Our reunion ended on a cliffhanger, where *Skins SPOILERS* Tony gets hit by a bus, Sid finds Cassie, and Angie breaks up with Chris. But finishing a season means we have the chance to start something new (or resume another show), and we tend to alternate between comedy and drama, sweet and savoury, while surrounded by kitties in the little nest we make for ourselves.
Cats warm their balls in your hair and make eye contact to show dominance.
I didn’t realize how hard it was to go a whole month without her until I saw her again. The time we’ve spent over the last few years has made me comfortable enough to let my guard down, and it’s good to be reminded that we’re capable of such things every now and then, especially when still dealing with trust issues and emotional trauma.
The things we share are often small and simple, as they’re mostly about pleasures and we’re easily pleased. Actually, it’s more like she’s easily pleased, while I’m pleased when others are happy. It’s a dynamic that works really well for both of us. I love myself when I’m with her cause she appreciates me in all the intricate ways I want to be appreciated, and that gives me a lot of the validation I need in my life right now.
Heather left a package outside my door after trying to make plans and getting what must have been a distant answer. Organic herbal tea, 80% dark chocolate truffles, and not only sushi from my favourite restaurant, but my favourite kinds too. She knows me extraordinarily well for a person I barely get a chance to see, and she cares so much even though she has no idea what I’m going through. It’s helped me realize that some people are better at being what you need, that you can’t expect every person to fill all the roles in your life. I’m also trying to figure out what those needs are right now, and how to express those needs to others (or how hard it is for me to express them).
It always takes me a while to recover from these kinds of weeks, and this one was particularly difficult. When the cops showed up, I pulled the whole Drexl Spivey thing and ate my Chinese, carried on like I ain’t got a care in the world. I know what they need to hear, especially the second time around, and what’s more, I know that nothing they say will make a difference.
Everything has left me feeling numb and overstimulated. Almost all the hours are spent in Far Cry 3 with a bolt-action suppressed Z93, wasting time and lives in appropriate portions. Losing myself in that world and not getting anything productive done at all was an easy decision. I know I deserve to be okay for a little while, and we all deal with our damage in different ways.
The last time I saw my therapist, I said I hope I’d never see him again. That would mean everything was okay.
It’s been about two months now. A lot of the healing I’ve been doing lately has been about not blaming myself for the past. Tragedy and pain are easier to accept when there’s a reason. Often, it was easiest to deal with both if I was that reason, even though it wouldn’t leave me feeling very good about myself.
But sometimes there are no answers, nothing to point the finger at when things fall apart. Looking back on old plans and important people, given the knowledge I had at each stage in my life, I realize I would have done everything exactly the same, every single time. Understanding that has given me a sense of self-respect again, and helped me come to terms a lot of things I found difficult to get over.
Spring officially begins when I can leave the windows in my house open all day. This only lasts about a week though, and is also around the time I have to remember to turn the stereo down at red lights and residential areas, a small price to pay for the simple pleasure of waking up with a breeze on my face.
It’s been more than a year since I’ve been on a schedule. Even the number of meals I have in a day has started to vary. Goals and deadlines are what help me keep pace. I know this can’t last forever, so I’m taking advantage of the time to be free and explore and establish the bonds I’ll need for the next stage of my life.
The struggle now is about balance, mostly between nourishing myself and my relationships, as there’s rarely enough time for both lately. Thankfully, spring is teaching me patience too. I’ve stopped trying to control everything, and I’m letting go of the tendency to want things be to be different from how they are right now.
The old me would have been scared to so unreservedly place myself in the hands fate. Now I know I’ll be okay if I can find happiness in however things are at any moment.
I’m riding on so much momentum it feels like I’ll never come to a stop. This is a drastic change from only a short while ago, and I can attribute it mostly to the chances I’ve had to apply the lessons I’ve learned. Being able to prove to myself that I still have things to discover, that I’m still refining myself as a person, has left me feeling confident and humble lately.
April 20th is the one day I wish I owned a BeaverTails stand. Protesting doesn’t get any more peaceful than this.
Making peace with myself used to be a struggle. Now that I’m actually happy with who I am, I realize how low a bar that used to be. I’ve been through stretches like this before though and they’ve never lasted, so I’m still approaching it all with cautious optimism. At least now I’m wise enough to know that happiness is something that needs to be worked at consistently, in the little ways, and I’m strong enough to keep it going.
Jon-Kabat Zinn has been helping me on this path too. I’ve been listening to a series of his mindful meditation exercises, and I carry a sense of calm through the day whenever I hear his voice. Every now and then he offers gentle advice on doing this kind of work, like how important it is to give yourself permission to feel whatever it is you’re feeling, and I’ve been discovering that so much of it has relevance in other parts of my life.
Before playing at Slaysh we decided to call ourselves The Jeff Band, featuring Jesse as frontman and Father as Dad. Our half-hour set consisted of five songs, Jesse charming the audience with his banter (as always), and not a single unrecoverable mistake made.
When there’s only one take, it’s easy for me to get caught up in focusing too intently and losing my place. That’s why no matter how much I practice, I’m always nervous about playing solos and carrying vamps. Nevertheless, it’s good to know I’m still capable of such feelings, and that in some ways, we’re forever children.
Howard the Fox Project on her Godin 5th Avenue, an archtop with curves in all the right places.
Slowing down hasn’t been easy. Being efficient is an old habit of mine. Only now do I understand how much passes by when you’re constantly going at full pace. I’ve been savouring every experience, holding each one in my awareness and letting it be as intense as possible.
If only it didn’t feel like I’m falling every step of the way, constantly expecting to land on solid ground. I’ve never been so unsure of everything. The book says it’s natural to experience some unnerving groundlessness when the foundation of old beliefs falls away, but knowing this is all part of the process doesn’t make it any easier. I never would have expected to be going through so much upheaval at this point in my life.
French toast loaf is the most ingenius thing since syrup.
Good company has been helping me ride out the storm. People have been nurturing my sense of secure attachment by saying the things I need to hear, helping me get shit done, and taking the initiative to make plans. If only it didn’t leave me feeling even more overstimulated and distracted at a time when I’m constantly trying to remain focused and present.
Few people have been able to fill the void lately. The ones who do sing to me the unashamedly erotic songs of John Dowland and help me test new decks.
Through it all, I’ve been trying to take five breaths every now and then, inhaling and exhaling a little more fully than usual. Trying not to live like it’s a friday every day. Trying to figure out if I should apologize for using your song to score the moments I shared with someone else. Trying to reconcile my old Taoist beliefs with my new Buddhist views. Trying to be happy with the person I am, instead of letting discontent drive self-improvement.
Frigid winter days are teaching me patience and vulnerability. Some are easier than others. I’ve been working with the fickle swings instead of against them. Otherwise, it’s a constant struggle when trying to impose static order on inherently unstable processes. The hard part is making plans when you don’t know how you’ll feel from one day to the next.
Back in the day when we were doing covers of Frank Ocean songs. One of the most recognizable things about Jesse’s room are instruments strewn about.
The greatest test of my progress so far will be an acoustic show Jesse asked me to play with him on Sunday. Anxiety has been getting the better of me lately, and the prospect of having only two nights of rehearsal does nothing to assuage this.
I’ve been keeping in mind that we were able to pull off a decent performance last time when I didn’t know the show was going to happen until a few hours prior; one of those exercises to foster positive experiences and combat negativity bias. Fortunately, Jesse is a great frontman to be behind, cause he commands the attention of anyone watching, also taking the attention away from nervous fingers and live jitters.
The journey of self-discovery has been difficult. When there’s a history of trauma, it’s inevitable that an uncomfortable feelings get stirred up every now and then. I take care of myself by making sure I see the important people on a consistent basis and living in those moments. The little ways to heal are found in both the experiences themselves and the time one takes to internalize those experiences.
This is how I learn that self-compassion isn’t self-pity, and that most people bring less kindness to themselves than to others. To get on my own side, I’ve been visualizing myself as a child, just as worthy of care as any other. I would wish the best for that little person, and it helps me understand that I should wish the best for myself as well.
There’s so much happening at once that it makes my head spin. Sometimes I wonder what it’d be like to be the one written about, to be on the other side of that lens. What would another person say about me? Would it be different from what I think of myself? And would I like what was said?
I haven’t been able to write, not from a lack of time or desire, but because I can’t keep a straight thought for long enough to get it on a page. Even when I can get myself to sit down for an hour, I just end up in an endless cycle of inspired writing and critical revisions. I’ve been questioning everything. I don’t know what I’m working towards, where I’m going to end up, or even what I want anymore. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by it all, so I have to remind myself to take everything one day at a time.
It’s no longer about resolving struggles and learning to grow, it’s about fundamental changes in the person I am and the way I define myself. When you’re unsure of who you are, nothing in the world seems stable. Maybe that’s why the good doctor asked me if I was scared of changing. I told him yes, but only because I don’t know if the person I am now would like the person I’ll be later.