I like writing but I never do it. I put too much pressure on myself to be funny or perfect or consistent and then I crumble under the pressure and avoid doing it all together. Story of my life. This is what therapy is for people! I miss my therapist.
In an attempt to combat this silliness I have asked my brother, the fabulous Nick, to give me a topic, word, scenario, character … whatever he feels like … every Wednesday and I will write something about it.
I am going to try to write and do a quick proofread and then publish it. I will not agonize over it. That’s more of a note to myself than information for whoever reads this. 🙂
This week the topic is Cuba.
The best vacation I ever had was the first time I went to Cuba. I was newly single, fairly newly 30 and Nick and I decided to go in the summer when it was nice and cheap.
I was so excited that every paycheque before we went I would buy something new. A new bikini, a coverup, some sandals. I had always wanted to buy a bikini from Bikini Village in the mall and that is precisely what I did. I was set!
I was still thin back then so I had bikini confidence. I frolicked in the pools and the ocean with no worry about what anyone thought. It was a rare time for me because that week I don’t think I ever felt anxious. I felt happy.
I was always obsessed with those crystal blue waters I would see in movies, or on TV. The ocean and the palm trees called to me. I went to the Dominican with an old boyfriend and had a horrible time and I thought maybe these tropical paradises are not all they’re cracked up to be.
Cuba proved me wrong! The ocean was perfectly clear blue. The sky was deep blue. The palm trees were abundant and glorious and I was there with my best friend in the whole wide world.
I could always travel anywhere with Nick. He and I can talk and laugh or sit on the beach in silence for hours and be perfectly happy. He would sit and enjoy the quiet or have a nap while I read a book, we would swim around together and talk and be silly or snorkel and point out the cool stuff we saw.
We went on a Catamaran day trip to snorkel and had a blast. I love the ocean! I’ve always loved the sound of water, the way it moves and feels. That trip I fell in love with the warm salty ocean and every now and then when I’m at home I suddenly miss it. I yearn to be there and feel the sun on my shoulders as I walk into the water. Perfect.
It was a week full of perfect memories and we’ve been back since then. Nick was part of Eric’s conspiracy to propose to me in Cuba and the three of us always had a great time vacationing together. But that first time will always have a special place in my heart and I find that quite often these days my heart aches that we will never be able to do that again.
Sometimes life gives you these perfect memories and sometimes it poops in your mouth. We just have to keep going. Nick is my hero because he keeps going. He has always kept going and he will always be my hero for that reason and a million others. He should win awards for awesomeness.
Theodore the Dog has come to live with us. Quite against his will. We shall call him Teddy when he is good. Theodore when we need to have a serious talk.
He did not enjoy the kidnapping. I had a great time.
Teddy dropped a mysterious package in the yard. I can only assume it’s a homing beacon for his former family so they can retrieve him. We have disposed of it.
The cats are unsure of this new being. He behaves strangely and smells even stranger. He does love the couch though, which will eventually unite them all!
Dog appears to be defective.
The cats have disappeared. I will embark upon an expedition to find them soon. In the meantime, I will take Teddy for a walk.
The walk went horribly. Teddy laid a trap for me. He dropped another homing beacon and as I was attempting to pick it up to dispose of it I was attacked by these creatures. I can only assume they were trying to keep me occupied while he made his escape. Not today, Teddy! For I have The Leash of Power!
Eric and Teddy are bonding while I am at work. They do this by lying around. Hopefully, this will prevent any more attacks by strange creatures in Teddy’s bid for freedom.
Teddy may have been a model in his previous life. Perhaps this is why he’s so keen to escape us and get back to his former existence. He keeps dropping those beacons. Always while we’re watching though. He’s not a very good strategist.
Teddy has found a strange device. It appears to be a butt plug. He seems to enjoy it. Although not for its intended purpose.
After much searching, I have located the cats! They have created an apocalypse-type shelter in the spare room together. Gathered food and water and litter. They seem to have everything they need.
Teddy has located the cat’s stronghold. So far their elaborate security system has kept him out. I do not think they are keen to abandon their fortress and share space with Teddy. He is not too happy about that. Perhaps he is lonely for furry companions.
Something strange has happened to Eric and I. We felt compelled to put a sweater on Teddy. Despite the fact that he is an animal. With fur. Perhaps this is because we do not have children? I shall call my therapist.
Last Sunday I had a blah day. A stay in bed and be miserable and whine at my husband kind of day. So, it was a surprise to everyone when I managed to get to work on Monday. Success! I even made the decision to get cat food after work. The kibble they have loved for ages is suddenly the most horrible thing I could possibly be feeding them and I cracked under the pressure of three adorable cats staring at me accusingly.
Monday was not a good day. It was a weepy day. I cried at work. The pressure of Christmas, dealing with the loss of Silvia and seeing how it’s affecting everyone, regular depression. It all added up to a shit day. However, I persevered! Sort of.
I left work early because I wasn’t being productive and I was crying at my desk. I sent my boss this text:
To his credit, he deals with me very well. But never tell him that. We communicate in the language of sarcasm 99% of the time and it would not translate.
I should have gone straight home, but I couldn’t face those accusing, adorable faces again so I went to get cat food.
Before I go into this next part, I need to tell you that when I’m really depressed or anxious I also get paranoid. I feel like people are looking at me funny or talking about me. It’s super fun!
The reason I say this is because I’m at the checkout and there’s a young guy helping me, one girl behind him to my left and one to the right. The one on the right has this little smile on her face and I kept sneaking peeks at her trying to figure out what she was smiling at. What’s the joke? Am I the joke because I look like I’ve been crying because I have been crying? What is it?
Meanwhile, Young Guy helping me is playing with this dog toy that is green and lights up and, to me, looks like a penis. So I think, “Ohhhh she’s smiling because he’s playing with the penis toy while he should be helping me. I totally get it!”
Young Guy: This is my favourite dog toy.
Me: Really? Looks a bit creepy?
Young Guy: What do you mean? It’s a stick.
Me: *really starting to doubt myself and wishing this conversation was over* It just looks weird to me.
Young Guy: What do you think it looks like?
Me: *really feeling like I don’thave a handle on what the joke is* It looks like a penis.
Young Guy: WHAT?!?!
Young Girl 1: WHAT?!?!
Young Girl 2: WHAT!?!?!
People Behind Me In Line: WHAT!?!?!?
I had no follow-up to that so I paid and left the store as fast as I could. On my way out I heard Young Guy say, “I don’t see it.” ACK! Why!? Why did I think I was in on the penis joke when there was no penis joke?! I was the penis joke!!
In my defence … or maybe not, here is the toy:
I sat in my car, replaying the incident in my mind, trying to stop sweating and attempting to figure out where it all went wrong. It was when I said Penis. 100%
I get so frustrated when people struggle or suffer and don’t ask for help. What’s the big deal? I think to myself. They must know that they’re loved and we will jump at the chance to help, I continue to think. Then I realized I amexactly the same way.
If it’s something to do with my job I will keep trying to do things myself until I lost my shit. For some reason it feels like asking for help means I’m failing. Even though if someone asks me for help I never think they can’t manage or aren’t smart enough.
It’s been a particularly rough year for my in-law family and last week I got a text from Juanita saying that she’d talked to Pierre and she thought that Nigel should call Pierre and I was like, what the fuck? Why doesn’t Pierre just call Nigel!? Why is this so hard? Why can’t people just tell me what they need so I can make it all better!!?!!? I ruminated on that for a few days and came up with this:
I can’t make it all better. Nor should I expect that of myself.
Pierre probably has no idea what he needs. He just knows he’s in pain.
Even if Pierre had called Nigel, he still wouldn’t know what he needs and Nigel can’t fix this situation either.
It’s likely that Pierre’s grief is making him feel apart from everyone else and maybe it makes him feel like a burden! Maybe grief lies the same way depression lies.
I wouldn’t know what to ask from people either. I’m sad; make it better?
This is hard.
In conclusion: Let’s all ask for help and make everything better for each other. Not likely.
How about this instead:
When we’re having a hard time, with any aspect of our lives, let’s force ourselves to think of one person who loves us, or likes us, enough to want to help. If that means asking a co-worker for help with a task, pick a nice person who you know you would help. If it means asking your family to help you through your grief or anxiety or depression, call one person. Send a text. Sit on their couch and cry and be held. Watch TV in silence.
Not easy, I know.
I’ll try if you try.
After I posted this I found this gem on Twitter. It was meant to be: