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 ūüėõ ).

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….

What Keeps Me Going

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Photo edited by me but not taken by me. Me & Sparkles. June 2014.

This is what keeps me at going, I guess. Or at least attempting to move forward.

Even though there’s no certainty. Even though I’m not sure if my dreams can come true. Even if there is no promise at the end. Even though it may never happen.
But the possibility of my dreams….to even go halfway….it would be enough.

My outlandish dream is to own a horse. Of course I’m not even sure that is remotely possible myself. My more realistic and shorter term goal is having my dreams go about halfway-ish and be able to maybe half lease (or to ride at least 2-3 days or more per week).

Still the glimmer of it, the possibility is enough for me to try to keep moving forward even when it sometimes seems impossible. (And many times it has. There are just so many barriers it seems.)

I feel like I’m very slowly attempting to take the first small steps towards what could be my dreams. But I didn’t realize how hard it is. Or how much that even how much it logically may make sense that emotionally, the process of progress is overwhelming.

From here on, the text has kind of gone out of control and slightly off topic…

Horses are expensive (I’m often struggling to ride weekly as it is) so short of winning the lottery (that I don’t play) or some other highly unlikely (preferably legal) lucrative scenario, employment is integral to my dreams.

It’s easy to admit that I don’t have social skills as I’ve always felt like I have the social skills of a pet rock with legs (for fleeing of course) anyway. But it’s quite another to seriously actually work on it….instead of just talking about working on it (which is way easier). I know I don’t have really have the social skills for most things right now. Working with people I don’t know well is incredibly awkward. Greetings are an unnatural chore. Introductions are next to impossible. I still have an aversion to phones and so on…and that’s with the simple things. To say nothing of any of the more complicated intricacies of things like power or dealing with conflict (besides angrily walking away and/or ignoring) and so on that I feel like I have little understanding of.

I am trying to push forward but I’m also finding myself planting my feet and stopping at anything that seems scary. (I’m not quite spinning around and bolting but….)

I also don’t really feel really prepared for anything. Currently, I don’t feel like I have the skills for employment, espeically the social skills part. I’m not completely sure about any sort of major group work either in any setting. Transitions to the unknown are hard, especially when I don’t feel ready. But I’m not sure if I’ll ever truly feel ready, I’m not sure if is the sort of test that I never feel ready until after I did it and then it’s okay (even though it may not have felt that way at the time).

I have been stumbling around in this void, this in-between for slightly over a year now. Previously, I was in university. School was relatively safe and predictable. Since I was so socially isolated throughout most of my school years (grade and post secondary) I never really worked with others in person.
The possibilities are of course exciting but the uncertainty is terrifying. Yet possibilities and uncertainty are seemingly irrevocably entangled. I’m almost 25 now (in early Nov) and for some reason, it feels that time is ticking. I don’t know if it actually is but it feels that way.

I am eager but terrified to move forward. The contradicting desires are confusing me, pulling me in multiple directions. I’m not sure if I’m flying or falling or neither since I never managed to leave the freaking ground in the first place (I might be crawling).

Yet, the possibility of horses in my future keeps me wanting to go forward. Somehow. Even though I’m not always entirely sure if I can and even if I’m not even sure if horses would even be there. (My other goal is to move out but I don’t find it quite as inspiring as horses most of the time).

*****
Ok, I know this kind of drifted off into a slightly off-topic rant after the first photo and turned out way longer than originally intended. Oops.
I pretty much spent this entire week at home over-thinking (plus a bit of writing). I’m a good complainer, can get fixated on things (usually the things I shouldn’t be fixating on), tend to write more when I’m confused and mix that with the fact that I’m kind of in a weird phase right now. If I don’t make sense it’s because nothing much is making sense to me either as a whole (separately things make sense).

Me & Czar. Sept 2012
Me & Czar. Sept 2012

Me bareback on Czar, Sept 2012. Czar being an awesome couch. ūüôā

PS: I know I’m wearing the same thing in both photos haha.

The Paradox of Progress

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I want progress, but I am also terrified of it!¬†I want things to change, but I don’t want to change.

I discovered that this past week, resulting in somewhat of a mid-week crisis. I don’t know. It’s all just very confusing and conflicting still.

In general I am not a huge fan of change. Yet, I’m tired of¬†continuously going nowhere. Things are finally starting to happen for me – as I wanted. But I did not expect how overwhelming it could be – when I’ve barely started. But even talk of Telephone Dragons and Teamwork Dragons are enough to rattle me…..yet alone someone going “we’re going to extend your comfort zone”. Uh oh. That usually means it’ll be broken first. I like my comfort zone intact, thank you very much.

Ok, so I did more or less stay in my safe zone for a long while. Did I really do anything? Not really. That was the problem with the last employment program attempt – we were kind of just doing….nothing really. I don’t know. If they did something, they sure didn’t tell me.

I don’t have a good history of programs since I left university. I was really not so happy the first time that the person for the provincial employment program gave up on me due to inadequate social skills. There were so many things wrong with that situation that it’s a wonder we lasted a little over a month. I would change support agencies soon after anyway.

Looking back, at someone’s original plan a little over a year ago – ¬†there was no way that was happening without having some sort of massive meltdown. Dumping me in the deep end doesn’t work. I just seem to get more unwilling, more fearful of it – espeically when it doesn’t even go right!

I know it’s not the same now. I’m with people that now understand me and mostly know me (well, one just started so…). I have more support. It’s one thing to push – but there needs to be a way to deal with the aftermath (also known as when I basically flip out more or less…).

But I still want things to progress and not progress at the same time. I would like the progress without the side-effects, without the growing pains, without the unease and without the anxiety.

If I can’t have my job on a platter, can I have progress on a platter?

Apparently¬†that’s not going to happen.

But I still wish to fly. But I don’t want to fall. I want progress but….I don’t know. I don’t know anything at all.

How to improve your dressage seat and deter “hovering”

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You can do this in one easy step!

1. kill your knee.

If you want 3 easy steps: prance, slip and plummet on a hard surface (at home to sound super stupid).

Now it’s uncomfortable to post and uncomfortable to hover and you will be forced to sit more often! Well, assuming that you have made it onto the horse anyway. Umm…

Aside from that, it’s fairly effective. No other better deterrence like pain! How come I never see anything about this technique? lol.

True story though!

Letting it Go

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Ok, I will admit it. I cannot let things go. Things that annoy me that is or just conflict in general.

It just sit there and irks me until….it stops I guess. I seem to just hang onto mistakes and am seemingly unable to let the damn thing go. It’s hard to let things go and if the other person doesn’t let it go, then it will just linger there. Awkwardly.

It gets stuck in my head. I cannot seem to forget it. I’m likely if I can think about anything else.

I am also terrible at arguments. I seem to lose them all and just be incredibly peeved after.

It’s like my head is a giant catch-all or something.

I’m still feeling awkward about the giant explosion I had with my then-employment agency two months ago!

How do you forget? It’s like unseeing something. Or unreading something. Or unthinking something. It’s rather hard!

At the End

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About a week ago, ok two weeks ago… (Sept 7) I saw my grandpa for the last time. He was dying. We all knew that. But we didn’t know that he’d be gone the next afternoon.

It was at 9pm in the dark halls. He was heavily drugged, sedated. Although he could almost open his eyes, his eyes were rolling back. Hovering between the lands of the dead and the living.

He had been sick since February but it was only the last month that things quickly went downhill. But he had already came to terms of it. In a way, it seemed he had sort of willed death to come. As if he had submitted to the dying of the light. Not rage. Acceptance.

When given time to, most people when faced with death will accept it.

I’m scared of death. I will admit it. What is it like not living?

But like¬†many artists I’m intrigued.

At the End

peering into life
ready for the other side
just another door

unfeeling
when all the images fade
the sounds quieten
all the feeling numbs
unscented and tasteless

eternity

I don’t know. I wasn’t that close to him although I did knew him fairly well. He was like the jester. I guess he’s the first person that I’ve actually knew to have died.

But it was quick. 7 months. It takes less time to have a baby.

PS: Honestly, I’m kind of afraid of his possible ghost. He’s was the guy that got kids to touch that bug zapper (which looks like a racket). Of course he’ll go boo!!

Breaking Away

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Well, not literal wars, thankfully. More like imagined ones to me.

The last two weeks have been crazy. It all started on July 25 with a splat with my¬†employment service. Initially, it started with a dispute about paying for a criminal record check BEFORE anything was or is secured (I have still yet to hear back about that one by the way and I’m STILL peeved about that!!) and just just spiraled out of control from there. Things were already sort of going not so well and it just got worse. In the end, I had little faith in them and things clashed. I know that believe differently but it felt like I was grilled and then ejected out. I haven’t been back since. Now I’m trying to figure things out.

In some ways I’ve been here before and I think I’ve chosen right. ¬†Last year I switched agencies and workers. That worked quite well.

I’ve been out of school for almost 1 whole year and I’m still not employed in any way, I’m haven’t done any work experince or internships, I am still living at home, I’m still barely able to ride (I’m lucky if I get my weekly lesson) and generally, I feel like I haven’t achieved anything. Which is not totally true but it feels like it.

True, I’ve only been with them for 9 months, so not even a year. But I don’t feel like it’s working and I need a job. One can make an entire human being in 9 months but not any sort of job for me?

It’s time for a change I think. ¬†My logic is questioning it but my gut feels that it’s necessary. I don’t think I’m going to go much further doing what I’ve already been doing.

I guess it’s time to breakaway.

I’ll spread my wings and I’ll learn how to fly
I’ll do what it takes til’ I touch the sky
And I’ll make a wish
Take a chance
Make a change
And breakaway

I think I need to breakaway from that employment program

I don’t know where this road will go and I don’t know if it will be any better than before. But at least then, I’ll know that I tried.

Buildings with a hundred floors
Swinging around revolving doors
Maybe I don’t know where they’ll take me but
Gotta keep moving on, moving on
Fly away, breakaway

No matter what, I need to keep moving on even when I don’t know what’s at the end. I need to not lose sight of my dreams but it’s hard when it feels like all your walking into walls. But I generally know what I want in general, I just have no idea how to achieve those things. I can’t predict what’s at the end of the road. Nor can anyone. But ultimately, one must submit to pure, informed but unsubstantiated belief that everything is going to be okay. Even though there’s no way of knowing.

But that’s okay. It has to be. There isn’t any other way. Is there?

It may not be okay. ¬†In that case, it may be time to re-evaluate at that point. It shouldn’t be a path that one is unable to change paths or walk back from. ¬†But it is also may be okay. It might be even more okay.

I don’t have anything to lose. It’s time to fly.

Today, we finished the paperwork. Now all I have to do is play the waiting game for a few weeks.

Quoted excerpts from the ¬†song “Breakaway“. Made¬†famous by singer Kelly Clarkson.¬†Written¬†by¬†Avril¬†Lavigne, Bridget Benenate, Matthew Gerrard. Also in Princess Diaries 2.¬†

(I’m sure not from a small town – I want to go the other way, actually from big city to the country….but everything else is pretty spot on ūüėČ

Some 50 thoughtful questions (and my answers)

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Wanted to do some random questions  so I found this one. From: www.marcandangel.com/2009/07/13/50-questions-that-will-free-your-mind/

  1. How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?
    16? I feel like a teenager.
  2. Which is worse, failing or never trying?
    Failing. Although I know it should be the latter but in actuality, failing. I am terrified of failing!
  3. If life is so short, why do we do so many things we don’t like and like so many things we don’t do?
    Money and expectations. People get caught in the grind of life. It’s hard to do things we like when we don’t seem to have the means.
  4. When it‚Äôs all said and done, will you have said more than you’ve done?
    Probably especially since I’m a rambling, ranting writer…..
  5. What is the one thing you’d most like to change about the world?
    Be less money driven, less greedy. It seems to cause just about ALL problems of the world Рname a major problem (environmental, social etc)  and I bet that money is part of it.
  6. If happiness was the national currency, what kind of work would make you rich?
    Horseback riding :-), maybe photography and I don’t know…wandering around in the forest? LOL. Maybe film-making or something like that. Something artsy.
  7. Are you doing what you believe in, or are you settling for what you are doing?
    I am trying to do what I believe in but I will not be able to fully realize that in the near future as long as I live at home. So I guess I’m settling for what I’m doing…but one CAN do and what one WANTS to do can be two completely different things.
  8. If the average human life span was 40 years, how would you live your life differently?
    I would hope to have done more by now but I’m not sure if I would have changed anything. Maybe take more courses at the same time….?
  9. To what degree have you actually controlled the course your life has taken?
    As much as I could – or not. Somewhat but not all that much I would say. I tend to wait until things take me places or reach a crisis…whichever comes first. I’m currently deciding on some major life directions too….
  10. Are you more worried about doing things right, or doing the right things?
    Doing things right because there’s lots of stupid humanity-related things I don’t believe but will have to if I want get anywhere since “doing the right things” is kind of vague.
  11. You’re having lunch with three people you respect and admire.  They all start criticizing a close friend of yours, not knowing she is your friend.  The criticism is distasteful and unjustified.  What do you do?
    I don’t know. ¬†(Social skills suck)
  12. If you could offer a newborn child only one piece of advice, what would it be?
    I don’t know? Don’t let others define you. (Although I don’t always stay true to that one either).
  13. Would you break the law to save a loved one?
    Depends if I’m with others. On my own, unlikely (sorry).
  14. Have you ever seen insanity where you later saw creativity?
    No. But I can see creativity where others see insanity.
  15. What’s something you know you do differently than most people?
    Everything. No, but I like to believe I think differently and have a different perspective on things.
  16. How come the things that make you happy don’t make everyone happy?
    They don’t understand the feeling, the¬†sensation.
  17. What one thing have you not done that you really want to do?  What’s holding you back?
    One thing…hmm… ¬†More like many things but the biggest barrier at the moment are social skills or lack thereof.
  18. Are you holding onto something you need to let go of?
    Yes. ALL conflicts. I can’t seem to mentally let go of ANY conflict so they just seem clog in my head for way too long while I am amazed how people move on like nothing happened.
  19. If you had to move to a state or country besides the one you currently live in, where would you move and why?
    I would like to move somewhere that would be¬†financially¬†more viable for me to own a horse. I would be interested in moving to a different town/city, possibly a different province. I doubt I will leave the country but if I do it will probably be another English-speaking country or something…Europe would be the most “exotic” I guess (and they have horses!).
  20. Do you push the elevator button more than once?  Do you really believe it makes the elevator faster?
    YES YES!!! No.
  21. Would you rather be a worried genius or a joyful simpleton?
    Worried genius. ¬†I’m always worried, so why not become a genius too ūüėČ
  22. Why are you, you?
    Still figuring that out…
  23. Have you been the kind of friend you want as a friend?
    Probably not. Dunno. Don’t really have much friends. Not a priority for me. My priorities will be my job and equestrian pursuits.
  24. Which is worse, when a good friend moves away, or losing touch with a good friend who lives right near you?
    Hypothetically (because I don’t really have friends), it would be the latter because you might run into the good friend who you lost touch with and it will be awkward. Or I think it will be awkward. Maybe not…
  25. What are you most grateful for?
    Literacy, access to technology and my opportunities to ride horses, relatively few as they are.
  26. Would you rather lose all of your old memories, or never be able to make new ones?
    Lose all memories as I want to make new ones. ¬†(I would also love to get rid of all the negative memories so they aren’t floating around being annoying).
  27. Is is possible to know the truth without challenging it first?
    Not really. You can believe the truth without challenging but that’s not the same as knowing.
  28. Has your greatest fear ever come true?
    Right now to an extent. I graduated 1 year ago and I have no solid¬†plans for anything….
  29. Do you remember that time 5 years ago when you were extremely upset?  Does it really matter now?
    No. I guess not.
  30. What is your happiest childhood memory?  What makes it so special?
    Christmas as a young child. Everyone was together. Conflict was minimal. Everything was possible. The future wasn’t scary.
  31. At what time in your recent past have you felt most passionate and alive?
    When I ride a horse?
  32. If not now, then when?
    Later?
  33. If you haven’t achieved it yet, what do you have to lose?
    Not much I guess. ¬†But yet I feel like I’m constantly lowering my expectations so they wouldn’t seem so “far out” and unlikely. It’s like I don’t know the difference between realistic and pessimistic.
  34. Have you ever been with someone, said nothing, and walked away feeling like you just had the best conversation ever?
    No.
  35. Why do religions that support love cause so many wars?
    Overly rigid narratives and beliefs. Too much belief and differing beliefs.
  36. Is it possible to know, without a doubt, what is good and what is evil?
    No. It’s not that black and white.
  37. If you just won a million dollars, would you quit your job?
    I don’t have a job to quit but I guess I could stop looking for one so intently.
  38. Would you rather have less work to do, or more work you actually enjoy doing?
    More work I enjoy.
  39. Do you feel like you’ve lived this day a hundred times before?
    OMG YES!!
  40. When was the last time you marched into the dark with only the soft glow of an idea you strongly believed in?
    Huh? I’m always doing things with ideas first. Sometimes I get the answers to actually realizing my ideas and sometimes I don’t.
  41. If you knew that everyone you know was going to die tomorrow, who would you visit today?
    I don’t know. Maybe my family? I will probably more interested in¬†preserving¬†what is left¬†of humanity – like a capsule or something….
  42. Would you be willing to reduce your life expectancy by 10 years to become extremely attractive or famous?
    NO.
  43. What is the difference between being alive and truly living? 
    Alive is just breathing, living is being happy and fulfilled to a greater extent.
  44. When is it time to stop calculating risk and rewards, and just go ahead and do what you know is right?
    Tell me? I have trouble with that. Calculating risk and rewards seems much safer than just doing it.
  45. If we learn from our mistakes, why are we always so afraid to make a mistake?
    We feel¬†wronged with every one. Sometimes punished. It’s not a good feeling.
  46. What would you do differently if you knew nobody would judge you?
    I would be way more honest then I am and it would hilarious (to me)!
  47. When was the last time you noticed the sound of your own breathing?
    Fairly often. Especially when I’m trying to sleep or I’m riding (a horse).
  48. What do you love?  Have any of your recent actions openly expressed this love?
    Horses? I guess so. I volunteer. I am trying (somewhat desperately) to hang out to riding.
  49. In 5 years from now, will you remember what you did yesterday?  What about the day before that?  Or the day before that?
    No. Maybe (July 25), that was a little too epic (not in a good way).  Other than that, no. Not really.
  50. Decisions are being made right now.  The question is:  Are you making them for yourself, or are you letting others make them for you?
    A little bit of both. I’m trying to make them for myself but I’m also quite…almost dependent¬†on others making them for me. ¬†Interestingly, I feel like I’m better with making big decisions than small ones! (I tend to let others make the small ones).

Date:  July 27, 2014.

Another Year, Another Summer

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And so, summer is here.

It used to be a time of celebration. ¬†No school. Fun field trips (I never took holidays…and evidently I may never will on a regular basis). As a teenager, hanging around the barn a little more often (I was never quite the barn rat – well, maybe I was for a few weeks before I got “laid off” lol). I was always more of a winter person though. I’m not sure why exactly but I never liked the heat all that much.

But now summer seems to mark the ending of another academic year. The academic year that never was.

What’s worse than a has-been? A never-been.

I’ve never been this. I’ve never been that. Each day is another exercise is nothingness. I feel like I’m in a never ending limbo. Suspended in a sea of mediocrity. Floating listlessly.

I wish for the sunny youth of summer. The innocence as bright as the sun’s strong rays. When the truth and the critic didn’t feel one and the same.

But now, summer just seems to mark another year, another year of nothing. So much so that anything else almost seems overwhelming, stuck  into the endless cycle of nothingness. Yet meanwhile, they children run, play and scream in joy. I stay inside, watching the time go by wordlessly.

Maybe I’ve always been like that. As a kid, I was always the dork that spent the summer reading in the reading room or swinging on the swing for hours. One summer I even taught myself how to “see” the images in the Magic Eye books¬†– more or less (I found some worked better than others…though I’m not sure if I can still see them).

Maybe you’re not growing if what you’re doing doesn’t scare you. But fear is a powerful thing. It’s way easier to simply stay in the shadows rather then attempt to chase the golden light with all sort of barriers in the way.

And every summer it says the same, as if the summer was somehow another year new. Another school year. Another new year of learning. Of growing? But what does it mean when you feel that you barely learnt anything? What does it mean when you’re not sure if you grew that much, still stuck in your ways?

What does it mean when everything feels impossible and you’re not sure how you’re going to move forward? Maybe it’s just normal growing pains – the growing pains of transitions, of really growing up but it all feels like I’m flying towards the sun at full speed.