Jan 29, 2013

I can't hear you

I just wanted to say that I've noticed one particular friend hasn't blogged anything in the past few days, and I'm hoping that it's because they haven't felt so alone. I'll be watching it just in case, but if that's really why, that is just fantastic! Go you. :)

Jan 15, 2013

Resolutions

 

I know New Years resolutions are super cliché.
The thing is, when I hear everyone making them, it instantly gets me thinking. So, this is what I'm really going to try and focus on at the moment.


  • I'm going to try and reduce my reliance on Alcohol to get me through social situations, even if that makes me suddenly appear a lot more shy.
  • I'm going to stop joking about my physical imperfections, and I'm not going to tolerate jokes in that direction toward me from others anymore either...and I'll make sure I show them the same respect in return. I won't get in a fight about it, I'll just make it clear that it's not appropriate and change the subject. Particularly breast size and weight. I'm so sick of being picked on for being little in every way. If I called someone fat it would be an outrage, and it makes me feel like less of a woman when people say I look like a twelve year old.
  • I'm going to make an effort to talk to people that I haven't really spoken to before now. There are a lot of people at uni that I see all of the time and am always just way too timid to say anything of quality to, and that needs more effort on my part.
  • I'm going to work freaking hard on my marks this year and not let other things get in the way.

That's pretty much it for now.

Also, how have I been.....I might as well write a quick update. I have been sick as a dog, but pretty happy. A little stressed about money. A little over a few things. Very keen for the changes I've got in store in the near future. Pretty lonely. I want to settle down this year.....but yeah, mostly good.

I got to spend the last week away with my extended family and it made me incredibly happy. I loved teaching the girls what I know about art, and listening to my cousins as they go through the challenges of growing up and being a teenager, and watching them develop all of this amazing talent and thinking that I can learn as much from them as they can from me.

And as much as the screaming and running around every morning at 8am was exhausting, it was great hanging out with the littler kids as well. They are a lot of fun and their energy is infectious.

The adults were great to chill with too, but I was pretty quiet this week in terms of partying up. Next time I'll be much more into the party games! Playing music was so much fun as well, it's just been a good week all around. I even went surfing a couple of days ago, and I can actually surf! I surprised myself :) 

Also I found out last night that I said some stuff at a party in Anglesea a bit back that I had absolutely no memory of, and I was completely mortified! I need to learn to shut my mouth and drink less, my gosh. I'm very embarrassed and hope it wasn't heard by too many people. Talented knows what I'm talking about here.

What else.....well....spending time with a few new people has given me a lot of clarity on certain behaviours I've allowed myself to fall into over the years. I'm throwing away my lighter as well this year, unless it's for fire twirling or lighting camp fires! I need to look after my body better. My brain is a gift that I'd rather not destroy.

So, lots of mixed things have happened in the past few months, and I've made a few slip-ups along the way, but the end result is that I have things I'm really working towards now, and those things are steps in a really good direction. Away from the wrong crowd of people, away from little petty things, etc. I'm rambling now. Just read the resolutions part I guess. Bye for now :)

Jan 3, 2013

Happy

 
No life is perfect. Life was not created equal. I think happiness is in acceptance. I'm working toward it myself. That's not to say something along the lines of "Well I don't have this, but I have that." I think that's probably veiled pessimism in the form of comparison. "Haves" can be completely depressed. Hugely successful people still commit suicide. "Have-nots" can be blissfully happy, and everything in-between.

What does that say? To me, that says that being happy is about focus. I'm going to tell you what I'm struggling with at the moment, what I'm really working on.

I'm coming from a place right now where my history has been quite sour, and it's affected the way I approach people, but more than that, it's affected the way in which I approach my own perceptions of self, without even thinking about it. Mostly I'm anxious, and although it served very good purpose in my past, I know it doesn't fit with everyday experiences now. And I want to change that. What am I obsessed with? I'm obsessed with change. I want to be secure and happy and you see, that strong need and determination for those things pours perfectly into creating an anxiety that holds me back from that goal. And I'm trying to figure it out......somehow, while being aware that my efforts may be pushing me in the other direction, and trying to keep that awareness while still changing things, because I can't stay the same, but I also need to be mindful that an unnecessarily strong effort and urge to change may lead directly back to where I started.

I want to trust again, and I want a happy long-term relationship, and I want to achieve great things. Pretty much, I want to feel secure and confident again. And that urge to be those things makes me more anxious...and anxiety makes me less trusting, more academically compromised, more down, more ashamed - further away from my goals really.

So what do I need to do? I think I just need to calm down. And I'm trying to be helpful here to others, not just write about myself and my problems, but to write about real change. Back to acceptance for the moment.... how do we define acceptance? I'm going to borrow from Wikipedia here:
"Acceptance in human psychology is a person's assent to the reality of a situation, recognizing a process or condition (often a negative or uncomfortable situation) without attempting to change it, protest, or exit. The concept is close in meaning to 'acquiescence', derived from the Latin 'acquiēscere' (to find rest in)."
So when we're talking about acceptance, we're not talking about picking a few goals and saying to ourselves that these bad things are also a given. That really is just comparison, and I think at some point we have to sit back and ask if what we are telling ourselves "will make us happy" will actually make us happy.

I think that it's easy to confuse the terms "achievement" and "happiness". I haven't really figured it all out yet, but I think that might have something to do with what makes people that are otherwise pretty healthy and spend a lot of time thinking about being better in some way just really sad. I can't put it all into words just yet, but I'm definitely very interested in the notion and thoughts surrounding it.

What makes me happy in my life has a whole lot more to do with baser things than achievements. What makes me happy is feeling secure. Feeling safe. Seeing smiles. The feeling after a good meal. The feeling of listening to someone talk about something really interesting that I hadn't thought of before, or sharing some experience they had that really made them feel something great. Of closing my eyes on a swing and feeling wind rush past my ears, and knowing I'm not going to hit the ground.

Sure, achievements can make me feel good too. It feels great to get a HD on an exam. It's exhilarating to have desire reciprocated. But those sort of things, things that are concrete goals, they are hugely emotionally risky. There are many more times when failure has moved beyond hurt and into damage. That's not what happiness is about.

I think being happy is about loving. Not being "in love" with a tangible thing; just that feeling of being safe and secure and experiencing good things. I don't have everything I want. I'm 5 years behind my life's "goals". But there are things that I love, and they make me happy. Almost every morning, my little dog makes me smile inside at her antics and her cuddles, and it doesn't matter in that moment that I'm not married right now and all my friends are having kids. The sun shines in and it makes me feel warm and that's a nice feeling. Sometimes it's freezing and I've been working hard all day, and I get in under my doona and that is just amazing. There is beauty in the world that doesn't have anything to do with my "to-do" list.

Be careful to always let yourself be happy, no matter who you think you are right now. Happiness is a fragile thing. It's an easily mistaken thing. I screw it up about 15 times per day. But it's still out there. Don't forget that it's a feeling, not a goal. You don't have to climb to get to it, it's all around you every day.