Tuesday, March 18, 2014

writing frustration vomit

My writing hang-ups:

I am not very funny. I am not great at pop culture references, outside of certain punk- or alternative acts, from the 80's and 90's; the questionable content of similarly-aged children's programming; mid-to-late-90's internet culture; 75% of the works of Miyazaki, plus nerd times like FLCL and Cowboy Bebop; weirdo movies like "The Young Poisoner's Handbook." I am protective of people in my life, which conflicts with my strongest asset: my willingness to be candid. My candidness is confined to my little lens. I don't know enough about one thing to write on a theme with any sort of regularity. I could, I suppose, with a task ahead of me. The task ahead of me lately is to write down all the feels and the events and keep it minimally gross and reduce dramatic nonsense in writing to the bare bones because though raw wounds and old scars attract a certain type, this blog is not as anonymous as I pretend it is. I save Tumblr for that. I can write personal accounts and objective accounts, but creative stories and shorts balk me. A blog like mine feels like the natural evolution of the study of poetry and prose that filled stacks of notebooks in my younger years. 

When I write in this blog, my audience is me. I have a vague idea of who reads this blog, and it's a decent number of family members and friends, some of whom are better off not knowing everything buzzing around in my head, so as soon as the shrubbery gets pushed away from the candid shares, there is a semi-ineffectual guard there in the shape of my internal editor who chooses suits from Men's Warehouse and has a bachelor's in creative writing. He is not helpful; he is an obstacle. I wish my editor was more like me when the floodgates open and raw shit just goos out all over and I have to shape it into something intelligible. I like that there are a reasonable handful of people who read this when I update, but though my heart says I get the most hits when I let all the real happen without bumpers, my head wants to keep the close people I have within arm's reach from moving to just past that.

This is all a lot of bullshit, to be hung up when I write. I hate the tepid results I get when I try to swing a pen behind a shield. I do better with blood on the table, adventure in my veins, a drop of poison on my tongue. I am not going to abandon this blog. I can't. But I need a venue to write boldly and I need permission from myself to do that harder, better, and more creatively than usual. I want to feel like my voice comes through distinct and unusual. I hate feeling like I'm not growing, just finding ten different, similar ways to talk about the same old crap. I don't want to be just another whisper in a bedroom that gets eaten by the internet and abandoned. My blog was started as a way to keep up my end of a multi-person conversation about how I was faring, but my mental acuity comes back stronger every day and I miss writing like fighting, like love affairs and hitching a ride with strangers. With the mental acuity comes a lot of emotion of all sorts, and I am getting twinges that I thought were gone. Little fires I want to feed on paper in case they burn out in the world. 

But I don't know what the hell to write about.

Seems like the people near me who write do so in the form of comedy or music reviews. Like I said, I am not funny and I am not so great with volumes of pop culture, so it's hard to get a read on what wisdom I could glean. My old life was a much more prolific writer. New life is stockpiling ideas and nervous notions but not really moving down any stream yet. I have forgotten how to write a rich story or a play. Maybe I need to go back to 15 and fill notebooks full of poetry.

Meanwhile, I will listen to Ida Maria and writhe and strut and get reacquainted to the feeling of my soul being inside my body. I need to be patient while the linguistic part of my brain catches up with the emotional, creative parts.

Spooky Self Portait

Friday, March 14, 2014

precipice of great or modest change

To start things off, I should mention that R and I broke up sometime last summer. For me it was sometime around the week I started my chemo-based marrow conditioning. For him, maybe it was when I had the first shred of my mental acuity back about a month after chemo and sent him the letter explaining why it wasn't healthy for me to be with him. I haven't discussed our break-up here because there has been a lot of heartache on both sides and a lot of drama that should stay off the internet for both our sakes. The long and short of it is this: I needed him to be calm, kind, and empathetic; he needed me to be emotionally present and manifesting strength for the sake of our relationship. Neither of those things could happen, so there was no longer a foundation of trust and respect between us that was strong enough to hold the kind of relationship we wanted. The end.

That was almost eight months ago, and we have tried to remain friends in that time but it was just too difficult. Our expectations of that friendship repeatedly didn't match, and no matter how badly we both wanted to be past the pain of splitting apart it was just too soon. We don't talk now, but I wish him well and hope he finds happiness and a much less stressful lifestyle to relax into after the last few years.

I am a silver lining kind of person, and what I see growing out of this particular sad event is my opportunity to look at this new life of mine as being truly mine, with only my needs and priorities to consider. I am afraid to date after everything that has happened in the last three or four years, but I think that works in my favor. I can cultivate relationships as an individual, make plans as an individual, and set goals for myself that have baring on my life, only. I want to return to theatre, I want to spend more time outdoors, I want to try new things that this new self might enjoy. I feel like the Doctor regenerated. Still me, but a different me. I want to find out the hard way if I am too old to dance again or start playing soccer. I want to get to know this changed body better, become a single entity again after so much time feeling like an alien consciousness trapped in an irregular shell. I want the people I care about to know that I want to find one of their deepest threads and hold on to it, protect it, celebrate it because I like my fiercely loyal streak, even when it hurts and I have to let go. I want to put my heart and my brain power into a cascade of projects, ideas, adventures, and people and grow it all until I reach the very last step on my path, whenever that is, so I can turn around and see a wild, tangled wood behind me full of light and shadow and color and mist. I want to step like Shishigami and leave life sprouting in my footprints. I am going to do so much more than I have been able in the past.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Minor update on life

Happening in my life right now:

1) My infant niece was born! My older brother and sister-in-law welcomed their second beautiful child into the world just over a week ago, and now my nephew has a little sister as his newest audience member. I just so happened to be visiting when SIL went into labor, so I have been staying with them since the 20th to help around the house and with Nephew so the new parents can get some rest. SIL has to get back to wrapping up her last few terms of nursing school next week, so I am going to go back to my mom's today and up to Bellingham to visit a dear friend on Thursday before I come back for another week of domestic life and hanging out with cute kids. My niece is crazy cute and is the most chill baby I have ever met. Niece is healthy and adorable, and her parents are doing well. Nephew has had his whiney, stubborn dial turned up a little, but is otherwise dealing with this change in his family dynamic like a helpful little champion. I love this family and it's quite cool to be able to be here to help.

2) The time has come to find a place to live that is not my mom's house. Mom and B have been welcoming and hospitable having me in their home for so long, but now I need to re-enter the outside world where I am a grown-up who can get herself to oncology appointments and the grocery store, pay her rent and bills, and live with people who are not family. It has been a while since I last felt independent, and I am nervous but ready to to be that person again. The one real barrier is the state of the rental market in Portland now, compared to the last time I was apartment hunting in 2010. Rent in Portland has jumped up substantially, and development has happened so rapidly in the city core that formerly affordable neighborhoods are overrun with units on the higher end of the price spectrum. Relying on disability until I am cleared to work full-time again (sometime in July, after my one-year assessment) is not helping my dismay when I look at my options. I am patient and not being forced out of my current place of residence, so I can be kind of picky… but being picky and low-income is not a great combination. Renting a room in a house or apartment with strangers is so far proving to be my best option. High-traffic, crowded houses are not an option, and I need to be somewhat close to the hospital where I have my oncology appointments (and by close, I mean I need to be within an hour's bus ride because they like to schedule me at 8am), so I see ads that fit my needs and personality about once or twice a week. Keep your fingers crossed for me.