My 2003 Diary

2003 was one of the hardest years of my life, and I didn’t much relish the thought of going back through my diary to see what sort of person I was back then. I’m glad I did though – I learned a lot of important things about the way I used to think, and about the sorts of things that were important to me. It was also the year I grew up – for the most part, I put less faith in fantasy and accepted my grim reality. They were dark times.

***

Like the two years previous, I pretended my diary was a human girl I could share my secrets with as I searched desperately for safety, companionship and affection in the world. I was quite obsessed with romance and intimacy, until half a year of high school led me to abandon this childish fantasy and bleakly accept my diary as an unfeeling book to record my thoughts and feelings in.

***

My relationship with my brother was at its worst. There were constant violations of privacy, trust and safety. For instance, he set up bugs in my room so he could listen to what I was doing -they didn’t work very well, but I felt like I was under surveillance and had to be very careful not to bring his wrath down upon me. I felt the exuberant happiness of freedom whenever he was away, and discovered the safety of isolation. I lived in fear of him, and thought he was trying to ruin my life to the point where I committed suicide. However, at the end of the year I recognised that he wasn’t always terrible, I just tended to write in my diary when I was feeling awful about him. Things with my parents weren’t great either – there was much fighting and fear in the house.

***

I turned even more religious, if such a thing were possible. As well as striving to be an officer and a gentleman, I was obsessed with sin and salvation, and was convinced that God was punishing me for thinking about sex. Eventually I came to believe that challenge wasn’t punishment but God’s way of making me grow stronger.

***

I felt outcast and alone, and suicide was often on my mind. To get through these dark times, I believed if I could just will myself to do something then I could do it. Sheer willpower pulled me through the huge amount of pressure I put on myself, to literally “be perfect”.

***

I learned how to read and write ancient runes, largely to hide information from my brother. (Fun fact: runes pop up from time to time, like the Moon Runes in The Hobbit, and I greatly delight in being able to read them.)

***

OCPD was getting its hooks in. I got up regularly at 5am so that I had enough time to “get ready” for school. I was always playing catch-up, and desperately wished to avoid being held accountable for not meeting my ridiculously high standards.

***

In this turbulent sea of hurt and pain, the internet was my life raft that connected me to friends across the world. One of those friends was Ivy, a girl a year younger than me who I recognised as someone who would soon outgrow me in wisdom. I spent a lot of time in the early morning reading Zelda fanfics (including a certain Forest whose url I can recite to this day), playing games on newgrounds and eventually finding RuneScape. Truly, if not for the internet, I might have died that year.

***

After many months of this pain, Beki, a girl I met on MSN, helped me realise that I had to face my problems in real life, not fantasy. It was the start of everything changing.

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15 things I love

I just watched this wonderful video by Hank Green talking about 15 things he really loves. He also spoke about how it was surprisingly hard to come up with, and despite being a generally authentic and honest person, he felt self-conscious about sharing those feelings. I just wanted to take a quick crack at it myself. (And also use this amazing mechanical keyboard that Bethwyn and I just bought. It’s like sex all over your fingertips all the time.)

  1. Using this mechanical keyboard. Again, the sexings, all over the fingers.
  2. Seeing an old couple hold hands in public.
  3. Seeing a gay couple hold hands in public.
  4. Getting the essence of a martial art technique and then just nailing it.
  5. Running so free that it feels like I’m cutting through the air and that I can go forever and nothing can hold me back.
  6. Helping someone smile by doing something kind for them.
  7. Cuddling in a warm bed on a cold morning.
  8. Having someone trust me enough to open up to me and be vulnerable and maybe scared by oh so authentic, and then me saying to them “It’s okay, I hear your fear, I see your vulnerability, and I think you’re okay. I love you.”
  9. At the end of Inheritance where all the loose ends are tied up over like 130 pages of dénouement.
  10. Constructing a really clever or eloquent sentence, or many such sentences, and then sharing them with other people.
  11. Good food in good company.
  12. Laughing at the top of my voice because I’m so happy I have to let the joy out.
  13. Forgiving someone who has done me wrong. That shit’s cathartic.
  14. Doing something (meditation, affirmations, mindfulness) that reminds me there is a deep well of peace within me that I can access at any time.
  15. Sharing my heartsong with people who don’t mind me singing.

10 Questions to Help You Figure Out Who You Are Right Now

A wonderful reminder that we change from moment to moment, and being ourselves (whoever we are right now) is never wrong.

Kiriko Kikuchi

Photo By Danka Peter via Unsplash.com

Photo by Danka Peter via Unsplash

  1. Do I want to see others, or would I rather be alone at this very moment?
  2. Am I attracted to high energy situations and people, or do I prefer calm?
  3. Do I predominantly think warm, accepting thoughts when I look in the mirror, or do I quickly find something I don’t like or that needs fixing?
  4. Do I want to rest or do I want to do something?
  5. Do I feel too busy or do I feel bored? Or both?
  6. Does stretching feel good or does it feel uncomfortable?
  7. Does my digestion function well most of the time, or do I frequently have digestive problems?
  8. Does learning feel good, or do I avoid situations that require me to learn? Why?
  9. Who am I having strong reactions to? Why?
  10. What am I obsessed with? What is repeatedly distracting me? Is this worth focusing on in…

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Creating the day

You know, for a long time I claimed that going to sleep was a perfect way of “hitting the reset button“. That is to say, no matter how stressed or depressed or awful you were feeling, if you went to sleep you’d wake up feeling better (at least for a little while). For those few minutes before you opened your eyes and got up, you’d be feeling neutral and have the capacity to choose to be happy rather than being stuck in your cycle of unhappiness.

 

I rescind that belief. The past two weeks or so I’ve woken up feeling anxious even before my eyes have opened. Almost every morning I have felt a surge of mild panic wash over me as I consider going to work. And every morning I have made myself get up and have taken pleasure in little things. I will smile at the thought of having delicious cereal for breakfast. I will be comforted by the thought of hot coffee or tea while I write lines. I will feel a flush of joy at the thought of feeding Lyota the floating pellets he once rejected and watching him attack them ferociously and chewing them audibly. I will grin at the thought of having Hamish and Andy for companions on the drive to work (I downloaded their app and bought a year’s subscription so that I have unlimited access to every podcast they’ve ever uploaded. I’ve been working my way from 2007 to the present, because pre-2007 was a bit rubbish). And slowly, bit by bit, I let go of my anxiety and choose to appreciate the little things in the day.

 

It’s not easy. It’s so convenient, even tempting, to just curl up into a big ball and give up on the day. But we make choices at every moment to either enjoy what we have, or to not enjoy what we don’t have, you know? I’ve also started saying “I create my day” when I wake up, and in saying so, it gives me a very distinct choice: I can choose to do be happy, or I can choose not to be. And that’s a very empowering, and terrifying realisation to come to.

 

Peace and joy everyone, and all those good things.

 

PS: Gashuku!Image

Thank you video to TINO

In the past year and a half or so, I’ve written twenty blog posts for the youth wellbeing website TuneInNotOut.com. Each of these blogs has received either a $20 gift voucher (in the early days), or more recently an item of my choice of equivalent value. Anyone aged between 16-25 is eligible to write or submit content for them, so if you’ve got some ideas you want to share, now is a great way to get sweet gear in exchange for them. After a jittery hour of filming, and many, many frustrating hours of struggling with video editing software, I put together a video to thank Lynsey (and anyone else involved with the publishing of my blogs). In it, I am ecstatic to announce that I tried out my new unbreakable umbrella, which is every bit as unbreakable as they say. Rob and I practiced some free-form with the umbrella and a jo (four foot staff), and the umbrella was completely unharmed from the blocking, striking deflecting, thrusting, hooking and throwing. I did, however, lean it against a wall and it fell over, scratching the crook slightly. Although slightly heavier than anticipated, the wide crook is perfect for hanging over my shoulder or neck if I need the use of my hands, as well as being convenient for hooking over other people. Overall, an amazing product with a lifetime guarantee, and I have already started experimenting with creating a new form of the thunderstick through applying the principles of other kata (i.e. tiger crane). If it’s good enough, I dunno, maybe I’ll take another crack at filming it! I’m all hyped up on the success of making a video (not that it’s especially good).

 

Anyway, here it is! Skip to 2:15 for the sweet umbrella action.

 

Challenging changes

You know, pretty soon after writing that blog, Beth reminded me that I’m not Naomi, I’m me. And that my needs are unique, and I am best-placed to understand them. All of a sudden I realised I could take a day off, and the possibilities of resting and studying unflowed as if a cork had been removed from a water spirit. I felt suddenly joyous and excited about the hour break I’d have between classes where I could sit in the sunshine and eat vegan pizza and drink vegan coffee. I thought of all the late starts I’d have to work (11am-7:30pm – the closing shift) and the ripe potential of the mornings. I felt excited to have so much time to myself, and then to go to work to cuddle some kitties. And I realised that I’d been slowly working myself into a stressful, panicked frenzy, and I had stopped appreciating the richness of the day. I had shifted my mind to micromanaging the rest of my week (a ridiculous and highly stressful practice doomed to failure because of untold variables) without paying any attention to the pleasures and potential of the day. Once I had written my lines and calmed down a bit, life was just as wonderful as it had always been.

 

I set off for a luxuriously late morning walk to the train station with my mother, deciding to skip my first class to enjoy some sunshine and company. And about halfway there I felt lightheaded and I started swerving slightly on the path. Roger (and the other facilitators) are strong believers in the idea that mental patterns manifest in physical ways, and I am quite certain that if I told them what I was experiencing, they would answer that the mind is struggling to hold onto its old ways and is vying for space with my new approach. They’d advise me to go to uni anyway, which I plan to, and to work, which frightens me somewhat. Whatever happens, I’m not going to give in so easily to this new challenge, and I’ll continue saying my lines.