Reappearing with a New View

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Oh yes I have. Since oh. Basically since 2015. For like you know, four years.

I have always been terrible with any sort of diary thing, since I was like seven. I have notebooks, intended to be dairies that start on January 1 and might go for another day or so but then abruptly end. I used to keep a riding log. That too eventually fell by the wayside.

So here we are, like four years later.

I am now on an island. A big island mind you, but now on an island. I have left Vancouver – where I was born, grew up and lived – until a year ago.

In Sept 2016, I started leasing a little standardbred named Mini in Delta/Surrey. But I never could get her to canter well and she didn’t seem that sound. In Feb 2017, I started riding a young Quarter Horse/Tennessee Walker. He was five at the time, with little English experience. At one point our gas button stopped working altogether but somehow we eventually became a half-decent pairing.

I finished a coding bootcamp with CodeCore in 2017. At the same time, I suddenly went into a no speaking relationship with my worker. Eventually, I got a scholarship for the 12 week bootcamp. 12 weeks of insanity. Wondering if I actually got it, if I had just become addicted to StackOverflow (It’s probably a bit of both things). Although I didn’t learn PHP, I did learn JavaScript, Ruby, Ruby on Rails, Express, Node, Git and how to use the bash command line. Wouldn’t it be funny if you handed a kid a laptop or tablet but it just ran on command line?

In 2018, I moved to Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island. I now part lease a pony. Yes, a PONY. She makes it known too. Chocolate Pony.

My world has charged considerably. From big town Vancouver to small town Duncan/Ladysmith. Photography has taken a bit of a back seat but it occasionally reappears.

I guess this might become a travel blog soon because I am going to my first overseas trip to Hong Kong in a few weeks.

From a Dandelion

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Photo taken: July 28  (well, 1 photo – when I got the idea but realized I needed more light) and July 29.  Text written July 29. I wish I had a macro something. I do not. One day, one day…

My time has come. I am nothing but a seed sphere
but the wind will carry my dedicate seeds
where they will grow
in your lawn
(and maybe your neighbours’ too.
fear not, they’re indiscriminatory)

but my dear minions will grow
taller than your grass
crowned by yellow suns
where they will overcrowd your dying grass
much too joyous for your desolate excuse of a meadow
where they will live and dance in the wind
until they too, go to seed

we are not poisonous
we are edible, nutritious even
some say that we cure things
even cultivate us

But you want us out of your lawn
since we are not the image
of the the ideal lawn, of what should be
not in tune with your expectations
somehow lesser than the manufactured grasses
so you try to knock us with your weedeater
but you will not win
for our roots are firmly in the ground
and we will grow once again
and again, and again, and again
we will not be overcome
we will not be conquered
and well, we grow like weeds

I killed a WordPress site, but it still my current CMS of choice

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Why? Because I have no experince with Drupal or Joomla. And WordPress is better at media management. Drupal sounds really hard to theme or customize theme. Joomla…I don’t know. Either way, Joomla and Drupal are harder and the documentation is slightly less.

WordPress is not the best. Developers say it’s too bloated, it’s slow and there’s a bunch of security issues.  Some hate the finicky and constant updates – and a habit of it randomly going down…

I myself have had WordPress sites go down due to plugins that didn’t agree with it (oops), terrible “programming” from my part (I should learn PHP…) , an half assed update (it updated halfway and then stopped and failed….I did learn to update it manually which was shockingly easy!!) and I had a site go down due to hacking (I install security software on most now).

This happened a few weeks ago but anyway….

The Changing of Seasons

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Having always lived in Vancouver. I was always aware of the seasons, how they changed bit by bit, month to month. Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer…or more like Fall and Spring :-P.

But it’s only the last two years or so that I have become more keenly away of the seasons. As they shift, fade into one another. As you can no longer deny the passing as time as the leaves fall, trees are bare, buds form, blossom and leaf.

2 years ago, I was in the beginning of my last university term. It wasn’t even a full term since I only took 2 classes.

 

Existing: Rhythms of Days

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Each day leads to the another day, seamlessly flowing into another as time somehow marches by.

That used to disturb me.  It used to bother me that I was getting older (I’m now 25) but not really achieving anything. I still live at home. I’m still not independent. Forget a career, I never had a job ever and well….I don’t know. I still don’t know how I’m going to afford my expensive hobbies (why expensive hobbies?! Grrr!). But for the time being, I guess it is not meant to be….

Those things haven’t changed. They haven’t changed at all. But I’m somehow less disturbed by it. I’ve found steps towards change way too overwhelming.

How could someone be so utterly unready for just about anything? I don’t know but somehow I managed to do just that.

The desperation for progress has been replaced by apathy? I don’t know.

I’ve been here before. In a way. But it’s different this time. It’s like the opposite of last time in (in 2008 which was a completely different situation but also a time of transition in some ways) so many, many ways except the end result in the same: living in a state of mere apathetic existence. It took me a few years to finally get out of that last time but I had no support at the time. Fortunately, my life was fairly structured at the time and I had no need to grow.

I’m finding it difficult to do anything else, anything beyond the confines of what I deem comfortable. I know I SHOULD do something but I don’t actually want to do anything. I don’t really know why exactly. But it is.  I barely leave home.

As if all the issues bubbling under, on and above the surface came back to haunt me big time. It feels like I could create barriers to run into by just breathing. Seriously.

Just my presence seems to throw any seemingly straightforward plan into complete disarray! Usually when I fail to do something…I don’t know. It often ends with me freaking out to some extent or whatever.

My days pass: pacing, sleeping, existing.

Somewhere in-between. It’s a familiar place for me. I’ve always struggled to find anywhere for me, trapped between worlds. Neither low-functioning to have a lot of services or programs yet unable to cope with the “real world” (either I don’t have the social skills or I’m not independent enough/find it too overwhelming or all of the above).

I am not sure when I’ll exist the funk (or if, but oh god I hope I do…this kinda sucks 🙁 ).

Things are slowly getting better. Things are slowly solidifying. I’m starting to find things to grasp onto, that I’ll hopefully keep holding onto even as the storm passes. Horses have been good. I somehow manage keep my shit together when on or around a horse even though I can’t seem to do it in just about anything else. I’ve even manage to ride little issues out like a real rider on a real horse  instead of freaking out myself – despite the fact that I’m kind of losing it in all other aspects of my simultaneously wonderfully and horribly stagnant life.

But horses are expensive. And hard to get to.  So I can’t ride that much :-(. But for now it’s enough to keep me sane, keep me grounded. I am increasingly starting to think that if it wasn’t for horses, I would have completely lost it by now.  Even though I am struggling with various issues (some of them a little larger than I thought…) now, I still have some motivation to move froward. Without horses, I’m not sure if I would have that.

Too many things end with me freaking out. No wonder I’m drawn to the masters of freaking out: horses. :-P. To be fair, it’s pretty hard to freak and run away when the horse under you is doing it for you, pretty much! (Although I seem to be able to keep my shit together with horses this time around which wasn’t the case in 2008. Like I said, opposite.  In 2008, wasn’t freaking out about the rest of my non-horsy life – I just didn’t care despite that I did decide that the canter was suddenly scary for no reason…and I didn’t care much.).

I’ve also gotten stuck in a cycle of procrastinating too…

I don’t know. Maybe I’m just stuck in general…..

For now I still few like a lost child. Except I’m a grown-up that can’t seem to do any grown-up things at the moment….

New Years Resolution 2015

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  1. Organize my photos/videos into monthly folders this year (unless it’s a project) in hopes that I’ll be able to find my stuff more easily.

That’s it. I can’t think much beyond this month at the moment.

I’m doing 2 online photo courses this month (one free MOOC and one an xmas gift) and both are only 1 month. I had bigger goals last year but…I’m sort of doubting that too…

But seriously, how the hell is it 2015??!! I swear it was 2010 not too long ago!!

Of Christmas Past

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So, now at New Years Eve, Christmas is over once again.

I used to like Christmas. I used to eagerly await the decorations, the lights, the stockings, the presents and fervently wish for snow where the green Christmas is the norm. But now it seems that Christmas just another day, perhaps another family gathering at the most.

I have memories of decorating the Christmas tree a few weeks before Christmas – hauling that increasingly ancient fake tree with permanent tinsel, putting it together and than decorating haphazardly with  blinking and non-blinking lights, actual decorations and ugly childhood  decorations. I have even fonder memories of sitting in my grandparents’ living room staring at the Christmas tree aglow, mesmerized. (Although I had a phase when I didn’t like any blinking lights and my dad managed to get the star to stop blinking for me).

But it’s all over now.

We don’t personally have a tree or anything even though I wanted one for years.

None of my grandmothers’ places (one for 24th and 25th) had holiday decor of any kind. On Christmas day, I also got to listen to my cousin’s list of grievance (well, just one grievance,, really, repeatedly)

The magic has gone. That’s for sure. I no longer hear the bells ring. I no longer am fascinated by the lights.

It’s just another day.

It wouldn’t surprise me if I just became another day – my family ties are not the strongest and the likelihood of me gaining a close friend ore something is low. For my mom’s  side of the family at least, it’s like they might as well not exist.

I still want a damn Christmas Tree. I want to put purple lights on it and decorate it with my horsy ornaments and such.

Falling over the giant step

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I did it.
Last week I just tried taking one of the seemingly huge metaphorical steps. And sort of crashed through it.

But my coping skills are relatively low and I struggled to keep myself sane during that time. I spent the last last half of the previous week fretting about a possibility (the phone possibility), the first half of that week freaking out and the last half of that week in some sort of weird zone.

After that , it was like my brain melted and I couldn’t deal with anymore anxiety. At all. Plans for Saturday fell apart when I flatly refused to go beyond my comfort zone because I couldn’t deal with it anymore even if it was taking the bus for a bunch of extra unknown stops.

I didn’t think I was ready. For many, it was no secret that I was not ready. And surprise, I wasn’t ready!

Frames Film Project also ended. However, through the 10 week program, it wasn’t until the 9th week (editing weekend) that I started to feel part of the group. I’ve heard that they did a 8 month intake once and everyone found it too long but I think I would have done better in that. I will be returning in some way though….

Okay, I’m still not quite there when it comes to group work. So many years alone has made it incredibly difficult to connect.

I’m on the ground, lying by the staircase I just completely fell over. Again. I don’t know what to do anymore. Interviews are too overwhelming. Phones are overwhelming. Groups are overwhelming until I know anyone (which may not be for a while). But most of all, I cannot seem to move a single step.

Not Impossible (Schoolgirl Days)

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When I think to things that once seemed impossible but became impossible was integrating into regular classes in grade 9.

I have been in social development programs all through elementary school. I had some integrated classes in elementary school (usually a once or few times per week thing) but I don’t recall any of them were wildly successful. The worst one was when I was supposed to be a mentor for a younger class. That didn’t go that well and I’m not sure why they thought it would.

For high school, I was in Pacific Storm Social Development at Sir Charles Tupper Secondary. When I was in grade 8, we had two integrated elective blocks – one was a rotation of fine arts (drawing, graphics, drama) and the other was a rotation of other things (Applied Skills…I just remember it had woodworking and home ec). It was not that easy for me but I eventually got the hang of it. Some courses were modified quite heavily for me to accommodate me (I’m looking at you, Drama).

I was 13 years old. I didn’t know it at the time but my social world was going to become more and more insular. By the time I was 13,  I didn’t think I’ll ever go into regualar classes. I doubted I would go to university.

At last half of grade 9, I was nearly fully integrated. In grade 10, I had one block with Pacific Storm even though the program was grade 8-9 (though it said grades 8-10 for YEARS). In grade 11, I had one skills block that I seemed to use for napping….but wound up running back to a Pacific Storm staff member in times of “crisis”. In grade 12, I wound up going back to Pacific Storm to “peer tutor” (kids didn’t like me much, go figure) although I can’t say I did a very good job (I don’t know why people keep thinking I’ll be a good tutor!)…in reality, it was more like “catching up with folks”. I was offered a skills block in grade 12 but opted for spare. Although in grades 11-12 I was technically with the resource centre for support, I never strayed that far away from Pacific Storm (but they didn’t do a good job of kicking me out either 😛 ).

Long after I graduated (thankfully), Pacific Storm has since moved to Britannia. I am very glad that happened much after or I would have been so screwed with my “not part of the program, part of the program” status in grade 10-12.

As for the hoopla with special needs in regular classrooms? I don’t know. I think I would have enjoyed the academic challenge (except for math) if I was integrated earlier. But I also think that the social development programs kept me relatively safe from bullies and let me form friendships. I am not sure if I would have formed a friendship if I wasn’t in that setting. ALL of the friends I ever had (and may ever have at this rate lol) were peers from my social development classes. Actually, come to think if it, I might have very well have gotten kicked out of a regular classroom for such poor social interaction skills, especially when it got way worse around grade 2 or 3. I don’t know what happened. People have asked me that before. At any rate, it was like my world fell in.

When I was around 12-13 , I did not imagine that I go to regular classes or will attend university. That seemed nearly impossible. I knew nothing more other than social development programs.

But I did. I now have a BA in English. But I was reasonably good at academics and my accommodations allowed me to stay in my comfort zone for the most part.

Now, I am struggling to see myself getting a job and living independently. But this is harder.

This is so much harder. And it does seem impossible a lot of the time.

I can’t handle phones. Or introductions. Or interviews. Or anything else it seems.

I don’t have the independence or social skills  that one expects from someone my age. Sometimes it seems like I don’t want to do it when I do but I’m just really overwhelmed.

I long for the days of school hallways…so structured, so comforting….