July 8, 1997

Rainy day today...

Barnes had another interesting exercise, which was where you'd go out to a tree that existed in a place that was fairly near people and sit and talk to that tree. The interesting part of the exercise was to see what happened to who and what you were and how you acted when a person would come along. What masks come down? What tensions do you accumilate?

In many ways this online journalling feels a bit like talking to that tree, at the moment. I was wandering through random entries for the last few hours of the day yesterday and found that a lot of the writing is excruciatingly aware of the audience that it is intended for. Is that truly the way people are? Or is it the cleaned up version for public consumption? Or is that even a problem at all?

I guess we all want to be what we could be. The cleaner, eaiser, milder, nicer, cooler person that's always fun to learn about, always fun to listen to. Not a bad thing, certainly, to know what you want yourself to act like and to be. But does that mask you from being able to see the insides of my head?

Of course it does.

So, I guess, this will be like the exercise of talking to a tree, because, Steve pointed out, that the more you live as if you were talking to that tree, that true, real you, and spend less energy maintaining those masks, the happier, less stressed and more yourself you will be.

Been wrestling hard with a lot of issues of my life, and the biggest has been a daily throwing off of depression, a burst of which appeared yesterday in the first entry of all these. I've journalled all my life, and have done the clarified, cleaned up, and publically posted version of it ever since the Net was flat. But the private journal stayed on my laptop and received an outpouring of angst and thought. I've moved the Open Pages title page away from my publically accessible page and found that it would be very good to, once again, start to journal without being nearly as aware of the people.

The 50-odd people that I write occassionally are all very keen people, and I love them well, but in many ways, they are my neighbors, of space or interest and one of them is married to the man that I've agonized so much over. chuckle The man whom I thought actually understood me and could accept me for good and bad, but turned out to only accept what he could benefit from and completely unable to accept what needed anything from him. Nice thing is that I found out that the person who really had no expectations from me was the man I'd been married to for nearly ten years. That's been the joyous reality.

What if you just don't want to talk to trees?

I've always shaped myself into the shape of other people's expectations. Habit. And the need to please. To follow commands and exercises as they're given to me without much questioning other than for surface understanding. I like to be what people expect me to be, which is a good way to get along with just about everyone, but a very, very bad way to 'be oneself.'

Steve Barnes spoke of a balance between two parts. The part that says, "I LOVE everybody!" and the part that says, "You fuck with me and I'll kill you." And that both parts need to be within a person, which was something that I knew logically, but had never been able to find. I was always more of the first, and thought that I should be entirely of the first. It's what I perpetuated on alt.callahans, unfortunately, and I have become entirely unbalanced by, for a while, being nothing but the first.

I've been getting back the second. Slowly, and almost entirely through soccer.

Had a great game last night. Eventhough I was still somewhat groggy from the weekend at the Con and the lack of sleep, I played better for it, in many ways because when I'm tired, I know that I have to keep good position on the field to intercept balls correctly and get them out of there when I'm on defense and make it at all possible to go up on offense, especially when I started playing halfback again the second half.

Picking off passes, getting my head on the ball when it came to me, being a gadfly around the a stocky read-headed guy who had been trying to tell Ellen that if he 'tripped' over her when she was in front of him, that it was her fault. Which did piss me off sufficiently, to the point where, when he had the ball, I asked him, "Okay, you're in front of me, now, are you fair game?" He never quite handled the ball as well after that, which, I think, was what he was trying to get Ellen to do.

Don't fuck with me or I'll kill you. Or, at least, take the ball away and make you look a fool. chuckle. It's balance of a sort.

And speaking of don't fuck with me or I'll kill you... Go see Face/Off. Here's a lady that'll tell you why...

© 1997 by Liralen Li

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