Everything’s an Argument

In my high school English class we read this book called Everything’s an Argument. While I learned nearly nothing from the book, the title still rings true to this day.

The world is so full of criticism. It’s around every corner. Everything you do can be argued, can be seen as wrong, or offensive, or stupid, or a waste.

I’ve been feeling down lately, for no real reason. Without steady work hours I’ve felt kind of gross, and procrastinaty. I haven’t really felt like doing much lately…which is why there have been fewer blog posts lately, and I’m sorry. I’m trying to work things out.

I wanted to make this post about how my friends from college have been arguing about Pokemon Go since last night. Some say it’s a waste of time that serves to only get us addicted to screens and walk us into traffic. Normally, cynic I can be when I get in these negative moods, I would agree.

However, I tried the game, and it is so much fun. Plain, guiltless, cooperative fun. A few friends and I spent the whole day together, outside, walking around. I walked 8 kilometers, just today! For those of you who don’t know, it’s a phone game that allows you to catch Pokemon, little creatures, in real life. What was once just a video game is now taking place in the real world. You yourself have to traverse the real world to find the creatures.

It made me go outside, and smile, and laugh, genuinely. It allowed me to forget all my worries that usually are hard to push out of my mind. I got to see the world through the eyes of a child, and I felt curious and intoxicated with discovery for the first time in a long time.

But everything is an argument. Why, why do we have to be cynical about everything? Why must we argue everything? Why must we suck the joy out of life? Can’t I just spend a Saturday chasing cartoon animals around town without it being the subject of debate?

It’s a debate culture. Everything can be argued and criticized, and I think that’ why I worry so much to begin with. A vicious cycle, that.

 

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Being handy

I’ve always believed in trying to do things myself before calling for help. Not big things–surgery is best kept to the experts, after all–but little things like hanging up a picture, changing my oil, I always try to figure it out on my own first.

So I guess it’s no surprise that I would take to sewing. I have created a shoddy quilt out of old shirts, which entailed hand-cutting, stuffing, and sewing twenty t-shirts together. It worked out pretty well, even though I’ve never made a blanket before. It’s amazing what some determination and a WikiHow can do.

When my boyfriend mentioned he was thinking of getting some shirts tailored, I said I’d gladly give it a shot before he go off and spend a bunch of money on a tailor. And off I went with one of his less-favorite shirts!

Just this morning I sewed according to my measurements, and took it in about an inch and a half all the way around–a bit more at the armpits. And now, well, it looks pretty good! Still waiting on his opinion, but I think it came out alright, especially for a first try.

I love trying things like this, because it makes me feel powerful! Not dragon-slaying powerful, but nonetheless I feel better about myself. Finding new skills gives me confidence. It’s an added bonus that well-fitting clothes give people confidence too, so this is really a win-win. Not to mention, it gives me an excuse to be an introvert for a day:)

Candles

It’s often hard for me to stop thinking. I go in circles. I worry. About everything.

I have to make sure I have enough time to buy chips for the party, because if I don’t buy chips there won’t be any salty snacks, but what if there are too many people for just one bag of chips? What if I don’t have time to buy chips? I have to make sure I have enough time to buy chips, so there’s some salty snacks.

And so on, except it’s usually about more important things than chips. Like, my career. My future. My family.

I get the thoughts to stop the same way you get a song out of your head. If you have a song in your head, you listen to the song and it goes away. If I have a worry in my head, I go through the worrisome situation and it goes away. Saying “Stop!” to myself helps for a moment, but then the thoughts come back like a stubborn case of hiccups.

The less-effective way to make it stop is by telling myself “Who cares?”

There won’t be any salty snacks for the party. Who cares?

And et cetera.

I am glad that I have things that keep me occupied and don’t make me worry. Like blogging. And drawing. Creative writing. And lighting candles.

I love lighting candles. Nothing makes me feel calmer. I love watching the flame dance, I love the smell of the room when they’re lit. I love the color of the wax. I love candles. I can see why they’re used with meditating.

The candles make me feel like everything’s alright, even if there’s no salty snacks. Even if no one cares.

Holidays bring out…

The best in people. Hot dogs and hamburgers, bonfires, smiles. Babies and children, swimming and rolling in the grass. Parents yelling after them. Cakes and fruit baskets. Love, family, laughs, friends.
The worst in people. Bitter stabs, smirks, rolling eyes. Children hushed, parents leading them away. Fights, thrown dishes. Tears, screams, revved engines.
The past. Traditions. Cutting the cake, trimming the tree, lighting the fireworks, lighting the jack o lanterns, carving the turkey, singing the songs.
The future. New additions to the family. Engagements. New traditions, even. New stories to be told.
Everything. If they last too long, it all comes out. 

The introvert alone

So often, we speak of introverts out of their natural habitat. Today, we journey into the unknown to observe an introvert in the wild.

As we approach the nest, be sure to keep quiet and hidden.

Ah! A female introvert, going about a daily morning ritual of yoga with coffee. She seems to be spending the day just as she likes–no work today.

Look–what now? She is settling into position on a couch and browsing the internet. Such calm beauty! And now she chooses a book. The hours fly by.

Dinner time, already? She puts on light music and begins to flutter about the kitchen when–NO! Disaster strikes with the sound of a ringing phone!

My friends,  the biggest danger to the introvert is destruction of habitat. A single phone call or doorbell can turn the introvert’s quiet space into an infestation of humans! Alas…as she chats on the phone she discovers it is her friend, another introvert. She invites him over for dinner, having had the whole day to recharge.

They share a meal and watch a movie. Truly, nature is a mysterious, wonderful, beautiful thing. Even the smallest of moments can be a wonder.

Blue carpet: Short Fic Friday

Mary Ann was a mother of her own now, and liked to lay her baby on the floor in the living room. She’d lay beside him on her stomach and press her face into the dusty blue carpet. She’d listen to her son wriggle, kick, and coo, his saliva-covered fists shoved between his gums.

And Mary Ann? Mary Ann would let the rough carpet become a gentle waterfall that she would part with her nose. She’d fall through the blue darkness, dark blueness, and land in a bikini in a cool jungle tide pool, her hair held back with flowers. People would be dancing in the water, dressed all in red and laughing. Fruit trees shade the sun.

She would be welcomed with open arms, her crying son eons away. And yes, her son would be crying now. And yes, she would have to leave soon.

The only blue in her house was the carpet and all the baby boy clothes. She wanted more blue, blue curtains along the windows and shower, blue dishes, blue walls. Blue could be so expensive, nowadays.