Some one once told me that my life was a blank canvas and I was free to paint across it whatever crossed my fancy. But at the end of the day, I had to deal with the art work I created. In other words, while it was my masterpiece, it was also my mess and mine alone.
What this person failed to tell me is how hard it would be, how intimidating it may be, to pick up the brush and make the first stroke on the canvas. Oh not physically hard. No that’s fairly easy. The hard part was shutting down my own fears and questions and just go for it.
No one told me that I would be my own worst critic, harshest judge and therefore prevent myself from fully painting my canvas unless I chose to do so. Eventually I did. But not before I missed options to grab pigment and ideas because I was too busy worried that the color would be wrong or the stroke wouldn’t compare.
You see dear friends, I forgot that I was painting the canvas for myself. Not for someone else to view and judge. In some ways that might be easier. But once I let go of what would someone think if there was a splash of blue here and dot of green just over there, it was easy.
I wonder how much fuller my canvas would be now if I didn’t hesitate so much. I wonder if my strokes would be different or if I would have picked up the pallette knife and just gone for it. But as I wonder, I’m missing time on filling my canvas with other lovely colors, ideas and strokes.
What does it take for you to feel secure and safe? Is it a number of locks on your door? Perhaps an alarm system in your house that is set to all your windows and doors. Maybe it’s a large dog to keep watch. Or perhaps other humans pulling watch duty in rotation. Then again perhaps it’s just the right address, on the right side of town on the right side of tracks. Maybe that’s all it takes for you to feel secure and safe.
There was a time when it was nothing to feel safe. Just knowing certain people were there to take care of me, chase the monsters from under my bed and do all the worrying about the big stuff. Of course as I went out to explore things a bit more beyond the comfort of home, it took different things to feel safe. Such as walking in a group when it was dark, and the lighting was poor. It was knowing that I could run to safety if needed. It was looking the door, slamming a dead-bolt and securing windows.
But when you have been harmed in some way, it may take more to feel safe. It may take a village of sorts to help you feel safe and secure. Frankly after a traumatic experience I literally wanted a bolt hole or priest’s style hole. Just some safe place, hidden, that I could lock myself into if needed to avoid harm and such. Of course, I didn’t get it. And over time, and a lot of rethinking of things, I was able to come to terms with the violation of my space versus what happens to some people. But do I feel safe and secure? Not always. Not always even if Beloved is home.
I should let it be known, again, that I am deathly allergic to math. I start to sweat, my knees grow weak, my throat swells up and my brain flees the confines of my skull when I am exposed to the stuff. However over the years I have developed coping skills so I can be around the basic math. Once fractions come out I start to feel shaky and I know better than to push my luck.
Imagine my surprise when I signed up for an online course working with software, not developing it, and within the introduction, the facilitator cheerfully announced that we would be using our math skills. Beyond the basics even. Stuff like trains traveling on different tracks leaving at different times and having different speeds was the beginning point of the math.
As the introduction continued the facilitator happily announced the need for understanding calculus because of course that’s an every day use right there. By this point sweat started to form, cold chills left me shaking and if I had to stand up I knew my knees would give way. The question became one of survival, did I stay signed into the class and attempt to use my weak coping skills with math or did I do the smart thing and leave before I killed myself with too much exposure?
I stayed in the class thinking that surely I’d have a firm grasp of how and when to apply my coping skills. Except I don’t. Because you start talking in math terms and I start to feel my throat close up while my brain searches for the nearest exit. But I will stay in the class if for nothing else than that I should get a bit better coping with these horrible confrontations!
Over the years I have had my palms read, my aura read and my tea leaves read. Today I had my coffee grounds read. Yeah who knew this even existed, certainly not me.
The idea is you make a pot of coffee with grounds thrown into the bottom and of course when your pour it out, grounds end up in the bottom of your cup. After you’ve consumed your drink the grounds stay there and a trained reader can educate you about your future.
I can tell you that this reading was much like all the other ones I’ve had, a lot of vague references about the future which can be interpreted in several different ways. That way the reading is surely accurate, you see events unfold in a manner that is self-serving. Or at least in keeping with the reading.
Regardless the idea that anything can offer us a glint of hope for the future or maybe just a small slice of what the future may hold is always fascinating. Not because it will show the future, rather because it touched deep within our subconscious and laying bare our hopes, dreams, fears and such. In other words it says more about us than the skill of the reader. And in my case the vague statements revealed to me my anxiety, excitement and concern about what the future may hold for career, health and general life. I didn’t need a reading to know that, but it was intriguing all the same.
The only true way to learn a language, I’ve been told, is to immerse yourself in it. Immersion forces you to learn the language in order to be understood, to communicate and so on. The problem with immersing yourself in a language when you are an adult is that it is, well, frankly overwhelming at times.
I know this because I’ve watched a few friends boldly take the plunge and move to places where English is not only not the native language, but is not commonly spoken. And they have all said it was hard to get across basic things, like ordering food or drinks.
When we are younger being immersed is a good thing, it is painless. We are blank pages waiting for words to be written across us. We are open and receptive to learning and being immersed. But a strange thing happens as we get older. We struggle with being open and receptive to this new thing.
Beloved struggled to learn a new language. Beloved is a highly educated and reasonably intelligent man (actually highly intelligent, but whatever) who struggled to use the new words rather than reverting back to his native English. He struggled to express himself properly in the other language.
He told me later on it was definitely a humbling experience because he went from being someone who has been a university lecturer to being reduced to a toddler with the words he was provided. He felt lost, unable to fully express him and he said his lack of these things made him feel less confident. As he put it, “no one is going to ask (me) what color my socks are”, it’s going to be a harder question that I won’t be able to fully answer”. He still feels that way, but perhaps had he immersed himself in the language he might have stood a better change with this. Except he didn’t feel he could do immersion, not with work and such. Plus he said immersion made him feel like he’d be in a blender of sorts, making his two languages confused.
I’m not good at being sick, which is funny considering I am chronically ill and have sickness issues on a fairly regular basis. Still, no matter how much practice I get at being sick, I am still no good at it. To be honest I’d be fine without ever getting any more practice at this. And I am totally okay with not being sick either.
I suspect that this comes as a surprise to some people and to others it’s just a case of my stubbornness. If I could find the person who said I need more sickness in my life, I would probably have words with that person. But alas I cannot find one single person. And it’s that time of year when there are hordes of sick people to found anywhere and everywhere. Heck they will find you even if you don’t want to be fine. Trust me, I’ve tried to hide from them.
Beloved half laughs when I demand a sealed bunker, but when you have a crazy immune system and take chemotherapy to try and control it, well those sniffles suddenly become rather threatening. Your wee sore throat gives me the heejeebeejees. Your minor cold makes me shudder in fear. I’m terrified of getting sick enough to have to head to the hospital. Hospitals are full of sick people and we know how I feel about them!
So please, if you see me avoiding you like the plague, or holding a can of Lysol to spritz you down with prior to getting near you, do not take offense. I just don’t do sick well.
Beloved can be, well, unusual at times. In fairness we all can. So when he came into the house and declared someone was going through our trash I just kind of shrugged my shoulders. It isn’t like we have exciting trash. Mostly just food stuffs and dirty paper napkins. The odd wrapper and lots of dog poop.
We tie out dog poop up in little baggies once we pick up after her. Which is right after she’s decided to do the deed. So I mean honestly if someone were to go through our rubbish, have at it. But to Beloved this isn’t good enough. First he wanted hard proof someone was going through the rubbish bins and secondly he would want to know want they were looking for.
Beloved being Beloved, he set up a covert camera and trained it on the trash cans. Within a few days he had his proof, there were two individuals going through the bins. They were not successful in finding whatever it is they wanted to find as they walked away empty-handed. And while they did go through the trash, they sort of tidied it up when they were done.
Still I was unnerved that someone felt s need or desire to go through my trash so we called local law enforcement and shared the footage with them. And that’s why we now have law enforcement do random checks throughout the day. It’s also why Beloved has someone with him at work now too. Just until we know what’s going on, because free speech and the right to associate with who you wish is never really free. People will try to exact a cost, such as a career or a life if need be.