Lior’s Lego Problem

I have a clear memory of my brother’s room, playing on the floor near his tall, brown dresser that we sometimes used as a ladder when we were really young. He had a red box filled with mostly-random Lego pieces mixed with what must have been part of a castle set.

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Not his case in the photo, but it looked just like this.
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 After some research, I’m nearly certain the castle pieces came from 6062 but I could be wrong.
Now I want it just for nostalgia’s sake. Too bad he lost them. And it costs upwards of $100 on eBay.

Despite the castle theme, he took to building deadly space ships, firing blasts at each other before shattering on the ground in perfect destruction. Being the peacemaker I was, I used this mismatched bricks to create flying hospitals for the injured in his war. Considering the castle bricks used, they looked pretty silly.

The love for Lego continued as I aged. When I was 17, I bought my very own at Orlando’s Downtown Disney, filling a tiny bucket with fun shapes and colors I rarely saw just for the sake of having them.

Lior's Lego Problem

For the most part, that was that. An admiration for the beautiful sets and the creative things that could be done with them.

And then I had a son.

Dear Son turned four last September, propelling him into the safe zone marked clearly on all boxes of Classic Lego. Ages 4-99. Close to $100 was dropped on various sets for his birthday, most of which had in some way to do with vehicles due to his deep obsession with cars. Then Santa brought more. Birthday and Christmas money bought more. Potty training prizes. You-stayed-in-your-room-at-night-for-a-week prizes. Valentine’s Day. Easter. Most of these were fairly small, $10 or less sets but they add up.

I try pointlessly to organize them. Again and again I’ve sorted them into nice little containers, making it easy for him to find the parts he needs. But he’ll spill them on the floor as he crosses at night to “go to the bathroom” for the 20th time that night. He’ll dump them on his Lego table all at once to create a “garbage dump” for absolutely no reason. Take them out one by one and never ever return them to the proper spot.

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And I keep putting them back.

What’s more, I enjoy it.

Why is sorting Lego so relaxing? Seriously, I don’t even really want to play with them. I just want “him” to have them and for them to all be in their proper place.

I have a secret Pinterest board for Lego sets that I want. The sort that I will never have, considering that they tend to cost in the $300 range.

I’ve scrolled through that darn Wish app, looking at knock-off bricks from China.

I’m on the mailing list for Booster Bricks.

I’m watching several sets on eBay that I’ll never actually bid on.

Why? Why?

None of this makes me happy. Why do I bother window shopping things I can’t afford? What use do I have for more disorganized colored plastic to step on in the middle of the night in my life?

 

But I want more.

I have a problem. A Lego problem.

Psychology & Personality

There is only one non-creative career that I’ve truly had any interest in. The trouble is, I’m certain it would destroy me.

No, that is not hyperbole.

It probably started around the time I realized I suffered from chronic depression. Learning more about it and coming to understand just how many people suffered from the same disease sparked an interest. Both mental illness and psychology as a whole are fascinating. My mother always did think I’d make a good doctor, though I’m not sure what my pain tolerance has to do with it. But I think she was right in a way. I could have been a good psychologist; if taking other people’s problems on didn’t completely wear down my well-being and damage it in a very permanent sort of way.

Its possible the interest goes back further. My mother kept a copy of Taylor Hartman’s The Color Code in the house. As a preteen I found the book not only fascinating, but a little self-validating. The personality test included divided people by their primary motivations. Power (Red), Intimacy (Blue), Peace (White), or Fun (Yellow). Most members of my family, myself included, fell strongly into one category and I learned, through time, to appreciate the positives of all four colors. If you’re curious of your own color, they do have a free online test here, though I highly recommend reading the whole book if you really want to get to know your color and how it relates to others.

Of course a four-color personality spectrum is rather simplistic, but the book made a lot of good points and it was mildly amusing to see the paragraphs of text highlighted by my mother that must have been made in her attempts to understand my dad.

These days I’m a much bigger fan of the Myers-Briggs test but I’ll write more on that later.

My point is, I find it fascinating. Personality. What drives us. How different people can relate to different people. Then throw in intense struggles like Anxiety and Depression and every person, myself included, becomes both a puzzle and a work of art.

Perhaps all this is why creating characters is my favorite aspect of writing.

Watercoloring Attempts

It was a month or so ago that I decided that I would finally learn how to paint in watercolor. Signing up for a class, I was finally able to officially start last week, but not before I tested my personal paints and painted a horrendous depiction of my front lawn.

Since then, I have painted pears. In class last week, I created the piece you’ll see below. Then yesterday, I added more to finish it… only I think I prefer the version with the light background. Alas, I can not save multiple versions like I can when I paint digitally.

Lets hope next week’s class goes better.

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Dreams

I wish that I could find what I am looking for. Nightly, my dreams are filled with wandering. Wandering through familiar imaginary landscapes of urban chaos. Hotels. College. Shopping Malls. Airports. Parking Garages. I am always looking for something. I never find it. I wish I knew what it even was. But nine times out of ten it seems aimless. Except when I’m trying to find that elusive car that I know I parked in the back row yet simply can’t be found.

Occasionally I am told a story. It isn’t about me, and deep down I know that, even then. I simply watch, observe. Even rewrite when the story hits a dead end. In these, there is more adventure. Often a Scifi element, a side affect of the types of shows I enjoy to watch, I’m sure. Recently there was a hallway filled with doors to different times, each days apart in some apartment or hotel. There was a child and someone older… the older one understood how the doors worked. This hallway had just them. Except the door on the end, which lead outside to where one might try to escape. I knew it was fruitless to go the way someone wanted to… the hills that way were too steep. It was probably around then that I realized it was a dream and began to reset, going back the hallway and on to somewhere else.

I can’t properly control it when I realize. It’s often only for a moment, a scene. Something familiar will happen and like a light bulb I realize I’m in one of my dreams again. There are specific triggers, symbols that have haunted my dreams for years that often make me realize what is going on.

Elevators, for instance. Awkward, useless elevators that don’t work properly. Not in the way that they’ll fall down while I scream into impending doom. No, where the buttons don’t work or bring me to the wrong place or even, once, where it went outside and high above the glass building where I then float away, eyes where I just came from. Elevators. I have no idea why. But when I see them in my dreams, I am more often realizing where I am.

I’ll also get broken escalators, where they turn to slides when I walk on them. Or stairs that go to nowhere. So many flights of stairs, up or down. Hallways of doors. Sometimes for classrooms, hotels, apartments. Massive Malls, filled with endless, dark stores. Libraries. It never ends. I can’t find what I need or how to get out and I get frustrated then realize- oh.

Oh this isn’t real.

No matter what I do, I’m not going to find it, and that’s okay. So I may as well go this way, and enjoy the ride.

And for that brief moment, everything is okay. It doesn’t matter that I feel lost and confused. It doesn’t matter that things aren’t working out the way I wanted them to. None of it matters.

 

Sometimes, I wish life was more like my dreams.