A Case of Myopia Writ Large
Oh, hey! It’s been a while, huh?
Like, nine whole months? Yeah. Nine months. A lot can happen in nine months. Niiiiine months.
Yeah, so I have a baby now, everyone. Surprise! World’s worst baby announcement right there, folks.
I didn’t mean to time it this way or anything. It’s just that I’ve had a grand kick in the ass recently (a life-affirming, HELL YES kick in the ass) and it prompted me to wipe the dust off this blog and start writing here again. So here we are, all new and shiny and old at once.
I don’t know how often I’m going to update this thing. I’ll shoot for once a week. We’ll see how it goes. You wouldn’t know it from the post below, but I’m learning with a baby to just HURRY UP AND DO THE THING BEFORE THE NAP IS OVER, so they will be shorter posts because naps are running at forty five minute clips at the moment. My life is pretty much split into two states of being: staring into the face of an amazing little baby when she’s awake, and then, when she’s napping, running all over the house with pens tucked behind my ears, grocery lists stuck to my heels, and a mug of lukewarm coffee in one hand and a diaper that needs washing in the other. I’m going to attempt doing one less load of laundry a day and write instead. We’ll see how everyone in this house like living with less clean underwear and more Internet acclaim before there’s a mutiny.
I had big fears when I got pregnant about this blog morphing into a MommyBlog. I didn’t want to add to the din of poop talk and complaints about not showering. So I stopped blogging. But, I can’t escape reality. This is my life now, poop and all. I promise to keep writing, about everything, and to keep the diaper talk down to a dull roar.
So here’s something old. How old? I don’t even know. But, really, does my anxiety really need a timestamp? Aren’t my freakouts wonderful and charming in a timeless sort of way? They’re like Hummels that way: moments of awkwardness frozen in time, delightful hideousness we just can’t stop staring at.
It’s been incredibly easy these past few years to get away with being crazy. I live in a city of crazies who regularly tout the merits of being crazy. And, according to my fellow crazies, everyone who is NOT from here is crazy, so, you know, that makes it so. It’s a case of myopia writ large.
Last week I sat on the couch and tried to tally up how many hours, then days, then weeks, then months…. then I stopped because I thought I would cry if I got to the years part…. of how many YEARS I have spent agonizing over stuff. Not anything in particular- just the stuff of everyday life.
See, the M.O. in this city, in this part of the world, really, is this anxiety over being socially and ecologically minded. And I will be the first to tell you I have pumped my fist in the air and railed against WalMart and slapped the “No Buying Stuff” sticker on my recycled paper journal. I didn’t just drink the Kool-Aid, I swam around in the stuff, baptized myself bodily in it, and then offered Dixie cups of it to whoever happened to be jogging past.
It’s just so easy to do here. It as easy to do this here as it is to complain about traffic on the east coast. It’s just a cultural thing. My people back east gesticulate and complain about the snow in the winter and the humidity in the summer, and my people here in the Northwest bring their shopping bags to the grocery store and protest outside the Christmas tree lighting downtown.
So here I am, a straddler of both cultures (and damn how I wish I had invented that term. Read “Blue Collar Roots, White Collar Dreams for more on that). I can handily laugh at myself for agonizing over which shampoo to buy (or not buy), and I can really see the trainwreck that is mindless consumerism, too.
I would argue that “middle ground” is what is needed here, but I don’t actually know that playing the middle is effective when it comes to politics. In the long term, anyway. In the short term, it might get me out of the shampoo aisle in less than three hours.
It’s a lucky thing, this perspective (how very west coast of me to have an appreciation for something that causes me panic attacks!). Honestly, though. It feels like a gift to know these two cultures so well and to be able to glean from them both.
There have been days when I wished I could have woken up with a button to press to erase all this mindfulness. Why do I have to know about the travesty and history of diamond mining when my girlfriend shows me her engagement ring? Why do I have to know about women dying in factory fires when I’m clothing shopping? Where is this line between living a conscious life and not living at all because you are afraid of your impact on the world?
There are people who have never even heard of the butterfly effect, and there are people who won’t even leave their house because they are afraid of seeing a butterfly. How long has my life been this imbalanced? So very long, my friends. So very long.
What an education it’s been. What a enlightenment it’s been. What a migraine-inducing experience it has been to have my skull split open and shown the world beyond my front door.