Thursday, January 14, 2016

age of the understatement

we interrupt this series of themed blog posts to talk about the importance of social circles, a.k.a. why i think my seasonal affective disorder is compounded by the fact that i miss my friends.

i spent a lot of this month feeling moody and crappy about myself and my life in general. i'd already passed the crimson tide time, so it wasn't that. at first i chalked it up to post-holiday malaise - you know, the kind of downbeat depression people get after the warm sparkly holidays are over - and then i started wondering if it was the return of the sads. it's a very unique black pit of despair you fall into when you're not getting enough sunlight/vitamin d/whatever, and i was really starting to feel it. (my boyfriend and family are always constants, but unfortunately they also have to deal with my shifting moods and general grumpiness.)

then i ran into one of my longtime girlfriends at the gym and had a quick chat, and i was actually amazed at how much happier i felt afterwards. it was only a couple minutes and a promise to get together soon, but it absolutely brightened my mood and made me feel a lot better about stuff. so there will be opportunities this month to see my friends (birthday parties etc.) and i also ought to push myself to make more chances for hangouts. although we're all at the age that we can go months without seeing each other - and it's just understood that we're too busy due to work/kids/life in general - that doesn't mean you should, you know? i'm lucky enough to have a bunch of awesome friends who have been in my life for years now, and it's good to be reminded of that more often than just once in a while.

anyway! how are you enjoying the 31 days blog posts so far? do you like them? do you hate them? do you hate me? sorry not sorry, but there's still a few more to go (i'm not doing all 31, but probably about half). i'm finding that they're actually pretty great as a writing exercise; it's been said that in order to get better as a writer, you need to do two things: read a lot and write a lot. i don't do nearly enough of the former, and while i write a ton for work, i haven't done nearly as much personal writing as i used to. (i have a lot of it saved on my computer, and holy shit, back in my early twenties i was blogging multiple times a day) when it comes to stuff online, i've always felt that the more you put out, the more you receive in return.

one thing that always helps online is cat pictures:

we went to the cat cafe earlier this week, was okay? the concept is something i'm not sure i really get; i mean, yes i understand that getting to pet cute cats while you drink coffee is awesome, but i grew up around cats and i know how they can get if they're overstimulated by too many people coming at them at one time. which is exactly what cat cafes are like. it's really a bit of a crapshoot how the cats will be behaving when you visit, as well as how many people are also in there vying for their attention along with you.

anyway, maybe i was a bit annoyed because the group that was let into the cat room ahead of us was only like, six people, and it felt like they stayed in there playing with the cats forever, and by the time they exited and our group (of about 12 people) was let in, the cats were exhausted and antisocial. there were five young cats, and three were hiding and sleeping, one was grouchy as hell, and one trotted around a bit before also hiding and falling asleep. sean and i ended up feeling really weird and awkward huddling with a group of strangers around a tiny cat house, waiting and hoping for one to come out, so we pack up our egos and left. i'll stick with the undivided attention of my friendly neighbourhood cat friends, thank you.

also, if you're looking for homeless kitty love, go visit the humane society. as someone who used to volunteer in the cat room, there are so many of them in cages that just want a bit of affection. it may be a more depressing setting than a cafe, but i feel like that means the cats deserve some love all the more.

here are a couple more shots i took of the sleepy/grumpy little things at the cafe:

sean took these two, but i love them:

oh, one more thing to mention: the recent deaths of lemmy, david bowie, and alan rickman. because this shit comes in threes, and also, fuck cancer.

(amazing gif art done by british illustrator helen green)

admittedly, i'm not as much of a bowie fanatic as some people i know; i appreciate his genius and his contributions to the world of art, music and fashion, but it was never truly my thing. i liked lemmy a little bit more, especially because i really enjoyed motorhead - they were one of my "fuck the world, drown it out with noise" bands - and he just seemed like a cool fuckin' guy who did things his way. in both cases, though, i had friends who took the deaths hard, and that's what hurts -- knowing that they're feeling that pain of loss.

i haven't yet lost any of my lifelong greats (though when leonard cohen eventually goes, tune in to the livestream of me having a breakdown), but i can definitely understand what it's like when you love an artist so much and then lose them. music fans are my people, and i know very well the type of deep love and connection a person can have to music and a musician, even if they've never met them before and never will. and when that musician goes away forever, it leaves a gaping hole in your world. it's a loss you feel right down to your bones.

as for alan rickman, that one i actually did feel something for. i'm still sort of one of the harry potter generation, but he was also just so great in die hard (my boyfriend is a massive hans gruber fan), and love actually too. such talent, and such a voice. it's one of those things where it's weird to imagine that we can still watch them in their films, but know they're no longer with us. and to be taken away by cancer - in all three cases! - is just fucking cruel, really.

here's the thing, though: when we lose someone we idolized, i find it can be impetus to take stock in our own lives, and really consider if we're living the lives we want. when one of our heroes dies, it really makes us face mortality, and the fact that if they died, then we will too, someday. and then you look at the legacy they left behind, and you think about your own life and what you've accomplished and what you want to accomplish...and you realize that no matter who you are, our time here is finite, and we have to make the most of the time we have. if you're not doing that, it's worth remembering that we only get one shot at this, and if you're spending your days stuck in an unfulfilled existence, maybe you try to get out and do something else. we all owe it to ourselves to figure out just what it is that makes us happy, and work towards that. and if you want to leave a legacy or a body of work, it's never too late to start.

do it for your heroes, and also, for yourself.

[ music | kill hannah, "home" ]


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