For Best Results: Day 27

So yesterday was a longer post, I don’t know what tonight will bring when I really want to work on at least two other things and the thing I most want to work on is delayed until Tuesday at the earliest.

I have tasks I have to complete.  I’ve been arguing in some ways with J all day as our motivations and interests collide and diverge.  I need the time to think about and address my own stuff.  This morning we did not do breakfast.  No fancy final eggs benedict to swallow me up, however, the absence of breakfast lead to me holding firm on the idea of needing lunch.  So my birthday lunch ended up being my younger sister and I eating tacos quickly and splitting the bill so we could hurry and get my mother the pho she wanted.  This was important because she’s changing the chemo formula next week and things are continuing into a positive, but nebulous place.  A nebulous, but positive place?  One spot going away to reveal another spot.  The cancer in the bone holding steady.  Things not progressing, but the medicine not attacking like it should.  Somehow the new medicine will be less harsh.  Maybe her hair will grow back.  If she wants pho, or she wants the moon, we do what is required for her to have it.

You stop thinking about needing some grand party in moments like these.  You stop thinking that the day needs to hit some watermark of ego-stroking to matter.  They gave me a big gift card for Amazon.  They let me watch Critical Role for over an hour with nobody making too many comments.   That’s lovely.  If I can’t have them sitting there, engaged with something I care about, I’ll take being able to just enjoy it around them.  It’s nice to feel as though I could give myself 5 seconds of not being beholden to an idea I have and how much air is in the room when I do that.

I don’t have to be made to be a princess.  I have to make myself happy.

I’m doing that by writing, and slowly, painstakingly, taking care of one thing I need to take care of at a time.  I’m doing that by letting myself think about the plans I made and set out in the future, how day by day they’re moving toward me…but also, I can move towards them.  I can find the mechanized walkway they have in the airport and walk fast as I can on it and zoom by rather than lean on the side.  A labored metaphor, but yes.   I can think about what I want.  And another day of Starbucks and pizza and refusing to track and pay attention to your choices is not going to make for better posts.  Must lay your head down in new places to have better dreams.

Tonight before bed: find your bus pass, please.  Pick out some clothes that you can wear to survive the snow.  Buy the book. Charge your fitbit.  Check your email.  Take your hand off the stove.

Phone calls.  Other things to note.  I apparently leveled up in our game.  I’m excited about that, given that it’s never happened before.  I’m excited to be able to do more, to use the information I have.

That’s enough for you for today.

Endless Rush: Day 22

Take a breath. Take a breath before the next frenzied announcement that you’ve written lots today, stuff you feel decent about, stuff that was, you daresay, inspired.   Take a breath before you dash, because you, my dearest girl, are in a hell of a lot of hurry when you don’t have that far to go.

This is not so difficult, nor time consuming, that you cannot take a few peaceful moments and reflect.  Look back on this one single day, this infinitesimally small slice of all reality.  Don’t make this carry the universe inside itself because, of course, it already does, and your prodding will not improve matters.

Think about that small victory with IT, helping to fix that guy’s computer rather than wait for a hundred thousand years for a tech.  Think about how that next step in the hotel process has moved forward.  Even if it’s wrong, the needle moved.

No need to barrel ahead and say nothing just for the sake of the number.  No one is in charge of this, but you.  This isn’t saying that it isn’t important to keep your word – because it is  – but you also must understand the spirit of this place.  There is no value in communication a long-form single stream of consciousness that is in response to nothing.  Twitter’s already questionable as hell.

You can think about how marvelous it is that tomorrow is your birthday and you are not actually on fire.  You’re not dating anyone, but you’re not on fire, either.  You’re not drowning in a vat of formaldehyde, so you’re one up on Miss Laura Bow, too.  It’s not entirely shabby.  You have a bottle of water and a writing assignment that makes you that giddy nervous that you’re going to mess it up but it’s so delicious that you’re even curious to see just exactly how that fuck-up will come to be.

It will be a reckoning, no matter what you do. The spirits of Birthdays Past, Present and Future will crowd around with a pack of cigarettes and some half-empty 40s between them, shaking their heads.  It will be quieter than I want, way more innocuous than I might desire, but it will pass without me setting the village alight.  I won’t take anyone out with my annual birthday bloodbath.  It’s just me, sawing on the moon, with my sharp as diamonds little womb.  He will be disappointing.  I think it’s just the relationship now.   I’ve swallowed the truth and now everything tastes a bit of it.

He told me to get some rest tonight.  He told me to run off and sleep.  I said I would and thank you.  As if that time was both agreed upon as allotted and it was his to give back so graciously.  I have to change that.  I have to not live and die by his whims, his timetables…not when the boundaries no longer exist.

Five minutes to spare and oh how you worried.  No, we can do this…if we try.

Your Favorite Cliche: Day 1

Well, here I am.  Day one of 2019.  Locked and loaded.  Imperfect in my plans and desires but missing you all dreadfully.  Every one of you my favorite voice in the Void.  Me not writing last year had reasons, I suppose, but none of them ever seemed very reasonable.  I just didn’t want to deal and I see now, the results of not dealing.  You gain weight.  You stress out.  You lose hair.  Your gums ache.  Your heart is powdered.  You exist but only on the terms of the unforgiving universe.

I would like to think we can do better than that.

So here at the start of the year, I’m not afraid of a useless five hundred a day.  I’m not afraid of repetitive posts, of a whining, broken record telling me the same hopes and draining me of the same fears three hundred and sixty-five times in a row.  Because somewhere in all of my nonsense, there are granules of the good stuff.  Clarity and freedom and mental security where I know what I want because it’s on virtual paper.

I have grand plans for 2019 and I’m not afraid of that, either.  I’m not afraid of the piping, shrill, nasal inner voice that indicates “She always has plans! And all of them go to shit!”  Sure, dear critic, I have plans and want things, things that my circumstances do not warrant, things I am not trained or prepared for, things that I don’t have any way of getting – especially, when I refuse to acknowledge that I want them.  I’m human.  It’s okay.

And I’ve done work in 2018 to clear some paths.  I’m in therapy again.  I’ve got every kind of tracker imaginable and I’m joining boards and teams and taking before shots and measuring myself the way it’s suggested so I have that baseline.  I’m not making any decisions on doing low-carb until after my birthday.  I’m going to try and practice careful tracking and exercise and loosely reducing sugar and starch in the meantime, but I know that I am going to hit those dates and judge myself based on my behavior and I want to give myself the best chance I have.   My friends are coming in a few days – 10 days – and I care more about figuring out some supportive habits that I can keep going through that than showing everyone I can be perfect.  When nobody knows what I think perfect is anyway, nobody cares in that regard at all.  I have what I need to do mapped out.  I have things beyond just dieting and exercise that are important to me to get back into and they’re a part of this movement forward.  I am here.  I will be here, writing my shit out instead of leaving it somewhere lost in a fog in my brain.

J.  Well, there, at least I can say that I am growing myself up.  We had an adult conversation that didn’t go superlatively well.   I cried a lot. He said I was wonderful, marvelous, all the things any girl would like to hear.  But wouldn’t commit to the fact that we’re single, only to say that he is not in any position to meet anyone.  He doesn’t want things to change.  I don’t want things to change, but I know that they have to – I know that I have to have his understanding that I need a person in my life who is here.  The therapist kept reiterating that’s what I need and at first, I felt frustrated, thinking that was something she thought I needed.  But I can’t live a thousand years on a string.  I’ve lived so long that way and it’s what I know, but it isn’t fair.  It isn’t enough.

So that’s going to be a place where work has to be done.

But not today.  Not everything today.  Today is showing up.  Cheering myself for showing up instead of being down and dire about another restart.  Let’s have a lifetime of restarts and caring for myself enough to give a shit about not letting myself go to shit.  Let’s have a lifetime of being a dork about it.  Let’s be cliches, baby!

If I Knew You From Adam

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The state of affairs is interesting.  Nothing has changed today from yesterday, nor from tomorrow, and there is no revelatory experience to peel apart, I’m just saying…I’m aware of the gap between what I am now and what I want.  I am aware instead of putting my head in the sand and sighing.

I’ve just now come across a Elizabeth Gilbert quote that rings true, even if it also hangs heavy on my shoulders, which I’ll paraphrase here “If you find yourself stuck in life, you can be sure it’s because of a fear you haven’t faced yet.”

This is true in many areas, deflating, but true.  So the depressive part, the tired part, the worn down, underemployed, insecure, freaked out, hypochondriac part can get better, but it has to wobble upright, and as slow or as quick as it can, do something in the face of the belief that it absolutely cannot produce or act at all.  It just has to do something.  Anything.  Use gravity to fall from dead center.   Despite the impossible physics, the bumblebee has to go ahead and fly.

These are the battles you can retreat from every day of your life.  Nobody will mind if you do.  Nobody will cheer you if you don’t.  It’s your life.  Your end result.

You can go on OKCupid.  You can flip through page after page of earnest men’s faces.  Read their best opinion on how best to sell themselves to the pool of available women, even if you are certain that just as you have this idea in your head of who you want to cull you from the herd, they have this idea of the woman who is meant to rise out of the ocean on the clam shell and anoint them with their love.  You can look around at the mess that you drag with you, the veritable flotsam and jetsam and streaky, slimy seaweed that tinsels your hull, and say, fuck, I wouldn’t choose this, why would they? You can look at these men who say they don’t care about reading, they’re real big on weed and exploring moon caves on their jet-powered mountain bikes, men who want to put a slug of coffee in you while they size you up and hurry back to the primordial ooze in case Botticelli picks them out a good one.  You can look at them and feel deeply disconnected.  Angry, even. That life has its rhythm and you want to play along, but all you have is this broken kazoo.  That what you want does not want you and what wants you, what tells you it wants you in its bed, provokes revulsion, never desire.

You can look and realize how far the roots of suspicion grow.  That you may have to lose limbs to save the body when it comes to false beliefs held tightly round the throat.

A true belief: there is a place of alignment between who you want to spend time with and who wants to spend time with you.  But you have to take your slugs and smile because you care.  You want to have someone to talk to.  You want a warm hand in the darkness.  You want to travel to that set of coordinates.  You want to figure this one out.

The Dull Blade Cuts

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I’m sitting on the floor of my bedroom.  I am still at stage one of Japanese tidying, but I am not at stage zero.  I am getting everything in massive piles.  It was in massive piles before, but now they’ll be separated massive piles with tops, and pants, and skirts rather than a giant mishmash of everything everywhere.

This makes me feel better.  It is more than could ever hope to be accomplished in a single evening on a single whim, but, it is something more than nothing.  It’s non-zero progress.

Also, non-zero? Nail polish.  Been staring at my naked nails for ages, having done nothing about it, staring so long that the nail polish I intended to use was all dried out.  Which was depressing given it was a $13 bottle.  But I tried to fix it with the directives from the internet, adding a little nailpolish remover into it.  But it’s all pasty and dry and I think it might be a lost cause.

Instead, I’ve a matte red and found in the box of nail polish the bright matte red lipstick that would work well with it and that navy blue dress that’s in the wash and all of this makes me feel a bit more grown up than a girl who watched TV and ate 5-day old pad thai for dinner.

This is, I think, due in part to having watched Grav3yard Girl.  She’ll forgive me, I’m sure for not necessary spelling that perfectly.  She had a recent video talking about people who were commenting that they liked her better before and she essentially expounds on the value of youtubing, self-expression and change as positive elements to beating back her anxiety and depression.  Doing something you love can lead to all these other possibilities.  Just by walking the path.

Just by starting.  I don’t know how to remagic myself into just always knowing when I get lost how to get found.  It is always the process of stepping towards rationality, of stepping towards organization, of stepping towards the visions I have for myself rather than a giving up of failed policies.  Eventually, that shit falls away, but you get so clingy for it that you get scared to pull away from it.

Old lessons, old messages, re-stated for these, our so very modern times.

I am wishing I had a day tomorrow to here, on my own, to cement these thoughts in my head. It’s odd to be stressed about the job, but to have this idea that there’s only eight hours of it to face tomorrow and then I’m not there.  I wonder…I just wonder on some levels if that messes me up in both places. I feel bound to both masters and yet, really, to neither.  Forgetful and focused on myself.  I suppose, that’s just what has to be right now.

So.  Yes.  The girl begins with herself yet again.  All the hopes and dreams for this year that seemed dashed when my granddad died, when my mom got her diagnosis, when the kitty had to be put down when my work hours and salary got slashed, when I didn’t hear the things I needed to hear.

Well, they didn’t splatter on the rocks, they floated there and waited for the water to rise.  And perhaps their patience is now rewarded.

 

A Constituency of Dunces

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There’s never enough time.

Here’s me.  Here’s the page.  We’re trying to align ourselves.  I’m trying to listen to what the noises are and what they mean.  The noises of the Great Whatever – a whatever that remains great despite your presence to bear witness to it, sir.   I hear the clack of the dryer turning over once more and its insistent beep.  I should have finished my laundry today but I’ve run the washer and dryer to the point that my empathy extends to their Italian-made mechanics.  I don’t want to bust the thing.  I just find it highly effective to deal with a mess in laundry loads.  Putting it in, transferring it up, and putting just that much away.  This is how we end up with a room that has a clear floor (save for the last few lumps of cotton and polyester and wool and faux-leather that remain under the desk, waiting for their glorious log ride back to suitability and an attempt at being hung in some sort of order in the closet.)   Everything, regardless of whether it needs it, into the washer.   Let the soap sort it out.   This is my new philosophy.

Another new philosophy.  June 1.  It’s the day after tomorrow.  This date is the starting of my going back to MyFitnessPal and tracking my food intake and exercising 10 minutes a day, even if it requires figuring out how to get the squeak out of this stationary bike, and essentially, not wasting the second half of the year.  It’s just happening.   Mentioning it here bears no impact on the doing of it or the not doing of it so I won’t hesitate to mention it.  Like the pile of extraordinarily earnest Japanese girls who made/make up idol band creation thing Sakura Gakuin – the ones I’ve been watching videos of to the point that their high-pitched voices speaking a tongue I have zero comprehension of make perfect sense.  They’re constantly saying “I will do my best!”  “I will commit!  I will increase my effort!”  Push-button sincerity.   I just know that my best is better than the way I feel at this particular moment.   Unwell, jolted, caffeinated, all of the things I started the year excited to break away from.

Let’s just…yeah.

Oh, the thing I wanted to talk about yesterday and didn’t was the fact that I got a small advance on my…god, it feels gross to use this word, but inheritance.  And by small, I mean, small enough that it will in no way alter my life at all, but large enough to both be noteworthy and to be really helpful and important right now.   It feels extremely weird that the efforts of someone’s life has a dollar value and I, because I was blood of that blood, now get to spend it.  I wish I was in a position to honor it and save it and push it forward.  But right now, I am grateful that it’s…in my hands.

I just have to go give it my best effort and let the rest go.

Unpacking

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We can begin here with the list. I continue to have some sort of hypochondriac fit that is dancing around with all of these anxious, depressed thoughts in my head.

I have to say, darling, consider this: your grandfather just passed away. You have to travel with the whole family to say goodbye to him and this is always stressful and out of control. Everyone gets hyper under good circumstances and you’re not likely to be able to behave in a way that makes everyone happy with you. It’s been a while since you’ve flown anywhere so you feel as though now there is room for something, mathematically, to go wrong. You’re trying to predetermine how to behave and how to react and worrying about things that would never happen (your throat swelling up because you’re on the airplane, your body going out of whack and passing out, the obvious and essential crashing). You’re trying to protect yourself from all of this by pre-processing it and pre-living it so it becomes fearless. You’re forgetting that you’ll have your family around you in case anything goes wrong. You’re forgetting it’s just a two hour flight. You’re forgetting that your thoughts have no power to impact anything in the physical realm unless your body gets up and acts them out. Letting them pass is exactly the same as holding on, petrified to each one, in terms of their power.

Then, when you return, you’re going straight back to the airport and back on another plane to see your marvelous friends. You’re going on a big trip to a place you’ve never been before. You’re irritated with your job and the reduced hours means you’re not thinking about it as much as you have always obsessed in the past so that, too, is making you worried. Money is scaring you. You had to spend all day fake smiling at people and trying to sell raffle tickets. You sold 3, two of which were to you, at your table which smelled of the giant truck which was blowing its exhaust at you and faintly of cat piss. You would feel slightly good about this except for having been told that everyone should shoot for 100 a week. You’re unsure of your writing. You feel lonely even while hanging out in this group of like-minded nerds. Everyone feels like they’re there for a reason. You just want to ride the draft of a couple compliments (and also find true love.) You feel stress about your dieting. You told your mother how much weight you lost and instantly (although this coincides with your grandfather’s passing) starting fucking around with your plan. You’re frustrated that perhaps trying to eat better and lose weight has triggered some sort of physical issue, like you’re damned if you do and if you don’t. You’ve been driving on your own all week – managing it well enough, but you’re worried about suddenly being sent to have to deal with a new location you’ve never had to go to before. This has not happened, but you feel certain it might. You are not doing well at all about talking back to the irrational thoughts around driving today, but you’ve forgotten the past four days where you did it just fine. You don’t want to move in such a way that will make you think something is wrong.

And the internet is not working! And Prince died! And other, valuable people in this world. And you want to take on the tone of the world today as though that were a life sentence.

You have a lot on your mind. There is no need to torment yourself for not being at chipper kitty status right now. You can be sad and grouchy and introspective and itchy in your own skin. You’re at some crossed roads right now. You don’t need to gaslight yourself and say you’re not feeling it because you’re scared of how deep you could feel it. You’re a bright girl and you’re going to get the help you need as you need it. You are going to look up.