• Category Archives relationships
  • Not Ashamed: Ambitiously Pursuing My Dreams

    If you haven’t already, please read the introduction post. That will give you context for this page.

    Ambition has its pitfalls. I’m not going to pretend it doesn’t. For the sake of fulfilling ambitions, people have lied, cheated, stolen, and done all manner of other immoral and unethical things. They’ve thoughtlessly ruined relationships. They’ve lived with only their own personal glory in mind.

    I’m not here to say that all ambitious pursuit ought to be free of shame. Nope. I fully advocate shame for some people and the way they pursue what they do.

    But I’ve examined both my dreams and my intentions. I don’t just know what I want, but I also know why I want those things. And I see no shame in wanting success with my music or my writing, nor do I see shame in the reasons I want that success. (I won’t elaborate here, but there’s a list of reasons, and they have nothing to do with personal glory.)

    There are two ways in which my pursuits of my ambitions are seen as a reason for shame, in addition to the reasons listed in my rock musician and scifi writer essays.

    First, some people look at what they see as the personal cost of my pursuit. Working hard takes time and resources. How can I “waste” those on what I do? As I explain, I believe that talents are like divine callings. If you have a talent, there is something you are meant to do with it. I think that the purpose doesn’t just vary talent to talent, but person to person. I’ve done what I can to figure out how my talents are best spent. And, in the past, I have tried to live a life where I didn’t give that my all, but spent my time and resources on more “normal” and less-criticised things. I felt…hollow and incomplete.

    I don’t take lightly the impact of my actions on others. I try to be mindful. But I also recognise I won’t do it perfectly; none of us can make it through life without causing some upset, hurting some feelings. I do my best. I’m sorry that not everyone approves. But I feel no shame. (The only time I feel shame, a shame that sits deep in me and can’t be talked away, is when I don’t give everything I can to making the best of my talents. And then I am miserable. So those whose judgement seems rooted in the fact that I’m not social with them as often as they’d like, I’d say you either aren’t a true friend—cos you’d rather I be miserable so you can hang out with me—or you haven’t thought this through.)

    The other way in which my pursuits are seen as a reason for shame have specifically to do with the realm of my ambitions. If I were ambitious to the same degree but it were business, law, medicine, and things like that, I’d be spared this particular set of judgements. Because there are those, including those amoungst my friends, who believe that the only pure ambitions in the arts are those that have to do with making your best art. The instant you also admit that you wouldn’t mind if you got paid for it (you know, being paid to do what I love, like non-artistic people can do without judgement…being able to focus all my time on the art instead of having to give my whole day to a “day job” and cramming bits of art into my evening…) or that you see benefits in being known by people other than your friends, you’re suspect and a sell-out and a defiler of art.

    Ehm, no. I’m working to make authentic art that speaks to me and is high quality. Your limited capacity to conceive of a situation where one can be true to art and hope that truth helps pay the rent doesn’t sound like a cause for me to feel shame…(It’s okay. Pause a moment, reassess, change your mind. See, now you’re good? Didn’t change your mind? Well, now you know a topic you’re best not pressing me on.)

    Because I continue to work hard towards my dreams and to do that without shame.

    Cross-posted to the Not Ashamed section of my site (so that it’s all tidy).

  • Not Ashamed: Bisexual

    If you haven’t already, please read the introduction post. That will give you context for this page.

    Let’s kick this one off by me explaining what I mean when I say that I’m bisexual. There are a few different ways that it gets defined by people who wear the label, and some have even decided that the way some of us use the term is better called something else. But “bisexual” is what resonates with me. So, that’s my label. And, for me, that means that I am attracted to those like me and those not like me. (Those are the two populations that make up the “bi” in there for me.) I am romantically and sexually attracted to people in both categories on a person-by-person basis. Again, that’s not a clarification that all of you will understand the need for, but it’s something that comes up and that matters.

    I don’t divide by two biological sexes, male and female, because there are people who are intersex or trans. And because I’m open to the belief that there are populations in which more than just two biological sexes are acknowledged (instead of existing but being ignored). Whilst I tend to skew slightly towards attraction to biological males, they’re definitely not the only ones who work for me.

    I also don’t just divide by two genders. As those of you who’ve read my post on being genderfluid have (hopefully) learned, there are more than two genders, more than just the masculine and the feminine. And pinning down which, if any, gender I’m most attracted to is pretty impossible (and not really a necessary task, in my opinion).

    In general, I don’t really divide when it comes to attraction. I’m attracted to individuals.

    I specify both romantic and sexual attraction because there are people who can find themselves sexually attracted to, for instance, men without being romantically attracted. It’s all physical and they have no inclination towards emotional involvement or relationships. And vice versa. For me, sometimes it’s all emotional and sometimes it’s all sexual. Sometimes it’s both. And all three of those states have occurred towards a wide array of those who are both like me in terms of, among other things, sex or gender and those who are unlike me.

    The bisexual umbrella with a list of all the types of people who might live under it

    People have a lot of misperceptions about bisexuals, some of which have been reinforced by actions of bisexuals they have known or by the stereotypes the media portrays (in those rare cases they portray someone as bisexual). So, that’s the next thing I want to clarify.

    That I am bisexual doesn’t mean I believe I have license to cheat or that I believe I am at the mercy of my libido. If you have had a bisexual partner cheat on you with that excuse, that’s a story about them and how they failed to act honestly and be true; that is not an inherent part of being bisexual. I am quite capable of being faithful.

    That I am bisexual doesn’t mean I need polyamoury. I have plenty of friends for whom polyamoury is the answer, and I’m not judging them. It’s just not who I am and is not an inherent part of being bisexual. I am, in fact, zealously monogamous.

    That I am bisexual doesn’t mean that I’m promiscuous. I’m not here to “slut shame” anyone, but people assuming my bisexuality makes me easy (and, by “people,” I mainly mean drunk blokes at parties or bars) has gotten old.

    I don’t “claim” to be bisexual for attention. Believe me, mate, I’ve got plenty of ways to get attention.

    I don’t “claim” to be bisexual to make boys want me. Believe me, mate, I’ve got plenty of ways to get boys to like me.

    This isn’t a phase. I’m out of uni and still attracted to all sorts of people.

    Whether or not I am currently having sex with both males and females, even if I get married to someone and never sleep with anyone else again, I am still bisexual. Just like you are still homosexual or heterosexual when you aren’t getting laid.

    I am not going to pursue your partner, male or female. Part of my zealous monogamy includes a respect for your relationship, even if you are with someone who’s a Very Bad Fit for you.

    One aspect that makes me a little crazy, and you’ll recognise this if you’re heterosexual as well, is a trust issue when it comes to friends. You know what I mean. You are, for instance, a straight girl with a male friend. You get close, and they freak out. You get close and their girlfriend assumes you’re going to steal them. Even if you’re actually asexual and a robot. Once people find out I’m bisexual…well, that can get fun. Am I no longer to be trusted with male or female friends? If you are a female friend, will I be unable to restrain myself from jumping you (in spite of the admirable restraint I’ve shown by not jumping almost any of my male friends)? Sure, boys and girls, I might mention interest, because some of the things that make you a cool friend might also make you a good partner. But I am in charge of me. Even if my heart throws itself, I can manage to not jump you. (I know; how very strong of me. I must be a sodding superhero!) I can even manage, when you aren’t interested, to not be weird and to just be friends like we’ve always been. (I’d give you references, but that might just ruin all the “not being weird” in those relationships…)

    Because, really, I am the same person you’ve known all this time. Even if you hadn’t realised the breadth of my attractions. And, really, I’m probably not interested in you “that way.” If I were, it’s likely that I’d already have told you. Move along, folks, nothing to see here…

    p.s. Here are some stats about bisexuals that I’m going to put in your face whilst you’re already on the topic. (Click to enlarge.)

    Text-heavy graphic, stats about bisexuals

    Cross-posted to the Not Ashamed section of my site (so that it’s all tidy).

  • Privacy settings explained

    It’s 03:30 and I ought to be asleep. I went to bed 90 minutes ago and I don’t struggle with insomnia; however, what I do struggle with is being a night owl (trying to shift my body closer to normal human sleep times…a fruitless attempt I make now and again) whose brain activity and creativity start really turning up around 21:00 (and it’s quite loud even at its quietest) and continue until about 04:00. My new tactic is to turn on my phone and try to pour out words, to-do list items, etc, and then roll back over, hoping an info dump will let me sleep. So far, my body and brain are proving no match for my will or my tactics…But at least I’m waking up to half-written blog posts. Like this one. Wonder what I think about whilst I fall asleep? Here’s one of the things… (And, yes, I finished it once I was out of bed.)

    Recently, I was on a tour bus, being hit on even though I made it clear it was a ‘no.’ To their credit, the person doing the hitting was doing that thing you’re supposed to do when hitting on someone (or when trying to get to know them): they were asking me about myself. The more they asked, the more I resisted. Finally, I said, ‘I’m just a very private person. Anything I care to share about myself is in my songs.’ (Or in blogs, apparently.) They accused me of just trying to promote myself. But that’s not the case. I really do put most my time, energy, and resources into making the music go.

    Soon after, I had a conversation with one of my sisters about this, and realised that I was becoming increasingly private (instead of just staying at my past level of private, which was already a bit more than what appears to be the norm). And, as we talked about it, I had a sort of epiphany about why this was going on. I’m sharing so that, the next time you’re cornering me and trying to learn things about me that you won’t find in lyrics and blogs, you’ll understand when I start dodging. And maybe even take pity on me. Heh.

    There are two reasons that I’ve identified, though there might be more lurking in my noisy brain.

    The first that came to me had to do with those lyrics that are what I’m already using to expose myself. Because all my lyrics are truths, because (even if you can’t read them clearly as journal entries) they expose a lot about me, and because I am an introvert pouring so much of myself outside of me….The more I do that, the further into privacy I tend to withdraw on all other fronts. Even with friends and friendly social acquaintances. Even with topics that you can’t imagine I wouldn’t want to talk about.

    To make me dig my heels in a bit deeper, there’s social networking. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not against social networking on either a personal or a professional level. But, as the whole world knows, social networking means people expect to know everything. And we willingly tell the whole world the instant we eat something, see a film, fight with a partner, and on and on. We expect to share and we expect others to share with us. Somewhere in there, people’s usual levels of curiosity got switched into some sense of entitlement and obligation.

    The fact is, there are some situations in which people owe each other information. Specific information. But, for the most part, most people don’t need to know almost anything about us. (Yes, I know, knowing things about each other is part of how we build relationships. I’m not going to pretend that my increasing desires for privacy are within currently normal boundaries or that my knee-jerk response when my boundaries are pressed are entirely logical and reasonable. And, yes, I share and build relationships. Anyway…) I deeply appreciate all those who are graceful when I (try to gracefully) deflect their questions. Because sometimes complete strangers don’t even know my name before they’re asking loads of questions. (No joke. A herd of boys recently did that without introducing themselves or asking my name.) Because sometimes, even after I tell someone that they’ve asked a question I’m not comfortable talking about (and, yes, these include things that ‘normal’ people would consider uncomfortable), they press me. I have conversations (sometimes deep ones), post blogs, update the Facebook status sometimes, and tweet when I want to (sometimes even about topics you might expect people not to be open about), but you might guess that the entitlement attitude doesn’t work well for me. But…

    Like I said, I’m putting all sorts of personal stuff into those lyrics of mine. And when I get up on stage to sing them for you, when it looks like I’m having an emotional experience delivering those songs, it’s deeply, personally, sincerely me. I’m giving you more than I’d give even most friends and family if they wanted to have a straight-forward conversation. But, hey, get my music career big enough to get me in NME or Rolling Stone and maybe I’ll open up some more…At least, until that happens, you’ll know it’s not personal when I decline to answer your curiosity 😉

  • Simmering in Yesterday

    I don’t know why, but the last few months have been heavy on the nostalgia and on regaining/rebuilding things I love from my past. Whether the nostalgia or the reconnecting started first is sort of a “chicken or egg” situation. But, much like with chickens and eggs, it doesn’t matter which came first as long as the goodness exists, right?

    Picture of fried chicken and fried eggs
    If you fry nostalgia and reconnecting, I will eat them too


    I’m working to rebuild some faded relationships. Fortunately, none of these were fights or horrible moments. Just suddenly realising there was distance and wondering how that happened (later, I tell you the most likely reason). Even more fortunate, most of these people have been open to it. My happy heart!

    I’m burrowing into music and photos that remind me of past goodness and make me feel a sort of happy pining. Like this one, in case you’d like to start making up stories:

    Amber kissing a lot of people
    Not too bad for 2 weeks…


    I may even have found a place to go dancing! To music I like a lot! (See my post on dancing from a few months ago to understand why this is huge.) This discovery was the silver lining to a slightly grey cloud. And when the DJ played Placebo on request, the grey was consumed by the shining of the silver. Squee!

    I’m even poking at gaming that doesn’t involve a computer/console again, which means building character concepts and playlists for them. And reconnecting with the people with whom I most like to do this.

    The list goes on. And it seems like most items tie back to music (even if I’d have to explain why music is an important part of certain items).

    Working on stuff for Varnish whilst we don’t have a bassist is, honestly, less fulfilling than when it’s a complete band of people I adore and we’re finishing songs and playing shows. So I suspect that this surge of things might be a subconscious effort on my part to make sure that my emotional nooks and crannies are filled and that music is continuing to feed me.

    And here are some facts about me that seem important in the current state of affairs:

    I want to make music I’m passionate about with people I’m passionate about. Settling isn’t an option (though someone is welcome to try to throw loads of money at me and change my mind…haha).

    I don’t get lonely; I merely have moments when I pine for a specific person. And my best state for working out most things is solo. Add to these things that my life is full of great people..I’m never happy to have anyone I love feel forgotten, but this is how it happens. I don’t forget; I just fall into working things out and suddenly realise there’s someone I’ve neglected. So this is a public apology to those to whom this applies. I wouldn’t be an artist or rockstar if I didn’t have some social issues, right? (But, seriously, I apologise. And I’m working to balance my own optimal approach to things with the fact that the people I love ought never doubt it.) For the rest of you, this might still be something to know about me, cos it’s also part of why I don’t throw myself at every opportunity to build new friendships and go out to play. It’s not personal, I’m just socially overwhelmed apparently.

    In May, I wrote a post where I talked about feelings, among other things. One conclusion in there was that I feel a lot and I feel deeply. And, if you doubt it, see how few of my posts on this blog do not have some conjugation of the word “feel” in them. And imagine what a soft-hearted, feeling sort of girlie I must be just based on this blog…I’m not thin-skinned, mind you. I’ve had enough nasty comments from people who didn’t like that I was different or unkind actions from friends’ significant others who didn’t understand that I wasn’t a threat…And poking fun, done correctly, is part of many of my friendships. But, yes, I’m a soft-hearted, feeling sort of girl. And the more I reconnect to these past bits and snuggle into the “nostalgia that isn’t sad,” the gooier this heart feels. And I like it. And I’m not wont to apologise for it. Especially when it’s positive emotions (and as long as I’m still also strong…rar!)

    Me crying...
    I even cry in public (and blur pregnant faces…you’re welcome… also, never let me wear red eye shadow on a “goodbye day” again, okay?)
    More of me crying
    See, soft-hearted, feeling girl. (At least I had sunglasses on at this point…It was a long cry…)


    Related, whether it’s people or music or pastimes, I love to love unabashedly. No wonder I’m a geek…And I love that I’m simmering in yesterday, stewing in the nostalgia and the regaining, cos that stuff is seriously lovelovelove.

    So, this is the mushy stew that’s me right now. I am comfort food. Comfort food in glitter and eyeliner and some pretty cool boots. Yum!

    My tall, shiny boots
    When these boots die, my coolness will take a serious hit…


    What makes you mushy? What pieces of goodness from your past have slipped away and could be happily, healthily reclaimed? What facts about yourself could make it easier to sort that out if people knew them?

    Now, I’m going to sleep. Cos it’s nice when something I love so much is also something science says I need. Heh.


  • I Owe Who?

    The topic of what people owe or are owed seems to come up regularly in my life. And the last couple of months have been chock full of the topic.

    I wasn’t raised with a sense of entitlement in general. I have always known that I needed to work hard and do my part to get the things I want and maintain the things that matter. And, even then, there weren’t always guarantees. Sometimes, you can work really hard and not get (keep) what you were trying to get (keep). That sucks, but it’s rarely actually unfair (unless some other human actually withholds something they promised you would earn).

    In general, what I believe people are entitled to is the consequences (good or ill) of their choices and actions. That they are entitled to being treated with dignity and respect (unless they make choices that remove those rights). There are other things I believe we ought to be entitled to, but I’m pretty sure those things are even less realistic than expecting the whole dignity and respect thing.

    But I’ve run across a few things that are close to home lately, and, because this is my blog, I’m going to talk about them. Even if both are potential minefields. (Hurrah! Explosions! We’ll pretend it’s an action film…)

    Before I dive in, might I ask that you, should you feel inclined to respond, remember the whole dignity and respect thing? I’ve managed not to delete any comments on any of my blogs thus far, and I’m living with the magical dream that I’ll never have to. Disagreement or debate are fine (hey, I got my degree in Philosophy…I am down with a logical, civil debate), just be your better self when you choose your words. Heh.

    First, the non-musical one. The one I can do without worrying about naming names. The one where I can link to someone else’s story as an example and you can decide if you’re guilty of this sort of assumption without me pointing the finger right at you. Excellent.

    I’ll say right up front that there are pluses and minuses to all ways of being, that I certainly enjoy the pluses of things about me, and that I’m as wont as anyone to assert that the grass is greener on the other side when dealing with the minuses. I’m also acutely aware that, for those who think my grass is greener, talking about the minuses of the things one might consider generally favourable can seem really frustrating. People rush in to point out the pluses or reassure me that there are pluses if they even suspect my lack of complete enchantment with something I have that they want. So, to be clear, I acknowledge that there are some perks to being a pretty girl. (I also want to note that there are loads of ways to be attractive. I’m not everyone’s cup of tea. And what I find attractive only defines what I find attractive.) I’m glad I’m a pretty girl, but…

    It ain’t all perks. And the problem is that the non-perks are about other people behaving poorly. I’ve been having multiple instances of that to deal with lately and been mostly keeping my mouth shut…And then a girl posted a blog about her experiences (most are the same as some of mine, but my own “extreme” experience is a different one…equally ugly and scary though) and I think it was my last straw. It would be great if you’d read her post (you know I really want you to cos that’s two links to the same post in one paragraph). I’m not even sure how I came across it, cos it’s not a blog I usually read. But, just in case you choose not to read it…

    Basically, in her experience (and mine and others’), being a pretty girl means that there are people most days who feel that it is their right to have my attention. That, by being pretty, a girl creates a situation wherein boys are helpless slaves to their attraction and, thus, the pretty girl owes the boys whatever attention they seek. On a good day, this just means boys aggressively ignore rings on ring fingers, headphones, books, statements of unavailability or disinterest. On a bad day, they can get scary pushy. In her blog post, the scary guy tells her it’s not his fault she’s pretty. As she points out, it’s not her fault either.

    Okay, yes, pretty girls could cease to take care of themselves and could choose unattractive clothing and…I mean, really? That seems a more reasonable answer than people just being polite? Just realising that, unless you are specifically paying for someone’s attention (not a date, but an escort service, for instance) or paying to see their body (like at a strip club…or in a movie–though the “owing” ends on the movie screen and doesn’t extend to when you see the person in the real world), none of us are owed the attention. Outside those scenarios, no one owes anyone showing off their body. Etc…

    So, if you’ve been made to feel you owe it to others (outside of specific contexts) or that others owe it to you, you’re wrong. If you are in the first group, I hope you’ll find the self-compassion and the courage to reclaim yourself in the situation. If you’re in the latter, maybe you just needed someone to tell you the world doesn’t work that way. This is me, telling you that. And as you return to my whole dignity and respect thing and stop assuming you’re owed, I’ll bet you’ll get better attention, genuine good attention, when someone feels you’ve earned it. A lovely win-win situation.

    Still with me? Next, the musical thing that relates. Which is, of course, two pieces. Cos, apparently, I do go on and on…

    There’s this strange dynamic between fans and bands (and actors and some others, but my main experience is with bands). It’s so easy, on either side, to feel as if one is owed something by the other. You read or hear stories of fans who aggressively pursue the attention of artists they love because they think their love and their purchases of albums, film tickets, t-shirts, etc entitle them to a return of as much attention as they want. Of course, you also hear about artists who feel like their hard work (or, in sad cases, their pretty faces or just the time they’ve put in whether or not they’re talented) entitles them to success and fame and the adoration of fans.

    As much as, in self-serving ways, I’d like both to be true, I’m afraid that’s just more of the unrealistic entitlement nonsense.

    Yes, I’d love the hours and dollars and love I put toward artists to magically make them love me back. We could go out for meals and have great conversations…It would be brilliant. Really. But the fact is, I already got what I paid for. I got the album, saw the concert or film, wore the shirt, that sort of thing. And, yes, I do believe (as an artist) that I ought to show appreciation to those who support me (which is why I constantly mention in Varnish things how much I appreciate our fans and why, since we aren’t selling out stadiums yet and it’s logistically reasonable, I try to at least give a sincere “thanks for coming out” to those who come to shows). But there’s a line. And once someone gets bigger, I understand when they don’t hang out at the venue after to talk to me, even if I queued for hours and know every word and think they’re brilliant. Did they play the best show they could? Then I got what I paid for. I don’t even assume, those times they do come out to greet fans, that they’re up for pictures or, if they are, that they want every fan hanging on them. In that situation, I wait. I stand near enough for the photo, but they get to make the move. Arms around me or kisses in pictures? Yeah, they initiated that. (And, for the record, I totally support people like Wil Wheaton who generally don’t do hugs or even handshakes cos they’d rather not get sick. Or people like Nathan Fillion who pre-print cards for cons–a super cool move–because they know they can’t possibly give all the interaction fans hope.)

    Pics with artists I dig
    A sampling of what they initiated…yes, I’m bragging a wee bit 😉


    From the artist’s side, of course I’d love if the hours and dollars and efforts I put in magically translated to huge success. “Just achieve this many hours or these things, and you level up. You gain stardom and adoration!” But I understand that there are no guarantees in the arts. I hope that people hear me and love what we do and support us. I work hard because I believe I’m building a great thing. And, yeah, I get disappointed when turn out or response isn’t what I’d hoped. And there are days I wish that my passion was for law or medicine or running a daycare, cos I can point to the steps to get there and you can really get yourself most or all the way to the goal with hard work and perseverance. But those of us who love an art? We have no guarantees. We have fewer guarantees than our fans. (You buy a ticket and get a show…We can pay for services to help promote us and it doesn’t mean more than that someone else is now trying to help us get what we want. Not a sob story; just a fact of what we’ve chosen.)

    Now, I’m going to go fulfill some obligations, because I feel like the commitments I’ve made mean that, yes, I do owe certain things to certain people. And then I’m going to work hard on trying to get the things I want. Cos, like I said, I don’t reckon I’m entitled to anything more than respect and dignity and the consequences (good or ill) of my actions.


    ps Thanks for reading this. It was nice to put it outside my head, and I just hope it didn’t seem too ranty. Maybe it can, instead, inspire us all to be a little less entitled and a little more respectful, you think? I really believe people’s lives can be full of goodness if they spend more time using their assets and working hard and less time feeling entitled and fussing about things that don’t fit their entitled dreams. If this seemed too ranty, though, well…good thing I mostly keep politics out of blogs these days, cos…wow…can I be opinionated and ranty there!

    (You can feel free to drop me a line, but I need to turn off comments on this because my captcha suddenly isn’t working on this post for some reason. Lame.)

  • Beyond Bacon Cinnamon Rolls

    Yeah, you read that right. I’m going to talk about bacon cinnamon rolls. But what’s really going on is beyond that.

    Before we go on, however, a quick note. From things some of you have said, there are at least a handful of folks reading all the words on here, getting all caught up on what I’ve been saying. If you’re one of those and you’ve already scoured the whole site, you might want to know that I’ve updated Where I Stand after an impactful conversation. (The old text is there, but with a strikethrough, so it’s easy to find if you’re so inclined.)

    Alrighty, bacon cinnamon rolls. Or, as noted, beyond bacon cinnamon rolls.

    Whilst I can be a tenacious girly (and I do doggedly pursue the things I love and desire), there’s this old pattern that plagued me in previous years. I’d enjoy something or want something, and then I’d have a nasty, demoralising experience, and I’d convince myself quite thoroughly that I’d never wanted to do or have it. I suspect a lot of this was tied in with the same ugly voices in my head that had me deep in self-hatred when I was 15.

    For instance, I used to quite like to bake and cook. And then I shared a kitchen with someone who was really quite good with the whole cooking thing. That alone wasn’t a problem for me. Hey, I got fed some tasty food and, initially, assumed I’d pick up some tricks. Instead, it was made clear that my skills were laughable and I wasn’t to be trusted in the kitchen. Ouch. (And, so we’re clear, it’s not that I made anything that didn’t taste good…I just didn’t make fancy things or chop vegetables with ease.)

    Fast forward, and there I was, content in knowing that I really didn’t care for the kitchen. I’d somehow forgotten the hours spent making all manner of goodness. And I’d have stayed there, except that I have the coolest best friend…Someone who just let me do what I did without criticising and who reminded me of the joy of cooking, as it were. Someone who gave me opportunities to experiment. Oh…that was probably the…what’s the opposite of straws breaking camels’ backs? The splint that mended the camel’s back? Heh.

    In the last handful of years, I’ve had the opportunity to discover, confront, and overcome a number of things like that. I love to break through, to reclaim, to blast ahead as a me who is…more a whole me. And, man, how can I not love the best friend and other good people in my life who allow me to be me? Seriously, we should all be surrounding ourselves with good people like that.

    Okay, bacon cinnamon rolls, since some of you actually came here to read about that. (Though I fear all you’ll learn is that I am not a seasoned food blogger…)

    See, last Sunday, out of the blue, I kept thinking “bacon cinnamon rolls.” I hadn’t read about anyone doing that at that point. It was just suddenly knew it must be a good thing. And, though I planned to do a quick look online to see what I could learn from others, I was going to make tastiness one way or the other. I’d already sorted out the cinnamon rolls. (Another story, but first I sorted out my mum’s cinnamon rolls, and then I sorted how to modify them to be made with sourdough…I’m an experimental girl!) I knew I could make bacon on the stove or in the oven. Yeah, I could do this.

    And I did. And I took pictures. Because I’m jealous of all the polished and fabulous food blogs. I won’t give a recipe here, cos it would vary based on your sourdough starter. And cos I did what my mum used to do and made some things up as I went. But I tried three different ways, and maybe it will inspire the bakers among you. Or at least inspire you to sort out what thing you used to want that you let yourself be pulled off track from and you’ll go for it again. Or at least make sure that the people you keep close now are the sort who lift you and let you be you instead of stealing joys.


    Mostly pictures from here, with some text and some reviews of the finished products. I reckon you could just use one of the methods below with your preferred cinnamon roll recipe (even if your “recipe” starts with buying tubes of pre-made cinnamon rolls you’ll bake yourself).

    sourdough starter
    It all starts with this goo in a jar.

    basic ingredients
    And then you mix in some basic ingredients…

    Bacon for variant #1.

    baking bacon
    Bacon for variant #2 and #3 getting crispier.
    (Yeah, I oven bake. With good reason. Please save arguments against that method for when I’m so famous that I’m bored with regular interview topics…haha)

    filling ingredients
    These would be the normal filling ingredients…

    bacon crumbles
    And these would be the hand-crumbled bacon bits to take these beyond normal!

    variant 1
    Variant #1, which was what I found online, just involves laying less crispy bacon on the filling and rolling it up so each roll has a piece of bacon. I was dubious…

    variant #2
    Forgot to snap variant #2 until I was rolling…You don’t unroll once you get going! This variant involved sprinkling a ridiculous quantity of bacon crumbles on after I sprinkled on the normal filling and before I rolled.

    variant #3
    This is the version I don’t think got a fair chance. So I’ll have to make bacon cinnamon rolls again just to try a different method for incorporating the bacon into the dough. Oh, the tragedy…(Variant #3 involved me mashing bacon crumbles into the dough itself before I put on the normal filling and rolled it.)

    Note: The bacon cinnamon roll version of “licking the bowl” is “eating unused bacon crumbles.” Yah!

    ready to rise
    And here they are, my various attempts, ready to rise before baking. (I made a few plain rolls as a “control” group. Because that makes it sound like science!)

    glaze ingredients
    Good thing I took a picture of frosting ingredients….

    finished glaze
    And of the finished frosting, because it makes up for the photos that should come next (at least in terms of quantity of photos…)

    There should be a picture of the pan coming out of the oven.
    And then there should be a picture of the pan, frosted but undefiled.
    And possibly a single shot of a yummy cinnamon roll fresh from that hot pan.

    But by the time they were done baking, the smell alone had removed all thought of what “should be.”
    The camera sat idly by as we frosted and consumed…And I came to my senses at this point. (Okay, the awesome conversation didn’t hurt in distracting me either.)

    the carnage
    Yeah, so there were only 6 of 16 rolls left at this point…Oops…

    And how did they do? (I mean, aside from clearly being so yummy that the pictures were neglected…)

    Fresh from the pan, here’s where people landed (at least those who thought to comment beyond grabbing another roll):

    Of the one with the crumbles rolled in with the cinnamon sugar (variant #2), Taster 1 said, “It tastes like Christmas morning.” In short, magically delicious (but not Lucky Charms, which would be what my Christmas mornings often tasted like…).

    Taster 2 had a bit more to say…Absolute winner for Taster 2 was the one with the crumbles in the dough. The other two were about equal. And we reckon the only way to have crispy bacon would be to add crumbles on top after baking. (Taster 2 was really hoping for crispy bacon…but did love these enough to consume multiple in one sitting and take some for later.)

    I liked them all, but agree with Taster 2 that the best flavour came from the one with the crumbles in the dough (funny, since you may recall it was the one I didn’t feel got a fair shake due to technique). Though I’d only done the version with the single slice rolled in because the other blogs all loved it and I thought it would be the worst, I think it was my second favourite. As with the others, it all had to do with flavour balance. Least favourite was crumbles in the filling. Still tasty, but found the bacon taste was inconsistent for some reason.

    Now, to tuck the leftovers away and see what one more mouth thinks of them in the morning!

    (I did try one of variant #1 when it wasn’t piping hot. Still tasty, but not as tasty. I suspect variant #3, the winning variant, would fare better, but I had already promised it to someone else so I can’t tell you. For now, I can simply recommend devouring them whilst warm…)

    Feedback from one last mouth. At this point, we’re dealing with reheated rolls. Taster 3 enjoyed them all, but found variant #2 the tastiest. So, the votes for best (from those who voted instead of just eating with gusto) are split between variant #2 and variant #3, but no one would turn down variant #1 if offered (and that’s the one that is easiest and found on multiple other blogs).

    You know what that means? Aside from the fact it means you’re probably good to make whichever variant you want, it also means you might need to make and try them all. You know, just to be sure…

    Someone who heard me drooling over the idea of bacon cinnamon rolls last Sunday suggested rendering the bacon grease and using it in place of butter in the rolls. I didn’t have time to play with that idea this time. I guess that means I “have” to make more bacon cinnamon rolls. Local friends, perhaps you will be subjected to the next batch of science. Nom nom nom!

  • ponder: breaking up broken down

    fair warning: this is long and i don’t feel like breaking it up (har har) into multiple posts.

    got breaking up on the brain. whilst i’m not planning to break up with anyone just now, i have friends at points all along both sides of the breaking up spectrum. on the one side, you’ve got everything from that intuition that a breakup is coming (sometimes right, sometimes not) to signs of relationship failure to dumped and trying to pull it together. on the other side, you have everything from wondering if you ought to consider a breakup to pondering how best to achieve a breakup to blissfully done and moving on. until you either learn your concerns are baseless or you recognise that you’re better without them, none of these are awesome places to be, even when they’re leading to good.

    a few years ago, there was a rash of bad breakups in my social circle. not just bad because hearts were bruised, but bad because of how it went down. sometimes it was the dumper being remarkably horrible and sometimes it was the dumpee clinging and crying in a way that didn’t change anyone’s mind, with a nice dose of breakups due to cheating to make it all feel extra icky. at that point, i made a mock quiz where one was meant to match the relationship scenario with the appropriate way to respond, whether as the dumper or the dumpee.

    the fact is, even if you’re the dumpee and you feel you don’t deserve it, everyone involved can contribute to whether or not it’s an extra craptastic situation. so i thought i’d sort of ramble on about a few points here, because that’s what i do. no doubt, some of this will come back to haunt me in future breakups. though i readily acknowledge i haven’t always been a stellar example, so no need to rub my past in my face. and, for the record, this is all about romantic relationships. ending friendships or business relationships or otherwise ending your association with someone other than a partner would each have its own set of “amber guidelines.”

    let’s start with reasons for breaking up. the thing is, relationships are sort of supposed to be consensual situations. unless you’ve gotten married, chances are really good that you didn’t commit to a certain amount of time with the other person. i think some things are clearly reasonable triggers for considering a breakup, like infidelity or abuse. some things are in a murky realm where you have to ask whether it’s just that you might want to put a little more work into saving something awesome or cut your losses and get out before there’s real damage done. and there’s that final group that sounds really silly when you say it out loud.

    if you’ve got abuse, i’m a huge proponent of Get Out Now. i’ve rarely seen an abuser (physical, mental, emotional, or sexual) actually conquer those behaviours. if you’ve got infidelity, that’s a grey area. in amber-land, if you’re an otherwise awesome partner and you made one mistake and are truly sorry and don’t do it again, we can talk about fixing the relationship. but the instant you embark on infidelity number two, or if you aren’t worth the effort to me to work it out, you’re gone. and, in case you’re jockeying to be my next someone, you ought to know that i include emotional infidelity, cybering, sexting, and phone sex on the list of things that count as cheating. i know; i’m no fun.

    in that murky set of reasons…well, it’s a case-by-case situation, isn’t it? for example, if you’re fighting all the time, is it a sign that it’s time to end or that it’s time to fix root issues and regain the happier days? seriously, i don’t even know for me. because it’s going to depend on the situation. i do know that relationships take a certain amount of work. i don’t believe that every relationship merits the same amount, though. which means we’ll find out when we get there. though, at this point, i’m not wont to get into any relationship unless i think it will merit some effort. and if i marry you, i’m up to the task, and i probably think the relationship is worth loads of effort. (other stuff that seems to fit in here is general stuff like indoor person vs outdoor person, adventure person vs tv/computer person, lots of alone time person vs minimal alone time person, purple vs green, liberal vs conservative, indoor cat vs outdoor cat, money use differences, getting on with each others’ friends and family, and…well, probably loads goes in here…) maybe you can sort out more of my mindset on this, if you’re sorting me out, by reading my previous ponder on fitting…

    that leaves the silly things. but what i actually want to say is that this stuff isn’t all so easily written off in my mind. sure, you have to ask whether their inability to close a cupboard after they get out a plate is enough to outweigh the goodness you have. and, sure, it’s hard to see clearly when they’re actually a good person (so much easier when they’re obviously just damaged goods). and, sure, that they’re fun to fool around with makes it even harder to see clearly. plus, you don’t want to be one of those shallow people or one of those people looking for (impossible) perfection. but! some of this stuff is going to make you crazy every day or every time you see them. and you’re not going to get used to it. and eventually, you are going to want to shove sharp things in your eyes. it may be annoying or a case of not fitting (again, see my previous ponder on fitting). but maybe they need to be free for someone who isn’t going to go mental over that little thing. (i’d share a personal example, but if the person ever read this and felt bad, i’d be mortified.) from the dumpee side of this, honestly, if all you see when you look at me is that silly little thing, i might be better off with someone else anyway.

    (note: if you dump me over a silly thing, i will likely say something like, “you’re dumping me over that?!?!” because it’s a silly thing. but that doesn’t mean, in the grand scheme, that i won’t eventually realise i’m better off without the partner who just saw me as that one silly thing.)

    in summary: not every reason is actually a good one. but even if you’re leaving me over a stupid one, even if i derisively note said stupid reason to friends for days to come, it doesn’t mean that you should have stuck around.

    before we talk about the dumping and the being dumped, i’d like to pause a moment to talk about other people. because i know only a few people who go through either side of the spectrum without involving other people. we go to our friends to say, “ack. i’m getting the paranoia. i think i’m going to get dumped.” or to say, “i’m thinking of dumping them. am i crazy?” and then we keep going to them for advice all through, until we finally go to them for comfort and/or to go out with once it’s done. i have just a few thoughts on other people, in case you want to know how i roll

    remember that friends and family who love you more than your partner will remember the negative things you said about your partner, even if you stay together. for this reason, i try to stick to just talking to my top friend or two, because they’re the kind of people who won’t let that cause drama or cause them to be rude later.

    involving other people is likely to lead to drama. drama sucks. i don’t want it, and if you want it, i don’t want you. sorry. another reason to keep it to just a tight friend or two who won’t be drama-prone. because sometimes a tiny issue can get turned into a huge one with the drama, and then you’ve thrown out a perfectly good something over nothing.

    whilst i’m a very introspective girl and very good at being honest with myself, the other benefit of my top couple non-drama-prone friends is that they are outside. they aren’t blinded by being too close to the situation (or not as close as i am). they aren’t blinded by the way my knees buckle when we kiss. their emotions are not so tied up. so, even if i want to think it all out myself, i think it’s a good bet to go to them, especially if they have a real handle on my relationship history, and tell them what i think. not only are they people with whom i can be honest, even if it makes me sound bad, but they will be honest with me. which means that they will listen, question, and then either support or tell me i’m being stupid.

    if you’re one of the other people, it’s a dicey situation. we all know that if you are honest about what you dislike about the partner, that can come back to bite you if the friend stays with said partner. i know i have held my tongue before, though i prefer not to. if you are one of my other people, there’s no need to constantly harangue me (but i know you won’t), but be honest. i think i’ve shown that i never hold it against you. and the person you’re offering criticisms of never finds out.

    no matter what they say, though, i have to remember that, in the end, it’s on me. i have to own the choice i make. i have to live with the consequences of staying or going. so they can advise, but it’s still up to me and my responsibility.

    and, finally…unless we are talking about an actual abuse situation where there is fear of bodily harm, try not to bring other people along for the breakup. you need a ride because you want to do it face-to-face? your ride needs to stay in the car or go into another shop. you realise it has to happen now and you want to call and break up that way, but you’re with a friend? go into another room or send them into the hallway or out to grab a snack. really need them there so that you have the courage to do it? you better make sure they’re going to keep their mouths shut and be compassionate toward all parties. but if they’re there to watch the show, to add some attitude, or because you’re doing a quick dumping before you head out for drinks with them…seriously, they can go wait at the bar.

    now, how to dump…i know some people think the only acceptable way is face-to-face. i totally understand, as i used to think this way myself. for these folks, that’s a sign of respect and of owning your actions and the hurt you’re causing. but i’m not one of those people anymore. dumping me via text or email or voicemail, via a friend or on the maury show, by throwing my things on the lawn or writing rude things on my car with lipstick? not cool. any breakup done with nastiness or destruction or done in a public place when you could have let me get the hurt privately isn’t cool. though i will allow for things like email if you’re overseas. and i used to allow for that if you just lived long distance before mobile phones made calls cheap. especially since the bulk of our relationship would have been in email and chats anyway, so that was just the way the relationship went. but even if you’re overseas, you can now use free online voice chat options to at least make it a call.

    because, in amberland, there are now two mainly acceptable ways to end a romantic relationship with me. the old face-to-face is fine. i do prefer it not happen in a public place, in case you make me cry. (and, yes, even if you’re very nice about it, i might cry. because i might still like you and it always hurts not to be liked back.) though, if you’re worried, i’ve proven to be pretty good at waiting until the dumper leaves to cry. as long as they don’t hang out for more than a few minutes. i might get a bit misty and choked sounding, but i probably won’t sob in front of you. honestly, there may be other hurt i feel you need to own, and you ought to be aware you’re going to hurt me. but you don’t need to own or manage my heartbreak. if we aren’t a good fit, however much it hurts me to learn that, you’re doing us both a favour (and doing a favour to whomever our better fits are) by ending things. if you weren’t mean about breaking up, the most i think you owe me is honesty. you can even just say, “i’m sorry, but i don’t feel like we’re a good fit.” i might want to know more, and if there are reasons beyond just not being a good fit it would be nice of you to calmly tell me, but that would be enough. especially now that i like me, because i’m not going to need to go home and search myself for flaws.

    if you feel like i need to know my damage and you can communicate it in a non-mean way, maybe you can send me a letter. but this sort of thing usually just comes off wrong and doesn’t help anyone. might even make you look like a jerk.

    the other acceptable way is by phone. yes, i’m serious. as the dumper, this means that, in case i go into an unreasonable “but why? but why?” spasm or get mean on you or start sobbing or doing something uncharacteristically sad like begging and pleading, you can say (though i may not hear it over my mania), “i’m going to hang up now. you take care.” and then you hang up and go on with life. i am not prone to those things, but just in case…

    as the dumpee, oh, i love the phone. because i don’t want you to see me cry. i’d rather process that pain privately. feel like i’ve kept some dignity. not let you see my makeup get messed up. it also means that your tempting hot body isn’t there, putting my brain into the mixed signal land of “want!” versus “ouch!” seriously, call me. now, if you are going to ring my mobile to dump me, there’s an extra something you need to do. you need to ask what i’m up to, because if i’m out or at work, not okay. you can just say you were thinking of me (true) and ask me to call you as soon as i am home and can talk. sure, that might make me suspicious. but when i ask what’s up, you’re totally okay to say we’ll talk later and that you need to go. yes, i’ll be tortured, but i’ll appreciate it later. you can even go so far as to say that we need to talk and, when i ask, to say, yeah, it might be unpleasant. but if i badger you into saying it right away, then it’s my fault for badgering. (okay, actually, if i am at home, in my car alone, or with one of my best friends, you’re probably good to just do it then.)

    for both dumper and dumpee, though i understand if you have some choice words when you’re leaving a cheat, an abuser, or someone who has actually treated you poorly, we’re all going to feel better about this if people try to keep it civil. you don’t have to pretend you want to stay friends. you don’t have to hold the dumpee or tell the dumper that this is fabulous. but nasty remarks, meanness, attempts at guilt, drama…that all does no good and just makes it uglier for everyone. as a special note to the dumpee, rarely does anything good come of you begging and pleading and guilting them into staying. if you have to do that to keep them, chances are you’re better off without. really.

    plus, if there is an actual hope of staying friends after (which can only happen if you both want it and can both behave), you aren’t going to want to smear the situation with ugly, are you? (that goes for both of you.)

    okay, so you’re broken up. just a few thoughts on post-breakup behaviour and then i’ll shut up for now.

    it is not cool to destroy their things that you have. it is cool to arrange a quick contact really soon to return things. it is cool to keep that contact super short and simple. you can even be wordless and just hand over the box or bag. really. if you can’t keep it civil, this is an okay time to send a friend. but make it the friend who will be civil and won’t use this as a chance to say nasty things, okay? and return their stuff in its current condition. no petty breaking, secretly dropping it in toilets, or whatever.

    it is not cool to make out extra hard with your new partner in public just to hurt them. if it’s been years and you see someone who hurt you and you want them to see you’re just fine, thanks…okay. but when it’s all fresh, just be breezy and normal. if you dumped them recently, they are already hurt. no need for more. if you got dumped, they will know what you’re doing and it will look sad. instead, just look hot and happy and normal.

    it is cool to turn the hurt into art, especially if it doesn’t come across as petty. for me, this means you can’t tell the song is about you. heh.

    it is cool to give the other person space. you don’t have to avoid hangouts, unless you can’t be nice. but you don’t have to wander over to say hullo or sit where you can stare at them the whole time.

    i’m sure i had more to say, but it’s a friday night. time for me to go and enjoy. because who knows how long it is until i break up with you or you dump me, right? ha!

  • ponder: i don’t love you like i love him…

    i’ve been pondering love a lot lately, as i seem to have had some fundamental change of nature. among other things, this change includes feeling like i’m overflowing with love, like i have more compassion, like i need to say more sappy things to a few people. that, plus the fact a number of people in my life have been pondering love in their own ways and for their own reasons, has had my head full of thinking about the nature of love. so i thought i’d use that as a chance to keep the blog from getting too stale. plus, as those who’ve been around me a while know, when there seems to be a theme in my life during a particular time, i often feel like it’s useful to talk out loud about it. and that’s just what i’m going to do until i run out of words, for the moment, on the topic. right now, it looks like there are four strands to my thoughts here.

    to clarify, love here is all the kinds of love. not just romantic, in love sort of love. it’s also about love for friends, love for family, and general human compassion. try to keep that in mind as you read this long post, okay?

    strand one: the individual nature of each love. this is the strand that the title of the post is inspired by. what i’ve come to realise is that each love, whatever sort it might be, is unique. it has to be. because each instance involves different people.

    you see, the love i feel for one person has some of its roots and strength in the experiences we’ve had, the stories we’ve shared, and their particular traits. i may love another person equally, but because that love is based on a different set of experiences, stories, and traits, it’s a different love. my dad has always said he loves each of us kids equally, but for different reasons. i think that’s what he means.

    and i kind of think it’s a beautiful thing, for a few reasons. you see, it means i never have to worry if this love doesn’t feel like another did, because it probably oughtn’t. it means that each person for whom i feel any love gets their own unique love from me, and that i am also being given a unique gift when someone loves me. (this is particularly cool for erasing jealousy about the past or about other friends, because if they love me, it is a new thing and not the same love they give or have given already.) it means that i feel like i won’t run out of one particular love, because i only use each one for one person. and it means that if one love is betrayed, it doesn’t kill me on that level of love in general. just that one particular love.

    this also has some downsides and can lead to some emotional turmoil. but it’s love, so you expect that, right?

    strand two: love doesn’t mean trust. not to be a downer on the tail of what was a happier strand, but love and trust aren’t mutually inclusive. that i love you doesn’t mean i trust you, and vice versa. which, actually, i don’t think has to be seen as a downer…

    it’s awesome when i have people i both love and trust. to be honest, those are few and far between in my life. at the very least, the levels of love and trust i have for a person are not usually equal. making those few for whom i have loads of both extra precious. but knowing that i can feel one without the other and not feeling like i have to feel both is rather freeing.

    i used to fuss over this. how could i feel one and not so much the other? did it mean i was wrong in my assessment of how i felt? and on and on…but now that i’ve concluded it’s just a fact of life, i don’t stress. i’m mindful of each and don’t tend to go barrelling into behaviours (either of showing love or trust) just because i’ve got one of those feelings. and you probably oughtn’t take it personally if you aren’t one of the very few for whom i have loads of both. because each is, in its own right, a rather lovely gift.

    strand three: love ought to free you to be your genuine self. now, this may seem an odd thought on the heels of the previous strand. after all, this sounds like a trust-laden thing. but i think that love can’t be true if you are loving an image, if you’re loving the person someone is trying to project. in that case, you love the image and not the person. and, on the other side of that, i want to be loved for me. i want you to love me even knowing that i totally disagree with you on a topic, that we have different life goals, that i’m an indoor girl and you like the outdoors. that sort of thing. and if you can’t love me like that, it’s best we work instead on some sort of genial relationship or trust. and i’ll save my time and love for friends and family who do love me like that. and it’s okay. because i can look at my life and see how those people who see and love the person i truly am, especially the ones who know my quirks and don’t get any sort of pretence from me, have freed me to be true to myself. i was going to try to be true to me anyway, as i’m the only person guaranteed to stick by me through life. but letting them know and love real me freed me to love real me more. and then freed me to recognise and let go of self-misconceptions. and now i’m very-amber, and i dig her.

    strand four: to feel love doesn’t mean you’re obligated to do anything about it. to be clear, i think that you can’t do nothing and expect love to survive. so you ought to find at least small ways to show and nurture any love you’re feeling that you want to keep feeling. but…

    i keep running across people who seem to feel like their love of another person brings with it an obligation to act. and the thing about love is that it can be pretty blind and stupid. part of why you can love someone and not trust them. your heart, both in non-romantic and romantic senses, can suddenly throw itself at someone. i find that’s usually how love of any sort happens with me. one day i suddenly realise that, oh, i love this person in this way. sometimes i feel it growing, like my heart is creeping that way instead of throwing itself. and sometimes it’s literally instantaneous. and more than once, it’s been thrown at a person that was just a bad idea. they were a lousy friend, they were a cheating love, they were falsely acting in order to drum up compassion. and my stupid heart didn’t really notice. once or twice, my heart has forgotten i was already in a relationship and thrown itself. and, fortunately, i chose not to follow (because we may not be able to choose where it throws itself, but we can choose how we react to that) and, instead, used that as a wakeup call that maybe i needed to tend to the love in the current relationship. (or honourably end the relationship because this was a chance to realise it wasn’t the good answer long-term. but i’ve rarely had a chance to do that before the other person has butchered it up…good thing, or i might not have so many songs!)

    so, whilst love is a great motivator for acts of kindness and compassion, it is not an obligation. i love you, but it doesn’t mean i have to do for you. i love you, but it doesn’t mean i have to stay with you. i have love for you, my fellow human, and compassion for your situation, but it doesn’t mean i’m obligated to give.

    which means two things. first, that i can stop treating love as an obligation and treat it as something lovelier than that. second, that those things i do for you out of love are by choice, because i want to. because i want to feed the love, the relationship (whatever it may be). and it means that everything you do that i can recognise as a way of showing your love is not taken for granted. because i’m hoping love is motivation, not an obligation for you as well.

    and if you’ve read through this whole post, it has either been out of love of me or because you’re a stalker. either way, it’s time for me to go put some sappiness in a chat window and an inbox and such. all this love talk has reminded me that those i love most are the best people on earth. yay!

  • ponder: fitting

    read an article yesterday (that’s a response to a response to another article) that’s basically advice to girls about getting involved with boys. the article i read was by a boy. but, to be fair, from my observations of life, i think this advice is great all around. what he basically said was:

    “if you don’t already fit into his life and share his worldview, don’t do it.”

    a lot of people thought he was suggesting the girl just reshape herself. and others were cranky because we all know relationships involve compromise.

    he clarified in comments that, no, he wasn’t suggesting people change. in fact, he was suggesting the opposite. that someone is fun and makes your loins go tingly and a good person or whatever doesn’t mean you’re a good fit. because relationships are more than that. and trying to force your lives to fit, trying to force things to work out, is more likely to lead to woe.

    on the other hand, he acknowledges that, yes, every relationship requires compromises. but if you don’t start out fitting, you may be making the wrong ones.

    a starry-eyed younger me would trumpet that true love should be followed and you ought to work hard and blah blah blah. and i do believe that relationships of the long-term sort will involve work.

    but i also agree with this boy. if i meet you and you are super cool and our lives don’t mesh, if i have to change my schedule, neglect the pursuits i would otherwise love, look to others to fill roles i’d expect a partner to fill, consider whether i could live without getting the things i’d always hoped my future would be….if i wasn’t meshing with your job, your friends, your family that mattered, your life dreams, your needs…..and if you weren’t meshing with all that about me….i’d think twice. no matter how cool.

    because i have seen the result of people who have to work from the start, to get accustomed to getting less than or other than they want, who then spend months or years (or lives, even) doing that. and it sucks. it does. i’m sorry. this includes some couples i love. but no matter how much i love them, i look and i think:

    if one of you had had the honesty and courage to let go, you could have made four lives better: yours, theirs, the person who’d be the nicer fit for your life, and the person who’d be the nicer fit for theirs.

    if you’re really mad for them, stick around a while as a friend. see how things evolve. maybe you’ll at least get a good friend out of the deal. maybe you will, as i have done a time or two, wake up one morning and realise that you’re glad you never had a relationship with that person or that you ended the relationship (in my case, it’s relationships that ended and i’m happy because i see what is making them happy in life now and know that wouldn’t have made me happy).

    the rest the advice in the articles was all stuff i’d heard before, which is why i’m not mentioning it. but this one, though it seems like common sense to me, seemed to be the most alien to other people responding. which made me go ponder-y. and, apparently, need to verbalise.