Friday, October 18, 2013

smilie facing

Confession:  Sometimes I find myself posting a smilie face at the end of a Facebook comment or a Twitter message when I don't really mean it.  Usually a winkie smilie face.  And a lot of times, I don't mean winkie smilie face.  I'm not really smilie facing.  Or winking.

But there I go.  Semi-colon.  lower case dash line.  (Press shift) Right facing parenthesis.

Of course now it's easier to winkie smilie face on my new spangly recently upgraded to ios 7  iphone (grumble fucking hate ios 7 stupid bullshit upgrade...) because I have such a plethora of face-y emoticons from which to choose to punctuate my emails or texts or status updates.

And I was thinking about that today as I spent the vast majority of my morning deciding not to do anything more productive than troll around the net, looking for conversations to start or join.  Like the employee at the water cooler who never really finishes her cup of water.  And never really leaves.  Just keeps chatting and head-shaking and using finger air quotations around things and fist pumping anyone who shows up around the cooler because it's Friday and she just doesn't want to work.  At all.  She just wants to connect with folks.

So that was me.  And as I'm roaming around commenting on certain political strands and social issues and of course the inevitable cute photos of my friends' children and animals doing various cute things or reaching various cute milestones in their lives.... I'm having a ball.  But I'm also winkie smilie facing.  And though I do try to keep the emoticons and all the various potential incendiary punctuation marks like exclamation points !!!!! at a minimum---

I still feel like I'm over smilie facing.

And WHY am I over smilie facing?  Would I be over smilie facing around the water cooler if I was still that bored office assistant on a Friday morning trying any way possible to make the last few grueling hours of the work week go by faster?

I would like to think, no.  I would like to think in actual face-to-face conversation with actual fellow worker human beings, I would not need to signify with smilies my sarcasm, or solidarity, or sad understanding, or sly disbelief or any of the other varying nuanced shades of grey I'm hoping my winkie smilie faces convey in the vacuum.  I'd like to think that were I in front of these individuals, they would understand any and all of the varying greys through my vocal inflections, facial expressions, hand gentures.  Dynamic.  Pauses.

You know.  The rhythmic stuff of interaction.

But when I'm left to merely a small variety of little black and white symbols lined up in certain formations that I input into electronic devices to speak my personality for me- I'm a bit concerned.  I lack the faith of the pithy.  I am a bit worried that some of my letter and space formations- my word choices and sentence structure, though so obvious to me, may fall short of fully representing the actual intended meaning.

See, because I know I'm not a muckraker.  I''m not someone who likes to drop some sort of comment bomb and then disappear for awhile, returning later to hungrily review the damage she has created.  The fiery trails of barely literate name-calling she has spawned.  Rather, I'm a craver of interesting interaction sort of Facebooker.  And Twitterer.

When I was a kid- and still an only child- my parents say I would frequently enter a room in the house where folks were busy working, reading, resting.  I'd sit down on the couch to announce "Let's have a conversation." Easily bored, often lonely when my hours of book reading and piano practicing were over, I was the kid who desperately wanted to interact.

And so this age of information (misinformation?)-- this new era of small world communication should really jive with me and those like me.  And for the most part I think it does.  However, I still wish I didn't have to use so many damn winkie smilie faces.  Because like I said earlier- I'm not a winkie smilie face kind o gal.

But because I'm not a muckraker- and still one who occasionally leans toward the dark comedy side of the bench- I find I gotta trot out the smilies.  Or maybe I lose friends.  Both real and virtual.  Maybe I end up starting conversations that wind up with  "Wait- What I meant was..." at the beginning of every one of my replies.

And who wants that.  Who wants to be publicly editing themselves at every turn.

So I leave you dear reader with this:  It's almost 1pm at the water cooler here.  And while occasionally avoiding cross-knit browed glances from my boss,  I'm still here air quoting and chatting away.  And because you are not actually standing in front of me while I say "T.G.I.F."  in an overstated, obvious, making fun of myself while appearing to also look sort of cool tone of voice...I am left to type--

Happy weekend. T G I F.   ;-)

Friday, October 4, 2013


I am having a current discourse with myself about "feeling shitty."  Mostly because right now, for no actual discernible reason, and for no apparent limited time trajectory, I am feeling shitty.

In the 12 plus years I've been in consistent therapy - basically in service of the condition called Being Alive - I've been able to come up with a few other words to further illustrate this feeling.  Words like- Lonely.  Purposeless.  Lost.  Adrift.  Empty.  Disconnected.

But really nothing suffices quite like "shitty."  That's still the best one I've come up with so far to truly describe this state.

And of course when the discourse starts to take shape over the feeling shitty of it inevitably becomes about "un-feeling shitty."  Not feeling "un-shitty," which will ostensibly occur if I do it right, but about "un-feeling shitty."  Which is more of an action.  Or an attempt at an action.

I feel this way.  I would like to feel un-this way, so I'm going to figure out how to un-feel this way.

And therein lies the rub.

Because, I can take any sort of action to try to achieve the un-shitty state.  Say:

1. Drink more coffee
2. Go for a run
3. Stand on my head
4. Sing something
5. Write something
6. Find someone in my neighborhood and talk to them
7. Eat something sweet
8. Eat another piece of that sweet thing
9. Meditate
10. Watch TV
11. Facebook.  Twitter.  TEXT.  CALL SOMEONE -


But those things don't necessarily make me un-feel this way.  They just sort of put it off for awhile.  The process of un-feeling something is sort of a losing proposition, I've found.  I cannot truly escape the feeling states, I can only manage them.  So- enough of the conversation about "unfeeling."

So then I go-  the conversation needs to switch.  To the feeling- and not to the attempted distraction.  But the feeling.  It looks like this- it smells like this.  If it were a food it would taste like this.  It does this to me.  It makes the world look like this.  Dive deep into the feeling.

Which is risky.  Risky because I worry that by diving in, I'll never get out, and then where would I be?  Who would make the crabmeat dip for this evening's pot luck dinner?  Who's going to the grocery store to take the household fruit stock from one brown, slightly dehydrated banana to the horn of plenty my upper middle class children need and deserve? Who's gonna ride the bike at the gym for 30 minutes? This fat is not going to burn ITSELF off.

I mean, who's going to power through that mundane moment to moment living existence that I am so grateful and lucky to inhabit?  You know- the one that is also frequently the catalyst for the whole "feeling of shitty" in the first place.  (ie- what has my life become?  Where did my dreams go to die?  How can I recapture that feeling of being needed and useful?)

It's also risky because- let's face it- I don't see a whole heck of a lot of company in that world.  The world of those Not Running From The Feeling Shitty.  Misery loves company supposedly, but we 21st Century humans apparently prefer company in the prolonged attempt to never ever ever feel miserable. Because when you feel miserable- that seems to be the wrong state of being.  Well, that's not right.  That's not good.  Here- take a pill, get a massage, go talk to someone, be sure you do everything you possibly can not to feel that way.  Because feeling that way sucks and is uncomfortable and obviously means you've failed at the proposed goals here.  Which is that Life is Awesome.  So stop that.  Don't feel shitty.  You're wrong.


I know there's at least one guy who's on my side here.  And that would be the man I've been creating a deeply connected relationship with in one tiny small earthly space at roughly the same time every week.  The man I happily pay to spend this small amount of time dedicated just to me and my shitty human condition.  And that would be my shrink.  (You were kinda thinking gigolo for a second though, weren't you?  I entertained that notion for about 6.7 seconds. That was kinda fun.)

My shrink believes in the just feel shitty of it all, right along with me.  I'd go so far as to say there's probably many in his profession who come down on that side too.  Not every moment of every second of every day- not that the goal of human existence is to feel like crap, but it also certainly isn't to un-feel like crap either.  And maybe in fact, the less we focused on "goals" in general, possibly the more peaceable we'd be.  Alone and together.

So I've spent many expensive minutes in his office feeling shitty with him.  I'm telling you- it's been kinda great.  I am getting some bang for my buck in there, turns out.  Diving into the shitty in a safe environment, for a specified amount of time-- I highly recommend.

The trick is - like yoga - how to install this program into my everyday life whereby when the shitty comes, I can do it.  I can connect through it - into it- with others- so that it becomes a workable part of my existence as opposed to something that makes me want to hide.  To crawl under the covers and cower until the fog lifts for a bit.

sigh sigh sigh.

so here I am writing the shitty.  Thanks for reading.  If you are reading, I suppose I actually posted this piece.  Which, as I type these final words, I am entertaining crippling moments of ambivalence about.    On the one hand- you're crafting this blog, Miss Holly, in an attempt to be as authentic and real as you possibly can.  To not hide from the warts.  Post the Feeling Shitty blog.  Post it!  On the other hand- Who wants to read about your vague depressive feelings of shitty which are hopefully soon to shift anyway?  As they always do because nothing lasts, not even the truly great stuff?

Well, I hope you've gotten something out of this.

I still feel a bit shitty.

Though perhaps a little less so.

Same time next week?