Starting, my friends, first thing in the morning. Change of pace, kind of a bit of encouragement for the desire I am feeling to rebuild my personal universe, and a reminder, I think, that I can do so much without demanding I do everything right now, this very instant.
Work and rest and play. That’s how I want my life to go.
As for place, I’ve always had this dream of a little, arts and crafts, English bungalow, tucked away behind the trees, with flowers, and inklings of the dichotomy I’ve struggled my whole life with, a little magic and a little stability. Fairy footprints, a wooded backyard to wander through, flowers both wild and weeded, and yet, neat as a pin, with signs of real domesticity, a place where all the Martha Stewart, Betty Crocker, Good Housekeeping strains of madness that run through me could be honored.
A cottage, like something you’d see in the distance of some Maxfield Parrish painting, but of course, warm, safe, and with internet access.
That’s where I dreamed of living.
But that’s, obviously, not the arrangement at the moment. Still, I want it to be and I am trying to train myself to believe that even if it’s unlikely that I’ll ever be habitated in such a spot, I can move in that direction. I can get closer than I am now, staring at piles of clothes and messy bookshelves and things forgotten simply because they’ve been hidden away behind other things I care less for. My guitar and ukulele. CD’s. Organizational lists. It becomes, while not monstrous like a Hoarders episode, functionally the same. It becomes another wall between me and a relaxed, fulfilled self. It keeps me from saying, come over and see me where I dream and write and play games and eat. Because I’m not in this perfect cottage in the woods with dried lavender hanging from the rafters and until I flip the invisible, unreachable perfect switch and move there, I’m not worthy of visits. And the mess proves and demands that belief.
You can get so caught up in your own false assumptions that it causes some sort of deep rupture when you try and realign yourself. I’m always afraid of bringing that pain to myself, that I’m betraying something by calling the lies I’ve invented to protect myself by what they are. Fear can make you behave in ways that interlock with one another until you can’t get back in one leap of thought to the porch of that bungalow and call it your own. But it’s just right there. Same as comfort and faith in yourself.
And it feels ridiculously good to spend even half a day pushing in the the right direction, not piling on guilt, just doing, putting away, giving away, giving up the anxious thought and moving one’s arse. This is my agency, my choice, to not be a sour patch kid and to rally for a while. Even if rallying means just breathing in and out.