Chase the Wind, Touch the Sky

The Adventurous Life of a Homebody


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Temper

  1. Damnit I was wondering how long I could go doing this before I missed a post. I never thought that I would only make it a single day.
  2. I know that I said today would be about Risk, but circumstances have changed things. Somewhat related to the topic of Selfishness, I think we’re gonna talk about Temper.

Anger, a psychologist once told my friend, is a secondary emotion. It pops up (sometimes very quickly) in response to another negative emotion – usually pain. Oftentimes, especially with people who consider themselves an authority, feeling disrespected  leads to hurt that quickly turns to anger. And so Young David, who was developing the new, foreign concept of ‘self-respect’, couldn’t understand why he was suddenly getting angry at things.

It’s too late to type a long-winded spiel like last time, so I’ll cut to the chase – I lose patience with the people I care about and it hurts them. This happens to everyone sometimes, yes, but there is certainly a line where it becomes too much. Everyone has their unique situation, and thus their unique coping mechanism. Sometimes they fail, and when they do the only thing left is to find a new one.

Unfortunately, this process sucks. All I can do is offer a small blessing or bit of witchy magic:

Good luck and good blessings to all those struggling to retain the compassion for their loved ones when times get tough.

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Selfishness

I’ve been in my current relationship for just over 8 months, which means some very good things and some very rocky things. On one hand, I’m very pleased to have someone that I can depend on, and happy to be getting into the ‘serious’ side of a relationship with someone who understands me in so many ways. On the other hand, this period is a deadly period in which neither of us is accustomed to making space for the other in his life; that space of discomfort that follows the honeymoon period but precedes a lasting contentment and understanding. It is in this space that, for me, is full of the hardest questions about selfishness.

First, some backstory: I spent a lot of my childhood without very much self-esteem, and as a middle child, I learned to put others’ needs before my own. This sounds very nice on paper, but selflessness reaches a point where it hurts you in the long-term, and it took me a long time to love myself enough to give myself the care I needed. This changed around the end of college, and I started moving towards consciously giving myself care when the world told me other things were more important.

Eventually, and I can’t be sure where the turning point was, I wasn’t just practicing self-care. I was being selfish. Spending so much effort on recognizing my own needs blinded me to the needs of others, and I was becoming desensitized to the ways I could hurt people.

I’m trying to turn this around and find a happy medium, but in the context of these past 8 months in this relationship, it seems impossible to find a balance. Our fights are invariably centered around whose needs are being met and whose aren’t, and (of course) we disagree on who is giving more in the relationship.

So now that I’ve posed this big, impossible problem that literally everyone struggles with, it’s time for me to impart some old wisdom or a nice fresh perspective, right?

It’s time to help out my loyal and loving and nonexistent fanbase, right?

giphy

BUT even if I don’t have an answer, I have a quote from Netflix’s (occasionally racist) hit show Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: “Healthy people value their needs just as much as other people’s

Your needs matter just as much. No more. No less.

Of course, this requires an incredible amount of empathy and emotional intelligence. I guess I’ll keep working on understanding the emotions of others and my own emotions until this becomes second nature, but one thing is for sure: I will never again be okay with denying myself the care I need, and I will never again be complacent in ignoring the needs of others.


 

WELL the beginning of that certainly read like a bad rough draft of a personal statement! Over time I hope to get back into my own voice. We’ll try again tomorrow!

Tomorrow’s topic: Risk

 


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A VICTORIOUS REVIVAL

After 3 years, 3 months, and just about 3 days, I have

RETURNED

(just kidding I’m sad and alone on this abandoned site)

Over the years, I had toyed around with returning to this lonely blog. What was I supposed to do with this silly blog based primarily around me trying (really really hard) to be funny and likeable? Did I want to continue attempting to be silly and likeable?

I don’t think so

The closest I came to returning was just after last year’s election. Full of turmoil about what was happening in American politics, I was on the brink of writing a post criticizing whose who blamed 3rd party voters for Trump’s election. But the feeling passed and the blog remained empty.

What finally did it was, of all things, medical school applications. I thought I was done with tests for the time being, but one of the applications requires a test called CASPer – a situational judgement test that gives your written/video prompts and asks you to write a thoughtful response in a short time.

In order to practice, it is recommended that applicants 1) bring up their typing speed, and 2) learn to write quickly and coherently. Thus, I’m going to start posting daily journal reflections; ideally about something that makes me feel vulnerable. Hopefully soon I’ll be able to type clear, compassionate paragraph responses in record time!

Tomorrow’s topic: Selfishness


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Not Being an Ass Pt 2: “PC”

I have a friend, Carlita.

(Okay, I don’t have a friend named Carlita.
But really you should have known that statement was a lie as soon as you read “I have a friend”)

BUT let’s say I have a friend Carlita, and let’s say that one day in grade school, Carlita is nommin on some fries and ketchup, when suddenly, she misses her mouth. She’s sitting there, fry smushed onto her face with a splat of ketchup on just the right of her nose, horrified. Keeping calm and trying to work swiftly and discreetly, she puts down the fry and grabs for her napkin to wipe it away when she hears –

“KETCHUP”.

This could have been a lot worse  if she were in Europe - they eat fries with mayonnaise here .___.

This could have been a lot worse if she were in Europe – they eat fries with mayonnaise here .___.

It’s too late. The children are unmerciful, and there is nothing she can do to change her fate. Everyone laughs and points and starts calling her “Ketchup”. Soon her teacher picks up on it too, then the other teachers, then the principle. The nickname sticks with her through high school, rearing its ugly head at the slightest of mistakes.

“HOW COULD YOU POSSIBLY MISS THAT GOAL, KETCHUP??”

She writes her college essays on the struggles of becoming Ketchup, which makes for a great personal statement, but she is still somehow rejected from most schools, being waitlisted at her safety school. Can you blame them? Who wants to admit a Ketchup into their school??

The only thing she asks of you, her new roommate is that you please please PLEASE call it “catsup” when you feel the need to discuss any tomato-based condiments that may find their way onto burgers and hotdogs.

Do you respond with: “Don’t be so sensitive?”

The fact of the matter is, that for each of us, every word has different connotations and underlying meanings. All our lives, we learn to associate each word with a unique network of feelings, memories, and lexicons based on our previous experiences, made possible through the magic of neuroplasticity (NEUROLINGUISTS COME AT ME.)

This is how we science.

AND YET everywhere you hear people scoff at the very idea of being “PC”. Cartoons about how silly it is are everywhere (I have included one below because I know you are too incredibly lazy to do a quick google search). Even in academia, some people have gone so far as to call it cultural Marxism (melodramatic much?).

You’re tacky and I hate you.

BUT now that I know you understand the plight of those who are more sensitive to certain words (since you have been exposed to a moving, epic tale about a girl and her difficulties with all 57 varieties of Heinz condiments) we’re gonna skip right onto what up-and-coming non-ass can do to be a little bit more PC

1. Yup. Censor yourself.

Okay that sounds a little strong. But it’s important to know that you don’t have to express your beautiful, unique self in your beautiful unique way all the time. I know, it feels kind of weird not to say “OHMG THAT 134.5 FOOT WATER SLIDE WAS INSAAAAAAAAANE“, but someone nearby might not appreciate that phrasing, and it’s probably more important not to piss them off than to feel natural while expressing your enthusiasm for a slide that isn’t even the biggest in the world anymore.

2. Know what you’re saying?

“But isn’t a fag just a bundle of sticks or a ciga” –
Stop.
No.
If someone has told you that something is hurtful to them, or you’ve heard that a word can be hurtful to people, maybe you should spend some time looking into the history of whatever term or phrase is at stake and find out why it is offensive to begin with. The internet is pretty informative!

Good news: all it takes is a google search to learn the history behind why people want to rename the Washington Redskins
Bad news: I will not do this google search for you as I did with the cartoon oh wait look up there i already did whoops.

3. Know who you’re around

My good friend Leo (full name: Leonardo de CapriSun) is super cool and super trans*. You can tell he’s cool because he drew the picture of Carlita up there, and that is cool (I also hear he might have drawn a few other things before, i dunno, http://www.rorymidhani.com/)

That being said, there’s a certain term that lot of transfolk find offensive but he(and I) thinks it sounds…endearing?? Leo’s kinda weird.
Anyway, that means that on certain occasions, we have used the term privately in conversation with one another and both felt comfortable and safe.

Will either of us ever take the liberty of slingin it around other people who might be uncomfortable with it? No.
Does the fact that he’s trans* and I’m cis factor into this at all? No.
Will you do your best to know what the people around find hurtful and tailor your actions and speech to that? Yes, yes you will.

With allllll that in mind, I admit this: yes, sometimes people are silly and yes, sometimes “PC” is taken “too far”.

This image and other sexy comics like it can be found at http://chaoslife.findchaos.com/ =D

This image and other sexy comics like it can be found at http://chaoslife.findchaos.com/
=D

I present as an example an anecdote from my friend Jojo, who was working with his school’s LGBT group on how to give back to the community when one girl piped up:
“I think it’s offensive to call it ‘community service’ because, well…it’s not like we’re servants.”
(when I heard this the first time, i snorted and a little food came out of my mouth groosssssss)

First of all, I don’t appreciate the implication that she does not want to be associated with a blue collar working-class status, but that is another story.
I think that even in this misguided attempt at thinking critically about our language and actions, there is a place for discourse and understanding. “Could you please elaborate on your concerns?” “What aspect of ‘community service’ do you feel is problematic’ blah blah blah.

But certainly, the wrong thing to do in this situation is to dismiss her concerns outright. It is, after all, supposed to be a safe space.

I don’t really have an ending for this semi-organized stream of wordvomit, so I guess I’ll try and wrap up on a classy note:

Gnight, folks.


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We interrupt this long silence to bring you an urgent message

Don’t be alarmed, we’ll soon be back to silence and procrastinating on writing.

Just needed to write this list of events today:

-Superglued a makeshift earring in my earlobe
-Was told I could be my generation’s Carl Sagan
-Made a friend from the UK
-Gave fun talks about astrocytes and neglecting children
-Got neither an acceptance nor rejection
-Won crowd favorite =)
-Ate a shitton of little desserts.

All in all – pretty successful??