I’m Blue and Green. I’m Teal.

I’m sick. Like a virus crafted specifically for me from the bowels of hell and sent by Satan himself. I am in the middle of a class project on narrative writing for a grade 5 class. It’s due tomorrow and weighted at 25%, I am 7 chapters behind in my various classes, I applied for a grant only to find it closed. It was open yesterday.

I’m experiencing failure which is not a flavour I’m used to on my tongue.

I had to created a sample text of narrative writing that wouldn’t work but made me feel better:

“I woke up feeling red, I went to school feeling green, and feeling green made me blue. I’m teal.”

The pictures I was going to draw red = stuffy nose and tissue burn from blowing it, green = has always meant ill, blue = to feel sad and teal… well teal is both! I’m traveling to India in less than a month and I’m terrified. I have never left my province let alone my country and I have never been so scared. So I put it off. “Think of school” I say. But then school is rushing to a close with classes over on the 7th and I think “Oh no.” And I can’t move on and I can’t get past it and I want to be doing so much more and here I am. I am Teal.

It obviously not all bad but I feel like a hot mess and spiraling in and out of control. I’m irritable and cuddly and my husband doesn’t want my illness. I guess I’ll write my documents but I needed someone somewhere to know. To be able to remind myself “I sucks, but people care and you’ll be okay.”

So let me remind anyone who took the time to read this that I feel you. I am willing to understand. If you are struggling, I’m sorry. If you are celebrating, I’m glad.

Be well.

I love you, Ange.

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Getting over myself.

Mid-semester, each semester, Canadian university have a break called Reading Week. It was instituted to combat the startling suicide rates among the student population. So y’know what’s so freaking annoying? When your profs still assign projects over the break.

Imagine that!

Haha, I put off all my work until today. I’m a believer in firm boundaries and self-care.  Unfortunately, I’m pretty paralyzed by anxiety. It’s hard to convince myself that self-care takes precedent over academic achievement since it’s never encouraged. I really like being in education because I’m not the only one trying to fight the system and my anarchist view points are sometimes admired. I value my friends/peers/colleagues, whatever I’m supposed to be calling them, for refusing to do work over their beak! And for fellow teachers who refuse to assign work over holidays or long weekends.

My husband is a teacher like that. He teaches jr high science, PE, fitness, and we co-teach art. Unlike some of his peers, he supports students need for breaks in their life and encourages them to rest and play games. I think that’s cool and I wish my uni profs were more on board.

Over my reading week I taught some art classes and I got to experience junior high. Not my cup of tea that’s for sure! They are so funny and awkward and not comfortable in their own skin. I scared some of them by yelling with excitement. But I mean, what could I do? I was teaching them about colour and the many ways of applying it. I got along pretty well with grade 7. My hus-boy pointed out, that’s probably because I have a sister in grade 7.  They applauded me after my brief lectures and rejoiced at the artworks I showed them. They were quick to internalize and recreate what I was teaching. “This is incredible” I thought. I did that twice in the week and spent the rest of my own time cleaning up my studio. I mentioned that I’ve really been wanting to get back into the swing of creating art works.

What I love to do is draw. I always wanted to be a graphic novelist, but I don’t push myself very hard. So. I’m kind of a let down to myself. I really like to create stories to fill my boredom which is why I am a master story teller. My top 3 creations at the moment?

  1. Thinker and God; a short creation myth about God trying to create the universe and an “angel” of sorts, accidentally doing so. It’s supposed to really challenge notions of inherent meaning, purpose, and function. Aside from those heavy topics it’s to  acknowledge women’s unnoticed work by casting the creator as a woman whose creations are deemed useless.
  2. Jonathan and Pencil; this is my go to. It’s about a kid who desperately tries not to be bored because the first time he get bored his imagination spills out his ears and causes mayhem. His companion is Pencil, a pencil he pokes the imagine with that becomes a sentient speechless worm-like friend.  Jonathan’s stories (there are MANY) are usually set in school where he tries to avoid endless boredom that gets him in trouble because of Pencil’s antics (y’know that keep him from being bored.).
  3. St. Helena; a story about an 11 year-old girl who wants to become the patron saint of AI and her attempts to improve the daily life of those around her with robots that she builds. They are made of unconventional materials and are supposed to be inventive and draw on the everyday life. Example: She creates a breakfast bot that in the end can only make french toast. Man, I have to upload photos of some of that… I really like drawing them and adding to them. Hers is supposed to be a coming of age story as her robots mature and she gets closer and closer to successfully building AI.

Okay! I’m feeling really pumped to get some work down now. And It’s nice to share these stories.

Love you all! Ange Kid.

New Chapters, old flames.

Let’s be chronological for once. I graduated in April with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. I majored in sculpture? haha, I didn’t fit in so I was put there. Towards the end of my degree the environment became toxic. It was no one’s fault really, but I just couldn’t continue so I graduated, applied for education, and was accepted! So I spend my days in conversations about policies, pedagogies, and multi modal literacies. Ew right?! Except that I love it! I love every second of the structure and frustrations over their hilarious hypocrisy (teaching us how to be good teachers while being awful). The more things change the more they stay the same and all the issues I had with Fine Arts are still there but the personal issues aren’t, so I go through most days elated or bothered not in tears or wanting to run home to lay in my mom’s bed and rag on Grey’s Anatomy.

I’m planning on being a kindergarten teacher. I’ve taught many things to many ages, it’s the perk of being the oldest of 5 and of 11 grand children. Technically I am second oldest, but, we all agree I am the most responsible (I know this because I asked last weekend when i was home). So I’m learning to do something I find fulfilling and the best art is I’m finding the energy and joy to do art again. I am co-instructing art classes at my husband’s school and the kids there think I’m a riot

For the record. They terrify me.

Grades 7 and 8 art are a blast! And I spent most Fridays doing a volunteer program at a school where instead of shadowing a teacher they asked me to do a mural project with them. All because I’m “An artist form the university now studying education” were their words as they introduced me in an assembly. They have 400 kids. All of them now know who I am and greet me, hug me, and go “WOW!” when they seen me at work. It’s funny how amazed they are.

It’s really quite similar to my experience in Ed which is what is giving me so much energy. People are being amazed by me for just being myself. I speak and they are bewildered by the bizarre series and trains of thoughts I have. I am still plagued by an overwhelming sense of insecurity and fear that all of reality is an illusion, but I’ve met some great people. One of my friends has a degree in neuroscience and spends a lot of time listening compassionately to me and asking excellent questions. He is interested in me and the y way my brain works. He has really lovely solutions for my weird experiences. Another good friend did ecology with trees. I don’t know what the programs as actually called but he deeply cared for them and so we hit it off well. He has few boundaries and experiences little shame over bodily functions and is happy to listen to me discuss my diet and bowel movements and help me to adjust myself as needed.

ONE LAST THING! My friends are just very compassionate and really do love me. It’s the experience that I thought I would get in Fine Arts but it took toxicity to get me into the right environment. I still don’t really know what I want in life but I do know that I am falling in love with the past me that was a creator of things while moving forward from the really horrific emotional stuff that went on during my graduating year. It’s weird to think about. I was supposed to be having a blast and instead I was emailing profs advising the of my “domestic crisis”. I’ll grow up to be cool that’s for certain.

Love, Ange!

P.S. I haven’t been proofreading – just spell checking. I don’t have the courage to reread my thoughts at the moment. And I have so many assignments due next week and I’ve started zero of 4. hahaha… oh dear.

Once upon a time

Writing online I try not to censor myself. I then I hit Ctrl A and Delete.

Stories are hard because unless you can name all the characters your audience will be missing vital information but in naming them you tell their story. Most of my life drama started 368 days ago. I was out with a friend.

The story had to stop there because the other characters in my life story experienced it differently than I did, even after a year of talking some still do. I’ve spent a year wrapped up in emotional turmoil and questions about who I want to be and what I want in life and I haven’t found a satisfying answer yet. I have competing wants and needs and lately it seems they will always be incompatible.

I try to focus on the essentials: security. … but I could be here, I could travel home, I could be secure most places. I have that privilege. I run into an existential crisis demanding to know what value security has if the world could end, I could die, and I am unhappy. Most of what I think comes down to that. If we are all going to die what value are we attributing? Most media says things like “live your life to the fullest” “this is the only life you have” “live like today is the last day and the rest of your life” blah blah blah….

We place too much emphasis on decisions.

I often think “I should start writing a graphic novel about this” but when I go to start I realize that by writing it I have to decide about it. Some days I’m sad about what happened and other days I am happy to have experienced it. And also in writing about it I wonder if I would have to the name it. The elephant in the room that I describe as I feel. Mixing metaphors here but I am concerned about the multitude of factors in this situation and making the right choice and my fear has led me to make a choice of omission. by not doing anything at all I am here. I am secure. I am usually melancholy.

All my updates

I spent a long time grieving the end of  a relationship I still wish I could have. I started my Education degree, got over some site specific anxiety, and have committed to moving on. I’m travelling to India as part of an international performance artist’s residency. I’m talking about the intersection of art and education. I really don’t know what I’m saying there haha. I’m feeling fab about it. It’s over the break. My husband as bothered by it he said “It’s all of Christmas Ange.” But guys, it really isn’t. I mean, I’m really sad I’ll only be home for 3 days (23,24, and 25) before we travel to India. I get back to Canada the day before the semester begins which is hard.

I’ve never traveled internationally. .I’ve barely left my province. I’m scared to talk in front of adults. they are a worst fear of mine. I’ve been working in a elementary school on a mural project. The kids and staff are amazed by me. It’s all solidified in my mind that I want to teach Kindergarten above all else. I have had the opportunity to hang out with grades K to 3 and found that Kindergarten is my fav. They are exuberant and such great lights.

I’ve been absent from wordpress because of my paranoia. It’s a milder feature if my anxiety that convinces me that certain people read my words and internalize the and read into them and I put all my hope in it. It’s false hope. It’s paranoia. It’s a bad habit i a lot of ways. I used to write for me almost as a record of existence so I want to get more in the habit of that again.

I’m spending the night at my in-laws. It’s 9 and I’m exhausted. I’ve had half a drink and I’m feeling warm and melancholy. I think the best thing bout writing here is that I’m not afraid to let out my heart. My counselor has been encouraging me to work through undesired/intrusive thoughts by correcting them in my head and aloud but in my journal or online to strangers I feel comfortable letting my grief bleed. I did a whole art work about it. I did it over and over and I was in love for a long time. I still am but more heart broken now.

No one has ever broken my heart before. I didn’t know it would hurt like this. I remember the lat things we said, the day I left, the kind promises you made. I still love you. I still miss you. I will always want you to reach out to me.

I got another tattoo. it reads “doubt inquiry truth” in a 3 horizontal lines down my right wrist.

Love you, see you, talk to you soon,

Ange

Kids camp

Since moving to Edmonton I haven’t played the same roles I used to. At home I was a camp everything.  Over the years I had fulfilled most jobs and would spend weeks out at the camp my church owned just living the dream. That is if your dream involves being surrounded by groups of 30 kids in 30 degree Celsius weather. Fortunately for me this year I am involved in a VBS program. Vacation bible school for those who don’t know is a day camp hosted by church’s where the goal is to explore and learn about God.

I’m super pumped. I got a preschool group of 5 and I’m going to have the best time ever with them. This is a guarantee! I miss kids something fierce most days. I can’t wait to have some in my life but I have other plans first. Like getting a teaching degree to support some joy bundles.

It’s currently 3 am. My husband woke me up when he LOUDLY put down his water bottle. So now I’ve got to eat and put myself to bed again. This is another reason I’m not quite ready for babies but am so ready for a day camp. I hate being woken up. It’s a major pet peeve. I think it’s one of the most unnecessary things to ever happen. Especially in the middle of the night!

Well, I’ll keep you all updated about my kiddos and I love you lots!

Ange

Ambivalent

I remember hearing the word ambivalent in high school and finding myself obsessed with it. I love language and to have a word capture what I felt was everything I needed. Ambivalence is mixed feelings or ideas towards a person of thing, sometimes/usually in conflict. What a word to perfectly sum up people.

I wanna talk about a few things I’m still mulling over!

Ending things with a friend. I’ve talked a lot about them because even now they occupy a huge space in my heart. Simultaneously I love and dislike/am still angry/hurt by them. I want and don’t want them, I push and pull. Mostly I am melancholy and cry easily when they are brought up.

I’m felling ambivalent about my recent weight gain. I tried on my jeans since classes start in September. I thought I should know if they fit and whaddya know! they don’t come up past midthigh! I’ve bought the same size and brand of jeans for 4 years so it was shocking that they suddenly didn’t fit. I’m happy I have finally been able to put on weight, it’s sorta always been a goal. Keeping it on has been a different experience. It’s not gone away, so I’m living with increased size that no one notices but me. I used to have a 24″ waist and now I’m a soft 27″, and unbeknownst to me my thighs have pretty well doubled. In summer I wear jammies and dresses so nothing has to cradle them but now I have no pants that fit. See what I mean?! It’s hard to just accept this newness because it has disrupted my normalcy and sense of self. But I also don’t want to lose the weight. I quite like being able to sleep through the night without getting up to eat or getting sick each morning.

To top it all off I’ve never had to monitor or limit myself with foods or treats and now I’m fearful that this is an inhibited growth that will never end. So I’m questioning everything in my life still and just feeling kinda down.

And I can’t remember if I mentioned or not but a few weeks ago I was super down and wishing my friend would reach out to say “I still care too” and somehow they did. In their own way I feel they let me know. But then I had a panic attack because I had ended things and oh god it was the end of the world!!! Haha, but seriously. It was a great and terrible thing that uplifted and crushed me.

I’m seeing a new counselor tonight. Boy Wonder and I had another explosive argument that ended when he told me I had too much baggage and that he wasn’t talking to me until I saw a professional. I asked him to go to and he refused. After a few days I decided to move myself into the spare room. I feel like it’s reasonable to ask him to see a counselor if he demands it of me and so for the time being I guess we’re gonna be more distant. I think that’s a bad idea, but I also have no intention of giving in without reciprocity.

-Love, Ange!

All the flavours

I love baked goods. I love them in way that makes my toes wiggle and soft purrs come out of as I eat them. I’m serious about that – it irritates my sister to no end. I recently bought meringue powder, almond flour, and concentrated flavourings of rootbeer, wintergreen (oh sweet heavens it smells great), and crème de menthe. These weren’t the flavours I was seeking out. My desire it to create bubblegum cupcakes this summer. Pink with blue icing and gum balls on top. I imagine they’d be to die for!

I do heaps of baking. A good friend of mine is getting married in September and asked if I could make cookies. Of course! So I set out testing various chai sugar cookie recipes. I wanted  sugar cookies so I could cut and roll them. That is easily my favourite part of baking aside from icing. I’ll be making 100 pumpkin shaped chai sugar cookies for her special day. It makes me heart sing.  I also started exploring the street I live on. It’s fair;y busy and full of bizarre shops. I do mean bizarre. It’s been gentrified so older places or non-white establishments look decrepit which completely sucks! I have mixed feelings about gentrifying. It’s a complicated thing to run a city, but the point of this story is the bakery I found.

It’s website advertised goods made from fresh ingredients with actual French pastry making knowledge. I’ve found in the years I started baking my standards shot through the roof. I barely eat anything from a grocer anymore (I know, such a snob!). we  waled there this morning and I was immediately blown away. I bought just about one of everything. I adore baked goods.

And now for tangential joy I’ve had!

I dyed my hair red. It started as a test strand for when I cosplay as Poison Ivy (TBA) and quickly became “Oh wow look how pretty this is!”. Since then I’ve been putting on make up and curling my hair each day to look more like Poison Ivy. I’ve shocked a few friends.

My sister called this morning to ask me how to make icing. This made me laugh because I joked with mum about it yesterday. I called her and she sounded annoyed so I joked that she shouldn’t be annoyed with her only child who calls to socialize and that my sister only calls for help cooking. I swear she has called me 3 times to ask how to boil an egg. Thus, having her call about the icing was perfect. I use a real simple recipe. It’s fail proof too. 1/2 cup of butter, add 1/2 cups of icing sugar until 2 cups total, with a tsp of vanilla. While on the phone she told me she didn’t need the icing anymore and asked what to do with it which I just laughed at because she hadn’t mixed anything. She had only beat the butter… I mean seriously kiddo, toss it in the fridge.

So that’s all for now. hope you are having a super fantabulous day as well!

Love, Ange

Long nights are the worst

With finishing the basement our everywhere upstairs living space is crammed. Our kitchen table hasn’t been clean since we set it up and everything is always getting moved. I cleared off a chair in the basement to have some space. Another messy fight occurred the details of which I don’t want to get into. I’m getting pretty tired of being sad.

This morning the pastor at the church I attend was talking about milestones and celebration. all the times it happened biblically and the significance. I liked his question of “how do you mark milestones?” Honestly? I get tattoos it seems. I currently have three! When I was 18 I got hitsuzen tattooed on my left wrist. It was in a manga I read and was since as the driving force of everything – y’know since it means fate/inevitability/plot. I do believe in that type of phenomena though at the time I attributed it to a sovereign God. In the 4 years since that tattoo I’ve gotten more complex about it, but basic principles still apply. The second tattoo was my husband’s name across my ribs. Talk about a bad idea – just kidding, I live with no regrets. I want to always accept and understand the younger me who held those values. I also got that at 18. (I was married at 19.)

Fast forward to this past February when I got the Green Lantern ring tattooed in place of my wedding band. In a few short weeks I’ll be getting “doubt inquiry truth” tattooed on my right wrist. I’ve mentioned the meaning behind it but for those who don’t know! An old religious scholar felt the church needed to allow people their doubts so he wrote several volumes of questions Christians should ask themselves. His beliefs can neatly be summed up that if we believe God is truth all inquiry leads to God, and therefore all doubts are fine.

The more I’ve matured and messed up the more I want to believe in that. I want to believe in a destiny we can choose or defy, to have a driving force either way guiding us to truth. To commonality.

The markers of great change, joy, grief or major change are all laid out on my body. I like it that way. I have an unorthodox approach to objects and their aliveness and tattoos are like this mashup of literal embodiment. A concept which fascinates me. I could talk endlessly about it.

As always! I love you from the bottom of my heart.

Ange Kid.

Self reflection on love and fighting

Boy Wonder stormed out of the house a few minutes ago. We are fighting. We fight a lot, and usually about nothing (things that straight up don’t matter) and he always chooses to isolate whereas I prefer to escalate or extinguish my rage. I’d say we are emotionally mismatched. I’m volatile and dynamic while my husband maintains a near constant state with notable outbursts when it’s too much. I’m always in flux so I’m not bothered by it, but it’s hard for him to keep up and vice versa. That statue-like emotional state drives me insane. Any lack of emotional expression is torturous to me.

When things are too much I find out because he’ll suddenly start yelling, name calling, and swearing at me. Sometimes he breaks my things, but I once threw a pot of soup off a deck because we were fighting. (That’s comic relief, there isn’t any justification of violence or aggression) These incidents have to get pretty intense to scare. I’ve experienced worse. And I guess that’s what I want to talk about.

I want someone to value my emotionally explosive nature seeing the opposite but equal response is my highly absorptive quality.

My parents divorced just after my sister was born, before I can even remember them being together. I have abandonment issues but that isn’t unusual for children of divorce (or girls in general – that I’ve met at least). My dad was my hero but he was also a substance abuser. He was in my life on and off. Follow this into counselling and I’ve had counselors describe me with terms like “resilient child” and “ambivalent attachment”. I find them fanciful and encouraging regardless of their validity. I want to use labels to help me to find a way out of that particular box. I think if I can identify the qualities and master them then I’ll be fine.

The blursing (blessing/curse) of resiliency has generated indestructible relationships that I’m constantly putting at risk, AND a tendency for abusive relationships. I love deeply and intensely believing my relationships are indestructible. So I get taken advantage of. Emotionally controlling people fall for me and I for the because of the thrill. I’m determined to love the worst in people but don’t want to be loved the same way. That’s the insecure attachment I have. (look up forms of attachment. they’re so cool)

As for the ambivalence (maybe not the best word), I’ve understood it as my ebb and flow but rooted in insecurity. I adore the people I love, but feel uncomfortable with their love at a certain point of closeness. I want to be adored and worshiped for surface qualities. Love me immediately forever. So long as their love is surface love it can’t break through the impenetrable shield protecting my heart! The harder people try to get deep in love with me the more I back off or become enraged or disgusted. It’s hard. I want love but I want it far off and only on my terms. And MAYBE! none of this is true. Maybe this  a normal experience of loving. I don’t know. I just know that I have a hard time with sincerity. I get blindsided believing I’m friends with people who actually don’t like me, or I’m trapped in manipulative relationship. I’m determined to love even if it means falling on my own sword unless I really feel loved – then stay away from me.

High intensity mixed with emotional baggage of wanting but not feeling happy/worthy(?)/wanting of love I am a puzzle. But so are you… right?

As for this morning, We fought about drywall. We are finishing the basement and I told Boy Wonder I don’t want to work together if (then he interrupted, very upset I was rejecting him) “IF” I SAID! if he wants to do it “his way”. I don’t like working together because the potential judgement and correction. Don’t tell me I’m wrong. Just fix it. So then he said he doesn’t want me to do it at all and put in headphones. I told him I was feeling hurt and I wanted him to care, so he left the room. I waited a few minutes and followed telling him I was hurt and wanted him to choose to stop hurting me. Then he repeatedly slammed a door in my face (our door doesn’t latch shut so it’s easy to repeatedly slam if your wife pushes it back open to talk to you.). Finally, he stood with his back against it and I told him to leave. I asked him not to come back. I also asked him not to drink. That’s a whole other bag of trauma hahahaha.

Sorry if this was more than you were looking for but, guys, I gotta have someone in my corner understanding me.

Love always, Ange.