Travel Thoughts: Being More +++

9 02 2013

I think it might be a bit much to expect a vacation to be a transformative experience. It might be a bit much to even think it will be relaxing. How exactly is throwing one’s self into an entirely new environment relaxing? I am not quite sure.

But while attempting just that, lying on the beach at Waikiki, I made a stunning overall analysis about the (united) states of minds.  I am not discounting myself in this equation when I say that the majority of our population is negative.

Negative in thought.

Perhaps it’s because I’m on a tour bus with a bunch of grumpy old people who have to have the temperature always at exactly 71 degrees, but I don’t think it’s that. Because we’re all here to have a good time. And yet some times the “bad,” i.e. judging everything around us, gets in the way of experiencing the good.

I came to this conclusion mostly because everything and everyone was annoying me. Not knowing where to go for happy hour, having to repeat myself over and over because old people can’t hear, sitting on a tour bus with a driver who couldn’t stop talk/singing, feeling rushed when all I wanted to do was watch hot surfer guys be hot surfer guys, etc. etc.

While in these moments I am grumpy. Grumpelstiltskin  I acknowledge that I am grumpy and yet I cannot do anything to snap out of it. The only thing that usually works is “me” time, where I go and get back in my head and analyze what’s going on. IN MY HEAD I am always better at the end of “me” time and I think I can return to humanity, but then I return and grumpfest 2.0 gets sparked almost immediately.

I am completely flawed in this manner.

I want to be one of golly-gee-wee good spirited people who “loves to laugh.” A person who can just brush off the thoughtless ignorance of others, because as my grandma pointed out, it doesn’t bother anyone else but me.

waikiki

We all have different ticks that set us off.

But what’s the best method for getting back to cool after the ticking off?

See, I was next to this couple on the beach for over an hour and because they were talking and I was just lying there I totally eavesdropped on the conversation. It was then I noticed the mega-nega: don’t, not, never, no, can’t, won’t, etc. that highlighted their dialogue. Every sentence was rooted in failure, theirs or that of those around them.

I don’t want to be like them when I’m that age. I don’t want to be like them now.

What I feel I am neglecting is the power of language. I have to change the dialogue in my own head first. Perhaps when I do and I am a more positive person my unconscious mind will lead me to sit next to more goodygeegollywolly people instead of people who ran out of bologna and need to make a mad dash Walmart run in rush hour traffic.

For the rest of the trip I am going to work on being more conscious of my word choice and to just “be” wherever I am, to go with the flow, to hang loose.

I am going to laugh in the face of everything that annoys me, “oh, you thoughtless assholes amuse me with your super selfish selves.” “Oh, you can run backwards down diamond head trail with a bottle balanced on your head = talent.” “Oh, you want to wake up at 4:30 in the morning, holymoly alright! Let’s beat the sun!”

See, I’m a better person already.





Standing in the Way of Control.

18 12 2012

The recent shooting in Connecticut has created a mega-storm in regards to the debate on gun control.

This is not about gun control.

Instead of skirting the main issue we need to confront it head on.

Okay, so a mentally disturbed person used a gun to murder a bunch of innocent people. The equation for a solution that most people see here is to either 1. Take Away The Gun or 2. Give People More Guns

The gun in the equation is not the problem.

I remember when I was younger there was a slogan that became incredibly popular at least in my area of small-town Kansas, which was “Guns Don’t Kill People, People Kill People.” Though this is a true statement, the opposite side of the gun control debate would argue that less people would die if it was less easy to pull the trigger. Both of these concepts are right… in a way.

Again. Not the point.

What we’re failing to recognize here are the mechanism of power that keep this kind of horror repeating itself.

In other words, power—the lack of power and the quest for power—keep us from being free, keep us from feeling safe, keep us from feeling love at its fullest.

Think of a two-year-old who throws tantrums. Why is the kid throwing a fit? Because she or he is coming into consciousness and lacks the ability to communicate proper needs and desires. The child’s powerlessness is realized. How does a parent cease the tantrum? The parent does not throw a tantrum back because this is futile, the parent eases the tantrum with love. Care, affection, understanding.

I refuse to back down on my argument that the world needs more love.

We must re-evaluate what is important.

Money, things, being “better” than our neighbor—these concepts, rooted in capitalism which thrives on individualism, are literally killing us and keeping the rest of us in a constant state of anxiety and fear.

Keeping a gun at our hip will only fuel this more. We will become a trigger-happy society that shoots firsts and asks questions later. We will retreat and become more isolated. We will continue to have no power and even less love in our lives.

Regardless of how cheesy it sounds, we have to open our hearts.

This is vague, but basically it comes down to recognizing other people’s existence on the planet. A smile, a “hello, how are you?,” a creation and development of community connectedness, a willingness to give with no-strings attached. Communication—an open dialogue voicing our needs, wants, desires, concerns, where we actually listen to each other and act accordingly.

In the documentary Happy, sociologists discovered that small acts of kindness literally changed people’s brain chemistry and allowed more endorphins to flow through the body creating a more constant state of happiness. Kindness towards others should be valued more than pleasing the self.

So, yeah, we can sit around and debate all we want to about guns and mental health and health care and democracy but until we get to the root of the issue our society is not going to transform into something better—and neither will we—as individuals.

bell hooks in All About Love (a book I think everyone should read) discusses the concept that love is about helping another transform themselves into the best person they can be—it’s time we do that collectively, not just in pairs, but as a society. We should look out for one another because when we do it makes our own lives more fulfilling and the lives of others more about love, which is what we all need any way.

community-post-pic





Our Country Internally Bleeding.

14 12 2012

On Practicing Love.

I-need-you-I-miss-you-I-love-you-3-love-10112773-1024-768

We are isolated. Scared. Alone. Unsure exactly how to feel love and even more unsure how to give it. The more we move away from each other in fear the worse our society will become.

We cannot just shed a tear for the atrocities that happen across our country on a far too often basis. We must act.

We must start practicing love.

And with that practice we have to define what it means, we must become open to talking about it; we can no longer afford to shy away from it because our fears of rejection and our obsession with power is stronger than our need to feel accepted and appreciated on this planet.

When I was in high school and the Columbine shootings happened I, of course was completely freaked, totally saddened by the entire incident, but it gave me pause to take a look around my classroom, to notice the people who had been unnoticeable before–outcasts if you will–and try to be more inclusive. I at least would have conversation with them even if we had very little in common. Perhaps that’s where we have become out of touch. We’re afraid if we do or say the wrong thing we may literally be murdered. We could even be murdered just because we’re in the wrong place at the wrong time.

But we culturally have to dig deeper at the root of these almost-routine societal-suicides. When an individual cuts herself she does so to feel pain, maybe to the point of not being able to feel pain any more–but what is the pain? Where does it come from? What can stop it? When an individual takes his pain out on unsuspecting groups and then himself he does it out of pain. An injustice felt. An internal pain turned externally violent onto the world around him.

We all have a responsiblity. A responsibility to heal our own pains and to help those we love heal theirs.

And we have to get back to love.

Not in a vague random abstract sense, but in a literal actual sense; we have to get back to care, compassion, honesty, trust, loyalty, commitment–to our selves, to our friends, to our family. Without it we will continue to live sheltered unfulfilling anxiety-ridden lives.

It’s obviously not this simple. It’s going to take time and effort on all of our parts.

Perhaps December 21st will be the end of the world, but we can hope it’s an end of a world full of oppression and violence and the beginning of a world full of understanding, acceptance, and love.





Taking Shots.

12 12 2012

The other night, I don’t know what happened, it was Monday and a group of us went to Lost Lake where I accidentally got way too drunk.

I took shots.

After all these years I should know better, and yet I still think that my body has adapted, that I can handle them now. We left Lost Lake and two friends went to bed because they had to work the next day, but I did not. My other friend and I went to Wymans where we took more shots. He and I were having a private conversation and yet this drunk asshole kept interrupting us.

drunk shots

This was the first time in a very long time that I have interacting with such a blatant misogynist. I guess I could consider myself lucky for being able to surround myself with such non-assholes for so long. This guy made me feel a rage I have not felt in quite a long time.

Besides him interrupting us and being a complete misogynist he was also an egomaniac–he continually bragged about what an awesome person he was because he saved 100 lives a day doing super amazing scientific work and how he basically ran all of the city of Austin. He knew everyone. He could hook up anyone with anything. And then bro time came out where he tried to prove his point by hooking up my friend with a bunch of numbers to people that could help him get a job. When he took a moment to take a drink aka shut up I asked him how he was going to hook me up with people, since he OBVIOUSLY had so many connections. It was at this point he proved his pure woman-hating ways and more or less explained to me that I was an idiot woman he didn’t care to help. Then he ignored me and tried to talk to my friend some more about how awesome of a scientist/Austin-networking guy he was.

Because I was drunk, but not quit belligerent I excused myself to the bathroom so I would not rip his balls off and shove them down his throat.

I, of course felt hurt, saddened that someone could be so rude, but more than that I felt sorry for him. He will never know what it’s like to truly care about other people, he will continue to live a life where all he does is attempt to impress others instead of love them. His foundation of self-esteem is so low that no matter how successful he becomes he will never be satisfied. He will become bitter, resentful of the world. And no one will ever like him. Truly like him. He will more than likely find people who will use him, but he will also use them, a symbiotic relationship of fake-ness in an attempt to feel fuller.

So yeah, he pissed me off, but I did not let it get to my core being.

There are a lot of experiences such as these that build up and can really bring a girl down, something that I’m learning to do is to not take other people’s words or action as truths to who I am. This seems obvious but it’s much harder than it sounds. When people say negative things about you it’s difficult not to take that in and believe it, but it’s necessary to let it go. His words are reflections of his beliefs, not mine. Of course, I wish I would have told him off, but all I can do is better prepare myself for my reactions if anything like that ever happens again.

I will for sure no longer be taking shots (plural).Though puking all day is a rather humbling, almost spiritual experience–but that’s another topic for another day.





10 Randoms: Slow and Fast Recovery.

24 10 2012

1.) It’s weird when the world around you keeps going and all you want to do is sleep.

2.) When I’m sick, I realize I often use the wrong words, like I’ll write “told” instead of “so” or “my” instead of “me” etc.

3.) I’m feeling better. But am I feeling better enough to dress up like a panda for work?

4.) I need more focus. I think I need to hire a life coach.

5.) Or I need to read that book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. It’s on my to-do list. . . well, not yet, once I figure out where I put my to-do list I will put it on there.

6.) I’ve also come to discover that if I feel like something isn’t good enough just as what it is, I always make it into something more. For example, my job. All the stories and weirdness and lack of monetary gain cannot be kept secret, thus I’m turning it into a tv show. Sure, these first drafts probably suck ass but at least I’m doing something with it. Same goes for my dating life. There is a slight chance that with in the next few months I will be exposing it to the world. But you won’t know it’s me, so don’t worry.

7.) Oh dating. Sort of glad I got sick so I could take a break from that. Maybe it happened just for that very reason.

8.) There really are a lot of people in the world who I find not very attractive. I’m not saying that they are unattractive, just that I don’t find them attractive. I’m sure there are plenty of people who feel the same way about me.

9.) I started watching Sons of Anarchy as per suggested by a friend, the only reason I keep watching it is because of this guy. My new boyfriend.

Meow.

10.) I’m pretty sure I am the only person on earth who has such an eclectic taste in who I’m attracted to, even though I’m so not attracted to so many people. But there are a lot of people in the world. I’m just saying, based off of my recent record of dating, no one could pinpoint a type for me. Seriously though, that guy minus the facial hair would be my #1 go-to. And yeah, then, Jake Gyllenhaal. You hear that Jake, you’ve been demoted.

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Contracting Love.

17 10 2012

For a minute there I thought I might have maxed out on guys and dating. I hit a dry spell. But no need to worry, I’m back in the game.

So okay, I got back on ok cupid; do not be alarmed, though shit is about to get cray. Oh yes I just wrote “cray” in a blog, I may indeed need mental medical attention. Anyhoo, I wrote an update on my profile about specifically looking for a 3-month-max friend with benefits. A relationship contract, so to speak. And guess who was the most interested in this. You got it, a lawyer.

We met last night to discuss the matter. And there is something very appealing about getting into a commitment with a known ending, particularly prior to anything really starting. It’s nice because I feel like it will give me more opportunity to get to know someone without feeling the pressure of “making it work” as something long term. He can have quirks that I don’t necessarily find charming because I know I don’t have to put up with those quirks FOREVER. Or potentially forever. Or however/whatever makes people stop seeing other people: weird toenails, a penchant for eating with one’s mouth open, an obsession with AC/DC etc. etc.

So. Yeah. We talked about it. We’re going to have a “trail period” or a “test drive,” whatever you want to call it. See if we could even like each other for three months. And if we do we’re literally going to sign something and get this FWB thing going.

Contractually, I was thinking 1 to 2 hanging-outs per week, which would include netflix watching, bar drinking, sex, shows, lengthy philosophical discussions.  Then when the time is up, we can either renew (which we won’t) or end it amicably. Even if shit gets cray and it doesn’t end up ending amicably I think this is a good experiment. It could essentially change the way our generation does relationships. Or at least how some of us do them.

Anything you think I should include in this contract?





Look Who’s Talking.

12 10 2012

Talk is hard.  Not small talk. Not even gossip or philosophical talk. But “feelings” talk. My family and I have never been the best at communicating how we feel. If someone upset us, we’d just keep it bottled in, holding small grudges until they exploded into, on occasion, family feuds. And more often than not, resentment.

The whole, “I feel ____” is actually difficult for me to say out loud. It has taken a lot of practice on my part, but I try to do it. I’m trying to do it. Because though it often makes me feel anxious, I know when it’s over I’m going to feel much better that whatever is going on between me and another person is clear. Clarity and honesty. Boundaries. Understanding. It’s very nice to have that between people, though it is more often never discussed out loud.

Why is talking about this stuff so difficult? Is it because we become vulnerable when we tell another person what we want/need? Is it because we’re afraid we’ll hurt someone else’s feelings?

If a situation happened and I pissed someone off and they didn’t express their anger to me but then a year later when I did something else that upset them they just burst out a long laundry list of everything I’ve ever done that’s irritated them, I’d think I’m be more hurt by that then if they just said right away, “Krystal, I feel frustrated when _____.” Because if I’m doing something wrong I’d want to fix it. I think most people feel this way right?

But still, I think that this type of communicating has to be made into a habit. It has to be practiced. Just like every other healthy way of living.

Okay, why am I blabbering about this today? Last night this guy I’ve been kind of seeing off and on for the last monthish and I “Friend-Zoned,” each other and I think we both came out of it just fine. It wasn’t awkward. We simply discussed it. We didn’t stop texting each other or simply avoiding one another. And now we can continue to hang out and it not be weird. Well, it might be weird, but only because both of us are weird, not that being around each other would be weird for either of us.

And yeah, with the new friend-zone, it’s back to the dating board. How thrilling for the world! I think I just need to meet a nice Jewish boy.  Or a sugar daddy. Or both!

Yeah, my friend was right about writing an encyclopedia on dating instead of just a book. But I’m thinking maybe I could do a tetralogy series, a book for each season of the year! It’s the new trilogy! It will be like 50 Shades + Twilight  + Harry Potter + Game of Thrones all mixed into one. But nothing like those at all! Sign up now for an advanced-copy!

 

 

(How does that make you feel?)