Decorative Flower
Her Realm, Personal website and blog of Cole
Sep 02

Being an Extrovert is Weird

Summer is rapidly coming to an end, and although I feel like I’ve been incredibly busy, I haven’t done much to write home about. I spent a weekend in Milwaukee, but haven’t gone to any cons. There’s been a few day trips, some game nights, many long walks with friends, Pokemon Go playing and eating out. It was all fun. There was laughter all around, but nothing stands out.

Perhaps that’s because I’ve been doing so much of it. I am currently in the midst of being the most extroverted I’ve ever been. It’s awesome but so very weird.

I recognize that being able to socialize with people, both en masse and so frequently, without needing to head home and check out for several days or hours is directly related to my anxiety being at an all-time low. I can’t argue that this is a bad thing. It’s really quite wonderful.

But it’s weird that I can more easily talk to strangers and feel more comfortable in certain spaces. That I can meet up with new people with minimal anxiety and spend hours socializing without feeling the need to end it is amazing. I’ve spent a lot of days with multiple social interactions, something that would’ve been highly unlikely if not impossible a few years ago. It does have me questioning whether my introversion was something that stood on its own of or if it’s something of a side effect of my anxiety.

A few weeks ago, I assumed that I would eventually feel more anxious and introverted  and that all would come crashing down, but while I have a hectic schedule, I seem to have found some balance. I’m not so worried about the other shoe dropping.

Although, I still do enjoy and feel energized by my down time, it’s not as necessary as it once was. In fact, I need to remind myself sometimes to do other things that I enjoy that have taken a back seat to socializing. This weekend I plan to play video games, take walks, catching up on blogging and read.. all by myself. Not having any work until Monday certainly makes this easy. Of course, I’ve already seen friends and added other things to my schedule, but I never realized how many hours were in a day until I paused from filling them all up.

So, you know, if you want to do something, I’m probably down.

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.

Apr 04

You’re Probably Cole’s Friend If..

  • you know the Konami code
  • you have read enough fantasy that you can actually form battle plans in your head to help the hero
  • you can name off the entire lyrics to at least 5 songs
  • you have been to more than one convention
  • you can drink an entire case of Mountain Dew without dying
  • you have a 5-star rep on Xbox Live
  • you void warranties on your devices before you leave the store/car
  • you can name the history of any comic book her or villain
  • you have ever written fan fiction
  • you can discuss cats–or Cole’s cats–for at least five minutes
  • You think Cole is the funniest person in the world ;)

You’re definitely Cole’s friend if you do dorky stuff that makes her smile.

Jan 18

Turn the Page

In the book that is Cole’s life, this chapter would start with something stereotypical such as “I never expected to return home and part of me dreaded it, as much as the rest of me was looking forward to it.” I would continue on with words about how things were not how they were when I left them (true), how I needed to cut ties with some of the people and things that used to be part of my life (also true) and how, despite all this, things would turn out even more amazingly that I could ever imagine (the truest).

I think what surprises me most about returning home is not the reconnections I looked forward to but the new connections I am constantly fostering. I have become good friends with complete strangers and better friends with mere acquaintances. The area itself and the individual people in it are continuing to surprise me. I never realized my home town, my home state was so full of versatility, options and adventure.

If you hadn’t noticed, the holidays were a little difficult and moving was stressful. I wasn’t able to be as positive as I’d have liked and that in itself was bringing me down a bit. I have been so positive these last few weeks, however. I’ve been dealing with, if not managing to overcome my anxieties and, at the end of the day, I am most surprised–yet pleased–with myself. As confident as I might sometimes appear, I guess I never knew I had it in me.

I am so fucking glad to be exactly where I am.

Apr 24

Relationships 101

Getting married did not automatically make me a less selfish person. Saying “I Do” did not mean I suddenly gained all the knowledge and learned all the skills I would need to positive contribute to my relationship. Sure, the desire to be happy and to make Ryan happy was there but desire alone does not magically produce results.

I’ve heard it said time and again that there is no manual for parenting, that you can never be truly prepared. I have yet to personally experience that but I believe the same holds true for many other things, including relationships.

We live in a society where there is no mandatory relationship education, no government sponsored textbooks on the subject. If our sex education is lacking, then education about being in an emotionally healthy relationship is a fairy tale.

We’re left to our own devices and while I have nothing against trial and error in some sectors of life, it becomes a whole lot trickier when feelings are involved.

This isn’t to say that resources haven’t sprung up to fill the need. They have. Therapists and talk show hosts, books, chat rooms and webinars all contain invaluable (well, sometimes worthless) information about how to be in a healthy relationship. But these are all resources you have to seek out yourself, often times on your own dime. Realizing you could use some help and then biting the bullet to ask for it are hard enough but, really, we live in a society where it’s all too easy not to realize we need a little help.

I mean, if you have no education about a healthy relationship to begin with, when do you realize it’s not? If no one has ever told you that it’s important to learn relationship sills or what those skills are, why would you seek out that information on your own? Perhaps this is why our society is strewn with broken hearts and divorce papers. Just a thought.

I don’t necessarily think we should be mandating peoples’ love lives. That’s a bit too involved even for my tastes. I just cannot help but wonder if we could be doing more to help people better themselves and their relationships. When “better” is just an option and an expensive one at that, it’s an option left unconsidered by the majority.

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