Sunday, January 30, 2005

On A Happier Note

I am always amazed at the effect music has on my mood. I think.. I should perhaps keep my radio playing constantly in the background to keep myself smiling and active.

I am currently listening to The Pillows new album, Good Dreams. I have also inadvertently given a pep talk to someone on irc, and made them much better. I told them something I needed to hear. Its fun when I realize that, you know. I should take my own advice. As a result, I no longer want sweets right now, and I have an amazing energy that makes me want to run and jump around. But its late, and instead, I think that I will get a start on the laundry that has been piling up around me, as well as the cleaning. Homework will come later.

I think its time to climb out of this slump once more. I can do this. I can do this and sing happily and be active and paint the pictures and finish Llysana's children's book. After that, I think that I will need to give serious thought to making a portfolio and visiting the barber shop downtown. I was asked if I wanted to try for a job to remodel it. I am going to go for it. I dont know if I can, but why not try?

I am constantly feeling inferior. I don't have the creditials is what I think. But what the hell are credentials and how do I go about getting them? My own personal story is fairly amazing, and I have been given so many chances its a crime. I need to start thinking in terms of action and future desires. My money is running short again, and this time its early on. I still want to go to Japan. I need to apply for my visa soon. I will not make this a lie I have told to everyone. I am going. This summer, I am taking off, overseas, and with myself. I can't afford to sit and waste what I have here.

No matter what I tell myself, I am amazingly tallented. I cannot question that when I am alone I know that I can cook, I can paint, I can draw, I can sing, I can dance, I can design, I can write, I can sew, and I can build. But what I can't seem to do, or havn't been able to do thus far, is believe in myself. So screw believeing. I am going to fake it. I am going to make myself go for everything and forget about whether I think its within my right to want it, or my ability to achieve it. Worst case scenario I become the mysterious woman bartender in a European bar where no one knows how badly I fell on my face in America. I will be another person with another even more interesting story.

One thing for sure, sitting here recounting the things I used to do in highschool and elementry school is getting old. I am too young to live in the past. I need to gain back that reckless abandon with which I was able to request Boot Scootin Boogy at a wedding reception and stand alone and dance on that floor. I get teased about it today, but that is better than having that day flow seemlessly and unnoticeably into the dark. I used to say, the worst thing would be to be forgotten by someone you cared about. Taken to the extreme cheesy, I will not be forgotten about in this world. I want to earn my title as the one "Most likely to Create an International Incident," and maybe a few more along the way. I am not done yet. So.. watch these entries with interest, because I will be initiating things from now on. I don't know how just yet, but I will be living action.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Scary Dreams

I have a separate blog for these generally, but I wanted to focus on dreams in general and their meaning- not a particular dream. Although it was last night's experience what prompted this line of thought.

Dreams are often said to be windows to the subconcious where you fight out your fears and troubles of the day, some say windows to the soul, and some say glimpses at the future. I.... am afraid of all of these interpretations. My dreaming pattern is very scary, and I am thinking it might be good to see a psychiatrist over them. Its not like I dont have good dreams occasionally. But the majority of my dreams are very voilent and involve me being murdered. All of my repeating dreams are about being murdered.

This might be enough to say I need psychiatric help alone- that most of my dreams focus on death. But the sheer violence and realism of the dreams is disturbing. I wake up hurting from imaginary stab wounds and with one dream in particular I have to almost use my hands to physically compress my chest and force myself to breath again because I have been gassed. In it I dream that its during the holocaust and I willingly put the gas line to chamber in my mouth. The compression forces my lungs to pop open and coats them with a heavy powder that paralysis the muscles and makes it impossible to exhail. When I wake up, its like iron bars across my chest and I feel sick. This is a repeating dream I first recorded around sixth grade.

Even though the holocaust dream is very unlikely, the majority of the dreams are based in a possible reality. Most of the repeating dreams are based around a central masked figure breaking in while I am vulnerable- usually asleep or in the shower. Its the same man, and I always know he is smiling even though he wears a black ski mask. Variations include I hear a noise and wake up in bed to see his outline against my bedroom door. I am bathing and look up and see his reflection in the steamy mirror. I am showering and the curtain is pushed in as I am grabbed from the side and repeatedly stabbed. I am bathing and I hear something, look up and there is nothing there, and then I hear a footstep and see a boot enter the bathroom door from the corner of my eye. One of the most terrifying is when I used to live at home in fort worth and I would dream about having to go do laundry in the garage. I would open the door and slide my hand around for the lightswitch in the dark, and then as soon as I touched the lightswitch, a leather gloved hand would cover mine.

I have been stabbed, shot, strangled, asphyxiated, drowned, burned, burried alive, covered in scorpions, poisoned, bitten and crushed in my dreams, with extreme details including sounds, sight, touch, smell and taste. This morning I woke up after seeing two men in greyish white ski masks. I was thinking in the dream I had just put my phone on to recharge in the other room, and there was no way but to scream for help. I tried, but couldnt the first time, and then tried again and woke myself up screaming. I was shaking so bad I couldn't get back to sleep until after taking a scalding shower to relax my muscles.

Besides the lack of sleep, this is truley troubleing even during the day. I wake up with deep scratches and bruises I have no recolection of getting while awake. Sometimes on particularly bad weeks I have lucid dreams almost... I think thats what they could be classified as. Where I am 100% concious, but go off to some half dream world and imagine something happening- like when in the shower imagining seeing the lock turn on the door, or hearing the sliding glass door. Or seeing a face in the mirror. My chest freezes up and I go to investigate, completely aware that I am most likely nuts, but unable to give up on that .2% chance that it wasnt my imagination. Of course, even the completely impossible ghostish feelings bother me. I think the closest thing I have seen to a representation of that would be the appearation of the woman in the kitchen from 6th Sense, or the bathroom scene from 13 Ghosts. Bloated and rotting bodies with bloody rooms.. I can just see it in my mind, and I get too creeped out to stay there or have the light off. Its like I can feel the point of a knife at the base of my neck and intense hatred.

I have entirely too strong of an imagination, and I have known this for a long time. It has always bothered me. But even more disturbing is why my mind is preoccupied with such morbid and horrifying events. Exactly why does my subconcious bring up these kinds of things? What kind of person do I have to be in order to think this way? To be able to imagine exactly what it feels like to have a knitting needle shoved through my neck?

And I do not even really want to explore the prophetic aspect of dreams. The intense feelings of deja voo for five and ten minutes at a time that occur every blue moon. Its more frightening to think about how focused I am on the central masked figure and how easily it could become reality, when I compair it to the time I had dreams about scorpions for two weeks straight, and then woke up after dreaming one had fallen from a giraffs head onto me. I was frozen scared, and then noticed I had a creepy crawly feeling on my back. A nest of scorpions that had been in the curtains above my bed had half fallen out while I was sleeping... It was incorporation of reality into my dreams, but its always haunted me when I wake up from particularly realistic dreams. Its what got me interested in recording dreams in the first place- because I had been having so many nightmares and then finally a real encounter. But implications like that ... put with the repeating masked man... scary. Unlikely as hell, but the .2% possibility laughs in my face.

ok, I am getting of fthis subject. I know its not well written, and one day I may revise but it is extremely uncomfortable at the moment. Hopefully tonight is better.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Naked

I have been reading a lot of manga recently. Mostly Shoujo- girly love stories. One in particular, Never Give Up, has had a profound effect. At first I was annoyed with it. The story is about a boy who is absolutely gorgeous and top model quality, and his childhood friend who is frequently mistaken for a man she is so ugly and unfeminine. They both love each other, but no one will accept them because she is too ugly to be with him. So the girl promises that she will work hard and become a 'princess' that is worthy of him- meaning she will become beautiful so he will like her. Generally.. this is a no brainer as to see why this storyline made me angry. Why does the girl have to try so hard to be what the man wants, and to meet everyone elses expectations of what his relationship should look like?

However, as I read more I cannot help but see my own relationship with this manga- or more accurately, with the main character Kiri. Throughout the volumes I have seen her put great emphasis on hard work to follow everyone elses ideals, thinking it will lead her to her own goal. I have also watched the lead male characters repeatedly reject her when she follows that mode of thinking. Instead, they seem to be the most attracted to what she really needs- confidence. When she displays unblinking courage and acts on her own despite anxiety they are always watching close by to cheer her on. I am seeing that Tooya, the man she wants to live up to, expects not a physical transformation for Kiri to become his princess, but a mental transformation. She has to be able to stand up to their family and everyone else, and be proud of who she is. Thats what will make her worthy of him. Self confidence, and a deep value of herself.

Much of her ugliness is shown by her ambivalence and reluctance to accept that she is fine the way she is. She has bad posture, she does not stand up for herself when others criticize her appearance or call her "that" or 'it" instead of "her." She compounds the problem by hiding herself. There is not much one can do with a school uniform, but doesnt have to be so unflattering on her. Much of the problem is the way in which she carries and presents herself in the clothes. Its too baggy, there is no attempt for makeup or accesorizing, everything is sloppy and uneven. But all of this seems to be unconcious, and she genuinely strives for ways to become more beautiful which is what makes her so endearing.

With this obvious message in my face, its impossible for me to not turn a glance inward and see the comparison. Afterall, isn't that what we are supposed to do? Draw upon our own experiences to create sympathy and identify with the main character? But my own analyzation does not come out so refreshing as Kiri.

Kiri is working hard to correct her problems, but despite admiting she needs more confidence, she has failed to clearly recognize her situation. She is not aware of the things she is doing that prevent her from being beautiful, she can only recognize that she is beautiful once someone else has removed her fears or threatened her current existance to make her act. This attitude and determination to fix what is wrong with her is admireable. Its the trait that gives the whole series its name- Never Give Up. I never tried. I gave up from the start. One of the characters states " A womans work to become beautiful starts at ten." By ten years old, I had already accepted that I was ugly and would never be beautiful.

Perhaps more disturbing than having never tried to be beautiful, is the fact that I have done so willingly. I have run from my problems, whereas Kiri is searching desperately to find and fix them. I see what I am doing, and I do it deliberately to run away. I dress down just like Kiri does. But I do not have a uniform, and never have. I could choose more flattering clothes. I have more flattering clothes that I do not wear strictly because I do not have the confidence to take three steps away from the apartment stairs in them.

I know what to wear to make me look better- but I don't wear it. I do not attempt to fix my hair, and I do not attempt to accent my face with makeup. I put my hair in a bun or a ponytail or a braid and I tell myself that it is more 'functional,' or that I lack the ability to do my hair, or that I do not have time to do my hair. I put on the barest minimum concealer to make sure that my face does not stand out as horrid- but I do not add rouge or eye color. I no longer put in contacts. I wear solid, dark, baggy clothes that hide any hint of a figure. My ear holes have grown in, and I wear no jewlery except perhaps an ankle bracelet that cannot be seen beneith my socks. And the premise for all of this is rather simple- if I do not look like I tried, then people will assume that I do not care. I will not have to be embarassed about any failure of mine to look presentable, because supposedly, it was not my intention to fix any flaws.

I play this part down to the way I hold myself and move through a room. I have a presence that begs to not be noticed. I slouch slightly, I avoid eye contact, I seek corners and shadows and I move next to walls instead of between people. I would rather wait for an opening than to walk into the tight personal space of another person. I apologize for my existance with each darting look that refuses to meet another person on the same level.

This is all deliberately done to hide myself. I am first and foremost an actor when I leave my apartment. I know this because there have been times when I have worn the good clothes that I adore in the privacy of my own home. On the days when I am so desperate to see them on me, to see other people recognize me as a similar creature, I wear them. On those days I give myself a story, an excuse for being dressed up, in case I should run into anyone I know. I can never admit to something as embarassing and selfish as "I wanted to try to be pretty." It must always be some external force acting upon me and giving me no choice in the matter but to try and appear "normal." By the time I open the door to the outside world, I have prepared and practiced these little white lies so that they will shine and reflect light like the other accessories I put on for the occasion.

I make a point here to stress that I am hiding my true self, so the defense that I should not have to change for the expectations of others is mute. I change myself everyday to meet their expectations. If I were truely shy and disliked myself so much I would be far less guilty. But I have been doing this for so long that the lie is all anyone knows. This has gone on so long I doubt even my own mother understands how much I long to stand out in bright colors and look beautiful enough to make people stare.

I am not one for dark colors- when I am alone I sing loud and clear. When I am walking I occasionally skip a step, and frequently have an urge to do a cartwheel or hand stand just for its own sake. I walk around with emense pleasure and a huge smile just noticing small things around me, wondering how many other people see what I do. I play childrens games- avoid cracks, jump in puddles, balance on the guttar, pull and swing on poles, walk on the grass and jump down stairs. I restrain myself from attempting to climb trees and laughing out loud at the running commentary inside my head. How could this be a person who wears dark colors and hides in the corners when other people are around? My favorite color since I was born has always been red, so how is it the color I own most of is navey blue?

I am an artist, an aspiring interior designer and architect. I have always believed that a persons room, how they organize their space and what they fill it with, reveals more about than could be learned in any one conversation. Rooms are identity revealed, explained, and put on show. Every detail speaks to the character of the person, and how they view themselves and express themselves. I take great pride and care in my apartment. I am mindful of every painting and drawing I do. To me, these are all extensions of myself into visual form for others to see and interpret. So how stupid am I to have ignored the one expression of myself that can never be separated from me? My appearance. It has the same significance, and perhaps more so because everything on your person is of direct relevance. Yet I use it to lie to people.

I think... I might have lost the point of these musings... or that this might have been the point itself. Either way... I have nothing more to say at this time other than it is obvious to me that I need more confidence. I have always known it, but I told myself that when I make myself look beautiful, I will have more confidence. Of course, how can one become beautiful without confidence to begin with? That is the question perhaps, that this new manga has proposed to me. Its a chicken and egg story, and if I solve this riddle, maybe I can begin to have hope of earning a crown.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Voice-Run Away

The name of a song and what it means to me.

I downloaded it on a whim because it was by Rie Fu- who I happen to adore for her music. It really resonates with me.

Lyrics for it? "I wake up to the spiritual voice in my head and it says 'hey, hey aren't you the cynic?' Yah, it could easily be left under, left unsaid, but I was sinking, was thinking, maybe too hard. So I ache, so I ache, its more than I can take, and it gets only worse when I sleep, when I awake. So I ache so I acke it gets only worse when I sleep, when I awake, so my belly keeps thinking..."

And why does it resonate with me? Because I wake up with this same knawing most every day, knowing I should be doing something else, working towards a goal, and yet am doing nothing at all. It leaves a bitterness and makes me defensive.. there is something holding me back, and yet I can't see it- so its probably not external. I think I have written of this before- anxiety/fear of future and that I really can't live up to what I want, therefore if I do not try, I do not have to face the fact that I am not enough as I am. I am not complete.. haha what a thought? How arrogant that was... as if I could have completed myself at 20 years old.. or maybe that is a sad thought.. is this all I want to be? Obviously not.

More lyrics: "You change the color of your eyes, what you really mean is you don't really want to be this way for good...You pick up the stuff thats just been laid, what you really mean is you want to be the one to lay them out if you could."

Alternative motivation for actions... yes, I understand this and do this a lot. Heh, many times, I wonder why I converse with people- often having something to say but not really needing a response its not conversation. Human contact that is easily controlled? If I can monopolize a conversation then it can't get dangerously close to something I do not want to talk about- tho I seem to be self defeating in that I can recognize this and thus often force myself to do exactly what I am avoiding. However, bursts of courage are not enough... one must have determination and foresight to continue this daily. Sincere emotion that is powerful must not just burst through now and then, but become a strong steering current that is ever present in each action.

In any case, these seem to me at this moment indirectly related things.. rather abrupt differences.. maybe? I lack the ability to map this out in my head at the moment... but do I really need to? does understanding lead to corrective action, or does it meerly fall into complacent acceptance? No acceptance for me. I can't keep waking up as I am. The question is, how do I keep the passion in my daily life? How do I keep not just active, but constructively productive towards my long term goals?

Haha, I feel like I should be a thirteen year old writing this- or rather that I should have written and decided these things far far back in highschool. I should know who I am by now. But I was in a fog for so long.. everything was too easy. I said it was so hard at the time, and yet it was too easy. I needed to be slapped into reality then. But I don't think anyone could have done it for me.. I would have just resented them for jostling my comfortable nest of delusion. I... should stop compairing my own development to others', maybe I have. Watashi wa watashi, anata wa anata. But I am still curious if others have gone through this self corrective proceedure already- or if they have analyzed themselves and found themselves not lacking.

Either way I have grown through this. I once set up a goals list that required me to try to learn something new every month. I think I believed that this would keep me active. While I see now how it would have kept me active, it lacks my new crieteria- productive towards a single goal. I have more direction now, even if I am sitting on the needle's eye, I am pointing only towards north. Wether it is my true north or not has yet to be seen- first I must move along the path. But I am no longer spinning. This is progress, however little.

To leave the metaphors and analyzation behind for now- what am I going to do? The new plan is much less strict than the previous one. It is also going to assume a much less maturity/discipline level. I will have many more visual reminders and negative rules. IE, instead of saying I will do ten pushups per day, and increase by ten every month, I am going to say I will not stay inside my apartment for an entire day. Even if its just to go for a drive, or out on the balcony for an hour, I have to see outside, I have to get dressed.

These are the new rules:
Eat proper proportions as listed on the item. One proportion per meal, three meals, one snack. I may have 3 meats, 2 non-water drinks, 5 vegetables, 4 dairy products per day. Per week I may have 3 breads, 4 fruits, and 3 sweets.

I may only check for anime and manga twice per day- in the morning when I wake up, and once in the evening when I get home from school or work. Hopefully this will prevent me from loitering online.

Get dressed every day, no matter how late I wake up or little I have to do.

Go outside every day, get out of the apartment, and do something, even if it is just drive or walk around.

Start all projects as soon as they are received.

Keep an accurate TO DO list by the computer.

Take time out every day to do something enjoyable besides anime or manga- even if it is just to turn on the stereo and sing and dance in the living room for twenty minutes.

Hopefully this will break my ties to the computer, and promote me to wake up each day with a clear head and a driving purpose. I tend to be most useless when I stay in my pajamas or do not have any intent to leave for the day. Being outside, I think, might give me a greater idea of the presence of time.

One last thing- I do not understand why I spend so much time avoiding chores and homework because when I am busy with something that has a purpose, and am not being rushed for time, I truely enjoy working through the details and creating something worthy of being seen by others. Its when I have spent hours doing nothing that I begin to feel guilty and useless, as well as rushed for whatever I may have forgotten about. If action is what makes me happy, why do I spend so much time trying to avoid it?

I really am a nut without a shell. :P We shall see how this goes.