’t I am here to listen to you too. I would ask you if you needed anything, if there was any way I could help and I would hope you would tell me if there was. I would drink the last of my coffee, the sugary part that collects art the bottom. I would thank you for the coffee and tell you this was nice. I would tell you to have a good day and a good rest of the week. I would say we should get together like this more often. I would walk you out and wish you good luck.

Thank you to Gene’O for the inspiration, and for making this a community thing. I really enjoyed writing it. :)

Saying Goodbye to Summer

I work for a school district so, for me, summer ends tomorrow. School starts back up on Monday and that means I am back on a school bus tomorrow to practice my route.*

This is a hard time of year for me because summer is my favorite season. There is so much to do in the summer and everything looks so green and alive! There are water parks and amusement parks, there are festivals and events. Bar rooftops are open and nighttime temperatures are perfect for drinks and hanging out with friends. I am sad to see all that go. In the winter there is nothing to do but stay inside and try you best to keep warm.

Here in Colorado our winters last longer than our summers, and spring and fall are almost non-existent. I’m one of those people who needs sunny days and warm temperatures to feel happy. Seasonal affective disorder I think they call it. I get depressed around the same time every year, just as fall is hitting and when it gets bad it seems like winter will never end. By the time January rolls around I have given up emotionally. I start to feel like the cold and clouds will be there forever, and the warmth and the green will never come back.

I’m already preparing myself mentally for the leaves to start changing and everything to turn gray and cold. I am planning for coping with the cold and I even had a co-worker bring in a new space heater for us all. I will soon be buying a new coat and stocking up on hand and warmers. I hope the bus I will be in is sealed well and that the heaters work.

I long to live somewhere where the sun shines all year and the weather stays nice. I’ve heard Hawaii has nice weather all year-round, or maybe Southern California or Florida. One day I hope to be rid of snow and negative degree temperatures. No more shivering, no more cold, wet toes and no more runny noses!

So today I say goodbye to summer and hope that it doesn’t take too long to return again. I will try to remember all the fun I had this year and maybe the memories will warm my soul when the temperatures outside freeze my body.

*Just to clarify I work as a para-professional, or bus aid, not as a driver.