Breaking the Silence- my short story.

Hey people! 🙂

I was going to write this post a few days earlier, but I was actually writing this story for a loooong time, and then rewriting bits of it, and wondering whether I should actually post it and whether I like it, and then I ended up with a migraine yesterday, so hopefully I can do it today. The title was meant to be only for the draft but I didn’t have a better idea so I left it as it was. I based it on the following prompt from The Goddess Journaling Workbook by Beatrix Minerva Linden:

I welcome new adventures. Imagine the most exciting adventure which could happen to you tomorrow. Write a short story about it. You don’t have to keep things realistic: allow yourself to dream big.

And as you can see, I did allow myself to dream very big. As always, apologies for any linguistic shortcomings and do let me know if you see something about the language that could be improved as I’m not a native and have only wrote a few stories in English so far. Also, a little note to the bit at the end of the story, about the old lady and the “guide cat”. It was inspired by a few stories I’ve heard from different guide dog owners who said that people often talk to their dogs, rather than to them, or believe some strange things like that guide dogs can read traffic signs.

Okay, here goes:

Breaking the Silence

“Oh, wow!” – I exclaimed in my brain, looking at the clock- “4 AM! Is it really?!” For the last six and a half hour, I was writing another chapter of my Jack Hamilton novel, or perhaps I should say saga at this point. I hadn’t touched it for ages, but today I must have caught up on all that time. While writing, I didn’t feel the passing time whatsoever, just like it always was back when I used to write the novel regularly, every single night at school, because when you spend time with someone as interesting as Jack Hamilton, there would be something badly wrong with you if you paid any attention at all to such a trivial thing as time. Now that I stopped writing though, and my brain hit the hard surface of the real world, the tiredness and lack of sleep hit me just as hard. Satisfied with the result of my efforts and with having been able to hang out with Jack for so long, I turned the computer off, put some music on and went to bed. Very unusually, Misha was already waiting for me in his bed, sound asleep. Usually he only comes when I call him, and when I go to sleep this late, it’s rare that he would still be waiting for me. I felt really happy to have him close to me. I laid next to him, and very soon, as for my standards, I followed him to Dreamland.

* * * * *

I was still in a deep sleep, floating from one dream to another, when I heard a very faint sound coming, as it seemed, from the real world. It felt vaguely familiar, and there was something urgent about it, but I was way too sleepy to care, and just ignored it. Admittedly, a part of me was pretty sure that it already must be indecently late for sleep, but really, what’s decency gotta do with sleep at all? I kept on dreaming. After all, you don’t get nice dreams every night, certainly not if you’re me, so why should I give up on cool dreams featuring Jack Hamilton just because there’s something squealing in my room? Or whatever is it doing. After a while though, the sound repeated, pulling me out of my new dream, but still not out of sleep. “Perhaps there’s a baby somewhere” – I thought, and fell in a deep sleep again. – The little sounds repeated more and more frequently, getting louder with each time, now making it impossible to sleep deeply and peacefully, but I was still too sleepy to fully wake up, even though with every such sound, deep down I felt an increasing sense of that I actually should for some reason. After a while they turned into wailing, and became even more annoying. Then the wailing turned into proper crying, and then started to morph into words:

“Pleeeeeaaaaase, wake up, I really, really need to pee.”

and then suddenly my consciousness started working properly. Or semi-properly. It must be Misha. Why didn’t I leave the door opened so that he could get out whenever he’d wake up? How funny that my brain started to make up words to his meowing. While I usually love waking to Misha greeting me with his little sounds and cuddle him before letting him out in the morning, when I have a late night it’s definitely not as pleasant to get out of bed just to open the door for Misha, even if I can go straight back to bed immediately. I sat up slowly and checked the time, while the now very agitated Misha jumped at the door. “What? It can’t be 1 PM already.” – I thought. “Misha wouldn’t be here by now. Sure someone would let him out”. Misha usually wakes up earlier than any of us, so when my Mum doesn’t see him downstairs when she gets up, she often checks whether he is in my room,and sometimes lets him out, because, just like me, she likes very much his presence in the morning, and when he’s not there, it feels very empty. Also she doesn’t understand that a lot of the time I find it very pleasant to be able to see Misha first thing in the morning and that it’s pure pleasure to let him out, because for her it would be a nuisance, so she does it for me as well.

“Hey, Mishmish, what are you still doing here?” – I asked groggily. –

“Hmmm, let’s think… Purrhaps because my so called “mummy” likes her sleep more than me, and no one else can be bothered to open the flipping door?”

I jumped up to the ceiling. What was that?! Have I gone totally mad now? I was frantically trying to come up with an excuse for what has just happened. Maybe Zofijka is in a silly mood and making some weird pranks? Or perhaps seriously I’ve got some bad hallucinations. I was ready to admit there must be something in what people say that I’m too obsessed with Misha.

“Misha?” – this was the only thing I was able to say.

“Misha, Shmisha!”.

I didn’t know what more could I say… Then suddenly my confusion and fear turned into pure amusement. I fell back on the bed heavily and started laughing heartily at myself. OMG, my brain must be really off that I am wide awake and still seriously consider the possibility that my cat can talk. Too much silly playing with Sofi.

“What’s so funny?!” – the little voice grew more annoyed. – Still laughing, I thought that “Actually, what’s so wrong about it? I’ve always talked to Misha so now I should be happy I can also hear him. Who cares if I’m the only one who does? Let’s just go with the flow!”. –

“When you’ll be as old as me, Misha, you’ll notice that most things are funny, even if they aren’t.”

“Deign to remember that I’m already older than you, I’m over 30 in peep years. Now, will you finally let me out so I can go to the loo or should I do it on the carpet?”

“Oh, Misha!!!”

“What, Misha”.

“Have you really been waiting all day long for me to let you out?”

I immediately remembered the time when Sasha was still with us, and when we were going for a day-long pilgrimage. Despite Misha and Sasha weren’t getting along with each other, Mum decided to put the two of them in the cellar with the food, water and litterbox, because Sasha, despite being a very clever kitten overall, had a real problem with peeing in the right place, which, as we later discovered, must have been due to some traumatic experience with Misha. He would do his thing everywhere but not in the litterbox, and had a very strong aversion to it. At least in the cellar there was nothing that could be damaged if he peed or pooped on it. Since Misha needed to do the business somewhere as well, and we had only one litterbox, he had to go in the cellar too. And when we came back from the pilgrimage, there was pee and poop in three different cellars, the litterbox was empty, Sasha was basking in the sun on the windowsill with his paws dirty from the poop, and Misha sitting high up on the wardrobe looking utterly scared. When we let them out and Mum put the litterbox back in place, Misha sprang to the loo immediately and it was clear that he was holding it all day long, so stressed he was. Also when there was a time that no one cleaned his litterbox, instead of doing his thing wherever else, he was holding it until it was clean and he could do it properly.

Poor little thing, I wouldn’t blame him if he just peed on the rug in these circumstances, as he tried his best to wake me up, and normally I wake up fairly quickly when I hear him, as this is almost always the first thing I hear in the morning, but he probably just couldn’t bring himself to do this.

“Oh my, Misha, I’m so sorry…”

I quickly opened the door and he sprang out and flew downstairs with lightning speed.

“Was that why he started talking?” – I thought to myself. – Nonsense! It must have all been in my head. Sometimes, as it seems, hallucinations can be very useful for pet owners. I wonder if parents with babies ever experience the same phenomenon? God knows how long I would sleep if this didn’t happen. Or maybe it’s because of my out-of-whack sleep that I hear cats talking?

The house was empty, except for me and my talking feline, and I was on my way to the kitchen, when I heard a voice from the loo: “Can you please turn the light on? You guys always remember about it when you go to the loo, but you’ll never switch it on fur me.”

“Okay, no problem, if you want… but do you really need it? I mean… I’ve always thought cats can see in the dark?” – I said, switching the light on. –

“Obviously I can see in the dark, but I can also listen to the music, can’t I?”

“Absolutely yes!”

I don’t know if it’s a common practice in other countries, but definitely not here, so I believe you must learn, dear reader, that we are people strange enough to have a radio in the loo, so that it starts playing when you switch on the light.

“Uhhh, you listen to some real shit! Isn’t there any proper music?”

“WHat sort of music do you like to listen to?”

“…A human asked her cat, with whom she has lived fur over four years.” – the excess of pee has definitely made Misha feel very sarcastic. –

“Well you’ve never told me so how should I know?” – I asked, a bit irritated. I never thought my little Misha could be so grumpy.

“You do know! Jazz, classical and baroque. And renaissance music is okay. ANd some of your folk music is decent. And Russian ballads… And relaxing piano music. And Russian drum & bass is my guilty pleasure”.

“Huh, my intuition must be truly outstanding. ANd Zofijka’s.” – I thought. These are the genres we’ve always imagined that Misha likes, including the Russian drum & bass bit. Also because he seems to respond very well to some of these genres, like classical music. I found the station with classical music for him and finally went to the kitchen o get Misha’s favourite sauce, hoping he’ll consider it a good recompense for my previous shortcoming, and that perhaps this way I could persuade him into some more talking. I wondered what I should eat myself, but then noticed a plate of small sandwiches, like the ones my Dad always makes, on the table, with a piece of apple pie and a mug of iced coffee, and thought they must be for me. Yum, how cool that someone thought about me! As I started eating, Misha finally emerged from the loo.

“Enjoy your meal. And thank you fur turning on the radio. You left so quickly that I couldn’t thank you in time.”

“You’re always most welcome, Mishi. Are you always so very polite?”

“Yeah, always when I speak. Even when I’m grumpy at the same time.” – he noticed his bowl with sauce and started eating happily.

“You enjoy your meal too. Why are you talking now? I mean, why didn’t you do it before?”

“This sauce is very yummy, thank you, Mila. I had to wake you up somehow, right? And I really don’t like to pee on the carpets. They’re so unpleasant, at least fur peeing, you can’t even do it discreetly on them. So I had to do something, right? Other peeps left very early and I didn’t want to get up then just yet, but I didn’t think I’d have to be imprisoned in one room for so long”.

“But you speak very well. How do you do it?”

“Duh, all cats can speak! It’s just too much fuss so we normally don’t bother. We’re not made for this. But we’d have to be really stupid if, after living with people for as long as we do, we wouldn’t be able to speak. Especially with me when you talk to me all the time and in so many languages. Can I have some more Mish ice-cream, please?”

“No, you’ve just had a whole bowl.”

“But pleeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaase. I’m so hungry. And I can speak so well. Shouldn’t I get a proper treat fur that? Some whipped cream or something? I can say please in Swedish. Or in Welsh. Much more than please, actually.”

“Okay, okay, we shall see if there are some more snacks for Misha. But not whipped cream, you’d have to ask Mum for that.” – I squeezed another tube of Mish ice-cream into his bowl, all the while smearing my fingers in it, which prompted Misha to start licking them enthusiastically.

“Thank you, I love Mish ice-cream so much!” – he said, rubbing his head lightly with his paw, as he always does after a delicious meal. –

“I love making you happy.” – I said, smiling at him.

“I love making you happy too, that’s my job, isn’t it”.

“I guess so. I think we bothh live to make each other happy”.

Misha sat still for a while, as if thinking deeply about something.

“I’ll be happy if you let me out now”.

“What?!” – I screamed in shock, much louder than necessary. – “Misha, you are so clever, you can speak and all. So why can’t you understand that you just can’t go out? It’s unsafe for you. You don’t know what it’s like outside. There are a lot of animals and they can do something to you, hurt you or even kill you. Or someone can still you, because you are so beautiful, and people could get a lot of money for you. Or just be happy to have such a beautiful cat for themselves for free. There’s no way I’m letting you out. You could get lost, ran over by a car, you wouldn’t know how to get food, and you’re just not used to living outside. It only looks so nice in theory, but it’s very dangerous for such small, beautiful and unexperienced little Mishas”.

“Is your lecture finally over?” – he sighed theatrically – “I’m sorry but I don’t agree with you. It’s exactly the other way around. I’m so very clever, can speak and all, and therefore I do understand purrfectly well what it’s like outside, even though you never let me out. So it’s not dangerous for me. I know how to stay safe, trust me”.

“No, Misha, there’s no way you’re going to do that!”.

“If you’ll go with me, will you stop panicking?”

“No!!!” – I yelled in frustration – “Why do you have to be so stubborn? I said no, and it means no! It doesn’t change anything if I’ll go with you, because you always do everything to slip out of the leash, even with Mum or Sofi, and I won’t be able to see what you’re doing. You’re not going anywhere and that’s it!” – I was already missing those times when Misha didn’t speak. Now it’ll probably be an endless battle. What a sheer luck that he can’t open doors! Or can he? – “Plus, Misha, I can’t go with you alone because I can’t get around outside by myself, so we’d both be almost equally clueless. You know we have a river on our backyard so we could both end up in there.”

” You’re a liar! You said you want to make me happy but now when I want to do something that makes me happy you won’t let me. I’m not clueless. I could be your guide cat.” – he giggled.

“I would never think you could be so stupid.” – I mumbled, feeling like tossing him inside the wardrobe and not letting out for the next few hours.

“This is very offensive. Mila, why can’t you give me just one chance. One little chance. We’ll just go out for a little while. I’ll be really careful. I won’t slip out of the leash, if you won’t keep it too tight, and I’ll make sure we don’t fall into the river or anywhere else. And I won’t run away and we’ll come back home soon. We’ll just go for a little walk. Wouldn’t you like to go for a walk with your little Misha. If you really want, we can stay here in the backyard or in the garden, but we could also go out on the streets, why not? I know how to deal with cars. Please, Mila, give me just one chance”.

“You had many chances before, don’t you remember? We let you out but you’d always try to run away or cry all the time that you want out again”.

“I won’t cry at all after we go this time, I promise. I really, really promise. You wouldn’t want to bet with me, because I will win it and you’ll have to get me 50 litres of whipped cream.” – his typical Russian blue smile widened. –

“I’m not going to bet with you, nor am I going anywhere with you. You’re crazy”.

“Okay, suit yourself. I just wanted to be nice. But if you don’t want to be nice, I’ll just go on my own and I’ll come back when I want.” – and with this, he ran to the door and was just about to jump on the handle.

“No!!!” – I shrieked, and ran after him, took him in my arms and shook firmly a few times, which he definitely didn’t like.

“So what?” – he asked, when I finally put him on the floor. – “Are you going with me or not?”.

“I guess I have no choice, but be sure that this is the last walk in your whole life.”

“Yaaaay! Thank you, Mila! I knew you’re cooler than that. You’ll see it’ll be a lot of fun” –

I was full of doubts, but I got out Misha’s leash and out we went. Jocky went all bonkers seeing Misha, and Misha did let him jump all over him for a while, but after some time his patience was exhausted and he nudged him gently but firmly away with his paw.

“Excuse me, sir Jocky. I like you a lot, but I have more important things on my mind at this moment. WHere shall we go, Mila?”

“Dunno, it’s your freaking trip, you say.” – I said, feeling sort of as if I suddenly found myself right in the middle of some strange fairytale world a la Alice in WOnderland.

– “We’ll hang around here for a while, then” – said Misha confidently.

I had to admit it to him that so far he indeed was very well-mannered, didn’t ran out frenziedly or stand in one place full of fear as he usually did when we let him out, didn’t try to slip out of the leash and kept close to me, moreover, if there has ever been something like a guide cat, I believe he could be viewed as an example for what a guide cat should be and how it should behave, and, although I have no personal experience with guide dogs, dare I say he exceeded even them, as I didn’t have to give him any commands, and of course he was also able to talk. Though on the other hand I’m not sure if a manipulative cat who does exactly what he wants no matter what it takes could be the kind of a service animal most people would want.

Finally, we came to the garden and Misha decided we’ll spend some time here.

“We’ll just lie down on this purrfectly fresh grass, I’ll have some of it as I’m sure it’s great fur getting rid of hairballs, and we’ll have a cuddle, just as you always like. Doesn’t that sound nice? I won’t run away I promise.”

And so we did. Misha enjoyed the fresh grass and rolled around in it and nibbled on it. When he had enough grass in his tummy, and decided that he smells grassy enough, we just laid next to each other in silence, Misha taking in all the new smells, and I wondering about the whole surreal situation I’ve found myself in, and how long it will take me to go completely crazy.

“If you can jump on handles and go out whenever you want, why didn’t you do that earlier, for example when you wanted to the toilet today?” – I asked after a while.

“Cats never do such spectacular things when there’s no absolutely urgent need. And besides, I cannot jump on handles. You guys weren’t kind enough to put your handles low enough fur me to reach, nor was anyone willing to teach me how to open the door, I’m not THAT clever. I only wanted to scare you so that you’d go with me.”

– “You bloody manipulator!” – was the only thing I was able to say.

“Why do you insult me?” – he asked in a calm, innocent voice. – “I only wanted to have an adventure”. But never mind, I’ll furgive you. Oh look, there’s a butterfly, yay! I’ll catch it fur ya! What a beautiful butterfly!”

“No, Misha, leave it alone!”

“But why? It’s the last walk in my life and I’ve never propurly caught a mouse or a bird or an insect. DO you want me to feel like a total failure in life? That certainly won’t make me feel happy.”

Misha caught the butterfly in a matter of seconds, all the while making sweet, little feline sounds, as he always does when “playing” with little animals.

“Here’s my gift fur you, Mila. A very beautiful butterfly. I killed it myself.”

“Am I supposed to eat it or what?” – I asked, the surreal, grotesque feeling growing with every minute.

“Oh, you can’t even appreciate a heartfelt gift. I’ll eat it then.”

“Let’s hit the streets now. I need to get some new snacks for myself.” – he said after his little brunch.

I think I felt too dazed to refuse him any longer, or too exhausted by all the events of this short day, but whatever the reason, I followed him. We went out the gate and on the streets. Misha truly amazed me with his ability to navigate in the town, even as little as ours, with not very much traffic.

“Do you purrhaps know if there are any pet shops in the area?” – he asked.

“Yeah, there is one.” – I gave him the street. – “It’s quite close to us, but I don’t know where exactly, you’d have to figure that out for yourself somehow”.

“Okay, no worries, I will. Misha Hhrrru? can deal with any situation like a pro.”

“Excuse me, ma’am. – a well-dressed, tall, elderly lady with a grotesquely big hat and very-high-heel shoes, was passing us, and as it seemed, Misha decided to ask her about the pet shop. I froze. What will she think? Will she actually hear him?

The woman gasped, her eyes widening in horror, and pressed her hand to the chest.

“Jesus! Someone help me! A cat… a cat… This cat can speak…”

“Yes, you’re right, I’m a cat. My name is Misha. Nice to meet you. You don’t have to be afraid of me. I’m a nice and friendly kitty, I like people. I understand you, because I used to be afraid of everything too. Only today I decided not to be. Now I’m not afraid of anything. What do you need help with.”

“H…h…heeeelp! I think I’m going mad. And my heart… my heart… – she whizzed –

“Oh no, what’s wrong with your heart. Mila says I can heal people. I can’t promise anything, but purrhaps I can heal you…?” – but before Misha could end his friendly monologue, I dragged him in the opposite direction and we ran away, as quickly as possible. Misha realised it’s indeed not safe for him to stay there, as more and more people were gathering around the woman, looking at her and at us. Seeing us running away though, the woman suddenly regained some of her vital energy and started yelling:

“It’s hers!!! It’s this girl’s cat! THey’re running! Someone catch them! She’s making pranks on poor, elderly people!” –

“Come on” – I heard a little voice behind me – “I live right here, come with me, quick.” – a little girl, perhaps 9- or 10-year-old, was smiling at us.

We ran after her into her gate, which she closed behind us. We all sat at the stairs of her house. She giggled.

“Your cat is beautiful. How did you make that old bag believe he can speak?”

” Thank you for saying I’m beautiful. I can speak, every cat can.”

“Hahaha, that was really funny. How can I also make my cat speak?”

“You can’t make him. He must want himself. I am Misha, nice to meet you.”

“No, but seriously. How did you make your cat speak?”

“Seriously, I didn’t make him. He can speak for himself. He started today.”

She thought for a minute.

“Really? This is strange. But I want to believe it’s true so I guess I will.”

Soon, a man came out of the house.

“Nela? What have you been doing there for so long?” – he came closer – “Oh, good morning.” – he said to me – “What a beautiful cat. I am Nela’s dad.”

“I’m Emilia, and this is Misha”. – I said, nudging Misha to tell him not to say anything, which he understood. I really wasn’t up to another conversation about how I make my cat speak.

“Please do come in. Nela, you should have invited your guests inside.”

“Oh, I’m sorry, but I think we have to go now.” – I said – “Misha only came to visit Nela for a moment.”

“Well, okay then. But I hope you visit us some time soon in the future again.” – said Nela’s dad, visibly surprised that we weren’t going to stay for longer.

“What a pity you can’t stay for a while” – said Nela when her father disappeared into the house. – “I really love Misha. And perhaps my cat would learn to speak from him. I think it’s safe now so you can go”.

“Oh but wait!” – Misha called when Nela was about to go inside her house. – “I have a very important question.”

“What is it?”

“Do you know where is the nearest pet shop?”

“Emm… not really… I’ve been there once with my parents but I don’t know where exactly it is. But I can ask dad.”

“Oh no, there’s no need for that” – I said –

We said goodbye quickly and went in search of the pet shop. Misha decided to go back to the same street, as he was sure the fuss was already over. Nela had hid us very successfully, and it seemed like no one cared overly about the old lady’s revelations about a talking cat, perhaps apart fromm a bunch of people who could hear Misha for themselves. The street was actually empty. Or so we thought, until, seemingly out of nowhere, the old lady appeared in front of us.

“Oh yes, I knew you’d be back, scaring to death innocent, dignified older people and making fun of them with your possessed cat.” – she said to me.

“I’m not…” – Misha tried to defend himself, but I tightened the leash on him hard enough that he knew he has to stay quiet.

“I’m sorry if my cat scared you. I’m sure he didn’t mean to”.

“You are sorry! My only hope is that you will not do it ever again!”

“No, of course I won’t. We weren’t making fun of anyone. My cat can speak, but he’s not possessed or anything, and he’s not bad to people”.

“Of course he can’t speak, and if he can, there must be something wrong with him. Cats do not speak”.

“But I’m a guide cat!” – Misha couldn’t hold himself back anymore.

“What?!” – the old lady raised her eyebrows.

“I’m her guide cat.” – Misha repeated. – “You know about guide dogs, don’t you? How they help blind people to get around?”

“Oh yes, I know. My friend’s ex-colleague’s daughter’s daughter is blind and has a guide dog, and I watched a documentary about blind people years ago.” – she said, apparently forgetting she was talking to a cat –

“So I’m like a guide dog, only I’m a cat.”

“Oh, I didn’t know there were guide cats!”

“So, you see now, ma’am, don’t you, that I have to be able to speak. I have to tell her that it’s safe to cross the street, or ask people for directions when even I don’t know where to go.”

“Oh yes, now it’s a completely different matter. I’m sorry I was so unpleasant, poor girl, I didn’t know she was blind, God bless her.”

And with that, along with a dozen others maudlin comments like this, she wanted to leave, but Misha stopped her:

“Excuse me, ma’am, I have a very important question. Do you know where is the nearest pet shop? Even a guide cat deserves a treat once in a while, right?”.

“Oh yes, I know. Turn left, then right, and then left on the crossing, and you’ll see the pet shop first thing on your right.”

“Thank you.”

When we were sure she has left, we started laughing our guts out.

“Misha, you’re a genius!” – I uttered, when I finally was able to speak. –

“Thank you, Mila, but I already knew that. Honestly I didn’t expect her to be this naive. Now, let’s finally go to that pet shop, I’m really tired of all that peopling.”

* * * * *

“Bibiel!!! Biiiiiibieeeeeeeel!” – Sofi yelled so loud that she would wake up all the dead people on the cemetery.

“What do you want?” – I asked sleepily.

“Wake up. You’re sleeping and sleeping and sleeping. It’s 2 PM. Mum told me to wake you up and ask if you want to go with us to the beach.”

I sat up and rubbed my eyes. Misha sneaked in quietly and rubbed his head on my hand in a playful way. The memories of the last hour floated back into my brain. So it was only a dream… or was it?

What roles do I play?

This post is going to be long, the more that before I get to the actual topic of it, I’d like to fill you in a little on what’s been happening in my life so that you have an idea if you’ve been wondering what was going on, but feel free to skip a few paragraphs to the actual topic. 🙂

As you know, I’ve been getting used to my new iPhone the last couple of weeks, which is one of the reason I hadn’t blogged much at all lately. I’m getting better with it, though still, there are things I have to figure out, and I’m still pretty slow at using it, and I suppose it may just be the case that, despite it seems to be the opposite for most people, I will not be able to use the iPhone as fast and efficiently as my computer. But I do know how to do the basics, and even some things that aren’t basic by now.

Also, we had a bit of a heatwave and that really affected my energy and generally my wellbeing, and last week was migraine-filled and also difficult emotionally as I was really low, which was followed by our short family trip during the weekend. The trip wasn’t that very fun at all, as it wasn’t a particularly interesting place and there wasn’t much at all to do, also it was terribly hot for all of us and the conditions in our hotel were rather poor, but we mostly just went to keep Dad company as he was having some work related training and exams there, and because Zofijka loves staying at hotels, so we thought it could be fun for her. I’m really happy to be back home and now appreciate it even more than I did before that I can sleep in my own bed and do things I want when I want and just be in my safe space. We also went to the seaside on Sunday and that was so much more fun, I just love the sea. Except that I got badly sunburnt and now it hurts like shit but oh well, luckily it’s going to pass at some point. So that was, in a nutshell, why I was less active in the blogosphere in the last few weeks.

Another thing I started doing recently is I’ve got more ebooks to read in English. I’ve always wanted to read Kindle ebooks which I theoretically can do as there’s a pretty accessible Kindle for PC app, or was I really determined I could get myself a Kindle device with text to speech functionalities, but I’m very picky about the ways I read, and I want to be able to read my books on my PlexTalk, as well as Braille-Sense. Which I can only do with Kindle ebooks if I remove the DRM. I know, I know, it’s illegal, but I believe that if I buy a book, I have every right to read it however is convenient for me, and the mere fact that I’ve removed the DRM doesn’t immediately have to mean that I’m going to give it away to all the people I know IRL and online, or to anyone at all, for that matter, does it? There is a pretty uncomplicated little app that converts ebooks from and to lots of different formats and can remove DRM protection so that you can copy your book on to your preferred device and have it in a format that your device is able to recognise. But despite this app is very easy, for some reason I’ve been struggling to remove the DRM with it from Kindle ebooks specifically, it just doesn’t seem to recognise them properly or something or can’t locate them, even when I select the Kindle folder and a specific file manually, there’s just something wrong and I can’t figure it out on my own. I contacted the developer but so far haven’t heard from him, it seems like he’s been inactive online for a while so I may have to just wait. Meanwhile, because the app is able to work with other types of files on my computer with no issues, I decided to give Kobo books a go. And Kobo works really well for me, I don’t have to convert their books, as my devices read epub, so I only have to remove the DRM. I also may give iBooks a try soon, now that I have an iPhone.

Anyways, since I’ve started using Kobo, I’ve got myself quite a few ebooks, all of which I’m still going to read, and among  them are two books with journaling prompts that I learned about from Astrid of

A Multitude of Musings

who uses them. One is The Goddess Journaling Workbook” by Beatrix Minerva Linden, which sounded really good to me as a folklore junkie, and the other is “The Year of You” by Hannah Braime. I really like the idea of books for journaling and I think I may be getting more of them. I’ve already used a few prompts from both in my diary, but also thought that I’d like to do some of them on my blog, and this is going to be the case today.

I thought I’d use the very first prompt in Hannah Braime book, which I already did in my diary in a bit of a more extended and personal form, but I think I could just as well write about this one on my blog. The prompt goes as follows:

What are the different roles you play in your life (e.g. mother, partner, sister, etc.) List as many as you can think of.

So here goes, in mostly random order. To make it more interesting than just a mere list, I will write a bit about each of these roles. I am not including roles as in masks, like who I may pretend to be for all sorts of purposes that isn’t actually me, and also I’m not including very small roles that don’t really matter for my life as a whole and that I simply don’t have much to say about.

  •    I am a human being. This sounds very obvious and we rarely think much about the fact that we are humans but I think it is a very important role that we should remember that we have and that one of our responsibilities as human beings is to act in a humane way and be proud of all the things that make us human, that distinguish us from any other beings in the world. It’s especially important in times like these when you see so many different situations where people as individuals and as a whole are being dehumanised in so many different ways, some very overt and some very subtle, that have become casual to us over the years and that we rarely think about as dehumanising, or that we may even perceive as good and beneficial because of how our collective thinking has twisted over the years. I personally think I often underestimate how important this role is. And I guess I don’t often take it seriously, for example in the situations where I feel a lot of self-loathing I definitely tend not to think about it at all.
  •    I am a daughter. – It is also one of the main roles, in my case. I am really grateful to have my parents and that my parents are the way they are. From what I have observed, it seems common for children to want their parents to be more like someone else’s parents, or to idealise other kids’ parents and think that theirs aren’t quite as good. But I remember when I was younger and thought about it sometimes, whether I would like to have different parents, and with which of my school friends I’d be happiest to swap, and, especially when it comes to a mum, I couldn’t think of one from those that I knew that I would like more as my mum. This doesn’t mean that my parents are perfect, as neither am I so I couldn’t expect them to be, or that there certainly are no other people on Earth who would make better parents for me, but that I think I’m really lucky to have the parents I have. Perhaps it’s my AVPD speaking, or something else irrational like that, but I often have a strong impression that I’m not quite as good in this role as I could be, and as I should be. I know that I often disappoint them, but it’s not even this that makes me think that I’m not as good a daughter as I could be, because children usually tend to disappoint parents in some way, I guess, just because they hardly ever are exactly the same as the parents expected them to be. I’m always more concerned about that I am mainly a burden for them, especially for my Mum, more than my siblings. I feel like there’s little balance in our relationship, and I guess that’s how most of my relationships actually work. What I mean by that is that I often have, or in any case, feel like I have, relationships with people where I either give too much and the other person keeps overstepping my boundaries, so that I don’t really have much satisfaction out of it long-term, or take too much than I give and feel like I am not able to recompensate as much as I should and would like. And it’s the same here. I know that my parents, especially my Mum, like to chat with me, my Mum often says that she would go crazy here if not me because I am the only person in this house with whom she can have a more intelligent discussion or share some of her thoughts that no one else in this house would be able to understand, and I am also a good listener and both of my parents like to come to me for advice, which I find pretty hilarious since obviously I am much younger than them and don’t have quite as much life experience, my Dad seems to appreciate my sense of humour because we’re on the same wavelength and no one else here gets some bits of our sense of humour, but overall it feels very little compared with what they do for me.
      •    I am a sister. – As you likely know if you’re a regular reader of my blog, I have a brother and a sister. I get along worse with Olek than I do with Zofijka. I’m happy to be his sister and I like him overall, but our relationship isn’t and has never been very strong. These days it looks so that we barely talk to each other unless there’s a clear need for it, we hardly just do small talk. Not because there’s any resentment, conflict or anything, although we used to argue a lot as kids and at least I openly disliked him and was really nasty to him at times, though I mostly don’t remember that, but it just feels awkward these days. With Zofijka, we have a very strong relationship, despite she is much younger than me than Olek is. We often argue with Sofi and get on each other nerves, sometimes it can be very harsh, explosive and difficult because we are very, very, very different from each other and often have trouble understanding each other and our personalities can just clash in a big way, but we can also have lots of fun together and I think in a way I could say that Zofijka is my best friend, we’re sort of like yin and yang and despite there’s a ten years old difference between us we interact with each other very much like peers. I very clearly remember when Mum was pregnant with her, and I wouldn’t be able to fall asleep at nights because I was thinking about “Helenka” (we referred to her as Helena throughout the pregnancy and only after she was born was she named Zofia) and I just couldn’t wait for her to be born and was so badly frustrated that I had to wait for so long, I would think all the time what it would be like and what we would do together. And after all I didn’t have to wait that long as Zofijka was born prematurely. That was so much different than with Olek, whose birth is my very first memory and I wrote about it in detail here which was definitely not so pleasant for me. While I’m not sure I am a good sister for Olek, I think I am a pretty good sister for Zofijka, I try to be helpful for her when I can and she often comes to me when she wants to talk about things that she isn’t comfortable talking about with Mum, even though our Mum is the kind of parent with whom you can talk about most things, but about some things Sofi seems to prefer to talk to me. I want her to have a happy childhood and so I do what is possible for me to do to contribute to it, we spend a lot of time together and I teach her a lot of things and I’ve created the Jim guy for her about whom she still likes to hear, and about whom I wrote here.
      • I am Polish. I love being Polish! I feel an affinity with all “my” countries (that is all that speak my favourite languages) and their nations, I love their languages, but I can’t imagine being something else other than Polish myself. 😀 I am very proud of my country and language and I love the Polish language to pieces. Speaking of being Polish, we just had presidential election a few days ago, so I was able to fulfill one of the duties associated with that role, and I was very happy that that our current president, for whom I voted, has got the majority of votes this time round as well, but We’ll still have to have another round, as one of his opponents also got quite a lot of votes and at the same time no one had at least 50%, and to be the president in Poland you have to have at least 50% of votes. So we’ll see yet how it goes, but I’m very hopeful.
      • I am a Christian, and a Catholic. This is a hugely important role for me and to me personally it has a lot of overlap with the human being bit. This has been something that I’ve had a different view on throughout my life and I didn’t always identify as Christian, I was born to a devout family and raised Catholic but there was a period in my life where I considered myself agnostic/atheist, and later also something like Wiccan or along these lines, but I’ve sort of “reconverted” to Christianity after some deep thinking and I’m really happy I did it. It isn’t easy to be a good Christian, especially when you have a mental illness and stuff, some days are harder than others, but I think it’s still really worth the effort. What I struggle with the most in regards to my faith is that I often don’t feel the connection to God as much as I would like, I often feel lost, or don’t feel much towards Him, or not as much as I think I should when I listen to other people. I’d really like to be the “hot” kind of Christian, and I really envy people who are, but I think I’m still really lukewarm and more intellectual than emotional/spiritual in my faith, and I’d like to be able to love God more and have a more genuine relationship with Him. I even envy people like my Mum, who are able to dissolve into spontaneous and genuine tears when contemplating Way of the Cross, or feel deeply moved on a spiritual level by a homily or a hymn, cry during confession or feel a deep spiritual need to receive Communion when they haven’t been able to for weeks, and awful sadness when they cannot, like Zofijka does. I guess it’s already something that I want it, but I don’t know how to make it. I try to be the best Christian I can be without being able to feel such extreme things and think that perhaps I am just meant to live like this and need to accept it, and that there’s some meaning to it, I don’t know. Another huge obstacle I’m facing every day is that I have real real trouble focusing on prayer, my brain doesn’t seem to be cut out for thinking about just one thing at a time. 😀 I realise though that these things are probably also partly a consequence of how things used to look in the past for me.
      •    I am a cat mummy. I love my Misha to pieces, am immensely grateful and happy to have him and so glad that I can take care of him as much as I can, feed him, sleep with him, cuddle with him and receive so much love and beauty in return. This is a relatively new role in my life but I love it, it is a pure pleasure to take care of Misha. I only think it’s a pity that I can’t do all the things that a cat mummy should do, whether it comes to his hygiene or our relationship. Contact with Misha is mostly visual, so that makes the situation more difficult for both of us. For me, because I don’t have the ability to read many of the cues he’s sending, so I often feel confused about what he wants or needs or how he’s feeling, and for him, because that means I have to touch him more than I would otherwise, and that he would like, because he isn’t the most touchy-feely and is often fearful of touch and closeness.
      • I am a friend. At this point in my life, I have no friends in real life (unless we count Misha and people like Zofijka and my Mum in, then I have three), and I’m pretty happy about this fact because I don’t really feel the need to have them in real life just for the sake of having friends. I wouldn’t mind having friends in real life, if there were people in my surroundings that I would feel we have a lot in common with each other and if they’d also want to be my friends, but I’m not desperate and happy to be friends with just anyone just because it looks better to have friends. I do have a few people online though that I consider friends. Some in the blogosphere, and some who are my more long-term pen pals. This can be challenging at times too because I still have some struggles with social interactions or expressing myself even online, so I find it difficult to have really close relationships with people, but it is easier and I really appreciate having friends who think similarly, have similar interests and like me. I know I can’t always be as supportive for them as I’d like, but I do like to be, and I want to be helpful, or at least kind. And, when it comes to writing with my pen pals, especially those with whom I’m closer and have known them for a while, I treat it very seriously and even when I have little time or don’t feel that well or when sometimes I don’t feel very much like writing, I try to write back as soon, as much and as interestingly as I can. Which means that sometimes I can spend a large portion of my day, or even more than that, typing away to people. Not because I have so very many penfriends but because if you’re committed to it, it can consume a lot of time, unless you’re instant messaging or something. ALso sometimes there indeed are a lot of people to write back to, because I still try to make new penfriends, or people initiate contact with me, and there are times when I get like waves of emails, and after a while it gets much quieter because a few people fell off for all sorts of reasons or just have a temporarily a more busy time. Usually when you want to have penfriends you do snail mail or email and typically both of you want to get long mails and possibly regularly, get to know the other person and their life and anything that may be interesting about them and their life, and also know that they are genuinely interested in you. So, if you want to get long mails, you have to write them, too. Some people get easily discouraged from pen palling after a bit of initial enthusiasm when they realise that they won’t get long, beautiful letters every week automatically just because they wrote to someone once, and that they need to put some effort into it as well. So I would say it’s not really for very busy people, because they won’t be able to keep up, unless they’re very organised and motivated. It pays off definitely, if you can find people with whom you actually click and who are equally committed, which may take some trials and errors, some disappointments on both sides and some time, a lot of time in some cases. I am grateful for all of my friends, especially that not so long ago I didn’t have friends like these at all, and now life feels much better.
      • I am a granddaughter. I rarely think of this role of mine. I love my grandparents because they are my grandparents (though I dislike my (paternal) gran and it’s hard to love someone when you dislike them and when you know that they dislike you even more), but, except for my (maternal) grandad, I find it difficult to connect or even just interact with my grandparents. I often think that I am a very bad granddaughter, because I know they generally really like it when their grandchildren visit them and consider it a primary sign of respect or something like that, while I don’t visit them nearly as willingly, nor as often as I and other people think I should, as I find all the socialising exhausting, and, don’t really have a personal bond with them, again except for my grandad with whom we have some sort of an understanding without words and he’s always stood by my side even when no one else did and I will be eternally grateful for that to him. Emily Starr [of New Moon] wrote in her diary in context of her cousin Jimmy that it’s good to have one such person in your life who only sees the good things about you and none of your flaws, more of such people would spoil you. For me such person is my grandad. Therefore I feel even more guilty these days that I don’t live close to him anymore that I don’t visit him more often, and I’m not sure he understands actually why. But what I can do is to try to be nice and kind to my grandparents and show it as much as I can while we are together. I guess though that the lack of relationships with my grandmas (my paternal grandpa died when I was rather little), isn’t entirely my fault. They have a hard time connecting to me just as well, the way I see it, I guess mostly because I’ve been away from home for most of my childhood.
      •    I am a goddaughter. This is another role I hardly think about on a conscious level. But the way I was brought up, since I am a Christian, I was often told by my parents that it’s important to pray for your godparents and support them this way just like they are obliged to support you in your spiritual development. I think it makes sense, so while I don’t have close relationships with my godparents either, and actually don’t really like them, I pray for them every day, especially that they both have very difficult life situations. My godmother is someone with whom I find it really difficult to talk and she usually ends up triggering all my shit so I hardly feel normal after talking to her. We used to get along a bit better when I was younger, and I can enjoy talking to her still because we have a lot in common, but you have to know how to interact with her and which topics are better to be avoided. I am not the only one person in our family who finds her extremely difficult, though. She is generally the type of person who will always give you unsolicited advice and ask lots of questions you definitely don’t want her to ask, and she always knows best what’s best for you but you simply happen not to have discovered it yet, she can be also very hurtful. I suppose attending her birthdays, name days and such also belongs to my duties associated with this role, but as I usually can’t bring myself to do that, I just call my godparents on their special days. This is one of the few instances where I actually prefer to call people rather than see them. 😀
      •    I am a blogger. I have been a blogger for years, almost a half of my life, haha! I’ve always really liked it and I’m proud that I’m doing it. I’m especially proud now, that I have an English blog, this was a really big decision for me and a big dream of mine and it has helped me very much both with my mental health and my language development.
      • I am a language learner. I am not sure if something you do mostly as a hobby can also be your role, but I guess so in a way. What I perceive as a role about it is particularly the bit with endangered languages. My role is learning them so that they are still in use and can survive, or at the very least, even if I don’t get to use them that much in practice, I am still able to speak them. For now, the only minority language I speak is Welsh, and I’m nowhere near fluent yet, but I am learning and I’m going to learn more languages – endangered and not endangered. –

What are the roles you play in your life? 🙂

 

Testing, testing!…

Hey people! 🙂
I have news of the year for you! Bibiel’s got an iPhone. 😄
It’s been hanging in the air for a while already, because Zofijka got an iPhone recently too, and as my ten-year-old Nokia wasn’t getting any younger, I had to think about something new at some point. You may already know that I’d been very reluctant to have a smartphone because of my coordination and orientation difficulties and that it felt sort of surreal for me that I’d ever be able to use a touch screen, and all my attempts on other people’s phones in the past were miserable, so I was always joking that I’m sticking to Nokia due to my undying loyalty to Finland.
It’s been one heck of a change, as you can imagine, but somehow I’ve been able to keep my stress and rumination at healthy levels so far, and am even a little bit excited about the thing. I have a whole lot of things to get used to and would definitely be lost if not my Bluetooth keyboard, as I can do barely anything on the screen, and so far struggle a lot even with the keyboard, but hopefully it’s just the matter of getting used to everything.
I just wanted to let you know about it and test how the email thing works, as I’ve just set up my emails in the Mail app and am sending this via email. This is actually my second attempt as something didn’t work out the whole time. So far I’m pretty sure it’s not going to become my default way of blogging, it’s really arduous.

Bloggerz.

Hey people! 🙂

I feel a little crappy with energy levels today and haven’t come up with or found a question of the day for you for today, just don’t feel like it, but I decided to answer some questions of Rory’s, aka

A Guy Called Bloke,

and if you would also like to do it, either on Rory’s blog or on your own, go ahead! 🙂

Here are Rory’s questions:

How spontaneous are you?
If you mean emotional spontaneity, generally not at all. It also depends on a setting, like, my surroundings and who I am with, sometimes I may be a little bit more spontaneous than not at all but that’s really rare. I am more spontaneous in writing though, sometimes much more. If you mean spontaneity as in going with the flow and not planning your life, I think I must be somewhere in the middle. I do like my routines and sticking to what I know, I hate change, but I am not the type of person to rigidly plan my whole life or even a whole day ahead, I’m too disorganised for that kind of thing and it seems boring to me.

How flirtatious would you say you are and if that is not the word you would use then try the alternatives of ‘teasing or playful’ either way – how much are you of this?
Flirtatious – not at all. Teasing – if I know someone well enough and/or it’s some relatively mild teasing than sometimes I can be if I know that they know that I’m just teasing them or being sarcastic and don’t mean to offend them or anything. Playful – yes, I do have that very playful part of me, the inner child or however you want to call it, I call her Bibiel, aka Bibielle or Bibielka but Bibiel is what she’s used to the most, and she is very playful, humourous and childish and she especially loves playing with Zofijka.

How serious are you as a person?
Apparently lots of people think I’m serious and I guess I do make such an impression, I’m not playful and humourous with just everyone, and also my mental health/social difficulties prevent me from truly expressing myself around people in person. Plus I have some qualities that, while don’t necessarily mean the same as being serious, are often sort of associated by an average person with seriousness, like I’m very analytical and overthinking, quite naturally depressive and usually not too talkative unless I know someone very well and feel at ease with them. I can be outwardly serious or very serious when need be, but because I have Bibiel, I can be never fully serious in my mind and I have frequent situations when I can barely hold back laughter in generally inappropriate situations because some minor, funny detail caught my attention or something grotesque about the whole situation or because I just remembered something similar that I think is funny. Sometimes I myself am worried about it that I can find things to laugh about even in the most serious/sad situations that shouldn’t really be laughed at, and while I never do it openly/ fully intentionally, I often feel a bit guilty when my inner Bibiel makes fun of absolutely everything. But usually it is a very helpful trait. Has helped me to get through life on numerous occasions. Also a lot of people don’t get my sense of humour which can sometimes be very immature and childish, while other times rather sarcastic and dry and when it’s the latter people often don’t know that I’m joking or saying something ironically and their impression is that I’m being very serious.

Do you think the older we become certain emotions are easier to handle – say as an example ‘grief?’
I think it’s hugely personal. Of course there is that developmental psychology thing and it makes a lot of sense and is kind of obvious that we go through different stages of emotional development and growth as we age, but I think emotions are a very individual, as well as fairly intangible matter, and depend on so many factors for everyone, so you really can’t generalise in this case and measure it. Perhaps for someone who is as emotionally mature as their age would indicate, it’s true, but then emotionally mature people can at the same time still be very sensitive and I believe their grief would still be rather intense then.So it probably also depends on some other individual traits like resilience or such. I don’t know.

What is the most adventurous thing you have done to date?
I’m not really overly adventurous, but one thing that comes to my mind at the moment was when we wanted to run away from home with Olek, I think I was about 11 so he would be 9 at the time. Not for any particular reason, I think we had some minor tension with Mum but mostly just for the sake of it. It didn’t work out at all, I don’t really remember how it all ended up but we didn’t go very far at all. We weren’t prepared for that, plus it would be quite difficult to achieve for me as I was only getting around with Olek as my guide so that just wouldn’t do more long-term I guess when running away in any circumstances.:D

What’s the craziest or riskiest thing you have ever done and simply got away with it or gotten caught doing it?
It would have to be when I used Doses, I think, Doses are those binaural sounds I’ve told you guys about that are meant to have a similar effect on your brain as drugs or other psychoactive substances do or evoke some other strange sensations in your mind. I had gotten caught, so there were some external consequences for me and the other kids I persuaded into it, but I believe that I got away with it in a different way, because apparently, while those things are apparently not addictive as drugs are, they can still cause brain damage, and I don’t feel it had such an effect on me because this was a relatively short period when I was doing this. Also as a Christian I believe that it could have had far worse spiritual consequences for me than it did.

What do you think the future is of dating and other ‘other’ now that social distancing has become part of your life? Will your life ‘up close and personal’ with people now be different?
Dating apps and websites have been already popular for quite a while, so I think this time now might be good for them and more people might start to use them. Which I think is generally good, though it does have its associated downsides and risks, but so does dating face to face. Still, I think after some time passes, and the threat of contracting COVID will lessen, there will still be people who will prefer meeting up for dates because it feels more genuine to them. For some people meeting people in person is too important to just give up on it plus some believe that it’s a much more reliable/genuine way of finding a potential partner and that you can get to know each other better over a coffee when you look each other in the eye rather than online.And as for my life, hm, I’m not sure. I’ve never been one for meeting up with people. My contacts with my immediate family with whom I live are as normal. When I go out, my Mum is my guide so we can’t keep the distance. With other relatives whom we see more or less regularly we try not to get too close, no kissing, hand shaking or such but we’ve had people in our house and such. I don’t think we’re seriously going to keep it for a very long time and only keep our relationships with people from a distance, but it also depends on how things evolve. It’s a completely new situation for all of us so it’s hard to say.

How different do you really think you are to the next person – are you prim and proper, or straight laced and serious, wild and abandoned or rebellious and controversial?
I don’t think any of these particular adjectives fit me well really, haha. I am certainly not prim and proper, although I do have a strong sense of morality or so I think and a lot of so called traditional values are important to me, I’m not straight laced and serious either. Some people do say I’m wild, but rather in the sense of a hermit who is not used to people than someone who is very adventurous, impulsive and uninhibited, I have nothing against being wild. Some of my views or opinions are controversial but I’m not the type of person who has the kind of opinions she has just to provoke controversy, and I don’t think I’m controversial at all as a whole, neither am I rebellious the way most people see rebellion, though I am very quirky. I do think I’m very different, which is both great and difficult, I love it and hate it, but if I got a chance I don’t think I would change it. I like my unusual brain and that I like things that not everyone else likes, I like that my experiences are different than many people’s.I’m just Bibiel lol.

During this time of global concern how has your thinking changed with regards the planet, conservation, climate issues …..or has it not changed one little bit?
It hasn’t really changed at all. SInce the Earth is where I currently live, I’ve always tried to live in harmony with it, that was what my family had taught me, I believe it’s our responsibility both as simply its inhabitants and as human beings. The nature has been created to serve us but that does not mean we can act disrespectfully towards it and destroy it or flood the world with our rubbish just because we feel like it, quite the opposite. We are obliged to care for the Earth and protect every single life on it as much as we can. However I am not an ecology freak nor an alarmist and I believe that moderation is key. I don’t think I believe in climate change the way most media portray it and some things that people apparently do to take action against it seem downright illogical, if not counterproductive to me, or at least pointless. Climate IS changing, but it always has been.

What ‘topical issues’ considered ‘taboo’ by society are you deeply passionate with and about to the point of doing something about it?
Mental health and disability. Since I myself am both disabled as well as mentally ill, I try to raise awareness of those issues by blogging about what they mean to me, in my life. There’s no taboo around these things on my blog.I also like to support other mentally ill people if and how much I can, though I’m not sure how good I’m at it actually.

What’s more important and or is there a difference between ‘Friendship and Companionship and if so what is that difference?
I don’t know about what’s more important, I believe companionship may be more fulfilling but since I’ve never experienced it I don’t really have an idea. I think the difference is that companionship is more intimate. I’d think that it’s something between friendship and romance, and at the same time something on the next level. The people are in love with each other, could be romantic but not necessarily, spend a lot of time with each other, are used to each other’s company, know each other very well for a long time, both the good qualities and flaws of one another. The image that comes to my mind when I think of companionship is a couple who has been together for many years, they’ve already gone through the phase of friendship, romance, and now are at a stage where they have been with each other for too long and have gone through too many different situations to be madly in love, perhaps they don’t even need sex anymore, but they feel very comfortable with each other. Whereas friendship can be when two people like each other very much, have a lot in common, either in terms of interests, or life in general, or how they think or what they like, and they like to talk to each other, can count on each other and support one another. But it’s not quite as intimate as companionship and people don’t know each other quite as well.

What is your passion with regards writing genres – 1] what is your chosen genre and 2] what is the genre you might like to write about but lack confidence to start?

I mostly just do journaling type posts on my blog. Misha’s posts are also usually diary-like, though some are fiction (The Human Life of Misha Hhrrru?). I used to write a lot of short stories just for myself and enjoy it, though I hardly ever enjoyed the final effects and usually deleted them straight away, but these days I write much less fiction. I wrote a few stories in English on my blog, separate from Misha’s series, and that was fun, I’d like to do it more often but I think I lack confidence in terms of writing fiction in English and writing fiction in general, and also I don’t really have that many ideas.

 

Question of the day.

Hi people! 🙂

Would you rather have a very talkative guest that won’t let you get a word in, or a very quiet guest who doesn’t say much at all?

My answer:

It depends on a few things. How well I know that person and how I feel around them. Whether I’m with them alone or are there other people, like my family members, also present there, so they could keep the conversation going. Whether we have a lot of topics to chat about. How interesting they are to me. My first instinct though would rather be to choose a very talkative guest, because if anything, I’m better at listening than keeping a conversation, and I would feel awkward with someone who doesn’t have much to say, and they would probably feel so even more. With a talkative person, I wouldn’t have to worry about having to talk much, and just listen, or with some people simply pretending that you listen is enough because they don’t seem to care if you actually are listening or not, they’ll be chatting away regardless. One of my favourite quotes, from The Blue Castle by L. M. Montgomery says: “If you can sit in silence with a person for half an hour and yet be entirely comfortable, you and that person can be friends. If you cannot, friends you’ll never be and you need not waste time in trying”. I have very few people like that in my life, even among those I feel generally relatively comfortable around, but one of those with whom I really do like sitting in silence for long stretches of time and we understand each other without words is my grandad. So, I’d be happy to have a quiet guest who wouldn’t say a word for their whole visit, but only such with whom we would both feel comfortable this way, or one whom I would know really well so I could talk to them freely and also make them talk about things they like to talk about.

What would you choose? 🙂

Question of the day (2nd June).

Hey people! 🙂

Do you prefer pie or cake? What kind?

My answer:

I’ve asked that question on my blog some two years ago and answered it so in case you haven’t seen that post, I’ll copy my response.

It really really depends on what cake or pie it is. Plus, for me this difference isn’t really that important, because in Polish we usually call both the same name, which is ciasto. Of course, you can call a pie placek, but it’s rather rarely heard nowadays, placek is actually in some regions more like a pancake, so just no one cares what is a cake, and what is a pie. 😀 How about you? And what are your favourites? 🙂

Question of the day.

Do you prefer strawberries, peaches or blackberries?

My answer:

I love all! But if I had to choose one, I think I’d go with blackberries. As a kid I loved pretty much anything peach-flavoured, nowadays not to such an extend, but I still do like a lot of peach-flavoured things. I much prefer canned peaches to fresh peaches but fresh peaches aren’t bad. And strawberries are great too though I hate most strawberry-flavoured stuff, like strawberry ice-cream… yuck! But I think blackberries are the best out of them.

What would you choose? 🙂

Question of the day (31st May).

Hey people! 🙂

Do you like coffee? If so, black, or with cream? What kind of creamer?

My answer:

I’ve asked you coffee/drink related questions before, but since different people may see different questions, and those questions are always a bit different from each other, I thought that why not, and the question was partially inspired by my own adventure with coffee yesterday. I hadn’t had real, proper, black coffee in over half a year, and the night before the last I didn’t sleep very well due to migraine and generally “jet-lagged” brain, so I felt a little sluggish yesterday and when I saw Mum make coffee for herself I decided that, what the flip, why can everyone drink coffee but not me? I guess I can have it sometimes, right? It’s not the end of the world, especially that I wasn’t going anywhere, so even if my anxiety raised nothing overly bad would happen. So I did have my coffee and relished it thoroughly. But afterwards, it did get quite serious. I guess partially because I just didn’t drink proper, strong coffee for so long so my brain weaned off caffeine completely and was not prepared for such a dose out of the blue, but also now I suspect I really must have some sort of caffeine hypersensitivity. The strange thing is though that in my first years of drinking coffee I didn’t feel anything like that at all, or can’t recall at least, so it couldn’t have been this intense. I was actually very immune to any effects, or side effects, of coffee. I think when I started to notice that anxiety thing after drinking coffee must have been about a year ago or so, and then I also started to feel some light physical symptoms like that I would feel a bit queasy, have a slight diarrhoea or my muscles would get weak, or I’d be shaky or my sugar would go a bit low, but that wasn’t much of a problem, the high anxiety was the only reason why I stopped drinking coffee. But yesterday not only my anxiety sky-rocketed after coffee, where earlier in the morning I wasn’t almost at all anxious, but also I felt dreadful physically, it was a real nightmare of a day and I had only myself to blame for it. It’s strange though how intensely I seem to react to it. I don’t have anything like this after black tea, or even green tea, nor Pepsi or other such drinks, though energy drinks did make me a little edgy when I used to drink them but it’s not a big deal at all since I don’t like them anyway. Thankfully it’s all okay now, but hopefully now I’ll think twice before having a coffee.

Anyways, let’s get to the question. So yes, I do like coffee, I love coffee, and now I also hate coffee because it seems to hate me. I like strong black coffee, ideally with a teaspoon of sugar or honey but it’s not necessary, coffee without it is just as good. I also love iced coffee and then I like it with a bit more sugar and cream, but I don’t drink and never had drunk iced coffee often enough to be an expert in different creamer varieties and say which ones I like particularly better than others.

You? 🙂

Question of the day.

Hey people! 🙂

What fictional character does everyone else love, but you despise?

My answer:

I can’t think at the moment about a particular example that I would really really despise but there are a lot of fictional characters that people seem to like and to be oohing and aahing about while I find them boring at the very best. I think what first comes to mind is the Twilight series and especially the two main characters who are so dull and cliche.

You? 🙂

Question of the day.

Do you enjoy thunderstorms?

My answer:

Yes and no. Yes, because there is something exciting about them, I don’t know, I’m probably weird… I mean, I’m weird for sure but probably also in this respect. 😀 I love the sounds of storm, sometimes it makes me feel kind of slightly high when I hear and feel the storm. I also liked storms as a kid when I was very interested in all things radio because it would often carry radio stations from a far with itself, that would never ever be reachable in my region in normal conditions, so I always liked to search for such things straight after a storm.

I dislike them though because sometimes they can be really scary, and in any case, I guess no one likes the idea of something being damaged due to lightning or someone being struck with it. Also often storms screw up the Internet, they did especially when I lived in the country as a child, our house was rather high up so it was also an additional factor and we’d usually be affected in this way after a storm that there would be no Internet and sometimes for quite a while, and sometimes power would go out too. These days I also don’t like storms for additional reasons. We’ve had only one storm this year so far, just a couple days ago, and, as it happened, when it started out, I was doing a piece of writing on my computer, and I realised that now that I have a desktop computer rather than a laptop, and no real surge protection, I’d just have to put it off and turn the computer off until it’s over, if I don’t want something to get fried. 😀 While it wasn’t a problem in that case, I can see how sometimes it may be, when a storm would interrupt something more important that I’d be doing. Another reason why I dislike storms these days more than in the past is that Misha sometimes gets scared of them, and when Misha is scared, that doesn’t make me feel good.

You? 🙂

Question of the day.

Hi people! 🙂

What are your opinions on zoos?

My answer:

I’ve never been a huge fan, probably mostly because the animals I like the most and have the strongest connection to are the ones that are used to people and live with them, especially cats and horses. Besides, it feels a little boring to me since I can’t really even engage with the animals in any meaningful way, as you can’t touch them or anything. I remember when I went to the zoo for the first time when I was 5, it was shortly after I went to the boarding school (or rather nursery), and by then my parents would visit me every weekend there for a year or so. And on one of those weekends we went to the zoo which wasn’t very far away from the school, and I was so excited, because I loved bears at that time, and when Mum told me some time ahead that we’ll be going to the zoo, I was telling everyone that I’ll take some honey and will be feeding the bears honey with a spoon. 😀 But in the end I guess there actually were no bears, or at least I can’t recall that haha. it feels a bit like a museum or a gallery to me, and these kinds of places usually aren’t that fascinating to me, often even when the theme of it is interesting. I guess I’ll learn more from reading about it than wandering aimlessly around. Especially that I have some marvellous talent for nearly fainting in entertainment places like that. I’ve never actually passed out but I could feel really weak and drained and pretty close to it anyway. Probably because you typically visit such places in late spring/summer when it’s hot, and you often have to stand in one place there for a longer period, then move a few metres to another place where there is another object/animal/whatever and either listen and learn about it when you’re at a school trip or with a guide or something, or just wait while everyone else is looking at it if you’re only with sighted people, rather than just walk all the time or sit, and heat plus long standing in place makes my BP drop. So it feels very unpleasant, stressful and darws too much bad attention for my liking. Also, despite I am not some extreme and crazy animal rights/environment advocate or someone who would want to humanise animals in a serious way, I always find it sad when I happen to be at the zoo that all those poor animals have to be there and had to lose their freedom just because of our human whims because WE fancy seeing wild animals in real life. Sort of similar to circus in a way, both because it’s something I can’t really engage in, and because it involves wild animals only that circus seems generally more cruel and unethical than zoo, and the whole circus thing doesn’t really make much sense to me, I mean I can’t quite get it what’s exactly so funny about it, it seems a little primitive kind of entertainment to me but maybe I’m just either too stiff and lacking humour or it’s beyond my cognitive abilities to get it. 😀 I know that the zoo is a form of education so that people can actually see the animals, but I’m not sure if we necessarily have to see something face to face to be able to learn basic things about it unless we are scientists. I also understand that sometimes it can be life-saving for some endangered species to live in the zoo rather than in their natural habitat which may not be a safe place, but I guess those are exceptional cases and zoos don’t consist of only such animals but also such that would be perfectly fine in the wild.

I don’t have any huge dislike for zoos or am not against them in general, but they are just not really my thing, I guess.

How about you? 🙂

Question of the day.

Who in your life knows you best?

My answer:

I think I have to say my Mum. She knows a lot about me and I can be open with her about a lot of things. It’s not like we understand each other without words or anything like that, and she often says that it’s hard to figure me out because I “hide things” which is true, but still, she’s quite good at figuring me out. 😀

Who is it for you? 🙂

Question of the day (23rd May).

Hey people! 🙂

What’s the most bored you’ve ever been?

My answer:

I am generally not someone to get easily bored. There is that sort of saying that intelligent people don’t get bored. And, while I don’t think it’s very true and exact, it does make a good point. When you can rely on your brain to provide you entertainment rather than wait for the right external circumstances, you have it much easier and more interesting. But I believe that there are such situations that you really can’t not get bored in, regardless of your IQ. The imagination and your thoughts alone can be a good way to occupy yourself, but if it’s the only thing you are left with and are unable to do much more, that may not be sufficient for a longer period of time. The situations I usually get most bored in are in big gatherings of people, that is. Usually I feel a lot of anxiety when socialising, especially in large groups of people, but sometimes it happens that the anxiety lowers a bit with time and then boredom creeps in. This often happens to me at all sorts of bigger family gatherings where I don’t feel so awfully anxious that it would be the only thing that would be constantly on my mind. It does happen to me sometimes that I feel both highly anxious and very bored at the same time and that’s a very awful combination and feels strange in the brain, like, it’s hard to deal with it when you’re both over- and understimulated in different ways, right? 😀 I tend to feel bored in such big groups of people because I usually end up being the passive observer rather than the one actually participating in what’s happening. I do love observing people very much, analysing how they behave, trying to figure out what they are thinking about or feeling etc. But if I’m supposed to be around a lot of people for some longer time, you can’t do just it all the time. As it usually happens, most of the things they talk about aren’t overly interesting to me, assuming I have any actual clue about what/whom they are talking about, and having to sit in one place for hours just taking in a lot of meaningless nonsense isn’t one of my most favourite activities. Sometimes I go into my Brainworld and daydream or something but you have to be careful with such things in case you float too far away. 😀 I like my extended family and have mostly normal or good relationships with them apart from some exceptions who won’t even admit openly that they have a problem with me but rather let me know via someone else, but I don’t feel a strong sense of belonging with them, which I think is part of why things are the way they are. I often have no idea what they are talking about, or just am not interested/knowledgeable in the topic so I have little to say usually, even without the anxiety at play.

I can also get massively bored watching movies, mostly because I can’t focus on them for some reason, even when they are with audiodescription and interesting to me, I just have a weird problem with movies. 😀

But I think the time when I was most bored ever would have to be when I was 10 and recovering from the Achilles tendon surgery. The whole thing was quite scary, not because the surgery was scary or complicated or anything but because I think I wasn’t ready for what was coming next, no one has really told me. Or otherwise I don’t know what made it so scary, anyway I responded to it very badly. As I wrote on here earlier, after the surgery I had to have casts on both legs for 6 weeks and then physical therapy, the amount of which depends on a particular case and for me it was about a month I guess. My surgeon was slightly overzealous, because apparently my casts were waaay bigger than they needed to be, I had them from my thighs all the way down to my feet so that only my toes stuck out and I was unable to bend my knees so my legs always had to be stretched out (I guess that’s why now I always sit with my knees bent or even legs curled up whenever possible 😀 ). So basically I couldn’t walk at all and that was quite a surprise, I somehow didn’t think it would be like that. It sent me into a freakout because right before my surgery, I was put in the room with a much older girl about whom I’ve also heard that she had contracted Achilles tendons in her both legs and that she was after a few surgeries already and actually could barely move or do anything on her own. I only learned much much later from my Dad that she had an accident as a very small child and the Achilles tendons were just one small issue of the multiple ones she had and her mum had told him that that time she was there also to correct her tendons. But you know how kids can think, I was pretty sure that I was going to be a similar case to her for some reason and would have to be fed and all that. At the same time, it was a hectic time for my family, because Zofijka was only a few months old, and we’ve only just mmoved houses, and the house we were living in was still not fully arranged, my Mum was running around madly getting all sorts of stuff for it and taking care of Zofijka, and helping me with showering and such. I didn’t have the Internet yet, not even a computer, and since I didn’t have any other transport mode other than someone carrying me, I spent most of the time in my room. I was bored like shit and just as my muscles were stagnating, so was my brain, and I was awfully sensory deprived or something, which sent me spiraling down into ANxietyland, and I had all sorts of weird anxieties and other intense stuff like that. But in a way the boredom was even worse than the anxiety. I could read some of the modest selection of the books or kids magazines in Braille that I owned or borrowed from the library, if someone would get me something, as my bookshelves were quite some distance from my bed, and while I could get to the lower shelves on butt, I could not climb back up on to the bed with my ultra heavy legs. 😀 So I would usually ask someone to give me something to read, but most of the books and magazines I had were not signed in normal print so no one knew what it was, so I ended up reading the same things over and over again. I was in the integration school at the time so my class teacher visited me occasionally and did some school work with me, or sometimes my grandad came when he had time, as it was back when we lived in the country with all my Mum’s family, and sometimes Mum brought Zofijka to me. What helped me the most in those difficult times was Polish Radio Bis (BIS standing for Very Different Station) which was a public radio station mostly addressed to the youth that existed back then, which played a variety of music from genres like rock, alternative, reggae, folk, hip-hop, electronic etc. generally the quirkier the better, and had some educational and cultural programmes, including some that focused on teaching languages, and I was in love with Polish Radio Bis at the time, and even in the word bis used in whatever context. Radio BIS doesn’t exist any longer, but I still miss it and can’t get over it! 😀 And I still love the word bis. There is Polish Radio Programme 4 that has a very similar formula but, meh, it’s not the same at all. There are different people, different music, different programmes, even if some of the things stayed the same, and I don’t really like them half as much as I did BIS. Anyways, during my recovery from the surgery I even called Polish Radio BIS a couple times, but wasn’t on air, I just chatted to the people in there and wanted to tell them how much I like Radio BIS (read: how obsessed I was with it, but they didn’t seem to mind my obsession and some were very amused by it).

Generally though I had nothing to do all days, and all nights, too, as my sleep cycle was, quite naturally, ALL over the place. I remember very vividly how a couple days before my surgery I talked to my grandad about it and he told me something like that my legs will need to recover and they’ll be in stagnation. I didn’t know what stagnation was, so he explained to me that if I was left alone in a room where no one would come and it would be totally silent, I wouldn’t have any books, music, radio or any other contact with the world, this would be stagnation and I would fall into it easily in such circumstances. And so it was going to be the same with my legs. And then when I was after the surgery already I was thinking that, although I wasn’t completely cut off from the world, his example was so eerily accurate, since it weren’t just my feet that were stagnating, but my brain as well. The weirdest thing about all that is that the surgery actually didn’t work out, so it was rather pointless in the end. 😀

So yeah, the time I was most bored was probably that.

How about you? 🙂

The Sunshine Blogger Award.

A couple days ago, I’ve been nominated by Meg of

Where Good Advice Happens

for the Sunshine Blogger Award! Thank you so very much, Meg! 🙂 So, since it’s been a few days already since I was nominated, time to finally make the award post.

Rules:

1. Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link back to their blog so others can find them.
2. Answer the 11 questions asked by the blogger who nominated you.
3. Nominate 11 other bloggers and ask them 11 new questions.
4. Notify the nominees about it by commenting on one of their blog posts.
5. List the rules and display a Sunshine Blogger Award logo on your post and/or your blog site.

Before we go further, just a little clarification, though I’ve said this before when doing award posts. There’s no logo to go with my post, since I’m blind and getting this on to my post seems a bit of a hassle that I don’t really understand how to go about. I know that some blind people do display award logos and similar things, so probably if I really really tried I could get my head ’round this, but, oh well, there are so many more fun and less abstractive things to do in life, and I’m also very minimalistic when it comes to images because they seem to be very distracting for people so that they don’t see the more important things. 😛

   Questions for me:

1. What is your say on all positive approach to life?

Oh no no no! Positivity is okay, optimism is okay, but I’m allergic to people who tell me to always be positive and similar bullshit. I’m allergic to people who tell me what I am supposed to feel and think. If there’s anything that is mine in this world, it’s my brain and no one will tell me what I should do with it. It’s probably because I’d been exposed to such people a lot and actually found it very toxic and invalidating, because even if I wanted… well sheesh, you can’t always be positive when you are depressed, plus suicidal like I was then, right? Also I’ve learnt to suppress my feelings early on in life and still haven’t really managed to unlearn it even though it’s better these days, and that’s why I probably respond the way I do to when not only I feel like I have to suppress what I feel but also am supposed to feel something vastly different. And I’m a bit of a control freak when it comes to my brain and feelings and all that. Just like constant, all negativity approach is wrong and toxic, so is with positivity. I consider myself a defensive pessimist, and that has been working really well for me since I’ve adopted this approach in life. But, at least in my view, being a pessimist absolutely doesn’t mean that you have to be negative all the time and about everything, grumpy and complaining and make other people feel miserable. I really enjoy appreciating all the good things in life, relishing them and I love the fact that although I have depression, I am nevertheless still quite a hedonist at least when I’m at what I consider my normal, and I like to be enthusiastic about things. Just not about everything, and not all the time, and not when someone tells me to. And thanks to my defensive pessimism, when something in my life turns out better than I expected, the more happy and positively surprised I can be about that. Oh, that was a bit of an essay! 😀

2. What you do at times of writer’s block ? Also mention reasons for a writers block, if any?

Sometimes I just wait it through and don’t stress overly. At other times I use some writing prompts, music or other stuff to inspire myself, it also depends what I am writing. Sometimes I just have to get through a difficult period and then my writing brain is back to normal after some stressing event is over. And as for the reasons, as I said, stressful events can give me a writer’s block, or particularly low mood and energy. But most of all I guess it’s the emotional overloads that can block me the most in any way of expressing myself, especially that when I experience them I usually have particularly low self-esteem to the point of self-loathing so even when I write something I usually don’t like it. Sometimes I try to write anyway and it can help if I push through, but at other times it’s downright impossible and then I have to wait until it passes, or try to get rid of some of those emotions that are raging in my brain in some other way.

3. When you started or even now do you feel like deleting a frank post,  overthinking that it’s too bold ? What you do if it happens?

Yeah it happens sometimes that I write a very candid post, and then decide mid-writing that actually I shouldn’t be writing this, either because I don’t like what I wrote in general or it feels like exposing myself too much or sometimes I’m scared that someone whom I don’t want to will read it if it touches on some very sensitive topic. Then I sometimes delete it altogether, but at other times I keep writing it anyway, even when I don’t feel fully convinced about whether what I’m doing is right and feel like it’s very risky. But I rarely delete posts after I publish them, unless some time passes and I decide that for some reason they’re not right, too candid or vulnerable or whatever.

4. Do you believe in planning to the last detail or rough plans or no plan at all?

Hmm hard to say. I’m not a spontaneous person at all, but at the same time I hardly make rigid and thorough plans for anything. I like to be able to know what I’m going to do soon, and I really like routine and hate changes, but meticulously planning very far ahead is boring, so I guess I’m somewhere in the middle.

5. What is the weirdest flavour or combination you ever found in a drink or snack?

Chocolate with sea salt! My Mum used to have a phase where she would buy lots of chocolates with really strange things in them – like chilli, some weird alcohol fillings, or sea salt. – I found the sea salt in combination with chocolate particularly repulsive. I loooove love love salt, I mean, I used to eat just salt alone from the salt cellar, and my uncle who was a mariner got me lots of salt crystals from the Dead Sea years ago and I was licking them whenever I needed my salt fix, lol, my grandad used to say that it could have something to do with the fact that I have low blood pressure all the time but I’m not sure if there is a relationship, I guess I just simply like salt, and I also love chocolate, I don’t know anyone who doesn’t or don’t think I do, but together they’re just yuck.

6. What is your most embarrassing moment?

I can’t recall one that would be the very most embarrassing, when you have AVPD a lot of things feel embarrassing whether they are or not, so I thought I’d share a recent thing that happened to me, that was quite embarrassing but also very funny. We were in church last Sunday and I was sitting next to my Dad, listening to the homily, and I had a scarf on my face since we’re still having some restrictions in place, but rather lightly at that moment because there was only me and my family sitting in the pew, there is some distance between pews and it was very warm in there, and I wanted to avoid getting overly hot as it happens to me quite a lot in church and then can get embarrassing when my bp is dropping and I’m all dizzy and have to get out or pray that I won’t faint or something. When the homily was over, there was a brief moment of silence, and I suddenly felt like I was going to sneeze. Unfortunately it happened faster than I thought and I didn’t even manage to get out a handkerchief or cover my face more tightly with the scarf in time, and since it was so quiet, I’m pretty sure the whole church has heard me sneezing. 😀 Sofi immediately hissed that “Whoa, attention, Bibiel is giving away corona for free! Who wants to adopt a little virus?”, and then Dad started giggling, then I started laughing, and as is usually the case with me in public places where it’s not that appropriate to laugh, when I’ll start to laugh I can’t seem to be able to stop that easily, even if the reason is rather trivial and not that very funny, so I continued to try not to laugh at the whole thing for quite a few minutes. I guess that’s early signs of hysteria. 😀 My Mum and my grandma are exactly the opposite, they start to cry in church, cinema, theatre, official events at schools etc. very easily and seemingly over anything, while I get fits of laughter for no reason. I guess it’s worse because crying, while also awfully embarrassing, seems a bit more acceptable in such settings. 😀 Anyway, I’ve been thinking that now, and after the coronavirus, sneezing, coughing, or even sniffling or grunting, are going to be way worse and shameful than burping or farting. Too bad for people with allergies like me. 😀

7. Are you a dog person or a cat person? Why or why not?

I’d say a cat person, just because I seem to get along better with cats and understand them better, and especially since I’ve got Mishmishbut it’s not like I dislike dogs, they can be very sweet too, I love to play with our Jocky for example. I just don’t get along with them quite as well and we’re not on the same wavelength. Dogs seem to like me a lot for some strange reason, even more than Zofijka so she’s always envious when we are at someone’s place and their dog is all over me rather than playing with her, but I much prefer the way cats show their affection rather than have a dog jumping all over me or licking my face haha.

8. If you had the opportunity to pick one superpower for the rest of your life what would you choose: time travel, teleportation, telepathy, psychokinesis, invisibility?

I used to want to be able to teleport as a kid and that still would be cool, then I thought that telepathy was the best since you could have so much insight into other people’s brains, but I’ve read a book about a boy who had that ability and that seemed quite overwhelming to have all the bullshit from other people’s brains go into your brain, I think I’d drown in it. These days I think I’d like invisibility the most, as long as it was so that I’d be able to choose when I want to be invisible and when not, rather than be invisible all the time.

9. How do you cope with stress or anxiety? Any special tricks you’d like to share?

Misha helps me the most. If you have an anxiety disorder or are just not very tolerant to stress and don’t have a pet, I highly recommend that you get yourself one if you are able to in your life situation. Music helps me especially with the sensory anxiety stuff, as do some other distractions that can occupy my brain really well. Distraction won’t always make your anxiety go away, sometimes it won’t work at all, but it’s always worth a try. Good sleep is key. It won’t always mean that you’ll feel completely fine and not anxious after a restful night’s sleep, but if you’re sleep deprived and have anxiety issues, I’d think you have it pretty much guaranteed that you will experience a lot of anxiety, more than you would otherwise. I also take medication for anxiety and although I didn’t do it for many years, even though I’ve had anxiety all my life, now I can’t imagine not having a help like that at all and often wonder how I actually got through some anxiety-provoking stuff in the past without it, when my overall mental health was much worse. My anxiety is generally of a chronic rather than panicky and coming and going kind, I have different types of anxiety, but when I get panic attacks or when my anxiety increases significantly in a short time, what I do is I try to think in another language. That is, not Polish and not English. I’m already fluent in English enough that English doesn’t work, and I tend to think about the things I feel more often in English than in Polish these days. But I try to think in other languages that I know. That is Swedish and Welsh. First, that provides a distraction and of course these languages are something I like. Second, it just is a good exercise for practicing my language skills. And third, it slows my thoughts. When I’m anxious my brain is racing with lightning speed, and since I’m not that very fluent in Swedish, and especially not in Welsh, it takes time for me to form thoughts in these languages. ALso Swedish is generally very simple so it’s strange how I can start to think more rationally in Swedish. There really is something in what people say that with each language you know, you get something a bit like a new identity. Often that language trick will actually help me to better realise what I am so anxious about, or will simply help to calm me down. Again, this doesn’t work always, because sometimes it’s impossible to focus, but when it does, my brain can slow down a bit.

10. Is the universe finite or infinite? And why do things even exist at all?

I think it’s finite but really really REALLY huge. And I think if something exists, especially when we are talking about living beings, there most certainly must be some very clear purpose to it, even if we don’t know it yet, or struggle to understand it. I’m sure we’ll all know it some day.

11. If you had one week left to live what would you do?
I would make sure that Misha would be well looked after and treated, have everything he needs for his whole life after I wouldn’t be with him. I mean my Mum is his main feeder anyway so he wouldn’t go hungry but they don’t know his habits quite as well as I do, or his dislikes, so I would do everything that I could to make sure that he would have someone who would always care for Misha and not make stupid tricks on him like scaring him with the vacuum cleaner just because it looks funny. I don’t know who it could be though, probably Mum because he is very attached to her even though she often gets irritated with him and screams at him which he doesn’t like. I would make time for saying a proper goodbye to my family and would spend a lot of time with them, I would probably have to explain some things about me to them. I think I would give most of my things to Zofijka. I would spend a lot of time preparing myself for death spiritually so that I could die happy. I’d like it to be a possibly happy week during which I would do some things that I never did before but that I would be sure that I’d enjoy them. Nothing spectacular or extravagant, just small, pleasant things. And I would like to do something really helpful for someone.

I’ve recently nominated quite a lot of people for the Real Neat Blog Award, but this time I just nominate everyone who reads this post. And you can answer the questions that I was asked, as I don’t really have many ideas at the moment.

 

The Real Neat Blog Award.

Hey guys! 🙂

I’m very happy to share with you that I’ve been nominated for the Real Neat Blog Award by Mio Angelo from

mentally Ill In America,

thanks so much, Mio. 🙂

   Questions for me:

1   What is your favorite color and why?

If I had to pick just one, it would have to be black, but I also like white, grey, blue and green almost just as much.

2   Who do you admire the most in life and why?

I don’t know if I have one person that I absolutely admire, like as a whole, that I want to be like them and look up to them always. It’s more like I admire particular traits in different people. The only person that I feel like I admire wholely is Jesus.

3   If you could describe yourself as a color, what would it be and why?

Hmmm, that’s tricky, because, although I have a strangely good idea about colours for someone who’s blind since birth, I don’t really think or imagine things in colours at all. I think black suits my personality quite well, and the fact that I used to be a Goth. And maybe some blue, kind of sea blue, but as for the latter I don’t know why.

4   Where is your favorite place on Earth and what makes it so special for you?

Definitely my room, just because it’s mine, I feel safe in here, have all I need, don’t have to deal with other people, Misha is here, I can listen to my favourite music etc. etc. etc.

5   What is your favorite food and why?

It depends, since there are so many types of food and it depends on when. So, my favourite foods include, in very random order: Silesian dumplings, chips, anything spicey, olives, spaghetti, chicken, kefir (is a drink a food too? 😀 I looove kefir so I think it deserves a mention), most fruit and veg, although preferably raw if it’s edible this way, chocolate, salty snacks like crisps, the vast majority of dairy, fried, very salty and crispy bacon, various biscuits, pasta with broccoli and cheese sauce… I’ve run out of ideas at the moment but there’s loads more things I like and love.

6   What is your favorite book of all time?  What did you find interesting about it?

The Emily of New Moon series by Lucy Maud Montgomery. I love all books by her, but I think it won’t be an exaggeration or an overstatement if I say that it has shaped me in a way. I also find Emily herself and a lot of other characters very relatable, and I like the way Montgomery could describe people, I like when a fiction writer can be very psychologically insightful about their characters. It’s also made me love to write even more than I did before I’d read Emily for the first time, although my writing ambitions are nowhere near as high as Emily’s and I’m not as obsessed with it these days.

7   Why do you enjoy writing and blogging?

It’s very cathartic and therapeutic and the easiest and most doable form of emotional expression for me. As for blogging alone, it also helps me connect with people who are either like-minded or we have something in common, and sometimes it can be helpful to actually write for real people and knowing that there will be someone on the other end actually reading your writing, rather than just to write in my diary, although the latter is very important to me as well.

8   What type of music do you enjoy?

I always say that my taste is both eclectic and picky at the same time, some people say snobbish (because I often tend to have very little idea about what’s currently popular) and that always makes me laugh. But my favourite genres are folk and rock. I like folk from all over the world but most prefer Celtic and Nordic, and as for rock, I used to listen to Gothic stuff, some symphonic metal, then later some folk rock with a lot of pagan influences. These days I still listen to some of that stuff but very little, mostly because I’m no longer as very Gothic and my world views and beliefs have shifted a lot over time, so what I’m more likely to listen these days is some alternative rock, often in some hardly ever heard language or with strange lyrics, or indie rock, or some more ambitious pop rock. But folksy influences are always welcome. I also like acoustic music, some electronic, britpop, music that may be or may have been popular in other countries but not necessarily familiar at all where I live, and relaxing music as well.

9   What are your favorite hobbies (besides writing) and why do you like them?

Learning languages or rather generally playing around with them, reading, spending time with Misha, listening to music, naming other people’s kids, or at least trying to help them with that and generally playing around with names, also horse riding though I haven’t been riding in ages now and things have been hard in that respect for multiple reasons. It’s nearly impossible to say why I like or do most of these things, that’s just what my brain likes I guess and has more or less always had.

10  What is your favorite song and singer/band?
I rarely have something like a one, most favourite song, whether at a given time of all-time. I just like too much music to be able to think in such terms, haha. As for musicians, I also have lots of favourite artists and bands, but I guess I can say my faza objects are my most favourite, or, music crushes as I call them in English, though this translation is very superficial as I’ve said many times previously. And they are, in chronological order, Enya, Declan Galbraith, Cornelis Vreeswijk and Gwilym Bowen Rhys (who has also been a part of Welsh-language bands Plu and Y Bandana).

   My nominees:

One of the rules of this award is to nominate 10 bloggers, so here are links to people that I nominate:

Take a Ride on My Moodswing,

Where Good Advice Happens,

A Multitude of Musings,

Astrid’s Words,

Sparks From a Combustible Mind,

Invisibly Me,

Therapy Bits

Food.for.Thought,

I Am My Own Island

 

and

Color me Bipolar.

   Questions for my nominees:

You need to ask your nominees 7-10 questions, you can come up with them yourself or ask them the same questions that you’ve been asked. I thought I’d make up my own so here goes:

1. What’s your eye colour? Do you like it or would you change it if you could?

2. Have you had a good relationship with your parents?

3. If you had to rename yourself, what would your name be?

4. Do you like to daydream? If so, does your dream world look in any specific way that you are able to describe?

5. If you feel very hungry, what is your go-to meal?

6. What is your favourite instrument or one that you would like to learn to play?

7. What types of blogs/blog posts do you most enjoy reading?

8. Do you like to sing?

9. What is the best way for you to recharge after an exhausting day, whether physically or mentally?

10. If you were a founder of a charity, whom/what would it work for?

It’s okay if you don’t do award posts, there’s no pressure or obligation, I know they can be absorbing, and don’t fit with every type of blog, you can just consider this nomination as a way of appreciating your blog rather than a pressure for anything.

If you do decide to make an award post, however, then let me know or make a pingback to this post so I can read it. 🙂

 

Question of the day.

Hi people! 🙂

What would be the absolute worst name you could give your child?

My answer:

Well, it depends on so many things, in my opinion. It depends on whether we are talking objectively what is the worst (most harmful) way of naming a baby, or rather the worst way of choosing a name for your baby, or subjectively which name I dislike the most. If we’re talking about the latter, just as I know lots of beautiful names that I love and could give my children, I’ve also learnt about lots of names from all sorts of cultures that I intensely dislike and it’s hard to pick just one that I would dislike the most and think that it’s the absolute worst. If we’re talking about the former, I think there are lots of ways to do it wrong, but then even when we’d try to look at it objectively everyone has so different values and opinions when it comes to ochoosing a name. And there are so many names out there that I’ve heard about over the years and would have never thought in the past that anyone coould ever use, yet people do use them. Shooter, Lucifer, Legia (as in Polish football team Legia-Warsaw, or at least I’ve heard about a daddy wanting to call her daughter this, but I don’t know if he succeeded with our back then quite strict naming laws), Google, Brfxxccxxmnpcccclllmmnprxvclmnckssqlbb11116 pronounced as Albin, or A, also pronounced as Albin (an “artistic” creation of Swedish parents Lasse Diding and Elisabeth Hallin, though the boy didn’t get named either in the end, but was nameless for some six years instead), or some eccentric Puritan names like Silence, which are all quite extreme examples of really bad ways of naming your child. But it’s hard to pick the worst, really. Then there are people like my Mum who flinch at every normal name they’d never heard onn a real person when they first hear of it being used on a baby. Recently our distant relatives called their baby boy Noe (Noah in English) and while Noah is very popular in the US, Noe is not so much in Poland, even though the N as a first letter is quite a trendy theme at the moment in my view, although a bit more for the girls, and Biblical boy names have been ruling for a while, and short names have been getting a lot of attention as well. The reason for Noe not being in favour is probably that it ends in -e, while it’s rather uncommon (and may feel unnatural for many people) for a masculine Polish name to end with a vowel other than -i or -y. I don’t know any guys called Noe personally. Anyways, my Mum told me that in a very horrified, indignant voice, and when I said “So what? Noe isn’t a usual name, but I don’t see anything wrong with it if they like it so much”, she was even more horrified and like: “But how will they call him, in normal life, every day?! Ark? There’s no nickname for Noe!”. Oh yes, that’s such a dilemma! But Poles like their nicknames. My Mum’s name is Anna, short enough, right? But no one calls her Anna, just as hardly any other Annas are just Annas. A Polish Anna usually automatically goes by Ania, unless she’s prepared for a life-long battle of correcting everyone. I love the name Anna so much but Ania is so superficial and bland. So I said that nicknames are only a matter of creativity, at least in our language, you have pretty much endless possibilities, and after all there are no rules that one nickname works with only one name, no one said at all that your nickname has to be related to your birth name. So if he likes to go by Ark indeed, why the heck can’t he? I’m sure it’s better to be the only Noe in school than the 30th Jakub, especially that the name is – like most Polish names – very straightforward in spelling, declination and what not, so should not be overly stigmatising or burdening unless he keeps bumping into such strange judgy people like my Mum. 😀 Or yesterday Sofi told us that there’s a boy called Michael in her school. The Polish version of Michael is Michał, and Michael on a Polish person certainly would feel a tad pretentious to most Polish people (including myself) because the spelling is not in-line with our phonetics, because we have our own native form of the name and despite it’s now legal to use names from foreign cultures with non-phonetical spellings, it’s still a new thing and generally it tends to be a bit of an informal naming rule for most people still not to use names from different cultures if we have a native equivalent or if that foreign name doesn’t adapt well to the language. And the boy doesn’t seem to have foreign roots or anything. So my Mum rolled her eyes and was like: “Really…? He’s Michael! I thought they were such normal people!”. 😀 So, as you see, it often doesn’t take much to shock people, even though I personally think that, while I would never call my child Michael in Poland and while it is a bit pretentious, it’s not harmful or somehow really stigmatising in a major way.

So, let’s just talk about what I would try to do or avoid doing when naming my potential baby, some rules that I would stick to, not necessarily about my personal style as such but more like to simply make sure that my child’s name will be at least bearable to them to live with for their entire life.

I would avoid names that feel dated and not ready for a comeback yet, so names that are typical for either my generation or the generation of my parents, because by the time my child would go to school or something, it’s likely that the name would feel cringey to their peers if it was massively popular in, say, the 90’s and then has become much less popular so that it’s associated with the 90’s very strongly and is more common among the mums or dads. I’d also try to avoid names that would seem “seasonal” to me. Ones that get a lot of usage in a short while and then quickly fall downwards in popularity to never come back again.

Unless the child would have some foreign heritage in close family, I would not use a name that could be difficult to spell here, because Polish is a phonetic language and almost everything is spelled as it’s said. It wouldn’t necessarily have to be a known Polish name though, for example my long-time favourite for a potential baby girl is Saskia. And I’ve just looked through the popularity list for the whole Polish population and couldn’t find the name Saskia there at all, so if there are any Saskias here there is less than 100 of them. yet still it ends with an -a, as a proper, traditional Polish feminine noun should, and poses no pronunciation or spelling dilemmas. I think, like most people, I’d be in that category of parents who want something unique but not too qree8tyv.

I have nothing against people using unisex names, but it’s not a thing here, and that’s probably part of why I am not a big enthusiast of them myself, with some exceptions. But I would definitely try to avoid unisex names, or at least those that are rather similarly often used for both genders, I would mind much less names like Evelyn (which is an adorable name) which use on males is pretty much historical from what i know. If I’d want to use a word name, in Polish I’d probably never do it at all because there are only few traditionally used word names and the idea is still very new. If I were to use an English word name, I’d likely use it for a middle, especially if it’s a frequently used word, or has some very specific associations. Though the word names category is very broad, I guess even Jack could count, and I think there’s absolutely nothing wrong with using names like that as they’re well known as names and very normal. My long-time word name favourite is Hyacinth, and I’d be also happy to use that, and surprisingly, on either gender. But that would only be if I lived in an English-speaking country.

Because I believe in that name & personality thing as you probably know, and I would really hate to give my child a name that wouldn’t miss their personality, I would be careful with using family/honour names. Of course honouring someone is a great thing, but I want my child to have an identity of his own, so I would never give him a first and middle name of his grandad, rather, I’d use first name of his one grandad and second of the other. And I’d never do things like promising someone ahead of time, before seeing my baby, that I’ll name my baby after them for sure. Generally I think I would want to have some names prepared before the child’s arrival but I would not make a definite decision before seeing the child and spending some time with them, I must get a feel of them, I don’t want them to be conflicted internally. If there was a tradition in my family of using family names from generation to generation (which there sort of is because me and my siblings, my Dad and all his siblings all have middle names after our parents), I’d break this tradition if I thought that the name would clash with my kid.

What would be the worst name/way of naming for you? 🙂

Question of the day.

Hi people! 🙂

Are there any food combinations you hate?

My answer:

I think quite a few, but what comes to my mind right now is that I hate the combination of spicy with sweet. I love love love spicy food, spicy condiments etc. and I love a lot of sweet things as well, but together they taste gross. I hate things like chocolate with chilli, or sauces that are kind of both sweet and a little spicy, or some crisps are like that too, spicy with a bit of sweet-ish flavour, it’s yucky. If something is spicy, then I want it to be really spicy, and not something in-between. Similarly, there are probably even more things that are both spicy and sour/vinegary, especially crisps or sauces/ketchups. I really like things that are really really spicy, and when for example I want to buy a hot sauce for something, I know a couple that I know are really good, but when I buy something new that I haven’t tested before, chances are quite high that, instead of being spicy it’ll only be spicy-sour or spicy-sweet. My Mum dislikes spicy-vinegary things as well, generally some people say though that I’m weird, because lots of things aren’t spicy enough for me, even if they don’t contain any taste combinations like that, haha, so perhaps indeed my perception is different or something.

You? 🙂

Question of the day.

Hi guys! 🙂

Which pet made the most impact on your life?

My answer:

That surely has to be Misha. My family used to live in the country throughout my whole childhood, so whenever I was at home I was surrounded by animals, we’d always had a dog there and lots of cats around the backyard, some more, some less wild, and we’ve had aquarium fish since I can remember, and I also had a hamster for a brief moment, and when I was a bit older we also had a cat called Kiki. And now, except for Misha, we also have our dog Jocky. But I’ve never bonded with any animal as much as with Misha. That’s probably partly because I am not as much a dog person as I am a cat person, which isn’t to say I don’t like dogs, I do like most if they’re not overly intrusive and exuberant towards me when barely knowing me, but I just get along better with cats. And partly it’s also probably because I simply didn’t really spend that much time with those pets, as I was at the boarding school most of the time. I even hardly remember our cat Kiki, even though it wasn’t that very long ago that he was with us, I didn’t feel particularly emotional about him, even though i liked him. The only bit I remember more vividly is when I accidentally closed him on the terrace in the middle of a snowy, windy, winter night, and no one in the family could figure out how he managed to not only get on the terrace but also close himself there – long story and i’m pretty sure I’ve talked about it in some earlier post. – Also as I’ve said many times before, we are really very much like brainmates with Misha, and even though one may easily think that in some respects we are a really badly and absurdly paired couple, at the same time we have an awful load of things in common so we can simply get along somehow, I like to think that we do really well, even though it’s hard sometimes even just because you can get most information from him via eye contact and he’s extremely hypersensitive to touch. Misha has been a huge emotional support for me, which I can’t say at all about other pets that we’ve had, and I have a personal relationship with him, which I also didn’t have with the other ones and don’t really have a very strong one with Jocky even though I like him and he seems to like me crazily for some reason and we like to play.

You? 🙂

Question of the day.

Hey guys. 🙂

What, if anything, have you ever re-gifted?

My answer:

I’m sure I’ve re-gifted lots of things, though I don’t remember anything particularly specific. When I was a kid my more extended family often felt pressured to give me some presents for birthdays or such, while they didn’t really know me well, so I often got lots of jewellery or cosmetics that were totally not my style, I’ve even got three pair of earrings from my grandma even though I don’t have pierced ears, so I think it would be mostly those kinds of things that I’ve re-gifted.

You? 🙂