Quiche

I made quiche today. From scratch. That’s a lie, the pie crust was pre-made. But otherwise I made quiche today. And I am currently eating said quiche because it’s fucking delicious. I’m sorry for swearing. Or am I? I don’t swear in my blog posts very often but maybe it’s time for a change. A blog revolution.

In today’s post I was going to profess my love for Taylor Swift to all of you, because her 5th album just dropped and she is my sovereign queen. But I didn’t have time to do that post justice so I’m saving it for later. Sorry, Tay. I promise I’ve listened to your album a good 8 times all the way through since it released.

Instead I’m typing this nonsense stream of consciousness thing because why not. I haven’t done this. This should be a thing. Honestly I’m not editing my thoughts; I’m just typing. Well, I just edited that last sentence, because I put a comma where there is now a semi colon because grammar. Is it semi colon? Or semi-colon? Semicolon? The internet didn’t underline that in red, so let’s go with that one.

I donated blood this morning. It was good times. My arm hurts. The nurse who took my blood was the friendliest woman. She told me this amazing story about her family that I don’t feel comfortable sharing because it is rather personal. But her name was Sherry and she was great. My haemoglobin was going strong today, but was almost on the fence. I vow to eat more asparagus.

I’m realizing now that I probably sound drunk right now. I promise I’m not. In fact, I don’t even really drink anymore. And by “don’t even really” I mean I don’t. I have not consumed alcohol at a single party this year, and almost no one has noticed, which is hilarious to me because apparently that means I have a strong sense of contact drunk. Or I just sound drunk all the time. Like now. I was keeping the whole not-drinking thing under wraps because other people seem to care about it a lot more than I do. I don’t have any issue with drinking, I just don’t feel like it. I don’t care enough. But I guess it isn’t so under the wraps now.

I will say one thing about Taylor’s album, and Taylor in general: I really appreciate that she sings a lot about boys. You know why? Because when you are in your late teens and early 20s like Taylor and like myself, boys are a pretty big deal. She understands the struggle of falling for cute boys and the ups and downs of having feelings at this age. Bless your heart, Tay. If you haven’t listened to her album go to that. I recommend “Blank Space” and “Wildest Dreams.”

I think that’s all I have to say today. I have finished my quiche so it only seems appropriate that I have also finished my blog post.

Sweat dreams, kids.

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Today

I had an idea for what to write about today. But I’m not writing about it. Partly because the idea hadn’t fully formed in my mind, and partly because I think it would have become a senseless rant that stemmed from a moment of being really annoyed. And then last night as I was falling asleep I came up with a new, brilliant idea. And then I woke up and couldn’t remember it.

So here I am. At 10:47 pm. (Yeah, I know, I left this real late, sorry.) Without a whole lot to say.

I like writing about things that interest me or happen to me. I’m rather selfish in that way. I usually don’t comment on the world around me, partly out of fear that I wouldn’t do the topic justice or get the facts right. Which is why I am hesitant to talk about the shooting on Parliament in Ottawa today. This afternoon I felt zero inspiration, until I remembered the shooting, but I’m not sure I want to talk about it. But what else could I talk about? I feel like I can’t just move on and write a post about anything else since the shooting is the thing that happened today that is most relevant to me. So how can I talk about anything else?

That’s what interesting about the world. Stuff happens. People stop to look. But the world keeps going. Today feels like such a day, but tomorrow will still happen, and then tomorrow, and tomorrow. It’s so fascinating that the world keeps on spinning when it feels like it has stopped.

Shitty things happen a lot, and it sucks. It sucks because these things are awful, but it also sucks to think that the world we live in is one in which these shitty things happen. It’s upsetting, and I feel like we all say, “Well, that’s just how the world is.” But I hate that people think that. I hate that I think that.

I’m not sure where I’m going with this, or if I’ve gone anywhere with this. I hope everyone is having an okay day.

It’s okay to not do stuff

Today, for the first time ever, I did not hand in an assignment. I also skipped the class for which that assignment was due. Mind you, it was only one of eleven journals, each worth about only 3%, but I still didn’t hand it in. Which is a little jarring.

Last night, around 11:30, I decided to go to sleep instead of stay up and study for my midterm for a few hours. As I was lying in bed, drifting away, I had the guilty thought, “I’m being lazy. I haven’t done any homework today. I shouldn’t be sleeping.” Then I remembered I had just been in class for 10 hours, spanned over 15 hour day. And then I thought, “Marryl, you’re so dumb.”

These two instances are two of many times in my university career where I have felt my normally strong sense of responsibility falter. I normally feel like I have to do everything all the time and with all of the energy. But you know what? Sometimes I do not have the time to do everything, and sometimes (or all the time, it often feels like) I don’t have all of the energy. Or any of the energy. But I’ve been programmed to think I need to be working my butt off all day every day or else I am wasting my time and am not successful. Every spare moment I should be studying or reading or writing, and even the thought of watching a movie or hanging out with friends or taking a nap should leave me with so much guilt that I never take a break ever. Because we aren’t allowed to take breaks ever, right?

Wrong.

The discussion of mental health has been very prevalent since I came to university, and this year I think I am finally understanding the importance of self-care. My program, along with university in general, carries the fine-print disclaimer that YOU WILL BE BUSY ALL THE TIME AND BARELY HAVE ROOM TO BREATHE SO PREPARE YOURSELF AND GET USED TO. So when you feel overworked and overwhelmed, you think, hey this is normal, I should get be used to it. But that’s where the danger comes in. When you think you aren’t allowed to take a break, you don’t. You work and work and work until you can’t work anymore, and then you work some more. But that should NOT be the norm. Sometimes you need the occasional late night cram session, but when life feels like a 24-hour cram session, you’re putting your mental health in danger. I’ve seen this year how such high levels of stress and exhaustion and endless lists of things to do has caused me to feel anxiety that I’ve never felt before, and that I don’t like feeling. I feel so panicked and overwhelmed that I cannot even consider writing an assignment or going to class. Like I did yesterday. I made the choice to not write my journal because I knew that trying to finish it in the little time I had would put me over the edge when I was already feeling in an unstable state.

Which is why I am saying it is okay to not do stuff. If you get to a place where the thought of wiring a paper or going to class makes you overly anxious, just don’t do it. Don’t get into a habit of not doing assignments; work hard and try. Just don’t overwork yourself. Breaks are allowed. Take time to yourself. Do things you like doing, just because. Take a whole two days off to watch movies with your family and eat turkey for goodness sake.

(Or maybe don’t eat turkey. It might be a little hypocritical for me to recommend you eat turkey.)

Take care of yourself, okay? Don’t let school trick you into thinking you’re supposed to be a ball of stress and sadness all the time.  Because you shouldn’t. That isn’t good. I’m trying to wrap this up nicely and inspiringly, but it’s been a long couple days and I’m low on steam. But seriously, please take care of yourself and your mental state. Take time to breathe and chill and be a real person. Your assignment seems important in the short run. Your mental well-being is more important in the long run.

How are you feeling?

A simple question that usually provokes a simple answer of “fine.” One of the worst words in the English language because while sometimes you are genuinely feeling just fine, for the most part it has become the groundwork of a facade of feelings. Almost every time I say I am fine, I am quite the opposite, but I don’t want to talk about it.

But we should talk about it, because life carries plenty of feelings. Life is tough. School is tough. Emotions are tough. There is an awful taboo over talking about feelings for too many reasons: you don’t want to complain, you don’t want to be pitied, you don’t want to open up, you feel like the problems of others are worse than yours so you should just shut up. But when you’re feeling under such a high level of emotional stress, those things shouldn’t be on your mind. Feeling better should be on your mind. Because people who care about you and your wellbeing won’t think you’re complaining, won’t belittle your problems, and will care, not pity. There are people who care about you and want you to open up to them. And if someone makes you feel worse for opening up to them, perhaps they aren’t the kind of person you should surround yourself with. Because feelings are not something to be shameful of or to hide for fear of judgement. We’re human beings, gosh darn it.

I also think it’s incredibly necessary to talk about other people’s feelings because then you’ll realize other people are feeling a wide range of emotions, too. This is necessary so that you won’t unintentionally hurt someone’s feelings if they are also in a fragile state, but mostly so that you understand that you aren’t alone, and that those around you can empathize and you can work through the struggles of life together. Because dealing with life alone may feel safe in the moment, but it is perhaps the most counterproductive thing you could do.

So I decided to talk about it. Over the course of the day, I asked my friends the simple question, “How are you feeling?” And I was very pleased with their rather honest responses:

“I’m feeling like I don’t want to be here. I just want to be at home. This year is different from last year.”

“Aiight.”

“Like crap.”

“Tired. Sick. Motivated. Joyful. Energetic. Loving. Ambitious. Strangely carefree. Stressed.”

“Super stressed but strangely care free.”

“Poop. I feen invigorated and excited but at the same I just wanna go home and cry, you know.”

“Umm. I don’t know… Tired.”

“Overwhelmed. Nostalgic. Worried.”

“Really, really stressed because I didn’t sleep for most of 24 hours. I feel like I’ve had my eyes taped open for 24 hours and I haven’t been allowed to blink.”

“I’m feeling exasperated. I’m feeling heavy. I’m feeling groggy.”

“Okay.”

“Can I change my answer?”

“I feel tired. I feel like school is hard.”

“I feel bloated.”

“I’m feeling pretty good. I think I’m in a good spot.”

“I would like to take a burning hot poker and ram it up the universe’s ass, then twist it and pull it back out.”

“Very sore. My entire body hurts because of stress. But my emotional state is pretty good.”

“Overworked and under appreciated.”

“Good.”

“Excited, albeit stressed. Motivated, albeit overwhelmed. Ready, albeit unprepared.”

I’m hoping and assuming that some or all of these statements made laugh and think, “Yo, me too. I fee ya, man.” See, you aren’t alone. You aren’t the only one with struggles and stresses and anxieties, and I am not saying this to minimize your problems; I’m saying it to put into your head that when you feel like the earth is pressing down on you, you don’t have to be the only one trying to push it back up.

How am I feeling? I am feeling sleepy. I am feeling overworked. I am feeling surprisingly not stressed. I am feeling like I am rushing through life with very little awareness of what it happening. I feel like crying. I want to go home. But I am feeling better after talking about it.

Just remember it’s necessary to be selfish sometimes, especially when it comes self-care. You talk about you. You put yourself before anyone else. You be your own bae.

I painted a thing

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I don’t like sharing art on the internet. I feel like I’m bragging. So I apologize.

But I worked hard on this so whatever.

Last Christmas I got a beautiful set of oil paints, as well as new brushes, a palate knife, canvases, etc. I may have shed a tear that Christmas. I’m an art nerd, I know. From then I started conceiving this idea for a piece in my mind, with not much idea of how I would do it, let alone when. I wanted to paint during the second semester, but then I remembered I had zero free time. So this loose concept for a painting turned into my summer project.

I like art as a form of self-therapy and expression, which is what inspired this painting. Not to beat a dead horse, but I have scoliosis, and every time I mention it I feel like everyone thinks, “yeah okay Marryl we get it.” But scoliosis sucks and it scary and sometimes I hate my body for being stupid and not a normal person body. And that’s where art comes in.

This painting, a self portrait of sorts, is a view of my back with my spine visible, which I based off of my own x-ray. I’m a fan of paint that jumps off the canvas so I didn’t thin the paint out at all and played with texture, so you can feel the brush strokes and grooves of the paint when you run your fingers across it (which is called impasto). The colours don’t have too much reason to them, other than they look nice together, and I muted the colours with their compliments. It looks much better in person because you can see the details up close. So if you’re every at my house, please feel free to saunter into my room to look at it.

But yeah. I painted this. I don’t know. I think it’s pretty cool. It’s the first real oil painting I’ve done outside of school, which almost makes me feel like a real artist.

Soooooo yeah.

I swear I’m not trying to brag.

Don’t hate me please.