Soulful Saturday: Colorful Memories

Good morning, everyone! I had a hard time thinking of what to write about today- I’ve been having issues with that a lot, haven’t I? Well, I was smart about it and turned to friends for help. And, when my friend recommended the influence of colors in my life, I was stunned. I’d never even thought about it!

I’m not the most visually acute person. I’m oblivious, in fact. I walk into all sorts of things throughout the day from not noticing where it was compared to my body. I have no ability to separate and name hues the way women are supposedly able (I think maroon is a brown color, dad says it’s red, and I still can’t see the two as separate!). I’ve paid very little attention, as such, to the colors around me as well.

Well, I say all that, but I have memories that relate to specific colors in a way… I mean, I don’t normally categorize my memories by color, but there are some that definitely fit the bill! So, I’m gonna tell you about the things different colors make me think about. Let’s have a good time exploring my psyche together, shall we?

Starting with red, I immediately think of blood. I’ve seen a lot of blood in my life- I’m a woman, so I have had my period before, but I’m also from a clumsy family that gets itself injured easily and regularly. I also think of freshly scrubbed psoriasis when I think of red, because I’ve seen my dad after a shower. Without the scales, the patches are bright red afterward. So basically… Red is a medical color in my head.

Orange makes me think of oranges as the fruit… But it also makes me think of ‘The Oranges’, a grouping of towns in central or southern New Jersey (I forget where exactly it is, but I’m thinking central). I also have a silly memory of how I got some of my nicknames from this color. My friend (we were friends at the time at least) was the daughter of one of the lunch aides. When I’d finish lunch, I’d go to the track… And then my friends would look for me. Her mom always described me like food based on my dressing- for example, Orange Pumpkin, as I was wearing an orange sweater, or Fluffy Green Marshmallow when I wore my green down jacket.

Yellow just gives me a headache to be honest. I think about the sun’s glare, which regularly harms my head because of migraines. I do prefer soft yellow light compared to white lights inside though. Another thing I think about with yellow is… urine. And that makes me remember this time a classmate brought their pet rat to school and it peed as soon as I held it. Right there in my hand. It was… lovely… not. This also makes me think of Cuervo Gold from my Thursday post. You’ll understand if you read it.

Green is my favorite color, and it makes me think of a lot of things- but first and foremost, it makes me think of trees and grass. Basically, I see green and think ‘nature’. I’ve always had a strong affinity with plants and such. I used to talk to what I believed were spirits in trees, but apparently it wasn’t? I dunno. They say it was psychosis, but… I like to think they were really there. Green also automatically makes me think of other things, like money. I always use green when color coding files that include financial stuff.

Blue is, of course, the sky, the sea- it’s a lot of things that are nature just like green is. However, what I really think of most when I think of blue is how jealous I used to be of my dad having blue eyes. I don’t know why- I guess it’s because they say blue eyes see clearer than green and brown. I have needed glasses since I was five, so I’ve never been fully content with my eyesight. Other things that blue makes me think of is meditation, as it’s a calming color… and fire. Water and fire- it’s a conundrum that both include blue to me. I can’t help but be in awe and yet terribly uneasy about that thought process as a pyrophobe.

Purple usually makes me think of fruits, especially grapes. I see purple as a royal color often times, so when I play sims I choose the room where you’d want that kind of feel and give it a purple theme- usually the dining room, as I’d seen in a magazine once. I also think of the band Hey Violet, as well as my character Flutter due to her favorite flower being lilacs.

White- ah white, such a lovely lack of colors. When I see white, I usually think of snow and paper- paper being something I’m oh so happy to think about anytime! I’m a bit of a stationary lover and even plain paper means a lot to me. White also makes me think of weddings, which I’ve never been to.

Black, the color that is all colors. Black actually gives me bad vibes most of the time, because it reminds me of the time I literally ran over a dead crow. I ran and jumped over it before realizing it was a corpse. It was honestly really freaky to me, just seeing a dead crow on the sidewalk… I still feel nervous seeing crows in the trees or on power lines, but it’s mostly because I don’t want to see one fall to their death or something in front of me, you know?

Brown makes me think of chocolate. I love chocolate! But it also makes me think of tree bark- which makes me happy, as long as I don’t try to eat it (no, I’ve never tasted tree bark). In all honesty, it only makes me think of chocolate and wood. And that just makes me stare at the nearby bookcase. Brown somehow… lacks any notoriety with me- besides avoiding brown bugs to be safe, that is.

Gray reminds me of my dad’s hair and just getting older in general. It also makes me think of stress, as I knew someone in middle school who was starting to go gray because of stress… And I’m talking a student! I also think of metal with gray, which is an awkward feeling on its own. I’m somewhat…averse to metals. I don’t like to touch things like silver and gold. I’m slowly growing out of it, but it takes a lot of shock therapy to get even close to finishing the fight. I can handle pens and eating utensils now… But still not coins. It makes me feel so wrong when I touch change, I end up rushing for the hand sanitizer.

And finally, we have pink. Pink is interesting to me. It makes me think of love, mostly because it’s my loved one’s favorite color. However, it makes me think of other things too- such as cherry blossoms, which used to bloom in my area before a ton of the trees got cut down. Also, for some reason, I immediately imagined a whoopee cushion. So apparently it’s a prankster too.

I think that’s all the colors I can think of, basically. What do you guys think of when you think of specific colors? Do you relate to my thoughts, or are your thoughts completely different? I’d love to hear the memories colors trigger for you! It’ll be fun to learn. 🙂 Until next time!

Throwback Thursday: Pet Stories

Howdy everyone, good to see you again! Today, I’m going to talk about some memories I have of pets that I’ve had throughout my life, or that I’ve known throughout my life. I have no pets at this time, as it’s too expensive in my apartment, but it’s not like I’ve never taken care of animals before.

When I was a toddler, we had a dog that came with our apartment named Cuervo. She was a collie/golden retriever mix, and wasn’t my greatest fan. She didn’t mind me, but she wasn’t exactly pleased I was always climbing on her back trying to ride her. I have very few memories of her in reality, but I saw a home video a while back. She would always run towards a wall to knock me off her- looking back, I almost feel a little guilty, even if I was a two year old with no understanding of what was going on.

I had a hamster once as well… But the only memory I have of it is a story my dad told me where I left the cage a crack open and it disappeared. I cried in hysterics, and my mother said we should’ve gotten another dog. I calmed down immediately at the idea of a dog, because I was six with no attention span.

On my 7th birthday, my parents brought home a two month old golden retriever puppy. He was already my size in length, and strong enough to knock me over regularly. I named him Cuervo Gold, after our first dog. Cuervo Gold, though, was very different than the collie mix we’d had. He was hyperactive and playful, and hysterically loyal in weird ways. Whenever I got home from school, he’d tackle me to the ground to give me kisses; when he came to the bus stop with my dad and I, he’d growl at the bullies to scare them away.

But, what I still find fascinating to this day is how differently he reacted when one of my family members gave him a command. If it was my father, he wouldn’t listen the first or second time- dad would have to yell to get him to listen many times. For me, he’d listen immediately- as a child, I was his favorite. But what’s funny is when my mom would command him. No matter what the command was, if it came from my mother’s mouth, he’d pee on the spot. Yes, it was a conditioned reaction- because frankly, he didn’t like my mom much. And nowadays, looking back, I don’t blame him.

A story that I wanted to share about Cuervo Gold is actually why I decided on this topic. Someone shared a gif of a squirrel with peanut butter, and it reminded me of something fairly silly. There was a time, you see, where we had his food in a bowl on the patio. One day, I noticed a couple of chipmunks come close to the sliding glass window that worked as our gate out of the house. To my amazement, the chipmunks were taking the food! It was something I’d never seen or thought of before. Chipmunks eating dog food? Apparently they’ll eat more than nuts, that’s for sure!

That also eventually led me to wondering if humans could eat dog food, and that curiosity led me to pushing my dad to eat a doggy treat. To this day, whenever I ask him how it was, he goes back and forth in regards to whether it was good or not, and I don’t know what to think of that. So, I try not to. Though because of it, I do sometimes think I’d like to try one for myself…

Anyway… We had to give up Cuervo Gold when I was ten and moving into my grandmother’s house with my dad. He’s since passed, but lived a long and happy life with my dad’s best friend, whom I call my uncle. In my grandmother’s house, we had new pets. There was a giant fish tank in the front hall, and a bird cage with two cockatiels in the living room. The fish didn’t have names that I knew of, but I did often help feed them. It was fun to watch them zip around the tank for food. What wasn’t so fun was when it was my turn to take the eggs out of the cockatiels’ cage. Those birds are quite possessive of their eggs, even if there’s no way they’ll hatch- after all, they were both female!

I unfortunately remember the death of one of the birds. Sparky, the younger cockatiel, died drowned in the water trough of sorts that was in the cage for her. It was after Tweety, the elder bird my grandmother called mine, had already passed. Sparky and I weren’t as close as I was with Tweety, but Sparky loved my dad….especially enjoying grooming him in his sleep, so that he’d wake up with bleeding cuticles. It made me sorta glad she wasn’t my fan- though it didn’t make it less difficult to see her dead body. I remember crying and clinging onto my dad. Sparky and I didn’t get along well, but I still saw her as family!

I’ve likely got other pet stories I can share, though most of them are of other people’s pets, not ones I had myself at any given time. Would those be interesting? And what about your pet stories? I’d love to hear some. Please feel free to share any or none- but if you do share, I will be extremely happy!

Until Saturday- bye bye, guys!

Topical Tuesday: Travel Tales

Hihi! How’s it going guys? Today, I was given a prompt by a friend who’s been helping me a lot lately when I get in a rut on what to write. I’ve been having some pretty bad signs of ADD showing recently, so my doctor intends to put me on new medication that should do the work of two I’m already on. That’s not what this post is about though- just wanted to update you.

No, today’s post is about travel. As many of you probably know, I went to Arizona back in mid-August to visit my boyfriend. This wasn’t my first time traveling there, or even traveling to Arizona- in fact, I’ve traveled a fair bit in the United States over my life. And today, I’m going to tell you some tips and tales from those times.

The first time I traveled to Arizona, I was twelve years old or so, with some of my extended family. This was a three part trip, starting in Arizona, leading to Nevada, and finishing in California. In Arizona, my most notable memory was melting in the harsh summer heat alongside my cousin. We got ice cream, but it was messy. We were too bored inside where the adults were dealing with selling one of my grandma’s properties, but it was too hot to handle the outdoors. It wasn’t fun, let’s leave it at that.

The more interesting part of the trip, Nevada, was mostly just something to laugh at. You see, in Las Vegas- where we went- kids aren’t allowed on the carpet of hotels because it’s considered part of the casino. As my cousin closer to my age and I were being told to get off, so was my fully adult cousin with her law degree and passed bars. Why? Because she’s shorter than I am, and I’m not all that tall to begin with. She’s so tiny that to this day she still has a kiddish air to her. I couldn’t help but giggle when that happened.

Finally, in California, I was helping my grandparents house-sit for my wealthy aunt and her family while they were on vacation elsewhere. You’d think that house-sitting would be boring, but in my case, I was also cat-sitting… and also learning minor Japanese. To practice cat and flower, as their cat’s name was Daisy, I started calling her Hananeko. After two weeks of that though… Well, it took some adjusting for my aunt and cousins, as she stopped reacting to Daisy altogether! I renamed their cat in my process of practice!

The next story comes from when I was moving in with my youngest aunt for my last year of middle school. Like many trips before, I flew- but it was the first time I was flying alone. During this trip, I learned a lot of things. One, kids can fly alone but have to have a flight attendant keeping an eye on them regularly. And secondly, sitting next to strangers can be not just scary, but annoying.

You see, I was dressed in a long skirt and shirt that day. I was flying from freezing New Jersey in the dead of December, so my normal clothes were usually sweatpants or long skirts or similar things. The guy who sat next to me thought it was a smart idea to ask a kid he’d have to sit next to for five or six hours, “Hey, you’re Jewish right? I can tell by the big nose and the way you’re dressed.”

What I hated was technically speaking, he had been right. I was born into Judaism, but I certainly didn’t practice it. I hardly believed a word of it! I didn’t want to be recognized as ‘Jewish’, because he was making it sound like only Jewish girls wear long skirts. I just like skirts! I find them cozy! What about that means I have to be Jewish!?

I hadn’t traveled much for a decade after that trip, aside from the trip when I moved back home to New Jersey that June. It wasn’t until last year that I took a plane again to visit Arizona- and I learned some interesting things from that trip, along with this year’s. For starter, I learned there are two kinds of ‘Economy’ seating, and different airlines treat ‘Basic Economy’ differently. United does not allow a carry-on for Basic, while American Airlines does- meaning I didn’t have to have a checked bag with them, potentially. I tried it the second trip, and it worked like a charm! Other things went wrong though:

For starters, I required a wheelchair going through the airport. My legs have been getting worse lately- both from lack of exercise and my nerve problems. I still need to get them x-rayed, actually, but that’s a story for another time. It wasn’t bad being brought on a wheelchair to the boarding area. In fact, it was kinda nice to have help getting there.

When I landed, though, I found myself baffled by the layout of Phoenix’s Sky Harbor airport. I ended up asking a person that worked at the airport to tell me how to get to where I needed, only to be sent in the wrong direction! I don’t blame them for not getting it right though. That place is a jungle in my opinion. A crowded jungle.

My return trip seemed a bit better. My wheelchair also got me staff members that would come check on me and offer me food, water, or to wheel me to the bathroom. They also were in charge of wheeling me onto the plane- but that’s where something went wrong. See, my plane wasn’t at the gate yet- a plane to Atlanta was. I’d been confused by the boarding display myself, but when I noticed it said Atlanta, I had to stop her.

The reason it bugged me, though, was because she had me show her my boarding pass. It says where I’m going, and I was clearly not going to Atlanta. And she was just happy to push me onto that Atlanta plane if I hadn’t stopped her. I got really lucky with my neighbor that flight though. He was a nice fellow, and helped bring my bags off the plane and out of the gate area for me while I as in my wheelchair! I was in awe.

By the way, both my flights this year were delayed by like an hour to an hour and a half: one because there was a group of 40 Israelis visiting the country as a special program, who were all very bad at the ‘sit down when the sign says to’ concept. The second was because of a bad storm in Newark, which I still felt the strength of when we got there- that rain was horrifying. I got lucky a limo driver offered me a good rate when he saw me struggling to get my bag on the escalator.

So, what did I learn through all of this? A few things:

  1. Sometimes airports are just as confusing to staff as they are to consumers.
  2. When traveling alone, it’s Russian roulette if you’ll get a decent seat neighbor or not.
  3. Sometimes you can believe the weird person who comes up and offers to drive you home.
  4. Don’t do the above without contacting someone that you know will keep an eye out for you in case it’s not a good person driving you home after all.
  5. Kids and disabled adults are treated similarly by staff.
  6. Airplane food has gotten way better.

That’s all I have to say today. Have you been on any trips recently? Do you have any wild or just general stories about your trips you’d like to share? Whether it’s advice for my next flight or a story from your own, I’d love to hear it! Thanks as always, guys!

Soulful Saturday: Nightmares

Hihi, guys! How are you? I’ve been doing a bit mixed in terms of health and other things, but I’m still alive and kicking, so that’s good! Now if I could stop dying in minecraft, that’d be even better. Honestly, I’ve seen and died to so many creepers and skeleton archers, I’m surprised I’ve yet to have a nightmare about them when I’m terrified of them in reality. And it was that concept that lead to today’s post: nightmares.

Not all of the dreams I have are nightmares, mind you. I’ve had good dreams- but my bad dreams, or just the weird ones, are so vivid! They’re far more realistic than my good dreams that I wake happily from. The weird and wild dreams usually fall in line with the nightmare side… So I’ll be sharing some of those as well. I won’t go into excessive detail, but I’ll give you enough to learn how my mind has worked since I was young.

The most memorable nightmare I have ever had was when I was in elementary school. My dad thinks it was induced by stress from overhearing a DYFS worker saying they planned to take me away from him because she didn’t like how our apartment looked or something like that, but I don’t know for sure. All I do know is this is one of the most bizarre nightmares I’d ever had at that point, and for most of my life, to be honest.

It starts with a news flash: Clones of all the people in the world were starting to appear. At that same time, aliens were invading, particularly colorful animals that otherwise seemed harmless… except for the ducks. The purple ducks with black spots were far from cute and innocent looking birds. They had sharp teeth and were eating anyone in sight, original or clone. The dream ended when the ducks got into our school, which was at max capacity because of the clones. I believe it was around the time I was about to get eaten that I woke up. This no longer counts as the weirdest dream I’ve had, but it’s still pretty damn creepy to remember!

I won’t tell you much about the weirdest dream I’ve had now, as I plan to use it to write a story- most likely in comic form. What I can tell you is it’ll be a psychological thriller of sorts, focusing on magic in a world that no longer actively has it, and a death game that brings magic back to life.

Not all my weird dreams count as nightmares, but sometimes they came from something that I think of as a nightmare to deal with. Once, when I was young, I had a migraine. I was sleeping at the time before the pain started- and to warn me it was there, my mind gave me a peculiar dream. I lay flat on the ground, in a barren world. There was only the sky, me, and random feathers floating softly to the ground. I’d pick up one of the fallen feathers and drop it on my head with a giggle. But then, I picked one up and dropped it on my head again, only to feel like I’d dropped a brick on my head instead. I tried another and another- it just kept leading to worsening pain. When I woke up, my head felt like it did in that terribly painful dream. It’d been so picturesque before my migraine decided to make itself be heard.

Now, let’s roll back the clock even further. See, I have a couple of memories of dreams I had as a toddler. One I even have a vivid image of in my head. For some reason, as a tot, I had a lot of dreams about being chased by food- the most memorable one being a strawberry. Every time I’d have one of these nightmares, I’d refuse to eat the food involved, slowly but steadily limiting my intake of food in general until I got over the dreams in time.

Another one I remember well was Reader Rabbit popping out of my computer screen and trying to kill me. I mean, he was pretty tiny- it was hard to understand at the time I was safe at all though. And it wasn’t just Reader Rabbit. Mario, one of my cereal box mascots… Many of them apparently had a violent streak and wanted to off me. I’m not really sure why.

The final nightmare I intend to share is something that’s very triggering for a lot of people, including myself. If you’re triggered by any form of sexual harrassment or misconduct, please skip over the next paragraph.

When I was about six or so, I started therapy. Then, one night, I had a terrifying dream that my therapist raped me. I couldn’t remember being raped, or anything like it, but somehow I had vivid images of the act, and I’d wake up terrified every time. Yes- it wasn’t a one time thing. I had similar nightmares with a lot of people in them. I had them since childhood, but they didn’t really stop completely. I get them once every few years at most now, but the fact is, they happen. And the impact was so strong that I ended up with a notable case of androphobia.

Anyway, that’s all the nightmares I can think to share with you today. If you’d like, why not share some of your own? To talk through the scary things in life can be quite liberating. I know this was for me! So let me know in the comments, what kind of nightmares do you get? And, if you have any, tips on how to avoid them. Until next time- take care, friends!

Throwback Thursday: Hobbies and Habits

WARNING: There is a small part that pertains to self harm. You've been warned.

Good morning everyone! Has the week been treating you well? Today, I thought I’d talk about a couple things from my youth… namely, my hobbies and habits. I have some old hobbies I’d like to take up again someday, though I’ve little funds to take part in them. Habits, meanwhile, are things I’ve changed a fair bit in my life comparatively. My hobbies were almost all always based on the arts, but my habits… Well, let’s get into that a bit later.

The first hobby I wanted to talk about is scrapbooking. Scrapbooking was something I took great interest in from the time I was in elementary school and joined the club (or the equivalent of one at any rate). In high school, at my first special needs school, one of the elective classes was scrapbooking, which I immediately rushed towards. It was so much fun! It brought back fond memories, and it brought my creative juices to a new light. I’d really like to get back into that someday, when I have the funds for some art supplies I’d need/like to do with it.

Another hobby that comes to mind is golf. I wasn’t as big on the driving range that my grandpa used to take me to as I was miniature golf, but I stopped playing slowly as I got older for some reason. I haven’t been in at least eight years, I want to say? I’m certain I was a teenager when I did. Again, this can cost money, and I also can’t drive, so I’d have to take a service like Lyft to the only one I know in the area.

Another physical hobby I used to like and still occasionally take part in is bowling. This is something I got into when I was really little, as my mother was a league bowler and dad had taken part in some too. My mom was as close to a pro athlete I’ll ever have met, most likely. I went bowling last year for the first time in a decade, and finally figured out how to not completely suck the entire time without bumpers: I need to bowl left handed. That was a fun thing to learn, in my opinion.

I saw some kids the last time I went to the park all playing basketball together, and that reminded me of how much I enjoyed the YMCA team I was forced onto my by aunt. I’d love to find a basketball to take to the park and just shoot some hoops on my own sometime! Wow, I had a lot of sporty hobbies in my youth… It’s kind of amazing.

Now, on to habits. I had some pretty whacked out habits and routines when I was young. With my first bipolar manic phase, I slept 3 hours a night like clockwork, and could never sleep more than that. I used to only drink cold water, which I nearly never do now. My hygiene was trash, which lead to me being bullied- but that’s a story for another time. And finally, I always kept a journal- which likely is why I’m so intrigued by bullet journals and the like now.

There’s one habit I’m proud of myself for breaking though. For those of you who don’t know, I used to self-harm a lot. It was usually just biting my fingers or my arm as hard as I possibly could (the marks concerned my family, however, even if I never bled). However, I had a habit of locking myself in the bathroom, crying while sitting against the door, and staring at a sharp object fighting the urge to slash it upon my skin. It was well known what I was intending to do, so at one point the police had to be called to get me out of there when I refused. When I say I was in a bad place in my school years, I’m not kidding around.

I do still bite myself on occasion- but I’ve gotten a lot better at holding back, even if sometimes that means sitting on my hands to keep in control. I can’t bite what I can’t reach, after all! I still think of the butterfly project as a great aid to me, and fairly regularly draw a butterfly with sharpie on my hand, to promote myself to not bite it. If you don’t know what the butterfly project is, you can read more about it here. Just know it’s not just for cutters.

And that’s that for today, my friends. What hobbies did you give up since childhood that you want to take back? Do you have any habits you’d like to fix, or ones you’ve conquered and are proud of? I want to hear all about your experiences with these subjects in the comments! C’mon, snap to it! Please?

Topical Tuesday: Social Media

Hey everyone! Can you believe it’s already Tuesday? I can’t, cause I’m writing this on a Monday. Yeah, I admit it, I pre-write my posts. I never know how my health will be on any given day, so I do this to make sure I can get a post up even if I’m in crap condition.

That’s not our topic for today though. No, today’s topic is all about social media. Social media plays a big part in many lives, including my own. I love Twitter and am constantly scrolling on there and retweeting random things I like while sharing what I’m up to like it all somehow matters. Somehow, though, eight hundred people- including some of you reading this, I bet- like what I do on Twitter enough to follow me. And that’s something I find truly amazing.

Now, I don’t use all forms of social media- I’ve tried to, but I just can’t anymore with some. Facebook is dead to me, I haven’t tried to log in in probably a year or two, except to connect games to it so I won’t lose my work. The other day (or rather, last week) I actually got an email that someone was trying to break into my older account. I just sat there like, “You go man. Dig up that corpse.”

Now Instagram I did use for a while. I have two accounts on there that I seriously need to get back onto. One was for just my daily life and a lot of selfies, which honestly sucked, but my poetry account was doing amazing. I need to start updating it more often with new poetry… I just haven’t written any in a while. So, if you feel like giving me a prompt or something to get my poetry motors oiled up again, that’d be great!

Finally, there’s Youtube. I only got into really using it as myself just recently. I posted an introductory video you can watch, but the video I really hope you’ll watch for me is this pep talk I made:

Why am I promoting my youtube video to you? Because I worked hard on it, spilled my soul out. If you watch anything ever on my channel, let it be this pep talk, because the content is super important to me, and I think it’ll be important to you too after you watch.

Now, a bit about how I see social media: It’s a drug. Social media is like a drug. I know a few things about addiction. I’m from a family with addictive tendencies, and I myself am addicted to another of things. I’m addicted to my computer, addicted to social media, addicted to my medication… There’s a lot you can be addicted to.

But social media plays a huge role in my life. I spend many hours of my day scrolling through Twitter. I have literally taken my phone into the bathroom with me, and just sat there reading Tweets for an hour when I could’ve gotten up a lot sooner. (C’mon, don’t tell me you don’t use your phone on the toilet.) I don’t even fully watch when I’m watching TV anymore. I spend a lot of my TV time with dad just playing on my phone while listening and looking up once in a while. So what am I doing while I watch TV? Mostly lurking social media and maybe playing a few games I like. That’s a story for another time.

But seriously, the social media binging is a problem. You never know what you’ll see and that’s what makes it exciting- but it also makes you want to constantly check it for new content, you know? I’ve literally sat tweeting in the middle of a staff meeting before. Luckily my boss didn’t get angry, but I for one did. Social media is great- but make sure to take a break from it from time to time. I don’t mind if that means I get less watchers or followers or anything like that. I’m being serious: you can have too much of a good thing. Keep that in mind, okay?

Well, that’s all for today’s rambling. Now, it’s time to share your thoughts! What social media do you use most? Why do you prefer one site over another? Do you have methods of fighting the urge to binge on social media? Share any thoughts or answers you might have- it may just help another person in their fight! 😀

Soulful Saturday: Where I Belong

Hi there, everyone! It’s time to get back on track with the true goal of Soulful Saturday, and a friend gave me a great idea for a topic: loneliness and belonging. This is a broad topic, but I’ll narrow it down the best I can. This may or may not get a bit long, so my apologies if it goes too much in either direction. Now, let’s begin, shall we?

From the time I was very small, I knew the feeling of loneliness. My father often worked insane hours, and my mother was neglectful and would barely do anything with me at all. Sure, she’d let me watch TV with her- but that meant I had to constantly be watching sports to be with her. She’d play a game with me here or there, but it was always only one game she happened to like. Basically, spending time with my mother often meant giving in to her whims and demands. But that was okay, to me- I thought it was normal. I thought that was just how you avoided being alone.

I moved a fair bit in my childhood. I went to three grade schools, two middle schools and three high schools. Not all of these schools were because of moving, mind you- but many were. And either way, with each new school came a whole new battle to find my place. I was certainly not a sporty type, so I couldn’t really push myself into the athletic circles that exist in most schools. I wasn’t particularly bright either- I wasn’t bad in school mostly, but I wasn’t a genius either. What was my role in those places?

I’d like to share with you a story from my youth before continuing on about my journey. You see, in fourth grade, I had thought I made many friends in both my class and around school. I normally only had male friends in my early years, to be honest- I may not have been into the aggression they sometimes shared amongst each other, but it was mostly guys who liked video games like I did- or at least, the ones that’d admit to it. Anyway… A girl in my class, who was friendly with my neighbor and best buddy at the time, decided to be my friend. She took me into her friend group, and I thought I’d finally found a home away from home in this circle of kind and open people.

Then, when I found out I was moving, she broke a bombshell on me: she never saw me as a friend. She just felt bad for me, being mostly alone and all. To her, I was a charity project. And though my family told me she may just have been processing my leaving badly… I could tell somehow that it wasn’t the case.

I have severe social anxiety, and anxiety in general. It was so bad that I once threw up seeing a group of five people at a birthday party. When you grow up in a house where you have to fend for yourself and feed yourself, you get used to being alone. Sure, I had my dad after mom left. And, after he stopped working due to disability, I had plenty of affection given to me even if at first I couldn’t quite accept it (but that’s a story for another time!). He helped me feel less alone in the world, especially after the many times I’ve been heart broken like in fourth grade.

My ability to feel I belong tends to be garbage, something I assume is part of why my diagnosis of Borderline Personality makes so much sense. I’ve been toyed with enough that I can barely trust people. I can be surrounded by friends, yet feel like I’m a stranger to them all. I tend to try to push them away the closer they get- it’s almost like I want to be alone… But I really don’t.

It’s taken a long time for me to find a place where I feel I’m in the right place. I often see myself as a puzzle- a puzzle missing a ton of pieces. I don’t really know how it clicked in my head that places like Books and Quills’ Writers’ Haven were a place I could feel at home. My boyfriend’s family always makes me feel like I’m a part of their home when I visit, and I’ve grown to accept that feeling.

I’m still far from perfect. I have my days where I just don’t feel like I fit in even in places I normally do. A single conversation that I can’t contribute to can cause me to feel alone in the world for a moment- but, with time and a lot of self talk, I manage to get past that pain, even if it takes a while. Because I know these people care about me- they’re practically my family. I may not have succeeded in seeing myself not as the black sheep yet, but… I keep trying. And that’s all I can do- try my best to be an active part of the community, and pray my authenticity doesn’t drive more people away from me. Yes, I try my best to be myself with everyone, even those I fear losing.

I think that’s enough for today, my friends. I’ll be honest, this was a hard post to write, and it’s probably only slightly cracking the surface. Perhaps, another day, I can continue to share the times I’ve felt out of place along with the places I feel at home… And maybe, just maybe, I’ll learn some tips that can help some of you find that place too, if you need it.

As one last note though, as I think of it… Perhaps this is why I spread myself thin so often. By trying to do all sorts of things, I meet all sorts of people. Heck, I’m even trying to get into youtubing. Tell me that’s not a cry for attention knowing all this about me. I only realized it now… But I still plan to cry for it, even if it’s just superficial… Because I already started. I’d like to finish at least one thing I’ve started, you know?

Now, for my usual ending… Have you ever felt like you were alone in the world? Have you found your place to belong? In either case, please share your stories and tips with me and everyone else! It’s important to help each other!

Throwback Thursday: Extreme Snow-Tubing

Good morning everyone! Today, I’d like to thank my new friend Sophie for inspiring me to write this post. That’s right, you read it in the title: I’m an ‘extreme snow-tuber’. Okay, so I’m not actually into extreme sports… or sports. But today’s post is about one time I basically was in one, according to my teacher.

It was around the time I was in 10th grade- my special needs school took all of us kids to a mountain on a snowy winter day. I can still remember the snow crunching under my boots, and I remember having a friend pull me across an ice patch so I wouldn’t fall, only to lead to him falling.

But honestly, what I remember most about that day is what’s made me decide snow-tubing isn’t for me. And it starts at the very start of your usual snow-tubing adventure: going up the lift.

If you’ve never been snow-tubing, you probably don’t know what the lift is like. Basically, you get in a tube and it’s hooked to the top with something akin to a bungee cord. Well, halfway through my ride on the lift, something unusual happened- my cord came off the powered rope thing that pulls us up. And so, I suddenly went sliding down the lift path, bouncing against all the people behind me in a frenzy.

That wasn’t the end of it, though. Shortly after that, a teacher grabbed hold of my tube and helped pull me up. I was so happy not to be falling down that bumpy path again! But when we got to the top, where we get our tubes taken off the lift, there was a bump… and it made her lose her grip enough that I went tubing out of control like an air hockey puck, bouncing off my classmates like you couldn’t believe.

The third time was the charm. I finally made it up that god forsaken hill, and I was ready to tube. I got in my tube and slid down as gracefully as one can in an inflatable rubber tube. But when I got to the bottom, I realized something.

That wasn’t fun- it was terrifying.

I’d gone snow tubing before, mind you. This wasn’t my first rodeo, but it was my first time going down the lift instead of the hill two times in a row. Or at all. I had plenty of pain in my butt, and decided enough was enough. I turned in my snow-tube, and had the principal helping my shaky body to the lodge.

He returned after he knew I was safely inside, but I wasn’t alone. My teacher was there as well, as if she’d been waiting for me. Having seen the whole thing, and seeing me shaking, I think she knew what was going on in my mind. So, with a smile and a laugh, she told me, “Don’t think of it as a bad thing. Just think of it as extreme snow-tubing.”

And that’s what I do now. I avoid snow tubing, mostly because I can’t afford it, but the memories still haunt me and make me uneasy. Getting back on a snow tube is a lot like getting on my bike since I was hit by that car in 8th grade. It’s terrifying, and it leaves me feeling shaky and stiff, both at the same time. I can’t imagine going down that slope again, and I can’t afford it anyway… But I’m happy to skip it. It’s a memory I laugh at now, but somehow, it’s also a memory I can never get over…

Tell me, friends. Do you have memories like that? The ones where you were hurt so badly it traumatized you almost, but you learned to laugh at it and maybe even fight through? I’d love to hear your thoughts, your stories, and any tips you may have for me to overcome this fear. But most of all, I just like hearing from you guys in general. You’re all wonderful- never forget that.

Topical Tuesday: Widespread

Hey everyone, welcome back! Did you have a good weekend? I spent the weekend doing all sorts of things, including fight the blahs. But actually, that’s what I want to talk about today. No, not the blahs- though those do deserve a post, maybe Saturday. No, today I want to talk about how varied my interests are and why I’m spread as thin as I am.

Now, I know I said this was going to be a personal blog from now on… But this post is about the fact I burn out easily, have no attention span, and can easily lose track of what’s going on at any given time. There’s a reason my WIP list is 20+ titles long. When I burn out on one, I work a bit on the next one. Recently, I’ve been mixing that methodology by using a different writing program for each as I work on them. That’s hitting two birds with one stone, since I intend to write reviews of these programs for the mag.

But it’s not just writing. I dabble in all sorts of things, ranging from game development to administrating web forums. In fact, I was just recently promoted to administrator by the head admin of a site I frequent, who also happens to host my own forum. There should be a link on the Sites to See page. If it’s missing, let me know.

But here’s the thing- I work on all these projects at the same time. And it’s not just working on projects that I multitask with. I chat, play games, and surf the web- all often while doing my creative work of that time period. Lately, I’ve been playing a lot of minecraft with friends on a multiplayer server. Its given me story ideas to fill out some things… and not always are they flowery ideas. In fact, some are quite morbid.

I’ve gotten back into the Sims 4, too. I spend a good hour a day looking at custom content for it, I think. Then again, I spend a lot of time looking for plugins and graphics for game development.

Of course, there are a few other things that help spread me apart further. I’m big on social media- not popularity-wise, but usage-wise. I’ve been thinking about doing stuff on youtube, too, if I can think of some content. I used to use instagram a lot, and I feel like I should get into it again too… I can make my comipoems again, I just haven’t had the mindset for it somehow.

The big problem for me is this: I have so many projects and things I do at once, I lose focus quickly and skip around between tasks haphazardly. And it also affects my home life. I’m lazy by nature, but by taking up all my time doing these many different projects and the like, I end up putting my chores on pause for days or even weeks at a time. I have so much laundry to fold, guys! It’s not even funny.

And here’s the real kicker: I watch a lot of youtube videos about certain topics. I love watching videos on beauty, weird challenges, organization, bullet journals, stationary, and minimalism. I’m no minimalist, but I feel like my life would be better if I were. I have a bullet journal, but I haven’t written in it in weeks or months. I have plenty of makeup and like putting it on time to time even if I don’t need to because I’m staying home. But organization? I watch those to inspire myself to work on my disastrous bedroom… But so far, in recent weeks, I’m getting nothing. I’m impressed by the things I find, sure, but… Somehow, watching cool methods to organize just makes me feel a little down because I don’t think I could ever do that so confidently. I walk into my room and get an anxiety attack when I think of cleaning it up.

So yeah… I’m pretty well spread thin enough I should snap at any moment. With my various art and development projects, my writing, my social media presence, blogging, surfing the web and playing games, I distract myself from the real problems in my life: my cluttered room that’s more a pig sty than a bedroom; dealing with my anxiety related to cleaning; my trust issues, which I avoid easily by interacting less with people. I have so many personal problems I could write a book about them. Okay, so I kind of plan to- but that’s not my point!

My point is this: I’m overwhelming myself and I know it. But how do I stop myself when all these projects are important to me? And how do I fight the overwhelming fear I feel when it’s time to look in my room and try to tidy it up? I need all the help I can get, so give me your best coping skills- and maybe share what’s burning you out or spreading you thin too!

Soulful Saturday: A Delayed Sit-Down on my Trip to Arizona

Hi hello, friends! I hope the weekend has been treating you well so far! I promised I’d do this last Saturday, but I wasn’t up to it and am learning the art on not overdoing things. So, today, I’m going to talk to you about a couple things: a quick overview of my trip to Arizona last month, and some things I noticed about my daily routine that have changed, including changes I like and don’t like. There’s a lot to cover, but I hope you’ll stick with me until the very end!

So first of all, my trip. In case you’re new to this blog and aren’t aware, I’m in a long distance relationship. I’ve been physically near my boyfriend once a year for two years now, by visiting him in his family home in Arizona. It’s a costly flight, and we both paid for one of the visits- but thankfully, his family lowers my expenses by letting me stay with them when I visit, letting me eat their food as I please, play with their dogs, and just generally feel a part of the household.

This year, the flights to and from Arizona were both heavily delayed. My trip there was delayed by a rowdy group of about 40 Israeli’s on a field trip of some sort. They were very noisy and liked standing up to do things when they weren’t supposed to. I sat next to a very nice young lady and chatted with her a bit, but otherwise, there was nothing really substantial about the flight there besides the large group making a racket.

My flight home was another story. First I was almost put on the wrong plane by someone working to help people that were in wheelchairs by getting them drinks while they wait and getting them on board early when it’s time. Then, there was the weather in Newark, where I was flying to- it was horrible, you guys. We were stuck at the airport an hour, and when we were all ready for takeoff, we were grounded an extra half hour or so! But I gotta say, considering the wild weather when we got home, I can’t help wondering what it was like while we were being told to stay away…

Anyway, a bit about my trip: First off, I enjoyed it, for the most part. I got to spend my boyfriend’s birthday with him, learned lots more about him, and just generally enjoyed my time there. I learned things like what kind of peanut butter he likes, how much effort he puts into minecraft, his work routine (he got most of the week I was there off, but couldn’t manage to get the last day). I got to see him off and welcome him home when he had work, which was nice too.

I also got to know a bit more about the family. His younger sister actually sat and ate with me a couple times, which was new. And by me I mean me once and the entire family once. That hadn’t happened at all last year. Another fun family situation was also at the dinner table. Sometimes, they’ll put the TV on while they eat… And one night, they put on Scare Tactics. I told my boyfriend never to try those pranks on me because I’m a weakling… and his brother was kind enough to say if he ever did try something like that, I could tell anyone in the family and they’d kick his ass for me. For me, that was a really special thing, because it showed even more how welcoming and kind towards me the family is. I’m really grateful for them.

Speaking of gratitude, let’s move on to the habits and routines I mentioned at the start of this blog post. In the past month or so, a lot of my habits have changed. I’ve stopped writing in my gratitude journal, I kinda let my bullet journal go unused the entire time, I’ve stopped using makeup at all (which is actually not a horrible thing to do), and for a while, I stopped taking my meds regularly due to always falling asleep before I was to take them.

Some habits I want to get back on track with. I’m working hard to take my meds before I get tired enough to sleep, and I’ve done a face mask or two since coming back from Arizona. I haven’t used any makeup in over a month, which I’m not sure how I feel about… It helps boost my confidence when I go out, but I didn’t feel I needed it in Arizona like I do here. It’s quite strange, now that I think about it. Why do I feel I need makeup for confidence when I’m in New Jersey, but not in Arizona? Is it a difference of who’s around?

My big concern honestly is that I have no real ‘routine’ anymore. I used to have alarms set to tell me when to do my gratitude journal, but I haven’t touched it in weeks. I’m getting encouragement from friends to help me get pen to paper, so to speak, but… Every time I say I’ll do it, some weird feeling washes over me and makes it hard to even try. And the same issue goes for my bullet journal. I’m mad at myself for dropping it, but no matter what I tell myself, I can’t seem to get myself in the mindset.

As you can see, I have a lot to think about. I also want to make a routine that helps me work on all my creative projects without burning out. All these changes I’ve made and want to reverse are a bit overwhelming… So tell me: What should I focus on first? And, do you have any hints or tricks to getting back into a routine you’ve fallen out of? Are there changes to your personal routine you’d like to make? Tell me any or all of your answers in the comments. I love to see your input!