How To Be Introspective

 

Recently a friend commented on how introspective I am. She marveled about my ability to put my recent relationship into words and speak from a distance where, in certain points of view, I understood. I’ve been thinking about this for a while, trying to locate when I became introspective. Looking back on my life I feel like I wasn’t the most self aware person, especially not in grade school and high school. And college? Maybe that was the Becoming of me. But anyway, this is what came out of those internal thought ramblings.

Write a letter to yourself and date it for five years in the future. Write a letter to your past self and tell her it will all be okay even if it isn’t. Read a lot of self help books – but only the ones that call to you. Think about spirituality in a way that’s more than just organized religion. Read. Read. Read. Read fiction in genres you aren’t familiar with. Read non fiction about health and nutrition and your body. Read blogs about everything but especially about life and love and magic. Dance at night when no one’s watching. Do yoga. Spend a lot of time with yourself. Surrender to the fact that you are born alone and you will die alone. Learn who you are when you have no best friend. Learn who you want to be when you are married, or not married, or traveling the world. Venture outside of your comfort zone and sit there in insecurity. Date boys who don’t understand you. Date boys who understand you but can’t handle how amazing you are. Write in your journal nightly. Tell it how sad you are. Talk to paper like it’s your best friend. Ask it questions and write the answers. Think about something you may have said or did and try to contemplate why. If you can’t figure it out, give it time but keep thinking. Consider a situation you don’t understand. Write. Write the alternate side to that situation. Practice empathy. Walk a thousand miles without shoes, then find someone elses’ and walk in theirs instead. Draw a map of all the places you frequent regularly, then refuse to go to any of those places (okay, except home and work) for a month. Talk to people you wouldn’t normally talk to. Asked to be surprised by the cake pop flavor you ask for at Starbucks. Be alone. Entirely alone. Think about death. Talk to those you know who have passed. Sit and meditate and ask for forgiveness. Imagine God as a spirit inside a tree (Like Grandmother Willow in Pocahontas). Imagine there is no God. Live outside of the moment. Live in anxiety about the future and the present and your health and the state of the world. Live in nostalgia of the past and when things were easier and less complicated and your favorite band had more poetic lyrics and you were soaking in sunshine in California. Look at old photographs and try to remember. Make up stories about your past. Make up lives for strangers. Find solace in sitting in Starbucks surrounded by strangers. Make friends with people all over the world online and dream about going to visit them. Plan a trip to Australia in your mind. Dream about the beach. Write letters and e-mails to people just to make sense of your life. Take what is bothering you and sit on it. Write about it. Be creative with it. Make art.

Do all of these things. Do none of these things. The most important part is to sit with yourself, no matter what way. Think to yourself. Spend too much time in your head. When someone asks you what you’re thinking and you’re supposed to be mid-makeout session but you’ve paused to wonder about dandelions or The Future or what would happen if you sneezed, just smile and apologise and go on with your moment. Read nonfiction memoirs and more technical books about your “problems” and learn why you might eat too much or spend too much money or shut people out.

I think for me, what really turned me into the person I am today is a huge combination of reading and writing fiction, practicing empathy (which is a natural personality trait for me) or sympathy, and spending a lot of time alone and inside my head trying to figure out what’s wrong with me and how to make myself right.

Also, often I can’t put words and emotions into ways that will make sense out loud unless I write them down first. I can’t contemplate all of the workings of the world and my mind and be okay with it all unless I sit and write first. Or talk to people (but through text. often words in real conversation just don’t work unless I’ve extensively thought about them first). I’m like my own therapist, but I can’t figure out how to change my actions. Just why I have these actions and thoughts.

This is why I need to write. This is why I should journal more often. This is why I turn to online friends states away to make sense situations I find myself in. This is why it’s easier for me to meet someone online and date them in real life once they have some sense of who I am inside my head.

 xoxo

Melanie Kristy

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Things Boys Have Said About My Blog

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I very rarely share my blog information with dates or potential dates. I can be a little vulnerable in here and why would I want to allow someone I don’t yet trust to know all of these things about me? That being said there are a few who I’ve wanted to share my words with, and I thought it might be interesting to reflect here.

It doesn’t matter to you who said what, or why. So they aren’t in any certain order.

“You have a big online presence and it’s intimidating” this made me laugh because I think he imagined much more of my blog, especially because I have a Facebook page for it.

“If you spoke with half the peace of mind as you do in your blog, you wouldn’t have these problems connecting to people.” While he’s totally right here, I was blown away by this comment. It also shows something about me and the way I an comfortable with being vulnerable. It’s easier to do that in words in a removed place.

“I just decided to start my diet five minutes ago then I open the page to these [cupcakes].”

There have been other things, a few at least but I can’t remember.

Do you ever let someone you’re dating read your blog? What do they think or say?

Love,
Melanie Kristy

Nine Things I’ve Learned in My 20’s

So a couple weeks ago I entered the last year of my twenties. I made a list of nine things I’ve learned in my 20’s (one for each year) and I meant to post it on my birthday, but things got in the way and I never typed it up. Turning 29 was kind of weird this year, but not weird in a bad way. I spent the entire day with my boyfriend, something I’d never done before on a birthday. I spent the morning alone at the beach even though it had snowed before I woke up. Last year on my birthday the temperature was 72 degrees and I drank iced coffee and watched the water. This year it was 32 degrees and I drank hot coffee and lamented the fact that I didn’t want to open my car window as I looked outside. I spent the rest of the day dragging J to a photo booth, not wanting to drive far enough to go to my favorite places (bookstores, Lush and Duck & Bunny). We wrote fiction in my living room then ate pizza at a restaurant that has two-for-one deals on Tuesdays. J made me red velvet cupcakes, the first cupcakes he’s probably ever made. It was super sweet and low key. I kept celebrating with dinners and lunches and friends after the actual day. Every day should be a celebration, really. Every day should be filled with friends and great food and love and acceptance.

Here are nine things I’ve learned in the past twenty years:

* If you aren’t sure if you like-like someone (that you are dating, might date, etc.) you don’t.

* Essentials include writing, good food, tea, movement, reading, music & creativity. Don’t sacrifice these. Also don’t sacrifice love, friendship or family.

* Invest in quality / natural food, shoes and body products

* make friends everywhere in every state and in other countries. use faraway friendships as vessels for travel, mental escapes and excuses to send and receive snail mail

* There’s someone out there who will defy what you’ve come to learn about dating and love and relationships. There may be many someones.

* “All we really have in life is the ability to help each other through the tough times” – Francesca Lia Block 11/7/13

* You will meet people you’ve never dreamed of meeting and go places you never thought you would go

* Happiness isn’t  goal to strive for but a state of mind to be in. Find joy in the small things and change what you don’t like

* life is made up of millions of tiny moments. These moments are beautiful, heartbreaking, fragile, intimate, daring and ordinary. It’s what you do with these moments that make up your own meaning of life.

 

*** bonus ***

have passion, don’t lose it. let it waver. let what you’re passionate about change. water your passion. let it fill you. if you think you might want to do something for the rest of your life – follow that dream. go back to school. join the circus. risk everything. take care of yourself. you are an adult and it’s no longer acceptable for you to rely on anyone else to take care of you. take care of other people. don’t let life pass you by. don’t follow trends just because. don’t sacrifice yourself. be amazing. open your heard. eat that cake.

love,

Melanie Kristy

I’m here

I’m here I’m here
I’m lost
I’m found
I’m taking pictures and using filters and forgetting or sleeping or working or schooling
I am here

But I’m so not here
here
Present
Aware

I’m exhausted and achy
Here but elsewhere
Startled
Overwhelmed
Detached

I’m here. We all are
I’m building words together
Wanting to create more
Say more
Express more

Be more with you
In this world
Of photographs and phrases

I’m here
And I’ll be here
With or without words

I’m alive
I’m alive

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Earthy Crunchy Stuff

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Do you ever feel “earthy crunchy”? That stereotypical hippie like being who likes yoga and bangle bracelets? I feel like my outsides and my insides don’t mesh. Sure, I love bangle bracelets. I especially love that Alex and Ani are made in America (with love). I don’t love that most other items are made in sweatshops. And yet I still sometimes go to Walmart. I’m not even sure where my clothes are from. part of me doesn’t even want to know. I think instead of feeling bad its better to be aware. It’s better to at least know. Have some empathy or something.

But organic apples.

I buy a lot of tea, the fancy good for you kind from Teavanna in flavored with real dried fruit (i know, I tasted it) and one with chocolate. but I keep forgetting to drink it. I’m not sure why. I love tea. I’d drink it at every meal if it was ready made for me.

I’m not lazy okay maybe sometimes I am. But usually my mind is everywhere. I don’t remember to take the time to put on makeup unless its already out and on my desk. out of sight, out of mind.

And yoga.
Oh yoga. I did it for about fifteen minutes yesterday. I don’t know what happened. I was tired.
I couldn’t focus. I already felt stretched.
The video was taking an incredibly long time to load and work properly
. I didn’t have the space to do a standing sun salutation against a wall. That’s what finally got me to quit (after a half hour playing with the video and downloading a new one so it would play after the first five minutes).

Don’t mention the food industry to me unless you want an earful. I can get straight up political on that shit. And yet I’m not eating any better.

What am I saying here?
I have all these feelings and thoughts and they don’t jive with my actions. I don’t jive with myself. And I can’t quite figure that out. I can’t quite figure me out. Where to start. Where to go from here. Into the earth somewhere, to a place where I am free to practice tree pose and contemplate if I’d really use the juicer I so badly want to buy.

Melanie Kristy

Winter Blues

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I’ve got nothing to say and everything on my mind. I want to keep replaying Counting Crows songs until something makes more sense. I have this terrible ability to make myself SO overwhelmed. Over nothing. Sometimes it’s over something. It’s like my mind can’t go in a straight line. It goes all of the place, all of a sudden. It looks like a child scribbled lines in all different colored markers until the page tore through.

This whole blogging thing is going to change for me. For a while I was so into it, and don’t get me wrong, I’ve been writing online for years and year and year. I’m not going to stop. But I’m not going to sit here and pretend that this blog is going to be something more than it is.

It’s just going to be me. Melanie Kristy. It’s going to be me and my readers, all of you lovely folks out there who are taking the moments to read a few lines of nonsense.

It’s us together.

It’s not about writing to please an audience, about attracting readers. I believe the right readers will be attracted. The right company will find its way here. This is about me, wholly.

And in the past year that I’ve been writing or not so writing as the case often seems to be, I’ve lost that. This is a personal site, the musings of a writer and librarian in training who is in her twenty somethings and finding armor and tools to rip her way through this world. It’s about a girl who stocks her shelves with teen literature, counts on a group of friends online to keep her inspired and writing (no pressure;) ) and is figuring out how to balance things. It’s about a girl who can’t balance things but tries anyway. It’s the journal of an online junkie, a girl who can’t remember life without the internet as sad as that statement makes her. It’s about a girl who is obsessed with camera apps on her phone, takes too many pictures of herself and has the same favorite band since she was twelve.

It’s about me. Melanie Kristy.

It’s nice to (re) meet you. We’ve only just begun.

Now tell me about you.

xoxo

Melanie