The Importance of Feeling.

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Feelings. Sure, I claim that I don’t have any, or that I have just one left. However, they are there. For me, I stuff my emotions deep down inside and rarely let them out. I’ve built up my walls so high to keep everyone out that the only way I can keep from exploding is through writing (unless I have writer’s block.. then it’s all downhill from there).

Unfortunately for a lot of us in life, we get hurt after sharing what’s inside of us with others. So walls get built, and walls get reinforced as we get older. I’ve had a rough couple of decades, so my walls I built are basically impenetrable. It’s been a major issue in past relationships. I have such a hard time communicating, but it seemed as though as soon as I’d let some real emotion out, it would come back to haunt me.

So I try and pour all of that rough unbridled emotion into pages of a journal. Or if I need to express myself and I didn’t see a way around it, a letter directly to someone. It always seems to help to let the words flow through my fingers and get it all out. However, it’s not as good as just telling someone.

There’s a different feeling there, being able to tell someone that something hurt you, or that something scared you. Being able to just spill it all out. It’s refreshing to let people see that you’re not “the strongest woman” (or man) that they know.

I was at my breaking point yesterday. I was in immense pain, from pretty much all of my joints as well as my chest and stomach (IST and IBD). The pain was so horrible I was having a hard time keeping the tears back in front of my daughter. Then to pile on the financial stress (because I’ve been so sick lately, I’ve missed work under FMLA. Daycare is very expensive even if I work overtime, so missing work put me in the situation of paying the mortgage vs daycare, food vs. daycare, Christmas presents vs daycare. So after 2 months, it’s up over $1000, and frankly I don’t see a good way to fix it) it just broke me.

I went home and holed up in my room with the intention of writing in my journal. Which I did, I wrote page after page after page. Yet, no matter how much I spilled onto paper, I didn’t feel any better. The pain obviously doesn’t go away with writing, but I was hoping if I could get rid of the turmoil and stress snowballing in my head, I might be able to handle the physical pain.

Then Jon came in. He had visited me on lunch, and I had basically hopped out of the car because I thought I was going to cry. He came in the bedroom, and gave me a hug and I just lost it. I don’t know if it was because I was in physical pain, or what, but it all just came pouring out of my mouth. Everything, with tears and all. Over the course of 20 minutes, all my demons roared out and I just let it go.

After a little while, I felt better emotionally, and was able to deal with the physical pain. We didn’t find a solution, and I still don’t know what I am going to do to catch up on my daycare bill, but I have ideas to cut the costs in the future. Either way, I was able to tell someone else what was bothering me/scaring me (losing my daycare.. losing my job) and I felt a lot better afterwards. I was able to talk for a while, and then take some pain pills and get a little sleep.

That was a good first for me. I don’t open up to anyone, usually. It’s something I’ll need to work on in the future. I don’t want to muck up this relationship with my communication issues, so I’m really going to try. Either way, knowing that not everything is on your shoulders, that you’re not the only one carrying the weight is a feeling I want to feel again. I’m just glad I have a partner willing to help me take on the world.

Written Word.

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My pen has been scraping across paper for the last 4 to 5 days. There’s nothing more glorious than when you break through a block and you can watch the words pour out of your fingertips. 

Maybe its the season? Every autumn I reminisce and reevaluate. Something about leaves falling, wood smoke, and chilly nights just does it for me. My journal, gifted to me by a friend, has lost at least 20 pages. Sitting by the fire, just emptying my mind as the smoke curls up into the night air. Whether its a hot cup of coffee with cream, or a cold beer, I’m there.. writing. 

On the off chance that rain is falling from the sky, I’ve found myself laying on the cold kitchen floor. The tinny sound of the rain coming through the windows and the snores of my child, finds me on my stomach with my coffee and stack of books. It’s a habit from my younger years, the cold tile, the hot coffee, and my journals, sketch book and scraps I’ve written on spread around me. It’s simular to the chaos of my thoughts, beating against my brain to layout on paper. 

It doesn’t matter where the thoughts turn. I write everything. Sometimes I’ll use a separate journal to put the more chaotic words. The raw emotion that seems to come out of nowhere, splashes across the pages. I don’t know where it comes from, but suddenly I’m drowning in it. Desperation, loneliness, emotional pain and fear. Love, gratitude, hope, appreciation. It just comes, and the only way it will leave is through my fingers. 

So the words have been coming, I hope they keep on burning thier way out. Its the best physical sensation to just pour out my mind.. and know theres that much more. 

.. because I’m still here.

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I planted my garden today with a little help from Stevie. Apparently, I’m still not strong enough to drive those metal poles (for my cucumbers and green beans) into the ground far enough to be stable. I planted two different kinds of tomatoes, some bell peppers, of course my green beans and cucumbers (cucumber salad here I come!), radishes, lettuce and carrots. I’m excited that it’s finally warming up enough to plant, although we had a frost advisory last night.

I didn’t plant any flowers yet, that’ll be next paycheck as I tend to go a little overboard with them. Definitely looking forward to picking them out. I know I’m going to get Margarite Daisies, Snapdragons, and some double impatiens if I can find them. I have so many pots to fill, and a flower bed (any shadow loving flower suggestions anyone?). My short kid is in charge of her flower bed, so I’m assuming she’ll pick out the brightest colors she can find.

Haven’t been feeling my best lately, my Crohns is acting up just in time for World IBD Day. It’s really doing a number on my outlook/mood though. I guess I’m just frustrated that it’s limiting what I can do again, and I’ve been missing a bit of work. That, and of course, I’m worried that I’m going to make those around me upset. I’m sure my co-workers are getting tired of me being always sick, and I don’t want to worry my family. My daughter doesn’t seem too phased by it though, and Stevie is really understanding, which helps a lot.

I’m glad I was able to work through getting sick while weeding the garden earlier. I’m really proud of the fact that I was able to continue working through the pain (with the exception of a bathroom break) and get everything done. It really bothers me when I am not able to do what I used to, but I’m slowly learning how to pace myself and how to work around limitations. Although I’m pretty sure that I got a little snappy when I was offered help, but whatev.

Now? Time for some grilled pork chops (that I’m not grilling.. yay!), artichokes and baked beans. Then I shall be curling up to finish my book. Good weekend.

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Sometimes the urge to write hits at the most inconvenient times. Anywhere from in the shower, making dinner to at my desk at work. I do my best to jot down notes, things I want to write about, ideas.. yet a large amount of time, when I finally sit down to write it’s gone. That urge to drag the pen across the paper, that tingling in the back of my head and my fingertips. Writing isn’t quite as easy as it used to be when I was younger.

I remember sitting overnight in small diners, with awful, watered down coffee, just writing my mind back to sanity. Life was (is still) tough for me in my teens and early twenties, and writing is how I had coped. I have so many journals, some with dirt on them, others covered in coffee stains.. all of which I’m saving for who knows what reason. My question is, where did all of those words go? Do I really need to drag myself to a diner to write at some ungodly early hour in the morning? Why don’t the words flow as easily as before?

I guess that want to write, that feeling, comes around when it feels like it. I just have to wait until the timing is right, and hopefully the words will just pour out again one day.

Chasing it down.

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I feel like I lost something along the way, like it fell out of my pocket while I was walking down the street one day. ¬†It feels like I lost it at home, in the morning rush, while I was trying to get my child off to school so I could head to work. ¬†I feel like I lost it at the office, in between the screaming customers and cranky coworkers. ¬†I feel like I lost it while trying to balance the work I’ve brought home, with the work I already had set up for me there.

My creativity is missing, have you seen it?  My fingers used to itch with ideas to put on paper, with stories streaming through my head.  I used to have to STOP what I was doing, multiple times through out the day, just to write an idea down.  I could sit down with my cup of coffee and write and write, whether it was with my journal and pen or computer.

Somewhere this past year, I lost it. ¬†That doesn’t mean that I haven’t occasionally sat down by the computer, grabbed my notebooks, and… tried. ¬†It just doesn’t come. ¬†If I sit there long enough, the only feelings, the only things that come is stress from the job, and the feeling of failing at home (the result of working long hours and bringing work home with me).

My fingers don’t itch, my journal is sparsely filled with meaningless entries, and my blog is stagnant. ¬†Don’t even get me started on my drawings or my knitting. ¬†Lately, it feels like there is nothing left in my brain but stress. ¬†There’s this underlying wave of anxiety lately, if I give myself a moment, it threatens to drown me. ¬†I get up in the morning, get my kiddo to school, work 9 hours (often without a lunch, which was a big journal writing time for me), get the kid from school and head home with another 2-4 hours of work. ¬†I manage to fix dinner, throw in some activities for the family on the weekend, and bam! ¬†The end of the day is there, I head to my room to conjure up something to put through my pen and just end up with the same anxiety. ¬†Unfortunately you can only write so much about one topic before you start pissing yourself off. ¬†(Yes, that was a full admission that *all* writing I do is for myself.)

Things seem to be slowly calming down at work, I’m slowly (read: the difference is in literal minutes) working less at home. ¬†I’m slowly starting to feel the real draw back to my ideas, but now it’s pushed by the irritation, the HATRED of how I’ve sold my mind short. ¬†I think of all that I could put through my pen, I think of all the time I could spend with my daughter (my true muse) instead of hovering over my paperwork, and then stressing over everything else. ¬†I think of how much I just want to STOP.

I think of how much I just want to walk away. ¬†How much I want to just say “screw your fucking (insert inane purchase at any retail/CS job I’ve worked), I’m done.” and go home and write. ¬†How much I want to listen to my daughter’s make believe stories and spin whole tales about each character… for the pure point of telling a great bedtime story. ¬†I think about the years I’ll spend working, and if they’ll be limited by my disease, I think about whether or not I’m spending what limited working years I have working in a stressful environment. ¬†If I’m sacrificing my “healthy years” (those of you who personally know me, just started laughing) slaving away behind work orders and phones instead of with my family and my art. ¬†I start wondering what’s worth it, and what’s not. ¬†I start wondering what I really want, and what just gets me by.

Then. ¬†THEN. ¬†I think about how much I enjoy my industry (even if I don’t enjoy my job anymore). ¬†I think about the great example I’m setting for my daughter about work ethic when I show up to work every day, even when other’s would call off. ¬†I think about my co-workers, who sometimes drive me up a wall, but whom I consider my friends. ¬†I think about the joy I find when doing my job correctly, and getting out and finishing at 5. ¬†I think about how much easier things are with my extra paycheck (yes, I’m *finally* not the breadwinner in my family), and how much quicker I can accomplish my material goals. ¬†I think about how much easier it is to get yelled at by a customer then it is to try and crank out material and get published.

I ran away this weekend, my daughter and I came up north, to a part of wisconsin I’d like to live eventually. ¬†My parents will eventually retire here, and this is one of the only places I feel like I’m able to let my mind wander. ¬†After work on friday, I packed the car and we drove up here in the dark. ¬†I needed a weekend away to clear my head, despite planning to come up here much more this year, I haven’t made it. ¬† ¬†So this weekend it is.

Last night, while laying in bed, I realized that something has to change. ¬†Now I’m not saying I am going to up and quit my job (despite the rallying cries to do so), but something… anything has to change. ¬†I need to learn how to say no, how to go home at a reasonable time and instead of working at my own desk, how to walk away from my to-do list and pay attention to myself and to my family. ¬†I need to learn to let my words and emotions flow through my fingers like they used to. ¬†I need to stop fearing that I’ll offend someone with my writing, that I’ll upset someone at the office or in my personal life. ¬†I need to stop censoring my thoughts and written word and maybe… just maybe my creativity will come back. ¬†I need to learn balance, how to do the job I (used to) love (and learn to love it again), and how to nurture my family and my own pleasures.

Last night, and today, I’ve realized what I want and it’s not the feeling I get out of the way things are now. ¬†I have to make a change, and I’m the only one who can do it. ¬†It’s my life and I’m the one leading it… I need to get my priorities in order and enjoy it.

Life is a lot shorter than we’ve been lead to believe.

Music is the way out.

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One thing I am extra proud of in my family is the amount of different music I expose my daughter too. ¬†Today I just started listening to the new Against Me! album and I’m definitely digging it. ¬†The first thing that pops into my mind is that I can’t wait to get home and let Noodle listen to it and hope that as she gets older the message gets through to her head. ¬†I’m excited that she likes a broad spread of music, from anywhere from The Distillers (She loves that there is a chick punk rocker) to As I Lay Dying to The Fray to Break of Reality. ¬†It may make her the odd kid as she’s growing up, but I would much rather her be a well rounded kid than a sheltered one. ¬†

So I’m still in the hole (and by hole, I mean hospital) and of course, we’ve gone over the 24 hour mark, so I’m antsy as hell. ¬†I’m ready to get up and run a marathon (or at least a few laps around the nurses station. ¬†The one benefit of being stuck here is that I am getting an obnoxious amount of writing and knitting done. ¬†Not to mention the amount of music I’m discovering is ridiculous. ¬†At some point I’m going to have to block out the irritating aide and just slip in my headphones when she’s talking. ¬† Hell, I think In This Moment will block her out just fine. ¬†

Music and writing are my ways of safeguarding my sanity… not to mention reining in my temper as well. ¬†If I manage to do some writing and get some tunes going in my head, I’m a much more tolerant person. ¬†I could be listening to the most brutal metal I can find and as long as that’s playing I can keep my cool and calm. ¬†It’s a nice coping technique I picked up in a coffee house when I was a teen. ¬†The perk I see though, is that my Buddha not only experiences the music I play, but she gets to learn that there are different ways of coping with your bad days beyond just “being happy” or “smile!”. ¬†If I can instill anything, whether it be music, writing, art, SOMETHING, I will feel like I did a good job as a parent. ¬† Hell, I gladly bought her a new sparkle pink glitter journal just for that reason. ¬†If writing helps her sort out her feelings more than talking does, than I’m okay with that. ¬†

Growing up, going through the death of my mother, and of course though the turbulent teenage years, everyone told me that I needed to “talk through it”. ¬†That if I could just open up to people I would be able to be “happier”. ¬†No matter what was going on, I was force-fed this bullshit lie that I must talk, that I must interact and pour myself out to other people via verbal word. ¬†So I tried, and I failed… and I learned to wrap up all of my feelings inside of my head since obviously people expected me to be happy. ¬†It wasn’t until I got mad one night in my pre-teen years, that I sat down to write in my journal and I just let it all out. ¬†All of it. ¬†I wrote whatever I wanted to, instead of what I thought I should be writing about. ¬†I wrote about everything. ¬†That night, I discovered that that was the way I cope. ¬†Up until about a couple years ago, I still didn’t know how to open up to people well… hell, sometimes I still prefer to keep my words in my mouth and flowing through my fingers. ¬†Writing in journals/blogs/letters gave me an outlet to reach people through. ¬†I had a hard time telling someone how I feel, I could just write them a note. ¬†It helped, it still helps, I just wish someone had told me that was okay earlier. ¬†

Speaking of though, I’m going to go write in my journal… the literal one. ¬†

 

Then it was Morning.

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Pour me more coffee please, it’s morning again.¬† How did the time pass?¬† When did it go?¬† I was just writing, scribbling away.¬† Now it’s morning again.

I do a lot of my best writing at night.¬† I’m not 100% sure why.¬† I’m actually a bigger *fan* of writing in the early morning hours.¬† The wee morning hours, where no one is up yet, the coffee pot is the only one making noise.¬† I have a hard time getting what I want to say out when it’s not nighttime.

Maybe it’s because I’m well rested and the filters thrown on my brain, dictating what is acceptable thought are harder to rip off now.¬† I know when I write at night, both on my blog and in my physical journal, the words just hit the paper and that’s that.¬† I don’t alter anything, just let them flow.¬† The only thing I will cross out and fix is spelling (yes, even in a fit of scribbling, spelling errors make me batty).¬† In the morning?¬† I rethink entire paragraphs.¬† Copy, paste, delete, and oh I’ll delete that too!¬† I am much more critical when the sun is up.

Write drunk, edit sober.¬† Maybe for me, it’s writing tired and not editing at all.

I was on a roll last night.¬† I wrote page after page after page and then some how fell asleep.¬† I woke up this morning, with words streaming through my head, got my coffee and sat down.¬† I wrote almost nothing before I thought “Nah, I better delete that”.

Maybe I just developed a habit over the years.¬† When I first started seriously writing in my journals (most likely you could say that in my early teen years… before that I wrote mostly about how my crush was dick and my teacher didn’t know what she was talking about LOLz) I did most of my writing during the late hours, post dinner.¬† Not because I wanted too, but because that was the only time I had left.¬† I dropped out of high school, pretty early and once I found myself a job, that was the only free time I had.¬† After the incident of me getting thrown out/moving out of my parents house, I would stop at a coffee house on the way home to my rented room and write.¬† It was a halfway point, and I had pseudo privacy so it worked perfectly.¬† Fast forward a few years, I had college work to do at night after work each day, so the LATE hours were for writing.¬† Once I had my daughter, it was after she went to bed and I could hide in my room away from my then-husband.

Maybe my brain is just used to it.

So here I am.  Writing about wanting to write, when last night I poured out my soul onto pages in my handmade journal.

 

It’s irritating.¬† Pass the coffee.