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Monday, March 22, 2010

"Do one thing everyday that scares you." -Eleanor Roosevelt

I tried my first acupuncture session last week.  Western medicine can't seem to figure out why my body is acting the way it's acting so I'm trying alternatives.  Besides having an elementary-school-girl crush on my doctor, I like it.  I can't really feel any immediate miracles, but I like the philosophy of treating the entire body, not just fixing the symptoms.  I think Americans can learn something from this philosophy since we seem to be in the business of throwing money at the symptoms and hoping the problem will fix itself in the long run. 

I tried hypnotherapy this week as well.  A friend of mine has a practice and I decided I had put off supporting her business long enough.  I told my boyfriend, "It was awesome and you're probably going to say it's all in my head."  Many of my friends and family seem to think I'm a hypochondriac and my problems are psycho-sematic.  Well, if I am than hypnotherapy was created for me.  "Because it IS all in your head," I told him.  It was an interesting and positive experience that will hopefully help me start writing again and end the horrible nightmares I've been living with for ten years.  Some say we only use 10% of our brain potential.  If you're skeptical of this statistic try looking at it from another angle, what if we have 90% of brain potential TO use?  What could you accomplish then?  I'm not sure where that myth/fact comes from, but I think the average person is capable of so much more than they realize. If it takes hypnosis to reach my potential I'm willing to try.

Why am I doing all of this?  Why not.  Somewhere on the road to adulthood I am afraid I lost the fearless spirit of my youth.  Isn't this the sad truth in life?  Instead of jumping in my car for spontaneous road trips, I curl up on the couch to watch a movie with the man I love.  Some nights this seems like a fair trade-off, other times I want to grab that man and take him on a road trip to anywhere.  I used to live by the quote "Do one thing everyday that scares you."  Stepping outside my comfort zone was the only way to grow.  I still believe that, but now I find my comfort zone, well, comforting.  At what point do we trade the care free days of our youth in to worry about careers, and loans and all the things we swore we'd never worry about?  Was it a day?  A moment in time?  Can it be stopped if we traveled through time and tell a younger version of ourselves not to fall for it?  We all swear we will be the one to stay young forever and then it passes through us like a gentle, fall breeze and we become mature enough to know better.  Maybe it's my health problems, maybe it's the relationship I'm in, maybe it's the fact that I have been stable for more than six months. I don't know why but lately I feel like I gave up the exciting freedom of my youth and I'm not sure for what?  I suppose I'm happy and this seems to be the natural progression of life.  It's in my nature to fight - even if it's myself I'm fighting.  The weird part is I am happy.  A different kind of happy, but happy. 

But, happy or not, I'm challenging myself to do something that scares me everyday!  Tomorrow I'll stand in front of Marines and teach a class about writing and even though this is the third class and I spent three hours preparing my class it still scares the hell out of me!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Sunday Paper

I started getting the local newspaper about a month ago. It was late one night when I ran to the grocery store for one thing. I don't remember what it was, but I remember seeing chocolate and deciding that was an acceptable buy and before I knew it my arms were full of crap. I seem to remember buying toilet paper, so maybe that was what I had actually gone to the store for. Anyways, I was tired and in a fury to get out of there and into bed when a man politely asked me something. Now, it is important to note that I'm a sucker. I'm the person at the mall who gets stopped for jewelry cleaning, mineral make-up, fancy hair straighteners, dead sea scrubs, etc. They must love seeing a single woman walking in a complete daze (just for verification I probably look stoned, but I do not do drugs). They grab my arm, wave their hand in front of me, call me beautiful, something that triggers me out of the perpetual daydream I live in. Here's the product and here's the sales pitch. I've gotten better at saying, "No" and being unemployed definitely helps the impulse to buy, but on this particular night when this nice gentleman asked me, "Would you like to save ten dollars on your groceries?" I didn't have the energy left to say no to his pitch. Now, for the first time in my life I get the daily paper.

I don't watch the news. I used to listen to NPR in my car on my way to and from work and in my office. Usually by the time I got home I had every news story at least twice. I never read the paper. On occasion a headline will show up when I open my Internet browser and I click to read, but lets be honest when it comes to news I'm generally apathetic and lazy. Now, I get the paper. At first it was exciting. I had something waiting for me outside the door every morning. In a waking dream I crept down the stairs in slippered feet to a freshly printed bundle just waiting for my eyes. I even read it for a few weeks. I was up to date in current affairs. I could follow what was going on in the ridiculous world of politics. I followed the horrifying story of a local high school runner who went missing. Maybe this was what ended it all? Chelsea King was a high school senior, cross-country runner, honors student, probably counting down the days until she graduated and left for college. She went for a run and never came home. A few days later they found her body, a true tragedy for San Diego or anywhere for that matter and an awakening for me. Sometimes I carry a knife when I run. If I get a creepy feeling or think the sun might beat me on a run. It's not convenient, but the thought of getting mawed by a mountain lion isn't very convenient either. Now, I have Chelsea to think of when I run on long, empty trails alone. The thought "that could have been me," has crossed my mind more than once in the last week. The thought, "If this is was anyone but a young, beautiful, white girl from a moderately wealthy family, bound for success would it be the headline for a week?" has also crossed my mind, but this should not take away the fact that it is a tragedy and it easily could have been me. When I train I run trails just a few miles from the same area. When I run I zone out and more than once have almost stepped on rattle snakes or have had mountain bikers sneak up on me.

Well, it's Sunday and they have a suspect in custody who was a convicted and registered sex offender. People are questioning the safety of their children and the effectiveness of sex-offender laws, but life moves on. Above the headline "The Chelsea King Case: It can and does, happen here," there is a picture of two local police officers saluting a motorcade of police cars on the way to a memorial service for a local sheriff's deputy who was killed trying to intercept a driver going the wrong way on the interstate. In the section Our Region there is a picture of three scuba divers looking for clues to another case of a different local girl who went missing over a year ago. "Pond yields no new clues in Amber Dubois case," the headline reads and along the side is a column reading "Missing kids is a sad fact of life in county."

I flip through the headlines reading the first couple paragraphs and not really finishing any article. By the end of it I'm depressed and scared and remembering why I don't pay attention to the world around me. Ignorance is bliss.

Am I better off jumping straight to the comics? Am I better off skipping the story about what's going to happen in Iraq now that elections are over and the US had pulled most of the troops out. Do I want to know about a female Navy Commander who was relieved of duty because of her language and maltreatment to her crew. Never mind the fact that five other Navy Commanders have already been relieved of duty this year, this is another strike against women in the military. Way to go, ma'am! Thanks, really appreciate it. I scan for uplifting stories, but like everyone else my eyes are drawn to the tragedies and tyrannies. Eventually I make it to the Sunday comics and my world somehow seems balanced again. It's only $10/month to get the Union Tribune, but is it worth it? Am I single-handedly saving the art of printed news or am I just killing trees daily? Should I call and cancel my subscription and just go back to my bubble of news that only pertains to me? Decisions, decisions. Maybe I should keep my subscription until the introductory deal runs out (6 month subscription at $10/month), but I'm on such a tight budget. Am I in a better mood when I don't get worked up over a headline about an event in the wold I have no control over?! Does any of this matter anyways? The world is doomed! Do I want to know that the apocalypse and end of mankind is scheduled for tomorrow! Perhaps the paper is bad for my health, but then I get to Garfield. Maybe it's because he's from Muncie, Indiana and my mom once drove us to Jim Davis' house in a very stalkeresque manner to show us how close fame and fortune was. Maybe it's the juxtaposition of Garfield's pessimism and Odie's blissful happiness that seems to mock me the debate of whether or not to keep my subscription to the paper I don't really read. Then again, what else would I be doing on a rainy Sunday afternoon?

NOTE: I recycle the paper.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

A day of days

It's been a long week without any real accomplishments. Why does it feel like life is just that - day after day with nothing to show for it. My mom used to have a picture in her sewing room that had a very frazzled woman that said,"The hurrier I go the behinder I get." Maybe I'm rushing too much or maybe I just don't have any concentration. Like now I'll start this and think I need to call the doctor to schedule an appointment. Then after I get up I'll see the pile of laundry on the bed and I"ll think I really need to put my clothes away. After that I'll come back to the kitchen table and see the newspaper I didn't read this morning and think I should read about the missing girl in Poway. I used to run in that alone in that same area where she was running alone. That could have been me. And so it goes, if you give a Libby a cookie ... Today however was one of those days that topped all the other one of those days. I overslept after a bout of insomnia last night. I am going to teach a creative writing class at the Wounded Warrior Battalion and was supposed to start today. Well, I wouldn't have been that late except for the long line at the gate to the Naval Hospital. Of course I chose the slower moving line of traffic and of course when it was my turn to show my ID I was conveniently selected as the random vehicle inspection of the day or hour or however they randomly choose it. I pulled aside wondering if I had anything suspicious in my car (like the K-Bar I keep under the passenger seat just in case). I tried to find my registration frustrated because I was already late and as I pulled out junk from the glove compartment I realized how many parking tickets I have received in the last six months and haven't paid for. I finally found my registration, but the overweight and hideously ugly Navy MP needed proof of insurance as well. "I can bring it up on my phone and show you an electronic copy," I offered as a much more fit and attractive female cop walked up talking about her husband. I searched for the needed document some more even though I know it's not in my car. "I'm sorry I don't have it," I finally surrender to the fat MP.
"I'm sorry you can't come on base."
"It's up to you if you want to give her a ticket or just give her a warning," Pudgy was now telling the cop.
"No, that's okay she looks like she's already having a rough enough day," the cop who suddenly looked like an angel sent from the heaven's said to the nasty, overweight, ugly pig woman who is a disgrace to the uniform.
Disgusted Pudgy told me to park up by Balboa park in some public parking lot and go in the back gate. I did as I was told, thankful not to have a ticket on top of being inconvenienced and late. I walked in the back gate and up to the Wounded Warrior barracks. We had decided on a time late last week and even though my little intro and talk with the Marines at their Friday formation generated some interest in a writing class I wasn't sure if it was enough time to add to their schedule. So later than ever, now frazzled and flustered I stood in the lobby waiting for the section leaders to explain to me why the class had to be postponed for a week.
"We can find some Marines if you want to start today, ma'am," a tall, handsome sergeant tells me.
"No, that's okay we can start it next week," I tell him a bit relieved.
"We emailed you last night to tell you they had a financial seminar that was mandatory to attend today," the other sergeant tells me.
"Really, it's fine, but I did not get an email."
They assure me they sent it and don't see that I'm more concerned about future correspondence than the debauchery of my day. I left defeated with the intentions of crawling back into bed and starting this damn day over again. Of course that didn't happen and after running errands and getting a little control over my life I'm finally sitting down for the first time all day. Sigh. I'm sure tomorrow won't disappoint me as another chain of events that are unplanned and inconvenient, but hey what can you do? You can look life in the eyes and growl, "YOU will not defeat me. Not today anyways!" And so it goes, a day of days.