The Purpose of This Blog

Originally Published February 18, 2018 

Read Herland by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. If anyone knows how to combine narrative and fiction it’s her. I just don’t have the experience. It’s amazing how she uses her characters to build on ideas and say what she really means to about society. I am much more literal. It’s not that I don’t trust my one or two readers to understand my underlying meaning if I wrote fiction. The issue proves to be more that I don’t know how to be subtle about what I have to say. So, yes, it seems this will be an opinion blog. I have nothing to inform you or educate you on. I am no expert on anything, but instead an amateur in everything. I dream and sin. I experience as everyone else does yet completely differently.

Some Oftentimes, I consider either abandoning this attempt at a blog or deleting it altogether. If my purpose with this is not to inform or argue a point, it must be to entertain. Maybe not. My personal purpose is to put my thoughts and experiences into words. What you do with them is your choice. I hope my words will at times make you feel understood. I know I’m not the only one who has dark thoughts or has made mistakes. I also hope you will find joy and hope in my positive posts (however few and far between they may be).

I could write for hours so, I’ll try to dedicate some of those hours to writing fictional stories. Don’t expect too many of those though. It seems I am better versed in venting sessions. Either way in the end, I wish to inspire people. Learn from my mistakes, please.

***

I wrote that on my old, obscure blog which I have since wiped clean. It was my last year of university when I wrote that, and I didn’t have very much time to dedicate to my writing. Now that I have graduated and am in Puerto Rico for a dietetic internship, I have made it a habit to write daily for a sort of open journal about my experiences here. My goal with this new form of writing is to document my adventures abroad for my own entertainment and so I’ll have written memories to look back on. I share them because I like to think that friends and family that I left behind from university, work, and maybe even childhood are interested in my current adventures. If my experiences serve to entertain people I haven’t personally met, then all the better.

I will be very busy with the internship this year, so probably no time to write any fiction like I’d mentioned above, but I will keep up with my weekly blogs and sporadic Thoughts and Past posts when I’ve finished posting all of my stuff from my old blog. Keep coming back. I’m glad to have you along for the ride! 🙂

Submission

Originally Published January 23rd 2018

I’ve beat myself into a dull submission. I don’t feel the motivation to read or write or breathe. Nah, I’m just feeling melancholy and poetic. It’s only the first full week of classes and I feel overwhelmed. It is like most things in my life. As soon as I get close to a tangible end I sever the rope. Maybe I’m afraid of progress and the outcome of opportunity. There are too many thoughts. One says, “talk about how you rely too much on people and always have”. Another whispers, “tell about how you drive people away with anger and cruelty”. A third screams, “none of it matters, so why are you still typing?”. I don’t hear voices. They are simply my inner thoughts. Sometimes I think the voices, external voices that is, would be comforting. Though abusive, I’d finally feel like a true victim. For now though, the thoughts are just that, intangible and taunting, with my own voice.

Where do they come from? From me? My environment? That old question of nature and nurture. I just hope it’s not me. I don’t like the me that snaps on a dime or can’t talk to her roommates for fear of saying something overly cruel. They are beginning to become scared of me. Not in an intimidating way. The three of us know my limitations. Oh, recap, I have two roommates at this time in my life. One tall ex-football player and the another, a feisty woman. Richard and Mariah. What a pair! I could write about them forever. However, I have a larger concern at the moment. I don’t pretend that they are afraid I could overpower either of them. It is not a physical danger they wince at. They begin that treacherous walk on the eggshells of my unpredictability. For at any moment, my mood can go from sunshine to electric storms.

Sometimes it is best to ignore a problem than to confront it. They do it very well. I’m surprised by two things. One, that I held out for so long. So long in fact, that I almost believed my cruelty to be false. Who would be so cruel anyway? I am. Two, I am surprised that they tolerate it. Yet, I am not surprised by that. Like I said, sometimes ignorance and denial seem like the easiest solution. It is not, by the way. Ignorance makes pain fester; and pain, in my case, makes a snappy and paranoid Lizzie. That’s the other thing. I don’t know if I truly believe in truth. How can we be real when this society values reputation and achievement which is often facilitated by charm and the social graces, while simultaneously destroyed by those magical factors. I’m sleepy. Finally. Look at that. Another cesspool of regurgitated thoughts. I’m sorry for the stream of consciousness. Again, that is not my intended method, but sad women will do what they will.

Insomniac?

Originally Published January 15th 2018

So, I can’t sleep. This is becoming more and more common. It’s not exactly that I am incapable of sleep because I know that if I were to turn off the lights, lay my head down on my pillow, and close my eyes I would be asleep within a few minutes. Once I decide to sleep, it’s not an issue.

Therefore, my problem is not that I am unable to fall asleep rather it is that my mind refuses to do so. It’s a choice, but it doesn’t feel like it. In a way, it’s passive. I’m not fighting sleep. I feel tired, some days that this happens I feel downright exhausted, but I don’t feel sleepy. Sleep doesn’t feel like an option. Some days, this is because I get bursts of creativity and energy or I have something on my mind that won’t go away. Other days, like today, I have a goal.

Today it was staying awake until my mom left for work so I could say goodbye, as I’m leaving home for my last semester at University later in the morning. Some days, the goal is to finish a homework assignment or cram for an exam. On very sparse occasions I toss and turn for an hour or two before either succumbing to sleep or getting up and occupying my mind on a task to get away from the thoughts that riddle my mind.

But, like I said, that is rare for me. More often than not I simply don’t see the point in sleeping. I know it’s a human necessity and “it’s good for you!” and whatnot, but logically (in a very illogical way) it seems trivial. It boils down to: “why be asleep when I could be awake?”.

  • You know, I used to have a pillow case with these weird, colorful, bunny-like creatures jumping around having a pillow fight. The words “we’d rather be leaping than sleeping” were slathered in bright hues all over it. I never thought much of it as a kid. I’d just lay my head down and contradict its very being.

Obviously now as an adult, I understand the benefits and broad reasoning supporting an adequate amount of sleep per night. But sometimes, moreso on days devoid of personal enjoyment such as those filled with appointments, school, work, and even social responsibilities, sleep comes second place to a few hours of alone time.

Moral of this ramble? Twofold: make time in the day for yourself so you won’t feel inclined to cash in on it in the middle of the night and if you do find yourself awake despite your best efforts, make sure to be productive with your stolen time. Write a blog post… Or whatever it is you are into.

I Do Not Believe in Right or Wrong

June 16, 2018

I write most when something is troubling me, or when I’m stuck on something. I feel the need to know why. Always, I want to know why. Knowing only helps if there is a second step. And it is only satisfactory, if the next step is. Some problems have no answers. Or they do, but they aren’t pleasant answers. Some second steps hurt. Many first steps are not socially acceptable. My words are vague and meaningless unless they are not. Unless you have done something either you regret, or you feel like you should regret. I can’t do this. I used to say- believe even- that everything I did in life, I should be able to share with my parents. I believed that if I wasn’t willing to do that, it must have been the wrong choice. My friends in college scoffed at that but let me live in my delusion. I know now there is no set manual that decides what is right or wrong. The definitions of those words are not fixed. Every language, culture, and individual have a different meaning for those words. Therefore, anything I do can be right or wrong in my mind. My society and culture I live in is only a guide and pressure. Some cultures eat humans, others painfully realign, usually children’s teeth, with wires and rubber bands. Braces or cannibalism, right or wrong, there is no consensus.

So, if anything can be wrong and anything can be right, how do I decide? Usually, it depends on my mood. Some days I feel like everything is my fault. Other days, it’s the world out to get me and I can do no wrong. I hate that. So, how have I never gone to detention or court? I, generally, follow the leader, like the little monkey I am. My last post, Need or Want?, gives several examples of times when I blindly followed other’s guidance in my life. It’s difficult not to. And this is where I start quoting myself. Or, more like, continue referencing myself. In my The Time Jumps, Time Pools, and Normalcy post, I explained that normal is what the society we live in creates to be labeled as normal. Anything can be normal, if enough people do it. Along the same train of thought, anything can be good or bad, depending on those around us.

We all do “bad” things. At least once. Just as we have all done at least one “good” thing in our lives. Maybe I’ll expand on that in a future post. Why and how children learn to favor “good” or “bad” behavior. Condensed version of that is that some kids, like me, learn that people smile at you and let you eat a cookie before dinner if you ask nicely; while other kids, would rather just take the cookie when no one is watching. Learned behavior. The labels of good and bad are also learned.

Lesson here, the label varies. One’s reasons and views on events fluctuate. Humans do things that go against their intentions. I used to have good intentions. Then I allowed my wants to overpower my morals. Now, I return to my blind morals. I don’t know if blindly following protocol is better than allowing myself to do what I want when that want is against societal approval. Society is oftentimes wrong. Have you heard any nutrition news lately? A large percent is convoluted! I’d know, as a nutrition dietetics intern. Anyway, society does not only have the potential to be wrong, it often is. The label does not matter. What matters to me matters to me.

If my choice ruins friendships, that’s fine. Granted, that I am okay with ruining said friendships. All choices have consequences and reasons or, at the very least, rationalizations. It really doesn’t matter what I do with my life. So, why am I following society? Guilt? I’ve felt guilt, without a hair of doubt, once in my life. This doesn’t feel remotely like that. This feels numb and rational. I don’t know what I am doing. But it doesn’t matter anyway. I can convince myself it was the right thing to do, no matter what I do.

Need or Want?

Why do we love? Do we need people or want people? I was in a therapy group called “Understanding Self and Others”. There was a participant there who seemed very cut off from people. It seemed like he hadn’t dealt with others in years. He was in recovery for drugs or alcohol. I don’t remember which and he often referred to women as a separate species. He wasn’t my favorite. But, he kept going to group. As did I. And one day he said something that still intrigues me to this day. He was looking to better his life. Going textbook. I used to be like this.

I used to do things because I was told. I didn’t have a drink of alcohol till I was 21 because I was taught it messed with growth and development along with all the other nasty side effects. I did not date in high school because my parents frowned upon it. I didn’t start dieting until I turned 18 because of the consequences to growth and whatnot. I didn’t graduate early from high school because people told me to enjoy my youth and not to speed it up. I went for advisable. Safe. Boring. I don’t drive or leave the house unless I have to because my mother installed an unhealthy fear of car wrecks in me. And you know what I am most regretful for? That I allowed it. I allowed others to decide my life for me. I trusted slogans and chimes from transient people more than myself. Then I didn’t.

Then I went to college. I went despite my father’s wishes. I went on a camping trip that first year and stayed quiet as a friend who’d been sleeping the whole car ride decided to drive on the last leg back to campus. I stood there as the current driver hesitated to hand her the car keys and looked at me for confirmation, a reaction, something! And I stood there! Didn’t say a word, until I was in that car swerving on and off the highway when I was screaming “STOP!” as I clutched on to both overhead handles in the backseat.

After that day, I expected my life to change. I expected to value my existence or suddenly see all the beauty in the world that I had missed. I didn’t. I was disappointed. I was confused. It took me several more years—It took me until now to appreciate that moment. I understood it, intellectually, since it happened. I kicked myself for not speaking up. It’s one of my character flaws. Yet, I continue to rely on others and keep my mouth shut. It grates me to depend on others. It’s what I’ve done my whole life. But people are wrong. Or sometimes they are right. The one thing they never are, is me.

So, when they tell me not to drink before I’m 21, or to value my family, they are speaking in generalities. They don’t know what’s best for me, even if they wanted that for me. I don’t either. I don’t know if I want what’s best for me. I read a book for my high school English class either sophomore or junior year. The Picture of Dorian Gray. All I got out of that was a new vocab word: hedonist. One who lives for their sole pleasure. And with that new word, I got a new life philosophy. A fantasy. I still care about others and that’s what is killing me miserably.

The guy in the “Understanding Self and Others” therapy group asked if people, friends specifically, were necessary for life. I don’t remember if he said a good life. I think he just meant in general. My response to that, and many others chimed off with agreement, is that friends-people- aren’t necessary. Life goes on with or without them, but with is much more enjoyable. So, he became quiet, having the answer he sought, and the rest of the group watched with worry and sadness as we saw a calm, hushed fuzz come over his eyes. There was the smallest glimmer of disappointment that faded into his meaningless stare. Just because something isn’t necessary, doesn’t mean it isn’t worth pursuing.

Since that semester, fall of 2016, (reinforced by the fact that it was the semester I began dating my first boyfriend) I have had a complex between the binaries of want and need. My argument firmly on want being more important. Allow me to explain. Humans need water to live, but we don’t love it. We want soda and juice and tea and coffee and a myriad of things that pollute that which we need-water. If we wanted water instead of forcing it upon us as a necessity, I argue that people, as a species, would do exponentially more than we do now to preserve and protect this jewel of our planet. More than we do now that we need it.

Likewise, if I need someone, I use them. Maybe I keep them around for emotional support, maybe they have a car and I don’t, or they feed me. Whatever the reason, if I stay with them because I need to, because I must. It’s not really my choice. However, if I want to share my feelings and thoughts with them, I want to spend time in the passenger seat with them, and I like the food they make, it is my choice. I don’t like being forced into things. Even if they are the things I would have chosen myself. But there is no clear distinction between want and need. I never know if I am talking to a friend about something because I want to have a conversation with them, because I like them, or because they were the best person for the job.

And what if they are the best person for the job? I wouldn’t go to my grandmother for sex advice! Is it wrong that I go to my best friend? No! Of course, not. Want and need are Venn diagrams. There is overlap. Often times more that I would ever wish. I don’t know. I don’t know how to classify everything I say or do. I don’t know why I do anything or nothing. I don’t know if I want the life I have, or if I need it. All I know, is that I have the life I have, and I can either do nothing or something with it.

Our bodies instinctively do what they must to survive. If we need water, we get thirsty. However, when we get thirsty we decide whether to drink water or vodka. Or anything else. I can choose how to handle my needs through my wants. That’s why it’s so important to keep a balance. All vodka and no water makes Jack a drunk boy. But, only water makes him almost inhuman. We need variety. Or do we want it? Either way, it’s the human way of life. I refuse to listen to every piece of advice I get from parents, teachers, religious figures etc. and follow their instructions. But, I also refuse to ignore them.

This mentality has gotten me into trouble. Listen, then decide for myself. I’ve been doing it for a few years now. It got me into a nine-month relationship, a year of exploring different kinds of alcohol, and much anguish. It also got me to go to college, have a pet turtle for a year, and start this blog. Whatever my philosophy in life, good things will happen, and bad things will happen. I’d rather make my own decisions and be there when it’s time to take pride or take responsibility for the fall out.