What if it were enough?

I know there are several very real and pretty complicated barriers to overcome if I want to accomplish my ‘dreams.’ Just as many, if not more, are perceived rather than real boundaries and I’ve certainly let fear of failure and “how-it-should-go” stall me. And, I obviously can get stuck in a pity party.
There’s also the fact that my dreams are blurry and while I’ve been trying to find a road-map (of any sort, anywhere, something!) nothing quite fits. Is that scary? YES.
I’d be doing work I enjoy and where I can put my health first. I’d show others that you can be successful AND manage narcolepsy AND not hide it, but embrace listening to what your body tells you. I’d help others with something practical or empowering and then maintain those relationships. I learning and loving – through travel, through culture, nature, activities, strangers and friends. At the same time, I want to be more present and less concerned about checking things off. Horseback riding was the first thing I shifted from a goal-oriented activity to enjoying for its own sake after a whole mess of experiences, and still amazes and excites me every time I go to the stable.
If I stop for a second though, technically, I’m doing a lot of this already. I want to say “BUT IT’S NOT ENOUGH”, but why? Why is it not enough?
Because I say it’s not, think it’s not, assume it’s not. Therefore, it IS not. And it will stay that way as long as I want it to. I’ve already been through the phase where I secretly wanted everyone’s pity, but pretended like I didn’t. I pretended to be fine with my life circumstances when I was so very not. Then I dropped the facade and just openly complained about the impossibility of it all (still do this some…). But what if I could truly just be ok with where I’m at? There are some real benefits. I’m getting to ride on a regular basis – last week I jumped cross country for the first time and I can’t even describe how insanely happy that made me. I actually had three lessons last week! I rode in a show jumping clinic with Kira Conner, a CIC** eventer out of North Carolina, on a cheeky pony that has scope for daaays. Then I did a little dressage test with the OTTB mare I later rode on Friday for xc and she was a star for that as well.
Did I mention I’m back at the stable where I first sat on a horse 15 years ago, all of 10 minutes from my house? And my instructor is someone I rode with in 4th grade? It’s a small world folks.
I’m making monies working at an independent health foods store, and I get to help people everyday. Of course, there are the people who come in two minutes before closing, or who call the store and launch into a diatribe about their bowel movements…  but there’s also the little girl who’s using some of our loose herbs in the rice bags she’s selling to offset the costs of a school exchange trip to Japan (!!) in October. And the vegan or gluten free customers who can’t find a certain grocery item anywhere else. And the regulars who, as soon as they walk in, you can tell them whether we have their supplements in. Or passers-through who just have incredible life stories and they happen to share a snippet with you.
Then there’s the fact that I kinda-sorta have a dog. Well the benefits of one at the moment, without the responsibility or costs. I walk/run with her most mornings, and as a Husky, she has been thoroughly enjoying the recent temperature drop we’re having in the Midwest. One of the things I love about it is that it gets me moving and outside first thing. There’s still dew on the lawns of my tree-lined neighborhood and the sun makes us squint and warms my skin when we’re walking back.  She’s taken to looking for me and will lay at the end of her house keeping an eye on either my or the bathroom window. While I know her enthusiasm is more for the walk than for me, I still can’t help but laugh and get more excited as she spins in circles (and still occasionally tries to jump on me… sigh… work in progress) and starts whimpering when she feels I’m not moving fast enough.
There’s also all the time I’ve had to learn more about myself; through therapy, through researching narcolepsy, keeping up with current events (although those can be just as depressing as my own vicious little circles…), learning more about the Myers Briggs system, the Enneagram, Spiral Dynamics and other systems. I’m figuring out what my habits are – beneficial and not-so-helpful. I’m working on my self-esteem, becoming more involved with my community, reading books, going through all of accumulated stuff from over the years.

I’m not doing so bad anymore.

Even that is scary to admit, because I think I assume by naming that, I can’t have any more bad days. Or that stating that will call forth more shit. But I’m thinking too far into the future again – something I am incredibly good at, for better and worse. Right now, I am well. I am content. I’m still keeping an eye out for the proverbial Next Opportunity, but I don’t need to go blindly chasing after it. I’ve started reading Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In, and just read the part about mentors, wherein countless young women will explicitly ask (sometimes) random people “will you be my mentor?”

Now, I want a mentor as much as the next person. I’ve never asked someone if they would be/are my mentor, but I’ve done it with opportunities: I will literally ask myself if this is my next big thing. Nine times out of ten, when I’ve had to ask that, I’m trying to make it something it’s probably not. The most influential opportunities/decisions I’ve had, I didn’t need to ask. I either knew it was, or went in with no expectations. To be clear, that’s not lowered expectations, but none, and it’s helped create some of my best experiences, or ‘lead-in’ opportunities because whatever it is, is enough. Point being, I know how to just be and ‘catch’ big possibilities that come near me with forcing it, but doing that on a daily basis is more challenging. I’m making a concerted effort because where I’m at and who I am right now must be enough, otherwise I’ll spend more time in the mindset of my last several posts here, which only creates more of the same.

Here’s to succeeding, surely failing, and then succeeding again at being enough.

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Oh yea, I took a trip last weekend

I wrote 620 words over the past, oh… five days before I took a look at my recent blabberings and realized I was repeating myself once again. More of the self-comparisons between real and typed life, more explicit confessions of not knowing why I’m doing this, being a constant over-thinker and over-achiever, not being happy where I’m at, etc etc etc.

“You’re not giving yourself enough credit,” said my therapist earlier this week. As she reminded me, I really am doing better than I think. Of course, I immediately begin comparing that ‘doing’ to what I *could* or *should* be doing. Alone and with my therapist are apparently the only times I can admit that I am not always looking-on-the-bright-side as I appear. In the presence of most family and friends, I can believe what I’m saying as I pretend to give myself credit in order to come off as this strong, pushing-through-my-hard-times kind of character.

I’ve half-jokingly told people that I wouldn’t change how my life is playing out because a majority of people I went to college with are now graduated, have done the whole move to a new place, get a new car/apartment, start the first job schpeel, and now… that’s what they’re doing. Working 40 hours a week, driving the same commute, living for the weekends where they can drink, go to a concert or the next wedding they get invited to and update their family on their jobs either being good or bad. The next step usually seems to be either adopting a pet or taking a trip out of the country.

I’m simplifying obviously, but that life is so unappealing to me. Which, I guess is convenient considering 28-hours this week at my part-time job felt like almost too much and I don’t see myself capable of more anytime soon.

If you are that person living that life, I don’t mean to criticize. I know it’s the one expected of us right now; it’s supposed to be the one that’s attainable for everyone and provides the kind of lifestyle that leads to well-rounded happiness. I hope you are able to create meaning, take care of yourself and pursue things outside of work – it just seems so unfathomable to me for any length of time. I did it for one semester in college and then about two months early this year. And each time my health deteriorated the longer I went. I’d need the whole weekend to recover, and with the timing of my medications during the week, my only priorities after work were to shower and eat before going to bed. And trying to live like that with either a partner, pet, or child(ren)? I don’t know how anyone with a chronic illness does it, but if it involves any of the shortcuts, thought-patterns and sheer willpower I felt I used, that is not living, it’s surviving.

stlouisskyline
panoramic night skyline of Saint Louis with lit buildings of varying heights from left to right

This time last week I was in Saint Louis, having just finished a day-long conference for people with narcolepsy. Speakers included Thomas Roth, PhD and Ariel Neikrug, PhD. The former defined the differences between narcolepsy and hypersomnia in a way I’d not heard of before: I’ve always considered narcolepsy to be it’s own hellish form of sleep deprivation because we do not get adequate deep-sleep at night. Unlike the average person, our sleep patterns bounce up and down like a pogo-stick, whether we actually wake or not. Roth presented narcolepsy as not sleep-deprived, but sleepy – that’s it. I questioned him on this and am still wrapping my brain around this new definition. To be clear, we are not more or less tired than anyone else – in fact, the murkiness of tired’s definition is probably why so many loved ones have such a hard time understanding narcolepsy.

If I told you I was soooo tired, you’d probably agree with me. Who is not tired these days? The more you think about it, the more tired you become. If I were to instead tell you that I am very sleepy, I may at that point be having trouble keeping eye contact, my head may be bobbing or I might forget a point I’m trying to make mid-sentence. There’s a clear difference here, but at the same time, in my own experience, ‘sleepy’ just sounds… weak? And yet it is more than tired – I will either be physically incapable of ‘just pushing through’ this or make some serious errors in my desperate attempts to fight my own broken internal clock.

Roth also reviewed the Epworth Sleepiness Scale (which measures how likely you are to fall asleep doing things such as watching TV or driving), Swiss Narcolepsy Scale (measures for symptoms of cataplexy mainly), and the diagnostic process for narcolepsy – things I’m all now well-versed in, but have to remember that these are not mainstream terms or procedures for a good number of people with narcolepsy, let alone without.

Dr. Neikrug continued a conversation started last year in Chicago by newly-elected Society of Behavioral Sleep Medicine (SBSM) president Dr. Jason Ong. There is a small, but growing number of practitioners who are doing research and practice on the efficacy of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) as a treatment for sleep disorders. Having used CBT myself treating individuals with chronic pain, I know there is promise for this when presented and implemented correctly, and as someone with both therapeutic experience and a sleep disorder, I can’t help but think that this, this right here, could be something I want to be a part of. The question is how; how would I get my foot in the door of this niche if I can’t gain more experience working in a hospital or other center full-time? How do I start something where I’m at, when I was fired by one of the largest providers of mental health services in my state, because of my inability to work full-time (because of narcolepsy)?

I’d rather not end on that note though… after I took my token grainy panoramic picture on top of the City Museum that night (which, 10/10 would recommend to anyone visiting Saint Louis), I was at least able to enjoy the breeze on my face, twinkling lights and simple opportunity to be in a completely new place for the first time as a welcome reprieve from the sticky buzz of Saturday night attraction-goers just below me.

What do I want?

It seems like I should write about the fact that I’m helping move my sister into her apartment tomorrow for her senior year of college. Or that I’m going to a narcolepsy conference this weekend (I’m excited for this – I learned such a great deal at the one last year and hope the same will go for this year). Or the disgusting white supremacist protests in Virginia. Or something else – it’s always what I feel I should write about.

What do I want to write about? Start, stop, contemplate. One, two paragraph and then scrap it. I should be doing something other than writing says the little voice in my head.

The voice I live with said the other day “I don’t know why you didn’t just hurry up and eat so you could go with her. What are you going to do, sit on your laptop?” This was deeply triggering to me for some reason, and I spent the better part of an hour after this interaction trying to figure out why.

“I just thought it’d be nice for you to go with her.”

The tone had me nervous, justifying and trying to explain myself – trying to convince her that I was still going to be productive. I heard myself say that I actually had things to do, like finish my laundry, do the dishes and clean my room. All I wanted was rest. To be clear, I’m in no physical danger. This is my mother, who allows me to live with her, pays for most of my food, my car insurance and phone plan among other things. I’m grateful.

The problem is that there is always an undercurrent of not being grateful enough.

Not what I want…

I don’t want to be writing about my mother. I want nothing more than to have a healthy relationship with her, especially at this point in my life. I should right? The shoulds both drive me and torment me – I should be living on my own, in a different city or state perhaps, should have a job doing what I love and have expertise in, should be dating and falling in and out of love, should be doing little things to show appreciation to my parents for all their hard work in raising me. Some of those I know aren’t possible, others feel like they are, but it’s me not putting in the effort.

There was a period of about 6 or 7 years where I saw myself as a complete failure more often than not. I didn’t share these thoughts or views, and now that I’ve been working on it, I realize nobody else can tell a difference. It’s rather lonely. I want validation for ‘all’ I’ve been through, ‘all’ I’ve overcome, ‘all’ my potential – but how can I expect that if I don’t believe it’s true first?

Finding self-belief

I think the reason I keep alluding to the same things (over and over… and over) without any coherent story-line is because of the above. I don’t believe I have a story worth sharing, not really. I want someone to tell me I do, to tell me it’s safe and that there’s really something here. Is there?

Another issue: If I start telling a story, I feel like I have to do it perfectly. One story requires context from another story and then I’ll realize I’ve left something out in this part and then I just think that there’s no way I can… do my own story justice? How conceited! What the hell? My first feeling is disgust, but why? I don’t find myself inherently disgusting anymore… but I still see my own self-promotion that way. Everyone else, it’s fine, it’s great! People need to share their stories! I love hearing those pieces of people they’re brave enough to share and allow others to carry with them as precious treasures. It’s just… mine, at least anything beyond what I’d include on a resume.

It largely seems I just want to write about myself. And I feel guilty about that, like there are much more important things to address and it’s selfish to focus on myself. Yet here I am… How are other bloggers so vulnerable? How do they throw caution to the wind and allows themselves to just be, in all their glorious flaws, struggles and continuing lessons? Or face that fear of being found and having real life repercussions?

Chasing stats and other distractions

Not long after publishing two days ago, I got my first like. There’s always that giddy feeling of someone else acknowledging whatever you just threw out on the internet. Before long, there was another one. More affirmation! And then a third, a fourth – I found myself going back and forth between clicking the little bell and then checking various versions of my overall statistics. I had x views in June, and then improved that in July. I checked the past several weeks – each week had been better than the last. I can do this, I can make it. I just have to make a schedule, stick to it, start researching and planning out some topics I want to teach everyone about.

Yesterday was much of the same, but it didn’t feel as sparkly. I went through and visited the sites of everyone who liked my rambling about authenticity and no bullshit. Deep, esoteric thinkers, raw photographers, story tellers, poets and lifestyle/travel bloggers  that I’ll probably continue to stalk a bit and then decide to follow. But do I follow everyone, one at a time – would I leave anyone out? None, is it too soon?

The excuse of overthinking

Too, too much overthinking. Too, too much going on; that I see, hear, want to comment or write something about, do something about. I’ve spent much of the last year and a half with not enough: social interaction, money, energy, independence, gratitude, joyful experiences, purpose. Lately I’m having trouble deciding what my priorities are, and as a result have a dozen things juggling at once. Which is better than randomly accepting commitments as I used to, trying to be busier than everyone else. I am entirely past that, thank God, though I still have some second guessing guilt with each “no.”

I don’t want to be that busy anymore, ever again. As I state that though, I have an online puzzle waiting for me, and an unfinished podcast about marketing manipulation paused because I was wanting to write up some of my takeaways. And here I find myself.

It reminded me of how inundated I am with messages and knowledge from all corners of everywhere, in my pursuit of “learning” and how I bounce from thing to thing when I’ve consumed it but, having not processed it, can’t apply it yet. I get incredibly frustrated when, later I may try to explain the concept to someone and find that my understanding isn’t enough to relay it externally. In response, I go learn something else, consume another thing, I suppose hoping that this time it’ll just stick. Shitty cycle. I don’t know if that makes any sense, but it (kind of?) does to me.

Gotta publish by x time

I’m leaving my house soon, and already found myself battling the inner dialogue of “hey, if you publish this just before you leave, you can look at stats when you get back!” What’s my motivation for that? It doesn’t matter when I share shit (so, no idea yet). There’s also the worry that I won’t finish this if I leave it because it’s a little (lotta) all over the place. This is so damn uncomfortable because I’m the one who knows what I want to say, knows what I’m doing, can answer any myriad of questions or help you with any number of tasks. I know how to write something of decent quality, convince an audience of my point of view or educate a listener. I’m not doing any of that right now. I’m making up random tags, holding back on the ‘discover’ one because isn’t that a little too self-promotional right now?, and creating subheadings that have nearly nothing in common with what follows them.

Put it in a journal…

Yea, maybe I should. Safer there. I don’t know if my desire to share this sort of post stems from desperately wanting validation or if I think there’s utility in my mess. Makes me wonder how it would change; two posts of this ‘style,’ if I can call it that, is hardly enough to assume anything. Maybe in a couple weeks I’ll change this back, sweep out my dusty confusion and dribbling emotion and exchange it for a logo, marketing strategy, professional pictures and some sort of “product.”

The above just reeks of self-deceit right now; I’ve tried it and in no way was ready. I applaud those who are doing this authentically right now, in the near future, or have done it in the past. I felt like a fraud, incompetent, and beyond that, it just felt not right. At the very least, I’ve learned to trust that. Icky as this is, it seems a bit more right… I think.

A new look doesn’t change how loud my keyboard is…

I decided it was time for a change, because I’m not going anywhere for the time being. That means new layout, new post, new tagline that I’ll change when I come up with something better… and taking my (full) name off of what I’m writing because, although I’m aware anyone with enough time could track me down, that will hopefully be too much effort and I can enjoy at least the illusion of anonymity.

What’s my dilemma? Maybe the better question is what isn’t my dilemma? Right now, I feel like I need to explain everything. I always feel like that, and then I end up with way too much context. But I don’t have to do anything like that – the most pressing current dilemma is that I get anxious typing too much on my computer. I want to write so badly, but I stumble over words, start putting too much context, and then I’ll have my mom or sister ask me what in the world am I doing (ok, that doesn’t always happen, but I don’t want to say I’m writing… and then have them ask what I’m writing about, because I don’t have an answer for that either).

Another dilemma: categories. Why the hell do I have so many? It seems so cluttered, and I have some that might as well be multiples.

Underlying problems…

This is all to distract me from the fact that I’m disappointed in myself. Not every waking moment, but overall?

STOP SLAMMING THE DOOR.

Sorry, that was for my mom. I want to take it out, delete it, but… I’m tagging this with honesty so in it shall stay. I live with my mother and younger sister. My mother is somehow incapable of simply shutting the door that goes from our kitchen out to the garage. Instead, she slams it, as if she doesn’t have the time for that extra step it takes, or the door has a faulty frame that required extra “oomph” to ensure it stays closed. I also honestly think she just enjoys rattling the entire structure of our home, whether it’s 7 a.m. or 10:30 p.m.

My mom takes up a lot of my focus and energy. There’s a lot of baggage there, baggage I can’t just be sharing with the world because, I still live with her.

Everyone’s parents screw their kids up a bit – it’s a fact of life. It can be totally unintentional, but it doesn’t change the fact that it affects me. When in my case, my parent can’t acknowledge or recognize that she’s ever done any wrong (and now that I’m an adult, I’m not innocent either, I know), and I’ll just go ahead and say I feel like it was more than the average “oops,” well, it makes it that much harder to process and forgive and move on.

This wasn’t supposed to be about my mom or my family, but to hell with it – this certainly goes under the category of “underlying problems.”

Did I add too many tags?

Hello over thinking! My constant companion and ever loyal friend. Too many tags? Wrong category? Did I share too much? Is someone going to tell me how terrible of a writer I am? I’m trying to decide if I like the voice I’m writing in at the moment; it’s so uncertain and spastic, not at all the usual calm, articulate, knowledgeable one I try so hard to put out in public. Sure I let this out writing in a journal, but all the “how-to’s” expressly warn against this sort of lolly-gagging.

Door slam #2.

I’m not supposed to write like this. This kind of writing was for LiveJournal and MySpace and the early blogger sites. Not a professional WordPress site, or my personal brand.

Door slam #3.

Someone I know in real life might find this… and tell her… and then what? We haven’t had a good ‘fight’ in a while, so I am a bit worried we’re due, but can’t say for sure. Or maybe a future employer, although jokes on me because I won’t be looking for a full-time job any time soon! Fuck you narcolepsy. Can I say how good it feels to just swear in writing? I’ve been so tight-knit lately, and especially in pretty much all the writing I’ve done this year. Now I’m really questioning whether I should publish this, or make this dusty draft number 37 (hope I’m not the only one with this problem…) in my poor queue.  It’s so hard to determine if what I’m writing has any possible potential for value to anyone, now or later.

I have this little problem where I mistake my value for the image I think I need to portray, or the next accomplishment I see looming on the horizon. I can’t separate the two. I see now that it is, in fact, probably not good, but I don’t even know the extent of it yet. I’m kind of hoping to figure some of that out with this whole new look thing, but as I alluded to, a new look isn’t going to make my keyboard any quieter and I’ll just have to get over that.

So, yes, this is different. And scary to post. Because it’s me… not Advocate Me, not Recreation Therapist Me, not Equestrian Me, Sister Me, Runner/Healthy Me or Academic Me, or even Political Advocate Me, it’s just… me.

 

All in Good Time

IMG_2442.JPGHonestly, the lion has nothing to do with the title. Beyond the fact that I hate searching out stock photos just to get some clicks, but I also intensely desire having a visual of some sort (if it’s my own). Thus,  a lion drawing, sketched from a picture… I did not take.

Silent nearly 6 months, and here I am. I gained a job in January and lost the job by April. Gained another therapist, but lost my insurance again the same week I was “let go.” Thankfully, unintended medication vacation lasted about 5 days this time, compared to over a week back in December. I gained employment thanks to earlier-gained therapist in June, so happy birthday to me. Not as a recreation therapist this time, nor full-time. I’m an associate at a health foods store, working about 20 hours a week, and it suits me just fine right now.

I’ve been in such a hurry for I-don’t-know-how-long. I thought I was past this and had slowed down after graduating last year, was taking time for self-care and recovery, but that’s where I had myself fooled. My mind is at least two leaps beyond both my body and immediate circumstances. After listening to a podcast I’ve been considering where I’m at in relation to three systems: Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, Covey’s Dependent/Independent/Interdependent relationships, and the Graves model.

Maslow

It has been a long time since I’ve looked at my man Abraham’s pyramid. Not as long as I had originally thought (high school??) however, because I recall trying to explain the concept to my patients in the inpatient psych unit during a group earlier this year. As an unrelated aside, it wasn’t a hit, which I am now realizing is probably due to my patients and I being at different Graves levels. Ah, hindsight.

And where am I? Almost entirely in level two, aka safety. I have shelter (though I’m not always welcome in it), but for the past year and a half my health, job, finances and security have been constantly shifting around on the cracked base of my eating habits and (literally) broken sleep.

Covey

In his book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” Stephen Covey talks about the paradigm that all of our relationships fluctuate between dependence, independence and interdependence. Take our relationship with our parents for example and you’ll get what I mean. The fact that I am once more dependent upon my mother is a tough pill to swallow. The other relationship this is applicable to is my chronic illness: I’ve been dependent on narcolepsy’s whims for longer than I realized, and too many times I’ve tried to separate myself from it before I was ready. Each time I’ve tried to “forget” about it, or think that I’m somehow “better,” my reality is usually checked in short order and I am once again dependent on sleep’s whims.

Problem is, it’s not going away. I’m still learning to work with it and not think of it as something that must be overcome.

Graves

I’m too lazy to include a link to explain the Grave’s model right now, but in short, it’s a way of looking at societies as a whole, or yourself. You can zoom in or out as much as you please. I’ve deduced that mentally/cognitively, I’m a lot higher than where I’m at physically. And by that, I don’t mean my body, but my environment and surroundings. So my mind doesn’t really mean shit if my home life, family and community are three levels different. I’ve got to work from where I’m at.


And that leads to where I’m talking about everything happening in good time. Time is an abstract and completely subjective concept anyways, so why measure it right now? I can’t manipulate it to my will and rushing it has only tripped me up. I’m working on being kinder to myself, and kindness has no deadlines or timestamps.

Takeaways from the Great Recession

Now, moments of clarity when I started to understand a bit more about the housing crisis.

recession

Mood: ominous clouds on a highway.

I watched The Big Short last night, on Thanksgiving ironically enough. Why ironic? Well, if you haven’t seen the movie (which is also morbidly humorous), it’s about the housing crisis. You know, that period where 8 million people lost their jobs / homes and everyone who previously had either trusted the banks or was unaware of them, saw the government and Wall Street as one in the same – and they wanted their hands out of their stuff. They were sick of being pawns.

Watching Ryan Gosling, Steve Carell, Brad Pitt, Christian Bale, and one of the guys from American Horror Story in The Big Short, you want them to succeed and “show those banks.” They’re the heroes here, right? At one point someone I was watching with said they couldn’t tell if we were rooting for Ryan or not – “is he one of the good guys?”

It’s hard to tell because it’s purposely confusing. I hesitate to use Forbes as a source here, but this guy doesn’t seem to mind laying out how we, majority of Americans making less than x amount every year, are letting ourselves be played by the banks, meaning the government is also played by the banks.

As long as ‘banks’ convince the public they’re right, they control the government. I use the term bank loosely, because in reality it’s just a breadcrumb trail on a windy path – there’s enough players that no one can blame anyone but “the banks” and “the government.” Which are…? What? The names? Businesses basically have the same rights as you and me, meaning if enough people are playing the game, they can put the burden on old Incorporated® and she* will be responsible for covering any losses. Conveniently, this protects everyone else, because after all, they’re separate.

*Obviously, Incorporated® is a female, because it takes all of the critical attention and shit of the men behind her, without any of the benefits. Also, all of her decisions are made for her.

So, were we rooting for Ryan? No. Because you aren’t Ryan, or Brad, or Steve.

Ryan, Brad, and Steve got paid millions of dollars (both in the movie and in real life) to entertainingly explain how people profited off of the illegal, deceiving acts of other people.

Unfortunately, having a number of people like the characters in the movie screw over the sleazes in the big banks didn’t stop the recession. It didn’t stop them from coming back either.

With that going on and who knows, maybe a student loan bubble looming, is it possible to be anything but cynical?

Apparently, because somehow, I’m still optimistic. Practical, skeptical, and sarcastic, sure, but always coming back to the positive. Depending on the circumstance, that roll-around can take more or less time, but it seems to be the default I come back to. Given the current state of things, that’s an asset I intend to share with whoever finds it.