Self-Preservation or Nah?

One of my characters in one of my stories makes reference to not dousing her hope with her usual brand of doubt and cynicism. I am her and she is me. (Incidentally, one popular writer-related question I get is, “who are the people you’re writing about in your fiction?” I am them, they are me. What writer isn’t writing about themselves in some way? Anyway, digress. Back to the outside of the parentheses.) The truth is: I am terrified of hope.

We need hope. We thrive on it. It keeps us going. I hope in a lot of things. In a brighter future. In seeing my father again. In finally living what the Scriptures describe as “the real life.” But there’s one giant aspect of life that I hesitate to hope in, for fear of repeatedly breaking my own heart and spirit: love. I’ve discussed my track record when selfpreservequoteit comes to relationships. I’ve yet to meet my Person. The pathway to said Person hasn’t been easy; it’s been sad, disappointing, weird, head-scratching, and just ultimately completely unfulfilling. Naturally, when this happens more often than not, the wall builds itself. Brick after brick of solid, hard doubt. And when hope tries to poke her head in (could this be…?) I nudge her away and steel my chest for what realities may hit me in the face.

Admittedly, it stinks to look at things this way. But can you really blame me? Without the benefits of preserving myself, my sanity, my heart, I’d be in a corner somewhere, rocking back and forth and worse off than I already am. Of course, we must then discuss self-fulfilling prophecies. A good friend, more often than not, has reminded me that I tend to manifest negativity when it comes to finding my Person and finding love. She’s called me out on statements such as: no one wants me anyway, and whatever, I probably won’t find him, whomever he is. Regardless of whether my comments were made in jest (they were, on the surface), in her estimation, those comments end up becoming self-fulfilling prophecies: if I am expecting these things for myself, then I’m basically writing my own future. I’ve agreed with her and have promised to work on not pronouncing such negativity for myself. Deep down, though, I’ve struggled to communicate that those comments and related, unspoken thoughts come from a fear that believing the opposite and resting in hope will just leave me completely wounded, waiting, and disappointed. And so I frame things in dry, deprecating humor, hiding truths. (I try to avoid the whole self-deprecation thing as a rule, especially since I’ve done so much work to not relegate my own self to zero status as I did in the past. But old habits rear their heads when we’re talking about fear.)

Where is the balance, dear reader? How can I be both hopeful and realistic? How can I stop submitting to fear by way of self-deprecation and be mindful of what I say/nurture my own self, without appearing as if I’m on a one-track groove whenever it comes to talking about my personal life with my friends?

When I find the answers, I’ll let you know.

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Blogtober #30 and #31: We Forgot! We Did It!

#30: Guess who was super busy yesterday and the day went by without the next to last blog entry for Blogtober?

So, yeah, we forgot. Buuuuut…

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#31: We Did It!

Day 31.

A whole month of talking to y’all everyday about my favorite season in some way, shape, or form. A whole month of appreciating each and every one of you who read, commented, liked, and lovingly followed me. A whole month of realizing that I can be way regular on this platform, far more than I have been, and that I thoroughly enjoy every second here on This Square Peg.

Happy Fall, Y’all. Happy awesome month of Blogtober. Happy Autumn. Happy Reading. Happy Blogging. Take time to walk down a leaf-covered road and enjoy every minute of it.

Onwards and Autumn-wards.

Blogtober #29: The Fall Lippie.

As promised, I debuted my new fall lippie at the office today. And pic’ed it. See below.

Shall we break down why Smoked Purple is a winner for me?

1. It’s matte, but it goes on so smooth for me. Sure, a bit of balm helps before applying but I find it really easy to slide on.

2. The color. That smoky, dark, moody look is parfait for fall/winter.

3. Even with eating and drinking throughout the day, it pretty much stayed intact.

Winner winner, chicken dinner.

Your turn: any new makeup hauls/finds/fall lewks in your world? Let me know, pretty please?

Blogtober #28: Fall Mall Haul

Guess who went to the mall today…

Yes, I did a tiny bit of Sunday shopping.

(1) Cat eye sunnies from New York & Company

(2) New lipstick and lip liner from MAC: Smoked Purple and Nightmoth, respectively. (The saleslady was slick; she heard me saying that I had no intention of purchasing makeup and then sweetly asked me to try on the lippie above to see if what I “thought” about it. Hook–line–sinker. That smoked purple. Y’all? A beauty. Pics coming tomorrow.

Happy Sunday.

Blogtober #26: The Home Stretch. Somewhat.

Readers, we’ve been together for 26 straight autumn days. Blogtober has T-5 days left. I don’t know what to do with myself. Or…do I?

aubreyplaza

Ha! We’re not even done yet. But I wanted to do that. And you get one, too, for sticking with me and reading and liking and commenting and following. The real MVPs? You.

first

Happy Fall Friday, bon weekend, and see ya tomorrow.

Blogtober #25: At Home.

I just saw this on Le Pinterest and I think it definitely captures the duality of this time of year.

homebody

Who else is a fall homebody? Because yes, I love taking in the beauty of the electric fall atmosphere, but oh, yes, do I also love hunkering down in my warm apartment, encased in a warm blanket and mindlessly watching episode after episode of my beloved Law and Order. (You were probably expecting a less intense show, huh?)

All Autumn Homebodies: unite…

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Blogtober #23: On Letting Things Go.

letting things go

Sometimes I wonder if I love fall so much because it’s the visual embodiment of all the things that, psychologically, I should be doing a better job of maintaining. Every year, nature takes stock and detoxes, shedding its skin in the loveliest, most wondrous of ways. It’s a lesson to be learned, and certainly one to echo.

Because, dear reader, I know how to do the following things:

drive long distances

remember every vestige of wrongs done to me

 Let’s discuss that last one. Is it really letting go and shedding if I hold on to the memory, almost lovingly, to my chest? Is my intent to remember not to be hurt again really a thinly veiled attempt to just remember the hurt(s)?

And yet, one thing I actively try to do is be a good forgiver. In the past, I held grudges like a boss. As I grew up and looked inward, it was important that growth and maturing involved a decided effort to strip away some of the vendettas grudges I was holding on to. I’ve come a long way. But there’s still road to traverse.

Sometimes I think wanting to protect our hearts, as women, involves a large dose of remembering. The heart needs protection. It needs a shield. We have to remember the past so we don’t repeat letting people inside who shouldn’t be there. But balance. So much balance is necessary. To wrap the heart in a shield doesn’t also mean to let it grow cold with memory.

Look at all the trees around you, just stripping things away and readying themselves for the cyclical new beginning.

Copy and paste.

photo of dried leaves lying on the ground
Photo by Ray Bilcliff on Pexels.com

Blogtober #22: Ashy Knuckles and & Other Autumnal Indignities.

Look.

That lovely, crisp, autumnal breeze in the atmosphere? It’s wonderful. And also very, very dangerous.

This morning, as I trudged into work and settled myself at my desk, I noticed something as I was typing away on my keyboard. Something that took my breath away.

My knuckles were ashy. Like gray. The abject horror of it all. ashy1

Here’s the thing: I don’t play when it comes to lotion. Your Square Peg is a connoisseur of moisturized skin. I don’t leave my house without the epidermis gleaming from whatever silky lotion or oil I’ve decided to apply. Especially when it comes to these hands, which is the first thing folks see, other than the face. So the discovery of these ashy knuckles–and the skin between my fingers, my goodness–was like, whaaaaattttttttt?

Oh, Autumn.

And that’s the thing: the cool breeze comes bearing dubious gifts. Dry skin, dry limbs, the whole ashy shebang. whenever we’re outside and subject to the elements. (Even that beautiful, heated atmosphere in the home can be a little intense for the skin.) How can we counter it? A few things I plan on doing more of, although apparently at least one of them didn’t work this morning:

  1. Lotion it up. I have lotion on my desk at work, in my handbag, wherever I go. Take the time to apply some on your hands, face, wherever you’re susceptible to starting a brush fire with your skin. Yikes.
  2. Extra facial moisture. So this morning was a struggle, which may explain why some things fell by the wayside. But as I was driving in and applying makeup on my face (be ye not judgmental; I’ve actually gotten better at not doing this, dear reader), I noticed some dry spots on my face. So yeah, I plan on upping my skin care game for real during this time of year.
  3. Brush your lips. I don’t know where I read this, but one way to counter the peeling of skin on the lips (something that happens to me a lot), is to gently brush them with a toothbrush. Exfoliating for the win. I also just read that a bit of Vaseline or lip balm on the lips first and then brushing is even better. Don’t brush hard, y’all. Do this one at your own risk. I’m not a doctor or an esthetician, but I play one on TV. (I just googled and there are plenty of lip scrubs out there. Research!)

And remember: all skin is capable of ashiness. All. Skin. Just a friendly reminder.

Happy Monday, y’all. Upwards and onwards and skinwards.