Saturday, September 3, 2016

Perspective

I have often struggled with perspective. In art as well as in life. In art I have been taught about using a vanishing point and lines but still seem to have difficulty making non-angular objects fade into the distance as they should. I look at an object in reality and try to recreate that same object on the page and I struggle with proportions and distance.

In life I often let small things seem too big. For instance, brushing aside the fact that no one remembers birthdays without Facebook reminders anymore and deciding that the lack of people wishing me a happy birthday is indicative of how little most of my friends (including my family) think of me. While I did get several birthday wishes (after posts that hinted about what day it was) including one friend who tacked a birthday wish to me onto his FB post wishing his dad a happy birthday, it was still disappointing to see that none of my family save my older sister (who I called), and my niece (who didn't know it was my birthday before seeing my post) wished me a happy birthday. The lady at work who always bakes up treats for everyone on their birthday did remember, though at first I had thought she'd forgotten. And one friend who said he usually doesn't wish people happy birthday took the time to wish me one. Another friend who I complained to about the lack of birthday wishes made sure he wished me a happy birthday too. I think it was last year that I turned off the birthday notification on FB wanting to see how many people remembered on their own. Knowing that I'd done this I should have expected most everyone to forget, especially with many schools starting classes on that day. Still I let it depress me.

Another little thing that I make bigger is the annoyance of dealing with my ex. Whether it is him berating me for sorting school supplies at the school before going in to meet the teacher night (if you wanted to do it your way, you should have gotten them). Or his gregarious nature which by comparison makes me seem anti-social because crowds bother me more than a little and I have always been too shy around strange people, especially when someone else is so readily and willingly in the spotlight. Perhaps it is not so much the way he takes the spotlight as his willingness to use my discomfort against me.

I wrote most of this the first week of school, which was the week of my birthday but life becomes so busy and work and school overwhelm. It is now almost two weeks since I started this post. I am still having trouble with perspective. I broke down in tears when I couldn't find a parking spot on the second day of class and the beginning of class time loomed ever nearer. I felt a loathing for those residential students who park in the commuter parking lot which I saw on my way to class the first day. Walking an extra five minutes past rows and rows of parking spaces there were lots of commuter students; many of them no doubt living in Stephenville, off campus.  I ran to class arriving out of breath just as the prof handed out the before class quiz. I cursed myself for having to go to the bathroom, or letting the gas tank in the truck get so low before driving to school that day because I stopped on the way there for those two reasons. Perhaps if I had not stopped I would not have been late to class.

Then as I contemplated my frustrations in poetry form I got a little perspective. I wrote a poem called Metal Boxes to deal with the frustration and anger I was feeling. It talks about difficulties finding a parking space among other vehicle related issues. And as I was re-reading the poem it didn't seem finished. I needed to include the grim truth that vehicles are not always safe. This is something that I have had to face fairly recently having had to help my daughter grieve the loss of one of her good friends at school who died in a fatal car crash. Another one of her friends lost a father to similar circumstances years ago. I also know other people who've had family members lost to accidents including the guy who was my ex's boss at the time we met who lost his son in a motorcycle accident and a young girl I met as a child who died in a four-wheeler accident.

So having gained a little perspective I made what had been a rhyming rant into something a little more substantial. Perspective, I think, is the key to many things. As my parents call to beg for money because they put off until the last minute trying to reduce the cost of their storage space, and I sit there angry at them for only calling when they need something (not even so much as trying to contact me on my birthday "I'm sure I was busy that day, and it's not my phone" my mom said), or when something bad happens (someone is in the hospital, someone got hurt) so that even talking with them becomes a burden, I need perspective. I need to realize that they won't be here forever. I need to take the bad with the good and swallow the hurt feelings that they don't call first. I need to make the first move and call them on a semi-regular basis just like I need to contact my sisters as well. I need to be the one to stay in touch.


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