In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “The Full Moon.”
When the full moon happens, you turn into a person who’s the opposite of who you normally are. Describe this new you.
I am no longer a slave to the snooze button and my blanket cave makes me feel claustrophobic instead of safe. I discover that I am pretty good at doing things and even if there is something that I kind of suck at, it does not result in a spiral of harsh judgements for the rest of my day. I approach and walk away from my interactions not replaying the events twenty times, cringing at the ways I fumbled with my words or possibly made the other person feel uncomfortable or bored. I feel funny and interesting. My thoughts feel original and are not stilted, slow or disconnected from my speech. I pay attention and retain information. I trust my memory. My mind does not worry for at least a minute. My mind stays still for at least a minute. I am more attuned to my own and other people’s feelings. I’m an ambitious go-getter who is able to put mind over matter. Scratch that, I am secure enough in my place in the world to know and reject the notion that not being ambitious is often conflated with being lazy, mediocre or wasteful. I am not crippled by the fear that the words I speak are empty, meaningless or nonsensical. Feeling articulate and smart and confident does not feel like an insurmountable task. I feel awe again.
So I’ve made a new rule for myself: write when I want to and to not worry so much about giving myself weekly deadlines. Write inspired. That’s probably it.
Something really inspired me today:
Have you seen this movie?
While watching this, I felt a foreboding uneasiness – I was all “shit, I already know I love this movie, like really love this movie. how am I ever going to fully and beautifully articulate why I love this movie so much?” Just watched it a few hours ago so a lot of it is still somewhat – wanted to put down some initial thoughts (please be warned, spoilers ahead!):
She takes me by the hand
Turning, twisting, tumbling
Her jiggly laughter ripples through my ribcage
I get dizzy and plead
Please no more spinning
We lie in a messy heap
Fluffy carpet, silky hair, the intoxicating smell of baby shampoo
Her upside down eyes tantalize
Up we go again
But not before I plant a delicious kiss
On her toasty cheek
You win a contest to build your dream home. Draft the plans.
Big (ceiling-high) windows and cozy furniture. Matte hardwood floors but there are some carpeted areas for some fluffy respite and general rolling around. Doesn’t need to be too big, just spacious; lots of hidden nifty storage to help de-clutter and minimize but not to the point where it looks almost clinical.
IKEA. Love Your Home.
(What? What is this random IKEA plug doing here?!)
Essentially, my dream home is uninspired but I’m totally OK with that. I’m totally OK with it being pulled out of an IKEA catalogue. Personal touches will surely be added along the way: paint colours, library books, photos, smell, etc.
I have always wanted a multi-level home since childhood and have a sneaking suspicion that this comes from playing with this dollhouse I had. The staircase must somehow be unique. Kitchen must have lots of cupboards and an island or a counter to which I can pull up stools. Den’s landmark: insanely comfortable couch that hugs you. It would also be one of the carpeted rooms because I like watching TV from the floor.
Haven’t really thought out the bedrooms yet. One will definitely become a studio/study just so I can break out the monocle, hole myself up in there every now and then, and pretend I am getting work done.
And the laundry room, oh my gosh, the laundry room. Having lived in apartments for most of my life without the greatest laundry facilities, I am most certainly looking forward to spending some time in this room. It’s going to smell, well like laundry, uh duh self! Can’t wait.
Are you a sports fan? Tell us about fandom. If you’re not, tell us why not.
Yes, and it is a world of pain. At times, I’m delusional enough to think that I, by myself, can jinx a game by watching it live. Let’s just also say that I’ve been reduced to ugly crying accompanied by legit sadness that sometimes persists for days (I’m looking at you 2011 NBA Finals and 2012 Summer Olympics Canada vs. US Women’s Soccer). I’ve witnessed enough epic meltdowns (see this year’s NHL playoffs Leafs vs Bruins Game 7 and most Raptors 4th Quarters) to develop a paranoid “no good shit ever happens to my teams” complex.
But for the heavy bouts of emotional drainage, there are glimpses of epic moments that have precipitated into awesome flashbulb memories, making this whole sports fandom thing? Totally worth it.
The very first team I started following was the Raptors, or as I lovingly call them from time to time, the Toronto Craptors (a family member once said that being able to berate your own team is a sign that you truly love them; don’t ask me the psychology behind this, I just agreed with her and emphatically nodded along). The Raps – as I also lovingly call them – were in their glory days when I joined the fandom courtesy of my brother-in-law. Vince Carter would light it up almost every night with his explosive dunks, buzzer beaters and general athleticism. He and the rest of the team were so much fun to watch and the city ate it up. Vince put the baby Toronto Raptors on the basketball map; people (Jay-Z!) began to take this Canadian team seriously in the NBA.
His departure from Toronto is still a raw wound for many fans (some still boo him when he returns to play in our arena). It’s been like a really bad break-up for both parties; some say neither Toronto nor Vince have been the same since he left. Investing in a sports team (even if not for a long time) can elicit some pretty visceral and sometimes ugly emotions. The pain felt from losing a game, a player; a championship game, a franchise player, can be really real just as the elation felt from a positive result can be unparalleled.
And just as sports polarizes emotions, it polarizes people; one could also say it unifies. Fandom psychology is fascinating. Fandom keeps life interesting and its essence is nicely conveyed in the wise words of Abed Nadir: “I just like liking things.”
You’ve imbibed a special potion that makes you immortal. Now that you’ve got forever, what changes will you make in your life? How will you live life differently, knowing you’ll always be around to be accountable for your actions?
Am I allowed to share this imbibed potion? No, you say? Then forget it. Too burdensome. Too lonesome. Too boring. Then again, the social, legal and moral implications of “a little immortality for all” (or a select few) make me want to stop thinking and just go to sleep.
I honestly don’t know how much more differently I’d live my life if I were suddenly immortal. I can’t say I would be a much more reckless eater because believe me, there isn’t much room for growth there. I would probably do more risky things like ride a motorcycle, travel into the dark recesses of the world, try laser teeth whitening…
Of course I will need money for most of these things so I guess I would have to set up some kind of blackmailing service where I go around and haunt people with my immortality (still processing the details).
Dammit, imbibing an invisibility potion would be so much cooler. Perhaps this is what I’ll spend the “rest of my immortal life” working on. Once I’ve mastered invisibility, I can start a legit haunting business. It wouldn’t be a cruel insidious kind of haunting; rather, it would be slapsticky and silly “I CAN’T BELIEVE THIS SHIT IS HAPPENING TO ME” kinda venture. We’ll see.
Wow, that got derailed.
I think everyone in this world needs a friend like you. You’re freaking fantastic and I love you. The last time we were out together, I could not articulate very well what I liked about you; I just kept blubbering on about how you’re one of my favourite people in this world (was that semicolon properly used?) and how my words could never do you justice. I will hazard a try again today even though I know my words still can’t do justice but I just need to throw my this out into the universe.
You go doing things like this:
I know you poured a lot of thought into this card. You pour a lot of thought into me. And people. Your words aren’t superfluous or pretentious or hollow dippities (ambiguous phrases that appear to have substance on initial hearing but really don’t when thought about carefully- I’d give you an example but nothing’s coming to mind). When you speak, I have clarity. I go, “That makes sense, I wish I could say it like that.” All. The. Time. You build people up with your words and when you speak, you speak with the perfect combination of genuineness and kindness, never shooting down and never overselling (or selling for that matter). You are an old soul – as I’m
sure hoping many have told you – but there’s no air about you knowing that. And that’s so damn sexy.
You just really have a sexy brain, okay? And that part of your brain that cares for others and important causes? I can’t. Your intelligence, your thoughtfulness, make for such a comforting presence. I envy you, aspire to be you, and want the world to be the best it can be for you. I want for you to continue finding pleasure in the small wonders you already find pleasure in and even more. I want you to have success. I want you to have love. I want you to have peace.
I love you, and I am so fortunate to have you in my life.
If you could permanently ban a word from general usage, which one would it be? Why?
Ban is such a strong word! As is permanent.
That said, I would strongly* encourage using the word “literally” sparingly. It’s not for emphasis folks!
You’re not “literally melting from the hot weather” unless some kind of cellular decomposition is occurring and you see a piece of your arm or other body part, in liquid form, dripping onto the asphalt in front of you (I would strongly advise at this point, that you go to the nearest hospital, preferably one with a human fridge).
You’re not “literally pissed off” unless someone or something is deflecting urine off of you.
But you’ll be happy to know that you are probably literally dying. Most of us are. Sorry, too morbid too soon?
One method I use whenever I’m confused regarding the use of “literally” (which I am often) is to imagine the figurative alternative:
“We slept together, literally, as in slumbered on the same bed.”
“We slept together, figuratively, as in had sexual intercourse, and then slept together literally, because sex is tiring, yo!”
I know I risk coming off like a snooty jackass in this post, but literally is too fun a word to not advocate for. It makes for a great zinger and adds humour to a situation, which is why I would never ban it! But I do implore, beseech, and literally beg (just kidding!) those of us who are cavalier with this word to consider using it more sparingly.
*Strongly is too strange-sounding to be considered a strong word and be taken seriously in my books. Truth.
Describe a moment of kindness, between you and someone else — loved one or complete stranger.
At times, when I am frantically cramming for an exam or two, my mom will come into my room with a plate of omelette and rice in tow. At times, the instant relief and the general “OH THANK GOODNESS YOU JUST READ MY MIND I WAS SO HUNGRY OM NOM NOM” reaction are accompanied by the curious realization that a good measure of whether a person loves or really likes you is when they care about the contents, or lack thereof, of your stomach. That’s got to be some deep Maslow shit yo – intermingling hierarchy levels and all!
And if you have people in your life that care about whether or not you go hungry, you can consider yourself lucky. In my desperate and very lonely moments of trying to memorize the steps of cellular respiration and cursing myself for studying so late or not quickly enough, my mom’s gesture served as a reminder that I am loved unconditionally.
A phrase I’ve been using a lot lately, one that has become a personal cliche of sorts, is “it’s all about how you appraise it”. Yes, sometimes a stick of chewing gum can only just be a stick of chewing gum, and a pile of dung just a pile of dung, but how do you choose (keyword) to perceive most of the events in your life? Was that really the worst that could have happened? Is the neighbourhood you live in dangerous?
Perspective is everything.
I’ve had this happen many times: I come across a new song on youtube. I dig the song, download it, and listen to it for a few days. A few weeks after my initial encounter with the song, I will walk into a store/turn on the radio/watch a movie and hear the song for the first time “accidentally”. Is the song “following” me? Did the universe’s pieces just happen to fall into place so that I came across the song truly for the first time by accident a mere few weeks after I consciously decided to download it?
Or did I previously encounter the song but was only now beginning to consciously perceive/notice it because hey – I just downloaded it a few weeks ago and listened the crap out of it?
How much of a coincidence is a coincidence? How much of a disaster is a disaster? When I consider the second option of my song situation, the idea of it all being a coincidence doesn’t hold much lustre; I don’t feel as giddy. Just as when I have a string of bad days and concoct the idea that the universe has a personal vendetta against me, I seek comfort in knowing that I’ve had a much longer string of good days.
There will always be confounding variables in one’s life and at the end of the day, you are the ultimate decider of which scenarios and explanations you give credence to. I asked a very wise friend of mine whether achieving closure, say after a break up, required both parties involved. The simple, but slightly scary answer, is no. You can talk for hours, ask those burning questions and have them answered, but you can’t help but draw your own interpretations on how those questions were answered and what those answers mean to you.