awaken me

Snow

Every new beginning comes from
Some other beginning's end


It's snowing today, and people often feel here in the prairies that snow is some sort of harbinger of winter doom, and that it should be despised and rejected. I am not of that mind, particularly when snug as a bug in a walled-in home where heat can be had and snow can be watched from a respectable distance.

It's been a really rough week for me for a huge variety of reasons. Vaguely, those reasons are as follows:
I can't cope with failure, especially when something is truly my fault, even if the fault was for a moment only and doesn't run deep.

I hate it when other women make comments about how they don't like photos of them that make them look fat or that they feel are unflattering when they are ridiculously beautiful and not really fat at all, and I wish I wasn't struggling with this eating disorder day after day. It's annoying as a photographer and as an ED sufferer. It's one part of my job I truly hate, and there's not many. 

I hate money as a system, particularly as the base, root source of some of my problems this week. As a side note, I think the Occupy Movement thing that's going on right now is laughable at best and utterly useless. Picketing is dead, folks, get with the digital age.

So basically, between those things, this week has sucked.

Today someone posted this on Facebook, and it's very encouraging to me. It's a quote from one of Paul's favourite Saints, he has a book of her encouraging and inspired writings on her relationship with God. 

  May today there be peace within. May you trust that you are exactly where you are meant to be. May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith in yourself and others. May you use the gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you. May you be content with yourself just the way you are. Let this knowledge settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love. It is there for each and every one of us." - Saint Therese of Lisieux

After a pretty rough breakdown involving keening cries into my pillow last night, Paul and I had a talk which helped me to remember that I'm human and sometimes I need to relax and allow some time to myself to find the productivity which so often rules me these days. I'm starting to truly hate being productive - the catalog of work I congratulate on, or the neverending list which seems so endless. There are others putting pressure on me, and yet they cannot hope to approach the level of pressure I put on myself each day, the weight that I have so much trouble lifting off my shoulders for just a few minutes with a warm fuzzy blanket, tea, and comfort. It's usually pretty bearable, if not for the loneliness.

The loneliness is crushing sometimes. It 's now less than a week before I take off to Saskatoon to be with my one true love for a bit again and then have family Christmas with my family - only to return to even more time without him and them. It's hard to keep up with friends in Saskatoon. Some people seem to feel that friendship is not something to be worked on, it's just somehow "there" - and they'll pick up where they left off next time they see you. Unfortunately I'm not that kind of person. People just always expect me to reach out to them, and I always do, because I'm just that starved for friendship. Another thing I kind of hate about myself, although I have been assured by several that this is a great attribute. Great for everyone else, I guess. I try and reach out to hang out with people, but it seems like even when I try it doesn't happen. Solution to all of this: Suck it up for the umpteenth time and try harder. Maybe someday I'll get an unexpected phone call from a friend, but it certainly hasn't been happening. (There's a good half dozen people who are pretty obviously exempt from this, and hopefully you know who you are. Hint: If you've actually started a conversation with me within a month or two, you're fine.) 

When I get into these slumps, there's two solutions - spending more time with God, and doing creative and active things. Sometimes it's really hard to just get up and do those kind of things. But I just have to keep reminding myself all the good that comes out of it.

So last night, after that long and bloody war with myself and my feelings, I went the "just do it" route. I put on some music my Gran had sent me to listen to, and I cleaned the bathtub. Then I took out all my candles and holders and lit them all over the house, turned the lights down to low so the house has an ambiance of autumn spice smell and candlelight, and continued going about my evening. Same thing tonight, and I feel more like myself. Plus, I just planned a three hour spiritual retreat time two Saturdays from now with my friend Jen, since both of us could really use that time, and faith is a big part of our friendship. I've done more small, productive things today, and I kind of gave myself a bit of leeway on editing so I could do other things and feel less pressured. It's also helped a great deal.

So I'm getting better. I'm becoming a better me. Which is what I set out to do in the first place, so I can't be a failure then, can I? Paul and I were talking this evening on Skype and discussing how we should begin to consider "managable" a better victory than "finished." It could really take the pressure off I think. Something to consider for the future, particularly in ED areas.

In other less vital news, I just discovered Drew from X-Factor this season, and her voice is spine-tingling good. It's nice to hear good singers, though a little bittersweet after having really given up the dream of performing myself. I also discovered a website full of cool stuff called Brain Pickings. It's given me more than a few smiles and a heaping pile of food for thought.

Wow, Twyla, I loved the quotation from Saint Therese of Lisieux! I will have to tuck that one away. :)

I'm so glad that you have Paul to uplift you and that you two can take care of each other! You have such a beautiful relationship together. I'm so happy that you have that support and know you are loved for the amazing people that you are.

I totally understand what you're saying about keeping friends. I feel that way too, and I haven't even moved away! I'm definitely feeling a shift from friends to family in my relationship circles. I have become less of an outgoing person and my friendships have shrunk as a direct correlation, but somehow I'm still disappointed to find out that I was carrying some relationships by myself! Oh well. I'm sorry that you feel starved for friendship. I would call you up if long-distance wasn't expensive! We should skype sometime. Anyways, message me next time you see me on Gtalk, okay? I'd love to talk to you more.

I was surprised to see that you came to the exact same conclusion as I did: "there's two solutions - spending more time with God, and doing creative and active things." I have in the last few days vowed to do just these things! It's time to put to rout all that is not life :) We can do it!!
It's a stunningly beautiful quotation, isn't it? What a beautiful thing to consider and bring close to your heart.

Friendships morph over time, but ours has some serious staying power - can you believe we met when we were still in high school? That's nearly ten years ago now. TEN. We can definitely make arrangements to Skype - or as my friend Leah has us do, have Skype-tea, where we each make tea and talk.

We should definitely talk about the creative and active things we plan to do and try and encourage each other to do them! We used to be such good, constant encouragers of one another when our lives were more similar in University - sounds like our lives still have lots of great similarities to touch on now in that way.
Whoops, missed replying to this one! :)

Awww, had to reread that quotation again. Then had to post it to my google+. Love it!

It's true! Ten years is a long time :) I'm glad that we've been able to share so many interests and experiences together. Sometime we should skype, for sure!! :D

I hope you're having a good time with everything you're doing right now! Looking forward to next time we talk. Seeya!