reverie v. reality

https://reverie.bearblog.devreverie v. reality2024-07-18T07:35:25.786117+00:00reveriehiddenpython-feedgenhello there, wanderer!
I’m (or you can call me ).

here you will find a mish-mash of:

welcome, if you are venturing in.
& if you’re going - ...’ve unlocked hidden dialogue!)2024-07-14T07:35:59.310140+00:00reveriehidden

Another trip at an end. Despite having a moment of panic mid-week where I was like, I should have shortened this trip, I'm straight up ruining everyone's schedule, everything went really well & I'm so, so happy with the entire experience. My friends' (let's call them Riley and Taylor) baby was SO cute and hilarious (as babies almost always are) & I have a soft spot for kids a mile wide, so I was really pleased when he started grinning at me outright instead of giving me suspicious little side-eye looks of Mom, why is she still here? everytime I showed up in the same room.

While some plans fell through, new ones happened pretty spontaneously and I think it all balanced out well. Riley is really organized & a great planner, so I think she had some stuff on the back burner for if I choked and totally failed to come up with things I wanted to do and/or see while I was in town. I'm kind of glad we didn't have anything set in concrete because Taylor's work schedule is very sporadic and it was good for Riley and I to be able to make quick changes to plans based on the baby.

One of our other friends - Maia - (who Riley knows from childhood and who I know through Riley) joined us for a bunch of outings, which I was really excited about. I didn't think she would be able to join as often as she did & it was a pleasant surprise each time! She & Riley have a rapport that I find frankly comforting to observe. It's very obvious that they've been friends for forever; there are no airs put on, no silence is awkward, no spindling thread of conversation is stilted. I could go silent at moments, listen, & let myself be buoyed on the wave of their well-worn camaraderie.

Also, Riley & Taylor are two of my only friends who own and regularly play board games, so I was making use of that fact every possible evening. Calm two hours while the baby naps? Hey, guys, what about a board game? I got to try maybe four or five new games. A blessing and a curse, because while the introduction was welcome, I can rarely wrangle any of my friends at home to play. I'm going to have to strong-arm some people into going to the local board game cafe soon, so I can get my fix.

• • • •

A moment within the trip that I was not expecting at all: I sort of stumbled down the conversation path of telling Riley & Taylor that I'm asexual.1

I went to bed that night and just lay there laughing as quietly as I could for about twenty minutes, because not only did I start the conversation on a completely separate note and had not expected it to veer that direction, but it went really well and they were both really kind & supportive in a way I've only really heard from other ace friends. I'm tearing up a little right now, thinking about it.

In a funny way, I felt a bit like they accidentally unlocked a "hidden dialogue" path, because usually I'm pretty good at skirting around questions and topics of conversation surrounding my dating life, but they were asking about if I'd gone on any dates recently & I said, truthfully but leaving a lot of stuff out, no, not really, the last few I went on weren't great, so I'm just kind of not worrying about it right now.

Taylor, who is a pretty straightforward person, asked, "Well, do you like dating?"

In all the years of friends asking me about my dating life, I’m not sure I can say that anyone has ever asked me that question. I guess it was enough to shock me into admitting outright, "No, I pretty much hate it. People always want me to know after a few dates if I'm interested in them and I just can't tell that quickly."

\[the ensuing conversation, with a lot of paraphrasing\]

Taylor \[with honest curiosity\]: You can't tell if you're interested in someone immediately?

Me: Not really. Sometimes I think people are good looking right out of the gate, but I can't tell if I like someone until I've know them for a while. I think I've had maybe four crushes since high school and all of them have been people I've know for maybe a year or more.

Taylor: Oh, okay, so you don't think 'they're attractive, I want to get to know them better'?

Me: Um, yeah, not really. I want to get to know if I like people in general, first. And the people I've gone on dates with seem to think we're both immediately like, I like you romantically and you like me romantically! and I'm still stuck way back in what feels like an earlier chapter of the platonic to romantic book or something.

Taylor: Oh, okay! I think some people would say that their romantic, sexual, & friendship interest grow alongside one another.

Me \[trying to be brave & not dance around the point as usual\]: Yeah, I've heard that from some other people. I don't think my levels of interest increase on the same scale - they kind of jump at different intervals. To be honest, I consider myself, like, asexual and maybe some level of aromantic - I like people, but it takes a long time, so it's hard for me to go on random dates because people typically want an answer about how into them I am way earlier than I can comfortably say.

\[Taylor & Riley take a moment where they're clearly re-analyzing previous conversations they've had with me about my dating life - I have a little laugh about it internally.\]

Me \[to Riley\]: Sorry I never said something earlier, it's not that I was really trying to hide it, I just don't really know how to bring it up, sometimes.

Riley: I mean, I guess I'm not totally surprised? I remember all the times you'd come back from a date while we were roommates. I definitely thought, at one point or another: Wow, she really does not enjoy going on dates.

Me:, um. That's why I'm kind of weird about people trying to set me up with their friends. Because they might be really nice, but it's hard to gauge how my interest and attraction might go. And I've discovered— through a lot of trial and error and hurt feelings - that I'm typically not operating on the same playing field as other people, to really mangle the metaphor.

Taylor \[earnestly\]: You know we love you and support you, right?

Me \[beyond flustered by the turn this conversation has taken and a little overwhelmed by this direct admission\]: Oh, yes - um, thank you, I mean - I know, yeah.

Taylor \[trying to lighten the mood, since it’s obvious I’m emotional\]: I’m an Ace Ally!

Me \[laughing\]: Oh, that’s great - that’s really great, maybe we can get you a t-shirt.

\[end scene\]

At this point, the conversation meandered around that for a bit until we ended up wandering off to other topics.

I don’t know. I’ve only spoken to a few friends about all of this; the majority of which (read: two) are also ace-spectrum, so I was really taken aback in a good way by the flow of the conversation.

Not that I necessarily thought they would be rude or cruel about it, but a few of the family members I’ve talked to have definitely had some difficulty wrapping their heads around all of it. Which is fine, to me. I don’t need everyone in my life to understand me perfectly, as long as they love me for who I am. Would that we could all be Known & Understood clearly, but on the whole, the reality of all of us being separate people with unique experiences & understandings of the world is something I enjoy about life, so I think it’s a fair trade off.

Anyway, I had a really great trip. I feel very grateful to have so many wonderful people in my life. Oh, man, I’m misty-eyed again. I just really love my friends. So many of my friendships formed years back have dispersed to different cities and states and countries. I feel immensely lucky when distance and the business of all of our lives doesn’t dull the connections we forged. I really hope that my friends enjoyed having me muddling about in their house for the week. I got to cuddle their cute dogs, play many spirited games of peek-a-boo with the baby, and loaf on the sofa with Riley just like old times.

I can’t lie, though - I am more than ready to collapse in my own bed and I’m itching for the opportunity to smother Willow & Algernon with kisses they’ll pretend to hate but come poking after once I’m tucked in bed and dead tired (the joy of cats, am I right?).

God, I also got the cutest postcards while I was in town, as well as the funniest baseball cap I’ve ever seen. I’ve been provisionally prohibited from bringing my younger brother anymore cool caps or t-shirts as gifts since he’s sort of overrun with them (that is my bad…I just really love to bring back gifts) but I shot off a quick text as soon as I saw it, because it had me howling with laughter. Needless to say, the hat ban was temporarily lifted because the cap was much too good to pass up.

I have zero plans the rest of this weekend and I’m so ready for a Sunday full of Doing Absolutely Nothing. (Here you can envision me discreetly kicking my unpacked bag behind me. We’ll deal with that later. That’s weekday!Eve’s problem.)

Good luck out there,

• • • • • • • •

  1. & biromantic slash maybe demiromantic, to be more accurate??? I'm still working this part out, so I usually just say bi, I guess.

2024-07-14T01:34:00+00:00 and away2024-07-09T17:27:21.209656+00:00reveriehidden

It's odd, being underfoot at a friend's place. There's something I love about it - getting to see the flow of someone's daily life - but I'm definitely someone who worries about interrupting habits and preferred timetables, so I always feel a little nervous when I come to visit someone and it's not for some big event (like a wedding, etc.) that shakes up everyone's schedule. Luckily, my friend is a teacher and gets the summer off, so I'm only disrupting summer-break schedules, instead of normal-work schedules.

I told my friend when we set out dates for my visit that I wasn't worried about planning a ton of stuff to do while I'm here. I've visited before (though it's been a minute), so I've seen a lot of the "main stuff" - and they have a baby that needs to be considered when planning outings and events. I figured plans that work for everyone would kind of fall into place and I certainly didn't want her to feel like she had to make massive changes to her schedule to accommodate me when I'm more than happy to just hang out at her house and catch up.

Since she lives a bit of a trek from me, we don't get to see one another in person often. Last time she was in my town, I only saw her for only a few hours and she hadn't been able to bring the baby along (it had been for a work trip). I wanted to come meet him before time flies and he's suddenly, like, five or something. It happens so fast!

I'm a little worried I'm stressing them out by not giving them concrete things I want to do, but honestly, I really just wanted to go see the coffee shop I spent most of my time in while I was up here for work (I got to do that yesterday! It looks exactly the same, despite 7+ years!) and maybe go on a small hike or something. (I'm heading out for that in about twenty minutes!).

The weather is a little chillier than I anticipated, but I think it will be a welcome change compared to how hellishly hot it's been at home. You couldn't pay me to go hiking in my state right now. I would make it half a mile and then lay down under a shady tree until the sun set.

I'm a few hours offset from my usual time zone, but luckily any jetlag has yet to crash into me. I think it's more likely it will get me on the return home, but I suppose I'll have to wait and see. I feel like time changes on trips are overpowered by my sense of excitement and/or anxiety, but once I get back to stasis, all of the time-fuckery has a chance to catch up to me. And catch up, it certainly does.

We woke up around 7 / 8 AM the day after I arrived (the baby wakes up pretty early), drank some coffee, ate some breakfast, and went on a long walk around the neighborhood. Yesterday we went to a bookshop and coffee shop, then came back and read in the sunshine for an hour and played board games - Flamecraft and Explorers. I'm really loving the very relaxed pace of this adventure. Sometimes it's nice just to have a very chill hangout with people you've missed, and there's a nostalgia to this adventure because it reminds me of when this friend & I were roommates, as well as of my time spent up here for work on the train line.

I'll try to snap some nice photos of the waterfall at the end of this hike!

Good luck out there,

2024-07-09T17:27:21.204523+00:00 the good and golden things2024-06-29T12:40:01.875182+00:00reveriehidden

Friday again. The weeks have been absolutely flying by! I find myself more than a little disoriented by the internal flash of light and color as June hurtles into July. And now I have to meet with the fact that we're halfway through the year & I only have so much to show for it.

Here is where I might usually lay into all of the ways I've fucked up my goals and plans for this year...but I don't feel like doing that right now!

I'm in a really good mood. So I wanna talk about what I feel like I've actually done a good job of this year!!!

Okay! Number one: I've been so social! This is probably the most social-butterfly version of myself I've managed to muster up in years. Maybe not so much throughout this month in particular, but I've been recharging from all of the events, reconnections, and hangouts I was navigating from January to May. Next month, I have two more relatively 'high-level socialization' things to tackle and then I think my social calendar (who the fuck am I?) is cleared up in the most beautiful way. Not that I don't love seeing people! I do. I have seriously been so thrilled about the relationships I've been nurturing over the past year - and even just the last few months! I just get overwhelmed super easily, so it's nice to have some time to myself again.

I think one of my favorite things in the world is when you meet up with friends you haven't seen in a long time (say five-plus years, right?) and not only do you click back immediately, but it's like they're really excited to see you? And they try to make further plans with you??? Like, holy shit, you want to hang out again? YES! I'm in, I'm totally in on this plan. I got invited to a reconnection-friend's husband's birthday party and I did a little dance in the laundry room, I was so excited. I'm birthday party material! Yay!

Also, I love getting to know newer friends on a deeper level? It takes time to meet people in all the varied layers of themselves, but it just makes me grin like an idiot when I get another little hint or tidbit about who someone is. I especially love when people start sharing things they like with me! It feels a lot like being a little kid again: your friend carefully passing you the stuffed animal they carry everywhere with them, and there's this moment where it's kind of like being trusted with a little piece of their soul, you know? What an honor! Even now! It's a warm, glowing thing to me.

…Moving on before I wax poetic about it for twenty more paragraphs. My tangents have tangents, when I really get running.

Oooh - another thing: I'm already more than halfway through my reading goal for the year. I set it at 20 books. Currently, I'm clocking in at 14 (and I'm almost done with another novel and another poetry book, so I'll hopefully be at 16 by the end of the weekend). If I can keep this momentum up, I might change my internal goal (but not my Goodreads or StoryGraph goals - I'll just take the win there, haha) to 50 books. Last year I only read 7 total, so I'm really pleased that I've more than doubled that number just from April to now. I love to read, but I often hit mental ruts where I can't bring myself to crack open a book; or, I can't keep up with a book long enough to finish anything, so I just end up hopping between dozens of them with no actual progress in any of them...that's pretty much what happened last year.

Also, as much as the change-up in my job has been a pretty frustrating ordeal, I can't say I'm not grateful for the fact that I'm able to tear through audiobooks again. When I started at my position, I was free to shut my office door, pop in my headphones, and focus up on my tasks. That was not as easily done once I was a little more settled in. Now that I'm in a weird, wobbly middle-ground, I'm back to relative obscurity and I don't need to keep an ear out for coworkers calling out for me throughout the day. There are times when I'm really glad I went with an audiobook version, too. Sometimes I think certain narrators really bring out the character in a way that I might not have explored with my internal narration.

Meanwhile, there are definitely cases where the narrator ruins things for me outright. (I put out a Libby hold for The Tale of Despereaux, which is one of my favorite books from childhood that I haven't read in yeaaaaars. I was like, Oh, this will be really nice to revisit! I'd love to see how they work with the characters! but when the narration started, I realized it wasn't the author reading it, but some guy????? My internal voice I'd always read it in was what my kid-mind imagined Kate DiCamillo sounded like, right? So you can imagine - maybe even just a smidge - my abject confusion and immediate woe upon this discovery. In hindsight, I should have just pushed on because maybe he did a wonderful job with the narration, but I was so thrown!!! Like, who are you??? What's going on here? Kate? Kate???)

Anyway, where was I?

Oh, yes! I've been playing the guitar again. More than I have in two years, even. I'd only picked it up a handful of times, which is a shame because I actually have a really gorgeous acoustic guitar. When I go too long without playing, I start to feel guilty that she's just stuck in the corner. I hadn't felt much like singing, either - not like I used to, at least. I used to sing pretty much non-stop: in the car, making dinner, drying my hair, out-of-breath while on a run, the entirety of my walk from my apartment to my workplace, when I got bored in the evenings. I really can't pinpoint when and where it fell away, but now that the desire is crawling out of its well, I've noticed its previous absence.

I don't know. I think it's good for me, to sing. It tells me I'm in a good headspace. And I've been sooooo brave with guitar (read: done something completely normal and not even a little bit scary) by pushing myself through my fear and loathing of barre chords. It's small victories - the smallest potatoes ever. Any yet, I'm proud to say that I have - finally, finally - successfully managed to stop substituting Fmaj7 for F. Please clap - I know, it's a tremendous feat. This has only been my entire guitar career in the making! When I tell people I'm "campfire-songs-good" at guitar, I think they believe I'm being modest, but it's a stone cold fact. I only get away with people thinking I'm passable because I can play stuff that gets everyone singing along, so they don't typically notice how well-and-truly I am fucking up the chord progression, haha. Still, I enjoy it! I think that's the most important part.

I really can't pinpoint why I'm in such high spirits today. It's been a murky, rainy day. Typically, that puts me in a bit of a mental slump, but I've got some kind of psychic shield up right now or something!

Big fan of whatever is going on in my brain space at this moment.

Here's a line of poetry I really enjoyed recently.

From Tuesday by Alex Dimitrov1:

And you can begin anytime
like this whole world began
out of nothing. You can walk out
tonight and feel totally new.
All you need is the right pair of boots.

Let's count this as my mid-year checkpoint. Pretty good things behind and ahead.

Good luck out there,

• • • • • • • •

  1. Shoutout to Misu for introducing me to Dimitrov's work!

2024-06-29T01:16:00+00:00 being the precognitive type2024-06-12T01:47:18.307675+00:00reveriehidden

Sometimes I do feel like I can see the future.

Yes, yes - I know that this is just a symptom of being a chronic overthinker & catastrophizer. I can dream up about two thousand worst-case-scenarios, so if something goes wrong, it's likely that at least one of them will come true. And yet, there are cases where I see the writing on the wall so clearly from the get-go & no one around me believes me, or they think I'm just being my usual overly-worried self. (ffs, I feel like Cassandra!1)

Take for example a situation I was navigating in the latter half of 2023: A co-worker mentions that she has a family member she thinks I would get along with. This is pitched initially as a romantic2 set-up, then slides sideways towards a potential friendship when I repeatedly demur at the topic (but I can still read the hope that I will be interested in this person's family member in their tone).

I grit my teeth and walk into the situation with my best "you always jump way ahead in your conclusions, so don't make this a bigger deal than it is" mindset. But I can tell pretty much from the get-go that this person is way more interested in me than I am in them & I think they fully believe I'm approaching every conversation from a "we're mutually interested in one another & therefore feeling things out" mindset, where as I was very, very firmly in the "I don't even know if I want to be friends with you yet, so I am definitely not romantically interested in the slightest right now" state of mind.

Everyone I talk to about it tells me that I'm making assumptions on what they're thinking. I think: okay, sure, perhaps. But previous experience has proven time and time again that there are certain patterns that mean I'm not just on the wrong page, but the wrong book with someone else. I have done this dance more than once, at this point! I think, I've just got to say something. I don't want a potential friendship to blow up down the line because I wasn't upfront. But my friends and family say I'm putting up walls too early and I'm going to hurt this person's feelings.

The wire inside of me that signifies my particular brand of inflexibility makes itself known, winding itself tighter and tighter with each new text that lights up my phone. I grow evermore tense and - regrettably - sharp.

I've never liked being set-up.

This next part is pretty embarrassing to confess, but here it is: the weeks go by and I become increasingly wretched to be around. I'm mean, short-tempered, and easy to upset. I'm slow to respond to this person and I feel like I'm pulling teeth when I do write back. I burst into tears sporadically. Any time they're in town & want to meet in person, I erupt in hives beforehand and have to cancel plans. When my coworker asks how it's going, my collarbones and neck break out immediately into a mortified flush and I hum and haw and commit unforgivable vagueries until she laughs (uncertainly) and gives up.

A friend tells me I am not acting like my "usual, sweet" self. (I fucking know!!!!) I feel like I'm leading this person on! And I think they're nice, so I feel so very guilty. At the same time, I'm being told I'll "really hurt them" if I tell them I'm just interested in being friends right now. I know that when it becomes apparent to them that I'm not interested (because I only respond to one out of every five texts and am clearly not even meeting them in the middle of a friendship level of communication for fear of it seeming like romantic intentions), Set-Up and my co-worker will be furious with me for stringing them along. I wonder if my co-worker will be directly furious or if she'll ice me out. I start to mentally prepare for how I'll escape my job.

At some point, I have a total meltdown about this situation and decide to go back to therapy3 and spill all of this in a sobbing heap across my therapist's (admittedly very comfortable) couch.

My therapist says, "Tell them you're not interested."

Oh. (I can do that?)

I do that.

They say they understand. That they're a little disappointed, but they get it. Their family member/my co-worker is a bit tense with me for a few weeks, as I was worried might happen. I, now free of the crushing weight of my guilt, actually feel like I can text them without running myself into the ground in worry. They go a bit distant (I think understandably), but ultimately continue to text back.

We're, like, friends now. Things with my coworker return to normal.

But I was right. Maybe not perfectly spot on...but I truly believe if my therapist hadn't given me the go-ahead to say what I needed to say, all of my worst case scenarios would have come crashing down on me just like I imagined them.

Urghhhh, I don't remember where I was going with this. Maybe: Is it really pre-cognition or some sort of self-fulfilling prophecy? Is it my people-pleasing tendencies? Is it my avoidance? Am I actually fucking capable of seeing the path something might take or am I just so deeply anxious that I'm getting out the cart for the problem, even before the horse has left the barn?

I mean, I told everyone I knew how I felt and what I wanted from the get-go and then still went along with what they wanted, despite it taking a direct and drastic affect on my mental health.

Why does someone showing the slightest level of interest in me create a reaction not unlike someone playing Battleship with my fleet of neuroses? I mean, I have my suspicions vis a vis my enduring neutrality around romantic relationships, but that might be a post for a different day.4

I can feel that this is just building into a rant, actually. Sorry? Not sorry? It's my blog, I can rant if I want to? Still...seems unfair, when you have to read it. Hopefully my restless ravings are at least somewhat palatable, reader-wise. (Me, to me: Am I a joke to you?)5

I think I might have really terrible issues with self-doubt. Self-trust? Either one, I guess. Even when I can see the path I'm on will lead me to nothing but discomfort, I'll stay on it long after I should just because I can't tell when to take my own agonizing seriously. It doesn't help that I agonize over things that are so unserious. How can I trust when it is???

In a way, I can see the pieces of me that make up my messy, tangled-up issues all sitting together, holding hands, and singing a little song campfire-style. The inflexibility, the fear of unknown rules, the doubt, and the tissue-paper-ness. They all put me on high-alert for certain scenarios.

I can't say it hasn't been a useful tool, at times. There are definitely situations where my desire to look at a potential outcome from every angle has served me well. Sometimes, it can even soften the blow of a bad outcome, especially if the reality is a little less drastic than what I anticipated.

But I don't love when it takes over my life - when it makes me a different version of myself, you know? I don't think of myself as mean or sharp or short-tempered, but I become all of these things as the weight of a dozen possibilities press down on me. I've learned to dig myself out of the feeling for some scenarios, but others are like a rockslide that I can't claw my way out from under.

And I know I've spent a few posts talking about the friendship I ended earlier this year, but you'll have to bear with me here, because most of my long-standing friendships are deep enough that the end of them feels like a really fucking terrible breakup. As much as I stick by my decision to say my piece, I keep mulling over everything. I mean, I knew pretty much to a T how that conversation was going to go. I know now that it's a large part of why I put it off for so long.

Is it possible that things could have been different if I'd spoken up earlier? Sure, maybe. But also, likely not. There was a reason all of my anxiety senses went haywire whenever I thought about it. I think I knew it would be the beginning of the end, no matter how I went about it. (Urgh - & I begin to doubt myself again. Hey, if you're also never sure if you're making the right decisions, we should start a club or something. I could use the company.)

Now I'm here, in the aftermath of two big Scenarios, right? But neither one really feels put to rest to me.

Set-Up is moving to my town in the next few months & while I think it will be nice, because we do have a lot in common and I'm sure it will be good for them to have a friend in the area, I worry I'll go immediately wary and defensive over little things. People often think I'm flirting when I'm completely unaware of that interpretation, which makes me even more nervous and high-alert about how I act and move and speak.

And my old friendship still lives nearby and is in the loop with other people I know. I'm not sure how an interaction would go if we ran into one another. I can think of a few possible options, but all of them are so incredibly different that I don't know which one to brace for, since our last conversation ended on an unhappy but relatively "mild" close, overall.

I guess I feel like I'm afraid of making myself miserable over "what ifs". It's not that any of these things are pressing on me right now, but I hadn't anticipated just how quickly I would turn into a tightly-wound mess back in October. It freaks me out a bit.

....And now I'm worrying about the possibility of a possibility.

Okay, no.

Isn't this why you went to therapy, Eve? you might ask. Yes. Yes, actually. So, alright - what do I do here? Talk myself down from the worry, I guess. Here goes nothing.

Set-Up moves to town. I've already stated where I stand. That's one thing down. Maybe there's further miscommunication & we're on the wrong page again. Worse comes to worst, I have to reinstate my position. I've already done it once. I can do it again.

I see my old friend. Worst case: it's an uncomfortable, possibly confrontational interaction. (Well, I'll hate every second of it, but I can handle it.) Best case: it's an awkward but overall friendly conversation. Most-Likely case: we sort of barely acknowledge each other and then go about our day. All things that can be dealt with.

Saying that again, for my own sake: all things that can be dealt with.

Huh. Actually, writing all of this out made me feel way better. I think a lot of my fear of bad outcomes is a latent belief that I won't be able to handle them. But I can (right?). I totally can.

I have to start telling myself it's true.

Good luck out there,

• • • • • • • •

  1. "fated \[...\] to utter true prophecies but never to be believed."

  2. Never a good idea when I'm involved. I am so not normal when it comes to romantic situations. I am my Very Worst Self.

  3. Yes, indeed - this was the catalyst of my four big, terrible, sobbing, hyperventilating, incoherent breakdowns I experienced back in October. To say I am mortified is an understatement.

  4. And you know what? Actually, fuck it. It's June, so Happy Pride and at some point down the line maybe I'll actually manage to make myself talk about my very complicated emotions regarding dating and romance. Just...not right now, because that's something I can't get into without going down a thought spiral, so we'll brush past it for the moment since this post is already running away from me.

  5. Yep!

2024-06-11T15:49:00+00:00 \| january - may 20242024-05-31T12:57:23.321191+00:00reveriehidden

Figured it's been a minute since my last listening post, so here are some songs I've been enjoying this year. I've been trying to separate my songs into monthly playlists on my Spotify, just so I can better see what I was really looping at the time. It's kind of fun; I make ugly little cover art for them & blast the same twelve songs for a month, then make myself swap it up when the new month ticks over.

Anyway, here are the songs I've listed on my about page under my current listening between January to now!

Song Title \| Artist \| Album

  • "Never is a Promise" \| Fiona Apple \| Tidal
  • "Linger" \| The Cranberries \| Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can't We?
  • "cellophane" \| FKA twigs \| MAGDALENE
  • "Obsessive Thoughts" \| Madi Diaz \| Weird Faith
  • "Motorcyle Drive By" \| Third Eye Blind \| Third Eye Blind (Self-Titled)
  • "All of This Will End" \| Indigo de Souza \| All of This Will End
  • "Talk Down" \| Dijon \| Absolutely
  • "Presumably Dead Arm" \| Sidney Gish \| Ed Buys Houses
  • "Is There Something in the Movies?" \| Samia \| The Baby
  • "Beatrice" \| Dizzy \| The Sun and Her Scorch
  • "Collector" \| Daffo \| Pest
  • "Witness" \| Mt. Joy \| Rearrange Us
  • "Knock the Wind" \| Dizzy \| Dizzy

• • • •

I haven't felt like blogging this last month. Partly, I think I've hit the end of a busy period and so my bandwidth temporarily shut down. Also, I've been a little ummmm maybe uhhhh depressed...or something close to it? Feel like I'm coming out of it, though. Sometimes the sadness just slogs me down for a while.

I've been pushing myself socially, which maybe sounds overblown, but I really am both incredibly awkward and deeply introverted, so even if I have the best time in a social situation, I tend to leave it needing a lot of time to come back to myself (and also, I replay every stupid thing I said on repeat for several days in a row, which slows the recharge process down and sometimes nearly convinces me to blow up all of my friendships in order to avoid future mortification).

With all of the weddings and get-togethers that overloaded the beginning of my year, I think my writing brain was like, "Ohhhhoho - no you don't. We have talked to people WAY more than we usually do, there is no chance that we're about to turn around and go talk to the internet right now! We already have far too much material in our Stupid Shit You’ve Said That You Should Be Embarrassed About Highlight Reel without you adding more to the list."

Also, I realized recently that I actually am really rusty in one-on-one hangouts? I hadn't been aware just how rare they were for me over the last few years. When seeing friends, it was almost always in groups of three or more. I'm having to relearn how not to totally muck up a conversation, because - in an effort to make new friends and reconnect with old ones - I've ended up in dozens of one-on-ones.

I spent two days with a friend for a sleepover at her cute new apartment (it was a bit of a drive, so I drove up Friday and stayed to walk around the town with her on Saturday) and I had pep talk myself the whole drive, despite the fact that I was, like, really excited to see her and catch up! I went to get brunch with my best friend this past weekend and it was great, but I did realize that I am so terrible at dealing with natural pauses in conversations - even with someone I've known for years!!! (sigh) Practice makes perfect, I guess.

• • • •

I got some photos back from an old point-and-shoot camera I've been carrying around (Olympus XA1, thrifted by my younger brother) and while I got some fun shots, many of them were blurrier than I expected. I felt a twinge of frustration when I first flicked through them, but after letting it rest for a day and returning to them, I think I like them more than I thought. The imperfection of film is part of its charm and all. I do wish I knew why it was so unfocused. I've been trying to dig around online for hints or tips, but I haven't found anything useful yet.

I carry the camera around with me in my purse, so I have some shots from my Grandma's birthday party, brunchtime bagels with my best friend, a walk through a terraced community garden, and a dozen other random moments. Fingers crossed that my next roll of film will turn out a little more in-focus - but if not, these things happen. What can you do?

• • • •

Oh! Another related anecdote: I went to a concert by myself this month for an artist I really like. (I used to go to things by myself all the time when I was in my grad school program! Another thing I'm rusty at now.) Anyway, it was...not good. Which I feel so guilty saying, because I absolutely adore this singer, but the show was just kind of a hot mess.

There was that same twinge of frustration during the first fifteen minutes of the show where I was painfully disappointed that things weren't turning out quite like I hoped...and then I thought, "Actually, you know what? This might as well happen. Honestly, it's kind of hilarious." And I had the best time for the rest of the show and I got in my car afterward, blasted the recorded versions of my favorite songs that were played at the show, and laughed the whole way home.

I should note that I have a feeling that this show was something of a fluke, because I know from friends and family that this performer is amazing live, so if they ever come back through town, I'll still definitely roll up for the next performance.

• • • •

To wrap this up (& in the interest of maintaining some through-line within this series), here's another clip. Disclaimer that I'm out of practice in singing and guitar, so this is edited to cut out the worst of my fumbled chords. I really love this song, so I hope I didn't completely mangle it.

Good luck out there,

2024-05-30T12:34:41.364362+00:00 on the dance floor2024-04-19T01:46:22.278838+00:00reveriehidden

I'm flying out of state for a wedding this weekend.1 I absolutely adore the bride-to-be and think of her often, but I don't actually get to see her much. I was flattered and thrilled to get an invite (and lucky enough to be able to make the trip happen). It's one of the best possible excuses to go see a friend, in my opinion.

Unfortunately, since it's her wedding and brides tend to be very busy, I know I'll only see her in passing moments. It will be nice to celebrate with her, even tangentially. I realize that I was incredibly spoiled to have so much time with the brides at the last wedding I attended.2 Hopefully I'll get to talk to her a little bit at the more casual event tomorrow night! I'll also get to see another friend & her husband. A little reunion, since it's been a very long time since we've met up. I'm glad to have a least one pair of familiar faces among the others guests.

• • • •

I've made it to the airport now. Just waiting on my flight. I picked a late one, since red eyes are a little bit less expensive & I didn't want to take work off today. This way I'll get the most of Friday, instead of spending it in the limbo of airports and ride services. I've never been to this city - I haven't even been to the state I'm visiting. The weather is supposed to be cold and windy, with a bit of rain on Saturday during the wedding.

I'm hoping to wake up early tomorrow and go explore the town. I always dream of being an archivist of all of my memorable experiences, but I'm not so great at putting that into practice. Maybe, since it'll just be me calling the shots this trip, I'll try to set aside time to write up a memento for myself, much like the very cool recaps that misu puts together on his blog. I've been scouting out some areas of town I want to wander through & it would be fun to have a log to look back on.

I feel a complicated mix of emotions about having most of Friday and Saturday morning to myself: joyful anticipation in being able to plan and set my own schedule, to decide what shops or meals or detours I want to explore, to wander aimlessly...but also a hint of melancholy. Even when I've travelled alone recently, it's usually to meet people. I want the solitude and freedom, but I'm conscious of the empty space that's usually filled by sharing an experience with people I care about.

Maybe this is a nebulous worry leaking over about other things. Anxieties about belonging, maybe. Nothing to bring that out of you like being thrown into a large group where the people you know are center stage, and you might not even register to them day-of. And, really, I do get that people getting married are on what is essentially a multi-day meet & greet, so I don't resent that in the slightest. I just think that feeling is perhaps ricocheting off of some other emotions that have been laying dormant recently and would very much like to make themselves known.

I have this vague and unrealistic fear of being there, but not there at all. I envision it in the stage set-up of a bad dream: of blazing onto the post-dinner dance floor as the music and lights go up, only to find myself out there alone, even in a crowd of other people. It's not so bad, the loneliness; I can make the most out of it, change it into solitude - but I still prefer dancing with my friends.

Good luck out there,

• • • • • • • •

  1. Yes, I know I just did this in February; apparently 2024 & 2025 are set to be "wedding booms" which I don't doubt, since I also have a wedding next month. Luckily, that's just a short drive from me (though, oddly, that friend doesn't even live in my state so I'm unsure what made them decide on a venue here).

  2. So, so sweet of them. I felt guilty getting in their way on the days leading up to the event (and tried my best to make sure I was being helpful or getting the hell out of the way) but since it had been 10+ years, I was greedy enough for time spent that I didn't protest too much, and they were insistent that since tickets to Scotland aren't cheap, I should at least save a little money by staying with them.

2024-04-19T01:46:22.278576+00:00 (as the sun sets)2024-04-13T02:02:15.856146+00:00reveriehidden

My bed is made, but I sprawl across the covers cattycorner to watch the wind in the trees outside. The fan spins idly. The room is cool. Birds in different colors are perching like spring ornaments in the branches. The sun drifts lower and lower; my room grows darker. Against the far treetops, a remaining line of light. The wind chimes sing, distant but clear; a closing line of notes to the leaves that rustle in long waves. I sing a few lines from a Madi Diaz song and pretend that it sounds pretty. One cat is curled across my hips, the other by my head. The bookshelf is messy - my trinkets out of place. A feeling comes over me, unnamable. The cat near my head purrs, quiet but constant, and I whisper to him, "Are you happy?"

2024-04-12T23:32:36.293745+00:00, crossed or burned2024-04-10T13:51:13.742695+00:00reveriehidden

I didn't think I would see the eclipse yesterday. We're outside of the line of totality and I didn't remember to purchase glasses ahead of time (despite one of my close friends being a huuuuuuuuuge space nerd and talking consistently about her trip to a city within the line for about a month now...oof, Eve, get it together). Still, I could see the sky tinting a greyer shade of blue as the afternoon ticked by and I snuck out of my office about twenty minutes prior to the "peak" in our location to try the pinhole method on a sheet of paper. (It worked!)

I figured that was the best I would get this go-around, so I was pretty excited when one of my co-workers called me and told me to come to the front of the office, because a few people had brought glasses and were letting other people look through them. It was just past the greatest point of coverage when I got there, but it was still just a thin orange sliver when I took my turn. I only looked for a moment, embarrassed to be stealing someone else's time with their glasses, but I did take an opportunity to snag several photos of the crescents of light that overlapped the parking lot.

About an hour later, I had popped back on Instagram to see if any of my friends had posted anything from their views of the eclipse, and I stumbled upon a video. I've always been a casual enjoyer of astrology, with my level of belief waxing and waning throughout different points in my life, but I do think there is something to be said for some celestial input in our daily lives, much like the moon pulls the tides.

To add proper context to this next bit, I should probabaly mention that I recently wrote a letter to a friend of mine, detailing some things about our friendship that I felt had broken down over the last few years. When I wrote it, I didn't really expect to send it, but after it was all on paper, edited, and I had spent a few days mulling over it, I realized I felt like I really, desperately needed to send it. So...I did. (This is still such a, like, holy shit moment for me. I can't believe I actually did it.)

I hadn't expected the response to the letter to go....well. And it definitely did not. It went a little differently than I had anticipated, but ultimately, it was about as explosive as I had imagined in my numerous worst-case scenarios.

Long story short: the friendship has crumbled hardcore and I'm not sure we can come back from it. I don't think I want to go back to the way it was and I don't know that this friend and I can meet in the new middle ground I've created by virtue of revealing my thoughts & hurt feelings. (Obviously, this lacks a lot of context regarding the content of the letter. Sorry about that.) I've been oscillating wildly between feeling very settled & self-assured about what I wrote / what I've said since, and feeling sick to my stomach & worried that I should never have done it - that it was wrong of me, and I should have just kept quiet and let things play out.

However, I know myself. I'm starting to really see myself, I think. I would never purposefully hurt someone. I said what I said in order to stand up for myself, but not from a place of trying to hurt my friend. It's a fine line to walk and, obviously, not one I perfectly met, but I can't obsess over every little thing, especially when I know what the overarching message was, and that I made it more than clear I love my friend very much and would be happy to talk anything out.

Anyway, circling back to the point! The point being that I was on Instagram and a video began playing that mentioned that we're in "eclipse season." This is, apparently, a time of huge change in the astrology world. I close out of the app and attempt to hone in on my work again, only to re-open my phone & frantically google the term.

According to an article1 from The Cut, this time period is marked by "insights into whatever is standing in our way" and "speed\[ing\] up time by perpetuating the inevitable". Um, WHAT! I was so freaked to see a mention that there was a lunar eclipse about two weeks back, which brackets the solar eclipse. Guess when I wrote my letter....? Yeah. TWO WEEKS AGO.

I know this is likely a coincidence, but I just had a moment where I was staring so blankly out the window and thinking, "Oh, what the fuck, did I blow up my long-standing friendship because of some celestial interference?" Like, it was long overdue, but the timing is just really throwing me for a loop, I have to confess.

I guess I feel like I've just finished crossing some wild, years-long emotional bridge in my life. Here I am taking a few shaky steps onto solid ground again. I can't look behind me to see if it's burning & I shouldn't - I have other things ahead of me that I must turn my attention to.

Maybe I have the eclipse to thank for it; maybe I have this blog, which has given me the space to practice meeting myself on a new level; or maybe I just have myself to thank, for making the hard choice to speak up for myself, even knowing the outcome might be bad.

Perhaps I have more grit that I give myself credit for.

Good luck out there,

• • • • • • • •

  1. "Get Ready for the Solar Eclipse in Aries to Change You" by Aliza Kelly for The Cut.

2024-04-09T15:28:00.209543+00:00 week of gratitudes \| april 1 - april 7, 20242024-04-07T13:12:09.678906+00:00reveriehidden

a practice in intentional awareness of the positive

Monday \| 1

  • I'm grateful that I'm learning the strength to stand up for myself and make hard choices, even when it's frightening to do so.

Tuesday \| 2

  • I'm grateful for the people who support me and help lead me back to a kinder view of myself when I go astray (& I'm grateful to have the blog as somewhere to turn to when I need time to sort through my thoughts first).

Wednesday \| 3

  • I'm so grateful that I am able to get time off from work to go visit friends who live far away.

Thursday \| 4

  • I'm grateful for walks by the creek, the light on the water through the trees, and the way that even the rocks & sticks obstructing the way make gentle music.

Friday \| 5

  • I'm grateful for time spent with new friends & the nostalgia of childhood movies.

Saturday \| 6

  • I'm grateful for time to get my affairs in order (looking at you, laundry) & seeing old friends unexpectedly.

Sunday \| 7

  • I'm so grateful for early mornings, when the sun creeps in quietly over the floor, and the bed is cozy with blankets that keep the cold out.

I'm sitting in a local spot after work. My intention had been to break my routine so I could hopefully coerce my brain into coughing up some words in a legible format.

Instead, I've spent the last thirty minutes perusing some of the essays and articles I bookmarked earlier this week (I'm so deeply guilty of binge-reading fanfiction and therefore neglecting my stack of online articles and long-as-the-day-is TBR list). I figured, Whatever, I'm not writing, but at least I'm reading something I can bring up in day-to-day conversation.1

This is a little bit of a lie, though. More than anything, I've been eavesdropping.

I don't even really pay attention to what's being said. I couldn't replicate a single sentence from the past half hour. Instead, I've tuned intermittently into the tone of voice from table to table - a radio signal cutting in and out.

To my left: two adults and a child. Their voices are quiet, but warm; a bit lilting against the child's energized responses - it's playful. They're making the mundane more fun.

To my right: a younger group (undergraduates, maybe?) working together on something or other. They talk in low, serious whispers, and move in shuffled papers and keystrokes, sometimes interspersed with a sudden bought of laughter.

Across from me: a couple, talking in hushed undertones, but their words flit back and forth in a familiar, well-worn way; teasing and sweet and deeply fond.

Around the corner, I can hear the employees chatting racously with regulars. They're the loudest of the crowd, sure-footed and buoyant in the glow of familiar faces.

In my bubble of self, I don't feel lonely. So many microcosms of connection are brushing by me moment by moment; the touch of which leaves behind a kind of effervescence, like sea spray - bright and sharp and lingering - on the wind.

• • • • • • • •

  1. Do people bring up fanfiction in daily conversation? I mean, I guess it's possible, but I'm from the era of 'never discuss your fanfic habits except with your closest friends/fellow fans' and I've yet to shake that self-imposed regulation.