Wild Creatures

This is a very interesting blog about self perception that I thought I would reblog. We can’t always choose our appearance, but we can chose how we see ourselves.

The Tusk


by Maria Catt

I have a friend who can’t talk about her appearance without using the word “troll.” She’s short and small. She has beautiful creamy woodsy coloring– light brown hair, pink peach skin, glittering green eyes, a graceful swoop of a nose. She is small enough that you feel protective around her. You look at the space around her scanning for potential difficulty. Can she reach that plate she’s after? Am I towering over her? If I had to compare her to a magical creature, troll would not make the list– for one thing, trolls are huge and live under bridges. I’d pick nymph. I don’t know that she’d like that, nymphs don’t have a rep as being very powerful. But if I was going to cast my friend in a movie about a magical encounter, I’d have her play the spirit of an elm the hero rests under. …

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Parents vs. non-Parents

There is always the counterpoint that “you don’t understand until you’ve had your own kid”. Yes, I agree. But because I don’t have my own kid, I find myself free to judge. 
I have been around parents recently and I decided to delete any personal misconceptions of wonderfulness of parenthood.

Some parents think having a child is selfless – on what planet? Kids don’t ask to be born. I guess we all know this. If someone was raped…I can understand that’s being selfless. You can’t choose to have a child and then turn around and say I’m sacrificing all  my life for the child. I don’t want children. Also selfish. I want the freedom. 

There is a strange misconception that just because a kid wants attention, they should get it. It’s like breeding an apron-clinging-nipple-sucking generation that cannot be independent. There was a story about a guy who got a bad to OK end of year review at work and mom called the boss to understand why. Say it ain’t so!!!!!

Some parents become boring. After a kid is born, they have nothing else to talk about besides the development of their kid. “Oh my gosh she has a tooth!”. My response is usually, that’s what kids do. Unless your kid is the new Mozart or that guy that could recite Pi forever, I don’t want to hear it. It’s boring. If your kid falls into the hump of the normal distribution, please know you are boring us to death. How can you possibly not have anything interesting to say? Watch the news at work, go for a beer with adults. Do something for goodness sakes.

On that note, your kid is most likely not  exceptional. With 7 billion people in the world that were or are kids, trust me, your kid likely falls under the range of normal, and is like any other kid. So stop updating us on useless information we could get on the internet if we were interested.

Most kids are ugly. Especially newborns. The beauty of a new born is that a new life has been put forward, nothing to do with the face. So please stop texting me pictures of your alien looking kid. And after that, don’t send me pics of your fat baby. If I want to see a picture, I ask – which I honestly do. 

Kids are not toys. Don’t play with the like they are personal entertainment. If they are, start saying for future therapy.

Having said all this, if I have a kid, I will update and see if I become one of those “please-put- a-pencil-in-my-eye” helicopter parents.

The boyfriend diary: Fixing my unemotional character

I’ve been told that I’m unemotional. Last time I heard this was when I was getting dumped. Don’t worry, this wasn’t painful at all. I’ve used my lack of emotion as a tool to deal with life. So I never had a problem with “unemotional”. I liked it. I owned it. It defined me. But frequently I found that people define emotional differently.

Then as life would have it, I started writing a book. The book is written from the point of view of a 10 year old boy. I found out soon enough that the little boy, Farai, was just like me – or just like how i thought I would react in the situations he found himself in. It took a lot of help, reading, emotional thesaurus and creative acrobatics to make him more realistic. I essentially resisted this at the beginning because I felt (and still do feel) that there are situations where kids his age would react that way in Zimbabwe (i.e. unemotionally). I was trying not to turn him into a pussy little boy. I think I managed.

I recently started an autobiography “idea”, and I ran into the same problem. However, to every problem there is a  solution. I listed three solutions:

A personal “emotions diary”

love diary

love diary

I did three days. Everyday for three whole days, I wrote up to three prominent feelings I had. I had to think about questions like: What did a feel? What physiological changes did I experience, increase in heart rate, body temperature, tensing of muscles? What thoughts were going through my head and what did I say? How did I say it?

After three days, it wasn’t working so well. Ignorance had been bliss. I operated under the idea that “I don’t think about my emotions so therefore I don’t have any”. There were also events that happened through that short period that made me scared of myself. I will likely come back to that on another day.

An emotions diary about my relationship

I’m dating a truly amazing guy. He makes me happy. I decided to start a diary tomorrow on how he makes me feel. I plan to start with the positive feelings (thats just taking the path of least resistance). Maybe a daily log of our life would be a great gift for him one day. I’m curious to see whether I can be honest. If I can be honest about a situation that brings so much happiness to my life, then I expect that will be a training ground for my autobiography. I can start with the happy times. I wasn’t always unemotional.

A therapist

Someone once said to me “there are people who go to school for years to learn how to deal with people like you EJ.” Well – my ex-therapist acquired his own therapist….Only joking, I’m not that broken. Therapy is not an option because I don’t trust that I will be able to open up to someone who essentially couldn’t care less if I walked through his door or not. I don’t think you can pay someone to care. I can understand their value, but in my skepticism, its not for me.

I went with the boyfriend diary. Stay tuned for how much progress I make.

Under the crying sun

My working title is: Under the crying sun.

An 11 year old innocent boy, Farai, from the village is lost in a rough city characterized by poverty, starvation and disease. He has to find his way back home before he is swallowed by the desperation that was Zimbabwe during the economic crisis. 

Some background on this – in this time period 2008, inflation was at an all-time high at 70 sextillion percent and the exchange rate was 2.7 billion US$ to the Zim$. Unemployment was around 90%. And there was a cholera outbreak that affected over 10 thousand people. These are real events.

The Story is written from the point of view of Farai. He is sent to his uncle in the city who would help him buy seeds and fertilizers and is initially accompanied by two adult chaperones. He loses his chaperones, but bumps into two streetkids who take him under their wing and promise to help him find his uncle.He is fascinated by city life such as cars, cellphones, candy, white people but this is countered by his struggles that include convincing people including his two friends to help him, finding food, place to sleep, rival street kids, the money and political situation and his inherent fear of the supernatural, and his inability to perceive a way that will get him back to his mother.

Ultimately the book portrays Zimbabwean culture and experiences during this very difficult time period through the eyes of a ten year old boy.

Writing – the beginnings

I am a born and bred Zimbo. Lets start there. I was in Zimbabwe at the beginning of the economic decline and visited my family frequently (one a year or so) as it continued. These visits were an amazing snapshot of the decline and I was taken aback by the attitude of the Zimbabweans. We had had it good for a long time and so this was a set back, and it couldn’t get worse. That was a mantra I heard every year, “we survived this past year, it cannot get worse”. But it did. While the resilience was impressive, I observed things I thought, people who have never lived through this would never believe. So I noted everything I observed and converted it into a story about life in Zimbabwe over a short period of time.

In 2006, I wrote the first chapter. I was really happy with it. It had everything I thought would hook any reader. Furthermore, you could google what I wrote about and wiki would verify. I gave myself a Noddy badge for the excellent product and promptly put the 2000 word chapter away for some years. In 2010 or 2011 (I cant remember), I broke up with my now ex-boyfriend, so I had a LOT of free time to do a lot of things. I joined the Fairfield scribes, a writers group in the Greater Danbury area in Connecticut. At some point I presented my first chapter for critique. Now, this wasn’t a pat you on the back, stroke your ego type of group and I received detailed critiques from the small group of about six or seven people. They genuinely liked the premise of the story, but I clearly had a lot to learn about the art and science of writing.

Writing was new and different to what I did for work. I work in a scientific field where writing technical documents was part of my job description. So gears had to switch between work and my own writing. At some point I got into it and the science of creativity was an adventure for me, a challenge which took me away from the rest of my life.

I am editing the book now and hopefully make it ready for the readers and my multitude of supporters.

Hallo Welt!

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