Sunday, February 8, 2015

Thursday, September 27, 2012

My Feelings are Valid

I sometimes have to remind myself that what I’m feeling at this moment is a valid way to feel. Like when I have a break down at work because I feel overwhelmed and unable. That is a perfectly okay time to excuse myself and cry, breathe deeply and remind myself that I am only one person.

But my feelings are valid. When I am in the office, crying next to the computer, trying in vain to hold myself together until I am in a safer place, my feelings are valid. They are ugly, they are loud, but I have the right (and the need) to feel them and respond to them.

When I am at home, feeling like I’m drowning, feeling exhausted from trying to get my head above water only to have the currents push against me, not just about my job but about my everything. When I’m feeling that, my feelings are valid. My tears and anxiety, my shortness of breath and headache. I feel them, and that’s okay. I shouldn’t have to hide it from anyone.

But I do. As a child, I was called a drama queen when I showed my feelings because my body’s response to stress is to cry. As a woman, I’m told that emotion in public is to be regulated. I’m told to smile even when I’m unhappy because a woman with a grimace makes other people uncomfortable. As a person with Bi-Polar Disorder, I fear my emotions  — is it hypermania? Is it another low? Is a panic attack a new symptom?

Possibly I fear my emotions because I have this image of myself as a strong person. And a strong person doesn’t cry. Because crying is weakness. Even as I’m typing this, it’s hard for me not to come up with some ridiculous, demeaning tag like “ugh angst,” to deflect from the fact that I am feeling weakness.

It doesn’t matter that my boss wants to do part of her job while she’s on vacation. It doesn’t matter that this job is something that I cannot do in my current position. It also doesn’t matter that it is something I shouldn’t be expecting to do while I am still learning how to do my current job. But the fact that I couldn’t do it today made me break down and feel weak and that is why I am upset. Not because of the job, but because of my reaction to the job.

But feeling overwhelmed and stressed and tired and angry are not weaknesses. Crying is not a weakness. Feeling is not a weakness.

Even as someone who is supposed to be the happy face of the workplace. Even as someone there for other people to feel to. It’s still okay for me to feel.

So why do I feel like I have to convince myself?

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Eulogy for a friend

My friend died yesterday. His parents found him in his apartment, reportedly face down and with tape over his mouth. He was 28.

Derrick may have been my boss, but he was also a friend. He was funny, unbelievably nice and would do everything in his power to make sure those around him were happy. He was rarely without a smile. But I don’t need to convince you how awesome he was. If you knew him, you already know.

This goes double for the (sometimes impossible) customers, many of whom ask for him by name. Which is why the recent report that mentions Derrick had been threatened at work soon before his death is especially scary. That someone could hate someone so beautiful so much to take him from the rest of the world is terrifying. A fear made so much worse because Derrick is not here.

He was a good friend. He was a good person. And I miss him. All that knew him miss him.

I am not a believer, but it is times like this that I can understand their beliefs. It would be comforting to believe that Derrick is somewhere better, but it does not make his absence here any easier. I can see a beautiful picture of him shrouded in white, sun rays springing from his enormous heart, but that beautiful picture is no comfort.

I only really knew Derrick at work, his family and his home life are a mystery to me, but I am sure that if his employees can love him as much as we did, everyone who knew him could as well.

The world is less one good person. And we are sad for that.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Peculiar Children and General Updates

I finished Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. Basically, it’s weird. Not bad but not particularly good. 3 bookmarks. You can find the whole review here.

I wanted to also give you a general update about what has been happening with me lately.

School: I’m graduating in one week with a Bachelor’s in Journalism and will be taking online classes this summer to finish my English degree. I will be in CoMo until July when my lease is up and then moving back home.

Yesterday I also had the experience to visit Meredith Corporation, the publishers ofBetter Homes and GardensandLadies Home Journaland similar titles. This was for my capstone class. A group of 8 students, myself included, created a magazine to pitch. Our is calledEat Nowand I am very proud of it. When I can find the URL for it, I will post it here. Anyway, the trip was very long, about 5 hours in a bus each way. We left at 5 am, got back at 9 pm. We and three other groups presented our magazines and toured the facility (which is lovely). It was quite an experience. I haven’t decided if that’s good or bad yet. It will probably depend on my grade.

After school: Like I said, I’m moving back with my parents in July and after I finish my online courses I will be out of school. Hopefully still working at a TRU. What I’m going to do with my degrees has always been something of a mystery. A question I dreaded getting asked because I didn’t really know how to answer it.

I’m still unsure, but I am leaning towards secondary education. Everyone is adamant about my abilities teaching. Whenever the subject comes up someone always says "You'd be such a great teacher!" Hopefully that's true. I'm not sure if I believe it, but I'm also generally unsure of myself. Oh the luxuries of low self-esteem.

Any way, I specifically want to teach high school English. All of my favorite teachers were English teachers, which probably has a lot to do with the subject, but also a ton to do with how awesome they are. Using them as role models should make me awesome, too.

After I move home and finish my degrees, I will apply for substitute teaching certification and also enroll in American Board online teaching classes to get that certification. In order to get certified this way in the state of Missouri, I need 60 hours of teaching in accredited Missouri schools and to pass the two tests that come with the American Board program. The program is self-paced for one year, so I should be okay.

And finally, knitting: I finished Evenstar, it just needs blocked. I am currently working on a squid hat for Sarah and Heliotaxis Pi shawl for me.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Good story, bad writing

Until There was You by Kristan Higgins is a very good, if not all that new, story.

It is also my first Harlequin Romance. And my first win from the Goodreads giveaways (that means it was free. Is that enough, FTC?).

I have to say that I did enjoy this book. It’s nothing deep or earth-shattering. It’s not even that dirty — or dirty at all. But the story was entertaining and the characters mostly believable. If you just read for the plot, you won’t go wrong.

However, the writing is lackluster at best. The book is riddled with dangling participles and lousy with unnecessary and frankly stupid interjections. Oh, beiber. Holy Elvis Presley. Golly!

It probably wouldn’t have been so bad if the interjections actually made sense. Considering this is a book for adults, some mild cursing is okay, even expected in some situations. But of all the random outbursts (of which there was at least on per page) only one was an actual interjection, not one Higgins made up. I don’t know if she was trying to make her characters appear quirky, but it really just made them annoying.

And really, when writing a description, make sure it is next to the noun/verb it is describing. It is very confusing to read something, and then the sentence goes someplace else, only to end with a description of the first thing. Stop it. It’s an easy mistake (and something the editors should have caught) but it’s bad writing.

The whole story follows the basic plot structure of rom-coms everywhere. The ending is expected, but it is very nice. My heart fluttered and broke with the characters.

There are a few plot points that are unnecessary: the letter, the sloppy seconds, the hope for the cousin and possibly the custody battle and definitely the “OCD.” Not only was the OCD plot point unnecessary, but it was hurtful. If Liam was truly suffering, he would need serious help. Simply getting a good girlfriend would not cure him. There are also many plot points that could have been given more sway: the two proms, the motorcycle accident, the marriage falling apart. Expanding on those points would have made the characters more 3 dimensional and the story more engaging.

I give Until There was You two bookmarks because it is nothing new, but it is still a fun beach read.

Up next: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs