The Life and Times of a Spade

You might want to step back, because I’m about to get all sorts of personal on your dash.

I’m sorry, that ridiculous pun sounded a lot better in my head. Getting to the point though, I’m just going to give you a brief overview of what is going on in my life, and what that will mean for my blog.

A couple of weeks ago I was hired on for a full-time phone customer service position. Not a big deal, and I don’t start until early to mid February which means nothing has changed as of yet. I don’t know what my shift is, and I won’t know until the middle of March what it will be. As it stands now, that one job won’t change much when it comes to posting.

The thing that might make my posts more sporadic is the fact that I will be looking for a part-time position as well. I know what you’re thinking, “Johana! A part-time and full-time job isn’t going to occupy all of your time.” Okay, maybe you’re not thinking that, but if you are then I’d have to say that you would be right. Keep in mind we have to factor in time for sleep as well as time for eating and exercising. That shaves a bit more off my available hours within any given week. Once again that is not what I am worried about, I’m more worried about the fact that I am also going to continue going to school full-time. With my procrastination techniques firmly in place, I do believe my posts will be limited. I’m hoping for once a week at least. We will see how well that works out.

Just wanted to keep you updated as I continue on in my endeavors of paying my bills and getting educated. With any luck I’ll be able to make it to graduate school with only a bit left to pay on my car.

Why did nobody tell me adult life was going to be so stressful?
~Johana Spade

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Help & Poetry

I’ve been feeling pretty down in the dumps lately, and I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. Then it came to me. As the weather started to turn sour, so did my mood. It’s one of those things where you begin to find it harder and harder to get out of bed, and you start putting off tasks that would normally be a quick job. That’s been me lately, it’s really a wonder I’ve been getting anything done.

The reason for this is because I’ve had a flare up of S.A.D – season affected depression that is. Sometimes I forget that I suffer from it, especially when last year I was so busy that I really didn’t have time to be alone with my thoughts. It didn’t hit me as hard as it is hitting me now. I’m posting this here because I want everyone to know that they are not alone. They don’t need to feel bad if they are having troubles adjusting, because it happens to a lot of people. Especially here in the Pacific Northwest.

In fact, the other day I wrote a poem that I would like to share. It depicts of how I feel whenever this comes around, and I’m betting people can relate.

You can feel like you’re choking
Suffocating on air
Your lungs could burst
But really who would care

Your feelings are fleeting
Your heart might be ice
Because you don’t have the will
To even play nice

You really wish you could feel
The way that you used to
You wish you could just see
The light instead of blue

But most of all the thing you want
Is for your heart to beat
Instead of breaking and pulling taut
Because you can’t stand that

Obviously it’s reflective of the funk I’m in, but that’s neither here or there, because really the reason I shared that was to give tips to those who might feel the same way. Some of the techniques I have found useful for this empty void in my chest are as follows:

  • Music. Listen to something upbeat, something to get your body moving and blood flowing. Sad songs aren’t going to cut it, because while they reflect your mood perfectly it’s only going to drag you further into your funk.
  • Write. It doesn’t matter what. Silly little poems, notes about the weather, how you’re feeling. Anything. Write it down.
  • Draw or color. I’ve hauled out my coloring books, and the color I place onto the paper really helps me cheer up a bit.
  • Eat. Make your favorite food, or just something simple. Being down in the dumps is no reason to let your health follow. Stay healthy, because your mood will improve.

Hopefully this at least helps somebody out there, because I really do know what it is like. There are people out there to support you, and you are not alone.

~Johana Spade.

 

The Buck Stops Here

I somehow simultaneously expect too much and too little from society as a whole. Moreover, I know how bad society can be, and I keep hoping against all else that it will change. Instead of the change I’ve been wishing to see, it only seems to be getting worse.

Yes, how incredibly fascinating that I’m yet another unspoken activist hidden behind the confines of a keyboard and a pen name. Dreary, really.

Back in the old days, that long three years ago when I was still young and naïve, I applied for the Miss County pageant. Let me amend, I was in the Miss Pageant. Circumstances lead me to not trying very hard, because all the platforms offered to me just seemed so contrived. If I was offered another chance, I’d have a platform I could work with; one that I would want to strive towards. Alas, that cannot be, so I’ll simply have to rehash these would be memories at a later date.

As I was saying, the potential activist inside of me does not quite have the means to make the change happen that I wish to see. I am so sick of the high horse people ride in on. What good does it do to tear people down?

I’m not saying this because I can’t handle hate – anonymous or otherwise – I am saying this because I can. I’ve dealt with my fair share of ridicule, and I’ve grown from it. It’s actually gotten to the point where I am quite indifferent to the insults slung my way. I am not, however, indifferent to the crude behavior taking place everywhere else. Say what you want about me, because I can handle it; it’s everyone else that worries me. Because there are so many people out there who can’t handle such abusion. And no one should have to handle it.

It’s everywhere: Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Tumblr, etc. Whatever social media site you’ve dabbled in the so called ‘haters’ have also forayed into those grounds. I have not been on WordPress long, but I’m sure that it receives its fair share of bashing. Excuse me if I’ve used the word fair too lightly. There is nothing fair about someone being slammed for stating their thoughts.

I do suppose that the haters use that as a defense too. “I’m just stating my opinion,” they’ll say as the write out a contemptuous review that not only berates a person for his or her words but somehow threatens and abuses all in one go. And there is the difference. I wouldn’t mind if people were merely sharing their opinions. It could range from “I don’t like this” to “I love this” and social webbing would already be a safer place. It’s the ones who feel the need to throw in the threats of death, wishes of disappearance, and the criticizing of morals and appearances that bring haters to a whole new level.

I ask again, why? Why would anyone think they are so high above the rest of us mortals that it is okay for them to think this way?

It Just Takes Ten Minutes

Dear Reader,

You’re sick, and that’s okay. It’s okay that smiles don’t come easy, and that half the time all you want to do is disappear. All of that is okay because you are human and you are young.

It is not okay for you to give up. Promise me that you will never give up.

Don’t let a world that is so big get you down over something that is so small. There is more to life than failures, and you will have many failures. Think of all the people you have touched in one way or another. The good and the bad, your life has influenced those around you.

You are an impact. Powerful, with a force unseen by many, you can help people. Don’t fake a smile if it doesn’t feel good. Say no when something just doesn’t suit your fancy. All you need to do in life is be true to yourself. No one can ask for more than that, and nobody should be asking for less.

Sometimes it might feel like the end is near. And maybe it is, but that doesn’t mean that you should stop living your life just because you don’t have anywhere else to go. You are much stronger than you think you are, and you have people who love you unconditionally.

Maybe the harsh realities of the world are too much to bear sometimes, and you can hide from the world for a few days. Just don’t let it rule you, do not let your fears control your actions. Come out of hiding for a day or two at a time, just enough to let the world know that you’re still fighting.

I, too, know what it is like to feel like you’re waging a battle against yourself. I know the struggles that come with the pain inflicted on your skin, and the scars that are left behind. Scars fade, memories fade, but the strength of your soul does not. Keep your heart beating by doing what you love. Do not settle for anything less than what you deserve.

There are going to be times when you hate your parents. That moment when your mom reads your journal and finds out just how much you want to die might seem like a gross invasion of privacy, and maybe it is. But a small part of you will know that you left it out for her to read on purpose. The tears she shed over your unseen wounds might make you feel just a little more loved than you had felt that morning, and it will mark a turning point for you. Cause even though you get horribly frustrated with both your mother and father because they just do not understand, you also love them because they stand by you even though they cannot know of the demons you are facing.

I can promise you that you will make it through this, but I cannot promise you that it will ever completely go away.

Always try to remember that you are strong, you are brave, and you are beautiful.

But most importantly, I want you to remember that you are me and we are one.

~J. Spade

To The Grave

Keeping a secret, while difficult, is not impossible. Secrets are small glimpses into another person’s soul; they happen because you were trusted by that person to help keep a piece of her or him unseen. It’s an act of trust between two or more people, and spilling the so called beans can essentially mean breaking that trust. Reality is harsh, but if you fail to keep a secret that is that big then you might has well have literally thrown your friend under the bus rather than figuratively. The key here is keep your lips sealed to the best of your ability.

As with anything, there are plenty of tips that can help keep a secret remain just that. Some of those tips include:

  • Putting yourself in his or her shoes. Think how you would feel if it was your secret being shared. You wouldn’t want to tell just anyone your secret, so you shouldn’t tell just anyone their secret.
  • Listen to them. Chances are they mentioned at least once that you “can’t tell anyone”. Anyone means anyone. Even if it is someone who doesn’t know them you still shouldn’t let their secret slip. Telling a person who doesn’t know the person is just as bad as telling someone who does know them. It’s a gateway slip, it will undoubtedly lead to future slips. So just don’t do it.
  • Secrets can be soul burdens. If you’re finding a mighty need to tell the secret just to ease the pressure of your soul write it down. Use code-names of course so that if someone happened across it all parties involved would still remain intact. Writing it down is similar to sharing the secret with someone without all the horrible backlash that could result in a loss of friends.
  • Know your limits. There are some people who just can’t keep secrets. If you are one of those people, speak up before the secret is spilled. That way if for some unfortunate reason you were to let it slip later on, then it will not be entirely your fault. You gave fair warning, and they still decided to share their secrets.
  • Understand the difference between secrets that should be kept and secrets that shouldn’t. Sometimes there are people out there who give you a secret that can be harmful: to themselves or to others. If you happen to come across such a secret you will have a lot to contemplate. First you will need to know who you can turn to with this secret, because harmful secrets aren’t always best left swept under the rug.

Those, of course, are just a few of the essential guidelines to follow. There is more to it than that, but knowing the basics helps to lay the groundwork for future tight lips.

~J. Spade

Growing Up

Getting older means that you take on more and more responsibilities; you have to care for yourself and for others. If you’ve ever spent any time as a designated driver (DD) then you know that it is akin to parenting or babysitting. There is something wholly uncouth about being the only sober person amidst a mass of drunkards; especially when you’re in a fairly large city.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my friends and I am glad I could be there for them on their big day and help out; but holy crap can drunks be difficult to handle. Mainly when there is a large group of them. There is nothing more taxing than a group of eight or more drunks each getting ideas in their head, because as the DD you are bound to be pulled in a million different directions trying to wrangle up the lush’s.

Of course, there are different levels to each person. One person might be content to follow you around all night because they “love you sooo much”, whereas another might just want to go make out with someone and you’ll be damned lucky if they mention anything of the sort to you. So not only do you have to search out your friends in the dark, but you have to look for shadows of themselves behind the silhouette of the partner they have chosen. It can get somewhat awkward out on the dance floor, because more than half of the people out there are sucking face and you’ll be lucky if you can see your friend at all.

As a DD you’re not there to snub out their fun, you’re simply there to give them a safe ride home. But shit, is it hard to make sure they get home safe when they’ve all scattered like a bunch of flies at a barbeque.

You’re bound to hear the same story at least ten times, with spastic embellishments that can only make sense to those with inebriated brains. You’re going to get annoyed, your feet will hurt, and the music and smells might just give you a headache. The selling point would have to be the fact that you’ll probably spend more money than you had planned on by buying your friends birthday drinks, and sadly none of those drinks were even for you. It can be frustrating, but hopefully the drunk birthday girl or guy is kind enough to drunkenly declare how grateful they are that you did this for them.

A few tips for surviving a night as a DD would be:

  • Set your guidelines early in the night when they’re still coherent enough to understand them.
  • Don’t plan to leave the bars early. Chances are they are going to want to close it out, and if you had planned to go home early your annoyance level will be through the roof.
  • Be firm, but understanding. They’re drunk and you are not. Don’t be a pushover, but don’t be a party pooper either.
  • Have fun. Yeah, you’re surrounded by a bunch of drunk, horny fools, but that doesn’t mean you have to be angry about it. Laugh, enjoy the embarrassing shenanigans that everyone is partaking in.

And most importantly:

  • Take detailed notes. It’s all going to be worth it when you’re reacquainting your friends with all of their drunken shenanigans.

 

 

Yours Truly

~Johana Spade