Written June 10, 2008
I have been bugging Management for weeks now, telling them that I want a name tag. Finally last night I went to yet another supervisor and told them I wanted a name tag. The Supervisor, Chris, said they didn't have anyone in the office to order one for me. However, they had one name tag in the back office. The store has NEVER had an employee named Chelsea, so I opted to adopt the name for the interim.
Only one customer yesterday called me Chelsea. He asked me what my name was, and since I have issues with telling a lie, I just pointed to the name tag. Afterward I felt so silly that I went and told Chris what had happened. My nickname is now Chelsea at work, and it's getting around quite fast. Already I answer to the name.
Perhaps this is a good choice for a Pen Name. Now I just need a last name to go with Chelsea.
I don't often get mail. In today's era of social media and technological advances, who does?
I sat across the table from Bill at lunch today, feeling increasingly paranoid that people were staring at me for no apparent reason. I've become familiar with the term "introvert" lately, as I have finally come to terms with the fact that it's a very clear way to define the personality traits that have overcome me in the last few years. I hide from the world, locked away for sometimes days on end, avoiding strangers and enjoying the company of my cats. Sitting there in a restaurant, feeling the eyes of strangers on me - I became unusually self conscious.
There was a time I delighted in the attention of strangers. I loved walking into a crowded room and feeling like everyone there was watching my every move. Those days are long gone, but why? That may be something only a psychologist can answer for now. I've changed. Deep within my core, I've changed. Years ago, I feared being alone. Today, I relish in it.
Human interaction is rare for me now. For the past month, I've worked a total of 4 days, and not having to put myself on the proverbial stage in an aircraft has been an eye-opening experience as to who I truly am these days. I never before gave myself the time to slow down and find out. I'm great with people, and I love making people laugh when I'm around them. But being alone? That's something you can't teach or learn. I didn't "learn" how to be alone. Rather, I discovered it; or more accurately, it discovered me.
When I returned to my home after lunch, the sense of peace settled in over me like a blanket. I checked my mail, brought it all inside and closed the door.
There, among the junk I usually get, I discovered a pastel envelope that felt like it contained a card. My birthday is still several months away, so I couldn't imagine what it could be! When I opened it, I had a bit of a surprise.
There was not only a sweet card, but also a gift card, from my 5th grade teacher, who recently had a photography competition on Facebook. I had apparently won the competition based on my submissions, and this was a congratulatory message.
After feeling so overwhelmed today at lunch, coming home to find this reminded me that it's perfectly OK to be in introvert. I'm still learning how to deal with it, since it's still so new to me, but that's OK too. I'm not alone. Neither are you.
Men vs. women
Quantity vs. quality
"The Man" competition:
Men don't care about what kind of women they get attention from, just as long as they get more than their buddies. One more phone number after a night out is validation to them that they are smart and handsome, worthy of adoration.
The "Woman" Competition.
Women care so much about who they get attention from that they want YOURS because they want to prove they can. It's how they validate their own crushed self esteem. It proves to their shallow and fragile egos that they are 'pretty' on the outside, even if it's counterproductive to the inside.
Don't compete with anyone but yourself. Love isn't a game, a prize or a competition. It's rare and special, and if you don't treat it as such, you'll lose it and end up alone.
In the spirit of sharing: A story I've never told.
It seems the sudden and tragic death if famed comedia Robin Williams has shocked and saddened the entire world. He was pure genius, often our only way of escaping the sadness of our own lives.
I, too, suffer with depression. This is a story I've never shared in detail before. Some know a tidbit. Some know a detail. But until now I've never shared so much about one of my darkest hours on earth.
A little over three years ago, I walked out of the door to my temporary home in Scotland with nothing in my pockets but one cigarette and a lighter.
I walked a Mile to the graveyard, where I sat on the church steps for an hour or two, praying somebody would find me and take me inside, to tell me I would be ok and that life was worth living.
I sat there all alone on the front steps for hours. Finally I moved to the back of the church where I found a spot in the grass and talked. The only body around was one far beneath the earth I sat on. The headstone was dated back to the 1700's, but that didn't matter. I needed a friend, and he was the only one around at the time. Still, I was alone.
I had been ruthlessly tortured for months, used as nothing more than a pit bull for dog fights. I was nothing. I was garbage. I shouldn't have been alive. I should be in a box under the grass beside my friend in the abandoned, forgotten church yard. I was a coward. I didn't deserve to live if I couldn't stand up for myself and break away from my imprisonment.
Finally I realized - nobody was coming. There would be no miracle. There was no Suicide Hotline, and they wouldn't have been able to help me, anyway. Nobody would save me. It wasn't a movie. Nobody cared. Nobody reached out. Nobody told me it would be ok. Nobody stood beside me when I needed it. Nobody.
I trudged my way to the train tracks. It would be a fast ending to a miserable existence. I would die immediately upon impact, my body never having the time to send pain signals to my brain. Lights out, like a snap of the fingers. Or neck.
I sat beside the train tracks. I pulled out my cigarette and my lighter. I lit it. I inhaled. Slowly I let the smoke curl up from my lips and escape into the air, just as my spirit would in another five minutes. This would be my last cigarette.
A kindly soul with his young child approached and he asked me for a light. I offered him my lighter and even told him he could keep it. He insisted he give it back when he was finished, as he would have no further use for it. I wanted to tell him, neither would I. But I had to wait until the child was gone. I wouldn't dare end my life with a child watching. I would never scar an innocent mind like that.
As I sat waiting, I heard the train clack-clacking down the rails. The rhythmic beat marched up with words that seemed to float in from nowhere. In my mind, I wrote a sad and haunting poem that sticks with me even today.
I got up and practically ran the full distance back to my prison. I needed paper. I had to write it down lest I forget it!
The only thing that saved my life that day - the ONLY thing - was my writing. So the next time you hear me say I'm passionate about it, maybe you'll better understand why.
It wasn't a stranger. It wasn't even the kid. It wasn't some miracle. It was me. Simply put, it was my writing. And I knew I could never leave this planet without sharing at least some part of my writing with the world.
I wanted to die, but I NEEDED to live.
Need help? In the U.S., call 1-800-273-8255
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline