Oversharing?

I always thought of myself as being an open book.

I am happy to share thoughts and experiences that to many of my friends would be far too personal to share with someone they did not completely trust. The one exception is that I don’t like sharing them with people if I anticipate they will make negative comments about these thoughts and experiences but maybe it is a trait of mine that I assume the best about most people because I have definitely shared a lot with strangers and acquaintances.

But I had a recent experience that made me realize I might not be as comfortable with oversharing as I thought.

Partially motivated by drink and games like Truth or Dare, I shared some personal experiences with a group of people that I was not close to and had not built a relationship of trust with. At the time, I didn’t think anything of sharing it. I suppose, to me, I like the idea of being an open book because  1.) the highly personal thoughts and experiences you have are often quite accurate reflections of who you really are therefore sharing them with others allows you to share yourself with them, making for more genuine relationships and potential connections and 2.) sharing everything freely means you have nothing to hide which feels safer – there are no secrets to be revealed about you without your consent if you reveal everything yourself. Maybe this is a behavior I’ve developed because I have had people in my life before who have shared private thoughts and experiences relating to me with other people so I’m guarding myself against that.

Well, a few days later from having shared such personal information with these people, I thought back to what I had said and felt extremely uncomfortable and even anxious about it. I felt regret. I felt vulnerable and vulnerability made me feel uncomfortable because I had not built a relationship of trust with these people so I would never want to be vulnerable in front of them because I don’t know what they are going to do with that vulnerability – will they guard it or will they trample on it?

Yet, I wasn’t so much fearful that they would use the things I shared against me because the fact is, they were things that had actually happened and that I am not ashamed about and they don’t reflect badly on me. So why does it make me so uncomfortable for them to know? I suppose, I realized that these experiences just felt private to me. Maybe some of them were moments that were only for me or only for me and the people I shared them with. It’s hard to explain and was interesting for me to consider as someone who has been such an open book with strangers before.

But people change. Maybe with time, I have come to view experiences I’ve gone through with a different lens and they’ve come to mean something different to me – something worth keeping private from people unless I trust them. But it’s not that I think these things will be used against me. But letting people see moments where you might have been vulnerable – even if it doesn’t reflect badly on you at all – is a big decision. I only want people I really trust to see me that way.

Yet, I wonder if this is a bad impulse for me to have. I wonder if I secretly feel ashamed or fearful about who I am at my core. Because I feel embarrassed and vulnerable that I shared personal information with these people. But why should I feel this way unless I don’t feel confident about who I am in private moments?

I’m still unsure how I feel about it.

Tied to this topic is my sharing online. The fact is, I’ve shared much more online than I have with most people I know. But my online presence is mostly anonymous. At the same time, though, it lasts forever and it is not really anonymous. Someone who knew me well enough in my offline world could easily recognise the girl writing this as me and I have not tried to disguise myself so that people stumbling upon this site cannot recognise me.

But I suppose because I cannot see people reading what I write, and avatars on a post feel so far removed from reality, it doesn’t really impress me hard enough that there are people who read these intimate thoughts in my brain …

And of course I also want to feel seen. I want to share my thoughts and be known. But only by the right people … the people who will appreciate these thoughts. But how will we know who appreciates them if neither person can be transparent enough?

Best and Worst Purchases I’ve Made

This trend started on YouTube but I decided to do it in blog form.

When I try to think of my best and worst purchases, it’s difficult because I don’t often spend large amounts of money so none of my purchases stand out to me as particularly bad, even if they did not end up being useful, because in the grand scheme of things they did not cost much.

However, I have found a few things I can say were definitely some of my worst decisions even if they did not have too negative an effect on my finances. I can say the same about my best purchases.

Worst Purchases

The first that comes to mind is when I got my hair done by an independent hairdresser. I went to her because she quoted a cheaper price for me than other places had. It was a bad idea. I had my hair dyed completely different colors from what I wanted and when I complained about it she said I would have to pay more for her to fix it. I couldn’t complain to anyone else since she was the only person in her company. Sometimes, purchases can be the worst because you were too cheap! I really think that for something like hair, it is worth splurging on or not doing it at all, rather than trying to take a short cut.

Definitely the worst purchase I’ve made of all time was when I got scammed and bought a computer protection software from the scammers, thinking that they were a legitimate site and I had a virus that needed to be fixed. I’m pretty sure that they did not actually give me a real protection software. So I lost several hundred dollars for nothing. Thankfully, they did not steal any of my money and I later changed my credit card and I’m pretty sure that my laptop hasn’t been beset by a virus and no one is spying on me. However, the annoying thing is the scammers still have my phone number (which would be a pain to change) and, three years later, they are still calling me fairly regularly trying to get me to give them money and they have numerous phone numbers that I have to continually block.

Best Purchases

My best clothing purchase might have to be my faux leather jacket based on how much use I’ve gotten of it for the money. It was 40 dollars and I was hesitant to spend that on one clothing piece (I’m cheap) but I need not have hesitated at all because I wear it practically every day and it still looks good as new. It’s a piece that helps me feel like myself and feel confident.

My black lipstick from Colourpop was a great purchase. My feelings for Colourpop have changed over the years as I’m not a fan of how they promote consumerism and waste. However, their black lipstick has a place in my heart. Not only is it a great product that isn’t too drying but doesn’t transfer too much and is opaque and easy to apply, but I credit this lipstick with helping me gain confidence in my dress sense and makeup style and discover what my style was. In high school, I was nervous about doing anything with fashion that was too out of the box because I knew I would attract stares from friends, family, and strangers. But, for a long time black lipstick called to me. Finally, I took the plunge and bought the black shade Friday from Colourpop. It arrived and took me a while to finally wear in public (from nervousness about being different) but eventually I did it. For sure, I got a lot of comments from others, some compliments and some exclamations of surprise. But the more I wore it, the more normal it seemed. And I looked amazing in it and I felt … like myself. This lipstick purchase helped build up my confidence in being different and therefore my confidence in expressing myself through my appearance.

My contact lenses was another of the best purchases I’ve made. Life is so much more comfortable without having to wear my glasses.

Finally, no best purchases list would be complete if I didn’t have some time to rave about menstrual cups (anyone who knows me in real life knows this). I can’t stop singing their praises. Getting a menstrual cup literally changed my life. I had periods for a few months before getting one and let me tell you, I was miserable. My skin would react to disposable pads (even organic cotton ones), giving me a painful rash that took a while to heal, then I would get my period again and the rash would come back. I also disliked the feeling of pads on my skin and feeling blood come out of you and feeling blood touching you so reusable pads weren’t so good. I never tried tampons but got a menstrual cup instead and I felt like my life had been given back to me. No longer did I have to suffer for half of the month. Wearing a menstrual cup felt as if I didn’t have a period at all and I was free to do whatever I wanted. Today, they also give me the peace of knowing I am contributing to less waste on the earth.

____

I’m sure that I’ve made some other poor and great purchases that I have forgotten. Tell me about your best and worst purchases! I would love to know.

Shifting Mediums

Does anyone still read blogs?

As a teenager, I used to follow an extensive list of blogs and spent a few minutes each read catching up on them but today I only drift back to a few of my favorite bloggers once every few months when life slows down and I remember that blogging is a thing.

That’s usually when I remember that me having a blog is a thing as well.

I think YouTube has for sure become the new primary platform for people to share their thoughts and ideas.

I’ve thought many times of starting a YouTube channel and I do have one where I post music. But somehow, I can’t seem to transition to sharing my thoughts on video. It doesn’t come naturally to me in the way writing does. Perhaps more importantly, it seems so vulnerable to reveal my face or even my voice as with the content I write on this platform, I already have to make myself so vulnerable.

New Years Goals 2020

It’s a new decade! The perfect time to start new goals. Admittedly, I don’t think New Years Goals are the best. Inevitably, there are things on my list that end up neglected. They are too ambitious and tied up into my image of the fantasy version of myself rather than anyone near who I could become. But I think they have value because they encourage you to do some soul searching and consider who you want to be and how to achieve that.

I’ve written goals as well as concrete steps to take throughout the year to help me achieve that

In 2020 I want to

-improve my acting skills (Perform and record at least one monologue a week)

-write songs (Write a song a month and have one song writing month where I write 30 songs in a month)

-improve my singing and instrument playing (piano, maybe guitar and flute) (upload a cover or original to YouTube once a week)(Take an online singing course.) (Learn a different piano song each month.)(Practice my instruments (piano, flute) once a week (even if just for a minute))

-cook tasty cheap vegan meals and transition to cooking and baking only vegan (Meal prep one evening every week)

-live in a clean house (Deep clean the house at least once every three weeks – vacuum, dust furniture, wipe cabinets, counters, and back splash, mop floors, clean sink, toilet, and shower, and laundry)

-work on gaining skills and experience relevant to some of the job industries that interest me (Apply to jobs, internships, and volunteer roles relating to publishing (writing, editing, being a literary agent), social media/digital marketing, recruitment, public speaking, and running workshops, and working in the music or acting/theatre/TV/film industries.)

-write at least 50,000 words of my novel (Maybe write when I’m on the bus?)

-pay off a quarter of my loans and/or have the equivalent money in my savings account set aside for that purpose (Save at least 100 a week for loans. Preferably 150 a week.)

-travel somewhere out of Auckland

-explore 5 new places in Auckland I have not before (preferably through walks and hikes)

-dance and swim throughout the year. Do an active type of activity at least once a week (Join Glee Club.)

-volunteer for Interesting Journal again

 

pretty little things

As it nears to Boxing Day and I anticipate Boxing Day sales (and even see some sales already starting), I’ve revisited the lists I wrote of all the things I want to buy.

Do most other people do this?

I have a list of all the clothes, home items, electronics, furniture, and other miscellaneous items I want to  buy. I save some of them for the distant future, and put some of them in my near future box.

As I calculated how much it would cost for everything in my near future box, along with the holidays I’m going on soon and the lack of income I will make over the Christmas and New Year’s break, I started feeling anxiety about money, knowing I would dip dangerously low in my account and might have to draw from my savings account which I try to keep strictly off limits. This was coupled with the reminder that I recently drew from my savings account when I moved and my goal has been to replenish that amount and more besides that to pay off my student loans and save up more for my emergency fund. The sobering fact was it seemed it would be several months of working before that goal fell underway.

Then it occurred to me. Do I need to buy these things on my near future list? Or do I relegate them to the distant future list … the list of things lingering in a murky hazy vision of who I might become, that may or may not ever be realised. Case in point – me wearing knee high boots. Every year, the item is put on my list and every year I do not buy it. But I still dream about the me in knee high boots. She is gorgeous, sexy, sophisticated.

I suspect a theme. Maybe I’m using these items as a representation of who I want to be and the life I want to lead. In putting these items on a list to be fulfilled in future, the items become something for me to fixate on. I spend time pondering when to buy the item, what the item will look like, where I will get it from. I imagine walking the streets in my knee high boots. I imagine going to parties in a little black dress. I write songs and play beautiful music on a dream keyboard. I live a peaceful blissful life in my ideal home, which will be complete and idealistic once I have my fluffy white rug, succulents, mirror, mood lights, vintage dresser, and comfy dress.

When I put off buying these items or I cannot for practical reasons, it feels like I am putting off living the dream life I want and putting off being the ideal me. I feel, on the one hand, sadness that this future is delayed. On the other hand, I feel relief that I don’t have to face the pressures of having this life or, horror of horrors, the possibility that this life isn’t just within my grasp.

Therein lies the problem for me with materialism.

Sure, I want these items because they are pretty, they will be enjoyable and for many of them useful to have, and they will make me happy to buy them, own them, look at them, and use.

But at the same time, I use these items as a way to invest meaning in my life.

I use the anticipation of buying items as a way to feel content with my life and self despite feelings of inadequacy and restlessness and lack of purpose in my current state because I can imagine that once I buy these items, these feelings will be quelled.

But what is to say they will be?

Has owning something ever made you feel complete?

I always get this feeling when I am decorating my room. I have an image of what I wish it to be and I imagine how fulfilled I’ll feel when it is complete – what a complete joy it will be to live there. But I add some of the items on my list, and I feel the same even if it gives me a transient joy to see their beauty. It isn’t enough. And I tell myself it is because I suck at interior decoration and I just need more items to bring it all together. Nothing ever looks as good as in my imagination. But I’m getting a sneaking suspicion that this is all lying to myself. Up to a point, items can make me happy but after a basic level of cleanliness, comfort, and utility, they cannot transform my life, my mind, and my feelings about living in an environment.

When I have a keyboard in my apartment, I’m sure I will play it every day and write many songs and learn covers and advance in skills and record my own music and finally advance from this musical stalemate I’ve been in. When I have a keyboard. This longing for a keyboard keeps me excited and the price keeps it at bay. But what happens when I finally get the keyboard? Do I finally achieve my dreams or am I crushed by the overwhelming weight of expectation? My parents have a piano and I play it sometimes when I am there but do I spend all my spare minutes there playing it? Do I even play for thirty minutes ever day I spend there? No. Why would the magical keyboard of my future change that? So do I really want a keyboard? Do I want to be faced with the reality of my mediocrity, my lack of inspiration, and the drudgery of hard work?

That’s to say … this list of pretty little things weighs on my mind. It fills my mind with a bit of anxiety and stress as I imagine how I will get these items, how I will pay for them, and which item I will get. But if they were really valuable items that I needed and wanted, wouldn’t I get them? Wouldn’t I be actively working to get them? If they were just things I fancied, why should they be on the list? If I’m never going to actually get them, there is no point dreaming about them in my spare time. But why don’t I get these things I actually value and would use?

Maybe it’s because they don’t really represent things that would add value to my life. Maybe instead they represent the life I want and at the same time the life I fear. Until I can start living this life, they come with feelings of hope and promise but they end up in feelings of lack and a yearning for something new to anticipate.

From now, I’m going to try not to have a list of items at all. Instead, I have goals. Things I want to and places I want to go. And if the need or pressing desire for an item comes along, I can take it. But the honing in and obsession with the item has to go. The items will not give me fulfillment and the limiting of my goals to items keeps me from putting in the effort to achieve them and confronting the possibility that they could be beyond me. It keeps me in stagnation.

This Christmas, we head toward growth.

did they even ever exist?

I’ve missed writing. I get taken by this hunch that if I don’t write my thoughts down, they don’t exist. Of course they exist if they haven’t been written but they fade so quickly since memory is so fallible and so for me and my mind, it feels like they might just as well have not existed since I cannot remember the revelations that came to me. So then how can I be changed by them? Even if I have already been changed by them, I don’t know these effects and then in my mind it’s like they did not even happen. And I can so quickly forget what I need desperately to remember in order to retain their lessons.

cooking

The other day, I was doing what minimal cooking I do. And this was one of the things that somehow hit the hardest. It reminded me of the life I had imagined for my love and myself. Yes, I do have a desire for a nicer cooking space and the time and energy to cook healthy meals every night. But all of that in my mind was so entwined with the image of my future with someone else.

We were going to get a lovely place together with a nice kitchen. So in this fantasy, we would cook meals together. My vision of the future has me very much as a working woman and I am as far from domesticated as they come. However, one of these fantasies is me cooking dinner for the boy I love and he could come home to it or he could watch me make it and try to interrupt me by giving me a hug and poking me, as you do.

I suppose the simple art of cooking represents something bigger for me. It reflects the bliss of having your own space to share with your favorite person. It reflects a place I would truly call home. Living with him was something I truly looked forward to and longed for. Every time I lay alone in my bed at night or we went another week without seeing, I imagined, what would it be like to come home every day to your love? What would it be like to have lives so entwined that feeding and taking care of them is like a form of lovemaking?

surrender

Another night in my new skin
Throw emotion to the wind
Just try to find a face that make me feel something

so. its the eighth night. it still feels so strange. and yet, you also feel so so far away. like knowing you was a dream.

im still the same person but in some ways, it does feel like a new skin. my life has changed. ive started doing new things to keep my mind busy: write more. go to club events more. study more.

im tempted to start finding hook-ups or dates. why? i guess i feel lonely. and there feels like theres something missing in my life. although i try to fill the hole of you with self betterment, it still feels empty. im not sure if they would bring me any joy though. could i find a face that makes me feel something?

i dont want to feel anything like i feel for you. no, that wouldnt be fair to you. but … i want to feel something. that would be better than feeling empty.

I’ve been trying to keep my distance
(I still need you, I still need you)
So hard to keep my distance
(I still need you, I still need you)

i have kept my distance but it hasnt been easy. no. these lines convey the inner struggle better than i could. i want to tell you so many things. i see a funny picture and i want to show it to you. i find new things every day that i think would interest you. i want to look good for you and i want you to see when i look good. i dont care if other people see me. youre the one i want to blow away.

And you make me want to stay
Cause you look so good
But I know you babe, and this can’t wait
Not one more touch
One more drink
One more minute
One more night

So I surrender
This is the moment I surrender

neither of us wanted to leave each other. i didnt want the evening to end. then i didnt want the night to end. then i had to make the morning last a little longer. and yet the end had to come. the last night together, the last kiss, the last word. the last drink, the last minute, the last night together. i feel so much grief and truth in these words. “one more….” it always leads to more than one. is it ever the last? i think our consolation came from the fact that we promised ourselves that it wouldnt be the last time. but we dont know that. maybe we have just put off the inevitable. maybe we have said – one more night. maybe it goes on and on until we die. or alternatively, maybe one more night never comes.

what does it mean to surrender? to surrender is to give up or relinquish. we gave up the “us” that we were fighting for. surrendering is not always bad. sometimes something is not worth fighting for … not worth the casualties. sometimes it is better to give up than get hurt in the struggle.

this is what the writer of this song wrote: “The idea of surrender, to me, has two sides. It can mean accepting defeat, or something more positive and mysterious: acknowledging something greater than yourself, like trusting in the flow of life.”

that is beautiful.

Now all the shapes I know are gone
Charts and maps I’ve drawn just get me lost
And I’m falling off the edge

what does life without you mean? thats what i have to figure out now.

Not one more kiss
Not one more fix

love does feel a bit like an addiction. so i guess these are the withdrawal effects. and nothing feels quite as strong as the drug.

So send me back a thousand days
That first night at your old place
And tell me how it ends
I’d do it all again

these lines break my heart every time. i am so happy that i met you. you have made me the happiest i have ever been in my life. you have shown me what it means to be truly happy. i learned to trust and i told you everything, even my darkest secrets. and every time, you were there for me. you have shown me what it means to be truly loved. the year with you was filled with so much joy and laughter. yes, oh yes, it is better to love and lose.

i dont regret the past at all. and i would do it all again, knowing that we would reach this point … of course i would.

If all that I could ever be was the best ex-lover of your life

i surrender.

its been a week

its been a week and ive cried once

i think it would be better to bawl my eyes out

im not happy. i feel empty without you. it feels like something is missing from my life. my day ends and youre not there to meet me … to call me … to ask me how my day is. i dont feel that rush when my phone buzzes because it isnt your name on the phone.

but i cant cry. i dont feel that soul crushing world ending heartbreak.

i just feel empty.

maybe this is what grief feels like.

i dont deserve to cry. thats what i think sometimes. of course this was my idea. i wish i could be strong for you. i wish i could be selfless for you. i wish i could forget myself.

love is about wanting what is best for the other person. i dont know if this is what is best for you. i told you that we should break up because i couldnt take it. i wasnt strong enough to deal with what you were and are going through. at least, not strong enough if it means that you cannot be fully present and there for me.

i dont want to put unnecessary strain on you. so maybe its better for you too. or maybe thats just what i tell myself to make me feel less guilty. because at the end of the day i wasnt selfless enough. does this mean i didnt love you? or that i love myself more? is that ok? can you forgive me?

i know you said that you dont blame me. but do you really mean it?

it is hard to think that this was the right decision when life is so much less bright without you. yet, in my heart, i feel that it was. even despite missing you every second. im not sure why i feel that way.

well i suppose this is my second time crying.

its been a week. but it feels like its been forever.

what do you see when you look at me?

sometimes i look at myself and all i see is mess.

if you knew me from my blog or my twitter or my instagram, im sure that is what you might see.

however, if you knew me in real life, you might have quite a different picture.

i am not sure how to clearly imagine the image of myself that i present to the public. i try to appear calm and collected and cool. i try not to do anything too stupid. sometimes, my tempers flares out and you may see glimpses of it. sometimes, my softness and my humor flares out and you may see me smile or giggle.

sometimes i am honest and vulnerable. sometimes i am quiet and say nothing because i am anxious or i have nothing to say to you. sometimes i am polite. sometimes i am loud and obnoxious.

to some people, it seems i have my life together. to some people, they see a student. they see a worker. they see a success. to some people, they see a friend, a daughter, or a lover. to some people, they see a loner, a weirdo, a stranger.

but whoever you see, it is only ever a facet of who i am

i am a mess and i am also everything else that you might perceive

but if whatever facet you have seen seems to have intrigued you … if you are not afraid of my mess … then i welcome you to explore more closely and see the other parts of me so that, with your leave, i can become more than a word …

i can become a person