ellasomething: The beginning of a process. (Canvasing)
2015-10-19 04:14 pm

46: Re: Cathartic Writing

(Long time no post, 'ey?)

I'm in no mood today to drag my words, so you're going to get it straight-up from me.

Writing is cathartic. That's mainly why I do it at all, it's the reason I first started, and it's probably the only thing about it that sustains me. It's probably one of the most proficient ways of releasing all of one's frustration, and annoyance, and anger at all the pointless bullshit in both the world and in one's life.

That being said, I'm not very good at using the outpouring of words that contain all of these sinister emotions—good on their own, as emotions go, but too much is much too much—into pieces of fiction that can actually be shown to the public. Or a public. Or make sense in any way whatsoever.

Which just leads to more frustration—surprise, surprise!

Because I was told one can totally do that. Use writing, that is. Use it to accomplish something, something productive, something more than just letting off some stream and releasing the "negative vibes".

Frankly, I feel a bit cheated. More so, however, I feel wildly disappointed; I'm not quite sure in what, or whom, though.

Am I the one that hasn't figured out how to use cathartic writing to my own advantage? Maybe I'm to blame. Is it my hair? I feel like it's my hair. (It usually is.) Maybe the emotions are all wrong. I just. Don't. Know. Hence the added frustration and the sense of purposelessness.

(So this was a rant after all. Only it was a very short one, I guess.)

ellasomething: Ella. Duh. (Photo Booth)
2015-04-27 12:26 am
ellasomething: Ella. Duh. (Photo Booth)
2015-04-26 04:58 pm

#43: FINALLY?!?

I've been trying to not freak out about tonight... but I'm off to watch Avengers: Age of Ultron!

I've been possibly misleading people about how much I'm obsessed with the MCU, but, yeah, I think they might possibly freak out about how freaked out I am currently being. But good freaking out. On my part. Yeah, I'm not making much sense, am I?

So. Yeah. This is the post.

Or, no, wait. This post might also be about the things that I expect to happen. But then I don't really have time to mention them. 'Cause I should be out the door by five for rehearsal. And then AVENGING!

Short and sweet: Hawkeye better not die! Winter Soldier?!? Black Widow needs to talk to some other female characters, OK?!? Black Widow/Wanda 4EVAH!!!

All righty.

ellasomething: Ella. Duh. (Photo Booth)
2015-04-20 09:19 pm

#42: Caring... Not!

I've been away from posting for quite some time—holy shit it's been just over five weeks what even!—, mainly due to my own issues with focusing and all that. There are always so many things going on that I can't really process it all, which is in itself not a great state of events, although I am working towards remedying that. Hell, even as I'm writing this particular post I'm finding it difficult to concentrate on making a point as such, if you know what I mean, though I'm fighting to write the damn post anyway because. This. Shit. Needs. To. Get. Done.

In any case, in this period of my life I'm still struggling with a million different things, as per usual, but what I would like to post about right now is how I'm sort of trampling all over the nicely-drawn boundaries of what I'm supposed to do with the degree I am about to receive, as well as the newly-minted life-course I had so painstakingly come up with in order to have something resembling a life goal.

I realised, over the course of this semester, that I should be branching out as much as I can in order to have an actual occupation come autumn. I'm not where I should be when it comes to academic work. I'm twenty-seven, which freaks me out in and of itself, but considering my peers are much further along than I am right at this very moment, the freaking-out factor is even higher. Therefore, I have begun to explore possible paths in unusual (for me) fields I would not have seriously considered in the past, not because there's anything wrong with the fields themselves but rather because I never saw myself as a good fit for them.

Even as I am applying for all sorts of posts, etc. that have nothing to do with what my plan for myself was even two months ago, I do know deep down inside that I am very unlikely to get what I want, but at least I'm going for it. These potential things I'm never going to get might just lead to something else, even if right now they're dead ends. And, really, there's nothing wrong with just simply going for it and applying even when you know you're the least likely candidate. I'm not a fan of networking, I suck at it when I do try, and it's not the sort of skill that is essential to my existence. However, building long-lasting professional relationships will have to happen somehow, and I'm willing to find alternatives to old-fashioned networking type things. This might just be my version of that.

To be perfectly honest, I've kind of stopped caring whether what I'm going for is appropriate or likely to lead to anything at all, as long as I come out of it at the end. There's so much fear and anxiety in me at any given point of the day, that I might as well stop functioning as a human being in society—but this is far from being an option! Hence, e-mails and applications and awkward online forms-filling because why not.

I'm not sure I made an actual point in this post, but, again, the caring side of me is on a break for the time being.

ellasomething: Ella. Duh. (Photo Booth)
2015-03-12 06:49 pm
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#41: Terry Pratchett

I anticipate being pretty much useless for the rest of today.

I found out about an hour or so ago that Terry Pratchett died earlier today.

Yeah.

I don't know what to say that isn't useless blather. Or maybe another unintentionally big sigh would help? Crying in the library certainly did... sorta. (Everyone in here with me can suck the big one!)

I opened a new document to type this in, only to realise at the end of the last sentence that I can't really come up with anything enlightened or witty or interest to say/add.

Sigh.

ellasomething: Ella. Duh. (Photo Booth)
2015-03-02 03:06 pm
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#40: Random Posts Are Random

I was privy to a conversation today—by which I mean I eavesdropped like nobody's business while pretending to be reading printouts as the printer kept spewing out paper—that essentially consisted of the office crew in my residential college remarking how the students this year are very uninvolved and how the same pool of twenty people or so are continuously the ones involved in pretty much everything.

Besides agreeing wholeheartedly—credit where credit's due—, I had to bite my tongue (literally!) in order to not begin screaming (OK, maybe just frustratedly speaking) about their complete cliquish behaviour since the moment I arrived back a month ago.

One of them keeps looking at me as if I'm personally offending her with my very existence. Another looked pained that she made a pre-party invitation available to a group I was coincidentally part of. This other guy just seems perpetually confused by my presence, though he goes with it as much as he can.

I try not to be the "new girl" all the fraking time, but, even after a month and one major event I participated in fully, it appears I won't be anything but until the moment I graduate.

It's neither a nice nor a pleasant position to be in, but I'm not sure I have a choice in the matter. I feel awkward and embarrassed, and now I have a stupid crush on top of everything else. The group that's complaining about lack of participation is doing nothing to facilitate integration, and, honestly, I'm just not willing to put in the emotional effort I could be using for something truly useful. I'm all for getting to know people and becoming friends and participating in anything that raises the profile of the college, but I just can't do all the work here; I'm past putting everything of myself into it without receiving anything back.

ellasomething: Ella. Duh. (Photo Booth)
2015-03-01 03:02 am

#39: That Awkward Moment That One Girl in Your Class Smiles Knowingly

I haven't had a genuine crush on someone in a while. I can confidently say I have not had any degree of interest in anyone for a very long time.

And tonight is the night I realised that has possibly changed.

This realisation came accompanied by a knowing smile from a girl I know not very well, but whom I can confidently say probably thinks I'm an idiot and very obvious in my newly-discovered crush. Which just caused even more distress because I was the odd person out. I'm awkward enough as it is without feeling vulnerable and being put on the spot emotionally.

I'm not sure where I'm going with this post. I'm partially in shock about this entire thing, so maybe I'm not making a whole lot of sense. Also, it's three in the morning and my judgement is not very sound.

I need to think on this. There's a lot of potential for badness and continued awkwardness, and, honestly, I think getting over it swiftly and quietly is the best course of action.

ellasomething: Ella. Duh. (Photo Booth)
2015-02-27 06:40 pm

#38: I can't even right now.

What is truly troubling and mind-boggling is having to explain to intelligent, liberally-educated young adults living in the year 2015 in one of the most developed and knowledge- and information-rich countries in the world why being a homophobic transphobic sexist asshat is not OK.

Then again, this is the same university campus that a professor recently commented upon as being a "toxic environment".

I should not be surprised, genuinely I should not be, and yet I'm still shocked sometimes by the things I hear. Or am told. To my face. With a cheeky smile to accompany the matter-of-fact statement.

This would be a prime example to cite when being "questioned" as to why I do not socialise.

ellasomething: Ella. Duh. (Photo Booth)
2015-02-26 09:02 am

#37: Screwing Up

Yesterday I was dithering over what to post. It wasn't that I was feeling irresolute as such; things just kept piling up until I ran out of time to write something comprehensive and lengthy up, and I was banking on a shorter post to get me through, though that obviously didn't happen either.

Then this morning I got a very angry and emotional message that blamed me for an awful situation currently occurring and pointed out not-so-subtly how I had screwed up.

I've literally been crying, ringing people up, and then crying some more for the past forty-five minutes.

After I calmed down enough for my hands to stop shaking, I realised I needed to form a strategy. Crying and letting the pain out is all fine and good, but this won't solve anything or contribute meaningfully to moving forward.

This entire thing is my fault for many reasons, though the main one is putting my trust in someone who has previously been not particularly discreet and hoping for the best. It's my own stupidity at work here, but, at the same time, I know I can't control other people's actions and thoughts. The irony is that I predicted this outcome each and every time this topic has cropped up, yet I was woefully unprepared for the maelstrom of emotions I would be feeling. I think part of me just didn't believe it would ever come to this.

My thoughts have been running into spirals; that's the most visual representation I can come up with. Again irony: I love spirals. But, to get back on topic, I've been spiralling mentally, not knowing what to do, or if anything can be done at this point, by me. This realisation in itself produced a very different change of mood.

I have only part of the facts, the person I offended is refusing to talk to me, the instigator would neither contribute to a solution nor provide any mental and/or emotional solace, my potential saviour (or at least the one person thinking clearly) has shit to do that takes precedence for the moment, and all I can do, many kilometres away from the drama as I am, is sit tight. I've run over my options, and I realised I have shit to do as well.

Basically, if the victim in this needs time to cool off before talking to me, I reserve the same right. I can't stall right now. The instigator will answer the phone ready to defend her actions, which will only serve to frustrate me more and probably make her more ready to think her actions correct and enlightened (or any such bullshit). I can only wait for the two people who can either have it out with me or provide new information on this whole kerfuffle.

I'm endeavouring, above all, to stay both calm and non-angry. My becoming truly angry right now would mean defensiveness and poor decision-making and probably a more severe breakdown later on.

Actually, staying calm is a good strategy overall. I need to think clearly and have a mature conversation when the time comes. Listening and hearing what the other person has to say is essential because my head is already full of worst case scenarios and I desperately need refocus my thinking, even if that only occurs on the spot.

In the end, life has to go on for everyone involved. I'm just glad I didn't have to attend anything of consequence this morning, or even later today. Mentally, I am barely coping.

ellasomething: Ella. Duh. (Photo Booth)
2015-02-24 11:53 pm

#36: Am I making sense at all, or did Tuesday fuck me over yet again?

I haven't been getting much sleep since about Sunday. And then there's all this crap I had to get done in such a short time due mainly yesterday and today.

Hence today's been, understandably, kind of an intense blur.

Like, I can recall what I've been doing as if someone were hitting me upside the head the entire time, and my vision turned out all blurry because of it.

(Or something along those lines?)

Fuck, do I even make sense right now?

In any case, while I was in class today, silently freaking out about the presentation I was about to give, while still trying my best to pay attention to the Abbé Sieyès, "What is the Third Estate?" presentation once removed from mine—not because it represented new information, but rather that the professor and/or the presenter might notice I was so not paying attention to anything other than my own crap—it occurred to me (I swear I have a point in this sentence!) that cis-het white privilege is similar to aristocratic and clergy privilege as outlined in the pamphlet.

My point in a nutshell to how there is a pattern of continued social discrimination which extends to LGBTQQIAAP+, POC, and just generally to unvoiced, unrepresented voices. We are the third estate.

(Does this make sense?)

ellasomething: Ella. Duh. (Photo Booth)
2015-02-23 06:31 pm

#35: Stress-baking! Sundays also suck now (by the way)!

The sometimes physically-debilitating stress I encounter in my current environment means I've come up with some pretty inventive and (potentially) dubious means by which to calm myself down enough to keep going with whatever is at hand. Last evening I came home from the second meeting of the day, checked my e-mails, and consequently freaked the fuck out. I ain't even gonna shit you on this; I was pretty much pacing and flailing for a fair bit.

Hence, baking.

Because that makes sense. Too bad no one wants healthy cookies... )

I'd love to experiment more, but I hate hate hate keeping non-packaged food in my room for any length of time. I devour all fruit as quickly as possible, and one can hardly experiment with three or four ingredients that always seem to be the same.

What I did find out was that being productive in the most random way (i.e., baking, drawing) generally calms me. Well, not so much found out as confirmed. The panic and anxiety recede somewhat and I can think clearly once more.

ellasomething: Ella. Duh. (Photo Booth)
2015-02-21 09:30 pm

#34: Fridays Suck!

It's official: Friday kicks my arse.

And I thought Tuesday was bad...

You know what else seriously sucks? Here's a list:

1). My stomach. My stomach, yes, is a total suck-fest of suck all by itself. Yesterday was the worst I've felt in probably weeks and weeks. I don't even know how to describe how horrible yesterday evening and night were without going into horror movie territory. My body is trying to kill me any way it knows how, I swear.

2). The weather in Northern Germany. Fuck you, weather!

3). The wind. No, no, really, hear me out: caffeine plus weird tap water plus liquid soap plus dusty libraries plus the wind in Northern Germany equals dry, chapped hands. I've got healing wounds on my damn hands now, thank you very much.

4). Bad coffee. Hey, look, I know that, really, at the end of the day, I'm not particularly fond of the taste of coffee, yet I drink it by the bucket-full. I get it, I do. I just need the caffeine so very much, you know? So, really, I don't much mind what type of coffee it is; basically, I'll add enough milk and sweetener to drown out the taste. So, if you really think about it, I shouldn't really care about the type of coffee as I'm mostly not interested in anything other than that sweet caffeine kick. But come on! Instant coffee is just... a crime against humanity or something!

5). Social. Awkwardness. (Enough said, am I right?!?)

I'm not sure there was an actual point to this post...

ellasomething: Ella. Duh. (Photo Booth)
2015-02-19 11:44 pm

#33: Vegan Butter Acquired—And Not Only!

This all started when I found a vegan muffin recipe and decided that instead of topping the muffins with walnuts (my parents have a walnut tree in their garden; it's close to sacrilegious to purchase whole walnuts at the supermarket when they have literally bags and bags of them) to use a new muesli breakfast cereal thing I just discovered existed in my local supermarket. It's protein-enriched, however, making it the only non-vegan ingredient, as the protein comes from whole milk.

However, any topping works as long as it can be baked. Obviously. Baking never lets me down, even with the ever-present threat of potential kitchen-destruction. )

As this entire endeavour was a success, I will definitely repeat it and prepare better for next time, though I'll probably end up using vanilla-flavoured protein powder instead of vanilla extract, I just know it.

ellasomething: The beginning of a process. (Canvasing)
2015-02-18 03:35 pm

#32: Kinaesthetic Learning and Doodling

Tuesday evening I attend the only art course available this term, and last night, among other things, we discussed doodling and drawing as learning techniques, which got me thinking about how I discovered when I was about twelve how I'm decidedly a strong kinaesthetic learner. Because art is awesome. Fuck you, science! )

ellasomething: Ella. Duh. (Photo Booth)
2015-02-17 02:30 pm

#31: Expectations

As application deadlines are fast approaching, I'm doubting myself more and more, which is hardly surprising, but, in this case, it is due to some very specific factors.

The impression I'm getting is that everyone surrounding me, regardless of their function in my life, has much higher expectations of me than I either anticipate or have of myself. This leads to great amounts of confusion pertaining to whether these expectations are due to their perception of my abilities, or if it's simply the case that they cannot deal with anyone under their "supervision" performing on an average or mediocre level.

While it's grand to be on the receiving end of unconditional support and of the belief that you are prone to greatness, it does get tedious, not to mention nerve-racking, to have others claiming I am much more than I myself believe myself to be. This, in itself, is not problematic; disappointment and censorious looks is where I mentally abandon ship.

I do well solely under certain types and amounts of pressure. My anxiety gears are very flimsy and spontaneously liable to spin out of control. (No one wants this.) I have yet to learn how to harness other people's expectations into productivity and non-panicky thoughts.

Confession time: I abhor being in workaholic mode. The balance is precarious between healthily productive and clinically unwell. However much I achieve while working non-stop is totally not worth the mental breakdown swiftly following.

At this moment, I'm agonising over the topic of a particular writing sample due by the middle of March. It's fact that it has to be brilliant enough to compensate for my bad grades and erratic behaviour. I've begun doubting whether I'm even up to the challenge. Do I have it in me to accomplish good academic work in the fields of political science and philosophy? The whirlwind of negativity has yet to reach critical mass, but it's not far off, let me tell ya...

Taking things slowly—my strategy up to this point—is no longer feasible.

It's time to buckle down, though I seem to be missing the buckle.

Time is, in all seriousness, running out. I'm worried pretty much all the time, to be completely candid here, yet I have to (somehow) puzzle out how to build something using my anxiety, rather than letting it utterly consume me, which has been the case until now. I appreciate the expectations others have of me, because they are meant as instruments to push me forward, but I can't seem (yet) able to use them appropriately.

ellasomething: Ella. Duh. (Photo Booth)
2015-02-16 11:41 pm

#30: Experimenting with Caffeine... for Science!

On Friday morning I had the distinct displeasure to realise I was going to be useless during the pre-lunch two and half hours double-session course scheduled for that morning. Because mornings. Enough said. )

Which would bring us to today, and the mediocre cup of coffee I had in the morning, followed by one good cup at around lunch time. With the exception of a few sips of Coke Zero throughout the day, I've managed to survive a tiring day with limited artificial stimulation.

I'm not done tweaking my caffeine levels and recording what happens, but I do have to say today was physically exhausting, yet it took longer than expected to feel mentally tired. My focus could be benefiting from this new arrangement, though it's too early to say if this can be sustained, or even whether other factors might not have been hugely influential.

ellasomething: Ella. Duh. (Photo Booth)
2015-02-16 12:21 am
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#29: Reconnecting: Not Always Awkwardly Painful

Sometimes (i.e., every single moment of every single day) I despair at the state of humanity, at my poor social skills, at the dissimulation some people get up to. To be utterly candid here, I'm of the strong belief that most people just plain suck. My social anxiety and general awkwardness where human beings are concerned don't prevent my seeing how badly some individuals choose to treat their friends for no good reason.

And then there's today. (Um, well, yesterday now, but you know what I mean.)

Against all odds (and a vast amount of prior experience where such attempts ended up being futile), I managed to track down and reconnect with an old friend I haven't seen in almost four years.

The Skype conversation was casual and friendly and promising, and just generally a nice way to restart a friendship. We might actually get to see each other in the latter part of this spring (fingers cross, sacrificial pyre lit, and all that good stuff).

Why can't things always go this smoothly? Why are some people such arseholes? Why am I asking questions no one has been able to figure out for millennia now?

If I weren't already quite drained, I'd do a silly little dance to commemorate the occasion of things actually going my way.

ellasomething: Ella. Duh. (Photo Booth)
2015-02-15 06:22 pm

#28: Should I Really Be Acting in Anything Ever?

You know how you sometimes forget what you look like until you see a picture someone took of you? Even staring at yourself in the mirror cannot properly prepare you for the stupid, silly faces you make when you cannot control what your face is up to.

Yeah...

So now I'm apparently starring in a short film. Because of reasons. Those are not particularly good reasons, but reasons nonetheless. I think they might have something to do with this odd, foreign concept of "fun", though mainly it seems to involve a lot of giggling, an immature script, lack of chemistry between the leads, and DIY Batman masks (Don't ask!).

Shooting on Friday evening took for ever and a day, but I did get some champagne for my troubles. Friday was generally a hellishly busy day, even though I got a tremendous amount done, so it's natural that by the time we were shooting in the evening I was too exhausted to mentally engage like a well-adjusted person.

Today's shoot was light by comparison, but I didn't feel on my game as much as I thought I'd be by this point. Then again, at least the male lead and I are becoming slightly more comfortable with each other. Too bad we don't really have any other scenes together, as far as I can recall.

I sometimes forget the final product is not supposed to exceed eight minutes. I keep anticipating hours and hours of shooting...

One thing I do know for sure, though: the awkwardness of watching myself on screen will transcend any and all expectations. I kinda can't wait for the train-wreck of it all.

ellasomething: Ella. Duh. (Photo Booth)
2015-02-14 01:39 am

#27: Forays into Safe, Open Discussions

It's been a long (and I mean long) day, both physically and mentally tiring for a variety of reasons, and this post might reflect said raggedness. However, as with most things I chose to write about at odd hours of the night, it is necessary to record the immediate reactions I had.

(Holy shit! It took me for ever to write this out. What?!?)

I've only just arrived back from the type of event I've been wanting to attend for some time now. It was good, very promising; it was a chance for a dialogue in a safe space where conversations about gender and sexuality and social perception and sex and many other messy human issues can be started without fear of negative (i.e., judgemental) social repercussions.

I'm relatively certain not everyone got what they either wanted or needed from this meeting, but, as I also mentioned during the get-together, it was a chance to experience the sort of dialogue that doesn't come up in daily life, and, when it does, it carries with it judgement. I could see some bafflement on some people's faces, and I do realise that one point of view on an issue does not necessarily represent the opinion of anyone else, much less of everyone present (hence the need of such a space in which to converse), but it was a positive experience in the sense of knowing that there are others who do not subscribe to a gender-binary, heteronormative, hyper-sexual world. I need to know this in my veins, almost viscerally.

I'm curious about where else this will lead.

Honestly, I'm so damn tired right now I can't even process the fact that I've just written a post. It's beyond me how I managed to be coherent.

ellasomething: Ella. Duh. (Photo Booth)
2015-02-12 04:12 pm

#26: Unexpected Post Number One (Due to Intense Public Humiliation)

I'm functioning on two latte macchiatos, a double espresso and a lot of sugar at this time, plus an extra dose of adrenaline courtesy of screwing up my audition. What am I doing auditioning for anything ever? Well, I got it into my head that acting and myself can coexist. Clearly, I was delusional, and the only reason I will get even the smallest part is because they are in desperate need of people. And I can dance and learn choreographies, which I guess might give me an edge. Then again, it probably turned out to be so bad that I won't get anything at all, and thus remain solely with the public embarrassment suffered today.

The worst part—other than forgetting my lines several times in a row? They made me sing. *cries*

OK, all right, here's the deal: I love acting, but I'm not the best at it. At least I try really hard...

It's a university production of a student-written musical. It was supposed to be fun.

I think the double espresso is where I made the fatal mistake in all of this, other than the initial mistake of thinking I can do this at all.

I've never had much empathy in the past for actors and actresses intent on pursuing a career in a field I always considered they had no business being in. Now I get a little more where they're coming from. They just love it so much they can't let it go, despite what everyone and their dog are telling them regarding their level of skill.

Honestly, right now, I just want to find a rather large rock to hide under.