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Don’t hate me because I love yarn

I am über proud of my Granny Skillz. And by ‘Granny Skillz’ I mean my abilities to knit and crochet. I don’t care that I’m 30 and love knitting, I happen to greatly enjoy sentient activities and this one allows me to at least FEEL productive while I use as few muscles as possible. It’s quite remarkable, actually. You can spend hours moving little more than your arms from the elbows down and yet you can create these beautiful, imaginative items that are often made out of extremely long, but single pieces of yarn, all woven together in pretty little patterns. You can create flowers (seriously, you can, I can’t, yet), scarves, socks, headbands or little sock like things for your kindle to keep them from getting banged up in your purse since you carry it everywhere. Yeah, that was my first crochet project – it left some things to be desired, i.e. I MUST learn how to make prettier end stitches before moving forward with much else – and it is complete, for all intents and purposes, and it’s not a bad go for the first time I’ve crocheted, either, so I’m cool with it. Not gonna sell the pattern for profit, but I can consider it a success.

Anyone that KNOWS how to knit and/or crochet will tell you how EEEAASSSYYY it is. And I will admit to having done such a thing myself, but let me tell you this: that is bullshit. It’s so freaking hard to learn one or the other and it’s even harder to know one, and try to learn the other. They are similar, but so VERY different and it’s like trying to teach a lefty how to cut construction paper snowflakes with righty scissors. It’s as difficult as trying to explain the color blue to someone who was born blind. Ok, maybe that’s an exaggeration, but I was feeling rambly and trying to make that work…anyway, it definitely took me a few hours of patient one on one teaching to learn the pattern and movements of crochet and I still have some cleaning up to do of my stitches but overall, I think I’ve got the basics down – half shells, double crochet, single crochet, and chains – not too shabby. I remember when I started knitting, I didn’t realize that there was a front, and a back to the piece of work – I thought it somehow magically knew that on its own or something, or perhaps I just didn’t imagine it made a difference as I expected patterns to follow my method, not the proper one. Truly, until a few years ago, I knew how to knit, but I had been doing it all wrong. As soon as you recognize a front and a back, the patterns make SO much more sense and you can actually create something that looks like the picture – I HATE it when stuff I make doesn’t end up looking like the picture, but that’s an entirely different rant – and people then look at what you’ve knitted and tell you how beautiful it is and ooh and ahh at it while they touch it and rub it against their faces… and then you say, Oh, it was EASY.

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Some things change, some things stay the same

It’s been several years now since it started, (somewhere between 4 and 6, I honestly stopped paying attention) and yet I’m still about to write this next sentence: My therapist has suggested that I start blogging again. It helps to solidify the neuro pathways that I’ve rediscovered and it helps to emphasize the reasons behind why I’ve made the choices that I’ve made, and why I used to think that I only deserved [X] amount of anything – happiness, love, kindness, friendship, you name it. I almost feel like I should create an entirely new blog as I am not the same mentally nor emotionally as I was when I started this, or even the last time I posted, and its only natural to want a fresh start after such change.

My ‘perception filter’, as my therapist calls it, is still distorted to a point, but I’ve managed to get the blame game down to a dull roar and I can now see where my deep-seated feelings of guilt, worry and my overwhelming fear of disappointing others comes from. The knowledge alone has opened so many doors in my head that I feel like my brain is a freaking mansion as opposed to a cardboard box. A cardboard box that was once shared with evil, spiteful rats, gnawing on whatever was left of my well-being without regard.

Thanks to my amazing therapist and my own want to learn and grow, I am excruciatingly happy today. I am content with who I am, and I am content if there are people out there who don’t like that, or me. I can say with confidence that, emotionally, there isn’t much I can’t handle now, and I have more confidence and trust in myself now than I’ve had in a long time. Life is good and I look forward to each day with a genuine smile and the outlook that great things are on the horizon. After several years of dating, trying to find the man who fit into my needs and wants while I fit into his, I have found one who is the closest I could ever hope for, and I know that were it not for my therapist and the progress that I’ve made personally, he would not be in my life at this time, and that is the best motivation to continue to grow that a girl could EVER ask for.

I hope to continue to explore myself and what makes me tick, and I hope that I can begin to start sharing my growth again via writing, as it truly is something that I enjoy and I denied myself enjoyment for too long. I saw something via one of those witty websites the other day, a meme of an EKG heart rate; underneath it stated “If life didn’t have ups and downs, you’d be dead.” Well spoken and a good reminder that the bad things that happen don’t have to define who you are or what you do – YOU make those choices and only you can take back the control and turn life into what you want it to be. Thanks be to my therapist for helping me learn that lesson.

 

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What I learned today, or, Why I should go the hell outside sometimes

  • Today I learned that I can, in fact, sit on my couch and watch 35 consecutive episodes of Reno 911. The show is THAT. GOOD.
  • Today I learned that a three-day old bruise from giving blood makes me look a lot like I have a problem. With injecting things into me. Like, drug things. People look at you funny when they think you have track marks and suck so bad at shooting up that you cause yourself to bruise egregiously.
  • Today I learned that my mother’s dog whines and follows me around more than my own problem child dog, and it’s really starting to annoy the shit out of me, 24 hours into dog sitting him. I thought my tolerance was through the roof since I live with a dog who thinks he is my shadow; to the extent that I ALWAYS find him outside of the bathroom door whenever I open it. ::SIDEBAR:: As a habit, I tend not to close doors in my home as I live alone and have ridiculously dependent pets, but when I shower, I like to get all steamy and fog up the mirror and shit, so I shut the door. Never fails – my helper is laying in the hallway in such a way so that he can see my face from the moment the door’s crack is wide enough for recognition.
  • Today I learned that I do love that annoying little dog and his habits of being near me at all times, even though he drives me insane and causes me to trip over him on a daily basis. There is something to be said for being that loved by a soul.
  • Today I learned that if you own a pick up truck with a lift kit, and you’ve re-routed your exhaust to go up and above the cab of your truck, 18-wheeler style, it’s in your contract to hang out in the Arby’s parking lot. They take their obligations VERY seriously.
  • Today I learned that 50 degrees F and no sun makes for a very cold, long day that continuously seems later than it truly is, which causes you to waste the day away while at the same time wondering what happened to the day.
  • Today I learned that fountain coke tastes better than fountain Pepsi. But if given the choice between a can or bottle of coke versus a can or bottle of Pepsi, I would choose the Pepsi. This fact was validated today on two separate trips to places that sell fountain sodas.
  • Today I learned that evenings in are more fun whilst intoxicated. Tanqueray and limeade is the SHIT, people. You don’t know what awesome is if you’ve never tried T&L.
  • Today I learned the most pretentious way possible to google ‘quotes that make me happy’, which is a very popular search and gets me a lot of hits. This is an IRL google search that got someone to my blog: “to make life colourful and happy wordings”
 

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I make the earth move, not earthquakes. Pffft.

The other Tuesday, I was in DC during the earthquake that pretty much threw everyone in DC into a tizzy, and I didn’t even realize it had happened. Perhaps it was because I was outside, walking around Arlington National Cemetery, watching the incredible Changing of the Guard, or perhaps it was because I was enjoying the company I was with so much that it rendered me completely oblivious to the ground shaking at a 5.8 magnitude beneath my feet.

I have had this tendency in the past to put myself into relationships almost just for the sake of being in a relationship. You see, I have this irrational fear of dying alone. And yes, I hope and pray that at 30, I’m still a long, LONG way away from dying, but I get down on myself when I am single and my mind goes crazy. That’s what crazy people do, after all – GO CRAZY. Due to this, I jump at any man who expresses interest in me, hoping that after long last, he’ll be the one to make me happy and make it so that I WON’T die alone; however, I tend to reinforce that fear each time another “not right” relationship ends.

Almost a year ago, I joined one of those online dating sites. In fact, over the years, I’ve joined a couple of them but I’ve found the one that claims to match you based upon a whole bunch of dimensions, (and don’t ask, because I don’t know what they are, either), to be the one I prefer the most. I’ve met quite a few men on there and actually dated one of them for a few months. A couple of others resulted in a few dates and free dinners while others still never got farther than the guided communication. And yet, there was this one guy……this one guy that kept popping back up at random, but opportune times, and who always just seemed to say the right things and act the right way and have the right mentality. This one guy, who has more artistic talent in his goatee than I have in my entire body actually finds ME interesting and fun. This one guy who somehow didn’t text me at all during the few months I dated this other guy but he managed to reach out to me days after that relationship ended, just to say hi. This one guy, who intrigued me enough that I went outside of my comfort zone, and worries of ulterior motives, and feelings of potential failure, and planned to meet the dude in DC for some museum touring, Presidential resting place viewing and a National’s game.

It was actually kind of an unusual first encounter, aside from the whole meet up in DC for an overnight deal – but there were none of those awkward feelings when you meet someone for the first time, for me. I was very comfortable, relaxed and just plain happy to be in his vicinity and I’d like to think he felt the same way. We had an absolutely brilliant time, despite the earthquake and a slight misjudgment of distance by foot, and we both agreed that we had a ridiculous amount of fun and that we should do it again. Soon. And this one guy is already making plans with me to come visit so he can show me around his town. This one guy that keeps in touch pretty much daily now, and who actually is opening up to me about these deep thoughts he has, without me even asking. This one guy has got me smitten, me thinks, and I gotta say that I’m enjoying the hell out of it.

 

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Feast or famine

It seems that I only feel like blogging when I’m hating on myself via some deep-seated emotional issue that has been triggered by a thought or some outside event. This post shall be no different from the norm.

Failure is a word that triggers a strong emotional and mental response from me. It could be failure to complete a task appropriately or the failure of a relationship – it doesn’t matter, either way, I end up feeling like a fuck up who can’t do anything right or correct in life. This is a feeling that has followed me around longer than I’ve probably even been aware of it, and it’s become a topic of interest over my last few therapy sessions.

Each time I recount the failure of a relationship, or that one time I applied for something and was denied, or when I just allow people to take advantage of me, I end up a bleary eyed mess and full of emotional turmoil. Mistakes are failures, the inability to mesh with a single person for the rest of my life is a failure and you bet your ass that I’ve failed at life because I’ve never accomplished the dreams I had as a stupid child. It’s enough to drive a person into a downward spiral of depressive sludge.

Today, as I was having a moment of incredible weakness to my BFF, I kind of realized that in some deep, dark, psychotherapy place in the recesses of my mind, my parents divorce has warped my perception of relationships and their levels of success or failure. I’m sure it’s much more involved than that and I’m sure it has a lot more to do with the whole inability to deal with or discuss emotions that my entire family possesses, but I’ve never really thought of my parents divorce in a negative way until today. It’s one of those situations where the more you learn about yourself, why you react the way that you do to certain things, and where those feelings of inner turmoil and blackness actually COME from, that you can’t help but start to look at events in your life differently.Some end up being more detrimental while others end up having that silver lining to them. My BFF pointed out that relationships take two people and that I cannot blame myself for the end of every relationship because I AM AWESOME. So, in a moment of clarity, I’ve realized that I AM awesome, and have apparently been setting my sights too low, hence the fizzle of each of my past relationships. Awesome shines brightly and some people just burn faster than others. To truly be happy in life, I need to aim high and find someone who’s awesome matches my own, instead of dialing down my aura to fit others.

 

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Lesson #4,624 or Why therapy is a good thing

I had yet another interesting session with my therapist this week. Perhaps it was due to my emotional state as of late, or the phase of the moon, or the status of my menstrual cycle, but she seemed…….short with me. As if she felt I was lacking forward momentum; hung up in some sort of way. And I am, but I just can’t get past it enough to literally GET past it. I try, then I figure I’ll fail, then I quit. Quitting is always easier than failing, I figure. But I feel like my struggle to change is starting to frustrate her, which  makes me feel kinda shitty. I mean, it;s gotta take a special talent to frustrate a therapist, ya know?

I have this one constant complaint and it’s a real roadblock in my emotional development. My therapist is fond of using a metaphor regarding how I view myself through a distorted filter. I see others differently than I see myself, and I often pound on myself like a bully. So she’s started this new thing with me that begins with “If one of your friends was dealing with {whatever issue of the moment}, what would YOU tell THEM?” And I gotta admit, it helps!

This weeks session focused heavily on my biggest issue and she pretty much told me that it was time to shit, or get the hell off the pot. Obviously, she put it much more eloquently, and in some sort of psychotherapy terminology, so it sounded less harsh, but the fact remains – she’s right. I USE this against myself, and stop myself from having to make the changes that I need to make to be HAPPY. Why would a person deny themselves happiness? Why would they purposefully put everyone else ahead of themselves? Why would I want to set myself up for failure? BECAUSE I’M CRAZY. I mean seriously, how long have you known me?

Truthfully though, I realize that she’s absolutely right. It’s hard to be 30 years old and feel like a child being scolded, and I’m sure she never meant for it to come across that way, but it shocked me enough to start making some choices and getting some shit done. I’m hopeful that the momentum lasts, and so far, each time I’ve started to have my doubts, some thing has been happening to bring them back up; but I’m not counting any chickens, yet. Just a few eggs.

 

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Some girls really do have all the fun

This weekend was my annual family reunion. My dad’s side of the family is Italian and they make it a point every year to re-une. Every one from my grandmother to my cousin’s one year old was there this year and it actually was very nice. No one got stupid drunk, no one set anything on fire, and no one managed to cuss anyone else out. All in all, I’d consider it a raving success, especially when you take my family into account.

The last couple of years, my one cousin has been hosting the reunion at his home, which happens to have my fathers house between it, and me, so I called my dad to see if he wanted to carpool. I need to preface this with the fact that I did NOT ask my father if he wanted to carpool with any ulterior motive – I just thought it would be nice, and as long as he was OK with leaving when I needed to so that I could get home to care for my dogs, I thought it actually made some sense. Anyway, so when I got to his house, he had the garage door open and his truck out in the driveway, which meant one thing: we were taking the VETTE! Hot Bloody Damn! Here we go, boys and girls. We were taking the 2000, 6 speed, 345 hp black on black convertible to the family reunion. Please understand, my dad does NOT bring the vette out but on the rarest of occasions, and it must not be raining, have rained, or have rain in the forecast, or else she won’t come out from under her car covered, curtained windowed garage prison. But saturday was GORGEOUS and my dad was feeling ire, apparently, so out she came! AND………….wait for it………………….I got to DRIVE!!!!

We arrive in perfect condition, and I will admit to cresting nothing above 80 in that car – I honestly didn’t feel safe as I drive it so seldom, and if ANYTHING were to happen, I think my dad would LITERALLY kill me. Then and there. Seriously. So the rest of the family reunion carries on as expected – drinking, eating, laughing, reminiscing, kids screaming, adults screaming, etc. – until my dad says “Did you tell your sister you drove the vette?” NO, Why would I do that? So that she can give me some whiny crap about how it’s been such and such amount of time since SHE’S driven the vette? No. Thank. You. So, my sister says “No, but you did” back to my dad. Then started: “Ya know, I haven’t driven the vette in YEARS.” Neither have I, sister. “Well, you know, I didn’t even drive it that far last time I drove it.” Well, sister, I didn’t ASK to drive, dad offered. Next time, you can drive and pick him up so that you can drive the vette. Ok?

I must admit that I do find satisfaction in burning my sisters ass. She gets herself so worked up over the dumbest things, it just cracks me up when she gets so upset. She starts in with the Woe-is-me routines and lays it on thick enough that others not savvy to her ways would be sucked into her abyss of negativity. All I heard was Blah Blah Blah as she rambled on about how unfair it was, half in jest, half in stark faced sincerity. Thankfully, this all happened as my dad and I were leaving for the night, so I simply got in the car and did what ANY good sister would do – I hammered that shit down and just about spun into second gear, then third. My hair waved GOODBYE as my left foot pumped the clutch and I jammed it into third and my smile opened up greater than it has in a long time, and stayed that way the entire ride home. She’s so pretty, she’d make just about anyone smile.

You'd be jealous, too

 

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