The Unremarkable Head Rush

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Tomorrow should be important to me, but it’s not. I should’ve planned a thematic celebration, but I didn’t. I couldn’t decide on what that would be. I wasn’t inspired to do anything about it.

It will mark twenty years since my head was cut open by the trusted hands of an old man with diplomas on the walls of his office. So carefully, he drilled into my head and gently cut out tissue that wasn’t supposed to be there, trying his hardest not to touch anything else.

He was successful, mostly. He didn’t get everything, but I didn’t lose any part of my brain. He put my skull back together and stapled the incised skin shut, which was shaven around by a certain radius. It eventually healed over. The hair grew back.

I was an unremarkable case of a health problem nobody wants to have, but also brings no genuine sympathy from other people without a heart wrenching story that tags along. I’m not a very good story teller. I’m not photogenic either. There wasn’t a sob story, because I was too old to be helpless, too young to be promising, and not cute.

So how can I celebrate something that wasn’t an issue at the time?

I didn’t have a formal celebration of this ten years ago, fifteen years ago, or nineteen years ago as conventional anniversaries. Two years ago I took a dive into a major hair transformation that was…a net gain of fun while it lasted, but it didn’t last very long for a reason.

I can’t think of anything that I want to do to mark this occasion but close my eyes and hope I don’t have a headache. I saw my neurologist today and spoke of increased frequency and diversity of headaches, that come from different sources with different symptoms in different spots with different textures. (Headaches have textures. If you didn’t know that, you aren’t very widely experienced in headaches.) I have no idea if this has anything to do with the reasons that 20 years ago I had to walk underground, commando in a hospital gown, from the Children’s Hospital ward to the operation room. (Since my legs worked at the time, they wouldn’t take me there in a wheelchair.) I laid myself on a table in a very sterile grey room, had an anesthetic mask put on, and then spent a few days below the surface of functional reality.

I want to drink, but not as any nostalgic marker because I didn’t drink at the time. I want to drink because I’m frustrated about not having anything planned. I’ll probably walk for an hour to the biggest mall in the city and do shopping I really don’t care to do. I might play video games. I might opt to sleep the whole duration instead, which would actually be the most appropriate option of all. Not just because I spent most of October 25th, 1994 lying down unconscious, but because there’s nothing worth celebrating when the story wasn’t a marketable victory against all odds.

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To Not Sleep, Perchance to Create

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I used to have worse sleeping habits. It’s a side effect of other medication that I can fall asleep pretty well now. When I had insomnia I would mostly just lie in bed at best in an absence of anything – no tiredness, no comfort, nothing but awakeness. At worst it would be related to inexplicable pain in my limbs.

Now, I can usually get 7-8 hours in on weekdays, and on weekends I lie in bed as long as I please, coming in and out of sleep for a couple of hours each morning. Rest is important, as scientific studies confirm and confirm again. But through the posting of thoughts and interactions publicly on the internet, I can see how much is passed around by insomniacs. There’s more to contemplate and more to create outside of a daily schedule. I’m not around when the good things happen, all because I’m getting a healthy sleep.

Beyond posting inane dribble on Twitter, there are the chances to interact with others in constructive dialogue. There’s the surge of ideas that can come with sleep deprivation (or can be the cause of it, chicken/egg) that can be put into action by creating something. I’m missing that time and those conditions in my life.

I’m sure if I were still an insomniac I would be thinking along the lines of Hamlet, with much smaller problems mind you, that I hope death, if not just pure nonexistence, is eternal sleep. In the winter months especially, approaching as the sky stays dark into the start of my mornings, I long for hibernation and sleeping for three months in exchange for longer waking hours for the rest of the year. Despite the obvious benefits to my health, I want to reject the standard schedule of balancing sleep and waking time in favour of extremes.

My thinking is clear, but my ideas are worthless when I’m well-rested and functional. If not the creative process itself, a lack of rest at least instills the delusion that my bullshit deserves to be put out there, that my opinions matter, and that my writing is good.

The New Khristopian Vision

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There’s a change of direction here. I’m going to start pointing everything towards me. It’s a narcissistic move, but like most of the constructive things I do in my life it’s a self-eating snake. The more I express self-absorbed opinions, the less I express opinions about other things as if it matters – as if what I have to say isn’t already overrepresented by loud mouths much like me, or as if I can say it better than people who live through more day to day struggles that need to be brought to light.

However, I can write about myself more accurately and with more authority than anyone else.

Someone might dare to prove the contrary and write thousands of words about what I can’t see in myself because I’m self-absorbed, but that person is likely a white man with unaddressed mental health problems. Somebody who’s not a white man would have more important stories to tell from their own experiences that aren’t taken for granted as the baseline for the function of the universe. Somebody who has addressed their mental health problems would know better than to care about me, and somebody who doesn’t have significant mental health problems wouldn’t be bothered enough to write.

But I – a white woman with unaddressed mental health problems – have a load of things to write about myself. My ego has been growing. When I look back at pictures I took of myself, a serious problem that started back in the 90s, I can see the ebb and flow of weight and hair and skin and fashion sense that brings me to the buoyed state I’m in today. I’m in a pretty good place. I’d like to talk about that.

This can’t be a journal of day-to-day life because that’s not what the internet is for anymore. It’s not a safe place to talk about real people and real things without cash reward. I’d rather talk about a surreal person – myself – because I can’t get in trouble for deification nor vitriol. I can lose friends, for sure (which has happened before), but I can stop at whatever point it makes me no longer love myself.

Buzzing with Diversity

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Whatever reservations or disinterest I have in BuzzFeed as a whole, they are growing and changing to intellectual levels beyond the clickbait they’re known for so far. That’s evident from how open they were today about their hiring process, and the principles and goals they have when recruiting for their growing media operation. This is quite similar to how Canada’s federal Employment Equity program – a legislated requirement of government and some industries. This is an issue of much contention for some people who believe that things should remain as they are. Everybody’s equal under the law, so naturally everybody’s position comes by their own merit, right?

AHAHAhahahaHAHHA*coughcoughhack* No. Let me elaborate with a rehash of my lunchtime tweets.

There is a very logical and very capitalist reason, then, to extend a workforce beyond the Old Boys’ Club. It’s a “trend” covered ad nauseum in business/human resources publications that diversity is a business advantage. There is just a lot to make up for, and a lot to reprogram in our heavily biased brains. This means needing to make intentional changes and dedicated efforts to not falling into the habit we’re often too enveloped in to see. Some people might see it as an attack, or think it’s unfair to punish the white men who happen to be entering the workforce now rather than before, but…