I Face Myself

It’s Fall. So that should mean a guarantee of cooler weather and pumpkin spice lattes, right? That’s the ideal scenario but here I am chilling out in the campus library, waiting for the temperature to die down so I don’t have to be sweating buckets while walking from my bus stop to the Nest (my Boone home) while sporting my blue varsity jacket, which by the way I think I look pretty fucking cute in it.

I’ve had quite the week. My anxiety levels were kicking in. And was it for good reason? Nope, of course not. I was feeling down, my symptoms were acting up, and everything from my house work to my school assignments felt like these daunting tasks to take on yet again. Yup, they became monsters in my head that I had to put down. For those that have been faithfully following me since the summer time, remember that post “Being Real”? Where I compared my anxieties to fighting the actual Babadook? Yeah it was kinda like that. It wasn’t as extreme as that time, but it still had some force behind it.

So yeah, that happened. But I powered through it and lived to tell the tale. I still have some work to catch up on for one of my classes, but the teacher is very cool and understanding. There’s a box of fresh baked cookies in her immediate future, I guarantee it.

I was able to get some writing done over the last few days. And not just for one story either. There’s no outlining or anything. I’m flying by the seat of my pants with these drafts that I’m writing and I’m loving it. It is such a rush to rack up the words. What’s even better is that I’m finally able to cancel that part of my brain that’s always casting judgements that kept obstructing me. I’m writing like you would be dancing in a room like there’s nobody watching. It’s liberating! And it’s because I’m at the point where I can finally do it for myself. I’m beyond wanting to impress anyone. If only I had this mindset a long time ago. Things would have been wildly different I’m sure. But better late then never.

I don’t want to get into exactly what it was that triggered my little mental crisis because I was painfully aware of how dumb it was. My inner “Mr.Monk” came out to play. But I can take pride knowing that I’ve gotten stronger. I chastised myself about how foolish I was being and that going through it meant that I was weak. That I had been breaking apart again.

A bunch of interesting stuff came to mind when I realized that I’m never going to be Mr.Perfect, I can’t keep everything together, I can’t conform to someone else’s perception of what makes a functioning human being, but I don’t have to be ashamed of that. I feature two beautiful words that epitomize this concept. And a quote from one of my favorite movies.

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I’m sloppy. I’m emotional. I’m a mess. I say things that make no sense sometimes. I do things that make no sense in the eyes of others. I’m different from others. I make mountains out of mole hills. I get knocked down. I get beaten. I break down. I’m full of flaws.

But I get back up. I keep trying. I take the broken pieces of myself and put them back together. I share my stories to show that I’m still standing. I survived what I went through. I’m a better person because of it. If someone wants to take all that and call me an attention whore, someone who loves to play victim, or whatever then I have nothing but pity for that person because I cannot make them understand. My experience is my own. My journey is my own. They do not get a say in it at all. I’ve got better things to do with my time and energy then to try and make them understand.

I am who I am. This is who I really am. You can accept me, love me, as a I am or you can stay out of the way. I will stay true to myself and I will gladly live with whatever consequences come with it.

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Dilly Dally Shilly Shally

Random PenSword Fact #6: I have a huge crush on Ty Burrell from Modern Family and I feel no shame in it!! He’s my TV hubby!

So the weather cleared up and I cleared my little Gauntlet. It’s so nice outside that I wish I had taken the time to make a bento boxed lunch. My symptoms have calmed down. Aside from the occasional intrusive thought now and again there’s nothing to worry about.

To lift my spirits up over the weekend I treated myself to some retail therapy via Amazon, a movie night that featured lots of nice guy candy, and some cooking. I was able to do a recipe that I had been meaning to experiment with for a really long time.

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I made empanadas with curry filling. This is the first time I ever made anything from my actual heritage. I don’t know if anyone else has ever tried to experiment with this, but I can conclude that it works. And it tastes good. I had made a nice curry rice dinner the night before and had plenty of leftovers to work with so there was no real difficulty in making this at all. I’m proud of it.

Memories from the past keep returning to me. I think about that old friend and how our creative process worked. When I left I wanted to take on a different approach toward brainstorming and writing. But now I think I’m going to experiment with my methods and the old methods. If you could dive into my mind and see what goes on inside you’d see how fantastical I view the process in a way that makes the mundane process seem more magical.

I still stand by my decision to not go back to him. It wouldn’t accomplish anything. I’ve been taking what I’ve been feeling and thinking as creative fuel for my writing. I know it sounds no different from what most other writers do, but it’s a big deal for me. For the longest time I’ve been writing to escape from things instead of confronting them. That’s what makes it seem different for me. Plus it’s helping breathe new life into characters and plots that’ve been left undeveloped for so long. Old stories are reviving, getting a massive makeover, and flourishing more.

I’m not just getting memories of that old friend, but memories from different parts of my life. They’re good memories. The more this happens the more I feel like my old self again. In the good way. Before the “Nightmare Syndrome”, before I started having death wishes, and before I became so jaded and cynical. Before all the malice and sorrow. The best parts of myself are reviving and flourishing in the same manner as those old stories are.

I notice around me how people carry on and are always complaining about whatever. Here’s an example; My female roommate hates on our manager. They had a pretty heated argument a few weeks back about the house, the bills, the lease, etc. I wasn’t there when it happened. I’m kinda glad that I wasn’t. The house we live in is far from perfect, but it’s still better than the Cottages. It’s not a slum house. And this roommate keeps talking about things like the structure of the house, pointing out errors because evidently she has a more trained eye for details than I do. She hates on the manager as if he’s some evil slum lord. I understand her frustration, but flipping the house was also a first time project for the manager. At worst I say his inexperience shows. Don’t misunderstand. I like my roommate. She’s been really good to me. We’re becoming really good friends. But I can’t help thinking how this resembles my Dad’s frustration at everything.

My Dad’s mentality and frustration is epitomized in one sentence.

He gets pissed off drinking water.

He’s always been like that, and now I can’t help but see the same thing in everyone who whine about whatever. Then my memories flash back to people that I’m happy are no longer part of my life. People who exude this cancerous air when they walk into a room, always focusing on the bad, always attracting something to fuel their own negativity with their toxic auras, and then they’re left bamboozled wondering; “Why does shit always rain down on me?!”

Answer: Laws of Attraction at work. Like attracts like.

I realize that I’m happier now because I make a choice to count my blessings and not my problems. I’m collecting the silver linings, I’m accentuating the positive, and keeping it moving.

I’m getting more comfortable being in my own skin. I’m letting my freak flag fly without a care in the world. I’m happy being the person that I am and I’m happily living with the consequences that come with it. I make a choice to be happy and positive. All that noise that I’m hearing from everyone else is just “dilly dally, shilly shally”.

My depression isn’t a choice, but my happiness is. There might be a future entry there for further development. Let’s wait and see. The same applies with everything else.

Where will my creative spark take me? What other treasures are buried underneath years of memories? What else is in store for me?

I’ve got the questions. So now I’m going to go seek out the answers. Signing off.

P.S.) After watching “Beauty and the Beast” I now have the HUGEST crush on Luke Evans. Cono…que papi!! Gimme 50 Shades of that any day of the week!!

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Warrior “Monk”

Anyone remember this show? Tony Shalhoub played this dude named Adrian Monk who suffers from severe Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and an endless list of phobias. He was afraid of everything. Even milk for some reason. Don’t know if they covered the reason why. Maybe it was just a running gag. Despite all this he was a genius detective. He had this attention to detail all the other cops on the show lacked. He was always able to find the clues, piece them together, and finally catch the bad guys. He managed to do all of this despite of the OCD or whatever phobia of the week he had to face head on. He was always being forced into situation that challenged him and he had to seriously nut up and endure.

When my anxiety and depression act up I keep thinking that I’ve suddenly turned into Monk. And I mean that in a negative light. Monk was always driving people up the wall with his fears and obsessive compulsion. Even his therapists had trouble dealing with him sometimes and could only handle him in small doses. I feel like Monk in situations where I feel like I get triggered by stupid shit like the ones I’ve mentioned before, I have difficulties doing what normal people have no problems with at all, and sometimes driving people insane with my issues, be it family or friends.

I shared this with my counselor in a previous session. I vented out my frustrations about it and he was understanding. But then he asked me this, “Why exactly would that be a bad thing?” I thought I had already answered that while I was ranting about it.

Just like when he brought up the analogy on the mind as a muscle something about the Monk analogy I made with him is sticking with me. This was last week and now I’m beginning to seriously think about it and I have all these thoughts about it.

Even though Monk had numerous phobias that would obstruct him he accomplished so many things that I would’ve considered impossible if I were him. He did have friends, good friends. Yeah, he drove them crazy sometimes but they accepted him as he was. Monk’s OCD allowed him to pay better attention to things and made him an excellent detective, it didn’t have to be a bad thing for him. Monk had a wonderful wife in Trudy who loved him just as he was. Monk worked tirelessly for years searching for clues to solve Trudy’s murder and when he did Monk still had his happy ending. He found out that Trudy had a daughter before marrying him and was able to meet her in the very last episode.

Here’s a crazy theory. What if instead of fighting my “Monk-ish” side, I embrace it? I bitch and moan about how I feel like a freak sometimes and unable to be normal like everybody else. But then there’s a part of me that says, “Fuck normal”. BTW I totally have a t-shirt that reads, “Normal People Scare Me”. I saw it on the first episode of American Horror Story and I thought, “Oh yes! It will be mine!” I even got it in purple. Trying to fit in with the mundane crowd is so exhausting and utterly pointless. Nothing about me has ever been “normal”. There are days where I don’t even feel like I live a “quasi-normal” existence.

I come from a Venezuelan family and I grew up as the pet gringo. I refused to speak the language and I barely ate any of the food. I’m still not a fan of some of the food. It’s only interesting and exotic for people who never had to grow up in a Spanish-speaking household and be forced to smell and eat it at every occasion; holidays, birthdays, family gatherings, baby showers, etc. I’m the least tanned in my family too and I see no point in it. I don’t see the appeal in sizzling in the sun and getting cooked like a rotisserie chicken. I mean look at Trump’s complexion. It’s not doing him favors. But then again his skin tone is more what I call “Dorito Raped”.

I’m gay and I am willing embrace only so many cliches. I’m probably the only gay guy who doesn’t give a single, solitary fuck about Rupaul’s Drag Race, quote “Mean Girls”, or own a single Madonna album. Oh I am not gifted with song and dance either. Take one good look at me and you can clearly see that I’m not a gym rat either.

I live in my own world. I find more comfort in the story worlds and characters I create, in WWE, video games, anime, films, cooking, and imagination. I cope with reality through the use of my imagination. I see myself as a warrior, I see my skills as powers that I naturally possess, I see my challenges as monsters that I have to fight and take down. It’s an unorthodox way to deal with stuff, but we all have our ways to cope. I could be coping in ways that are self-destructive with drug habits or self-mutilation or God knows what else. I see what people don’t see or never want to see out of fear, conformity, or sheer laziness. That’s a quote from the movie Patch Adams by the way, when Patch spoke with Arthur Mendelson at the mental institution.

I suffer from depression and anxiety. But there has been some good that comes from it. It’s attributed to my imagination and wicked sense of humor. God only knows that if my entire life was nothing but sugar and rainbows then I’d have absolutely nothing to write about. It’s made me stronger, a lot stronger than I was eight years ago when I wanted to kill myself. It’s made me realize how much I want certain things. And when I say “I want” I mean it in the same way people feel intense hunger. Its helped make me into the person that I am today. Its always made me have to take a good look at myself in the most honest way possible. Whenever I get lost I always take a trip back to me. It’s not always pleasant, but it’s always been instrumental in getting back to the right path.

I’m a warrior in my own right. I fight one battle after another within my mind. I’m a neurotic mess. I’m not normal and I’m tired of trying to be when it’s never been in the cards for me. I feel things more intensely than others, I know things they don’t have any clue of, I can do things that other can’t, and get labeled a “freak” for all of it when I find that to be a lot more preferable than being boring and fake.

If being a “freak” is what separates me from everybody else then I will proudly wave my freak flag. I will happily accept who I am and live with whatever consequences come with it. Because if I act otherwise then I’ll never be able to make peace with myself and not have the true happiness that I’ve been seeking. So I embrace my identity as a Warrior “Monk”.