pandora_parrot: (Default)

This is my reflection on "Dancing"

What is our world lacking?
Joy and Connection.
If for one moment, we can come together
Throw our cares away
Become like children, and just be free.
Free to be ourselves
Free to move
And free to dance

Distance drops away
Borders and barriers drop away
And for one brief moment
We're just kids.
playing in the rain together

Maybe that's something.
Maybe that, alone, is enough to remind us that we're part of a larger world.
That we are part of an entire planet of people, animals, plants
Vistas and view that are unimaginable.

This is our world
This is our planet
And we are here together.

Maybe that's a pretty cool concept.
pandora_parrot: (Default)
I spent much of 2009 reflecting on everything that was happening to me and trying to place it into the story of my life. I think that has a lot to do with just how much was happening to me last year. Much good and bad. LOTS of difficult.

I think 2009 was the year I got back to work on my life. So 2010 is going to be filled with but lots of work. I suppose my resolution this year is to do a lot of stuff. Write software, draw pictures, paint paintings, build flashy-glowy things, climb mountains, ride my bike to new locations, hike all over the place, etc. You know, stuff like that. Just be busy and do a million things.

There are some themes to my posts. Many of them go this way: "I used to have problem X, but I just accomplished some huge step in making X go away/get better! I still have issues with X, but I'm getting better all the time." or some variant thereof.

I'm not entirely sure that these posts are always 100% accurate. I misremember a lot of things. For example, throughout my childhood and high school years, I remember always feeling very lonely. I felt alone and alien. I remember being alone all the time Yet when I look at how many friends I had back then, I get confused. I *did* have friends, even if they weren't exactly the kinds of friends I wanted. In grade school, I had 3-6 friends I hung out with a lot, and in high school, about the same. It's still that way, actually. That just seems to be my number or something. It's like my memory is based on my emotional state, not the factual events that took place.

I look back on many of my posts from 2004 and 2005, and I realize just how childish and immature I was back then. I was hyperactive, overexcited about everything, and convinced that everyone else held the keys to the universe. Every relationship that came my way, I was convinced that we were destined to be together forever. I moved in with people as quickly as I could, wanting to recreate my marriage with my ex-wife or something. I wanted to replace my estranged family. I wanted to find a home.

I hurt several people as I crashed through life trying to find my way to this point and beyond. Lovers that moved in with me under the pretense that I knew myself well enough to offer to support them, that I later asked to leave because I found myself unwilling to do so. Long distance lovers that deeply cared for me and spent much of their money and energy on having a relationship with me, but despite my words when we would speak, I never found equivalent energy or money in myself to offer back.

Looking to the future, what do I want? Primarily, I want to be at peace. Peace with myself, peace with the people around me, and peace with the world in general. I want to know myself, in all of my parts, from the deepest darkest reaches of my soul to the blindspots that I still have. I want to stop running from pain and fear and learn to stand with it. I want to learn to be patient and wait for good things to come. I want to know how to be a better citizen of the earth, a better companion to my fellow beings, a better friend to those I care about, and a better partner to those I love.
pandora_parrot: (art)
A sad fact that I have to deal with and own up to is this:

I am an artist at heart. I crave the act of creation. Whether that be creating music, images, sculpture, software, pottery, literature, poetry, hair, or any million numbers of other things. It's why I have been drawn, time and again, to the creative arts throughout my life. It's why the majority of my closest friends are also artists in some medium or other. Musicians and programmers and painters and draw-ers and tailors and poets etc. etc.

The sad fact that I have to own up to is that, really, until about 2007, I have been an artist largely in theory, not in practice. Although I've had moments of creative acts, it's mostly been in the context of school and work. My life has mostly been filled with avoidance and fear, convinced that I am worthless and incapable of anything. It's only around 2007 when I began to turn that around.

I am growing into the artist that I have always been in my heart. I hope that some day I can look back at what I've created and say, "I am an artist in fact" in all the ways that I want to mean that.

I am Queer

Nov. 20th, 2009 01:53 pm
pandora_parrot: (magic)
What I have known, from the start of my life, is that I am Queer.

At first, the word did not have the connotations of sexual orientation that I now associate with it.

I just knew that I was an alien. A weirdo. A strange oddity unlike others.

Read more... )


Oct. 26th, 2009 12:43 pm
pandora_parrot: (adventure)
Many people I know seem to have focus.

Some people I know become incredible socialites, always visiting friends and family and throwing parties and events and all that jazz. Others devote significant portions of their lives to the study of spiritual practices, religions and magick and all that jazz. Still others devote their lives to feats of engineering. Writing really cool bits of software and churning out applications and/or games as fast as they can. Others devote their lives to art, painting or drawing or sculpting or whatever. Or perhaps music, working on becoming great pianists or banjo players or something like that. Then there's people that focus on building electronics projects. Or people that focus on making clothes and fabrics and costumes. Or exercise. Or hiking. Or rock climbing. And on and on.

Some people focus on many things over time, but only one at a time, learning something for a few years, then focusing on something else. Others combine a few things simultaneously, but keep it limited.

At this point in my life, I don't seem to have too much focus, because there are too many things that I want to try out. I've never really had enough of an opportunity to really explore myself and see what I really enjoy. As a child, I was always too busy trying to please my parents and teachers to really explore what mattered to me. So now I'm exploring. I'm trying everything, learning new skills, testing the waters of various things, seeing what works.

I think there are some things that seem to be emerging from the chaos. Drawing, programming, rock climbing, and hiking seem to be pretty important and have stuck around for a year or more, so that seems to be steady for now. Skateboarding and biking seem like they could become important, but it's going to take a while longer before I start to feel more like they are a constant part of my life. Gaming seems to have wandered out of my life for the most part. I'm trying something new on socialization lately to see how that works for me.

To some degree, I'm seeking to find a balance of all of the things that interest me. A balance that works for me, not necessarily equal interest in all things. I want to be social, do art, do coding, etc. and still find time to still try/learn new things. I'm succeeding quite well of late, even if I'm going slower than I might like. Honestly, I like where I'm at right now. In every way I can measure it, especially in the direction that I'm taking it, my life is perfect right now.
pandora_parrot: (Default)
How do you learn something new?

I can sometimes find it to be an overwhelming activity, especially if I'm getting into something completely brand new. There's this whole new language that you need to learn, with all these different types of things to categorize and understand. Without someone to help you learn how to do something, it can be quite difficult.

Even if you find someone else to teach you how to do stuff, you're still going to have trouble understanding what people are saying. There's so much terminology to learn and understand. They'll ask you questions about things that you don't have answers to because you don't yet understand the questions they ask!

In flying R/C planes, you've got to understand the difference between elevons, ailerons, elevators, flaps, flaperons, and rudders. If someone tells you to bank, that's different than turning. Pulling up means moving the joystick down. If someone starts talking about angles of attack, coordinate turns, inside and outside loops, and more, you're going to have no idea what they're talking about.

Without going to a class where they list what supplies you need, or finding someone to provide you with such a list who can teach you how to use your supplies, you're going to have to muddle through figuring out what you need to buy to get into something.

In R/C planes, if you go shopping, you'll find yourself confronted with all sorts of different kinds of options. Do you want delta wings, warbirds, biplanes, 3D planes, gliders, trainers, ducted fan planes, indoor planes, scale models...??? Radio? Well, there's 72 Mhz radios, 2.4Ghz radios, IR radios. Where are you flying? What sort of plane are you flying? Oh, you don't have one yet? Well... 2.4Ghz is good... do you want the DSM2 technology, FASST technology, or something else? What sort of receiver do you need? What kind of servos are you driving?

At least if you go to a store, you have a clerk there that might be able to provide some guidance. But if you opt for ebay or craigslist or freecycle or something, you're on your own to figure out what you need and what's appropriate for you. And if you don't even have the language to ask your questions, it may be difficult to get Google to give you the information that you seek at first.

For me, I tend to just gather as much information as I can and muddle my way through the beginning of something. I grab what tools I think I need based on that information and do my best to start learning by doing. I look like an idiot sometimes, and I certainly make a ton of mistakes as I don't even have enough information and language to describe what it is that I'm trying to do most of the time. But, over time, this smoothes out and I eventually learn what I'm doing and how to deal with it. Then I buy tools that are actually appropriate for me, learn specialty tools, and just generally get better at doing what I'm doing.

How do you handle this?


Nov. 4th, 2008 11:46 am
pandora_parrot: (dance)
Perspective is a fascinating thing.

This past Sunday, I had a conversation wherein the other person lauded my adventurous spirit. According to her, I am one of the most active and adventurous people she has ever met. I don't shy from any challenge or obstacle in my path. I go wandering into the wilderness, climbing cliffs and hills and rocks. I'm often leading the pack, pushing everyone around me to explore what's around the next bend in the trail. She celebrated the fact that on a whim we could find ourselves anywhere from the beach to the redwood forest to the middle of a college campus during a gay pride parade.

The day before that, someone lauded me for my energy at Spiral Dance. They thanked me for putting so much energy and vitality into the dance. I think I even managed to start a trend where everyone was jumping up and down while they danced. It was pretty incredible and intense, and I was putting forth tons of energy. I get like that a lot when I'm at a place where there is much dancing going on. I become a wild woman, dancing in a crazy and passionate way.

But then later on Sunday, I ran into someone who has a very different perspective of me. She sees me as a slow and lethargic person. Someone who needs to be dragged on a hike because I am uncomfortable walking on uneven terrain and going to unfamiliar places. I'm inactive and not very into my body.

It really emphasizes how much of the way we describe things is based on our relative perspective of things. We take our known experience as a baseline and describe something relative to that, but we'll often use absolute terms. Like the whole freedom vs. fear thing. People that are trapped deep in fear and often refuse to step too far out of the norm see me as a free spirit without bounds or chains. People that live without fear of the things that I'm afraid of describe me as a deeply frightened individual that is too afraid to do anything. Most of the time, I will describe myself as being free because of how afraid and bound up I know I *used* to be. All of these descriptions are accurate only when they are placed in the context of the perspective of the person making them.

It really makes certain types of communication rather difficult. If I'm trying to describe my life philosophy to you, I will unavoidably use absolute terms to describe relative experiences. What I call "being in the moment" and "living in the now" someone else might describe as "planning carefully for the future and contemplating the past." That's because I've always been so stuck in the future and past that I've ignored the now, and this hypothetical other person may have been living so much in the now that they weren't making any plans or considering the consequences of their actions. We both decide to do the exact same thing: Experience the moment, reflect on the past without clinging, and plan for the future without expectation. But we describe it completely differently.

Again, it makes it difficult to communicate things like life philosophies, personal development, etc. I see this even when I read books by great spiritual leaders. For example, they'll talk about things like "letting go of attachments," but I don't think they mean that in an absolute sense, given the other things I read from that author.

I wonder how to use this observation to improve communication abilities.


Mar. 13th, 2008 09:41 am
pandora_parrot: (Default)
I had an interesting conversation with my therapist this morning. We talked about how in grade school, when the bullies would attack me, I would attack myself harder. If they made fun of me, I'd make fun of myself worse. If they physically hit me, I'd hit myself harder. My therapist and I talked about how it was a defense mechanism to get rid of the bullies. And as I thought about it, I realized that I still use this technique today.

A discussion of this defense mechanism )
pandora_parrot: (journey)
I like having bad eyesight. I can see things many other people can't because of it.

I am constantly changing. I'm really tired of it lately. I have a hard time expecting people to take me seriously when the entire world might be different for me tomorrow.

Sometimes, when I'm feeling introverted or stressed, I just want to be the quiet smiling person in the back of the room that buys you a drink and then walks out of the club, metaphorically speaking.

Living with [ profile] soquili_gitli has made me very aware of the "flavor" of my energy. It is very... fluttery. Vibrating at a high frequency. Almost insubstantial at times. This is who I tend to be, but I often find myself longing to be lower frequency. More relaxed. More solid.

Because everything is always changing around me... I take life at high speed. Everything I do always feels like it is at an accelerated pace from a lot of the people around me. But when I try to slow down, I feel like everything is rushing past me. It's like I'm in a different time stream than the rest of the world.

I feel so alien as regards human customs, rituals, thought patterns, and behaviors sometimes. I've learned to interact with humans through many years of careful study, but it still feels alien to me, like speaking a language that doesn't feel quite natural yet.

At this moment, I feel alien in the concept of celebrations. I'm not sure I quite understand how and why people take part in certain celebrations of things. I've always felt very private about the way I celebrate things, and never really part of the crowd in terms of these sorts of things. When I have gotten to be part of a crowd, though, it has been wonderful. I suppose I worry that I am intruding on someone else's belief about what is being celebrated...

I think I need to get more comfortable with my way of living life. It is sometimes very unique to me, and because of that, I get nervous about what other people might think about it. It's me. It's my way of life. I choose it. so... I should embrace that.
pandora_parrot: (transformation)
My boss turned to me and asked me that today.

It's an interesting question.

I'm a very very happy and excited person. I get so excited by all the little things around me. I think it stuns people.

Tonight, as my boss drove me back to the hotel from the I sat there talking about how incredible it was to be around so many brilliant software engineers and geeks. How beautiful the weather here is. How much I love my job. All of that. That's what prompted the question about being manic.

I'm just really happy, and how can I explain that to him? How can I explain that the party tonight was the first time that I have ever worn a dress in my life. How can I explain how exciting it is to go into the bathroom with other women and be accepted as one of them? How can I explain being able to talk to a female coworker about being the only other female engineer in the company? How do I explain how awesome it is to meet mathematicians that have done work in really cool areas of pure mathematics and talk to them on the same level as them? How can I explain how neat it is to be read as a geek by a coworker, and have him be impressed that I carry a bag of dice with me in my purse? How awesome it is that people are impressed by the wide array of electronic gadgetry I carry around in my purse? How incredible it is to be paid an actually reasonable amount of money for the skills I have? How awesome it is that *I* have *breasts*? How awesome it is to see my name on a placard written as "Joyce."

How do I explain that I've never had these things? My last job hurt me every single day because it required me to pretend to be someone I was not. I was paid chump change for the privilege of being subjected to this. I have always been the lone geek, the lone nerd, the one math nut... I never actually got to share my love of physics, board games, math... all that stuff, except with one or two other people, infrequently, throughout my entire life up to this point. That I never wore a dress before. That I have always lived in the same place, barely ever even leaving the state? That I didn't used to have breasts? That I used to go by a different name?

I'm ecstatic about every second of life, precisely because it is so beautiful and precious to me. Every moment, both happy and sad, is absolutely incredible. I have gone from being unable to really experience my emotions, to being immersed in them. Going to an incredible job, making decent money, as my own gender, around people that respect me and cherish me... being able to go home to friends and lovers that adore me for all of my crazy geeky weirdnesses.

There are not words to explain how wonderful all of this is. How wonderful it is to live each moment. How incredibly incredibly happy I am all the time simply because, for the first time in my life, I am truly and completely ALIVE.


pandora_parrot: (Default)
Pandora Parrot

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