Decorative Flower
Her Realm, Personal website and blog of Cole
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!


Aug 09

Little Victories

Today was a day full of things that made me laugh, smile and sing. And, perhaps more importantly, it was a day when I was able to look back and see those things, to recognize and appreciate and be happy.

I will breathe deeply and happily as I go to sleep tonight. And while that won’t be for a little bit despite being 4 in the morning, that’s okay!

A very nice cashier at CVS commented on how pretty I looked/nicely I was dressed. I stocked up on all the delicious food, replaced my shorted-out headphones and scored some neat-looking nail polish.

A quick trip to the mall filled my belly and my bag with free VS panties.

Several hours of Cards Against Humanity and laughter later, I felt less alone, more connected and lighter-hearted than I have in days. Weeks. A month?

I signed on to facebook to see Reviews by Cole had finally hit 4800. Then enjoyed a delicious dinner, perhaps a bit too late. Oops!

I finally am making some money on Izea.

And have you checked out my Sverve score?!

I made plans to see Guardians of the Galaxy again! Because it is awesome!

I feel more clear about the things I need to do for me, but now I am sure that these are things I can do. What’s more, I’ve realized that I do have more goals than I realize and more time in which to complete them.

I’ve turned helpless frustration and anger into a plan on which I can act. I’ve let go of anger and replaced it with love.

I will now enjoy some Parks and Recreation while playing on my phone.

Score!


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.


Feb 25

Two Weeks in the Life

As I typed this, my laptop keeps flickering from battery to AC power. My cable is slowly dying because the port is positioned strangely and the cord bends at an angle. I have a spare, but I like to use things until they die. In related news, my laptop battery is also dying. It’s been 3 years, though, so I feel as though I’ve gotten my money’s worth.

My new cell phone is still better than sex.

I’m also pretty excited about my living room rearrangement, which happened at 6:00 in the morning the other weekend when Dave was over. It feels much cozier and more inviting. The space is generally used better, and my sort of open layout apartment is better compartmentalized — in a good way. The cats also like how accessible how all their furniture has become because, you know, I’m a crazy cat lady complete with cat furniture.

Two weekends ago, I attended the second funeral I’ve ever been to in my life for the mother of a close friend. It was in a funeral home so that was different. Many people showed to express their love, and we had a dinner afterward that managed to be fun despite loss. The first few days after her death were harder for me than I expected. Parents don’t typically like me, but she did. She fed me with love. She was a kind person, the kind of person who deserved better than she got, you might say. It’s hard to look at smiling photos and realize that she is gone. Death is permanence that is hard for me to accept. Permanence is hard for me to accept to begin with.

But things have been good. I’ve been in a good place for a while now. The soul-sucking cold of winter just has be being forgetful. I managed to get a terrible cold that came on oh-so-suddenly but sleeping 16 hours a day for the first three days has gotten me over the hump. For this, I am grateful.

February has been a month full of makeup. Most of it has sucked. The stuff that hasn’t will go up on Reviews by Cole, simply because I purchased most of it and, god damn, am I sick of writing negative reviews.

I discovered and watched Weeds in its entirety over the last week. I cannot help but draw parallels with Breaking Bad. However, Breaking Bad is by far the better series. About halfway through Weeds, the writing staff must have changed. It lost its special something, but I was already invested by then. So, now, I need more recommendations because TV is doing this weird winter break thing.

My friends and I are already excitedly planning Wizard World Chicago (James O’barr! The Walking Dead!). I hope to add another trip to Minneapolis. No conventions this time. Just burlesque shows and concerts if I have it my way.

And now I am listening you YouTube artist Jasmine Thompson:

I’ve gotta run.


Jan 05

Two Zero One Three

Welcome to 2014. There’s a new WordPress theme, so it must be a new year. That aside..

I thought I’d go over my 2013.

Over so soon?

Over so soon?

The year started on a high. Maybe because I’d sort of met someone. It didn’t work out but it gave me confidence to look for more possible romances. There were also several people interested in me over the year, and I returned the interest with someone. We spent some amazing time together, but it just seemed like it wasn’t the right place or right time. Truthfully, I’m hopeful that will change but realistic enough to realize that it probably won’t.

Because I felt invincible, I wanted to reconnect with some friends who I’d “broken up with” in 2012 or earlier. Honestly, I felt as though the frustration they had caused before was something that I could deal with better last year. This was true.. for a while. I am currently re-evaluating whether all those people need to be in my life. It’s difficult.

However, I wound up making several new friendships through that decision, so I do not regret it. Fate seemed to be on my side when it came to reconnecting because several other people came back into my life. All in all, I was a whole lot more social in 2013 than the previous years. This involved a lot of trivia nights, game nights, parties and drinking. It felt right for a 27 year-0ld. I guess I felt like I’d never quite gotten to be that person before.

Work has remained mostly the same. I don’t talk about this. It’s annoying.

My family dynamics have also remained the same but moving last year meant I was much closer to my mom and sister. So I’ve walked there many times this year. In fact, walking took on a lot more significance and I walked hundreds of miles this summer which led to some weight loss that’s probably all coming back since it’s cold and I’m cooped up inside. Oops.

In terms of material goods, 2013 was really good for me. I beefed up my wardrobe, especially for winter. I went through many shoes due to all the walking, but I have both an awesome pair of Chucks and boots that I recently bought. I bought both a PS3 and a Nintendo 3DS with a slew of games for them. I outfitted my living room with an area rug and an ottoman. Things have definitely come together. I enjoy the spending money.

In the process, I got a new hard drive for my laptop and installed it with a little help from Ben. I also finally rooted my phone even though I’m planning on getting a new one as soon as possible.

2013 was as geeky as ever. I went to two large conventions — Convergence in Minneapolis and Chicago Comic Con. It wasn’t my first time in Chicago, and I really enjoyed seeing some of the panels. I tried out Sci-Fi speed dating. It sucked. I purchased all the things, including some new art. I didn’t blog about either con, I guess. However, I posted lots of photo on Facebook. If you’re my friend, you can see the album for Chicago and the photos from CONvergence in my mobile uploads. CONvergence was really something else. It a fan run convention that’s outgrowing its current state but allowed me to get drunk with bronies. Really, it was such a different experience and some of the things I was able to do — attending the drinking for geeks panel, drinking, eating at some awesome restaurants in Minneapolis, Rocky Horror shadow casting, are like none other. It was too hot for me to costume, but I did make some Facebook friends. I don’t know if I’ll go next year but I will likely go again.

I dove into Reviews By Cole more than I have lately. I’ve reviewed more and joined many more group giveaways. I’ve been posting in more communities; although, not all are a good fit. I think I feel a greater sense of community. This has led to all the tutorials I’ve been posting lately. I’ve been much more active on Facebook. Give us a like, will ya?

Things have changed a bit on Her Realm, too. I moved hosts and am in the process of really cleaning things up. Things like the site section have been condensed to a single page, and the navigation has changed up a bit. On the whole, I feel good about losing some of the excess.

Personally, I’ve found a lot more release by writing on Lyrical Musings. Maybe you don’t even know what this is or have forgotten about it. I have a blog dedicated solely to writing — mostly poetry — in a cathartic way. As you’ll see, romance was on my mind in 2013.

I threw some big parties last year. There was a lot of stress. Memories, sure, but I think I need to keep things smaller than that in the future.

So what now? I definitely want to keep up my friendships and make things happen romantically but I have no arbitrary goals for 2014. In fact, I have no resolutions at all, really. I think this is because if I continue doing what I did last year, I am okay with that. Perhaps this is a sign of a year well done.