Thoughts on ‘Crazy,’ and crepes

Holy SHIT, guys, this month has been crazy. Big assignment after big assignment, continued problems with my laptop (I’ve been on and off the crappy Italian one I had to buy in Firenze when my hard drive crashed and burned since the semester’s start), health issues, dating scrapes… just, ever’thin goin’ on. However, a silver lining: I FINALLY have my laptop back, hopefully for good this time.

So, like the plethora of randoms I’ve been juggling, so shall I toss a couple unrelated odds n ends your way:

Aside from the obligatory obsession with school (this semester includes papal tombs, the hand-and-eye symbol and its cosmological implications, and the pro and cons of the digitization of museum collections), I’ve been thinking a lot about the concept of ‘crazy’:

I have had many a guy friend bemoan the ubiquity of “crazy girls,” and how they can never seem to steer clear of the black hole that is the “borderline schizo” ex. Before dispensing with my (occasionally sought after) advice, I first ask, “Well, did she have the crazy eyes? Ya know, the ‘caged-tiger-about-to-strike’ eyes?”

However, this isn’t always the case. Sometimes, I know the ex in question and am fairly certain the “crazy eyes” tag doesn’t apply. So, my next question usually is, “Was she really crazy? Or did ya make her crazy?” Much like George Carlin’s astute observations regarding the delicate nuances of male/female relations, I always want to know if there was beaucoup mis- or non-existent communication. I can’t tell you how many times I heard my line cook guys complain about “crazy bitches,” only to discover later (because I come from a small town where everyone knows everyone else, eventually) that these girls were actually pretty normal. Sometimes you collide with a person that brings out the worst in you, but that doesn’t mean you deserve the nutball moniker.

Personally, I don’t think I have the crazy eyes. I suppose that the label “crazy eyes” is a bit subjective, but at most I’d say I’ve got perpetually tired or mischievous eyes. So, why have my last two romantic trifles blocked me on any and all social media? I mean, this is an avenue I’ve never personally been down before, and frankly an avenue I had thought strictly relegated to the mentally/potentially dangerously unstable folk. At first, it really messed with my head; it made me feel… well, crazy. I couldn’t understand how I fell down that rabbit hole… and even worse, did it mean I belonged in that psychological cesspool? Granted, no one had ever induced so much vehement rage in me like these guys did. Coupled with an intense need for some kind of catharsis, my normal stoic silence in the face of a break up morphed into actual venomous words. I didn’t slash tires or stalk their houses or bully their friends, but I did give them a piece of my pissed-the-#$%*-off mind. More than once. And so, in the aftermath I worried. Holy shnikes, was this really me??

In the weeks following the break up with Mr. Red, I chewed and chewed and chewed over it, especially since it felt as though this had become an inevitable trend. I voiced my fears to a friend over beers in Gainesvegas…. and this is one of many, many reasons why my friends are amazing: “L’s, you realize you’re not normally like this, right?” She said. “These guys, they brought out the worst in you, they turned you into something you’re not. And all that proves, is that neither of them was right for you. The right one, he’ll bring out all the best.”

I let that simmer for a few days. When I came back to it, I remembered my days on the other side of the fence, hearing about all those “crazy bitches,” and defending them to their agitators. Don’t get it twisted, I don’t mean to place all blame on one side or the other. The thing about dating is, it’s a two way street. Each person is an active participant in the beauty or the bullshit, however it ends up. It’s the collaboration that I want to stress. Too often breakups have a myopic effect: you come away either convinced you did no wrong, or you’ve melted to the floor in self-loathing despair. The emotional volatility of these interactions (or rather, the destruction of them), makes it exponentially more difficult to look beyond your own damages. So, the farther away I get from that period of my life, the more I can objectify it and resolve some complicated, negative emotions: Those people were not right for me, but that does not mean I’m “crazy.” They did bring out some of my worst, but it’s not like I didn’t invite it or participate in it. I wasn’t crazy; I was very, very unhappy, and I didn’t know how to fix that on my own. I kept mistakenly relying on someone else to pull me up, but the only person that could drag me out of the hole was me. It was a big lesson, one that the universe clearly needed to beat me over the head with repeatedly, and it’s not until now (after much, much denial and trial and error) that there’s finally some retention happening…

Part of me is still worried that I will never find that specific kind of happiness that I crave. I don’t know if that part will ever totally dissipate. The die-hard romantic in me has actually died a little bit, but maybe that’s a form of self-preservation. Reminds me of a line from the song “Satellite” by Rise Against: “You can’t truly love until you’ve given up on it.”

…And, because my mind can never stray too far from food, I’ve had crêpes on the brain too:

V1

V2

In sum, crêpes are delicious, and my grad-school-wifey understands the ridiculous notion of ‘band-huzbands’ and always responds appropriately.

Lastly, some parting words for you, gentle readers, from my always insightful aunt: “Soon, you will feel better. Everything you love can help you. When in doubt, choose love.” So I choose love… just not that kind. Not right now.

Current Jam: “Satellite” Rise Against

Don Some Rose Colored Glasses Already, Self

As I was driving to campus the other day I saw this:

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I’m not a religious person. More often than not I find myself scoffing at what I consider to be half-hearted platitudes promoted by the Christian church to distract or otherwise disguise the inherent flaws in the practice of their belief system. However, I also recognize that it takes all kinds, even within institutions that make me negatively react in a knee-jerky way. And though I’m not religious, I do consider myself spiritual, to a degree, and I think that sometimes our subconscious points out things of relevancy to us, as it works tirelessly to reconcile our internal conflicts.

I’ve been spewing forth a lot of misanthropic and self-loathing cynical shit lately, guys. Looking back on my posts for the past few weeks, I’ve definitely felt I had more to cry over than laugh about. Which is, admittedly, incredibly biased and definitely ‘firstworldproblem-y.’ The main role this blog plays in my life is as an emotional outlet. It’s my virtual diary of sorts, where I push all those negative thoughts out of my head so they can’t cloud my judgment (as much). That being said, I hate that there’s been these poo-ey grey  shadows dulling my brightly lit wallpaper, because the other goal of this blog is to share the entirety of my life with you, not just the bad parts. Besides, at the end of the day I know I’m a bit of a drama queen, and some of my writing exacerbates that aspect of my personality. Like I said, this is my outlet for all the pent-up, extremist crazy that swirls around in my frontal lobe, threatening to fuck everything up if I don’t let it seep through my creative pores à la my keyboard (since I have no other artistic capabilities to speak of, really). Yet, as… ‘wronged?’ as I have felt lately, I want you guys to know that I don’t always feel the feels I divulge here. Actually, after a particularly vehement prose expulsion, my mind often quiets down into a zen-like hibernation, my thoughts finally shushed for the moment.

I can be an intense person. I laugh hard, I love hard, I party hard… and apparently I work hard? I never considered myself to be particularly motivated, but according to many of my friends (who looked utterly flabbergasted at this gap in self-knowledge), I’m an ambitious lil’ brat. When it comes to my ‘career’ path, the main thing I know is that I refuse to have a job(s) where I end up (in the words of Frank Turner) “slaving 50 years away on something that [I] hate.” I won’t do it, dammit. I’ve worked that menial salary job, and the thought of dragging my feet back to that cubicle fat and old is just… it’s like…

The inevitable downside of this, is that sometimes this intensity can work against me, i.e. my ongoing struggles with depression and anxiety, coupled with an innate phobia of loneliness and/or alienation. That fire inside can burn as much as it can feed, and sometimes it’s my kryptonite. For example, apparently I’m really fucking hard on myself, to the point where some of my internal monologue is borderline emotionally abusive. I didn’t really comprehend the severity of it until I let someone close to me really see it in its entirety. Slightly aghast, they beseeched me, “Why, why, why are you so hard on yourself? You’re not lazy, or stupid, or a bad person at all!”

Almost exasperated, Poofl has said to me : “I don’t know how to convince you of how awesome you are, when it’s so obvious to me! I mean, you know the list: funny, smart, honest, fun, loving, educated, full of sass and crass and fire. Able to quote movies after 1 viewing, cultured, approachable, DAT ASS. I almost want to hit you on the head with a mirror and see if that helps! But seriously, you are great and I truly wish I could just wave a wand and let you see it, really see it, and believe it too.”

Sometimes I do, but I haven’t yet found a way to make it more permanent than ephemeral. I look forward to the days when I don’t feel as emotionally volatile… and the fact that I still live to see that remain a foreseeable hope and not a pipe dream counts for something…

 

An additional side note for consideration: 10 Things You Need to Know Before You Date an Old Soul – Brianna Wiest

While I do consider myself a little too juvenile to fully embrace the ‘old soul’ moniker, I will say that I did relate to most of these points… and so I say I’m an old soul in training, one that hasn’t yet finished puberty. Because I still think fart jokes are funny, or something. I guess the overarching intent for this post was to remind myself, and hopefully my readers, that I’m not always so pissed off, I’m not always so angry and hurt and wounded. Even when I do feel that way, part of me (abusively) reprimands myself for the shortsightedness of it all. Sometimes that acknowledgement makes it better in the interim, sometimes it makes it worse. I don’t know. I just know that life inside my head is hard sometimes. It can be full of land mines as much as rainbows, and sometimes I unwittingly step on one, and before I know it I’ve exploded all over the virtual page. Oh well. All I know is today started out beautiful, with a strong cup of coffee, a fall-happy ensemble, and a really good start to my Pandora station. Here’s to a moment I spent donning the rose-colored glasses.

 

Current Quote: “Be kind; everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle”

 

Current Jam: “Life on the Nickel” Foster the People (fun fact: the first few times I heard this song I was convinced the lyric was “I’m awesome,” not “I’m hustling”… and although normally I will never turn down an opportunity to utilize the term ‘hussle’ in my vernacular, I still prefer to sing it the first way)

Acknowledgments and Reflections

I realize that lately I’ve alluded to my flaws with regard to romantic relationships, but merely alluded, not fleshed out. Some might feel I’ve been quick to pass my own judgment on this (these) guy(s), without practicing that notion of empathy I always go on and on about. I sound like a broken record when I say that I’m not perfect; I’ve got flaws just like everyone else. Well, it’s been a little while since I’ve expounded upon them. So, gentle readers, here’s why I’m fucked up:

#testify
#testify

1) I have had issues with depression for as long as I can remember. Even as a little girl I remember feeling sad without being able to explain why I felt that way. At its worst, depression can affect every aspect of your life. You come off as lazy, pessimistic, a stagnant plop of squishy carbon that inspires mutual pity and disgust. I can cope with it, mostly. But when it’s bad it can fuck up any and all relationships. And frankly, who wants to be with someone who’s stuck in that emotional rut? I know I don’t. Which inherently means that I wouldn’t wanna be with me when I’m like that. And if you don’t love yourself, how can you expect anyone else to? It can be the most vicious of cycles.

2) But even beyond that: I have major, MAJOR trust issues. Like, conspiracy theory bad. I suspect that this particular flaw has several origins. On the one hand, my self-esteem has always been rather shaky. The only bit that’s really changed is I’m better at hiding it beneath a facade of bubbly, charming crap. I fake it ’til I make it, and my own confidence can be as much a front as my waxing philosophical in class when I haven’t done the reading. Beyond that, I’ve always been a little distrustful of men. I’m not sure why, exactly. I mean, I did work with a bunch of dirty line boys in my cook days, and I heard some effed up shit, in terms of their views of particular women. Yet simultaneously, the longer I worked there the more respect I got. They weren’t all misogynist assholes; they were my drinking buddies, my protective older brothers, my teammates that felt I was just as important a cog in the well-oiled  machine as they were. I’ve no ‘daddy issues’ to speak of. My dad is supportive and loving, I couldn’t ask for a better father. Then there’s my relationship history, which has (especially lately) dealt me some shitty hands. I’m not trying to remove any and all blame for my own actions within those  dalliances, but they definitely fucked with the trust problems I already had.

I really don’t ever want to be the ‘jealous girlfriend.’ But my knee-jerk reactions have become so ingrained, like they’ve been specifically wired in a shoddy attempt at self preservation. I know it’s not an attractive thing, to be distrustful of someone who has done nothing to deserve it. But it’s really, really hard for me to let that guard down.

3) EW: My friend E once said, “You’re so cute, no one would ever suspect how gross you are.” It still makes me laugh because it is so unbelievably true. I’m all short, blonde, petite and covered in freckles, with lil’ baby blues…. and then you hear me unabashedly burp, or I crop dust you in Publix and it smells like something inside me died. I still pick my nose when I think (hope) no one’s watching. I sweat like a freakin’ hog the minute the weather could be described as ‘balmy,’ and I’m a really loud eater. Sometimes I pee in the shower because… who the fuck cares?

4) Complete Redundancy in every way/shape/form: When I hear a song I like… like, a LOT, I will listen to that bitch really loud, on repeat. Sometimes for days or months on end. I also repeat myself all the time and tell the same stories and jokes over, and over, and over again. Sometimes it drives my sister crazy.

That’s just me softly caressing the surface. I’ve been really hard on myself lately, because it feels like the universe is making me atone for the dumb shit I’ve done in the past, the mean things I’ve said or done to people. So I’m trying to re-evaluate these recent painful experiences and apply an unbiased perspective, as much as I can. In short, looking back and thinking: how did I fuck up?

On some other notes~

The longer I ponder my book project, the more convinced I become that even if I had the hours upon hours to devote, it ain’t quite time yet. Gotta hang back. This arc of change and growth feels as though it is finally coming to fruition, to a close of sorts. However, I want time to sit back and reflect on it, once it has died away. I need to keep looking back, to keep learning from my mistakes, and to keep growing.

….is it just me or is this post… disjointed? For some reason I’m having a really hard time fleshing this out… the writer’s block is palpable, but fuzzy in that it doesn’t have it’s usual vice grip on my brain. Instead of stemming the flow completely, it lets me sputter forth vague notions and half-hearted ‘-isms’, trying to shuffle through these convoluted impressions. I can’t seem to articulate my thoughts all that well…Maybe that’s another indication of the process and how it’s changing. I’ve been chewing over these past few years like a cow on cud, and I feel close to an epiphany; a real one this time. But even saying that feels like forced perspective. Maybe I’m just not as close as I want to be. Normally writing these things out helps me, it helps me sort out the truth, the real versus my (sometimes impressive) imagination. I think there are still yet lessons to be gleaned… otherwise I don’t think I would feel so… so… muddled…

And then there’s my second ex ever. We dated for just shy (literally) of 6 years. It was a hard break up for both of us, in different ways. With almost 3 years behind that transition, we talk occasionally. And I distinctly get the impression that he is one of the few men that still genuinely cares about me. It’s weird, and it’s sweet, but part of it makes me sad too. I haven’t yet met anyone of the opposite sex that knows me like he knows me… but we didn’t work out. So what does that mean for me as I continue that search? He’s the only ex who still wishes me a happy birthday on my actual birthday, who still reads my blog consistently, who still reaches out when he knows I’m sad and/or in emotional pain. I guess because, at the end of the day, he’s a good dude. That’s another lesson I took too long in (re)learning I guess. What I mean is, that I knew that, but I do finally feel it now. Now I do truly want to be his friend, a notion that I figured would always be a pipe dream because of our history.

Perf example: He sent this to me the other day, just because he knew it would make me laugh: If Paintings Could Text.

Current Jam: “Paper Wings” Rise Against!