Potentially Nonsense

No one expects the duckie inquisition.

Thursday 13: Wait, did I miss a turn? Where am I?

A quick, quick Thursday 13.

13 of the best place names I’ve seen this week.

1. Devil’s Bridge Rd
2. Grassy Lick Rd
3. Sugar Camp Dr
4. Sharkey Rd
5. Zodiac Loop
6. Shane Ln
7. Summer Lady Ln
8. Crow Canyon Dr
9. Skytrail Ranch Rd
10. Marsh Rabbit Way
11. Clever, MO
12. Star of the Desert Dr
13. Chilhowie, VA

One of the best things I’ve seen on an envelope this week is “Diamond Township” in place of “Coal Township,” with Coal Township, PA, being the real name of the place. Come on. That’s putting a great spin on things.

Brief post today, as it’s been a wacky week of delegations at work. North Korean delegation, Mongolian delegation, and then yesterday, a group of foster mothers who have been with the place I work for about 30 years. One had helped 66 children find homes. There wasn’t a dry eye in the room.

NaNoCertMo: Users and Permissions

Can I just say I’ve missed command line? I didn’t realize just how much. I picked up a smattering of Linux in the 90s. Just enough to play and code for a Mu*. (I miss the multi-user shared hallucination, y’all.) Then in my 20s I worked with a mainframe environment, with COBOL and JCL, and also a Unix box. I saved up and got a little house that I loved. I was on a good track. Then I got twitterpated, got foolish, got married, got manipulated into leaving my career (AND WENT ALONG WITH IT. What was I thinking??), and now I want back in. Badly.

The OS class I’m taking is all about PowerShell and Linux, and my brain loves it. It feels a bit like that first sip of coffee in the morning. Like slipping into a hotsprings on a cold night, under the stars. Like a heated blanket when it’s subzero outside.

Oh.

Yep. I’m definitely getting a dopamine hit from working with command line, again. Oh, brain, why? Why? This is hilarious. I hadn’t quite realized until just now.

Artist’s interpretation of my brain. Photo courtesy of Steven Diaz. Sorry, Steve.

Two sections down. Four sections to go. Twenty days left. Infinite opportunities for dopamine between now and then. Apparently.

Here’s what I finished between November 6th and 10th (today).

Section 2: Users and Permissions – Finished: November 10
15 videos, 3 readings, 1 quiz, 2 assignments.
1. Video: Users, Administrators, and Groups, Oh My!
2. Video: Windows: View User and Group Information – Nov 6
3. Video: Windows: View User and Group Information using CLI
4. Video: Linux: Users, Superuser and Beyond
5. Video: Windows: Passwords
6. Reading: Supplemental Reading for Windows Passwords
7. Video: Linux: Passwords
8. Video: Windows: Adding and Removing Users
9. Video: Linux: Adding and Removing Users
10. Video: Ben Life as a CIO
11. Video: Windows: File Permissions
12. Reading: Supplemental Reading for Windows ACL
13. Video: Linux: File Permissions – Nov 8
14. Video: Windows: Modifying Permissions
15. Video: Linux: Modifying Permissions
16. Video: Windows: Special Permissions
17. Reading: Supplemental Reading for Special Permissions in Windows
18. Video: Linux: SetUID, SetGID, Sticky Bit – Nov 9
19. Discussion Prompt: Your File & Folder Permissions
20. Practice Quiz: Permissions
Graded: Create, Modify, and Remove File and Folder Permissions in Windows
Graded: Create, Modify, and Remove File and Folder Permissions in Linux

Thursday 13: That’s pure Bull St, man.

I’m really enjoying the challenge of Thursday 13. It’s kind of fun. I find myself actively watching for weird place names, now.

13 of the wildest place names I’ve seen this week.

1. Greyhawk Rd
2. Avenue Rd
3. Bull St
4. Normal, IL
5. Zigzag Rd
6. Pumpkin Town Rd
7. Hamlet Dr
8. Eureka, IL
9. Short Dr
10. Angular St
11. Devil’s Jump Rd
12. Gas City, IL
13. Stomping Ground, KY

These were shared via comments on my previous Thursday 13 post:

  • Judy, who has no fear of the dark, shared a place (not a town, not a hamlet, just a place) called Snagerty. It really sounds like the beginning of a great ghost story.
  • Country Dew shared Wild Cat Holler, which sounds suspiciously like something that I’d find near my home town. The big question is, are you gonna go see the lights in Wild Cat Holler?

Hm. I’m kind of wondering if someone could use these weekly place names to make a random story? Note to self for next week.

NaNoCertMo: Navigating the System

I finished the first section, which is meant to take seven days, in five days. This will eventually catch me up in the class, so that I finish on time at the end of November.

One down. Five sections to go. Twenty-five days left.

I don’t think it’s a surprise that I did this by the skin of my teeth. I learned something useful apart from the course, too. I almost let myself be derailed from finishing. Something is happening at work that I find upsetting, and I almost let that take over my brain and distract me from concentrating on the course. So I need to:
1. Pay attention to when that happens, and figure out how to let it go. No excuses. No letting other people derail me.
2. Tonight, after I’m done, I need to sit down and think my way through why said Work Thing is upsetting me. Because my reaction is all out of proportion. SO out of proportion.

It just dawned on me that this first section is “Navigating the System.” That strikes me as funny, as I’m learning how to learn, and learning how to navigate my new life while I’m at it. Speaking of Navigating the System, I wrote a thank you note to my prior therapist, this morning. We’ve not been able to get schedules to match up to do an exit session, and so a note of thanks will have to do, since I can’t do it in person.

Here’s what I finished between November 1st and 5th (today).

Week 1: Navigating the System – Finished November 5th
32 videos, 10 readings, 3 discussion prompts, 2 quizzes, 3 assignments
1. Video: Course IntroductionNov 1
2. Reading: Navigating Coursera
3. Reading: Program Surveys
4. Reading: Discussion Forums
5. Reading: Get to Know Your Classmates
6. Discussion Prompt: Meet and Greet
7. Video: Lesson Overview and Practice Tips
8. Reading: Windows CLI and Unix Bash
9. Video: List Directories in a GUI
10. Reading: Size vs Size of Disk in Windows
11. Video: Windows: List Directories in CLINov 2
12. Video: Linux: List Directories
13. Video: Windows: Changing Directories in the GUI
14. Video: Windows: Changing Directories in the CLI
15. Video: Linux: Changing Directories in Bash
16. Video: Windows: Make Directories in the GUI and CLI
17. Video: Linux: Make Directories in Bash
18. Video: Windows: Command History
19. Video: Linux: Command History
20. Video: Windows: Copying Files and Directories
21. Video: Linux: Copying Files and DirectoriesNov 3
22. Video: Windows: Moving and Renaming Files, Directories
23. Video: Linux: Moving and Renaming Files, Directories
24. Video: Windows: Removing Files and Directories
25. Video: Linux: Removing Files and Directories
26. Discussion Prompt: Your Favorite OS
27. Video: Cindy Why OS is Important
28. Practice Quiz: Basic Commands
29. Video: Windows: Display File Contents
30. Video: Linux: Display File Contents
31. Video: Windows: Modifying Text Files
32. Reading: Notepad++Nov 4
33. Video: Linux: Modifying Text Files
34. Reading: GNU Documentation for text editors
35. Video: Windows Powershell commands and aliases
36. Video: Windows: Searching within Files
37. Video: Windows: Searching within Directories
38. Video: Linux: Searching within Files
39. Video: Windows: Input, Output, and the Pipeline
40. Video: Linux: Input, Output and Pipeline
41. Video: Windows and Linux Advanced Navigation
42. Reading: Windows PowerShellNov 5
43. Video: Ben First Tech Job
44. Discussion Prompt: What did you learn about OS?
45. Quiz: File and Text Manipulation
46. Video: Instructions for Accessing Linux Qwiklabs
47. Reading: Instructions for Accessing Windows Qwiklabs
Graded: Accessing Qwiklabs
Graded: Create, Modify, and Remove Files and Folders in Windows
Graded: Create, Modify, and Remove Files and Folders in Linux

Repeat: The quick, quick version

This week’s Five Minute Friday writing prompt is: REPEAT.

Hi. My name’s Jae, and this is my brother Pete, and my other brother Repeat.1

You guys. Holy cow. I’ve taken three run-ups for this OS class, and failed every time.

But this time I’m screaming through the class like a Bentley on fire, while “Bohemian Rhapsody” plays loudly in the background.2 I just thought my brain had broken. Too old, too dumb, too much a failure.

It literally never crossed my mind that having my home life constantly filled with conflict and confusion was taking up most of my brainpower, with nothing left over for anything else.

I’m kind of stunned by this thought this morning. I really just thought my brain was broken. And, I mean, I’m not 20 anymore, and to be honest, I was more than a little worried about the dementia that runs so strongly in my family, although I was trying not to be. Huh.

All those money fights, and the fights were partly responsible for my struggle to make a better wage. Life is hilarious.

Life is also more hopeful, now. I like that. Maybe my brain didn’t break in my 30s, causing me to have to leave a job I loved. Maybe things will be OK.

NaNoCertMo 2018

Well, October was beautifully writealicious, and now it’s time to buckle down and also to sack up.

I’ve been having an on-again off-again relationship with getting myself up on my financial feet. I started a class, then divorce happened. Pain happened. Loss of insurance happened. Everything happened except me finishing the damn certificate. I got through two of the classes required: Technical Support Fundamentals, and Bits and Bytes of Computer Networking. There are three classes to go: Operating Systems, System Administration, and IT Security. I want to be done with the certificate by the end of January.

So I’m using November to finish one of the classes. It’s supposed to take six weeks. That six weeks can bite me. Ima do it in four. I literally cannot afford to keep dawdling on a career change.

While everyone else goes batty for NaNoWriMo, I’m going bats to the wall1 with NaNoCertMo2.3456

Now that the Write 31 Days challenge is over, I’ll only be posting once a week or so.

Here is my basic outline for what I’ll need to do, when.

Operating Systems: Becoming a Power User

Week 1: Navigating the System – Finished: November 5
32 videos, 10 readings, 3 discussion prompts, 2 quizzes, 3 assignments

1. Video: Course IntroductionNov 1
2. Reading: Navigating Coursera
3. Reading: Program Surveys
4. Reading: Discussion Forums
5. Reading: Get to Know Your Classmates
6. Discussion Prompt: Meet and Greet
7. Video: Lesson Overview and Practice Tips
8. Reading: Windows CLI and Unix Bash
9. Video: List Directories in a GUI
10. Reading: Size vs Size of Disk in Windows
11. Video: Windows: List Directories in CLINov 2
12. Video: Linux: List Directories
13. Video: Windows: Changing Directories in the GUI
14. Video: Windows: Changing Directories in the CLI
15. Video: Linux: Changing Directories in Bash
16. Video: Windows: Make Directories in the GUI and CLI
17. Video: Linux: Make Directories in Bash
18. Video: Windows: Command History
19. Video: Linux: Command History
20. Video: Windows: Copying Files and Directories
21. Video: Linux: Copying Files and DirectoriesNov 3
22. Video: Windows: Moving and Renaming Files, Directories
23. Video: Linux: Moving and Renaming Files, Directories
24. Video: Windows: Removing Files and Directories
25. Video: Linux: Removing Files and Directories
26. Discussion Prompt: Your Favorite OS
27. Video: Cindy Why OS is Important
28. Practice Quiz: Basic Commands
29. Video: Windows: Display File Contents
30. Video: Linux: Display File Contents
31. Video: Windows: Modifying Text Files
32. Reading: Notepad++Nov 4
33. Video: Linux: Modifying Text Files
34. Reading: GNU Documentation for text editors
35. Video: Windows Powershell commands and aliases
36. Video: Windows: Searching within Files
37. Video: Windows: Searching within Directories
38. Video: Linux: Searching within Files
39. Video: Windows: Input, Output, and the Pipeline
40. Video: Linux: Input, Output and Pipeline
41. Video: Windows and Linux Advanced Navigation
42. Reading: Windows PowerShellNov 5
43. Video: Ben First Tech Job
44. Discussion Prompt: What did you learn about OS?
45. Quiz: File and Text Manipulation
46. Video: Instructions for Accessing Linux Qwiklabs
47. Reading: Instructions for Accessing Windows Qwiklabs
Graded: Accessing Qwiklabs
Graded: Create, Modify, and Remove Files and Folders in Windows
Graded: Create, Modify, and Remove Files and Folders in Linux

Week 2: Users and Permissions – Finished: November 10
15 videos, 3 readings, 1 quiz, 2 assignments.

1. Video: Users, Administrators, and Groups, Oh My!
2. Video: Windows: View User and Group Information – Nov 6
3. Video: Windows: View User and Group Information using CLI
4. Video: Linux: Users, Superuser and Beyond
5. Video: Windows: Passwords
6. Reading: Supplemental Reading for Windows Passwords
7. Video: Linux: Passwords
8. Video: Windows: Adding and Removing Users
9. Video: Linux: Adding and Removing Users
10. Video: Ben Life as a CIO
11. Video: Windows: File Permissions
12. Reading: Supplemental Reading for Windows ACL
13. Video: Linux: File Permissions – Nov 8
14. Video: Windows: Modifying Permissions
15. Video: Linux: Modifying Permissions
16. Video: Windows: Special Permissions
17. Reading: Supplemental Reading for Special Permissions in Windows
18. Video: Linux: SetUID, SetGID, Sticky Bit – Nov 9
19. Discussion Prompt: Your File & Folder Permissions
20. Practice Quiz: Permissions
Graded: Create, Modify, and Remove File and Folder Permissions in Windows
Graded: Create, Modify, and Remove File and Folder Permissions in Linux

Week 3: Package and Software Management | Proposed Dates: November 11-15 | Finished:
15 videos, 13 readings, 4 quizzes, 2 assignments.

1. Video: Module Introduction – Nov 11
2. Video: Windows: Software Packages
3. Reading: Supplemental Reading for Windows Software Packages – Nov 16
4. Video: Linux: Software Packages – Nov 17
5. Video: Windows: Archives
6. Reading: Supplemental Reading for 7-Zip and PowerShell Zips
7. Video: Linux: Archives
8. Reading: Supplemental Reading for the Linux Tar Command
9. Video: Windows: Package Dependencies
10. Reading: Supplemental reading for Windows Package Dependencies
11. Video: Linux: Package Dependencies
12. Reading: Supplemental Reading for Linux Package Dependencies
13. Practice Quiz: Software Distribution
14. Video: Windows: Package Manager
15. Reading: Supplemental Reading for Windows Package Managers
16. Video: Linux: Package Manager Apt – Nov 18
17. Reading: Supplemental Reading for Linux PPAs
18. Reading: Supplemental Reading on GIMP
19. Practice Quiz: Package Managers
20. Video: Windows: Underneath the Hood
21. Reading: Supplemental Reading for Windows Installers and Process Monitors
22. Video: Linux: Underneath the Hood
23. Practice Quiz: What’s happening in the background?
24. Video: Windows: Devices and Drivers
25. Reading: Supplemental Reading Windows Devices and Drivers
26. Video: Linux: Devices and Drivers
27. Reading: Supplemental reading for Linux Devices and Drivers
28. Video: Window: Operating System Updates – Nov 19
29. Reading: Supplemental Reading for Windows Update
30. Video: Linux: Operating System Updates
31. Reading: Supplemental Reading for Linux Update
32. Discussion Prompt: What would you do?
33. Practice Quiz: Device Software Management
Graded: Create, Update and Remove Software in Windows
Graded: Create, Update and Remove Software in Linux

Week 4: Filesystems | Proposed Dates: November 16-20 | Finished:
16 videos, 9 readings, 1 quiz, 2 assignments.

1. Video: Module Introduction
2. Video: Review of Filesystems
3. Reading: Supplemental Reading for FAT32 File System
4. Video: Disk Anatomy
5. Video: Windows: Disk Partitioning and Formatting a Filesystem – Nov 20
6. Reading: Supplemental Reading for Disk Partitioning and Formatting in Windows
7. Video: Windows: Mounting and Unmounting a Filesystem
8. Video: Linux: Disk Partitioning and Formatting a Filesystem
9. Video: Linux: Mounting and Unmounting a Filesystem
10. Reading: Supplemental reading Mounting and Unmounting a Filesystem in Linux
11. Video: Windows: Swap
12. Reading: Supplemental Reading for Windows Paging
13. Video: Linux: Swap
14. Reading: Supplemental Reading for Linux Swap
15. Video: Windows: Files
16. Reading: Supplemental Reading on NTFS File System
17. Video: Linux: Files – Nov 21
18. Video: Windows: Disk Usage
19. Reading: Supplemental Reading for Windows Disk Usage
20. Video: Linux: Disk Usage
21. Reading: Supplemental reading for Linux Disk Usage
22. Video: Windows: Filesystem Repair
23. Video: Linux: Filesystem Repair
24. Reading: Supplemental Reading for Linux Filesystem Repair
25. Video: Ben Passion
26. Discussion Prompt: Disk Partitioning
27. Practice Quiz: Filesystem Types
Graded: Partition and Format a Disk Drive in Windows
Graded: Partition and Format a Disk Drive in Linux

Week 5: Process Management | Proposed Dates: November 21-25 | Finished:
12 videos, 7 readings, 3 quizzes, 2 assignments

1. Video: Module Introduction – Nov 22
2. Video: Programs vs Processes Revisited
3. Video: Windows: Process Creation and Termination
4. Reading: Supplemental Reading for Process Creation and Termination in Windows
5. Video: Linux: Process Creation and Termination
6. Video: Jess Passions
7. Practice Quiz: Life of a Process
8. Video: Windows: Reading Process Information
9. Reading: Supplemental Reading for Reading Process Information in Windows
10. Video: Linux: Reading Process Information
11. Reading: Supplemental Reading for Reading Process Information in Linux
12. Video: Linux: Signals
13. Reading: Supplemental Reading for Windows Signal
14. Video: Windows: Managing Processes
15. Reading: Supplemental Reading for Managing Processes in Windows
16. Video: Linux: Managing Processes
17. Practice Quiz: Managing Processes
18. Video: Windows: Resource Monitoring
19. Reading: Supplemental Reading Resource Monitoring in Windows
20. Video: Linux: Resource Monitoring
21. Reading: Supplemental reading for Resource Monitoring in Linux
22. Discussion Prompt: Your CPU
23. Practice Quiz: Process Utilization
Graded: Maintaining Efficient Process Utilization on Your Computer in Windows
Graded: Maintaining Efficient Process Utilization on Your Computer in Linux

Week 6: Operating Systems in Practice | Proposed Dates: November 26-30. | Finished: | The hard deadline is 12/2.
16 videos, 5 readings, 2 quizzes, 2 assignments.

1. Video: Introduction
2. Video: Remote Connection and SSH
3. Video: Remote Connections on Windows
4. Discussion Prompt: Performing remotely as an IT Support Specialist
5. Reading: Supplemental reading for Remote Connections in Windows
6. Video: Remote Connection File Transfer
7. Video: Remote Connection File Transfer on Windows
8. Reading: Supplemental Reading for Remote Connection File Transfer in Windows
9. Discussion Prompt: Remote Desktop
10. Practice Quiz: Remote Access
11. Video: Virtual Machines
12. Reading: Supplemental reading for Virtual Machines
13. Discussion Prompt: VMs
14. Video: System Monitoring
15. Video: The Windows Event Viewer
16. Video: Linux Logs
17. Reading: Supplemental Reading for Linux Logs
18. Video: Working with Logs
19. Practice Quiz: Logging
20. Video: Imaging Software
21. Video: Operating Systems Deployment Methods
22. Reading: Supplemental Reading for OS Deployment Methods
23. Video: Interview Role Play: Operating Systems
24. Discussion Prompt: Your Learning Journey
25. Video: Course Wrap Up
26. Video: Heather Early Career Advice
27. Video: Congratulations!
Graded: Use Logs to Help You Track Down an Issue in Windows
Graded: Use Logs to Help You Track Down an Issue in Linux

I recognize that it’s 50/50 whether I’ll make it or not, but if I keep going easy on myself, I’ll never finish. I’ll always be scraping by and money-stressed. I’m tired of constantly worrying about whether this will be the month everything tips over. I need a livable wage.

Let’s do this.

Associated Posts:

November 2: Repeats and revelations.
November 5: Navigating the System.
November 11: Users and Permissions and Dopamine.

Virtual high-fives for everyone

This month I have written through my own excuses. I’ve looked at them, listened to them, recognized them, and then walked right through them like they were cobwebs disguised as cages.

I found out I can do what I didn’t think I could. I’ve learned I can write even when I absolutely don’t think I can. Even when I have a really good reason for not writing. I checked in with something every single day this month. Believe me, I’m as surprised as you are.

Reader, you’re awesome, you know that? From your toes to your crown, you are awesome. You’ve survived everything in your life – all the trials and challenges, all the bullshit, all the times you wanted to give up, and here you are. This is it. The last day of Write 31 Days, 2018 and 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writing Prompts.

Image with a purple background, quoting the podcast Welcome to Night Vale: You too have survived. Survived everything up to this moment.

Because it’s not October without an appearance by Welcome to Night Vale.

Virtual high-fives for everyone, and especially these people:

* Ruth, who runs The Nerd Factory, where readers think, and thinkers read. Also, she’s wicked interesting.
* Jen, who is holding space and befriending dragons.
* Neta, who is enjoying The View From Here.
* Wendy, who makes a darn good waffle.
* Maxine, who finds happiness in the chaos.
* Cheryl, over in her online corner, storying away.
* Miccah, who thinks all the thoughts.
* Gattina, who has a beautiful case of writer’s cramps.
* Lee Ann, at the Unfocused Life.
* Margaret, who has set out in quest of truth.
* Albarclay: Have I mentioned how very much I love reading hiking memoirs? Cos I do.
* Julie, who is planting a garden.
* Andrew, at Blessed are the Pure of Heart is frickin’ awesome, and you should go check out his blog right now. I’ll wait.
* Penny, who is stumbling along in the most interesting way possible.
* Mary, whose blog is where creativity and love meet.
* Roanna, because she’s been my friend since Jesus lost his sandals, and she writes like an angel possessed. Visit her at Squirrels and Tequila.
* Ron, at Scrambled, not Fried.
* Colleen at Loose Leaf Notes.
* Country Dew, at Blue Country Magic.

Big love to everyone who dropped by and left a word or two. You’re the best.

Thank you so much for visiting.


The End

Here’s the sweet, sweet index of all my posts of nope.

Come closer.

Tomorrow’s Five Minute Freewrite prompt is: CLOSE.

So. Close. Is anyone else eyeing tomorrow with suspicion? Did a whole month really pass, or is this some kind of trick? I haven’t kept a writing schedule since 2012 – the last time I participated in Write 31 Days. This felt so good. It felt really good to finish something, and to succeed at something, even if it was something as silly as writing about why I’m not writing.

“Close doesn’t count except in horseshoes and hand-grenades” was a phrase I grew up hearing a lot. Do or do not. Succeed, or cover up all evidence of ever having tried. I have mixed feelings about all of those, but it’s sure nice to have a win amidst feeling so much as if I’ve failed.

I’m going to try to use this for motivation for a November project. No, not NaNoWriMo. I’m not crazy. But I’m tired of living so close to the edge. I’m tired of cutting my budget so close. I’m tired of scheduling my day so closely to get it all done, and I miss being close to friends and family. It all comes down to my close, close finances. Accounting for inflation, I made more money in my 20s, with less experience and fewer skills, than I’m currently making. ARGH.

So I’m looking at what’s holding me back, and what I can do about it. Don’t worry, I’ll only be playing my cards so close to my chest for another day or two, then I’ll share what I’m up to. I know when to fold ’em. The reveal is close to hand.

Also…

Y’all have no idea how much self restraint it’s taking to not repost the lyrics to “Closer.”

I may, in fact, have put them on this post but commented them out so I’m the only one who can see them. Who knows? It’s a closely guarded secret.

I’m sticking with the five minute rule, today. See? I can keep the rules close to my heart, sometimes.

Wait. Was the prompt “close” or “close”? D’oh! Photo credit to Phil Hearing.Thanks, Phil!

This blog has been taken over by the 2018 Write 31 Days challenge. Here’s the sweet, sweet index of all my posts of nope.

Insane courage, lodgepole pine, and having a voice

Today’s Five Minute Freewrite prompt is: VOICE

I’m not writing today because my voice is not important. My voice got me in trouble when I used it as a kid, and as a wife. My body and heart are quick to remind me why it’s a bad idea.

My voice is not important, and when I’ve used it, it’s brought me pain. So I’m going to stay stuck in my past and keep doing as I’ve always done, living a silent life, because who would want to listen to me? And if they do listen, the consequences are going to be painful.

^^ These have been hard thoughts to get past. That bit of bad coding is in there deep, and two years of good therapy has only begun to help me get it figured out. It might be a life-long habit, this breaking of old habit.

So I’m not writing today.

But if I were writing today, and did have a voice, I would want it to be made of earth and air. I would want it to feel like wind in a dry pine woods, with at least one thin Lodgepole creaking as it leans in the wind. I would want my voice and my higher self grounded in earth, and flexing around obstacles. It should be a necessary nothing that nonetheless moves, shifting things before and after it.

If I had a voice, I would want to talk about deeply important trivial things, because in the words of The Crow, nothing is trivial. I would want to use it to laugh too loud, and to laugh with other people.

Part of this Write 31 Days project, for me, is just getting past the initial block in my brain that stops my voice. If I can do that, I can say anything.

Listening to The Minimalists podcast, led me to look up Jeff Sanders talking about 20 seconds of courage. (Apparently this is from “We Bought a Zoo,” but I’ve not seen it.) Who can’t be brave for 20 seconds? This concept has done more to help me over my blocks than almost anything else. Often it brings some dissociation with it, but I’m getting better at accepting that disorientation, and quicker at bringing my self back. That’s where all the grueling work of healing and therapy has come in.

This is a Post of Nope, and a double serving of overcoming my own nope (writing and speaking).

Do you struggle with feeling your words, your voice, is unimportant? How do you speak up for yourself, for others? Any advice for someone trying to find theirs, and to heal in this area?

Your voice is important, y’all. And so is mine.

Now get out there and use it! I can’t wait to read blogs and hear your textual voices, this morning.

In case you’re having a bad day, here is a photo of my Jaynie, being so very helpful.

This blog has been taken over by the 2018 Write 31 Days challenge. Here’s the sweet, sweet index of all my posts of nope.

Personality defrag

The Write 31 Days prompt for today is: The struggle is real. What’s yours?

For nearly the last two years, I’ve been doing the work of pulling myself together. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a chameleon, and I hate it. There was an art to being safe in my childhood home. It was mostly Bad to be noticed. It was Good to be helpful. It was Good to be quiet. It was Bad to let anyone outside the family know what was going on inside the family.

Awesome, right? Right. I’m not alone in this experience, but I sure felt alone at the time. I think that isolation was part of the point, looking back.

All six of my siblings and I learned to give different faces to different people. It was a survival thing.

Our senses of reality were f*cked with. I’ve continuously kept a journal since I was twelve, because I was told so many times that something happened that didn’t, or didn’t that did. My siblings and I still, still sometimes check in with each other, just like when we were kids. “Did that happen? Do you remember? Mom says it did/didn’t.”

A journal was unchangeable. Ink on paper was reliable. I still sometimes go back and check an old journal, and sometimes I remembered it right, and sometimes I didn’t.

We all learned to wear carefully crafted faces, different for each person watching us. We learned different sets of memory, different for each person we were presenting to. We fragmented for survival.

The thing is, we are our memories.

It’s like I took a dozen different jigsaw puzzles, and shook them together in a box, and nothing goes together quite right, even though some of it does. Sometimes. Kind of. The story the puzzle tells makes no sense. Memories don’t quite work together, and it takes some outside help to make sense of it all, and sort out the stories we were told to remember, and the ones that actually happened.

So I’ve been doing some head chiropracty, trying to pull everything as straight as possible. It will probably never all quite fit, but it can be better aligned. My therapist was worth twice his weight in gold, for having the patience of a god. EMDR and therapy has changed my life, y’all. It’s dangerous to go skull spelunking alone. And thank goodness for modern medicine to correct my brain chemistry so I could start therapy.

During this 31 day challenge, I had a real thunderbolt moment. I’m a whole, fully integrated person when I’m writing. All the fog clears. The puzzle pieces make sense. I can think more clearly. I can remember more clearly. I knew this, but I didn’t know it, you know? Since you’re taking part in the Write 31 Day October blogging challenge, it’s even money that you do know this. I don’t know if it’s because I originally began writing to track my own reality, or if that’s just how brains generally work.

My continuing struggle with integrating and with running a personality defrag is made easier by writing, and writing is easier when I’m less isolated. I’m grateful you’re here with me, traveling through this writing challenge like we’re all on the yellow brick road, waving to the pixels as we skip past.

Thanks for being here with me.

In case you need something to smile about, here is a Corgi in a scarf.

This blog has been taken over by the 2018 Write 31 Days challenge. Here’s the sweet, sweet index of all my posts of nope.

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