Reboot

2 01 2013

Hello again, blog!

Yes, I’m still here, alive and well. It’s a new year and so, as usual, I attempt to revive this blog with a New Year post of sorts. It’s also about a year ago that I started this blog and in that time I’ve made some thirteen posts, most of which have been flash fiction challenges set by Chuck Wendig of Terribleminds.com.

Anyway, in that year, there have been changes, some of them even corresponding to the plans (“resolutions”) I made in the very first post on this blog, exactly one year ago today. I’ve started exercising. Sure there was a break over the holidays (due to a toothache rather than any celebrations) and so far I haven’t lost much weight at all. I’ve made tiny steps into getting more healthy in the food department as well and am cooking a little now (rather than heating food in the microwave or oven), which is something I never did before. Still not as much as I’d like to, but it’s a start.

As for my flat, it’s all sorted out. All the mess is gone and I have new furniture (a sofa and more bookshelves) and got rid of other pieces of furniture that was just cluttering the place. My closet has been cleaned out as well and a lot of clothes were tossed out or donated. Could still pare that down more, I think, as I don’t really care about having a lot of clothes.

Getting up early is a big fat failure, more or less. I’m an extremely nocturnal creature and I do not appreciate being up before noon-ish. It not only kills my mood, it kills my very nocturnal muse as well and just makes me miserable. In that regard, I’ve come to the conclusion that as long as I’m unemployed (and more or less unemployable) there’s no reason to kill myself by getting up early.

Writing. Oh, writing! Well, I’m writing, but it’s for online roleplaying games and my own stories. And as evident by this blog, I haven’t done much of this blogging thing either. But I write pretty much every day, getting words out of my brain and into cyberspace where they are (I like to believe) appreciated by other people who share the same passion. And that makes me feel pretty good.

I was right, though. I said 2012 was going to be a good year and it was. It was the beginning of a new and better life for me and for that I am deeply grateful to those around me who have helped me in that endeavour and who keep helping. I could never have done this without you!

So, plans for 2013 are pretty much the same. Continue with the lifestyle change (it’s a bloody slow process, but the only way to go for me!) and get back to the gym at least three times a week, expand my cooking skills beyond pasta and omelets, and keep on writing both for my lovely roleplaying games but also get back into doing those flash fiction challenges and maybe, just maybe write a couple of short stories of my very own.

And that’s that: keep on keepin’ on. 😀

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Socialising and Alcohol

18 03 2012

Disclaimer: This is not a criticism of anyone who likes alcohol or enjoying to meet over a drink or a glass of beer. These are just my thoughts about it and why I dislike it.

 

So, with that disclaimer out of the way, let me start by saying that I’m a child of alcoholics. Not the type you’d imagine when the word is said like that, but the functional type, who went to work, managed to feed me, dress me and even pay attention to me more often than not. But alcohol was always there. I just didn’t notice it until I was well into my teens, at which point I learned that it wasn’t normal for most people to be drinking several bottles of beer a day. It must have been a slow realisation because I can’t remember being shocked or surprised by it, so perhaps deep down, I’ve always known that my parents were somewhat different than other parents.

And maybe the Danish culture of alcohol being part of nearly every type of social interaction has something to say about that. It’s not unusual – at all – to get drunk at parties, family gatherings, at Christmas or New Years, etc. It’s not even considered outside the norm to drink beer or wine when going on a picnic or to the beach or just sitting in the sun on summer afternoons/evenings. In fact, it’s almost required.

Which is part of the reason I have such a hard time getting together with people in my own peer group. Drinking and getting drunk is part of the culture. And not just for my own peer group. It’s part of the entire Danish culture, from poor to rich. Some say that Danes come together over the Royals or football (soccer, to you Americans). I say it’s alcohol. Just back when I was a child, it was fully acceptable to have a beer with lunch for many groups in many and various levels of the work force. By now, it’s not as acceptable, but I don’t think it’s terribly frowned upon (at least not compared to smoking).

With my background, I’ve ended on the hard edge of the scale that says ‘no alcohol whatsoever’ and I even have a hard time being around people who are drinking/drunk. The smell of beer makes me sick and the sound of bottles in a plastic bag brings up memories that I’d rather be without. So when – on a rare occasion – I’m asked to a party or a get-together by people I know, I say no. Because I know alcohol will be involved. And I simply cannot deal with that.

Being as anti-alcohol as I am is hard in a country where alcohol is such an ingrained part of the culture and socialising. I’m not good at the whole socialising thing to begin with and to bring alcohol into the mix just makes it near impossible.

Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe I just don’t give people a chance. But when I look at Facebook and see people update on the weekend’s parties and hangovers… Well, I’m not so sure. I just hope that as I continue in this endeavour to come out of my shell that I will find people out there who will be able and willing to get together with me once in a while without alcohol being involved.





Trust

11 01 2012

This journey is about trust. About learning or re-learning to trust other people. It’s a hard thing to regain or gain (if it was never there to begin with) and I’m still not there. It’s been such a long time since I’ve truly trusted others that I have trouble remembering what it’s even like. This isn’t a simple thing like trusting people with a secret or telling them something in confidence. It’s about the trust that they’ll not just disappear on my or turn on me and hurt me. Remember that trust exercise? The one where you fall back and count on the person behind you to catch you when you let yourself fall back? For years, since I was maybe 11-12 years old, the way I’ve felt about that – metaphorically speaking – is that there have been no one there to catch me when I fall.

That saying ‘sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me’… That one was always a huge lie to me. If anything, words are more harmful than physical harm, since you can point to a bruise and say “look, I’ve been hurt! Please help me.” In my case, I was bullied with words for a large part of my time in school (in Denmark, we go to the same school with the same kids in the same class for 9 or 10 years). It hardly ever escalated to violence, but was much more focused on exclusion, “teasing” and telling me that I was worthless. Every once in a while, some of the kids would pretend to be my friends and then turn on me once they had gained my trust and start the bullying all over again.

This was back in the ’80s and early ’90s and there wasn’t the greatest focus on bullying yet, so when I told the teachers, they would just tell the other kids not to tease Charlie, which of course, only made it worse, because now you were a snitch too. My parents might have been sympathetic, but they did nothing about it either, even when I asked to be moved to another school. My parents are a whole ‘nother story that I’m not going to cover in this post, but suffice to say that my parents weren’t always the most supportive parents in the world. So I was stuck at that school, with the kids who alternatively ignored me or bullied me whenever they were bored.

I coped by isolating myself. During recess, I’d go to the school library or hide in out of the way places on the school’s grounds (there was quite a lot of outdoor space at my school), meet with one of the two or three friends I had at the school (who weren’t in my class, but were kids I had come to know before even starting school). Those things got me through the day. My few true friends, the books and being able to just get away from my tormentors during those few minutes every day.

School was hell for me. No, let me rephrase that. I actually LOVED learning and I still do. But the people I spent my days with made it hell for me. But all that is in the past now. It took me a very long time to come to the conclusion that I can no longer let those people rule my life and dictate who I am. I won’t let those people from more than twenty years in the past continue to haunt me and keep me from trusting others. It’s time to change. Not going to happen overnight, I know that. And I will never be an extroverted, fun-loving girl. That’s not who I am. But I want to allow people into my life again. And I want to trust them to be there if I fall.

 

This post took me a good few days to write. It’s a difficult thing to admit just how much bullying has affected my life and my interaction with other people. I’ve told myself multiple times to just ‘get over it, already’, that bullying is just part of the school experience and many other victims of bullying have managed to move on. It’s taken me over twenty years to arrive at the point where I’m finally doing something about it. The reason is that I have the help I need now. And for that I am grateful.





A New Blog

2 01 2012

Well, it would seem that I’ve made yet another blog, though past experience shows that I’m terrible at keeping up with these things. Not entirely sure what to do with this one, so at the moment it’s called Random Blog – All Random, All the Time. Whether it will keep that title or become something more thoughtful and exact, time will tell. So why did I make this? Well, mostly because it’s a new year and I’m more confident about 2012 being the year that everything will change for me. This will be a GOOD year. It’s a kind of optimism I haven’t felt at the beginning of a year in quite a while. And so; new blog.

So what are the plans for 2012? Better with plans than resolutions, right? I’ve never once kept a resolution and besides, these plans were set in motion over the last few months of 2011. So, in list form:

  1. An experiment in getting up at the same time every morning (9am at the latest). Being unemployed for a long time has wreaked havoc with my sleep patterns and it doesn’t help that I’m naturally a night owl, preferring to be awake at night rather than the day time. Two days in now and I can say for certain that I have no clue if this will work out.
  2. Get the mess in my flat sorted. This is a loooong story, but to keep it short, I’ve let the place go to the dogs. Now I have the help of a home aid person (a woman who comes to help me out with practical and other matters once a week) and together we’ll get all this crap out of my life, at which point it will be one less thing to weigh on my mentally. I’m very much looking forward to that.
  3. Get healthy. Yeah, I think we all say that around this time of year. This time, I mean it. Again with the help of my home aid person, I will learn to cook decent food and get on the path to more healthy living. My goal for losing weight is fairly low. I’ll be happy just getting under 100kg, which means I’ll need to lose around 10 kilos. I think that’s doable.
  4. Write. Last year I won NaNoWriMo (for the third time) and bought Scrivener with my winner’s coupon. I intend to make good use of that amazing writing tool this year and begin the rewrite of 2010’s WriMo novel.

And those would be the main goals for this year. I think it’s plenty to start with and as a little side project I’ve started making good use of my new smartphone to take pictures for my 365 Project, which I hope will rekindle my love for photography.

Whoa. When you put it all like that, it seems like quite a lot of work. But I already know to take small steps. And I think that’s the key to doing all this. And I just know that 2012 is going to be a good year. I’m determined to make it so. And I’m determined to make full use of all the help that’s been offered to me, instead of being afraid of what the future might bring. It might be scary, it might be different. But with the political and economical climate being what it is, getting better both physically and mentally, can only be for the better.

The journey already started last year and I am very much looking forward to continuing it.