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Tag: organizing

Future.

Since the last post I’ve been able to sit with myself for a few minutes and think about where I go from here. 

I’ve decided that I am definitely going to focus on Labor Studies since Coming Out Week went so well and I got an email about the Student Organizing Cohort that the Ethnic Studies Department is doing at school (I have an interview for that this week). 

I have a meeting this week with Disability services to see about getting a medical withdrawal from shop so my incomplete does not give me an F for just not being physically capable to machine safely. As it turns out, losing an entire reproductive system takes a lot out of you even after your stitches are healed. Mixed with stress disorders and trauma it’s just…not happening.

I met with a counselor about changing majors, and ever since I decided to act on it, I’ve felt more at peace and in alignment with myself. I feel like this is the thing I should be doing, and I feel centered when I think about it. 

I also feel a bit nervous because I think it will be really challenging in good and frustrating ways, but hopefully in ways that I’m a little more equipped for.

Honestly after the news this week, going to school for an organizing AA, organizing on campus and in the East Bay, and doing the work to at least make this portion of the world less hostile is how I’m keeping myself from melting into despair.

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Future?

My therapist asked me what it would look like if just asked myself what I had spoons to do each day and did that, instead of running myself into the ground trying to do everything. We talked about how when I started school I was set on finishing everything on time and thought I’d be able to do everything, but that isn’t actually how school works. It’s a series of choices of what you can and can’t get to, what you lose points on, and what you make extra pushes for.  

We talked about approaches – maybe instead of telling myself “if I get everything done I can do X” because it’s unrealistic and just cements the feeling of inadequacy, I start by taking stock of my bandwidth and asking what I need to do to lift myself up so then I can do whatever homework I need to get done.

English class has been more like a sociology course than anything else for me. As the token trans I take up the middle space in the classroom where everyone assumes I’m a dude, but I talk from the perspective of someone who was raised to be a woman. My voice gets heard by the cis dudes when I explain the ramifications of the oppression not-dudes face on a day to day basis, how that informs our lives, and how that informed Elaine Brown’s life. It’s frustrating because none of what I’m saying is new, it’s only being absorbed because my voice is deep and booming, if any of my femme counterparts made the same arguments they would be written off.

IT’S SO INFURIATING. But this is the power I have so I’m going to fucking wield it because apparently cis dudes only listen to people with deep voices and cis dudes aren’t doing the work of educating each other. But, as my therapist reminded me today, that isn’t my job.

So today the choice I’m making is to skip english class, because I know if I go to the class I won’t have the spoons to write the paper that’s overdue. I already know that english class is going to step on a bunch of triggers that are already exacerbated by the Kavanaugh confirmation, and I wouldn’t be able to recover.

I’m contemplating skipping all of school today, and sitting under this tree on the UC Berkeley campus until my laptop dies.

My body is reacting to the complete overwhelm of stress and anxiety with nausea and exhaustion. I am numb and tired. I am depleted. I have nothing to offer and no energy to take anything in. I am just going through the motions trying to get things done right now.

What’s haunting me that I haven’t gotten to in therapy yet, (because it’s buried under immediate problems) is that I don’t see a future for myself. I don’t feel like I have one. I can’t picture anything beyond the end of next year. So I’m having a hard time finding the motivation to finish my certificate, or find a job, or do anything besides sitting under this tree.

I feel like if I had somewhere I wanted to be, or something I wanted to have done, in like 10 years or so, that would help. I could make decisions based on things that brought me closer to it instead of just wandering aimlessly. But we don’t even have a functioning country right now. Even if we managed to survive (or overcome) the Christofascist takeover and the impending spread of fascism all over the world, our planet is dying.

I don’t know if there will be more than this dust sheet of a democracy existing in 2020, let alone if the planet will even make it to 2040 with all the efforts we tried to make with EPA standards and whatnot getting rolled back. How do I even gather enough hope to plan for a future when it seems like I’m going to be swallowed whole by the planet itself if the nazis don’t get me first?

I don’t know.

I don’t know and that’s why I’m under this tree unable to think. Trying to sit with myself in the uncomfortably familiar terror and dread. I remember this feeling when my parents told me that I was meant to follow in their footsteps. To make all the same mistakes they did. When they said I’d get married and have kids and homeschool and live as a reflection of them. There was no hope, no escape, no out, it was as god intended. If I was lucky enough, I would live to see the start of the end times, when the world catches on fire right before Jesus came back to save us with the rapture.

Right now, it feels a lot like that’s happening. It feels a lot like what my parents spent years of reading Revelations predicting and I’d be lying if I said that wasn’t fucking with me. Not in the “The Bible Was Right And I Am A Christian Again Now!” way, but in the self-fulfilling prophecy that the Christian right has organized against climate change just like they’ve spent the last several decades gathering political power for this moment. We are several steps closer to their utopia, which looks an awful lot like hell for everyone else.

I’ve done a lot for one person in one lifetime.
All I want to do is be held and cry.
But the tears aren’t coming and all I can muster is numbness.
As grounding as it is to be sitting in dry grass, pushing the stress knots in my back against the roots of my tree friend, I can’t climb out of my head.

I don’t have answers, this is just where I’m at.

In the immediate future, I guess, I come to life when I organize, and when I talk about organizing to my therapist she notes that my demeanor changes and I stop being wracked with anxiety.

Organizing on campus is why I haven’t dropped out. It’s grounding, I’m great at it, and it’s fulfilling. I feel energized and empowered when I organize and I can channel a lot of emotion that otherwise lives in my body.

After this semester I’m gonna follow that. I’ll look into the labor studies program at Laney maybe. I could be a Union Organizer, which I recently learned is A Thing and it’s apparently not the same as “you are a machinist who organizes on the side”, as far as I can tell?

When I think about that, hope flickers again. So maybe that’s where I should go.

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Finally.

I have this weird ingrained thing where I have to clean or organize something on Friday. Sometimes it changes to Thursday, but it’s almost constantly Friday and it’s like a subconscious drive. I try to change it but it doesn’t work very well.

Today, I worked on my wardrobe. I’ve been wanting to for a while and one of the things that’s been on my to-do list is only wear/own clothes that make me feel good. So I sorted out my clothes into piles and was able to put the ones I wanted to wear back in my dresser (!) or hung them up. The real excitement will be after laundry. Because my most-worn/feel good clothes are in there so I’ll need to fit them in somehow.

Tuesday (I think?) I worked on the closet in The Flux. I saw someone turn an old dresser into a desk/storage for their office closet and I was kinda fed up with my cardboard side table that I couldn’t really do much with, so I took everything out of the closet, organized it and gave everything a “home” as my mom liked to say, and then set up my cardboard desk in there (since there was more floor space because I turned the suitcases into storage and put one on the shelf in that closet and put my other linens in one and put it on the shelf in my bedroom closet). Now it’s holding my box of random art supplies, my sewing machine, some stuffed animals, by sewing box and a bag of fabric is hanging from the rack.

Closet StorageLast week I changed the pictures in the kitchen, and they actually fit the space better and blend really well with the “I’m trying to look kind of modern with a hodgepodge of cool things” vibe we have running here.

Finally, today, I also organized my bookshelf by genre. Cook books and stuff on top, development is on the first shelf, fantasy/fiction/literature in the middle, and non-fiction at the bottom by the cat food. That doesn’t mean anything, I swear, I just keep the cat bowls there so they don’t get all messed up when I sweep. I don’t think the cat likes water a-la hair balls.

You’ll also notice, I have DVD’s and Xbox games and things intermittently – because…they needed to be somewhere.

Bookcase

After spending…who knows how many hours over the last few weeks half in frustration because of random stuff and no where to put them that isn’t cardboard (which, I still hope to remedy someday…with a trip to ikea). I finally am really happy with how my apartment looks right now. Subject to change – and I’ll probably take on the bathroom cupboard next week but hey, right now it looks good…and exhaustion has nothing to do with it.

*also, the Ron Paul sign, is hilarious which is why I have it. It’s *literally* a fan.

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Cleaning Psycho-ness

Occasionally I get this weird thing, where I feel like I should get rid of everything. It’s probably good, it’s like a mini minimalist kick and it’s usually localized (closets, drawers, objects, specific rooms). This time it was centered on my living room. I wasn’t feeling well and all I saw was a ton of crap all over my living room. That’s not all there was, there’s furniture too…but yeah, it was annoying me but I didn’t have any energy to do anything about it. So today, I finally felt human again and decided to tackle all of our random paper and documents and stuff that just sort of pile into a hideous mess of crap that we don’t need. The smart thing to do would be to scan and shred, but I don’t have a shredder, so I just re-organized everything important and trashed everything that we didn’t need.

That one magazine box I made in 2010…it’s gone now. I still have magazines in a cardboard box (the one I used to put gloves and hats in, I should move them into a drawer instead of my laundry basket…which I use for clothes because we have a very small dresser that’s very hard to share and it’s storing out of season clothes right now) but the quantity of magazines is half of what it was, and it’s only ones that are interesting. ^.^

Magazine Box

I also went through all of our files in my (one) file box and organized them, labeled the last two year’s folders of tax documents and put all of the ones for this year, so far, in a manilla envelope (I really need to get another file box thing one of these days), I cleaned out both night stand drawers (one is holding our tv and one is in our bedroom) and all the random papers that were just around. Everything now is squished in it’s folder, pictures are in a box, and the red side table that used to house the heavy magazine box is finally moved to the middle of the room, which Alex thinks adds a nice little bit of modern-ness to the room (which is awesome).

Table in the middle

In my dreams, I would have a modernly decorated home with a bohemian master bedroom. I think design wise this year, I’m going to be trying to incorporate those (now that I have a direction, ha!) as much as I can with what I have…and maybe this year, I’ll actually make it back to ikea. 😉

I also found a home for Darth Vader.

Darth Vader

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