Cake=Happy

What was the most recent situation that made you feel uncomfortable?

You mean besides everything, ’cause anxiety?

What was the most physical pain you felt this year?

Car accidents are bad. 0/5 stars. Do not recommend.

What was the last thing you celebrated?
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My grandpa’s birthday. Before that, my birthday (with POPPLE CAKE!!!!…not this fancy, though), my brother’s birthday, and my grandma’s 95th birthday. Yay birthdays!

Who would you want to talk to that’s dead? What would it be?

What would what be? The dead person? Let’s assume this is supposed to ask what the conversation would be about…Well, I think hanging out with Mr. Rogers would be super duper awesome. We’d talk about EVERYTHING. ‘Cause he’s Mr. Rogers. My grandpa would also be on the list. We’d talk about everything, ’cause he’s grandpa. (Not grandpa who’s birthday was previously mentioned.)

I think a party with Mr. Rogers, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Bill Nye, LeVar Burton, Sir Patrick Stewart, and Malala Yousafzai (plus me, of course) would be lovely. Since Mr. Rogers is the only one of them not still alive, we could all watch his show together to include him. It seems totally possible.

 

 

What the World Needs Now

Oh hey, internet. I’ve time to type, so I’m going to do another one of those journaly question things today. But, when you read this, it won’t be today anymore ’cause I’ll schedule it to post on a different today. Cool, eh?

What is the most touching thing you’ve seen lately?

The first thing that comes to mind for this happened a week or two ago after one of my story telling sessions. While we were setting up the story for others to see, one new little boy (3 years old) was waiting his turn to place his part of the story and a little girl who was new last year (almost 6 years old) started talking to him. They walked around a bit, and he found a picture of his family on a poster. He pointed to it and told her who was in the picture, and she held his hand and listened, occasionally saying little comments to encourage him to keep talking (even though she couldn’t understand all of his words–she asked me for clarification). Then, she made sure he put his story piece down when it was time and made sure he would get back to his family alright.

If you could take home a zoo animal, what would it be?

Ignoring any practicality or legality or safety or other issues, I’ve thought about penguin kidnapping. I’ve been to a zoo that has an open, above-ground penguin space. It would be so easy to stick a net in and catch one! Mr. Popper’s Penguins may also have influenced the idea. Fennec foxes, polar bears, red pandas, binterongs, moose, skunk…things that aren’t mammals…lots of neat animals at the zoo. None really good for taking home.

When did you last prove someone wrong?

Maybe not the last time, but the most interesting was sometime within the last couple of months on Facebook. One of my friends (actually, the boyfriend of a friend) posted some photo meme about race and violence and stuff like that. It posed the question “What am I missing?” about why black people rioting is okay or some stupid thing like that. I answered the question with facts, including “It’s not okay. Nobody’s saying it is.” He, and a few super rude friends of his who’ve never met or talked to me before, took that as a reason to attack me and lob insults like “Your a stupid liberal” and “Go to your safe space” and “Go away little girl” and other things like that. You know the type. Well, I left the conversation, but they kept attacking me and asking me questions. I eventually responded. After quite a while, he said something that was basically condemning what he and they had done to me, but he thought he was just insulting me/people like me, and also said he was always attacked for his opinion on Facebook when clearly the opposite was happening. I pointed that out and said something about hoping, if they got anything out of this, they’d at least realize we all have more in common than they think. I also said something about safe spaces not being an insult but I’m voluntarily participating in a super insulting and disagreeing space and they were the ones trying to get rid of any feelings/ideas they didn’t like (which isn’t what a safe space is anyway). His friends attacked once more, and he actually stepped in and said something like, “Guys, she’s right. She’s been nothing but polite and truthful here. It’s time to stop.” The others made a few more posts, but then gave up. I haven’t seen a post quite that bad from him since (though I don’t actually check his page).

 

 

Worth a Try for this Young One

I have an app on my phone that’s supposed to be a journal made easy. It poses a question every day. In theory, I write an answer, and have my responses saved for whatever purpose whenever I want them, plus journaling is generally healthy. But, of course, that’s not what actually happens. So, I had an idea. In an effort to actually write here more often and with more purpose (or maybe not), I’ll use those questions/answers for blogginess. Feel free to comment on my answers or add your own.

Have you ever felt discriminated against?

I’ve definitely encountered (usually) subtle/unintentional but definite discrimination based on my age, especially from people just a smidge older than my parents. Most of it is along the lines of me giving an idea, suggestion, opinion, etc. and having that totally ignored/dismissed (even when it’s specifically asked for)…often, this is followed by the same person either using the idea as their own later or taking the same comment seriously when it comes from someone older (even when I have as much or more relevant knowledge/experience as the older person).

One odd (to me) example was two women in their mid 60s-early 70s. They were telling a group we’re all part of about how they wanted to start a Qigong group for exercise. Somebody asked what the word meant. They didn’t know. I explained something about it being about Qi/Chi…and they interrupted/shut me down with “No, it’s not. It’s spelled differently.” Then went on telling more things that weren’t entirely true. If we’re going to engage in cultural appropriation, let’s at least know the most basic definition of a thing, okay? It’s not hard; I mean, two seconds on Google or a few minutes at a local library would give you that much. Also, transcription, transliteration, and translation are full of such things. Multiple spellings for a word is not a new concept (even just within English…unless colour doesn’t mean the same as color).

They’re probably the two people who do this to me the most. They also talk about me as if I’m not good enough to have any sort of opinion or leadership role when they think I can’t hear them (“She really needs to learn better” and “Who does she think she is?” and actually something like “She’s too young to be here”; please note I barely talk to them or anyone else unless approached, because anxiety, so it’s not like I’m running around giving everyone unwanted suggestions or demanding control or anything like that…they do that, though. Who do they think they are? They really need to learn better.). When those comments were made, I was less than 15 feet away, directly opposite them after a meeting, in an otherwise empty and silent room, and their volume was like that of little kids who haven’t quite learned how to whisper yet but really want to, like they were trying to be secretive but really not succeeding. I guess being young has some advantages when it comes to hearing and being nice. (Not really, obviously they’re not representative of all or most people their age. I know this is a them thing and not a their age thing. Actually, I have a lot of friends close to their age. They think I’m pretty cool, and I think they’re pretty cool. Because we’re nice people who don’t think a person’s value is based on how long they’ve been alive. But it would be a comment I’d make to them if I thought they’d get it.)

Similarly, but also with a bit of discrimination based on preferences due in part to mental illness and also possibly a bit about gender in a weird way, one of those women apparently hates that email is a form of communication (at least when used by young women she’s perhaps a bit intimidated by).
She actually made a meeting with two supervisor-type people and me to complain about how I sent her an email with a few questions. (I had gone to one of them, a woman a bit younger than this main character, because of the dismissive and insulting response I got from her; main character demanded the additional mediator, an older man, and the meeting in general, so that she could…get me in trouble? Validate her treatment of me? Pretend she’s always right? Pretend I’m never right? Cover up her actual mistakes that she eventually admitted to but still didn’t want to correct?).
I see her at most once a week, and the questions needed to be addressed right away. I wrote succinctly and politely, even complimenting her and clearly stating “I don’t think this is a problem” for one part (“…but it is different from how we’ve done it in the past, so we need to make sure everyone knows ahead of time.”).

She decided I was saying she wasn’t good at anything and should just give up on everything. She said that in front of the supervisors in response to something I said that was not even about her, but a general statement about programs that are developmentally appropriate being a good thing that we have going. Apparently, she didn’t know what “developmentally appropriate” meant and thought it was some subjective thing I was saying we didn’t have because of her? (Also, I’d never tell anyone that they’re not good at anything, because it’s really stupid and against all my philosophies for life, but whatever.)
Eventually, they convinced her that I might have some good ideas because I do indeed have  relevant knowledge and experience and training and education, and she, in an obviously insincere manner, asked for an idea for an upcoming event. I gave one. The supervisors liked it. She said she’d do it. She didn’t. She didn’t even pretend, and, surprise, the event didn’t go very well because it was poorly designed for the target group. I ended up leading a few spontaneous activities because it was basically over after five minutes…and there were over 30 minutes left. I wonder what might have helped avoid that? Or what could have helped make the next similar event not a repeat of those problems? She saw all that, and actually acknowledged that it was good I knew what to do then…but didn’t seem to be able to apply that realization to anything else.
Yet I was the one “in trouble” at the end of the meeting and told to change. Apparently type is not something people can understand. (Because books haven’t been a thing for centuries?) I was told that I should only communicate with anyone there through face to face talking, except maybe for specific scheduling (which the original email was, so…?).

Way to totally ignore a whole bunch of neurodiversity and mental illness issues (plus general comfort, productivity, and practicality). Thanks. (Yes, the psych part is known to the male supervisor. He just doesn’t seem to get it. He also uses email and writes newsletters frequently. So…?) (Now, there’s a new supervisory type person who is a man close to her age and who prefers email/other text-based communication for efficiency and later reference. He also values my knowledge and experience. Ha!…well, the fact that he types doesn’t seem to bother her, only if I or one of the few other women under 40 do it. *Sigh*)

There was also the time, with the male supervisor-type and a group of adults of various ages during planning for hiring that new guy, when another similarly dispositioned woman said something about how we’d obviously need to hire someone just out of college for the job (with other comments about age and gender, and totally ignoring that college can happen at any point in a person’s life after high school, not just at 18-23). I said I didn’t think that mattered (because age isn’t a good requirement for a job? Isn’t that obvious?), and supervisor man plus a couple others expressed surprise that I would say that…because I’ve only been out of college for a few years so obviously I must think that matters?
Part of the job involved working with kids and teens, but a lot is also with parents and adults in general. Some of the people there seemed to be under the impression that kids and especially teens would not like or respect anyone “old” even though they had absolutely no evidence for that. Most of the “favorite teachers” I know, who work with kids and teens every day, are not just a few years older than their students (though some are, because…kids don’t care!). We ended up with a man in his late 50s (I think), which is probably good because some of them seem to actually have the opposite problem they thought the kids might (but don’t, because duh). Adults these days…*shakes head*

Well, that’s enough for now, I think. Hope that wasn’t too bitter and/or snarky and/or full of punctuation marks for you.

Oh, also, people discriminate against sheep all the time. Buildings and all the rest of society are almost never ungulate-friendly. Please check your privilege.

I’m Mr. Lonely…

…errr…Miss Lonely, but that’s not the name of the song.

It’s been about a month since I last typed here, though it doesn’t seem like that to me. I’ve never had a great sense of the passing of time. Nothing much has changed, but I have, just within the last few days, had a bit of a realization. I mean, it’s not something that was particularly mysterious or difficult to figure out or surprising, and I really did know it before, but now…I identify with it more and am more consistently cognizant of it, I guess. Or, maybe it’s more important now.

I’m lonely.

I, the shy introvert with social anxiety, who is almost never alone, am very lonely.

I’m also homesick, though I’m home. I don’t know what else to call it. It’s a feeling I used to have somewhat frequently, that I just want to go home (even if/when I’m already there). It’s not really about being home, but having some level of comfort/belonging/something I can’t quite name. It’s not as much a thing as the loneliness, but it’s there. They work together, I think, making this vague, ambivalent, apathetic haze that is my life right now. Fun times.

It’s not as bad as that description makes it sound, I suppose (though I can’t tell how you interpret the words; maybe you think it sounds lovely). I’m okay. It’s just…kind of empty, in an unnecessary but still lacking a simple, direct route to fulfillment sort of way.

Lately, I’ve found myself drawn to stories that are not my typical fare (not that that means much considering my eclectic choices, but still). Binge listening to teen “dystopian” novels that are more “maximum predictability and stereotypes about love of all kinds and pretend struggles with little actual excitement or development of any character/world/plot” than interesting stories. And a Disney Channel show. Because why not…or because somehow it’s comforting and escapist…but still not really what I want (and not only because I’m much, much closer to 30 than the 13 these things are created for).

I want hugs. I want people who want to play games with me, or get ice cream together, or hang out at a bookstore or talk about nothing and everything for hours because ideas are grand. I want regular interaction in person with people I like (who aren’t my family or people I have appointments with or children I’m lucky enough to teach 60 minutes a week). Even just one person.
I want to do things, actually feel like I accomplished something or had fun by the end of the day more often than not. I want to stop feeling like I’m just floating through life unattached to it, desperate for some sort of grounded feeling, lacking connection and meaning and interest and passion and direction. Also, more hugs. Hugs are wonderful.

How this is accomplished…I haven’t a clue. Well, maybe one, but three clues are needed before sitting down in the Thinking Chair to figure it out. (Blue’s Clues references are a thing people get, right?) I still feel this when I’m with people and doing things. When I worked at camp, I lived with 20-30 people for 11 weeks. We were close (well, some of us). But even then, I often felt lonely. Living with roommates and hall neighbors/good friends in college wasn’t much different. At least there was hope and occasional reprieve then.

I went to my best friend from kindergarten’s wedding reception this weekend, and actually had a fairly lovely time in spite of the number of people there I didn’t know. Mostly, another friend, her boyfriend (who I hadn’t met before and who I actually conversed with without increased anxiety, ’cause I can sometimes do that now), and I played some games, ate food, and developed a theory about dads in the ’80s/’90s in which any that didn’t have Tom Selleck-style mustaches were probably aliens (and we talked with the bride, of course). That was nice. I want more of that, but I don’t have access to it. Even ignoring the current physical issues that keep me from doing some stuff, I’m not driving and there’s no public transit or taxi or sidewalks or Uber/Lyft to get me to places to do things and meet people (or go to places where I already know people). Plus that whole social anxiety thing is still a thing.

So, that’s life it seems. It’s really not too bad, all things considered. Thanks for reading what became a bit sadder of a rambling than I planned…well, okay, I didn’t really plan anything.

Not quite as planned

Well, The Internet, I didn’t spend the last month or so quite as planned. I was going to be all typey here and have fun and wonderful and get a job and enroll in school and be healthy…but that didn’t happen.

First, I had a few times of increased pain/stiffness in my hands, which meant typing would be bad. I also went a couple places and did a couple things, so that took time in addition to the time for all my appointments (still have several each week recovering from accidents).

20151101_161517_001-ANIMATIONThen, my dog died rather suddenly. He was 12-13 years old and had some old dog issues, but was mostly healthy and happy. Then…he wasn’t, and we put him down because he got really sick and…flies were nesting in him…so…it was best. I miss him.

My grandma also fell and got a compression fracture in her back and has pain (she usually doesn’t, even when breaking hips and things), so she is sad and we visited her. My other grandma had other health issues, but is doing better now, so I spent a day with her helping with computer and crafty things.

Suddenly, it’s beginning of school time and I am not going back to school or working in one (or anywhere). There’s just a lot to do and I think my brain isn’t quite what it used to be yet (since concussion), so sorting out all the different to dos and forms and things is difficult and overwhelming and anxiety-filled, especially since some of the websites are not user friendly (especially the state teacher licensing & job ones, plus the site of the school I would go to is constantly under construction). I feel like I need a “become a teacher” tutor/coach/assistant…is that a thing? That should be a thing. Maybe I’ll ask the teacher I worked with last year. She’s retired now, so couldn’t possibly have anything else to do, right? (You know, besides the new grandchildren, old grandchildren, children, mean family members with legal issues, husband/his businesses, house repair, crafting, her own health problems….nope, nothing)

Anyway, I’m going to try this whole doing stuff thing again. Eventually it’ll work…right?

Oh, I realized that I started a post almost a month ago but didn’t post it. Here’s the important info from it:
(Hurt hands=related to accidents)
In the last installment, I mentioned I didn’t know what would be next, bloggywise. But I did start a thing I’d been thinking about. I’ve not done much with it yet, but I’ll share it here anyway. This bloggy (Random Ramblings) will continue being itself, whatever that means. The new bloggy (Soliloquy) will be…new…and…different…and itself, ’cause it’s hard for it to be something else. So, yeah, there’s that.

 

 

 

So…

Hello dear internet (yes, the internet itself, not people on the internet), it’s been a while, hasn’t it.

Periodically since the last time I posted here (over three years ago), I’ve thought about returning, wondering what my internet friends have been doing (though most of them disappeared before the migration to wordpress) and thinking about sharing my marvelous thoughts on life. There sure is enough going on to talk about, and I always have the best insights.

But I never actually did anything about it. Until…today! My internet friend DoryPanda posted an update to her blog for the first time in years, and I’m going to do the same, now that I’ve reset my password and can once again access the site. Then, well, I don’t know what comes next.

Summary: Psych much better, sleep disorders are a thing, 3 car accidents in less than 18 months=bad, currently unemployed and unschooled but working on it a bit, had some cool jobs, people are still annoying when they stop being kids, Pokemon is still awesome

Previously on this blog:
My last post was as I was finishing my first year at a new college, getting a second degree (1st was art therapy, 2nd would be art education). I was struggling with depression and anxiety and stuff. My psychiatrist was closing his practice to recover from a car accident. I was about to start working at summer camp for the fourth summer (and was planning on continuing until I finished my 2nd degree). I was volunteering with an adult day center doing art with their clients because they couldn’t afford an actual art therapist. I was volunteering at my church, teaching preschool. I was babysitting sporadically (for a family I’d worked for almost 10 years–the kids were growing out of babysitting age). I wrote about social justice issues, things that annoyed me, and frustrations with school/people/life.

A brief overview of the time between then and now:
The center I volunteered at merged with another and no longer needed me, though I could have kept doing art with them if not for some of the things to follow.

I worked at camp that summer, had a few more issues than the past (actually missing one of my arts & crafts sessions completely), but was still good enough that they were going to hire me to work during the school year (mostly housekeeping and leading small groups), providing me housing much closer to school. I was going to continue doing arts & crafts there for at least another summer. But I didn’t.

My psychiatrist actually died, from brain and spinal cord tumors discovered after his accident. I found a nurse practitioner to do my meds and therapy, she changed my meds with varying results and she suggested a sleep study. Turns out, I have a lot of sleep disorders (before the test, I was sleeping 20/24 hours for a bit). Getting them under control really helped the psych symptoms, which was good considering that, after spending time in an outpatient program because my new meds caused a manic episode (note no prior history or subsequent issues) and kept me from working at camp during the off season, continuing much of my volunteering, and continuing at school (which was also worsened by poor school organization), and doing a test that was not supposed to be sent for analysis without insurance approval (which she ignored and almost cost me thousands of dollars), she stopped responding to my calls for an appointment. She also ignored the pharmacy’s requests about my meds, so good thing completely stopping them didn’t make things worse. I now am treated for sleep disorders, pain (explained below), and dermatological issues, but not the psych. It’s not too bad, actually, and I lost weight/got healthier (amazing what stopping meds that cause weight gain and actually being awake/moving around can do). My psych issues, though still icky, are much better now. Actually, reading through some of my older posts, the feelings they mention, though I remember them well, seem a bit foreign. I suppose that’s good.

I spent several months getting the sleep worked out, though still have some issues to work on. I started volunteering at a new place, an afterschool art program for middle schoolers. It was great, though they definitely lacked some of the experience and knowledge needed to run it well (I filled in some of that, like doing head counts to make sure kids weren’t left behind). One of the other volunteers gave me a photo enlarger & other darkroom equipment, which is super great though I haven’t been able to use it yet. After a year of volunteering, they hired me. Then, after a few months, they fired me. Turns out, they didn’t have the money for two paid positions, and the other woman being paid, though no where near qualified and actually detrimental to some of their work (acknowledged by the director), was a single mother who they felt sorry for even though her circumstances were actually pretty decent. I haven’t been back, other than a short visit while dropping my dog off at grooming, mostly because I can’t drive right now…

Shortly before being hired there, I was rear-ended while turning into my driveway. It could have been much worse, but I had a concussion that went untreated for a while (apparently asymmetrically dilated pupils and saying “banana” instead of “wallpaper” is a neurologist’s idea of stress at work, even if the patient is currently unemployed) and lots of other symptoms that weren’t completely resolved by the time I was in another accident while turning into my driveway 11 months later. More treatment…and another accident seven months after that (just a few weeks ago, but not while turning into my driveway), though recovery to “normal” was less than a day instead of over a year (still not back to actual normal). I’m not driving because of physical and vision issues from the accidents, plus the three totaled cars means I have nothing to drive (I was a passenger with family for the 2nd and 3rd accidents, so can’t share those cars). I’m thinking about going back to therapy because being so restricted in life (job choices, socializing, living alone, etc.) is hard, but am reluctant because I’ve had many not good experiences with treatment providers and still do have anxiety that makes starting things hard. I did have one therapist I liked who I might try to set up an appointment with, but this isn’t her specialty and getting to her office would be hard with limited transportation.

So, this is my third summer not at camp, and I’ve not gone back to school yet, because of health issues over and over. I also can’t take many jobs I’m qualified for because there’s no way I can play with toddlers for six hours a day right now.

After losing that job, I got a pretty awesome job, thanks to staying in touch with one of my middle/high school teachers. The school was being stupid and mean to her, but she got them to hire a paraprofessional (basically an assistant teacher in my case) to help with her fashion/interior design class (which should be two classes, especially considering the id was a complete semester-long college class for early college credit if high schoolers filled out paperwork, and most students were only freshmen or sophomores). It was fabulous and I was wonderful and the students were great and the content and the lesson planning and even the cleaning and organizing were fun. The contract was for only that year, and the class does not exist this year, and that teacher retired, so I have no job for the fall. But, it was great. It was also the first time ever that I have had perfect attendance for anything. I guess I would have done better with school attendance if I only did 10, 20, or 28 hours per week (started working 10, then got more ’cause I’m good at what I do and the teacher really needed help) and they paid me.

I’m still volunteering at church, teaching preschool, helping with older kids/teens, and running a story time without enough volunteers. Mostly, I do it because it gives me something to do, I think kids are way cooler than adults (they actually understand that part of the Good Samaritan story is that the “hero” was unexpected by the listeners because he was part of an oppressed group and that might transfer to contemporary issues, plus they think the donkey can teach us something), and a dozen years of consistent work is nice for a resume, especially considering my somewhat spotty paid work.

Camp has an opening for a job this fall/winter, maybe longer. I’m thinking about applying to it, as well as some jobs similar to what I did this past year. I also need to get back into school, but the admissions/checking transcripts/everything else that’s part of that isn’t fun or easy. Neither is applying to jobs. Playing Pokemon Go is fun, though it would be better if I lived in a bigger/busier area and could actually go places or do things more.

 

Sorry, that was much more tl;dr than I was expecting, and much less organized or concise than I would have planned. I guess that’s what trying to write three years in one post can lead to. I probably should have added bullet points, numbered lists, more helpful formatting…but…meh

Well, that’s over

NOT!  It should be, but it’s not.  I am taking three incompletes.  I only had five classes.  And the fourth class should be an incomplete, but the teacher doesn’t care and is just giving me a grade.  So that’s nice at least.

I did finish my drawing class.  I haven’t checked yet to see what my grade is, but it should at least be a B (that’s what my midterm grade was).

As for those incompletes, I have at least 30 pages to write for various assignments.  Then, I’ll be done!  Now if only I could work on it and make progress…

In less than a week, I’ll be starting staff training at camp.  That should be fun.  I’m excited about it.  But I’m also kind of worried that I won’t feel better and won’t be able to do stuff.  But I’m already feeling better now that school stuff is figured out, so I guess that’s a good sign.

Today is the next day after I started writing this.  This morning, my grandma called.  Grandpa is in the hospital, something with his heart.  I think he will be okay, but it is a reminder that they’re getting older and won’t be around forever.

My brother has a new summer job working at a park, doing maintenance stuff.  He’s happy to be making money, but not excited that warmer weather is coming.

Also, there was devastating weather in Oklahoma yesterday.  I’m sure you’ve already heard about it, at least if you’re in the U.S.

I had a good day yesterday.  I started collaging a small box with drawers that my parents got me for Christmas.  Two sides are done.  It was fun.  I’ll probably work on it more tomorrow.

Tonight, I’m babysitting.  That should be fun.  And give me a bit of money for preparing for camp.

The ceiling fan is on.  It is shaking.  It always does that, so I guess it’s probably not going to fall down.

I’ve started playing Lost in Blue on DS again.  And some other games.  It gives me something to do.  Not that I don’t have anything to do, but it’s easy and doesn’t require a lot of effort or movement.  I just wish I knew where my DS and Pokemon game are; then, I’d play that, ’cause Pokemon is fun.

Guess I don’t really have anything else to tell you right now.  I think I’ll play some games and maybe work on my box before I go babysitting.