anxXxiety

WOW, so I have been working (HARD and) irregular hours ALL WEEK. And I kinda like it cuz it’s different and it’s been keeping me on my toes – but simultaneously, I’m SO TIRED. Exhausted. I’m a tiny bit sleep deprived. I got less than 5 hours last night. That’s not normal for me. I need 6 more I think to be fully-functional in the morning. Ha! I came home tonight at a decent hour though.

So here I am, post-dinner, typing away, sipping the last remains of a Oskar Blues’ Dale’s Pale Ale (my first beer since…Super Bowl Sunday maybe) and listening to “Silly Love Songs” radio on Spotify.

I’m behind on a few TV shows I’ve been watching (This Is Us, Star Trek: Discovery, maybe The Orville)…I’ll probably catch up on those tomorrow morning. I also need to start getting into the last season of Broad City. I saw the first episode, but I don’t have Comedy Central with my cable provider, so I can’t watch it proper. Homeland too. Need to catch up on that last season. I tried to catch up on work during some downtime on a late night shift, but a scene came up which looked like it was going to get sexual and I was like, “Hm, I’m not comfortable watching this at work”. Ha! But I don’t get Showtime with my cable provider either.

So the past couple of days, I’ve been carrying around a lot of anxiety. And I think it’s due to a few things. Namely, that I haven’t been exercising at all because I’ve been trying to rest up my ankle (which has been getting better). But I haven’t been releasing those endorphins like I’ve been and my body knows it! I have to say my eating as been okay though. I’ve been logging everything and doing a fairly good job at staying away from unnecessary breads/carbs. But when I get anxiety it’s all in my throat. It feels hard to breathe and it suuuuuuucks. I feel edgy and panicky and I can mask it and hide it pretty well, but it’s one of the worst things ever.

The other half of this anxiety root is the fact that I kinda had a falling out / weirdness with a friend a few months ago – someone I considered to be very close to – and I’m still very upset and traumatized by it. I don’t want to get too much into it on this sort of public, written medium but it cut me deep and still hurts and it’s one of those things where I can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel or the hurdle that will allow us to overcome this impasse. It makes me really sad. And I don’t know if feeling these emotions like this is part of the healing process (I hope so – because then it means I’m on the road to finding peace), because I wasn’t feeling like this earlier. I mean, I was still upset by it, but it wasn’t affecting me like this – This tightness in my throat can’t breathe anxiety from the time I wake up to the time I lay my head down bullshit. I know I need to meditate more. I know I need to focus on my breathing more. But it’s hard, you know? I keep going over and over and over and over the events that transpired leading up to this moment of disjuncture and asking myself if I was wrong? Could I have done things differently? Could I have said something or acted differently than I did? And I don’t know. But know what happened happened. And I stand by my words and actions concerning the situation. But it still breaks my heart. This person was such an important part of my life and I feel like that era is gone now and I feel like someone kinda ripped the foundation from my proverbial house. I should move on and make new memories with new people, but I’ve never been good at completely letting go. What’s more is that this friend taught me so much about life, and whether they know it or not, they taught me how to be myself, how to be at ease with myself, and so so so so so much more. I would tire myself out attempting to list everything. So much of myself, the way I am now (compared to 10 years ago), is owed to them. And by acknowledging that, I feel like I can never fully move on and forget them. And that’s what’s making it so difficult – Because they are indelibly a part of me. I have so many memories in my brain…it gets hard to sort through them all, but they’re with me all the time. Writing new songs has been helping. And strangely enough, I feel like that’s become…easier lately? I’m heading into the studio on Saturday. So excited. I welcome the creative juices and catharsis that will unfold.

But what do you do when you feel you’ve lost someone you love? How do you move on from that? Because I can stick out my upper lip and pretend to shrug it off as good as the next person (with a tri-state attitude),  but that wouldn’t be real; it wouldn’t be how I truly feel. Are there ever true resolutions with things like this? Should I just calm tf down and know that everything will be okay in the end? Yes (probably). It will (likely) all work out. But it still hurts. It’s still painful. It still feels like I should be doing something more. It sucks to know you have the power to reach out, but can’t – or shouldn’t – and won’t. And I won’t. I can’t.

I’m probably not done talking about this. But I think I am for tonight.

I’m done with my beer. It’s time to move on to the next thing.

Good night, friends.

-RKB

please state the nature of the medical emergency

I’ve had weak ankles for as long as I can remember. I hated ice skating and roller skating because of it. I could never balance right. Those things were never fun for me. As I got older, they got worse and (long story short) I know wear orthotics custom-made for my foot. I’m usually really good with wearing them, but cheat a little when I wear slippers around the house or my winter Ugg boots after a snowstorm – then I don’t put the orthotics in. But I have flat feet, which makes matters worse and emphasizes why I really need to wear these orthotics at all times.

We recently had a bit of snow and I wore my Ugg boots for a bit shoveling and then for a full day afterwards (as a safety precaution not to slip on any ice). And the follow day, I felt my left ankle start to ache a bit. And this has happened. I usually ignore it and the pain goes away after a week or so. But the thing is, we’ve been working on balance a lot in yoga lately, which requires sometimes putting all our weight on one foot. I went to class Saturday despite my moderate body soreness (from a class I took Thursday) and decided to go in and just listen to my body and not try anything nuts. Well when it came time it balance on the left foot before going into tree pose, my left ankle flat out refused; Pain seared through the area and I was like, “Wow, okay that’s not happening”. And so I didn’t force it. Still, I think the attempt made it worse. When I got out of class, I felt it throbbing a bit. Putting any weight on it was very comfortable. So after my shower, my mom put a pain relief cream on it, I iced it for 10 minutes, and my mom (again, bless her heart) wrapped it in an ACE bandage. I tried to keep it elevated for most of the day.

I get worried when shit like this happens. There’s always those irrational thoughts like, “What if I never heal?!” or “Is this how it’s going to be forever? For the rest of my life?!”. But of course, I don’t think that’s really true. And in fact, (now that we’re on Day 3) it’s starting to feel a bit better! I think I just have to be gentle with it. Although the rest of my body will have to compensate, I find that putting weight on the right side of the foot and not the left side is helping tremendously. It’s really the area where the ankle and foot meet where the trouble is. I just hope I can get through my New York commute. There’s a few stairs I have to attempt. Ha! And I did get called into work early today, so. I’m off! Here’s hoping my Keens and ACE bandage will give me the support I need to make it through!

Does anyone else in their twenties sometimes feel like a fragile old woman sometimes?

-RKB

please turn off your phone during the movie

Last month I decided to get AMC A-List. Less than $24 a month and you can see up to three movies a week. See between two and three movies a month and you’ve already gotten your money’s worth. I had previously used MoviePass and loved it, but didn’t love the technical issues and the lack of customer service, and then they started restricting which movie screenings you could see. Plus the outages due to their own bankruptcy was kind of unacceptable to deal with as a customer, you know?

And to be honest, I don’t know if I’ve ever really been a movie person. At least I never used to be. Sure I saw movies once in awhile when I was younger, but the high prices of tickets and concessions is a real turn off when you’re looking for something to do, no matter your age. But I took a film class while pursuing my second B.A., ended up minoring in it and now I really truly love and appreciate film in a multitude of ways and now, enjoy going to see movies. When I had MoviePass (which was priced at $10/month), I loved going with my friend Stan, talking about the films together, and not just seeing mainstream films, but indie films too. Anyway – where’s this all going?

Well, since I’ve started going to the movie theatre on a fairly regular basis (which is probably going on a year and a half now), I have become appalled at theatre etiquette, or rather, lack thereof. People are so rude. Like, you’re sharing a public space. Be respectful.

So since I’ve gotten A-List I’ve been to 4 movies (well, really 3 and 1/4 – The projector broke when I went to see The Mule and the theatre ended up giving me and this other woman (the only people in the theatre at the time) comp tickets and sending us home). And since it’s been cold and I’ve been busy with work or at yoga or just plain tired from doing both those things (along with other various social obligations), it’s been difficult for me to motivate myself to go to the movies and get my money’s worth out of this stupid subscription service I decided to pay for (which locks you in for three months and is a pain in the ass to cancel…But I digress).

So after I cleaned up after my hot yoga class this morning, I decided to take myself out. I looked at the showings being offered and The Kid Who Would Be King was closest to the current time, and I did want to see it because Patrick Stewart’s in it and the trailer looked good. And I have to say, it actually was a very good film and I enjoyed it very much – and learned a little something about the myths about King Arthur.

When I went out, I was expecting kids (it’s the weekend), as well as couples who perhaps had to delay their Valentine’s Day plans. But I was not expecting a woman to pull out her cell phone in the row in front of me while we were two-thirds of the way through the movie and continuously use it despite my vocal objections.

Now here is what I don’t understand – This woman (she was also accompanied by two teenage boys, one was her son, the other presumably his friend – who both were enjoying this movie) paid money for tickets, paid money for concessions, and made the time to drive over to the theater to see this movie. She is taking time and money out of her day to make this happen. If that is the case, then why don’t you just come and enjoy what you pay for?

So first, she takes her phone out on full brightness and is continuously opening and closing her AMC app, which is pointless. You’re already in the movie theatre, you’re already here. What are you doing? Then she is literally holding the phone in front of her (at full brightness and directly in my line of sight), literally just staring at the home screen with all the apps on it. She does not put it on sleep mode or try to hide it at all. So I told her to turn off her phone, explained that it was distracting, that the whole theatre could see it. She says nothing, ignores me, and continues to use it. This time, opening her texting application and sending messages. Again I express, if it’s so important for her to be on her phone, use it outside the theatre. She continues to ignore me. I thought of shining my own phone flashlight on her. I thought of videoing her. But to what end? I was so upset because she was spoiling the movie. It was the preparation scene before the last epic battle. And I have dealt with movie theatre / annoying cell phone users before, but never have I encountered one like this. Even one time, I saw Lindsey Buckingham perform live in New York City and the gentleman seated next to me look so bored and unenthusiastic and wasn’t singing along with anything. He had arrived alone and again, had spent money on this ticket and in the middle of the Fleetwood Mac part of Lindsey’s set (arguably the best part of his set), this guy takes out his phone at FULL BRIGHTNESS and is reading an article on it. Not sending a message, not casually checking email or the time, but is reading an article. THIS ISN’T YOUR LIVING ROOM. YOU ARE SHARING A SPACE. And it honestly got to the point where I leaned over to him and said if what he was reading was so important, maybe he could take it outside. He mumbled to me and proceed to pull his coat over his cell phone so the light wouldn’t get in my eyes – which it still did. Just unbelievable behavior. No guilt, no self-consciousness.

But the woman at this movie – She then proceeded to start playing word games (in full brightness). Just clearly bored and treating the theatre like it was her home. So then I offered a compromise: “If you’re going to be on your phone, at least turn down your brightness”. She did not oblige. And mind you, this was all during the quiet parts of the film so I didn’t have to scream over it. And I hate doing this. I hate calling people out. It makes me heart pound in my ears, it makes me very uncomfortable because I hate confrontation. But I continued to ask her to turn it off to the point where her son actually got up and tried to take the phone away from her, and she yanked her phone back, swatted him away, and told him to leave her alone. Is this what it’s come to?

Now she did turn off her phone once the last battle sequence took off, but the damage had been done. She ruined the movie for me. And this is also why I hate going to the movies during peak days/times, by the way. Once the credits started rolling, I got the hell out of there. The woman and her son looked like they were exchanging words and I honestly felt bad for both of them. So grateful I wasn’t that woman, so desperate for distraction to resort to playing with her phone in a dark movie theatre with other people in it, ruining their experiences. And so grateful I wasn’t that son, embarrassed, scarred, and frustrated by his own mother.

When I told my brother this story, he asked why I didn’t leave to get a manager and here’s why: If I did that, I’d miss the last third of the movie (which I didn’t want, especially after what happened with The Mule – Also, I’m not one of those people who gets up during movies. Even if I have to pee really bad, I will usually hold it ’til credits). Even if I went to get someone, what are they going to do? Take her phone away from her? Probably not. And then if she obliges when they come, when they leave she could just take it out again. Would they give me comp tickets? It does me no good, especially when I already pay monthly and have a tight schedule which prohibits me from seeing movies whenever I feel like it. It would have been such a waste of energy.

But for the future, if any of you are ever in a movie theatre with me, please do not go on your phone, because maybe next time I will hit the record button and turn that flashlight on.

self-forgiveness

Last night I over-ate a little at dinner. And what I did acknowledge as a minor infraction had profound effects on me both physically and mentally. Physically in that I felt bloated and in pain with parts of the night almost bringing me to tears. Thankfully it did not go on all night, though discomfort did haunt me for a few hours. I was thankful to fall asleep not too much after midnight. Definitely before 1. Hot water bottles are actual life savers. That and peppermint tea, which my mom graciously made for me per my request.

And getting sick like that used to happen to me a lot as a kid. I remember it happening frequently, late nights with stomach pain in tears, crying out, nothing helping. Bayleaf and parsley water. Sicilian remedies. I think I had an emotional eating problem then, as well as now, likely coupled with god-awful food combinations. I was probably eating a lot of dairy and bread. What a nightmare. And you know, when people give me the, “You can’t eat dairy? That sucks…” routine, I don’t see it as sucking. It’s wonderful. I just eliminate this one thing out of my diet and I feel amazing? Wow, yes. I’ll do it. And though I’ve always been pretty strict about my dairy consumption (with the exception of the occasional feta cheese, and butter during meal preparation when dining out) I’ve been getting back on my diet game, eating smaller portions, logging my food, and making smart food combination choices. Also staying away from processed stuff when I can, and not giving into carbs like bread, potatoes, rice, etc. It’s difficult to maintain self-discipline at times, but following through is so worth it because I feel good physically and mentally. Throughout the holidays I felt consistently bloated. But since I dropped bread, my tummy feels so much better, even my pants fit better. But last night, this one infraction really bugged me.

While I was in pain I got mad at myself for being careless; I had worked an additional 3 hours at work, had a small lunch, and was much looking forward to the Israeli/Mediterranean food we had ordered for dinner. When I walked though the door and washed my hands, I basically paraded into the kitchen with blinders on. I had ordered a wonderful salad which satisfied me, and truth be told, I should have stopped there. But I didn’t. I had pita chips and hummus and babaganoush. And yes, all measured and accounted for. But still, I should have stopped, and I didn’t. I became physically ill because of it and mentally berated myself for letting it happen. As I voiced this to my mom, she was a voice of reason, saying not to blame myself, that sometimes these things happen and we need to move on from them when we do. And she’s 100% right. But I have trouble forgiving myself for minor infractions such as these. It’s very difficult for me to let them go and move forward. I try. And will continue trying, but it’s one of the things I struggle with, you know? Self-forgiveness. Unconditional self-love.

But this Valentine’s Day, I’m going to try to do it; I’m going to try to make it count. And I think I did. I fasted through breakfast (a.k.a. forgot to eat because I was doing my taxes in the morning), had a light lunch of apple with peanut butter and honey for lunch, went to yoga, then my mom made a wonderful rack of lamb chops for Valentine’s Day dinner. I ate two of them with asparagus on the side, and ignored the potatoes. Balance, you know? And I feel good about it. I moved on. And tomorrow will be good as well.

I think it’s all about balance.

-RKB

day off

Today is my day off and boy, did I need it. I’ve been working strange hours for the past three days. It felt good to sleep ’til 10 and take my time getting out of bed. I actually thought it was impossible for me to sleep late, like I did when I was in high school and college. The past couple of mornings, despite my bedtime, I found myself undeniably awake at 8, 9 AM. But I feel good that I got my eight hours. And I feel good about today.

I planning on getting back in the studio soon. I’m looking forward to laying down some guitar tracks for two songs I’m working on. Rhythm is all set, but the bass and lead I’m still working out. I’ll probably send that email today. I’ve also been working a lot, which I am happy about.

Today is one of those days where I know I would love to sit down and do nothing all day, just eat and watch TV. But I’m going to try to make something of it because I have a few errands to run (and I really need to get my ass to yoga). In The Sound of Music, Captain Von Trapp says, “Activity suggests a life filled with purpose”. And I’ve always loved that line. It helps to contextualize my life a bit (and maybe not stay at home so much). It motivates me to do things and be out in the world. Because how can we write a good memoir in 30 years if we’re indoors all day?

-RKB