Decorative Flower
Her Realm, Personal website and blog of Cole
Jun 22

Oh What Heights We’ll Hit

After a very long sleep following an exhausting weekend, I can finally breathe. This weekend started with the city’s annual Summer Kickoff, where I took my sister to play games, jump in bounce houses, see a firetruck and eat deep-fried junk food. We met up with our cousins, and it was a good time.

I left from there to see Jurassic World, which was a great movie. I think I’ll review it soon on Reviews by Cole. It’s funny — I didn’t realize I wanted to see it until after after else already had and was raving about it.

I came home with enough time to pack to leave for Minneapolis early Saturday morning. We stopped on the way for breakfast and then to visit Crystal Cave, a sight I don’t remember visiting before but have heard stories about from mom. It was cool, literally and figuratively. Although it’s warm enough outside that only four bats currently call the cave home, we were able to see two of them, including a fuzzy lilakewood cemetery sculpturettle thing right next to us on the other side of the glass. I stopped by the gift shop to pick up some things, including a gift for my sister and some small trinkets to hide.

We arrived in Minneapolis, grabbed a quick lunch and then headed out to the U of M, where we intended to see the replica of the sitting room in 221b, Sherlock Holmes’ apartment. Alas, the information online wasn’t quite updated, so we wound up at the wrong library because it’s such a large campus. When we found the correct one, it was closed for the day. So we got to wander around a large, beautiful and fragrant campus. I would have spent more time there, but my comrades weren’t down.

Instead, we headed to the next stop on the trip: Lakewood Cemetery. This cemetery makes many of the things-to-do-in-the-cities lists, and I had heard it was large, park-like and had a chapel with some great stained glass. When we got there, we were wary about being there, but we wandered around. There was a water feature, the older chapel, newer reception buildings and the most welcoming atmosphere of any cemetery let alone park I’d ever visited.

Wendy and I wandered over buildings set into the grassy hillside and saw some great monuments and headstones. During this, park security approached us to give us a pamphlet and map! We expected to be in trouble, but it was the opposite. And the information contained in there was interesting and helpful. We discovered a lake in the cemetery that was as big as our big cemetery back home, and drove around it. There were cranes, peacocks and robins chirping away, and some beautiful stained glass monuments. Unfortunately, the chapel was closed for a private function — a wedding! — by the time we got there, but with so much space to explore, I will definitely be going back!

We returned back to Wendy’s and enjoyed some frozen yogurt at her local mall and stopped in at a few shops to see what they had. Everyone bought awesome things from Hot Topic, including my new Day of the Dead damask shower curtain. Woot!

Yesterday, the only thing on our plan was the Mall of America. Robyn wanted to see the Star Trek exhibit. We snacked on crepes from a shop at the mall before I broke off from them. In the 2 or so hours they spend doing that and walking through the Nickelodeon theme park, I shopped the entire second and third floors. I got the only thing on my list — stylish black shorts — and some snacks in addition to splurging on some Mac nail polish for myself.

The drive home was relatively unexciting — though some sort of wreck did mean we got home a little later. I’ve just been trying to cool off because the heat, humidity and activity have got me beat! I’m headed back for Convergence in two weeks, though!


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. ;)


Mar 07

It’s Raining Babies

I am brimming with thoughts inspired by being in a different environment, surrounded by different people — some of whom I’ve met a time or two and some of whom were strangers.

This has reaffirmed my view and boosted my satisfaction, in some ways, about my life. Being surrounded by people who discuss nothing more than their children, their husbands and family drama is, well, tedious. It gives me pause. Do these people have anything more in their lives? Especially when it comes to women. Is there some greater meaning? Is a baby shower an escape to them while it’s tedious for me?

This isn’t to say that I had no fun. I did have fun. I ate. I laughed. I played games. I was able to celebrate with friends. I was also shocked at just how small the first was when my best friend’s mother-in-law walked in with her husband and when I realized that another guest at the party was the awkward sister of my uncle’s ex-girlfriend. I didn’t say anything, but it was interesting nonetheless.

To add to the feeling, I overheard people discussing someone who has now become a pretty good friend and her ex-husband. Again, just a small world. It makes me feel a sense of relief when I think of people

The baby shower also reassured me that the types of games played at baby shows are, well, super lame. And they don’t become any more fun the more you play them. As far as parties go, baby showers are the worse! If I were pregnant, I wouldn’t want a party reminding me that I can’t drink. Realistically, any baby shower I would have would have to be strange. No typical games. I’m not sure what I would play, but they would be ridiculous and weird, just like me!

Finally, I’m incredibly grateful not to have or to be expecting children. It might be selfish, but I am so glad to have my time to myself. I can do whatever I want at the spur of the moment. I have expendable cash. My personality isn’t flat because I have no time or energy to have one. I know that parenthood brings people joy. It might even bring me joy, but from my standpoint, it just looks more like a curse than a blessing.

Anyway, today’s wonderfully-warm weather — over 40 degrees and sunny! — and clean air in my lungs led to a boost in energy, which I used to deep clean most of my apartment as soon as I got home. I am finally sitting down to relax with a chick flick, and I shall end this here!

P.S. What’s up with Wisconsinites calling sloppy joes BBQ?

 


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!


Skip to toolbar