Letters to Anxiety

Hey Anxiety,

You suck.

Sincerely, Me

P.S. I'm going to start writing you letters. I won't say daily (because we all know that isn't going to happen!), but I'm gonna start a collection on here. Like, on this single post. This will either flop or be really interesting to look back on.

P.P.S. Either way, no need to reply.

P.P.P.S. Srsly. Don't.

P.P.P.P.S. Putting in a line break thing so that only those who want to have to read the post that will maybe get really really really long.  You have to click on the clicky thing to read more.


                
        
  
    
   

   
    
     

To Read, in the Event of Engagement

If ever I'm in the position of planning a wedding, there are some things I want to remember.

In the grand scheme of marriage, the wedding is really the least interesting :). Keep it fun, keep it casual, don't get stressed.

Speaking of stressed, I think the worst thing would be to have the day be surrounded by stress. Who wants to look back on their wedding day and remember how stressful it was. Keep it fun, keep it casual, don't get stressed.

Trying to please everyone will leave someone disappointed, it's inevitable. Be careful to not constantly have that person be you. Respectfully let others be disappointed too. Keep it fun, keep it casual, don't get stressed.

Break the mold. Who says your public commitment has to look like everyone expects it to? Those people don't need to be invited and/or they can be disappointed. You do not have to spend a lot of money on "wedding things" that you don't even want or need. Keep it fun, keep it casual, don't get stressed.

Speaking of money. Don't try to save money by "delegating" the costs to family and friends. By this is I mean, don't ask people to do things for free, don't ask them if they would bring 12 veggie trays but oh hey do it with their own money, generally just don't ask people to spend money on you and if they offer to spend money on you be hella grateful because that person is a lovely person.

Keep it fun, keep it casual, don't get stressed.

As an extra, maybe try to not make a date until you have collected all/most of the things that you need to spend money on. You know, like set a moderate monthly wedding budget and slowly collect the goods, THEN set the date so that there isn't a deadline and you end up spending more money than is wise to. But who am I kidding, I'm a procrastinator, I'll leave everything to the last minute whether I wait to set a date or not :P

                
        
  
    
   

   
    
     

Sewing, Day Who Even Cares Anymore?

So I was reading back through old blog posts...

Once upon a time, I was posting progress pictures as I created a purse. (I'm not going to bother linking them, you should be able to find them by the Craft Addict linkything a the bottom of this post.)

Once upon a more recent time (but really, still over a year ago), I made a Random Things post (Random Things linkything in the side bar) where I promised I would make THIS post "soon"...

Yep.

Hilarious part is that that purse is already broken and has been for a long time... I tried, I really did, to design a strap that wouldn't be the first thing to fail... still the first thing to fail.

But still, a promise is a promise :P

Now I just have to figure out what's happening in all of these pictures...

Seriously though... what's happening in these pictures??

Well!  I am 100% making this up as I go. Hold on.

Possible Step One:
Start working (HEY NEW CRAFT ROOM IN NEW HOUSE!!)
Realize picture taking is a thing you want to be doing, take picture of messy craft room.
As you can see the thus-far-completed portion of the purse is sitting on the chair, and if I am recalling correctly I had to iron ALL of the OTHER PIECES because I just shoved them in something during the move... Please refer to the post where I cut out all of the pieces for some perspective on how many pieces there were.  I think I stood at that iron for like an hour :P


Oh hey look! A progress picture of the ironing!


What do you think this picture is supposed to be about?


Possible Step Two:
Realize that the top of your bag is floppy, and floppy just won't do!
Make the decision to add structure to the lining pieces.



Side Note: Quilting those together took FOREVER. I remember that. It sucked.

Possible Step Three:
Sew the inside pocket things onto the front and back linings.



Look! This one has a secret pocket! Such a sneaky pocket.


Possible Step Four:
Sew the sides and bottom of the lining into a long strip.
I think I maybe also added pockets on the side panels... you can maybe see that in this picture... maybe you can't... I don't know,,,


Possible Step Five:
Basically stop taking pictures... apparently.
Sew the front and back lining pieces on to the side-bottom-side strip... leave a hole for turning later.
Stuff the completed purse part (aka the outside) inside the lining.  Line up the top edge for sewing next.
Take a picture that looks really weird and confusing and most just reminds future you that the quilting took FOREVER and sucked :P


Sew the top of the lining to the top of the bag. Think to yourself, "Hey! For once, I didn't make it have so many layers that the sewing machine nearly couldn't handle it! Go me!"
Turn everything right side out and sew the turning hole in the lining closed.
Realize you need to top stitch the top part so that everything lays nicely. Think to yourself, "Crap, I hope the sewing machine can handle this... I shouldn't have gotten cocky."

Possible Step Six:
Success!!!!  Be finished!!!
TAKE PICTURES!

Closed.


Open. Pockets!


Inside. Pockets!!


Front of Inside. Pockets!!!


Outside, Back. ZIPPERED POCKET!!


The end.  I think there's a picture buried in the archives somewhere of the strap being broken. Not actually the strap, but the piece of light grey cotton material holding the strap on to the main body of the purse. Turns out the metal things I used there had sharp edges,,, they slowly, but surely sawed through the flimsy pieces of cotton that were the only thing keeping the strap attached to the purse. 

'Twas a shame,
                
        
  
    
   

   
    
     

Dear Love, About Boxing Day...

I haven't blogged in months.

This is mostly because I've been struggling with a lot of anxiety in this time and had the (decidedly disabling) thought that if I blogged at all, I should write about anxiety...

Turns out that it is kind of anxiety inducing to write about anxiety.

So I'm cutting myself free of that for now and I'm sure I'll write about it eventually, just not when it's a "should" write about that, but instead a "want to" write about that.

I'm going to write instead about something very currently important.

Dear Love,

I need to talk to you about Boxing Day.

Yes, December 26th. It's on a Saturday this year.

(It's not important that it's on a Saturday, I was just pointing it out because I'm nervous.)

So here the thing... Boxing Day is a big deal for my mom's side of the family; it's a big family reunion and all that jazz.

And, well, I was kinda hoping you would be able to come this year.

BUT that probably won't happen (let's face it, the window of time is a little unrealistically small even with it months away), so that sucks.

My extended family is made of great people, but still this annual reunion is always a bit of a sour reminder of my singleness.

I'm the youngest one there (besides the kids of the next generation) so it's not entirely unreasonable that I am one of the only two single people remaining, but still there's always at least one haha-so-funny cousin that elbows the two of us and says "So... *waggling eyebrows* Who's next?? EhEh?"

Ha ha.

But more than the thought of yet another year arm-candy-less (I've handled that fine enough before now), it sucks in particular that you will (probably) miss THIS year.

...I will not cry.

Seriously, this is upsetting enough on it's own, you poor-timing-ed jerk!!

For every year I can remember, this gathering has been in one place -- my aunt and uncle's farm house.

I love this house and the way that the whole family fits in it and all the memories that have been made there and how they fill my heart to the brim!!  I want you to see it so badly!!

But... This is probably the last year that I will have the opportunity to show it to you... Dang it, now I am crying.

It sucks that I, not only (probably) have to show up single again, but I will maybe never have the chance to be in that house with you possibly... ever...

It was a milestone -- bringing the boyfriend to that reunion at that house -- that I never even thought to imagine not hitting.

I think that's why it sucks so much.

It's sad when you realize you've taken something for granted, but it's especially sad to realize you've realized it too late.

...I wish it wasn't nearly, probably too late.

There's still time, but not very much of it... I believe in us, but even that seems like a stretch, doesn't it?  Who knows, maybe I'll be surprised.

We'll see.

Love, Em.

                
        
  
    
   

   
    
     

A Case of the Lonelies: A Misguided Journey to (Maybe) a Better Understanding of Perspective and Empathy

Loneliness kinda sucks, you know?

Everyone does know, I suppose, but I'm realizing that it's really hard for anyone to really empathize with loneliness unless they are also presently feeling lonely.

Turns out my strangely sudden melancholic loneliness has turned me into a philosopher (is philosopher the right word?) and I'm taking you along on a hike through my brain. Try not to get distracted; it's really not safe to wander in here.

First, we need to talk about perspective.

As is often the case with negative things, once you're no longer surrounded by the darkness, it's instinctive to look back and see that what was once overwhelming looks really quite insignificant from the outside.

They call that perspective.

The thing about perspective is that sometimes it lies.

We want to trust our perspective, but we really shouldn't. Have you ever seen an optical illusion? How about a mirage?

Perspective lies to us on both sides of the good-bad cookie; misleading you while you're surrounded by trouble as well as when you are outside looking in.

Perspective isn't a bad guy, though. He's faithful to telling the truth as he sees it. It's not his fault that he doesn't understand his own bias.

But we do. And just like we would if a little kid confidently told us that Santa exists, we shouldn't just blindly accept what perspective says. That's nice, kid, but I know better.

Now that we're on the same page on perspective let's get back to talking about loneliness, shall we.

I really do believe that loneliness is a universal virus. Everyone has had it at some point. Which would mean, one would think, that everyone should be able to empathize with a lonely person; we've all been there, right?

No.

Because perspective is (a liar) unable to see loneliness properly from the outside.

In seeking comfort from people I ran into a couple of well-meaning attempts to help give me a better perspective. I've done it a million times (who hasn't?), and I know they meant well, I'm only pointing it out because it helped me realize something important.

Empathy, by nature, should not be given by someone who isn't currently in the dark with you, or able to go back into the dark in their minds. Attempts at empathy from the "outside" perspective can make things worse... let me try to explain...

Empathy is like a flashlight.

Have you ever tried to navigate through the dark without a light?

Camping used to be a good example of this, but now everyone camps in trailers and no one understands the treacherousness of that walk from the tent to the outhouse in the dead of night with a flashlight that can't illuminate for beans.

My youth group (if anyone from there is reading this) would probably think of a game called Gorgon.  Walking familiar rooms in complete darkness really messes with perspective's view of reality.

Work with me here... Imagine you're surrounded by complete darkness. You know you want to get out, but you don't know which way. So you focus; try to force your eyes to adjust so you can see something, anything to give you a clue. You feel a little helpless. Maybe a lot helpless. You call out for help.

Two scenarios of what happen next:

One. A well-meaning person on the "outside" hears you and wants to help you. They turn on their empathy flashlight and shine it in at you. Here's the problem: their perspective is lying to them about how dark it is "inside". Their light is too bright. You are blinded and you feel like this person doesn't understand anything about what you're going through! It hurts. You can use it -- walking towards it slowly, trying not to open your eyes too much -- but it's uncomfortable.

Two. Somebody in the dark with you (or someone brave enough to walk back in) hears you and wants to help you. They find you in the dark. They turn on their empathy flashlight. (There's a problem here too, sorry to say, because darkness is tricky.) Their perspective (your perspective) is lying to you both about how dark it is "inside". You think the dark is all consuming, and undefeatable. The flashlight is only turned on halfway and pointed at the ground. But that's enough to shift your helpless perspective! You turn on your empathy flashlight too -- slowly so it doesn't hurt your eyes. You and your new friend slowly reimagine the darkness and let your lights shine brighter and farther until you can navigate the way out together.

Both helpful people, but one may prolong hurt, the other may hasten understanding.

I don't know... maybe I'll wake up tomorrow and think this is all nonsense and I should not blog while recently emotional, but right now I'm feeling downright inspired!

Empathy depends on putting aside your perspective and adopting theirs, no matter how wrong it is, until their perspective can understand the truth more clearly than the lies.

Goodnight, Lovelies.

                
        
  
    
   

   
    
     

Devo Note 2015.Jun.24

// Psalm 56:3-4 //
When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.
In God, whose word I praise --
in God I trust and am not afraid.
What can mere man do to me?

I'm not currently afraid, but I want to hold on to these poetic verses. Commit them to memory; cling to them in the next time of struggle. "In God, whose word I praise -- in God I trust and am not afraid."

                
        
  
    
   

   
    
     

30 Days of Blogging - Day 30: LAST FREAKING DAY!!

I'm so happy this is the last day!!

It's been a blast, and literally changed my perspective on many things, but I'm hella happy to have reached the last day.

In honor of the last day, this is going to be totally random.

Here, have a collection of little things that didn't manage to make it into the previous 29 days or have just come to my mind now.

1) A Pet Peeve
Drivers who ride on the bumper of the person in front of them to get them to go faster. I want you out of my general driving sphere. It's dangerous, it's distracting for the person in front, and I really can't help but think that you just haven't thought this through. If you are riding close to the bumper in front of you, and that person is focusing more on their rearview mirror than the road in front if then, what happens if something in front of that car forces them to brake surprisingly. They won't see it coming right away (because of you), they slam on their brakes, you are waaay too close to even process that they have braked let alone stop with them. You hit them, they hit someone else, the people behind you hit both of you, and there is a huge accident. BECAUSE OF YOU. Now tell me, were those 5 extra km/h worth it? If you say yes, I want you to hurry up and get so far ahead of me that I won't be involved in your pile up, please and thank you.

2) A Snapchat Story by John Green

3) I Love Tumblr
This is just a fact. Moving on...

4) Twitterpated
;) Is something I might be at present... Twitterpation has a lot more nervousness associated with it than I ever imagined; it's uncomfortable in the happiest way possible and I haven't decided if I'm okay with that or not yet.
I feel like this, but reversed.

I want to have a fifth thing, but I'm suddenly drawing a blank on everything...

Oh well! Naught to be done about it.

This is where I leave you.  Have a splendid day! I'm first going to sleep, but after that I plan to have a splendiphorous day myself :D