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Sep. 17th, 2015

I've started having these monthly depressions where I start to overthink every detail of my life and am rendered completely miserable and without sparks to usher me forward. I want to write about my worries, yet at the same time, I don't think digging myself too deep into it is a very good idea. Nor is thinking happy thoughts helping all that much. I've read somewhere that for some people positive thinking can actually do more harm than good. I think that's a good description of me when I'm in these moods.

The key to it all would be to not think, and just be. But shutting off my brain, even for a second, is something which I have never managed to do. They had a segment on the news the other night about coloring books for adults. Coincidentally, my sister bought one that very day, not knowing about the news. I flipped through it and found maybe five pages I'd like to color. The rest just didn't look all that appealing. The news segment stated that doing something "mind numbing", or using your right brain - without the left; no creating that involves thinking! - was by far the best way to relax and de-stress. I would love to do that, it sounds like heaven! They also recommended knitting. I have been knitting for the past few months, but I don't find it to be all that soothing: I'm still thinking! And my thumbs start to hurt after I've knitted too long. So then there's the issue of my fucked up thumbs.

One thing I've found to be very de-stressing is painting. And I don't mean painting landscapes or whatever. I mean just taking out my colors and a canvas and mix different shades of the same color and go for it! I love working with textures and small details that are only visible if you follow the structure, only to realize it's been disrupted. Now, there is of course a downside to this as well: Where the fuck to I put all the paintings?! I don't have room for all the ones I want to create, and I'm not sure I could ever get rid of my creations. I'm far too emotionally attached for that.

On a whole different note, I no longer find workouts to be as fun or rewarding as I used to. I get bored very easily, and I need goals. So last night, I thought of a new goal: I want to be able to do a split again. I could do it when I was a kid (really, which kid couldn't?) but then I got old and stiff. So I started with a stretch tutorial this morning. Let's just say that I was nowhere near as limber as the girl in the tutorial, but that's okay, I'll get there. That's why I'm doing the exercises, duh! I feel pretty alright now, but my bet is that by nightfall, or at least tomorrow morning, I will really feel the burn in my legs. And I've also (re)discovered that I have absolutely no balance whatsoever. So that's a problem.

My sister and I talked about getting into archery (because we're both obsessed with Robin Hood) and found that there's an archery club very close to where I live. Now, my phone anxiety keeps me from calling them, and I also don't like organized sports. So I'd rather train on my own. It's fine, I looked it up: bows and arrows are not considered weapons under Swedish law (hunting with bow and arrow is actually illegal), but fall into more of a hobby category, meaning that anyone is free to practice, so long as it's under safe circumstances. We'll see what happens. Knowing me, I'll get tired of the idea in a couple of weeks and will just let it go.

This entire post was written with Dr. Jen Arnold (from The Little Couple) talking in my head. That's just a glimpse of what really goes on in there.

Answer for question 4499.

How much of a "planner" are you? Do you like to have everything mapped out in detail in advance, or do you just wing it most of the time? Tell us about a time you had something all planned out but it ended up going completely off the rails.
Here we go again: another wishy-washy answer because I will always be a walking contradiction.

I am not a spontanous person. There, I said it. Several of my friends have at some point - usually when it comes to partying, as if that's the only form of spontaniety (how do you even spell that?) that exists - complained about how rigid I am. The thing is though, I'm really not. My life is pretty winged. Meaning that most of my decisions in life are so out of the blue that *I* didn't even see them coming. Is this making sense? Okay, let's try to break this down somehow:

Not having clear plans gives me MAJOR anxiety. Even to the point that I will cancel plans that are too hypothetical, just because the level of anxiety brewing inside of me won't even allow me to leave the house. Now, that does in no way mean that I have to stick to those plans. No, the thing is that I need a time and a place to function. If someone calls me up and says they're swinging by soon and asks if I want to do something (which never ever happens in real life, btw), I will make up a fake excuse. That qualifies as trespassing, in my world. But if you give me a time and place, but no specific activity, I'm perfectly fine with that. The same goes for changing plans, AS LONG AS IT'S NOT THE TIME OR PLACE THAT IS CHANGED.

That cleared things up a bit, didn't it?

Happy List

- bonding with your best friend's boyfriend
- the desperate begging of a friend trying to get you to come to their party
- a pleasant blast from the past
- finding your great grandfather's unfinished memoirs
- someone who gets your random references
- "I miss you"
- a friend's lap when the train is overcrowded
- pajama shorts
- gag reels
- staying out late with friends
- your best friend's birthday wish being a day spent with you
- helpful salespeople and how they can make you save money
- realizing and appreciating how far ahead Sweden is in terms of mobile internet
- city festivals
- the weather suiting the month
- being blessed with a mother who will do anything for you
- the strange spelling suggestions your phone makes: Benji - genius, Stu - dry, pepp - prop, etc.
- good ol' snail mail
- the look of someone who just woke up
- agreeing with a stranger, complaining about how boys are disgusting to miss the toilet when they pee

Hmm, this was a bit of a downer. Several things in this batch are what I crave right now, but don't have.

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New beginnings

This year I've been going through a transformation. I know we all go through one at age 27, but I guess I wanted a head start on everyone else. So not only is my attitude different now, I'm also blonder, more muscular, and I've cleaned out my closet and now I'm working on my bedroom. And adding to my Happy List.

- being told you're just like your great grandfather
- pretending dark clouds are mountains
- fiber pens
- thinking about various possibilities as to how that snail got into your mailbox
- your reaction when your favorite sports team comes jogging towards you: "ojojojojoj..!"
- funny autobiographies
- your clothes matching your bed sheets, making it possible to simply vanish
- when texting fails, we'll always have mobile email
- the trailers before the movie on Disney DVD or VHS
- that point you reach when all you can do is laugh at how insane traffic is
- going to the cemetery to visit loved ones you never even knew
- sharing a name with an inspiring ancestor
- someone to keep you company on a train or bus
- strangers walking up to you, asking for directions; presumably because you seem friendly and approachable
- knowing all the shortcuts
- being trusted with a major secret
- re-reading your diary
- liking your friends' partners
- sunny, windy days of early fall
- dancing to African music in the town square

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Answer for question 4473.

What is one life experience most people around you seem to have had that you haven't (marriage, kids, work-related, etc)? Conversely, what is one life experience you've had that most people around you haven't?
Well, not that you mention it: there's a major baby boom going on around me at the moment. Four people I know are having babies (although only one will be a baby that has any impact on my life). A year ago, this boom would have broken my heart even more; I could not even see a child without having chest pains because it felt like I was missing out. Today, I am fine. I'm more than fine. I'm so excited to be an honorary aunt, you wouldn't even believe it if I tried to explain! Although I still walk around with a broken heart, I truly feel like now is not my time, and that's okay. I wouldn't not want to bring a child into my current life situation. I guess I'm thinking more clearly. Not ready for babies of my own, but more than ready to babysit and brainwash (you can pretend you didn't read that last part, but I have the mother's full consent).

What have I experienced that they have not..? Sometimes it feels like the answer is simple: everything. It's strange to even talk about, but for a very long time, I have felt as though I must be very much in touch with previous-lives-me. Not everyone gets to see this side of me, but those friends that are closest to me usually describe me in the same way: wise beyond my years. Although plenty of my friends have gone through things I shouldn't be able to relate to, I can. Also, it has recently become quite apparent that my struggles with anxiety is allowing me to help friends that are now in the position I was once in. Whereas other friends have moved past that phase and forgotten the struggle, I still remember and try to offer support, because it's a lonely place. I like to say that I went to the School of Life and majored in Common Sense.
Sometimes I really miss making daily updates, while at the same time, I don't think I'm that person anymore. I love writing, but not in a journal kind of way. I don't update my diary either. Most of my writing these days is poetry style. And the Happy List (excellent segue):

- someone to talk to when you're upset
- being 100% honest
- offering support and condolences in hard times
- movie marathons
- finally seeing one of your biggest idols in person
- seeing someone who looks like they could be the child of a friend of yours
- an empty public bathroom
- entering through one door and exiting through another
- going down the river on a raft
- people waving and honking for the fun of it
- online actions such as "Holding Hands with Norway" and "We Like Difference"
- a sweet text message from a friend saying how much they've enjoyed spending the summer with you
- digging into the family history
- the detective work it takes to track down an old relative that went off the map
- buying electronic equipment online and the law that allows you 14 days to regret your purpose
- "Who Do You Think You Are?" (TV-show)
- whiteboards
- ancestry.com
- understanding your new cell phone
- the moment you realize how old you will sound when you tell your kids you grew up knowing four ways of writing: longhand, cursive, typing and texting

Speaking of nothing, I think it's pretty amazing that Microsoft are offering free Windows10 updates. And yes, my old laptop is compatible. It's insane how little computers have progressed in recent years, considering how fast technology is moving. Paradoxal, I know.

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My body never fails to disappoint me. Over the past couple of weeks, my sister and I have been on a workout plan that will eventually enable us to run 5k. But of course, now that we're halfway through, my knees are saying "Nuh-uh. No more." Thanks a lot.

So here's a happy batch instead:

- "Midsomer Murders"; a summer tradition
- catching a glimpse of yourself in a mirror or window; realizing you're smiling
- writing novels and short stories to anonymously deal with your emotions
- building up the courage to ask if someone is single
- guys wearing engagement rings
- hugs
- laughing at your own jokes
- that strange habit of always craving something to drink after peeing
- burnt grass
- remembering the right code
- grown men running and hiding from the rain
- the way trees double as huge umbrellas in light rain
- friendly ears
- the secret wonders of vitamin B
- a new song from your favorite band
- listening to someone telling a story; doesn't matter if it's happy or sad
- a simple "How are you?" after an allergic reaction
- how a long phone call with a friend feels much shorter than it is
- calling your best friend to complain about boys
- evil scheming

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Answer for question 4368.

What is the biggest turn off for you when you're dating someone?
Generally speaking, I'm very open minded about what type of guy I date. But I do remember this guy I met on the train, and when we exchanged numbers, I realized he used pretty weird punctuation... So, strange language use/bad spelling/odd ways to do smileys (like, backwards) is a turn off for me.

40 Days of Dating

Have you heard of this experiment? I read about it in a magazine I found at my sister's. Today, I read the blog - all of it.

So many things are rushing through my mind right now. I feel like I've lived this experiment and it adds to the cracks in my already broken heart.

The experiment itself feels like a mash-up of two of my past relationships (I use the term loosely), and that's why I felt like I've lived it. That feeling doesn't exactly get minimized by the realization that apart from her love of high heels and the fact that she's a real artist, I am Jessica. No, really. Everything she's described; everything she is, I am too. Oh, one more thing we don't share: I don't think I have it in me to stay on such friendly terms with my exes. I'm just too jealous and possessive: two traits I am not proud of, but they're a part of me, so what can I do?

I feel like this whole experiment needs to be dissected into a bunch of posts. I want to discuss it with someone, so desperately (most of all, I want my exes to read it!). But my friends shy away from anything written in English if its length exceeds a standard paragraph. Come to think of it, I don't think most of my friends even read... Maybe a book or two a year, but that's it. How sad. I really want my Soul Sister to read it, and I'll probably email her the link as I wrap this up. But I want to discuss this for hours, over coffee or drinks: in person.

Honestly, the person I think would appreciate/understand this the most, is the most recent ex who shattered my heart into a million pieces. If he ever agrees to meet up with me, I might tell him about it.

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