a left-eyed girl

living in a 2 dimensional world

Archive for August 2010

Five on Friday: The week in review

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I’ve had a stellar week, guys. Really, it’s been pretty amazing. I’ve had my same old routine, but had a few very nice firsts that have put a wide, toothy smile on my silly little face.

Really.

I cannot complain about my life. I really can’t. Life is good, life is amazing. This week has shown me how to embrace what I have.

1. Practising being alone

Not only am I an an incorrigible extrovert, but I am also somewhat co-dependent on people. Knowing this is in my nature, I’ve been practising being alone, learning to understand how to be by myself. I am slowly learning that solitude is not something to be afraid of. It’s difficult, and I really want to be with people most of the time, but I’ve completely run myself ragged the past month or so and I really do need the downtime.

Hey, I even managed to go to a restaurant and eat alone this week. Big deal for me. And I didn’t even resort to being on my phone the entire time. I actually sat by myself and just ate my food like a normal person.

(Also, I completely love this .)

2. Checking things off

I have a list of rides that I would like to do around the bay area. I didn’t used to have a list, but now I do (go figure). One of them was to ride up to Twin Peaks, so that’s exactly what I did yesterday, and solo too (see number 1 above). There was an incredible amount of fog and it was so cold that I could barely get my gloves on when I was up there, but it was worth it. I felt like I conquered something big.

Oh, and the ride down was way scarier than the ride up into the fog. I rode the brakes almost the entire way down and slowed to let cars pass me so they didn’t ride my ass for the entirety. But man… so worth it.

3. Disconnecting ever so slightly

I love my mobile phone. I really do. And yet, I’m trying to reduce my dependency on being so connected all the time. When I’m at home, I have a laptop that has internet. When I am on the train, I have a phone with MobileWeb. When I get to work, I have a computer that is hooked up online. I am so connected it’s sickening.

Reflecting on that a bit, I started to ask myself why I needed to use my phone between home and work? I spend just over an hour commuting everyday, between the bike ride to the station, the train ride, and the bike ride to work (the sweetest 20 minutes of my morning). On the train, I used to catch myself reaching for my phone to check my email (as if an important email has somehow arrived), but lately I’ve made more of an effort to stop myself from doing that. I really don’t need to be so goddamn connected all the time.

Besides, I’d rather knit or read on the train or chat with my commute friends instead.

4. New territory, new people

I did a ride out in east bay this past weekend and got to meet a bunch of bikey folk that I mainly know online. I really love exploring a new area, and east bay by bike is the new frontier for me. I haven’t lived there since college, and I didn’t have a bike at the time and didn’t really out so much either (other than taking the bus to SF sometimes). I was much less of an explorer back in college.

Riding around with a group in Oakland really reminded me that there are lots of new places to explore. I’ve never been one to resort to the comfort zone, so I’m really quite excited to go there and explore more. And hey, I can combine this with my introvert project and do this alone too.

5. Love and life

Ah life. I really can’t express how lovely this past week has been. I’m so happy beyond words. I feel loved and treasured by the ones I love and treasure. There are new people in my life that I am excited to get to know more. There are old friends that are just so easy to talk to. I’m getting to know myself more, and to understand my own inner workings. I’ve been riding my bike with a giant smile plastered on my face, sometimes singing aloud to myself. I feel carefree and amazing.

Written by Reese

August 13, 2010 at 11:00 am

Posted in just life

One hill at a time

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Since moving up to SF, I’ve been slowly trying to acclimate myself to the hills around. They’re really not so bad if you know the right way around and you’re in the right mindset. When I see a series of hills ahead of me (each steeper than the block before it of course), I just take them one hill at a time. You can’t look too far ahead, or it’s demoralizing, but at the same time, you can’t think of each block separately because then you might not be able to pace yourself correctly to make it up the whole set.

It’s hard balancing this stuff out.

I used to be much more cautious when it came to hills, always reserving energy and going very very slowly, but lately I’ve been feeling more confident and much stronger, so I’ve been climbing them more quickly and efficiently. I’ve found that it’s all about keeping up some kind of rhythm and keeping an upbeat attitude about it. It’s tougher to succeed at this if you go into thinking that there’s no way you can make it up the hill. It’s also about understanding your body and listening to it. You have to know when to slow down because your legs are going to be rubbery in a few minutes if you keep it up.

Well, it’s just about getting up there, one hill at a time.

Tonight I head up Twin peaks. Wish me luck!

Written by Reese

August 12, 2010 at 4:59 pm

Posted in just life

Five on Friday: The search for inner peace

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I’ve noticed a trend in my recent reading material; I’ve been reading a lot of books about people searching for spiritual enlightenment. I don’t exactly know why I feel like I need to read these books right now, but they do feel very appropriate. It feels so corny, but I do need to find some kind of peace with some parts of my past. The problem is that, for the most part, I’m afraid of resolving them. I feel like I need to retain these experiences as a part of me and that if I resolve them, then do they go away and I start to lose a critical part of my identity? I know it doesn’t really work like that, but it sure feels like I would be wiped clean and then what? Can I still exist without my past? Can I still define myself if I let go of what’s happened? Do I need to define myself? Can I just accept that I simply am?

But enough of these open-ended questions that only I can answer. Let’s get straight to my weekly list. I don’t know that I have any wisdom to impart, but here are 5 statements I’ve been telling myself recently in an effort to find some kind of inner (albeit temporary) peace.

1. Peace is attainable if you allow yourself to find it.

2. Different methods work for different people. Don’t scoff at the path others choose and don’t let anyone scoff at your own path.

3. You are responsible for yourself. Other may affect you, but you ultimately control your life.

4. Balance is crucial.

5. Love, of others and of yourself, is essential. Most importantly, love yourself and remember that you are loved.

Written by Reese

August 6, 2010 at 9:53 am

Posted in just life

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I am quite the slave to numbers: I like to record and interpret data. Maybe this is why I ended up majoring in engineering in college. It’s certainly as good a reason as any to start doing something. I don’t have any grand dreams of changing lives as we know it. I just like to get my assignments, do the work, and get a result (which may or not be the one we set out to prove, but it is a hard result nonetheless).

Engineering is quite definitive. I can figure out the best ways to make something, calculate all the risks involved in the different methods, and collect and interpret test data. It’s very cut and dried, but maybe that’s why it lacks some kind of soul.

Am I a soul-less type then since I find engineering to be quite enjoyable, discrete, and safe? Perhaps.

My penchant for data collection spills over into many other aspects of me life. I think I mentioned yesterday that I like to write down everything that I eat. I keep a rather detailed log of everything. It’s only in the past year or so that I started to slack off and not record everything, but for the most part, I write down what I ate and approximately what time it was.

Yes, it may seem ridiculous, but it is a useful tool that helps me keep a check on my weight. While I’m sure that I could probably get away with maintaining my weight without keeping a detailed journal, I have gotten into the habit and now it’s a bit too late to stop. I am also a bit afraid that if I do stop, then I will magically blow back up over the course of a few months.

I like my size. It is a good size. (The shape isn’t too bad either, but could always use some refining.)

Sometimes when I’m bored at home, I will put on one of our movies and let it play in the background while I’m doing something else. I recently watched Aronofsky’s Requiem for a Dream, one of my favourite films. I love the music, the characters, the way it was shot. It also reminds me how far my life is from such suffering, which of course makes me feel a little safer in my little cushioned world.

And yes, I can admit that I do live in a cushy little world.

I’ve always been a tiny bit obsessed with weight and appearance (of course, while completely ignoring my fatness of years past). Since managing to wrestle my way into the "normal" BMI range, I have noticed that I am more obsessed and self-critical than ever. Sometimes I inspect myself, watching the bones and tendons under my skin. I will poke at the fleshier bits of myself and watch those areas carefully as my weight changes.

Requiem has a cast of beautiful (and quite svelte) drug-addicts. They definitely captivate me in terms of the gorgeous thinness. You can see it in their protruding browbones, the hollowness of their cheeks, the thin chords of collarbones stretching from side to side. It’s so unhealthy looking, but so appealing and beautiful. It’s the glamorous side of drug-addiction, before they start looking really strung-out and shaggy (well Ellen Burstyn does get quite strung-out looking).

So yes, now I wish to see the hollow in my cheeks, but I wonder if this is what I should be doing in the first place. When I first lost the weight, my random goal was to see that one bone on the outside protrude from my wrist.

(By the way, this bone is called the pisiform.)

For some reason, this was what I considered beautiful. To see that bone, delicately poking out of the side of someone’s wrist was beauty to me. Of course, this bone now sticks out on my wrist. I admire it from time to time and I think about how my wrist used to look, thick and fleshy.

I much prefer this bonier version of myself, and it seems that just about everyone who knows me also prefers it. Well, I’m technically not any bonier than I used to be, since I have the same amount of bones as before. But yes, I am quite visibly bonier compared to the chunkier version of me.

But of course it is not enough.

(Will it ever be enough?)

I’m on a quest to keep pushing myself, to find the limit, and then go a little further. I always have to toe the line like that.

Written by Reese

August 4, 2010 at 12:03 pm

Posted in just life

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Franny missed his flight so he won’t return until tomorrow morning. I wasn’t that worried when he rang me to let me know what had happened since I figured his office would take care of any additional expenses involved in getting him home. One more day apart won’t kill us.

Or will it.

I’ve been strangely lethargic today. Maybe it’s because I’m tired because I was up late, or maybe it’s because I’m eating the wrong things. Today has been a licorice kitties sort of day and so far I’ve eaten 20 of them. Yes, I’ve counted them and noted them all down. I take them out of the bag, five at a time, and line them up on my notebook in order. I let the flavour of the previous one fade a bit before I put the next in my mouth. I feel like that’s more respectful than just tossing them in as soon as the one before is gone.

Respectful? Yes, I realise these are cat-shaped licorice candies, and nothing that requires being treated with respect or dignity, but somehow I feel like this is just the right way to do things.

Recently, I bought several books that I am excited to crack open and blow through. I’m hoping they are all going to be quick reads so I can ravenously absorb them in a few days and then let them sit in my head for a little while. The last new book I read took a long time because it was extremely thoughtful and difficult to process quickly. I wanted to savour it, to make it last. It was one of those books, but it was worth it in the end. I felt jumbled up on the inside, but I think that’s good.

I don’t like feeling too satisfied after reading something, such as when the plot is completely enclosed and tied up nice and neat like a handy present wrapped in ribbon and maybe some pretty, delicately-patterned Japanese paper. I prefer to read those books that quietly infiltrate your life, cling to you, and possibly become a smart part of you. You can choose to fling it aside later on, but for a while, it hangs on you, gripping tightly on a small piece of your soul.

Like a monkey. On your back. But not.

(I need to get back to writing, not just to document my life and what’s been going on, but more of the stream of consciousness style of writing. I feel like there’s more going on there. It’s less focused, less coherent, but somehow, it gives you a better idea of the author.)

But yes, back to the open-ended book endings. Life doesn’t come in discrete packages. If it did, then it would be a lot easier to jump from one part of your life to another. Beginning and ending friendships wouldn’t seem so traumatic. My past relationships will always affect my future relationships. Maybe my untrusting (this word is apparently misspelled and one of the spelling suggestions is: uninteresting) nature will eventually change, but it may take forever. After all, how am I supposed to think the best of people when I have inherent mistrust of them? Who says that I need to resolve these two seemingly contradictory statements?

Maybe I don’t need people at all. Sometimes I think that I could go about and live alone and not want to be with others, to constantly crave friendship and connection. If I didn’t have to be around people, then I wouldn’t have to trust them, and I wouldn’t have to make myself vulnerable to them. Then I wouldn’t be hurt and I wouldn’t sit and wonder about others. The last few times I’ve extended have met with failure, so maybe I should just wait for others to want to hang out with me instead. Play the waiting game, let others make the moves, and I’ll play along with them.

I’ll try this new experiment for August. I’ll see if I can go about not forming plans to see my friends and see what happens. Of course, if someone asks me to do something, I should say yes if I can because that would just be rude. I will simply need to refrain from planning anything myself for the rest of the month. This is going to be difficult, perhaps harder than I can possibly know right now.

Be agreeable. Be available at their behest. Don’t force yourself upon others. Don’t create expectations.

People do what they do, so let’s see what happens.

Written by Reese

August 3, 2010 at 5:09 pm

Posted in just life