Posts tagged with "Tiana"

lessons learned on the path to awakening

Order matters. Timing is important. It’s helpful to arrive at the point where things can only get better, but losing everything takes time. Making mistakes is okay. Being unable to cope is okay. Not being ready to say it back is okay. Life is a balance between holding on and letting go. Some people should never have children. You’re only over someone when you don’t need to make a conscious effort to stop thinking about them. The first step in taking responsibility for your needs is communicating those needs.

cat

Cats are little bundles of non-judgmental, unassuming, food-conditional love.

I need to be with listeners more than talkers. A day spent writing letters that will never be read isn’t a waste. Some people don’t know how to help, but that doesn’t mean they don’t care. It’s important to make peace with one’s suffering. You never stop growing with the right people in your life. She never loved me more than the words I wrote. The last thing I want is to be ignored when I open up. It’s okay when friends prioritize their kids before me. It’s okay to prioritize myself before anyone else. Always be mindful of long hair when cuddling.

Foxhole party

There are people who love me enough to save my life (and pants are optional at their parties).

The ones with a little bit of darkness to them tend to be more interesting. If a guy in a suit is cute like me, that means I’m cute like him. Lisa is my third cat and that’s enough for now. I deserve to be happy. A bad trip doesn’t necessarily mean a bad experience. Strength is often quiet, receptive determination, rather than chest-thumping pushiness. Being kind to difficult people is just as important as being kind to benefactors and friends; being kind to myself is most important of all.

not ready to stop

I take care of this moment by taking care of myself. That means nourishing my sense of well-being by spending time with people who:

  • connect with me on an intimate level
  • give me their full attention and command mine at the same time
  • understand and validate what I’m going through

Normally, the goal is to use the positive experiences from these relationships to buffer my emotional resilience when things get rough, but right now I’m just trying to get to the point most people consider normal.

It helps when people make me things like this. I had a Google search box as my browser start page for as long as I can remember, until presented with this board full of happiness, where every update is relevant to my interests. Tiana and Genevieve secretly collected cats for months before giving it to me just because, and somehow there were 91 followers before I even made a Pinterest account to follow this namesake board. These are people who truly understand me, and make me feel connected even when I’m not with them. This is what I need more of in my life.

sitting in a cafe

We’ll get there someday, cuz.

I’ve also been reaching into my past and searching for closure, whether that means giving or receiving forgiveness. It’s humbling to own up to my role in someone’s pain without making excuses or laying blame to protect my pride, but being able to do so has given me more amour de soi. Mistakes will be made on my journey, but it doesn’t mean I’m a bad person, and it won’t stop me from becoming better.

Seeking resolution doesn’t always end well though. I’m trying to understand each response as a message about the true nature of someone’s role in my life, without being caught up in anger. It’s so much easier to forgive or accept someone when I start to understand their reality, even if they’ve hurt me rather undeservingly. I finally feel like I’m getting a handle on my interactions with people, instead of constantly being at the whim of their behaviour.

dog by the door

It’s been a period of such tremendous growth in myself and development in my relationships that it feels like I’ve been given a reprieve. I’ve been working on all the little things I said I’d take care of when I was better, one day at a time. Just knowing that I’m improving in some small way is often enough to keep me going by itself.

I still occasionally get caught up on the idea that I need to be perfect before starting down a new path, but Lisa always reminds me that the person I am already isn’t so bad. Growing is a gradual and lifelong process. I can do the best with the person I am, and that’ll always be good enough.

Catan Catan Strip-Catan

We’ve started making wagers in our multiplayer Magic games, small baubles or other people’s property or an half-hour of labour1 to add another dimension to the gameplay. For a particular three-way match, I anted my attendance at Catan Catan Strip-Catan cause I couldn’t make up my mind on going. Another busy week meant I was tired of being social — with the possibility of being naked in such a situation, no less — but it still sounded like a night that shouldn’t be passed up.

Settlers of Strip Catan

Socks are usually the first to go, but the pair counts as one point. And Brandon isn’t playing, he’s just half-naked for reasons.

Tiana and Shawn teamed up on me, since they wanted me to go more than they wanted to win what I had offered. However, they’ve also been making me feel comfortable with myself lately (the cuddles always help), so I was okay with being tackle-out at some point during the party. I ended up winning all my Catan matches anyway, and never needed to take off more than an accoutrement.

  1. Great when you need the dishes done after a party, but I’m more likely to take a massage. []

tin cans and string for years

Man cannot remake himself without suffering, for he is both the marble and the sculptor.

—Alexis Carrel

I’ve been discovering that I don’t know how to take care of myself. Not in a practical, everyday sense, but a cognitive one. Consistent psychological abuse during my formative years meant I never had the chance to develop some important life skills, like how to nurture my emotional needs, how to make mistakes, and how to view myself without judgment. The poison was in the wound, you see, and the wound wouldn’t heal.

So far I’ve just started recognizing these issues in therapy, and it all makes me feel damaged and defective, likely why I’ve been hiding these parts of my life from others for so long. But I’ve been hiding them from myself most of all. It’s hard to go through the painful but necessary process of grieving when I’m alone; always easier to ignore things and keep going.

I asked Tiana to help me through this, cause now I know I can’t do it by myself. It wasn’t easy. Even the simple idea of asking for help makes me anxious. People who’ve had major roles in my life have hurt me or let me down in a very significant way, so trusting others has always been hard, and I’ve avoided being vulnerable for so long because of that.

Luckily, Tiana responded the way I needed her to, and it’s been a great comfort to give myself up to someone I can trust. To be able to cry in front of a person without feeling guilty about my emotions or how I’m making them feel. To be able to talk to someone who’s receptive and attentive and gentle and caring and appreciates my openness as well. To be the little spoon, cause everyone needs to be held sometimes. She lets me let go, and for the first time, I’ve been able to surrender myself fully and still believe that I’ll be okay. I can sigh with relief instead of sadness.

These are still baby steps though, and the whole process is terrifying. My sense of control is what makes me feel safe, even if it’s detrimental to my growth, and I’m still learning how to give that up. But I tell myself it’s progress nonetheless, which is what I need now.

thoughtful things

I’ve always believed the best gifts are things we would want but wouldn’t buy ourselves cause we couldn’t justify the purchase (regardless of how much it costs), or something handmade by the giver. Good gifts also happen just because, not necessarily due to a birthday or holiday. Lisa says this ideal makes me an intimidating gift-giver. ____ used to call me a professional consumer, cause I have a tendency to purchase what I want without hesitation, which I imagine makes me even harder to shop for.

Recently, people have been giving me awesome things for absolutely no reason at all, and each gift is thoughtful, practical, and just my taste. It must be really hard to find presents that will make me happy, but that just makes them all the more special when they do.

cat stuff

These were in my mailbox one night. The event was actually a strip-spelling competition, and Shawn won “best stripper”, the reward being the CD of cat purring. The other guy won the “best speller” award and got the book. They had to follow him out of the cafe and ask him for it, cause it was totally meant for me obviously. Shawn has said I’m a cat for as long as I’ve known him.

double wall mini tea cups

I had tea with Heather G in a cafe last winter, and we had a conversation about design and how satisfying it felt to hold these mini teacups. Somehow, she remembered and found them and bought me a set. They’re mouth-blown so each one is unique, and insulated by double-wall borosilicate glass.

book safe

Lisa got me this book safe, made out of an edition of Ernest Hemingway’s Selected Letters, for secrets big and small. The choice of what book to use in making a book safe is very important, as it has to blend in with a library collection, but also not be so recent or interesting as to make someone picking it up.

It has little magnets embedded in the frame and cover to make sure it stays closed even when stored vertical. This little detail was what swayed her decision to go with this particular crafter, and something you learn is very important if you ever try to keep your stash hidden from…uhhh…cats.