Monday, June 25, 2007

Motivating Passion for June 25, 2007

I was going to save this for another day but you know…..once it starts bugging me….I have to say it so…it will be another two blog day. Read Passion first or this one might not make much sense.

I mentioned in a comment on my passions blog today about someone who was giving me grief on more than one front. I said….

“I think the person was TRYING to make me feel like I only LIKED people based on what they could "give" me. It was someone I have recently cut down my time with finding that their "new personality" was not working for fact was causing me more trouble than it was worth.”
This person who we shall call Doesn’t Fool Me Anymore (“DFMA”) used to be a fairly close friend of mine. We have known each other a long time. DFMA is one of those people who has a passion or perhaps I should say had a passion. He has been squelching his passion for a while now and I think it has begun to warp his brain. He has become moody, irritable, and down right cranky sometimes. Normally it would not be a problem. In fact, he has gone through similar cycles before without it fazing me in the slightest. This time is different.

Always highly analytical I used to look forward to our conversations. They were always highly charged, informative, and exciting. Sounds like one of those passion things huh? Well it was. He was passionate about understanding, learning, and sharing views. It was fun to be around.
Then things changed. Suddenly all analysis was directed AT me. Not as in I was the one to converse about these things with him, as in DFMA became obsessed with analyzing me: my every movement, my thoughts, my actions, and my motives. Normally this would not be a problem. I am pretty much an open book as those of you here know. I tend to just say what’s on my mind and remain open to what other folks may have to say about it. I ask for and listen to opinions. The difference was that this person was not doing it in the “normal” way. By normal I mean, I say something, they give me their opinion. Not at all, DFMA was doing what I call the whisper. He was a “whisperer” .

I think to some extent we all have “whisperers” or have had them. They are the folks who are or become the one of the little voices in your head. Sometimes these are good voices, like the one that sounds like your mom that says, “maybe you should look both ways before crossing the street” and other times they are the bad voices that say” you aren’t good enough”. When I call someone a “whisperer” I mean that the person is in a position where their opinion carries some weight. They are more or less “trusted” voices in our life. A true “whisperer” is not a person who has your best interests at heart all the time…they have a MOTIVE. The motive may be good or as in this case, it may not be good.

As far as DFMA goes I am NOT 100% certain of his motive. I am certain it was one or two things and neither is good. The end result of which was that he had taken to making commentary on every single thing I did. Bad commentary. Making me hypersensitive and over-analytical of my every move. More than that, making me suspect the moves and motives of those around me.

You all know I have not been in a good place lately. In fact it was pretty much a bad place. I am not going to pretend that my life has been all sunshine and light recently but I can say with 100% certainty that normally it would NOT put me where I have been either. Need proof? Go read my “personal amusement” blog….nothing EVER gets me down like I have been. I was extremely sick as a child, I think the main thing it taught me besides how to amuse myself was how to laugh at myself. That carried me though my entire life. I was rarely ever sick after the age of 10 but the lessons learned carried me through lots of other stuff…hard to feel sorry for yourself because you broke your arm when you are busy laughing at what a klutz you are. This further carried me through some seriously scary stuff with my ex. Hard to be scared when you are laughing right?

A few years back, when I got hurt at work things were pretty much the same. I mocked the wheel chair, converted a mechanics creeper into my personal “DeeAnne sized work wheelie”, and generally was my normal self. Over time I noticed things start to change. I wasn’t able to laugh at myself so quickly and things began to get me down. I put this down to the drama with my sister. She was always so quick to tell me how sorry she was for me and how bad she felt for me that after awhile you start to feel like maybe you are pretty pathetic and you are bringing others down with you….it is a downward spiral from there. After our little blow up and her subsequent disappearance things were different for a bit. I thought it was because she was no longer whispering. I now know it was because I had also cut myself off from another more deadly “whisperer”, DFMA, at the same time. It wasn’t intentional. I was spending all my time doing the surgery and associated recovery. Then the contact started up again and slowly so did the personal questioning I was doing.

At first it was minor stuff just me questioning choices I made and the like. It was never obvious more like introspection. Then like I said recently all that changed and DFMA changed. Everything became a question, everyone around me was questioned, and every action was analyzed. At first I thought it was a protective thing. Honestly just now it occurs to me that this is EXACTLY the same behavior as my ex. Scary. On the surface protective but a deeper motive, one slightly more sinister. His motive was simple. He could not drive people out of my life but he could make ME do it. He could make me worry, wonder, and question those around me until I either was so convinced of their ill will that I would cut off contact with them or would make me question them so much that they would cut off contact from me convinced of my ill will.
It took a bit to figure it out. It took a lot more to make me accept it. I first noticed something was amiss back around late January early February when he made some comments about his less than pure motives and I actually cut of contact with him for a bit. Then I decided that everyone deserved a second chance so I gave him one still not really understanding what was going on. Then it came up again in April when he said some things I was not so sure about his motives for saying. Those things cause me a lot of trouble by making me even more insecure about my position. I put it down to my weird situation and again let it slide. It came up again recently and I really questioned it. This time it almost cost me a friend before I caught myself and explained everything to THAT friend. After much explaining, over-explaining, and finally simply asking and trusting I was relieved to have that friendship back on track but the whole thing made me take a good hard look at Mr. DFMA. I talked to some friends who could be trusted, I talked to some family, and finally had to accept that he was in fact not being a friend. I was hurt. I tried to justify it, find reasons for it, and excuse it. In the end I couldn’t. This person was in a position of trust, he knew what was going on in my life, and he knew what harm his words were doing. He simply didn’t care. I finally had to accept that this was how he was going to be and so I am severely limiting my conversations with him. I make huge attempts not to have any conversations with him when there is not another party involved.

I don’t like being guarded with people but I am finding that sometimes you have to….does this mean I am finally growing up? Probably not, but I can say that I feel a whole lot better since I have been doing this. I feel more…like me again. I am finding myself laughing more, feeling happy more, and able to see the good in me. It is not perfect but it is a start back to where I was. I am not sure I will ever get all the way back there to where I was but I am also not so sure I want to either.

Even still limiting my contact still allows certain things to slip through like the snarky remark about my friends and my motives for having them but the difference is that now the NEW me is learning to not question myself about them but to instead recognize the motive behind that comment and simply allow me to stand up for what I believe and quietly say what’s on my mind.

Motivating me to regain some of my old passion… hmm maybe I am growing up just a little, I kind of like it.

Passion for June 25, 2007

Someone said something to me the other day that sort of struck home with me. I carried that comment around with me for a few days as I mulled it over and over. Finally I couldn’t stand it anymore and just knew I had to blog it….

The comment was….You are always bragging about your friends and how talented they are. Do you feel like you are better than you are because you hang around with people like that? Or do you just pump your friends up to be more than they are?

The comment hit me sort of sideways at the time and I simply let it go. For one thing I didn’t feel like getting into the argument I knew the person was looking for but more than that, I knew that no matter what I said I also knew that this person was NEVER going to understand my answer. I actually felt kind of bad for not saying anything…but whatever.
So my answer is actually that I brag about my friends because each and every one of them has something worthy of bragging about. They span the spectrum of skills and abilities from the obvious to the obscure but each and every one of my friends has a unique and amazing skill or talent. I do not overstate their fantasticness, They rock, EOD.

The rest of the question is somewhat more complex and can not be understood if I were to simply answer without explaining. The answer simply is yes, I do feel like I am better than I am because of the people I hang around with. I DO get something from them but it is not what you might think.

Let’s start with how/why these people become people I want to be my friends. First of all it is not the talent/skill/whatever that draws me to them. It is what is BEHIND that which intrigues me. You see all my friends draw their talents and skills from the same pool. The end results are widely varied. What is it that all these people from so many different walks of life have in common to make them all so special to me? The pool they draw from is passion. Every single one of my friends is special because they draw their skill from something that they feel passionately about.

What? Passion? I don’t get it. Why is that interesting? Isn’t everyone passionate about something?

No, not at all. I would guess that probably most people feel strongly about SOMETHING or other but I am talking about passion here. There is a huge difference. When I am talking about passion, I am talking about the kind of people who when they talk about something, their whole BEING lights up. That is what draws me to them. People who not only HAVE but EMBRACE that kind of passion have a special gift. Their ability to feel that kind of passion translates to everything that they do and everything around them. They know the joy of doing/feeling/living that which inspires passion in them and that makes them a unique personality.

Let me give an example. For instance, I have worked with many engineers over my lifetime and to be honest most of them are pretty skilled. I mean you sort of have to have some kind of skill in that field. You spend years in college working on it, honing the skills in your jobs, and just repetition itself. They don’t really impress me. The engineer who really does impress me is my friend Rick. He was describing a new machine to me one day. It was something we were about to start work on and he was finalizing the concept. As he described it to me his whole face lit up, his body became more animated, and he described it in glowing terms. He sensed at one point that I was grinning at him. He stopped mid-description and smiled sort of bashfully. “What?” He asked, “I can’t help getting excited, isn’t it sexy?” I had to agree that it was. Seriously you can not BUY that kind of enthusiasm. You have to feel it and it can not be faked. Sexy indeed. Don’t get me wrong I am not talking about the desire to toss him down and have my way with him, far from it, I am talking about the overall appeal of it. They get excited about something and by association you can not help but get excited by it too. I am not surprised that one of my all time favorite jobs was working for Rick…the entire job was fun, exciting, challenging, and face it, sexy. It was not without its challenges, it did have days that just plain sucked, and it ended badly when we got bought and closed but I still can’t deny it was one of my favorites still simply because of Rick. He not only was LIKE that himself, he tended to hire people who were like that as well. You can enjoy your job or whatever it is that you do but those who feel passionate about what they do take it to a whole other level.

The same thing I have noticed applies to non-friend things as well. I find myself drawn more to music when the musician is passionate, more able to relate to the movie of the actor who does it because they love it, and so on regardless of how “mainstream popular” they are. I think this is why you will find me more likely to show up at certain concerts than others. It is not JUST that I am cheap, it is because you are more likely to find the truly passionate folks there. I mean you really have to love what you do in order to deal with doing it for very little financial reward so generally those who are looking to make it big won’t hang around long. Likewise I have seen some very talented and passionate folks LOSE that passion once the thing becomes a “job”. I knew some fantastic musicians who became famous only to find that suddenly when everyone begins to put demands on you and tell you how to do it, it loses its appeal very quickly and they lost that passion that made them special. Oddly enough some of them dropped out and got “day jobs” for a while only to find that they quickly re-found that passion. I believe this is what drives the “comebacks” in some cases and I know in some cases it is what keeps them doing the “small stuff” and careful to avoid getting so big and out of control again.

Lest you think that this is limited to JOB skills let be quickly stop that thought. In some cases this could not be further from the truth. The discussion has come up around here more than once about stay at home mom’s and their “value”. I have several friends who chose to be stay at home moms because they felt passionately about it. In some cases these are highly educated and highly skilled women who gave it all up to stay home and raise their kids. Someone once made the mistake to call that a “Waste” in front of me. I disagreed almost violently. Why? Because doing what you feel passionate about is NEVER a waste. These women would have been sad, frustrated, and unhappy to have someone else raise their kids while they “worked” out side the home and THAT would have translated at home. Instead by doing what they felt strongly about they BRING that passion to the lives of their spouses and kids. These “non-working” friends of mine have a gift and a skill to be fantastic homemakers simply because they are passionate about it. Likewise someone who did not WANT to stay home and care for their kids and felt strongly that they SHOULD be working outside the home SHOULD DO SO because to deny that passion is wrong.

The same is true about many others of my friends and in many cases it is not the OBVIOUS thing either. I have who is a very talented singer. She has a passion that drives her and that passion is what draws me to her. It is NOT singing. What drives her is a desire to honor a legacy. Her uncle was a quite famous musician. He taught her everything he knew before he died far too young. She feels strongly that it was meant to be that he should teach her these things before he died so that she could fulfill HIS destiny. She honors this with a passion that colors her life that translates into her singing but it is NOT the singing itself.

The passions vary as widely as the friends do. God, lovers, nature, acting, playing, home, travel, kids, family, politics, art, music, writing, business, science, and work are just a few and there are many others.

Each and every person who touches me in a way that causes me to want to be their friend has some kind of a passion that drives them. They have a certain kind of “Joie de Vivre” that flows around them that comes simply from this one passion… no matter what that passion is.
I said before I DO get something from that but what. Is it importance through association? Is it the “talking” value of friends in “high places”? What exactly do I get from that? That is simple. I get the joy from being around the glow of happiness that flows off such people. I enjoy being surrounded by happy people and people who feel that kind of passion and live it are happy people. This does not mean that they don’t have sad days, blue moods, or moments of unhappiness or anger; it just means that more often than not they are prone to happiness and I like that.

Take a good look around you. Those of you here that I call my friends are all passionate about something and it makes you happy people. So is the guy next to you, the one commenting before or after you, and the one who isn’t commenting because they don’t feel it applies to THEM. You can feel it, it surrounds you and make this a very happy place even when it’s sad.
Drugs for June 23, 2007

Today is one of those days that poets and songwriters use for inspiration. It is a perfect California day. It is sunny and warm and a gentle breeze off the ocean stirs the air and lifts my hair ever so gently to tousle it around my face. Perfect in fact. One could not ask for a more perfect day.
I think perhaps today is also indicative of my own personal weather. I have talked incessantly about ones own personal weather and how you take it with you everywhere you go.
Jimmy Buffett says it best in “Weather with you”
Walking 'round the room singing Stormy Weather
At Fifty Seven Mount Pleasant Street
Well, it's the same room but everything's different
You can fight the sleep but not the dream
Things ain't cookin' in my kitchen
Strange affliction wash over me
Julius Caesar and the Roman Empire
Couldn't conquer the blue sky
Well there's a small boat made of china
It's going nowhere on the mantle piece
Well do I lie like a lounge room lizard
Or do I sing like a bird released
Everywhere you go, you always take the weather with you
Everywhere you go, you always take the weather
Everywhere you go, you always take the weather with you
Everywhere you go, you always take the weather take the weather with you
Everywhere you go, you always take the weather with you
Everywhere you go, you always take the weather
Everywhere you go, you always take the weather with you
Everywhere you go, you always take the weather take the weather, the weather with you
Everywhere you go, you always take the weather with you
Everywhere you go, you always take the weather
Everywhere you go, you always take the weather with you
Everywhere you go, you always take the weather take the weather, the weather with you

My own personal weather seems to be changing again. It has absolutely nothing to do with things going on around me. I have no new news on the Aliens. I have no exciting developments in my life in any aspect. I am still struggling with the drug treatment and its side effects. I am still struggling to find my “worth” and value. I still have issues from out side interferences (and oddly yet again today after having my life messed with once again…

What is changing is deeper than all this crap though. What is changing is that personal weather. The ebb and flow of my spiritual weather has made its way back towards high tide….or at least away from the record low tide it has been residing at.

I have been feeling, well, happy lately. I have no particular reason to be happy, but I am just feeling it. I am sure a lot of it has to do with a large infusion of love and affection from my friends. I am sure that a lot of it has to do with a lot of things. It is a hard road for a little bit of happy to travel to get past all the ick that seems to clog the roads these days….but that little bit of happiness has kicked in the four wheel drive and is making serious tracks these days.

I am more than a little sure that a lot of this has to do with music. Everything in my life has to do with music. My life has its own personal soundtrack and it drives my moods.

I have mentioned being musically moody before. It is not just that the music I chose is directed by my current mood. It is not just that HOW I hear a song is driven by my mood. It is more about how music can DRIVE my mood. Well maybe not my actual mood but how it can drive something else.

No matter what kind of mood I am in music plays a part. Most recently I have been spending a lot of time inside my head doing battle with the aliens. I have been fighting turf wars daily struggling to hold on to as much real estate in my head as I can. There are simply too many living in my head. Like all good tenement buildings this means it is loud, crowded, and messy. There is seldom any peace and finding privacy for anytime is neigh on impossible. I need a vacation from this craziness. How on earth can anyone be expected to function with all this noise? How can one sleep when the building is never quiet? The answer to that, at least for me, is music. Music is my vacation. I find peace in it.

This effect is amplified with LIVE music and more so with GOOD live music. I show up and the voices in my head are chattering like old ladies at the bingo parlor. They nag about what I should be doing instead, they harp on the rest I am missing, they winge about time wasted, and all manner of things that simply must be paid attention to. The music starts and I find myself shushing them. They are reluctant at first. Then slowly I find myself listening to them with half an ear.

As the music works its magic I find myself concentrating more on the feelings if arouses in me and less on those voices. The music finds its way into my blood and is flowing through out my body like a drug. I feel it first in my extremities. It is slow to be recognized but then from somewhere else in my head my subconscious notices a finger tapping on the table in time to the music. Slowly the conscious mind recognizes it as mine. Then the finger tapping becomes a hand moving in time to the beat. As the drug continues to take hold of me I soon realize that my foot is now moving. Intermittantly at first it taps along with the music. Then it becomes more constant. A movement not to be denied, it switches from one foot to the other and back then to both. I feel the effects more strongly now. My hands and feet simply unable to be still as though shot with a massive dose of adrenaline. My brain is slow to recognize that I am now on my feet. Dancing along to the music. Once it does it also recognizes that the voices have finally shut up and a smile crosses my face.

The effect of the drug called music is slow to wear off. I carry it with me the next day and longer depending on the quality of it. The various tenants in my head lay spilled around the floor doped almost catatonic, quiet. Music is not only a drug for me it is one that builds up in my blood. It is the drug that is for now turning my weather sunny again…..on that note… it is a two-fer night tonight (on a three-fer weekend) so I am off to part one of two of Blues night…singing like a bird released…..

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Wednesday June 20, 2007

Wacky Wednesday, Happy Hump day, and mid week mind games.
Stream of consciousness coming….brain is pre-blues night mush (I SOOO need my fix). Where, oh, where to go from here… Let’s see.
They changed my treatment levels again today so I am again wandering around in a fog. Ears are ringing, head spinning, total so far today four nose bleeds (ugh) and aliens kicking = two. Good news is this means I am one week away from maybe POSSIBLY being done with this treatment.
UPDATED: I forgot that I had intended to mention this here....
The nose bleeds are the least weird bit of this treatment. For your amusement...some of the odder side effects:
1) craving VERY unusual stuff. Things I NEVER eat most recently potato chips.
2) Suddenly discovered that my TONGUE is ticklish...(via the textured edge of my coffee cup you PERVS)
3) VERY VERY weird dreams. Suddenly very odd, real, and vivid (or Yvonne is getting out a lot at night)
4) Nights where I can not get enough sleep (never happened...I am usually good on a few hours)
5) Feeling very snuggly...anyone want to cuddle?
6) Easily distracted...(hmm What? Was I, Oh yeah)
7) Incredibly thirsty. I usually drink about 8 glasses of water during the day (not counting other beverages) I am up to about 15.
8) MUST PEE (see #7)
9) Hair falling out (thankfully not in huge patches except for where it was MOST visible)
10) They mentioned "female" hormones with relation to the pill....I wasn't worried, I don't take it....DID THEY MENTION IT IN RELATION TO BEING FEMALE? NO. In relation to OTHER drugs I take NO.. HELLO?!?!?!?! Those MIGHT have been good to MENTION.
11) oh yeah just remembered...I suddenly am typing like I have dyslexia. I am switching most all letters and have to FOCUS or retype everything...Ask poor Acid who must translate my weird words on the IM.
Let’s see Wacky Wednesday weirdness….I saw some amusing ways to trick your body yesterday…there are lots of these around and only a few were new to me but I find them amusing and worth passing along… If you have a tickle in your throat, scratch your ear. Did you know, your right ear hears speech better and your left music(this explains a lot about a guy I know)? Ever find yourself in the car and needing desperately to pee? Think about sex, it relocates the urge…for men. Pressing on the roof of your mouth clears your sinuses, this is no news to ANYONE with allergies…you eat, your nose runs. Running and get a “stitch”? Switch your breathing so that you exhale as your LEFT foot hits the ground (bet you didn’t even KNOW you naturally do it the other way). Stop a bloody nose by putting a cotton ball inside your top lip under your nose and pressing on it. Party trick….ask a friend to hold one arm out palm down. Tell him to hold it there. Press down on it with two fingers…he should be able to hold it there….now make him put one foot on a phone book. Press down again and watch him struggle…he will NOT be able to stop you pushing his arm down.
Mid-week mind games….Have you ever noticed how certain people can bring out a very different side of you? I have been having a good giggle at how one friend recently seems to bringing out a VERY VERY uncharacteristic side of me. I have no clue why but it is both funny and unusual (and shocking to him, hehehe). I am trying not to analyze the heck out of it and just run with it….but it put me to mind of another subject.
Anyone who has been around my blog at all knows that I was raised in a rather old-fashioned and typically Indian way. While this is not a BAD thing, there is a draw back to overly sheltering your kids. One was that I had some VERY rude awakenings along the way. I think perhaps the worst (that’s relative I guess) was the culture shock I experienced upon being exposed to the “big bad world” for the first time at the same point as being out of the house for the first time. Yeah. I went from a very sheltered home and private schools to living in the public dorms of a major US university….. Let’s just say it was shocking. I quickly found myself lost and confused. Fortunately I had one VERY good friend around. B took it upon himself to keep a watchful eye over me so I would not get in too much trouble but also to help guide me along into some semblance of reality. Anyway, they used to have a running joke that whenever I would do, say, or understand something beyond my normal “reality” they would quickly claim it was the work of my alter ego “Yvonne”. It became so prevalent that when I made the major step of getting my very own first place to live….they hung a sign on my door announcing it as Yvonne’s.
Curious huh? That avatar up there…that is Yvonne. She still hangs around and sometimes surprises me. Lately some friends of mine have been channeling their own alter egos and I feel Yvonne stirring sometimes. She has made appearances from time to time. She usually appears long enough to do something out of context for me…then quickly departs leaving ME here blushing like an idiot. Anyway, I rather like her. She is like that weird friend you have who is SO dissimilar and yet so close to you that rather than run from her wildness you grin and shake your head. I have been trying to let Yvonne have a bit more freedom these days. I have no clue if it is DOING anything other than giving me reasons to blush but hey, it is a change. Change is good right? You see her handiwork in some of my more embarrassing blogs…THE DRESS!!!, the butt’s for Bob blog, and many others. I am also trying to let her run amok more in my day-to-day life. I try not to second guess her when she chooses my clothes, says blushy things, or flirts with disaster in many ways. In a way this is a struggle for me. I have spent far too many years living in my sheltered little shell. Every single venture outside my shell was always proceeded by an in depth study of the pros and cons and every potential side effect. Yvonne has a habit of just jumping in the deep end. I rather like it sometimes. I hope she doesn’t get me in any big trouble but I am trusting her to at least bring a bit of unexpected happiness to my life or at least some new experiences.
She is trying to get me to wear these pants to blues night….so far I am not that brave (though I DID accidentally wear a leather skirt the other day)..but I did put them on and take this pictures…that is a start.

From Harmie’s Blog… Answers by Yvonne.
Your First Reaction (copy and paste the original, delete other person's answers and replace it with your own first reaction to the word)
1. Cigarettes: Ick, no way 2. Sex: Is fun, damnit.

3. Relationship: long-term with that dork DeeAnne

4. Your Last Ex: loved, very much, still today

5. Football: used to be pretty good they wouldn’t let me play though.

6. Crack: plumbers

7. Food: just ate yoghurt

8. President: We don’t talk politics here

9. War: not as seen on TV

10. Vehicles: necessary evil

11. Gas Prices: out of control

12. Bon Jovi: meh

13. Fear: Motivator

14. Beyonce: great voice.

15. Blondes: There is one special one in my life (B)

16. Brunettes: that would be me

17. Politics: We don’t get that here.

18. One Night Stands: Are you kidding? DeeAnne would KILL me….

19. Cell phones: T-Mobile forever.

20. Vanilla Ice Cream: only the old fashioned kind

21. Porta potties: EEEK

22. High School: I don’t know what to say.

23. Pajamas: T-shirt and maybe flannel Boxers or nothing.

24. Wet Socks: Worst feeling ever.

25. Alcohol: In moderation.

26. Hate: no one even though I SHOULD

27. My best friend: is too far away

28. Heartache: Is felt daily

29. Love: rare and should be treasured EVERYDAY

30. Divorce: I don’t believe in it but I did it to save my life.

31. Parents: you can’t pick them….unless you are very LUCKY

32. Trees: Heaven on earth.

33. Coffee: Trader Joe’s hazelnut please.

34. Music: Soundtrack to my life.

35. Soccer: you mean football right?

36. Pot: WTF do you really think incense hides the smell?

37. Strippers: MeCl works best.

38. Work: can be fun or can simply be a means to an end your choice