If You Stand For Nothing…

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If you stand for nothing, what will you fall for?

Football was quite interesting today.

On Mondays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays, the sport of Football reigns supreme. Whether it is college, high school, or professional, people are glued to their television screens to watch their favorite teams win whatever game they are playing. Normally, the only thing you have to worry about as a football team is whether or not they win or lose the game they are playing today, You worry for the offensive and defensive lines of your favorite teams, and that is the only thing that stresses you out on a normal Sunday afternoon and evening. Unfortunately, given a certain political figure’s social media posts, the focus and purpose of today’s athletic events changed.

Today, football got political.

In the past forty-eight hours, Donald Trump has tweeted his opinions regarding a quarterback’s refusal to stand during the United State’s National Anthem that plays prior. I won’t get into my own opinions regarding his stance on their stance during the national anthem and whether I agree with their refusal to stand during the national anthem, but I am impressed by the protest nonetheless.

The response from the football community has been overwhelming.

At the start of every single American football game across the country today, players of various race, creeds, and beliefs stood together in protest. The Pittsburgh Steelers and other teams remained in the locker room  in solidarity for the political climate of the country. Other members of various teams kneeled instead of normally standing, while others locked arms with their teammates to show support for the injustices that seem so common in this country. No angry words were spoken, and no violence was performed. People just acted in silent, peaceful protest.

It was heartwarming.

This world is an absolute mess nowadays. Everyone is angry at the angry world around us.  Today, protest against the world’s ills was made, and it was made correctly for once because no one got violent.

I get so sad with the way the world is sometimes.

The statement made by so many professional football players today gave me so much hope.

At the start of each professional NFL football game, as the national anthem of the united states played or was sung, most players either linked arms with their fellow players or took a knee.

No violence, no words.

I was moved by how impactful such a quiet act of defiance was.

It was my kind of protest.

Violent acts and hateful words, no matter what side of the argument you may find yourself on, are so easy to find these days, As an anti-political party citizen of the United States of America, I try to see both sides, and I hate how angry the world has become.

Today, the NFL gave me hope.

Ivory Tower

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Photo by Selim Çetin on Pexels.com

You never know how pathetic lonely your life really is until you’re sitting on the floor of your apartment in the dark by yourself drinking wine and crying while watching a Disney film on a Friday night…

…or when you’re chugging a protein shake down watching Game of Thrones alone on a Sunday night.

Whatever the case, it’s just sad.

I am two steps away from being the stereotype of a girl in her late twenties drinking wine in a bubble bath while reading a trashy romance novel. I mean, my life is kind of like a loop of the beginning of a romantic comedy before the protagonist meets their love interest. Except, I never actually get to the point of meeting my love interest. Poor bastard is probably stuck in a tree somewhere.

Funny thing is that I purposely put myself in this position, at least this time.

Over the past couple of weeks,  I’ve realized something about myself. I’ve become entirely too dependent on other people, and people are horribly unreliable. I never wanted to go out if I had no one to go with. I would pour my heart and soul out of people I thought I could trust only to be left crying on the floor or doing something stupidly self destructive if they couldn’t be there for me, whether it was their fault or not. I get lonely and can’t even enjoy my own company. I’m socially anxious and am afraid of being alone. With this lovely contradiction, I’ve decided to take some measures to fix my people dependency.

I am taking a social sabbatical.

Basically, I’ve iced my social media accounts and tried to go as off the grid as I possibly can. I make no effort to interact with other humans, aside from my job or when it’s unavoidable. I am focusing solely on me and me alone. I am being entirely selfish because I don’t know myself anymore, and I think I better start figuring this out.

Is the smartest and/or healthiest thing to do?

I don’t know.

To be terribly honest, this very well could destroy me. It’s a lot tougher in practice than in concept. As an idea, it’s quite lovely. I take time to shut out all the external noise and focus on who I am because, frankly, I’m not sure who that is right now. I went from a small town girl who preferred to stay indoors and read to…okay so I’m still working that part. That’s sort of the point of this whole thing I suppose.

In practice, it’s not going too well. There are days where I would damn near kill to have someone to talk to. If something great happened that day, I’d love to celebrate with a face that wasn’t the same one I see in the mirror every morning as I stumble out of bed. On a bad day, I would love to have someone to hug me or listen to me vent over a glass of wine or just to tell me it’s going to be okay. Right now, I am trying to do that for myself, and I feel like I’m failing hard. I feel like my heart is growing colder or that I’m just at the point of giving up.

Like I said, this will either fix me or kill me. Either way would honestly be an improvement at this point.

I started this post at the end of April, and every time I come back to it, the tone shifts. Some days, it’s full of confidence and pride. Other days, I’m on the edge and desperately hope that someone comes to rescue me from this self-imposed ivory tower I’ve put myself in. But, I can’t come out of this social solitude. Not yet. I am alone, but I can’t offer myself to the world until I figure out who the hell I am and if that person is worth fighting for.

To use a quote from Buffy: The Vampire Slayer (Yes, I’m aware this quote will be used entirely out of context):

“No weapons. No friends. No hope. Take all that away and what’s left?”

“…me.”

Burnt

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Standing in the ashes of the bridges burnt,

The heat of a bridge still burning in the path behind,

As a match is still lit between fingers.

I look ahead at what I left behind

 

The sky mirrors the color of the ashes beneath my feet,

Mixed with the hue of the bright flames at my back.

 

Even if I longed nothing more to go back,

There’s no way I could cross.

The rivers, coursing underneath those bridges once strong,

Would drown me as soon as the thought to cross passed.

 

But, it does not pass,

Because bridges not sturdy should be set ablaze.

 

I always use to rely on the promise,

That what was on the other side was worth crossing over,

That an outreached hand would be waiting,

With an embrace and kind words.

 

All I found on that other side was myself,

Shouting into the void ’till I was hoarse.

 

At this period, at this time,

One would think I’ve learned not to even try,

To pick up old tools and poor wood,

And build more bridges.

 

One would think,

But one would be wrong.

 

Bridges will always get built,

In hopes and promised promises,

Bridges will always burn,

When hopes and promises get set ablaze.

 

 

Blank

1*8edy4mWzKuZDRkw5-96DmQ.jpgI honestly don’t want to write today.

Here goes nothing.

See, that’s the problem. I got nothing to write about today. Well, okay, that’s not entirely true. I have a lot I’d love to get off of my chest and onto the page, whether it’s a digital or print page, but it’s a lot of stuff that I’m not clear headed enough to write well about. If I even tried to put into words the contents of the scary chaos that is my daily thought process, it would probably come out as a bunch of emotional, nonsensical nonsense.

I doubt anyone wants to go there.

One thing I’ve learned about writing, especially in a setting like this where it’s personal non-fiction type writing, is that emotions and emotional memory are hard to capture. When writing about a particular event or moment in your past, it can be hard to capture the way you felt during this time. Years, months, or even minutes can alter your emotional memory of what happened and change the way you’d write about it. A time where you were scolded as a child and became angry at the chiding may be written about years later with a humorous look with no anger left in sight.

I’ve tried to combat this.

Good rule of thumb for a writer: always carry a notebook. I usually carry two. One is a traditional, spiral bound time notebook. There’s something about connecting your mind to the pen to connect to the paper to write down your thoughts that’s really powerful for me. The other notebook is more of a novelty. It’s a smart notebook where you can write down your notes and upload them to your computer, and then you can erase it with water and reuse it.

Okay, got a little of track, let’s go back.

Carrying a notebook allows you to capture a moment or a memory as it’s happening. You can sit back, if you’re a loner like me and more of an observer, and document everything as it is happening. Every emotion you are feeling is written down as you are experiencing it. The details are right there on the page.

To me, it makes it more accurate.

Of course, emotions can complicate the writing. Writing can be an excellent tool for dealing with stress or depression, believe me, but it’s complicated. Emotions can cloud the quality of writing. My own writing is unfocused and chaotic if I try to write when I’m upset. The notebooks are a great tool.

Just, maybe wait to publish them

Sing to Me

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Music is powerful.

Melodies of tunes can speak the unspeakable emotions we don’t realize we feel all of the time. Lyrics can put into the language we speak exactly what we may be feeling in that very moment. Music can raise the spirits and crush them within two bars of a song played on a piano or through the headphones connected to your phone. Music is one of the strongest things in this world.

Today, I used music to try and heal up a bit.

It wasn’t a good day. Work was work; it was a Monday, and no on ever seems to have a spectacular Monday. If you do like Mondays, congratulations.

You are a freak of nature.

I can’t really explain why, maybe it’s just me, but it was one of those days that started out okay and then progressively got worse and worse. I tried to solider through it. It’s my new year resolution to be more positive,  but happy doesn’t always come easy to people like me.  Some of us struggle to find the light more than others. Anyway, after obligations and stresses, I found myself on my couch watching the Food Network with a bowl of ramen and a glass of wine as I do almost every night. I couldn’t shake my mood no matter what I did.

Then, I reached for my headphones.

I searched for a song that fit my mood. See, I don’t always listen to positive music when I’m sad or upset; that’s only for times when I’m really dark place and can’t pull myself out on my own. Sad music is great because it’s like someone is telling you that they understand.

They’ve been there.

Well

germsI’m finally getting better after almost a week of being sick.

I think.

After what feels like a gallon of orange juice and so much soup that it feels like my body is only liquid, the cold I somehow caught is finally out of the door and off to bother someone else.  I can stop pouring orange juice, water, and tea down my throat like I am in the middle of the desert dying of thirst, and I can move on with my life to pretend it was all just some very bad dream.

I absolutely hate being sick.

So, who does enjoy being sick? I’m sure there is someone out there who does enjoy it, even if they are in the very small minority. Sure, you get to just rest on the couch or in bed all day, but the physical symptoms alone are enough to drive you absolutely bonkers. If I am not blowing my nose into yet another tissue trying to force the germs out of my body, then I am hacking up a lung trying to force out the germs that way. I am weaker than I’d like to be, can barely talk, and I’m just plain miserable.

I hate being sick.

Luckily for me, this will be one of the only times this year that I get sick. I normally have a super tight immune system, so it should all be over soon. I will be running around getting work done and working out as I used to soon. There will be no more moping around the apartment or trying to sweat it out at the gym or trying to avoid taking sick time. I will be getting better soon.

I’m bad at being sick.

Part of the reason I think I don’t get sick often is that I am so miserable when I have some sort of cold. I get weepy and lethargic when I am battling some sort of illness. I am either crying up a storm thanks to whatever medicine I finally force myself to take after trying to avoid it for weeks or I am barely able to cope with a daily task as I am falling asleep thanks to not listening to my body’s need to recover.

I am a mess.

The important thing is that I am getting better. I think I am anyway. Maybe, tomorrow I will wake up and barely be able to move. Illness can be very deceptive. Who knows how I am going to feel tomorrow.

Better, I hope.

Effort

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I’m going to try and see how much I can blog before midnight, but I won’t make any promises.

Yes, folks, I’m still sick.

Seriously, I’ve opened and closed my computer about three or four times already tonight. I really want to commit to my five hundred word a day resolution, but I’m also trying to commit to taking better care of my self. That also should include going to bed earlier even though I have to do a blog post. So at about fifteen minutes to midnight, I’m laying in bed trying to look after my cold, while also attempting to hammer out five hundred words that actually make sense.

Seriously, being sick is the absolute worst.

I doubt any likes to be sick. Trying to sit still and sleep while your nose is so plugged up is not exactly easy. Plus, I’m never one to take time to rest, so here I am at work, at the gym, and making dinner. Okay, so I know those are beneficial things to do as a functioning adult, but they are probably the most difficult things to do when you are ill. I am riding the struggle bus hard today, my friends.

Hopefully, the weekend will be better.

Yes, I am actually going to try and rest and rest well this weekend. Aside from watching an NFL playoff game, there is nothing I have to and nowhere I have to be. If I’m feeling up to it, maybe I’ll cook or clean or work out. If I’m feeling lousy, then my bed is the farthest I will go.

It’s all about self-care.

Listen, I’m not stupid. Lack of self-care is likely what got me to this position of being sick in the first place. I never seem to have the comprehension to take it easy on myself. Mainly, it’s because I don’t feel like I deserve it.

I know it sounds a bit melodramatic.

I never feel like what I do is enough. My body and my energy will drop to let me know when I have hit my absolute limits, but my mind is another story. Part of it is the fact that I am incredibly stubborn. I always want to keep going until the job is complete.  I like to see things through to their final conclusion. Then, there’s the another reason.

I always feel like I’m screwing up.

If you’re around me long enough, you’ll realize I’m a chronic apologizer. I always feel like I have to apologize for something. Part of the way I try to alleviate my imagined guilt is by pushing myself to the absolute max.

Not this weekend. This weekend is for me.

Breathe In

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Okay, so right now I’m all kinds of stuffed up.

Breathing when you’re sick is not the easiest task to complete. Unfortunately, it’s sort of necessary to continue living, so if you want to keep doing that, you need to breathe. The problem? A stuffed up nose makes this a little hard to complete.

So how to breathe?

Of course, you can breather out of your mouth, but that gets old and difficult after a while. Medications can clear up a stuffed nose every once and a while, but they wear off and leave nasty medicine hangovers in their wake. Me? I’m not really fond of only breathing out of your mouth or ineffective cold medicines.

Exercise seems to work best.

I may have mentioned this before, but water and tea make for great cold fighting tools. Basically, it flushes whatever toxins causing internal hell out of my body. I’ve found that works the best and doesn’t leave me feeling like I’ve been run over by a truck. However, that’s not the only way I’ve found to fight back on germs.

I get a little help from my old friend the treadmill.

Want to get better fast? You have to sweat for it. I know most people say you need to rest to get better, but being idle only makes me feel worse. The second I am on my feet and moving is when I start to feel a little better. Staying active for me is key to recovery. Running is especially helpful in fighting a cold. You basically start to sweat out all of the bad stuff. Plus, it seems to help get a little more oxygen in my lungs. For me, it helps a lot.

Note, I am in no way a doctor, so please don’t take any of this as scientific fact.

While I try to run as much as possible when I’m sick, sometimes my body does not want to comply. Even I’m not invincible, so I have to find alternatives to still stay active while going a little easier on my weakened body.

Enter Yoga.

I’ve been practicing yoga on and off for about five years now. I took a class in college, and it just sort of stuck with me because it’s all about checking in with your body, emotions, and mind. It allows you to gauge where you are at in this very moment.

It’s also all about your breathing.

Breathe in through your nose, breathe out through your nose. I know this may seem like it doesn’t work, but it does for me. Once I start to stretch, I’m already breathing better. As I slip into this yoga breathing, I start to breathe a little more normally. By the end of the practice, I feel so much better.

Of course, it’s only temporary.

I have to let the cold run its course. Of course, I know that, but I’ve learned there are still some little things you can do to help it move along.

And get better.