This was a tough year for me. It started off well and progressed well but ended horribly with the death of my mom. It has not been easy going forward, and probably won't be easy ever again. Nonetheless, there were some things that I loved about 2018. Inspired by ForeverPresident Obama, here's my list.
Favorite Things 2018
1. Podcasts -
a. Lore (created/hosted by Aaron Manke). If you're not listening, you are missing out. Aaron Manke, in only the way he can, brings to life the creepiness of real world mysteries, lores and legends. Listening to this, I find myself questioning if any of it was really true. The answer? YES! Well researched, Manke is a storyteller at heart, and has done a good job creeping out his listeners.
-b. -.Stuff to Blow Your Mind/Stuff You Should Know
Another podcast that has done a good job educating me about just about everything, and has made me want to look up everything they mention. You won't regret it.
2. Tdotspec --the upstart publishing company has made me a published author (Strange Economics). Please check it out, if you haven't already.
3. Winners -- I'm addicted and really should cut down on my shopping addictions. In the mean time, I am always looking for the next great find.
4. Matcha -- I am late to the matcha latte/everything party, but am glad I arrived anyway. By the way, try the matcha green tea chocolate bar (Kitkat/nestle). You won't regret it.
5. Essential Oils --this was the year I was to discover my inner natural goddess. Lavender became my go-to color/choice of oil, but I'm loving peppermint, tea tree and milk thistle.
6. Oversized sweaters/shirt-dresses. Ironic that now that I have hit my weight goal, I am more determined than ever to cover up. Oversized sweaters/shirt-dresses are cozy and comfortable. A girl never can have too many oversized sweaters. They're practical for winter, and even summer when the air conditioning is simply too high.
7. Musical Artists:
a. Jessie Reyez. My new Amy Winehouse. What a voice, and what an attitude. According to the 'loco Colombiana', her "straight jacket's custom-made.'
b. Janelle Monae's "Dirty Computer.' The archandroid is everything I wish I could be --cool and nerdy, and this album is catchy and sing-a-long. PERFECT. Blerds represent.
c. Buju Banton --the Jamaican Reggae artist was released from prison in early December 2018. I rediscovered his 'Til Shiloh' album. It's a classic. I've been obsessively listening to it for months.
8. Marvel Studios. Thanks for giving me lighthearted entertainment to get me through tough times. I loved the Black Panther. I was mad, sad and happy about Infinity Wars, and look forward to Endgame.
9. My Fitness Pal -- this is a little tricky. It's a "health/diet" app. But, I am in agreement that anything that helps me track what I am eating/putting in my body is good. And it's free!
10. Google Home --I am of the desire that someday, and I hope I live to experience it, we'll all have robots and AIs in the home called genie/avatars that do our bidding. Google Home (and other assistants) is the first step. Not great. I'm still waiting for it to read me my horoscope and give me life advice. In the meantime, I take comfort in asking it odd questions.
I first came across the phrase, maladaptive daydream disorder (MDD) three years ago while trying to find out if I was normal or going crazy. I used to type things such as: "roaming mind" and "absentmindedness" and "out of control fantasizing." Then, I came across a mailing list, which led me to the tumblr page, and reading it, I knew I found a name for my problem.
I initially feared I was coming down with schizophrenia, or that I existed on the spectrum somewhere, and when I contacted a psychiatrist about it (I was that worried), she asked me all the regular questions -- do you hear voices? No. Do you feel like hurting someone? No. Okay, then you are fine, she said. No one diagnosed me with anything, even when I told her I had difficulty controlling my roaming mind.
Still, I was normal. But, normal people didn't put themselves to bed by exhausting their minds with lavish tales of adventures. I knew this, and for the longest time I felt shame, especially if I let slip a word, or pace or flail my hand (which is characteristic of MDD). People like me live in our heads, and in our headspace are worlds filled with daily adventures and lavish tales of grandeur. The closest thing I'd ever seen that captured MDD was the short story, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (the two films drift from the original writing) about a man who has five daydream episodes while he waits for his wife who has gone to the beauty parlor..
People who suffer from MDD can have ten different adventures all in an hour. We could be off saving lives in a hospital, skiing in the Swiss Alps, traversing an apocalyptic landscape ala Katniss Everdeen or trying to save fantasy worlds from orcs and evil sorcerers.
You may say, what's so bad about having a great imagination? The problem with MDD is that we can't control when we slip into a daydream. True, that if we're busy, we don't daydream, but the moment we're not occupied with real world acts, our minds drift. It can happen anywhere and anytime, and we can't control it; although, sometimes we can will it to happen, as I often do before bed. I choose my adventure--which character do I want to be tonight. MDD also means we have trouble getting out of bed. Many of us have laid in bed for hours daydreaming--no joke. The most embarrassing part is the involuntary movements (pacing/flailing hands) and vocal outbursts --blurting things aloud.
The thing is -- I can daydream as a character in one of my stories, or as myself. It's not unusual for me to become a character when I'm reading about that character. This involves putting myself in the action as the main protagonist. But, I can be me in a story, too. For example: when I see a group of skateboarders, I picture myself as a skateboarder (usually MJF-ish in Back to the Future) cruising on a futuristic skateboard that defies gravity.
It's important to understand that people who suffer from MDD know the worlds in our heads aren't real. We don't hear voices, though we may speak aloud in response to a character in our story.
PS. Maladaptive Daydream Disorder (MDD) is not medically recognized by the DSM.-5, and many have dismissed it as another form of ADD, or as a kind of borderline personality/anti-social disorder, and reports suggest ADD medication can help with it. Nonetheless, I have reasons to believe, it's a new condition on its own.
More on MDD:
Every year at this time, I think about where I am versus where I want to be and I become depressed. I am never where I want to be, and as the years drag on, the further I feel I am drifting from my goals.
This may very well be what I call the "science of aging." In the book, 'The Science of Why,' Daily Planet host, Jay Ingram discusses the belief humans have that "time flies " as you age. The feeling that, getting older, the years blend together. Our memory of time becomes faulty, which is described as a "forward telescoping." An episode we pegged to have happened a year or two ago actually happened six years ago, and so on. Ingram suggests the "time flies" phenonomenon is chalked up to us having experienced most of our "novelty" life experiences early in our life--most of us reached milestones by the time we're 25, and so there are fewer "eventful" experiences we have as we age, so years blend together, perhaps out of mundanity.
Of course, depending on who you are and the life you've lived, you may feel more depressed about the passage of time. After all, if you had an active and enviable social life, you may miss your youth more than if you never had much of a social life, anyway. You may feel time more and feel the change of its weight more than someone who hadn't the numeber of "eventful" experiences you've had.
My father used to describe me at 'old before Iam young," but the truth is, I was never young. I'm not even much of a late bloomer. I never had much of a social life; yet, this doesn't mean I don't feel the weight of time--the sluggish pull of middle age that is creeping up on me. It never was lost on me that by the time my parents were my age, they had two children.
At this age--early 30s, I am childless, and fine with it. It was never my goal to be married with children, yet there's a certain pressure women of a certain age feel to procreate. Maybe the Germans have a word for it, I don't know. It's the feeling of exclusion--that there's something everyone's doing that you're not, or that you can't do something others can do. A limitation. A loss of options--choice.
I always say, you're not old until you're off the calendar. The calendar has 31 days, and this year I passed that. There's also a "what now?" question that repeats itself in my head--a kind of desperate rush to do things, so I can get it over with. This year I had more things going on in my life than previous years. I made the effort to meet new people and find more like-minded companions, and it was worth it.
Yet, end of year is another reminder of unstoppable time. I guess I'm saying: live life to the fullest, and have a Happy New Year!