Friday, April 09, 2004

Ha! I am posting this from my cellphone! How fucking awesome is that?!

Today is so beautiful it's unreal. Alex and I are at a used book store. Going to grab a copy of Vonnegut's "Cat's Cradle", head over to a park, and then we're going to sit out in
(CONTINUED FROM LAST POST. Apparently my phone imposes an input length restriction on text boxes.)

...the sun and I'll read out loud. Envy us.
More wisdom from Brian:
--Perhaps I am happy in part because of the depression? The one highlights
the other, sets it off. In contrast each is something more.

Some believe depression is a sign of change... and that all people go
through varying degrees of depression when their life changes. SOme more
severe than others. It's the sadness of part of your life leaving to make
room for a new part of your life. It's the part of you that is still
trying to hang on to the old ways...

So perhaps this depression is just a sign that there is change on the
horizon. Some old part of you is passing away to make room for the new,
happier, and more grounded Kathy? Perhaps it is a completely normal
process in your mind.
Man, he's like my own personal sage.

Thursday, April 08, 2004

I'm such a contradiction.

So many moments lately I feel my life is a gift, that this day, right now, this moment is one of the best I've ever had.

I'm thankful for colors, for landscapes, for sunshiny weather, for close friends and family. I'm grateful that I have the ability to think, to reason, to appreciate everything around me. Thankful for dance, for movement, for a working body, for creativity and expression.

I am aware of my own mortality, and all the more appreciative of everything I have right now because of this awareness. The relationships I am a part of, the connections I make, the scenes before me, the landscapes, everything that comprises the fabric of my life -- all of it is transitory and will become something else with time. Dust in the wind. But for the time being, it is all something wonderful, magical, and I feel privileged and blessed. There is so much goodness, I feel my life is charmed.

At the same time, I had the following conversation today, and there is truth in it as well:

FeebleAntelope says: XXXX?
Kathryn says: Er...
Kathryn says: I've kind of been avoiding XXXX.
Kathryn says: and I don't think it would be good to start up with that agian right now.
FeebleAntelope says: oh man..... you silly little twit.....
FeebleAntelope says: ;) sexy twit.....
Kathryn says: i've been a bit of an antisocial freak lately.
Kathryn says: pushing everyone in my life awya
FeebleAntelope says: why pushing away? Antisocial? Things are getting bad?
FeebleAntelope says: I actually thought that you might have been using YYYY as a device to push me away.... I don't think such a thing is really *that* bad and it can be an effective method but I'm sorry.
FeebleAntelope says: :'(:$:S
FeebleAntelope says: (or more specifically, since I was already withdrawing, as a device to ensure I didn't drift back) But again...... silly guy here. Don't throw anything at me.
Kathryn says: i think i'm a little depressed
Kathryn says: i wasn't trying to push you away using YYYY
Kathryn says: i've been pushing everyone away
Kathryn says: i really like what i have with ZZZZ, but at the same time i'm depressed by it, because he pulls me in but keeps me at such a distance at the same time, and i'm not quite strong enough to say "i deserve more than this" and give it up.
Kathryn says: so i'm freaking out a little bit
Kathryn says: i'm doing things like sleeping late
Kathryn says: and cutting out from things
Kathryn says: and skipping all the lindy stuff
Kathryn says: and some tango stuff
Kathryn says: and not making time to see friends
Kathryn sends: "Donnie Darko - Mad World.mp3"
Kathryn says: strangely enough, was listening to this just now, and it's sort of how I feel
Kathryn says: I dunno.
Kathryn says: I am prone to clinical depression, and it's probably at least partially that (it's been a few years, but the signs are there that it's coming back), and i should probably see someone, but my insurance doesn't cover mental health and i don't feel like i can afford it
So I'm the happiest I've ever been and yet, at the same time, I am slipping into a bit of a funk.

How can that be?

And yet believe that both are true. I have no doubt of my happiness, but I feel twinges of depression as well.

Perhaps I am happy in part because of the depression? The one highlights the other, sets it off. In contrast each is something more.

I'm going to start painting again. Harness some of this emotion, all this feeling churning within me. I feel like my emotions are in technicolor right now, all I need is an outlet to harness them and there will be something beautiful. So much happiness, colored here and there with splashes of melancholy, nostalgia, madness.

I have a friend who owns a consignment shop. She occasionally displays artwork in the store and sells it, and has offered to put some of mine up if I would like. It's an interesting thought. If my paintings turn out to be anything, I might consider it.
So I got a cellphone again. Two years off, and now I'm back.

I was debating keeping it on the down-low, not telling many people. I kind of like not being reachable sometimes. I like the freedom to choose not to answer my phone without people second-guessing me over it.

"I called you and you didn't answer -- why do you hate me?"

I hate that. I had friends who did that all the time when I last had a cellphone.

Strangely, I found that they didn't mind as much when they couldn't reach me after I had gotten rid of the cell. Somehow they were able to rationalize it away better if I didn't answer my home phone. They didn't have expectations that my home phone MUST be answered, but the expectations were there for the cell.

I think most of my friends these days won't have those sorts of issues. Hopefully not, because there will be times when my phone will be dead, when I will not hear it, when it will be off, or when I will simply choose not to answer.

It doesn't mean I don't like you.

It doesn't mean I bear you any ill will.

It really just means that I'm caught up in the moment, immersed in whatever I am doing, and have chosen not to let the flow be interrupted.

If you feel inclined to take it personally, please don't. I have antisocial inclinations these days, yo, but it's got nothing to do with you. I like you just the same and I'll get back to you as time allows.

That said, if I haven't given you my new digits yet and you'd like them, let me know.

Wednesday, April 07, 2004

If I died tomorrow, I would have no regrets.

I feel lately as if I'm really living. I'm not holding back; whatever I want, I go for it. All out. I feel good about where I am and what my priorities are; I think that's partially the source of my recent happiness.

Tuesday, April 06, 2004

Miles gave me an "I love Portland" coffee mug as a belated birthday present. How awesome is that?
As I was walking downtown to find Kevin, I happened upon this magical set of stairs heading up who knows where. A sign at the bottom of the steps informed me that the park closes at 11:00 PM. "Park"? Intrigued, I began my ascent.

At the top was a winding maze of cement walkways spanned out over several blocks, lined with trees and assorted greenery. Below me I could hear the distant rumble of I5, but that seemingly had nothing to do with this strange new world.

I wandered around for quite a while, and just as I was beginning to fear that I would never find another way down & would have to retrace all my steps, a second, downward staircase appeared before me. I descended and found myself on Union Street, solidly grounded in the hustle and bustle of downtown Seattle life once again.

Monday, April 05, 2004

I love being outside just before dusk, standing, facing the sun. My hair blows in front of my face, and instead of hair it appears as shimmers of gold and light because the sun shines through it just so. The birds are singing, and the air is still warm with just a hint of evening chill.

My dog sniffs about contentedly as I enjoy the smoky smell of BBQ drifting up from a nearby apartment patio. Mingling with the smoke is the smell of fresh paint from a recently painted curbside. The paint smell reminds me of afternoon craft sessions at my grandmother's house as a child, sitting outside at just this time of day painting together with acrylics.

I'm dropping my dog off now, and going to walk downtown for a farewell party for Kevin. Will be a pleasant walk; it's such nice weather for being outside. Afterwards I'll meet up with Michael to practice tango, and then grab what sleep I can before work tomorrow. I meant to hit a yoga class or two today as well, but there's just never enough time.
I've transcribed the entries from Portland -- here's a link if you don't want to scroll down on your own. My apologies for posting things out of order.
I spent the day playing the Spanish speaking CD's that accompany my textbook in the background while I worked. I'm planning on picking up the sounds and tonations of this language. I theorize that having well-spoken Spanish playing in the background throughout the day, even if I cannot understand it, will subliminally assist me in better picking up the language.

I'm also going to overdose in Spanish films for a while. Hooray for Netflix.

I swear, I will get accents and tones down! This will be the difficult part for me; reading, writing, vocabulary, and language structure come easily. My Latin background helps. I haven't taken a lot of French and Italian, but I've taken enough that they will help as well. None of that will help with Spanish sounds, though.

I will also roll my R's someday. Never yet in my life so far, but it will come, yeah? All I need is faith. And luck. And maybe a nice Spanish lover to teach me the ways and wiles of the language.
Brian wrote in an email to me just now:
-- Does it make a difference that my current happiness is grounded in
myself and is not tied to anybody else?

That is the only true happiness. Nobody else can make you happy. Linking
your happiness to others only leads to unhappiness, because it is nobody's
responsibility to make you happy or keep you happy. That's your job!
Other people come and go... so if your happiness is dependent on them, it
comes and goes too. But you're ALWAYS there with you, and so will your
happiness if it is based upon yourself.
I wonder if, the more that I become grounded in myself and happy within my own core, the more okay I will be with letting others go. In a previous post I mentioned that I am overly afraid of losing people. Could it be that this has been made worse because I have traditionally tied my happiness so strongly to the happiness of others?

In always putting others above myself, I am nothing when they move on. I am terrified for them to leave, to face this void. I have no core of my own to fall back upon. I didn't always have it, anyhow. Recently I have building one. I am becoming happier on my own, more true to myself.

Always with the core.

Interesting also that my emotional core is becoming stronger at the same time that I am building up my physical core. I wonder if that is more than coincidence.
Steve observed the other day that I often date or become involved with people I'm not really interested in. Although it is not a pretty thing, I see truth in this observation. I have been involved with a large number of people throughout my life, but I have only been strongly drawn or attracted to a small few.

I mentioned this to Chris Araman yesterday and it turns out he does the same thing.

Chris and I talked for a while of whys.

To some degree, I think I fall into this pattern because I date people who are interested in me.

It is flattering to have someone show interest in me. It makes me feel like a better person, somehow. Warm. Loved. Cared for. Deserving of love and affection. If someone cares for me, can I not find it in myself to care for them? Can their attraction not be enough? Why should it need to come from within me?

So I let myself get tangled up in relationships where the attraction does not come from within me.

For the short term, this isn't a terrible thing. I don't think. I don't know.

For the long term, it is not stellar. It is not fair to me or to the people I am involved with.

Or is it?

Sometimes I think that perhaps attraction could develop over time. With length and depth and time, my love could grow. It might never be the passionate stuff that Harlequin Romances are centered around, but it could still be a stable, lasting affection that would benefit both I and my partner. Arranged marriages often work out well for both people, possibly because of the attitudes and beliefs they take into the relationship. With the right attitudes and beliefs, I could be in a working long term relationship with any one of many people, regardless of level of attraction, of draw and pull.

This is all nice and good, but there's more to it.

As another motivating factor, I get lonely. I think that because there are so few people I am strongly attracted to, I settle in the meanwhile. I don't want to be alone. I want to be emotionally and physically intimate with others.

This is selfish of me, I know.

Somehow I still rationalize it to myself as being okay. I don't want to give this up. I want what I can have while I can have it, even if less than optimal, while I wait for whatever else may come along.

This is a terrible attitude, eh? I hate when my significant others act as if they feel this way, that they are settling for me while they wait for something else. But here I am thinking and feeling it.

I'm sure more to this, that there are subtleties and nuances I am unable to see or to explain. I don't really understand why I do what I do, and the picture I have painted thus far is far from complete.
I feel happy and content these days -- in many ways, I feel that I'm happier recently than I've ever been in my life -- but at the same time, I notice that I have a much shorter fuse than I used to. I'm far less tolerant of other people, much more protective of my own space.

Am I happier because I am more protective and am watching out more for myself?

Am I deceiving myself that I am happier?

Does it make a difference that my current happiness is grounded in myself and is not tied to anybody else? Does that make it stronger or more shallow? Or is it not that simple?

So many questions, so few answers.

I do feel a slight twinge of guilt when I put someone else off to make space for myself or to do what I feel is right for me, but it passes quickly. Several years ago, in the same situation, I would have tormented myself. Ultimately I would have turned around and done whatever I felt necessary to best please the other person, regardless of what I wanted or what might best please me.

This is not to say that I am indifferent to others or that my outlook has become entirely egocentric. There is a much stronger balance now, though, than there used to be. I now take myself into consideration. I have come to accept that I cannot make everyone happy, that I cannot "fix" people, and that I will only make myself miserable if I let doing so become my primary objective. I need to be true to myself and be good to myself when determining priorities, and I have started doing so with more frequency.

This means that I make others unhappy sometimes. I'm not sure I'm crazy about that. But generally, I feel good about where I am and the choices I am making. Life is good.
Chris and I had coffee at a shop near his place in Queen Anne. Such a beautiful afternoon, was so nice walking outside.

Following that, we went back to his place and played Dance Dance Revolution. I suck at DDR. I'll get better though. Under 60 boo's became my general goal, and for the most part, I was able to make that (at least on the easier levels). That's a pretty sucky goal though. I can do better. I swear. DDR party next week, and I plan to kick some ass.

After our video game session, we went out to the theater and saw Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Good flick. Charlie Kaufman rules. I hadn't seen a movie in the theater for quite a while, but this was a good pick for getting back into it. Even though I'm not normally a Jim Carrey fan, I loved it; he did an awesome job. Three thumbs up.

To top off the evening, we headed over to the Bada Lounge to see Kevin's final Bada gig before his European tour. Kevin is the bomb. I wish he weren't leaving for four months. Happy for Kevin, sad for Seattle.

Now I'm home and exhausted. Tomorrow morning the real world kicks in again, so I guess I should get some sleep. Cheerio.

Sunday, April 04, 2004

Although I had an amazing time in Portland, I reached a point, near the end of dance on Saturday night, where I wanted to be anywhere but there. It's like there was a switch: switch is on, I'm having a great time, everything is dandy, there's nowhere else in the world I'd rather be -- and then it clicks off and I just want to be home. It's not that anything went wrong, just that I was done.

That's maybe not such a big thing for some of you, but it's weird for me. I'm the sort who closes things out. I'm afraid I'll miss something if I leave early so I stay until the very end, leaving in the last wave. I don't leave early. It's not something I do.

It's not something I used to do, anyhow. I guess I'm changing.

So I still spent the night in Portland, despite the draw to leave. Woke up and the home instinct was still going strong, so I caught a ride with a group of people leaving much earlier than I had originally planned to. Now I'm home, clean, fed, and feeling pretty good. As far as I know, the group of people I had planned to come back with is still in Portland, possibly dancing their hearts away at one of the Sunday practicas. I'm sure they're having fun.

I'm going to head over to Uncle Jon's in a bit to practice tango with him. I'm jazzed about that. We've been talking about practicing for a while, but today will be the first day of actually doing. He's fun, talented, quite artistic; I'm looking forward.

Then after that I'll spend some time with gay Chris. First time in a long time. I'm looking forward to that too.

Then I might even come home and veg for a while. Bond with myself. I almost never make time for that, but right now I'm having a hankering. It's almost like I'm someone else. Or turning into someone else. I guess that's the nature of growth and change.