Faulty Memory

I should be working on my novel because I am already like 5,000 words behind for NaNaWriMo, but instead I was reading fanfiction, and now I am writing this blog post. At least this is writing, I guess?

Anyway, I was reading this story on fanfiction.net (which is where most of my free time goes lately, oi). The fandom is the anime/manga Fairy Tail, and this story (Light in the Darkness by Erza D. Law) is specifically about PTSD.

I may or may not have mentioned this on this blog before, but I have PTSD.

Reading this story is kind of hard because it hits home in several places, but I keep reading it because the author actually understands what PTSD is and what it does to a person. So, reading it hurts, but it also feels like home.

Anyway, something that came up in an author’s note on the most recent chapter was the way that PTSD can affect memory, and that more than maybe anything else that has been written on this story so far, gave me that weird feeling of hurt/home.

Because I have no memories prior to when I was 10 years old.

I know things that happened because people have told me stories and I’ve seen pictures. But, I don’t have any actual memories before the first incident that caused my disorder.

Beyond that, I have an extremely hard time remembering happy things. I can relive in vivid detail most of the embarrassing moments of my life along with the most heartbreaking and terrifying, but all the happy ones just vanish.

It’s hard to explain this to people who don’t experience it.

I could go into the psychological theory behind why this happens, but that’s not really why I’m typing this up right now.

I’m writing this post because… I’m not sure actually. It’s just that every now and then something like this pops up and I desperately want to tell someone, but I don’t really know anybody who would legitimately get it. Empathy/sympathy in spades, but actual understanding? Not so much.

And it’s no one’s fault. In a way, I’m actually kind of glad that the people I care about can’t understand this. Because it sucks. My happy “memories” are photocopies and secondhand stories while my nightmares are vivid recollections of events.

So, I guess I’m writing this because maybe there’s a chance that somebody else will see this and they will get it, and maybe they can help me feel better about it. Or maybe I can help them feel better about it. Because I get it. I understand.

And sometimes, just knowing there’s someone out there who genuinely understands is enough. Even if you don’t know them personally or ever actually speak to them.

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To Ghost or Not to Ghost?

To ghost or not to ghost? That is the romantic question. Whether ‘tis nobler in the dating world to suffer the angst and unhappiness of another at your rejection or to merely fade into the night without a word.

Okay, melodrama aside (damn you, Hamlet) is it better to tell someone that you’ve been on one or two dates with that this whole dating thing isn’t going to work out? Or should you just stop answering their texts and hope they take the hint?

From a personal standpoint, I would rather they just ghost on me. It’s still rejection, but they 1) aren’t lying to me to let me down easy and 2) aren’t making me feel completely awful by telling me the truth that I suck.

Granted, this has only happened to me on a couple of occasions, so I don’t really have a large pool of data to look at to judge my emotional state. I’m usually the one doing the ghosting or the rejecting or what have you.

Sidenote: I really think I should just tattoo “commitmentphobe” to my wrist so I remember that I freaking hate dating and shouldn’t bother doing it. Alternatively, a stylized mosquito would work as that’s about the size of my romantic attention span.

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From a less first person standpoint, I was once reprimanded by a guy for not telling him immediately following our first date that I wasn’t interested in a second interaction. Somehow he thought the first date went swimmingly, despite the fact that he talked about his kidney stones and openly admitted he doesn’t like cheese. As if either of those things is okay in any universe.

On the flip side, there was another guy who I did tell that I was no longer interested in any sort of social interaction with him, and he told me that it would have been preferable if I had just stopped replying to his texts. That way, he could pretend to himself that I was merely busy washing my hair or had died in a fiery car crash involving a cliff and a dozen tour buses.

(Fine, that’s hyperbole, but you get the idea.)

My point is this: Is there some sort of rule for this dating bullshit that I missed? I kind of need to know. Until I get that tattoo and remember to stay away from dating sites (which, let’s be honest, I’m only there so people will tell me I’m pretty) this “to ghost or not to ghost” issue is going to be a problem for me.

Also, I’d like to point out that I’m really only referring to times when you’ve been on like two dates with the person, maybe three tops.

I feel that if someone can hold my attention through three encounters (it’s rare, but it has happened) then they deserve some sort of au revoir from me.

So, lay it on me, what do you do in this situation?

Non-Fiction Reading Challenge

I love reading non-fiction. I also love the library.

My city has a particularly good public library system, and not far from me is one of the most beautiful libraries I have ever seen (not including, of course, the public library in Manhattan that has been featured in several films with its giant lion statues.)

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Photo from the MetroLibrary site. The interior is even cooler.

I end up at the library frequently because a) I love working on my freelance writing projects in a quiet place that isn’t my apartment, and b) I can’t really afford to go out and buy books more than once or twice a year. It’s just not in the budget.

The non-fiction section at Northwest is one of my favorite places to wander, and I usually end up picking up at least one (if not more) books from this section each time I visit. Continue reading

Establishing My Nerd Cred: Pokémon No

Can we talk about PokemonGo for a second?

Actually, I’d rather not. Because I’m not playing it.

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Get it?

I don’t mean this as some sort of rebellious and/or hipster thing against the mainstream. Though, I have to admit, sometimes I get a little like that.

Also, I think this could be an interesting time to dissect the philosophy behind why a large segment of the population all enjoying the same thing makes everyone eventually hate it even if they still love it. (Twilight, Frozen, superheroes as a general concept, etc.) And I don’t think that’s restricted to “hipsters,” but maybe we’ll talk about that at another time.

No, I’m not playing because I’m freaking busy. I work 35-40 hours a week, and unlike my coworkers who play PG while at work, I tend to actually, you know, work.

Also, I’m in the process of fully launching my freelance copywriting business. Have to wait until Monday to file for my EIN and then register with the state Tax Commission, but the website/portfolio and everything is in place and ready to launch as soon as I convince myself that it’s good enough.

Not to mention that I’ve already been doing quite a bit of freelance work for one company.

So, yeah, busy.

Don’t get me wrong; PG sounds great. I love the idea of it, and some of the stuff about it on Tumblr is cracking me up. Like this comic.

But I didn’t grow up with Pokemon. I started playing in college. I never dreamed of being the very best like no one ever was. I wanted to be Velma, but that’s another story.

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My childhood friends.

I think it’s really cool that people who did have that kind of childhood, as well as kids who are going to grow up with it now, get to do all of that. But it’s not me.

And I really hate that I have to defend my reasons for not playing. I hate that I even have to have reasons for not playing.

So please stop asking when I’m going to start playing because chances are that I’m not. I love all of my friends who play, and I’m glad you guys get so much enjoyment out of it, but it’s really just not my thing.

I still love Charmander with every fiber of my being, and we can talk Nintendo DS Pokemon games all day, but until somebody develops an app where you’re a member of the Scooby Gang and your car becomes the Mystery Machine while you drive around setting traps for masked villains…

Someone please get on that. Please.

Jenkies.

Road Tripping: Going it Alone

I have wanted to take a solo road trip for over a year.

Last summer I planned to go to Montreal for Le festival de la bière. None of my friends could go or had passports, so it looked like the perfect opportunity to do this thing that I’d wanted to do for ages.

Instead, I went to New York with my ex.

Now, it was a great trip. I got to see a band that I loved in college play their last show, and I got to catch up with two old roommates and meet a new friend. I finally saw the Museum of Modern Art (free Fridays!) and the Central Park Zoo. I got to visit a Hare Krishna festival in Washington Square Park (which was already one of my favorite places in Manhattan).

That’s just the things I did in New York. There was a lot more on the way there and back.

Central Park, Manhattan, NY

Central Park. One of my favorite places in the world. (Full disclosure: this photo is actually from a few years ago when I lived on Long Island rather than from the trip I’m talking about. Hence the leafless trees.)

Having someone with me was nice. Sure, he was my ex that I was sort of seeing again, and we broke up for the final time shortly after the trip, but he was still a close friend, so it was definitely not all bad. And it was nice to have somebody to switch off with so we could cover more miles.

Still, I wanted to travel somewhere alone: Just me and the open road.

I finally did it, and here are some of the best things about that trip. Continue reading

Solo Road Tripping: Encouragement and A Cautionary Tale

Yesterday evening I made it home from a week-long vacation in Lakehills, Texas, which is around 35 miles northwest of San Antonio. Throughout the next couple of weeks I’ll be posting about specific things that I did and saw, but today I want to talk about something that happened on my way home.

I wasn’t going to mention it at all originally–mostly because I don’t want my family who reads my blog to freak out–but as I’ve thought on it more, I think there’s actually some really valuable information in this story for women who travel alone or really go anywhere alone period.

That’s very relevant to me because I’m such a huge advocate of doing things alone. It’s the reason I was so excited for this road trip where I drove 500 miles both ways by myself.

So, as noted in the subtitle, this is a cautionary tale, but I in no way want this to discourage anyone from taking a road trip by themselves. Continue reading

How I got my writing mojo back

So, I was MIA for a while. Like, several months. It started with a general sense of malaise that quickly developed in a paralyzing depression and severe anxiety attacks, but that’s not actually what I want to talk about today because really I lost my writing mojo well before my PTSD made an aggressive comeback in terms of symptoms.

I don’t know when I stopped writing. I used to write constantly. Jotting bits of things down on any convenient surface that I could carry off with me. Running through character profiles and plot lines or blog and graphic ideas while I stocked things at work.

But sometime in the last year or so that stopped. I lost a huge part of myself, and somehow it just kind of slipped away with out my noticing. I have a theory, but again, not the point of this post.

How I lost my mojo is less important to me now than how I got it back. Continue reading

20 Something: Self-Dating (or Going Places Alone)

I recently saw a thing on Tumblr (it’s this article from Autostraddle) about how everyone needs to date themselves, even when they are in a relationship. As it happens, I am only in a relationship with wine; we’re very happy together.

Now, the article was really about treating yourself like a significant other, but it got me thinking about how taking yourself on dates (a.k.a. going places alone) is extremely important.

What’s weird is how completely against that our society generally is. Continue reading

Summer Chicken Salad and Dirty Vinaigrette

Salut, mes amis! I have returned. At least for this post. I’m no longer making predictions about when or if I will post because… well, PSTD is a b*tch, and over the past few months it has been more of a struggle to deal with than it had been for a few years.

But, I think I might be finally getting a handle on that. Maybe. I hope.

Anyway, no matter what the future may bring. While I’m able to, here’s a fun little thing that I’ve been eating for the past three days. It’s great for summer, seems to be fairly healthy (not that I bothered actually checking, but hey it’s Salad), and it’s freaking deliciously cheap and easy.

Also, I’d like to note that I’m calling it “dirty vinaigrette” because 1) it looks black, and 2) pretty sure people don’t usually mix two types of vinegar for these things, but I’m doing it anyway.

So yeah, this is not visually appealing, but it tastes awesome. Kind of par for the course with my cooking to be honest. I would lose at Chopped just because my presentation is bollocks. (And other reasons, but one’s enough for now). Continue reading

20 something: Hot Mess Groceries

I love grocery shopping. Especially late at night when no one else is in there except the employees.

So tonight, around 11:30, I grab the list I would probably end up ignoring, and I head to Crest. No makeup, wearing glasses, hair in a messy bun. I do put on real pants instead of my fuzzy pink ones, so I guess that’s a point for me. The store beautifully peaceful strolling the brightly-colored aisles. And they’re having yet another anniversary sale! Yay!

So I load up a cart with the stuff on the list (and stuff not on the list). Even though there’s only one lane open, I get to check out immediately. I start looking for my wallet.

Now, my purse is very small. Phone, card case, gum, and keys with a few other small odds and ends. That’s all it holds. So it takes me about two seconds of searching to realize that my card case is NOT there.

Cue panic mode.

Okay, I actually held it together pretty well considering that I’ve never lost my wallet before. Lost my car keys on multiple occasions, but never my wallet.

The cashier is really nice and he offers to ring up my the rest of my stuff and suspend the transaction so I can go look for it. Now, my purse is hand made. I knit it a long time ago, and I actually think the pattern is still somewhere on this blog. Things don’t fall out of it. Ergo, I know it’s not in my car.

I checked the car anyway, and of course, it wasn’t there, so I drove home (like 15 minutes) asking the universe to please let the stupid thing be sitting on the counter or coffee table.

It’s not. Now for the real panic mode. I call the store and let them know that I won’t be back that night unless they can take checks without a driver’s license (long shot, but I did offer my passport instead). No go. But the lady was very nice and offered to put my name on my reusable bags so I can get them the next day.

So I step out on my balcony so I won’t break anything in my apartment in my rage and call my best friend to rant. Sufficiently calmed, I figure it must have ended up in my locker at work, which sucks because I can’t get it until morning, and I was really looking forward to sleeping in, not running to work and then the grocery store.

After a few more deep breaths, I decide to look in the car again.

This is the point where I begin to realize what a hot mess I am this evening. Because my wallet has somehow made it’s way under the driver’s seat directly in the middle. I’m honestly amazed that I even found it on my second search.

So, off to the grocery store again where they’ve really only put back the cold stuff and paper products, so at least I didn’t have to shop for EVERYthing again. After some gentle ribbing from the cashier (same guy) I finally make it home with way more than I intended to get, including an extra jar of ranch dip and aluminum foil.

It was an incredibly embarrassing, frustrating, and all around pain in the patoot experience.

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“Two trips is for the weak,” was my mantra

As penance for my idiocy, I made myself take everything inside in one trip. From which I learned that working out couldn’t hurt, but I can be pretty impressive when I’m determined.

So, yeah. That happened.

This is why I hate leaving my apartment.

Well, I’m not dead.

Of course, I doubt anyone assumed that I died, but I did kind of vanish off the face of the Internet there for a while. Nearly two months, actually.

Sorry ’bout that.

I’ve been trying to write something for the past three weeks, but lately it’s been difficult to find any sort of motivation.

I have no idea what I’m doing or even what I want to do. My post-graduation confusion seems to be increasing the closer I get to my one-year anniversary of graduating from college with no real changes in my life. Continue reading

20 Something: It’s not personal

OK, this one’s a little rambly, but there’s a lot of self-realization here that I feel could actually be helpful to others, so if you have the time, I really encourage a read-through, particularly if you have been rejected or hurt by someone’s thoughtless words recently.

I had a girl’s night to watch The Bachelor, and I ended up on OkCupid. That’s just kind of how that works for me, I guess.

So, I got on the site, updated some of my profile because it had been a while, and then I started people shopping. It sounds terrible, but honestly that’s what it feels like. It’s one of the reasons that I actually kind of hate online dating.

Anyway, I actually saw a guy that I thought was really cute. His profile was pretty sparse, but we had a decently high match percentage, so I thought why not? And I did something I never do: I messaged him first.

Then, I went back to people-shopping, and a few minutes later he messaged me back. All it said was: Not interested in bisexuals. Continue reading

Liebster Award!

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I really love this because it goes so well with my goal for this blog: building community. I like feeling that I am a part of something, and I’m really happy that my friend Amanda from Lilies and Lattes nominated me for this. Check out her post here as well as her other content. She posts really awesome things about style and being a 20 something.

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Ok, so here are 11 things about me real quick: I’m a 24-year-old living in Oklahoma. When I was six years old, I wanted to be an author. I read constantly. I have two YouTube channels, one in French and one in English. I am a bisexual and a Buddhist. I love vinyl, cooking, and yoga. And the only food I can’t stand eating is Swedish meatballs. Continue reading