If there's one thing that has always been capable of untangling whatever knots I've enmeshed myself in, it's music. And the other day, surrounded by uninspiring albums in a store, I took a chance on a new album and returned to a nostalgic favorite. Said nostalgic favorite was a bit pricey, as it was in a new edition, containing a biographic film as well - these videos contained on CDs can have rather amusing surprises. I remember placing The Flaming Lips' At War With the Mystics in my computer to bring up a screen of a naked woman (her body obscured by lights and faded hues) dancing about chaotically. I don't think this will be the case for the nostalgic favorite.
My sister always told me that growing up, the album she associated her childhood with was The Beatles' Revolver. For me, those albums have always been Harry Nilsson's The Point and Nilsson, Schmilsson. But to stay in the territory of Beatles, The White Album has always had that effect on me. I remember my dad playing Back in the U.S.S.R. for me and explaining how it was written to make fun of The Beach Boys before I even knew who they were.
Oh, and there was the cassette. My dad recorded all of his records onto cassette tapes, and I found the one that contained all of The White Album. I listened to it over and over and over and over . . . Most of my teenage years were spent locked up in my room, reading, writing, watching movies, or singing along with music. And I sang the shit out of Honey Pie. (This is the same reaction I had to Queen's Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy) It's probably been about ten years since I sang to Honey Pie and I still remember all the lyrics to it.
Apologies for the delay in everything. I've been in an Ayato state for the last few weeks, juggling what I should be doing with what I want to do, and the shoulds always win out. Seeing as I usually don't want to do what I should, it results in me feeling overwhelmed and doing absolutely nothing at all.
I think that Zooey has exited my life and this is depressing, as he offered an element of comfort in my life. There's nothing more soothing than telling someone that you're crazy and having them reply with, "Well, I'm crazy too." But I've watched enough Wong Kar Wai films to know that people just pass in and out of your life. The point is to treasure those connections. And I'm happy that he's moving up in the world - partly because I wanted to see him move up, but also because it gives me hope for myself. (Zooey is not actually a Zooey per se. He's actually more of a Buddy. But I started calling him Zooey when I first met him and it just stuck.)
I've been exhausted lately. I even fell asleep during a break once. I'm trying my best to just chug along, but I've been feeling very down about myself. I don't even know who the hell I am half of the time. I forget the things I enjoyed. I haven't written anything for M+I in a while. According to my counselor, I've been incredibly overwhelmed the past few weeks. It feels as though my head is filled with garbage and there's no way to think clearly.
I'm working on it, but this haze upsets me. It upsets me that I haven't written anything on X II, the last few episodes of Mr. Robot Season 1, and Girl Interrupted. It upsets me that I haven't said anything about how much I love Esther Greenwood's character on here. But I'm constantly disappointed with myself. I had thought that being medicated would make things easier - I could be happy. But antidepressants do nothing for happiness. It stabilizes my mood, but somehow it feels as though I have to work harder than I did before.
Perhaps it's because I have to deal with the me that I've been dealt. Whereas before I was distracted by psychoses and an illusion of myself that I believed to be reality. Now I know better, I know more about who I am. And I know I need a lot of work.
I need a mess of help to stand alone, to quote Brian Wilson.
Ha! Posting twice! Bet you didn't see that one coming!
Actually, this is my one day off and I was supposed to spend it writing and learning how to relax. As you may have probably already guessed, I don't know how to relax. It's a foreign concept to me. Sleeping in fills me with dread. I feel in some ways as if I've wasted today, but then I think: I wrote a fairly long post and I sent in my short story to another anthology. I worked on a few Oscar chapters and those are the ones that usually don't get much love from me.
Anyway, I found this thing here and it's hosted by this person and this person and while I've avoided these sorts of things for a while, talking about M+I makes me write more M+I.
And I decided to choose my little boy blue who falls from the sky.
When it comes to identifying with a character due to their ailment, suspicion is one of the greatest feelings that comes upon me. An unnerving sense that the actual debilitating aspect of these ailments will not be done justice on screen and will simply exist to make a character supposedly more colorful, even quirkier, than your average protagonist. I see it happen far too often. It does not make me particularly happy.
I will admit the sole reason why I even had an inclination to start watching Mr. Robot was because the main character, Elliot Alderson, has clinical depression and social anxiety. Like me!, I always think in a joyful, sarcastic way. Like me. Hiding away from society and telling yourself you're better without it. Cynically telling yourself that the world is a terrible place anyway, even though you yearn with a desperation unknown to those unfamiliar with isolation to be a part of that world. And anytime someone shows you an inkling of friendliness, your heart skips a beat. That cynical shield is melted to unveil a vulnerable core that wants this to happen.
I expected to feel anger while watching Mr. Robot, that a show would take something that has been so painful for me over the years and use it as a character trait. As I delved deeper and deeper into the show, I felt something else entirely:
Not to worry, your resident V is still here! If it seems as though I've been rather sparse lately, it's because I hate everything I write! The one day I had off, I spent it sewing and then became really frustrated with all my mistakes. Then, I tried writing a post for here and grew frustrated with how uninspired I was. So I've been learning how to enjoy the hobbies I have and not treat them like work - because I'm a terrible, horrible workaholic.
Writing is enjoyable for me. Sewing is enjoyable for me. I'd like it to stay that way, without me growing so frustrated and throwing things again. Like unfinished garments. I've been trying to finish a post on Girl, Interrupted on and off. And there's also volume 2 of X to consider and that awful adaptation of Girl, Interrupted (thank goodness for Angelina Jolie or it would have been unwatchable). And there's a certain live-action show I'll be watching soon and (possibly?) writing about. It's new to me, so it should be exciting. Blogging should be enjoyable for me, but I keep thinking, "I have to do this and I have to do this or I'll forget about it and never post it." This is all still very hard for me to coordinate with two jobs. (I come home practically landing straight on my bed and sleeping and I wake up to find my cat curled up beside me.)
And I still have a first draft of M+I to finish, which taunts me with images when I listen to music. I want so badly for my characters to be portrayed perfectly. I want the writing to live up to what I read. But it's impossible. I have to keep telling myself, when a writer starts querying, the novel becomes the work of multiple people. Not one. So I can't expect perfection out of myself.
It's hard, though. Everything's evidence to prove how much I suck and while I've been trained to try and pull myself out of that thought-process, I'm still vulnerable to it.
Today's my only day off in the past two weeks and it's just one of those days where everything I attempt to do brings me no joy whatsoever. I've tried to write a post, I've tried to sew, and I get to a point where I think what the hell am I doing?
I'm wasting my only day away. That's what I'm doing.
The past few days, I have not been happy. There are so many people out there who say that they have social anxiety and I see their pictures, with their friends as they go out to places. And I have to think, what's wrong with me? What is so wrong with me that I can't allow myself to have any friends? The thought of someone knowing intimately everything that's going on inside of me is so incredibly frightening.
I'm scared. I'm tired. And I get to a point where I don't care anymore. Or I say that I don't care anymore and I actually do because I'm shouting about it and using profanities, but I'm trying to convince myself that I so don't care anymore.
I don't know. I think sometimes that there is absolutely no place for me in this world. And it's my fault, not the world's fault.
EDIT: After listening to music that I discovered in my early years of college (or end of high school), I'm feeling better. Retreating to music, again.
I guess what's positive in my life is that I'm progressing with people. I can actually have a conversation that consists of small talk and not feel nauseous or like I'm going to panic. I've almost finished a first draft for M+I. And I think more and more and more that there's so much in M+I that I feel like I can't communicate to most people. Sometimes I even try to convince myself that there's nothing really out there quite like M+I. But the thought that nothing's original quickly quells that. I can have my two seconds with that thought, at least.
I've been thinking about how people say things like their mental illness steals them away or "I'm not my depression," etc. I believe I am my mental illnesses, whatever they may be. Diagnosis has not been the primary goal of my therapy. It's been way more about CBT and switching around my thoughts. I'm a trained optimist in some ways now. But whatever strange chemistry is going on up in my brain, it's me. Negatively and positively.
-I was extremely excited when the Criterion Collection announced that Barnes and Noble was selling their editions of films for 50% off. I can't begin to tell you how excited I was to hear of Fantastic Planet's release. That was an immediate purchase. The other purchase was Solaris, because it's one of my favorite films and I can't say no to an article on it by Akira Kurosawa.
-I've been all over the place with books. Three Moments of an Explosion started to lose my interest, so I started The Shape of Water (found accidentally, another whim). It's interesting. Not perfect, but certainly better than most of the young adult books I've read lately. I also started Girl, Interrupted which drew me in immediately. I saw the film back in 1999 and I kind of have a feeling that I'll feel differently about it now. The book is fantastic. The writing style is so interesting and there is no chronology to it whatsoever. And Kaysen describes some things I've felt so perfectly. How faces start to become an object rather than a subject. And there's Lisa. "You schizophrenic bat!"
-I've seen many films lately but haven't been able to write about them yet. Spotlight is infuriating in the best possible way. I can understand why it won best picture. However, Carol is also an incredible film. Why it wasn't nominated . . . well, I've given up trying to figure out the academy. (It's okay, Todd Haynes, I think you're an important director) Brooklyn is quite good as well, though for different reasons. I own The Revenant and Chiraq due to work but I have yet to watch them. Joy is still waiting for me to watch it, and I have The Big Short, The Danish Girl, and Anomalisa on hold. I didn't get out into the theater too often in 2015, but it seems like it was a really incredible year for films.
-Still reading X. Still amused. Why does everyone's hair fly up in the wind when a revelation is revealed? I feel like this is the time to mention that I still own the TV series as well. Whether I can make it through one episode is another matter entirely.
-I've been working every single day lately which has been draining me a bit, but I think it's been a good decision. Going to work only means that I have even more crazy Pokemon Go stories. No seriously. What has this game done to people? (I knew Zooey would use it for evil and prank everyone, though, all while snickering skeevishly about his plans.)
-Finally, I own They Might Be Giants' The Else. I love everything by TMBG. Especially The Else. Zargon, Hammurabi, Ashurbanapal, and Gilgamesh.
Current Music:No One Knows My Plan - They Might Be Giants
I've had a lot of surprises here on An Analogy is a Signpost. Revisiting works like RahXephon and Galaxy Express 999 to discover my love for them had strengthened over the years. Discovering works like Neon Genesis Evangelion and Xenosaga, ones that I had avoided and insisted I didn't like, to find that I adored them. Evangelion, in particular, has transformed me into a follower who now owns Hello Kitty keychains with said Sanrio mascot dressed up as Rei, Asuka, and Kaworu. But perhaps one of the biggest surprises for me was returning to the Tokyo Babylon OAV I owned and discovering that I liked it. But in some way, I felt like that was cheating - if there's anything I still love from CLAMP, it's Seishirou.
Well, what happened at work, we received a shipment of the entire X manga collection, republished in a 3-in-1 omnibus by Viz. You can guess what happened next. I've had problems with revisiting the X anime. Something keeps me back. I see the feathers, the sakura petals, the gears, and I think, I can't do this. There's something a little less paralyzing about a book. For one, you read it at your own pace, as opposed to the pace set by moving pictures.
The last ten years of my life have been spent making fun of X. You can imagine my surprise when I realized that I was reading this volume because I enjoyed it.
So a while ago (not too long ago, actually) I had mentioned that I was working on a surprise of sorts. I guess it's not much of a surprise considering how much I sew and that I'm now reading as much as I can about textiles, embroidery, and professional sewing.
I'm starting a sewing blog, Ornamental Coping. About a few minutes after I chose the name and forever marked its existence as "ornamentalcoping.wordpress.com" I remembered that I had wanted to start a sewing blog titled "Very Mignon Sewing." But whatever, both are relevant. I'm still working on gathering up the courage to photograph myself in my garments and figuring out exactly how to do it - I bought a tripod and a remote simply for this - with my Nikon D3300.
But from now on, any reviews on books about sewing or fashion will be over there (including the last few books I've read, Zero Waste Fashion Design, Fairy Tale Fashion, and The Mood Guide to Fabric and Fashion) as well as all the things I sew. This is a secondary thing to An Analogy is a Signpost and more for when I find the time.
Until I start posting pictures of the things I've sewn, you can look at some of my past projects in my Burdastyle Studio, but be forewarned. These are old projects. Also, I didn't take very good pictures of my Misato costume other than a few decent selfies with my phone. Also, hi! My face! You should be scared.
I've been thinking - and I know this has to be a sign that my mood must be better, seeing as I've actually been posting here - about the past. That's a redundant statement. When am I not thinking about the past? Isn't life just a perpetual reframing of events, of casting yourself as the director in your greatest and worst moments in life? This is a silly tangent to be on.
More accurately, I've been thinking about the past of M+I which strangely also means the future of M+I. As in the second book, and the characters that come along with that. I tell myself constantly that I need to finish a rough draft before I can seriously start writing the second book, but I find myself missing Suhayl, Moon, Kal, Tichy . . . Moon's presence drove me to write myself out of a rather despondent self. I have a whole journal that I consider the Moon journal. Sometimes I like to think that Moon saved M+I.
I write about Suhayl frequently as well. But that's probably because I love his personality so much. There's nothing better than having a character who comes so easily to you. But in denying myself these characters, I've had to spend more time with others, such as Jung-Yeol, Fritjof, Regina. I've really come around to Frit and Reg.
As much as I miss the characters I have already, it brings me back to the ones who were cut. For a while, I tried to find a way to fit Yami back into the story and realized it wasn't possible. It was a sad day when Briggy had to be cut, but I think that decision was for the better. And now Witha's on the cutting list which I avoid trying to think about. What I always try to ask myself is, "Does this character add anything special to the story? Is this the right place for them to be?" That's how I lost a good third of the characters I originally had in M+I. For the better, I say. Less time spent introducing people. More time spent developing. Although Sormr needs no introduction.
I can rest easy knowing that I still have D, Axle, Eel, Madison, Oscar, Nadia, Charlotte, Sormr, Bublos, Fritjof, Regina, Edouard, Malina, Jung-Yeol, Jae-Seul, Phaedra, Suhayl, Moon, Kal, Rem(brandt), Tichy, Saaia, Cecilia, and maybe Witha. I'm forgetting someone. I'm always forgetting someone.
I miss those who were cut along the way. And I miss that sick, darkly humorous mind I had back in college, too. There are some journals I have that I hope no one ever gets to see. For reasons.