Who’s Driving?

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I was supremely confident as a child that I could drive a car. All I needed, I’d say, was the green flag from the government for seven-year-olds to operate a vehicle and I’d be off!

Oh, I had experience: My parents occasionally allowed me sit-on-their-lap steering privileges home from church on Sundays. And at fifteenish, I pulled a few turns unassisted in that same church parking lot.

Man, I was set!

By the age of nearly-sixteen, however, shift got real. My mother may have realized this, as I was enrolled in Driver’s Education at school and had grown tall enough to look her in the eye. One day she took me to a quiet neighborhood side street, steered herself for the worst, and told me we could switch places.

Even on the best of days (as in, post-op heavily-medicated) my mother does not handle other people driving. When my annoyingly patient and meticulous father is navigating the roads at a rate that would put a sloth to sleep, she’s frantically kicking the floor of the passenger side in phantom braking actions.

Turning the wheel fully over to me is on my mother’s list of Bravest Things She’s Ever Done.

For my part, I was counting on my first time driving as heading the list of Epic Life Adventures or Most Awesome Experiences Ever. Right? Instead, as I sat in front of the wheel completely on my own, I was gripped with terror. The awesome power of everything I was now in charge of washed over me and my mind blanked. My foot convulsed at the pedals the same way it did when I tried to navigate a sewing machine. The wheel was strangely hyper-sensitive. All of the cars parked calmly at the sides of the street were trying to leap out in front of me.

“I thought you knew how to drive!” My mother screamed as we jerked along and sashayed from right to left.

I thought I did, too, I told myself. I felt sad, confused, surprised, and hopeless. We pulled over and returned to our former roles. My confident plans of self-dependency and road freedomness dissolved forever. Maybe we should’ve used an automatic.

Luckily, my driving actually improved from there. I throw that out, in case anyone has determined to never set wheels on pavement when I’m out and about.

This morning, however, I was thinking about life. Specifically, if at all, I was pondering on my decades-long feeling of directionless discontent.

I kept thinking, Who’s driving, anyway?

I have been a stay-at-home mother for thirteen years, ever since being fired in the first trimester of my first pregnancy. I have felt motivated some days more than others. Lately, however, my life has felt completely out of my hands. My children cannot legally drive (yet), but I’ve put them and my husband in the front seat, crawled back over Cheerio crumbs and Hot Wheels cars to the dirty back of the car, and wondered why I keep getting car sick.

And yet, I don’t move.

What do I do?

Well… I pretend to be useful. I hand around a few snacks, break up fights, give the pretense of modeling good behavior, and pick up loose wrappers now and then. Oh, and sometimes I tell the person steering exactly what’s wrong with his driving.

As the tension in the car rises, I withdraw to less activity. I tell myself I am not sleepy when the suns sets over our dented hood, intentionally tiring myself to a state of drunken drowsiness when that same sun rises over that same hood. I eat the bad car snacks. I forget to shower at camp sites. I wonder why the floor cannot stay clean even though I’m snapping at everyone to please pick up your garbage!

Who’s driving, anyway?

Shortly after that first, fateful day at fifteen when my mother gave me full control, I attended the driving portion of Driver’s Ed at school. Perhaps because I was the tallest female, our instructor picked me for the first turn. I don’t learn well by going first; I’m an observer.

The rest of our small group piled into the small sedan, buckled for safety, and waited for me to start the engine. I gulped. I adjusted everything I could think to adjust: seatbelt, steering, seat, side mirrors, rearview mirror, headrest. We’d been walked through this in instructional videos during class, and I was determined to get all the steps right. Then, ignition -with foot on brake pedal, of course. My hands flew to 10 and 2 like boot camp soldiers. I looked forward through the windshield, and waited for whatever hell the instructor at my elbow would direct me through.

My turn didn’t last long then, either. Another boy in the class took over after a few blocks and did marvelously. He drove better than the instructor! It turned out that he’d been allowed to man tractors on his grandfather’s farm since thirteen years old. Cheater.

Who’s driving? Floats through my mind when I wake up and get ready for the children’s day. They need to dress for school, eat breakfast, sit up at the table, not punch their brothers, pick up their shoes, do their homework, eat right, not talk back, feel loved, and then understand that I am a person and I love their father and our relationship is the most important of all.

Yeah, we’ve been seeing a marriage counselor. She’s a good driver.

Who’s driving? My mind recalls the sappy Country Song “Jesus Take the Wheel.” That’s a subject for a few pages all its own, so I’ll summarize with: I may not be in a great place discontentedly backseat driving, but I trust that spot a lot more than the places He might take me.

I know others in a similar state. Their reactions have varied from meekly asking for a turn at steering, to pushing the special Eject button James Bond-style and parachuting irresponsibly to a new adventure.

I’d love to end this personal reflection with a determined statement; a wonderful aphorism on life to pass on. Unfortunately, all I’ve got are chocolate almonds, yesterday’s clothing, and criticisms.

Perhaps you know a good solution? Anything’s better than here.

Maybe.

Life, The Universe, and Jerseys

My adult goal was to get a vanity plate.

The opportunity presented itself when we purchased a new family car four-and-a-half years ago. Granted, the “car” was really a minivan. I had wanted my long sought-after custom license plates on a lifted pickup truck or a sports car. But beggars can’t be choosers, especially on our budget.

On the DMV’s online form, I entered three choices in order of preference. The second was HHG2G; the third was Desiato (because the van is black).

The day the plates arrived was seminal for me; I opened the envelope and saw they’d agreed to my first choice! Ecstatically, I removed the dealer-assigned ones from their screws and hung my beautiful replacements in their place. Soon enough, I drove out onto public roads and parked at public grocery stores. I felt conspicuous, but proud.

A few days later, in a parking lot, I noticed a fellow patron checking out the front of my momvan. I geared up for his inevitable question and what my happy answer would be.

“So, is that a sports jersey?” He asked. “Whose number is that?”

Flabbergasted, I did the only logical thing a non-sports-watching nerd of my caliber could do. I corrected him. “No, no. It’s from a book.”

“Oh.”

I should have noticed the loss of interest. But I didn’t. “Yeah, it’s the answer to life, the universe, and everything.”

“Oh.”

He wasn’t the first. Thanks to my fancy vanity plates, I’ve since learned that they do represent Jackie Robinson’s number. The internet says that (as of this posting) 163 NBA and ABA players have had it. So that’s cool.

I don’t get asked about my choice frequently, mostly because people don’t talk to each other the way they used to. Exactly two strangers of those who asked have heard of the book my plates are from; most others assume sports origins.

Slowly over time, I’ve forgotten the magic. I simply drive, and forget how much I might stand out with such a short insignia on my front and back bumpers.

Today, stopped at the end of a freeway offramp, I happened to look out the passenger window. An older man was pointing his finger in an upwards gesture. Since it was his index finger, I assumed good intentions and rolled down said window.

“What’s the 42 stand for?” He called. He was smiling in a friendly manner.

A split second’s thought didn’t save me. “It’s from a book,” I yelled back. “It’s the answer to life, the universe, and everything.”

His pleasant expression lessened a bit. “Oh. Okay!”

The light changed. I rolled the window back up, and off we drove.

I know I ought to just give up. When an interested party asks, I ought to say, “It’s Jackie Robinson’s number, of course. I love sports! I sports so hard; don’t you?” A part of me just can’t. It’s a small, stubborn part; but it just can’t let the literary decline of America be somebody else’s problem.

Blue Car Edited

 

All You (Perhaps Didn’t) Want to Know About LASIK

I’ve put this off for awhile now, mostly because I don’t want my street cred as a depressive, put-upon, real-life person to be ruined. HOWEVER, when I was looking into getting laser eye surgery last year, I was frustrated that no one actually detailed the event to my satisfaction.

I’m a worrier. For some reason, I like to know exactly when the dentist is going to stab my gums or the moment when the scalpel will be applied during a Cesarean. In short, I hate surprise pain.

And so, a little over a year ago and thanks to reckless spending of Uncle Sam’s return, I had LASIK. Not only that, but I wrote about my experience once permissible to use my eyes. I include it here in the hopes that some other morbidly curious potential surgery-receiver may be helped by it.

I also split it into three parts, for your squeamish level convenience.

After all of the descriptions is the summary. Pick whichever section works for you, then scroll down to the three asterisks.

May 12, 2017

Safe Description (your queasy, paranoid grandmother could read this and not faint):
After sitting through a consultation in December, I finally scheduled and lay through laser eye surgery.
It was freaky but cool.
I seemed to be able to see as expected, so it worked.
Yay!

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Medium Description (you’ll only pretend to cover your eyes two or three times, but actually be fascinated):
In December, I sat through a standard consultation appointment at Hoopes Vision. It was free. It involved a video on an iPad, an exam with an eye doctor, and Dr. Hoopes himself talking to me about The Procedure. Then, I met with a man who discussed cost and price-matched what a neighbor of mine had been charged over five years ago. (It was still, understandably, a lot of money.)

After a few jinxed attempts at scheduling, I arrived ready for surgery the morning of May 11. This meant that I had arranged for payment, babysitting, a ride, two prescriptions, rewetting drops (that turned out to be the wrong kind), and self-control in the face of a terrifying situation.

Kevin (my ride and my husband) and I met with a woman who took our money and witnessed me signing the release agreement.
I was handed a summary of what-might-possibly-happen-during-each-laser, and it somewhat concerned me.
Then, we sat through a live human who gave us an automated message regarding surgery and recovery procedure (she did not crack a smile or deviate from her paperless script).
At her query, I reiterated that I did not wish to ingest the standard drinkable Valium. I was going in sober.
She put blue cloth covers (booties) over my shoes and a matching larger version (shower cap) over all the hair on my head.

I had another eye exam with a Dr. Macintosh because it had been nearly six months since the one during consultation. Six months is their cut-off time to get the surgery done, else one has to pay for a new consultation. She assured me that the summary description was generalized and I would not, in fact, feel pressure or black out as it suggested might happen. Yes, she’d had LASIK. Yes, she was still alive and could see.

I used the bathroom.

Just before entering The Room, I sat in a chair and had numbing drops put in each eye by another assistant. She explained that it would sting (it didn’t) but that was how I knew it worked. I explained to her that it didn’t feel nearly as bad as putting the wrong contact solution in one’s eye, and was personally concerned that it hadn’t worked because I hadn’t thought it stung. She assured me it had.

We entered The Room. Kevin sat outside. I was led to a space-age “bed” with a head area and a roll of cloth that was to sit under my legs. I lay as directed, and panicked a bit that they were just going to fire it up without telling me first. They talked me through another numbing drop in my right eye, applying stickers to my top and bottom lashes, and a special support to hold that eye open.
I saw a ball of light, like a picture of an atom in a science-fiction movie. Dr. Hoopes talked me through the machine getting into position and explained that the light was going to move around and then fade a bit.
Before you decide you’re too squeamish: It did not hurt. The only uncomfortable part was that the support piece holding the eye open poked my eye socket a tad. I have small eyes.
The right eye was done first, then the left. Each eye took fifteen seconds.

After moving the bed to the right, I sat up and walked over to lay under a different machine. This one had three colors of lights: two red to the right and left, and one green in the center. Things looked a bit blurry, but they always do for me.
Dr. Hoopes talked me through taping down eyelids/lashes and wetting my right eye then lifting the cornea. This is your second squeamish part. Again, it did not hurt. From my perspective, the lights got a bit blurrier. He told me to watch the green light; to keep track of it. The assistant said it would be nine seconds. The machine made a noise, Dr. Hoopes explained that the green light would blur a bit but it would be back again, and nine seconds later it was done.
He explained his actions in wetting and replacing the cornea.
They repeated this with the left eye, but it only took six seconds.

The bed moved, I sat up, and they led me from the room.

I was told to keep my eyes closed for ten minutes, while I sat in the chair I’d been in for my eye exam a few minutes prior.

Dr. Macintosh came back in, smiling and congratulating me. She looked at each eye, reminded me of the specific follow-up procedures, and gifted me a pair of cool shades.
She recommended we stop at Costco to purchase the correct rewetting eye drops.

I was on a schedule of Prednisolone (steroid) drops every two hours, Oxysomethingorother (antibiotic) every four, and rewetting drops every fifteen to thirty minutes. Expecting to have to record wet vs. soiled diapers as well; we were told that, unlike caring for a newborn, I only needed to apply the eye drops whilst awake.

Speaking of, I was also given two plastic eye shields to tape across my eye area when I slept. DO NOT APPLY ANY PRESSURE TO YOUR EYES in the next 24 hours, I was told -even to wipe away drop solution.

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Gory, Detailed Version (Do not read this if you can’t handle the truth):
I will only fill in some extra pieces to the Medium Description so we don’t overload l’internet.

The consultation video one watches on the iPad is informative, giving you the same information I did in the medium description. It tells you that the cornea will be cut by an amazing process of creating air bubbles in between the corneal layers to naturally sever its connection.
The video and their descriptions are detailed enough that you can safely say Hoopes didn’t mince words, but not so technical that you know the names of the founders of laser surgery and which machine they’re currently using at which speed per second laser, etc. That information is on a timeline on the wall, for Pete’s sake.
Many of the assistants have had LASIK. Dr. Hoopes himself had it done waaay back when, under much less safe conditions. He laughed and explained that his took more like a minute each eye, instead of a few seconds.
I found out that I have really good eyes for surgery. Who knew thick corneas were a desirable attribute? I also learned that surgery very rarely goes “wrong,” and most of those errors can be -and are- fixed by follow-up surgery.

Thursday of the surgery, we arrived almost-on-time. We handed over a cashier’s check for close to $4000. If you felt faint at that, you probably shouldn’t keep reading while I tell about the laser cutting my eye and such.
You’ve been warned.
I signed an agreement that said that many things could go wrong, although they weren’t likely to. It literally said they could not list every possible outcome and that I was agreeing that this was all elective and that I knew what I was doing.

The paper we were given from Assistant Robot Woman said that the first laser needed to come down and form a suction around my eye. It would apply a light pressure, and I might have my vision go completely black for a full minute.
I wasn’t able to read over all of the warnings about the second laser due to time, though Dr. Macintosh assured me (as I stated) that it wasn’t really as bad as I imagined it would be. She was right.

I was concerned about the numbing drops working because of perfectly normal paranoia, and also because of experiences with oral surgery and baby removal surgery in which the anesthesia had not fully saturated when they began operations.
Happily, Hoopes was correct. My eyes were numb.

I panicked a bit internally when the first machine came down toward my eye and formed its suction on the plastic plate. At the advice of Dr. Hoopes, who was detailing each step in a comforting tone, I trusted it would not hurt and that I was simply looking at a light.
It didn’t, and it is just a light. A glowing, ball-like light that moved in a circle; fading to a pinprick and then reappeared as a stationary, blurry ball.

On the second machine, the panicking part for me was the smell. As the laser was cutting for its nine seconds on one eye and six seconds on the other, I had trouble maintaining to my logical side that it was just a light when I could distinctly smell burning.
It did not hurt. It was not uncomfortable. It was just concerning.
I mentioned the smell to Dr. Hoopes. He agreed that the smell was there, and further explained that the laser used something called “cold heat,” and that doctors used lasers for years before a more technical sales person explained exactly why they could smell something as it worked. He also told me that the doctors performing this surgery repeatedly developed complications from ingesting the extra materials and now they all wear specially-formulated facial guards and why was his pink but his assistants got blue ones?
Just pull a blue one from their box. Sheesh.

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***It’s safe to look now.***

After the procedures, Dr. Macintosh explained that my vision was like looking through water. I thought it was like looking underwater while wearing contacts. I could see, in a different sort of blurry than I usually did, and with the sensation of having a contact lens in.
In fact, I told several people this summary since: I felt like I left my contacts in for too long, and wanted to pull them out. But, I couldn’t pull them out because they were my corneas and I needed to leave those in.

At the follow-up appointment nearly 36 hours after the procedure, I was cleared to drive and told I had 20/15 vision.
I still had the sensation of the old contacts, however, and was told this would remain for about three days.
The steroid and antibiotic drops needed to be put in every four hours for a week, then discontinued. The rewetting drops needed to be used every hour for a week, then throughout the day for a few months.

I was banned from high-impact activities like swimming (for one month) or water skiing (six months?) or impregnation (three months).

Such is the miracle of sight. Thank you for reading.

unsplash-logoMatt Evan
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unsplash-logoMatheus Vinicius

Mental-ity

I don’t read re-posts. We-e-e-e-ell once in a blue moon I will.

Accordingly, I don’t like to stick them into my own blog (the one you’re currently reading). I often read great things I’d like everyone else to see as well, but feel like I’m stealing someone else’s brilliance and pasting it over my lack of writing anything for that day.

‘Tis true, however, that I’m sometimes at a loss for time because of my dear, sweet, distracting children. Summertime’s here, which means they’re wild and free and completely under my tutelage.

I can be creative, though. I can! I’ve written some wonderful things. Some of those are contributing posts over at The Bipolar Writer.

If you haven’t been over there, go right ahead and check it out. If you’re lazy like me and don’t want to bother, I’m doing you a solid and pasting an article right here that I wrote back in April. It’s titled What’s So Normal About Labels?

 

I was conversing with my dear, oblivious husband the other night. I’d had an epiphany about my negative perspective of everything. Beginning to expound, I said something about depressive people thinking one thing, then moved on to try to finish with what other people thought.

The hubby helpfully suggested, “So, you mean what normal people think?”

Normal. People. They’re not normal. They just like to be called “normal.” Pshaw, I say.

Given that there are probably just as many wizards -er, mental illness sufferers out there as “normal” homo sapiens, things really seem to indicate that they should have the nickname, and we should be called normal.

What can we name them, then? How about “Aberrants?” “Defects?” “Outsiders?” or “Vulcans?” -You know, because they clearly aren’t feeling human emotions, so they’re overly serious aliens.

All right, all right. I’m sure we can come up with a more flattering name. In our spare time. Perhaps we can brainstorm during that extremely small window of time when we’re awake, and the sun and distractions are not.

Got anything yet? Yeah, not a good time for me, either.

Since coming over here to James Edgar Skye’s enlightening blog, I’ve felt a lovely camaraderie. It’s like the dark little corner of the party actually had people hiding there that I just couldn’t see before.

“Oh, hi!” I whisper to a fellow curled-up body. “Depress here often?” We cry a bit together, agree that cynicism is the best outlook, and part ways when one of us pretends to need a drink.

Since this discovery, I’ve been wondering how many people out there fit into one category or the other. Confirmation bias keeps telling me that most people struggle with mental illness. As I said, doesn’t that mean weshould be normal?

Checking out a more reputable site than my own mind, I learned that approximately 1 in 5 adults in the United States experiences mental illness in a given year. That’s freaking high. Despite all these people hanging out in closets or staring morosely into the bottom of glasses, that still means that MOST PEOPLE (4 of the 5) are not.

Dangit.

I guess we actually are the ones out of our Vulcan mind. But that doesn’t mean that I want to be grouped in the dark corner, apart from those who think they don’t have problems.

If they’re “normal,” that makes us “abnormal.” And we ARE NOT abnormal. We are fighters. Deep feelers and thinkers. We are authentic, strong, emotional, real -and tired of being labeled as defective.

Eureka! The real problem here is that we need a label besides all the others slapped on by those 4 out of 5 liars.

I vote for Human.

So, you Vulcans: listen up. We’re not broken. We’re not useless, imperfect, or crazy. We are Human.

Now, fellow Humans: get out of that corner, and let’s show them what we’ve got.

Go ahead; I’m just going to grab some punch.

Award Thingie

Liebster

The way cool and twisted guy over at There Be Monsters Here nominated me for the Liebster Award. As far as I can tell, awards are blogging chain mail. Ignoring that point, they’re a great way to learn about site writers and find more blogs to follow.*

The questions he presented us with are below, with my answers.

1 – What was your favourite scary story as a child?
In terms of scary, I’m a wuss. I got nightmares (as an adult) from watching Scary Movie 3, for Pete’s sake.

As such, I read all the classics that children did in the 80s and 90s like Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, and several Goosebumps books -and could not be around empty cars or dark bedrooms without expecting an ax murderer who feasted on brunette children and came out the second my eyes were closed.

I believe my favourites were The Witches (Roald Dahl), Voices After Midnight (Richard Peck), and the Blossom Culp series (also Richard Peck).

Ghost

2 – Who is your favourite book character of all time?
Seriously? Who can ever pick that? For one thing, I always have characters I love to hate; when the author does such a good job fleshing him/her out that I can’t help but admire the work going into absolutely despising someone in a story.

I also tend to love the side characters more than the main. Even when I relate to the hero/heroine, I find such depth and respect for those who help in his/her development.

Oooh! I thought of one: Eugenides from The Thief and its series (Megan Whalen Turner). He’s a very well thought out character; one you want to go to a party with, but never turn your back on.

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3 – When did you first begin writing?
Preschool. ABCs and all that.

4 – Who of your friends have you used as characters in the things you have written?
I haven’t really used any, though I did somewhat reference the name of someone who is a real jerk as a jerk in a short story. She deserved it.

5 – Were you a ghost, where and who would you haunt?
First, I’d pick major leaders of countries. I’d be like Spy Ghost.

Then, I’d leave nice things for the people who deserve them, like Robin Hood Ghost?

6 – If you were given the opportunity to live in any era, what and where would it be?
I love the romantic notions of past times, but really enjoy modern conveniences like toothpaste. Given the permanency of “living” there, I’d pick future America.

7 – What noises can you hear right now?
The lovely, twittering chatter of my darling offspring, heatedly discussing who has cheated at Exploding Kittens and in which ways.

Exploding Kittens Game Box

8 – If you could make one blog related statement, what would it be?
Live long and blogster.

So, this is the part where I nominate other blogs. If they want to participate, cool beans. If not, no hard feelings. Mostly I hope readers use this list to meet and read some amazing people.

Candace at Revenge of Eve, an honest writer who is open and encouraging about mental illness.

Steve of Steve Still Standing. He’s a word artist who writes quite a lot of excellent poetry.

Babbitman, an absolutely smashing storyteller and complimentary person.

How I Killed Betty, written by Kate. She’s basically my hilarious UK soul sister, if I wrote better.

Sweeter Than Nothing, another excellent writer who primarily addresses mental illness.

Nitin, who bleeds on the page at Fighting the Dying Light.

I could keep going through my entire Reader’s Feed here, but think I’ll cut us off while we’re already bored.

If you feel like it, nominees, here are some questions to answer:

  1. What is your favorite music video, and what character/psychedelic element would you be in it?
  2. What is the best dessert you have ever tasted?
  3. Who would win in a boxing round; rock, paper, or scissors?
  4. How would you finish the following limerick: There once was a man from Nantucket?
  5. Who is the most misunderstood nursery rhyme character?

Thanks!

 

*Fine print/explanation of how to avoid dying in the next seven days:

The Liebster Award is an opportunity for bloggers to recognize and support other bloggers for their achievements. It’s available between January 1 – December 31, 2018. All nominations are voluntary and geared towards blogs with 1000 readers or less. The Rules are below if the nominees choose to accept.

IF YOU HAVE BEEN NOMINATED AND YOU CHOOSE TO ACCEPT, WRITE A BLOG ABOUT THE LIEBSTER AWARD, IN WHICH YOU:

*Thank the person who nominated you, and post a link to their blog on your blog.

*Display the award on your blog, by including it in your post and/or displaying it using a “widget” or “gadget.”  (Note that the best way to do this is to save the image to your computer, and then upload it to your blog post.)

*Answer 11 questions about yourself which will be provided by the person who nominated you. Provide eleven random facts about yourself.

*Nominate 5-11 bloggers that you feel deserve the award, and who have fewer than 1000 followers.  (NOTE: you can always ask the blogger how many followers he or she has, as not all blogs display a widget that lets the readers know this information).

*Create a new list of questions for the blogger to answer.

*List these rules in your post (you can copy and paste from here.) Once you have written and published the blog, you have to:

*Inform the people/blogs that you have nominated for the Liebster Award and provide a link for them to your post, so that they may learn about it.

This Blogging Thing

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Guess what?!

We are super close to my one year anniversary as a blogger. I’d like to thank The Academy, the search engines, my husband -but, really, all you people with eyes and fingers who help me believe that my writing’s worthwhile.

A year seems hardly that much older, yet I feel more comfortable about the whole blogging thing than when I first started.

I’m sure you know the questions I had when first starting: What if no one reads what I write? What if no one likes me? What am I going to write about every day? Will a talent agent ask me to publish right away, or do I have to wait a few months? What is the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?

So, yes, I have learned the answers to these questions. The short answer to all but the last is that people will read you if you read them, and no one on this ole internet thingie gets anywhere without a lot of work.

As part of being all experienced and whatnot, I decided to create a WordPress site solely on the topic of the book I hope to one day publish: I Didn’t Want to Be a Mother. This, right here, is a self-promoting blog post to get you to check it out sometime.

….I’d better go write some more entries over there.

Until then; thanks again, and keep reading!

A Little From Column A

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I’m fairly private about religion, political opinions, and social security numbers of family.

I keep the last item private for obvious reasons; the first two are more complicated. Mostly, I hate being categorized. My husband doesn’t get it.

“I love being put in categories,” he says. “I don’t understand why you don’t.”

I sigh. “Because I’m not ever put into good categories.”

My 18-40 white male breadwinner who works in the technical industry and has above-average intelligence looks back at me, confused.

From the limited mental capacity of over a decade of child-rearing, stay-at-home housekeeping, and intentional numbing; I attempt to talk expound.

Problem is, I have difficulty. Maybe it’s that limited mental capacity thing I admitted to just now. That, and I am nearly crippled at the idea of conversation. Challenges within conversation take out any other remaining limbs. Finish off with a general uncertainty and low self-esteem, and you’re lucky you caught the words I thought to type tonight.

I do not want to be categorized because of the limitations that puts on my character.

know that others’ opinions ought not to play into my self-esteem at all. I hear that I should just be me and everyone will love me for it. I think, sometimes, to try it out.

Then, telling the mother of an acquaintance that I think unborn babies preaching the gospel to spirits in heaven sounds wonky gets me labeled as anti-her religion. Asking a close friend to not disparage feminist viewpoints lands me in his radical/liberal/male-stabbing/unreasonable/lesbian camp. Suggesting that making one’s kids dress nicely for special events causes a sudden drop-off in the number of texts from the mother I suggested this to.

Where are all these people who will like me for who I am? Are they hiding in their own categories somewhere?

How can I expect to enjoy the sensation of being stuffed in a box when I’m left to sit uncomfortably, in the dark, and listen to the retreating steps of the one(s) who put me in there?

Picture Source: Pixabay

Mrs. Owens

Agent Smith

As you can see, some bloggers have been reading my posts for some time now. I admit, however, to writing on two blogs. In one site; I am Chelsea Owens, freelance blogger for my own whims and devices. I have a registered URL, I pay an annual fee, and I respond to people commenting on my garbage.

The other life is lived on James Edgar Skye, where I go by the alias of …Chelsea Owens, and am guilty of indulging in every idea regarding mental illness my personal experience allows for.

Whether either of these lives has a future or not, is irrelevant.

Part of me believes that I’m wasting my time writing about this, but I believe you wish to understand a few things. I’m willing to write a parody of a Matrix interrogation scene, give new visitors a fresh start on navigating; and all I’m asking is your cooperation in following along with my winding train of thought.

At some point in the blogging process, I was followed by Skye. Many of my posts before that point touched on mental issues; say, like futility involving procrastination, frustrations involving housework and an inattentive husband, or poetic breakdowns inside my head.

I’ve noticed a personal decrease in posts involving mental conditions since contributing a few posts in my other site. Perhaps those who find me over here, from there, are disappointed. Advice regarding blogs is usually to keep to only one subject.

I’d hate, however, for readers to experience déja-vu.


via GIPHY

That, and I want to write without limits; “without rules or controls, borders or boundaries.” I aim to create in “a world where anything is possible.”

And that, confused followers, is why you will find such a hodgepodge of expression over here.

“I don’t know the future. I didn’t come here to tell you how this is going to end. I came here to tell you how it’s going to begin. …Where we go from there is a choice I leave to you.”

The real world is a place of myriad lifestyles, environments, perspectives, and ages. Even our personal mindset evolves over time. Variety is more than a spice of life; it’s the constant throughout our lives.

So, go on; have some variety.

The Oracle

And keep reading.

 

All quotes and parody material obsequiously taken from The Matrix.

G2K: Get to Know

I don’t talk much about me, but the sons have gone to bed and so must I… So, now seems a good time to answer Revenge of Eve’s G2K questions:

Who does the cleaning in your home?
Since I do nothing outside the home to earn money, I am the defacto maid around here. I have recently hired a house cleaner to come every other week for two hours to help alleviate depressive episodes. So far, I rush to clean so that she can clean -so I’m not certain how helpful this experiment is.

What pets do you have?
We own one betta fish at the moment. His name is Toothless. Technically, he belongs to my son as part of one of those agreements to show how responsible he can be (the son, not the pet). It’s a good thing he’s a hardy fish.

When did you have your first boyfriend/girlfriend?
I was the sweet, young, innocent age of 16 when my now-husband asked me on our first date. The rest is history, mostly because there’s not enough time or readers’ attention span to go into the sordid happy details.

And, I haven’t had a first girlfriend. Not that sort, anyway.

Where do you live?
In a house.

How did you decide on your career?
Welp, my husband couldn’t grow babies so that’s pretty much how I landed this mothering job.

Why do you blog?
I originally set out to write online because I had a strange burst of self-confidence culminating in the erroneous notion that what I wrote might appease every person in the world and get me (ensuing) worldwide acclaim and riches.

Since then, I’ve found a lovely community of excellent writers, sympathetic peoples, similar perspectives, different perspectives, and mutual respect and encouragement.

 

Thanks to Revenge of Eve for posing these questions. You can follow along next time she posts another G2K, as well!