Thursday, January 2, 2020

The one where it gets super strange and then I get Insecure

Good Evening internets and random people from Azerbaijan (seriously!). 

I'm still upright and kicking. Occasionally kicking myself, but still kicking.

A person who is very close to me recently told me that I tend to live according to quotations I saw somewhere. Um what? I was extremely confused as to what the hell he meant. Of course he wouldn't elaborate any further and declined to give examples. .

It left me quite stunned as I don't think I do this. In fact, I try not to. It reminds me of those people who are sanctimonious pricks who go around quoting self help mantras and useless platitudes rather than dealing in real interactions. Yuck and super annoying. 

After I was done being mad (which with this particular person happens quite often but never all that seriously), it made me think about how I think I DO live.

One of the things I've been working on changing in my outlook on life is my narrative. We all have them. Things we tell ourselves in order to form an identity and create norms. Narratives can be helpful, and can bring order. They can also be extremely destructive if you do not have positive ones or occasionally challenge WHY you have that narrative and whether or not it's working for you in the current tense.

As Naveen and I have been separating, I've been seriously considering what my narratives are and whether or not they serve a useful, positive purpose in my life. It's been quite the uphill battle, as most honest therapeutic activities are. I've kept some, thrown some, and completely over hauled others. 

So far I'm pleased with the progress I've made and always aware that I have much more to go. 

My next thought was the way we see ourselves versus the way others see us. The kicker in this one is that no one sees you without bias. Not yourself and not others, even the ones closest to you. This makes it incredibly hard to be objective. I think the only way to look at it is to collect multiple data points and "proofs" as it were. 

This person and I are extremely close, and while I trust him completely, he's had his own life experiences that color his world view. I hope he can provide me with further examples as time goes by so that I can judge for myself if this is how I am or not. I'd like to think not, but if the data points that way.....back to therapy I go.


Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Dismantling it, Brick by Brick, then Rebuilding

Listening to: Check Your Head - Buckcherry
Mood: Contemplative

So....Internets. Hello again. Today's topic won't be super light, but true to form, I'll try to keep you entertained in my efforts to deal with sucky things with humor. 

There's not really a lead in for this, so here it is: Daddy G and I have separated. 


Well that certainly got uncomfortable fast, but trust me, there's no need. In fact internets, this is the first time I've said it out loud and in (semi)public. 

I'm not going to go into why or all the painfully uncomfortable details - I'll spare you this time. I will say this. It's been a long, difficult, and painful road that has led me here. I feel like I am starting to finally get my shit together a bit and move on, which has been agonizing and amazing on the same coin.

I'm still in India. I plan to stay - I truly love it here. He has rented his own place and is in the process of moving out as he bounces between here and the US. I still work as an HR manager in his company. This is not that uncomfortable and I truly love my job. We shall see how long that lasts.

As I mentioned, I'm doing alright now. I'm working on stabilizing myself, saving some money, being a single parent, and developing my own plans and goals. 

My kids are ok for the time being. They've had time to adjust and Daddy G and I have been cordial and cooperative for their sake. 

Hi parents and the family that knows have been supportive and kind to me so far, I can't complain. 

I think I'll leave this here for now. Just an update on the direction life has taken me.


Thursday, September 12, 2019

Updates From the Crazy Desk

Good Morning, Afternoon, Whatever the hell time it is for you!

It's me again. Surprise!

There's been a lot going on the past few years, some of which led me to wander away from writing, or rather blogging in particular. I'm trying to get back into the saddle with partial success. 

One of the big news items I have to share with you is that I wrote a novel! Now, I can't find anyone interested in publishing it damn it, but I fucking wrote it and edited until my eyeballs fell out. And I'm proud of it. The writing, not the editing - because seriously, fuck 1 bazillion rounds of editing. I'm working on novel 2 right now. So technically this is also writing, just a very different variety. I miss blogging and this short concise (ok maybe) style.

Aside from writing, I started teaching piano again. More on this in a little bit. It's been both amazing and excruciating at the same time. Awesome because teaching and music fulfill me. Difficult because I was hoping to actually be able to make a living off of it, which definitely isn't happening at the moment. I'll take this though for now.

Daddy G "hired" me and I now do HR, Admin, Finance, and general everything he doesn't have time for or doesn't want to. It's a very difficult situation (more on this later too), but it's also been amazing in that I get to craft exactly the position I want and have some autonomy. 

I've made the decision to stay in India for the forseeable future. Now, yes, somthing may come up, but my plan is to stay here. I love it here, I'm comfortable, and best thing, it's affordable from a non-planning, non-saving point of view. Of course I'm trying to do both, but I'm starting from scratch at 38. Can you believe that? I'm fucking 38 already.

My kids are happy and healthy, and I was able to go home this year, which was amazing. 

I'm still struggling to get back into fighting shape and stay healthy.

The rest of my life is a complete mess of fuckery nonsense right now. I've made a lot of progress from last year and definitely the year before that, but ooooohhhhhh internets I have redefined hot mess. 

Daddy G and I are in the middle of a separation. Or rather we're supposed to be. There are so many problems with this I barely know where to start. In fact, I won't because I'm fucking tired of talking and thinking about it. But hey, now you know. So the complications have spread out far and wide, and I'm doing my best to get everything in order and move on from here. I'm not sure if I'll have a job or if things will get ugly. 

I'm also pretty sure I have PCOS. For those that don't know, it's when your body and your hormones scream FUCK YOU and go nuts. Like circus peanuts in a hydrogen bomb. Don't ask, I have no idea what that means either.  I've been doing extensive reading (yes....I'm one of THOSE people too), experimenting with vitamins/supplements, exercising, and trying to avoid drinking whenever I can. Now self love, discipline, and self care has never been a strong point of mine. I go through periods when I'm amazing and others when even I wonder how I'm still alive because I'm acting so retarded. Welcome to hard knocks in life - sometimes you fail. Just get up and try again. Every. Day. Blurgh.

Fortunately I'm still an optimist. I may have given up perfect, but I still try and I'm sure that life will even out eventually. 

So yeah. Super duper depressing post overall. Hopefully back with something more cheerful next time!

Friday, September 9, 2016

Let's Be Friends. Best Friends.

Mood: Serious Case of Meh.
Listening to: Two Steps Behind - Def Leppard
I was daydreaming about a train trip today. Since Daddy G's family sold off their house, we have no reason to take a train trip. Hyderabad was close enough to not be inconvenient, but still require going overnight. I miss it sorely. Hyderabad is one of my favorite cities ever and I love travelling by overnight train. Something undeniably romantic about packing, making food, sharing it on the train, talking because of no cell reception, and falling asleep to the swaying car thinking about life. One of the few times I indulge in unashamed romanticism. Gah. I am SO turning into my mom.
I'm not going to go into the whole backstory of how or why I got to where I am in life (see Here if you're curious), but living in India has definitely changed many, many of my opinions on friendships, relationships, and social dynamics. Before anyone starts screaming about me being a bigot, or a racist, or anything silly like that, let me assure you that my observations do not come from a point of criticism nor superiority. I am deeply enamored with India. Like with a lover, I see it and accept it with the good, the bad, and the ugly. These are only my observations. They're obviously not meant to be all inclusive of everyone and every situation.
Friendship has been something that has been eating my brain for the last 5 years. More specifically, cross gender friendships. The kind that involve a boy and a girl and no romantic connection. Can men and women actually be platonic friends? Truly close, but non romantic, nonsexual friends.
I can just hear all the husbands and wives screaming a panicked NO NEVER, especially my own husband. My mother as well. I used to find this knee jerk reaction very short sighted, but I've changed my views some as of late. Unfortunately, both my mother and my husband are usually right. Very annoying when people are right most of the time.
I've had guy friends that end up totally and completely frustrated because they just weren't honest at first about what they wanted or saw friendship as a way to get to something else. However, I think this is more about Indian guys than anything else. It's kind of sad because it seems to be mainly a communication problem. Take a look at this article on Indian guys and dating and girls. It hits the nail on the head:
I had many platonic friends when I was younger, living in the United States. In fact, I never had guys trying to be non platonic, so this was all very startling for me when I moved to India. Sexual dynamics here are very, very different from where I'm from. There's a noticeable difference in the term friendship both from a cultural and an age perspective, one that took me aeons to grasp.When a girl is talking to a guy here, especially a younger guy, there's almost 0% chance that friendship actually means friends, even though the guy will swear up, down, and sideways that friends is what he wants.
In a place where connections and "foot in the door" is tantamount, getting someone to agree to being your friend is an important first step, especially when coming straight out and asking for a relationship or sex is taboo. In this vein, friendship isn't actually that. It's an opening for the guy to try for a closer relationship later, or worse, purposefully misinterpreting it as an invitation for a friends with benefits situation.
It's an extremely frustrating situation to be in for both parties. Unfortunately this is sometimes impossible to know ahead of time. Not everyone is clear about what they want, even if you are.
These will be the same guys that insist that they not only want to be, but already are your best friend despite not knowing anything about you. The kind where something is just not right. The kind that take liberty with their hands because friends hug. The kind that have tantrums when you don't agree to move any and all boundaries because you are friends. The kind where you realize that they either have no idea what real friendship is, or don't care.
Then there's this whole epidemic of being "friend-zoned" that guys whine so much about. This concept has done so much to invalidate friendships between guys and girls. It gives the idea that a guy is entitled to any girl wanting him romantically and that girls aren't worth being friends with. The whole assumption that if she's not romantically interested in you that you've wasted your time or behaved well for nothing is just selfish bullshit and shows a stunning lack of communication on the guy's part. This is douchebag territory.
I think this mentality shortchanges both guys and girls. Even if you're not romantically interested in each other, there's a lot men and women can learn from each other, especially if that person is blunt.
Husband insists that guys really have no interest in being friends with girls unless there is some ulterior motive involved and that all the friendships as above aren't really friendships.They're just people you know.  Unfortunately, after having quite a few "friendships" of this type, I'm inclined to agree with him. This is actually the most damaging point to the case for friendship for me. You can't circumvent biology, nor mentality on this count, and men and women are designed to be attracted to each other and form romantic connections.
All this being said, it's obviously not impossible for men and women to be friends, the world would have been a very different place. If two people are clear on what they want and need from a relationship, and they agree, it can be an amazing connection.
If two people are able to be mature and communicate, there's absolutely no reason they can't be friends.
I've had some great guy friends. I absolutely love guys. I love the stark variation in talk and behavior from girls. It's lots of fun. Harmless flirting and leg pulling is also tons of fun. The kind of guys you can just go have a beer and an interesting conversation with. The kind that you get along with their wife or girlfriend too, if they have one.
In spite of the noticeably larger section of this blog, I'm still not convinced that guys and girls can't be platonic friends. What I am convinced of though, is that it will be an uphill and frustrating battle to find people that are on the same page as you.
As a girl, finding a guy friend worth your time and friendship will have you going through lots of childish, backward, straight up lying through their teeth men. You will get frustrated. If you're especially patient, you'll explain yourself many times to him in the hope that he gets it and will grow up and either decide to be your friend or tell you he doesn't want to and leave. You will have many exasperated conversations as to why you don't just love him like he so obviously loves you after he has invariably told you he wants to be friends over and over yet finally one day confesses that he has fallen in love with you. You will end up blocking a lot of people that refuse to understand that you don't want romance also. You'll even feel bad about some of them because you will like him as a person, but he just doesn't care or respect what you want from the situation. You will occasionally be horrified at the backward, entitled thinking that some men have that you can't possibly know your own mind nor what you actually want. All of this is horseshit and not worth your time because he won't change his mind, nor his objective.
An absolute lack of sexual tension on both sides is the only way that this kind of friendship will work. The problem with this theory is that it's next to impossible. Guys tend to have WAY lower standards and a much higher incidence of thinking sexual thoughts. Girls also tend to use friendship to get close if they like a guy, hoping it develops into more. True close friendships also foster intimacy, which can very easily be misread as interest or develop into *gasp* feelings. These situations tend to crash and burn pretty badly when the frustration level of the person interested reaches a level they can't tolerate any more when the other person doesn't reciprocate.
  1. Know what friendship is. Actual friendship consists of people with shared experiences. People that care for each other and wouldn't dream of using a situation to their advantage. Friends do not intentionally push boundaries nor make you feel stupid or guilty for knowing what yours are and sticking to them.
  2. Be confident in your definition of trust. If you can't trust someone, you don't need to be friends. Trust takes time, is earned, and absolutely cannot be forced. If someone insists you trust them or tells you your definition of trust is wrong, they're not interested in what's good for you. Walk away. Friends are willing to wait for trust to develop when the other person is truly comfortable. Do not give trust carelessly. If someone says one thing but does another, or swears it will never happen flags.
  3. Do not compromise on respecting each other. Period.
  4. Be Honest. If one or both of you are firm on only having a friendship, do not expect the other person to be ok with more, even if that's what you want. If you want a romantic relationship, find your balls (guys or girls) and just say so. Don't say that you're ok with being friends and then later act like the hurt party when they act confused as hell when you're upset that they don't want something else.
  5. Do not expect a friendship if an attraction exists on either side. Not impossible, but a huge uphill battle.
  6. Do not accept obligations or shitty behavior just because you are friends. Friendship is not an excuse to monopolize someone nor take advantage of them. Giving a friend your time, help, or anything else is a gift, not an obligation.
  7. Accept that if your friend is in a relationship, you will have to respect that. You will never come first nor have the entirety of their attention. Don't be a homewrecker, just don't be that person. If you catch feelings for the person, be a grownup and tell them and then take a big step back.
  8. If you are absolutely firm on never being more than friends, never, ever move from that an inch. It's not at all fair to be confusing yet expect someone to just know what you mean. Know your limits flirting, do not engage in sexual conversation, do not give the opportunity for thought that you may be interested in more. Do not dress up for that person, invite them to typical date situations (movies, moonlit walks, etc).

What are your thoughts? Do you think it's possible or not? How has culture affected the way that you see friendships with someone of the opposite sex?

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Find Yourself, Lose Yourself, Find Yourself Again - Hide and Seek in Life

Mood: Contemplative
Listening to: Sorry - Buckcherry

Oh hello there internets. It's me, the blogger that cannot seem to get her shit together. Adult or not. 

So I was randomly looking through the past 3 blog posts I put up. To be brutally honest, I can't even remember posting them. I was either that drunk....or just that forgetful. Both are equally possible. 

India has changed me in ways that I've never imagined possible, and not always for the better. Even though I wouldn't trade my experience here for absolutely anything, it's been a constant struggle with identity. In times past, I would daydream that my children would have identity crises. At least so the warnings go about marrying someone different. What "they" neglect to mention, is that you yourself go through an identity crisis, especially if you move outside of your culture/comfort zone.

I wear toe rings. Anklets. A nose ring. Silver bangles I gifted myself. A mangal sutra. Banjara jewelry. A western style wedding ring. Skirts, A dupatta over my head (and Guns N Roses tee shirt) most times I'm outside. I understand (to a certain degree) and live in a culture that's not mine. I have a love for culture, food, and interactions that most days I don't feel entitled to. On the same token, my own culture doesn't cut it. It doesn't show the whole picture of who I am. I no longer belong to that place either as I have been too far away and seen too much to fit in with ignorance of life as I now know it. 

My hands and feet sing as I walk. It's not my song, yet it's integral to the life I live. How does one reconcile that?

No one knows quite what to do with me, not that it matters. I've not lived for anyone else for a long time; I'm not about to start now. I found who I was around 25.  I've spent the last 4 years losing myself to a culture, country, and people that aren't mine. I've spent the past 2 months re-finding myself. 

I've come to discover that it doesn't matter what I wear or how I behave so long as I'm living according to what I value. This is easier to do when what you believe doesn't fall outside of the norm, which is why I still struggle with it. If I want to wear a skirt, Guns N Roses Teeshirt, a mangal sutra, and a dupatta on my head, that's my choice. It doesn't matter if its acceptable to anyone. It's my life - I'll live it on my terms.

There is so much missing to this story. Some of which I may share, much of it that I can't. Living life on your own terms when you vary from the norm is difficult - so much more so than you'd imagine, yet more rewarding than you can imagine.

My advice for those contemplating a choice in their life such as mine - and I do wish someone would have told me this even though I wouldn't have listened - is that it never gets easier. Ever. Even still, I'm proud of how far and where I've come from. No one can take that from you. If you're strong enough to know yourself and continually reassess who and where you are, it's tremendously rewarding on the same token.


Let's Talk About Feminism - And How Not to Fuck it Up.

Listening to: Irreplaceable by Beyonce
Mood: Stable and Positive

I was going to label this as a manifesto, but then again, no one really takes angry rants seriously. Time to get out the big kid underpants readers and tackle something heavy. We're going to act like adults and discuss it rationally. If you're not old enough to be reading about sex, for god's sake, what are you doing wandering around on the internet? Go outside and play.

So. Feminism, rape, gender roles, oppression and sex by proxy have been blowing up on the news as of late due to the very unfortunate Elliot Rogers incident. As I've no doubt mentioned many, many times, I live in India. Feminism as the western world understands it, does not exist here. There are a few small movements, but the overall culture here is far more repressive and violent than most westerners can imagine, none the less understand. So feminism has been on my mind for a while before this tragic event even hit the news. Historically, younger women (especially my generation) have struggled to define what feminism is, because it obviously doesn't have the same face as our grandmothers' feminism did fighting to vote. Let me quantify exactly what feminism means to me after long, and intensive contemplation.

Feminism is not:

1. Mysandry. This is hating on men. Men are not inherently evil (or any more evil than people are in general, which is another story). Many times, they are just as much victims (or unconscious participants) of cultural conditioning as women are. Aiming anger at men is not going to change anything and is counterproductive. A change of thought is required in both of the sexes.

2. Victimhood. I have heard far too much whining that we're being oppressed. While this may be true in some circumstances, I'm talking about the kind of whining that people do about useless stuff that they have no intention of trying to change.

3. Entitlement. I will qualify this as anything besides entitlement to equality/basic respect ideas. You are not entitled to a job just because you are a women. Nor are you entitled to expect a man to buy you dinner. Or a seat on the subway. Chivalry as it existed in storybooks is dead ladies and gentlemen. No one is entitled to anything from the opposite sex besides common decency.

Feminism is:

1. Equality.  In our attempt to make sense of the world by segregating by physical differences, we have forgotten that we're all humans. Perhaps at some point in the past, it made sense to see women as weak, or property, or whatever shit made sense at that point in time. However, just as science, math, philosophy, geography and economic theory have changed with time and enlightenment, so must our view on the sexes. We are definitely not the same, but we are all equals.

2. Not acting like an entitled asshole. This applies to everyone. If an old lady is struggling with bags and you're a girl - open the damn door for that lady. If you're a young lady and an old man gets on the subway, remove your behind and let him sit if he's so inclined. If you're a man, and an older guy needs some help carrying something - help out. The help/courtesy may well be declined, but it is still your responsibility to try. Girl, boy, whatever you identify as. Really, this doesn't need much explanation, but people do seem to forget this simple principle. It doesn't matter who you are - don't be a jerk.

3. Challenging the current environment of fear. This one is more difficult than the previous two. Cultural attitudes are sometimes almost impossible to change over the long term, not to even mention the short term. One of the biggest disservices that society has done to women is to make them fearful. In most cases, this fear springs from physical differences between the sexes. Men over all are larger and stronger than women. They are also equipped with body parts that can rape a woman if they are so inclined. This fear is not without a bit of justification, but has flown WAY out of proportion. Making women afraid of their own sexuality, normal interactions with men, and making women afraid of rape has made women move into a victim-hood mentality. This benefits no one. To be sure, rape is a horrible thing, which I wish on no one. The US has a horrible fascination with rape that leads to dramatic television series and dire warnings to women to be fearful. Again, this benefits no one. Girls/women should be aware of their surroundings, just as anyone should. Crime is not limited to rape - it affects both sexes. Being aware of your environment and being in control of yourself and your surroundings is just good, solid common sense.

4. Challenging Cultural Expectations of both sexes. This I feel is the hardest issue of all. As I mentioned above, changing these things takes an extremely long time and is very difficult. It also takes awareness on the part of individuals. All the time. I like to think of myself as an enlightened person, who thinks about issues. I still find myself carelessly applying labels like bitch and dickhead in my head when I get mad. It's a fight to not vilify or dismiss sexuality or body parts. How the fuck did we even get here??? Body parts are just that. We have 2 different sets for two different purposes. Labeling something as such doesn't refer to that, it refers to your inability to correctly insult something that bothers you. This is way too big of a point to actually be a  point. We'll conquer this a different way.

Look kids, sex, feminism, and and not being a dick apply to us all. Ladies, our feminism isn't the same as our Grandmothers'. That doesn't mean it's not important nor valid. It is. To a even greater degree. We've gained a bit of ground, let's use that to gain equality, not mess it up on stupid shit.

Women, there is no wrong version of feminism besides the one that vilifies men.  If you want to be a submissive housewife by your own choice, that's no less being a feminist than one who doesn't want a man at all.

The key word here is choice. Every woman has the choice to live her life as she sees fit, without involuntary submission or apologies to anyone. Every single woman has the right to chose her path, sexual or otherwise without the need to explain anything to anyone at all.

Ladies, support each other - suppression is the cheap version of competition. A quality woman doesn't need to put another woman down in order to succeed.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

This House Eats Shit.

Mood: Rum happy
Listening to: Stay – Thirty Seconds to Mars (live)

Let’s clear a few things up internets. Jared Leto in Thirty Seconds to Mars – Yes. Sweet baby eggplants  yes. That man has pipes that make me wanna weep.  Oh for god’s sake- not that kind of pipe you kinky wankers.

Second – My house does not eat poo. It eats stuff in a way that when I go looking for random things, they are nowhere to be found. Now, this may seem normal to you if you are a person who is not of the overly neat/organized/Martha Stewart Magazine/compulsive persuasion. Unfortunately, I am all of the previous adjectives. In my entire life, I have never lost so many things as go missing in this apartment. Not I forget where I put them, things are not where I left them.  I’m one of those annoying people that repeats that there is a place for everything and everything in its place. I know, I know. I really can’t help it – but I do try to keep that phrase in my head instead of annoying the sam hell out of the people around me.

This has a tendency to throw me off the deep end of crazy, because I just need to not not know where things are. Daddy G has spent many amused hours watching me throw stuff out of closets and drawers cursing, looking for something that I swear I left there the last time I saw it. The worst is electrical cords. I keep all the extra electric cords in a plastic bag. Most of them are free phone cords that we’ve received over the years from a new phone or the phone company, and I have no idea why I don’t get rid of them as we don’t even use our landline right now. So help everyone when a cord goes missing in my house – it will never, ever be seen again.  I’m talking worm hole opening up and the cord appearing in another dimension  out of the sky and smacking someone on the head type never seen again.

My family was lower middle class when I was growing up. Things were downright tight most of the time with both my parents working and doing their best. We grew up with a rather conservative estimation of what garbage consists of. Namely anything that is utterly destroyed and cannot be used for anything else. I have annoyed many a Salvation Army/Goodwill donation center insisting that surely there’s something someone can do with random odd items. Anyhow, moral is – I absolutely would not have thrown good and useful cords away.

My kitchen is another area where things magically move around. I think this has more to do with my new maid rather than the apartment itself, but seriously, how do you hide a 3 liter pot for an hour while I search and curse. My kitchen is not huge, let me assure you.

India has done wonders for me when it comes to chilling the fuck out about things I can’t control – which tends to bleed into absolutely every aspect of life here (the incontrollability, not my chill level). This is just one I can’t get over.

I want my damn HDMI cable back apartment. Also, kitchen, I want that spatula back.