B.S. Subtitles April 13, 2013Posted by sarahsfate in Thoughts on People, Writing.
Tags: Experiencing Life, Life, Living, Love, people, Relationships, society, Thoughts on Life, writing
1 comment so far
Today I watched a movie called “Dakota Skye”. The main character is a girl named Dakota Skye who can tell when people are lying to her. She refers to it as her superpower although I think, and she says frequently throughout the movie, it’s more of a curse. I’m not sure I would truly want to know when someone lied to me. Especially in a world when the truth is so hard to tell.
Dakota is obviously surrounded by people who lie to her, including her boyfriend of 9-months who tells her he loves her while they are having sex and she sees this little subtitle at the bottom of the tv screen that says he means he loves sex. Her boyfriend’s good friend from back in the day shows up one day for a visit of a few weeks. He and Dakota end up spending a lot of time together, due to her boyfriend’s busy schedule with his band and her lack of a car. This friend, when he first turns up in the movie…I thought, no this can’t be the guy they’re talking about in the movie info on Netflix. He’s so not like Dakota’s boyfriend and really not like her either (that I could tell at that point). Plus, he’s kinda goofy looking, disarming really.
But as it turns out, this friend, Jonas, never lies to her. Which perturbs her. Confounding, really, this anomaly of virtue. But he’s insightful and considerate…and honest. I found myself actually liking him. No–not just liking him, wishing for a Jonas of my own.
At one point in the movie she thinks he actually lied to her but somehow the lie flew under her superpower radar, leading her to believe she can’t tell when he’s lying. So when he tells her he is in love with her she says “but how do I know?” He is naturally confused by her question, her superpower being a secret of epic proportions, and says “because I just said it?”
But really, how do any of us know?
People say “haaaa Sarah you’re so funny!” sure, I think, but…why aren’t you laughing? They say “sure I’d love to pick you up from the airport at 11:30 at night on a Tuesday” but, let’s face it, who really loves that? Obviously not. The lies don’t hurt anyone but in the long run we’re all a bunch of dishonest people who expect dishonesty from other people and therefore have no faith in people. We all become more self-reliant, more self-involved, less socially interactive, less loyal, less governed by an understanding that we are all in this together. Because we isolate ourselves by carving out the b.s….because it’s all b.s.
Technology being what it is…the b.s. is all there is. People put on their Facebook profile they went to college. You think that means a college degree but in reality they dropped out after the third semester. People on eHarmony put on their profile they absolutely adore spending time with their children or dogs…the reality is those comments are what people want to hear. That doesn’t make it true. It just makes someone an idiot for not seeing through it.
And if we do see through it…if each of us sees through all the b.s. with little subtitles at the bottom of the screen–what then, will we have?
Spinning Wheels April 12, 2013Posted by sarahsfate in My Own Personal Trials.
Tags: Experiencing Life, fiction, Life, Living, Thoughts on Life, writing
I haven’t written in a while. I imagine my thoughts would be as boring to other people as they are to me. The truth is there are too many thoughts…the act of trying to streamline everything into a focused conversation seems…arduous. I’ve remarked, over the years, the various changes I see in myself. Lately I’ve expanded the circular quality of the reference to those around me. To those that are nowhere near me. Just wondering. Do other people look inward as I do and remark upon the changes? Am I one in 7-billion? I’m not suggesting I’m unique, please don’t think so. My morphing is obvious if you ever have cause to come to my home. Over the years my changing interests make themselves visible on my bookshelves. I remember the day I bought “The Girl’s Guide to Absolutely Everything” by Melissa Kirsch. It was at Barnes and Noble in Plano in 2007. I was newly single, likely the reason why it’s so memorable a purchase. I got married right outside of high school and had kids…stayed that way for 10 years. How the hell does one be a single girl?? At the time I was struggling to figure myself out. I loved Dr. Pepper. But…I figured out I loved it because my husband of 10 years loved it and I had acquired the taste. Before him…I was a Pepsi girl. I liked rock and roll. Did I? I don’t know. My husband did. I spent two years ironing myself out. This girl’s guide book was a necessary purchase. In 2008 I expanded my single girl book collection to include “Life is Short, Wear Your Party Pants” which was a fun read and made me feel like a fun girl again. In 2009 I bought a book called “Anthropology Explored” because I’d watched a mini-series on tv about anthropology and decided I loved it. I also bought a book called Walking with Cavemen. Very interestingly realistic photographs of said cavemen. I even looked into a degree in the subject. But…that was a short-lived phase. I have most of the Allison Weir books on the King Henry’s, Queen Elizabeth, Queen Anne…because in 2011 I became fascinated with the British Monarchy. This year I’m reading “The Warmth of Other Suns” and “The History of the Ancient World”. Historical books. Naturally they have nothing to do with anything. But less frou-frou party-types. You know if you have to tell people you’re a fun person…you’re probably not. As in the case of me. I consistently work on my goals, increase my skills, work on learning new tasks like hemming pants and putting puzzles together. But…for the most part, it feels like spinning wheels. And no one wants to hear about that.
Let’s Vacation July 23, 2011Posted by sarahsfate in My Own Personal Trials, PostADay2011, Thoughts on People, Writing.
Tags: Air conditioning, Dream, Experiencing Life, Family, goals, Hot tub, Hotel, Ice cream, Life, Living, Love, people, Personal, Recreation, Relationships, Shopping, Swimming pool, Thoughts on Life, Vacation rental, writing
add a comment
I had forgotten how saltwater effects my ears but, for the first time in years, the hearing in my left ear has returned. And so as my children squabble over the television channel, space on the hotel bed, and the hot tub, I can hear every octave of their shrieks and even their mutterings.
It’s currently almost ten o’clock at night and the children are finishing a long day with a dip in the hotel’s indoor pool. Well, two of them are anyway, my fourteen-year old daughter, having espied a good-looking boy with a mohawk in the hot tub, has decided she’d like to swim after all and has gone back to our room to change. After a short period of time she returned clad in her yellow bikini with her hair nicely combed.
My ex and I then began a conversation about the dating ritual and concerns of youngsters. My ex, Ben, referred to the kids (teenagers and all) as “carefree”, to which I replied “who, in that room, is carefree?” My argument being that a 14-year old girl is extremely sensitive to her expression, hair, laughter, outfit, swimming technique — every nuance of behavior matters. That’s not carefree — that’s all care.
And then Ben says how silly that is because guys that age don’t particularly care about any of that. She’s cute and that’s the be-all, end-all. He says the majority of men, as well, are this way. Good to know, I say.
It was nice, though, that we were all completely unconcerned with all nuances of behavior (other than behaving in a socially acceptable manner, that is) at the beach today. I didn’t even notice other women being particularly concerned with their persons. What I noticed, instead, were the families building poorly constructed sandcastles, flying kites shaped as hawks, and wading deep into the intense waves slamming to shore. The temperatures remained in the nineties, a lovely change from the over-100-degrees for three weeks weather back home, and the breeze remained constant.
My son, upon his first experience with the ocean, deemed it acceptable entertainment in his 6-year old mind with the exception of all that pesky salt in the water and, therefore, perhaps the hotel pool was better. Kids. My 11-year old daughter has outdone herself in remaining positive and atop our non-schedule. Directly after dinner tonight she, my son, and Ben went outside to be free of the arctic air conditioning system of the hole-in-the-wall we found, and my 14-year old and I sat inside, eating ice cream and discussing the benefits of moving to the coast.
We decided it was difficult to judge the benefits because it’s easy to enjoy a vacation spot when you don’t have to work or go to school because then there’s no stress or responsibility really. But if we moved to the coast, the stress and responsibility would simply follow us to the coast and then…would we still enjoy the coast better than home? It was too difficult to decide so we simply finished our ice cream, pondered the intensity of the waves some more, and then stepped out into the ocean air.
How Great Change Can Be May 20, 2011Posted by sarahsfate in My Own Personal Trials, PostADay2011, Thoughts on People.
Tags: Accepting Change, Change management, Experiencing Life, friends, Life, Living, Management, people, Ripple in the Pond, society, Thoughts on Life, Who Moved My Cheese?
add a comment
No one likes change. They want to change one thing — just one — but a great many other things change as well. The pebble in the pond theory. The idea (or dream) of winning the lottery, for instance, sounds great. Being able to fearlessly pay your bills is awesome. But, what about the ripples? Those little waves being users, disasters, strangely predictable bad luck, etc.
This is one area where my over-analysis really pays off. Knowing what to expect, for the most part, and considering the possibilities, makes change a little more palatable. Having change foisted on you is, yes, a tad different…or, the same, because it presents the unknown and unexpected.
I’ve had conversations with people who landed a great job they applied for — a huge pay increase, benefits, insurance, family-friendly — and they resign from their current job, in favor of the new one. Seems the obvious choice. Within weeks the eureka from landing such awesomeness turns into a daily complaint about the commute. Pause. Tilt head to side in imitation of confused dog. You didn’t know how far a drive it was when you applied?
Every action has a consequence…causes a ripple. In fact, even inaction has a consequence. Every step, every word, every action has an effect. Your actions force change on dozens of others every day. Change of thought. Change of direction. So it makes sense that occasionally you will be effected by someone else. It simply is. Life is.
Change isn’t necessarily a bad thing and doesn’t deserve its stigma.
During my 10-year stint at a company, I was forced to read “Who Moved my Cheese?”, which actually wasn’t too bad of a read but the reason for why I “needed” to read it wasn’t the same as what I got out of it. The purpose I deduced was that I should make change to improve myself or my situation. I was the mouse who went looking for cheese because I was hungry — not the mouse who had to be brow-beaten and then abandoned because he would not change.
The whole point behind instruction to read it was because we were being taken over by a stifling new management. So, because I’m the first mouse, I left the company. 🙂 And met some great people I would otherwise not have met.
See how great change can be?
The Invisible Voyeur May 16, 2011Posted by sarahsfate in My Own Personal Trials, PostADay2011, Thoughts on People.
Tags: Body language, Flirt, Flirtatiousness, Flirting, Languages, Life, Linguistics, Living, Love, Natural, Nonverbal communication, people, Single Life, society, Thoughts, Thoughts on Life
add a comment
1flirt verb \ˈflərt\ intransitive verb — 1: to move erratically : flit; 2: to behave amorously without serious intent
Today as I trudged through the office corridor, weighted down with purse and book-bag while juggling a travel mug of stale coffee, a styrofoam cup of ice chips, and my keys, I thought about a conversation I’d had with a sometimes friend. I considered how my life had changed since the day I met him, and all the ways I had changed. It seems our conversations remain the same, however, and this (at least) is something I can count on. I heard his voice in my head as though he moved beside me in that lumbering gait of his I find charming.
I was distracted from my thoughts by a woman’s laugh and I glanced up. Twenty or so feet ahead of me she moved towards the outer office door, leaning toward the gentleman who walked beside her, and laughed again. I was struck by her body language…not to mention the sparkle in her eye I could just barely see. Or maybe I imagined it was there. It was difficult to look away — mostly because I was following them toward the parking lot but also because I was struck by a memory.
She laughed in such a way…that flirtatious, throaty way, that a woman does when she’s charmed by a man. While moving steadily forward, she leaned toward him in an intimate way that he didn’t really reciprocate and I figured she liked him well enough but he wasn’t really on the bandwagon just yet. She laughed again, though I could not hear what he said to her, this time louder and the sound bounced around the tiled floor, travelling back to where I moved like a silent voyeur.
I thought about that memory I mentioned, about how I used to walk beside a man while laughing and gazing at him with sparkling eyes, somehow hoping and dreading that he would see my feelings. Or my appeal. Or…something. Today I considered the risk of body language. To me, it was obvious she liked this man walking beside her. So obvious he should also have been quite aware. Maybe he was but he didn’t seem to be. And even though her body language was screaming ‘I like you’…they just walked on with him murmuring whatever it was he was saying and her giggling like a 40-something-year old school girl. But for what it was worth, she was putting herself out there…trying to make a relationship out of nothing at all.
And this is what single people do every day. Meet new people and try to turn something out of nothing. Sometimes it works, and kuddos to the people who find the connections. It just seemed…lonely, to me. A lonely thing to do. I don’t know why. But I was struck with the feeling and turned my eyes to the cement as I trudged toward my car. The feeling remained long after I’d climbed into my car, turned on my GPS for traffic updates and made my way home.
There is fun and enjoyment to be had in flirting and engaging in pleasantly unaware obvious body language. There is a feeling that consumes you when someone looks at you and sees you. It’s quite possibly one of the most incredible feelings. I suppose the problem is…when no one looks at you, no one sees you. It’s like being an invisible voyeur.
The Momentum of MY Life May 14, 2011Posted by sarahsfate in My Own Personal Trials, PostADay2011, Thoughts on People.
Tags: dreaming, Existence, Experiencing Life, Finding my purpose, goals, Life, Living, people, Philosophy, Purpose, success, Thoughts on Life
1 comment so far
pur·pose (pûrps) n. 1. The object toward which one strives or for which something exists; an aim or a goal.
I imagine, as different as we all are, that every one of nearly seven billion beings frequently considers their purpose here on Earth. In this life. The object toward which one strives or for which something exists. Why do I exist? Sure, my parents met each other, fell in love, and wahlah–Sarah was born. But why do I exist? What is my purpose here? Do I have one? I think many people are terrified to find they have no purpose at all and are simply here. For no reason at all…as though by chance or accident. It is my opinion that these people are easy to scope out…they’re the ones who have no real motivation in life, have no goal towards which they are striving. No purpose.
I understand that some people believe that life is just meant to be lived. Life is a terribly cruel chance of fate that is nothing more than hardship, pain, existence, and ultimately followed by death. I also understand that some people believe their existence is so purposeful that to fail in any one endeavor is the be all end all of all things. They say the flutter of a butterfly’s wings can effect a tsunami on the other side of the world. Can one person truly alter the course of the world? I believe the answer is no. You may have one person as the face of the movement but there are hundreds of other faces, hidden faces, supporting the one.
But my course is not to change the face of the world…no it is not my purpose, not my goal, not even a dream of mine, and not because I fail to see the possibilities but because I know that is not why I am here. But I do not know what my real purpose is. Will I accomplish anything at all or will I spend my life spinning wheels and then simply die? Become dust in the ground, remembered by a few, forgotten by many. One hundred years from now, no one will know my name. Or…they’ll know my name but they’ll not know the person behind the name.
Sometimes I feel that wheel a-spinning. I clean my house, wash clothes, complete homework, make social niceties…and for what? What is the purpose of any of that other than to fill my hours? Fill my calendar? Complete a degree to get a better job so that I can spend every day completing the same tasks? I will not save lives in my chosen career, nor will I teach children to become our future, and I certainly won’t save the planet from the eventual explosion of our orbiting sun. I won’t invent time travel or space travel or the Jetson’s cars. Being an accountant certainly doesn’t own to greatness.
So, one day (maybe one day soon) I’ll lay in my death bed and think…what? That I accomplished something? Did I use my time here wisely? Would it matter if I spent my time wisely or squandered it away? In a way, I think this is what people fear about death. Not the dying, not the leaving the family behind, but that we didn’t do everything we meant to. But if we don’t know what we’re meant to do, how do we ever accomplish it?
Writer’s Block May 13, 2011Posted by sarahsfate in My Own Personal Trials, PostADay2011, Thoughts on People, Writing.
Tags: Arts, Book Writing, fiction, Living, people, society, Thoughts, writers block, Writers Resources, writing, Writing Exercises
People of the world have various no-no subjects. They don’t talk about abuse, or drugs, or the devil. They don’t talk about interracial relationships, or sex, or the end of the world. And perhaps its weird, when compared to these other life-effecting subjects, that some people won’t talk about writer‘s block.
Big no-no subject. At least it is for writers. When I stare at a blank page desperate for the fledgling of an idea to take root…to grow legs and become words on that blank page, I never ever refer to my issue as
writer’s block. No, I’m just thinking. Brainstorming. Waiting for the right way to express my thoughts. It’s not writer’s block. *shudder*
But why isn’t it? Why do I sit here spending my ‘thinking’ time coming up with excuses for why I can’t put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard, as it were) instead of really coming up with the story? I would like to think it’s the amount of pressure we put on ourselves as writers — especially if you have ever taken a writing course or attended a writer’s group. We know how important that first paragraph is…indeed the first sentence of your story could mean the difference between overwhelming success…and a dusty manuscript in an equally dusty box in a ridiculously dusty attic. So we stare at the blank page waiting for some absolutely fascinating sentence to appear there.
They say when you begin to write your story you should write as the words appear in your mind. Drawing a picture of the images, of the characters, of their trials, so that readers can see what you see. After your manuscript is complete then go back and edit it for perfection’s purpose. How many people manage to write this way? I couldn’t tell you. What I can tell you is that I wrote a 850-page manuscript that is accumulating dust in a box beneath my bed. Why? Because I wrote it as I felt it and saw it and thought it. Then I went back and edited it. And edited it again, which is tiresome. And eventually…it is boring. So I set it aside and, taking with me all that I know now about the right way to write a novel, forged ahead.
Forged onward to the next story that can be written correctly the first time around with few editing and changes necessary afterwards. It’s a great idea in theory. So…a great theory (because they’ll tell you in the writer’s group that you can remove the ‘idea in’ and be more concise. But I’ve sat in front of my bright white computer screen now for a month watching the cursor blink, blink, blink at me blankly like a deer in the headlights. And instead of writing that opening sentence, I’m staring off into space thinking about
I’ve read books about how to get past this anomaly, which I find humorous…writing a book about how to write a book when you can’t write a single word. But it isn’t really an anomaly at all…in fact it’s pretty damn common. But the suggestion for moving past the blinking cursor is to start typing. Type anything because as long as you’re typing, the story will shape itself and you can go back and edit it later. I like editing almost as much as I despise its necessity.
How boring a book would it be if I began it in the same manner most of my childhood books began? How must dust would that manuscript accumulate? Tons. No one wants to hear “once upon a time…” because well, obviously it was once upon a time and you’re really not supposed to state the obvious. So, what isn’t obvious? “Jane Doe turned out to be Sara Crawford, who single-handedly ran the city prostitute ring for almost 50 years, and was probably recognized the moment she was brought into the morgue but her body decomposed for two weeks because no one wanted to admit they knew her face.”
Fine. So I can type nonsense.
So, which is worse?
Writer’s block, or typing nonsense?
I Don’t Wanna Grow Up… May 9, 2011Posted by sarahsfate in My Own Personal Trials, PostADay2011, Thoughts on People.
Tags: Child, Experiencing Life, Family, God, growing up, Home, independence, kids, Life, Living, mothers day, Parent, people, Shopping, Thoughts on Life, Toys "R" Us
I can’t tell you how many times I bemoaned the fact I was a child, when I was a child, nor how many times I was told to appreciate being a child while I could.
Phewy! Phewy I say! Who would ever want to be a kid? You can’t drive anywhere, go wherever you want, eat whatever, do whatever, or say whatever you want. Forget seeing childhood as a gift…I wanted to be an adult every day. It wasn’t even one of these things where the situation had to be me not getting my way in order for me to throw out my bottom lip, cross my arms over my chest, and make claims to being an adult someday. (said in my head, of course, because I didn’t need to be smacked for giving my parents lip).
Why is it that from a young age we immediately want to be the King of the Castle? Feel the need to be in charge and do things our own way? Are we born with some explosive independence that, from minute one, is fighting to get out? For eighteen years (some less than that) we live with our parents. Why, for the love of god, would we be born with independence? What a laugh someone must be having up there.
Babies turn their head away from the spoon when you try to feed them something they don’t want. Toddlers insist on picking out their own clothes…man, to have such a fashion opinion at 4. Incredible. When they ask you for help on their homework and you point out a couple of things, all the sudden “okay, I can do the rest on my own.” Not that I’d complain about this one, but…really. I feel used. 😉
As a kid I was even okay with the idea of having to hold down a job…figured I’d look snazzy in a suit anyway. And I was smart and capable (and slightly delusional). I tell my kids the same thing my parents told me…appreciate being a kid while you can. Seriously. Do you think you’ll have another opportunity with a built-in exuse for laziness? I would never, ever say that school is easy — the curriculum may not be all that tough but let’s face it…kids are jerks. So no, school isn’t easy. But it isn’t like working. It isn’t like having to work to feed yourself and other people; to pay bills. I imagine it must be pretty darn cool to have someone else buy everything you need, make your dinner, and fold your laundry. OH! And this 3-month summer vacation? Say adios to that. Unless you work for the ISD. And while we’re making a list of all the things you’ll lose once you become an adult…might as well add the guilt-free pleasure of naps.
Today I am 32-years old and now that I understand what all those old stodgy people were telling me when I was a snot-nosed kid, I make sure to sing along every time the Toys R Us commercial comes on. For a minute I can pretend I’m five-years old, riding my rocking horse and really mean it when I sing I don’t wanna grow up…
Won’t You be my Neighbor? May 3, 2011Posted by sarahsfate in My Own Personal Trials, PostADay2011, Thoughts on People.
Tags: acceptance, being fake, Experiencing Life, fear of being alone, friends, Grief Loss and Bereavement, Health, helping, hiding truths, Humor, I Love to Laugh, Life, Living, Mental Health, neighbors, NyQuil, Recreation, Support Groups, Thoughts on Life
1 comment so far
Look at me. Squint your eyes. Perfect, now you can’t really see me all that well. Now listen. I am beautiful. I am intelligent. I am funny. I bake some killer cranberry-orange muffins. I love to laugh and wash my car and mow my lawn. When you need a friend I will listen to you and laugh with you, offering a cajoling shoulder. You will love me. Do you want to be my friend? Won’t you be my neighbor?
Hopefully you won’t notice that most of what I’ve said is a lie…but eventually you will notice because lies can only be upheld for so long. Soon you will notice that I don’t laugh all the time. Sometimes I cry and sometimes I am infuriated. Like when your dog craps in my yard. Then I get mad. But I won’t tell you because I want you to like me. Want. No, need. I need you to like me. So I won’t say anything. Did I say my kids are perfect? (damn lies, I can’t keep up!) Oh yeah? I did? Awesome, well…they are. Only, my oldest son is a closet alcoholic and my elementary-age daughter was caught smoking in the school bathroom. But I won’t tell you that. Indeed, you won’t even see the worry on my face because I am so busy laughing at everything you say. Have to keep that joviality in place, dammit!
Ever since my husband left me for that tramp who is half my age, taking everything I had in the bank as well as my hopes and dreams, I haven’t been able to sleep at night. But that’s what concealer is for. Sometimes I drink nyquil to help me pass out. Actually, I drink a lot of nyquil. Nyquil and concealer. What? You want to come over and chat about how your son broke his leg in football and how it has ruined his career chances? Sure, that’s fine (great, even) let me just…um…hide these bottles and open the blinds. I’m a great listener. Did I tell you that when we first met? No, well I should have. It’s a great quality to have. People love me. Everyone but my husband. And my kids. But again, I can’t tell you that because I need someone to love me.
I know many people like this. People really do talk to me because I really am a great listener and so I see how they are with other people as opposed to what I know about them. It’s confounding. But on some level…I completely understand this inalienable desire to be loved and accepted. But, if you’re not you then they can’t love you…they don’t even know you. And if you let the real you out, if you allow the tears to leave silvery tracks on your cheeks and the weariness to show in your eyes, if you sit beside them and weep just for a minute…and they condemn you for it, then to hell with them. No one needs a fairweather friend. Not everyone has to like you. Not everyone has to like me. Nor will they, ha ha, because I know how to offend and I will never be perfect. I have come to realize there are people around me who expect my jokes, expect my laughter, expect my emotional and mental support to any and all their heartaches and endeavors. But when I have a moment in which I cannot breathe or eat or see…they are at a loss as to how to handle me and instead of doing something, anything, I am abandoned. It makes me angry but I get over it, just as quickly realizing that some people simply cannot handle someone else’s grief. Sobeit.
At the end of the day, we all need someone. Sometimes, several someones. This intrinsic discomfort with isolation is as old as time. We move in packs. We hunt in packs. We live in packs. We need the sound of laughter. The sound of musical crooning. The sound of a murmured ‘I understand’. Because, even though we may not understand exactly, we all understand. If not the situation, we understand the pain.
The one truly human thing we can do, is not abandon our neighbors.