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.


Sep 26

By any other name


blogskinny.com

I love to put words together and make new words. I do it all the time. For example, I might ask a friend for his techspertise. In fact, one thing that I often do it put words together and mix up the syllables until I find the perfect combination. I can never actually remember the word for what that is — it’s a portmanteau. It’s like making cutesy celebrity couple names but it’s more awesome because there’s no silly actors involved and, well, there’s me!

It’s crazy to think that wordplay like that can result in a new entry in the dictionary. In fact, reading the list of new words that make it to the dictionary almost makes me cringe. Consider these:

  • bitcoin — a form of digital currency
  • vom — short for vomit (ew)
  • apols — pural shortening of apologies
  • blondie — the light version of a brownie (yum!)
  • BYOD — bring your own device
  • derp — “speech regarded as meaningless or stupid, or to comment on a foolish or stupid action”
  • fauxhawk — hair styled to look like a mohawk
  • jorts — jean shorts (WTF?!)
  • omnishambles — otherwise known as a clusterfuck
  • selfie — a self photo, typically taken by smartphone and uploaded to a social network
  • squee — a squeal of glee or excitement
  • srsly — shortened form of “seriously”
  • TL;DR, abbrev.: ‘too long didn’t read
  • unlike — to withdraw approval or remove a “Like” on Facebook

Granted, these words are only now appearing in Oxford’s online dictionaries, which feature modern word usage and not historical word roots. I wonder how many people looked at a list like this in 2005, when the word was finally added to the dictionary, and shook their heads with amusement or disgust. How many of them disapproved of the portmanteau entering the vernacular officially, despite the fact that people had been using it for nearly a decade at that point?

Change is imminent. We can’t fight it, and we can only run from it for so long.  After all, some of the greatest words we know were coined by none other than Shakespeare himself. and what else would you call a blog?


Nov 25

Here.

I took a walk tonight. It wasn’t especially long, but it was longer than I intended it to be. The air was cool and clear. It felt good in my lungs even if my cheeks were cold. I walked up the hill, along sidewalks that I have walked many time. I only live about three blocks from the house we lived in when I was in high school. I haven’t lived their for eight years, and my mother has since moved, but I think I’ve avoided going up that hill for reasons other than it’s a bitch on the knees. Seriously. How did I do that for four years?

In some ways, moving so close to my previous home made me feel as though I’d returned right back where I started with nothing to show for it. I thought to myself that ten years to the day, I might have been walking some of the same steps. Wouldn’t that be something? But I also realize that I’m not exactly where I was before. While I might be in a similar location, I’m not the same person.

When I walked those sidewalks in high school, I was angry and alone, and the music I listened to reflected that. I walked as an escape, and I looked upon the world cruelly. Tonight, I had a sense of wonder as I admired the Christmas decorations, many of which just went up. I also took time to look at the architecture. Wausau’s upper east side has many large, old homes. The styles range, too. There’s many victorians, but houses that would fit in at a Lousiana plantation or Spain also exist there. I even saw one that looked inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright (edit: it was a FLW house!). I’d forgotten how pretty parts of this city are.

As I climbed, I was able to look down through the trees. It was really spectacular. I couldn’t help but think that this walk would be quite romantic with someone by my side, holding my hand.

On my walk, I stumbled across a deer who was stumbling across the road. I saw a randomly-decorated tree in an alley and I discovered and apparent passion for architecture. But most importantly, I realized that I have not made the return home unscathed or unchanged. I am absolutely better. I am older, wiser. I appreciate more, yet I retain wide-eyed wonder.

What does it mean? I can’t pretend to know, but I can acknowledge that I am content with this.


May 17

Mirror Images

Once upon a time, I would avoid the mirror. I’d run past, especially if I were naked. I’d force my gaze to stray from the areas I didn’t like. There wasn’t much that I did like. And it wasn’t just the morning routine that was disturbed by my self loathing. It was detrimental to my relationships. My self-consciousness infiltrated every area of my life in a way that others probably didn’t understand and maybe you can’t also understand unless you’ve been there, too.

Lately, as I’ve watched the pounds slowly melt off, as I’ve put on pants that I couldn’t wear for years, as I’ve shopped for clothes that actually fit, as I’ve found styles that accent my curves, I’ve been less reluctant to face what the mirror has to show me. I started with small steps. I allowed forced myself to view a little at a time, then a little more. Now I can stand in front of the mirror in full. I suppose I have desensitized myself to the images that I had convinced myself were so vile before.

Now I see me in the mirror, every day, as I apply lotion. I see my skin, my hair. I see my shape, I see my scars, my marks, my blemishes. I don’t love it all but I don’t hate it, either, and that’s the accomplishment. I don’t flinch or run away. I am more or less at peace and, yes, sometimes even happy with what I see, with parts that I used to hate.

The difference plays out in my life. I walk taller, shoulders back with my chin up. I spend more time beautifying myself. I laugh more. I am less self conscious in public, which makes me less uptight in general. I am more open because I am not trying to hide myself for fear that someone may realize that I am not an attractive person or, rather, that I don’t find myself attractive.

All this confidence only pushes me to do more because I can see it, in those mirror images, that I am almost where I want to be.


Mar 15

Passion

When asked what I was passionate about, I found it hard to answer and what I did come up with didn’t seem significant enough. The truth is, however, I am passionate about people and things that affect them: freedom and opportunity, tragedies–both natural and man-made, the every day things and the once in a lifetime chances. I think it would be appropriate to be compassionate and I could not tell you that I try because, the truth is, I try not to be sometimes. It’s all to easy for me to get swept up in despair because I cannot possibly help everyone or even know where to start.

To help alleviate this despair, I decided that I would stick to what I’m good at. Every day, I would make my loved ones smile and laugh and feel good about themselves and, in my head, these ripples of goodness slowly spread outward and perhaps, just maybe, touch every corner of the world. Nevermind that it’s a sphere.

And maybe along the way I will discover some way that I can contribute in more “significant” ways because I know that saying “I make people laugh” doesn’t exactly sound like ground breaking life’s worth. But don’t let me undercut what I do because I am damned good at it and if I died today, the people I loved would be sad because there life was better for having me in it, for having me to make them laugh.

And that is awesome.

Yet, sometimes, the reality for those who I can’t make laugh hits me like a ton of bricks. And I get angry. Or sad. Or a hysterical combination of both. Because I care. Because I am passionate about people in general, despite my sarcastic and biting sense of humor that may indicate otherwise. That is how I felt when I stumbled across the following:

There is a country where the leading cause of death of pregnant women is murder by a partner. In this same country, more than a million women were raped in 2008 and women are much more likely to live in poverty than men. Local laws don’t protect their right to bodily freedom and integrity; some rape laws even state that once a woman initially consents to sex, she doesn’t have the right to change her mind.

You may have caught on by now — yes, I’m talking about the United States.

Jessica Valenti

average life span of a transgendered person is twenty-three years. The statistic is shocking, until it begins to make sense. Gender non-conformists face routine exclusion and violence. Transgendered people are disproportionately poor, homeless, and incarcerated. Many of the systems and facilities intended to help low-income people are sex-segregated and thereby alienate those who don’t comply with state-imposed categories. A trans woman may not be able to secure a bed in a homeless shelter, for example. Spade writes that just as the feminist movement tended to “focus on gender-universalized white women’s experience as ‘women’s experience,’” the lesbian- and gay-rights movement has focused primarily on a white, middle-class politic, centered on marriage and mainstream social mores.

Meaghan Winter for Guernica

The good news is, there is good news.

Google has stepped up and created a Person Finder page for those who may be missing in Japan. I personally clicked over and stumbled across an entry for someone looking for information about someone in Misawa. I left a little blurb to inform the poster than Misawa AB has reported no deaths or serious injuries. It’s really hard for me to read about what is going on over there right now. It just hits.. a little too close to home but I hope that I have helped.

And despite the political turn that has occurred, people like you and me are stepping up to help others. Like this Tumblr user who want to give rides to women in Virginia who require an abortion but must now travel out of state for the service. Or this user who says (and I paraphrase) “You know what? Abortion isn’t for me but I respect the life of the living as well as the yet-to-live.”

Pro-choice is not pro-abortion. Pro-choice is often far more pro-life than “pro-life” is. I can’t say I’ve ever met anyone who thinks abortion is just fantastic or the new perfect birth control, that’s not how it goes. If you really want a lower abortion rate, put your time and effort into education and health care (you know, programs like Planned Parenthood). No one has any right to tell a woman what to do with her body or anything that’s growing inside of it. No one has any right to put women in danger for a group of cells, especially a group of cells they will later ignore and expect to fend for itself.

SkyWritingg on Tumblr

Also, this guy is awesome:


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