Your school days

My last post was just shooting from the hip, as just getting started usually makes me want to keep going. But it did make me think of something I hadn’t thought on in a long time. All the little distractions and feelings of being in school. What was it like for you?

There are times I’m convinced that if I were a child going to school these days, I would have been diagnosed ADHD. I turned nearly everything into a toy and used whatever I could for a distraction. When I was a kid my mother had a policy of not buying anything for my sister and I that was too…”gimmicky”, like glittery sharpeners, or erasers in fun shapes, or folders with characters on them. Everything had to be plain colors, plain shapes, less we get distracted by them. Especially during those precious early weeks of school. Still remember the year that those mechanical pencil boxes came out- the ones with tons of little compartments, snap out sharpeners and erasers, and the funny smell of vinyl. When my best friend got one, I literally spent the first class that day doing nothing but pressing all the buttons and opening every drawer, putting pencils in and seeing how many would fit, hopelessly fascinated- until the teacher took it away from me. And that happened to me a lot.

Critters were always a welcome distraction in the classroom. Whenever we’d have a class pet, I’d spend most of the lesson looking over into the cage, wondering if the pet was listening and if he/she was as bored as I was. Or I’d imagine what school was like for them- you know, before they were sold to the pet store and made to go to human school. Was the pet a good student at his/her school?

Probably the only thing that got me to focus with all my ability was fairs and events. Book fairs, career week, science fair (my personal favorite), plays, parties- that was the stuff I lived for. Even now, the scent of a match still reignites the memories of helping my mother put away her students’ science fair projects, setting up the displays for the parents’ arrivals, skipping and sliding down the empty hallways when no one was watching. My sister and I, and the other staff kids would often get extra treats for having to stay in school for the science fair prep, and we made a lot of fun out of it- playing with board games from any classroom, messing with the gym equipment, being allowed in the kitchen (which was a strict no-no), and checking to see what kinds of books the older kids read (how sad I was to discover that younger kids generally had the better books). ┬áMy mind has done an excellent job of stripping the information I received from school away from the methods in which I learned it all (and, of course, that likely happens to most). But happily it allowed me to keep, rather intact, memories of the discoveries I made on my own, and thinking on it does give me something to smile about today.

Free writes

I can’t believe it’s snowing

Free write

Somehow this makes things really easy, just asking myself to type without filters. Well, without the obvious ones. I still can’t believe that after the ants came out, the birds sang their song, the squirrels fooled around, there’s a coating of snow on the roof. Yeah, okay, I’m breaking the free write to fix typos. Is it even possible to ignore them once you see them? Is that like an exercise in patience? I just can’t keep going if I see one, and obviously I don’t catch them all, but that’s like finding your phone on the floor and just letting it sit there while you mop around it. Ugh. No. Typos are evil. They feel evil. They get in the way of the way the words should be. Must eliminate typos. And yeah, ignoring them is so much harder on a computer screen. On paper, I can do it, mostly because if I were to try to correct pen mistakes, taking the time to white them out would break the writing stream. Heh, white out. I remember the days of white out. To me it was more like a thing to play with than a tool. Do kids even use white out these days? I don’t miss the classroom days, but it’s one of those times where I wonder how much things have changed.

Voice chats

Another step with talking

I have been trying to get myself a little less ‘fraidy, and things like this seem to be helping. If you happen to hear sniffles, forgive me- my allergies aren’t raging, but they’re sticking around some. More excuses for drowning myself in rooibos!


Like I needed an excuse? Bring on the red tea!


So blue

If blue were something to be…what would it be like? Would I feel as the color coats me, finds a way through my skin to make sure it matches what I am like inside? The weight of paint, the chill of liquid…outside, and it sinks me down. I can’t touch anything else, or it will become blue, too.

What shade will do? Grey blue, soft cerulean, or would I be a blue so intense that in low light it makes my eyes feel like they’re vibrating? This color has a smell, and it’s not the scent of sadness.

Or would the color come from the inside, like painless bleeding? Well, painless as how the flesh knows pain, but something is leaking. It’s still heavy, though.

Let the pigment wash off; that’s what tears are for. I’m ready to be another color, something light, though I know blue will always be part of the rainbow. Thank you, blue, for letting me experience you.

Free writes

Not what I’m used to

Free write

I kinda feel like I need to say this. I don’t intend this to be so serious all the time. I’m…well, not the best for seriousness, really. And it’s just kind of blank right now. All I know is, my feet are cold, my hands are cold, and I don’t want to move. Moving sucks. Or, at least, from where I am right now, it’s not an attractive proposition. So I won’t. Not for the moment. I can’t ignore typos. But I want some tea. Rooibos, to get rid of this sniffly nose of mine. Allergies. What I need is to go back to allergy shots. So far, my asthma has been less of an issue, which I hope keeps up as spring sets in. Although, all things considered, spring isn’t as bad here as it could be. Let’s see if I still feel that way once the cherry tree outside starts to bloom. More typing, more flowing, just to keep the words going. I don’t know where this is headed, or what I intend to do with it. It’s just chatter, really. So much of the things I’m reading, and I don’t want to be a source of pain. Nor do I want to tap into what is painful to me. It’s too easy to go there, and for the last several years, it never felt like I was more that two footsteps away from it. Why am I thinking of chapstick? No, not the lip balms I make, but Chapstick the brand, especially the ever hard-to-find strawberry flavor? I still don’t understand why it ‘s recommended for wind burned lips, when applying it only reminds you of the word “burn” in “windburn”. Ugh. More typing, more clicking, just because I can. Who knows where else this will begin to go? Reminding me of a dusty construction scene from years ago, when I was not allowed to use the word “dirty”. I haven’t done anything like that in so long. Okay, enough of the free writing. I am dying for some tea.


It’s just water

My head is bowed forward. My eyes are closed. It’s trickling down through my cheeks again. I know what this is. I’ve been here before.

Something about letting the water flow makes my breath catch, over and over. There is pain, like being squeezed by a rock, only on the inside. My hands are shaking, as the item in my hand comes loose. My voice is shaking, too.

I feel my chest heaving, and I wish I could stop it. Is this place helpful any more? What more is there to express? You’d think familiarity would make me resistant. But all it does is make me frustrated.

The memories take me in. The memories make me relive. The memories…make me laugh. I adjust the towel around my shoulders as I shiver.

I’m not there any more. Not in the place where water on my face was always a bad thing. It’s an early morning, I tremble in cold, and all the water on my face is just the remnants of a freshly washed head, the quivering and pain from leaving the heat of a comfy bath. “Do I have to get so danged cold every time I wash my hair?” I think as I pick up the comb my shivering fingers dropped.

Funny, how the water running down my face could transport me as they did. But this time I can smile with soggy cheeks. This time, there is no salt, no stickiness, no sorrow. This time, it’s just water.


Get uncomfortable

What’s on my mind? Seems like a simple question, but there’s too much there. Do you quantify it by weight, by size, by effect? It doesn’t matter. There is a lot, and more than I can define.

With so much of what has happened in the past several years, things around and within me, I’ve come to realize the truth of what I believe, and how strongly it affects what I do, as well as what I think I can do. And the belief I have internalized most strongly, likely as sacred a belief as believing the sky is blue, is that I am inherently and permanently inadequate.

Yet…it’s such a clash because I see myself inside and…I love her. My inner self fascinates me to such an extent that writing about it makes me feel rather silly. But she wants something of me. Her freedom. For so many years I took it on as my goal in life to protect her from anyone who would have her be different. And after such a long captivity, I was pleased when I realized she survived relatively unchanged. But she is not satisfied remaining protected. Now feeling safe, she wants to be free. And it terrifies me.

I hate the fear that has kept her bound for so long, yet…it’s safe. Will she die if she is exposed, if her spirit is allowed to inhabit my arms, my skin, my voice? She did once, when I was very small. And for her protection, I made a very diluted copy of her, the one who inhabits my body now. Maybe I’m scared for her death…and my own, should she be given freedom.

But there’s no lie that can swallow the truth. The diluted spirit that possesses me now…is already fading. While she grows stronger, it grows weaker. There is nowhere left to go. I believe her inadequate…and myself as well. If we were to merge as one…would the belief change?

To best fear, one must act in spite of fear. To best shame, one must act in spite of shame. There’s no easy path to adequacy for me. I must be content in the discomfort, breathe while in the unsureness, until I realize I’ve survived. Inadequacy comes when something is measured against something else. This time, there need be no sense of inadequacy when I’m the only thing against which to measure. A measure I already fill…adequately.