I Dreamed a Dream

As of late, (especially after last night) I’ve been deeply considering dreams, why they happen, and what they mean.

What I’m truly curious about is how much is just jibber jabber oddness and what it truly a reflection of the subconscious mind. For example, I’m currently preparing for a trip with my boyfriend. We’re attending a convention and have a hotel booked for a couple nights. The other day, I dreamt that we checked into the hotel, arrived at our room, and all of a sudden two of my best friends were there, planning to share our room. I think I was consciously confused (It was a realistic dream, I rather thought it was actually happening), knowing that my friends had not been planning on joining us. In the time before sleeping, I had considered the option of inviting friends to join us at the convention. Splitting a room between four would be cheaper than between two. The conflict remained in that I really was looking forward to spending a weekend with just myself and my boyfriend. Thus, this dream was based on a realistic inner-argument.

Oppositely, I have had many dreams that seem to have little to no anchor in reality. When I was younger I used to have repeating nightmares about the strangest things. The particular dream I can remember is when myself and a group of people were getting chased around the equivalent of a Hedge Maze by Godzilla. This dream made very little sense. I had never seen a Godzilla movie. Had only seen commercials, at most. Also, running around in a maze with ten foot high walls does not allow for much concealment from a mile-high monster.

Now, to the most recent dream (which led me to consider this topic). This particular dream started out fairly normal, in that it had nothing to do with anything. Somehow, it progressed to myself and a group of people sitting in an unknown home, where a person that I had a falling-out with a nearly a year ago sat waiting.

This is the second time I have had a dream involving this person that I am, unfortunately, no longer friends with. This particular dream seems to be strongly rooted in my waking thoughts, as I often contemplate (and very recently did) my past friendship with this person, and how I often think of contacting said person to try and reconcile.

The big question now is whether or not my subconscious is simply harassing me because I am already stressing out over a certain topic, or if it is trying to tell me to go ahead with what I already have considered in my waking state.

February: The (other) Season of Commercialism

Much like Christmas, Valentine’s Day has become less about love and family, caring and kindness, and more about who can give the coolest, most expensive gift.

Now don’t get me wrong. I love a good holiday and any excuse to give/receive gifts or spend a romantic evening with my boyfriend. However I do have a few minor qualms with this particular holiday. Let’s take a look:

1) Why are we limited to one day of romanticism a year?

I know we’re not truly limited  per se, but Valentine’s Day sets a sort of precedent that it is the only day you should bother to do anything sweet for your honey. Why not be spontaneous and do sweet things just because?

2) If it’s supposed to be about love, why do we have to get such expensive gifts?
My boyfriend and I have, thankfully, made something of a continuous pact to not go overboard on V-Day. I don’t expect him pay exorbitant amounts of money, nor do I wish to myself. This year we got each other a card and some inexpensive chocolates.

3) Why exactly do we have to isolate the single people?

I have quite a few single friends and have myself experienced the “shame” of being single on V-Day before. Honestly though? I don’t think the holiday should be focused so strongly on lovers. If you want to have a girl’s night out with your best friends or take your granny out for dinner, why should that be so terrible? Love isn’t shared only between lovers, but between all types of relationships.

So what do we do?

Well, this year I’m giving silly Valentine’s to some of the people I love most and spending the day at work enjoying heart shaped donuts with my co-workers. Tonight I’ll go home and watch movies with my cats, because even though I have a boyfriend, we can’t see each other this Valentine’s Day. And you know what? It’s really not so bad.

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Doooooom Spiral

Today I’d like to talk about a very personal issue, for myself and others. I’ll start the conversation with a story.

In my first year of college, as is the case for many I’m sure, a lot changed and a lot happened. Some of which was expected, much of which was not.

In that time I made friends. More importantly, I lost friends. Loneliness coupled with boredom attached to self loathing led to what I now refer to as a doom spiral. In fact, it was the biggest spiral of my lifetime.

Calling it a doom spiral makes it seem a bit more comical and a little less devastating, but in reality it was the largest bout of depression I had ever and have ever had. My Facebook was filled with self-deprecation and anguish, which in reality were the biggest cries for help I could manage. My roommate had moved out of our dormroom and all the friends we had shared went with her. I was two hours and a hundred miles away from my family and all my friends from high school and I was (or so I felt) utterly and blatantly alone.

My parents had a vague idea of how unhappy I was. I went home as often as possible and would offhandedly mention my lack of friends and how much I missed home while feigning that I still had any semblance of happiness left in my body. They had only an idea the extent of the storm raging inside me.

Oppositely, my best friend of six years quietly despaired for me, seeing my Facebook and being able to interpret the meaning, sending caring messages which fell to deaf ears. She later told me just how scared she had been for me. Scared and useless at not being able to do anything for me.

Finally, I began to admit the problem to myself and that I needed help. The first step I took was talking to my RA. After a couple visits where I hinted at my issue,  she suggested I make an appointment with one of our school counselors and even offered to walk over with me and help me set up the appointment. I declined, but after another couple weeks of listlessness, I finally scheduled a meeting.

The remainder of the semester was a bit of a blur. Things still weren’t perfect, but they were improving. I started feeling better, started making friends, and slowly stopped feeling like I was falling apart. I stopped spending so many weekends at my parents and started attending events. Instead of thinking I wouldn’t come back after the summer, I made plans and landed a job as an RA for the following year.

My hope had returned. My despair thrown to the wayside. Life continued as it always does.

Now, I think it’s important to note that I don’t mean this to be entirely self-serving. I am not looking for pity or sympathy. I simply wish to raise a little awareness. Since that time in my life, I have never reached that level of depression, though I do occasionally fall back into doom spirals.

What I think is important is that we as people, as friends, as family members, learn to be more aware of these situations. Whenever I see something that reminds me of that time in my life appear on Facebook, I leave a kind word, or send a message to check on the person. If someone does a need to talk, I listen. I look for signs, because I would wish on no one what my life was like back then.

If you yourself suffer from depression, I enthusiastically recommend that you reach out to someone. A friend. A forum. Your doctor. Anyone. Because holding it in doesn’t make you feel better and doing nothing will only allow it to get worse. Know that you are not alone, no matter how much you may feel so. Know that there is help and even if you can’t see it now, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

All my love,

Skyler

A Community of Love

Just yesterday I posted something relating to MLP: Friendship is Magic. At that time I was simply commenting on a fan product. Today I will comment on the Community that product resulted from.

But first, the reason why I feel a commentary is necessary. Today while traipsing through my Facebook news feed, I came across a post from The Hub, the network which hosts My Little Pony. That post was as follows:

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First seeing this, I was extremely confused as it offered no real details on the situation. My first thought was that perhaps it was one of the voice actors for the show that had fallen ill or passed away.

Curious, I googled the name to find out what exactly was going on. This was what I was greeted with:

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Micheal Morones is an 11 year old boy who loves My Little Pony. His favorite character is Pinkie Pie. He loves the music of Lindsey Sterling and Pentatonix. He sounds like a great addition to the nerd community. Unfortunately, he has been bullied by his schoolmates for his Brony interests. The result is…. well, you can read the story here.

While this is a terribly tragic situation which saddens my heart to hear about I am truly amazed by how much the MLP community, and others, have stepped up. Carla Goldman helped to raise awareness of the situation and bullying by writing about it in her blog. Through her I learned that the actress who voices Pinkie Pie as well as other members of the cast have been sending Michael messages of inspiration from our Ponyville friends in hopes of helping him get better. Which I think is absolutely wonderful. Hasbro has offered their condolences and support. A GoFundMe campaign is raising money to help with Michael’s medical bills. Bronies around the world are sending their love.

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All in all, I am thoroughly impressed with the amount of love and support the community has offered to Michael and his family and I hope that his story will be beneficial in the fight against bullying. The results lead me to believe  there may still be some hope for humanity after all.

To the Bronies I say good work and keep at it! The world may not accept you and your Pegasisters, but take stock in the fact that you are doing good. Thank you for taking a stance and making a difference. Know that I love you and the things you are doing. Rock on Bronies.

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Family Matters

So, for the past month or so I’ve been hearing this advertisement on the radio while driving to/from work. I have bristled with contempt each time I have heard it. I don’t even remember what it’s about now, because as soon as I hear the first line, which is the part that bothers me, I change stations.

What could this line be, you may ask, that offends me so? It is as follows:

“As a woman, my family is most important to me.”

This seems fairly unimposing. Why would this be offensive. What strikes me each time is the “as a woman” bit.

As a woman, family is most important to me. I’m not sure why this rubs me the wrong way so much. Maybe because I feel it makes the assumption that family should be the most important aspect of life to a woman. Maybe because it suggests that as a man, family is not and cannot be the most important thing.

Honestly, I feel like those three words “as a woman” are a hugely unnecessary addition to whatever it is this commercial is advertising. Like caring about your family is conditional and if you aren’t a woman it can’t possibly be the most important thing to you.

Who knows? Maybe I’m just not womanly enough to understand.

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Daily Prompt: GenXYZ

For today’s Daily Prompt I’ll be considering those included in Generation Z as a cohort of the Generation Y group,  or as I prefer, the Millennials.

While I am by no means what could be described as “old”, I find myself using the phrase “kids these days” all too often.

Perhaps it was my upbringing, perhaps it was the time period. Either way, I can’t help but believe that when I was a kid, things were much different than they are now. Every kid has a phone, a smartphone, an iPad, an iPod, a Kindle or some other piece of technology i may be unaware of. This in itself is not such a horrible concept. I myself love these items of great technology. What I do have a problem with is the sense of entitlement it seems many of the GenZs emit. The “I deserve this just because I do” attitude.

Then there’s the lack of respect to cover. When I was a kid I did something that warranted grounding once. I was so appalled by my punishment of no friends, phone, etc. that I never acted poorly towards my parents again. Now, this problem might not be entirely their fault. I think this is blamed partially on the times, partially on society, and partially on the fact that parental discipline is a thing of the past. If you say there are consequences for a behaviour and don’t follow through, you can’t be surprised when the behaviour continues.

I’ll be the first to admit that nobody’s perfect and each generation has it’s flaws. GenX probably feels the same way about my generation as I do the next. There are plenty of complaints I could lodge about the prior generation and likely my own as well. As time passes, there will be new and ever changing societal concerns. One thing is sure, I’ll be curious to see what these GenZs will accomplish in the coming years and what issues the Generation that follows them will produce.