Opened Up (A Can of Worms)

Well, as previously explained, I’ve always known that I had issues opening up. Once again not out of lack of trust, but simply because there words never seemed to make sense when they departed from my lips.

I’ve decided to try to change that. To open up, let the words flow, and try to hope they’re received correctly. I was pretty apprehensive about the thought of expressing my every thought and emotion at the mere beckon of them, but I did my best to stick through it. It’s been limited to one person, but I’ve done it.

It… hasn’t gone as easy as expected.

I’m even more apprehensive now. Expressing my every thought on request (and sometimes without request) is somewhat troubling, to say the least. Thoughts run through my mind often after speaking out. “Did that come out right? Was that offensive? Did that make sense? Will they understand?” All this and more from simple sentences.

What may be the worst part about it, however, is that it appears I can’t stop. As much as it makes me uncomfortable (anywhere from minimally to moderately) I can’t stop completely expressing everything to them. It’s not to say they’ll take these thoughts & intentions and flip them on me with ill-will, this is just a level of vulnerability I don’t believe I’ve ever felt before. It’s a small, aching, vulnerability that gnaws at the back of my mind occasionally, knowing this could potentially backfire in unforeseeable ways. However, I can’t bring myself to stop laying my cards on the table.

I suppose, in the end, all I can do is hope for the best.

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Opening Up… Or Not.

To say “I’m ok” right now would be a blatant lie. Unfortunately, I’ve lied a lot lately.
But I never could completely open up to people. Friends, family, lovers, I never knew how to properly express how I felt, so I never did. I’d mention some of what’s on my mind. Try to give a little insight, but I never knew how to let it all out. I don’t know why either.

Maybe I don’t want to be judged, maybe I’m afraid to let it all on the table, but I’ve always simply told myself I’d never be able to properly get my view across, so don’t try. I’d like to, but even having both sides of the conversation in my head, nothing makes sense. So if I can’t explain to myself how I feel, how could I possibly try to let someone else know? I would never want my views misconstrued in translation, because I don’t want the wrong points to come across.

It’s not to say I don’t trust those around me. I do. I just don’t trust myself.

K.

The past few days, I’ve spent my time focusing on my flaws and improving myself (cleaning my room, cleaning my car, going to the gym more, etc.). As I sit here at work, I realize I may have completely missed one of my biggest issues; misguided, irrational anger.

 

So, the title. Why “K”? It represents one of the messages I hate to get most in the world; “k”.

Have you been there? In an argument with someone, and they simply reply with “k”? Did you feel hurt? Angry? Feel as if they’ve discarded you and (whatever the situation may be) to the side?

I did. But here’s a better question; why? Why do you feel this way about a single letter? Why so much rage at receiving a short, quick response?

That’s what I asked myself.

See, I’m notorious for getting angry whenever someone “k’d (pronounced; ‘KAY-ed’) me”. If it was an argument, it was now much more of an argument. If it was a response due to your emotional exhaustion, mine had been rekindled like a phoenix at birth. In my previous relationship, this angered me to no end. And she knew. But she didn’t do it out of anger or spite or with any malice at all. It was simply a default response. A quick button-press and a “send” key a way. A simple, single, letter.

There was no way I could ever even attempt to reason it that way. If that response came my way, I would then either become angry or just not reply, while silently cursing the day that became an accepted response to any message, ever.

But I sit here, and can almost chuckle at my past mistakes. “Ha! So much anger over a simple word? Not even a full word, just a letter! How irrational.” Looking back on it, I was mad at the letter. I was mad at everything the letter represented. Lack of interest. Lack of concern. Lack of feeling. Sadness. Anger. 

I was angry that this letter dared to define anger (or any emotion, for the matter) in such a short, easily identifiable manner. I knew the only time she really put ‘k’ was when she was sad or upset with me. But I was angry. I was angry she dared to use a letter she knew upset me. There would be no tending to her emotion, for mine had already taken control of me. It was my turn to be upset. There would be no attempts to resolve the issue that caused the ‘k’ in the first place, we were far past that part of the conversation with just 1 letter.

 

I now no longer hate the letter, but rather, I hate my actions. I hate the childish, selfishness that reared it’s ugly head whenever I was presented with that word. I hate how I felt entitled to feeling wronged whenever I faced that phrase. I hate how I ignored the feelings of those important to me in a brazen display of emotion. But no more. No more will I bound myself to a letter. No more will I be trapped by a solitary character on a digital screen.

No more will I allow emotion to over flow in misguided, irrational anger.

Why Quit Smoking?

Before we begin, I’d like to clear the air and address an important point in this post: this is in no way shape or form designed to convince anyone at all to stop smoking. These are literally thoughts I’ve just had about smoking, specifically cigarette smokers.

A lot of times, people want to quit smoking but don’t quit for any reason from “I can stop whenever I want” to “I’ve tried before, but it just wasn’t working for me”. While these may be valid reasons and each has their own motivation, I think it’s linked to something deeper than. I think there just isn’t enough fear of smoking hazards.

I’m sure we’ve all seen 1 or 2 “Truth” campaign commercials outlining some statistic of smoke related deaths, some gross fact about the contents of cigarettes that’s intended to make people want to think twice about smoking. While that’s fine and dandy, and probably even works on some people, most just see it, go “hmm, gross” then go about their business. Why?
X amount of people die every year due to smoking“.
“Well, I’m still alive.”

X, Y, and Z are terrible chemicals found in cigarettes linked to diseases A, B, and C.
“Ehh, that’s gross and all, but I haven’t been affected by any of that.”
But you COULD BE!
“‘Could?’ Eh, I’ll take my chances.”

And these conversations could go on and on, probably ending with some form of “I’m not worried” or “that hasn’t happened to me”.
This, I believe, is one of the fundamental problems with trying to convince people to quit; no immediate repercussions.

Well all know about positive reinforcement, and negative reinforcement. Do something good, get rewarded. Do something bad, get punished. A pretty simple idea that pretty much drives the human race. There are psychological studies in which this conditioning has been used to train dogs, children, and other various animals. This works so well, because the repercussions are immediate. Child is bad? They get a beating. Dog is bad? He gets hit on the nose. That’s how we make connections to bad decisions; the immediate actions that follow. With smoking, you don’t feel these seconds, minutes, and days being stripped from your life. You cough a little more, your cardio health takes a hit, but all in all you’re fine. This is why I believe the amount of smokers is so high. They don’t immediately get deathly sick. There is no immediate burst of pain from smoking. Just small inconveniences.

If lives were immediately lost, I believe the number of smokers throughout the world would significantly decrease. But even that is circumstantial.

Now, let me preface the COMPLETELY HYPOTHETICAL and in NO WAY RECOMMENDED situation I am about to present; I know multiple smokers, from family to friends, and I would NEVER wish harm on any of them. Got it? Good.

Even if someone were to take it upon themselves to try to provide this immediate negative repercussion, through some kind of chemical agent slipped into cigarettes via mass production from the source, lives would be loss, and there’d just be a lawsuit against the company of those cigarette makers, and charges brought up against the one responsible. That wouldn’t be seen as effects of cigarettes, that would be seen as a “bad batch”. “An isolated incident.” Not the corporations fault, not the smokers fault. I can’t think of a single way to convince the majority of smokers to quit. Can you?

Once again, this is in no way an attempt to convince others to quit smoking, and I do not want, nor endorse, any mass harm against smokers or cigarette corporations.

“Get Inspi(red)”.

That’s what happened to me when I woke up this morning. I had to get up at 6am because a repair man will be here between 8:30am and 9am. The reason I was awaken at 6 was because that is the time everyone else was leaving, and had they not waken me up, I wouldn’t have gotten up at all. Well, after having a large cup of coffee (the best cup I may have ever made actually) I checked my email to find one from the Converse website. It turns out today is World AIDS day, and they were marketing their “Red products”. I personally never knew what the whole (RED) thing was about, so I looked them up. It is a project that works with iconic brands (such as Nike, Converse, Apple, etc.) selling red colored or red accented items. A portion of the profit (“up to 50%”) made from these sales goes to the Global Fund to invest in HIV and AIDS programs in Africa. This was a little motivating to me. It definitely “inspi(red)” me to purchase things of that nature. On the “JoinRed” website (a link I will post at the end of this blog), they said that last year, nearly ½million babies were born last year with HIV. The main goal right now is to “halt and reverse the spread” of this epidemic by 2015. I support this completely. Here are some facts posted by the Global Health Council on the subject of HIV/AIDS:

Over the past 27 years, nearly 25 million people have died from AIDS.1 HIV/AIDS causes debilitating illness and premature death in people during their prime years of life and has devastated families and communities. Further, HIV/AIDS has complicated efforts to fight poverty, improve health, and promote development by:
Diminishing a person’s ability to support, work and provide for his or her family. At the same time, treatment and health-care costs related to HIV/AIDS consume household incomes. The combined effect of reduced income and increased costs impoverishes individuals and households.

Deepening socioeconomic and gender disparities. Women are at high risk of infection and have few options for providing for their families. Children affected by HIV/AIDS, due to their own infection or parental illness or death, are less likely to receive an education, as they leave school to care for ailing parents and younger siblings.

Straining the resources of communities – hospitals, social services, schools and businesses. Health care workers, teachers, and business and government leaders have been lost to HIV/AIDS. The impact of diminished productivity is felt on a national scale.
Through unprecedented global attention and intervention efforts, the rate of new HIV infections has slowed and prevalence rates have leveled off globally and in many regions. Despite the progress seen in some countries and regions, the total number of people living with HIV continues to rise.
In 2008, globally, about 2 million people died of AIDS, 33.4 million were living with HIV and 2.7 million people were newly infected with the virus.

HIV infections and AIDS deaths are unevenly distributed geographically and the nature of the epidemics vary by region. Epidemics are abating in some countries and burgeoning in others. More than 90 percent of people with HIV are living in the developing world.

There is growing recognition that the virus does not discriminate by age, race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic status – everyone is susceptible. However, certain groups are at particular risk of HIV, including men who have sex with men (MSM), injecting drug users (IDUs), and commercial sex workers (CSWs).

The impact of HIV/AIDS on women and girls has been particularly devastating. Women and girls now comprise 50 percent of those aged 15 and older living with HIV.

The impact of HIV/AIDS on children and young people is a severe and growing problem. In 2008, 430,000 children under age 15 were infected with HIV and 280,000 died of AIDS.1, 4 In addition, about 15 million children have lost one or both parents due to the disease.

There are effective prevention and treatment interventions, as well as research efforts to develop new approaches, medications and vaccines.

The sixth Millennium Development Goal (MDG) focuses on stopping and reversing the spread of HIV/AIDS by 2015.

Global funding is increasing, but global need is growing even faster – widening the funding gap. Services and funding are disproportionately available in developed countries.

To view this webpage itself, visit: this link.
For (RED) products to purchase and support the Global Fund, visit: this link.

P.S.: Yes, my page is red today in recognition of World Aids Day.

Ignorance Is A Contagious Sickness; Where Is The Cure?

I wish there was some sort of vaccine I could inject into those around me, because it kills me. The stereotypes, the states of unknowing, it all kills me. However, please do not view me as infalliable, for I am far from that state. I may make jokes about gender, or stereotypes, but never to offend, I will only make such jokes with people I believe will not take offense to the jokes. But the hate? The intolerance for those around us..because they’re different from us? This has to stop. We are in, not only controversial times, but changing times also. We need to open our minds and listen to others. How can people disagree with each other when they barely know each others’ views? It’s ridiculous, this is the thinking that needs to be stopped. This is what is taking our progression backwards. There’s just so much on my mind, but I don’t know what to say. Gotta go.