A Refusal to Be Vexed: Day 9

No head starts today.  I think I am almost there.  I don’t know.  I’ve got options for clothing for 3 and a half days like I was going on a 30-day cruise.  I’ve got all sorts of random things I somehow think my friends may be interested in.  I’ve been running madly for four days and now, now, I think I just need to hit this wall.

My font just changed for some reason I can’t determine.  It’s interesting.  Now that I know people are reading this – maybe people I care about, maybe not, I should be more motivated to speak broadly and boldly.  To write with verve and linguistic punch.  To speak of the project of self with power and hope and to pull all of us, collectively, out of the muck and mire that is this life with the piquancy of my wit, the sincerity of my vision.

But I’m fucking tired, y’all.  I don’t know what to say about that in a novel way.  You know what it is.  Everybody’s got sore shoulders from holding up the universe.

Tomorrow, tomorrow everything just relaxes.   And gets silly.   I hope so, anyway.  I’m looking up brunch places and hoping one of them won’t be so obnoxiously busy that we have to wait.

So let’s do this, my friends, as you may or may not know, these posts have to be five hundred words long.  I make the rules, unfortunately, and that one was carved into stone tablets long ago.  Let’s do the old game.

I am grateful for…my mother enduring her chemo so beautifully and keeping up her spirits and all the odd things that come with this – my father so earnestly telling me about the will, my sister taking it upon herself to supply my mother with cute caps now that her hair’s falling out – for the nice people at the treatment center that she so enjoys or at least fakes enjoying.  I’m grateful for the luxury of not having this an anvil in my heart right now.  I don’t know when that weight will fall, but I’m grateful that now for the moment, we can enjoy her spirit.  Her heart.  Her being her in the purest form.  She’s a good person.

I’m grateful that there is therapy tomorrow and some of the loose detritus floating about my brain pan will be filtered from my system and I’ll be set back in order again.  I’m grateful I had enough werewithal to put a few things in order and get what I think I need to m

I love the Black Phoenix Alchemy lab oils I’ve discovered hiding away even as I tore my place apart to pack.  I’m excited to wear them tomorrow, to wear jewelry, to have a nice,full face of jewelry on tomorrow.  I love that I don’t have to impress anyone, but I can try to impress myself.

Wouldn’t it be nice if I could stay calm and happy tomorrow and enjoy without trying to leave my head too much?  Wouldn’t it be grand?


After the storm of sorts.

I am feeling infinitely better than yesterday.  Yesterday was not a particularly amazing or good day for me, so I suppose today had a wide berth to end up tolerable.  It did.  I did.

Things I figured out today:

I don’t really like Qdoba.  If I’m going to have a big, ricey, beany, gloppy burrito, I should have something I like, like Chipotle and for the time being, I don’t like any of it.  I just find Qdoba sorta extra dry and salty, somehow.  Extra gloppy.  An imposter perfume.  Of course, hindsight’s 20/20 and I never can tell how little I care for something until after I eat it.  But this is a fairly consistent reaction.

Tonight for dinner: little hamburger sliders, carrots, grapes, and some lemonade and maybe some sugar-free pudding.  Nobody’s calling it health food, but maybe that helps.  What feels good about it is that I made it myself at my house.  I was considering when it was exactly that I got so fucked up about food.  I’m sure it had something to do with my mom going back to work and we were alone in the house a lot of the time, and re-cemented in my head when she got sick and puberty had its way with me.  Food was and is omnipresent.  It’s necessary.  It can’t deny you or react in anyway to you other than complete acceptance.  And people were not really accepting me all that well then, which I was struggling to understand.  How there were groups of kids that you couldn’t belong to and they were doing things with each other and they were really excited by their lives.  My being excited by my stories and the things I was reading was not something I knew how to express to these people.  And the whole cycle of having cans of frosting or cake mixes and hiding them beside my bed (which was terrible and bizarre) was only terrible to me in my guilt that I would get in trouble for it.  Not because, hey, you don’t need to eat that.

I was alone, felt alone, and eating really massive amounts of terrible food every so often made me feel like I was satisfying or short-circuiting all these emotions and all this stuff happening around me.  That if there was a problem, I was fixing it, though after a while the reasons became really vague and obscure and the distance between the want arising and the need to answer the want immediately and with complete fanaticism was almost indivisible.   Jokes about being tubbier and my inherent shyness added to it.  That sense that I was weird.  Really weird.  Not just movie weird, but in some way socially broken, didn’t help.  And for a long time, still, really, I take pride in being on that other wavelength.  I wasn’t like a hipster.  I wasn’t doing anything and what I wasn’t doing, nobody was watching.  Reading Christopher Durang plays in the library for hours, waiting for a ride home, writing (sometimes), my few junior high friendships dissolving for reasons I never understood, nursing a Dr. Pepper, thinking about people as though they were conceptual, feeling funny and generally good but that everything that my classmates were experiencing was coming to me.  Just later.  When I had properly earned it or when they got down the special jar of futures.  It was ego, but I didn’t see it that way.  And food was just the way the days passed.   Meals marked time.  Snacks helped the time between meals speed up.  Whatever impulse I might have had to speak out about what I wanted or needed or my anxiety, food took care of that at the same time.  And then all of a sudden, this was my thing.   Not reading or creating or using my intelligence, just consuming and planning consumption.  Bitterness and joy and every emotional hangnail.  Until, random realization that this is my life: unacceptable, I want love and marriage and moving out and writing and happiness and not this one box staring down at a computer and a plate which leads to a random thrust towards not eating like a maniac, end up eating 10x worse.

It just…you want to say, well, don’t do that anymore.  And so far, that’s the only advice I know that works.  See what you don’t like and don’t do that any more.  See what you like and do that.  Don’t ever let it come back and don’t ever give it up.

So I asked myself when it was that I felt like I was eating healthfully and well and didn’t have these compulsions to eat outside of meal time, to gorge, to go nutty over food in an obsessive sort of way.  And obviously, it was way back when I had no say in what I was eating.  When I had breakfast provided, lunch served, dinner a great surprise and delight and we’d run outside and play again maybe we’d have a bit of popcorn before bed.

So here’s the plan at the moment.  Buy vegetables.  Make meals.  Eat them.  Go take a walk (we took a nice one today) and track it on SparkPeople.  Track the food, too, and water.  And let the tension go.  I’ve worked hard today, cleaning and getting rid of old things that used to mean things, but don’t anymore.  Old clippings about the Goo Goo Dolls, a whole tray full of random makeup, lots of strange papers I held onto as if I was someday going to back and take notes on my education.   Did tons of laundry.  Still tons more to do.

Self-care.  When you’re unable to do it, you just need to do it.  When you reject it, that’s when you have to do it.  You have to destroy any other option but stopping the processes that seem inherent and saying HEY! What do I really need and want not just right now, but tomorrow and later on and if I want a clean, restful house (I do.) and if I want to get over my driving phobia (I do.)  and if I want someone who will find all of this both silly and loveable and as important as I do (I do.),  I cannot play computer games and eat burritos and complain.

If these are my goals, I either work towards them or I don’t and I give them up.

I don’t want to be given up on, so goals, let’s just go.

Weep Little Lion Girl

It’s like a word train, one hooking right after another and frequently stopping to block traffic for no obvious reason before chugging along again, slightly briefer or longer though never quite making sense.

After a long session of preening and poking about and taking pictures of myself with my bright red lipstick and my cat’s eye eyeliner until I found one I really, really liked, we went to the mall today.  My little sister and my mother and I.  I didn’t buy anything because I was kind of in a daze.

So I’ve mentioned how my back and really my neck have been killing me every morning?  Well, it’s sort of extended well past morning right now and it’s been stiff and painful all day and after the mall goings on and my pre-menstrual emotional upheaval, my dear mother was getting concerned for me.  And this is not in the basic attention way I like and crave.  She was actually concerned that something might be wrong with me which, whether it’s true or not, is not something I actually want to share with anyone or actually try to face and resolve.   But my mother has read books on pressure points and massage and really, at this point, my neck was bothering me so much that I felt entirely meek and sort of past defending my completely false sense of personal gravitas that would usually prohibit me from letting someone take care of me or touch me or anything like that.  So naturally, she’s appalled at the knots in my back and how stiff I was and my little yelps of pain as she pushed into the knots for 8 seconds and eventually she had me lay down on the floor and she was rubbing this pain cream into my back and shoulders and it hurts so much I just start involuntarily crying and all my liquid eyeliner pools below my eyes and I can’t explain to anyone that the tears are not just because she’s pressing where it hurts and it’s hurting but because it’s foreign touch, a sensation so foreign to my skin and I’m laying there in front of the both of them just completely wracked with agony and loneliness and emotion and all the stress of work and the way I sit and my hunched over shoulders bent to protect me from any stray eyeballs and the empathic trailings of the hundreds of randoms at the mall battering around in my head like a bird at a window.  Just overwhelmed with emotion, so it’s spitting out of my face, and it’s making my mother’s concern even more severe.  She says it shouldn’t hurt like this and my little poetic brain so flush with all those hormones that have the semiotic gift, reads a thousand layers into that statement and more tears come and I can say nothing but thank you.   Thank you for helping me.

Of course, then my sister says “Maybe your back hurts because you have such gigantic boobs.”  Which is funny, now, to type.  But then it felt pretty shitty because when you’re in this sort of semiotic free-fall, everything connects to the meanings of everything else and you sort of trip through your own memory, illuminating everything as you go.  I think about tits.  About being among the first in fifth and sixth grade to have them, about feeling swollen and broken and unready to own any of it.  Completely ashamed.  Back then, I figured that if you bent your shoulders and hunched a bit, you weren’t thrusting anything out at anyone.  You weren’t asking for anyone to be aware of you at all.   Long hours of computer work, abject shyness, whatever it is, I am slowly crippling myself just by living.

She says these kind of things in an effort to help me.  Or so she thinks.  She points out that my lipstick is too bright and messy.  She tells me my jeans are too short.  Am I wearing that?  Why am I not answering her? She rhetorically asks.  If I’m going to be such a bitch, we’ll just go home! I used to think that she thought she was better than everyone, but I’ve seen enough of her insecurities to know that’s not true.  What’s true is this: she just thinks she’s better than me.  I try and consider if there’s anything in that to motivate me, but right now, I just don’t…know.   I want to be mad at her in the vein of our usual rivalry, but what rises to the surface is that if she thinks she’s better than me, maybe she’s not the only one.  Maybe given every thought in my head today about how she dares to walk around in the world without pulling at her clothes to better cover herself, her appraising eye turned outward instead of in, I must think she’s better than me, too.

But I always forget that the revelations I come to when I’m in that sort of headspace are not always coming, whole cloth, to everyone else.  So I gather myself up, slowly, dab out my raccoon eyes and breathe and try and have a good dinner and I drive home and have  a nice visit with my friends, however brief and try and keep pushing my shoulders down.  I do feel better, but maybe also more keenly aware of how big the hurt was and how much could come back.

I am a good person, but sometimes I just feel so stuck in a quagmire.