El Nina on the inside
Wallowing isn’t supposed to be part of the plan, is it? I mean, we are supposed to have exit strategies built in. We’re supposed to know how to get ourselves out of our own funks… there is no just “sit and wallow in it”. Isn’t that what evolution is? Rising above the status quo and seeking your higher calling? There is no “feel the bad feelings for as long as you like…” There is productivity to attend to. There are parties to plan and baby showers to go to. I don’t have time to feel shitty about my life. I’m supposed to DO something about it. But I can’t right now. There. I just reinforced the neural network that allows that thought to manifest. See? This is what it is to be human. To understand the interchange of chemicals that is depression, but to still feel powerless against it. To know I can perhaps do something to change this, but to not do it anyway. To pace the cage like a restless lion… and to know God is calling too.
Community. I’m supposed to reach out to my community. That’s what community is for, right? You lean on your peeps when the going gets rough. What if you are so ashamed of your own negative thoughts you don’t want to tell anyone about them?
This has a lot to do with my feelings about gratefulness. I’ve thought about what it would mean to leave all this, this hard work and reward and this small empire of success I have built. It would look like dumping a good thing, it would look like dumping a boyfriend that’s loyal and kind and madly in love with me. Or kicking the dog. That’s what this is. It’s about being so grateful that things have worked out that I am afraid to leave it. Of course, the deeper fear is this: that I will never again be able to create this. Every morning I wake up and the first thing that pops into my head is “is this what you really want to do today?” I have not had a leap-out-of-bed moment in a long time.
I could be a writer. That means I would have to write something. That means I would have to pick something to write about. That means I would have to weed out all the bullshit complaining and have some hope about something. People don’t want to hear about complaining. They want hope. They want transformation. They want babies and futures and dreams. That’s why I never won any writing contests in high school. I didn’t have hope. Not a lick. I saw the world one way and that was that. It was bleak. It was frank. It was honest. It was semi-delusional. My rebellion was against hope, really. I was angry at those people who were happy. Who saw the rest of us as hopeless. Those who wanted to slug me in the shoulder and wanted to tell me that things would get better, and why didn’t I try smiling, I wanted them to know this feeling too.
I’m feeling prolific, which always means that things are roiling around inside and they need to come out. Even the crows playing with the Pringles can outside is cause for a paragraph or two. I feel like a liar. Everything is not fine. Everything is not okay. I’m not even listening to you. Know what I am worried about? That you can see right through me. That you know I’m lying. And because I am worried you can see through me, I am not even listening to what you are saying.
I always leave a bite or two of food on my plate. I never noticed until a friend pointed it out to me. Why do you do that? I don’t know. I just stop eating when I am full. But then I started to notice this scenario in all parts of my life. I give up at the end. I carry things out to about 95% completion. I used to hit home runs in gym class until the 9th inning. Then I would crack under the pressure and strike out. I know how to get most of the way there. I just don’t know the house number. I know most of the parts, just not how to finish the project. I know how to sell the thing, just not how to close the deal. I always drop off at the end. I never eat the last bites on my plate. I am afraid, aren’t I? Afraid to complete because that will mean something new and unfamiliar and ultimately scary and unknowable. I will let that shoe dangle there for eternity. Dropping means I have to find a new shoe. And what does that look like? I have no idea. It means starting something up myself. It means taking initiative. It means choosing. Where are my guides on this one? They are all shaking their heads and shrugging their shoulders and telling me they don’t know. They never chose a damn thing themselves. They don’t know how to advise me. They have no idea what choice looks like. They were all servants and serving is all they know. It is the legacy they passed on.
Even my freakin’ cranio-sacral therapist doesn’t want to work with me anymore. Lauren, can you imagine the space? Can you imagine giving yourself that space? Letting that energetic dent in your field just find some space? No, I can’t. I just want my ear to stop hurting. Here’s a hundred bucks. Thanks for your time.
Okay, hope. Here’s something for you.
Novel Idea #1:
Woman, at the end of her life, waiting out death in an ocean front bungalow, writes the novel of her life. Her husband of 40 some years lives with her. A stable, loyal type, he loves his wife but does not understand her. She writes about having ultimately sacrificed her dreams to be loved by someone who would be her constant companion. She becomes so engaged in writing the novel, she makes peace with her life after being able to write it all down, learning, in the end, it was her gift to be able to create a life on paper she may have been too scared to live in real life.
Novel Idea #2:
A book of short stories, all using the unbearably unimaginative subject lines from spam as the opening lines. Here’s one: “Devoid asked Silicon”. Authors names are the senders of said spam.