Six Verbs

During my time on computers every day I enjoy looking at the MUST READ section that pops up on my default FireFox page. Today I ran into an interesting article from getpocket.com titled Six Verbs That Make You Sound Weak (No Matter Your Job Title). I thought this was interesting because I assumed it would either be something silly or something ridiculous and unnecessary. It turns out that both were correct. 

Now, I am not trying to bash this website, or the author of this article, however, I do think it is important to address the issues with articles like these. The article gives examples of the verbs; want, need, hope, guess, think, and suppose. It states that using these verbs will make you appear weak and cause you to harm your authority, making you less respectable and more likely to lose control over your workers and environment. Reading through the examples I thought to myself, “Oh! So, bosses shouldn’t say things that make them sound human because they could be perceived as “weakness”.” The article also implies that as an employee, interviewee, or person, you are less likely to be taken seriously if you use these phrases. You also do not sound decisive enough when using the phrases. 

In a certain respect I understand why this advice is being given. We live in a society where we need to be constantly perceived as strong and having our shit together. But this is the same type of behavior that causes people to have the image that their boss is a ruthless asshole who could care less about them and only prioritizes the wants and needs of the company. This creates a lack luster, stressful work environment which does not set any workplace up for success. 

The thing that disappoints me most about the mention that these words make people appear weak is that that idea does not stop at work. These people then go out and apply that behavior to their everyday lives. The idea that we should always appear to be on top, happy, strong, and assertive does very few favors for one’s personal life. The same ideas help about the uptight boss and the annoying co-worker can be transferred to how people think about you in a relationship. 

I am very aware of this behavior because I have been this way and am only now working to improve upon it. I have spent most of my life “not needing anything from anyone”, not wanting anything, putting on this show of being put together at all times, and making sure that the armor never had any visible cracks. This did not make me stronger. It only made me more isolated.  

If I had read this just a year ago, I would have agreed whole heartedly! I would have printed this article and hung it up at my desk. I would have worked to move these week words out of my vocabulary, if they were even there in the first place. This article, and all others like it, were a regular reading of mine, to which I was proud to say, “I already do that!” Fortunately for myself, I was able to recognize this behavior through self-reflection and feedback from some of my closest confidants. Since realizing the way in which my attitude toward “weakness” was affecting my overall happiness, behavior, attitudes, and actions, I have been able to move toward a better version of myself where I don’t worry about being perceived as weak or not being in complete control of everything around me. This adjustment to my own behavior has helped me lower my anxiety, become less stressed, and be happier in general. 

So, I suppose I just wanted to let others know that it is ok to use these phrases. It is ok to think instead of know, it is ok to want and need. And I guess what I’m trying to say is I hope you don’t feel weak for it. 

The Joys of a Stressed Out Adulthood

As I have explained in my previous posts, things have been mighty difficult. My newest hurdle is learning to do things when I think I should rather than waiting.

I have made this discovery after an opportunity has arisen to make my life go back to what I feel is normal but, due to my pessimism or procrastination or whatever the hell is wrong with me I am unprepared and it will be my downfall. And I have no one to blame but myself.

I hope I learn from this. I hope that I do not take this and simply forget. I hope that it works out, but I suffer the consequences of my wrongdoing.

But really I just hope it works. Prayer hands.

Being alone in a relationship

I have always felt alone in one way or another. I have struggled throughout my life to find my group, tribe, what have you, and that continues into my present situation. It has always been hard to find connections with the people around me and because I have had this trouble I feel very isolated. Even now with my tiny friend group, a boyfriend, and a family, all filled with great people who I love very much I can not always find the connection that I crave.

I’ve always felt that maybe it’s because the things that I like are weird or that I am too intense when it comes to connections. But then, at certain times, I feel that because I have these thoughts it causes me to come across as closed off and distant. And this has in fact been feedback that I have received from relationships that have failed. I am distant and cold when they just want me to be present. But I am afraid to be present. I am afraid to open myself and allow people to truly know me. I’m afraid they will run from my interests and recoil at my signs of affection. I’m afraid that if I do not choose to be alone and isolated the choice being made for me will hurt ten fold.

This comes up frequently with my current friendships and my romantic relationship.

I always have a feeling that, when with friends, that I’m not really wanted. Like they invite me just to be nice, to ensure that I remain unaware of their dislike for my company. Because of this I struggle to engage at the beginning of meetings and then end up talking too much by the end. I feel unsure of myself with the language I use and the interests or life events I talk about. I feel disconnected from them as well as their life experiences. I worry that they will outgrow me and leave me behind. And at my age I am worried I will not be able to recover. I have not yet been able to find a way around this feeling, or around the behavior that manifests due to those feelings. I also feel that this will be the ultimate reason why they walk away from me.

My romantic relationship is also a worry to me. At one point, a terrible boyfriend I had in high school told me that I’m only happy when I’m miserable. It is a great fear of mine that he is right. I worry that I will push my current boyfriend away. That one day I will go too far with my meness and he will discover that I am not someone he wants to be with. I am all about people being themselves and if someone doesn’t like it, well fuck them. But when I think that of myself I just think of all the logical reasons someone would have for walking away from me for being the person I am. I’m a weirdo! I know that! I wouldn’t blame my boyfriend if he came up the stairs right now and told me he no longer wanted to be with me and gave me until the end of the week to pack my stuff and go.

Writing this all out sounds so silly to me, but I’m still in tears thinking about it. I’m still alone and isolated. And the scary thing and upsetting thing is is that I don’t think I know how to be any other way.

Things Have Been Difficult

Recently, my life has gone through an unfortunate adjustment. I have been extremely depressed, lost, and broken.

This time last year I had accepted my dream job and was over the moon excited to start my career. However, in late April of this year that was no longer available. Because of that I had to take more time than I thought I would to recover from this. I now feel like I have taken enough time to really get back into the swing of things.

With that said, I will be trying to come on every day and write at least a little something. I am also starting a new project with a couple of friends which I will talk more about as a release date gets closer.

I hope that everyone can understand that sometimes it is necessary to take time to recover from loss in every way, shape, and form, and sometimes it takes longer than others.

Please Don’t Tell Him I Love Him

Part of my personality is that I am extremely under emotional. I try so hard to ensure that I am not going to be hurt by anything that I actively push away at anything that even poses the risk. Because of this terrible habit I am awful when starting, continuing, or ending relationships.

My current relationship is something of a mystery to me. I don’t understand any part of it. My boyfriend is sweet, kind, loving, well balanced, and extremely emotionally intelligent.  If he ever says a bad word about anyone it is justified, he is understanding of boundaries and will be as gentle about them as one could be, if he feels he is being overly dramatic or irrational he will admit to it and talk him way through the problem. It is because of this that I am afraid.

In my teens I dated a boy who was the complete opposite of this. This boy was cruel, manipulative, erratic, and just a horrifying individual. When I was 16 he put me in the car to “go to lunch”. We stopped in front of our local free clinic and he told me I had an appointment in 5 minutes. He had scheduled me to get a birth control shot. Because I was afraid of him I went. About two weeks later he raped me for the first time.

When I told my boyfriend this story he held my hand and just let me talk. I could tell he was trying not to make faces as I told him of the horrible year I spent with this thing I called my boyfriend. I held his hand back and for the first time I told this story without saying I was stupid. And the only reason why I didn’t say I was was because of him face. He just looked at me. Listening. No words spoken by someone who wasn’t there. Who hadn’t been in the situation. Who didn’t know. For the first time I had told that story there were no comments.

I love him. And I want so badly to tell him. I want to look him in the eyes and tell him I feel a way about him that I thought I had felt before, but clearly hadn’t. I want to tell him that I look at him, talk to him, think about him, in a way that I had forced myself to look, talk, and think about others. He is so effortlessly easy to be around. And I want to tell him.

But there’s always the thought in the back of my mind, that he won’t take it well. That he will change if I say that.

But even just writing that I know that’s not true. I feel that right down to my core.

Everything will be fine. With or without words.

Breakfast with my straight boyfriend

This year I was lucky enough to meet a wonderful man. When I found him on OkCupid I was not looking to date anyone. And specifically, I was not looking to date a man.

At the time, I was actively trying to avoid talking to men. It wasn’t that I had anything against men, it was just something I wanted to do. Searching through the profiles in the state where I live was depressing however. The only girl I was interested in I had already dated and I didn’t want to go down that road again, everyone else was okay, but not really my type. Oh, and also, there were only like five of women on the site.

I changed my profile to once again include men after I had gone on a few dates with lovely women who just weren’t into me, nor I into them. I feel like the whole point of online dating is to get the attention and conversation you want. If that works out and you get married and live happily ever after, rad. But most of the time you just end up hanging with them, or talking to them for a little bit and then it fizzles out and whateves. The fun comes from that initial conversation, and that’s what I was missing.

My boyfriend messaged me at the last possible moment he could. The site had sent the “last chance” message with an ice breaker and he responded to it. Going back, we didn’t have the typical flirty back and forth that was common for me. It wasn’t any weird, pushy behavior that I had experienced before. They were real conversations I would have with a friend.

When his face popped up in my messages I was immediately like, “Okay, this has to be a joke”. He was waaaaay out of my league. He is athletic, healthy, and outdoorsy. I couldn’t believe that he would even want to say hello to my pizza eating, squishy, indoorsy ass. When he wanted to meet me I felt like I was going to be walking into a joke. I’ve always been nervous when meeting new romantic prospects that all their friends will be at the meeting place and the person will laugh and exclaim how they can’t believe they I thought they would want to go out with me.

Just last night we were driving and I told him that I tried my hardest not to be weird when we first met. I tried to be the ideal me, but gave up half way through the date. I laughed and told him that was too much work. He told me that it wouldn’t have mattered when he got to know I was weird, because at any point he was already in too deep to care.

When were first started dating I had told a friend I was nervous that if I talked about ex’s or people who I had liked that were women. I didn’t want him to be the type who was then angry or jealous every time I looked at anyone. But during a trip to a nearby town we went into a store where a girl I had been interested in worked. I didn’t feel like we could walk in without him knowing this, so I casually told him the story. I was grateful when rather than freaking out he tried to guess which girl it was.

I guess the point of this post is to show that the right person will accept you. If they love you they will take all of you, not just sections. It’s important to have those people in your life. They make life easier and the world a little less cold.

Anxiety in Front of 9th Graders

This is my first year teaching and with that comes a lot of expected challenges. Having no experience to fall back on in times of need, learning to manage time wisely, gaining the trust and respect of your students and so on. All of which, I think I’ve done my best to handle. What I did not expect was that the anxiety I had been feeling for years, and dealing with on my own, would peak at the end of the first quarter.

Part of my bond with my kids comes from our mutual lack of experience within our collective new environment. I told them right away that this was also my first year in hopes that would cement our joined newness. It worked pretty well, and I feel that it’s because of this, that my children have been with me throughout the year in such force.

At the very end of first quarter I had a panic attack so large that I had to stagger out of the room. I then collapsed in the hallway, only for one of my other students to find me. She picked me up and lead me back to my classroom, telling the other students who had been cloistered around me to back off and give me some space.

I had never wanted any help for anything to do with my mental health. I wanted to prove to myself that I could do everything on my own. With this incidence however, I realized, that for the sake of my kiddos and my credibility with them, I needed to seek help.

I have been on anxiety medicine since and now don’t feel guilty or wrong for giving my students advice about how to deal with mental health. I always used to preach “get help”, but now that I follow it I find it gives me much more credibility and the students know they can trust that I want whats best for them.

Enter Stranger

Night moon bright in the sky,

Void ground.

Shadows run, some sneaking.

Fog over the river

Black tar

Muck of dumping.

Cool white caps slink across the surface.

The trees whisper

 

Creaking with snaps

Of information,

Clumsy information.

 

                                                                                                                                     Walk calmly

                                                                                         Only the leaves know

                                                      Careful footsteps.

 Behind the black

                                                                                                                                  Moon shadow

Careful footsteps.

 

Quick pace

Hair tangled face,

Light shining

Pulse rising

Red face

Metallic coat.

 

 

Friends are long gone

Left you behind.

Remember the bridge

 

Coming up sooooon!

Thank you friends.

 

Quicker

Clumsy

Slick wet wood

Splintering break.

Cry out

 

Trees listen,

Receive the cry.

No friends.

Long gone.

 

Wrong kind of savior.

Don’t worry.

I’ll help you up…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Favorite Murder and my life now

The first thing I feel I have to talk about is a little podcast called My Favorite Murder hosted by Georgia Hardstark and Karen Kilgariff. If you are not familiar with the podcast get on it! These two hilarious ladies take something as dark and taboo as being fascinated by murder and true crime and make it an experience that, if you’re anything like me, you have been craving since you were nine and secretly watching America’s most wanted while your mom did laundry.

I won’t go into the details of the podcast, because this is not a review. Rather, this is a reflection of what the podcast has done for me personally.

When I was about six or seven, I vividly remember watching America’s Most Wanted for the first, and maybe only time. The episode was on the BTK killer, which terrified me. This man. This normal ass dude. Would sneak into people’s houses and kill them. Before that moment my only experience with murder was watching Jessica Lansberry solve which rich dude shot the other rich dude in the boat house over a banking dispute or some other over the top crimey nonsense. It was all so distant and unbelievable to me that I did not connect that things like that could actually happen and did happen frequently.

For years following I asked my mom if all the doors and windows were locked. I watched her check every one. If I heard ANYTHING at night resembling footsteps, scratches, tapes on the windows, door knobs giggling, I screamed for my mother. I was not about to let me and my family be bound, tortured, or killed.

But even though I was scared, I feared for my life, and I never wanted to watch America’s Most Wanted again, I was hooked.

Every morning before school I would watch Cold Case Files. I would stay up late watching specials on Elizabeth Bathroy, Ted Bundy, John  Wayne Gacy, and all the women on Snapped who snapped. I had to know everything about all of them.

A friend of mine introduced me to MFM when they were around their twenty fifth episode. Hearing them talk to each other about terrible crimes and have fun doing gave me a feeling of understanding I had had with no person other than my grandmother (who, if she had been into podcasts would have been a murderino). I found my people. I was home.

Karen and Georgia get this a lot. People tell them often that they have created a community. That because of them a lot of people found out they weren’t alone. And this is definitely how it has been for me.

It’s the meeting people that has been the best part. Once, at a game night, I was sitting across from a girl who I had only met that evening. I was wearing my “stay out of the forest” shirt. When the girl noticed she shreeked with absolute glee. Everyone looked at her and as she made eye contact with me she screamed, “I’m a Georgia!” to which I replied, “I’m a Karen!” No one around us understood, but we had an instant bond over a fascination for awful human beings and terrible crimes and other weird shit.

It’s so different when you are watching a documentary. You still feel isolated from the people talking about it because that is their job. They have to do this. And often you can tell they are tired and they don’t understand how people can do the things they’ve seen. But having these women talk about it like I have talked about it in my head for so many years made it feel like the social part of my brain was coming out of hiding. I am no longer afraid to talk about these things because I now know that their are others like me. And way more than I ever would have imagined.

In February of 2005 Dennis Rader (the BTK killer) was arrested. After that day I stopped asking my mom if all the doors and windows were locked. Just recently my mom asked me if I remembered asking her to do that and I said yes. Then she asked why I stopped and I told her it was because they caught BTK. She was horrified that I had known who he was at such a young age and then said, “You suddenly make a lot of sense.”

Hi Everyone!

If you read my description you already know what’s going on, but just in case you didn’t…

Hi! I am an English teacher by trade and what that means for this blog is that I’ve got a lot of stuff goin’ on in my brain and no where to put it, but down on the page. What that also means is I don’t have a lot of time to do that.

I’m going to try to get back in the swing of writing through this blog. Hopefully it’ll help me feel a little bit more with it to get going if I feel like there is a possibility of people reading what I write.

I will be talking mostly about random shit. If anyone has any suggestions at any time please feel free to let me know.

Hopefully this goes well!