Decorative Flower
Her Realm, Personal website and blog of Cole
Nov 20

Communication Breakdown

I’ve been thinking a lot about the way I communicate with people. Those interactions have left something to be desired, for all parties, I’m sure.

I find myself being short with people. I haven’t had the energy to pretend that I am okay with someone consistently cutting me off or failing to even inquire how I am. I think I have desire to speak to people but am struggling, and it’s even worse when they don’t give me the opportunity. Perhaps I want my conversations to slow down a bit.

One thing that makes this difficult is that I don’t go to work or school and see a bunch of people on a daily basis. If I have a conversation with someone, it might be the first – or only – conversation I have with a person that day. I may have a lot to say, so I throw it all at them because I just happen to see them. Perhaps I am inundating people with things that they don’t care about, even if I do. There are things I enjoy and discover on my own that I want to bring into my interactions with others.

Yet, I feel like my roles in these conversations in passive. And I much prefer being engaged in conversation, Rapt attention to a deep conversation is more my stride, which is why I am only further disappointed by conversations that only seem to scratch the surface. Where’s the real stuff, bro?

Because of this, I find myself so disappointed, mostly with friends. And I feel bad, not because I am guilty over judging them but because there’s disappointment everywhere I turn. It’s so frustrating. I would prefer to be happy.

Of course, every conversation is a two-way street. I am not without fault here. I think that while giving myself permission not to pretend that I’m not slighted in conversation sounds like it will use less effort, but it only leaves me focused on what others are doing wrong. It’s a lose-lose.

I should probably just cut people slack for being imperfect. We all are. People have their own lives. Some people are especially busy. Plus, we live in a world where we interrupt one another on a frequent basis, and not every conversation will be thrilling or even pleasant.

Maybe I should discuss these things with people so they know where I’m coming from. Although, that might only open me up to more frustrating if nothing changes. And I seem to be struggling with suggesting change in a constructive manner, unsurprisingly. I may be lacking thoughtfulness just like others. And I’m sure I assume I am better in these situations than others are. It’s what we humans do, after all.

And now this human, having come to no useful conclusions, is signing off.


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!


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.


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