Friday, February 18, 2011


I watched a show tonight about someone with OCD, and it of course got me thinking. I mean, I am pretty sure I do have it - not sure how bad - but it’s there.
From an early age I had to do things a certain way and collected things in large amounts: Dalmatians, tuxedo cats, Sylvester, penguins, Sailor Moon, and now black faced sheep.
I organized things obsessively. My drawings were broken down to the completed, the needing to be completed, the ones to do over, and so on. The songs and poems and short stories were the same. Story notes were organized. I saved all the notes I would take in church. All the talks. The lessons. I filed them with folders and labels. Put the files in an order that pleased me.
I get on kicks for a time: I scrapbook, I cut clippings from magazines, I read, I research some topic, I write, I exercise, I organize, I clean, I memorize - - something. I do something obsessively for a time, and then, I move on to a new thing.
I suppose, walking into my room, it looks like controlled chaos. It is. My room has a certain “theme” and items are grouped together in a complimentary way. Pictures balance each other. In between, I toss clothes in a chair, leave papers in stacks, and over fill my bookshelves, so that it resembles a cluttered mess in my room. But things are the way I want them.
I hate disorganized kitchens. I fret over them.
Bees. They buzz. If I hear it, that’s all I hear, and I can’t tune it out. If it’s in the room, I won’t focus on much of anything else until it’s gone.

I febreez things obsessively after I clean.
If I had big enough bookshelves I would have my books alphabetized.
I used to put all thumb tacks into one little jar, and only that jar. Safety pins go in a little fancy pill box. I save buttons from items of clothing in case I need them. I save tags, too, sometimes. I save movie ticket stubs. Concert tickets, too. I saved the confetti from all the Enrique Iglesias concerts I attended. I also collected stuff about him and saved magazine clippings of him.

Before I turn off the car everything must be shut off, i.e. radio, air conditioner, windshield wipers, etc.
My earrings each have a special spot in the jewelry box. My hats are in boxes by color or texture or season.

Speaking of seasons, I obsessively wear seasonal clothing, eat seasonal food, smell seasonal smells and listen to seasonal music. No Christmas music or green velvet any other month, except December. Black and orange is for October. White sundresses for Spring and Summer. Brown summer skirts for late summer. I can’t do it another way, that’s how I have always done things. I think partly why my memory is good, is because I remember things by seasons, which in turn helps me remember them by months.
With all this obsessing you would think I obsess over body images. I don’t. I rather like my body, aside from the poor eyesight and scarring, and my hip, over all, I don’t worry or fret over it the way one might assume. Nor, do I obsess over other people’s. Take guys for instance: he could be insanely gorgeous and I won’t notice, but if he is interesting, I see him for what he is.
If I actually find a guy attractive AND like him for being interesting it’s a rare thing.
The people close to me are people I listen to. In other words, when they talk, I’m not actually thinking of three other things. I often think of all sorts of things during conversations. My brain is in all sorts of places. If I recall the conversation, it means I gave it my full attention, and I’ll probably remember a lot of it.

I can't wash dishes in the same dirty soapy water, each dish must be washed separately and rinsed separately.
I obsessively fluff my pillows, smooth my sheets, and do the same nightly routine before bed. I do the same routine each morning. I race the clock to arrive on time each day.
People. Back to people. I obsess over people from time to time. Not in a creepy way. I worry. I worry so much that I think about how to help them constantly. Worse, is that usually once I do this, I can’t undo it, so it’s there in the back of my mind. I have a list of people. People I want to help.
Once I get an idea in my head, I have to try. I can’t let things go. Sometimes I hold grudges. I notice random things all over the place normal people wouldn’t. My writing might be obsessive, my listening to certain songs constantly could be, my diets, my food kicks, my fact collecting, all of these things I have mentioned could be a sign of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Or I’m crazy.
I know 18 species of penguins. I am full of random sexual facts. Health facts. History facts.
I collect tree species in my head. I name them every time I see them. One day, I will learn all the constellations, flowers, herbs, poisonous plants, and insect names.
I’ll learn many languages. I’ll collect antiques. I want lots of rugs and pillows. One day, I’ll fill a house with art, fabrics, and things I collect while traveling.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Thoughts on Life

Fitting In....

You can't just take an albatross and stick it in a room of geese and expect it to feel like it belongs. Who cares if they have feathers? Beaks? None of that matters.
You can't expect that albatross to get along with the eagles, or the condors, or the falcons, even when they all can fly for long distances.
You can't expect an albatross to feel comfortable with flamingos, or an emu, or even to feel comfortable with other sea birds. Pelicans? No.
You see, the albatross needs other albatrosses. It needs those capable of flying beside it for the long periods it has to fly, eating what it eats, and loving the sky the way it loves the sky.
Forget this whole, "birds can all get along because they have feathers" idea, and start viewing the individuals as their own.

Long Distance...

Distance. Does it matter? Does it matter how faraway someone has gotten from you when you really love them? No. No, it doesn't matter. But, over time, your life develops in ways that they no longer fit quite right into it.
You can't expect the painter to continue his painting when you decided to get up halfway through. His memory will try to recreate your presence, but as he adds layers, and colors, once you come to sit back down, I guarantee your shadow will be in the wrong place, and the colors have gone from sunrise to sunset.
Can you still be apart of his painting? Maybe. But it could ruin the masterpiece he created alone.


Dreams are for those who are brave; if you aren't brave, don't dream. Just exist. If you want to test the limits of what you can do, become, and create, you have to dream. You have to have a dream, hold the dream, and learn that sometimes having a dream is like trying to give birth to a lawn chair. Sometimes it's not only going to be painful, but the edges start looking impossible, and you start feeling like it no longer matters.
Ignore that.
If I gave up on my dreams I'd probably be married, have a kid and possibly a second child on the way, broke, and unhappy. Instead, I have a dream, and I'm going to fight until I see it's glorious birth into this place we call reality.


Suppose you are baking a cake, and it smells already so delicious, and you decide to take it out 15 minutes before time.
It's like warm cake pudding.
Sure, it probably tastes delightful.
But it's not a cake.
Patience must be one of the greatest virtues, for surely it's one of the hardest to attain and hold onto. We all love cake, and we all love eating, and we all love things that smell good; we're also usually impatient. We have to learn to take things as they come, give things time, and of course, once it resembles a cake we have to decide if we are going to eat it then, or let it cool and add icing.
Letting things develop in their own due time is a terrible feeling when we want it all "right now". I want so many things right now, but I learned, the oven door has to stay closed sometimes, and I just have to wait.
In the meantime, I'll set the table, get out the party napkins, and choose the icing color.
The cake is coming, the timer just hasn't stopped yet.

~Elizabeth Azpurua