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


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.


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