distracted in a time of need

I picked up a book today called “The Feeling of What Happens.” It is about body and emotion in the making of consciousness and speaks on consciousness on a scientific and biological level. Being someone who is often caught in the thoughts of my mind, I thought it would be refreshing to read about the whys that are behind the workings and knowing of the mind in a more structured and scientifically observed manner. Rather than going off of feeling and emotion, I need a little real-life explanation behind the topic of consciousness, big words and all.

So, here I am reading the introduction which is constructed in such a way that I feel the author, Antonio Damasio, is speaking directly to me, like he knows me. Except he’s challenging my comprehension with elongated sentences and complex definitions. The text is something worthy of focus and requires my brain to work a little harder as it shifts out of my Netflix mind melt. Damasio maneuvers the thought of consciousness around my brain like malleable clay. He proposes insight into “an emotion, the feeling of that emotion, and the knowing that we have a feeling of that emotion.” So, with the content being very dense and purposeful, I actively try to accumulate all my focus and attention to it.

But, this is where I realize how distracted my mind is. So distracted that as I am trying to dissect what the hell Damasio is saying, my mind wanders mid-sentence to somewhere in my external life. My mind shifts from a comprehensive state to a pondering distraction. It is obvious to me, this shift. I put the book down and let it rest in my lap as my mind rests on a far away thought. Looking from the other side of this, I become frustrated with myself that I am unable to focus on the task in front of me. I am reading about consciousness and the underlying perpercitves that exist with it, and yet my own consciousness seems to float about. This got me thinking about my future. A thought ran into my mind, and I held onto it so much that it compelled me to put the book down and grab my laptop to write about it.

I long for a time in my life where my mind is not distracted, when I can sit down and read a book—actually read it through without thinking of anything else. I yearn for the time where my life is simple enough that my mind has nowhere to wander to, where I can easily fall asleep. It goes beyond contentedness. Focus is something I strive for, and it was at this moment that I realized how important it is to me.

Just as precise as this thought, this longing for less worry, less chaos, less mess in my brain, I also felt this deep appreciation for it all. I have been in a state of ambiguous emotion where I find myself unsure of everything, externally and internally. I act in the moment, but it is still preceded by worry and contemplation. Anxiety is something palpable in my life, something that I have been ignorant to as of lately.

With my personal life, I am guarded and aware of my actions. I know I am hard to read, and it’s because of my handwriting, I don’t make it easy. I’ve known this for years. But, something that I didn’t know existed has come to my attention. It’s the wall I made for myself within myself. While protecting myself on the outside, I have skillfully built a wall that fools even my own thoughts. I’ll tell myself I’m ok, but my body tells me something different. I’ll tell myself that I’m focusing on a task, but really my mind is somewhere else. I think I am being strong, but I find myself tripping over nothing. My consciousness is super aware of certain things that it blinds everything else.

I do long for simpler times. I wish worrying and anxiety were not apart of my being, but being in this whole thought thing on my own, since my mind is the only mind I know, I feel I should be appreciative of the inner workings of my mind rather than intolerant. I am distracted for a reason. I have a lot going on. There is a whole lot of things up in the air, and thinking about it all is overwhelming and scary. But, really, I guess I would rather have a lot going on than nothing. I would rather worry about something than not have a worry because worrying means I care. The day that I stop caring is when I give up the being of myself, and I am not ready, nor hope to ever part ways with everything that makes me, me.

This internal battle has given me insight into a part of me that I didn’t realize was there, has been there, and has been contributing to the turmoil I feel in a time of change. Conflicting thoughts take swings at each other and I still don’t know how to win. But, I’m glad there’s a fight in me, it seems like a worthy cause.

So speaking on understanding consciousness, I think I just have to let it be what it is, pick up the book, and read it. Distractions and all.

Mountain Time

My car radio has been set to the time of a place in a different time zone. For a year. When daylight savings time came around, I moved the hour—not to my time, but to the one I intended to get to. When I needed to know the time, I’d add two hours from what the clock read. Everyone who got into my car tried to change my clock, but I wouldn’t let them. “I’ll be there soon enough,” I’d say.

Call me nuts, but intentions manifest into reality.

Because here I go, heading to the time on my car radio.

Just another reason to make a wish

It’s the eve of my 26th birthday and it is by far the least excited I have been yet to turn another year older. This year is a big one for me. 25 seemed like a milestone, and passing the quarter-century point is something of a feat in adulting. This is the birthday the government gives us newly turned 26-year-olds the stiff-armed pushed into adulthood. This is the year they say “hopefully you have your shit together, we know your joints are starting to hurt more than they did in your early 20’s, your hangovers only seem to be getting worse, and gray is now part of the color spectrum on your head, but even so, you can’t mooch off your parents forever, get your own fucking health insurance.”

There are only a few circumstances that newly turned 26-year-olds find themselves in. They will breathe a sigh of relief, wake up, and roll out of bed to the job that is providing them with a health plan. Or, they will reach a little further into their pockets to pay for their own insurance. Or, they will risk it and go without. Those scenarios have been sitting on my shoulder this whole past year whispering their sweet anxieties into my ears.

The last week has felt heavy. The last month felt heavy. Hell, 25 has been a heavy year for me.

Minutes before it turned 12 am, marking my birthday—yes I paid attention— I’m trying to remember some of my recent past birthdays. Some I could remember easily, some were a bit foggy as to how I spent my day. I thought that was odd, not remembering. But, I do know that each one of them I had some type of plan that included celebrations, usually which involved drinking adult beverages and inviting friends to spend the day with me. This year is by far the tamest, and I am so ok with that.

So, it’s 12:07 am, newly 26,  and I’m flossing my teeth. Just 10 minutes earlier I was looking into the dance moves in Fortnite with my little brother.

Life as of recently has been felt nothing short of a rollercoaster ride. Specifically, the kind that takes you up and down and turns you upside down to the point where if the seatbelts malfunctioned you’d definitely find yourself catapulted out of your seat. Even so, grateful is what I feel, and there has been a growth within me that I am proud of.

As daunting as 26 has been, I do feel a lightness that is unexpected and welcoming. 25 was challenging and this next year maybe even more so, but it provides some changes that I have been desperately grasping for. I’m not sure how long this lightness will last for, I’m only one hour into being 26, but I’m going to fly with it as long as the magic carpet will let me.

I don’t want to say that I’m ditching all that has been, but, really, yeah, I kinda am.

 

I like your bowtie

Bullshit is the little bow that holds the present together. When you untie it, the present is exposed, and the once pretty bow is now an unraveled ribbon pathetically falling to the ground.

What is now, what we find comfort in living amongst is held together by a whole lot of pretty bows which are easily able to be torn apart and undone. We let bullshit hold our lives together. It makes us look pretty, put together, intentional, and meaningful. We hide behind the bows because we think it’s what people want to see. We think people want us to always be put together. We want to feel put together. It’s part of our hierarchy of needs. It’s funny that self-esteem lies just under self-actualization. It’s so close to the top, yet can be so astronomically far away from the truth. We start to believe the excuses we make are valid. We begin to think that our caked on face is prettier than our naked one. It isn’t until we reach the tippy top of Maslows pyrimid that we can see things as they really are. We can see the creases from the liquids and powders we cover ourselves with. We can see the chunks of mascara clotting our eyelashes together. We can see our dark roots growing in under our bleached hair. The view from the top shows a unique truth that pierces through us in the most painful yet beautiful way.

You’ll know when you reach it because it’s so damn hard. It’s like blowing out your birthday candles, only they were trick candles, walking away and then finding out that they relit and burnt your house down. Truth hurts like a burn, and they say burn victims endure the most pain imaginable. So if you’re having trouble reaching your self-actualization, remember that that’s part of the shitstorm. We have to ache, we have to become fed up, transparent, naked, true, and vulnerable.

We want to avoid answering the seemingly easy questions because “what do you want,” “how are you,” “what are you doing,” are actually the hardest and most complicated questions to answer. We follow the guidelines of a made up rule book that keeps getting passed around by other self-conscious, yellow-bellied, amicable conformers. We just can’t help it—doing what we really want, saying what we really mean, just isn’t polite.

Stepping back from the glass sliding door I’ve had my face pressed against for so long that my nose still has a resemblance of a snout, I can finally see the real view of my backyard. I can see those pretty little bows holding myself together.  The imprint of my face glares off the glass just so that the sunlight shines right onto yours too. I see those bows, and boy, they are pretty.

 

The girl with calloused feet

You don’t know her world, but how could you?

She sees different colors.

You don’t feel the tightrope that cuts through her feet and makes her feel strong.

She walks it alone. 

You don’t feel how her thoughts surround her.

She feels it all. 

Sometimes she doesn’t know if she’s falling, or if she’s dancing,

So she embraces both. 

 

spring, spring, goddamn spring

Spring has sprung! Oh god, punch me. Like we need more cliches or analogies to the more obvious oddities that come around every few quarter months. I’d love to smell the new budded roses but my nasal cavities are swollen from the pollen saturated air. These days of gloom and nights of boom-in-the-sky are making me feel achy and I wake up as if recovering from a bipolar episode pondering my emotional state.

Ok, but for real, I’m a big fan of spring. It’s my third favorite season.

I like that the streets I drive down are now covered with bright green leaves overhead. They’re almost neon lime green, my favorite color. Just a week and a half ago I was looking out my window at the bare tree branches slightly swaying in the wind. Mind you, they were only swaying because this past week has been super windy, branches aren’t usually great swayers. And today, those branches are full of half-grown neon green beauties. I’ve got my window open so I can feel the wet air and hear the birds chirping. The paper drawings I have hung up on the walls are slightly wilting, worth it though. I’m a big window gal. I hate air conditioning, especially in my car. Most of the time no matter where I end up, my hair is a tousled mess from all my windows being open, and that’s how I like it…it’s also why I wear hats all the time. So, spring brings me several little joys.

I was pondering as I was driving through this particularly early grey and gloomy morning, thinking man, I would prefer that the sun was out thinking my drive would be more pleasant and enjoyable. I found it difficult to fully wake up, and my eyes remained in a half open, half closed, crescent shape. But then later, something happened. The damn sun came out, and it got hot. Like whoa humid hot compared to the chilly morning where I had my heat on in my car. This is when I noticed the trees. The past few days have been all rain. All gloom. All wet. Now, I could watch a thunderstorm for hours completely content, but when grey wetness continues for days, I find myself wishing for the sun and dry pavement. But this is the part of spring that is so important.

Spring needs those dark gloomy rain ridden days. That’s what makes spring, spring. Because without the rain we wouldn’t get those pretty yellow dots that cover our yard after one rainfall, even though they make my allergies go bazerk. Without the rain, our streets wouldn’t be singing. Without the rain, we might forget what plush feels like under our feet.

My point is, we need those dark days. I’m talking in one of those cliche metaphor voices now—in case you didn’t realize that I switched it up there… 

What makes things beautiful, what makes us beautiful, are the dark days. There the days of doubt, of sadness, of boredom, of hurt, of whatever not pleasant feeling that we feel sometimes. Becuase those days give us the nourishment that we need. I realize this is borderline contradictory, stay with me here though. Those days give us the urge, the power, the desires that we need to get to the place of neon lime green.

Spring has sprung, and so can we. Ha ha now THAT was a good one. People will tell you, give it time, it might take awhile. But also, if nobody has told you yet, one rainfall can bud some pretty badass flowers.

me for you

I lay my ambition at my feet so I know what direction to go.

I wear my heart on my sleeve so it becomes part of my identity.

I write my dreams on my skin so I don’t forget.

I wear contacts so I can see more than what is in front of me.

I do things with purpose, with drive, with love, with question, with loyalty, with aim, with intention, and with wonder.

I speak in metaphors and similes so others can understand and relate to me. My life is mine, and yours is yours. I leave things open to interpretation because that’s what it’s all about. Finding out what works for you, how I can relate to you, and finding the perceptions you need to move forward to the person you want to be.

That is why I write. I write mostly what I feel and experience, and if what I feel touches on your life in any way, then every silly word or thought I write is worth the vulnerability I feel as a writer.