Decorative Flower
Her Realm, Personal website and blog of Cole
Jun 15

Where In The World Is Cole?

I meant to post about my trip to California, which happened in April, but seeing how it’s been over a month since I posted anything here at all, we can just agree that I’m not. It’s been too long for me to write about it in-depth, at least to me, but I will give you the rundown on what I’ve been doing.

April

So, yes, I went to California in April. I began tossing the idea around in my head in the beginning of the year but put it off due to money and nerves. Finally, I picked a date and booked myself a train ticket and flight. I decided to take the train from Chicago to California (after hopping a bus from here to Milwaukee and another train to Chi-town) to simultaneously save money and see the country. So.. I did that.

It was a long train but interesting. I saw a bit of the country – not all of which was worth seeing. Some of it was gorgeous and interesting, but restlessness prevented me from enjoying parts of the trip (I’m talking to you, Utah). I was super nervous because I’d never been on an American train before, but I survived and learned a bit about train culture, namely that there is a demographic of people (retired, limited income, wants to travel, has nothing better to do) that just loves trains in a way that I think I can’t.

My trip to Cali was short, shorter than I should have planned it and made even shorter by my purchasing a ticket from the wrong airport. All was okay, though. I saw the beach, took walks, enjoyed good food, bonded with my aunt, her husband and cat, saw the tech museum, visited rose gardens and the Egyptian museum, hacked 400+ new portals in Ingress and caught a new Pokemon. Not a bad little trip.

I flew into Minneapolis, spent the night with a friend and took the bus back after one long week.

May

I was super excited to see Guardians of the Galaxy 2 last month and, well, it was okay. Just okay, you know? Not terrible but certainly not worth the time I waited, and that’s a shame. I saw the original three times, but the sequel just didn’t hit all the right spots.

I took a day trip to see a sculpture garden, shop and attend a cultural fest in the next town over, which was quite enjoyable.

Last month, one of my very good friends also got married. I was in the wedding, which was cold and hectic, but I wish them all the best. In April, my friend was finally able to move in with his fiancee, so I’ve had to adjust with not having him around. This has been, at times, quite the struggles.

I also struggled to walk as many miles per day as I wanted to last month.

Before the month wrapped up, I finally got myself to see the MC Escher exhibit at the art museum, and it was better than I could have anticipated!

The end of last month also marked my 31st and golden birthday. I wanted to do something different.. so I did nothing at all. I released myself from expectations and had an interesting day with friends, cupcakes and lots of sun. It was fun and low-pressure if not entirely memorable. But it certainly was different. Go me.

June

This month started impatiently. First, I was walking my ass off to level in Ingress. I am now 14 but probably won’t level for the rest of the year. Boo.

I was also awaiting the second weekend, which I had dubbed Wonder Woman Weekend. Robyn and I headed to Minneapolis (I’ll return next month to see Adam Lambert and Queen in concert) to stay with Wendy with plans to see the Pixar exhibit at the science museum, visit the zoo and see Wonder Woman. I didn’t see it opening weekend because I was waiting for this, so there was alot of expectation.

Wonder Woman was great, the zoo was nice and the museum was interesting, but it was hot. I didn’t get enough rest and returned home pretty grumpy. I also had a very busy work week last week that technically ended yesterday morning, so I am feeling little swamped.

Right before I left, I tackled making some galaxy bottles for decor. They looked amazing in the beginning but have since muddled. I think I know how to fix it, but it’s a bummer.

Throughout all of this, I’ve done the norm – walked all the miles, entertained a guest a time or two, read all the books (I’m over 52 titles on GoodReads if you count comics and audiobooks!) and comics (I’ve read my first ever Marvel titled in 2017), went out to eat, attended a few game nights, fires and birthdays parties and (binge?) watched plenty of Netflix. Judging from the length of this post, I’ve been a busy little bee. Perhaps I should add relaxing to my calendar!


Jun 14

Busy

I feel so busy lately. Not in the I-have-to-work-13-hour-days way because I actually have a slow two weeks due to my main client taking some time off himself. No, I am busy in the my-social-calendar-is-full-and-I-have-no-time-to-just-veg-out with a side of social-interactions-drain-me-because-I’m-an-extrovert. I’m sure that scales terribly if you’re reading on a mobile device. ;)

So I am fortunate, no doubt, to have the time and money to do things with friends and family and to have a fairly long list of people who seem to want to spend that time with me. Don’t get me wrong about that.

It just all seems to exhausting.

This last week has been full of  ice cream (twice), walks (many times), shopping, going out for drinks, video games and more meals eaten out than is probably healthy.

There has been little time to just stop for myself to watch TV, read a book or play video games in the mindless way that is sometimes necessary to relax entirely.

I’ve had good food, laughs, inside jokes, marbles found and re-hid again, video games played, much exercise (with new shoes!) and a generally good time all together, but it leaves little time to relax by myself let alone to sleep.

So I declined a day trip tomorrow because not only will my schedule not work with it, but I just want to spend some time by and with myself. Especially while it’s been so generally warm and humid, and my apartment doesn’t have good air circulation.

When trying to describe how busy I feel to others, they don’t get it because I’m not talking about work. I’m not talking about things that are necessary, I suppose. They’re social. They’re fun, sure. And I don’t have to say “Yes,” but I do feel as though I should do as much as I can while I can. Because who knows when that will change?

In the mean time, the 4th of July is quickly approaching, which means a trip back to Minneapolis, Orange is the New Black has been released and I’ve yet to get a tattoo. I better get busy!


Apr 01

Family Ties

At first glance, I am so unlike my mom. She is more rough around the edges and simple in many ways. She’s not only driven by emotions — she’s fueled by them. I try to use logic to make better decisions and communicate more effectively. I’m a complex person, even though I’ve come to understand that I can be simpler than I ever thought and that maybe being complex isn’t bad.

I care more about appearances and presentation. I take more care with my looks and the words I choose. I am better, overall, at language and communicating effectively. I also have deeper understanding of the interactions people between and how things work, especially when it comes ot technology.

But when you compare us, you’ll see likenesses. We say some things in similar ways. It’s a tonal thing; although, we do use some of the same turns of phrase. There’s another similarity that I’ve been thinking about lately, too.

Both my mom and I come off as the type of people who won’t stand for anyone’s crap. In reality, we both shy away from confrontation more than you expect. I think this surprised people. No one is super comfortable with confrontation, and the way

I “avoid” confrontation by attempting to deal with issues in a forward and logical way. Thanks to marriage counseling, I’m much better at arguing in a constructive manner than, well, many people. So confrontation becomes less about fighting and more about understanding, thus making it less anxiety-causing to begin with.

Mom, on the other hand… Well, she’s not so good with the communication. If she’s frustrated with you or you’ve hurt her, she’s more likely to tell other people. This only increases her frustration and multiplies the drama. Of course, the original issue remains unresolved.

There is a common thread, I think, between the two of us. There’s a sort of fear about dealing with other people, I think, and not being able to express ourselves or appearing foolish. While Mom takes the angry route, I try to aim for the higher road — to understand why people do things, to forgive them and to be the bigger person as much as possible.

I’m generally more at ease and content with this aspect of my life because of this, and it’s something I wish she was more self-aware about because then she could be, too.

Still, I’m not so good at dealing with certain people. Usually it’s because the way they argue triggers a more emotional response to me. Some of my friends fight in a way that reminds me of my ex, and I respond in kind. It’s not so pretty.

I’m also afraid of pushing some people away with confrontation. While I realize that I have good intentions and anyone who should know this but runs away maybe isn’t the sort of force I need in my life to begin with, it’s hard because sometimes I wind up caring about those types of people.

Ultimately, I would rather err on this side. But there is still progress to be made. I think I can be understanding of others without selling myself short. I can — and should — be able to explain myself in a reasonable manner and should expect others to react in kind as much as possible. Realistically, I know we are fallible humans, but I should be able to confront people when it’s called for and be prepared to lose people who aren’t as rational as I am.

But I’ll probably avoid that change for a while. ;)


Dec 23

Festivus? How fortuitous!

I’m not quite sure how appropriate it would be to say “Happy Festivus.” After all, this annual holiday allows us to air our grievances rather than to celebrate loved ones or gives thanks — both of which I could be better at doing right now and throughout the past year.

In fact, I figured I would take the time not to complain but rather to be thoughtful over the ways that I could improve over the next year and throughout the rest of my life. My intent isn’t to be negative but to take responsibility because I think I’ve been blaming my emotions too much on other people and circumstances, and that leads to no happiness for anyone.

Over this year, I tried to take on too many of my friends’ problems. In the process, I became anxious and unhappy. I wouldn’t set aside time for myself in a meaningful way, and this would make me resentful for my friends who would seek out my assistance more than I could give it. The best version of Cole would be able to set boundaries so resentment doesn’t set in, and she would also remain grateful for those who do seek her help. It’s flattering to know that people trust me with their personal issues and feelings and that they seek my counsel as someone who will won’t judge them. That people think little ol’ me is smart enough to give safe advice is quite the compliment!

More recently, I’ve allowed others’ words to fester. I’ve imagined insults and competition, snark and other general negativity where it probably didn’t exist. Many of these things were intended as a joke, with a light intention or simply offhand. I read too much into these things, and held onto the negative thoughts they caused in my own mind. Going forward, I should remember that people, especially those who love me, don’t mean harm. And that if I am experiencing troubled thoughts, there are appropriate ways to communicate those feelings.

Resentment has often built this year over the belief that I am somehow better than people. However, the only thing that truly makes me better is by thinking and acting in a way that I can respect and in a way that would hopefully encourage others to do the same. Being kind to others seems to be one of my main priorities. To treat people with respect and not to let my shortcomings color our interactions. To believe the best in people because wouldn’t I want them to do the same?

In 2014, I have been mindful about reaching out to others. I should continue to do this, so that they may provide support if they want, and so I won’t have to shoulder the entire load myself. My feelings are intense and my thoughts are acute, but I don’t have to do that alone. Perhaps I could re-build connections with some of my family members, who I haven’t been particularly close to in years.

It’s not just my interactions with others, however. I think I will have to reconsider some goals for the next year. Whether that is to make Reviews by Cole my full-time job (unlikely), to pursue creative writing in a professional manner (ie getting published), going back to school, attending conventions for blogging or sexuality or making some short-term investments that will bring me close to home ownership within the next decade. Really, many of these things could be done simultaneously, and my main de-motivator might be fear or a lack of belief in myself. Or perhaps I am simply too complacent.

I think I would also like to add a physical activity that has a social aspect. Perhaps something like yoga. I’m not into sports per se, nor do I love spending too much time outside during winter. Although, perhaps I could take up something fun such as disc golfing during the summer time. 2015 might be the year that I finally get some volunteering in or join a book club, which would ensure that I get more reading done, too.

With these thoughts in mind, I will end this post but look forward to the coming year!


Jul 20

Living the Life

The other day I had a terrible dream. It was one of those emotional dreams where you wake up and you still have the feelings you had in your dreams.. even those it was just a dream. Even though you’re awake now, and none of that actually happens. But your mind has gone ahead and processed everything and all the hormones and chemicals have brought you to that place anyway.

In the middle of that terrible dream, I looked at someone and said “I wish I was at home in my PJs with my cat.”

And I woke up, in my PJs next to Phantom.

In my time of duress in my dream, the only thing I wanted was to get back to my regular life. I didn’t want anything more than that. I woke up to that place, comforting and full of love. Emotionally stable. Free to do as I please.

Since that night, I have been ridiculously grateful of my life. Of the people and things in it.

All things considered, I am in a good place. A place where I am happy to remain; although, I am open to better things, they would have to be significantly better to motivate me to stray

As emotionally tumultuous that dream may have been, it was certainly something I needed.


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