Fuck You and your Tuna Melts: The Value of Therapy Writing

Two posts in two days – whaaaaaaat?

Apparently I’m stressed this week. And I tend to write more when I’m stressed. I have a lot of uncomfortable situations that are all unfolding at once and I don’t know if I’m dealing with them in the most healthy ways.

Yesterday I wrote about my frustration with one of my friends. But that was only one piece of the puzzle. I still need to have an awkward conversation with my mom tonight and tomorrow I get an update on some medical news I’ve been dreading. More on those in another post (maybe).

So while I managed to vent a little about my friend via blogging and thought I was in a better place post-vent, when I got home from work, a fuse that I thought wasn’t lit and had plenty of length, turned out to be incredibly short and seconds way from blowing shit up.

My boyfriend and I get along great. We seem to have very few fights, and the ones we do, we seem to be very good at solving or forgiving. But the worst ones come in moments of severe hanger.

Being stressed and failing to make any plans for dinner turned out to be a classic mistake.

I kept suggesting meal ideas and my boyfriend kept shooting my suggestions down. Finally, he came up with the idea that we should have tuna melts, which I was totally onboard with. But for whatever reason, he decided he wanted to be the one to make them. My boyfriend, while good intentioned, doesn’t always make the best meals. He sees individual ingredients but he definitely doesn’t see how these ingredients should go together. It’s because of this that we have ended up with meals like spaghetti topped with crushed tortilla chips and salsa… Good intentioned but not the best outcome.

So when he started pulling ingredients out we ended up arguing about basically nothing, which resulted in me throwing my hands up in the air, telling him “fuck you and your tuna melts!” and then storming off to our bedroom to watch Tasty videos on my phone.

I have no real excuse for this reaction and a couple of hours later I realized I needed to sort out my shit. Have you ever tried therapy writing? This is my go to when I need to sort out my feelings. I specifically follow a method called Proprioceptive Writing, which is similar to free writing but with a little more guidance and digging into what your thoughts and feelings mean. I love the process and always feel better afterwards (even if it’s only slightly). It’s nice to layer the logical side of the brain over the emotional side of the brain. I tend to only therapy write when I’m in an especially dark mood, even though it’s recommended that you do this as a daily practice, but it’s always there if I need it. It’s some very cheap and accessible therapy. And thirty minutes of therapy writing definitely helped me sort through all the reasons I’m feeling stressed and short tempered.

I had no real reason to freak out over tuna melts and in the end they were okay. Edible despite the fact my boyfriend decided to use Sriracha instead of mayonnaise to hold the tuna together. Edible, if not slightly ulcer inducing…

When to End a Friendship

Friends come and go in our lives.

Sometimes it’s for the best. As we grow and our interests change so do our tastes and tolerances for the people we thought were our friends.

With most of my “used-to-be-friends” we have just drifted apart. We found that we had less and less in common and there just wasn’t much to talk about anymore. So we both carried on with our lives, both okay with never getting together or talking again.

Generally, a few unanswered texts seems to do the trick and the other person will get the hint. This isn’t a “real relationship” after all, there’s no need to break up with a friend is there?

But how many of our friendship have ended because “we just stopped talking?” And what if it isn’t mutual.

I have a friend that I don’t know what to do about. We have known each other since we were young; three or four years old. We grew up together, went to school, briefly lost touch after high school, got back in touch and have been friends ever since. But she has always been my flakiest friend. She’s really hard to pin down.

I get that she’s busy. In fact, she’s REALLY busy. She works two jobs (both of which require her to travel), is taking her Master’s Degree, and recently joined a rugby team. So she’s always busy, and typically “too busy” to meet up.

But is “too busy” actually a thing? I feel like “not a priority” is more accurate. We make time for the things that are most important to us. So what’s going on here? Is she done being friends with me? Am I no longer a priority? Does she just take for granted the fact that we’ve always been friends so we always will be?

She seems to find time to help friends move, and go on day-hikes with other people, but somehow she can’t find the time for a quick coffee at Starbucks or a walk by the river?

Not only does she fail to find any spare time, but too many times she says “yes” to doing something only to cancel last minute. Or she texts “we should do something” or “we should get together soon” but with no follow-up. Saying we should do something is not the same as doing something.

Part of me is super tempted to cut her out of my life. But she’s one of those people where on the rare occasions when we do get together, it’s like no time has passed at all. We have so much fun together. Plus, because we have known each other for so long, there is so much history and precious memories.

As an unbiased third party, I’m sure it’s obvious what I should do. I should cut her out, right? But I don’t want to. And if we’re going to stop being friends anyway, isn’t it worth trying to say something and let her know that she’s losing me as a friend? That this feels too one-sided and she hurts me every time she doesn’t make room for me in her life?

I hate confrontation. But I also hate the thought of losing a friend just because I didn’t want to get “too serious” and tell her how I feel.

The other problem is that because she’s so hard to pin down, I am not sure when I’ll get the opportunity to say anything. And when we do get together, in the past, I’ve been so reluctant to ruin the time we have. It’s so frustrating. She deserves better than an email. And I would love to hear her side of things without the chance of misinterpreting things over email due to a lack of body language and intonation.

So I think it’s time to tell her how I feel and face the awkwardness. And if I need to break-up with her as a friend, maybe it’s for the best.

If anyone has any advice, I would love to hear it!

Showing Up

This is the one piece of advice I hear over and over again.

“Just sit down and start writing.”

“You only need 5 minutes a day to meditate.”

“Showing up to the mat is the greatest gift you can give yourself.”

“Set out your exercise clothes the night before.”

These are all variations of the same advice. The hardest part of forming any new habit, working towards any new goal, it starting.

I recently downloading a 30-Day Challenge Fitness app. It takes about 5 minutes to get through the exercises on Easy. But I find once I have my tights and sports bra on I usually add in extra exercises. I have a pelvic tilt problem, so why not do a couple of exercises for that? I’m at risk for developing a hunch from my bad posture while sitting at a desk, so why not do a few exercises to correct that? Maybe I’ll tack on a few breathing exercises or turn on some YogaTube. It’s a great way to get things going.

I have a Spanish app as well. Duolingo is based on the whole 5-minutes a day premise. It’s quick and if I have extra time I typically end up doing more than the one lessons requirement.

Sitting down to write for 5 minutes, often leads to at least 20 minutes.

I leave my guitar out, rather than in its case, so its accessible. As soon as I touch it, I’ll play a couple of songs. Even if I just sit in front of the TV and practice chords and building my finger strength I consider it a win.

Every little bit counts, but showing up is the one obstacle I must overcome every day. And it’s hard. But worth it.

Flying Solo: My Choir!Choir!Choir! Experience

Sometimes I really feel sorry for myself. My mom calls them “Self-Pity Parties.”

Despite the fact that I’ve been in a long-term relationship for years, all of my family lives close by, and have a number good friends, I go through periods when I feel soul-achingly lonely.

And it usually happens when there’s something I really want to do and I can’t find a partner-in-crime who wants to join me.

I’ve probably missed out on a lot of things in my life for no other reason than I had no one to go with. Fortunately, I’m very good at convincing myself I never really wanted to go that bad in the first place, so I also normally get to live with few regrets.

But I used to be really good at not caring if there was someone else to go with, and I’m trying to bring that attitude back into my daily life. As someone who has introverted tendencies, it’s intimidating showing up to an unfamiliar place full of faces you don’t recognize. Sometimes, it can be really nice to have a safety-blanket-friend with you that you can latch onto so you don’t have to talk to other people. I am not very outgoing and I don’t want to small talk with anyone. EVER. I hate small talk. Although, I get that trying to be more friendly with people would probably improve the experience, sometimes I just can’t do it. And regardless of your introverted OR extroverted tendencies, it can be really hard stepping outside of your comfort zone. It’s called a comfort zone for a reason.

But the last two days I did it. I stepped out of my comfort zone, and I went to a singing boot camp hosted by Choir!Choir!Choir!

If you have never heard of Choir!Choir!Choir! check them out here – they are amazing and I would totally suggest going to one of their events if you ever have the chance. And since I had the chance, I went. As a part of the boot camp, I got to learn harmonies so that I could get onstage after a few hours of practice and sing infront of a couple of thousand people.  The problem was that I didn’t know anyone who had the time and the willingness to do this, so I went alone. How often do you get the chance to sing onstage at a major venue? For me? Likely, never. So how could I pass that up? And it was so much fun.

And when it was finally time to perform at the concert, again, I had no one who could come with me so last minute. I hadn’t invited anyone in advance because I didn’t know if I would even get to sit in the audience. So again, I went alone.

And it was lonely.

But it was also amazing.

And I’m so glad I did it. I could have let that lonely feeling ruin my night. But I didn’t. Instead I got to do exactly what I wanted to do independently of anyone else’s schedule or interest or willingness.

And now I have another experience that I will never forget. Our experiences help define who we are. And I get to be someone who sang onstage at the Jubilee Auditorium.

***

Below is a little blurb and video to go with said blurb.

As a part of Canada 150, Calgary Folk Music Festival was honouring Canadian songs performed by established and emerging Canadian artists by hosting a free concert. Choir!Choir!Choir! was asked to come and do an interactive performance of Harvest Moon by Neil Young and Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen. Below isn’t the video of the concert I did (that one can be found on Choir!Choir!Choir’s Facebook page but embedding a Facebook video into WordPress seemed way too complicated) but this is one that they filmed with Rufus Wainwright – VERY similar to the version we did.