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So: Wednesdays are reliably not okay for me. Wednesday nights I can barely bring myself to stare at a wall. Thursdays, therefore, are difficult.

I need to figure out some strategies for getting myself through the next four weeks (at least) of Wed/Thursdays.

One thing that's always been difficult for me, and that's been slipping lately, is anticipation for activities I like. I tend to feel like I should husband my strength for other activities (mostly relationships because "people need me"), so I don't plan things I like (brewing, garden stuff, good emails, chatting with friends) for specific time slots, I just do them when time comes up. That leads to less anticipation, and thus, I can't pull myself through rough patches by looking forward to these things as much.

I think perhaps I should start planning Thursdays to be good-for-me days.

Also need bigger chunks of things to look forward to in February.
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Well, term's started; this is midway through week two.

Last term was okay. This term is not okay. Our schedules for the major capstone course weren't released until the first day of classes, and then of course they conflicted with absolutely everything I've been running around shifting my class schedule around a whole bunch where I can, but I'm still double-booked in a couple places (university says: just attend alternate classes from each). Meanwhile I'm trying to juggle a long unpredictable commute to school and poly scheduling and homework, which is starting off at a pretty intense level.

I'm scheduling fatigued. I'm burnt out already. I need both time to myself and time to plough through the considerable set of tasks ahead of me, and at least see progress. The idea of seeing or interacting with humans makes me feel like dropping water on a heated skillet, or trying to force the opposite poles of two magnets together. I kind of hate everyone.

And I've committed to a lot of social events and cooking this weekend, which seemed great at the time, but now--

Bah.

Some of this is both time and emotional fallout from heading up to Fort on Sunday to view a mobile home I could have been able to afford /right now/, and deciding against buying it because it would require too much work. Some of this is emotional fallout from not getting enough sleep or exercise (I got back to yoga on Monday and it felt so good). Some of it is just living out of boxes and not having the wherewithal to unpack, then repack in a couple months, then unpack, then repack, etc. My printer power cable is in one of those boxes, and I need it for school, and when I find that it'll be something else.

I'm trying to decide if cutting back on people will help, or just make me feel worse.

I don't want to be doing all this self-care meta-work. I just want to get things done.

Anyhow, gonna start trying to record mood points on here and see what patterns come up.

No yoga yesterday, date with Tucker tonight: do those bear on it?
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So I'm definitely neck-deep in school right now, and I'm remembering which specific issues I have that clash with the university model.

Pretty much, when I set my goals as "getting approval from distant and arbitrary authority figures" I have trouble with my life. School, especially UBC, is 100% under that category, especially when I'm trying for scholarships or particular grades.

My parents were extremely arbitrary and pretty distant authority figures: mom because of depression and other needier kids, dad because of his underlying issue of whateverthefuck. It's pretty easy for me to be triggered into the passive, desperate obedience required of a dependent in that situation since the behaviour was gauged so deeply into my head for so many years.

I dealt with this in high school by getting good grades, accepting the grades-as-approval-structure and excelling in it.

I dealt with it at BCIT by, eventually, getting to know my teachers, being friends with them and thus getting away from the idea of them as authority figures, and also by learning their criteria and styles so they weren't really so arbitrary. I developed a group of friends at BCIT who were all going through the same work as I was. Those friendships affirmed that we were all awesome people aside from marks. I had ultra supportive partners who loved me. Basically, I had other sets of external validation.

Over the years, my source of validation has been shifting from external to internal. This had partly occurred when I was at BCIT, but it has definitely become stronger since then. (As part of becoming acceptable to academia I'm training myself out of the trades talk I trained myself into: less concise but more 'correct'). So when I hit UBC this time I was almost entirely internally-validated. I had a great set of checks and balances to deal with moods, hormones, and other events. A lot of those were actually developed through this journal.

Part of being at UBC is submitting yourself for approval over and over. Yes, I know, it's submitting your *stuff* for approval, but-- at this level, in classes of over a hundred people, where everything is marked by TAs, pretty much a number and a sentence is what you get. So it's pretty hard to frame as submitting my stuff for feedback; to get feedback I need to make an appointment with the teacher by email, go in, bring the thing in that they haven't seen before, and we talk. That's feedback. The other is arbitrary (poorly-defined beforehand, not enough assignments to get a feel for it) approval on my work in an institutionally-enforced absolute sort of sense. By this I mean it's not a matter of taste, it's a matter of me having done it /wrong/.

So I'd kind of... sloughed off a lot of my external approval mechanisms, in favour of internal stuff (no one else really thinks my brewing or organising my house or caring about local farming is SO COOL like I do). And now I'm submitting myself for approval by this arbitrary body, and I don't have counterbalances. I can't just pull my validation back inside, because I need to care enough to do the stuff, even when the class is poorly organised and the information is easy to look up when I need it and so not necessary to memorize or whatever. I *cannot* use my judgement in this, so I cannot trust my judgement.

So I'm doing really poorly. Compounding everything is the way I have no time or money to do things that self-validate, because I'm working enough to eat into basically all my free time but not enough to have extraneous funds (tradespeak: extra cash).

Making friends at school helps SO MUCH. They are also having trouble this time of year, it's hard, just being assured that it IS hard and often arbitrary helps. But... I don't really have time to make friends, with work.

Talking to profs about assignments helps SO MUCH but. It got me through the assignment angst, but it can't get me through not knowing what my midterms tomorrow are going to be like, how they're going to be marked. 'A university-type answer' doesn't really tell me what's up with marking (I think tradespeak is more expressive there).

Brewing helps SO MUCH but. Money. I swear I need a patreon or a friends group at school that will pay me for beer.

Writing this, figuring out the issue, helps but. It's started me reorienting my validation to an internal source, and I know I'll pass things, so it drains my ability to shoot higher (I need to hit certain grade targets for both co-op and scholarships, and those are fiddlier than 'I know I'll pass things').

Long-term goal is to get student loans so I have time to have friends and do cool stuff. In the meantime, O suppose I can only be mindful of seeking validation in good places. When my friends are dicks about being critical of a thing, I tend to feel bad in myself because I place myself on the receiving end of it even if I'm not normally part of that thing.

I probably need to seek out friends who are especially kind, empathetic generally, and not given to vitriol. This will most certainly help me both short and long term.

Funny to think how things have changed. Fifteen years ago I was so into jerks.

It's also interesting to think about me, in school fifteen years ago, with all these things happening to me without my knowledge of what was happening in my head. I guess that's the growth of self-knowledge.

Hm.

Shapes

Sep. 29th, 2014 07:58 pm
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I am back in the place. I was triggered, I guess. I have spent today in the place I go when triggered. If you're prone to, I guess depression/abandonment stuff, this might trigger you too, so tread lightly. It's "just feelings".
Read more... )

Everything

Aug. 14th, 2012 06:12 pm
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I'm sitting in my slightly-overwarm apartment, 10 minutes into

which is Eddy Vedder singing "Thumbing my way" live.

I'm supposed to be cleaning house and, specifically, covering traces of rat so when they come to check the fire stuff in the morning with the necessary 3 days' notice they won't get upset at me for having too many small animals. In the other room, where I'm supposed to be cleaning, Eve has had her babies-- a tiny pink crop of little ones that should grow up the colour of a bright redhead, and sweet as honey.

Instead of cleaning, clearly, I am writing.

I'm thirty-one now. The birthday is recent, and it sits oddly on my skin. I can't remember really having my age drive into me before, not so that I could feel it. Now I can feel it. This concert I'm listening to is all about mortality, what to keep and what to let sift by. Pearl Jam has always been the soundtrack of my life, from when I was 14 or 15 and got the CD when living in the transition house in Mission, right on through. As with all of my relationships there have been long lulls. Excepting maybe Trevor, this relationship has been longer than any of my non-family relationships.

And oh, do I ever have need of understanding, of long relatinships, of knowing what to hold onto and what to let sift by right now! I'm doing... fine. I'm going to work, I'm not looking for an interesting new job, I'm not engaging the world really, I'm paring down twitter and paying my rent and dealing with bills and arguing with my boyfriend sometimes and not other times. I'm doing the minimum necessary to feed myself, keep cages clean, keep things from rotting on the countertops.

I'm not thriving.

I don't know if this is post-school lull, where I've been told what to do for so long that I need to rebuild my own initiative and decision-making faculties. I don't know if it's depression, maybe from a brief and soon-discontinued foray into birth control pills (BAD IDEA) or just on its own. I don't know if it's plain conditioning, being in a relationship where the things that feed me make my partner unhappy so often. I don't know if it's just me, lazy or on a low bit.

I do know I'm in the birth canal again, and the contractions are not at all comfortable, and it seems I won't be whatever I will become for a little while yet. It's the waiting space. It's, if you like, the dead space-- but death feeds everything, it powers the way things turn and turn again, and it enables life to build and rebuild on itself, attaining unexpected complexities.

I'm writing. Right here, typing words onto a (ugh) slightly sticky keyboard. Do you know how good that feels? And no, he's not in the house. And no, he doesn't know I'm home. I can't call this into being by saying, 'can you go play boardgames on Tuesday, honey? I need the house to myself'. It has to happen by itself. And it hasn't been, because he's been unemployed for so freaking long, and before that I was in school.

And I'm thinking, does this mean I'm doing it wrong? Is this why I'm not chiming internally, singing and bumping ideas into each other and taking up space? Is it because he's around so much? If so, what do I do, or do I just become this quieter, less-thinking person and roll into it? Does it mean I shouldn't move in with him, or not with anyone? Or is it something to do with externals and not the relationship at all? Mom said, a long time ago, that she worried I used my relationships to inform too much of my self. Is that what I'm doing? Losing my own self for his?

I just don't fucking know. So my brain is alternately chugging in the background and churning LOUDER THAN ANYTHING ELSE on this. And that's that.

I'll get those cages clean now.

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