Lately, let's say in the past month or so, I've been feeling a bit out of sorts.
I've been shopping more, which I usually don't do, and that signaled to me that I'm trying to hide behind tangible stuff instead of confronting my own feelings but I couldn't recognize what in my life I was avoiding.
It wasn't until recently that I felt jealous that I really sat down with myself. I recognize negative feelings and I've tried to make it a point this year to work on self acceptance and self kindness.
However I still give weight with that negative reel inside myself, demeaning me and dragging me. In the real world I cling to people and circumstances that reinforce the negative voice telling me I'm worthless and unloved.
Even when I step back and acknowledge the good things, the great things that bombard me in life, I still find time to entertain the miserable bitch inside.
So sitting with myself, I realized that much of my life right now is in a state of flux. Which is neither good nor bad. It just is. A lot in my life is changing. There's a whole future of unknowns and it's unsettling to me. So in my very real life I've begun trying to control things, control situations and people, and that's led to this wave of negative emotions that I continue to let wash over me.
In my uncertainty about what lies ahead, I've let my crybaby ego get to me and I turned to control. It's almost as if when I look ahead driving everything is dark, so I've taken to adjusting my seating, my grip on the wheel, the volume of the radio, the angle of the rearview mirror, even trying to control the people in the car, in an effort to brace for the unknown.
In my trying to control things, I've welcomed these negative waves because it felt familiar and it was something I understood. In contrast, the unknowns that lay before me make me uneasy.
It comes from fear, I know. But if I stay mindful, if I recall that everything in my life has always worked out for the best, then what is there to fear in that dark place ahead? I
All of this to say, I've got to get back on track. I've got to forgive myself, I've got be more mindful and I've got to embrace those unknowns. I have to relinquish control.
I find connecting to things I genuinely enjoy--podcasts, tarot cards, looking up Tibetan singing bowls--helps center me, helps to ground me.
Anyway, that's a blog. Tomorrow I drop a new podcast episode that has nothing to do with my inner self but something to do with outside trash. STAY TUNED, INTERNET. :)
In this episode of Jasmine Ad Nauseam, I go back in time and roast myself when I was my most cringeworthy: 13 years old, preparing to enter high school with a false sense of security and my hair slicked down with hair fell, really showcasing my large forehead.
As promised in this week's podcast episode (click the play button below to listen!) here are the photos of me when I was younger and the one-page blog entry that somehow made it to publish in our middle school yearbook.
I am mortified just thinking about how I acted back then, so re-reading what I wrote as a tEenAger has me diabolically depressed by way of self-secondhand-embarassment.
Call the doctor, because this episode is SICKENING.
If you had a laugh, then maybe follow me on twitter or Instagram. And subscribe to the podcast. If you feel empty inside after listening to this episode, try listening to the other past episodes to fill your emptiness and if that doesn't work, try going to the doctor. BUT NOT AFTER LISTENING TO THE EPISODES.
Thanks for listening. I hope you suffered some secondhand embarrassment and you feel better about yourself.
See you when I see you!
Exactly four years ago was my first day at my first, post-grad job. I started four days before my actual university graduation ceremony. I remember actually asking my boss for the day off, so I could, you know, graduate.
I was a novice, I didn't feel like I deserved to be there or was even qualified, despite being offered the job because of my work during my internship at the same company.
I remember a brief interview, signing my contract and feeling relieved to have a job, any job after getting my degree.
For a lot of the time I worked at that company, I never quite felt like I fit, I felt, for much of the time, that someone would "find me out" and in dramatic fashion, point their finger at me, jump up and down and declare to everyone that I was a fraud. They'd exclaim I wasn't meant for this job, for this industry.
I even moved to a competing firm, doing the same job, this time I was paid more, maybe a reflection of what I was worth (though I never felt I was worth much.) I never went in for an interview because my job at the other company was basically my resume.
I still felt like a fraud.
Every time I make a mistake, I felt like it reinforced the fact that I wasn't supposed to be here and do this. It was like I was in costume and when I made a mistake, part of my mask broke off. For some reason I feared someone would soon rip off the rest of the mask, grab me by the collar and throw me in the town square, finger wagging, a smug detective smile on their face, telling the townspeople how I had them all fooled. A real Scooby Doo moment.
Even this year when I realized that I have a skillset that not many people have, to work in an industry with tough deadlines, that's fast-paced and in the public realm. Every day I create something that thousands of people can (and do) criticize publicly. They spend seconds glancing at what I spent hours on.
They cast it aside, spit on it, stomp on it, peel it apart, layer by layer.
Or they don't see it at all.
The next day I wake up and do it all again.
Four years. For years.
Fewer people want to do this job. I return to it, day after day.
I still feel like an imposter. If I'm Goldilocks, I don't quite feel at home, sitting in this chair. It's too much of this, but not enough that. Four years.
I think for two years, I never introduced myself as my title, only that I worked for X company.
When I got my business cards, I handed them out sheepishly. I still rarely hand out business cards.
To this day, I minimize my role, claiming I only do X, I'm no Y.
It's still not a lot of time compared to the veterans in this industry, who I learn from every day.
But I've been doing this for enough years to see this industry suck people in, throw them in the spin cycle and spit them out. Many stumble away, bedraggled, having lost something of themselves, but gaining something else too.
Some opt out willingly. But they return. When I see those people again, I smile, a genuine welcome back. They're so good at what they do they'll make my job harder, but it was getting boring in the meantime. A very welcome challenge.
That's another thing about this field. When it starts to feel routine, regimented, boring, something inevitably turns up curiously. Either externally or internally.
I still feel like an imposter, like I'm a substitute for a real person who will tag me out, jump in the ring and finish the match. Me on the outside of the ring, whooping and hollering for the REAL person. That REAL person. As I roar from my corner of the ring, I don't know if I'd ever stretch my arm, leaning into the ring, yelling and begging to be let back in.
Four years. No one's tagged me out.
I have read shit online about imposer syndrome. I wonder why I feel this way even after four years. I wonder if I'll still feel this way if I continue in this field after 10 years? 15 years? 20 years?
I know I am not defined solely by what I do for a living, but I spend so much of my life doing it, that how can it not be part of my personal description?
There have been instances over the four years which have affirmed my place in this industry but those affirmations are dwarfed by my doubts. My imposter syndrome stands tall, mammoth, swiping away affirmations like gnats. Feeding my doubts leg of lamb and a five course meal so that my doubts grow big and strong so they can crush my soul, crush my spirits.
But even as My Imposter Syndrome works on killing me from the inside out, I still don my costume. I still go to work. I still pull on the mask, patched from four years of mistakes that put holes through it.
I still go to work.
Sometimes I'll take out those affirmations, cast aside from My Imposter Syndrome, and I'll line them up neatly on my bookshelf. A comment, an email, a conversation with someone I respect. I'll look at them, dust them off and water them with my own affirmations before I put on my costume.
One day maybe I won't have to put on my costume and maybe it'll be just what I wear. It'll just be who I am.
What then can My Imposter Syndrome do?
Craigslist dramatic reading you never knew you never wanted, right here for you. Click baby click! It's a new episode of tomfoolery, featuring Jasmine! Maybe I should call this Jasminefoolery.Read More
...but I do get a stress stye (sty?) from time to time.
Louise Hay has said ailments related a stye/sty is related to being angry at someone and "looking through angry eyes."
AND I'M HERE TO TELL YOU THAT IS TRUE.
Recently a person has entered my sphere of life and is very annoying. I've spent maybe 100 combined hours ranting about it to several people and it's like d r a i n i n g me.
It's physically affecting me and I figured maybe I don't want to be Quasimodo so, I'll work on not letting this person annoy me and let it go.
Also it reminds me of this Herman Hesse attributed quote (correct me if I'm wrong, Internet) essentially saying what we hate about a person is something we hate in ourselves. I'll deep dive into this and get back to you.
For now I'm nursing a sty/stye and trying to alleviate my (possibly misplaced) anger at an annoying person and I'm just trying to get through the day and get to the weekend.
Sometimes I'm in awe at how my body is so affected by my thoughts but it all makes ~~~sense~~~ because we're all just energy and everything's ✨✨connected✨✨
Btw, how was your Halloween? (She asks into the blackest hole of the world wide web)
...as told to me by various family members in my life.
Halloween, the upcoming All Soul's Day and the season have me contemplating death.
I don't think I'll die soon, though I haven't had a proper check up with the doctor in many years despite funneling money into health and dental insurance companies and hardly taking advantage of all their newfangled machines that suck out my blood and calculate the errors.
But recently one of my aunts has checked into a hospital for either pneumonia or TB. She's probably in her 70s and lived a great long life. She beat breast cancer and she'd beat this, through prayer and might. (I hardly pray now but in times like these I offer a prayer for her. You never know.)
She probably won't die soon either. But her hospitalization got me thinking of different things people in my family, Palauans and Pohnpeians, have pointed to after someone died and said, "Oh that right there, that was a sign."
Signs of impending doom/death
-White bird, yellow feet: There's a white bird with yellow feet around these parts, I don't know the Palauan name but my mom said that bird was flying around our house before my dad died. She said her mother had told her before it's a sign of someone about to die.
-Random ants: Also before my dad died, one of my cousins said she was cooking rice and then notice a trail of black ants that weren't there the day before. I overheard this conversation and she said she was told it meant something bad would happen.
-Dogs digging: Yeah, if your dog starts to dig a lot, (more than usual I guess?) it's a sign someone's sick or someone's going to die???? I know I've heard this but I can't source it in my memory....
-Dreaming of your teeth falling out: This used to fuck me up because when I had teeth dreams my mom said it meant someone would die. As a kid it's terrifying to feel you hold all this psychic, predictive power of someone's demise. But I didn't dream of any teeth before either of parents died so maybe I can dismiss this as a skill I have and just attribute my teeth dreams to the fact that I pay for dental insurance every month and still haven't been in dentist's office. (Fuck off ok my teeth are chill.)
I also just remembered a couple anecdotes that I've heard predicting birth, namely when there's a crow near your house and, if you have children already, around the time that you are pregnant supposedly the youngest of your herd will start to just generally want to be upside down more than usual.
Before my mother and father passed, I spent time a considerable time in hospitals, watching nurses poke, prod, deliver, smile and leave intermittently throughout a day. When they died, first my dad and then my mom, it was the worst feelings in my life. I'll never ever feel whole again. Also you just live your life with an empty suffering that feels like it could swallow the galaxy. It's in your soul and if you acknowledge it from time to time, it threatens to open up and like ingest you?
But at the same time you can live day to day and layer every new day over it, so you don't melt into the emptiness. Enough layers of days make it seem faraway until you remember something about them and then every good and bad day that you put between you and that emptiness disappears and then you feel every bit of soul crushing sadness that comes with the death of the first people you've ever loved without effort, without conditions. Just pure love.
I've spent a lot of time over the years trying to articulate how it feels when they died. This isn't exactly that feeling but I'll keep working on it.
I know I'll never suffer that much again because I take careful measure as an adult orphan and as a cancer not to let anyone in who can add to that emptiness. And I'll never really be afraid of death because where ever my parents are must be infinitely better.
I'm curious, if you're reading this, what are some superstitions or signs of death or doom in your culture? And how would you describe the feeling when your parent(s) died, if they have? (...she asks into the void that is the internet...)