The Little Things In Our Everyday Life

You know how they say you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone?  Well I didn’t know how great of a toilet I had at my old apartment until I moved into my new apartment.  If I don’t watch myself I’m going to develop a condition where I have an anxiety attack every time I have to take a shit.

cat-in-the-toilet-soon-meme

It’s also giving me a complex.  I’m starting to get paranoid that I poop freakishly more at one time than any normal human should because no matter how little or conservative I think it is, it is still almost guaranteed that it will clog up the toilet.  I’ve even tried to do in-between-poop-plop flushes to minimize the chances of the toilet getting stopped up.

Toilet-Meme

And it’s an absolute no-no to drop the toilet paper into the toilet until I have tried flushing it first to see if we have a clogger or not.  I have to put down the Candy Crush game while I unceremoniously hold onto some unpleasantness while I try to flush what’s left of my dignity down the toilet.

I think I have had a total of two instances since I moved in last summer where it didn’t clog.  That’s the same number of times out of five years that I had a clog at my old apartment.  So now I want to visit my old apartment just to let that toilet know that I took it for granted and that I’m sorry.  It deserves to know what a great toilet it is.

 toilet-complaint-meme

Then the toilet in the guest bathroom.  Don’t get me started on that one.  It never shuts.up.  Tinkle tinkle tinkle blurp {water stream water stream} clunk clonk tinkle tinkle.

I have laid in bed at night staring at the ceiling and yelled at it to shut the f*ck up, doesn’t it know that I’m trying to sleep!?

And then I apologize, because it didn’t deserve that.  I’ve just been under a lot of stress and I took it out on something that hadn’t really done anything.

At which point I watch as the cat tries to exit as casually (but quickly) as possible to put as much distance between himself and the crazy lady as possible.

i-m-outta-here

 But that might just be because the morning before, he had caught me pretending to be at an archeological dig while cleaning out his litter box.  Carefully clearing away the loose litter with the scoop so as to not damage the revered pee balls that had been placed so purposefully during ritual.  Or wondering what the story was behind two poop clumps being held together by a human hair.  Was it a religious artifact?  We may never know.

Which, he can judge all he wants but I’m not the one who runs back and forth as I’m doing sit-ups, and act like I’m purposely trying to avoid petting him.  Every.single.time. Up.  Run to the feets.  Down.  Run to the head.  Up.  Run to the feets.  Down.  Run to the head.  Banging his head on me, meowing and demanding to be petted.  Why do I have to be so difficult about it goddammit!?  The little knucklehead gets me laughing when he starts his shenanigans.

Outwardly I don’t lead what other’s would call a very exciting life.  It’s more or less routine.  Laundry day, litter-box day, garbage day, dishes day, grocery shopping day, work, more work, a side of work, vacuum day, pay bills day.  I don’t take much vacation.  I haven’t taken an actual full week of vacation since April 2013.  I *should* take more, I know that.  I will.

But I don’t want to live a life where I’m simply tolerating, dreading, and surviving 95% of it, and only happy or relaxed for the 5% that is set aside for vacations or night out with friends, and trying to make it to some “one-day” retirement.  That sounds like a terrible plan for life.  Just hurry, scurry, get through it get through it almost there and then relax.  Oh god, oh no, it’s time for another work week.

Too much of that and before you know it, a decade of life flies by that you have very little recollection of because you were never really there or present in the moment.  Your mind was always on something else or the next thing that needed to be done, but never really *there*.

A day will come when you regret it.  Maybe you won’t be able to put a name to the feeling, but it will be there.  Some vague notion or feeling that you missed out on something.

Day Two Of Not Giving A Damn . . . No Mercy

Day two of not giving a damn . . . and I feel GREAT!

They should bottle this shit up and market it.

Here’s the soundtrack for today’s post courtesy of Lea Michele, Cannonball:

If you’re in a stick in the mud kind of mood and don’t want to listen to it, the gist of the song is about getting broken down and wondering if you aren’t losing your mind and then a moment comes when you’re just like . . . fuck it.  I’m getting out and going to start living my mother fluffin life.  And then fly gracefully like a cannonball.

O.o  Sounds like my kind of grace.  “I’m a swan!” . . . “No you’re not, you’re a big hunk of round metal.” or whatever cannonballs are made out of.

This staying in my own emotions is so  f r e e i n g!!  So much chatter and clutter and worry in my head has vanished.  It’s just . . . *p o o f* magically gone.

I just want to keep hugging myself saying, “Ohhhhhhhhhhh yooooouuuuuuu!  I LOVE you so much!  You’re so snuggly and warm and adorable like some sort of kitten teddy bear hybrid!”  I feel like I’ve just been reunited with my long lost best friend.

Gemini.  We’re our own best friend.

There’s been speculation that I possibly had a twin in the womb.  I even had a dream which led me to a spontaneous *memory* of having been in the womb and my twin dying and leaving me alone in there and all of the resulting trauma of absorbing said twin.  (Horrifying doesn’t even begin to describe it.)

So who knows?  Maybe I really am my own . . . uh . . . twin.

Anyways, it feels good to be coming back up from the abyss.  That place is the pits!  Am I right? {nodding head, looking around for validation}

On my walk this morning, I actually started to mouth the words to the song I was listening to without realizing it.  Do you know what that means?  I wasn’t feeling self conscious out in public!  That is OUTSTANDING!!!

I’m not thinking about what other people are thinking or wondering about me at all!  I just feel good in myself and it’s starting to just shine outward instead of other’s influences pushing inward into me.

It feels so great to allow myself to get to feel whatever it is I’m feeling without needing a reason.

It’s leading to spontaneous singing like a song bird, and busting into dance moves while standing in line at Starbucks.  And the smiling!  OMG!  Smiling is taking over my face!  My face is like “WHAT IS GOING ON?!  It hurts!”

I just feel happy and excited about whatever I’m doing.  My whole world is beginning to open back up.  The sun is coming back out.  Laughter and light is returning to my life.

Who knew?  Who knew it was as simple as that?  Letting other’s be responsible for their own feelings, and only being responsible for mine.  Obviously this is my own secret sauce mix, and isn’t the answer for everyone (or maybe even anyone) else.  But the simplicity of the switch and the bigness of the effect is blowing my mind.

Okay.  So that’s all for now.  I’m off to continue my being W o W e d by the world!

No mercy bunny

 

The Green Marshmallow Stuff

I think one of the more awkward parts for me after a breakup, is wading through the minefield that becomes my daily life after the initial shock has worn off.  I have all these *blank spots* in my life now.  Both the things we used to do on a daily basis, as well as the joint future plans . . . they’re all just gone.  I have to re-orient, re-prioritize, re-establish everything.

Until I gain a foothold and give myself new coordinates on where I’m headed, I’m just a ship lost at sea.  Wishing I had thought to bring a game of yahtzee or a puzzle or SOMETHING, because it’s really fucking boring bobbing up and down out in the middle of nowhere.  Patience, schmatience.

So, in the meantime in order to fill the holes in my life I’ve started doing crazy shit like cooking.  I know I’m in a weird place in my life when my response to “what now?” is answered with anything even remotely related to the kitchen.  That is *not* my domain.  It’s like a new foreign country to me.  I don’t understand the customs and I definitely don’t understand the language.  It’s all ooga booga to me.

The night before last, as I stayed up way past my bedtime reading, out of NOWHERE came this intense craving for some green marshmallow “salad” thing I used to eat when I was younger.  I wanted it so much, I nearly got dressed at 1am in the morning and braved the cold to hunt down the needed ingredients.  But the warm, comfy bed won that battle.

So I stopped on the way home after work yesterday to get them.  I’m not sure what I was thinking, but I walked into the grocery store with no recipe and absolutely no idea what the name of the stupid dish even was.  Just green . . . fluff . . . stuff.  I’m a planning type person.  Walking all willy nilly into a store without an exact list of needed ingredients for a recipe isn’t my m.o.  I was out of control.

I probably spent a good 30 minutes standing in the cake mix aisle next to the Jell-O boxes, doing search after search on my phone on ingredients I was guessing based on a very fuzzy memory of something I hadn’t eaten in years and years.  *Green stuff*  *Green Jell-O salad stuff*  *Green fluffy marshmallow stuff* *Green Jell-O salad with cream cheese and marshmallow*  *Green Jell-O salad marshmallows* Oh wait . . . I don’t think it was green Jell-O . . . I think it was something to do with . . . pistachios?  *Pistachio green salad* *Pistachio green stuff with marshmallows* *Pistachio marshmallow pineapple*

Finally!

I finally found a recipe I was willing to commit to.  It didn’t involve words or items that I did not want to deal with or have to figure out, like “2 cups of heavy cream”.  Did you know that there isn’t anything in the grocery store that is *just* heavy cream.  WTF is it referring to?  Is it milk that needs to go on a diet?  Is it creamer, but . . . special?  Is it soupy yogurt?  Is it condensed milk?  Is it heavy cream for whipping?  I don’t need that kind of complication in the kitchen, so those recipes got axed.

Once home, I put my brave face on because I didn’t want the food ingredients to know I was intimidated by them.  I tried to show them who was boss.  I drained the can of crushed pineapple, *BUT* . . . retained the juice.  Yeah, now who’s scared?  You thought I’d miss that little detail, didn’t you recipe?

And then . . . the recipe went all vague on me.

Stir together half of the pineapple juice with the pudding mix until well blended.

What?!  I thought I had done a good job of vetting out complicated recipes, but I FAILED.  I need measurements!!  I’m not some fancy Iron Chef who works with dashes of this and a dollops of that!  What is “half” of the pineapple juice?!

So then I started questioning whether I had even drained the crushed pineapple correctly.  Is there a kitchen “standard” for pineapple draining that I don’t know about?  Do I let it drain naturally, or do I press all of the juice out of the pineapple?  There’s a lot of liquid in pineapple that could make a huge difference in the amount of juice I start out with before “halving” it.

I winged it.  Why not?  I was already living dangerously.  I picked up my bowl of pineapple juice and just poured some into a bigger bowl.  I took a deep breathe and started stirring in the pudding mix.  By the 2nd package, it started to feel like I was trying to stir cement, so I was fairly certain I was going to need more pineapple juice.  And also at this point, I was starting to come to peace with the fact that this entire thing may not work out and be a disaster, in which case I was going to be grabbing the chips and dip and consoling myself on the couch.

More juice.  More pudding mix.  Little more juice.  Rest of pudding mix.  Feeling more confident about my choices thus far.  Starting to calm down a little and backing away from the ledge.  Whew.  Okay.  Ready for the next step.

Gently fold in the Cool Whip and carefully stir in the pineapple and marshmallows.

Gently fold?  Am I making love to my laundry or am I making food?  The lines were beginning to blur.

I started doing my best impersonation of folding 16 oz of cool whip (the big container) into what looked like green Laffy Taffy at the bottom of my mixing bowl and having many, many doubts.  And getting exhausted from trying to mix two completely different consistencies, but I powered through.

Successful mixing of green concrete and cool whip.

Successful mixing of green concrete and cool whip.

I mixed the pineapple without much fanfare, and so had arrived at the final ingredient: marshmallows.  I had gone through a lot with this dish.  I had had my ups and downs.  I had been pushed far out of my comfort zone more than once.  I was a changed person.  I started to measure out the two cups of marshmallows.  The relief of finally getting to use a measuring cup for the first time the whole evening was indescribable.  “Oh finally, thank you!  I love you, measuring cup!”

After I was done, I stood there staring at the bowl.

* * * c o n t e m p l a t i n g * * *

And then grabbed the bag of marshmallows and poured more in.

Every single marshmallow you see, is above and beyond the 2 cups asked for in the recipe.

Every single marshmallow you see, is above and beyond the 2 cups asked for in the recipe.

I had gone mad.  The recipe had broken me.  It was anarchy in my kitchen.  Not just with my rash recipe decisions, but with the mess I had left behind on the counter:

Just look at that pistachio pudding powder disaster.

Just look at that pistachio pudding powder disaster.

I survived, but I will never be the same.

Now . . . if you’ll excuse me . . . I have some delicious green marshmallow stuff waiting for me in the refrigerator.

Remembering the *Me* Needs

I learn something new about myself everyday.  Which I then promptly forget.  So that I can be all surprised when I remember again.

It’s like an endless game of peek-a-boo with myself.

“Oh!  There I am!”

“Wait!  Where’d I go?!”

Today’s peek-a-boo was regarding something I read on an Astrologer Peg’s blog post a little while ago regarding astrology rising signs, Your Rising Sign/Ascendant.  Our rising sign is the mask or outer layer we put on when we go into the world.  It’s one of a billion reasons why we don’t necessarily come across as our Sun sign . . . which is what most horoscopes focus on.

For example, I’m a Gemini Sun.  However, my rising sign is Aries.  My Venus, Mars, and (moon) South Node are also in Aries.  If you met me, you just might mistake me for an Aries vs. a Gemini.

Anyhoo, back to what was written about Aries rising.  One sentence in particular was written in a way that helped me understand myself in a new light.  (Hopefully more flattering than fluorescent.)  For Aries Rising she wrote,

Taking care of your own needs allows you to relate better to others.

There’s something in me that *knows* this, but I’ve managed to un-know it like a catrillion times.  (That’s a lot of cats.)

When my needs are taken care of, I can relate like no one’s business.  But is that what I do?  Noooooooo. (<—up and down intonation needed there.  If you read it monotone, go back and do it again, but this time right.)

The second . . . and I mean the very nanosecond that I get into a good place inside of myself, I start handing that *feeling good stuff* out to people left and right.  I become drained.  My needs quit being met.  I start to board the crazy train. (choo! choo!)

If taking care of my own needs first, helps me relate better to others as an Aries Rising . . . it goes triply so for my Aries Venus and Aries Mars.  It should be a no-brainer for me.

But here’s what I do.  AS I’m trying to meet my needs, I’m trying to take into account everyone else’s needs and adjust what I’m doing for myself to make sure everyone gets a piece of the pie.  That doesn’t work for me.  I don’t run well on half-assed met needs.

I run on premium.

I have GOT to get out of the sacrificing self business.  It’s malarkey.  Well, for me it is.  I don’t know about the rest of you nuts.  Figure yourselves out.  (<— look at me not owning other people’s stuff!  Jenn is on  f  i  r  e !  ! )

Being that way, can sometimes give other people the wrong impression.  Like, “Oh, you’re so self centered.”  or   “You don’t think or care about other’s feelings.”  But guess what?  That’s NOT my problem.  If you haven’t given me the benefit of the doubt, and don’t actually take any time to get to know me before you judge me . . . then that’s your bad.  Not mine.  And most likely *your* projection onto me.  Not me.

I *do* have to make sure my needs are met before I start getting all cozy, friendly.  That’s how I operate.  When my needs are being met . . . well . . . I’m just a bowl full of cherries.  I’ll do just about anything for a friend, and even strangers.  I love, love, love people.  I love making you guys smile and making you guys laugh.  I love seeing you excited about something you love.  I love being a part of people’s lives.  But I can’t express this to others, or even be there for others . . . until my own needs have been met first.

And actually, thanks to my Pluto (Big Bowl of Scary) conjunct Descendant (House of Other), when my needs aren’t being met, I become very scared of people.  Or disempowered works here too.

You don’t have to have anything Aries in order for this to apply to you in some way (because everyone has a 1st house & Mars . . . both rules by Aries . . . somewhere in your charts), but mine is extra emphasized.  It’s not like, “Eh . . . maybe not today.”  It’s more like “Um, every second of every day you better be operating like this or life is going to suck ass for you.”

So . . . here’s to keeping in the remembering portion of personal peek-a-boo . . . and remembering the *Me* needs.

I Wanna Be Like Me by Sara Bareilles

Goddamn Poster Child for Asperger’s

This is not going to be PC by any stretch of the imagination.

WHY?!  Did NO ONE ever bother to mention to me that I was the goddamn poster child for Asperger’s?

Of course, there was my counselor many years back who seemed to like to mention how there’s a high proportion of people with Asperger’s who work in the computer field.  Which I thought was an odd thing to keep bringing up in the middle of our session.

And then there *were* mentions that others in my family seemed to display characteristics of Asperger’s. . . but they weren’t talking about me, so?

So why didn’t I know?  Oh, yeah.  That’s right.  Because I don’t get what people mean when they’re being indirect or talking around something!  Jiminy Christmas!

Everyone, you have my permission to be very direct and blunt with me.  Just say what is on your goddamn mind and don’t try to drop subtle hints.  I’m *not* going to get that you’re trying to tell me that I smell bad, when you’re talking about how your great Aunt Agnes smells because she doesn’t take enough baths.  I’m going to assume you’re talking about it, because it really bothers you.  Or because you’re really weird.  (Btw, this is not a real life example.  I smell pretty.)

Anyways.

I just thought my issues were because I’m a Gemini Sun conjunct Gemini Jupiter.  Or because it was the end times, and I was ascending.  But who knows.  Maybe they’re all correct.

Just in case you’re like me, and people have been dropping hints because they don’t want to *offend*, but you are still unawares. . . below is a link to a site that I really liked because it’s not the stereotypical descriptions that make no goddamn sense to me (I may need to check for Tourette’s as well) because the reasons given for *why* people with Asperger’s or Autism do what they do, sound like made up or projected bullshit that someone who doesn’t have it would say.

If you’re not offended yet, keep reading.

Here’s the link I’ll be using as my reference for symptoms:  http://taniaannmarshall.wordpress.com/2013/03/26/moving-towards-a-female-profile-the-unique-characteristics-abilities-and-talents-of-asperwomen-adult-women-with-asperger-syndrome/ .  This is more specifically for women who have it, so guys. . . it may not speak to you.  It may not even speak to the women.  I don’t know.  All I know is it speaks to me.

Moving along.

I was going to list the ones that I resonated with. . . but it got a little ridiculous.  Many that I didn’t list, I used to have and they nearly crushed the life out of me. . . but after having put in some serious hard work over the years to overcome them or at least better understand them, I’ve improved a great deal  So, don’t let my current badass self fool you.

May find great difficulty attending/participating in staff meetings, lunch breaks, work social event

OMG.  I have not found the secret or the trick yet to managing this one.  I push myself as much as I can. . . but some days, it’s just not going to happen.

May get stressed if have a lot of work to do in a short amount of time

May become frustrated/stressed if asked to do too many things at once

I have definitely made hardcore progress on this.  But I cannot sustain it indefinitely.  If things don’t get back to normal within a reasonable time, I start going to hell in a handbasket.  I totally did it this last winter at work.  3 Months too long.  I am still recovering.  That was such a dumb move on my part.

Tries very hard to avoid making mistakes, forgetting things

I write and keep lists all over the damn place.  I had gotten really good at being on top of all of my responsibilities. . . but I still stumble and fall periodically and it’s a bitch trying to get myself back in balance.

May have to withdraw, isolate herself or other when overwhelmed by her senses

This is one reason for Jenn’s great disappearing acts from friends.

Has great difficulty asserting herself, asking for help, setting boundaries

Yup.  This has been my main focus in understanding and learning how to do in real life for at least the past two years.

May say “yes” to social events, then later make up an excuse as to why she cannot attend, often staying home in solitude

AKA – Being flakey.  I got sick of being called flakey.  So now I just say no to everything.  Actually, the invites just stopped coming. : )

May offend others by saying what she is thinking, even if she does not mean to

Here’s part of what I was talking about in my post about having a hard time expressing myself without having great opposition from others.

Unusual voice (flat, monotone, high-pitched, child-like)

The first time I was told I tend to speak in a monotone,  I didn’t know what the f#@! they were talking about.  I actually went and listened to my own voicemail several times to try and comprehend how I spoke, sounded different from how others speak.  So I try to be conscious of my tendency to do that and add some *life* to my voice.  But then I just come across sounding like Japanese Anime.

May talk too loudly or too softly, often unaware that she is doing so

“Mom, you’re talking really loud!” or “I’m sorry, Ma’am, I can’t hear what you just said” (which is followed by my Big Girl voice because then I’m upset)

Often surprised when people tell her she has been rude or inappropriate

Not just surprised, but my goddamn feelings are hurt too.

Highly sensitivity, may not be able to listen to or watch the news, violent shows/movies or horror movies, hurt or injured animals, abuse, war, trauma, sensitive to the emotions and “emotional atmosphere” of the environment, referred emotion and psychic “6th sense” abilities, may have strong intuitive and/or psychic abilities

Yes, please. I was highly advised by my counselor when I was 17 to avoid all news.  He got sick of spending the sessions with me crying about something I heard on the news and trying to talk me down off a ledge.

May not be able to tolerate sounds, sights, smells, textures, movement that she dislikes

I have to have special lights in the workplace.  I have a really strong physical reaction to fluorescent lights (and anything 60 Hz flicker rate in general. . . including computer monitors, etc.)  I have noise cancelling headphones so I don’t come unhinged when the noise levels go up.  If someone decides to throw their cigarette butt in my trash can, I have to remove the entire bag and throw it away in another room completely… otherwise I’m distracted by it and can’t focus on work.  I take scissors to anything in my clothing that rubs or scratches me in the wrong way.

What I’m trying to say. . . is that a great deal of my energy in a day goes into just trying to minimize the impact my environment has on me.  Let alone exceling or thriving.  Sensitivity has enormous gifts, but it also brings a hell that few can appreciate or understand.  I *am* able to build up a tolerance for a short time.  So, as long as I get plenty of rest on a regular basis, drink plenty of water, take my vitamins, etc. I can manage through a day for the most part without coming apart.

May have auditory processing issues

There’s a reason I don’t like talking on phones and it’s not because I’m being difficult.  It’s because I have a delay in processing information, and it’s super-emphasized when on the phone.  When someone speaks to me, I tend to echo or repeat it in my head before it fully settles in what was said.  When in person, watching the person speak seems to help me.  On the phone, I can’t see them. . . and more than once I’ve sat on the phone in tears because of frustration with myself.  I have to hyper-focus in order to not have the person repeat what they’ve said multiple times. . . and then the stress of the difficulty causes me to just start getting disoriented and I lose all comprehension abilities.  Email has changed and saved my life.

She may make it a high priority to arrange her life, events, work, and environment to avoid overwhelming, stressful or upsetting situations

If I want to continue to be capable of functioning enough so I can work and providing for my family, I really don’t see what choice I have but to make it a priority.

Feels things deeply, Other people’s moods affect her, especially if they are negative, Tends to be very sensitive to emotional pain, Lives with continual generalized anxiety, bouts of depression that creep up on her,  Difficulty regulating emotions and managing stress

This all feels the same to me (like a big ball of sensitive mess) so I grouped them together.  I have truly, truly made huge strides in this arena in my life.  Thank god.

Naive, honest (often too honest), Emotionally too honest (inability or difficulty hiding true feelings when it would be more socially acceptable to do so)

I’ve tried to be otherwise. . . and it feels like I’m choking myself to death.  So.

A natural born leader, independent, strong-willed, determined and can be highly competitive

Well, WTF?  All of that hot mess listed above. . . but a great leader.  Yes, if I can stop crying into my cheerios long enough, because I can still smell the cat litter even though I just cleaned it. . . then count me in.

Generally lack a strong sense of self, self-esteem and/or identity. May use chameleon-like skills to assimilate and be involved with to a variety of groups or different people over time, in a search for true identity.

Oh hi.  Welcome to Show Me Who You Really Are, related to a lifetime search of “who the hell am I?” in relation to everyone around me

Dislikes change and may find it disorienting and stressful

And yet, I can’t stand to repeat the same mistakes over and over and over. . . and so I rip the rug from under my own feet in order to get out of the rut. . . which brings change to my life . . . which I really do hate.

Highly sensitive to criticism or perceived criticism

This one I don’t get really.  I need for people to be straight with me and direct.  But criticism (yes, even if just perceived), really, really stings.  It’s like I was just slapped hard in the face and brings insta-tears.  I usually am pretty good at stuffing it before anyone sees because it’s embarrassing.  But I’ve never been able to figure out why I respond to it like I do.

Dislikes being observed when having to perform (performance anxiety)

Oh for sure.  If you want to watch me mess something up or go blank. . . start watching me do it.  A switch goes off in my brain and I break into a sweat and most likely wouldn’t be able to give you my name, let alone perform.  I have been actively working on overcoming this one lately.  I even made myself sing a song in front of Jay. . .because the only way I know how to overcome fears… is to hop in and get all comfy with them.

Tend to be very serious, often too serious at times, Is intense in everything she does

I have been asked a bajillion times in the past, “Why do you look so serious?”  O.O  Because I’ve got some serious shit being worked out deep inside of me if you don’t mind, please and thank you.  Really, what’s happening usually is I’m in hyperfocus mode because I’m actively trying to shift and move energy flows within my body. . . I have zero attention capacity left to be thinking about what the hell kind of face I’m making.

Has the ability to feel other people emotions, May “know” or have knowledge of certain things, but no idea how she knows

I believe I just recently brought this up in a previous post when I was trying to understand for myself why people scare me.

Okay. . . that’s like all I can even stand to go through.  If you’re even still awake at this point in the post. . . kudos to you.  Because I’m about to do a faceplant on my keyboard.

I was crying when first reading many of the things because (well, apparently I have no control over my tear ducts anymore) because I don’t know how many times I’ve felt like a crummy person because of it.  I am constantly ruffling feathers and disappointing people left and right, and I’m doing the best I can.  In fact, I feel like I’m in superhero drive every single day of my life – but it feels like others think I’m just half-assing it.

I cannot even begin to express what it feels like to go every single day of your life feeling like you have leaped over the empire state building and for all of it to go unnoticed and be completely insignificant to the rest of the world.

Do you know how many times in the past I’ve been accused of being cold, insensitive, and self-centered?  And I believed them, because I didn’t know that they didn’t know better than me.  So I made it my mission to rip my world of understanding upside down and inside out to understand others and how their perception is separate and different from mine.  And who I am separate from them.

And I get that I’m weird.  And it’s dragged me through 7 levels of hell.  And regardless of whether how I am has a name or not. . . I know there are a lot of people in the world like me going through those same levels of hell.

And I don’t believe it to be a syndrome at all.  I think it’s humanity leveling up.  Because the things I’m forced to learn how to do, have only EVER made me a better person.  We live in a world of unhealthy habits and of unhappy people because we’ve gone way out of balance.  My “syndrome” is forcing me to learn how to rebalance and reconnect to what is really important and even slowing down and taking a breath once in awhile.

When I stop and take a good look at the chaos spiraling out of control on Earth, I seriously have to wonder who it is that *really* has the problems.

Feeling Like a Cat On a Leash

I’ve recently started taking my girl kitty, Raven, out on a leash.  As of June 04, she will be six years old and has been a strictly indoors cat (not including the times she ran out the door and got herself lost in the local neighborhood and caused me to cry so hard I nearly vomited).  While there is also a boy kitty in the house, Gir (pronounced GRRRR), he wants nothing to do with this crazy foolishness of willingly leaving a warm, cozy home with food, toys, and humans who cater to his every whim.

So what new level of crazy possessed me to try and take a cat out on a leash?  (I’ll wait for you to finish laughing first. . . )

Back in April, when me and my son went to go see Jay in The Netherlands, I took the cats to a cat sitter.  It’s a special place set up just for cats.  A cat motel, if you will.  This place also had a cat proof outside play area for them to go out if they wished.  So, long story short, Raven got a taste of the outdoors, and now she pines for the outside.

Problem is, as soon as she steps outside, she becomes freaked out and disoriented.  She’s an indoor cat, with an outdoor cat stuck inside of her.  She doesn’t understand it, all she knows is that she wants it with every fiber of her body.  Even though it scares the living shit out of her.

I happened to have a cat harness and leash because when I got them as kittens, I was delusional in thinking that was going to happen.  After finding it,  I got down on the ground with Raven and explained to her, that if she wanted a chance at going outside, she was going to have to suffer this harness.  And I’ll be damned if she didn’t stand there and let me put it on her.

This from a cat, who as a kitten weighing less than a pound, was able to wrestle her way out of getting her temperature taken.  Even while in a towel taco.  And two of us holding her.

So there she was, with a cat harness and leash standing at the front door looking hopeful at the door handle, and me standing there not knowing if I wanted to laugh or cry.  I have cats for a reason.  Namely, because they don’t need to be walked.  I’m lazy like that.

So fine.  I sucked it up and opened the front door.  But she’s doing this weird thing, where she lowers all of the way down on her haunches and belly to the ground.  Cats hate anything restricting their movement, so they get all weird about it and basically lay down.  As one owner put it, “it’s not taking them out for a walk, so much as taking them out for a drag”.  Ah, yes.  Now, I remembered why this didn’t work before.

At this point I’m standing there with my hand over my face and shaking my head.  What am I doing to myself?  This is so ridiculous.

But she must have seen a bird or smelled something good, because instinct or not. . . she was finding a way to make her way to the stairwell.  She looked like a miniature version of the cartoon pink panther as she slinked along the ground being all sneaky sneaky.  This was one determined cat.  Nothing, but nothing . . . was going to stop her from her dream.

Because I wasn’t going to watch her suffer down 3 flights of stairs, I picked her up and walked her down.  I got her to a grassy area free of any dogs, and let her have her moment.  I stood there patiently and gave her encouragement.  Since I was in broad daylight and visible to my neighbors, I figured I was in it for the long haul and just gave in to the crazy.

She was shaking like a leaf, just like she normally does when she’s outside.  But her determination was shining through.  She low crawled in a hurry to a place that was less open.  I kept talking to her gently that she was okay and that she just needed to get used to being outside and on a leash and that she was doing great.  Slowly but surely, she calmed down enough to explore and sniff a few things.  After about 15 minutes, she gave me a mew that sounded like, “I’ve reached my limit for now, please take me back inside.”

After we got back inside and I took off the harness, I let her know that she did wonderful for her first try.  Once free, she seemed awfully damn proud of herself.  She went prancing around the house like she was just given an award for kitty of the year.  Gir was pretty disgusted with her behavior and the attention she was getting from me.  Within an hour, she was meowling at the door to go back out.  I had created a monster.

I took her out again the next day and she adjusted more to walking with a harness.  By the 3rd day, we actually walked a full block with her pattering along side me like a happy puppy.

In the following walks, she met and greeted a puppy with no incident.  She learned to not scatter and run for the bushes every time a car passed.  She decided that she preferred the sidewalk to the grass and mud that got her paws dirty (maybe I influenced that, maybe I didn’t).

We were laughed at several times, and greeted with smiles and friendly chatter by others.  In a neighborhood full of dog owners, we were quite an odd sight to behold.

She would still shake like a leaf, and she would still hit a wall where she had hit her limit and would stop and give me the “please take me home” mew.  But she had done it.  She overcame her disorienting fear with determination and a need to do this thing that she wanted so badly.

I helped her, because I was familiar with her situation.  I have an outdoor cat stuck inside me too.  I wish to explore the neighborhood known as the world and satisfy my many curiosities.  I want to run free and frolic.  I know there are adventures to be had and things to chase and food to nom.  Trouble is, I’ve been an indoor cat my whole life. . . and getting into the wide open space scares the living shit out of me.

But I do it anyways.  One low belly crawl step at a time.