The Stats

I hate looking at the Stats on my WordPress dashboard. Not because I find them discouraging, but annoying. Taunting. I feel like it’s trying to quantify my worth. To tell me that this number of followers means you’re worth something to people, but because you are less than this bloggers followers, you are not worth as much as they.

Well damn. Look how much I care.

I suppose it makes sense from a design perspective. Most people use blogs to get information out there. Info about their cause. Info about themselves. Portfolios. Mission work. Charities. So I suppose if someone wants to be quantified then it makes sense. But what good does it do those of us who are just using this as therapy? It feels like a lurking monster trying to claw at me. Demanding my attention. Like I even need to pay attention to it?

I wish I could remove it from the options bar. That would feel freeing. Like there was one less piece of unthinking technology trying to tell me what to do. Thats the worst part I think. Knowing that I feel judged by something that is merely a design. I’m attributing human characteristic to a piece of unfeeling data, that is merely programed for my use as I so choose.

Why does that make me feel anything? Why do I feel like it’s this monstrosity of a piece of data? Is it not there for me? As a representation for what I could do but choose not to? Is that not enough to put my securities at bay? To sooth them?

I guess not, because thinking about it now really pisses me off.

Advertisements

In Bed with Doris Grumbach

I had no idea what to expect from the book the moment I picked it up. All the title read was “Fifty Days of Solitude” and could mean any number of things with a title like that.

The cover was beautifully minimalistic. A predominantly white image with only hints at a forest of snow in the background. The clean style lead me to believe there must be some kind of beauty within those pages if such beauty was cause to be on the outside. I often attribute the taste of the author in deciding a book cover artists or work, to be directly in correlation to their taste in writing style. If they have good taste in visual, then they must be good writers after all. Isn’t writing also a kind of visual art, capturing the imagination and influencing it to visualize more than just an image, but a tone and feel as well?

That was not my only reason for picking up the book. As much as my design degree wants me to think I purely buy books for their covers, I am not soulfully visual. I bought it because it was 25 cents at our local thrift store. Cheap, and if it did end up sucking, it was worth its price for the look and feel it gave my bookshelf, which isn’t much, considering it is a crappy piece of plywood construct covered in a fake wood sticker. Something I picked up in high school to make up for the fact that I was sick of keeping books in boxes and felt the need to pay for it in funds and crappy construction.

When I got the book home it sat on the shelf for a while. I was working my way through Lois Lowery’s “The Giver” series, and had been dragging my feet through the final book “Son” which had taken me far too long to finish. I have a fear of finishing a series of books. It means things are over. I don’t like them to end. Thankfully I had been able to complete the series and find my emotions in tact. But, directly afterward I found myself reading the book “The Outsiders” by S.E. Hinton, a recommendation from my boyfriend, who tends to be very picky about his literature.

After complete both “Son” and “The Outsiders” I found my heart desperate for something a little less heavy. A book with the term “solitude” in it’s title might be something to be cautious of. Then again, I was so emotionally exhausted by those books I wondered if it would matter so much to be exhausted again by just one more. What was the harm? It was just a book. Like all the other books before I had emotionally recovered from. I gave myself about a week of nothing to read but magazine articles and the blog posts I wrote myself.

The writing style of this particular work is interesting, because the author talks about writing another work, giving the names of the characters, and the imaginary conversations she has had with those characters in her solitude. I like when authors write about writing. I feel as though it gives me a kind of affirmation that it’s normal to go through the feelings and internal dialog that I go through writing journal entries and the fictional short stories I put down on occasion. I also like that she can describe those moments as she struggles and embraces her combination of Loneliness and Solitude (which have very different meanings to her and the many authors she quotes as she discovers this new situation).

She romanticizes her Solitude (I sue a capital “S” because she seems to give it a sense of more than just alone time). She speaks of it with a great sense of accomplishment and discipline. She wonders about the effect it has on herself and others. She worries a great deal. She feels a great deal. She reminisces here and there, but more importantly, she finds herself (or perhaps only perceives herself) being improved as an author by the experience she is having. Proud that she is taking this step after she learns that what many authors have said about Solitude as a means to self improvement.

This is not the first time I have heard this about any artists really. Most artists are very introspective, and therefore, spend a great deal of time alone with their thoughts. Or they are easily distracted and need to be kept away from all things shiny or sharp. I myself close the door to my room so as to take time to understand who I am, and often to understand what that means for any design project or blog post/writing I happen to be working on at the time. It clears away the noise of the world, and helps me get to the message within.

As I read I wonder the same of her. Is she seeking the message within herself? Trying to understand why she is doing what she is doing? It is my understanding that she is not young. She could be 60 or older judging by the back cover images she had put by her biography. She speak about writing letters instead of phone calls, and perhaps as a writer she simply chooses to write letters because her passion is writing. I cannot say. I do not know her. But I wonder if I do know her? Am I not reading the very personal thoughts written daily as she discovers new things about such Solitude as the kind she has found? OR do I kid myself? Do I believe in a fiction written as a biography? Does she do nothing but tell stories as too many writers do? Does she merely look to make a book, and not to actually experience what she is doing?

All I do know is there is a great sense within me that desire to take some time away for myself. To do more than just close the door of my room and be left alone, but to leave the very confines of my own space for a place much more tranquil than this. I want to take a summer away. An entire season. From the last snow fall to the first snow fall. Or from the First snow fall to the last snowfall. I cannot decide. I just imagine I want there to be snow where I go, so the excuse to hide within the wall of a place that is unfamiliar and uninteresting and have it seem socially acceptable to not go anywhere.

But here I am. In bed with Doris. Door closed. House quiet. Just us in our own versions of Solitude.

Peony

“My man bought me roses!” she flaunted all over Instagram.

I shook my head.

She wasn’t the brightest person to ever post an image. She was the kind of girl that posted selfies of weird photos of herself, usually poorly lit ones or ones where she was making a face trying to look ugly. An unsure creature, who was trying desperately to find herself.

In this case I smiled and snickered after setting down my iPad. Her man had not bought her roses. They were Peonies. Either neither of them knew the difference, or she was being had. Thankfully, Peony Bouquets are more expensive than roses. He had to have dropped a wad on that bouquet of almost 20 huge blooms. All light pink. A beautiful variety. In my laughter of her not knowing the difference, I had to admire that someone was treating her well. While also being saddened by the fact that her lovely gift would eventually wither away and die for the price he paid for them.

At least they looked lovely and made her happy. So few people are happy about anything these days.

Heavy Traffic

There was dread there
Gazing at the LED lights
Knowing it was coming
Through that digital crackle
That cold synthetic voice
As it slipped into your ears
Cutting thought your flesh
Invisible and destructive
Causing a different kind of cancer
Inside the lobes of your mind
Festering in the depths of such
Tender and innocent thoughts
Suddenly darkened by words
So callously spoken
So angry
Only to be numbed
By the static sound
Of a lost signal
Tired in the night
From all the heavy traffic

Digital Mourning

It’s only been a few days since my boyfriends grandfather passed away, and I’m already feeling how detrimental the distance has become on our relationship. While I have two weddings I suddenly have to be preparing for this summer, he is mourning a loss I find it hard to feel. Not to say I’m not sad about it, but my perspective is….life goes on. Keep moving. Read more

Wedding Wonders

“Will you be my maid of honor?”

“Yes, yes, YES!” I practically yelled throwing my arms around her a second time nearly crying. I was so happy for her. We sat in her kitchen eating pizza and drinking tea, looking at Pinterest for wedding ideas. Her fiancé joined us around 8pm and watching the two of them interact helped to melt my fears away. Read more

Small Problems and Uncomfortable Comforts

Suddenly, my problems felt so small as I listened to him cry to me over the phone. His grandfather had passed away. Died crying out in pain from the symptoms of his Leukemia. I listened to him the best I could trying to understand his words as he sobbed. Eventually he decided he needed to get off the phone and be helpful. I let him go, offering my condolences and feeling quite helpless about everything. Read more

I Need a Freaking Nap….

The clock glared the passing hours angrily from my phone for far too long. I was desperate for sleep, but my mind was simply not turning off. After about an hour I decided to take a sleep aid. Got up. Took it. Went back to bed. Two more hours passed, and all the melatonin did was make my body and eyes heavy, and make me teary and whiney.

When my cat broke my doze around 3 am, I went into full blown sobbing. I was tired. Desperately tired, and in three hours I would have to be awake to take my thyroid pill. I laid awake. Praying. Upset mumbling. Hoping that in my deliriously tired state of unrest that God would listen.

I knew He was listening, but that didn’t make me feel better. I laid in bed confessing my gluttony from buying too much the afternoon before. I would go through bouts of not spending any money, to spending way too much at once. I started keeping receipts for my jewelry making for the sake of the tax write off if it ever got off the ground, but alas, I knew it would be a while before it benefited me.

I was worried. Worried about what sale signs to switch out at work. Worried about which posters to throw away. Worried about what my boyfriend thought about my spending, my job, and my depression. Worrying about what my family thought about my job, spending, and depression. I was worried about being at work all day, and by the end of the afternoon sitting for an hour with nothing to do but ensure I got at least 20 hours of work in. I was worried what my boss thought about that. I was worried she didn’t think anything of it. I was worried she thought everything of it.

All I did was worry.

When 6:30am finally set off my alarm, I was nuzzling my face I to the fur of my cat. Upset that sleep evaded me, but glad to have something else to do other than worry. I took my pill and got dressed.

At work I put up the posters I needed to. Threw out the ones I didn’t need. Chatted here and there with customers and associates as I saw them. Clean up my work spaces in the visual loft. Browsed the store for my last hour helping a friend that came in find some stuff. Then I left an hour early, because the MOD didn’t think I needed to be there for that last hour and told me I could go. So I went.

I took a shower when I got home and brewed some tea to help calm me. My parents had gone somewhere. My cat patterned her little paws across the tiles floors of the kitchen. I called my boyfriend to express my feelings about how much I spent while I was out. We talked for about 20 min before I told him I needed a shower and a nap before I went out tonight with my recently engaged life long friend. We said our goodbyes. I chugged an entire pot of tea in 3 min, and took my shower.

Now I’m going to take a nap.