Sunday, January 3, 2016

2015-2016 A Year's Memoir

I keep attempting to write posts about 2015 and I keep getting stuck,

2015 made me feel really stuck. I quit my unhealthy job that I had a codependent relationship with and I floundered afterwards.

I wrote a book. I didn't just half write a Nanowrimo novel. But I have learned that once you write a book the hard part is getting people to read it. So if no one reads it does it exist?

I invested my heart in people that really let me down. I moved away from the people who mattered to me most in search of a new and better life.

I am reminded how hard it is to make friends in a new place. And how easy it is for me to bury myself in books and crafting projects.

I forgot about my trusty blog and left it here, full of crafting projects and memories.

I lost my will to workout because the weather got cold. I hope it returns soon.

I  have watched BoJack Horseman several times over. I empathize with Diane and her Boston background so much and understand her constant malaise and need to do good but not being happy. And the obsession with artisinal nuts and how LA that is and I miss it.

I am learning how to stand up for myself dealing with some very evil movers. I am still dealing with it 6 months after moving.

I dealt with some serious health issues that really made me depressed. I am still figuring it out.

I have been unpacking all the crap from childhood I suppressed because the last six months have been the least amount of responsibility and stress I have had in 21 years. I am 32.

I truly learned what my marriage means. It has been tested to the extremes lately and it has only grown stronger with each twist. We are taffy, we grow more complex and delicious with each application of force.

I have spent a great deal of 2016 watching Taylor Swift's new video over and over. It gives me strength for the new year.

I read some good psychology books on my issues and encourage others to do the same.

I want 2016 to be the year of me.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

October Short Story

It's been quite some time since I posted on here. But life happens. But I wanted to keep up tradition and post an October horror story! So here it is...

Title: The Cautionary Tale of the Exterminator

When we moved to Washington I expected to encounter more nature than I ever had before. It promised the beauty of wilderness as well as cooler temperatures than Southern California. We found a nice little house out in the suburbs.

I enjoyed waking up to see deer, pick blackberries and ponder the myriad of fungi and trees. I even thought the small spider that was weaving a web outside the front door was cute, and part of the charm.

A few days into our unpacking the doorbell rang. We opened it to find a man standing there, smiling. He was wearing a uniform with embroidery that said that he worked for an exterminating company. He offered us his services, but we shrugged him off. We were used to handling roaches and ants. We had bought a bug zapper for the moths and mosquitoes. What more could there be? We took his card and didn’t think of him again for many days.

That was until the day that I noticed the open egg sac.

And then several more webs and spiders. But they were simple spiders. No black widows among them. They build giant, easy to spot webs.

And then one day I opened the front door and found my way blocked by a giant web. Still, it wasn’t very thick. I carefully plucked the strings of the web, dismantling it. The spider, which was about an inch in diameter hurried down into the bushes next to the door and I continued on my way.

When I returned home I saw that not only had the spider returned to making its’ web, several others had joined it and were knitting webs across the garage door and some of the windows as well. We were fine with them until they crossed the line. And the line had been crossed.

My husband dutifully went outside and began to spray the spiders with poison.

For a few days we had peace.

Then we saw another spider. This one was about two inches across. It was knitting a new web across the garage doors. It was thicker than the other webs we had seen. Again, we descended upon it. After all, this was our home, not theirs. They had the whole forest behind the house to live in.

We waited a few hours then went outside. No spiders to be seen.

We went to bed that night and when I woke I thought the fog outside was incredible. I moved to the window. When I came closer I began to realize that it wasn’t fog.

I moved from the room. My husband followed. Window to window we looked, and it was the same white.

We headed towards the front door. My stomach twisted. Slowly, I opened it. A sticky, white wall met me. I backed away. My husband headed to the garage, returning with the axe he used to chop wood for the fireplace.

He began chopping at the white wall, angrily. A small hole appeared. And then a larger one.

I peered into the hole, trying to see outside.

My eyes met one large black eye. Then the eye disappeared. I got one good look outside before my husband grabbed my arm, jerking me around. I spun around.

Giant fangs impaled the ceiling. The house shrieked and groaned as the wood and wires tore. The fangs were dripping something glistening. The floor hissed and sizzled where the liquid dropped.

Then the whole house began to get smaller. No. It was being compressed. A great sucking sound began in our ears, and suddenly we were pressed against the ceiling between the great fangs.

As I felt the paralysis creep up my legs I wished I could recall where we had put the exterminator’s card.


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

We Are Living in Panem

With last night's GOP taking control of the senate I felt a sinking feeling in my stomach. All that stands between me and the loss of my reproductive health rights is one worn out man grasping to show that things are better now than they were 6 years ago when he stepped into position as president. While he is no Coriolanus Snow, I fear he could be replaced by one who is and that would be the end of the dystopian projection and become reality. We are already so close.

When poor citizens of Panem, while still being employed have to take Tesserae to make ends meet. How is this any different than a single mother working three jobs and still having to take welfare? It's not.

When those who are supposed to protect us are the ones slaughtering us, how are Peacekeepers any different than police offers?

When textbooks no longer contain facts due to political decisions how is that any different than the narrow education children in the districts get?

When access to real doctors becomes illegal or impossible people turn to more dangerous local answers, how is that any different than Panem?

When children like Rue are slaughtered by children like Marvel or Cato how is that any different than (I will not dignify them with names) slaughtered other children at Sandy Hook or Columbine? It's not. People tuned in, fascinated, just as the Capitol would, while others just mourned.

When a few who enjoy the luxury of the capitol while the majority are left to suffer, how is that any different than the 1% and the 99? It's not.

Don't delude yourselves. There is a rebellion brewing. Don't be afraid to hold out your berries.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

My Body is Not Your Body

Two post day! I am getting wild up in here! Or I just have a lot to say and my passion is gearing it towards writing rather than anything else at the moment. Not only have I achieved a new peace by letting go of some of my notorious hustle and bustle (think Monica Geller on speed), I have also taken a great personal leap into the world of very visible tattoos.

I was advised against this by someone in my life who has some very painfully outdated ideas on human bodies, and personal body relationships which led to some very sad and confused years that has taken many friends, many kind and supportive lovers and much therapy to get over. I am happy to say that other than some grumblings about IBS, Hypothyroidism and TMJ I have a great love for the shapes of my body, bumps, lumps, weird hairs, giant boobs, all of it.

I am happy that I listened to myself in taking this step. Because my body is a work of art. It is opening my eyes. Every piece of food or drink that passes my lips, every lotion I use, every haircut I get, every workout and yes, every tattoo is an aspect of 'my art'.

I wear my tattoos proudly because they are all a part of the stories I love and stories that have become woven into my own. None more than this latest addition. I carry with me always the spirit of Harry, Katniss, Elsa, Anna, Buffy, Frodo, The Newsies, and Arthur Dent. I carry my heroes and heroines who survived the loss of parents, loved ones, lived through the hardest adventures and never gave up. I am never alone because they are all here with me. And now I am proudly sharing them even more openly with the world. Because maybe, perhaps my story will help strengthen others.

I am standing up for myself, what I want and how I want to be treated. I am giving myself a channel to the world that I didn't have before as someone so introverted. Even in the past week my normally painful interactions with strangers in elevators and stores have been imbued with a magic, a power, that this new ink gives me.

To love yourself is the greatest power and magic of all.

Love, The Geeky Garlic Girl

Finding Peace in a Busy World

2014 is not over yet but I feel the need to reflect on it now. It has been some time since I last posted. Mostly due to scheduling/health/general malaise, but I feel I am emerging from this state for numerous reasons. 2014 I deemed to be the year of living positively. Right off the bat that fell apart. It took me until recently to really realize why.

When you schedule yourself every moment with work, hobbies, exercise, cooking, cleaning, etc. YOU can get lost in the shuffle of THINGS. You stop noticing the small beautiful moments in life. You stop SEEING.

I barreled through the year until we finally went on our honeymoon in September, where my habits of excessive planning turned us into burnt out grumps. And I took it to heart. Which isn't to say it wasn't the most magical experience on earth. (Harry Potter land! Dinner in Cinderella's castle!)

But it could have been better if I had planned less and looked forward to living in the moments. So with the dip in my health as a result of burnout I took extreme measures. I have skipped the exercise classes, stopped planning so many meals in advance, stopped booking my weeknights and weekends to the top and just left it free.

In doing so I have found longer and longer respites for my sanity. Less depression, less anxiety and more appreciation for my cats, my husband, my friends and my hobbies. I have even found myself smiling more at myself in the mirror than just rushing through my morning and evening routines because my attention is not on 10 other tasks that need to be done that day.

It's important to remind ourselves every now and then, in a world of Pinterest, the latest news scandals, the latest in planet doom and gloom, the body revolution or devolution, and all the rest, is that we have a choice whether we want to participate, it isn't mandatory. And that my friends creates peace.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Positivity & Depression

Over the past year I have struggled with depression and anxiety more than usual, much coming from health problems and family deaths that left me reeling. In January it finally all hit at once. Everything. 19 years worth of pain that I had been unknowingly repressing and holding in burst out of me. From there I have been working on rebuilding myself and my brain, one thought at a time. I want to share some of the things that have helped me cope with my acute anxiety disorder so maybe I can help other people who are suffering.

Therapy. I had bad experiences with a bad therapist as a child, (after my mom died) and it took many years to seek it out again, but now I have a much better therapist and I feel comfortable sharing. Don't settle for a therapist you don't love. It won't help anything. Trust me. There's a perfect one out there for you.

Get off social media more. I really noticed a shift in my spirits when I decided to take weekends as time for just me and my husband and friends I could see in person. I realized that the world didn't end when I didn't know what show so and so watched, or what vacation so and so else had come back from. It really helped me reconnect with my new husband.

Give back. This one is the most sensible of all. Buy a homeless person food. Shovel a driveway for someone. Be a mentor to someone struggling. When I am down and find myself without much time I like to browse and send letters to people with their own struggles. It helps me feel better by adding more love into the world and it also reminds me that my problems, big as they might seem, are not so big that I can't carry them.

Spend time with a pet. Our cat Buttercup knows what time is sit down and cuddle time and will make sure I know if I am cooking too late into the evening or doing other things that interrupt his sacred time with me. He makes me pause and appreciate those around me, if just for a few minutes. It can be annoying but I am more grateful than anything.

Lean on your friends. This is something that is hard for me. I grew up as an independent child as a result of some of the darker parts of my childhood. I tried to be as isolated and self reliant as I could and that wore me out. It is spiritually exhausting to be lonely. When I learned how to reach out and ask for help my life improved. It is still scary to put my faith in others, but I am getting better at it.

Get to know yourself. So much depression and anxiety comes from drowning in SEPs. (Somebody else's problems.) My therapy is helping me set boundaries and say no to things I don't want to do, and in turn I am less anxious and stressed out. My time is becoming MY time. For me, about me, about what I think. Not in a self centered way. but more learning more about myself and how I tick so I can be a better friend, wife, daughter, sister, niece etc. To thine own self be true.

If any of these tips help you overcome some of your problems and battles please let me know. I would love to hear it!

Monday, July 7, 2014

My Big Rant

Over the past week I have been insulted, harangued, threatened and worse. Because I dared to tell the world I am not okay with the fact that women's reproductive systems are being more legislated than guns. The fact I have to type this sentence as a woman in 2014 breaks my heart.

One of the worst parts? Someone I tried to explain the situation to dismissed it as not her problem, when her very boss was the one who said the very public and very frightening things to me. She just got an IUD. The very type of birth control her boss would take away from her if she could.

WAKE UP AMERICA. This isn't someone else's problem. This is your problem, and your brother's, and your mom's, and your doctor's. It's all our problems. I could cite all the statistics of how our infant mortality rate is skyrocketing, the amount of corruption being revealed in police work and on the floor of Congress. I could talk about the growing violence against men in the growing prison systems and as well as the number of deaths of children to self inflicted gun shot wounds.

But what's the point? Men and women like the ones I described above are both symptoms of a greater problem. Each person who turns their back on statistics like the ones above is another degree of damnation. Our country is not falling apart. It is being ripped to shreds by a tightly held oligarchy that we are too lazy to do anything about!

Well I'm not. I will be there protesting, escorting women into planned parenthood, I will be using my voice. I will no longer be sitting on the sidelines. I have kicked one person out of my life this week over his views and I will do it again if I have to. I will move mountains starting with a single pebble.

I will leave you with a very famous poem.

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Socialist. Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Trade Unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.