Rape in Video Games: Part Duex

September 19th, 2010 | Tags: , , ,

Why the need for another blog entry, you ask? Well, because it seems that some people didn’t bother to read through the entire length of the last one. Or it has become abundantly clear that factual statistics aren’t enough for this simple request to be heard. So this time, I’m going to try to work with anecdotes, in the best way possible.

While playing WoW, there are a handful of us, yes those of you reading (whether you play WoW or not). We’ve got 9 out of 10 people for a 10man ICC run. We pug the last guy. Last guys yells out in Vent (a vent that 1) doesn’t belong to him and 2) he was invited to just for this event), “We’re so going to rape this place.”

Person 1’s backstory goes like this: Raped by an uncle. When she told family members about what was happening, no one believed her. She never sought therapy or help for what happened to her. She still struggled daily when in the presence of men.

Person 2’s backstory: Raped by a father. Father was arrested. Person 2 got therapy and lives a mostly normal life. Has a husband and children. The bad days are few and far between.

Person 3’s backstory: Family member was raped and remembers the trauma it caused. Person 3 remembers how much EVERYONE suffered at the knowledge that the family member was raped.

Person’s 4-9: Never knew anyone who was raped and have never been raped themselves.

No one knows the experiences of the others, but all of you have been playing WoW for years. You can all tell stories about things you’ve done together. You know when Player 5 got married. You know that players 8 and 9 met in game and have been together now for 4 years and are expecting their first child. You know personal and real details about each person, even if (aside from Players 8 and 9) none of you have met. You bitch about your personal life with these people and you are handsomely rewarded for your teamwork and efforts within a game you all love and enjoy. They are your friends. You depend on them in the virtual world, and in the case of Player 8 and 9, in real life as well. You find camaraderie amongst your guild members.

Now. Given this (albeit ridiculous) scenario, how should each person respond. Person 1 hears “We’re so going to rape this place (like your uncle did to you when you were a little girl).” Is she wrong for feeling this way? She doesn’t say anything because she doesn’t want to piss anyone off, or cause problems. People react exactly the way amber, Daey and countless other people react when it gets brought up anyway. Why say anything? It won’t change. It won’t stop her from hearing those additional words when someone uses the term “rape” within the game. Is it fair, that this person who is otherwise a friend and guildmate, that her experiences are trivialized and treated as pathetic and useless? Is it her own fault this happened to her? Did she do something to ask or this to happen? Is it her fault that she doesn’t have the family support to help point her in the right direction and she has thus since spent her entire life internalizing the experience in an effort to fit in with her peers. Some of her peers are you, keep in mind.

Person 2 hears “We’re so going to rape this place!” and thinks nothing of it. It isn’t until later that night when the trauma of what happened to her comes back. Her husband is left to stare at her in bewilderment not knowing what to do to fix this. It isn’t his to fix. She has done the best that she can and for the most part is a fully functional adult. The experience has helped her become a stronger person and thus has raised her own children to be strong individuals.

Person 3 sends a whisper to the Raid Leader. The Raid Leader addresses the issue. The men all pipe up with “It was funny” or “He was a good rogue, just let it go.” Never knowing that Player 1 and 2 are having a hard time with this. Player 3 says something more. And suffers the ridicule and chastisement of her guild members. Someone she believed were her friends.

Is Person 1 wrong for feeling the way she does? Are we, those outside of the situation, allowed to TELL her how she should be feeling? Would it be so difficult to respect your guild member, your friend, and stop using the term “rape” so nonchalantly? Is it Person 2 allowed to tell Person 1 that she’s being irrational and dumb when what she hears includes “like your uncle did to you when you were a little girl”? Does Person 2 have a right to compare the experiences or their lives because she’s had a similar experience but has had better opportunities to seek help and adjust?

At what point do we stop expecting everyone else around us to do the jobs we should do? Should anyone other than Person 3 said something? Yes. Absolutely. Should it have been returned with ridicule and chastisement? Absolutely not. You should respect the people you play with. You should respect the people you call friends, even virtual ones. Some of my closest friends are people I almost never get to see in real life. My best friend of all time lives thousands of miles away, but our friendship is no less a best friendship than one I could have with someone nearby. Except that we could SEE each other more often.

Each person is going to take a negative situation and adjust however they want and at the pace that they want. I don’t speak for all victims and/or survivors. I don’t speak for anyone but myself. I asked for people to speak up and say something. I asked for people to start saying something when it comes up. I did not say that using other words to describe the same thing wouldn’t work. Use “buttsex” for example. Similar connotation, much funnier in execution. Includes men and women regardless of situation, and does not imply the violent act of taking something from someone against their will.

We’re all entitled to our opinions. I’m not even asking that you guys change your views of what rape or sex is for that matter. I ask that you respect the PEOPLE you play the game with and not use it in the way it’s been used up until now. This was one scenario. This was one person’s story based on the stories of others. This is one possibility of what could happen or the things that could exist. This is just one, out of billions, of possible situations you might find yourself in.

What role do you play in this? Are you willing to lessen the experiences of others because of one tiny detail, a detail that may not be so tiny to someone else? Will you only be sympathetic if you knew Person 1 and/or Person 2’s story? Would they need to disclose it in order for you to behave differently? Is it fair to think that everyone should just “buck up and grow up” because it’s what you’ve been able to do when faced with adverse life situations?

Why can’t we chose to be respectful of the people who play our games with? Why can’t we remember that these people are our friend’s too? That we don’t need to know the details to understand the importance of it.

That way Person 1 may one day feel like asking for help. From her guildies or from a therapist. And Person 2 may be okay with talking about it to someone other than her husband again. And everyone involved can know they did what they could to make the game playing experience the best for everyone involved.

That’s when it matters.

P.S. Osephala, I offer you hugs and an ear if you ever need one.
P.P.S. Internet Trolls to Real-Life Stalkers In case you were curious.
P.P.P.S. How the web became a sexists’ paradise For more information on the differences between how men and women are treated (and if you think for a second this doesn’t apply, you’re fooling yourself)
P.P.P.P.S. Why taking things like rape and stalking seriously are important, even in a video game. It’s easy to find people. I know I found out which Southern state amber lives in, at least where her ISP is.

Click the links. Read all the way through. And understand this is more than just you… a single person. This is about everyone.

Growing up is hard to do

September 10th, 2010 | Tags: ,

Some days I see myself as a mostly accomplished adult. Other days I still feel like a ninteen year old struggling to find myself in the omgBigWorld. I one of those “blessed” people (if you want to call it that) who look much younger than their driver’s license says. So for a long time I felt as young as people thought I was. I related more with younger people and their care-free attitudes. I made many adult-like choices in my younger years that afforded me with the freedoms of today.

I chose not to get married young.
I chose not to have children young.
I chose not to have “those kinds” of responsibilities.

These weren’t always easy choices. I wanted the security of knowing someone would be there when I got home. Someone to cuddle on bad days. Someone’s leg to sleep on while on the couch watching movies or television. The usual Hollywood-type home life which doesn’t really exist. I know this, though it doesn’t stop me from hoping for that type of companionship someday. I still hold onto that hope even now that I’m in my 30’s.

The thing is, it always seemed to work out that I didn’t have to worry about actually growing up. I always found jobs in which I could wear jeans. There’s the usual “appropriate for work” aspect sure. No tank tops. No open-toed shoes. For the most part I’ve been lucky in that regard. Few places required that I be forced to dress up for the job, which is something I fear and loathe all at the same time. Nevermind that I absolutely abhor wearing those types of clothes no matter “how good it makes someone look” because that’s all arbitrary anyway. I don’t feel comfortable. I actually feel a bit like a doll on display. Nothing ever fits me appropriately. So it’s much more like being a Cabbage Patch Doll wearing Barbie’s clothes. It just doesn’t work. I’m bigger all in different areas that clothes are truly not tailored to fit me correctly. So things are short in the front, too long at the ankles and my underwear shows no matter how daintily I try to pick something up.

The fact remains that being able to wear jeans and t-shirts to a job has helped spoil me of sorts. I haven’t actually had to do any actual growing up. I mean, I have a helluva lot of school loan debt which will need to be paid off soon. I have credit card debt and my cell phone bill every month. Insurance for my car. Car repairs (which seem to happen a whole lot more now that I’m trying to pay for all this stuff myself and not call Daddy every time something seemingly catastrophic (it’s usually minor) happens).  Those things I’m trying to handle on my own, and I haven’t been too horrible at. It means I have to learn how to juggle priorities and make sure that I don’t forget or negate other responsibilities just because I had to fork over all that money for yet another car repair (I’m looking at you $129 diagnostic fee for a check engine light).

In the midst of all of this grown-upy stuff that’s going on there’s the other side. That part of me that would love to live with my dad and not have to worry about stuff. I could have a job and a room full of yarn and it won’t matter to anyone but me. I can sit there and knit all day, get a job where I only have to work 3 days of the week and screw off the rest of the time. Dividing my time between WoW and knitting/crocheting. It would be a fabulous life.

And then I remember I’m 32.

Every now and again it hits me, that number. It reminds me that I’m not a kid anymore. That the option to live with my father is no longer an option. That I can’t opt out of being a grown up. There’s no check box to choose not to be an adult. I’m an adult, like it or not. Some days, it doesn’t seem very fair.

Don’t get me wrong. I can’t go back to being a teenager. All that angst and woe-is-me bullshit is too much. I can’t handle feeling like everything is the end of the world. Intelligent people, even mildly intelligent people, suffer from this. There’s something going on in there and the world can’t touch us, but it can kill the ever living shit out of us and make us cry and I’m going to call every single friend in my phone just to tell them about how the world is out to get me and omfgWHY!!?

See what I mean? That stuff there, I don’t miss. I remember feeling exactly like that though. I remember feeling as though I were this altruistic saint of a human, but really I was selfish and wanted everything my way. I still kind of think this way, I’m just better about actually being altruistic instead of just pretending to be that way.

Every now and again I’m struck with the reality of being an actual living breathing adult. When I look at the terrible state of my teeth and fear that I won’t have any of my own if I put it off much longer, kills me. Makes me cry sometimes. Who has the money to fix that kind of damage?! And why the fuck didn’t I listen to the dentist more when I was younger? Oh wait, I did. I brushed, flossed some, used mouth wash, etc. I did almost all of the things I was supposed to do. Oh right, genetics. Damn. Came to bite me in the ass did it? And so I weep over my teeth because that’s a bill no one but me can fess up to. I can’t blame my dad for my shitty teeth. He didn’t not brush them for me. I didn’t brush them. I didn’t take care of them. I didn’t pay attention all these years as they were rotting in my skull. And now, they have to be pulled and I’m faced with the growing reality that it’s not anyone’s fault but my own. I’d like nothing more than to blame someone else for it, like a teenager. It can be someone else’s fault, right?? I can blame, that guy, or that guy over there… and the people will smile and nod and think that I’m losing my mind.

Then there are those even more odd moments when I hear football games at the local high school (because it is right outside the window, and I wish that were an exaggeration) and I’m transported back to a time when I enjoyed going to those things. It was never about the sports, but about the socializing. I’ve grown so anti-social over the years and it seems to be getting worse as times goes on. As I get older the more and more I want to hide away and not look or talk to another human being. I see the high school kids walking down the street and there’s a pang of jealousy at their youth. A part of me that thinks about my tattoos and reflects on the reasons behind getting them. Did I get them for the attention? Do I want people to look at me and think “Oh, she must be cool” because of some deep-rooted desire to make up for all those years when I was just a face and no name in high school? It’s hard for me to know the answers to these questions. But they are fleeting thoughts that pass through my head. I wonder if people see me in the car and think if I’m a poser, or an idiot, or a retard, or question my age, or think I’m just some “kid”. Then I’m reminded of my adulthood once again while pushing the cart up and down the aisle of the grocery store making better food choices and those passing thoughts don’t matter again.

Until the next time.

I see my anime collection and I never get the urge to watch a single bit of it. I look at the files on my computer or at the VHS tapes and even some DVDs in my collection and there was a point when that stuff was very important to me. I know nothing about Naruto, and could care less about Dragonball Z. I didn’t pick up a love for Pokemon until well into my adulthood. I wonder if I’m clinging to some tiny portion of my youth. I don’t find the new animes worth my attention or time. I have no energy to be bothered by the anime and cartoons I once enjoyed. Is this me growing up? I kind of miss being young.

I’m reminded, constantly and unintentionally, of my age. I see people around me have baby after baby, or plan for weddings. Things that I didn’t want 13 years ago, but do sorta want now. I’m the oddball of the bunch. Friend’s have to plan days and nights around their children. Finding a babysitter is important. Making events that might not necessarily be kid-friendly, be kid-friendly because it’s that or don’t socialize at all. The priorities have shifted and I missed the train. I’m still 20-years old with no real responsibilities stuck in this 32-year old body wishing for someone else who’s like me. Some exist, just no where near where I live. Friends who love and play video games as much as me. Who, even if they don’t like or play WoW, don’t fault me for the quantity of time spend playing it. Or the importance of it to me.

I have those friends, who are close-ish in age. Just not a single one of them live near me.

So I’m reminded of my age, time and time again. It’s a hard reality to swallow, when the thing you want most is just to find someone with whom you share an interest in. I don’t mean a soul mate, but a friend. I have many, online, but few within driving distance of me. It makes me sad some days. Other days I have the strength to shrug it off as me being emotional and “girlie”, but the truth remains.

This isn’t what I expected out of adulthood. Too bad there’s no turning back.

A little bit of an introvert

February 17th, 2010 | Tags: , ,

I have these moments, when I really really can use some company. It’s few and far between. I used to believe that there was something terribly wrong with me because I didn’t want to leave my house. There’s a part of me that is truly strange and obsessive. I can watch the same TV show over and over again (see Doctor Who and Torchwood). I can listen to the same album over and over again. I can also do the same things over and over again. It’s a vicious cycle.

When I was younger, living in Los Angeles, I found it so much easier to fill my life with all of these random outings. I planned events and invited people. I made day trips and weekend trips. I flew up north and drove to Mexico on a whim. I went to strip clubs and dive bars on the weekends. I went to Reggae dance clubs on Thursday nights and hung out on rooftops on the weekends. It is only because of these experiences that I have so many stories to tell. I have so many experiences that seem out of this world, and I would never trade a single moment of it for anything.

During this period of my life I found myself up in arms with drama. It never left me. I felt great anxiety and tension. I started smoking at 22 because of the stresses of my life. It never once occurred to me that I might be programmed differently, that maybe my social calendar was to blame. At least, not until fairly recently. I was reading Laurie’s blog on Valentine’s day, and her entry really touched home with me in many ways.

I don’t venture out for long stretches at a time. I don’t socialize in the same ways that I used to. Even as recently as a year ago I was found outside of my home more than I was home. Something changed though. School truly became one of the most important things for me. I set a goal. I wanted all A’s. The only way to achieve this goal was to make sacrifices and dedicate the time and energy needed to get this. I didn’t get all A+’s, but I did get all A’s. This feat is one that I have not been able to cherish in a very long time (3rd grade).

When I cut out cable, I also found that I had a lot more time available to get my homework done, preemptively get my reading done before the quiz/exam/final/paper was due. And now that I’m no longer in school, having recently graduated, I have all of this free time to do as I please.

The choices I made growing up has given me the perfect, and often selfish, opportunity to do whatever I want with my time. I can spend 6 hours playing Bioshock if I so desire. I can go to the gym. I can knit. I can play WoW. I find that as long as I’m willing to give myself the chance to do the things I like (and trust me, I have a billion and one hobbies to divide my time with) and love, and not feel guilty.

I still go out, occasionally. I still find time to socialize and be a part of the rest of the world (outside of the work environment). My tendency now is to limit this to a small number of people rather than large gatherings. I’d much rather have a good 1 on 1, instead of yelling over bar noise. This doesn’t mean that the bar is a bad place to hang out, it just means it’s not my place to hang out.

And so, I quote Laurie, because really, I couldn’t have said it any better myself. It truly is exactly how I feel.

“Listen: I’m thrilled for those who meet someone that sets their heart on fire and makes their life colorful and full. And I’m relieved to see not everyone has to follow my path to be happy. There are so many roads to personal fulfillment, even ones I never expected. I’m happy for all of us, those who fit the bill and those of us who wandered a bit. We create a new happy each day, each in our own way. The woman who chooses to be a single parent. The woman who chooses to divorce and live with her partner without a contract. The woman who marries another woman. The man who proposes to his boyfriend. The woman who falls in love at 63 and meets THE ONE and he’s only 57. Or the woman in Los Angeles who has three cats and a room of yarn and is astonished to discover she is happy all alone, for once in her life she has the say on everything and it makes her heart sing. She feels generous because she now has just enough.”

Putting Life Back Together

November 3rd, 2009 | Tags: ,

Now that the big decision of “to move or not to move” had been dealt with I’m faced with the reality that I’ve let a fair bit of life slip by the last couple of months. At times I think it’s because I wanted someone else to fix it for me. That going away was going to magically make it all better. Really, it wasn’t. It was a night thought though.

Up until a few days ago life was stuck in limbo. I wasn’t sure what was going on, or where I was going to be. I was wondering daily whether I had made the right decision, or contemplating the severity of… well… all of it. Once the final decision was made (and it wasn’t mine to make, mind you) it felt as though this huge weight had been lifted from my shoulders. I didn’t have to wonder anymore. I didn’t have to weight the pros and cons. It just was.

Over the course of the last few weeks I’ve been slowly reading through all of Laurie’s blog entries. There’s a funny connection that you can make to a total stranger when they put their entire life on the internet for you to read. It’s so very personal and real. I feel like I know her and that we’ve been friends forever. I’m not delusional, but it just feels like that.

Over many of the months in 2008, and even in 2007, she had yard sales. She decluttered and got rid of things. She stopped buying excessively. She put an end to all things clutter in the home. I know this feeling. This desire to have some semblance of control over the mass quantities of things is one I’ve felt for a long time.

Part of coming to the realization that you may move to the other side of the planet is the idea that you will not have to pack all of your belongings and decide if it stays or goes. And of those belongings, what is worth keeping and what is worth giving away, throwing away or selling in a yard sale. This is completely overwhelming. Completely. The first time I thought about it, I nearly cried. I think I did at some point, but not the first time. The first time made me gasp.

Since I’m not going anywhere and I’m staying right where I am in my tiny little apartment I’m going to have to seriously reconsider the quantity of stuff I have. I tend to keep things because there’s a memory attached to it. I want to remember who gave it to me, the moment in which I received it and all that nonsense. Except, when I really think about it, do I need to keep holding onto stuff that I never use? Stuff that I only occasionally look at and think, “Ahhh, I remember that day” until it goes back into yet another box and is forgotten for another year?

I don’t think so.

I made some progress last night. I went grocery shopping. Not just for tons of food (which I bought) but for stuff that I will actually eat. Another great thing I picked up from Laurie is the “No Dieting” concept. I’m not going to diet, per se, but I’m going to keep as much junk food out of my home as possible (so as not to be tempted) and I’m going to keep stuff I like and is healthy. Even if I eat mostly the same thing every day. So I bought a lot of frozen stuff that’s not filled with mass quantities of sodium and fats. I bought stuff that’s slightly better for me and will keep in the freezer for awhile. These ready-made meals are not for taking to work. They’re for those days when I’m holed up in my apartment and instead of ordering pizza, I’ll grab one of those. I mean, I really need to cut back on the pizza ordering. I actually got irritated that the online ordering system wasn’t working and I had to *gasp* call them!

And so I start the process of reorganizing, and removing a lot of the stuff I’ve been carrying around with me for years. I don’t need most of it. I don’t need much of it at all. It’s time to say good-bye to all those boxes and label the boxes I do have so that I can read them and find what I’m looking for more easily. I want to rearrange my apartment and find a much happier medium between computer, television, yarn and cat.

It’ll be a long process (since I just read that for Laurie it took many months and even years), but it’s going to happen.

And all of this while trying to knit Xmas gifts and write a NaNoWriMo novel. November is proving to be very interesting already.

Harbor of Learning

October 28th, 2009 | Tags: , ,

Working here at the Small Town Hospital, like many other hospitals, the staff have to take these little quizzes to make sure we remember and know about things like airborne or bloodborne icky goo stuff, how to handle fires (electrical and chemical), and a handful of other things. Since I am not part of the licensed/Doctorly/patient-take-carey staff, my quizzes consist of only a handful.

It’s lucrative business. I’m not sure how the whole thing works, or even how well it actually gauges knowledge of anything, but it’s really rather silly. Each employee has to take them yearly.

I can honestly say that I don’t even think they change any of the questions. You have to pass each quiz (which is anywhere between 5 and 8 questions) with an 80% or higher to move onto the next one. At the end of each quiz it tells you which answers you got correct and which you got incorrect. Jot these down, cause you’ll use them later. Now comes the tricky part. Take the quiz again and change the wrong answers (usually they’re True/False questions) and resubmit.

Again I say, I don’t know how accurate it is at actually gauging anyone’s knowledge or understanding of the material. I personally don’t even believe that the questions change over the years.

There is one question, though, that I get wrong every time. Not because I’m an idiot, but because it is genuinely wrong. Taking into consideration that the quizzes and the questions were created many many years ago. And the questions have been slightly modified to reflect the current standards of the healthcare world, some need to be updated.

The question is a True/False. It simply says: The customer is always right. I answer false. False. False. False. Every time. False. The answer to get 100% on the quiz is True. But alas, that is not, realistically, the correct answer.

Working in retail and food service, I remember this mantra being pounded into my head from long ago. As time passed and lawsuits increased, this mentality has changed. The customer is NOT always right. A lot of times they’re not even close to being right. They’re in the “wrong” ballpark and they’re batting a 1000.

All of my schooling has taught me a lot because the field of Psychology is ever changing. It’s so hard to point your finger and say “yes” and be absolutely positive that that is the answer. There’s this grey area. Especially because the majority of Psychology involves the ever-flawed human. Things change within a person and their thought processes daily, hourly, etc. Let alone attempting to take into consideration the vast differences between each of us. We can find like-minded people to befriend, but there is no other person who thinks and feels exactly the same as I do. Or you.

So the “customer is always right” is inherently flawed in it’s very nature.

Consider each person’s level of knowledge. We can all have gone to the same schools, got the same grades and been taught all of the same information, but each of us will remember and retain different bits and parts. Nothing wrong with that. Until it comes down to who is “right” and who is “wrong”. Especially if those are the ONLY two choices. When you put something as black and white as right and wrong into the mix, you throw the proverbial monkey wrench into the mix.

Customer is complaining that they were treated unfairly by staff. Okay. That is their perception. If looking at exactly what Staff Person did, and how they talked and treated the Customer nothing on paper is wrong, does that mean that Customer was truly wronged? Yes, but only in that it is their perception and who are we to judge and decide how a person thinks and feels outside of ourselves. If, however, Customer said, “Staff Person called me an asshole” is Customer then right? If legitimately Staff Person did not call Customer an asshole, this mantra and belief that ‘the customer is always right’ puts Staff Person at fault 100% of the time. Without question. Without investigation. Without fail.

Let’s say for arguments sake that Staff Person did call Customer an asshole. Does it immediately put Staff Person at fault and should then be punished? No. There is always a story. There are also always 2 sides to a story such as this one. What if Customer called Staff Person’s mom a whore? What if Customer threw something at Staff Person’s head while they were trying to walk away from the otherwise heated situation? What if Staff Person had just had enough with Customer’s bad attitude and it was just bad timing? What if Staff Person has now worked two doubles (being on the floor doing patient care for a total of 24-hours) and snapped at a normally regular situation? Staff Person is still human, after all.

As human’s we’re expected to act professional at all times, especially in a service industry such as medical care. The problem is, the customer is not always right. Over the years I have had to curb and tone down my initial instinct to fly off the handle, declare unfailing stupidity, and scream my fool head off. I still have little to no patience for stupidity, but I also have to keep myself in check with regard to these declarations.

And when I am the customer wanting my wrong to be righted, I will gladly accept that I am not entirely right and often working on limited knowledge of what I’m wanting fixed. This does not make me infallible. Nor does it make any of you.

Reservations and life

July 9th, 2009 | Tags: ,

For months I’ve been fighting an internal battle with myself, life choices, and opportunity. Finishing school places a seal upon life and forced me to face an undeniable truth… I have to go out and make that degree pay for itself. Getting my degree when I did means that I’m avoiding a sinking ship of rising tuition costs and less money available to help pay for everything. I’m also stuck with the realization that the economy is a tight environment for jobs and the competition will be fierce. Over saturated with too many people, and jobs that exist not being available until the state passes a budget. It’s a never ending, and terrifying, reality.

Then life seems to be taking it’s toll on me as well. Failed relationship after failed relationship, all with the hope that things will be good this time. This will be one to keep. For months I’ve been reeling with emotions that seem to be beyond my scope of understanding. All that education, all that psychological learning, and I can’t make sense of myself.

Am I walking down a familiar path for that exact reason, it’s familiar? Will there always be lingering doubt? Will I continue to question myself and others out of jaded fear and resentment for all of my life’s failures? For every step forward in the right direction will I find myself looking over my shoulder wondering today if things could have been better if I had chosen a different path back yesterday.

Questions with no answers. Certainly no one I know can do the answering. The hardest thing for me is grasping and understanding which emotions are the real ones. There’s a fear inside that makes me question myself, my motivations, and invariably my choices.

No one is perfect, and I am definitely not exempt from this rule. Would making a choice that I’ve made before (only to see it destroy me and try to take me down) again be the right one? Am I foolish for hoping for something better this time? Or am I setting myself up for a landmine of destruction. Familiar destruction. I’ve been here before. I’ve been strong all this time and adamant about my choices, and for the first time I’m admiting, aloud, that I’m faltering. I just don’t know how to cross that line. It’s like being in an alternate reality where just enough is familiar to not send you screaming, but it’s different enough to be awkward.

The Pondering of a lost mind

December 16th, 2008 | Tags: , ,

I’ve recently upgraded to the newest WordPress. I was a little scared given the disaster from the last time I upgraded… but thus far everything is working smoothly. This new dashboard will take some getting used to, no doubt. I suppose as wtih everything, it will only be a matter of time.

I am currently procrastinating and refusing to work on a paper that I know I definitely need to do. Distraction and procrastination are very easy. The actual writing… not so much. I suppose it wouldn’t be nearly as bad if it weren’t something so obscenely personal.

I keep hoping that I’m going to write more often, but I have this feeling that it’s not likely. I lost my “writer” domain. Not sure how that happened, but the registrar wants a ridiculous amount of money for me (the owner) to get it back, beyond just the domain fee. I’ll try to see if I can’t snag it once it’s available, but if I lose it, then, well, it’s lost. I suppose I could just find another… something that speaks to me in a similar way. I’m not sure though. I had the two domains because this one was my “online persona” for so long. And the new one was me now. I’m saddened, but I’m trying not to let it affect me to the point of tears. It’s an intangible thing, y’know, when all is said and done. It’s just a silly little webplace. Nothing super important. Maybe before working on this paper, I can look for a new one… maybe.

And now that at least an hour has passed and I’ve accomplished all of nothing for this paper, I think it’s time to close all windows and get to it. *sigh* I had such high hopes for this blog entry too. Ah well. Off tow ork I go!

Perceptual changes

December 9th, 2008 | Tags: , ,

My first semester of University was an interesting one. That strange feeling in the pit of my stomach as I ventured onto an unknown campus. No, I didn’t tour the campus before deciding on a school. It was literally the flip of a coin. I had two choices and only enough funds to apply for one. I picked one, got in, and the rest is history. That first semester I made two friends. Steve and Cindi. We met in our History of Rock class. I had the handful of people I spoke to, but mostly I stuck to myself. None of the friendships from that first semester became anything. Except with Mike (who obviously became my boyfriend after the second semester).

There’s a certain perception of people when you’re in class. I know that I have put myself into significant amounts of debt in order to be in school. Not everyone is in my boat. This is just part of the course of life. I had to struggle to get there. I had to deal with many ups, but mostly downs. I’ve had help from strangers, and help from friends. My father has helped me in more ways than I could ever count. So when I’m sitting in class, I’m there for a purpose… to learn. I’m not there to listen to the two stupid blonde girls chattering away as though they were at a baseball game (the one’s I’ve often shushed). I’m not there to listen to people whisper loudly in the middle of something a professor has just announced will be on a test/exam.I’m there to listen, and learn. Most… however… don’t understand this.

This semester has broken many molds. There are those who I wrote off as retarded, insignificant, annoying and any other negative term I could possibly imagine. And I’ve become friends with many of them. This Psychology 101 class has brought a group of people together that would not otherwise have been friends. I know this for a fact. We vary so much in age. We vary in background, previous education that led us to being in this class… but mostly, the proximity of our lab has yielded me some of the best friends I’m likely to make while in college.

The big plan next thursday after class… we’re all getting drinks. Together. As a whole unit. Because we endured. We made it through, by the skin of our teeth, but we made it through. All the tears, the sweat, the frustration and the annoyances will bring us to the same place. People I would never have sat with in a bar, I will sit with. We will all toast to the end and the finality of the semester. The hell we’ve all endured will be over. We became a family, that small group of us. We had a common bond, but it was more than that. It was the intimacy. The humor. The laughter we shared.

There is no better feeling in the world, than to find friends in people who previously annoyed the living shit out of you. I am one who LOVES and relishes in the fact that I can be wrong. And I was.

I will miss all of these people greatly… but come Thursday… we’re getting drunk!

An Amazing Birthday

August 28th, 2008 | Tags: , , ,

So the boy bought me this wonderful stash of candy goodness… avoiding chocolate (and while I love chocolate like the next guy, he knows I’m much more a sugar person having a strange affinity for gummy candies especially). He also bought me this insane stash of book. Not just any books. But books he’s seen me wander around the bookstore with, desperately wanting to buy, but always putting it back because it’s just out of my price range for the minute.

He also got me this framed watercolor painting that his roommate did. He remembered the first time I saw all of Garnier’s paintings, how much I said I loved this one in particular. So he bought it for me. It’s being hung immediately when I get home. That to me, beyond the books and candy, means a whole lot. A whole lot.

I’ve quite thoroughly enjoyed having internet and being able to use my blazing fast computer again. How much I’ve missed having internet at home. That will definitely be one of the FIRST things I reestablish the second I get some money. The first.

There are some new pictures on Flickr. If I weren’t in a hurry, I’d add them to the post. Maybe later. 😉

Soul… persons

August 12th, 2008 | Tags: ,

Amongst my closest friends, there are aspects of my life (mainly my online life) that they know nothing about. There is a reason for this, and the reason is meaningless for anyone but me. There is a certain amount of insight into me as a person here though, that I’m almost sad that these friends will never get to see. I bitch to these friends when the boy makes me angry. I laugh loudly with these friends at Starbucks when someone farts and the smell chases all of us around the corner. These same friends are crude, tattooed, pierced, weird, different… but we all fit somehow. But they do not know about this place… and it’s highly unlikely they ever will. Except for one, but I’ll get to him shortly.

It’s been a long time, and the last person I can really remember having any sort of actual connection with is the boy… but every now and again, you venture across a person that you just… *click* with.

Lemme backtrack a little bit though. When it comes to friendships and relationships… basically all human interaction… I have always believe that there are those people who are meant to come into our lives and somehow change it. Even the tiniest bit. There are also those people with whom we’re meant to come in contact with, essentially.

I’ve also always been a firm believer that not all soul mates are meant to be literal mates. That sometimes the friendships we make can be more fulfilling than the intimate/sexual relationships we may or may not be having.

That being said, last night I had the most amazing conversation with someone who was more an aquaintance than a friend up until last night. It was the kind of conversation where everything just clicked. We think similarly. We have similar types of plans for life. We have similar places we want to see in the world. Two totally different people… and both struggling with the same issues. It was definitely a soul mate moment.

At one point for a split second, I wondered why I couldn’t have met him at a different time in life under different circumstances. Suddenly all I could think of was the boy, and how much I loved him. As I drove home, I wanted nothing more than to know that the boy was there… knowing he wouldn’t be. Because it was that kind of night. The kind of conversation where you begin to appreciate those good things you do have in life. The good friends. The good family. The good memories and good times. And I wanted the boy there to tell him how much I loved and appreciated him.

Just like I’ll always love and appreciate the new friend.