Tuesday, August 20, 2013

It's not all crap all the time.

I realized my last several posts have all been pretty... down. 

And yeah, that's because I'm a few weeks into a pretty significant mental Down, but if there's any misconception about Depression that bugs the shit out of me more than any of them, it's " How can you be Depressed? You're laughing and having fun!" 

That kind of shit makes me want to claw my eyes out.
...or you know... the eyes of whatever asshat said it. 

Also found $5 in the pocket. W00t!
For the record, Depression doesn't necessarily mean that I have to be crying all day every day. It is possible to laugh at things and have fun, even when you're in the middle of a big ol' pile of crap.

So, even though I'm in the middle of a great big crap pile, it hasn't all been mental anguish and bullshit. Some good things have happened lately too.

1. The weight loss thing is still happening. Like, holy crap, things are still working. Slow as hell, but still happening.

As you can see in Exhibit A, these 22's, which were a little bit too big for a while are now WAY too big. Like, take a step and they start falling off too big. In fact, right now, I'm wearing a pair of 18's from the same brand. So I think I've reached the point where my 22's are officially retired and the 20's get to move up to the "Reserve Fat Pants" status.

2. The school year has started again (for public schools, not for me yet) which means I have a job again. 2 weeks straight of not working between summer camp and the start of the school year actually kind of sucked. Mostly because money. But also because bored. Sure it was great for the first day or two of "LOL I'd be at work right now, but instead I'm sitting on my butt blogging and marathoning Drop Dead Diva" but then it was more like "Ugh. I'm tired of just sitting here not writing anything and watching Netflix all day." So, yay job! I'm going to try to remember that I actually really like my job - most of the time - I'm gonna need to remind myself of that from time to time. Working with kids can be... challenging, to say the least.

3. I went shopping yesterday with some of The Family. We were on a mission to find some clothes for the boys. Ellie and I talked the older one  into two pairs of nice jeans and three shirts that weren't black and/or band t-shirts. (Today he wore the purple one that I fought valiantly for!)  We even talked him into a vneck after he swore up and down about much he hates vnecks. Didn't have as much luck with the younger boy, because he's got some weird sizing going on right now. Mom has decided we have to go along every time the boys need clothes now. Challenge accepted yo.
Ellie and #puggacrowley

4. After shopping,  Ellie, Raif and I went over to the Crowley Compound where the Chef made THE BEST PORK LOIN AND GLAZE EVER OH MY SWEET BABY JESUS.

Many shenanigans were had and among them was my inability to stop taking instagram photos of #puggacrowley. That's right people, we made this bitch a hashtag.

5. Slowly (okay very slowly) but surely, I'm working on the whole de-cluttering my life thing. For clothes and shoes, if it doesn't fit, it goes. Goodwill, Salvation Army, whatever, it doesn't matter, it just has to get out of the house. If it's a book or movie that I don't want anymore, it goes to 2nd & Charles (and then I use the store credit to buy vynil that I really want). Unless it's a textbook; those go on Amazon.  And then there's all the other... stuff. That's probably the hardest part of the whole effort is all the other, assorted clutter. The 'well, it's still a usable thing' stuff and the 'kinda-sorta-sentimental in a I've had this forever kind of way' stuff, and the 'I don't know if I still want this or not so I'll hold on to it until I decide,' stuff. Just... stuff. And things.

6. I've actually compiled a list of 5 things that I'm happy about, and didn't have to go back several weeks to do it.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Diana and I

Yesterday, as I was more or less putting off finishing my last post, I had a sudden, desperate need to get the hell out of my house. I had no idea where I wanted to go or what I wanted to do, I just knew that I needed to be somewhere that wasn't my house. I needed to see something that wasn't my computer screen, or my TV screen or my walls or my ceiling.

So I got in the car, and after stopping at Sheetz to grab a Mountain Dew, I went North and found myself wandering around Hagerstown. (This is about 15-30 minutes’ drive from my house, depending which part of the city we’re talking about.)

Now, usually when I need to get away for a few hours, I wind up by the Potomac River, either at the C&O canal in Williamsport, or down in Shepherdstown, or occasionally in Harper's Ferry. Those places are all pretty good for spending time alone with the voices in my head. This time, though I found myself at the city park in Hagerstown. I hadn't been planning on going there, but I was glad I did.

I did some wandering around the park, mostly around the lake because I always find the ducks, geese and swans pretty friggin entertaining. As I wandered, I listened to my Existential Crisis playlist (I really have one of those. Srsly.) and thought lots of thinky thoughts.

But the best part was the art. Within the park is a little building called The Washington County Museum of Fine Arts. And in that museum is one of my favorite pieces of art ever.

This beautiful lady here is Diana of the Chase. She was sculpted in 1922 (lookin' pretty damn fine for a woman 91 years young, yeah?) and was a gift from the artist, Anna Hyatt Huntington to the museum in 1941, for their 10th anniversary.

I fell in love with this piece a few years ago when I was taking that general ed Art Appreciation class, and we had to visit a gallery and pick a piece of art to write about. I can't remember what the hell the details of the assignment were or what exactly I had to say about her, but I know that it took me a while to write something that wasn't just gushing about how amazing she is.

Now, there are a lot of things I love that I can't quite explain why, other than just you know, it appeals to me, but this thing, this I know why.

I’ve always loved Diana. Or Artemis. Whichever you want to call her. I’m not saying I identify with her, or anything. I wish I identified with her, even a little bit. I wish I could be more like her - this amazing, strong woman who is totally contented with her dogs, her bow, and the hunt. She is perfectly happy on her own.

So what does it say about me, then, that my favorite version of her story is the one where she falls in love with Orion? I mean, the thing I admire most is that she’s happy on her own, but my favorite story is the one where she isn’t on her own. (Well, until until her d-bag brother tricks her killing him and all...)

She found this person, a fellow hunter, perfectly suited to her, and she loved him. Wanted to marry him. She was willing to redefine herself - virgin goddess of the hunt, of women and childbirth - to be with him.

..I’m not sure where I’m going with this.

Maybe I’ve just been spending too much time thinking about Love and shit. Partly because it seems in the last few months I get asked about my love life much more frequently than usual. And partly because I’m going to a wedding tomorrow and I’m wrestling with conflicting feelings of “OMG IM SO HAPPY FOR YOU” and “your happiness offends me.”

...or maybe I’ve just had too much to drink tonight.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Shopping... and stuff.

Boat Shoes: $13. Toe Socks: $5. Lesbian Plaid: $10
Canvas Dr. Marten's: $40!
I am not a Fashion blog, and I don't really have any plans to become one but I went shopping yesterday, and had kind of a crisis about it, so I decided to share.

Also I figured I should put something up here to keep this place active until I finish this mega-post of doom I've been working on.

I can't say I love shopping. But I can't say I hate it either.

I mean, yeah, I like getting shiny new things as much as the next girl, and oh my God do I love new shoes, but shopping is typically kind of an ordeal for me.

There's a lot of reasons, all complicated and tangled around each other, of course, like every other problem I have, but the two main reasons are money and my weight. 

The money bit is actually pretty easy. I just have this weird guilt about spending money because it's not something I have ever had very much of. And it also rarely feels like things are worth what you pay for them.   In that regard, I actually got lucky, because this week the state of Maryland is doing a back-to-school tax-free shopping week, so everyone had sales going on top of that to draw people in. Lots of BOGO deals, like the boat shoes I got at Rue21 (BOGO $1!) I also got some Lesbian Plaid from American Eagle for $10. The 2nd most exciting to me though was the $40 canvas Dr. Marten's because, oh my gosh look at them. They were originally $80!

I dropped the most money at Lane Bryant. I have such a love/hate relationship with places like Lane Bryant and Torrid. That's where both the money and the weight issues run wild.

See, for me to dress with any shred of fashionability, I have to pay twice as much because plus-sized clothes are a fucking racket. Well, the Clearance rack was my friend yesterday and I got three sweaters for $7 each because they were 50% off the lowest ticket price, and they'd already been marked down a time or two. And I do love me some over-sized sweaters.

Actually, the most expensive thing I bought yesterday was a bra, for $42. Bras were technically on sale, BOGO 50% off., so I got a second, less expensive one for about $15. (Can we just take a moment to appreciate how awesome the 't-shirt' bra is? Seriously, I'm wearing one right now it's the greatest thing my boobs have ever known. Except that corset that one time that made me all BA-BAM, but I digress...) So, one pretty one and one plain old heather-grey one.

Okay, so it did in fact cause physical pain to know that I spent so much money on only two bras, but at the same time it was also really exciting because I did go down a bra size. Like a whole actual size. Which means I'm one step closer to being able to find bras more easily. Clothing manufacturers have a really weird idea about how boobs works in relation to the rest of your body. Stores that carry "regular" sizes are FULL of B-cup bras, but it's damn near impossible to find a 40B let alone a 44 like I had been. (Hell, I remember 38B being pretty hard to find too.) On the other hand, places that carry fat people sizes assume that if you're fat, you simply must have huge tits, so yeah, sure, 40's everywhere, but good luck finding a B.

You can find me as @heyehmkay
on the hipstergram.
But look how freakin' cute this thing is! Look!  Also, it makes my boobs look awesome. They had matching panties, but they were like, $15. I might go back for them later, though, cause I've never had a matching set before, and I can't resist houndstooth. (Shit, if they'd been argyle or plaid I definitely would have bought the set. lol)

No, there's no one to see the matchyness and there won't be any time soon (well, okay, there's my theatre troupe.. we get naked a lot.) but you know, it's nice to feel cute, especially when it's something you don't get to feel very often.

So really, this was one of the most successful shopping trips ever because for once, I feel like I actually got my money's worth, and I didn't have to try on anything that didn't fit and made me feel bad about myself, but I still felt bad about myself just from being in the mall, and at the outlet stores, surrounded by people who don't have to have some kind of mental break every time.

...But I guess it could have been a lot worse?

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

A glass of wine and an epiphany.

So I've had a headache all day, am possibly a bit dehydrated, and have generally felt like crap, most likely due to a minor case of altitude sickness, yet I still let my cousin talk me into a glass of wine. Which I don't regret because it was the first red wine I've ever enjoyed and it was delicious. But as I was sipping that glass, I was looking through my facebook feed, and then I had an epiphany. The hit-you-in-the-face holy fuck kind of epiphany.

When you've spent more than a decade actively fighting the effects of your Broken Brain, epiphanies are something that actually happen pretty often. Some stick a little better than others, others disappear almost as quickly as they appeared.

And then sometimes you're pretty sure you've just fixed your life.

The most amazing part is that the ones that you're pretty sure just fixed your life are usually the simplest ones.

And this one is simple. Just a quote a friend posted in his status.

"Against my better judgment I feel certain that somewhere very near here—the first house down the road, maybe—there's a good poet dying, but also somewhere very near here somebody's having a hilarious pint of pus taken from her lovely young body, and I can't be running back and forth forever between grief and high delight.” 
― J.D. SalingerFranny and Zooey

And holy shit, that's it, isn't it?  In my head there will always be the terrible shit - the capital-D Depression, the self loathing, the Anxiety - and there will always be the hilarious shit too. I will always have the grief and the high delight... but I don't have to run back and forth between them.

But wait, Mk, isn't that how the cycling works?

Yes, Imaginary Blog Reader, technically that is how the cycling works, but let me explain. I will always feel the highs and the lows, but I don't have to let myself get lost in them. That's what I tend to do, let myself become totally consumed by the feelings. There's having Depression, and then there's letting Depression have you. There's having Mania, and then there's letting Mania have you.

And yes, this is absolutely something that is easier said than done, but I can talk myself into all kinds of shit.

Tapetenwechsel: Aurora, CO

I learned this word a few years ago to mean "a change of scenery." I hope it's right, because it's a good sounding word, and I like having a singular word to describe things. (Probably my favorite thing about German, really. They have a single noun for everything. Even if it is 18 letters long.)

Needless to say, Tapetenwechsel is something I have needed desperately for a really long time now.

While technically, I got it back in May when my theatre troupe performed in Santa Barbara, we were only there for a few days and it was a school-related trip, so while I was in a new place, it felt less like a vacation and more like the same old same old. Santa Barbara was lovely though. 

It was during  a late-night chat with 63 that I decided I really wanted to go out to Nebraska to see some family that I haven't seen since my dad's funeral, almost three years ago. And some that I haven't seen since before that, even.

Originally,  the plan was to road trip it, with 63, but that plan fell through for a lot of reasons. Most of them to do with Bad Timing in every possible fucking direction, like accidentally making confessions that weren't ever supposed to be confessed... 

But I wanted to make the drive, to see road behind me, watch the odometer show me how many miles I'd gone, but Nano didn't want to do it that way, and I've been trying to extend olive branch after olive branch because I don't like that my sister and I can never get along for more than a few hours at a time, so I compromised, and we flew out. To make our schedules match, I ended up cutting my originally planned time frame nearly in half, so Nano's insistence that, in the middle of our trip, we drive to Colorado to see our cousin kind of irked me. Don't get me wrong, I'm more than happy to see this cousin and her family, because they are some of the family that I'm much closer to, but the point was to see people I don't get to see very often, and this group is one that flies out to West Virginia fairly regularly, so it's time that we could have spent with other people.

So yesterday we drove the 5ish hours from Lexington, Nebraska to Aurora, Colorado, and now I'm sitting on the floor of my cousin's living room waiting for my sister to be done with the bathroom so I can finally shower. 

On top of sister-struggles, this hasn't felt much like a vacation yet because until last night, I was finishing up some papers for a class I had this summer. I hope now that I've gotten the last of it turned in that I can relax a little bit. It's also been kind of rough on the Broken Brain front, what with randomly crying from time to time for no good reason. 

Here's to hoping the other half of the trip is better.