Thursday, April 12, 2012

K is for Know Yourself

“Who are you? ” said the Caterpillar.

Alice replied, rather shyly, “I—I hardly know, sir, just at present—at least I know who I was when I got up this morning, but I think I must have been changed several times since then.”

“What do you mean by that?” said the Caterpillar sternly. “Explain yourself!”

“I can’t explain myself, I’m afraid, sir,” said Alice, “because I’m not myself, you see.”

“I don’t see,” said the Caterpillar.

In my profile I say that I’m a whole lot of things that shouldn’t fit together. I have so many varying interests, so many contradictory parts, just a very complex personality. Often the things have no relation to one another but I like the kind of diversity I have in my life. There's something for everyone in me, in my 'personality'. For all my structure and need to be in control, there is no single box to categorize me with.

I'm never really sure why people are attracted to me. My disconnect is so normal for me that I simply don't see what other people see. And I don't understand why people are attracted to the things that they are concerning me.

People take one look at me out in the real world and might think “Goth” or “Artsy”. If they manage the gumption to talk to me and realize I’m also “Athlete” and “Rocket Scientist” they’re initial conception of who I probably was is shattered. But then if I get to know them intimately, I also tend to reflect who they are as well.

I have sort of a paradoxical complex concerning the fact that I tend to mirror and project what people want (what I think they want); even if it's not something I would normally want doesn't that still make me the kind of person that likes to be something that other people want? So do I like the things I don't really like after all? On some meta level I think the answer is yes. But even then the ultimate issue comes back to wanting something for myself. I do recognize that the reason I probably reflect what others want to see, is that so people will stay with me and I gain their company, their affection, and their love in the process.


I also find it easier to "be myself" when I have a role I know I'm supposed to play. At work I'm "an engineer". I know how I'm supposed to behave, I know how I'm supposed to act, I know what I don't want to project and bring into focus, so it's easy for my to tailor myself and slip into a role.

Just me on my own? Does personality exist when there is no one around to see it? Does it mean anything if there is no interaction? When I'm alone I'm creative, or quiet, I read, or I cook, or I do any number of things to keep me busy but I don't have anyone to act on or see me. I'm just me focused on the motions I choose to be going through. Hm. Does this constitute personality?

The things I like are certainly a part of me. But who I am can be so fluid that I don’t always feel like I know all of me in the context of just myself, because often who I am is found in the people that I am surrounded with.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

{ J } is for { J }ust Say No

I’m not saying I have a drinking problem, but others might. One thing I’ve never had a problem with though, is drugs.  I’ve never been interested in screwing with my mind that way. I tried pot approximately 3 times in high school and hated it. I hated feeling slow. I hated feeling like I was floating. It was just awful. I’ve never done it since and I’ve never tried anything else either. All of my friends know this, but they still occasionally offer. Usually in a setting where other’s want to smoke up and it’s polite. Perhaps, hypocritically, I get a little annoyed when someone pipes up before I have a chance to decline when something like, “Oh don’t bother, she doesn’t smoke.” Like, I’m not cool enough to be in their little druggie club. When did drugs become cool?

I don’t have a problem with people having a little recreational fun. But there’s seems to be a two way street concerning Judgment.  Either you don’t do drugs and you judge those that do as making poor life choices. Or you do drugs and you judge those that don’t as being some kind of prude to experimentation.

Come on now. I’m all for a little experimentation, but I happen to use my brain on a daily basis and I don’t need to be fucking with my neurons any more than they’ve already been fucked with. Let’s face it, my biology is a little wacky to begin with and I don’t need to be tempting fate in ways that I have no control over.

Reason #2 that I don’t smoke. The smell of it makes me physically nauseous. It turns my stomach.

I hate that because I do say ‘No’ to drugs that it seems to make people uncomfortable around me too. Like I might narc on them. None of my friends are hardcore into drugs, they just smoke some weed now and again. I seriously don’t see what the big deal is. Who cares? If the government would just legalize that shit they could start regulating it and making a little profit by having one more thing to tax.
Anyways. You have your joint, I’ll have my beer. Can’t be all just get along without the judgment?

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

{I} is for {I}s it ever going to be enough....

H is for Hangover

Fortunately without the Headache! I drink a lot for someone that is no longer living in a tiny cramped apartment on a college campus. It’s probably a problem and I swear I’m going to do something about it. But in the mean time, occasionally I have to deal with the dreaded hangover.

Now, I usually know my limit. When the room starts spinning, I’ve passed that point. When my best friend and I are falling on top of each other while dancing out at the gay bar. I’ve passed that point.

I can usually justify a bottle of wine. If you’ve every drank a bottle of wine, it really doesn’t seem like that much. It’s maybe the liquid equivalent of 3 bottles of beer. However the alcohol content is significantly higher, and wine is a sneaky little bastard that likes to creep up on you and hit you all at once.

I’ll be sipping my Sauvignon Blanc when all of a sudden I realize I’m on my 4th glass and the world is so much more fun! The only thing that usually stops me from drinking more is my obsession with counting calories. But when you put me with my best friend, all my good decision capabilities get drowned out in the next bottle that we open.

H is also for Honest, because I’ve got to be… I don’t regret it for an instant. I rarely, rarely, rarely get to see her because we live 500 miles apart, so when I do, I have no inclination to Hold myself back. We feed of and build on each others energy and it’s one Hell of a Happy time.

However. The next morning is a little rough. I really do Hate Hangovers. I can’t exercise. I don’t want to get out of bed. But at least I’m Happy in the knowledge that the night before I had a truly amazing and memorable night out. 

Sunday, April 8, 2012

G is for Gay and G is for Guilt

… but not the kind  you might think. I have straight guilt. Or guilt that comes about when I am in a straight, heterosexual relationships.
Hi. I’m Haven. I am not, nor have I ever been: Straight. I know, shocker right? I guess if I have to I would say that I am “Bi”-Sexual, but I really hate the stigma associated with that. Really, I’m just sexual. I date people based on whether or not there is a mutual attraction present. The rest is just anatomy and that isn’t usually that important to me.
Admittedly I have more problems dating men then dating women. I’ve never had the trauma with women that I’ve had with men. When I realized I was attracted to women, I never questioned it, I just started dating women to be sure. It was a struggle for me to realize how much I wasn’t typically attracted to men. There was a period for a few years where I honestly did think I was a lesbian.
And sometimes, even now, I recognize that I do enjoy sex with some men, but when it comes to relationships, I definitely prefer the dynamic I have with women. I trust it more. I feel more like myself.
I don’t feel like I’m denying a part of who I am. Which is where the guilt comes in when it comes to me dating men. For as much as I adore the guy I’m with now, and for as much as I’ve liked some of the men in my past, I always feel like something is missing for me. I feel like I’m denying a part of who I am because I can’t have an aspect of what I’m attracted to in the partner I’ve currently picked.
And then I feel guilt on top of my guilt, because I feel like I’m being unfair to the person that I’m with. I give them everything I’m able to give, but because there’s that inkling of “what if” and “where is the rest of me”, I’m afraid I’m being false to them. It doesn’t really make me do anything differently, but I’m aware that there is something there, or not there, as the case may be.
I wonder if anyone else who has a fluid sexuality ever feels this.  

I also wanted to highlight this spot that Brandon over at My Own Private Idaho posted today. It’s an anti-bullying campaign created by gay Mormon students at BYU. As mentioned before I am anti-religion personally, but I found this message of hope and acceptance incredibly touching. Have  look.

F is for Fantasy

Every night I lay me down to sleep in hopes that my subconscious will create for me a world beyond the realm of imagination. In dreams I live a new life. A different life. A better life. A tragic life. An exciting life. A life of Fantasy and Fun that I could never come up with in my waking hours.
I live to escape the world I live in everyday. The dull and the daily have so little hold over me. I love to lose myself in a fantasy. Movies, books, and intriguing television show. It’s all a form of escapism that frees my mind from the mundane. But even those are nothing like living in dreams.
I face monsters in my sleep. Vampires and zombies, ex boyfriends, ex friends, terrifying situations being chased through nightmare dreamscapes…. And sometimes the monster is me. Something I must face in myself. Fight and Free myself from the chains I have holding me back in my waking world.
Other times my world is an adventure, wild and fulfilling. Flying through clouds, maneuvering through worlds that never existed, meeting creatures that bring joy, laughter and light into a life that has been oppressed by the chore of working 9-5p.
Faces from my past and present meet and interplay one on top of another. New situations I never hoped to have mingle with experiences I’ve shared with people that weren’t worthy of the brightness I wished to show them. In my dreams I can re-envision how I would like the story to play out. How I’d like my happily ever after to present.
In my dreams I am Free. I don’t always know what will happen. But I know that I will Feel every instant of it and when my eyes Finally open, I will have a new perspective on things I hope to never Forget.   

E is for Eggs

….and how the government has no right to tell me what to do with mine. Seriously. I definitely inherited my father’s righteous anger for social injustice. So far I have read (and written) about the state governments of Virginia, Arizona, and Georgia trying to interfere with the reproductive rights of women under the guise of “religious freedom”.
Now. I’m not religious. I do believe that people deserve the freedom to believe whatever they want to believe. You believe in god? Good for you. You believe in many gods and goddesses? You have a better memory than I do for all those names. You believe in the tooth fairy? Good for freaking you. Just don’t start yanking out my teeth to appease your god. Your right to religious freedom stops. Stops. With you. You do not have any right to impose your beliefs on others in the name of your religious freedom when... Shocker… it violates the personal and religious freedoms of another human being.
The government, an employer, a religious figurehead, has no right to tell me, or any woman what to do with our sexual and reproductive freedom.
I have a theory. I think that some of the reason all of these women’s reproductive rights issues are coming to the forefront now… in the year 2012… is a backlash against the recent developments and progress made in the gay rights movement.
I have a theory that old school conservative men in government feel threatened because the “traditional values” they hold are somehow being threatened. Never mind that how another person lives their life has no effect on the person living next door, but it’s a new way of living that challenges what these conservative ideals are used to.
And they don’t like it.
So in a desperate attempt to hold onto the things that they are comfortable with, they are trying to maintain their power, by taking away ours. By taking away our rights, by taking away our choice, by taking away our voice, they can hold on to the belief that the “right” way of living isn’t just an illusion of an era that no longer exists.
Tell you what. Let’s make a deal. You live your way. I’ll live mine. I won’t tell you what to do. And you can keep your politics out of my vagina. Thanks.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

{C}hange and {D}eath

C is for Change, D is for Death

Twofer post today as tomorrow I will be travelling. In a little over a week I will be sitting down to get my tattoo colored in. My tattoo is a skeletal phoenix which is representation of change and {symbolic} death in my life.


This is a Skeletal Phoenix. It is a marriage of two concepts that have been a part of my life for nearly as long as I can remember; the Phoenix and Death. What they represent to me is something I need to keep with me. I tend to lose my ability to hold onto things, people, concepts… and this is something I need to never forget. I need to constantly remind myself so that I do not fall to hopelessness with I am prone to. Talk about a need for some permanence.
Every year, or two, or three, my life starts over. I crash, or burn, or both and I have to pick up and begin anew. Each time a little different than the time before, but it keeps going.

Phoenix - Phoenix imagery is just that: renewal and rebirth from the ashes of the past. I can never fully forget my past, but I can learn from it; leaving the char behind me and hopefully heal into a better place than I had been before.

Death - I’ve also been constructing my own Tarot deck. Meditating and drawing each card. While working on my Major Arcana, I got to my Death card and {a variant of} this image came to me immediately. I sketched the basic idea the minute I thought of it and knew I had to have this as a permanent reminder for myself.

If you’ve ever studied the Tarot you will know that Death, is not representative of physical death. Interpretations vary slightly by deck but some of the meanings include:

Ending of a cycle – Loss – Conclusion – Sadness – Transition into a new state – Psychological transformation – Finishing up – Regeneration – Elimination of old patterns – Being caught in the inescapable – Good byes – Deep change.

Typically it implies an end, possibly of a relationship or interest, and therefore implies an increased sense of self-awareness. An opening of new opportunities from the ending of those previous. When one region in your life empties, there opens a space to allow something new to replace it.

The banner the Firebird holds says ‘Bás ’ which is Gaelic for ‘Death’.

The Death card is generally depicted as skeletal so the combination of this imagery along with the phoenix inspired this idea of a skeletal phoenix.

In my struggles, my life, becoming who I will become, the nature of life in general; it is strikingly obvious to me why all of these things are a part of me. This is a card of change. Transition. In the death of one thing springs the potential life of something else. Endings are not only endings, but also beginnings. Endings bring change. In change there is hope. With hope there is the possibility for a better life. A life worth living.

Monday, April 2, 2012

B is for Books

Reading is one of my favorite forms of escapism. I lose myself to the words on each page and let the inner dialogue suffuse through my soul. It may appear to just be some words on paper bound together, held by my hands but the literal description of what a book is, does not capture even the smallest glimpse of what a book does.
Each book is alive. A journey. A place I never believed possible.  Travelling through time and space beyond the ability of physics and the imagination. For a few hours I shed my skin and become someone else.
As my eyes roam across the words, without my consciousness knowing I seem to slip into a cinema. I am no longer reading, but seeing the words play out before me. My imagination so vivid as to make the words dance and sing, each with their own voice and color.
Books to me are a way to leave behind the pain and heartache I so often feel. The dreary days of stress and boredom that drags me down through the world of the mundane.
At 30 years old I still curl up in bed with a flashlight each night and read myself to sleep. Covers pulled up close, my cat cuddled near, as I shine my light into a new adventure that follows me into my subconscious. My mind picking up and placing me into the plot after my eyes close and I drift off to sleep.
There as I fall asleep. There when I finally awake.

In life I have my own little library. In this day and age of electronics, kindles, and e-Readers, I still love my books. I’ve heard all the arguments and the wonder that comes with this technology but there’s just something I can’t replace in my books. I like the look of my shelves filled with volumes and tomes of places I’ve been, gone, and seen. It may seem silly, but it’s something I simply cannot bring myself to give up.  

A is for All Aboard

I dream of travelling. I would love to live a life of adventure and discovery. I’ve spent so much of my life learning of different cultures and places that I’d like to explore. And yet I never manage to get very far.

I take one real vacation a year with the time I painstakingly save up from work. Every year my friends all come together and go to the same place. All of us bring our costumes, and gear, and tents, and booze and set up our camp for a week or two together. All of us. All together.

It’s a wonderful time but when rifts develop it’s difficult to enjoy it all. Things change. People change. And eventually nothing is really the same. The joy the brought me back year after year, slowly slips away until finally I long for a change of my choosing. I think that’s the problem. Often change is out of my hands. Against my will. It’s hard to watch the things you love get swept up and swept away in the whirlwinds of time. It makes me feel helpless and resentful of my humanity.

Even change of my choice is not easy. The anxiety that accompanies picking a new path is paralyzing. They’ll be so disappointed if I do not join them again like I always do. I never feel like I contribute to their merriment but I never feel like I’m good for much of anything despite what everyone tells me. I’ll be sad and maybe a bit jealous to let them have their fun without me. To think that they could have an even better time if I weren’t there.

But I know what that place holds. I crave something new. Something different. It’s so strange though. Dozens of us do this every year. I want to try something new… but with who?

Sometimes you have to let your past go, to see what your future will bring I suppose.