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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Chin hair and other unanswered questions


003 Since early of 2007 when I started blogging as a guest writer for notamissionary by Riorose and then creating “Flowers’ in January of 2009, I have been using blogging as a means of expressing myself as a foreigner in a foreign land, showing my photos (hopefully as they have improved), and as a means of talking about places I have traveled.

Lately I began to interact more in cyberspace. Looking at other’s blogs and photos, and reading their thoughts and making comments that do not really constitute conversation. It is like that game often played at New Year’s Eve parties where you attach your wish to a balloon and with the help of some hot air, send it up into space – will it land where it is valued or be found and entertain?

I have found that the more I look and read other blogs, the less I write on my own. My head has become full of questions and confusion, full of sadness and feelings of loss. I have been afraid to write about what is bothering me. Afraid that I would be read by this large group of cyber writers/thinkers, I would be found whiny and negative. Unpleasant. They all seem so bright and poetic, so talented. Their lives so full of family and fun. Their problems when mentioned seem to be real problems. Mine have become insignificant, superficial by comparison in my own mind.

I am exhausted by the effort. The effort to stand straight, to be in balance, to always see the world as a beautiful place. This is not natural. There are bad days, there is sadness, graffiti, trash, loss, hunger – why are my feelings less because they are mine? Because I live in a nice house with a beautiful view, and I take no pills for a major illness, because (pray) Camillo and my families are well and prospering, why can I not talk about what does bother me? Why is it not important that I feel thick and stiff, and hate the face hair that has taken over as I age? Why isn’t it important that I am not where I need to be to help with my mother and my granddaughter? Why isn’t important the I feel life ebbing away as I sit in this house on the hill? Why isn’t it important that I fear losing Camillo who is only 4 years younger than Luisa?

This past month I have missed my friend Luisa who passed last month. I miss her for many reasons, but the most because she was my sounding board. With real and immediate feedback about what I was saying. She was always without fail on my side. I did not need to be perfect in front of her, over the 20 years of our friendship she had heard it all. I have been told that she is in a better place now. We would like to think and believe that, but no one really knows, and for me having her here was the best place.

I think that I will no longer write comments on other blogs. Maybe I wont even visit them. I need to drop out. I need the feeling of being anonymous, so I can go back to writing out my thoughts as I feel them. It is my only release, my only way to blow away some of the cloud cover and have a chance once again feel like me.


  1. Ginger, I am so sorry for your struggle. Be true to yourself and your needs. Don't worry about the rest of us. Your feelings are you and are valid. Your honesty and sincerity expressed here show you as a real person with struggles as valid as the next persons. Please don't feel judged. I don't think any of us are here to judge a fellow blogger - at least I hope not.

    I hope you find the answers you seek and I am sincerely sorry for the loss of such a dear friend.

  2. Sometimes we need to take a different road. Keeping up with blogs is almost like a job - with no pay. You have to take time away from important things so people won't think you rude. And you want to keep the friendships going. We have all met some wonderful people as we blog around. I feel so guilty when I don't have time to post or respond to my friends.

    I, too, am heading in another direction. I want to return to Third World countries and finish my work. Therefore, I am applying for grants and they are very time consuming.

    I am also starting another blog with my best photos so granters can view it when considering me.

    Since I set up my town blog to promote the town I get about 150 views a day from people looking for info about the town. So I will keep posting there.

    Because I have decided to try for the grants, I am dropping out of the Friday shootout. I need all my extra time. It was fun while it lasted.

    You take care. Email anytime. I want to keep in touch with my friends.

  3. Wow Ginger,

    That's profound. It kind of surprises me though that you would want to drop out and remain anonymous. I think a lot of people are inspired by your comments on their blogs. You've already left your imprint not only on their blogs but in their hearts.
    It will be sad to not see your name anymore.

    I know what you mean about being afraid to write what you really feel. I think I have the same problem, only probably for different reasons. I believe in the power of Law of Attraction, so for me to express anything negative or a constant negative feeling would mean I was putting that vibration out there and then I would be attracting the same. It's not that I won't write about my real feelings, because I do, I just try to keep them more positive. If my need to really write from deep inside and I don't want to put it out there for everyone to read, I usually handwrite it in a journal and then hide it away and it always makes me feel better.

    I have found that reading others blogs have actually lifted me up and commenting on their blogs makes me feel better too. I have read about a lot of sadness out there and it really has helped me to put my own life in perspective. I've read a lot of blogs that are hateful and are geared towards ranting and I stay away from those.

    But in general, I have been opened up to a whole new world. I see things differently now and it's amazing all these people in this blog land who you feel like you have genuine connections with. I don't know, maybe the connections aren't always mutual but in a way it feels like I am making new friends and these friends feel a certain void. That sounds kind of pathetic, but it's true for me.

    Well Ginger, I hope you find the balance you seek. Just be happy and do what you need to do to get to where you want to be.


  4. Hello dumpling,

    I just wrote something but it went ppphhhtttt into cyberspace I think!

    So starting again.

    I do try to be authentice ..honest..truthful about how I am, so if I'm having a spin cycle day I do admit to it.

    I always enjoy your comments so I hope you do drop by now and then, but I understand if you need to so what you need to do.

    Disconnecting might not be it though .....it's connections/friendships that hold us up.

    Become a blurter and simply blurt out how you feel and see what bounces back!!!

    Feeling as you do, does mean your spirit is talking to you ...something needs to happen.


  5. Ginger, I think we all have unanswered questions, and things that affect us on a personal level. Some can put it down in words, and others, like myself, find it difficult to put those thoughts and feelings on a page.
    (I'm struggling a bit here, at the moment)
    Following, and commenting on all the great blogs we each follow can be very time consuming, especially when spare time is in short supply.
    Taking a step back, is sometimes the right thing to do, and no-one should feel guilty about doing so.

    I hope this makes some sort of sense; and whatever you decide to do, I wish you all the best.

  6. Follow your heart Ginger V and do not worry what anyone thinks! If I see you here great..if not...it's been great! Life goes on. Take care my friend. You can always come back!

  7. Commenting does get to be a chore. I wish I could just leave a little smiley face as a "calling card".

  8. I have these feelings often... Do what you must, but remember all it takes is a phone call to hear a real voice...some of us are pretty cool to talk to. That is one reason why I make it a point to meet blog friends since I started...the ones who go out of there way to come over often...

    Brazil is only a plane flight away, so one day I hope to hug you in person, and we can laugh at life...no boob shots I promise :O)

  9. I understand how you struggle in a foreign environment. And losing your best friend must be very sad for you.

    As you know, I lived in Brazil for two years as a Peace Corps Volunteer. At first everything was fun and exotic. I felt like I was on a 2-yr. camping trip. But eventually culture shock hit me and I went through some months of depression ---which seems so odd to me now because I never get depressed ---but there it was. I knew what was expected of me at home, but in Brazil I had to conform to odd customs ---and not embarrass the U.S. government in the process or offend the Brazilians---so I felt like I couldn't really be myself. I was rather shy and had a hard time learning the language. I felt isolated. I had arrived to be a teacher shortly before the Brazilian summer break from school so I had little to do. As soon as school started again, I was fine. And one thing I learned in my two years was that people didn't really expect a foreigner to conform to local customs completely, so I eventually learned to let loose and be myself.

    The only other time in my life when I've felt rather depressed was when I hit menopause. Oh, yeah! The chin hairs. They are little reminders that we are growing old and losing some of our femininity. At the time, I was going through a very stressful time at work. I had been assigned to 2 part-time positions, which added up to about 1.5 positions but was considered to have only one full-time job to perform in a 40-hr wk. I was overwhelmed. When I talked to my boss about the stress of my job, his answer was "You shouldn't feel that way." I meekly left his office, upset that he didn't understand and mad at myself for not saying, "But I DO feel this way." To make matters worse, I would wake up at about 3 am and not be able to get back to sleep, so I was sleepwalking through each work day. I would think about people who had to live in the poorest of conditions and try to tell myself I was lucky to have a job, have a roof over my head, a good husband ---but I still felt trapped. And I am one of those people who hates to admit weakness, so I didn't discuss it with anyone, not even my husband. Eventually, things slowly got better, but I often wonder if it would have happened sooner if I had written about my problems or talked to a friend. Of course I'll never know.

    What did these experiences teach me? That i get depressed when I have nothing to do and when I have too much to do.

    I'm just brain-storming here---some thoughts on things that might help.
    You have family at home in the U.S. ---you miss them and feel guilty about being far from them, yet you want to be loyal to Camillo, too. I know you have said he is partially retired. Is there any way you can spend 6 months in the U.S. and 6 months in Brazil? Can you come up with a project for yourself ---tutor students in English, teach photography, help in a literacy class, volunteer at a hospital ---to have a feeling of accomplishment? (I started to teach literacy the day I arrived at my Peace Corps site despite my terrible Portuguese ---I learned as I taught.) Maybe on your next trip home, you could arrange to have an exhibit of your best photos ---and while in Brazil work to have the exhibition during the trip after that. (It might be best to have them mounted or framed at home rather than shipped from Brazil.) Your Brazilian photos will seem exotic and remarkable in the U.S., but not so much in Brazil. if you were at home, what would be your ideal job? And how can you get something like that to work for you in Brazil?

    Sitting on your beautiful hill sounds like heaven to some, but I can see how it could feel lonely and depressing. And if that is the case, is "dropping out" what you need?

    In any case, time does heal, so doing nothing may eventually make things better, but working to make it better might make it happen sooner and be more fun. Good Luck.