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Creative Economy

Any time I hear the word enonomy now I think of “econ-no-money” because I am seriously lacking some funds. I lent money to friends when I shouldn’t have, spent extra on things I knew I wanted but didn’t necessarily need, and my expenses versus income cut close anyway.

In desperate times like these, we all find ourselves trying to dig through our minds to come up with the best get-rich-quick scheme possible in that moment. Unfortunately, as the saying goes, it takes money to make money. And boy does it ever.

I found myself pondering my strengths to devise strategies. I came up with a few things. I know Photoshop and Illustrator very well. I created a few different pages with samples of my photo-correction work for anyone looking to have some work done. I also posted an ad on craigslist advertising my ability to teach newbies Photoshop and already have one student! I crochet as well, so in preparation for the winter months, I’ve been making scarves to sell or give as gifts for Christmas. I also do freelance illustrations and found myself creating some decent portfolio pieces to find some clients. Unfortunately that has wielded me nothing yet. And last but not least, I’m teaching myself through books and youtube videos how to make jewelry. I’ve been hitting up some very inexpensive places to buy all of the supplies I need, and then I’ll begin selling my creations on http://www.etsy.com. For those who haven’t heard of it, it’s a nice place. The website is all about people selling their homemade goods. People expect to pay a little more there for some great things.

I’ve looked for a second job, but no one seems to be hiring. It’s rather unfortunate because the steady hours would help me much faster. Though on a positive note, I am learning a lot of new skills I may have not had the desire to delve into otherwise had I not found myself in this situation.

Wish me luck!

I think it feels, at this point right now, like I’ve lived for forever. Not in some sense that I can remember all interesting historical escapades or I’m some legendary soothsayer…but that I’ve been around for long enough to loose the sensation and feelings of being a child. It’s hard to remember anymore about how it feels to become excited about future events. I don’t observe as much anymore. It seems my brain has become a willing participant in society to shut off parts of itself because it’s become so overwhelmed with information and assaults on my senses that it’s become too much.

Now this doesn’t seem too horrible in of itself. We know our priorities shift as we become older and experiences gain precidence over wonder. But this has, in some strange way, become bastardized for me and not only does it not work to my advantage, but suddenly I’m realizing how much to my disadvantage it’s REALLY been.

Really, the best example I can give of my thoughts is this. Think of the analogy of the football player running down the field. He tucks his head, hopes that people around him are blocking for him, as he charges towards the goal on the other side of the field. Sometimes he gets knocked on his ass, so there’s a timeout, reassessment, then everyone lines back up and the process starts all over again. I feel like I AM that football player. I’ve been charging through things my whole life that rarely do I observe from the sideline anymore. When things have bothered me, I charge forward in a blur. Just try to ask me about anything that’s bothered me in the near past…(or really in the distant past), and ask me what events transpired and how I handled it. Chances are you won’t get an answer, or at least you won’t get a decent one. I have so little memory of experiences, mostly bad, because I just want to rush through them and forget they happened. In my effort to rush through, I ignore everything pertinent, and then I repeat the same mistakes and go through the same cycle all over again.

I don’t suppose I would be writing any of this had I not had several revelations in the past several months, really…since January. Because I came from an abusive home, I sought abusive relationships. It was normal to me because it was what I was used to. It didn’t mean I liked them or that they worked out, it simply meant that was the type of relationship I gravitated towards. And it didn’t matter if it was a romantic relationship or simply a friendship.

Now abuse can be broken down in several ways. In a relationship there can be emotional abuse, physical abuse, mental abuse, monetary abuse, and so on so forth. In my home life I had experienced most of those and more. The eye opener was when I went in for counseling and discovered I had post traumatic stress disorder. I thought only those who were in the military experienced that. So I was forced to re-evaluate all people I surrounded myself with. The results were tragically stunning. About 85% of my friendships were abusive in some form, whether it be using me for things they need, talking down to me in an effort to make me feel inferior, etc.

Since that point, I’ve cut out almost all of those friendships. And it’s lonely. I feel like I’m at some sort of fork in the road but don’t have a destination so I don’t know which path to take.

But on the positive side, I’ve truly started learning cues for when to stand up for myself and tell someone something really isn’t okay with me. I’ve started learning I’m a decent, good human being who IS worth the trouble some put forth and that I also deserve respect and happiness, just like all do. I used to apologize for things that weren’t my fault or responsibility to simply keep the peace. I’m learning that I can choose what sorts of people and situations I expose myself to and determine if it’s a help or a hinder. The key word here is CHOOSE. YES! CHOOSE! It may sound dippy to you, but I love that word. I have a CHOICE. It feels empowering. My counselor taught me to use that word before I did ANYTHING. It made me realize how much stake I hold in my own life.

I’m not sure why I felt the need to rattle these things off. Most don’t care to read random internet ramblings. But I felt it pertinent…so…I CHOSE to post this! In some sense perhaps, I determined that if someone happens to stumble across it and learned anything about themselves at all, it would have been worth the trouble. Already it’s made me feel better, so chalk this bad boy up to ‘definitely worth the trouble.’

Boondock Saints

I always did like this movie. I have a weakness for hot Irishmen with thick accents and a badass attitude. I show people this movie a lot but no one seems to find it nearly as endearing and charming as I do. But lo and behold, one friend decided to do further research on wikipedia and there is going to be a sequel coming out!

Yes.

The Freeing Alone

I made the executive decision after several months of debate that I was going to leave my boyfriend. I’ve never been terribly versed at relationships. I never learned the intricate ins and outs, never learned what hoops to jump through, or even the purpose one serves. But I always make a go of it, in hopes that experiencing it more will bring me to a greater understanding of what I want and do not want in one. I guess in this one, there was a lot I didn’t want.

And trust me this was a difficult decision. For the amount of douchebaggery some women are willing to not only tolerate, but love, some would find me a bit of an asshole for leaving such a “fantastic guy”. But truth be told, I think I have a different definition than many. I don’t quantify it by the number of phone calls he sends my way, how often he thinks of me, or what he does for me. I’m not a cheesy person (most of the time) and I don’t like cheesy things. I’m not big on cheesy romance, but cheese is delicious on crackers. He always wanted to tell me how often he thought of me, how proud he was to have me as a girlfriend, how we make such a fantastic couple, etc. You get it. But there’s only so long I can stay in a relationship where all that’s discussed is the relationship. I get bored. There’s nothing for me there. I don’t want to dedicate myself to the relationship, because if you want to get technical, you have a relationship with everyone in your life. They are just different levels of intimacy and friendship. I feel smothered, possessed, and claustrophobic when I’m in that type of relationship. I don’t like being around one person ALL the time. And rules of a relationship according to many say you should be. That’s the only person you should need after a while. And granted I expressed my frustrations of this to him. He said he understood, but I know he didn’t. Because nothing changed and he continued on his routine as normal.

I feel he would make a fantastic friend. Someone to shoot the shit with and have fun playing cards. But for the function of a boyfriend he was not something I desired.

Oddly after all of this logical reasoning, I felt HORRIBLY for feeling this way. I questioned my own judgements and feelings on the matter, as if I didn’t know what was best for myself. I kept making excuses FOR him. Why, why, why? I knew better. I knew it wasn’t going to work. Somewhere deep down I must have just wanted it to. The dating game is annoying. I’m sick of people saying how you just have to wait long enough. Most of the time I have no desire for a boyfriend and no desire to date, but even the best of us can feel loneliness. Some women willingly sacrifice their beliefs to stave off ‘the aloneness’ that stifles them quietly. That is not me.

So we talked about it. We broke up. He was very upset. He wanted to talk about it, then talk more. I felt like the stereotypical man in a relationship. Talk about it? What’s to talk about? It’s done. There is no rehashing, no back pedaling, no mind-changing, no…nothing. I hate covering topics that are closed books in my mind. I acquiesced for a bit, then decided enough was enough.We haven’t spoken since because I’m afraid he’ll bring it up again.

Friends may not work.

The Loud Quiet Moments

It’s sort of funny trying to watch movies that enact slow motion during intense or dramatic action scenes. This glorious music plays in the background while the main character makes all kinds of weird faces while his or her clothes slowly flap around in the breeze.  But sometimes my life kind of feels that way when I have realizations of activity around me, good or bad.

When the bad ones happen I like to pretend they aren’t or I sort of ‘hum’ loudly in my head. And I don’t mean hum as in a charming little tune. It’s more like my mind is so loud at that moment because it wants to tune out what’s happening that I completely miss what’s going on around me. A blank out if you will sort of chosen by my head when it sees or hears things it doesn’t like. Thanks mind!

But today I experienced what I suppose I shall call a good one. It wasn’t GOOD necessarily, but it certainly wasn’t bad. So we’ll definitely go with good. My brother’s birthday was on the 17th and so as per usual the entire family gathered at my parents’ house for a huge feast (and no who-roast-beast, sorry). It came complete with cake and ice cream eating and presents for the lucky man who lived to see another day. We were all sitting around him and it was a pretty good turnout. The total headcount was around 14 people. So in the midst of singing happy birthday to him time sort of slowed down for me. I was in a moment of realization looking around at my family reflecting on how funny it was. And I don’t mean funny in a ‘ha-ha’ way. Just sort of interesting that a group of people would gather together on a chilly day in a fire-warmed house for a big turkey dinner. And to add the cherry on top they were all singing VERY off-key (also their own renditions) to the Happy Birthday song. I think my little cousin said his name was Spongebob in the song while my uncle called him a smelly monkey. It was like an odd comfort. I didn’t feel totally connected with them, but it felt right to be there. The food was delicious, the company was good, and everyone seemed relatively happy with their current standing in life. Sometimes it’s nice refreshing bits like this that add normalcy to my life. Bad things seemingly pop up all the time, but it may just be that they are far more noticeable.

I’m going to enjoy my full belly the remainder of the night and muse on thinking of everyone’s mouths opening in weird ways in slow motion while singing Happy Birthday.

Cursing the Cure

Counseling is sort of an interesting bit. When people think of therapy, I imagine they think of that cartoon Dr. Katz where clients walk in and discuss their nonsensical lives in monotone voices while the therapist sits in his leather chair and doesn’t say much of anything aside from bits of commentary.

My counselor happens to believe in hollistic approaches. Avoid medicines that could harm the body, watch out for energy stealing people, you get my drift. I believed going in that it probably wouldn’t be the most EASY thing in the world, but that things would get better everyday. Apparently they do not. Because life continues on and throws problems in your lap even if you aren’t ready. Things that would normally be easy to deal with become overwhelming. Everytime I come home from a counseling session I cry. I feel like more dirtiness has been exposed and I’m becoming worse and not better. But deep down it actually is the cure.

You see, this is the sort of analogy that makes the most sense: your problems are like a wound. When the worst things are inflicted, they lacerate your emotional well being. Then when you don’t treat the problem, it will become an infection that is a constant sharp or dull pain in your life depending on situation. Counseling is like going to the doctor and having the wound opened so that all pus and bacteria can drain out so true healing can begin. It’s gonna hurt, it’s gonna be gross, and no one is looking forward to it. But you have to uncover the grunge and clean yourself up and out before life can just ‘move on’.

So if you’re day is shitty and you feel like you can’t cope because suddenly the check engine light is on in your car, you go upstairs and the cat barfed on the carpet, then you discover that you’re missing ingredients to make your favorite meal and you sit in wonder, pondering why God hates you so much…hey, I’m right there with you.

Things do and will get better.

I’ve figured I need to develop coping mechanisms and changes of attitude. Instead of thinking negatives, turn something around into a positive.

“Aw man, it’s raining.”

Let’s change that to:

“It’s raining because spring is almost here and soon summer will be, and finally I won’t be so down because it’ll be sunny!”

Be realistic with your cheerfulness and think of things that genuinely make you happy or mean something to you. It seems to help me.

Because you just can’t make stuff like this up!

Singapore Zoo