Saturday, 31 May 2014

Nope

Absolutely no possible way it's the end of May.  No way.

Un-possible.

Seriously.

I have no idea where this month went, and is it just a sign of being older that I feel like I keep saying that or what?

I mean, I'm not complaining.  I feel like I've had a good month and the weather's been great and it's getting to be Summer and the long days are glorious and Spring is so pretty and it's all good, but still.  Wow.

I'm just not really sure how all we got here.

Because apparently tomorrow's June.  And that's a little crazy.

Friday, 30 May 2014

Mind The Gap

I probably already half mentioned it already but I had a couple of rough days this last weekend. 

And what I've noticed in terms of the Ego voice that I talked about on Monday is that when I'm down (for whatever reason) it jumps right in there.

Like, Saturday, I was missing Jason physically (if, uh, you know what I mean? ahem... awkward) and Sunday, I was so miserable I guess I was missing him emotionally?  But all I could think (Ego thoughts sound just like mine) was how I NEVER see Jason and he's NEVER there for me and we NEVER have any time together and when we do have time together it's NEVER good and he NEVER hugs me enough and I think what's different is that now, even when I'm low low low I'm still able to take a metaphorical step back from these thoughts and go...really?

We... never see each other?  Except that I spent the night at his place not three nights ago?  And he's never there for me?  Except when he is, in the ways that he's able to be?  And we never have time together except for last week when we spent probably five evenings or afternoons together doing various things and the two hikes we went on?  And ok, maybe he isn't as much of a hugger as I'd like, but shall I just mention (x-rated thing here) and how we kind of fell asleep all curled up next to each other before we woke up and realized we should put our heads on the pillows and pull up the blankets? (blush!)

So even though I still have moments, hours, times of hearing the negative, awful, powerful, strong thoughts that make me want to run away and break up with the evil that is clearly Jason and go find some man who will take care of me the way I want and deserve, I'm getting better and clearer at looking at those thoughts objectively and not just letting them be the truth.

Like I said, maybe it's partly mindfulness, meditation, maybe it's just personal growth.  Maybe it's all of the above, I don't know that it matters all that much because I'm just glad for it.

Life may not be perfect, and it's not always easy, but I think it's at least easier when it's not so great.  And that is a felt difference.

You know?

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Canadian Maple

Hey!  I can't believe I didn't tell you!

A couple of weeks ago, I went out with some friends to a show.

We were running a little late and so were hustling a dinner in a pub close to the event so we would still get there in time, but also wouldn't be hungry or whatever.

As we were leaving, I came back from the bathroom and overheard a conversation at a table near us.  Ordinarily I wouldn't have thought anything of it, but the fellow who was talking was talking about Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd and so I glanced over to see who it was who was talking about two of my favourite bands.

And my brain went, HEY!  HEY!  EEEEE!

Because sitting there, was someone I've "known" for the better part of a decade, but have never met.  It was a flickr friend who has been a flickr friend since I first joined flickr!  We've admired each others' photos and exchanged messages for years now, and he's got photos of himself on his account so I know what he looks like, but we've never actually met.

I felt like a total dork, but I had to say hi so I did, and fortunately my brain even remembered his real name and I was able to introduce myself by my not real name (because, well, yeah) and we hugged and laughed and it was so awesome!

I had to take off, but we were both happily surprised that our paths had finally crossed, and my friends kept asking me if that was really the first time we'd met.  Yes! 

It's funny, because had he not been talking about Zep, I would not have stopped to see who he was and we would never have met.

Life can be awesome that way, you just have to let it be awesome.

So, yeah, I met someone I've "known" but not actually ever met before and it was awesome!  Yay life!

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Sigh

Ok, so Burning Man's apparently not ... simple to get to or something?

I remember around this time last year realizing that Jay wasn't going to travel down with me (ironically, it turns out we probably could have travelled down together, but what's done is done and what's meant to be will be) and that I had no idea how I was going to get there and back.

I was terrified about the idea of driving myself and terrified about the idea of finding random (crazy?) strangers to travel with and I just didn't know how it was going to happen, but I wanted it to happen and I just... it was stressful.

This year, we had a plan.  Three of the four of us who travelled together last year were going again this year and we'd go together again, hurrah!  Easy peasy.  And maybe Jason would come with us, but probably not, but who knows, anything could happen, right?

Right.

But there was a new ticket sales system and I was lucky enough to get a ticket but my other two travel mates were not.

But that was only a medium sized deal because we'd get them tickets, maybe just last minute and ta da!

Except then I was denied all the time off I needed.

But, not a huge deal, I'd just leave early and fly back.  It would suck not travelling back with my crew but I'd still get to go.

Except they still don't have tickets and we're getting closer to D-Day.

And now Connor has been told he maybe won't get to take the time off from work because they're "too busy" in August, which sucks.

Because now it feels like nothing is certain.

I'm not sure anymore if I have a ride down, or if my ride down will be ok taking my gear back while I fly back.

People keep telling me they have a friend or so who's going and I can connect with them to travel but I wanted to go with people I knew.  I wanted to go with people I know I camp well with and get along with and can count on and will have fun with.

I don't know.

I just wish it wasn't being complicated again.

But maybe that's part of my Burning Man learning... to let go and trust that it'll work out somehow, even if I can't see how that "somehow" is going to look.

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

A Little Odd

I think yesterday's post was the first of a few because I feel like I'm in a bit of a "space."

Work is slightly weird (don't talk about work) and maybe it's the tail end of this cold and the cold meds semi-in and semi-out of my system but I feel weird too.  Not "bad" weird, but odd, I guess, and like I said, in a space.

I dunno.

I'm sure it'll pass.  I'd like it to pass in a positive way, I'd like it to somehow propel me into some different, better space, but I don't know.  I spent a fair amount of time this weekend just getting through it.  Keeping on keeping on.  Like I said, it's not necessarily bad, it's just weird, it feels weird.

Not making sense am I?

That's ok, can't always make sense, right?

Monday, 26 May 2014

For The Better

We're going to call it Ego.

We're going to call it Ego because that works for me, and because it's likely what it is.  Not Ego as in "I'm so hot, call the fire department to put me out ohhhhh yeah!" but more like the thoughts and voices that go on and on in my head and try to drag me to places I don't want to go.

Ego.

I don't quite know where I wanted to go with this, I just know that it's nearly the end of a month that just started and I've been full of cold meds for a week now and I'm feeling antsy and skittish and I want all these thoughts out of my head but I've not had the energy to do much more than catch up on tv shows, not that there's anything wrong with that I suppose.

I sent Jay an email last week, I found a photo of him I wanted to use but it didn't feel right to just put it up without asking him so I asked if he'd mind and he said no.  Said since his accident and his injury he's been thinking about modelling.  I wonder what it must be like to enjoy being in front of the camera, or, I suppose, to have a self confidence to think that people would want to shoot you.

I missed Jason this week.  Wanted someone to take care of me, pamper me, as I often do when I'm sick and Jason was "too busy" for most of the week.  This sat progressively worse in my addled brain as the week went on but on Thursday we managed to connect and he made us dinner and I stayed over at his place and I felt better in the morning.  Sure, maybe it was just co-incidentally the tail end of my cold, or maybe I really do get better when someone loves me enough to take care of me, I don't think that even makes sense, but whatever.

Ego likes to run away with me in moments like this.  Starts to whisper in my head about how this means Jason's not all that interested.  How it means that Jason's probably just stringing me along.  How it means that Jason doesn't really care, how it means this, that and the other and never anything that's adding joy to my day, only things that are causing anxiety, upset, hurt, pain, deep thoughts.  And I sometimes get carried away.  Sometimes I do, but I've been doing that less.

I've been, maybe not listening less, but hooking in less.  It's partly wanting to stop being trailed along by these negative thoughts, but it's also partly doing meditation and mindfulness and learning to let thoughts come and go without having to BELIEVE them or dive into them or follow them down their twisty path.

Doesn't mean I don't think these thoughts.  Sometimes, maybe a lot, I write these thoughts out, I let them have their say on paper... virutal paper I guess, but I don't feel they're as right as I used to feel they were.

Ego likes to tell me it's my gut.  That it's my instinct and deeper knowledge trying to warn me, trying to help me and that I'm dumb to ignore it.  I should run, I should yell, I should lash out and stand up for myself, I should panic.  I should!  YOUR GUT IS TELLING YOU SO!!!!

But I'm doing much better at waiting out those moments.  Of breathing through them and seeing how I feel about everything in the morning, or later, or, I don't know just not at that moment.  Because in that moment when Ego is convincing me of things nothing else seems more real, and that moment seems like it will never end.

I'm not saying it's easy or I'm perfect or anything of the sort, that would be Ego talking again, and Ego's a liar, liar pants on fire, I don't know.

I just know I'm trying and it's better and you can teach an old dog new tricks you know.  The dog just has to actually want to change.

Which I do.

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Not Sure Where This Came From, But I'm Going With It Anyway

Do you know what you've been called to do?

I don't mean that in a necessarily religious or spiritual way although if that's your thing, great.  I just mean... do you have a sense of why you're here?

Is it to raise your children?  Is it to do the job you're currently doing?  Is it to snuggle puppies on lazy Sundays?

Is it something you're aware of but not sure how to get to?  Or is it something you're living already?  Partially or completely?

Or do you have no actual idea?

Does it have to be complicated or can it be as simple as I'm here to enjoy being alive?

And if you do know why you're here, and what you're meant to do, what you're supposed to do, are you too afraid to do it?

And if so, why?

Friday, 23 May 2014

It Must Be Doable?

The reason finding a (new) grey hair is upsetting to me isn't that I'm getting older.

I mean, I'm not thrilled at the "aging" part of getting older, but getting older is what happens, and it's better than the alternative... which is being dead.  Amirite?

But, anyway, it's not the fact that I'm getting older, it's that grey hair is a proof that my body isn't doing what it's meant to do as well as it used to.  It means that my body is starting to disentegrate (although that's not the right word for it I'm sure, it works for me right now) and isn't functioning as well as it once did.

Hair follicles aren't producing what they're supposed to.  It feels like a warning of things possibly to come.

I suppose I also can see it as a reminder that it's time to start taking (even) better care of myself and my body in order to hopefully stave off some of these... things from happening.  And to hopefully be as healthy for as long as I can be.  I want to be a healthy person all my life and not have to deal with the negative physical aspects of aging.

Does that make sense?

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Oh Boo.

Well, I wasn't going to mention it in the hopes that not mentioning it would make it go away, but I came down with a nasty chest cold thing this weekend.

Boo.

I'm only a little worried about it more than I would usually be because of my run in with pneumonia at Christmas, I want to make sure my lungs aren't still feeling vulnerable from that.

I was grateful for the unexpected sunshine we got this weekend, because as silly as it may sound, it make it nicer to lie on my couch and look outside onto beautiful, sunny skies.  And to be able to sleep with sunshine coming through the window and warming me when I got the shivers under my blankie.  Anyway, it was nice to have the sun, that's for sure.

I'm hoping to beat this thing any day now, and not be one of the folks like my upstairs neighbour who seems to have been hacking away for ages now.  I'm determined to be better and have clear lungs soon soon soon.

I know that cold medicines don't actually do anything to "cure" the cold, but man, if they don't help you be functional!  Thanks cold meds!

Here's to happy lungs and feeling better ASAP.

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

WOO HOOOO!

I'm pretty sure there's going to be a party thrown for me, because I just won 2048!

WOOT!

If you don't know what I'm talking about, please do yourself a favour and keep it that way.  If you do know what I'm talking about, I'll happily share strategy talk with you if you like, but dudes, I did it, I did it, now I can a) die happy and b) move on with my life!

YAY!

Let the parades begin!

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

In Flux

I don't know if it's quite right to say but I'm feeling a little bit lost with my photography right now.

Not "lost" exactly, more like I'm not sure where I'm going.

See, I used to be quite happy to take a photo and post it to flickr and share some of them here. 

But then I wanted something less anonymous so I started a second flickr account with my real name and wasn't sure what I would do with two accounts to upload to.  I wasn't worried about it and for a while I just uploaded to both.

And then I got a new camera.  And there's a steep learning curve that comes whenever you change something with your gear and for a while I just wasn't liking anything I did.

And somewhere in there flickr changed a lot.  And I haven't really uploaded much of anything since.  Not to either account.

Partly that's because as I've said here, it's now not as much fun nor as easy to link a photo to this blog.  That sucks, although I've managed to make it work.

But it's also because for a while there... maybe months, I wasn't sure what I was liking about my photos, if anything.  Jason has been suggesting things I should be trying to get with my shots and while I'm getting better at, say, getting "sharp" shots, I'm not loving the sharp shots I'm getting.  Everything just feels blah.

It's probably a lot to do with me looking at things differently.  Seeing things with a different eye than I used to.  I went back and looked at the photos on flickr that I'd "favourited" when I first joined back in 2006 and I didn't like many of them anymore.  A change in what I consider a good photo I guess?  Seeing different things?

I mean that happens.  We all grow and change as people and I suppose as artists although I cringe at using that term. 

I also started shooting in RAW, not that it makes any difference because I also started using Aperture in order to "use" the RAW data and, well, right now Aperture's nothing but a photo storage system for me.  I'm not doing anything other than uploading and deleting the ones I really am not in love with.

I don't know.  I know flickr's not the be all end all of photo sharing or getting your photos seen and out there but I still feel sad that it's come to this phase where I just don't feel like using it anymore.

Maybe I just need to get back into the habit?  I don't know.

Just feeling a little bit un-sure about things in terms of how I shoot, what I shoot, and what I do with what I shoot.

Plus, I kind of hate the term shooting, but it's really the only term that seems to work.

Le sigh.

I know, first world problems, but still. 

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Eeeeeeeee!

It's a long weekend!  It's a long weekend!

IT'S A LONG WEEKEND, LONG WEEKEND, HEY GUESS WHAT? IT'S A LONG WEEKEND!!!!!

Eeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

I may or may not be running around in happy circles clapping my hands!

WHEEEEEE!

Friday, 16 May 2014

Dear Prudence

I had this cool, but weird realization sort of thing the other day.

Ok, the other week.

Ok, the other month, but whatever, we're not keeping score are we?

No.  Ok, cool.

So, I had this cool, but weird realization the other day.

See, I'm part of a study sort of thing that my friend asked me to join for her other friend who's doing graduate work on Positive Psychology.  It's a newer term, and not one I'd particularly heard, although it turns out it's one I've studied a fair bit on my own.

I joined the study because it was going to involve short, daily meditation (mindfulness) sessions and I felt that that was something I wanted to do, but would probably not be motivated to do myself, but would probably do if I felt I "had" to because I'd committed to the study.

One of the weeks had us focus on our strengths and to help us recognize our strengths we were to take this particular strengths survey that would list our top ten strengths.

The survey took a long time, had a large number of questions and when the results came in there was nothing terribly surprising.

What was surprising, however, was that what I'd always seen as character flaws or weaknesses, this was actually pointing out were strengths.

I've always struggled with being judgmental, and worrying too much.  This survey described "judgment" the following way "You do not jump to conclusions, and you rely only on solid evidence to make your decisions.  You are able to change your mind."  Which... is totally true!  Sure, I might feel a certain way about someone or something, but I do keep my mind open and learn what I can and I will change my mind when I feel I'm wrong.  Wow!  I'm not a horrible person...

It also described one of my strengths as "prudence"  "You are a careful person and your choices are consistently prudent ones.  You do not say or do things that you might later regret."  Holy smokes!  All of a sudden, I'm not a "crazy worrier", I'm careful and prudent!  I'm ok!  I'm good!

My top two strengths according to this survey were "honesty" and "appreciation of beauty" and I'd say that these are two things I value, but I just kind of thought everyone did, so it isn't until recently that I've seen them as particular strengths of mine.  Kindness and humility were also in my top ten, as well as perseverance, gratitude, humour and perspective.

I don't know, really, that I've ever thought of these things as being anything more than ordinary, so it was... nice, I guess to hear them laid out as strengths of mine.

I think what really struck home for me though was this feeling and idea that what I thought were my weaknesses are actually strengths.  I'm prudent (a positive spin on cautious) which means I will always be planned and prepared.  My neighbour friend once described me as "cautiously adventurous!"  In terms of Burning Man lingo, I would consider myself "radically self reliant."

My worrying may be taking that prudence to an extreme, but if I see it as more of a strength instead of focussing on it as a negative, I think I might feel better about the way I approach new things.

Anyway, I just wanted to say that it was a really neat feeling to start seeing things I've never valued about myself in a very different (and far more positive) light.

Yay me!

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Fear's Scary

So I'm not great with heights.

I've always said "I'm afraid of heights" but I don't really see the point in saying that anymore, I don't like heights, I don't feel comfortable with, on, near, or around them.

When Jason asked if I wanted to go for a hike on Sunday he asked if I was ok climbing a bit.  I reminded him that I'm not a fan of heights but then I said something about how I was ok getting up things, it was just sometimes harder to get down them.

An example of this, I'm not a fan of climbing ladders, or ladder like stairs to higher levels of things, for example, but I can manage to go up them (usually...) but trying to get back down said ladder?  Is much harder.

When I'm at a height and don't have to go up or down it I get what I figure is vertigo.  This feeling of falling towards the ground far far away.  I don't know if it's a feeling of my body wanting to go that way, more of a feeling of the ground tilting me towards the edge where I would then fall off.  When I approach an edge (even on the ferries, the "edge" being the railing) I will sort of do a quick glance and then have to shuffle backwards because of that spinning forwards sort of feeling.  It's not a nice one, but I can usually manage it by moving away from the edge, and/or sitting down.

Sitting down is good.  It helps.  Just is sometimes hard to get back up from when the edge is still too close for comfort.

Anyway.

There's that, and then there's the whole getting up and getting down involving heights.

I don't know how to explain it except that I get scared when I'm having to deal with heights and climbing or descending them.

Jason and I had gotten to a certain point on the hike where he wanted to cut off the path.  It was our first adventuring into a real sort of hike beyond walking along some paths, or onto a beach or whatever, so I had no idea what might be ahead, but I know Jason well enough and feel comfortable enough with him that I figured it would be ok no matter what we came across.

We got to the edge of the forest that looked out onto the ocean and Jason pointed out the little sort of island that he wanted us to get to for lunch.  He was happy to see that the tide was out so we wouldn't have to get our feet wet crossing over.

I think I didn't really know quite what to expect, so I just followed him as he made his way to the... uh... cliff?

Yeah, I don't know quite how to describe it except to say that there certainly was no path leading down to the beachy area but it wasn't a steep cliff cliff.  But it was also, I don't know, 40, 50 feet down?

I was scared.

I mean, it's not as if I had that conscious thought it was just this sense of fear all through my body.

I didn't see what looked like a safe way to make it down and I didn't feel like if I tripped or fell I'd have much of a chance of stopping my head from cracking against the rocks below but I didn't want to not go either.

And maybe that's the coolest thing.

Maybe that's part of what's awesome about where I am in my life now and how supported and safe I feel with Jason as a person and friend and stuff.  I was really really scared, but I didn't think about turning back.  I was going to do it.

But man it was not fun.  I inched my way along, following Jason, and ended up semi-crawling a lot of the way.  It probably wasn't even all that steep, he told me later he'd been there with young kids and I figure you wouldn't take kids on something that was actually dangerous.  But for me it was really scary.

I honestly don't remember how I got down and couldn't tell you what it looked like except there was a tree I held on to at some point and some moss at some point and then there was rock and then we were on the ground.

I was a little shaken, but not bad and we sat and I lay down on the rocks and breathed.  I'd made it and I was just a little shaky.

And then Jason pointed waaaaaaay way up at the top of the little island thing we were going to.

You know... the 40 or 50 feet straight up we were about to climb?  Yeah.  That.

I started to cry.

Couldn't tell you why exactly, just that's how much fear I was feeling.

Jason asked me if I wanted to try another way up, if I was ok, and I told him I was fine, he just needed to make executive decisions.  That I could do it.

See, that's the strange thing.  It wasn't mental, this fear.  My brain was pretty calm.  (I think?)  But my body was a goner.  The climb up was not technically challenging but again it was completely terrifying and I do not remember what I stood on, used as a hand hold, nothing.  All I remember is that I got to the top and I was crying and hyperventilating.

Now, I've never hyperventilated before and the only reason I know I was was because I was breathing as if I'd just done some major cardio, like the end of a marathon type breathing and I hadn't.  So, again, the calm brain part went "hey, Victoria, you're hyperventilating and crying, you should take some deep breaths and calm yourself down."

Jason asked me if I was ok (several times, he's both sweet and good at handling crises) and I told him that while, no, I wasn't fine, I was ok, and I was going to just calm myself down.  He checked in again and then gave me some space to breathe.  Literally.

And you guys I think doing the meditation regularly helped me, I really do, because I started taking some deep breaths and it was like my body went "oh, yeah, this, I know this, this is when we chill out!" and my breathing returned to normal super fast and although I let myself cry a bit more (I was proud of myself too, and that deserved some tears of release) I also sat myself down, ate some food, drank some water and breathed.

Mentally, I calmed down, but man oh man, my body did not.  I managed to get the shakes gone, but my legs had turned to jello.

I could barely stand, and it was like...again, I'd just ran a marathon leg-wise.  I guess all the adrenaline or whatever else goes pumping through your body when you're in an intense fear situation has some longer lasting effects.

We sat on that island for a while, took some shots, ate our lunch and then Jason said we were about halfway to where we were heading for the rest of our hike.

I think I may have whimpered in my head.

Not only because I didn't think my legs could carry me any further, but because I realized we had to get the bleep down the damn island again.

F*ck.

We returned back to the spot we'd climbed up and I told Jason that as long as I could scout it, I could make it.  He asked me if I wanted him to go first, but I wanted to be strong and show myself that I could do it, fears be damned.  So I slid on my bottom to the side of the cliff face thing and turned myself onto my belly.

Which... unfortunately meant I could no longer see where I was trying to go.

I told Jason as much, and I think he could see that I'd kind of panic-frozen because he told me that he'd tell me where to put my feet.

I wasn't sure I could do it.  I did, indeed feel frozen, but I was pretty determined.

The fact that I'm not writing this from a hospital bed should be a spoiler alert to you that I made it home safely, but for a while there, I wasn't sure about anything at all, never mind home.

I was trying to maneuver myself into a decent spot when the rock I was using as a hand hold came out of the dirt.

F*ck.

I repositioned and grabbed something else which also came out of the cliff face.

F*ck.

"Are you ok?" Jason asked.

"I would be, if my two hand holds hadn't just come out."

I said maybe it would be better if he did go before me but now I was in his way so I couldn't just stay frozen, I had to at least crawl back up to him so I somehow managed that, at which point Jason said we'd just find another way down.

I was relieved.

So we took what Jason called a "scenic route" and at one point he asked me if I'd rock climbed before, and I looked at where we were going and I may have shouted that yes, I had rock climbed before "WITH A ROPE!"

Ahem.

So I bouldered.  First time for everything.  I think I did pretty well, although I also had to tell myself not to cry a few times.  "Don't cry right now, you're fine, you're fine." And I also babbled to Jason about I have no idea what. (I actually said to him "I'm just talking to talk" and he said "I know.")

And we had to climb back up that stupid first thing we climbed down and it was SO much easier than when we went down it, but still... damn fears man.  They suck!

My legs were indeed done, and so I asked Jason if we could slow down for the rest of the hike as I was concerned my jello legs would crumble.

It wasn't a tired thing it was a "whatever just shot through my system when I pushed through that massive amount of fear" thing.  Adrenaline?  Cortisol?  Anyone know?  (I'm sure I could google it but...)

We got to the lookout place and Jason asked if I wanted to climb down to the cliffs with him.

My response was a polite "not really."  And I was happy to watch him mountain-goat-climb his way down yet another cliff to the water.

I sat there while he explored and took photos and I ate and I drank and I soaked up the sun.

By the time we decided we were ready to go my legs were back to normal.

This time, we were just dealing with the late in the day time tired legs and let's make sure we're picking up our feet and not tripping over roots in the end of the day light.

I know for a fact I'm not managing to properly describe what I physically felt that day.  But I also know I feel incredibly proud of myself for pushing through all that fear and doing it.

I feel like a lot of my fears are like this.  I either push through them, or they get worse and worse because I keep avoiding them.

I know, I know, that's some big life metaphor lesson but man, it's easier said than done.

That was scary.  Super scary.  I was incredibly scared.  But I did it.  And I'm so so proud of myself for that.

I'm really glad I was with Jason.  I'm not sure who else I would have been able to go through that with.  I knew Jason would help me if I asked.  I knew he would take care of me if I hurt myself (and get me the care I needed and back to safety.)  And I knew he wouldn't make fun of me if I had to stop.  It's a strange thing to say, but I felt safe in my fear.  Does that make sense?

I remember Jay saying to me on one of our first hikes (when we came across an area that I wasn't able to descend because of the height) that if he hadn't loved me so much he would have left me to find my own way down.  I won't get into how I feel about someone who would say that or would act that way, but I'll just say it didn't make me feel safe with him or that I could trust him with my life or well being.

It is a wonderful thing to feel that way about someone.

I was talking to a co-worker on Monday about my hike and making her laugh with my stories of me trying to get up and down these cliffs and whatnot and I told her that Jason had invited a friend to come along on the hike with us.  The friend couldn't make it, but as I explained to my co-worker, if someone else had been on that hike?  I don't think I would have made it.  I probably would have gotten to the first cliff and told them I had to head back to the car.  I wouldn't have felt safe or comfortable enough with stranger to be vulnerable (it makes me feel weak to show my fears like that... to cry and lose it in front of someone is not something I do easily or often if at all) and so I wouldn't have gone ahead and tried to climb anything.  I don't think I would have anyway.  Or possibly I would have tried and been terribly embarrassed for the rest of the hiking feeling like I'd slowed them down and embarrassed myself.

I'm so grateful that it was Jason I was there with and that I did it and that he supported me through it, and told me I did really well.

But, yeah.  That fear's a powerful drug, y'all.  I was amazed at how long it had an effect on my body.

Crazy stuff, I tell you!

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Dis-Reality

Well, I did end up hearing from Jay.

That sound you hear?

That's me shrugging.

He said he was sorry he hadn't recognized my number.  Which... ok.

Still means something changed on his end and either he wondered who had messaged him a few weeks ago and thought about it until he figured it was me?  Or he still reads this blog.... which... whatever.

Shrug.

He asked me about Jason, a very little.  And then told me about his new (old) love.

Shrug.

I don't feel like continuing to talk about it or him or how I feel, but I did want to update you that, yes, I heard from him.

No, it didn't make me miss him at all.

That only seems to happen when I'm stuck in my head and my fuzzy, unrealistic memories.

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Whoopsies!

So our Sunday hike had a lot of little adventures and I realized today how much more solid my relationship with Jason is than it was when we first met.

I mean, I know that's how it's supposed to work and everything, but it was still nice to sort of sit and reflect on the fact that when we get out and do things like this, we both enjoy ourselves and I go home, smiling and happy.

One of the things that I will forever remember about this hike is a goof I made, but didn't realize until a few hours in.

See, at some point mid week last week, Jason and I went for another photo taking walk.  When we got back into town we were both hungry so we stopped at a restaurant and had a nice meal.  He was making a phone call while I waited in the car when I saw how cool the light was (just after dusk, neon lights just kicking in) and decided to try to take a picture.  It wasn't working, so Jason suggested I kick up my ISO (the setting of how "fast" your film... or "film" is, you know...100, 200, 400, etc?)  Well, digital SLRs these days can do some ridiculous ISO settings so I cranked it up to 3200 and took a couple of shots of him out in the "dark", marvelling at how I could actually see him as if it weren't 9 o'clock at night.  Cool!

(Do you see where this story might be going?)  (I didn't.)

So this and that happened (another post, I still have to wrap my brain around it) and we got to the "lookout" point and I stopped to relax and found myself wondering how many photos I'd taken.  I tend to take WAAAY too many and then get home and go blah because I have a few hundred photos to sort through, so I wanted to see what the damage was so far.

I looked down at my display and depending on if your camera is on or off this particular part of the display with either show you how many shots you have left on your SD card, or will show you your ISO.

So I looked to see if I'd reached the two hundred mark yet and what I saw there was 3200.

3200?

3200???????

Oh no. 

(said my brain)

Because I suddenly flashed back to the middle of the week and Jason and I fooling around with taking shots in the dark with my camera in the parking lot.

3200.

Awww man!

Jason came back up from exploring the shore and I told him I'd done something kinda stupid.

We both laughed (it wasn't a big deal for me as I already knew I hadn't taken anything I *LURVED* yet and I also wasn't in a place I'd never be able to return to, and so I wasn't upset, just annoyed at myself for being careless) and I mumbled "3200" at various points for the next half an hour or so.

Even more frustratingly, I thought back to our very first point of stopping on the trip when I was amazed at how much light there was coming into the camera and how high I was having to set my settings.  I even asked Jason why there was so much light here!

He told me it was because of all the reflected light from the cliffs and the water and I nodded at his light-wiseness but still kind of wondered why my camera wasn't wanting to be in the ranges I thought it would be.

At no point did I think (duh) to check my ISO setting at this point (double duh.)

So major note to self.  Always check that my camera's settings are where they want to be.  And if things aren't doing what I think they should be?  Check my camera's settings (again!)

Anyway.  I flipped the camera back to 200 ISO at that point and still managed to get a hundred or so shots in after that.  I'd asked Jason what might have "gone wrong" with the shots I'd accidentally taken at 3200 and he said that they would be really grainy.

I downloaded them when I got home and while they look fine "normal" size, when I zoom in, it looks like I made a painting with MS Paint.

So... not going to be keeping any of them I don't think.

So, yeah.  I guess I'm glad I learned that lesson the easy way, no harm, no foul, only a mild self-smack to forehead.

D'oh.

Monday, 12 May 2014

Scent

Jason and I went on a hike yesterday and because it was sunny, I grabbed some sunscreen and sprayed (what a cool invention, may I just say, spray on sunscreen!) some on.

We were mid-way through the hike, and stopped for a while to soak up some sun and take some pictures of the beautiful coast.  (I am so grateful to live in such a beautiful place!)

I was sitting there and all of a sudden, I realized I smelled like Burning Man.

I sat there and tried to figure it out... was it because I was wearing the same camelback as I had worn at Burning Man?  No... I'd used it since.  Was it because I had Burning Man on my mind a day or so ago?  No... that wouldn't make me smell like Burning Man, weird thought brain, but thanks.

It wasn't until we were back in the car that I realized what it was.  The spray on sunscreen was the sunscreen I used at Burning Man!  So the smell of it, combined with the sunshine made my brain, very powerfully, think of Burning Man.

Scent can be a powerful thing, and I couldn't help but keep smelling my arm for the ride back.

(A weirdness which Jason didn't comment on, bless his heart.)

So, yeah, if you want to know what Burning Man smells like to me?  It's a combination of the sunscreen I used, and chalk pastels.

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Hulk Not Smash. Hulk Nap.

This is going to sound weird (maybe) but I had kind of a tantrum and I'm really proud of how I handled it.  ("Tantrum" is not the right word, but bear with me, ok?)

So one thing I (we?) know is that I'm not good with feeling angry.

And last weekend I (and everyone I talked to) was over tired and just felt done.  I was low and not all that happy and the gorgeous sunshine had gone and all I wanted to do was hang out with my boyfriend.

Except that wasn't happening.

Long story short, this that and the other and at some point on Sunday I texted Jason and asked if he was going to be at his event all day.  He said he wasn't sure.  I then (passive agressively?) texted back that I guessed I shouldn't expect to see him then?  (At this point I was feeling pretty sorry for myself) And he said nope.

I texted him something along the lines of "go eff yourself" (because it seemed like what I wanted to say) and when he texted back with several legitimate question marks I ignored him.

I was back in that space of being angry and just wanting to never speak to him again.

I deleted all our texts from my phone and considered deleting him (a la Jay... how "mature") and what else I needed to do to get him out of my life permanently.

I decided to take a few deep breaths and the next thing I knew the raging anger had shifted slightly and I was crying.

I was sad and lonely and wanted him to be there with me and I translated that into how our relationship was clearly doomed.

And so I decided to talk that out with myself.

So I lay down on my couch, under my blanket, crying, and I talked through my relationship with Jason and why he was spending time at this event and why I thought I deserved more of his time than I was getting and while I didn't come up with a solution or an answer, I also didn't feel so angry any more.

I just felt exhausted.

So I closed my eyes.

I napped for a while, not sure if it was fifteen minutes or half an hour or what, but I woke up feeling better and so much calmer.

Jason called a bit later and asked if he still needed to go "eff" himself (not the word I used...ahem) and I said no... that I'd been angry, but that I'd cried and napped and felt better.

And you guys?  I'm really proud of myself for that.

I'm proud that yes, I felt angry, but I didn't react (too much) in that moment.  I certainly didn't react in a way in that moment that would have been hard to recover from.  And then I talked to myself calmly and logically from both sides (how I was feeling and how the truth might actually be) and then I cried and I let myself rest.

Maybe I'm not explaining it quite right but I feel like I dealt with being angry in a healthier way than I have in the past and I'm feeling proud of that.

Yay me.

*pats self on back*

Friday, 9 May 2014

Mindful-tation

Nearly two months ago, a spy friend of mine passed on some information about a study that was being done around positive psychology, meditation and spies.

Her friend (the lead of the study) was looking for spies who could commit to ten minutes of mindfulness meditation (I'm starting to think they mean the same thing) a day and I figured I could do that and that it would probably be good for me.

The first week was bizarre.  I'd do the (guided) meditation and have no recollection of what was said.  I swear the first week's recording said something different every day.  And a few days I kind of nodded off during.

There have been some weeks where I haven't connected with the meditation (the topic/focus changes each week) or where I've stayed at Jason's for a night or two and therefore not done the meditation but all in all, I've been meditating an average of six (sometimes seven) days a week for almost two months (seven weeks) and I think it's been doing me good.

Last week, I also picked up a meditation app (called Headspace I think) that is another ten minute meditation a day so I've actually been doing about twenty minutes of meditation a day for the last few days.

Again, some days are easier than others.  Some days I drift off, some days I can't calm my mind or focus, and some days I feel like it'll be annoying to do it.  But I do think I'm feeling calmer for it.

Or, as I said to Jason.  I can't say for sure that it's helping, but I know for certain it's not hurting so...

Yeah.  I'm fairly sure it IS helping... but even if it's just doing no damage, I think it's worth it.

I also think the fact that it's ten minutes helps, because it feels doable.

But, yeah... it's some good stuff this mindfulness... meditation... mindful...tation?

Thursday, 8 May 2014

First You Notice, Then You Work On Changing It

I've noticed a lot of things about me, especially lately.

But there's two that are pinging for my attention right now.

1.  When it comes to making art, I tend to rush.

I'm not really sure about the why's of this... if it's that I want to see what I can come up with / make.  Or if it's that I don't feel like I have the time or patience needed to do a good enough job to make me feel proud?  Or if it's just habit?  Or a combination of everything?  But I know Jason's mentioned it about photography... how people need to slow down and I know I rush through taking a photo for sure.  I also notice it with my drawings, that I just want to be done already.  And I often don't much like what I did when I rushed to be done. 


2. I distract myself a lot.

When I think about why I have a feeling of "not having enough time" I notice that I spend a lot of time doing nothing.  And by "nothing" I mean noodling around on the web and watching tv shows.  I know that sometimes I need a mental break and that's fine, but it's more like when I turn off the computer and try to do something else my brain has a little spaz and short circuits and I'm back at the distracting.  It doesn't feel nice.  It feels like I'm stuck in my own rut.  I remember saying that I was pleasantly surprised that I never felt bored at Burning Man.  I never felt a need to distract myself.  There was just so much going on.  This may be unique to Burning Man, or may be something that I need to figure out how to replicate in my day to day life.




Maybe if I spent more time making art, slowed down and took my time, I wouldn't distract myself so much with tv and interwebs.  I just don't quite know how to "fix" it all and I don't know how to stop doing the zoning out that my computer allows me to feel.

I'm thinking about it though, and that's a good thing.

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

You Really Don't Need To Read This One. ("Ewww" Alert.)

Ooooohkay.

I seriously haven't wanted to share this story, but I've also totally wanted to share this story so I'm just going to suck it up, tell you the story and then pretend I never told you this story!  Ok?  Okay!

Sooooo, back in December, I had the pneumonia or whatever and I coughed a lot (and felt like I was dead, but that's another story) and at a certain point I coughed and then I thought "hmm, is that what my friends who've had babies feel when they jokingly (?) say they peed a little?" and I realized that even though I haven't had a baby, I was also not wanting to, you know, deal with... a ... uh... loose bladder (?) situation and maybe I should look into exercising my lady... bits.

Now my Mom has had children (duh) and told me that all through her thirties and forties (and beyond, I have no idea?) she would do kegels at red lights in the car.  (Kegels, by the way, are a particular exercise that women, and men! (seriously) can do to strengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor...)  I've tried this, but honestly, I forget more often than not so it's not a particularly rigorous training regimen.

Enter... kegel exercise balls!  (Please hear a TA DA triumphant sound in your heads now, thanks.)

The theory of these balls (and, no, that's not one in the picture there, I just wanted a picture of some kind of ball and that one sort of works because, well... blue balls?  Am I twelve maturity wise?  Yes, yes I am!) is that they go up inside the lady... area and the muscles work to keep the balls in and therefore you're doing the exercise without having to remember to do the exercise.

That make sense?

I did some research and while there was a style that came with a "holder" that also had a string attached to help with withdrawal (getting the suckers out), it was suggested that the string could never be completely sterilized and so they string versions weren't as highly recommended.

But there was also a fair amount of talk about people who... well, the balls sort of got "stuck" up in there for lack of a better term.

Now, the balls can't actually get stuck anywhere, they can't go into anywhere (I don't feel like getting too nursing school here) but if things down there are feeling particularly grippy... they might not be liable to just slip out.  That make sense?

I actually talked to Jason about it... which shows you the level of trust (and amusement) we have in our relationship.  "But what if they get stuck up in there?" I whimpered, staring at them once they arrived.

"They won't."

"But what if they do?  The internet said they might!  What if I can't get them to come out?"

"Well then drive over here and I'll fish them out for you!"

"EWWWWW!  *giggle*  *blush*"

So first time round... guess what happened?

Yeah... the little buggers didn't feel like coming out.

I didn't drive over to Jason's but I did call him in a bit of a panic.

"They're stuck!  And I can't reach them!  And I don't know what to do!"

"Relax" he said.

Yeah, right.  You stick something up your ying yang and try to relax!

Now I'm not someone who's particularly friendly with my lady parts and I'm not one of those ladies who uses those tampons without applicators so trying to fish them out was pretty awkward for me in general.

Add to that that the things are round and slippery and my fingers are not as long as I would have wished and, well, let's just say it was frustrating.

I did try to relax, watched a movie, that kind of thing and after a great deal of effort, I squat-cough-push-pulled them out (sorry for the visual on that my friends.)

I guess I felt a sense of triumph at having gotten them out (what felt like finally) and it was a while before I thought maybe I would give them another try.

I'm not honestly sure why I thought I'd give them another try, except that it seemed like the thing to do at the time, so when a friend asked me if I'd like to go for a walk on a sunny Sunday a few weeks later I popped in the balls and said sure.

I figured that since they'd been near impossible to get out the last time (certainly not easy) that I'd be able to go for the walk, get the "extra" exercise happening and then relax enough by the end of the day to get them out.

Imagine my surprise, however, when I started down the street with my friend and felt a ball slowly making its way down towards ... freedom!

I had no idea what to do.

I tried focussing on tightening the muscles in question but it appeared it was too late.  Before we'd gone a block, gravity had had its way and my panties were the only thing keeping a little silver ball from rolling down my pant leg and away down the sidewalk.

I waddled like a penguin.

Thankfully my (male, gah!) friend wanted to stop at Starbucks so I excused myself and fished the offending ball out of my panties.

I tried to see if the other one was going to try to escape too but it was out of reach (ewwww, I know) so I figured I was safe for the rest of the walk.

Except... then I probably wouldn't be writing this post, would I?

You got it... as we neared Victoria's beautiful Dallas Road public walk, I felt the second ball inching its way towards escape.

And... sadly... soon enough, I was once again feeling like I needed to waddle.

Except this time... no Starbucks in sight.  No public washroom available.  Plus, I'd just gone "pee" five minutes ago.

Sigh.

It was hard to focus on whatever it was we were talking about when all I wanted to do was make sure I wasn't laying a silver egg on the sidewalk and then having to explain that to my friend.

So when the opportunity presented itself (thank God this friend is a smoker and stopped at a bench to light his cigarette) I glanced around, and (I hope) subtly fished the second ball out of its panty holding spot.

My friends... I don't know what lesson to tell you other than if you're going to wear kegel exercise balls, it's probably not an awesome idea to wear them in public.

And even if they feel like they're firmly in place and you got them "stuck" there that one time?

Means little.

I don't know what to tell you.  I'd hang my head in shame if it wasn't so damn funny.

Maybe getting the ones with the string is my next step, eh?

Yeah, and now we can pretend this never happened.  Yay!

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Honestly

To be honest, I'm still hurt that Jay deleted my number.

No matter the possible accidental reasons, I know better.  And I also know that if he has a need to contact me, my number will be in some place or other and he'll reach out... oh so magically.

My guess is I might hear from him nearer to Burning Man... although I'm not sure he's going this year.  Which also strikes me as odd.

But I think what makes me feel sad about it is that it means that he's not a person of his word.

He told me, early on, and then again and again in our relationship that he is still in love with all of his exes.  And that, more importantly, he is still friends with all of his exes.

I didn't question his statement at the time, but I think I must have taken some solace from the fact that even if we split up, we'd still hover around the edges of each others' lives.  I think I thought that would be nice.  You know, to have a friend in my life that I shared a lot with.  Maybe even just to reminisce with... do you remember the time...?

I guess I also thought it meant he was more evolved somehow.  More evolved than I am, certainly, since I tend to let go of a relationship and let the ex go with it.

Vince being a... weird exception.  (That somehow doesn't count as we didn't speak for more than a decade.)

So now that he's chosen to disengage from me I feel sad.  Sad that he isn't friends with all his exes.  He's not friends with me.  He chose that.  And I guess I feel sad that all the awesome that was the two of us together is worth less to him than whatever hurt ego-ness he's gone through to delete my number.

I just... I don't know.  Maybe I'm harping on it because I can.  I just thought things would be different.  And that we'd have some sort of slightly odd friendship for the rest of our lives.

Like I know he has with some of his ex girlfriends.

Maybe my not being on facebook means he can't have an "easy" ex-relationship with me?

(No, really, I'm actually not on facebook.)

Anyway, babble babble... I'm just saying it makes me sad and I feel disappointed in him and who he said he was.

And I'm trying not to turn that feeling into a broad brush stroke of "well, maybe no one sticks to their word..." but it does make me feel like maybe people don't mean what they say... that maybe no one is as good as their words.  And that's a sad thing to feel.  Or wonder.  It's lonely.

Just... venting, really.  Sorry.

Monday, 5 May 2014

Sigh

I just kind of feel .... bleargh.

As in, I really should probably not write a post right now because I half want to crawl out of my own skin and half want to cry and some other half want to complain about everything and then another half want to yell and scream and hate everything and almost everyone.

I feel like I'm not the only person who, for whatever combination of reasons, is just feeling ... "done."

I need a break from things, but a break isn't in the works right now.  I need for things to feel easier, but I'm not sure what needs to happen for that feeling to manifest.

So, this is why I figured I should just not particularly bother posting right now because I don't feel like I need to write or you need to hear my angsty lows.

Blah blah blah blah blah, I wish it was the weekend again.

Saturday, 3 May 2014

Capital, lower case, Symbol, Number ARGH!

Ok, I know I probably shouldn't admit this outloud on the internet but this whole Heartbleed change your password uh oh hax0r thing is driving me nuts.

Like, I've done the obligatory password changes (HOLY CRAP how hard did I have to think to come up with all those new passwords, I deserve a drink or ten) but now I keep forgetting them!

Because when I've signed in to google with the same password for who knows how long and now I go to sign in and habit says that I type in xxxxxxx and then it goes "Sorry, you changed your password" and I go ARGH!

ARGH, ARGH, ARGH!

My brain can't adjust to all this adjusting right now and now my spy workplace is making us change our passwords too and I kind of just want to curl up into a ball and cry and change all my passwords to "password."

Sigh.

If only.

Friday, 2 May 2014

Crack is Whack

So it's May.  (Not just a rumour, I checked.)  And May is a weird month for me because if I haven't mentioned it before, my brain has a hard time remembering May and March.  So I'll be talking to someone about how it's already the second of M...and then my brain goes I DON'T KNOW WHICH "M" MONTH IT IS HELP HELP HELP and I end up sort of stopping mid sentence and then trying to remember if April has happened already and then I can say May?

Anyway.

I think I had a panic attack this weekend.

I'd had a nice day, but Jason and I hadn't connected much and I was worried about something or other to do with him (and/or us) and I decided to do my relaxation stuff and then just go to bed and sleep it off.

So I meditated and breathed and went to bed and wrote in my journal about how I was worried about whatever it was and all of a sudden I felt faint.

I felt faint and like I couldn't breathe (even though I was already lying down) and I needed air and it was not a fun feeling at all.

I couldn't text Jason (I don't remember why now) and I was about to text Jay because I figured he'd be able to calm me down but I decided to see if anyone closer was awake. I texted Vince and my neighbour and Vince was going to come over but my neighbour responded too and so I told Vince it was ok, and my neighbour came up and talked with me.

Talking made me feel better, but once I calmed down I still wanted to know where the panic had come from and why it had hit when it had hit.

I think it was too much caffeine.

See, I'm not a coffee drinker.  Not even really a tea drinker, although I'll have it some mornings.  Or an iced tea here or there.

But somehow I discovered that Starbucks has these "refresher" drinks that taste like heaven and get me all ZINGY with caffeine and C-Dawg and I like them so much we call them crack drinks.

Saturday was a lovely day and I started the morning with a walk to get some bloodwork done and I picked up a crack drink on the walk home.  Yum.

And then because it was such a lovely day I decided to go down to the beach later, and, well, I thought it would be lovely to sit and watch the water with a delicious (crack) drink by my side.

I didn't feel wired, but I think all that caffeine got to me and whacked out my system.

I've decided to lay off of refreshers for now and just go back to my sweet innocent iced teas now and then.  I can't tell you 100% for sure that it was the caffeine that did it, but the feeling was so icky that I'm willing to stay off of those drinks just in case it was.

It was not a fun feeling, that's for sure.

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Whoops!

So the other night I actually almost called Jason in the middle of the night.

Like, 3:30 am kind of middle of the night.

See, I'd "woken up" and grabbed my Teddy bear and realized I couldn't find my other teddy bear.

I felt around for it and soon realized it was missing.  I kind of panicked and I knew that either Jason had taken it or that he would know who had taken it and/or how to get it back.

I managed to calm myself down enough to tell myself that calling him and asking for his help and/or for him to return my missing bear could wait until the morning.

Which is a good thing, because I don't have a second teddy bear.
Please don't steal stuff from here, it's not nice. But leave a comment, why don't cha? And drink more water. It's good for you.

P.S. If you think you know me? You probably don't. If you're sure you know me? Pretend you don't. I'll never admit I know what you're talking about anyway.

P.P.S. All this stuff is copyright from then til now (Like, 2006-2016 and then some.) Kay? Kay.