juushika: Photograph of the torso and legs of a female-bodied figure with a teddy bear. (Bear)
Cruises are indeed the new anxiety dream. I don't really have words for this—I could string together some profanity, but that comes across as more energetic and humorous than I feel following the worse nightmare that I've had in a long time.

Dear Brain: Yesterday I worked on getting unsick, and we watched some really entertaining DBZ episodes and played a lot of Fragile Dreams. We had a good day. Everything was calm, the media was engaging, we spent time with Devon when he got home and that was good too. What exactly are you trying to work out via imaginary screaming fights with wait staff about whether or not I'll be able to get a goddamned vegetarian dish for dinner the next night? via imaginary screaming fights with relatives about whether or not I even have the right to ask? I know you're never really happy, and that I've been more exhausted than usual while sick and that can't be good for you either, but ... still. Yesterday was a good day. I don't understand why you did this. I really don't appreciate it.

I'm going to watch DBZ and play Fragile Dreams, now. (I'm nattering a bit about Fragile Dreams over on my gaming Tumblr, in case you were curious. It's awesome.) I'll read a bit. Actually I think I'll shower first, wash this mess away. I'm going out to Starbucks tonight for some out of the house time. Nightmares don't really get to me in the way they used to, I'm too familiar with them now—which, come to think, may have more to do with my improved acceptance of dreams than anything else. I can move past this one. But it was still a fucking miserable way to wake up.
juushika: Screen capture of the Farplane from Final Fantasy X: a surreal landscape of waterfalls and flowers. (Anime/Game)
I've never approved of the message "it gets better" as a way of surviving suffering. It's well-intentioned, but it teaches that suffering must be borne rather than changed, that everything depends on the hope of miraculous salvation. It's a toxic message—and I say that because for a long time, things didn't get better for me. The more that I depended on the promise that they would, the more I suffered: from the mental health issues that surfaced at the end of high school but oh, don't worry, it gets better when you graduate—through the first two years of hell at college but oh, it'll be better at a different school—collapsing utterly when I transferred, and reaching the lowest and most dangerous period of my life. It destroyed my hope, to be constantly promised a brighter future and always denied it. And as powerful as hope is, its absence is stronger.

I don't believe in promising that it will get better, if you just live through this, last until then, and wait for everything to change. I believe in supporting people in the now. I believe in not waiting out suffering, but trying to combat it.

Which is all well to say, but the truth is that I spent so long hurting, depressed, and hopeless that not only did I no longer believe that it could get better, I was afraid that it would. The higher I was, the further that I had to fall. For years people told me that I was afraid to be happy, and the truth is that they were right—because if even hope could hurt me, then imagine the harm that happiness could do.

I'm happy now, and it scares the everloving shit out of me.

I just spent a long weekend visiting Dee ([livejournal.com profile] century_eyes) up north. I met her family; I stayed in her house. I met Lyz ([livejournal.com profile] sisterite) on Saturday, for the first time since we became friends six years ago.

Each time that something like this happens, I'm certain that I'll fuck it up. I'll be quiet and boring, or desperate and self-conscious, and I'll definitely forget to say things and fail to be the engaging, intelligent individual that I purport to be. I'll be boring and boorish and awkward, and there will be no spark after all. There's such anticipation surrounding these things, you know—and there's always a fear, my fear, that it will turn out so mundane, with no magic at its heart.

And maybe that's precisely how it goes.

But I also gave Dee Persona 3, and I watched her play the first few hours, and we both loved it. I squeed to see familiar faces again (there are so many in those first few days, hiding in the background!) and she called me adorable. It's hard to give a gift of something that you really love, hard not to demand that the recipient love it too, hard not to fear they won't—but I think she can and will, and she's certainly enjoying it so far, and that's awesome.

Dee's mother is personable and kind and, even to misfit-me, comfortable to be around. Her brother cooks food to make the house smell like heaven, and baked chocolate lava muffins which were as good as promised—warm and delicious, crunchy outside and smooth inside, deep dark chocolate. Their cats are adorably strange, as cats will be; Casey the dog loves you, loves loves loves you from the moment you get to the door, and it is impossible not to feel wanted in the face of that love. Dee's mother's house is a gem, like something from a painting—everything so small and sweet, neat and precise, a triangle of light against the winter dark.

Lyz is beautiful in person—so vibrant, gorgeous coloring and fresh red hair, a rich voice and good sense of humor, a beautiful bohemian look and her umbrella had ruffles on it. I'd underestimated how lovely she would be—which is saying something! We ate remarkable flourless chocolate torte at Wild Ginger, which is saying something too because my tastes in that field are practiced and refined: chewy and dense with a hint of crunch at the crust, served with whipped cream (Chantilly cream, by the way, is just sweetened, sometimes flavored, whipped cream), and topped with crushed almond praline which to my surprise was the perfect delicate, crumbly, sweet counterpoint to the dense cake. (A+, would eat again.)

Downtown Seattle shined with rain and Christmas lights, and Dee and I shared an umbrella. (Washington flooded over the weekend from all that rain.) Pike Place was a new scent on the air each time the wind changed direction. Closer to home, Dee took me to a local used bookstore where the floor creeks and books are shoved into every cranny, where the paperbacks are a little warped and everything is refreshingly cheap. Driving out of town on Monday the landscape was still swathes of dim water, bare trees and yellow brush, and a shroud of creeping mist—and while it disturbed the train service, it was as beautiful as something in the best gothic novel.

And yes: I'm still nervous, and I will always be quiet and strange, and I forget to say things. I make poor eye contact. It takes a long time for me to get comfortable. I am mundane after all. These trips, these meetings, are too: just a few folk, in a place, together.

And outside of these incredible trips and meetings, my life is nothing special. I do nothing and contribute less. My mind's a mess, and it may always be.

But there is so much, these days, which is right.

Despite being awkward and normal and quiet, people still love me. Despite a strange and busy December, I can still have a beautiful holiday season. Despite it all, amazing things happens. Despite it all, they promise to happen again. Despite it all—

Despite being normal, imperfect, and scared out of my skin—

I want them to.

I went through long years when I wasn't able to be happy. I went through years when I thought it was impossible, when I was afraid of the very idea. But when happiness hits you this damn hard and unforgiving—when it hits me, like a bullet in the head—no matter how terrifying (and it is terrifying), it's undeniable too.

I love almost every Florence + The Machine song, and I sing them loud and find them so affecting, but every now and then I hear one of those songs—songs which I know by heart—as if I'm hearing them for the first time. I hear it deep down, and finally understand what it means—what it means to me. I listened to Dog Days Are Over on the ride up to Washington, and found it to be true.

This comes like a bullet, like a train, it hits so hard and scares me so much. I don't mean to exaggerate—I'm still normal, my life is still imperfect, and even this wonderful weekend was just a little trip up north. But even for a normal little girl there are apocalypses and revelations. These are mine. They are large and strong, and terrifying.

These days, I'm happy.

(And I never wanted anything from you, except all that you had and what was left after that too.)
juushika: A black and white photo of an ink pen. (Writing)
Wearing Devon's button-up plaid blue shirt so old and worn the elbows have given out and the fabric has gone wispy thin—hair in a bun gone loose and messy from lying in bed, stray hairs at my crown, over my ears—reading the last fifteen pages of the book and listening to the breathy hum of the air conditioner overhead.

I've been doing good, lately. Lately, and today, right now. I'm quiet and calm but still alert, consuming and not creating (given an exception or two), and contentedly thus. I have things to say, things I will say, soon. But not right now. Right now, just a quiet room and calm mind, just the last page of a book.

And then I'll probably go play some more Persona. Yesterday Dev and I watched a movie (Kick-Ass) with one of his friends and I was bubbly the whole time, engaged and what you could almost call talkative—talking most about the wonder that is Persona 4. I have reached the CANNOT EAT CANNOT SLEEP MUST PLAY PERSONA stage, and it is glorious. I'm deep enough in the game now that everything feels so real—the story, the characters, the relationships have all made that careful crossover from intriguing to authentic. I love them now not just for capturing my imagination—but just because I love them, simple, straight out. I'm blogging all this on Tumblr, sometimes even in long and thoughtful posts even, so there's no need for me to recap it here. But ah: that game, that beautiful game. These days, it's just about all there is which can break my silence.
juushika: Screen capture of the Farplane from Final Fantasy X: a surreal landscape of waterfalls and flowers. (Anime/Game)
When I'm gaming, dear Express ([livejournal.com profile] ryo_baka) gets spammed with dialog snippets and squeeing and shipping. Why should he have all the fun? (That, and he's not always around to listen.) So I'm liveblogging video games here on Tumblr.*

Beware spoilers, incomprehensibility, obscurity—and I can and do read homosexual subtext into every third sentence. I'm currently playing Persona 4; Devon is playing a couple of games including Starcraft II, and I may mention them too. This is an utterly pointless, silly little diversion, but if for some reason you're wondering why I've been so quiet** or would find my blathering amusing, have at!

* Why Tumblr? I wanted a simple, easy, offsite place to post this blather—and I shall not be constrained by Twitter's character limit.

** I've been a bit moody, and therefore quiet—and so distracting myself with gaming, which keeps me even quieter. Now you know.


Adopt one today! Adopt one today! Adopt one today! Adopt one today!
juushika: Screen capture of the Farplane from Final Fantasy X: a surreal landscape of waterfalls and flowers. (Anime/Game)
CANNOT EAT CANNOT SLEEP MUST PLAY PERSONA.

Not much of an exaggeration, really. Sleep has become an elusive beast—I can stay up until my head, legs, eyes ache from exhaustion, but I'm still restless when abed and wake every half hour or so. I also can't think very well, and putting together anything more coherent than a paragraph escapes me. If I owe you an email (which is about two people) or seem to have disappeared in the middle of a conversation (that'd be one person more), rest assured: as usual it's not you, it's me. When I can get my head screwed back on and pull it away from Persona, I'll get back to you.

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juushika: Drawing of a sleeping orange cat. (Default)
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