Not For A Lack Of Words

Hello All,

It has been a rather hectic few days, and I wish I knew how to describe what I’ve been feeling.

Perhaps the maddening part about starting to fall for somebody, is the initial few weeks when you can’t get a read on them, so an emotional roller coaster ride takes place and you read into everything they say. You’re hypersensitive to any response and second guess every other thought. No one told me that you never grow out of it. As long as people keep coming around that you fancy it’s going to happen. Over and over and over again. And with my personality, I need to hold back every few seconds just telling him point-blank how I feel, because as I’ve mentioned before, when I like anything about anyone, I want to tell them. I’m just an impatient little kid in that way, jumping around, waiting for the green light, never one to really stop and think.

On another note, Mother Madame, Brother Dearest and I went to the zoo today for the first time in almost six years. I would have stayed home and studied, but the Fort Worth zoo has a lovely museum inside of it (cough cough, with A/C) and we live only twenty minutes away. The zoo is sort of like sporting events for me, I don’t enjoy the actual experience, but I do love watching the reactions of the people around me.

Alright folks, I’m going to make up for lost time and try to focus on studying.

Until I Write Again,

–Hannah-Elizabeth/Classic

My Brain(s)

Hey Heather, are you near a computer?

Lol I can be, why?

I need a liiittle bitty favor…

“Oh my gosh, Hannah. How does this happen?”

I breathed in and out, “There was no avoiding it, mom.”

“Yes, there was, if you had only-”

My phone buzzed with a message from Heather, I replied and turned to my mother.

“She’s forwarding the information now. We’re going to be fine.”

“But  you always do this, you wait until the last minute and try to fix everything. It never turns out.”

This had been going on for about an hour. “No I don’t, and yes it does.” I said matter-of-factly. Heather texted back. “We’re good, she sent it.”

We were at Office Depot, trying to rush and get several pages printed for my board I was going to use at the science fair in about fifteen minutes.

While Mother Madame picked up the pages I ran to the bathroom to check my make-up. I was sporting the Einstein look for the fourth day in a row, but nothing could be done at that point. I had not slept for about 48 hours and for once I didn’t care about looking perfect. The main reason for my lack of sleep being this:

Left hemisphere. Medulla oblongata marked near the top of the spinal cord.

For Heather’s 17th birthday I made her a tiny baby grand piano of out of paper clips, half a hanger, string, tongue depressors and wrapping paper. It turned out rather beautifully, so I tried channeling my MacGyver-esque piano making skills to make a brain… it didn’t turn out. And I needed a brain for the science fair. So, three days before the fair I ran to Wal-Mart and bought some cheap Crayola clay and, after over a dozen failed attempts, I managed to come up with the brain you see above. I have named it Fornix. Because the only part of the brain I could not get right if my life had depended on it was the fornix. If you don’t know what the fornix of the brain is (I had no idea until recently), I have marked it below:

The job of the fornix, in a nutshell, is to pretty much act as a bridge for communication when it comes to memory storage. For individuals with amnesia, it isn’t unheard of for the fornix to be damaged. So, if we all had the fornix that my clay brain has, it’s safe to say we would all have pitiful memory. Teacher Madame only had the time to view each table for a few moments, so she missed my slip up, thank goodness.

I was placed next to all of my favorite classmates, and ended up getting hushed by several people while talking to a fellow named Jon. I hadn’t seen a couple of them in a while so I couldn’t help trying to talk to all of them, even if I had to resort to hand signals and well-timed facial expressions. I loved being around those people, and I am truly going to miss them.

Now, let’s talk about narcissism. Specifically, my narcissism.

Do note, I’m not referring to the clinical definition of the mental disorder, but the common definition of someone who is over-confident and self-loving to a delusional degree.

I haven’t said anything on my blog before because I wasn’t certain how to phrase it. But I’ve noticed that ever since my mother made it clear about how she feels about my abilities, as well as the lack of support from everyone on my side of the keyboard, my mind seems to have started using a form of defense mechanism. I remember that night feeling like I was at a fork in the road. Either my opinion of myself could begin to lean towards agreeing with her, or I would need to build up the way I see myself in order to protect myself and my confidence in my abilities. Either I go to a community college and make dresses, or I reject that version of myself and never look back. Maybe that’s why all I can think about lately is getting out of here. It’s difficult to remember how I feel about my classmates and how much I love being around them when all I can focus on at home is starting a life somewhere else.

I need to tell you, I don’t think this narcissistic version of me is bad. I don’t tear anyone down in order to feel this way, and my perception of my physical appearance has improved dramatically. I’ve mentioned before that I still have spells of bulimic thinking, and perhaps a more positive view of my appearance, as well as my mental abilities, can get rid of the thoughts for good. But I am worried about this going too far. It hasn’t happened yet, but I do worry about starting to see myself as superior to others. One of my worst fears is treating anyone badly and thinking it’s justified. So, if I ever start sounding full of it, you have complete permission to give me a talking-to. (And ya’ll, I’m not kidding.)

Until I Write Again,

–Hannah-Elizabeth/Classic

A Ruined Brain

I kept waiting for that feeling of giving myself permission to go to sleep. But, simply put, the brain I had just made out of modeling clay was dreadful beyond belief, and I had just realized that I didn’t even include the parieto-occipital sulcus (a crack-like separation in the brain near the back, where the parietal and occipital lobes meet – hence, ‘parieto-occipital’).  Not to mention the inside of the brain itself. I knew I’d get it right if I gave myself enough time. I checked my laptop, it was nearing six in the morning. I leaned back in my chair and just stared at the dreadful blob of clay.

“I really don’t like you.” I mumbled to the brain before grabbing my scalpel and removing the convolutions I had just carved in. While everyone I know was dead asleep after the homeschool prom, I was sitting in a freezing livingroom with stale coffee and cheap modeling clay while watching old episodes of Monk and The Office.

I don’t mean to sound like I was pouting this entire time, I decided to not go to the prom and a million bucks couldn’t change my mind. I do love being around people, but the past few months I just want to avoid accessing my social self as much as possible. I just want to get out of Texas, I’m impatient. I do have a project that will last the entire Summer, and I am looking forward to spending my birthday with Heather and being with old friends, but so many times during the week I find myself in an extremely impatient state of mind. I just keep thinking Get me out of here. Off to a clean slate, a place where no one knows me, somewhere that can be mine. Somewhere they can say ‘Hannah lives there’ and have a picture in their minds of me not being home, of me moving on with my life. Everyone wants to know my hurry, but goodness, I can’t help it. I still feel like I’m just trudging through the thickest mud, inching my way to elsewhere… Ahem, anyway, back to the story.

I was upbeat, enjoying the solitude and the excuse to stare at pictures of the brain for hours, but the closer it got to sunrise, the more my little idea seemed like a lost cause.  I wanted to call Heather and exclaim all form of ‘woe-is-me’ monologue to her, but I had enough self-control to resist the impulse.

I completely redid the brain after several minutes of arguing with myself, eventually deciding to trash my hours of progress when I could no longer deny that I had completely ruined two of the four lobes.

I nearly finished it tonight, and I must say, I’m quite proud of it. Even if I have to redo several structures.

I must get up in the morning to go to church with Heather Madame, so I will leave you with that.

Until I Write Again,

–Hannah-Elizabeth/Classic

A Moment From Today

Albert Einstein Français : portrait d'Albert E...

As I swung my purse and book bag over my shoulders a weight was lifted off of me – class was over. I don’t hate anatomy and physiology, I’ve come to love it actually, mostly because of Teacher Madame, it’s just that I’m a horribly vain human being and, having had little time to get ready for class, I had a hairdo that Einstein would envy. I realized that a sleeve of my blazer was starting to flip into a cuff and stepped outside as I was fixing it, looking up in time to see Kyle walking towards the building I was exiting.

I hadn’t seen him in a couple of weeks so I raised my arms dramatically, “Hey!” I called over. My bags swung wildly for a moment because of the motion.

“Hello!” He said in his usual proper tone of voice, though upbeat. He was wearing a classic Kyle outfit – white button-up shirt with black slacks.

“How have you been?”

“Very well,” he said as we passed by each other, “and you?”

“Pretty good.” I grinned as I waved goodbye, I would have continued the conversation except I saw the Fit in the parking lot. But it was refreshing to see the fellow for a few moments.

Mother Madame and I had plans to go to Kimbell today (my favorite museum), but the weather and traffic put an end to our plans rather quickly.

Apologies if this post seems a tad odd, I haven’t had the chance to write for fun – the way I write on my blog – for a little while. I did post a few nights ago, as you know if you’re one of my lovely subscribers, but after reading it over the following morning, I decided against leaving it up. Every speck of it was the truth, but let’s face it folks, I sounded downright full of it.

Alright, then, I’m afraid I don’t have much time to write tonight – I just wanted to write something since it has been a little while since my last post. Hopefully I’ll have something more interesting next time around.

Until I Write Again,

–Hannah-Elizabeth/Classic

Channeling William James

William James (January 11, 1842 – August 26, 1910)

William James

It’s going to be a very late night.

The usual reasons apply – studying, coffee, and the need to write.

The latest PWRP post is going to be up on Wednesday, because I tossed the one I was going to publish due to the fact that I was incredibly bored with it.

Going through some old entries in my little black book, I realized that I had forgotten one of my ‘rules’ that I created because of William James. When James was bored with a subject (he was originally going to be a painter, which his father positively resented), he would just drop it and move on to something that interested him. The art of giving oneself permission to give up. So, while I will always place information in my PWRP posts that I think you should know, I am no longer going to write just because I have to, but because it’s fun.

I think one of the reasons I fell for William James (if you’re one of the new subscribers – William James was a philosopher and psychologist that I have officially declared ‘the unofficial love of my life’) was because I saw myself in him. Or rather, everything I want to be. And in the process of trying to become William James, I’ve noticed that it requires many moments of giving oneself permission to do certain things, as well as reminding oneself to do other things, such as:

1. Ask stupid questions and don’t mind the stares that follow.

2. Just get up and leave things that no longer lighten the heart and cause one to pursue something with happiness.

3. Never get up and leave the people who matter.

4. Procrastinate and whine a bit when one doesn’t feel like doing work, and goof off when you’re supposed to be serious (James actually frustrated some of his students because he would frequently joke in his lectures and avoid grading papers as long as possible).

5. Chase after what makes you happy. Nevermind that people on the outside will think you’re naive. (The key word being ‘think’.)

6. Think.

Sometimes I feel like I should go after things that I want to do right now, but, thanks to you folks, I pause and ask if that would be wise in the long run.

I wish sometimes that I could live two different lives. So I could see how it would all pan out and which way would make me happy. That word keeps popping up lately, because that’s all that I’m looking for, that’s the cornerstone of many actions.

The good news, I suppose, is that I don’t have to stay anywhere forever, I can get up and leave. I’ve said it before and I say it again, I don’t want to be left wondering ‘what-if?’

Maybe I’m just meant to forever run around and look for ways to feel like I belong. As much as I dislike my personality type (INFP), I can’t deny that it’s true that I always feel like I’m looking for my purpose in life. When I was ten years old I suddenly had this overwhelming feeling that I had to find my purpose, because I’m supposed to be ‘different’, so I jumped wholeheartedly from one career choice to the next until I found forensic psychiatry at age twelve. Endlessly frustrated that I couldn’t find efficient ways of accomplishing great things. I still feel this way everyday, because I’m young and I know what I can do if given the chance. But I can’t, I can only try and continue feeling like I’m fighting quicksand. Like an anchor is chained to my ankle while I’m trying to reach the surface of the water.

I don’t want to go to med school, but I know I need to in order to become a forensic psychiatrist, in order to get people to listen when I talk, in order to have what I say hold weight and actually be able to move a mountain or two.  The next fifteen years of my life will be in a classroom or standing beside a preceptor in a hospital somewhere. I’ll find a way to fall in love with it, but I’ll be silently whining and easily procrastinating the whole way through, the way James would, and I’m going to be good at it… the way James would.

Back To Studying I Go,

–Hannah-Elizabeth/Classic

The Power In Your Hands

Post Three In A Six-Month Series On People Reading

Before this post officially begins, let’s take a quick review of  important points from the previous post:

The most accurate reads are the most basic reads.

 “The big picture never lies unless that is the intent of the subject.”

You already know how to read people.

“We instinctively recognize facial expressions (happiness, sadness, anger ect.,)”

You automatically imitate whatever facial expression you are viewing.

“Some researchers believe that we have a ‘mirror neuron’ that causes us to imitate the facial expressions of the person we are looking at. “

Always consider the obvious!

“Someone may be crossing their arms because they are cold, not because they are comforting themselves or feel defensive.”

________

Pre-Post Ramble

 I love Glenn Beck. (This is relevent to the post, I promise!)

It was perhaps a year and a half ago when I was watching an episode of Beck’s show on Fox News that I noticed several signature body language signals that he would use during any given episode. One signal in particular he didn’t use often, but it conveyed a very interesting message.

During one of his monologues Beck was sitting on his desk, facing the camera.  Midway through a sentence he suddenly paused and made a joke about a politician. The audience laughed. But instead of showing a body language signal suggesting that he was proud of the response, his smile faded slightly and he sat on his hands before continuing the monologue.

Our hands represent power. Think about the power of a handshake, the honesty represented in an open palm, the negativity behind a hand raised to stop us, the meaning behind a clenched fist. Sitting on his hands after receiving a positive response to the joke seemed to be Beck’s way of shutting down any proud feelings from the response of the crowd.

Post-Ramble Post:

Let’s take a look at a few common signals represented by the hands in body language:

Hands And The Face

Steeple Hands

I used to be a skeptic of the supposed meaning behind steeple hands, and even though Allan Pease (who wrote my favorite book on body language of all time, The Definitive Book of Body Language) has said multiple times in interviews and in his books that steeple hands mean confidence and that the subject feels in control, I doubted it. I didn’t buy it until I was at Starbucks with Heather Madame a couple of years ago and I saw about a dozen men in business attire seated at a table and my ‘spidey sense’ made me feel like one of the men was the leader of the group. I eventually realized that it was because he was using steeple hands in combination with a stern, judgemental expression and the fact that those around him shifted their posture and expressions to match his.

Which just goes to show… never doubt Allan Pease. Ever.

The rest of the signals are a tad complicated, and it’s very important that they not be mixed up.

When it comes to the subject’s hand touching their face, the message changes depending on how much of the hand is placed exactly where, and in combination with general facial signals and body language signals (it may be complicated, but I can assure you it is easier than it sounds.)

Resting Head On Hand

Depending on the subject’s facial expression, this can mean one of two things (it’s always very obvious which one it is)

  1.  If the subject’s facial expression appears bored, the subject is bored.
  2.  If the subject is with someone they enjoy being in the company of (it’s a safe bet that the subject will have romantic feelings for the person they are looking at), they will use this signal as a way of putting their face on display for the other person. This is another signal that I highly doubted the meaning of until I ended up using it one night at work when I was talking to Josh.

Another version of this signal is the picture below:

As well as a another version, where the hands are open, palms facing down with the fingers interlaced.

As I was looking over our next picture, I saw a perfect example of a fake smile. So, while we’re learning about hand gestures, I thought I’d type a note or two onto the picture so you can find out the simple secret to discovering whether a smile is genuine or not:

You should be used to me jumping from one rabbit hole to the next by now, just be happy I haven’t gone on a thousand word rant on my love for Allan Pease.

Back to the hands – take a look at Ben Bernanke’s hand in the above picture. Whenever you see the fingertips touching the subject’s temples or near/on the forehead, this represents a negative emotion. Stress, anxiety, tension and often a negative emotion specifically about the person they are looking at, or the conversation itself.

Touching the forehead almost always signals a strong emotion, but it is not always negative. An open palm to the forehead can mean relief, but it can also represent punishing oneself for lack of foresight. Fingertips kept on the forehead always represent stress.

Hands On Their Own

Before this bit begins, I need to show you a picture of Allan Pease from his television special in the early 80’s:

Allan Pease with his eternally happy eyes, horrid suit and dreadful hair. *Swoon*

There’s no reason for this picture to be here. I just thought it was amusing.

Back to the post!

Folks in politics learn quickly to try to never use the classic finger point when giving a speech, because they will be seen as harsh, and be perceived more negatively by the crowd than they would have if they had used the ‘hand chop’ (hand sideways, fingers straight, lowered onto the podium in a ‘chopping’ motion) or the cupped hand (hand sideways, fingers slightly curved). Anything but pointing at the crowd directly.

Finger-pointing is always seen as a negative signal, and is often used when the subject is accusing someone of something, even if the intent of the subject was simply to drive home a point, the signal will always make the subject appear harsh and judgemental. And the audience will not only view the speaker in a negative light, but they will also retain less information from the speech.

You will appear more open and honest if you express an opinion with upturned palms.

Post-Post-Ramble:

You might have noticed that the hands are not my favorite part of reading people. Or really my favorite signals to study. But I know that anything you have learned here will benefit you, and I’m just relieved to have finally finished this post! Since I missed the original publish date last week, there will be a new PWRP post this Wednesday.

Until I Write Again,

–Hannah-Elizabeth/Classic

P.S Please shoot me if I ever wait until the night before to write one of these posts! Goodness me I’m never drinking another cup of coffee as long as I live, eight hours and countless mugs filled with coffee and green tea doesn’t do very much to warm one to the act of writing about a topic that one doesn’t like very much to begin with.

P.P.S I just realized that tomorrow is Wednesday, so I will be working on Wednesday’s post tonight… please disregard the first sentence of the post script above…

The Man Who Lost Everything

I shall try to keep this brief.

I’m terribly behind on a lot of things, so I haven’t had the time to focus on the PWRP post. I will post it tomorrow morning (I probably won’t finish it before midnight) because I am going to stay up all night and not leave this computer until I finish the new post, it drives me crazy when I’m late with anything. Thank goodness the PWRP series isn’t a weekly bit, or I would have gone mad by now.

I’ve applied for a job at The Book Carriage (one of my favorite places in the potential multiverse), I’m making it one of my personal list items. I have created a list of things I want to do before I leave Texas:

1. Spend a night at the Hilton in Southlake Town Square.

2. Go back to Farina’s in Downtown Grapevine.

3. Complete 20 Before 20 list item number #2 (Heather Madame and I are planning on completing this one in July after I turn 18 on the 6th).

4. Work at The Book Carriage – a dream of mine ever since we moved to Texas five years ago.

5. Swim in Grapevine Lake.

6. Buy one more hat from Whistle Stop (my favorite antique store).

7. Buy a piece of the world’s greatest quiche and a cup of the world’s greatest coffee from Harvest Pie Company (a place Heather and I have been going to for the past five years, right down the street from Whistle Stop, previously on my blog I’ve called it simply, ‘The Cafe”).

8. Record a video in Study Room A in the Keller Public Library. This study room is the most sought-after study room in the entire library metropac system. I’ve only been in there twice, the first time to study french with Heather, and the second time I was alone, and so excited about being there that I typed up a post .

All of these are doable, and most of them I’ve wanted to do for a while. I suppose it would be my way of saying goodbye to this part of my life. Heather and I are not big on crying, but we both agree that the night before her wedding (since I’m the Maid of Honor, I’m going to be on wake-Heather-up-on-time duty, and make-sure-Heather-keeps-facial-mask-on-the-night-before-her-wedding-even-though-it-burns-hotter-than-the-center-of-the-earth duty) we’re probably going to cry like little kids that just fell off of a swing set.

In the next couple of weeks Madame and I need to hunt down a dress for me to wear to her wedding. Which should be…ah…an experience. I have nothing against dresses, I just don’t like wearing them unless I’m at the opera or symphony orchestra (because then I can bring along my masquerade mask, which I have just taken a picture of so you can better understand why I love it so). I have decided that when I get married, I’m getting a dress of the same brand as Heather’s, nevermind that they all cost an arm and a leg.

Last week Heather Madame and I were sitting in Starbucks, pleased with our victory in snagging the two comfiest chairs in the place. And for the millionth time we talked about what our lives will be like in a little over four months when she’s married and I leave for college.

“I hope I don’t miss Chloe’s arrival in the next few years.”

Chloe is what Heather is planning on naming her first girl, and she’ll be giving Chloe one of my middle names, Elizabeth. When we were thirteen we agreed we would give our daughters each other’s middle names, so my daughter will have the middle name ‘Marie’. Fun fact: the hospital where I was born messed up my name on my birth certificate. If you ask my mother, I have two middle names, but my certificate says that my first name is Hannah-Elizabeth and my middle name is Noelle. I prefer this first name instead of just ‘Hannah’, because I think Hannah is rather boring…I believe I was doing my ‘conversation flashback’ bit…ahem:

“Me too.” She said, “But I’m really not looking forward to being pregnant.”

I laughed at her expression as she spoke, she looked down at her white chocolate mocha like you’d imagine a man who had just lost everything would look down at some alcoholic substance before downing it.

She looked over and smiled.

“Madame, go with your first plan and wait for at least five years.” I said, “You’re so young.”

She nodded, “Oh yeah,” she suddenly had a hick accent, “I ain’t having no babies right out the shoot.”

We just sat there for a moment, just thinking and being amazed at the very near changes. Bittersweet.

“What about your kids?” She suddenly asked.

I almost choked on my nearly unpronounceable drink.

My kids?”

She tilted her head to the left and looked at me with that Oh, come now, Hannah, don’t play dumb with me look.

I tried playing dumb anyway and stalled by sipping my drink.

“What if you meet a nice guy while you’re in college and it works out? Are you going to wait over a decade while you’re in school before having kids?”

“Well, there’s no guarantee that I’ll get married while I’m in college-”

“Hannah.”

“I know! I know!”

“You make the freakin’ pizza guy swoon! You think someone isn’t going to snag you up while you’re there?”

(Heather is referring to a running joke that I always accidently flirt with the pizza guy and make him forget something when I’m just trying to be empathetic… for the record it actually happened only twice. But my mother and Heather will not let me forget it because they were witnesses to both events.)

“Yes! Wait, no? I don’t know. I wouldn’t mind being snagged, I want to get married. It’s just…children. I love them and I want a million of them, but once they come along everything is over. My career, a lot of little pieces of freedom, at least for eighteen years.”

“I guess you’re right.” She said. She was starting to do that man-who-lost-everything thing again.

“Besides, can you imagine me being a mom? I’ll probably be making little Freud’s and Wundt’s out of them. Poor kids.”

She chuckled. “What happened to our plan from five years ago?”

“Things changed.” I said, it was my turn to be the man who lost everything, “We got older, Carlisle came along, Rye left and you got engaged. And I suppose on my end, I just want a fresh start, where I can find a life that I can call my own.”

_________

I should get to work on that post I just promised.

Until I Write Again,

–Hannah-Elizabeth/Classic