Random Outbursts of Anger

So lately these seemingly random outbursts of anger have been directed towards me. Though I will only touch on the first two in this post because the last one deserves a post all it’s own. The first two are from the same person so I just figured it to be his own quirk, but this last one has me questioning that.

 

I am the first to admit I can be annoyingly stubborn and outspoken in certain instances, but for the most part I try not to step on anyone’s toes or make assumptions about intent. I give everyone the benefit of a doubt and generally refuse to speak to anyone in anger. If I am angry I will wait till I have calmed down and can speak to the subject of sad anger in a reasonable manner. The gist is that, if I feel something you said is wrong I will only address it in the most non-aggressive way possible.

 

1st Outburst:

 

This guy I work with was commenting on the beeping sound my computer was making, saying it would set off a fellow co-worker (who wasn’t present at the time). He said that co-worker had had ‘flipped out’ when the air cut on the first day of work. Side note: when the air cut on the first day most of us jumped and looked scared, it’s very loud sounding as if somethings fallen on the building and it shakes the ceiling. In any case the guy I was talking to said he calls our co-worker PTSD, I asked him why. He said because the co-worker suffers from it (I found out this co-worker is currently in service and will leave in a few months on a mission). I said I didn’t really like the nickname because my uncle suffers from it and I wouldn’t want anyone to call him that. I said this in a bit of a throw away tone, not expecting the guy to change his ways but hoping he might reconsider the nickname. He got so upset with me and started arguing, gaining the attention of our fellow employees (lucky our supervisor wasn’t around). People began to ask what was going on. I calmly explained that the guy said he calls our fellow co-worker PTSD, I told him I found it offensive, he disagreed with it being offensive.

 

That’s it, that was all I said. He seemed a bit confused as if he expecting me to say something insulting about him, but I was never upset with him. The argument was basically one sided with him feeling I had no right to be offended and me saying he couldn’t change how I felt, which is the truth.

 

2nd Outburst:

 

This happened a few days ago. I was eating lunch with some female co-workers when the guy from the first incident joined us. I don’t even remember what we talked about, until he began to gossip about two fellow employees who had had a falling out the first week of work. He was passing on a comment another co-worker had made about the two co-workers who though currently at odds, are trying to be civil since they work side by side. I said he shouldn’t stir things up, he snapped at me and said “I’m a grown man I’ll say what I want to say”. Then he followed up with “We’re not going to go through this again.” I responded “Go through what again?” He just kept repeating “No, we’re not going through this again.” So I repeated my question “Go through what again? How can we go through something again if we never went through it a first time?” He continued saying “We’re not going through this again.” He was getting louder so I got quiet to prevent another argument. Since I had finished eating, I calmly gathered my things, smiled at everyone and said I’d see them back in our training room. With that I left, but I thought I heard him call me a bully. Maybe I misheard though. Side note: We’re all currently training together so it has a bit of a feel of being back in high school. I feel just as out of place as I did back then but way more grounded and gentler.

 

I also realize you don’t have to win an argument by having the last word. Later in training I behaved the same towards him and everyone else: friendly. At first I felt like maybe I should just stick to myself, talk to no one and help no one, but that’s not me. And that would be a decision based on fear, I refuse to make anyone decisions based on fear.

 

As I helped people in my usually way, I could feel him watching me and after a while he began to act friendly towards me, not really sure why.

But for me, he could have kept calling our co-worker PTSD if he wanted to, I just said it bothered me because he said it like it was supposed to be funny. I wasn’t going to laugh and felt he should know why. I truly said it like someone would say I’m lactose intolerant when offered ice cream. It was the same when I said not to stir things up, I was smiling when I said it. In both cases his strong reaction surprised me.

So what do you think?

Should I not have said anything?

It’s not like he was calling me or my uncle PTSD. I suppose I could have left it to the co-worker being called that to address the issue (if he had a problem with it).

 

Do you understand why he got mad at me?

I really want to understand it better. If you agree with him, tell me why. I’m fine with people disagreeing with me.

Short Story “Violet” Continued

Okay, so I have part two of “Violet” which is the end of the story. I’m really proud of myself because I haven’t shared a finished story in a long time. In fact there has only been one other story in the past three years. I used to write, finish and share stories all the time but I lost my faith in my talent.

Forgive me if I’m a bit rusty. I will endeavor to forgive myself as well. I love writing so much, it seems a shame to give it up-actually I can’t give it up. So I’ll embrace it instead. Now, off to the races.

Here is part 1 of “Violet” for those who missed it (if you read it, skip down to part 2):

In the summer of 1993 a letter came to Sarah Kane saying her Aunt Violet had passed away and left Sarah her home. Never having had much in the way of family, Sarah felt she was better off without the stress that inevitably came with such relationships. So though her Aunt Violet had invited her to visit many times throughout the years, Sarah had managed to find a way to decline every offer.

As Sarah opens the box of letters from her aunt, observing the handwriting becoming increasingly sloppy through the years, she sees a countdown to an end destined for us all. She wonders, will someone remember me when I’m gone?

Driven by guilt Sarah quickly plans her first visit to the home she should have visited so many times before. Doubt slithers into her mind as she wonders ‘What’s the point? It’s far too late to make amends isn’t it?’ Her eyes slide to the box of letters, faithfully written with failing limbs. Closing her eyes and gathering strength she says “No, it isn’t.”

Sarah packs her bags, books her trip and heads one down to a place that is the very image of wilderness. Arriving at a sagging shack, her guilt grows more intense. How did her aunt survive in this mess?

She’s almost too afraid to step inside, then reminds herself that this is where her poor aunt lived her life. She should be at least brave enough spend the night.


Part 2

Stepping inside the crumbling home, Sarah tries not to touch anything. Her eyes scan the peeling wallpaper and uneven floorboards with disdain. A web touches her face and she has a mini panic attack at the mere idea that a spider might be attached to it.

Then, to Sarah’s surprise, she finds a door with her name on it. Opening it, the room inside is well kept, neat and clean. There is a cute dresser with a vase of flowers starting to die on top of it. A bed with clean linens and two nightstands on either side of it, curtains that look as if they’ve been recently washed and pressed, all of it speaks of welcoming a much loved guest.

Sarah gazes at the room in disbelief before rushing to see what her aunt’s bedroom looks like. She hopes it looks the same.

But she finds that, while its not in as poor shape as much of the house, it could use a lot of love. It’s as if her Aunt Violet put so much effort into keeping Sarah’s room looking nice that she didn’t have the strength to tend to her own.

Depositing her things in her own room, Sarah puts on something comfortable, ties her hair back and gets to work fixing her aunt’s room. She makes a list of supplies she’ll need, including new wallpaper.

She searches for a washer and dryer.

Unable to find either she realizes that her aunt must have hand washed everything. She discovers a large basin and washboard in a small room off the kitchen, along with spying a clothesline out back.

It seems this will be harder than she thought.

As Sarah washes sheets she imagines her aunt in her place, how tiring it must have been for her, how she took care of a room for someone who never came…

Tears slip from her eyes, catching her off guard. She wipes them off on her shoulder but they just keep coming.

“Why did you wait for me!” She yells at no one in particular, yet wishes to tear into herself.

“I’m sorry I wasn’t worth waiting for… I’m the family that’s more trouble than it’s worth. I thought it was you-but it was me. It was always me.”

Then it occurs to her, that her aunt did need her. Sarah could have helped take care of the house.

Taking a deep breath she decides to end the pity party and take a walk in her aunt’s shoes. She’ll fix up a house for someone who will never come, imagining that maybe, just maybe Aunt Violet will get to see it somehow.

That thought makes Sarah smile. “My turn.”

Since I’ve been gone…

I’m not sure what to say. A lot has happened, though at times it seems I’m in the same place I always was. Currently I am removing myself from an unhealthy relationship that was incredibly hard to let go of.

Have you ever loved someone so much you’d do anything to help them but they refuse to help themselves? What about when they inadvertently stifle/harm you? What did you do?

This unhealthy relationship was fostering an unhealthy relationship with myself. I had to leave. It’s terrifying and I struggle not to beat myself up over my choice.

Still, with time it’s getting easier. I am endeavoring now to live each day as if it is the only one I’ll ever get. No putting things off till tomorrow or the next day, or the next, etc. Now is the time, this is the moment.

I have no idea what life has in store for me. And I certainly don’t know what I should do about anything. But I do know I love telling stories. That’s what I want to do until the day I die.

I used to do this thing where I would write a story based of a visual. It was fun so I’m going to give it a shot here.

I just did a quick search (matter of seconds) using the first words that came to mind. This image immediately caught my eye.

Loving this image.

Violet

In the summer of 1993 a letter came to Sarah Kane saying her Aunt Violet had passed away and left Sarah her home. Never having had much in the way of family, Sarah felt she was better off without the stress that inevitably came with such relationships. So though her Aunt Violet had invited her to visit many times throughout the years, Sarah had managed to find a way to decline every offer.

As Sarah opens the box of letters from her aunt, observing the handwriting becoming increasingly sloppy through the years, she sees a countdown to an end destined for us all. She wonders, will someone remember me when I’m gone?

Driven by guilt Sarah quickly plans her first visit to the home she should have visited so many times before. Doubt slithers into her mind as she wonders ‘What’s the point? It’s far too late to make amends isn’t it?’ Her eyes slide to the box of letters, faithfully written with failing limbs. Closing her eyes and gathering strength she says “No, it isn’t.”

Sarah packs her bags, books her trip and heads one down to a place that is the very image of wilderness. Arriving at a sagging shack, her guilt grows more intense. How did her aunt survive in this mess?

She’s almost too afraid to step inside, then reminds herself that this is where her poor aunt lived her life. She should be at least brave enough spend the night.

To Be Continued…

Winning A Race Against One’s Self

I’ve been gone for a while, working and thinking. It’s actually really good that I haven’t been hired by any companies because I need certain weeks to just gather my thoughts and assess all that’s happened. My thoughts are still being gathered, but I have something to say to all of you, something I’ve been saying to myself more and more.

So often we look at the race someone else is running, we watch them like bystanders, sometimes we try to run their race ourselves. Both of these activities guarantee failure. That is because we each have our own race to run. We lose time by just watching others, and we are not designed to run their race so it impossible for us to win it.

It is okay to appreciate the beauty of their race, the skill of their running, but all that takes is a glance, not a lifetime of watching them fulfill their purpose while you have yet to fulfill yours.

No more wasting time, no more envying others who are doing the same thing you are but in a different way. Different doesn’t mean less than or more than, it just means different (I’m aware that is poor grammar, but I believe you get my gist).

Here is the key, I must always assess whether I’m taking a break to replenish and prep or just wasting time. You see I tell myself I’m taking a much needed break but often the truth is I’m being lazy and afraid of judgement. So I’ll pretend to be prepping for my next lap when I’m really just putting off actually running.

Running is a lot of work, sometimes you fall but you can always get back up. Sometimes when I fall I think about staying down, laying there until the race is done. Which brings me to my final point.

We are not racing against the other people, the race is always against one’s self. Which means the only way to lose the race is to not finish it. To give up. It is impossible to lose by accident. So the choice is ours. Do we want to win? If yes, then lets put in the work, focus on our particular path and run like there is no tomorrow. Because there isn’t one, tomorrow is an illusion, today is what you have.

If the answer is no, well then, we shall sit and watch the others run their race, leaving our goals unfinished, purpose not served, potential unrealized.

That said, I promised an update on how the NAACP Juneteenth Event went. Not many people came but I stayed upbeat, talked to just about everyone and got asked to vend at other events. Most of the things I was selling have been bought, but I’m making more. Here are some photos of the things I was selling:
My adorable, retro Swimmer Girls, Swimmer Boys and other skintones coming soon

This is my first attempt at doing a realistic face in watercolor paints. Came out pretty good.

This is my second attempt at a watercolor portrait, I really like her face

My table at the Juneteenth Event, it looks so cute and nautical. The wind kept knocking everything down, but I picked it right back up like a BOSS.

#Procrastination

I’ve been avoiding posting anything on my blog because I’m dealing with a bad case of the doubts. There’s big Juneteenth event being hosted by the NAACP this coming Saturday and I’m a vendor for it. I’ve been saying for a couple of years now how I tend to sell better in person and I should do events, conferences and shows. Of course I’ve come up with a bevy of excuses why I couldn’t do that just yet. My usual excuses are: “I don’t have enough money” and “I just need to design the right product”. I was going to skip out on doing the Juneteenth celebration because I didn’t have the money to secure my spot. I didn’t ask anyone for the money, of course not, that would be proactive. You see I let doubt slip in again. I back tracked, but I was given another opportunity to move forward.

My aunt, who had told me about the event, asked me if I planed to do it. I told her I wasn’t doing it because the spot cost too much. So she offered to pay for it. This stunned me. I had assumed she looked down on me not having a “real’ job, but here she was encouraging me to do this big event and even offering to pay for me to attend. Her funds are tight, she has a decent sized family to take care of and is a single mom who works super hard. But she really wanted me to seize this opportunity and I realized I wanted to seize it as well.

So I stepped forward, accepted her offer and began to panic a bit, wondering how to make enough money to make her sacrifice worthwhile. The good news is, I have been fighting the panic. The bad news is when I’m about to win the fight, I put down my sword.

I’ve had some small successes:

  • I’ve attempted realism for the first time in years (turned out great but I almost wrecked my paintings thinking they weren’t good enough)
  • I’ve kept going despite encountering a bevy of obstacles, man when it rains it pours… which reminds me
  • Rain or shine, I’ve been driving of my on free will, I might even drive to the Juneteenth celebration this weekend
  • I tutored my cousin (this I’m most proud of since I still have a tendency to think of myself as dumb, old habits can be hard to kill like zombies that want to eat you alive-which is why you should kill them)

I retract my claim that these are small successes. These accomplishments are big deals, they are part of my future. They signal a change in habit and thinking. So while I have had mixed success in battling my doubts, at least I’m fighting. And I’ll continue to fight, with my sword of courage and my shield of faith.

I ask you all to fight the good fight with me and never give up. Why? Because you’re more than capable of winning.

My next post will have pictures of my paintings and some of my other creations for the Juneteenth. What’s the use of making art if I’m too afraid to show it to anyone?

Better Late Than Never

So, I meant to post about my driving adventures on Sunday. However I was sick Sunday as well as the following days. Those days offered my a lot of time to think and some very good things came out of my sickness.

I tend to have ‘interesting’ luck, some might say I’m jinxed. But I find most of the stuff that happens to me funny. It’s like a slapstick comedy with a live audience.

Previously I mentioned that I would practice driving during a road trip, now that I have my permit. Well I did just that last Saturday. Here’s the story:

The day started off with a hitch. I spilled thick hot soup all over my left arm, burning it badly. My mom instructed me to run said arm under cool water, dry it and apply toothpaste to soothe it. Now I was thinking the toothpaste thing sounded far fetched but I was in so much pain I would have tied scorpions to my arm if she told it might help. I even considered cutting the arm off and being done with it. Compared to those options toothpaste seemed a far more reasonable solution.

To my surprise it worked. Still, the day was very hot and I soon discovered that my fresh burn was sensitive to heat. Yeah, that was all sorts of not fun. But I was endlessly amused by people’s reactions to my blue and white arm. One lady even asked me what happened and advised me to ice it. She was sweet. I took her advice and my discomfort subsided. Thank you random lady I met in the restroom.

I even drove with my rad toothpaste covered arm. The first time was horrible. I was a nervous wreck, making my mom nervous so she started yelling at me (while saying she wasn’t yelling, this too I found funny). It was noisy and there were so many distractions, I’m very global. So I didn’t drive for long before switching back to the passenger seat.

The second time, and yes there was a second time, I put it into my mind not to panic about anything. I adjusted the seat and put on my glasses (though I don’t legally need them for driving) and got comfortable with the idea that I was putting my life, my mom’s life and the lives of others into my hands. I told myself I’d take care of those lives, because I could.

This time I was content, peaceful even. Then the sunny sky turned dark grey and rain came down in buckets on the windshield. It got so bad I couldn’t see the lines on the road. And I actually smiled because, long ago when I had just started driving, me and my mom took a a road trip. When I took my turn behind the wheel the sky turned from sunny to dark grey and rain poured. History was repeating itself. Only back then I was terrified and now I was peaceful. I had decided to be peaceful.

Never before did I think I had that choice. I didn’t know I could chose to be peaceful. I thought peace was just something that’s given to you by who knows what. But now I know it is an act of will and my will is stronger than I thought. I drove through the rain, I drove in the darkness and I never once lost my peace, because it wasn’t something I could lose. No, I would have to kill it to get rid of it, because it is part of me.

Be peaceful and sleep well.

Belle: A Lesson In the Timelessness of Racism and Misogyny Against Black Women

This post totally makes me want to go see the movie. I had been considering it but thinking it might be one of those “pat yourself on the back for making a black film to show you’re not racist” type of deals. I hate that term, “black film”. All films should have black people in them (if it makes sense) so what exactly is a “black film”? But I digress. In any case, if you haven’t read this article, I suggest you set aside a little time to do just that.

Oh and random side note (considering the context), I passed my written test and now have a learner’s permit. I can take the road test whenever I’m ready. Woot-Woot. I’m going on a road trip tomorrow, aka later today so I’ll get some good practice in. Wish me luck!

Oh and let me know in the comments whether or not you’d go see Belle. And if you have seen it already, let me know what you think.

Olivia A. Cole

Image

It’s not often that audiences are exposed to a portrayal of racism that is viewed through the lens of black women. Dido Elizabeth Belle, a mixed-race woman in 1700’s England, was the daughter of an admiral and an enslaved African woman. The film Belle, which was released nationwide this weekend, follows Dido’s life in the household of William Murray, her great-uncle, who was the earl of Mansfield and Lord Chief Justice of England. We watch Dido become a lady, educated and accomplished, while still forced to dine separately from her family in the company of strangers due to her lower status as a non-white person. We witness her experiences with romance and her complicated friendship with her white cousin, all during the infamous Zong case.

In the film, Dido becomes acquainted with an aspiring lawyer and abolitionist who advocates against the Zong slavers and, in turn, exposes Dido to…

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Testing My Confidence

I have needed to make new business cards for my company for a long time. About a year now. But I kept dancing around the issue, wondering what my logo should be, should I just give up on the company, is this a waste of time, etc. But a week ago I decided to bite the bullet and give the company my all. I mean, if I’m going to fail, isn’t it better to fail trying my best? So no more self-sabotage. My best was the only thing I planned to give from then on out.

Following this decision I chose to go with a nautical theme since I’m born and raised on the shore (and love it there). I started designing all nautical themed creations (including a nice business card). However when I received my 500 business cards I found they were rather dark and illegible.  Panic peeked its head up, but I soothed it back to sleep, deciding to test the card out in different light and give people a chance to tell me whether or not they could read it.

As more people told me they couldn’t read it, and that I should get my money back panic stirred from its slumber and curled its way around my mind. I’m struggling financially, the money I used to buy the business cards (on sale) was borrowed from my aunt. I make very little and work very hard. The idea of having 500 useless cards and not much way to spread the word about my work would have sent me into a tailspin of doubt and anxiety. I’d be thinking “Is this a sign? Have I wasted a chunk of my life on something that has always been doomed to fail?”

But, I am not the same as I was before. I know that panic solves nothing, in fact it creates more (completely unnecessary) issues. So I fought to tame the panic, at last getting it back in its grave to Rest In Peace. Then I sent a very nice message to Vistaprint, asking for help with the matter.

While on the website I saw they had another brief sale going on, so I ordered a few cards using one of their designs that resembled the dolls I make. That being done, I made some adorable dolls, spent time with my family and forgot about the whole matter.

Today I saw that Vistaprint customer service sent me an email. The representative offered advice on making the text more legible and said that if I uploaded a new design Vistaprint would redo my order using it, for free.

In the past I wouldn’t have asked. I would have assumed the worst, wallowed in my inability to do anything right, and believed I was too insignificant for anyone to care about helping. After all I haven’t spent a great deal of money with Vistaprint (in most people’s eyes), though to me it’s a great fortune. This line of thinking is self-sabotage. That’s not me anymore.

Today I sent them the new design to Vistaprint and now I am about to go take my drivers test (to get a permit at the ripe age of 28), which I have been putting off out of fear of failure for many many years.

To sum up this long post here are some notes from a long conversation with my cousin yesterday.

She was saying variations of things I had said to myself so many times:

  • But, so and so (a parent or someone close to you) thinks I should do this
  • But I don’t know much about it, I’m not trained
  • I just need to find the motivation
  • Maybe later, eventually, I’m going to, etc
  • But that’s not what I went to school for
  • But I like doing this as well

This is what I said in response:

  • They don’t know everything about everything, they may have issues of their own that are leading them to fixate on you, it is your decision, your life
  • You can always learn more as you go along, start small offer a disclaimer if necessary (even people who’ve made it big offer disclaimers), but never disregard the experience you have received. Your life has offered you training, there is something you have already to offer and you are just building upon it
  • Your motivation should be the love of the work you do, if you don’t love it maybe you should alter it or not do it
  • Speak in the present “I am, I’m making, I have” etc, if you can do something today don’t wait for tomorrow, just do it
  • Life is your school, like I said before you’ve already had some training in something. Plus you can attend school, read up on things, shadow someone who does have the experience while doing what you are currently able to do. We have the internet, social sharing, and family/friends to help us get started (and keep going).
  • It’s okay to be interested in multiple things. Find the ones at the top of your list and figure out how you can use them to support your number one interest (the one that you love the most). I myself love animation and writing so I’m making an animated commercial for my online shop.

The list goes on, but the key element is love. If you love your work other people will love it too. Be confident and take yourself seriously, show the respect for yourself you’d like others to show towards you.

Me and my cousin were so afraid of making a wrong step and “ruining/wasting our lives” that we refused to more forward. Which is kind of crazy since we were wasting our lives hanging around accomplishing nothing. Self-fulling prophesy.

 

Don’t be afraid to be great, to be the best there ever was at walking the path meant for you.

 

Becoming More Confident

Becoming More Confident

I am slowly discovering my style and appreciating my skill set (rather than envying the skills of others). We’re different for a reason, right? In any case, when I leave all my doubt behind and just do what I know to be right, I find I love my work again (like I used to). It is as if I’m resurrecting that the old me who thought the only measuring stick worth referencing was my own. Now my goal is to be the best me possible, not the best you or anybody else. Because, well, the world already has one of you and you’re doing a great job.

For a change I’m promoting my adorable little shop. Be sure to check out Piece of Quirk, it’s a lot of fun.

That is all ^_^ Sleep well and wake better

Hello all!

So, I’ve been confused as to what I should be doing with my life, specifically regarding work. I know that I want to help people but everyone keeps talking money and business. That’s not me. I’m not business minded, I’m people minded. So, in light of the tough time we are all going through right now (work is slim, violence abounds and hope seems like a distant dream) I am writing as a means of organizing my thoughts and sharing my experience.

I know for a fact that none of us are alone. Pain, frustration, sadness, joy, love, peace are all shared experiences. There is always at least one other person who feels the way you do right now, someone who is going through the same things as you.

But I take heart in knowing that as tough as things are, we are always tougher (with God’s help).

Thank you for reading and welcome to my blog.

Please leave a reply.