Chaos Attraction


2011-08-23, 3:26 p.m.

So it seems like me and my friends are just being blockheads about shit. In the case of certain friends of mine, it's relationship drama. Specifically wanting to be with someone who either isn't giving them what they want, or just flat out being nasty to them. But will they leave? Nope. They keep asking for what they want, they keep banging their heads against the wall, they keep TRYING to get what they want out of people who aren't interested in providing. At this point I am just kinda like, "well, your options are leave or settle, I don't know what else to say about it." I know from settle, at least. Not in relationships (I would, but I literally can't stomach it), but with everything else I frequently am hitting a point where I stop caring and get to that nice nirvana-ish point of "Okay, fine, this is all I'm getting in a situation and I'm just gonna let the rest go." I think if you're insistent on staying with someone who isn't giving you what you want and doesn't want to, that is what you need to do. But apparently normal human beings don't do that so much.

Though to be fair, settling for what you get has its problems too. If you hit your limit on settling, then it's like, "fuck, I don't know what to do better and by now I don't want anything badly enough to drive me through hell and high water in order to achieve it."

During my shrink session today, things took a very interesting turn. She got inspired by an idea of asking me exactly (in great, slow detail) how I do a craft project, say, a glass mosaic-- and using it as an example of figuring out my thought processes in life. And yeah, that was a really good example.

Here's approximately what we came up with. For the record, I was describing the process of making the garden mosaic at the bottom here.

1. What space do I have to work with? How big is the board that I am working on and what shape is it? Most of the boards I've done have been 12x12, but lately I've ordered some specially cut boards online, and I am working on a really oddly shaped one right now based on someone's leftover class project that they never finished.

My shrink asked me what if I had all the space I wanted to work on something huge, and I was all immediately, "Oh hell no, nothing huge. I hate working on anything bigger than me. Like this quilt, or when I was forced to take an outdoor sculpture class in college. It feels like I'm trying to tame an angry elephant and I don't have control." RED FLAG NUMBER ONE THERE.

2. How does the space I have to work with possibly inspire the process?

3. Ponder what might inspire me, vs. what materials are on hand to work with. Some pre-cut things I found in the glass scrap bin may inspire me, I may be limited by the stash of glass on hand. If there's not much blue in there, I probably won't make something ocean-themed, but finding a lot of green may lead me to make a jungle piece when I normally wouldn't have thought of that.

I don't like working with large pieces of glass, which the CC sells by the foot. The last time I was nitpicky about insisting on a particular color of glass was while making this piece, I wanted a dark green for the paths between the flower beds in the mosaic. That piece of glass was just EVIL. It was super thick and every time I tried to decorously break the piece of glass along the cut line, it would shatter. I got cut up all over the place by flying glass. I had to buy the entire piece of glass because it broke so badly and in all the wrong places. Now, I ended up using the not-massively-damaged pieces in the weird ways that it broke on the piece, but that wasn't originally what I was going for, and I really couldn't cut them in any shape I was trying for, it was so bad. When the stained glass instructor came in while I was wrestling the piece, I had her try it and it was just as bad for her. I complained to the glass manager, who apologized and offered me some free glass in exchange. Then the next day the CC manager told me it was all my fault and I should have been cutting the glass more delicately. Uh...what?!? So it was all my fault?!

Moral of the story there: shrink pointed out that I should have asked for help or asked the right person for help. I said that I did, and "the right person" (if we assume that was the overall manager) wasn't there at the time to ask anyway. Bottom line is it's gonna be MY problem and I should not count on getting help. RED FLAG NUMBER TWO. Also, if I take on something "too big" for me (like cutting a slab of glass that's half my size), I will get cut up. RED FLAG NUMBER THREE.

Shrink asked me if I wouldn't try to go buy glass elsewhere if the CC didn't have the right color and I said no, I will never go try to get the right kind of glass from some other location-- probably not if it's inconvenient and most of the time I literally can't get anywhere without a car anyway. (And hell, I probably wouldn't even know how to go to the glass shop in Sac if I had a car.) The closest I have gotten to that is ordering some square tiles off for the current project I am doing (it really needed a more solid base on the sides), and that was cheap and gotten quickly and I didn't have to worry about breaking them in the mail. Overall, I am used to being limited and working with what I can get. RED FLAG NUMBER FOUR.

4. Go through the scrap glass and fish out possibly everything that might work for the project, hold on to it just in case. (Put it back later if I don't use it.) Shrink thought this was odd and I pointed out that say, when I was trying to make this tower, the CC just plain doesn't have larger pieces of gray glass around. So I ended up improvising and making stripes on the building, and it came out okay and actually rather cute for that. I use the tools I have on hand and don't expect that I can find others. RED FLAG NUMBER FIVE.

5. Rough out a drawing of the idea, pick out glass that works for it, start cutting and grinding (cutting the project down to a size I can handle). I did way too much tedious grinding to make the flowers in this piece, which is a bit insane, but it was what I could do.
6. Glue pieces on in chunks at a time.
7. Let the piece sit and dry for 24 hours.
8. Get the key, go to the grout cabinet. (Someone else is letting me use their supplies, I shop around for what I can get.) There are five different colors of grout: two white, two gray, one black.
9. See what kind of paint colors I can find at the CC to use, if any. Yesterday suddenly most of the paint had disappeared from the building, so I was rather annoyed at that. No, I won't go out and buy more paint for myself either.
10. Mix grout and paint.
11. Put grout on the board, filling in the holes.
12. Let the grout sit for 24 hours.
13. Clean off excess grout off glass, then project is done.

Morals of the story about how I think about shit: I work only with what I can get on hand and don't go looking for outside solutions or help to a problem (probably can't get help from another/the right person anyway, so I need to handle it all by myself). I cobble together solutions ONLY from the tools I have on hand. I keep a project small so that I can handle doing it. Everything has to be done by myself, within the range that I can handle, with what I have on hand.

Which is why I freak out at the idea of moving, it's too big for me. So, the shrink said, how can you break down the process into what's not too big for you? Clearly, you'd need a job and an apartment and stuff before you'd feel comfortable jumping. I can't do that right now when at soonest I couldn't move for another year (leases here ONLY run September 1-August 31, no month to month exceptions). And I can't do any of that without a car. So that's the first step, getting a car...which is also too big for me, plus I cannot start on this until at least January 1. She said I should look into how to buy a car in the meantime. Good point.

No wonder I like mosaic so much. It doesn't require me to do anything hard and out of my control.

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