Saturday, November 23, 2013

The frustration of Newton's First Law

Hey folks. Today I'm going to tell you about a state I often find myself in, and why I absolutely hate it.

Newton's laws, at a glance, can be summarised as this:

1. Things generally like to stay in whatever state they are in. (Still objects stay still, moving objects stay moving)

2. The harder you kick it, the faster it goes.

3. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction (which people use out of context to justify lashing back on things)

And something I often find myself doing is being stuck in the in-between state. It's kind of Newton's first law.

Imagine for a moment that you are floating in space. Sounds cool, eh?


But you're floating in space, and there's nothing to act a force on you. This is all hypothetical, so imagine space with no gravity (like, none. No far-off planet to drift to, no sun to orbit around). You can't grab anything or touch anything, because there's nothing to push off from. Your space suit is totally contained, so the theory of being able to fart yourself across the void is also nullified. You're just stuck there, waiting for something to happen, unable to actually change any of your circumstances.

"This is less exciting than I was hoping for."

This is what I call the 'In Between', and I hate it. It makes me want to bang my head on things and shout and kick stuff but I can't because there's nothing to touch in the In Between, and nothing to change that circumstance.

I find myself in the In Between on days when I have nothing for the majority of the day and then one thing in the evening. I sit around and wait for that thing to happen, and nothing gets done because why would you bother? There's no time to get the thing done. You don't have enough time to invest in the thing before the other thing you have planned happens, so you don't use the In Between time constructively. You just sit there, pottering around, waiting for something to happen.

Last year, I did that for literally a week in the September holidays. I got back from Animania, and did nothing in the week between it and my 21st, because I had to leave Newie and travel home halfway through the week. It takes a lot of time and a lot of energy for me to hang out with people, so I usually need at least a day to mentally prepare for it, and if there isn't enough time like that to be prepared, then nothing happens.

And even an afternoon stuck in the In Between is enough to make me mad. I get to the end of the day, and look back, and realise that I did nothing with my day because I spent all my time waiting for something to happen. Imagine what it's like to be stuck in that void in space for weeks.

I end up in that space sometimes without noticing. I'll suddenly turn around, and there's nothing. Or it'll happen because I've finished one giant project and want to veg for a bit, and then I just stop. And can't start again.

Or, like right now, I won't be able to define my circumstances clearly. I won't know who I am, or what I'm doing, or where anyone else is or what they're up to, so I'll just float in my In Between space, perpetually confused but unable to get out of it because there's nothing to push off from.

So if you see me, and I'm looking confused and frustrated, but I can't tell you why, please define something to me. Something simple, or stupid. Something that can be made solid in the realm of space that I can either hang onto or push off from. Because otherwise I'm just sitting there, getting bored and feeling like I should be doing stuff when I can't.

And I'm of no use to anyone like that.


Sorry for the rant. It needed to be put out, and there it is, sitting out like Grumpy Cat on a bad morning with no coffee. I've got a long way to go to catch up with the novel and a dozen other things going on besides. I also finished Uni on Friday. Like, finished, finished. The end of the degree, finished. And as long as I didn't bung up anything this semester, they should be giving me the funny hat next year. I hope.

Gonna have to make something to wear to graduation.

Sneaky cosplay, here we come.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Me and the Hollow (Living Alone pt 2)

Hey folks. If you're a regular to the blog, you may have read the post I made about three weeks ago about the challenges I have involved with living by yourself. If you haven't read it, I might suggest hitting it up by clicking here. It'll help with understanding where I'm writing this from.

Also, I'm doing yet another post to do with hollows. Some days feel like maybe I should have renamed the blog to 'Gone Hollow' or something and just made it about Shirosaki. But leave my psychotic anime crush out of this; we're talking tonight over a tall shotglass of mead, about how I've learned to deal with things in my life that suck.

Sass. And psychotic. Brilliant combo.

It can kind of start with high school, the beginning of everyone's self confidence issues. Let's ignore the majority of it for now and I'll just put out that I was one of the nerdy ones. There were no nerdy girls in my classes. If you wanted the absolute nerdiest, there was Andrew and Christian and me. Andrew and Christian were best buds, and I eventually learned that people are difficult. So I copped slack for that. I also copped slack, or rather, didn't cop anything, because I was the plain one. It took a while for me to be noticed as a female by the lads, and very little went on there, so we'll skim over that too. In fact, in lieu of telling everyone how flipping awkward high school was for me, how about we just go with the obvious.

Brooke is short.

My Pop is tall. He has to duck under doorways, and I'm fairly sure I still stand below his shoulder. My Nan, and Grandma and Grandpa, are all short. In spite of 'tall' being a dominant genetic trait, I got the short end of the stick, so to speak. I stand at 5' 3"; the shortest in my nuclear family. It meant a few things.

It meant that I do enjoy climbing things more than other people.

It meant that I got used to looking up when talking to people.

It meant that when I started wearing my clompers (leather working shoes), which have like an inch heel on them, and then change back to flat shoes, I have to try and figure out why everyone is much taller.

It means that when I cook, I also get a workout, since getting stuff off the top cupboards usually means finding a chair or climbing onto the counter.

And it meant that sometime in recent years, I had to go "You know what? I'm short. Can't do much about it, so there's no point in getting hung up over it." It was like I had this mentality that one day went "Okay, deal with it."

And I did. Or had to. Or still am. Thankfully, people grow out of being jerks after high school, and teasing is rare and in jest. I've since learned that having a lower centre of gravity makes me more agile and it's easier for me to hit soft organs if I have to.

But that's not really the point of this post. No, the point of this post is me versus the voice that sits inside my head and heckles everything I do when it messes up, or when I take risks. Or when I do anything.

At the moment I'm cranky at it because I've got one particular hang up, and it's not dislodging nearly as quickly as I need it to. I've got everything due for uni in like two weeks. I don't have time for this.

But I digress. There's that heckler, and I hate her, and I know what she is.

She's me.

See, I think that's one of the hardest things when it comes to confronting your demons; recognising that they're a part of you. It's so much easier to blame their existence on your circumstances, or your upbringing, or your neighbour's cat, but that doesn't change the fact that they're inside your head, reading your thoughts like a newspaper left in the 'john.

And once you realise that that thing is a part of you, you have like, two or three options.

You can accept that it is part of you and be reconciled to it, moving on

You can accept that it is part of you and not be reconciled, leaving it behind

You can keep blaming it on the weather and wonder why it hasn't left yet.

And I've got things that have probably fit into all three categories.

The height thing I guess belongs to the first category. I try to chuck as many things into that avenue as possible, because the second option is a harder path to take.

The second path kind of only makes sense if you understand the human condition as a Christian does. We, as Christians, understand that we have a nature that will be told not to do a thing and immediately will go "I'M GOING TO DO THE THING!"
We call it the sinful nature and it's just that; that humans by nature follow the law of entropy and over time have really only gotten stacks better at being horrible to each other. We're corrupt.
There is hope for someone who talks to Jesus about it though; and I'm not talking about some kind of religious institution or works-based setup.

Religion is spraying deodorant on a corpse. Or spraying deodorant all over your body when in fact you need a shower. It might cover up the stench for a little, but it doesn't fix the problem.

The assurance I have with accepting and not being reconciled to one of my demons comes from knowing that Jesus lets me leave that part of my nature behind. I don't have to keep doing evil. I have the option of doing good now, and even when I mess that bit up (because fallibility is something I excel in), I'm covered by the same grace that cleaned up my rank smell. So to speak.

The third type of dealing with problems in the mind, complete rejection, is something I've done before, and will do again, and something I see in a lot of people around me. It is blaming the problem on an external source.

And sometimes that blame is justified.

But it doesn't do away with the problem, to blame it on something else and then walk away as if everything is solved by that. Took me like a year and a half after my first breakup to learn that one. If the thing has had such an influence on you that it's now taken up residency inside your head, you need to sort that thing out. And I'm not sure how you can do that; the method of the sorting is different for everyone. But realising that at least part of the onus is on you to do something about it, kind of makes you own the problem and want to do something about it.

And sometimes you can't do anything about that problem. Sometimes it's a small problem that can't be fixed - like my height - or it's a big problem that can't be fixed. But you have to get to that point of realising that the problem can't be fixed, so you have to change your perspective on it.

"Okay, I'm short. I'll just learn to deal with it."

Doing battle with yourself is not as simple as just fighting, but that doesn't mean you can just run away.

And sometimes it hurts to look retrospectively at the monster that lives inside. It means coming to terms with your ugly side.

Not going to lie, I hate having to do it. I hate getting to the end of difficult nights, exhausted and burnt out over something small or stupid, being unable to let it go because of my stupid pride or selfishness, or because I haven't felt that feeling in so long that I absolutely do not want to let it go, despite the cold hard fact that it's actually the best thing for me to do at that point in time.

But facing off against that issue, and realising that it is part of me, is crucial. It takes the claws out of the argument, and for a split second the heckler has been bathed in a spotlight, completely identifiable, because that's how you make a heckler shut up.

And once I can name the demon, I can tell it where to shove its brilliant idea.

Now, I'll get back to novelling.

Yes, friends, National Novel Writing Month is upon us. I'm behind, but writing a story about islands in the sky, and a man who can see the suffering of others. He doesn't have a lot of fun, but I'm enjoying it.
It's called Skybound. Eventually coming to a theatre near you.

Brooke out.