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crybaby. crybaby!

10 Aug

My mother tells me that I was born with a frown on my face. I came into the world silently, narrow-eyed and my mouth set in a grim, straight line. Apparently, when the doctor gently smacked me on the bottom to get me crying, my mother said I made a tiny whimper then glowered at him, like the two of us were about to fight like men. This makes sense, as most of the toddler/adolescent photos of me consist of two expressions: (1) frowning and (2) coolly eyeing the camera, like the two of us were about to fight like men. Continuing on, as a teenager and then a young lady, my mother repeatedly told me to stop looking so “fierce.” All this considered and as such, I wasn’t much of a crier.

Yep, Baby Gangsta.

Yep, Baby Gangsta.

What a difference 30 makes. Something funny happened to me when I reached 30 a few years ago. The floodgates, so long ignored–except for the first day of school, K-12-college–were unleashed, rendering me into an emotional, utter basketcase. I found myself crying at everything. Not just moments that deserve tears, like rainy days, Mondays, and This song. Everything. Happy moments. Commercials. Television shows. Friends talking to me on the phone. Everything. Four years later, now and today, this odd, strange exercise in shedding so, so many tears hasn’t changed. It’s worse.

What is it? Weird hormonal stuff? Sad estrogen? It’s not that I mind it, per se, being that, to me, shedding tears is part of shedding skin, letting out, accepting, cleansing. But what do any of the latter things have to do with an Oreo commercial? Or someone telling you how good you look in a dress? Or just driving? Seriously, I cry like a madwoman behind the wheel. Just random moments of endless tears with no real cause (traffic gets more of an endless pounding on my steering wheel, in case you were wondering).

I remember an old friend telling me the following: “You know, [Kitten], sometimes a woman just needs a good, long cry. For no reason. Just a good, long cry. I cry all the time and so should you.” At the time, I was 19 years old, and although I was slightly enamored of her awesomeness, I still decided, however intriguing those words were, that she was a giant weirdo. “A good, long cry”? Why? For what? Even when, during my senior year in college, I threw myself on our kitchen floor and bemoaned all the classes on my schedule that semester–to which my mother succintly informed me to get up, I would be fine, and that I was on the precipice of a bleeding ulcer if I didn’t stop; did I mention how much I love my mother?–I don’t recall crying about it. I just bemoaned. Little did I know how I would take my old friend’s words to heart when 30 came, except all the crying occurred more frequently than not, and seemed to be against my will.

According to this article, there are four main reasons why we cry: natural emotional response; survival mechanism (in other words, something in your environment needs to be addressed); biochemical (a release of stress hormones/toxins); and social function (you draw support from those who see you cry). None of these really explain why the kid in the Cheerios commercial makes me weep. Of course, the article stressed that whatever the reason, don’t suppress it. Let it out. I agree, even if I don’t always understand the triggers.

So, go on and cry, my dears: in your car, into your soup, over that Cheerios commercial, when you find that sweater you were looking for, because it’s Thursday, in the morning, and at night. I certainly will.

extra, extra, read all about it: it’s not 1998.

7 Aug

You wouldn’t know it, though, based on the way I’ve been behaving of late.

In 1998, I was 20 years old. Back then, not only did I burn the candle at both ends, but I beat the candle up, trashed it like a rock star, and did it day after day without blinking. At that time, I balanced a full-time college schedule and two jobs, one of which I would head to after school and typically close for, not leaving until midnight or thereafter. After work was over, I’d head home and turn my attention to homework, sometimes staying up until 3 or 4 in the morning until everything was done. And that was just during the week. Ah, youth. (In case you’re counting, I’m presently a year older than this, and in about a month and a half, will be two years older. Let’s discuss that later, shall we?)

Apparently, though, I’ve been trying to relive the rock star days of yore lately, staying up until the wee hours of the morning and having the audacity to believe that I will 1) wake up on time the next day; 2) stay awake on the metro and totally not fall asleep and miss my stop in the process; 3) get to work on time, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, ready for the day to come; and 4) remain energetic throughout the day, hardly wishing I could sob from fatigue and sleep all at the same time. The audacity, really. So, what’s the reason, you wonder? After all, those college/concert/party days are waaay over.

Wait for it…wait for it…

1. I’m a night owl.
2. The Golden Girls comes on at midnight and ends around 2am.

Feel free to commence with “you brought it on yo’self.”

I’m sleepy. Onwards.

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Delusion of Grandeur: 0 / Reasonable Goal: 1

9 Aug

I will go to bed, at the latest, by 9:30pm. I will wake up at 5am, get in the car, and drive to the gym. I will work out. I will do this four mornings out of the week.

It is a delusion of grandeur for many reasons. For one thing, my poor brain/body does not recognize “9:30pm” as a viable time of day. My poor brain/body recognizes 8am (best time ever to wake up, really), 5pm (quitting time) and 12am (when I begin to watch my nightly episodes of The Golden Girls) as viables times of day. “9:30pm” is for school nights, and I haven’t been subject to a school night for–cough–fourteen years. So. Setting that kind of time for me to actually close my eyes and commence with REM sleep was laughable.

What more? Waking up at “5am.” Other than, again, choosing not to recognizing that as a viable time, I’m convinced that “5am” was reserved for murderers and taxi drivers. (I’m aware that there are plenty of nice, crime-free people who wake up at this time and yikes, even earlier, but in my opinion, those nice, crime-free people are in the minority. The majority of those awake at that time and earlier? Murderers and taxi drivers.) It’s dark enough to commit a crime, and it’s the best time to pick up people who made the wrong drinking choices the night before. As I am neither a murderer (would love to solve one, though) nor a taxi driver, waking up at “5am” has never, ever been a voluntary option. So. Setting that kind of time for me to actually open my eyes and engage in normal, human activities like getting dressed and getting in the car was extremely laughable.

All of that said, the idea that I would then take my exhausted brain/body, tired and trapped within an unholy hour, into a gym to commence with exercise? Yeah, one of the more amusing delusions I’ve ever entertained.

But I did it.

You read that right. Today marks Day Two of my former delusion of grandeur. Personally, I think it’s now a reasonable goal.

For the past two mornings, I have jumped (ok, there was no jumping) out of bed, put on my socks and shoes (I slept in my workout clothes; this is intrinsic because having to wake up and actually put them on would mean getting right back into bed), and headed straight out. Woo hoo!

The first morning was interesting. I got on the elliptical, had the music blasting on the iPod, and subsequently, after 22 minutes, thought I was going to lose my non-breakfast.  I quickly moved to the treadmill and spent the remainder of the hour there, holding on to the bars in case the nausea and dizziness returned. In hindsight, I think not eating before exercising caused the nausea; although I can’t imagine eating that early in morning, something had to be burned off, and having an early dinner the night before didn’t help. As a solution, I bought some Gatorade, aka, liquid carbs. This morning, I had no problem at all. No nausea, no dizziness, no problem.

I’ve heard several variations on how long it takes to form a habit. Everything from five days to 66 days. Whatever the answer is, I certainly hope this new reasonable goal becomes a habit. It’s going to continue to undoubtedly hurt. I’m going to continue to lay in bed, gaze at the ceiling, and commence with all kinds of bargaining (“it’s ok if you miss a day; who will know but you?”) and reasoning (“you need to sleep!”) to get out of it. But I made concessions for that with the goal itself, didn’t I? It’s reasonable. Four days out of the week instead of an unrealistic seven days; going to bed by “9:30pm”, at the latest, to ensure that I least get 7.5 hours of sleep, if not 8, if I can get into bed by “9:00pm.” It can be done. Just needs discipline, consistency, and some form of painful self-pinching to get myself going. And a dose of reality, as well, because I won’t always get it 100% done. But that’s ok.

In the end, I hope for more early mornings. (Pigs just took to flight, dear reader, with the utterance of that statement.)

Onwards!

to be real.

24 Mar

This day is already starting out bad.

I woke up late and exhausted (no one’s fault but my own; there’s no reason why I need to watch The Nanny at the wee hours of the morning, although the show is utterly hilarious); a cold rain is currently pounding the atmosphere (and I forgot my gloves, so, naturally, my hands instantly turned into icicles); certain ones I share the office with are extremely moody (no explanation needed); I have absolutely no motivation to do anything right now. And I’m cranky.

I hate days like this.

At least…gritting teeth..at least the flowers are growing.

10 Mar

Today’s weather.

Ms. Miscellaneous

3 Mar

First things first: I am determined to make it to 100 posts on this little JournaBlog. Not for any rewards, of course, but for personal satisfaction. I started this thing with the intent to write and write away, so I hope to achieve that tiny goal. As far as creative writing…well, the jury is still out on that one.

Interestingly enough, this past weekend, a friend and I were discussing how tragedy and pathos and “issues” fuel the works of most authors, and, really, most artists in general. (Specifically, we talked about Tennessee Williams. Wikipedia him. You shall see. While there, see William Faulkner, Van Gogh, and every other artist/author/playwright/musician you can think of. For real.) In many instances, there needs to be some type of catalyst. Something needs to be going on, I believe, to force the artist to get to work and release the contents of that inner storm.

Nothing is going on with me. Seriously. My brain is filled with a lot–schedules and time and things to get accomplished–but as far something, something, an “issue” that deserves to be wrangled by way of a poem or a story, there’s nothing there. When I was in college, in high school, even in the 4th grade, for pete’s sake, there was always something. Shyness, infatuation, more infatuation, feeling left out, wanting to be accepted, etc. etc. A day didn’t pass by without my hitting up that creative outlet, just to let everything out. Now, in the long, slow days of adulthood, we’re deep in the dry spots.

Of course, the terrific thing about fiction is that I can pretty much write anything–pathos and tragedy are not exactly prerequisites to writing (and no, I’m not asking for tragedy, either. It ain’t fun). However, I think the reason I’m having such a problem getting to work is that there is no inner storm. Nothing poking me in the elbows, requiring that I write and write to get it all out. Being that I largely wrote because of that need to get it all out, I’m kind of at a loss. And for those artists that possess the singular and insatiable desire to simply create–without the presence of pathos and absent of any “issues”–I’m so not there, either. I’m just blah. Sigh. Time for baby steps. Time to start over and figure out how to fix it.

In other news, it’s March. The days will get longer and the air (let’s hope) will get a bit sweeter and lighter. We shall see. I look forward to longer days. There’s something about leaving the office and not feeling like it’s 10 minutes after midnight.

BJ & FE SCOTT

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